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  1. More good progress this week. Started off getting the gudgeons and pintles nailed on and the rudder attached. Took a while longer than I thought to cut the hole in the stern for the top of the rudder but managed to get it all done. Then I made pinracks and cat davits, and started on the beakhead. I stained the laser-cut parts to get closer to the color of the kit wood. Other various details were added on, like ladders, windows, and the decorative sternpiece. I experimented with making my own windows but after spending an hour on one of them and then messing it up, I decided it wasn't worth the time investment.. The first rigging is on the model, which is just some blocks and hearts attached to the deck: Other major item this week is getting the deadeyes installed: Took a few tries to get the process down for these, but it went somewhat quickly once I had it figured out. I'm not entirely confident in the ability of those chains to take very much tension since the links come undone pretty easily, so I will have to be careful when tensioning the shrouds later on. The spacing of the chains bothers me too, but between trying to stay in line with the shrouds and avoiding the gunports, I guess that's the way it has to be.. A couple other details, I managed to get the railing on the upper deck last night and got the grating made. The ship is really coming together! Masting and rigging is not far away.
  2. Hmm good point. The Occre Corsair is fictional and does not really have a time period established anywhere that I can find so I am not too concerned about being period-correct. Only hint is that it's supposed to be a merchant vessel converted for privateering, but that doesn't really tell me anything. "This originally merchant brigantine was transformed when it got into the hands of the corsairs, and fitted out with 16 cannons and 4 falconets, which all helped them to carry out their misdeeds with better chances of success."
  3. Thank you for the advice, everyone! I am examining some photos of brigs in the RMG collection trying to get an idea of what lines are included. Not being familiar with them all, it is taking some research to figure out what line is what. Lennarth Petersson's book is a great resource while I figure this out. I like the idea of leaving on as much as possible (where it makes sense) since I think rigging is one of the most impressive features of model ships (and it's my favorite part of the build). So the strategy will be to leave the blocks and such on the model, and as I get closer to the rigging stage I think I will get a better understanding of how it will all go. If it turns out too busy I might end up leaving some out.
  4. Progress update. Since varnishing the lower hull, I have made some decent progress this week. I started off getting the railings on and some other decorative strips along the bow and stern. I am rather proud of the way the curved pieces at the top of the poop deck worked out. Per the instructions, they were made out of some little 2x4mm pieces. All sanded down and stained they look pretty good on the ship. A coat of poly was then applied to the hull above the wales once all those pieces were on. While waiting for that to dry, I decided to get started on painting the castings since they'll be going on the model pretty soon. I airbrushed the stern decorative thing and the gunports gold over black primer, which turned out pretty well. Cannons and anchors painted with black primer, with some drybrushing to add a little depth. I spent way too much time mixing the brown to go on the anchors, since I can't seem to find an appropriate shade ready made. I also built and stained all the cannon carriages: The little wheels provided are plastic and a kind of light tan, which I think makes the assembly look like a toy. Since I can't seem to find a brown paint I'm happy with, I'm thinking I will just paint the wheels/axles black.. any thoughts? The gunports are now on the hull along with a couple small additions, which sums up the progress this week. I am reaching the point where I need to cut into the railing on the forward deck for the cat davits. I realized that I had installed the fore deck much too low for the cat davits to end up flush with the railing so I also pulled that off and reworked it a bit to install it at the right height.
  5. Hi all, I am working on the Occre Corsair, which comes with sails and the instructions assume you will use them. I do not want to put on sails, but I am not sure what things I should leave off or not. The instructions are pretty good about showing what rigging belongs to the sails: But there are things like the blocks next to the mast on the yards that don't appear to be used except for sails.. do I just leave those off then? Or in this diagram there are obviously lots of lines for sails, but should I just leave those out entirely? Would some of these things be left on the ship even without sails? (there are 8 sheets of similar diagrams) Any of you more experienced folks and ship experts have advice on what I should do?
  6. Great progress this week. I have finished the second layer of planking. Despite the roughness of the wood the lower hull turned out great. Yesterday I got the upper hull planking finished up which was significantly easier, not needing to spile every single plank. Stern galleries planked over: And then today I got the rubbing strakes put on and the upper stern planked over. The strips provided for the rubbing strakes aren't quite long enough to run the full length, so I ended up cutting them into 16cm lengths which split the strakes into three pieces, which I think turned out to look better. So after getting all these pieces on, I figured it was time to put a coat of poly on the lower hull to protect it while I move the thing around getting the other decorative pieces on the wales. Quite a large contrast! I think it looks fantastic, much better than I anticipated to be honest. I'm really glad I went with splitting up each plank into ~20cm lengths, I think the variation makes it much more interesting to look at. We'll see what it looks like after the poly has all soaked in and dried overnight; I don't think it will be as glossy but hopefully still keeps the color. There are a few little gaps where the wood splintered at some point and you can see through to the first layer of planking.. had I seen those earlier I would have tried to fill them in. As it is, though, you can't seem them when the ship is sitting upright so I'm not too bothered.
  7. Planking update! The first layer of planking is all filled and sanded and I have done about a third of the second layer. Sanding and filling took a good several hours this weekend but turned out much smoother than I anticipated. (I did a little cleanup at the stern after taking these pics) The hull has quite a nice shape to it and should look pretty good in the end, I think. Once that was all cleaned up, I glued on the keel and stem parts. It took some sanding and cutting away bit by bit at the upper bow to get the stem in place but ultimately it fits pretty well. Next I spent a few hours planning out the second layer, including measuring and lining off the hull. I may have gone overboard but this is my first shot at doing it this way, with spiling all the planks at the bow and stern. So far so good. You'll notice I put some masking tape over the keel to stop it from getting scraped up as I move the thing around. Turns out those pieces are just regular plywood dyed that dark color, so any marring of the surface really shows.. Next is the second layer of planking, which is this nice looking walnut: I'm not sure if it's actually walnut or something else dyed this color. Anyway, it's paper thin and easy to bend and twist. However, it is really fragile. it will splinter and fall apart really really easily. Dampening each strip with my finger before working with it seems to help. I decided to go with a 3-butt shift, my first time attempting it. It's actually pretty quick using Chuck's method found in some YouTube videos in the Planking section of the forums. About 20 minutes per strake so far, though I'm getting quicker. I think it is going to be a handsome looking ship, I like the wood color. I will leave it natural like this and just put on a few coats of Wipe On Poly. I've learned it is best to cover one side of the ship with masking tape while I'm planking the other side.. otherwise these planking strips will catch on anything cloth and start to splinter.. I'm not sure if that is typical of this kit, but the wood is so fragile that I'm kind of worried I'll run out if I'm not really careful. All said, I think I'll be done with the second layer this week if all goes well!
  8. I couldn't figure out how the outermost planks were supposed to sit at the stern so I decided to build up the stern galleries first.. this is out of sequence with the instructions but it made it easier for me to figure out how planks are supposed to sit back there. Once the top was done, I started from the garboard up and the master strake down to meet in the middle. I was more intelligent about the bottom planks and soaked one end in water, nailed it in place and let it dry to get the twist at the stern easier to deal with. Then took it off, soaked the other end, and nailed it in place at the bow, and let that dry. Once that was done I took all the nails out and glued them into place. This of course led to some weird shaped planks needed to fill in the gaps but that was not too hard a chore. So the next problem to solve was the aforementioned depth of the master strake: The discrepancy is almost 2mm at the curves at the bow and stern and clearly can't be managed with just filler. So I decided to stack up some 0.5mm strips to fill it in. I'm not sure how well this is going to hold up during sanding but we'll see... So there we go! First layer of planking done. Thank goodness there is a second layer because this looks terrible. I don't like the way Occre wants you to plank the hull. Instead of doing it properly and having a consistent number of planks that taper at the bow and stern, they have you do it this way where the planks are attached as they would be if you just lay it on the side and bend it into place without any tapering or spiling. Look at the way the planks curve upwards at the bow vs. what the correct way would be: I know they do this to make it easier, but to me it makes it more difficult to figure out whether they are twisting or bending the right way as you go. I will definitely do it the right way for the second layer of planking, as the way the first layer is done just looks very unnatural to me. Unfortunately, if you attach the master strake in the notches on the bulkheads you have no choice. It may have taken less time but I feel like it will make it more difficult to do the second layer properly. I also wish the strips for the first layer were thinner, as that would have made it easier to twist and bend them and get them to lie more correctly. Well, in any case, next up is a few hours of sanding and putty to get a decent foundation for the second layer of planking.
  9. It has been a long time since my last post, but I have made some pretty good progress despite a break of a few weeks. I decided to bend the bulwarks before planking the insides to make the job a little easier, and I think it worked well. I soaked them for a long time in hot water and nailed them into place before letting them dry overnight. They kept the shape pretty well when removed. After planking the insides of the bulwarks they were glued on which took some time but worked out okay enough. I also planked the fore deck, upper stern, and attached them but neglected to take photos.. The upper stern was soaked and bent before planking, similar to what I did for the bulwarks. I then faired the hull and started on the planking! Starting with the 'master strake' per the instructions, I planked upwards to the bulwarks. The kit comes with 2mm thick strips for planking, which are thicker than I would have liked and made it a bit difficult when it comes to curves at the bow and twists at the stern. Another point to watch out for, is that the second bulkhead is much narrower than I think it should be. Gluing it on the way it is set up would make for a very sharp bend at the third bulkhead and an almost straight run to the bow. I don't think that looks good at all and decided to let the shape of the bow follow the way the plank wants to bend, which leads to about a 2mm gap from the bulkhead. Ultimately I made a couple shims to keep the curve of the bow looking more natural. Another problem that needs to be corrected later, is the depth of the master strake. The master strake comes as a 4mm thick plank and sits in notches in the bulkheads. The notches are inconsistent and deeper than 2mm, so a 2mm thick plank next to it will not be flush at all in some places.
  10. Thanks, SkiBee! As for comparison with the Longboat, I found the planking a lot easier on the Lobster Smack due to the fact that the planks are already spiled and do not require much, if any, edge bending. This is also easier, I think, due to the larger scale of the model. I enjoyed the higher complexity of the rigging on the Longboat, though. The other construction is difficult to compare since the two are so different, though I would reiterate that I do not like this method of making masts out of flat laser-cut pieces. The Longboat may be better for total newbies since there are dozens of references and build logs and the instructions are more clear, and I agree that full-scale drawings would be very helpful, for both this build and the Norwegian Pram. While the instructions are fairly thorough, the photos are really no substitute for drawings. My next build is the Corsair from Occre:
  11. And here is the final result for my Lobster Smack! This is my favorite of my collection so far, and a fun, instructive build.
  12. Well, it has been about a month since my last post! Model Expo kindly sent the replacement rigging line which took about 3 weeks to arrive. In the meantime, I found some suitable black bead cord to do the standing rigging. A couple of the turnbuckles broke when I tried to drill out the hole a little, so for those I had to file off the broken part, drill another hole, and file that down to resemble the original shape (you can see the result on the top of the bowsprit). Not ideal, but nobody will notice unless they know to look. 😉 Here is the standing rigging, with some different line used to temporarily rig the main sail. After this it was a waiting game for the new rigging line to arrive, then another couple weeks working on other things, until today I finally got her finished up and a couple rope coils added on.
  13. In the past few days I got the main deck glued on and the main deck planking finished up. I used CA to do this rapidly, and as mentioned before I glued the deck on one bulkhead at a time to flatten it out. Then I moved on to the planking.. I created a little jig to cut 120mm planks and made quite a lot of them. Here is one batch: I used the same "Every 5" method as above for the poop deck and set to work.. This ended up taking much longer than I expected and was quite tedious.. here is a shot halfway through: And I managed to finish it up along with planking Bulkhead 9 this weekend. I also got the holes for the masts, bowsprit, and hatch cleaned up, as well as the outer boundary of the deck. This probably would have been easier to do before gluing the deck to the spine, but I do not think the deck would have curved correctly in both planes had I done it off the model. I put on one thin coat of Wipe On Poly to the surfaces that I have planked.. I expect I will put on a second or third coat later on but I wanted to make sure I could get one coat smooth before more assembly is done. Next up is the bulwarks... these are thick plywood and I am 100% certain they will snap when trying to bend them at the bow if I am not careful. My strategy will be to soak and bend them to the right curvature before I plank their insides.. the instructions would have you do the planking while the pieces are flat but I do not think you could bend the bulwarks correctly (or easily) if they are planked beforehand, so I will play it safe.
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