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  1. Bouncing around and another ? moment: I've been working on the hull details and picking and choosing where I'm working next and everything has been good. Focusing mostly on the stern of the ship and spend a lot of time just working out which pieces need to go in first and hoping I get that right. Had a bit of confusion as I worked on the railings as one of the railings just doesn't fit the space where it should go. I'm positive I have the right pieces (port and starboard) and I'm including a picture of how the length of the railing is too long and goes over the place where the circular gunport would be. I've been placing a 1x2mm strip on the inboard edge of the railings because the railings are ply and I don't like the look of ply stained. I've gotten around that on the hatch coverings by painting the edges brown and the railings look find with the added strip. I'm not sure how the railing piece can be so wrong, I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything wrong as the area it fits against is an unaltered side panel with the locations for the gunports already cut out. To remedy the issue I had to shorten the railing piece in two places, first removing a section to make the holes for the railings move to the correct place and then trim the end to stop at the correct place. I left it slightly long so I could shape it for the circular gunport later. Adding the strip helped add some strength back to the piece and I've included a picture of an original and altered one. It wasn't a really difficult fix but I just don't know how this could happen. Continuing to just work on the hull details. I'm waiting for some Birchwood Casey Brass Black to take some of the shine off the cannons and I want to place the two forward facing cannons before placing the deck above them. The instructions have you place the deck first and then use string to pull the cannons in place with glue on the base but I'm going to avoid that as much as possible and get cannons in place while I can still reach their positions. Once I'm able to start placing cannons I can start adding some more details that would be blocking their placement.
  2. Wales and Stern Balcony Bulkhead: As I mentioned earlier I painted the wales black, I think the dark strips down the sides with black wales will contrast nicely with all the brass and blue that will be going on the ship later. Took me several tries of black paint to find one I liked, I didn't want too flat and didn't want too glossy so I was just trying to find that perfect satin finish. Ended up using the Admiralty Dull Black, it's a bit thick but I put on a coat and then went over it with a 6000 grit sanding pad and then put another thin coat on top and I like the look. All the wales except the bottom one went against the slight difference in height between the side panels and the planking so placing them was quite easy, I had considered trying to even out that height difference but decided that since the wale would hide it there was no need and I'm glad I went that way. The very bottom wale just went along the edge of the darker stain area, it's hard to see that in the picture below but it's obvious in the picture in the previous post. I didn't follow it exactly near the bow to allow the wale to take a more natural flow. For the stern balcony bulkhead I had several challenges to deal with. First was that the side panels didn't come quite far enough back to completely cover the space where the bulkhead should go, I knew that, but when placing them I had to decide between that issue and having the gunports alignment look completely wonky and I went with lining the gunports where I liked figuring I could find something to fill that space. I ended up filling that space with a piece of leftover 4mm walnut planking cut to fit. The gap was wider on the top than on the bottom so cut it to match the space. The instructions say to use planking cut to short lengths similar to the bulkhead below for the main bulkhead, but I decided to use a piece of flat scrap and started with the door and window overlay as a template and then cut the bulkhead larger and just gradually fit it in place. Gluing this piece was a challenge as there's enough curve in the piece that every corner really wants to pop up and I couldn't find a good place to clamp everything at once. Ended up gluing the center in place and then gluing each corner down one at a time and holding it in place while it dried with clamps and painters tape. I added walnut strips on each edge to try and get a neater join. I also decided to paint the door and window overlay black areas blue. The black was very badly mottled and was going to have to be touched up, black would have been easier but I think the blue accent color matches the rest of the stern blue nicely so I just bit the bullet and slowly painted the black areas blue. Had to touch up a few gold lines with some gold but my gold doesn't match perfectly so I did that as little as possible. One skill I really need to work on is mixing paints to get good matches and the colors I want. Still have the second side wales to finish and then I'm not sure where I'll go next.
  3. Second Planking Done: Finished the second planking which I feel like is a big milestone in construction of a model ship. I still haven't figured out how to get the planking done without breaking every rule but thankfully it's still going to look decent I hope. The plywood keel looked awful stained so I painted it, considered a brown to sort of match the hull but decided on black to match the rest of the keel. I've also decided to paint the wales black to give more contrast against the darker wood as the wales run the length of the ship against the dark wood background. Still have some touch up to do in a few places but my normal handling during the rest of the construction always seems to add a few dings so I'll fix all of those together when I'm closer to finished. I had to do my first complete tear off of several planks when I just got crazy and put them down in an obviously terrible place. I didn't like removing the planks but couldn't see any other way to repair the damage so I just bit the bullet and used my knife and plane to slowly remove the bad planks. I purchased the smallest Ibex finger plane (8mm blade 25mm body) a couple weeks ago and now I don't know how I ever got along without it. It was more expensive than I would have thought for something so small but it seems really high quality and is really handy in places where a knife is awkward. If I'm not careful I'm going to develop a hand tool fixation. As always photos seem to bring out every imperfection.
  4. For Fusion 360 all I could find was a 30 day free trial and then $60/month or $347/year after that. Is there something I'm missing for hobbyist use? Tinkercad looks like it might be a good option to just start learning the basics to be able to move to more advanced programs and have some background.
  5. This is the kind of thinking that could really push things forward. I'm sure some people would enjoy researching and creating the files necessary for something like this but I'd prefer to use existing files to make more accurate pieces for my models if they were available. I have the DeAgostini SotS on order (backordered forever) so this is something that I'd probably eventually use if it were available. I wonder if the forum would be able to host files like that so people would have a logical place to look if they need something, just thinking out loud.
  6. I did intend to say Blender instead of Bender, I blame Futurama. I will check out Fusion 360. I've done a couple of the Blender tutorials and am more lost than when I started.
  7. I've been poking around, downloaded and installed Bender and have been looking at free and cheap sites for 3D patterns that would apply to shipbuilding. One of my biggest concerns is what resources are 100% legal to use as a basis for creating a 3D model. Let's say I learned Bender well enough to model a specific 16th century cannon and I found a picture of one on the net. Would it be legal to use that picture as a basis for creating a model? I don't want to use something without knowing that it's legal but I'm just a hobbyist that would make something with no intention of selling either the plan or product but I'd like to be able to make and share it with the community without worry. Copyright laws and just plain Intellectual Property common courtesy seem like a very deep subject. The free and nearly free sites are tough to search, but there are useful things out there. I tried searching for barrels and found lots of patterns and could almost surely find one that fit my needs (purely hypothetical right now) either as is or with a little tweaking in Bender. Some of the more specific things like hull decorations or figureheads seem like they'd have to be made since they're more specific to a single ship. Learning Bender seems like a pretty monumental task and that's not something I'm sure I want to tackle right now. I'm still trying to think this through and see if it's worth digging deeper. The possibilities are pretty amazing but if it's just one off pieces I'm not sure it'd ever be worth it.
  8. I've been thinking (a dangerous pastime I know) and it seems that there ought to be a way to 3D resin print parts that either aren't right or aren't included to finish out the deck details of kits. I really know nothing about 3D printing but I've been doing some research and there are some companies that are selling some items like that and I think that's great but what if they don't have the item or scale you need then what are you to do? As resin printers come down in price, I've seen some under $300, it seems like that should be an option but I don't know where I'd get the 3D plans to print the correct part, I don't really want to learn how to create those plans needed to print accurate parts but maybe that's what I need to do. I'd like to think that there could be a repository of plans that have been created by hobbyists that we could all share and use or adjust if needed and scale then to the right proportions for whatever ship we're working on and just print out the right cannon, for instance. I'm assuming that once a 3D plan has been created it could be scaled to whatever size it needed to be to fit the ship you're working on. It seems like pretty much anything needed from cannons to buckets to lanterns could be printed and added to kits with a fairly inexpensive printer and the right plans. Even figures for the crew should be within the realm of possibility. It seems like a new world of detail and accuracy is in our reach if we just had the right plans and a printer. If someone has been down this road and knows why this would or wouldn't work then it would be interesting to hear. It's an emerging technology, resin printers seem to be able to produce the detail and size necessary, but it seems like the biggest barrier right now is the lack of public plans to create these pieces. I have no idea how hard it would be to create a 3D bucket or cannon in a format that would translate to whatever printer someone decided to use and if people would be willing to share their work after creating something like that where anyone that wanted to print a new one for their ship would be able to access. Possibly some companies will fill this void and there won't be a need for most people to print their own items but it seems that there are so many different possibilities that something like this would work in a lot of cases.
  9. Sides and Gunports: I've finished attaching the side fake planking pieces and cutting the gunports. I spent so much time double and triple checking the height of the top piece to make the cannons hit the center of the gunport and even with all that when I put the cannon in place it's a bit too low. I did my measurements with the gunport cut and the height of the center of the cannon that I measured was right at the center of the gunport but when you set it in place it's a bit different. It's not so much that I won't be able to make some minor adjustments on the cannons and get it correct but it's weird to have the measurement and actual cannon not exactly line up. I think it's due to the angle of the cannon so every bit of the barrel is lower than the tip and when it sticks through then the lower part is what you see at the port. Lesson learned I hope. After getting all the side pieces on I needed to cut all the gunports, the only real challenging part was with the ones that had the covering for the inside decks that was visible. Cutting the port without damaging the inner planking was tricky, I covered the inside planking with 4 layers of painters tape to try and keep splintering to a minimum and cut slowly and carefully on those and for the most part was successful but a couple spots still splintered and I'll need to do some minor repairs to that planking. I decided early on that I wasn't going to paint the hull so instead of the painted black strip below the bottom row of gunports I stained the walnut planking dark to simulate that. I also stained the strips between the side pieces the same dark walnut stain so it's has three rows of the dark wood. I'll be staining the lower planks a lighter color. I still have the wales to put in place on the dark strips and I'll probably stain that the same color. It's starting to come together and I'll finish the hull planking next so I can get the ship on the cradle for stability and then work on the upper areas.
  10. Upper Hull, Decks and What? Having finished the first planking my goal is to get the etched hull planking pieces in place on the sides so I can do the second planking. I want to finish the second planking because I push and pull a lot as I'm planking and even with some styrofoam blocks on the decks as I turn it upside down it's still easy to damage the upper decks so I though get the planking done and then work up from there. I've worked through the instructions and plans building up the hull planking where it will rise above the etched planking pieces and can be trimmed down to be flush and lined the hull on the inside. I've also been trying to make sure that anything that needed to be in place before the etched sides were added was done. I've been paying very close attention to the position on the side etched planking pieces since there's quite a bit of play at the bow while the stern position is pretty locked in with the slot fitting around the stern balcony deck. The instructions seem very vague about the exact position of these pieces, it's up to the builder to check and make sure it's all going to work with the gunport locations and cannons. I made up a cannon so I could measure and test the gunport positions and it seems that the center part of the first planking piece needs to be biased up a bit (2-3mm) and from there to the bow bias it down a bit (1-2mm). I've testing this by measuring and by sitting a cannon on the deck and drilling a very tiny hole in the hull and seeing where the bit hits the cannon and I've marked these positions on the hull. What I haven't figured out yet is how I'm going to glue this fairly large piece down getting it firmly against the hull and biasing things in the correct positions, I may try to do it in sections but that has issues as well. I was having trouble making the very back end of the starboard piece fit with the hull assembly already in place and decided to put the two etched hull pieces against each other, the port piece fit perfectly. They should be a mirror image of each other as far as I can tell but they're not even close. I'm not sure how this could happen. It would be one thing if one was just too large as it could be trimmed back fairly easily but the very top area is short. Any type of filling or patch is going to be near impossible to paint to match with the wood grain etc. I knew the instruction in this kit were suspect but this is frustrating. Maybe this will be an area that gets covered up or I can fudge it enough to cover up easily, it's only about 1-2mm short, I hope so. I don't remember seeing this in any of the logs I read but I could have easily missed it. I've included a picture of the two etched pieces, port (correct) on top and starboard (wrong) underneath to show the difference in shapes. Every other bit of these two pieces is an exact match for the other. This will require some thought.
  11. I haven't tried soaking it in water but I did spend quite a bit of time under very hot tap water with an old toothbrush and toothpaste. This did help quite a bit and now it seems that where the residue was before that the surface texture is different than the "good" areas. I'm calling a good area one where the surface is smooth and shiny. It's hard to tell if there's still a slight bit of residue left or if it's completely gone and the surface of the brass where it was previously just has a different texture than the other surfaces. I'm still debating if I'll try soaking in Sparex, on one hand I'd like to try it and see what it gets me for learning but on the other hand if the texture of the surface is just different in these areas now (which I believe to be the case) I don't see how it could do much for that. Luckily I have a lot of time before I have to attach any brass to the kit so I can keep thinking about it and make a decision. Either way I'll report back whatever I decide and the results.
  12. Building the San Felipe and many of the brass castings have a hard whitish, almost crystalline substance in many of the crevices. A gentle probing with a dental tool seems to do almost nothing to remove it and it really degrades the look of the piece. I'm looking for ideas to clean the pieces with this residue up some, the casting is already of fairly poor quality and I'm hoping I can do something to improve the look before attaching them to my kit. I've thought of trying an old toothbrush with some toothpaste and seeing that if does anything but if a dental tool doesn't dent it I doubt a soft brush will either. Removing this material from the crevices would help restore some of the definition and it would be nice if it was brass color everywhere without the whitish crystal look in the crevices. A side question is this really brass or some brass like alloy? Some of the pieces have the color and brightness of brass and these pieces are much better cast with good definition. The pieces with the residue have a more tarnished and dingy look with softer edges. I tried taking a picture and it doesn't show it very well. The piece also doesn't look as bad as the picture makes it look, it's not great though.
  13. Scrubbyj427, thanks. Honestly I wish they didn't have the etched decks and planking now. I'm not thrilled with the way they look but decided to just go with it and see how it works out. Part of the learning process but I suspect I'll avoid any more kits with it. I will be doing a second layer with the provided walnut and will check out Chucks tutorials, I need all the help I can get with planking, I'm getting a little better but it's a skill that benefits from practice.
  14. First Planking Continued, Stern: I've been continuing the first planking, trying to get that done to be able to return to the topside of the ship and so far still going well. Finished one side and nearly done with the other and finished roughing out the stern. No major sanding or filling yet but trimmed with exacto and some light sanding to be sure everything was in line as much as possible. The stern was pretty interesting with all the different things coming together and trying to understand what was going to end up on top in each area. Everything but the lower deck will get another planking and that gets painted so that will need to be very smooth. I've bought some new filler as the last type I tried seemed too dry and hard to work with. Tried a little of this new filler (Famowood) as a test, and the initial results were very good, I'll be doing a few other spots soon.
  15. First Planking Progress: As I was trying to work out the position of some of the top decks and gunports it sent me into a deeper and deeper rabbit hold as I realized that this position affects that and so on. Trying to work all of that out really helped me understand and visualize where things are going but I also realized that I needed to get as much work on the hull done as possible since flipping the ship upside down and pushing and pulling planks would damage more fragile upper deck work. So I went ahead and decided to get at least the first planking done. It's a slow process as I glue the plank to the first three bulkheads and then wait for the glue to dry enough to glue the plank up to the last three bulkheads and then after that dries enough to work on the last three bulkheads. I can work on both sides at once but I'm only getting 2 or 3 planks done a day but I'm not in a hurry so that's all right. I have discovered that I can use a knife like a plane and smooth off the plank edges that stick up on the bigger curves. It seems to be much quicker and more precise that sanding although I'll still use some sandpaper to finish off the smoothing process but it should be very close just using the knife. I've also done some work that I can while waiting on the hull planks to dry so I've gotten some of the stern work done but there's some that I can't do till the hull planking is finished.
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