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  1. It's been a really busy week here, so I've been glad to squeeze in some time working on the Endurance. I finished the "B" steps, which involved attaching the four decks, along with six additional blocks that will help once it comes time to do the hull. I've also spent time browsing GettyImages.com for more of Frank Hurley's photos of Shackleton's expedition—there's a treasure trove in there, especially for those looking to upscale this kit. This link will take you to a gallery of photos tagged with "1914–17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition," but a more general search for "Shackleton" and "E
  2. Thanks, Johnny. Glad to hear you'll be building an Endurance, too—I look forward to seeing your adaptations of OcCre's design! As a quick note, I was taking a closer look at the blocks tonight and concur with Chris Coyle's review. They're average fittings. Even though this is only my fifth ship, I've seen both better and (much) worse. I'm going to forge ahead with the blocks and deadeyes in the kit, but a more experienced builder like you may want to replace them. Also worth noting that the plywood is really lightweight...so light I suspect that at least the outer layers are balsa (I'm no expe
  3. First a correction to my dumb math error in the previous post. At this scale, 5mm-wide planks represent 35cm-wide planks. Missed that easy math problem by an order of magnitude. A little bit of progress over the weekend, chipping away at the "B" steps. First up, I finished painting the portions of the frames that will be visible once the decks are installed and the hull is planked. Then, planking the other three decks. As far as the overall impression goes, I'm reasonably satisfied. A careful eye will note that the planking wasn't perfectly centered (especially on the poopdeck) and
  4. Tonight, I finished the "A" steps of the Endurance. After installing the frames, the next step is to install a few blocks that will help when it comes time for planking. There are two on each side at the bow and two on each side at the stern. I decided to sand off the excess char on these blocks and now regret that a little. Apparently, I took off a more than just the char, since there are some sizable gaps (especially at the stern). Although they don't seem to be cut as accurately as the frames were, they did fit a little more snugly before I went after the char. Photos are of the blocks, por
  5. Hi Keith, Tom, and Johnny, and thanks for following along! Tom, I hope the build log will be helpful. At the very least, I'm sure you'll learn from my mistakes. Johnny, that's a wealth of information that I'll need some time to digest! Thanks for all of this! Given my current skill level, some of what you are describing sounds like great advice for builders who are better than me. (My plan is to stay mostly out-of-the-box and to use the opportunity to develop my skills, though I love your suggestion to get the eyebolts in the deck before mounting the decks.) The two key differences
  6. If you've read my last build log, then you know I had a list of six ships that I was trying to decide between for my next project. You'll also know that the Endurance wasn't on that list. But, well, that's the way it goes sometimes. A little more birthday money rolled in than expected, along with some money from an Easter gig, and suddenly I had a bigger budget to consider. Then I discovered that OcCre had released the Endurance and that, even better, Ages of Sail had it on sale! And so here we are. The story of the Endurance is, of course, well known on this forum, so I don't see
  7. Thanks, Bob! I didn't know anything about xebecs before getting this kit, but I have really come to love the lines of the hull. That long, sleek shape really makes my other ships look short and squat! As for my next kit...I'm starting to narrow things down. It'll probably be selected from La Rose by Panart, Le Cerf by Mantua, Marie Jeanne either by Billings or Artesania Latina, Le Renard by Artesania Latina, Sloup by Corel, or the Toulonnaise by Corel. I have a birthday coming up so one of these will be a gift to myself.
  8. Thanks, Clare! Each ship in the flotilla has its flaws, but it's gratifying to be able to look at them together and see the progression of my skills and knowledge. Now I just have to figure out what to do next! It'll be another French ship...but I have several on my wishlist and I haven't made a decision yet.
  9. Glamour shots! Thanks to all who've followed along. Thanks especially to you, Bob, for the supportive comments throughout. This project was a big step up from my previous projects. There were definitely some doubts and mistakes along the way, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out! First, some full views of the xebec, starting with the port side: Starboard side: Bow and stern: Overhead: And details of the hull and deck fittings. First, the foredeck and bowsprit from starboard bow:
  10. On to the last step—adding rope hanks to the belaying pins. This has not been easy. I haven't done it well on my previous kits, so I'm trying to figure out a method that works for me. After trying and failing on my own, I poked around on MSW and YouTube. I checked out Tom Lauria's method and then tried Peter Burton's method. I just couldn't manage to do them cleanly—though I highly recommend checking out their methods, especially if you're a more skilled than I am. In the end, I pulled Frank Mastini's Ship Modeling Simplified and finally made some with which I was satisfied. It's n
  11. Thanks for the encouragement, Bob! Tonight I decided to just run with the momentum I've built up the last few days and hang the foresail! By this point, I've gotten into the routine of rigging these sails. The only new challenge was the overlapping rigging—going down each side, the attachment points on the main deck are for the fore garante, main ource, fore oste, fore garante, fore oste. I also need to revisit the portside oste, which seems to have too much slack on it. (That oste is clearly visible in the first photo, running from an eyebolt on the deck, to the block at the top o
  12. I really got on a roll this evening! Not only did I seize the blocks and sew rings onto the sails, but I also managed to rig the stays on the foremast. This included two stays running down to each strip of eyebolts on the foredeck, as well as two forestays running down to the bowsprit. In attaching that, I also needed to hoist the staysail. Some finicky work, but it went mostly pretty well. I would have preferred to put the staysail on the after forestay, but it didn't fit at that angle. Since the kit doesn't come with the sails, I had to find a solution for the staysail halyard. Although I ha
  13. Tonight, I began preparing the blocks for the stays and rigging, gluing the thread on to the blocks. Next on that front will be seizing the ropes. In addition, as I began working through the logistics of rigging the foresail, I realized it would be easier to install the anchors first. The photos aren't that great, but you can get the idea at least. There are three ropes for each anchor. The heaviest cable (1mm thread) runs from the ring through the hawseholes. Another rope (.5mm) runs from the ring, over the cathead, to an eyebolt at the inboard end of the cathead; that eyebolt is
  14. Continuing to work a step at a time right now, but I've just finished hanging the mainsail! In the process, I knocked the balustrade off again. So, I'm just going to set it off to the side with the swivel guns. I'll add those back on soon. The trickiest part is that there's so little room to maneuver. The halyards were a particular challenge since they are spaced 5mm from the aftmost stays. The overlap of the rigging also posed challenges with the ostes, the ropes that attach to the top of the antenne. The standing end of each oste attaches to the same strip of e
  15. Thanks, Bob! Some good challenges here, but satisfying to see everything coming together. The end is in sight now! I managed to squeeze in an extra work session late this evening. After seizing a few more ropes, I added the pendants to the fore and main antennes, then tied the mainsail on to its antenne. An excessively large photo to show some of the details. (For reference, the fore antenne is about 33cm long and the main is about 37cm.) I posted before about the wooldings, so won't say anything further here. The garante and oste pendants are each a single
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