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  1. This time a month has passed since my last update! But what a month, highlighted by purchasing and moving in to our new house! I still have a lot of boxes to unpack in my office space, but I did get to the point last night of being able to pull out some of my tools and do some work on the xebec. So, a quick update on what I've done over the last few weeks: I cleaned up the fore- and aft-decks, then stained them. I lined the façade of the parapet and the interior of the bulwarks with walnut planks. Some really fussy work there! I ended up making paper stencils of the two sides of
  2. Thanks, Hugo! There aren't many build logs of this kit out there, so I hope you'll create one, too. I see we're walking some of the same paths, since my first build was also the Bon Retour!
  3. Glad to hear that you've been safe from the fires so far, Bob! I hope you can stay that way! As I was reading through some of your log, I noticed your comment about struggling to wrap your head around a gaff rig. I had the same challenge when I built the Bon Retour (my first kit!), which is also from Artesania Latina and also had unclear rigging diagrams. In the end, I found a couple YouTube videos that were much more helpful. Based on what I saw in these, I was able to install rigging that actually worked correctly (meaning that I was able to hoist the gaff and boom, and to use th
  4. Almost a week since I last posted! It's been a busy one, though I've managed to squeeze in some work on the xebec. The first big task from last week was to lay down the first layer of planks on the parapet's exterior. There's still some trimming to do on the front ends of those, but since they follow a staircase, I'm going to wait on that until I have a better idea of how the staircase fits. However, the ship's true profile is really starting to emerge! Next step on that front will be to map out and cut the gunports. (Note: I had an issue of poor construction with my slip, so I need to remake
  5. Finished planking the main deck tonight. As I mentioned above, this was done in two stages, since significant portions of the main deck are inaccessible once the fore- and aftdecks are installed. Because of that, I'd taken care of the middle part, the easy part since everything ran straight from bulwark #1 to bulwark #9. The edges, however, posed more of a challenge due to the overhang of the fore- and aftdecks and the curvature on the sides. Using a technique I picked up while working on the Bon Retour, I used a paper stencil to get the fit as tight as I could. (For reference, see Invictaag's
  6. Slow and steady progress on the hull over the past week and a half, but tonight I glued in the last two planks of the first layer. I've done a bit of sanding, but have a ways to go to smooth everything out. I'm mostly satisfied with the work I've done, though I would hardly call it perfect. The bow still has a bit of a clinker effect that I'm hoping I can sand down. The stern hasn't been sanded or cleaned up at all yet, so it still looks a bit raggedy where I trimmed the planks. The planks between the maximum curve and keel amidships have some gaps that I've filled with PVA glue and sawdust (n
  7. Thanks for sharing that, Bob, and thanks to glbarlow for the beautifully illustrated guide! I think the bow is the key spot where I need some more practice. After that first plank, the others have gone on better, though there's a bit of an unintended clinkering effect that will have to be smoothed out and a slight imbalance that I'll be paying attention to as soon as I reach the ones that are tapered. Although I definitely need to keep building my skills, I can definitely see improvement compared to my first ship, the Bon Retour, which had a single-planked hull and which needed a l
  8. I've started planking the hull, which I find to be one of those hurry-up-and-wait kind of processes. I soak two planks at a time in hot water, then clip them into place. Once they've dried fully, I glue them into place. And once that's dried, repeat. I end up doing one plank on each side per day. So, there are now three on each side! That process has gone just okay. Since this is my first ship with a double-planked hull, I tried using nails to keep the first plank in place, as I've seen many others do. My technique for that is...not great. After breaking two planks I gave up on that and went b
  9. Feeling a little more settled with this project now. Still intimidated by how much fabrication there will be later on, but I'm keeping focused on going one step at a time. I've now attached the fore- and aftdecks. These shots show some of the reasons that considering sequencing is so important in this kit. In the overhead shot, the fore- and aftdecks both overlap the main deck by a significant amount. The next photo is a lower-angle shot that looks at the main deck planking that extends for a bit more than 2 inches under the foredeck. The third photo is a low-angle shot looking toward the ster
  10. Plugged away at the xebec again this evening. Nothing much to show off, but I've finished the initial planking of the main deck (the middle 15 planks and those in the space between bulwarks #8 and 9). I was about to glue on the foredeck, when I realized I should first check the fit of the foremast. That mast sits at an angle and runs through both the foredeck and the maindeck. Once the foredeck is attached, there will no longer be any access to the hole in the maindeck, so that hole needs to be addressed first. In order to do that, I need to fabricate the bottom part of the foremast (which mea
  11. I've made a little more progress this weekend. After much sanding and adjusting, I finally got out the glue bottle. The bulwarks are now firmly attached, as is the main deck. The main deck needed eight shims of various thickness (.5–2mm) in order to be securely attached to the bulwarks. The next two challenges were dealing with the longerons/stern piece and working out a sequence for proceeding. First, the longerons and stern piece. Even in the diagrams, the longerons don't look like they are attached to flat surfaces—but sanding down those surfaces that far would cause alignment p
  12. Thanks for the compliment, Bob! Last night, I was admiring your work on the Pen Duick, which looks fantastic! I thought I was all set to glue the bulwarks into place, when I happened to look at the aftdeck from a different angle. I have some serious sanding left to do back there! The photo is looking at the aftdeck and bulwarks #8–12. Right now, there's solid contact only on bulwarks #9 and #12 and some contact on #8. But the deck is floating a couple millimeters above bulwarks #10 and 11! I think that everything is seated deeply enough into the slots on the keel, so I just need to
  13. Hi Bob and Adam, thanks for the interest! My skills are getting better, but I still feel like a beginner in a lot of ways. Thanks in advance for any tips you might find helpful to share! The keel and false deck straightened up somewhat since last night. They're at least straight enough that they line up well when everything's assembled. The camera angle in the overhead shot added a curve that isn't really there. I spent some time tonight dry fitting the decks. I was surprised that they came pre-lined...not sure if that's common? The instructions indicate that the deck w
  14. Finally saved up enough to order my fourth kit! After three reasonably successful builds of beginner kits by Artesania Latina, I'm stepping up to an advanced beginner kit from Sergal (a brand made by Mantua Models). The kit seems to be sold under both its Italian and English titles, respectively, Sciabecco francese and French Xebec. While xebecs were used by other countries' navies earlier, the French didn't adopt them until relatively late in the reign of Louis XV, in the 1750s and 1760s. The French navy continued to use them through the Napoleonic wars, though they were mostly phased out at
  15. While building the boat itself and all the extra equipment, I found the instructions for this kit wonderfully clear and helpful, though the indicated measurements didn't always pan out. But the rigging? Although the instructions were detailed and clear, they were not accurate. #49 is labeled on two different ropes, both of which are involved in raising the lateen sail (one runs from the yard to the double block on the left side of the map in the photo below; the other from the deck, through those blocks, to a belaying pin on the middle bench). The instructions were not easily applied to the bo
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