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David Lester

Prince de Neufchatel by David Lester - Model Shipways - FINISHED - Scale 1:64

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Wonderful work....very nice.  Just catching up with your progress.

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Thanks for the comments and likes!

Bob - your coppering will look great. This was my second coppered hull, so I used the Bob Hunt practicum for my Constitution as a guide. He recommended dividing the hull into three belts, the third (top) belt being two rows of whole plates. I underestimated how much smaller this hull is than the Constitution's and made the lowest belt too big on my first attempt. He suggested that the first belt on the Constitution should be 10 rows, so I reduced it to six for this model and got into trouble as I neared the top. I stripped much of it off, making the first belt only four rows. I also reduced the final belt to only one row of whole plates at the top. This arrangement seemed to work well for this hull.

David

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Hello Everyone,

A little progress to report - I've been putting off finishing the launching ways. I wanted a fairly natural looking aged wood look, but have been hesitant to start staining because I know how badly basswood takes a stain. About the only way to avoid a blotchy look would be to stain it either a very dark brown or dark gray, but I wasn't sure that was the look I wanted. I have a Minwax weathered oak stain, but on test pieces of basswood even it was giving a pretty bad result.

 

Then I came across a Youtube video by Tom Lauria about applying a weathered wood finish. If you haven't come across his videos, be sure to look them up on Youtube. There are only a few of them, but they are really excellent. His techniques are amazing and he presents the videos very professionally which is a refreshing change from how badly most Youtube videos are produced.

 

He suggested using watered down artists' acrylic paint. Following his lead, I used burnt umber, white and black. I first applied a coat of burnt umber, but watered down to the point of being little more than coloured water. I painted it on generously and then "rubbed" it out with a small dry stiff-bristled brush. Once it was dry I applied a coat of gray, made by mixing the black and white and again watering it right down. And again rubbing it out with the small dry stiff-bristled brush. While I am quite happy to have a slightly imperfect and inconsistent colour coverage, I wasn't happy with the few glaring bits of CA glue that showed through in a couple of spots. To cover those up, I mixed all three colours together and dabbed it onto the gluey areas undiluted and it covered well. I'm very happy with both the colour and the nature of the finish. I may go over it again and touch up a few spots, but even if I don't I think it's considerably better than the result I would have gotten with a simple Minwax stain finish.

 

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Next on the list was the gun carriages - a tedious and repetitive job which I'm glad to have over. Now I'm finishing up a number of items on the hull - catheads, channels etc.

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Thanks again for comments and "likes."

David

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Good Morning All,

Some progress to report - I've been finishing up details on the hull and deck. I've finished rigging the gun carriages and added most of the deck furniture and bowsprit. I've attached the rudder. Some of the chainplates are finished. So far I've only attached the ones that secure the lower shrouds. I placed the lower masts on the model and ran a line from the mast tops to the deadeyes in an effort to get the chainplates to line up accordingly. There are a few deadeyes that attach to stays which originate from a higher points on the masts, so I'm going to leave those ones until I have the masts in place. 

 

I'm in the process of adding the gunport lids. I'm running a line from the lid, through a hole in the hull and then attaching it to a cleat in the bulwarks. I saw this detail in the Reed book on modeling this ship. I believe only the anchors are left before beginning on the masts and spars. Oh, I almost forgot - the boat. It looks like a real challenge to get a good result. If I'm happy with my result, I'll add the boat, but if I'm not able to do a decent job on it, I'll just leave it off.

 

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Thanks again for comments and likes.

David 

 

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Thanks Jim,

I like the green too. I used the model at the Smithsonian as inspiration. Here's a picture of it. I would have loved to put in that second narrow stripe of yellow, but I knew that getting such a narrow stripe dead straight and even would be for me a "that way madness lies" scenario, so I left it out.

David

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I absolutely love your work on the deck items. It all looks great.

 

Bob

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I always build launch way stands because they easy and I like the look. I use a much simpler graying process. Dip in Golden Oak Stain wipe, dip in Gray stain wipe. Done. 

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Good Morning All -

Some progress to report. I've been working on several different fronts simultaneously.

 

The main one has been the boat. It's a tricky little project and I didn't particularly enjoy it, however the result is satisfactory enough. It involves making a build board and in typical PdeN fashion, the instructions are not only vague, they are actually incorrect. I'm thankful to a couple of others' comments, who learned the hard way. The resulting boat is a pretty flimsy structure, with 1/32" planking over 1/16" square "frames." I chose to double plank the hull, which was a good thing to do and improved the result considerably. 

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The second thing I've been doing is adding the jackstays and studding sail booms to the yards. On my Constitution build, I used plastic strips to simulate the iron bands. I found it difficult to do and I wasn't particularly pleased with the result. This time, I soldered brass strips and I'm quite happy with the outcome.

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And I've started work on the standing rigging. I have the bowsprit in place and the lower fore and main masts and have just started on the lower shrouds.

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That's going to be it for a little while. On the weekend we're heading to the UK for two weeks. Sadly, there are no ships on the itinerary this time, but last time we toured five, so I guess I can't complain.

 

Again, thank you for comments and "likes."

 

David

 

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Great job on the small boat and my hat is off to you. I attempted that build four times and never got past the bending ribs. I thought I had out smarted it when I tried polystyrene strips only to have the notches break. Ordered small boat kits from Master Korabel so I will see how that goes.

 Your Build is beautiful. I love the green.

 

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Great job David!  The little boat turned out nicely.

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Hello All,

Hope you're all enjoying the summer weather. We are having a very hot and humid spell - my basement is a welcome cool retreat.

 

I've been working away at the rigging although I've been quite negligent about my build log. So here are a couple of update photos. It all looks quite a mess at this stage, as there is a number of unfinished lines, still left long, but I have learned from experience not to cut them off too soon.

 

I have always found the footropes very difficult to do, and I've spent a fair bit of time on them for this model. My first attempt was not very good, so I experimented with using wire. I have some 26g annealed wire and I made a couple of sets with it. While it has some advantages, I still found it very hard to get it to lie smoothly without tiny twists and turns. In the end I went back to using line, but this time I used much more glue on it than I have in the past. I attached a large paper clip to the low point of each loop and applied a lot of glue. When it was dry, I removed the clips, which left sharp low points at the centre of each loop. I used a pair of tweezers and quite firmly grasped the line and ran them back and forth along the length of each loop. That seemed to work the low point out quite well and removed excess glue which showed up in a couple of spots. There are still a couple of tiny spots that look shiny, so I'll touch them up with a dab of flat black paint. The result isn't perfect, but it's the best I've been able to achieve so far.

 

The last photo is of my new Dr. Slick scissors, which are now among my favourite things. I have gone through a couple of sets of cheap scissors from a sewing store and wanted something a little better. I found a discussion on this forum about scissors and based on the opinion of several others, I opted for these and I can't recommend them highly enough. They are very sharp and you can cut very close to the knot, but the chief advantage in my opinion is that they cut equally well at their very tip as they do along the length of the blade. which increases control and lessens the chance of cutting the wrong thing.

 

David  

 

 

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Almost finished!

Over the weekend, I completed the running rigging. Now I have three more things to do - the anchors, the rope coils for the belaying pins and finally my "punch list" which is a number of minor repairs, paint touch-ups and other little tweaks.

 

I've trying different ways to make the rope coils, but this time around I'm going to follow the method outlined by Tom Lauria in his Youtube video. Of course, success really just comes down to getting the coil's length and the length of the loop at the top right and that's dependent on me regardless of the method I use to make them, so I'm sure I'll find this as frustrating an exercise this time as I have in the past. But Tom's method looks promising, so I'll looking forward to giving it a go.

 

Thanks for the "reactions."

David

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Well, I'm calling this model finished today. The last remaining items were rope coils and paint touch-up.

 

I'm never really very happy with my rope coils, but I'm not sure I can get them any better than this. As I mentioned before, I tried the Tom Lauria method, and while it worked well enough, I found I was more comfortable if I reverted back to the similar, but slightly different method outlined by J Brent in his YouTube video.

 

So, I have some thoughts on this model. I believe that the Prince de Neufchatel was an extraordinarily beautiful ship, and that was largely the reason I wanted to build this model. I was also in the mood for relatively simply and not too taxing a build, which I though this would be. I'm happy enough with the result, but I found it to be a very frustrating model to build and not my favourite by a long shot. The design flaws of the kit and really very poor plans presented some challenges that I didn't anticipate and took some of the pleasure away for me. I'm used to sketchy MS instructions, but they usually have excellent detailed plans, which makes it easy enough to figure out what to do. But not in this case and I had to resort to a lot of (sometimes unsuccessful) guesswork. Not helping the situation was the lack of consistent reference material for this ship. I managed to locate pictures of three different versions, apart from the MS version, but they all differed so greatly that they might as well have been of different ships.

 

I know some other builders are concerned about the inaccurate gun carriages on this model, and I agree that the kit supplied ones seem too big, but I chose to go with them anyway as my motivation on this one was waning.

 

I'm now getting ready to start my next build which will be the Charles W. Morgan and I'm hoping for a much more satisfying experience. It looks like a challenge, but the plans appear to be excellent and there is plenty of reference material available.

 

Many thanks for comments, likes, etc.

 

David

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Great job David. I can only echo what you say about the kit and plans. Frustrating, but you've overcome it beautifully.

 

Bob

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All is hight level work,  a pleasure to watch your model! Curiuos what will be your other project ;)

 

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Thank you everyone for your comments and "likes." They're very much appreciated.

I'm now getting my workshop re-organized and ready to go for the next one.

Thanks again,

David 

 

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Very nice build David, you certainly can be proud of it. With all the problems you had I am a little surprised you are going to another MS kit again so soon, however, I know you will do just fine.

 I'll be watching for your next build log

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Thank you Don. I have no problem doing another MS kit. They generally have excellent plans and I'm finding the Charles W. Morgan to be no exception. I think the PdeN was an anomaly and not typical. It was discontinued for a reason.

David

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