mikiek

Arrow American Gunboat by mikiek - Amati - 1:55 scale

95 posts in this topic

I'm sure it would look better with filler blocks. Unfortunately I have about 2/3 covered with the 2nd planking now. There's a slight bend right where the plank goes over the first and last frame but I think most people would not see it. Sanding has smoothed it out some.

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Looking good Mike.

 

Not adding the stern post and stem will greatly help you to sand the planking ends and shape the curves. I think that was a good call. I wish I had waited to add my stern post until after I planked my Niagara.  It was in the way and I nicked it repeatedly when I was sanding the end of the stern planks. Rabbit or not, I think I could have done a cleaner job by adding it after planking.

 

 

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Thanks Darrell. I'm still up in the air over that. I made the decision to just follow the instructions and they have the stem & stern after planking. I can see your point. The downside is somehow I managed to break several plank ends right where they extend over the first frame at the bow. I'm going to have to cut those planks somewhere and add some shorties to replace so that they reach to the stem again. Had I installed the stem they probably would not have broken. Sadly the kit doesn't provide enough of these hull planks to cut out the whole strake.

 

In noticing that I also realized that I did not break the strakes up into individual planks - something I like to do. Just one of those moments I guess.

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Talk about getting diverted :o

 

I'm back on planking again. Since I have not installed the stern post & stem I have been leaving all the strakes extra long so that I'll have enough wood to fit them nicely to the stem/stern. This is becoming a problem as the strakes get closer to the garboard (my number one concern) the ends are starting to collide. So, what the heck, I'll go ahead and glue the stern post and stem in place. In fitting those, I realized I would have to make pintles and gudgeons for the rudder. Easier to make them before gluing the stern post.

 

I'm out of nails except for some very thin ones - no idea where they are from. If I hammer them about half just crumble up. More than a few one syllable words have been voiced. The first set I made ended up extending out too far so I ended up with almost a 1/4" gap between the rudder and stern post which looks odd. Of course I used up all the brass strip from the kit. Again, they don't supply much extra. I have some slightly thicker brass strips I'm using but drilling them out with a pin vise is painfully slow. Maybe time to break out the flex shaft.

 

Thanks for letting me bend your ear :D

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Hey Mike, it's nice to see you with another build! It's the worst when materials run low. It's good to see you have other options!

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Elijah - one thing I would suggest to anyone that is serious about model building. Have extra materials on hand. For us that means wood, brass, rope to name just a few.

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If my knee bent in the opposite direction I'd be kicking my butt right now. Working the deck, I began construction on the stern platform. There is a 2nd bulwark plank that is glued on over the 1st. These extend out from the stern and form the support for the platform. Got them in place - glued well - and moved on to the grate that fits in the middle of the platform. It's not a square grate! The aft end is convex, the sides are concave. To get those shapes I thought I might sand them. Grates do not like this. Made a mess of the first one. Fortunately this is one thing Amati supplied extras for.

 

Adding insult to injury - I began dry fitting the parts only to realize that I had extended the bulwark planks off the bow instead of the stern. And - yup you guessed it - there aren't any more. I did have the foresight (or just plain dumb luck) to use PVA on these planks so I soaked them in alcohol which did loosen up the glue. Never done that before, but I read it here somewhere. I was able to salvage the 2 planks and reverse them.

 

Maybe I need to work on the tug for a little while :D

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I've had a bottle of 90% isopropyl on the work bench for a while now.  It's a handy arrow to have in your quiver.  If the joint doesn't come apart, just add more alc.  It doesn't raise the grain and hardly mars the wood if you're careful.  Also handy for removing glue overrun without compromising the joint.

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Agreed. Mine is 90% also. Not 90 Proof :)

 

Like most things you just have to be careful where it gets applied. I have it in one of those lab squeeze bottles. I thought I could pinpoint exactly where I wanted it to go. Not so. It ran everywhere. Hope I didn't unglue something else :huh:

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Well I am getting good practice with the alcohol. When I glued the bulwark planks on the first time I left some overhang at the bow. Somewhere along the way I must have cut off the overage. Then I removed the planks - the first time - then glued them back correctly. I finished the pintles and gudgeons for the stern and rudder and was dry fitting those. It became obvious that with the rudder in place there was not much room for the platform in between the bulwark planks. The bulwarks did not extend past the stern far enough. So out comes the ole 90% again. Tear the bulwarks off again. Wasn't so lucky this time, I did get one side off intact but the other side got shredded in a few places. Since there are no replacements I guess I'll have to use some boxwood strips this time. But first I'll have to darken them up to match the walnut.

 

Definitely working on the tug tonight!

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re: using alcohol to dissolve PVA type glue. Please be smarter than me. Take a minute to assess the items around where you will be applying the alcohol!  It is almost inevitable that it will run/drip beyond where you will be applying it.

 

Case in point, I was applying alcohol to the bulwark plank to remove it. This plank sits on the outer edge of the deck. When I applied the alcohol to the plank, some ran on to the deck. Not a big problem in theory, however I used a Magic Marker on the deck plank edges to simulate caulking. You can probably see where this is going... The alcohol liquefied the marker ink which in turn soaked into and saturated the adjacent planks leaving some black spotting on the deck. :o

 

It appears that I may be able to sand this out - I got lucky again.

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Joel - I will revisit that idea next build. I tried it once and seem to remember that I didn't get the darkness I wanted.

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2 minutes ago, mikiek said:

Joel - I will revisit that idea next build. I tried it once and seem to remember that I didn't get the darkness I wanted.

I try to keep in mind the atmospheric diminishing of contrast.  If you stand back a couple of feet from the model, that's 30 yards back, real life, and the 1/8" seams won't be nearly as apparent, plus I think stark dark seams are distracting.  I prefer them a bit more subtle, both in shade of darkness and in consistency.  A lighter somewhat irregular look is more to my taste.  I think there are one of two deck pics in my log page.  Follow the link in my signature.

Having said all that, I'm nearly at the point where I'll find out how grey paper in the seams looks at 1/2" scale, on my Philadelphia model.  Again, I went for less-than-black, but I fear it will get more prominent if I stain things as I probably should.

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Joel - on my gun station build (1:23) the instructions actually said to insert walnut veneer strips between each strake. The kit supplied them. I didn't like the idea at first but it did grow on me. Looking at it now, it looks good. And I think that's about the only thing that won't get destroyed or damaged by moisture, liquids, sanding, etc. The walnut color is not too bad for a caulking look. Of course I would not want to have to make them by hand.

 

On the other hand, that method is only good at the larger scales.

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Steve - while planking Arrow this evening, I have been thinking it all over. For smaller scales Joel is probably right. Super dark lines between strakes is overkill. A rookie mistake on my part. Now you're saying the pencil will darken up with some stain - that may be all I need. I do prefer to see the 'caulking' and I like it to be fairly uniform. But that's just personal preference.

 

My biggest problem at the moment is remembering to do SOMETHING! Can't tell how many times I forgot to make a caulk line at all on Arrow's deck. :(

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Mike- it's easy to forget when the major focus is bending and shaping planks! I have a 4B pencil for the caulking. I leave it near the glue and toothpick in efforts to remember. It's not old age!

Steve

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I might have to argue the age thing with you Steve :D

 

Along the same line I was thinking of tying a pencil to a string and dangling it from the ceiling over the workbench. Right about nose level.

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Planking and associated tasks are finished. I have mentioned before that the instructions say to plank and then add stem and stern post. I tried that but it just wasn't working. You've no idea how long to leave the strakes at each end, the long ends were getting in each others way and several got broken throughout the process. So about half way down I installed the stem and stern post. It was much easier after that except for the fact that I didn't have a rabbet to stuff the ends into. A close look shows that the ends just lay flat on the pieces. Not overly attractive but I'm not sure I'm going to do anything to fix it. Lesson learned. Afterwards I glued the keel. It's a little taller than it needs to be so I will have to plane it down and then everything should be ready for some stain.

 

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As much as I harp on the proportional dividers, I must say it's nice to put them away! Stern platform and cap rails are next.

 

 

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Got a good thread regarding filling for a hull you're going to stain here. This came up as I had a few thin gaps in the strakes after planking. I needed to do something with them but filling something you're going to stain is quite different than filling something that will be painted.

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Hull is officially finished. I feel like I said that before. I played around with coloring filler so it would not be so obvious after staining. I could have done better and I am still working on that, but it's a side project now. The white you see in the pic is some Tamiya filler. I was going that route at first, then got sidetracked with the color thing. The hull will be painted white below the water line.

 

It was an interesting weekend - working on 3 different builds. Sometimes all within the same hour. OK, 4 builds if you count re-rigging one of the RC sailboats.

 

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The stern platform is finished. It kind of funky, but it is what the instructions called for.

 

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I've also finished the cap rail. The stern platform piece was laser cut, the rest I had to make. I used several pieces on each side to get around the curvature at the bow & stern. A simple scarph joint was used to join the pieces. There's still filler on the joints. The cap rail will be painted black like the bulwark plank.

 

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I'm about to drill the hawse holes in the bow and then the bowsprit is next.

 

Other than being short a few walnut sticks, I have no complaints with this kit. The instructions along with illustrations have been adequate. I've barely touched the plans. I still think it's going to be a real unusual but nice looking build when it's completed.

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Hey Steve - Thank you. The grunt work is almost finished, then it's time for the fun stuff. The guns will be interesting. They are on a sliding carriage mounted to a revolving palette. I have to wonder about firing one to either side - the boat must have really rocked something fierce.

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I got an early start this evening. The hawse holes are cut, the bowsprit is in (if you can call it a bowsprit) and the bulwarks are painted. You would think I would have learned my lesson by now about painting in mid build. It's bound to get scuffed up and will require a final coat.

 

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She's got nice lines.

 

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I'm hoping to finish the hatches tonite.

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Work presses onward. Hatch covers are in place. Makes me wonder how much storage there really was. I guess just enough for powder & balls for the guns. My understanding is that once in position, the rowers would take up muskets but I don't know where those might be stashed in the interim.

 

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I've started on the gun platforms. A little planking in the round. It'll be nice to get those big holes in the deck covered. These are going to look cool rigged with the tackles to rotate the platform.

 

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She's coming along.

 

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