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  1. Thank you all for the suggestions and comments. Most of the britannia fittings I wanted to replace anyway, like the bitts, ladders, gunport lids, elm pumps and buckets. I will build my own binnacle just because I want to see if I can do it. So, I'll probably contact Model Shipways to see if they have better carvings. I think the rest I can work to make look OK. I've decided to try my hand at creating fillers between the bulkheads using basswood sheets - laminating in a bread and butter buttock fashion. They should be here Monday. In the meantime I will cut up some of the laser-cut sheet to test it out. This will give me a solid hull to plank. Another laser error to point out is in the last picture above showing looking aft with all the bulkheads installed - you can see on the starboard side (left in picture) of bulkhead B they cut the top correctly, but the side goes in way too far. @Gregory Thanks for pointing out the plans. The transom carving is quite different than the one in the kit. The kit has a very thick border around the outer edge. Much thicker than the Campbell plan drawing in the kit, and the original plans have just a thin one near the top and bottom sides. I'm thinking if I cut off the thick border, it may just work. I will probably still go ahead and get a new transom fitting, but I can play with the one I have when the time comes. John
  2. Next Steps The instructions say to fair the bulkheads before installing the filler pieces, but that seems backwards to me. Any suggestions? I don’t own a scroll saw but I do have a Byrnes table saw. I was thinking about rather than using solid filler blocks and carving them to shape, to instead layer pieces of thinner stock that are easier to cut. Are there advantages either way?
  3. On to the Bukkheads. The first thing I did was to copy the bulkhead templates and cut them out. I marked the reference line by placing the template over the bulkhead and lining it up as best I could, then used a knife to score the line into the wood. Here are some photos of how I did that: Most of the bulkheads followed the plans pretty well, but a few were way off. Bulkheads D and H are really off. I double-checked the templates against the hull lines from the George Campbell plan included in the kit, and they are very close. It is definitely the laser-cut bulkheads that are off. Some of the templates are a bit asymmetric, but there are within maybe 0.5mm, so I think that can be corrected by shimming and sanding. I faired bulkheads A, B and M off the model and left the others intact. A few of the slots in the keel were much too narrow as can be seen here. So, they were trimmed. I made sure I trimmed the slots to match the plans as closely as possible. I test fit the bulkheads on the keel and was satisfied with it. I glued each bulkhead with Titebond II one at a time, letting each set for an hour before moving on. Apparently, that wasn’t enough time – once the glue completely dried, a few of the bulkheads twisted a bit, so they are not at quite a right angle. It’s not much of an error, but now I’m wondering if I should correct it? Would it make sense to put in fillers throughout the lower part of the bulkheads as Bob Hunt does in his Rattlesnake practicum? It will be more work, but I’d like to get things accurate. Also, filling in the bulkheads might make planking easier. Not letting the glue set properly, you can see this bulkhead is not at right angles to the keel. Here's the final result so far:
  4. For my first build log I chose the Rattlesnake kit from Model Shipways because it’s just such a pretty looking ship. I think I am up to the task of building it, although I still consider my self more of a beginner-intermediate modeler. I also have Bob Hunt’s Rattlesnake practicum for the Mamoli version of the kit which I will probably look to for ideas. I’ve spent quite a but of time reading other build logs for the Rattlesnake here on the forums and I have to thank all of the modelers for posting them; those build logs will help tremendously as I work through the kit. The Kit The kit arrived and I took inventory. I’m glad I did because it was missing the filler blocks. Model-Expo has a good missing parts policy so I got them replaced. Unfortunately, they only sent me one of the bow filler blocks, but I don’t think that will be an issue as there is plenty to go around. The britannia fittings are in pretty poor shape. I’m probably going to replace most of them with alternatives. I’m not sure what to do about the transom carving. It looks like the mold may have split so the border is bulging out a bit. Also, like others have posted, the curve of the transom carving is too narrow and will have to be widened by bending it. the curve is off by so much that I fear it will break from bending. The Keel Construction of the keel was straightforward, but the curve where the stem meets the center keel was way off so I had to trim it you can see the amount I have to trim on the center keel in the photo. . I also had to add a shim between the two center keel pieces to get the length to match the plans. Even so, the slots were still a bit off. The shim between the center keel pieces I wish I had cut the rabbet before installing the keel, stem and sternpost. It would have been easier.
  5. Thanks all again for the kind words. I really enjoyed building the Armed Virginia Sloop was really a lot of fun. I used Robert Hunt's practicum to build it. That provided me a wealth of information to help me through it. The Fair American is now finished except for the stand. I will show pictures of it when I get it completed - I'm just waiting for some rope from Syren Ship Models. I think it turned out OK, but not great. I used dowels to simulate pier posts lashed together. It doesn't really fit the model's appearance, but I wanted to try something different for the fun of it. I looked for a topic on stand ideas, but didn't find one. It might be fun to set one up so people can post pictures of their stands. @Louie da fly I really wish I had more pictures of the Fair American build so I could write a retrospective log. I'm probably going to start my Rattlesnake log in a few days.
  6. @allanyed I will have to try that technique. The results look more like a professional blackening then what I ended up with using the erasers. I still had a tiny bit of flaking. The pickling sounds like that is a key to preventing flaking. John
  7. I'm curious if anyone here has tried using fret erasers to clean photoetch before blackening it? Fret erasers are rubbery erasers with grit mixed in that are used to polish frets on guitar fingerboards. I had some photoetch that was badly tarnished and scratched. All I had on hand was some fret erasers and they worked great. John
  8. Dmitriy, your Rattlesnake is looking great. It is my next build, which I hope to start in September. I hope that mine turns out half as good as yours. I'm getting a lot of inspiration from your posts!
  9. Thank you all for the kind words. My next build will be the Rattlesnake. I plan to start a build log for it.
  10. Hello from Phoenix! I've been out of the ship modeling hobby for about a decade. but now I'm getting back in and glad to join such an active forum! To date, I've built three models and had started on a fourth before life got in the way. My first was La Toulonnaise. I think it was an introductory kit that a hobby shop owner recommended to me. I then made the mistake of trying a much too complicated build, the HMS Bounty, and ended up not completing it, but I sure learned a lot working on it. I was disappointed in some of the kit quality, but I didn't have the skill to really fix it, so, the Bounty sits mostly completed on a library shelf as a decoration. Here's a picture of my third model, the Armed Virginia Sloop (Model Shipways). I'm really happy with the results. I had started my fourth model about ten years ago - Lauck Street Shipyard's Fair American admiralty kit. It sat unfinished for years, but now that I have time to get back into the hobby, I've been able to get back to it. I made a huge number of mistakes, but I view them as learning experiences and problems to solve. Here's a pic of it currently. I just have the stern transom , and channels to complete. I'm glad to be aboard! -- John
  11. I'm getting back into ship modeling (2021) after a rather long hiatus due to life getting in the way. My current build is the Lauck Street Fair American. This is my first POF model and my fourth overall.

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