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chris watton

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About chris watton

  • Birthday 11/21/1966

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  • Location
    Forest of Dean, Gloucester, UK
  • Interests
    Ships and cars.

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  1. Agreed, the stern doesn't look half bad at all, they have made improvements. Regarding parts of the stern interfering with the windows at the centre, just mark and cut some of that area away both on the main keel at the stern and the pattern that intersects it, It will make little difference at all to integral strength, and you can use your LED's.
  2. Rigging, for the most part, is easier than some think. Once all the blocks have been added to the masts and yards, it really is almost as simple as a 'joint the dots' drawing. Once shrouds and ratlines are out of the way, it is 'plain sailing'
  3. Hi Ian, Same with upper decks, they were all just laid in their lengths, but I know many prefer to use shorter planks to simulate the correct lengths for each plank, to create the 3 or 4-butt shift planking patterns. Regarding scuppers, Vanguard is 72nd scale, so the holes would be tiny. There is nothing stopping you adding them if you so wish, though. I think I added them to my old Bellona prototype
  4. For my prototype Vanguard, the planking strips for the deck were just laid next to each other, left in their full length, There is certainly no need for any kind of planking pattern for the lower gun deck.
  5. Cyano has always made my eyes water, like Sea Hoss, I now use a fan and it isn't so bad. Looking great, by the way!
  6. Not quite in a position yet, but my aim was to get the Zulu for around the £145 price range and the Fifie for around £125. They may end up costing a little more, as the amount of pearwood in the kits, the Zulu especially, is quite a lot, but what the hell... Sails will be sold separately as they are very expensive to have made, so if they were included, the cost of the kit would be a lot higher, and perhaps some do not want, or would prefer to make their own.
  7. Yes, that is the plan. (Assuming the whole world isn't in shut down mode by then..). I intend to release both the 80 foot Zulu (Lady Isabella) and the 70 foot Fifie (Lady Eleanor) together. There will be pre-made sail sets for both as an optional extra.
  8. I had these two beauties just arrive!
  9. Like plywood, for laser cutting, it cannot be any MDF sheet, it needs to be laser compatible. Some glues and resins used in the manufacture of ply and MDF are not suited (outdoor use types, I think), so 'Laser Compatible' ply and MDF must be used, which are indoor types. I did order a couple of sheets of 0.8mm ply that was a lot cheaper than what I was expecting. When laser cutting, I understood why, the laser burnt the glue, leaving the parts very blackened. I suspect the same would apply to certain varieties of MDF. I use 'Medite Premier MDF sheets'. I have bought sheets from Italy and the UK, there is no difference at all.
  10. Sorry to read this. Your work and your advice on here will be giving people pleasure and help for years to come. Chris
  11. I have attached pic showing the first planking complete on one of two of my beginners kits I am developing right now. I do lay the first limewood planking when it is still damp, never had an issue, and trust me, I have done dozens of models using the same method and base materials. Talking of 'Cheap Crap', there is no MDF exposed on this pic (except perhaps the sacrificial bulkhead tabs above deck level that can just be made out. The rest of the laser cut parts are from solid pear wood, 21 individually cut laser pieces are shown that make up the pearwood upper bulwark pattern (with timberhead positions laser engraved to the inner sides, so no need more marking out), prow, keel and stern post parts with rabbets, and rudder. The first planking is limewood. All of this is glued to the MDF (low chemical, cleaner MDF suitable for laser cutting, and about the same price per sheet as the poplar ply some manufactures use - see my post above for the results of using that). Second planking will be in pear wood also, I could get away with using 'cheap crap' for a beginners kit, but I don't think that would be right. I will continue to use MDF for structural parts, as it is the best material for the job. If something better comes along, or tolerance levels and less warping is dealt with for ply, even the most expensive types, is addressed. As a modeller myself, I always hated either filing out every single slot or packing them before I can even fit the parts together. I always work on the assumption that if I hate certain aspects, quite a few others would too.
  12. It is funny, when I was first told to try MDF over a decade ago when at Amati, I probably felt the same, and said the same as Y.T. I am sure I have said the same on here all those years ago. Since then, I realised just how much better this material is compared to the ply, which has so loose a tolerance for thickness between batches, it is only really good for the most base of hull framing. It is because of the tight thickness tolerance of MDF that allowed me try different methods of hull construction. Again, I have written this ad-nauseum on this forum. A couple of weeks ago, I did make an investment in both cheaper poplar ply (the kind of ply in a lot of European kits) and the more expensive birch ply. The 3mm poplar ply was all actually 2.7mm thick, and the bulkhead tabs broke as soon as I tried to fit the 0.8mm birch ply deck, and the birch 3mm ply was actually well over 3mm thick. These variations are no good. You see, that would be a disaster for a model like Victory, as there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of interlocking parts which rely on a constant thickness. If one batch of ply was a different thickness to the last, the parts would either be way too sloppy or way too tight. It is not a question of being 'cheap', it is a question of using the most appropriate material for the designs. Once I realised just how much better MDF is to work with, I changed my mind, and since the last decade, I have used it for literally dozens of kits and prototype models, including Victory. I have never had an issue with it, and most certainly had no issue sanding or with strength - I know it is stronger than the poplar ply you find in a lot of kits. If people still think, after all of these years, that this material is used because of cost, they are wrong, ply is simply too unreliable for thickness and flatness, more so for the more complex designs. ETA - I have added a couple of pics of a hull which used the 3mm (in reality 2.7mm) poplar ply. It cuts very quickly, so much cheaper running costs than using MDF, which is a more dense material, and looks very nice, presentation wise, I can see why most manufacturers use it. However, note the missing bulkhead tabs on the hull pi, after I tried to fit the ply deck. I also had this issue years ago, when building the large Panart Victory and Sergal Sovereign of the Seas, it was a matter of course that some bits wouldn't make past certain building stages. I would have posted pics of the birch 3mm ply hull sample, but I couldn't even laser cut this as the height from the laser bed varied up to 20mm, it was so warped, meaning the laser would not focus properly. If it were cut, I am sure most would not want a keel shaped like a banana..
  13. This was my first ever wooden boat kit, I bought it in the very early '90's. back then it was the same as shown above, where you plank the two halves of the hull and then glue them together once each half has been planked. A great first kit as the hull is quite 'box-like'.
  14. It is always 'heart in mouth' time when it comes to removing the deck after dry fitting. The ply is very flexible, though, so I always make sure I bend the deck almost to a U shape, to clear the slots of the tabs. I did think about splitting the deck in half, but I think the inherent strength of the complete deck, once in place, trumps the minor difficulty on removing after dry fitting.

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