DocBlake

Independence 1775 by DocBlake - Artesania Latina - 5/16" scale.

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This will be my build log for AL's "Independence 1775".  First let me say that this is an entirely fictional vessel, much like Al's Swift or Harvey.  It is , however, representative of the colonial schooners built in America between 1763 and 1775.  Harold Hahn covers these ships in his book "The Colonial Schooner - 1763 - 1775".

 

I was drawn to the vessel because of her lines, and especially the bluff bow.   But what convinced me to build this model was the excellent build log of Clare Hess:

 

http://www.shipsofscale.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=539

 

Clare is building the model on commission and has seriously kit-bashed the build.  The result is a beautiful , if fictional, colonial schooner circa 1775.

 

The first problem with the kit is the scale.  The box cover lists the model as 1:35 scale.  At that large scale, the model would be very small...smaller in fact than "Sultana", the smallest schooner known to have been built.  A vessel that tiny would never be able to be armed with 4 carriage-mounted cannons.  What to do?

 

Clare decided to build the model in 1:48 scale.  I chose a different path.  After researching both the "Halifax" and "Sultana" in Hahn's book, I discovered that if I built the kit in 5/16" scale, the model would be a little smaller than "Halifax" but larger than "Sultana".  She should be able to carry 4 three-pounder cannons.

 

The 5/16" scale is unusual, and it translates to 1:38.4!  Convieniently this works out to 8 mm = 1 inch, a convenient ratio.  So I'll be building "Independence" using metric measurements.

 

I completed the hull framing and reinforced the framing with blocks.  Probably overkill, but the bulkheads are plywood and very hard.  Fairing the hull would put a lot of stress on them so I decided better safe than sorry.

 

I plan to use the same wood scheme as Clare:  boxwood decking, boxwood and swiss pear hull planking.  I will used redheart for the inboard bulwark planking and the deck furniture ordinarily painted red.

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Hi Dave,

 

Congrats on starting your build and build log here! 

 

In reality, my model's scale is somewhere in between 1:40 and 1:48. It's so close in design to being a kit of the Halifax, that I've been using elements of that ship to build this model. There's actually a lot of "fudge factor" in my model!

 

Also, I actually used plain pear wood, not swiss pear. I got some from The Lumberyard that was very dark in color. I bought more in sheet and rough cut form and think I must have gotten the last of the dark pear wood supply. I've seen other models that used pear wood (again, not swiss pear) and it was much lighter.

 

In any case, I'm really looking forward to watching your progress. 

 

Clare

Elijah, mtaylor, mrshanks and 3 others like this

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Hi Dave,

It took me a while to get back in the swing of things, posting on forums etc. but I think I'm ready now to jump back in. I'll be following your new build with great interest; it's a new model to me. Have you built a AL model before? I'm always curious what it's like working with the different manufacturers. I'm sure you'll make me envious of your woodworking skills yet again.

David

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Dave,

 

Looks like the gangs' all here. It appears you already have a fair amount of time into this new endeavour. I am well stocked with popcorn and my wine cellar is full.

 

Proceed .  .  .  .

 

Respectfully,

John

WackoWolf, Elijah, mtaylor and 3 others like this

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I glued the deck segments to the framework with one hour epoxy and used the famous little yellow nails to hold until dry.  These were removed and any imperfections in the sub deck filled with Elmer's wood filler.  I drew a centerline on the deck and then laid out where the deck beams would be to guide the treenailing.  There is nothing scientific or historically accurate in the way the deck is laid out.  I just went with what was pleasing to the eye.  Next is planking the deck (that's the common build order for AL kits).  I'm still up in the air about whether to plank in boxwood, holly or maple. The planking will be 1/32" thick.

 

The last two photos show that the keel slopes downward moving aft, and is not parallel to the waterline.  The lower decks in the holds ARE parallel to the waterline.  It makes it appear as if the hold decks are installed at an angle,  Note that the bulkheads are perpendiculal to the hold decks, but not the keel!

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I've actually finished planking the main deck, including the margin planks. I added filler blocks (balsa) to the first two inter-bulkhead spaces. With the bluff bow I wanted all the help I could get in fairing the bow. None of that is included in the instructions, BTW! I'll post as soon as I'm back from Arizona.

Elijah, mtaylor, Bill Hime and 3 others like this

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We're just back from a road trip to Arizona, so the shipyard is open again!

 

I added the bow blocks and faired them smooth.  The bluff bow made me a little nervous, so I added the blocking, made of balsa wood.  The kit doesn't call for any blocking at all.  I'm also adding some at the stern, below the counter where the wing transom would sit.

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Glad you could stop in, Bill.  It looks as though you are a full-scale carpenter/woodworker as well as a model shipwright.  Am I right?  Woodworking in full scale is also a lifelong interest of mine.  I live in Pewaukee, about 55 miles from Madison.  Maybe we can get a few other Badger ship builders together and start a club in south central/south eastern Wisconsin!  There isn't one as far as I know.

Elijah, Bill Hime, mtaylor and 1 other like this

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Dave,

Absolutely, I'm up for that! Perhaps we could get together soon. I'm currently turning a cabin on our property into a cabinet/furniture shop. I'm also setting aside a nice enclosed area of the shop  for the shipyard. Just frame at the moment but moving forward! Would love to see your shipyard ;)

 

Bill

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Hi John!

 

The wood is balsa so it works easily.  I carved it to rough shape with a #22 X-Acto knife, and then sanded with my sanding blocks.  You do have a good eye!  There is a slight concave shape to the area where the wing transom would be, approaching the counter! The concavity is only right next to the sternpost on both sides.  If you follow the wing transom out laterally, the shape becomes slightly convex.

donrobinson, KenW, mrshanks and 2 others like this

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Hi Ken!  Yep...a lot of blocking to stiffen the bulkheads which are plywood and very hard.  I was concerned about damage when fairing because the stress of sanding would be significant.  Also the plywood and basswood blocking allowed me to use less balsa wood.  The balsa is confines to places where big changes in the hull lines occur like the wing transom area and the bow.  The kit has no bow or stern blocks at all.

 

Don:  Yep, I did get an interesting email this morning!  Stay tuned to the Lauck Street thread for a response a little later.   ;) 

KenW, Elijah, donrobinson and 1 other like this

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