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  1. When I started looking over the Pinta kit and plans I realised that there were several areas that I needed to think about before I started cutting, glueing and sanding: Scale; The kit is 1/50, which meant that the Pinta was smaller than I had imagined the Vivacia to be. I eventually decided to lengthen the keel and change the scale to 1/64. I chose 1/64 as it seems to be a standard in model shipbuilding. it is a new scale for me as I am used to 1/32nd and 1/48 so its lucky that some 28mm helpers turned up… The Pirate, Captain Kennit, who has for so long been desperate to possess a Liveship, has brought some of his adoring and loyal crew to ensure the construction proceeds in a most satisfactory manner. The lengthened hull means the Vivacia will equate to an approximate length of 93 ft with a width of about 26 ft. The Bow; I knew that I would have to change the bow to accommodate the figurehead of Vivacia herself. I will change the triangle shaped foredeck into a trapezium - the books mention several characters leaning on the forerail talking to Vivacia, depending on my skills and how it looks I may be able to make the foremost portion of the deck and the forerail curved rather than straight. The Stern This is the area that has taken the most time to work out because on Vivacia there is a ships wheel for steering, and the area under the stern deck comprises of the captains stateroom plus cabins for the first mate, second mate and carpenter, the galley and chart room. Initially I thought that all I would have to do would be to close of the area under the stern deck and add windows etc. However in the kit this area houses the tiller. To cut a very long story, and many many drawings, short, I decided to raise the deck by about 4mm and shorten the Rudder. These are my initial drawings/plans with Captain Kennit ckecking the headroom in his stateroom; After much headscratching here are the “final” draughts for the Bow and stern areas, ( I think the foremast will end up being moved forward to allow a pinrail on the aft edge of the foredeck) The false keel is the one big letdown of this kit - it was badly warped in both axis. so my original plan of cutting the keel in half and adding a section in the centre was not going to work. So I drew a longer keel and increased the gap between each bulkhead by between 5 and 8mm. Time will tell if this changes the shape of the hull too much. Original false keel and new plan; Are you getting the impression that I’m making this up as I go along? Because that’s exactly what I’m doing… So to paraphrase an engineer from Apollo 13; I have to make this from this using nothing but this Thanks for looking Cheers, Paul
  2. Thanks for your comments on the Virginia build, Fright, I'm hoping to reduce the number of obvious mistakes on this build...….. Sorry Mark, I left the popcorn at your build...….. I'll fetch some more!
  3. Hi and welcome to my build log of the Liveship Vivacia. This model is not based on a real ship but comes from the fantasy novels by Robin Hobb. My ambition is to build the Bounty, but I feel that I need more experience before I start such a project, especially in the areas of square sail rigging, hull planking and general component building (- basically everything, haha). So I have decided to build the ship that first got me interested in sailing ships when I read the books nearly 20 years ago. The books are fantasy novels based on a pre-gunpowder medieval style era, the ships mentioned are Caravels, Carracks, Cogs, Galleys and unspecified fishing and row boats. I have long wondered if it is possible to make an acceptable and “realistic” model simply from a novel. Repeated reading of the 3 novels in which this ship appears has convinced me that there is enough information to build a model that will fit in with the detailed description in the books. The Liveships trade along the coast and up and down certain rivers -think the eastern coastline of the North and South Americas - and while well-built and very expensive, are not ostentatious. The Liveship Vivacia is a merchant carrack/caravel style ship with at least two masts, raised fore and aft decks and transom stern. Due to a certain set of circumstances, these ships (made from a silvery grey wood), and the figureheads, eventually become sentient, hence Liveship. I know what you are thinking……. I won’t mention the magic and the dragons……… So I searched for a donor kit, eventually settling on the Pinta kit from Mantua. This kit has the required raised fore and aft decks, is multi masted, and a flat transom. It has square sails on the mainmast and foremast, with a lateen sail on the mizzen mast. Whilst the lateen sail won’t help with learning for the Bounty and is not specifically mentioned in the books, I’ve decided to keep it. To start off here are the pics of the kit contents; The kit itself is of a pretty good standard: single-layer hull planking in walnut, pre-printed sails, brass turned cannons and swivel guns, pre-formed pintles/gudgeons and other fittings already blackened, pre-cut decking, usual kit style blocks and triangular deadeyes and the usual laser cut plywood. This kit will need to be extensively kitbashed to achieve the result I am after and I expect this will be a project that will last me the next few years. I hope you will find this interesting and for those that wish to follow please pull up a chair, the beers are in the fridge! Cheers, Paul
  4. Nice neat work. I am pulling up a chair to follow your build.
  5. I'm pulling up a chair to follow this build ifn you don't mind Mark. Someone pass the popcorn!
  6. Hi Mark, good to hear from you. Thanks for your comments Yup I made the case, its not as "posh" as a solid wood one but its something different, which is what I was after. The covering is a printout of an 1892 map of the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays from the US Coastal and Geodetic Survey that I found online. I'm just in the "plan adjustment" stage of my next build. I hope to put saw to wood this week and start my log very soon.
  7. Thank you for your kind comments, Ian. And thanks for everyones likes, they are much appreciated. I fulfilled my brief to finish up with something that - mistakes notwithstanding - I can be proud of. Gone, for me, are the days of plastic kits, I have fallen in love with sails and wood! I am already well into the planning stage for my next ship, the kit has been purchased, I'm just in the process of "adjusting" the plans. I hope to start my next log in a week or two..... Thanks again everyone Cheers, Paul
  8. Originally my plan was to use some walnut sheets as a veneer over the MDF, but veneer always looks like veneer and I wanted something a little different. So I decided to take the veneer idea one step further and plank the case as if it were a deck and hull. I chose Maple for the horizontal/deck surfaces and Walnut for the vertical/hull surfaces. I started with the base, I thought that the top of the case would need a bit more than just decking so I purchased a couple of AL grating kits. These were made up and edged with some spare stock. I painted the top black where the gratings would sit and marked the centreline and the perpendicular lines for the butt shift guides. Here are the gratings and the centre plank glued on. Throughout this build I used Aliphatic carpenters glue which meant that very little clamping was needed. One half planked in a 4 shift pattern. The top completely planked and scraped and sanding underway. I used a standard double edged razor blade for the scraping, which proved that I need to invest in a good cabinet scraper. I also debated whether to indicate treenails. In the end I was worried that it would look too busy and that along with my fear that I couldn’t get them neat enough convinced me that for now I wont show them. The top was finished with Danish oil and a good buffing with a protective wood balsam/wax. I made a little box to display a name/detail piece and placed that and the kit flag on the base The completed display; Her home for the moment; Well, I've finished at last. Thanks for reading this log, I hope it has been of interest and helpful to anyone thinking of building this kit, even if only to show which mistakes to avoid! Now to start my next build…… Cheers, and Happy Sanding!
  9. Hi all, I thought I’d add to my log as I’m building a display case for the Virginia. I have been thinking about the case for most of the build. Bearing in mind that the only power tools available to me is a dremel and a drill I knew I would have to make something simple. In the end I decided to use MDF for the base and top, and clear acrylic for the front, back and sides in 3mm. I ordered the acrylic online and ordered some 2 slot display case sections from CMB. The base comprises 18mm MDF with an inner base of 6mm MDF. The top is made from an inner and outer both from 6mm MDF. I downloaded an old map of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, printed it out and covered both the inners sections. The inners where the glued to the outers. I had to cut a little section out of each corner on the inners to fit the CMB sections. The boat fits on the base! The acrylic sheets were glued to the 2 slot sections using contact adhesive. Here they are test fitted to the top and base. Now I know that you are thinking that MDF doesn’t really do over 3 years work on the Virginia justice, and you would be right. So I have a plan….
  10. Thank you Tjalle, after seeing your work, your words are high praise indeed. Good luck with your builds!
  11. Thanks for the kind words Stevinne, I am pleased with how it turned out for my first attempt. I now have to start building the display case.........
  12. Hello all, and thanks for the comments and likes throughout this log. As promised here are the pictures of the finished model. This has been a fun build, even though it has taken three years! This kit is an interesting introduction to wooden ship building, especially for someone who is used to step by step plastic models. It is a real shame that this is a kit of a “boat that might have been” rather that a real boat. Having said that it allowed me to do a bit of kit-bashing. I have made some really obvious schoolboy errors, like the stitching on the sails and the use of poor materials in the chainplates. The kit instructions are poor when it comes to the rigging so I had to learn rigging from scratch - not easy when it seems like a foreign language. However, I’m glad I chose this kit as my first, I have learnt a lot about ships and shipbuilding and will stand me in good stead when building my next model, and eventually my ambition of building the Bounty. I hope you have enjoyed reading this log, and please, if you have any criticism let me know - its all a learning experience. Cheers Paul
  13. The final; The last steps have been completed; The nameplate on the stern of the boat; (needs repositioning to cover the holes drilled for the horse) The nameplate had already been fixed to the stand - both nameplates came with the kit; I read on here a while ago about how to make fenders, so I thought I would add some to the boat. I wrapped some coarse rigging line around a shaped dowell. I cant remember the author of the article on here but whoever you are a huge thanks! The fenders rigged up (I had always thought that these were called bouys) And fixed onto the boats rail with a Fishermans Bend (Anchor Bend), although my knots book informs me that it is not actually a Bend but a Hitch. The completed Boat; I have taken more pics which I will add tomorrow along with my thoughts and conclusions on this build. Cheers Paul
  14. So, after having a long summer break I have at last returned to the tabletop shipyard; First job was to fix the mainmast, and then rig the deadeyes/lanyards. I didn’t like the method shown in the plans for the boom rigging so I made a horse and rigged up a boom preventer stay - I think that’s what its called, with a rope coil. It’s probably not prototypical for a boat of this size but I think it looks the part. And then rigged the mainmast stay on the boat. The appropriate lines were rigged onto the pinrail on the mainmast. All three lines from each corner of the topsail and the two lines from the tack and clew of the mainsail. I coated each line in aliphatic glue and then put a figure-of-eight over the pin and held the line in place until the glue dried. The excess was then cut off to allow the rope coil to be hung over the pin. All the other lines were belayed to the pin rails in the same way; I made 17 rope coils on the coil jig, plus a few spares - which I needed…. They took a bit of arranging on the boat but look effective, as long as you don’t loo too close…. If you look close enough you will see that two of the starboard chainplates have opened up. For the moment I’m going to leave them as they are - I need to source a different material, maybe brass, and redo the whole lot….. I have really enjoyed returning to the shipyard, the only downside is that the end of this build is in sight! Thanks for looking.

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