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Everything posted by jlheureux

  1. I'm second guessing myself on the ladders for the second deck. On mine it just sort of worked out that the stairs mask the cannons and so you really can't see that lower gun deck very well. I could move the ladders and try to re position them I guess....Any suggestions?
  2. Double posting I know! So I got the ladders stained and in place. Stain does not like to take to places that have superglue on it and ladders do NOT like to be built with woodglue so we had a conversation. In the future I'll either fight it out with the wood glue, or I will do what I'm probably going to do with this model which is to spot paint the spots that didn't take the stain with some water based paint. I also got the railings up on the lower decks. Let me tell you that was not an easy time. The long brass pins went in fine, but tying the line through those pins was very difficult. Not tying, although I'll admit it WAS a little bit tricky since that lower deck is a confined little space. I have tweezers though, so not bad. What was difficult was getting the appropriate tension between posts for the lines. That was difficult. I'd get the right tension then tighten my knot and it would go all loose. I would get one end perfect and then have to re-do it later. I re-did it a couple times and overall I am happy with MOST of the lines. I think once all the masts, sail and rigging fills up the deck I won't notice any of the individual ties that I didn't like. I also started with the chainplates and deadeyes to run along the outside. Exactly enough components for this process so I needed to be careful. Bending the brass around the ring and fitting the deadeye into the ring was timeconsuming and difficult, but I didn't end up needing to heat anything, just bend really carefully. On this part I am taking the time to drill out two holes on each chainplate with a pin vice so I can use the rivet nails. I like how the finished product looks although I got some sticky finger syndrome as I was gluing. I need to take the time to finish drilling out the starboard side and then do the port side. I broke two pin vice bits drilling the metal, but am nervous that if I use the dremel the drill will walk and screw up my whole deal so I'm taking the time to do it by hand. I could have blackened the brass. However, I didn't know how to do it at the time and wanted to make progress. I also don't think the brass looks bad. I think for the purposes of the model it works and once I clearcoat I think they'll pop nicely. After I finish the port and starboard chainplates on the hull I believe I will be ready to finish staining and clear poly coating my hull. I really look forward to this step as I believe that the whole thing will pop. I have found that I often am not totally happy with my work and then once I stain and clear coat it I all of a sudden feel like it looks good and comes together. I guess I can see that. I also paint Warhammer 40k and other 28mm miniatures and often feel like crap about my paintjobs until I detail the base and hit it with clear coat and then all of a sudden it just works. This has been a great project and I feel my skills slowly improving. This is a more complex kit than the SF so it's a good stepping stone on my way to a HMS Victory! I have not needed to rely on the instructions too much but hope to be tackling masts in a week or two and then I'm sure I will have to slow down because that's a whole different can of worms. What should I start daydreaming about doing next folks?
  3. Moving onward at a nice clip. I finished getting the rest of the deck furniture on. The wheel mounted. Had a tiny bit of trouble getting the line through the deckholes on the wheel. I've noticed it's always the last thing I I try to do for the night that gives me the most trouble. I didn't like the cannonballs. The way I framed the spaces for them on the box just didn't look right, they were chrome and I would have needed to blacken / paint them, etc. I ended up using left over black metal chain I had from my San Francisco which was already black, was easier to work with and I'm pretty happy with how it looks. On my next one? I'll try to measure and trim better the alleys for the cannon balls and fight with blackening them. I also didn't have enough cannon balls for what I laid out and I wanted my ship to be armed to the teeth! My next step was to place the cannon ports. The kit had me using mahogony strip to make the covers. This wasn't to bad. Dremeling the ports into uniform shape and sanding them went pretty well as well. Gluing brass onto wood is a real pain in the butt and then when I tried to get into drilling holes for the pins on the hinges I admit I got a tinge frustrated. I decided to opt out of that. For all you vets out there you can criticize if you must but I like how the finished product looks, they're small enough and tucked under the rail enough that a bystander won't really be able to tell. I got the ropes to hoist attached and I like that, once again a learning opportunity. ON my next ship I'll approach it a little bit different and I think it will come out better.
  4. Does that blackening agent work well? I have some updates and photos to post. Will try to get to it tonight. Most ready to start doing some masts.
  5. About to start doing anchor chain and the chinplates and lower deadeyes for the shrouds. How do you reccomend I approach the brass. I feel like it should be black but spray painting will probably not work. What is that stuff folks use to blacken metal and would it work in this case?
  6. I'll try that only next build. The metal is prebent, but bent wrong for what it wants me to do so it's a battle. But it worked ok. As I get better my keels will line up more perfectly and it will be easier. This is only my second build so I'm still learning
  7. Fast forward a couple days and I got the bow done and got the cannons and most of the deck furniture installed. Yes, it was a little tricky to place those couple cannons which are underneath those walkways, but it was not impossible by any means. Just took some clever tweezer work. I did my own thing with the cannon rigging. I'm not ready to tackle 'fully rigged' cannons, but I wanted to get them secured and I also added a rope going around the cannons to simulate securing the barrel to the carriage. I've seen that on some real cannons before. I'll tell you the line in this kit is already WAY easier to work with than the cheaper AL kits. A few of the cannons protrude out a little bit more than others. I may address it but it doesn't bother me a whole lot today. I'm going to want and see how I feel in the morning. I also prepared the gunport lids. That's an adventure. Those little metal hinges HATE gluing properly to the wood. But we should be in pretty good shape. Night folks!
  8. Worked on the rudder. I hate doing rudders. It's such a bear. Not truly happy with how it came out, but I am happier with how it came out than I was on my San Francisco so that's good. I also went ahead and put a coat of stain and 2 coats of poly on just the lower hull. I'm pretty much done with that part and that thin mahogony is sooo brittle I got tired of it chipping on me. It's much more sold now.
  9. Been a few days.....I've kept busy, but at the end of the night I've been too tired to update the build log! So I worked on the cannons. Cleaned up the paint and put in some blocks to level them out. Also got the gunport lining on the inside of the bulwarks here this day.
  10. Well the really nice thing is most stuff can be fixed and staining covers up all manner of errors. Also since it's my ship I can modify it however I like!
  11. I picked up some wood. I think it's spruce and boxwood. Whatever I do on those galleries I'm going to face with the extra strips I have from the deck and hull. So we will see how this whole thing goes. I got a couple backup plans anyhow. It's frustrating how the stock these kits. This is the second AL kit that does not have enough of a particular piece of wood to do what they want me to do. This leads to some creative workarounds but they could afford to give me an extra stick or two.
  12. I found the pic of your quarter galleries and I can tell they are fabricated quite nicely. Any suggestions on how to go about that so I can get it to fit the curve of the hull? Part of me wants to omit them altogether and just move on, but that seems like an easy way out. Unsure what I'd have to use wood wise. I may need to pick up some balsa for the windows and such but I think I have extra mahogony strips I could use leftover from the hull lining.
  13. Question: The little coupulas that come with the kit (the metal pieces for the stern simulating the aft cabin space) are pretty crummy. These solid hunks of brass are not quite shaped correctly to fit onto the hull. Also, they would require painting and I'm planning on doing a natural stain and poly coat on this ship and think they would look a little awkward. Any suggestions? I know I could try to fabricate something with extra wood, but I'm also considering using the aft windows and just leaving off the side pieces as they don't quite look the right to me anyhow. See this version for what I mean: http://premiershipmodels.com.au/372-thickbox_default/uss-constellation-model-boat-superior-range.jpg
  14. Been a busy week of work but got some good time in last night and this afternoon on the ship. It's the little things sometimes with these projects. Didn't make huge visual headway, but what I did was pretty time consuming. Got the strakes on the sides and decided to put pins in running along. I like how that looks. Added the sides to the interior gunports and drilled out and installed the eyehooks for all the cannon riggings. I got on the railings and forward got the catheads and such made. I enjoyed fabricating the stuff up on the bow, it was a challenge.
  15. Thank you so much! I need to remember that it's ok to take it slow. I built the whole San Fran in 5 weeks flat....I like focusing and going hard. The plank bending in this one wasn't to bad. On San Fran being single planked 2cm mahogony I had to steam bend the hell out of every plank. This kits first layer was much easier to work with and the hull was a pretty easy slope. The splintering with the thin strips was mostly along the grain as I was gluing and sanding. It's just really dry and not the best but I made it work.
  16. Oh yea, also had to take an afternoon off of the shipbuilding to run off a batch of home brew
  17. It's been a bit, but I've been working!! Got the first layer of planking done, second layer of planking done, bulwarks on and planked...and the portholes cut and keep put on. Pros: First layer of planking was pretty easy, kind of nice not having to worry about what it looks like. Cons: The bulwarks weren't pre-measured or cut and I hda to cut all the portholes by hand. Thank goodness for dremel. Second layer of planking as a pain in the butt. That mahogony does not like to cooperate no matter what thickness it is. The super thin strip used to do the second layer of planking was finiky on gluing, tended to splinter, and when sanding in several spots I sanded right through and had to execute some repairs. Keel also didn't fit quite perfectly and had to do a lot of sanding to ofset a few little gaps. Overall I think it's coming along though. Worried about getting the rudder on. That part was a little tricky on my last build as well.
  18. Thanks so much. I will keep posting. I found tons of build logs for the SF on here but no one seems to have posted much in this kit anywhere which is a shame. But I'm pushing ahead. I'm sure I can do it.
  19. I've noticed several tricky parts. With this kit it's much less clear perfect placement of the holes for the masts and that main mast going through multiple decks will be wonky. I also notice that cutting those lower deck gun ports is going to be tricky. I will be going through veneer, the pine and them there is an airspace before I cut into the inner wall. That's going to be interesting. I believe my multi speed dremel will be my best friend on this model. Will have to be pretty exact with my measurements to cut those gun ports as well... :/
  20. Can someone suggest a good way to bring out the recesses on the deck planking? I have experimented with pencil and with weathering powder (which worked horribly) but I can't quite get happy with picking out the shadows between planks without excessively staining the whole deck. I need something like the opposite of dry brushing to just get the recesses. I think a watered down ink wash would just soak in as well so I'm at a loss.
  21. A good first nights work overall. I got the false keel and the bulkheads off of the frames. This is harder to do on this kit as being a larger scale there were more of them and the wood is thicker so it was tricky. I got the bulkheads onto the keel. It was tricky figuring out which order they go in, I've noticed the pictures in the instructions are not as good as my last AL kit and they are in black and white which makes it a little harder to interpret. I then prepped and sanded the lower decks and got them planked and attached to the hull. Not a bad nights work all in all. I also like how this kit came with a little stand for the ship. This has already come in handy.
  22. I just got the kit in. I feel the need to give the disclaimer that yes: I've read a little bit about the controversy regarding the versions of the real ship, the restoration, the historical inaccuracies with the model kit itself.....I'm just building this kit because I'm enjoying the hobby and I thought it looked neat. The components and detail are a definite upgrade from the San Francisco so I'm already looking forward to the increased challenge. I can already tell that I'm glad this isn't my first ship. The instructions are a little harder to follow and having a working knowledge is going to be very helpful. This ship is bigger than I thought it was gonna be. That's a good thing, it just never looks the same in pictures I guess. It looks like I have a better quality of cannon and cast pieces with the exception of the rear windows and the always metal cast lifeboat both of which may need to be reworked. I was impressed to see some little metal crew included in this kit. I have been looking EVERYWHERE online for period cast miniatures to bring some life into my San Francisco model. The rigging line also appears to be a higher quality than my last AL kit. Overall I was pretty happy while I unboxed and organized.
  23. Here we go with project two. I finished my San Francisco II model and really enjoyed it. Very quickly I found myself bored watching TV in the evenings without something else to keep my hands busy. One thing led to another and the postman had a package for me today. With a couple kits under my belt I'm feeling more confident in my modeling. I will post more as I go along so I can get some feedback.
  24. My first ever wooden ship model. Pretty proud. My apologies for the difficulty I had with getting adjusted to the way the forum works. Any feedback is appreciated.

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