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  1. I think that looks really good. Just try applying varnish over your test piece and see what happens when you rub it a bunch.
  2. Good idea, it is always interesting to me to see the different solutions and approaches people have to the problems presented by models.
  3. The best way to learn is to make those mistakes. Starting your own build log is helpful as people here can give you advice and encouragement as you go along. There are a lot of good lady nelson build logs on this site. Read as many of them as you can to learn from other people's mistakes. The lingo is a bit confusing at first, but as you read more logs you will start to understand what people mean by things like bearding line and false meek etc. In any case you can always ask questions on other people's build logs (as long as the question is relevant to their work) your own log or some of the specific topic areas of the site.
  4. Just a word of warning from one first time builder to another. Make sure you really take your time with the faring and check it with strips many times particularly around the bow. My failure to do this caused me a lot of grief.
  5. Now that I think about it it seems obvious. I guess it just never occurred to me that the lines I choose don't really matter. I was just using the bulkeads because in all the tutorials that is what people did. I guess really if you want to get your measurements more accurate you use more lines and the only trade-off is the extra time measuring.
  6. How do you decide where to put the lines? is this just arbitrary or do you space them a specific distance and use a particular technique to keep the straight? I ask because I noted that you have more lines than there were bulkheads on the model and some of them are clearly not in the same place as the bulkheads.
  7. Minor update: I have finished planking the first band on one side of the ship. So that is one down, 5 more to go. The planking pattern pattern was a bit difficult to figure out at first, but once I got it going it flows easily. On to the next side.
  8. Scrub with a toothbrush with soap and water before priming. Use a really fine grit sandpaper to smoothe the surface (600 or higher). You could use a small file to carefully remove the supports. Hope this helps.
  9. A few things to consider: 1) Pigment size is important for airbrushes so I would suggest you use a hobby paint rather than artist paints. 2) You may have some issues with inconsistent air flow with that mini air compressor. I would personally recommend a compressor with a tank. You can find them for about $100 on Amazon. 3) The consistency of the paint is really important. Too thick and you will clog things up, too much water and it won't stick properly and may run. It might be worth getting some airbrush medium and flow aid as this can help. Generally people say a milk like consistency, but really you need to experiment a bit to find out what works. 4) To avoid dry tip (where paint dries on the tip of the needle and blocks the flow) make sure that when spraying you follow this process: press down for air, pull back to spray, slide forward to stop spraying, release air (down, back, forward, up). 5) Air pressure is also really important, generally between 10-20 psi is recommended, but I have at times used as high as 30. The higher the pressure the wider the cone and the more the paint atomizes in the air. This can risk it drying out before it hits the target and producing a bumpy surface.
  10. All my experience with decals comes from plastic, but I suspect the principles will translate. The surface doesn't need to be perfectly even but it does need to be very smooth for a decal to stick. If you don't it will either peel off or have air bubbles which make it look like a piece of plastic (the goal is to make it look painted on). I would recommend the following steps if you want to attach the decal: Sand the surface down so it is as even as possible Sand it smooth with a fine grit sandpaper Trim your decal as close as you can get it. If you are using white decal paper this is extra important as you need to go right up to the lines. If you are using clear decal paper then you can paint in the white after you have applied the decal (unless you are planning on painting that whole area white). If you are planning on painting the are, now is the time to paint it whatever colour you want. Apply a layer of gloss varnish over the area you are planning on adding the decal two. Make sure that you do several thin layers. Allow this to fully dry. Fold some paper towel on a small plate and saturate it with water, place your decal face up on this. Apply some micro set (or equivalent) to the area you are going to apply the decal. Use a paintbrush to slide the decal into place (this is a very delicate process, especially with big decals such as this), this will be easier the flatter the surface you have for it. Gently manipulate it and pat it down with the paintbrush trying to smooth out any bubbles, then leave it to fully dry. Take some micro sol or equivalent and with a paintbrush gently paint it on from the center outwards, using it to conform the decal to any imperfections on the surface and to smooth out any ridges or air bubbles. You can also use a pin to pop any air bubbles that don't want to move and then smooth them down with micro sol. Once the decal is fully dry, apply matt varnish from a can or airbrush over the entire area until the edges disappear. Hope this helps, any questions feel free to reach out.
  11. Log #10: Concerning Drop Planks With the wales done I proceeded to line off the hull for a second time. With the benefit of having done this once and realizing why it was not what I wanted, I was able to arrange much more pleasing lines. However, when I went to make my tick strips and mark the tapering at the bow I realized I had an issue. To fit the required number of strakes in the first band, I needed to taper them at the bow to around 2mm (on the diagonal so just under 2mm perpendicular to the plank). This is right at the edge of what is acceptable to me for tapering (half the width at midships). So I had three potential ways to solve this problem: Just accept the narrow tapering Adjust the tape lines to make them more “straight” running into the bow to create more room Add a drop plank right under the wales One was never really an option, I knew I would always be annoyed by how narrow they were. Two was not ideal because I really liked the lining off I had done and “straightening” the lines would risk the introduction of a “wiggle” in the planks near the bow (you can see this wiggle in my first planking). Three was by far the most difficult option, but in the end I figured that this whole thing is a learning process and I might as well gie it a shot. If they don’t turn out in a way I like, I can always decide to shift back to option one or two. All I will have lost is time. Also historically I believe that it was common practice for english shipwrights to put one drop plank right under the wales. So what followed was an evening of reading, measuring, cutting, then reading and measuring again to try and shape the drop planks correctly. For the benefit of any other new builders who might want to attempt a drop plank I am going to detail my thought process below. I am not sure this is the best way to approach it so feel free to chime in if you have thoughts on the process. I modeled the shape of the drop planks off of @chuck’s cheerful build log. However, that only gave me the rough length and shape, he never (that I could find) went into detail as to how he designs their measurements, so that part I was forced to improvise. Step 1 - Calculations I decided to use my lining off of the first band as the basis for my calculations. I knew I needed to fit seven planks in the band and that the drop plank needed to end at the 2nd bulkhead. This meant that at both the 1st and 2nd bulkheads, the width of the drop plank needed to be the equivalent of two strakes. At the bow instead of dividing the space into 7, I now divided it into 6 to reflect the new taper of having “removed” one of the strakes. This now gave me my drop plank widths at both ends and the midpoint of the drop plank. To calculate the width at the point where the drop plank splits into two planks I simply took the midpoint between the bulkhead 1 and 2 widths. Step 2 - Determining the Bend I pressed an old receipt against the bottom of the wales and ran my pencil along it to determine the shape of the curve. Using one of the ¼ inch strips I used for the wales I could get almost all the way there by marking out the curve. Ideally I would have used a piece of pearwood sheet, but I didn’t have one of those. Step 3 - Cutting Out the Drop Planks Using a sharp exacto knife I carefully cut outside the lines I had drawn. Then I used files and sandpaper to adjust until I was happy with the shape. When I had one plank done, I used it as a template to draw and cut out the other. I then sanded and filled both until they matched and I was happy with the shape. In my case my ¼ inch stock was also slightly thicker (1.2mm) than the 1mm pearwood that came with the kit. So I also had to sand/scrape this down a bit to get the thickness closer to the rest of the planking. All that was left then was to follow the normal process of attaching them to the model making small adjustments with sandpaper, filing and bending them round a pot to curve them. You can see below the finished product. I may not have as much time in the next few weeks to work on the model so I expect that progress on the 2nd planking will slow down now. I will post another update once I have finished the first section.
  12. I have found you just need to constantly double check things are lining up. So every strake I lay I double check both the bow and stern are matching. If anything is off then I have time to adjust. I also found I had an easier time of it when I started doing the tick marks by sections. So once I lined off the hull I would only do the tick marks for the first section, plank that and then I could adjust again afterwards as needed. In any case I think it looks good.
  13. I had the same issue with my first planking of my alert (though to a slightly lesser degree). You can see the wiggle below. The problem was caused by two main issues. First I didn't start tapering at the bow soon enough, I did one two many full sized planks (this appears to be part of your problem). This meant that the flow of the planks didn't sweep upward like it was meant to. Then I didn't line up my string on the lining off process correctly and so the planks were tapering two much at the second bulkhead and not enough at the bow (at times the taper at the second bulkhead was pretty much the same as the bow). The only way I can think to really correct this is to take off the planking up to where the wales will go and then line off your hull to make sure the sweep of the planks looks right. If you are not willing to do that then you will probably just have to live with the wiggle.
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