A few months ago I was given a commission to build a model of the submarine HMS ONYX which had played a vital role in the Falklands war. After carrying out some extensive research on line and eventually obtaining some plans I could get started. I decided to totally scratch build the sub firstly by making up a keel and frame set which was then strengthened before applying the first planks using Lime wood. Once the first planking had been completed the process of sanding down could begin which took quite a while but necessary prior to the second planking using Walnut planks. After a few weeks the second planking was finished up to the main deck, this was then followed by very carefully marking the position of the fore and aft dive plains as well as the rudder etc.
With the second planking now finished they could now be sanded until a smooth finish had been achieved prior to sealing. The final task for the main hull was to very carefully mark onto .1mm plasticard the deck details as well as the side panels of the deck area and then fix into place making sure everything fitted exactly, I then could mark on the position of the conning tower. One of the last things to attach on the hull was a section of keel at the stern of the sub followed by the brass propellers, shafts and there supports, followed by the fore and aft dive plains.
Now with the main hull pretty much finished I moved onto the conning tower which proved quite challenging due to some of the angles involved and the fairly complex area around the top of the tower which housed the periscopes etc (details of which were kindly supplied by the customer as well as several other photos) Once the conning tower had been finished it was very carefully positioned and fixed into place followed by the bow radar housing, I could then add the finishing details to the deck area.
With the subs construction now complete I could move onto the painting, this was done by using several coats of primer followed by a matt black from Admiralty paint sets which was then carefully made to look a bit weather beaten prior to applying the extensive rusting effect (customers remit was to make the sub look very weather beaten on her return to port). The application of the rust effect took several hours after trying several tests before deciding on the most effective finish that could be achieved; this meant applying various layers of the effect throughout the sub in order to achieve the best results. Now the sub was 99.9% finished the very last task was to apply the HMS ONYX crest to the front of the conning tower as well as the flags on the conning tower (supplied by (Becc Model Accessories) and seal into place, this was then followed by very carefully checking over the whole build before collection by the customer.
Overall this commission proved very satisfying and one that certainly offered some challenges during the build.