Zvezda: Black Pearl 1/75 Scale

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ethanb

New Member
I've been trolling ship-building sites for years, checking out all of the amazing work in wood and plastic and finally decided to break the seal and get to building one of my own! I am a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and as far as licensed copies go, the Zvezda "Black Swan" is the closest representation of the Black Pearl and from reviews I have read; it is a really well put together kit. I have a decent amount of modeling and painting experience but this will be the first ship I have ever built so I am excited to put my skills to the task!

I received the package in the mail early this week and after gathering resources I was finally able to start the build last night.

First note is this will be modified as much as I can to match the movie version and hopefully from your wonderful advice I can make it more accurate as a ship as well. I saw a couple diagrams of modifications that need to be done so I will just start at the beginning with a brief overview and then move right to the build.

Mainly with the kit we are talking plastic. So the sails are injection molded, beautiful but horribly out of scale; so those will have to go.

Next, the rigging and blocks are mostly plastic with few exceptions so I really want to make these from wood parts and thread. What size blocks do I need for 1/75 scale? 2mm, 3mm? Then I need to figure out how many! I am new to the ship field so terminology and numbers I will learn on the way.

Finally the cannon will be upgraded and some actual kit parts will be changed and modified.

Fist off, the quick shots of the kit parts themselves
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So on to the first step: The major discrepancy of this kit is the rear cabin area. The stairs and the actual cabin wall are nothing like the movie so I tackled the wall first. I am a 3D artist as far as career goes so I took a picture of the original part and measured it out with calipers, transfered the image to my 3d modeling program and rebuilt the wall. Then using my 3d printer I made a prototype the part and if fit on the first go around!

Last night the print had cured well enough to assemble the basic decks as you will see in the images below.

The Original part:
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The actual ship:
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The 3D modeled part in the printer program and our printer:
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My first test print to make sure the scale was right:
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The official scratch built part:
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After that I installed the major decks and glued them to the hull:
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Here you can see the new part in place:
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And here is where I screwed up already! So I wanted to get a base coat of paint on the decks and my plan is to build up from raw wood to the colors you see in the reference above. You can see they made the ship look like it's been through quite a few stains and paint jobs. So to base coat I went with a light tan and then planned on adding black ink to the recessed areas to bring the grain and plank lines out but forgot to seriously dilute my ink! so now I have planks that are seriously old and rotted out! I will fix that next...
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So aside from getting a true first coat of paint on and adding the remaining deck pieces I am going to tackle the stairs next, which also have to be built from scratch since the kit parts are straight and don't have the curve like the reference image above.

Also I noticed my images are coming in as thumbnails? There are so many ways to post to forums; if anyone knows how to get attachments to show full size let me know so ya'll don't have to click on every single one to zoom in.

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Zac

New Member
I'm working on this too. Fantastic work so far! Would you be willing to print up that wall and offer it up for sale?
 

division 6

Master Member
The only difference between the Pearl and the Swan is the figurehead.
As far as I know you can still get the Pearl from Russia.

Nice job on the new bulkhead just one thing, it should be angled not straight vertical.
Couple pix on my Flickr page.

Don't forget to mold the girls off the stern to add to the bulkhead.

I'll be watching your build, it might give me enough incentive to get back to work on mine.:)


I just remembered that someone over on Fine Scale mentioned that the molds are now owned by Revell.
 
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ethanb

New Member
Thanks rbeach84!

Hey Zac, thanks for the compliment. I will talk to my brother, who owns the printer and see how much it would cost in plastic to make you a copy.

Thanks division6; Yes that is the only thing I have seen so far and while I really don't want to sculpt the figurehead I would rather sculpt it than wait months for shipping on the kit! I did notice the angle when I watched POC1 yesterday and I am pretty sure my plastic is flexible enough to make the angle so I am not too worried about it. Thanks for letting me know and linking your page of reference, much appreciated!

BTW, if anyone is handy at molding, would they like to mold the correct figurehead from their kit and make me a copy; I will pay for materials and shipping of course.
 

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ethanb

New Member
I think some pretty decent progress was made last night in painting. As I said before, over the weekend I cleaned off my first base coat and last night I applied a much better one!

I am using Reaper acrylic paints and Dr. PH Martin inks for this project.

This first pass was painted with Golden Highlight, thinned a bit with a custom thinning mixture that I use for everything. I use Acrylic Medium, Denatured Water, and a small amount of Isopropyl Alcohol, in a bottle and I have found this gives a great consistency and color flow to my paint.

After the deck was fully painted I went in and painted each plank a different shade to provide breakup through the washes that follow. I used Golden Shadow, Tusk Ivory, and Tanned Highlight to create the plank colors.

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Next I mixed some inks together. This was Van Dyke Brown, Sephia, and a touch of Terra Cotta. I thinned this down quite a bit and tested as I thinned until the ink was just barely sticking; then washed the whole deck and as the ink started to set I would add or remove and move the ink around until it had a decent layer and looked natural.

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This is my base wood color. From here I will use inks to darken and age the wood until I get to the worn and darkened look from the films. I will do a decent amount tonight and post a reference image or two and my work in the morning!


Note: I will be starting to 3D model the stairs over the next week or two and any of you who would like to get these and any other custom pieces will be able to find them on Shapeways and I will provide a link to them. I was told that's the best way to do it. However, I need that proper figurehead from the Russian version of the kit so if someone will mold me that figurehead and ship it over I will print the stairs and cabin for them and ship that in return.

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b26354

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Revell also released the black swan kit - simply called "Pirate Ship". It's Revell #05605

I called my local hobby shop to see if they could get the Zvezda kit and they said they could order one in at an exorbitant proce. Turns out the had the revell kit on the shelves but didn't know it was the same sprues.
 

Zac

New Member
There's still quite a few on evil bay. I bought mine for $68 shipped from Russia. The cheapest one at the moment is $70 shipped from Russia.

That deck is looking great! I can try to mold and cast the figurehead but I'm not sure how good it will turn out as those are skills I have yet to learn and perfect.
 
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ethanb

New Member
I first looked on Ebay for the Russian version and even purchased one for 60.00 plus shipping but then the seller was telling me that at this time it would be a minimum of one month to ship it and it might take longer, so I cancelled the order and purchased the Black Swan for I think 109.00 with free 3 day shipping from Amazon. I think this was a good choice if I can get that figurehead or sculpt one myself!

Thanks Zac! I know that mold might be a bit tough to do but here is a really easy way to get it done:

take the two parts and if they are flat on one side just place them within an inch of each other on a square piece of foam core. You can use a touch of hot glue to hold them in place or a bit of clay if you have it. Then build an open box that gives 1/2 to and inch of clearance above the pieces. Hot glue the inside edges of the box to make it water tight. Then fill the box with the molding material and let set. Then once it is cured you can remove the foam core and the molding material should have enough flex to pop your original parts out; and you will have a one part mold! At that point you can either fill the mold yourself or just ship the mold and I can fill it myself. If that works I will make you the stairs and cabin wall and ship them back to you.

Updates coming shortly!
 

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ethanb

New Member
So last night was a bit slower but I got 2 washes of Van Dyke Brown with a touch of black, in inks; on the deck. You can see in the pics the tone is still pretty good but I have a feeling the overall washyness may start to look a bit fake when looking at the deck as a whole so from here on out I will be mixing a couple shades of ink and doing the washes in very small areas. I hope in the end to be able to recreate the feeling of aged wood as well as show areas that get a lot of traffic being worn in a more distinct manner.

Thanks to all for watching! I will be on vacation camping with some ATV's in the sand for the rest of the week so I probably won't get to hit this again until Sunday night.

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tdb68

Active Member
Very cool Ethanb !!

Looking forward to your build and the mod's you are doing. Thankx too for letting us watch!
I just got my Black Pearl from Russia yesterday, 6 weeks but worth it. Love the show and the ships and hope to do it justice.
 

ethanb

New Member
Thanks guys for the great comments. Sorry to have not posted in a bit. Vacation and then when I got back my upgraded cannon were in and I realized that 21mm was just too small so I am currently waiting on some larger scale cannon barrel. I will be back to it as soon as they come in!
 

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