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  1. 8/27/2018 Another item I had intended to include before is my parts inventory storage. At my wife’s suggestion, I used sandwich bags and Post-it Notes with a different color for each type of material (wood, metal, other). The parts are stored alphabetically by type. It works very well (at least so far!). This post covers the work done to underplank the hull. To soak the planks, I created a plank bath from a length of threaded PVC pipe. I cut it to a length slightly larger than the planks, then capped the threaded end. I used a slip cap on the other end to put in and take out planks. When done for the day, I would empty the pipe, then unscrew the cap so that the pipe could dry out. I used the gluing method recommended in MSS. I put wood glue on the frames and the top of the plank around the frames, and put Superglue in the middle of the top of the plank. However, I did two frames at a time, as opposed to the one suggested in MSS. I used the older version of the Aeropiccola plank bender as I thought the various curvatures available on the plank bender would be useful, which turned out to be the case. TIP: Have a plier handy to pull the roller out for inserting the wood and moving the roller up and down the curved surface. Overall, the planking went well, except for the bow area. The picture in the instructions showed the planks going across the bow horizontally. However when I tried to do that I found it difficult, if not impossible, to get the planks to lay flat against the frames. After some online research on other builds, I decided to angle the planks as I worked down the rest of the hull. This worked much better. Because of this I added an additional landing block to the bow. I generally held the hull in the vise when I was laying the planks. However, as I neared the bottom that was impractical. I found that a folded bath towel provided enough cushioning while holding the hull in place while I worked. Here is the completed underplanking of the hull. (Looks pretty rough, huh?) Once the hull underplanking was completed, I worked up the bulwark extensions to underplank the bulwark. I decided to leave the nails in as I worked down the hull and up the bulwark, hence the hedgehog appearance of the finished hull. Once all the underplanking was finished, I removed the nails, sanded the hull and filled where necessary. I made four passes over the hull – rough grit, medium grit, fine grit and 0000 steel wool. (Looks MUCH better!) Now I am ready to begin applying the finish planking. Build time to date – 126 hrs: 33.25 hrs for the work in this build log entry. MSS - Model Shipbuilding Simplified by Frank Mastini
  2. Thanks Graham and Eric for your comments. I think it is a very doable model, as long as you don't solely rely on the instructions provided. I like the idea of the PVC sections. I decided to do my lumberyard that way as I was moving between a summer house and main house. My approach allowed me to package everything up quite readily.
  3. 7/4/2018 Something I forgot to put into my last build log. I created a lumberyard from a cereal box and paper towel rolls with poster board separators. It works really well to sort out the various laths used in this model. This post covers the work done to add the false decks, the bow and stern walls, the plank landing blocks and fairing the hull. After stripping off the poster board false decks, I fitted the false decks for the foredeck, the main deck and the bridge deck. I then glued down the decks and nailed down all the decks to the keel and frames. I had to add a block on the foredeck starboard side to pull down that side of the foredeck. I planked and added the the bow and stern walls. I ran a pencil along the edge of the planks to bring out their definition. A large segment of time was spent in forming the plank landing blocks for both the bow and stern. These were recommended by MSS to anchor the underplanking when planking the hull but not provided in the kit. I struggled a bit in fairing the hull as I couldn’t tell on the port side whether frame 7 was sticking out too far or that frame 8 was too far back. I ended up taking 5 measurements (A thru E) along each frame of frames 5 to 10 on both the starboard and port sides. I compared the measurements between port and starboard sides and found that, indeed, frame 7 need to be filed back about 1 mm on the port side (compare 6-7 on starboard side with 6-7 and [R}evised6-7 on port side). This brought both sides within a millimeter of being the same on both sides. I then mounted four underplanks on each side of the hull to help with fairing the hull (also recommended by MSS). I found 3 or 4 places that needed to be filled in. I am now ready to start underplanking the hull. Build time to date – 92.75 hrs: 28.25 hrs for the work in this build log. MSS - Model Shipbuilding Simplified by Frank Mastini
  4. 6/18/2018 This post covers the work done to prepare the keel and frames for gluing. Right up front, I want to credit Model Shipbuilding Simplified by Frank Mastini (heretofore referenced as MSS). I bought the book to supplement the somewhat terse instructions provided by Mamoli, and it has been a very valuable aid in understanding how to proceed. In addition, the Italian – English dictionary of nautical terms was helpful in translating the parts list. I hit a gumption trap (from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) almost at the beginning. I ordered a tool kit, plank bender and vacuum base vise, and while the first two arrived with no problem, it took three tries by an unnamed big box store to get the vise. Between that and my schedule, it was a delay of almost two months! However, it did finally arrive. I am using a ceramic tile for the vise to adhere to and to provide significant weight to the vise while remaining portable. Ta-Da! While I was waiting, I created poster board templates of the frames to check for symmetry and to ensure the slot is centered on the frames as recommended in MSS. In MSS, he also recommends using the false deck if there are no bulwarks. I liked this way of holding the frames perpendicular (as opposed to the other methods suggested in the book), so I decided to so created “false” false decks of poster board to hold the frames in place for gluing. I cut back the poster board decks so that they would not engage with the bulwarks on each deck. Once I received the vice, I started work on the frames, I made adjustments to the frames previously identified with the frame templates. I then checked and adjusted the height of the bulwarks. Most of them were 15 mm above the deck, so I used that as the standard. Mamoli puts a 1.5mm wide step on the outside of the bulwark separating the planking for the bulwarks from the planking for the hull, so I checked and adjusted the distance between the top of the bulwark and the step to 13mm, which was the distance on most of the bulwarks, as well as the depth of the step. Once the frames were corrected, I checked and adjusted the keel slots so that the top of the frames were level with the keel, except for the two frames that sit below deck level. I then filed down the edges of the first three and last five frames to chamfer the edges to accommodate the bending of the planks. There will probably have to be fine tuned before I begin planking. Instead of using the existing cuts for the masts as is, I decided to square off the end of the masts so that they would be less liable to twist in the socket. The main and fore masts are 6mm, so I created a square mast box that is 5mm on a side. The mizzen mast is 5mm, so I reduced it to 4mm. I also increased the depths of the masts from 13mm to 15mm. It is not much, but I thought it would help provide more rigidity to the masts. I will deal with the bowsprit mast box after gluing the frames to the keel, since it is defined by the bow quadrant pieces that are added after the foredeck is in place. Foremast Mastbox Finally, I laid in and tacked down the poster board false decks to hold the frames for gluing. For the two frames that fall short of the false decks, I glued a piece of wood on each side of the keel in front of the frame after squaring up the frame to the keel (another technique suggest in MSS). They will hold the frame square until it is glued. Build time to date – 64.5 hrs: 45 hrs preparation, 19.5 hrs working on the frames
  5. Thanks a lot! I can see that now that you mentioned it, as there are 4 ladders with 3 steps each, and there are 12 slots in these pieces. The kit also had twelve steps, but it looks like the kit needs 24 - 12 for the ladders and six on each side of the ship. I guess I will have to make up the difference!
  6. I decided on the H.M.S. Beagle because we had traveled to he Galapagos islands back in 2012. I purchased the kit on eBay after it was no longer available from the manufacturer. This particular kit was originally purchased in 1995, so it us already 23 years old. So far, I have scanned and OCR'd the instructions and parts lists from the original instructions. From that, I created a master parts list to compare to the inventory provided. Almost everything seems to be there, but I have two items that I need some help identifying. These were in the same bag as the cannon and carriages. They look like a strap to hold the wheel axles, but the bumps do not line up with the axle indents on the carriage. And I haven't been able to identify what these might be. Any help identifying these would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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