Thursday 27 February 2014


In my last post, I described Oliver Lang’s unique modifications to HMS Terror’s stern to accommodate the screw propeller. A primary component of this modification was a massive 3.5 inch thick “iron staple knee”, which securely bound the keel, original sternpost, and rudderpost together.

To model this part, I will use brass, blackened to simulate iron. I originally attempted to bend and hammer a 1.85 mm thick piece of brass into the correct shape, but try as I might, I could not create the appropriate angles accurately and only produced a mangled mess. Finally, I resigned myself to the fact that I would need to cut three separate pieces and then silver solder them together. I had never attempted this before, but I found a great deal of information on Model Ship World, and decided to give it a try.  

Brass stock cut to match the dimensions of the three sides of the knee. 

Preparing to drill the holes for the bolts.

A rough jig necessary to hold the pieces in place while soldering.

The drilled pieces. 

My new pen torch and other soldering equipment.

Clamping the pieces to the jig. It was a tricky task not to burn the jig, but thankfully the joints were small and the brass heated rapidly.

The knee after soldering. The joints are much stronger than I hoped they would be.

The final part filed to shape and compared to the plans. 

An alternate view of the finished part.

The knee dry-fitted to the stern piece.

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