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Joseph F.

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  1. Rubber bands have been very helpful in building this kit so far. I’m going to be trying a couple different things I’ve picked up from other builders of big ships, including using binder clips and push pins in the planking. Trying to dry fit the decking has revealed some additional alignment issues in the frame, but nothing too bad. I was also concerned I had misaligned the frames, since there is a major cant in the main and mizzenmast, but this seems to correct, since they are swept back in the instructions. Used some Hull Spar Black from Model Expo to black out the gunports. It looks bluish in the jar but it dries to black, and so far I’m very pleased with all Model Expo’s paints and stains. The instructions say to use veneers to plank the bottom of two gallery sections, but I decided to paint them black instead, since this detail will hardly be noticed in the finished model.
  2. Installing more pieces of the interior frame. Required some soaking and bending of wood. So far everything has fit very well, but I did discover an issue this morning… One of the forward starboard bulkheads separated from the rest of the frame, and this has caused some warping as you can see below. I don’t think this will cause any major problems, but it is annoying. It’s not a fault of the frame, I should have caught it earlier.
  3. I couldn’t help but start building the frame. This is about as far as I got last night. This ship is the biggest I’ve ever worked on, although the hull itself is only 28”, a little longer than the gunboat Philadelphia. @Michel L. I think much of the price is for the cast figurines that come with the kit, you’re paying for metal when other Vasa kits have plastic or resin. The quality is nice, at least to me, but I’ll have more thoughts on that as I go along.
  4. I bought this kit a couple months ago when I had more money than sense. Now I have less money and still no sense, and no room to put this 43” monster anywhere if and when I finish it. I am starting a build log for it, since it will be my next project after the Gunboat Philadelphia. Today I will post a brief review of the kit. I ordered this 14lb box slightly below MSRP on eBay. Vasa is a fascinating story, and a beautiful subject. This seemed a very intimidating kit at first, but after reviewing the instructions on CD, it doesn’t entail anything more difficult than I’ve already encountered. Rigging should be interesting however… An overview of the box’s contents. Ten plastic boxes of metal fittings. Twelve or thirteen sheets of laser cut pieces. Two or three bundles of wood. Presewn sails. Big sheet of photoetch. Three Swedish flags. One reason I’m starting this project soon is so I can order replacements from the manufacturer if anything is missing. Closer image of plastic boxes, which make up most of the weight. They contain over 500 metal figurines to represent Vasa’s ornate carvings. I suspect painting them all is going to be a big portion of this project. Close up of other items. I don’t like the photoetch ship’s stairs, I would like to make my own out of wood. I don’t mind the instructions on CD. I’m missing some patterns showing where the gunports are supposed to be cut. That’s gonna be a pain but I think I can make do. Huge bundles of planks and dowels. I sincerely hope this will be enough. The laser cut wooden pieces laid out. Just about every fitting on the ship is laser cut, including the triangular deadeyes from the 17th century. I should have all the sails! One of the topgallant sails goes on the mizzenmast actually… I’m excited to start this kit, and I feel I have enough skills now to do it right.
  5. Finally glued the decking pieces down, had to use wood shims in the forward and middle sections. The gaps in the aft decking will be covered by the storage lockers. Using my handy new nail pusher to fix the knees. The port side storage chest. Finally was able to use my Tamiya scribing tool to simulate the hinge. The unpainted boat with decking, chests, knees, and gun carriages. After adding the shot garlands and dry fitting the mast partner, I painted the interior of the boat in the light grey that comes with the kit. I have only seen one other builder use a grey stain on the interior, but I thought it would provide a good contrast with the honey exterior and the espresso bean gun carriages. Going to paint the gun quoins bright red. NEED HELP: How do you paint Britannia metal? Acrylic won’t stick to it. Have considered getting a blackening solution, what would other builders recommend?
  6. I got my sails back yesterday, so I was able to finish this project today. I cut corners off a small piece of wood to make the cleats in the mast, stained them, then masked and painted the tops. Also masked and painted the rudder, and attached it to the transom. Weaved the sails onto the yards and rigged them to the masts. Used extra belaying pins as oar locks, and this model is complete!
  7. Still working on getting the deck pieces to fit, have done a little work on the cannon and gun carriages.
  8. Here I’ve been at work on the floor boards, which were a bit tricky since the bottom of the boat is less flat than it’s supposed to be. When the floorboards were installed, I began to dry fit the seats. After building a section of quarterdeck planking in the rear, I decided to stain the floor boards and seats and gunwales in the same color that I used on the Dusek Viking Longboat, a dark espresso color. I left the interior frames and planks unstained because they are coated in superglue and wouldn’t stain evenly. To make the gunwales fit evenly, I had to cut them in half and glue the halves separately. The dark color helps mask this and other mistakes… I still have to paint and hang the rudder, sand the oars, cut and rig the masts, and I am pleased with the project so far. I have a friend making the sails, and after I rig those this project will be done.
  9. Bending the frames is what caused me to abandon this project not long after starting back in May, but I decided to add about half the frames at a much less severe angle than the instructions called for. I think the frames look great, as long as you don’t look too close… Also had to cut down the transom to be flush with the sheer plank. I installed the sheer clamps, then gave the hull two coats of polyurethane. Yesterday I did some masking and spraying of the hull, white below the waterline and grey up to the gunwales. Still need to do some touch up, and I may add a yellow or a green stripe along the sheer plank. This is all the progress I’ve made in a weekend, and I am very pleased with how nice this project is turning out. However, I am starting to run into problems, having not used the building frame, but I will get past them.
  10. Three thousand, six hundred and eighteen nautical miles. This is the distance Captain William Bligh was able to carry 19 men across the ocean in an open launch, only losing one man. It is for this reason I think the Launch is much more an interesting subject than the Bounty herself. This is a well known kit from Model Shipways, which I bought second hand on eBay. I started it back in May by assembling the keel and cutting the rabbet. It seemed like it would be an easy and quick project, until I began bending the ribs onto the frame. So I decided to lay the project aside till I had more experience and more patience. I picked up the project again yesterday, and assembled the building board as directed in the instructions. However, I just found it easier to begin planking the boat without regard for the frame at all, and the planks naturally found their shape. I ended up only using nine rows of planks, leaving off the sheer plank, because I had placed the garboard plank too far forward. May end up having to cut down the transom a bit. Here is the fully planked boat. It won’t be a fully accurate model of the Bounty launch when I’m finished, but I am happy with what I have so far.
  11. Exterior planking using the “spiling” method was difficult, and there are many gaps. But I plan on filling and sanding them. Interior planking went very smoothly. Another angle of the interior planking. Finished the interior planking. Deck pieces are not glued down yet, since they don’t fit perfectly, but working on that.
  12. Have glued the first three rows of exterior planking. https://3d.si.edu/explorer/gunboat-philadelphia I am consulting this 3D model from the Smithsonian as I go along, which shows the present state of the real vessel. Adding planking at the lowest parts of the deck is the latest thing I have done.
  13. Have been working on assembling the frame. Lots of sanding and cutting here but it has come together really well and quickly. Working on the Stem and Transom, most of it is sandpaper work but an sharp angled carver is necessary for cutting the rabbet. A laser cut line in the frames show you exactly how much needs to be shaved off, while the frames in the middle just need a little sanding. Using every heavy flat object I have to get the frames glued evenly. I’m going to let that sit for a couple hours, and then it’ll be time to start planking!
  14. I got this kit a couple months ago, intrigued because it seemed an obscure subject. (I didn’t realize how many had built this kit before, and that the real vessel still exists in the Smithsonian.) Reading the short and unfortunate history of the gunboat, I have become very excited to start this project. The kit is in 1/24 scale, or 1/2” = 1’. The completed vessel should be a little over 2 feet long, and I’m glad to be working at a large scale again, since my last two projects have been much smaller. The kit comes with 7 or 8 sheets of plans which are a great compliment to the instruction manual, 11 sheets of laser cut wooden parts, as well as a decent sized bag of planks and dowels. I have sorted all the rigging blocks and hardware in a container and will soon start working on the keel.
  15. I finally got around to finishing this project today. This kit should only take someone about a week or two, working steadily. Adding seating planks. So far, the Chop-It from Micromark has been an essential tool for me, it’s incredibly helpful for making uniform lengths of planking. Mast attached. I first steeped the sail in a cup of tea, which gave a very natural sail-cloth color, but I decided to steep it again in a cup of coffee which gave a darker and more handsome color. The finished boat! I didn’t bother to make oars, or to attach the shields that come with the kit. This project was a commission for a friend, and I hope he’ll be pleased when he sees it. It was an easy kit with good quality materials. Thanks for the tips and encouragement I’ve received from people!
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