Scratch Building the Carrack in 1/700th Scale Part 2 Fora by Neal Callen Clarke 
Previous page 2 of 2
The Medium Carrack and the Econo-Carrack in mid-painting process.  Carrack-108
The Econo-Carrack with deck painted, ready to begin detail work.  Carrack-109
IJN PE! To create the characteristic arches common in Carrack Architecture I had to adapt commercial aftermarket PE to suit my needs.  Carrack-110
So far so good.  Carrack-111
Progress...  Carrack-112
What was emerging looked totally unlike any model I had ever built, and slightly surreal, but then the real carracks were somewhat surreal-looking...  Carrack-113
Another essential detail of all carracks was the so-called 'horseshoe deck' which was a feature of all naos and carracks of the period. In early Carracks (such as the Flemish Carrack, see above) this could form a sort of curved spar deck with access to the mast and hatches between the arms of the horseshoe. In later carracks the 'deck' became more of a vertical arch at the base of the forecastle. If you'll remember this part of the forecastle and hull were solid on the Fatty hull cast. I was forced to hollow this area out and create additional decking beneath the forecastle. I painted the remaining material above the deck black to suggest further space into the interior of the hull and forecastle. It was not much fun to do this, but the end result was that the forecastle and horseshoe deck looked as they should. Adding the individual strips as planks to create this deck was a technique I borrowed from my friend Tom L.  Carrack-114
Combination of plastic dowel styrene and cut IJN perforated bar to create arch galleries.  Carrack-115
Progress... Carrack-116
Bruno Gire's beautiful PE in action. Custom gun carriages with resin casts of the brass masters. Also visible are access ladders to the after castle.  Carrack-117
Upper gun batteries. This required drilling ports through the hull bulwarks.  Carrack-118
Stern guns mounted. The hull has been re-worked and stained to produce a dull black-brown color.  Carrack-119
Completed hull with masts installed and PE shroud/ratline sets. Note gun batteries in the hull.  Carrack-120
By this point I needed a name, and, once again decided on a Portuguese ship named after a Catholic Saint/Shrine. I settled on Sao Vicente de Fora ("Saint Vincent outside the walls") a Monastery in Lisbon. Note the cross decal courtesy of Bruno Gire embedded in the mainsail.  Carrack-121
Overhead shot.  Carrack-122
All three Carracks as they will eventually appear mounted together on the same base.  Carrack-123
Midship details.  Carrack-124
Part of a grappling hook. Penny is for scale.  Carrack-125
Bruno created decals of the Royal Coat of Arms of Portugal, shown here mounted on the front of the after castle. Note the archwork, these were created from the frets of various PE detail sets from WEM and others. Note also the colored triangles, another decal supplied by Bruno Gire. The knight's Bitts can be seen at the base of the mizzen mast. Carrack-126
All Sails mounted. By this point it was a race against the clock as I was eager to enter the Fora in the 2011 IPMS Nationals. This shot was taken the night before we left for Omaha. The rigging is still not done! I had to lay cardboard over the water base so that I could see what I was doing with the rigging details. Carrack-127
Note livery shields around the Crow's Nest. Carrack-128
Close up of the gun decks. I had to paint the muzzle ends gray in order to make the bore of the guns visible, this is the only gray used anywhere on the model. Carrack-129
In the atrium of the Event Center where the Nats were held in Omaha. Every day I would go down there hoping to finish the rigging in time to enter it in the competition. Many modelers passed by as I worked and I got to know quite a few members of the IPMS community as a result. A slight bump of the hands or the fingers would have wrecked a year's worth of work. This was my only entry in the contest. I submitted the Fora fifteen minutes before the Judging began... Carrack-130
First Place in the Scratch-Built Ship Category! I couldn't believe it, a tremendous vindication for all that work.  Carrack-131
Back home I was finally able to get a shot of the 'completed' ship. (Is any model ever truly completed?) The flags are decals again, supplied by Bruno Gire, representing various standards common to Portugal of that era. Note the grappling hook at the end of the bowsprit. Also not clearly visible here are the anchors lashed under the forecastle. [One more note, for anyone out there interested in scratch-building sailing vessels, both Battlefleet Models and Atlantic Models make sets of Shroud-Ratlines that can be adapted to this work.]

So what else is possible in 1/700th Scale? Is it possible to build a Galleon with a complete gun deck? 

Or how about a Venetian Galleass from the Battle of Lepanto, 1571? Carrack-134
How about the French Ironclad Solferino?  Carrack-135
A Greek Trireme in 700th?  Carrack-137
A futuristic Mega Yacht?  Carrack-138
The Colossus of Rhodes? Carrack-139
Or how about the Cheops Pyramid Ship? These are all current works in progress, and, as you can see, I have more ideas than I do time to complete them. But I do firmly believe that, given the right medium and the right techniques, there is a way to model almost anything. Carrack-140
Bruno, Rusty and I came very close to launching a new model company as a result of these builds, but in the end I decided I didn't want to get into the business of making kits. Rusty in particular warned me that once you start making kits for a living, you'll stop making models. Bruno is now working with L'Arsenal on some exciting new projects due for release soon, but I won't steal his thunder on that subject.

Including the still unfinished Flemish Carrack, I currently have three carracks, a nao, a galleon and an argosy all in WIP status. The Beja and the Fora remain, as far as I know the only completed Model Carracks in 1/700th Scale in the world. But they don't need to be. If I can do this, others can do this as well. Several of my friends here and elsewhere have bought or traded for Sao Bruno and Fatty hulls, so it's likely that there will be more carracks in the future, not just my own. If you'd like to see the blogs that feature all of these works including the Carracks, You can find them here on ModelWarships in the Scratch-Building Forums. Here are some links:

Happy Modeling!

More of Neal Callen Clarke 's work.
Updated 2013