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  1. Final hull shaping Progress has been pretty slow for the last couple of weeks, mainly because it has been so hot around here that the only time I can go outside to do some sanding is right after sunrise - the same time I need to take care of outside chores. So over the last month I’ve only been able to put in maybe 3-4 hours of sanding time but that has been enough to get the hull in rough shape. This photo illustrates a problem I have been having with this type of hull. Up until now all of my solid hull builds have been steel-hull ships whose shapes are pretty simple - a little flair near the bow and some rounding around the stern. On a 18th century ship like this one they had a fair amount of tumblehome along the upper hull - something I’ve not had to think about before so it took me a while to figure out that the half-hull templates may not fit perfectly until after I sand some tumblehome along the bulwarks which I’m not ready to do at this point so I just have to trust it will work out a little further down the road: One problem I had is that the shape of the transom is a little short of what it should be: I added some planking material to lengthen it a bit and also to sharpen the demarcation line between the transom and the counter: Once I trimmed up the new wood it is a better fit. How the surface of the new wood looks doesn’t really matter since almost all of it will be removed shortly (the area between the pencil marks), leaving the aft end of the hull looking like the bed of a pickup truck with the gate removed: Next steps will be to remove the big plus of wood from the transom area and then add the sternpost, stem and keel.
  2. Wonderful workmanship. Do you think the kit could be built just using hand tools and a Dremel or does it need shop tools like power saws, drill press, etc? Please post some photos and/or videos when you get her waterborne. Once again, great job!!!!
  3. Thanks. That is an amazing kit - I didn't know how far model-making technology has advanced in the last few years. I have one of their 1/700 scale but I'm not sure I'll ever finish it - it is too small to be much fun.
  4. Gary, no personal connection. Based on the photo in BlueJacket's catalog I assumed the kit only had the type of air search radar used on about half of the FRAMS so that narrowed my search down a bit (I found out they supply both types of radars). I remember a sailor on my first ship had served on the Basilone and thought she was a great ship, and her namesake was a great hero so I went with her. An added plus was that her former shipmate's website had a ton of photos which helped with the detailing.
  5. The initial shaping of the hull is coming along pretty well, a small hull like this one is much easier to shape than a 2 or 3-footer. The are my go-to tools for this stage of the work. The mouse sander works well on most of the hull surface, the flap sanding wheel works well around the stern post, and the half-round file is needed to handle the stern knuckle and transom area. For those places where I get carried away this stuff works wonders as a filler. It comes from auto parts stores. It does not need to be mixed with a hardener, it dries quickly adheres well to the wood and sands easily. The only thing to keep in mind is that if you need to make it more than about 1/16" thick it is better to put on multiple layers -letting the previous ones dry. It needs air to dry and harden well. The bow and stern are at their final shapes: The overall length is in accordance with the plans: And the shaping of the hull is coming along at the individual stations (more work to though).
  6. Gary, I'm going to be following along because this is such a nice looking ship. I enjoyed your build log of the Fannie G and learned a lot that will help me with my (just started) build of BlueJacket's ALFRED kit. At the rate you move along you will be done with this one before I've even finished shaping the hull!
  7. It does come with planking, albeit a bit on the small size (.02 X 3/32) because of the scale and yes I would like to plank it, ideally the whole hull, including the inside of the bulwarks, but if that is too ambitious I'll just do the wales on up.
  8. David - Glad to have you following along. I may need your advice when it comes to planking. That is an impressive list of completed models, I'm sure a solid hull build would be easy for you. Kevin - that is an incredible build of your St Nectan trawler! If I were crazy enough to try something at that scale I would have to go for something 8-10 ft long so I could sleep in it after my wife threw it, and me, out of house. I finished up the preliminary stuff that has to be done prior to making sawdust. The half hull lines have been cut out and pasted to cardboard, as have templates to shape the bow and stern and an overall template from the side view on the plans. There are some discrepancies between the bow/stern templates and the overall template, enough that to get them to fit at their specified station lines I would have to remove a lot of wood in some areas and add it in others. I decided to go with the overall plan and just use the bow & stern templates to guide shaping but not length on the model. The station lines, waterline, and caprail locations have been marked on the hull, as has the centerline (always more guesswork than technique for me but It looks OK). I'm going to have to build up the stern area with Bondo in order to get the proper shape and then it will be time to break out the electric sander and get to work.
  9. Kit Contents Upon opening the box the first thing that jumps out is the hull. It looks to be about 90-95% pre-carved which is great because hull-shaping is my least fun part of a build. The hull is carved down to the gun deck which leaves the option of leaving some planking off on the main deck to give a view of the gunlock - not sure yet if I will take that option. The hull can be planked or just painted - I'll try to plank it although it has been at least 10 years since I've planked a model - at least this one is small. There is a ton of strip wood, dowel and scribed decking. When I inventoried the kit I took the time to bundle together the various sizes of strip wood and label them - worth your while since some of them are very close is size and are very difficult to tell apart by eye. There is a nice PE fret which, thank God, includes a stern piece with all of the cabin window included - trying to build square windows that line up properly is beyond my talents. There is a lot of britannia metal fittings to include guns, deck furniture, blocks, deadeyes, cleats and lots of other stuff. A package of cordage and netting is included. The 57 page instruction book is full of photos and diagrams, and it includes tips on HOW to do things, including a good discussion on how to shape the hull. This is something not always found in advanced kits. Bluejacket rates this kit as "Advanced", 9 of 9 on their skill level rating, requiring "prior experience with more complex kits." This kit would not be a good first model for anyone, but if you have several kits under your belt, particularly involving planking and complex rigging then you could probably handle this one even if you have not tried a solid hull kit before but it would be best to call Bluejacket and talk to them about it. There are 2 sheets of plans including a rigging plan. Last but not least there is a set of flags and the quarterdeck cloths.
  10. I'm going to be building a model of the Continental Navy Frigate ALFRED using Bluejacket's solid hull kit. The ALFRED was one of the first ships commissioned into the Continental Navy in 1775. Converted from a new merchant ship she was John Paul Jones first ship. I picked this kit because I've never done a 3-masted ship model before, and as much as I would love to build a clipper ship I simply don't have room for it, or to be more precise, as far as my wife is concerned there is not enough room in our house for both me and a large cased sailing ship model. Bluejacket's ALFRED meets my needs perfectly because the completed model is only about 18 inches long and 13 inches high but is fully detailed and it will fit on one of my bookcase shelves. My next post will show the kit's contents.
  11. I finally completed my build of Model Shipway's Chesapeake Bay Skipjack Willie L. Bennett. I had completed 95% of it years ago but could not figure out how to make the sails. My wife finally agreed to give it a try if I bought her a new sewing machine so my $80 kit ended up costing me $480! This is a great kit with super plans, instructions and materials. You build the kit just like the real thing - including all of the (now invisible) interior framing. A true POF kit. This build is 99.9% out of the box, the only thing I added was the ice sheathing along the waterline near the bow.
  12. Great job!!! It has been a real pleasure (and a trip down memory lane) to watch this come together. The model is awesome, as is the base and case.
  13. Jim, I drilled holes in the keel before glueing it in place, put the rod thru the keel so about 1/4 inch was projecting thru the top of the keel, put some pencil lead on the end of the rod pieces and pressed the keel into position, drilled into the hull at the pencil marks (more than 1/4") and then glued the keel in place -pressing the rod pieces into their holes. I could have drilled the holes thru the keel, glued it in place, drilled into the hull and then pressed the rods thru the keel and hull but I wanted to put as little pressure on the keel as possible. Holes/rod were about 1/16".
  14. Mike, An interesting fact about the ship SS Robert E. Peary is that of the more than 2700 Liberty Ships built she held the record for the shortest building time - 4 days, 15 hours from keel laying to launching! Of course it was a publicity stunt with a lot of prefabrication work and unlimited manpower but still that is an amazing accomplishment. I suspect that record has never been broken for any large ship built since. Below is a link to a 1-hour wartime movie about the shipyard where the Peary was built. If you advance it to the 9 minute 20 sec mark it will show the construction and launching of the Peary. Pretty impressive. Here's the link: (Link doesn't work - see next posting below - that one does)

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