M.S. Calabar/Semiramis

shipbuilder

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Thanks. About 20 inches long. Quite a nice scale - not too big. It should make an interesting model. I look forward to watching the progress. I don't often see anyone else building this type of ship model. A very interesting history as well. Although she was chartered by my company, whilst the St Helena was completing her refit for the run, I never saw the Semiramis, as I was standing by to go in the RMS St Helena at the time. We were only 50 feet longer than Semiramis, and carried 76 passengers. It was a long way to go for such small ships (UK - Cape Town and back) but I loved it. Those little passenger ships were a delight to sail in - I spent a number of years in the big Union-Castle liners before that! - Bob
 

Stabsveterinar

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Hello all, day one has arrived. Although @shipbuilder supplied me with fantastic drawings of Calabar/Semiramis, I did needed a rib box. As I am a not familiarized with ship design programs, after a exhaustive search in the Web I found what could be called a "standard rib box" for a cargo ship. With minimal adjustments, it fits very well with Semiramis plans, The keel and the ribs are made from foam cardboard, and next step is filling gaps between ribs with balsa wood, as I have a huge amount of that. Only time will show me if I must finish the hull with wood strakes or it will be fine to sand and plaster it. In any case, the first and harder step is done: the beginning. You can see the after the battle photos. IMG_20200221_180140_288.jpgIMG_20200221_181557_076.jpgIMG_20200221_195306_766.jpgIMG_20200221_210223_923.jpg
 

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mrshanks

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Those little passenger ships were a delight to sail in
Bob - what's all this you been going on about a lack of interest in commercial shipping? We got Titanic's being built all over SoS, new members of your fan club joining every day, and awesome stories of your sea travels... both work and play. It seems this might be a good year for modeling my friend!!
 

shipbuilder

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Mike,
Titanic's and Cutty Sark's don't really count, as there is a bottomless pit of them being built, mainly from kits :oops: None of the various forums show much interest in commercial ships, but I am suprised that my Facebook group now has more than 3,000 members, where the most interest is in steam or motor ships. The Semiramis build (above) is fantastic. The plan referred to is called the "lines" plan, the cross section part is the "body" plan. The official name for the ribs is "frames," but so far, I can't fault the build at all, and look forward to seeing it progress.
Bob
 

Stabsveterinar

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More progress. After sanding the hull, made from cardboard foam and filled with wood plaster (balsa filling was a total failure), the hull was covered with sapelly wood that I kept from an old kit. The most difficult parts, obviously, were the bow and stern. As I don´t need a perfect cover, like in a sail ship, I added more wood plaster were needed, and sanded the whole thing again, adding finally the keel. As I don´t have references, I think 3 mm wide is more or less right for the keel. The rudder is made from 0,5mm plasticard, and, obviously, the propeller is an aftermarket piece.

The decks are from Evergreen V shaped sheets, 1mm spaced. Finally, the stringers are more Evergreen, this time 0´25mm thick. The bulwarks, Evergreen 0,50mm thick. After studyng photos, it seems that the freeing ports in the bulwarks were removed, so I cut out the needed holes in place.

Now is time to complete stringers in the stern, sand again the whole thing and practice several portholes and doors in the hull, and place anchors after making the needed holes in the hull.

Not a perfect work, but good enough for me, as I have never scratchbuilt a model.

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shipbuilder

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Excellent, and it just shows what can be achieved once you have got over the "I could never do that" attitude! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the build. Realisng that one if more than capable of sratchbuilding opens up a whole new field in model shipbuilding. It makes me feel really good to see something like this taking shape! :)
Bob
 

Stabsveterinar

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Excellent, and it just shows what can be achieved once you have got over the "I could never do that" attitude! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the build. Realisng that one if more than capable of sratchbuilding opens up a whole new field in model shipbuilding. It makes me feel really good to see something like this taking shape! :)
Bob
Thanks for your support, Bob, it´s greatly appreciated!
 

Stabsveterinar

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More elements added. In fact, only a few things to add before priming. The superestructures are some kind of problem, as MS Calabar was modified in 1948 and 1953. A new bridge was added and the funnel was much higher than in the original. Also the two small lifeboats were placed in the stern in platforms on each side of the poop deck. No problem with this, they will be added later after painting.

The bridge is another question. As there are no plans of the new bridge, I studied several photos of the ship. I´m quite sure about the wood girder in front of the deck bridge, fitted with masking tape (still not glued). The new bridge is my interpretation after seeing several photos. The funnel height is also my estimation, studying also the photos taken from different angles.

Concerning other elements, the cargo hatches are covered with wet tissues and white glue. The davits are resin aftermarket pieces, so the anchors.

As there are not photos of the section around the funnel, I´ll follow @shipbuilder model (thank you!), supposing it was not modified.

Finally, the rear part of the bridge deck before the funnel has an element I can´t identify. Maybe you can help me. Its seems a big white drum, marked with a red circle. It can be seen also in a port side photo of the still MS Calabar (last one). In the second photo you can also see some kind of drum fitted to the bridge wall marked in blue.

Thanks in advance!

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shipbuilder

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It can be a big problem when a ship has been modified as much as that, but it is looking quite accurate so far. With all those people aboard, I would think that the round drum is maybe a sanitary tank of saltwater for toilet flushing. Or maybe a big freshwater tank, but whichever it was, I would say it contained water, either fresh or salt.
Bob
 

Stabsveterinar

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It can be a big problem when a ship has been modified as much as that, but it is looking quite accurate so far. With all those people aboard, I would think that the round drum is maybe a sanitary tank of saltwater for toilet flushing. Or maybe a big freshwater tank, but whichever it was, I would say it contained water, either fresh or salt.
Bob
Thanks, Bob, your help is greatly appreciated!
 

Stabsveterinar

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Primer applied. Obviously, paint revealed flaws, allí of them minor, fortunately. I'll let cure the paint for a day or two and then will correct them.

For colour scheme, according to photos, I'll apply dark red for lower hull, medium sea grey for upper hull and white for superestructures, except the wooden parts of the bridge, that will be black.

I'm reasonably happy, at least It looks like a ship!

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