Before beginning conservation treatment on any item in our National Collection (whether it is an artwork, uniform or tank...) the first step is to inspect and document its condition. We look at how the item is made, what materials are used, what state it is in and whether there are any damaged or unstable/fragile areas or components. We can then safely handle/move the item and determine what conservation treatment is required.
Steel lifeboat from HMT Ascot used in the landings on Gallipoli.
The start of the redevelopment of the First World War galleries has been an exciting time for the Memorial, with the removal of many significant collection items from the current galleries into temporary storage. A notable part of this project has been the move of the iconic Ascot boat from the Orientation Gallery.
Welcome to the first of our First World War diorama conservation blog posts! Throughout the redevelopment of the FWW galleries we hope to give you an insight into what goes on not just behind, but also over and under the scenes!
The framework under Mont St Quentin
A lot of work has been carried out on the Hudson since the last blog update. A large number of structural components have been manufactured and fitted into the lower airframe, culminating in the trail fitment last week of the 'Tunnel Gun' position. Work will soon move forward and concentrate on the Navigators step and forward cabin detail, folowed by construction of the Radio Operators room directly behind the pilot.
A major milestone was reached late last week with the trial fit of the Boulton Paul upper turret into the Hudson rear fuselage. The installation was carried out to check the fit with the re-constructed support structure, which required only minor adjusting before the turret was bolted into postion. The turret will now be removed to allow fabrication of fuselage skins to be completed, and routing of the empennage flight control cables.
After months of work treating and reproducing individual pieces, the complex structure which supports the Boulton Paul turret has been trial fitted. It was great to see all the separate items come together. These parts, after final undercoating, will now be riveted into the airframe permanently. Rear fuselage skins can then be rolled, and the Boulton Paul turret fitted.
The Boulton Paul Turret was the first of the major componemts to undergo restoration, with work commencing in late 2009 on a large pile of turret pieces. Over an eight month period, the parts were individually treated, and the turret slowly took shape. The frame is a complex assembly, with literally hundreds of small brackets, all rivited together to make up the cupola, or frame.
Monday 26 September 2011 by Jamie Croker. No comments.
While major structural work is being carried out, work progresses on some of the smaller cabin fitout items as well. Mark Aitken, one of the Large Technology conservators, is currently replicating the F24 Camera Well using a loaned original for reference, as well as original blueprints.
The papers of Field Marshal the Lord Birdwood will be undergoing conservation, rehousing and digitisation for their long term preservation.
Friday 25 February 2011 by Jamie Croker. No comments.
A second large hole has been cut into the fuselage this week, this being for the lower tunnel gun position. A large amount of modification to the airframe had been carried out to support flooring, and various large camera mounts thorughout it's time as a geo survey platform. All these modifications were removed to clear the area, and open up the space ogininally occupied by the tunnel gun.