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  1. More progress at last! The next step required an education in acrylic paints. I learnt that craft paint is basically cheap acrylic but does come in a much wider range of colours if you find the right brand. I also learnt the hard way that the colour on the outside of the acrylic tube is NOT necessarily the colour on the inside. I wanted a rusty red and more of a light yellow than the orange mustard that apparently fits the "yellow ochre" category. This took quite a lot of shopping around but in the end I was quite satisfied with my choice. Correctly placing the whale and other painted planks on the hull provided an interesting challenge. I first glued the yellow L shaped side pieces on at the stern and went more with the alignment of all the pieces than the exact measurements on the plan sheets. For this reason I started with the yellow plank above the whale before planking the whale itself. The yellow strips I painted completely before hand, but wanting to sand and woodfiller the three whale planks, I opted to just paint the edges black before sticking them on. I then used my new-found woodfiller expertise to perfect the gaps before painting everything black. It did work out much easier to only have to paint the main surface and just touch up the edges where needed. I also painted and glued the side badges/windows on so that I could fit the 1.5mm square yellow strip around them instead of having to cut a hole for them later. Next was the bulwark patterns and this is where my problems really started!! Thinking I knew better I decided to assemble and plank them before gluing them to the hull as I figured it would be easier to paint them more accurately that way. The upper and lower cappings of the left bulwark pattern clipped on well, such that I could easily glue planks onto the bulwark and then clip off the cappings to sand, woodfiller and paint the planks. The right cappings however were rather ill-fitting, even after sanding adjustments and had a shallow groove that prevented them from staying clipped on. In my ignorance I therefore planked the right bulwark without the cappings. Once they were completed to my satisfaction and I came to the exciting part of gluing everything together, I found that the bend (both across the length AND width of the bulwarks) required by the curvature of the hull was far more than I was able to force out of my now three layered completed pieces! So wood bends with moisture, heat and pressure and seeing that everything was beautifully sealed with paint, I was left with heat and pressure. I then began a very long process of experimenting with building a jig of sorts. I don't have any power tools so don't laugh, but here is version 2.0: After positioning the bulwark between nails and using string wrapped around the jig (to prevent the nails from deviating outwards and the bulwark from sliding upwards away from the pressure), I heated the contraption with a hairdryer. Five minutes seemed to work quite nicely and made the wood hot enough that I could only just touch it. I then re-positioned the nails and tightened the string to ensure maximal bending and allowed it to cool for 30min or so. This worked quite well. Until I progressed to bending the bulwark across its width and found that the action undid my first bending's hard work. So back to the drawing board! I don't have a photo but version 3.0 resorted to bits of wood stacked up under the far corners of the bulwark and a clamp in the middle forcing the bulwark down towards the wooden base, in conjunction with the nails bending it across its length. After three evenings of struggling and figuring, the left side finally mostly came together. There are still some very small gaps, but nothing like there was before! Having been planked without the cappings, the right side provided more severe problems. I eventually managed to get the bend across its length right but the forces acting across the width were just too great and as the wood continued to cool, the CA glue was insufficient to maintain it and everything started pulling apart. I even tried gluing the bulwark down just after heating and bending in the hope that it would give the glue more time to set before the wood cooled enough to return to its old shape, but I only succeeded in intoxicating myself with the resulting CA fumes! An important lesson learnt: don't put CA glue on anything hot! This was the closest I could get it on the right side: I finally gave up on bending alone, sliced the bulwark off once again (probably the third or fourth time) and resorted to adding an extra plank to decrease the gap. I sanded a 1x4mm walnut plank down to about 0.7mm and then laid it down flat on the edge of the deck. I then sanded it, filled the gaps with woodfiller and painted it blue. Using jig 3.0 I bent the bulwark pattern one last time. The end result still has a few small gaps, as on the left, but is far more acceptable: Bulwark patterns finally glued on, I then secured the rest of the lower cappings. Unfortunately these didn't quite meet the lower cappings of the bulwark patterns for some reason: So more fixing was in order. I cut and glued in a small section of 1x4mm walnut plank. Sanded it down and painted it black. I forgot to take a close up, but the result was passable. You can also see in the photo below the unfortunate result of my multiple bending attempts on my intact right bulwark pattern. The capping above the aft gun port broke. I repaired it as best I could but sadly it will never quite be the same again 😢 I'm still toying with the idea of trying to fill the remaining gaps between the deck and the bulwark patterns with woodfiller, but my concern is that, working in such a small, difficult place I may only make it worse due to decreased accuracy of sanding and repainting. You can't totally see the gaps if you aren't looking at the hull on eye level: But they're still definitely there... Any thoughts? In other news I also planked the insides of the gun ports, although the instructions didn't call for it, as it really seemed necessary. I beveled the planks at the corners for a snugger fit and decided to paint the insides yellow as I found the red shining through to the outside a little stark. My last bit of progress was the stern fascia. Here I opted to leave the windows brass (instead of painting them yellow as in the instructions) as well as scratching off all paint on the Bounty wording on the name strip. The lighting here wasn't the best but I like the resulting look: One big area of confusion for me currently is what seems to be a complete lack of a capping for the stern fascia. All the photos of completed models that I have found have a black stern capping that is flush with the upper cappings of the bulwark patterns. I have read my instruction book cover to cover and examined all the plan sheet views but can find no hint of it! I even looked through all the pieces still remaining and can't find anything that looks like it will work. It definitely needs one and I suppose I can fashion one, but I just wanted to check before I do that I'm not missing something...
  2. Thanks once again for all the encouragement and advice! The info on sawdust is fascinating!! I had no idea it could be so toxic! I managed to get the bulkheads off with large wire cutters followed by a chisel and finally sandpaper. I could then plank the inside of the bow and scour the stationary shops and artistic friends in my immediate vicinity for a more of a brown red to paint it, as a bright red felt too flashy. My wood filler query was not so easily resolved. I was reluctant to use the sawdust method at it had dried a lot darker than the surrounding walnut when used between my ill-fitting false keel pieces (ref. my second post). As it turns out, there is no walnut coloured wood filler in South Africa so I went with the closest match, Imbuia. My experience was a rather long and patience-cultivating endeavour. It took multiple layers to fill in my tiny defected (sanding really shows up all one's shortfalls in planking). To my frustration I learnt that being water-based meant that all it took to undo a few layers of work was one layer that was a bit too watery. I also learnt that wood filler can be undone by over-sanding or sanding with too coarse sand paper, or leaving the hull in a hot car... I became a master wood-filler-applicator by the end of the number of times that my mistakes made me redo the whole process! Please don't crucify me, but I decided not to copper-plate the hull (historically accurate or not) as the wood finish is just too beautiful to cover over! I therefore first painted the blue just below the deck (I figured getting varnish on the blue was less critical than blue on the varnish) and varnished everything else. Picking the right varnish was also challenging with the hardware store having way too many options, all unrelated to my needs. I eventually settled on WSP 27 Imbuia colour (whatever that means) with an outdoor seude finish (as the indoor only came in gloss). I was very uncertain in my choice but am super chuffed with the final result! Much to my sorrow, I didn't get a chance to seal in my wood filler effort with varnish for a few days after completing it for the hundredth time. The delay, together with holding the hull to paint the blue line, seemed to once again undo some of wood filler. I only noticed once I was into the thick of varnishing however, and therefore opted to leave it. Now if the light catches it a that right (or should I say wrong) angle you can see the imperfections outlining some of the planks, as in the photo below. These are not critical, however, and will probably only ever serve to annoy my own inner perfectionist;P I came to greatly regret my decision to not use tapering and stealers above the bow whale line so as to allow the planks to lie flatter across their width. Wood filler masks minute defects but really seemed to struggle with the clinkering that resulted in this area. The end product is passable but I would definitely do it differently next time! My original concern was that the stealers would be too noticeable, but after sanding, wood filler and varnish, it's no longer easy to even pick them out. I will definitely take the planks more seriously next time they try to express their indignation at my chosen angle! Despite the shade difference between planks you can see below how well the bow drop planks blended in: From this point on I have found the instructions to be rather unhelpful in terms of order. I have therefore been doing bits and pieces everywhere to try reach my short term goal of putting the main whale planking in place (the next section in the instructions). In looking at stern fascia pictures I see I was supposed to add a 1.5mm square strip where the planks meet the stern counter. This is nowhere in the written instructions, only a later picture. By the time I saw it, that ship had unfortunately already sailed, but I don't think it looks too bad without it. I also opted to varnish the stern counter instead of painting it black. Below you can see that the stern post thankfully fitted well enough (in terms of being flush with the second planking) despite my earlier ignorance in not cutting enough of a rabbet into the false keel. One last view for good measure;)
  3. Second planking complete! My knee injury is allowing me to work half days, so ship progress has been significantly slower of late. As a whole, the second planking went A LOT better than the first, but I still felt like I'd need to plank the same hull a third and maybe a fourth time before I'd have it mastered to my satisfaction! I definitely think I gained a lot from going keel-up first time and whale-down the second time. Problems seem to arise as planks stack up so it was helpful to have my first planking, which was more correct towards the keel, to aim for as I progressed down. I also got better at recognizing problems when they could still be fixed. The method of breaking the hull into bands and measuring at each bulkhead was definitely a good way to break down an otherwise insurmountable task of learning the flow of planking. Having grasped the concept, however, I barely used my excel sheets on the second planking, going more with feel and the lay of the planks. I enjoyed learning the differences in working with the walnut wood as opposed to the lime. I found the walnut strips expanded a lot less when wet and dried a lot faster, which made it easier to not leave gaps when gluing planks down, but challenging to get them cut while they were still wet. The walnut was a lot less malleable and required a lot more coaxing to bend to my will. There even seemed to be variety across the different shades of planks with the more grey-brown planks being more brittle and harder to bend and cut without the knife following the grain. I also discovered that I have a nut allergy... to walnut... wood;P! If there wasn't a decent breeze blowing across where I was sanding, even the slightest amount of sawdust made my nose run! A problem that I never experienced with the lime. As I beveled both inside edges of every plank for a snugger fit this meant I spent a lot of time outdoors chasing the breeze! Not being able to pin the planks down (to avoid "unsightly pinholes" as the instructions put it) also created an interesting challenge, both is shaping and cutting, and in gluing without gaps. Although I made general decisions in bands of 5 to 7 planks, I found it easier to cut and glue no more than 3 planks at a time, as I had to hold the previous loose planks in place to measure the next one. For securing the planks I used a combination of wood glue (painted on in lines with a tooth pick) and CA glue (in dots at intervals between the wood glue): This seemed to work pretty well where the planks weren't under too much pressure. I took to putting CA glue directly on the the plank at bow-most end (the first centimeter or so), sticking this first, then sticking the length of the plank that runs flat to glue on the hull, then putting CA glue on the last stretch of plank as it curved around the stern under a little more pressure. I started with the planks above the whale and really struggled! There should have been exactly seven planks between the whale and the deck but they just didn't want to lie flat around the bow! I ended up with a degree of clinkering that I was highly unimpressed by. The only way to avoid it seemed to be to taper down the first planks and then add in stealers closer to the deck. I decided that that would be even more unsightly and just accepted the defects. The seventh plank also ended up being higher and lower than the last lime plank in different places. Sanding should fix most of it but I had to add a stealer at the stern (best seen in photo six). Strange how the best made measurements can still go awry! I added in a long stealer immediately after the whale plank to ensure that I didn't have the same bow problem the whole way down! I based the size of my correctional stealer on the natural lay of the next plank. Although the two stealers seemed to be about the same size, as I approached the keel I found that the right side needed almost a full plank more than the left, despite no other planks having been tapered across the middle bulkheads by that stage. You will therefore see that the planks on the left next to the keel had to be a lot narrower across their width than those on the right. Coming around the bulge I also found the need to add in a stealer that dropped off on both ends to correct the deviation of the planks upwards across the middle bulkheads. The stern ends of theses stealers are easy to pick up in the next photo, but you have to look very closely to see the drop-off at the bow as well. I committed wholeheartedly to my potentially cheat move of tapering planks across bulkheads 9-10 and then widening them again as they reach the stern. I don't know how legit it is but the end result was a complete lack of the need for any stealers down the stern post! Though a full stealer was obviously still needed for the massive width of plank terminating on the bottom of bulkhead 12. Following the correctional stealer below the whale, the bow planking gave me little trouble. Being bluff bowed it still required the customary dropped planks but I found it far easier the second round being able to drop them exactly where I wanted to instead of having to aim for termination on a bulkhead. I did struggle a bit with the final bow termination of the planks as my first planking wasn't the most precise in this area and could maybe have done with a bit more sanding. The planks did clinkering a bit more over the first bulkhead about two thirds of the way down the bow, but the gaps are smaller and only visible in certain directions. You can see a small stripe of white demarcating one such instance to the left on the photo below. The two sides also didn't always completely match with the levels that the planks terminated at, but close enough! By the end I was finding that sanding down excess plank was giving me a closer fit than cutting as I could sand it in a bevel, leaving the slightest lip to cover over any gaps. Another reason that a third planking would have looked even better;P! Here's a close up to prove it! My final challenge was getting the stern post planks to stick down properly at their stern-most extent. CA glue was the perfect solution for the lime planks but the walnut refused to cooperate. The only thing stronger than CA glue that I know of is contact adhesive (or snot-glue as we used to call it as kids) but I deemed that far too messy to even try. Then I remembered my ship's instructions warning about how fast CA glue dries when the planks are wet. Wet planks are also obviously more cooperative in the bending department. I therefore dripped water onto the stern planks until they were soaked through and used lots of CA glue. They stuck! But an odd, hopefully sand-off-able side effect of using CA glue on wet planks is that everything turns white! All in all, I'm quite happy with the final product of my second planking! Next, to begin with sanding it down! Two questions going forward: 1. Any advice on wood fillers? I'm sure I'll be in need of a bit of something to fill the small gaps once I've sanded down my clinkered planks. I take it I have to try mix different colour wood fillers to get the closest match. I could perhaps cut very thin slivers of wood to press into the cracks. I would imagine that it would give the closest colour match but I'm not sure it's worth the extreme amount of effort if wood filler will look just as good. I even found some general wood recommendations of using wax crayons, as apparently it's easier to match the colours. Any thoughts on this? Would that work for model ships too? I can't imagine paint, stain or varnish sticking very well to it! 2. My instructions say: "Using a pair of flat nosed pliers, very carefully twist and pull off the exposed bulwark tabs on bulkheads 1-3 above deck level". You can see these solid 5x5mm chunks of wood in the third photo. I cannot imagine them carefully twisting off! Am I missing anything or would it be better to carefully saw them off with a craft knife?
  4. Thanks so much for the advice!! Jason, I really like your idea of the rabett at the bow! If I build another ship, I'll definitely consider using it, or trying to figure out filler blocks. I imagine that they would do similarly, Henrik, but I felt that was too far beyond my non-existent wood-working ability to try this time. I did do some bearding on the false keel, but found out after my first planking that I didn't do nearly enough! I've therefore sanded down the planks at the stern as well to try make up for it. This is after sanding down one side of the stern planks to show the contrast. Thank you for the confirmation about fixing the dip; I went ahead with the lime plank fillers. The result wasn't too bad On the right side they worked really well! On the left I didn't make them quite long enough so they end a little suddenly with a slight dip, but the walnut planks should have a good enough surface to curve over the remaining defect. To answer your question, Henrik, my instructions said to go deck down but I was warned that I could run into lots of problems doing it that way with the curvature of the Bounty's hull. I therefore chose to ignore the instructions;P. I'd have to try again the other way around to know for sure which way was better though. Below are more before-sanding close-ups to give a better idea of what I did at the stern. The left ended up being different to the right as I was salvaging planks that I'd cut months ago in ignorance. (I ended up with only a single full plank to spare so was happy I had!) On the right side, the planks that terminated underneath bulkhead 12 were full width the whole way with a stealer to make up the difference. The planks terminating on the upper false keel tapered quite a lot by the 11th bulkhead; I even had to drop a plank. I then did something that may constitute cheating between the 11th bulkhead to the false keel: I cut the planks to widen again:0. I don't know how legit that is but it seemed to work pretty well! On the left side, all bar one of the planks terminating on the false keel in that problem strip were tapered all the way (one I widened again after bulkhead 11). Then all the planks ending under bulkhead 12 tapered a little over 9,10 and 11, then widened out to 12. I didn't end up dropping a plank or needing a stealer this side. Weird, I know, but it worked and still looks sufficiently symmetrical;P! Back to the present! I have finished sanding the hull. It's a process that really makes you acutely aware of all your planking imperfections! Next up, second planking!
  5. Thanks for the encouragement!! The first planking is now finally complete! It was a very large time investment but I'm mostly happy with the way it turned out! I did make a few mistakes that made my life rather interesting. I aimed for the deck on the bow instead of the top of the slot above the deck. I therefore got very worried about the way my planks were creeping higher and higher on the keel. I dropped a few planks but then ended up with a dip in the planking across the first bulkhead and had to resort to some rather interesting stealers to correct the deficit. Some regress photos to illustrate my point. First of the dip on the left: Then of the stealer I used for the same dip on the right, seen four planks down. It worked in the end, but I'm sure I'll manage to do a better job on the second planking! I also then ended up with a lip between the planks at deck level and the two just below. If I'd planked deck down I might have been able to correct this but planking keel up I saw the problem too late. The drop is a full planks' thickness so I'm considering gluing a short stretch of spare plank on top of the fourth and fifth planks from the first bulkhead to the keel and sanding it down at the edges to complete the curvature of the bow. Any thoughts or recommendations?? The stern was a bit more successful, with Dan's advice about the CA glue solving my problem of getting planks to stick. I've now begun the sanding process and will then getting cracking on the second planking! Any advice on ways to improve on my first attempt?
  6. This week has been a great exercise in patience for me, both in terms of my knee's recovery and in terms of the next section of planking! Fortunately I at least have something to show for the latter ;P. I'm learning to accept that planking often requires a "two steps forward, one step back" approach in order to achieve the best fit, particularly as a beginner. I've found that my initial measurements were definitely "more guidelines that actual rules" and need constant readjusting. I'm learning to be more flexible and recognize problems earlier so that they can be fixed before they escalate. The next ten planks took me days of solid work to get right but I'm loving the resulting hull curvature that is starting to take shape! Any advice on easy DIY ways to hold the stern planks in place while they dry, apart from physically holding them while watching TV or something ;P? My peg method lasted a sum total of 5 planks!
  7. Thanks to a knee injury, surgery and subsequent recovery, I am finally making a comeback on my Bounty! Wrapping my mind around planking was a MASSIVE learning curve and a large factor in my near 6 year absence. Over that time I read and re-read the recommended planking manual and made several attempts at marking, measuring and even cutting a few planks. But without a solid block of time to figure it out, my efforts proved rather fruitless and the learning curve just too steep. Grounded from work and physical activity of any sort, the last few weeks have provided the ideal opportunity to overcome previous limitations. Planking continues to be a humbling experience but after a long time investment (and redoing all my measurements three times), I'm finally making enough progress to post again! I opted to go against the instructions of my model in favour of the method described in the beginner planking manual as I was concerned that my lack of experience wouldn't allow for me to overcome the challenges arising from planking from the deck down and just dealing with problems as they appear. The "full buttocks" nature of the Bounty made this method really difficult, and I found myself reconsidering how seriously to take the "don't bend the plank laterally" instruction; the math of my measurements just didn't seem to work. In the end I opted for a bit of a compromise and accepted some clinkering. Below is the temporary planking battens, only nailed to bulkheads 5 and 6 to allow for different curvatures to be experimented with. I used an excel sheet to record my measurements and make subsequent calculations. The Bounty also required me to try mastering stealers in the very first segment, as the kit doesn't come with a wider garboard plank. I found it near impossible to get a nail into keel to hold the furthest extent of the bottom stern planks and resorted to clothing pegs to hold them in place while drying. I learnt just how essential a metal ruler is, at the cost of a plank or two, as well as the vital importance of proper hull fairing (one of the reasons I had to start my measuring from scratch again). I soaked the planks for ease of cutting and bending (with the help of a steam iron) and subsequently learnt how much they shrink when drying. I took to gluing the planks down after they dried to minimize those resulting gaps and discovered how much harder it is to drive a nail into a dry plank compared to a wet one, leading me to now put in all the nails before letting the plank dry. I'm now two bands in and going steady. The third promises to be the most difficult due to the way the hull curves, but being the first planking, it doesn't have to be perfect, just a good learning experience so that I can do the second planking better!
  8. Thanks a lot for all the help and advice; I greatly appreciate it!! I have read a lot of the articles that are up and have found them invaluble. They are the only reason I sound vaguely like I know what I'm talking about;). I hadn't put two and two together with the copper plating covering the hull, so thanks Edward, that really helps. I filled the crack with sawdust and glue and sanded it straight so it now looks a bit better and the copper plates should go over it nicely. Thanks Brian for the tip about varnishing first when filling in gaps later. It's obviously not serious with this gap as I'll be covering it, but the glue did leave the surrounding wood a bit darker, as you predicted. On Slog's advice I did double and tripple check that bulkhead 6 is actually bulkhead 6. I was also a bit suprised that the fit was that far off on a Caldercraft model, but apparently it happens coz that bulkhead is definitely in the right place. Thanks for the advice about checking that both sides line up, I'm not sure that I would have thought of that on my own. I sanded it down, and now it all fits:). Yes I had already glued the sternpost in place. My instructions said nothing about sanding down the stern and directed me to glue the sternpost on right away. It does make sense, however, and I see on Dan's Bounty log that he did it as well, so thanks so much Jason for pointing that out! I managed to unstick my sternpost with the blade of a craft knife, so it wasn't too late to do as you suggested:). My next challenge is bevelling the bulkheads and plank termination patterns. I've started one side of the bow already. So far it seems to be going well, but this step is promising to keep me busy for a while:)
  9. So, this is my very first build. I'm a bit lost in places and still trying to figure it all out. I would love some advice about the issues I'm facing. Please excuse my limited ship lingo; I'm still learning but will do my best;). Firstly, the walnut parts of the false keel don't seem to fit together properly. I lined the bottom piece up with the stern piece, but that then left a gap in the middle. I was reading the fixing boo-boo forum and was wondering if the method of sanding down some scrap walnut, mixing it with dilute PVA glue and using it to plug the crack would work? Secondly, the 6th bulkhead isn't level with the top part of the false keel but is in line with the bottom of the ply part of the false keel like the other bulkheads. Is this a problem? If so, how would I attempt to correct it, bearing in mind that my wood-working skill are limitted and I'm learning as I go? Thirdly, as far as planking goes, I've been reading the tutorials and looking at Dan Page's build log of the same model and I'm a bit confused. All the tuts speak about dividing the keel into bands and using stuff like a planking fan, but the instructions on my model just start laying planks from the deck down, no lining off or anything, and then just filling in the resulting triangular stern gaps with stealers. Now I'm not expecting the most prestine or accurate hull out, I am a beginner, but if I follow the instructions on my model, am I going to run into more issues than it's worth? Which method is easier? I've attached photos to illustrate what I'm talking about:).

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