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Found 29 results

  1. Hi All, It is time to start a new challenge for me in this hobby. I have been looking for a scratch build model for a while now. One of our club members gave me the plans for the Rattlesnake using the Hahn Harold method. After looking at the plans and reading about this ship, I decided to jump into it. Here are the fully rigged model dimensions: Length: 37" Breadth: 12" Height: 24 5/8" Some history HMS Cormorant was probably launched in 1780 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. She was commissioned as the Massachusetts privateer Rattlesnake in 1781. The Royal Navy captured her shortly after she set out on a cruise and purchased her. In November 1781 she carried to England the first news of General Cornwallis’s defeat. The Royal Navy registered her under the name Cormorant. In 1783 the navy renamed her Rattlesnake and paid her off and sold her in 1786. Rattlesnake was probably drawn by John Peck of Boston, Massachusetts, and probably built at Plymouth in 1780. She was very lightly built and was reputedly very fast. Rattlesnake had the appearance of a miniature frigate, with detached quarterdeck and forecastle. Rattlesnake was commissioned on 12 June 1781 under the command of Mark Clark (or Clarke). She had barely begun her first cruise when she encountered the 44-gun frigate HMS Assurance, Captain James Cummings commanding. Assurance captured Rattlesnake on 17 June. He sent her into New York, where she arrived on 8 July. The Royal Navy purchased her on 28 July at Boston. (Wikipedia). For the past few months, I have been asking a lot of questions to my club experienced builders, read a few books and studied the plans. I had decided to use Cherry for the frames. First, I created the jig to handle the frames. I used a jigsaw to remove most of the waste. Here is my first mistake. I am not sure why but I started to use a copping saw to cut the notches in the jig and few rasp. None of the angles were perfect. I have scroll saw, why did I not use it?!?!?? Here is the damage Here is the redo one with the scroll saw. Much better Jigs are cutting all the frame components. A lot of them but all angles and lenghts are covered I will need around 450 pieces to make them. To practice and test I made some billets made of pine (2by4). Here is the jig in action. Colored the frames for use of locating where each of the parts are going. Made a new crosscut sled. Next step, preparation of the cherry billets . Pictures to come....
  2. Greetings, dear colleagues! This is my first log on this forum and I'm happy to start publishing in such a great community. Now a few words on history of the build: I've bought this kit about 15 years ago and until 2017 it was laying on a shelf waiting for it's turn to be built. I've searched through all the logs based on this kit both here and in Russia to see what other people do with it. Sad to see that most builds are unfinished - I cannot say why, since in my opinion it's a very attractive prototype - a small ship-rigged vessel that looks like a frigate (from afar), scale provides an ability to detail the model a bit and it does not take too much space to keep and display. Well I opened the box (I like the box of my kit - the white one - with great polygraphy - better than those that they pack their models into these days) and first two moments caused a bit of puzzlement - instruction says to glue the halves of kiel frame and false kiel details and to cut the rabbet afterwards. Strange, but that works - I've done that exactly the way it's described in instruction and all went well! Next puzzle were the frames - I use the rule of measure seven times and glue/cut one time - and it saves me always - I've dry-fitted the frames according to plans and nothing fitted at all. I've said a lot of good Russian words towards "manufacturers who cannot cut a few well-shaped details with a laser" but then I've figured out to attach the frames to the drawings - and everything was clear: the letters engraved on the frames are wrong! So I've restored the right consequence of frames and there were only some cases of asymmetry of frames to deal with and the basic structure was complete. Now I'm in a process of planking and it goes very slow - about a strake per weekend 🙂 The thing that terrifies me the most - is planking of decks. I have an intention to make it right - with cuts into waterways in the nose part and with correct flow of planks but I still do not fully understand the theory of this process. So here are the pics of process form the beginning until present moment:
  3. Beginning a build of the Rattlesnake US Privateer by Model Shipways. This is only my third model, second wood ship. Previously I have built the USS Constitution by Revell - Scale 1/196 - Plastic 18th Century Longboat by Model Shipways - Scale 1/48 - Wood After building a plastic ship model and a wood ship model, I am totally hooked on the wood ships. My first wood ship build was purchased as a combo kit from Model Shipways which included the kit, paint and tool kit. I falsely assumed that if it came with a beginners toolkit that it was a beginner ship model. After receiving it and seeing how small it was, I researched further and found it was for advanced builders. Although a bit dismayed, I gave it a go and did complete it slowly. I learned a lot during the process. I probably learned more about what not to do. For this build, I used the MSW Model Ship Kit Database to pick my next model. http://mswshipkits.ampitcher.com/ This is a much larger ship and rated at an intermediate level. I hope the larger size will make it a little easier in some ways. After reading the instructions for the kit, it provides a lot more "beginner" details on how build a wood ship. It is much more detailed than the longboat instructions.
  4. Welcome everyone to my first build log. This will be my second ship model. My fist ship was the Model Shipways solid hull Sultana kit which is currently in the rigging stage. I bought the Rattlesnake kit probably four or five years ago, but after examining the kit and instructions I felt a little overwhelmed. With only a couple scale car builds for modeling experience I decided to put the Rattlesnake on the shelf for a later date. I was currently in the Navy at the time and while I was bouncing around from place to place, my interest in building a model ship returned. I noticed that the Sultana had a very detailed practicum, so I gave it a shot as a learning experience before I attempted the Rattlesnake. Unfortunately I didn’t start a build log on the Sultana and I wish I had. This forum is full of knowledge and experience and probably could have prevented many of my mistakes. With the absence of a practicum and this being my first POB ship, I’m sure I will have many questions. So to start off I cut out the pieces for the center keel. Lining them up with the plans I noticed the same misalignment that some others have had. It might not have made a difference in the end but I decided to shim the two halves out slightly to split the difference. Now the mast slots at least line up. This weekend the plan is to drill holes for the dowels on the keel, sternpost and stem. Then taper the stem and glue them to the center keel.
  5. See plastic model completed 'Golden hind' - now moving on to wood ships- Rattlesnake. See photos attached. struggling with the beginning of planking on the Rattlesnake!
  6. After lurking on the site for a few months taking advantage of all the great information, I'm jumping in. As I've been working on the model for a couple of months, I have a bit of catching up to do. This is my second build since getting back into modelling. I built many, mostly plastic models of ships, planes, tanks back in my younger days. Jumped into wood ship models about 2 years ago. Based on the advice on this site I started with the Model Shipways Phantom. With that under my belt I've started the Rattlesnake. I still consider myself very much a beginner. Most days I wish I had instructions like the Revel plastic models from my past. I guess that's part of the hobby and what makes a community like this so valuable. so here goes....
  7. So, spurred on by my return to the forum with my Constitution, I'm starting a build lot for my Mamoli Rattlesnake. I bought this kit through Cast Your Anchor in Toronto who were able to track one down for me. At this stage, I have the first layer of planking on the hull, the false decks in place and some of the planing on the bulwarks done. This is my first non-Model Shipways kit and so far it seems to be ok and so far so good. I needed to shim a number of the bulkheads, but that doesn't seem to be out of the ordinary. I had a bit of trouble getting the transom set correctly. The tabs in the rear deck didn't seem to want to line up with the slots in the transom. If I forced it, things didn't look quite right, so I cut them off and measured carefully against the plan and I think things are ok. I have the Bob Hunt practicum for this kit, but have to admit I'm not actually using it. For this particular kit, his practicum involves much kit-bashing. I chose not to go that route, because it involved ordering Hahn plans, changing their scale, ordering special wood etc. all of which I didn't want to get into. While the practicum claims to be helpful if just building the kit out of the box, it really isn't as all of the pictures only show the kit-bashed version. The kit instructions (which appear to have been translated out of the Italian by machinery) are actually quite good, once decoded as are the plans and I think I'll do just fine with them alone. Despite essentially building the kit out of the box, I am making a few minor "kit-bashing" choices nevertheless. There are cast metal parts representing the windows in the transom, the doors under the quarter deck, the head rails and the crosstrees, all of which are pretty crumby. I'll be making all of these from scratch. I have started the doors in the picture below, but they are not completed yet. I think I'll use the cast metal part for the curving scroll work around the transom, as it will look ok once painted and for sure a whole lot better than any carving attempt I might make. I read about a painting technique in a Blue Jacket newsletter that looks like it might work well. One picture below shows the cast metal windows which I'm discarding and the start of my alternative windows in the transom. I'll try to do better than with my Constitution build log and post another update before a year has passed. David
  8. I've invited my 15 year old granddaughter to follow along. Let's see if she does and how much she participates. I was building the Niagara and got to the rigging and was intimidated so I thought I'd build this one to get some simpler rigging experience. Here's my Niagara. http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/6701-niagara-1813-by-justblowininthewind-model-shipways-164-first-build/ So far I'm impressed with the laser cuts, the written instructions are a challenge to say the least. The plans themselves are not bad at all. I made the box for holding the wood for the Niagara. The blue tape on the left is left over from the Niagara. The duct tape is for this ship. I made that from display shelf scraps from Home Depot. I'm only showing the 1st 2 sets of plans as they're what's relevant now.
  9. I started this build four or five years ago. We moved across country and haven't lived in a place I could set up shop until recently so am now outfitting a new shop while I restart this project. Many pieces on the bulkheads broke in the move so I basically started by glueing all those back together. I also just added the aft filler blocks and am roughing them in.
  10. Has anyone who is or has built Model Shipways Rattlesnake replaced the supplied cannons with another supplier. I am looking at Syren 29.75mm one which should be very close to the original 27mm ones. I am on my second attempt to relace half of the originals, but the first replacements are just as bad. Thanks to all for your input
  11. My first ship build was the single mast, "Armed Virginia Sloop"; my second was the two mast American Privateer, “Fair American”. Now I feel I’m ready to move up to a three mast ship and I chose the Model Shipways, “Rattlesnake”. It should offer me new challenges and keep me busy for a long while. I plan to use the plans from the ME kit, as well as plans from the Mamoli kit. I also acquired the plans from Howard Hann, which will be my ‘go to’ source whenever there are ‘disagreements’. I don’t intend to use the Robert Hunt’s kitbashed version. One challenge with the Rattlesnake is that it is a smaller scale than the two previous models. I’ll have to get used to smaller blocks, lines and many other items found on a Revolutionary era ship. To help in the transaction, I decided to make the ship’s boat first. I purchased the Model Shipways 4.75 inch boat, which seemed to be about the right size based on the kit’s plans. Rather than do a whole build log on the boat, I attach some photos of the boat’s build in progress and the finished product. I have to thank the build log by JSGerson. I followed his log and didn’t really have any problems.
  12. I'm just finishing up the rigging on my Armed Virginia Sloop For my next project I plan to build a kit-bashed version of the Mamoli "Rattlesnake" based on the Lauck Street practicum. I'm starting to do some research and prep work now. This will be my build log. I plan to show some exposed frames on the starboard side as well as all the other mods Bob has added in his practicum. I do not anticipate fully rigging the ship, either leaving stub masts, admiralty style, or finish the masts up to the tops. I have the Mamoli kit and the Hobby Mill wood package. Today I had the Hahn plans reduced to 74%. Two copies cost $35 at Fed Ex/Kinko's. I hope to begin posting progress soon. Dave
  13. Throwing my hat into the ring with the Rattlesnake, I received the kit about two weeks ago but put it aside to finish my longboat. I picked up the fair a frame kit from modelexpo at the same time and started putting it together last night. After I get back from the family Christmas it will be time to implement a lesson learned from my longboat build, measure, separate and label all the wood, cordage, blocks, deadeyes etc to ensure I don't use the wrong size when I'm not paying attention then it will be off to the turtle races!
  14. This is a build log of my progression through the Model ship ways Rattlesnake kit. The beginning, Opening the kit, Nicely Packaged, Laser Cut Pieces,My first time experience with these, I found the laser side was a tiny bit more beveled than the finished side.Cuts are very precise. Even though they are precise, some adjustments to the pieces may be needed . The Blue prints are fantastic! and to scale, However the directions do assume your are at the Intermediate level of experience with some decent knowledge of ship design and woodworking experience. On to the Build , Gluing the Keel . This is singly the hardest part of any project for some. The beginning step, I have found jumping in with both feet to be the best way to start, you may make mistakes, but there is no better way to learn than to make a mistake. Besides one of the fantastic parts of building a Model ship way project is they will replace any part you break or mess up . Often using things you have around the house helps during the assembly process. Yup those are Hockey pucks . I am a HUGE, yup almost obsessive Binghamton Senators hockey fan and by extension an Ottawa senators fan . A straight metal edge is always useful when looking for plum. Using my wife's Nail jewelry drill to pilot hole and pin with t-pins for precise alignment of Keel while glue sets.Rubber bands are very helpful to vise these peices, But a word of caution, ( do not make them tooo tight as they will twist the pieces away from plum) While the Glue on the Keel is drying lets move on to marking the reference points on the bulkheads. using a pencil compass find the distance on the blue prints and transfer that distance to the bulkhead while still in the laser cut template, this is for two reasons , 1st, you use the lines made by the laser as a guide for your compass. 2nd,it allows you to measure for precision before you cut. Old woodworking commandment " measure twice, cut once" lastly use a straight edge and a pin caliper to double check plum. Lastly for this step , Using my wife's nail file sand the bulkheads and the Keel , dadoes to align before gluing .The nail file is flexible, however a little sand paper may be needed to fit the file in the space. Build log for the week ending 10/4/2014
  15. Kit arrived as promised and I've opened the box and set up a workspace. I went through my house and scavanged any tool that I though might be useful, I also ordered the Model Shipways Deluxe Hobby & Craft Tool Set since it seemed to have the things that I didn't (Miter, Chisels, etc.). The Rattlesnake kit looks about like I expected. I will go through and check the contents against the parts list and organize the pieces as much as I can before starting work. There are so many great Rattlesnake build logs on this site I think I try not to duplicate what they've done but focus on things that happen to me that I don't see mentioned in them. I'll still keep a running update with pictures and highlight any problems or fixes I run across.
  16. A friend of mine purchased this kit several years ago, I think he cut the tape, looked in the box, closed the box, and put it on the top shelf in his closet, never to be seen again. So when he heard I had started the Latham, he asked if I wanted it. After a crisp $50 bill, it was headed for it's new home. While waiting for parts for my Benjamin Latham, I figured this might be a good build to switch to for now. I inspected the parts against the parts list, and it seems everything is there, and in good condition. I also broke down and ordered a Dremel 4000 6/50, which will be here tomorrow.
  17. Hello there everyone. I suppose this will be both an introduction to both myself, and the build of my Model Shipways Rattlesnake Privateer. This will be my first wooden ship build. I've built a few Radio Controlled airplanes, and quite a few high power rockets so I'm familiar with some techniques and woodworking/modeling. I've always been fascinated by tall ships, and have always wanted to build a kit. Well, after some random searching over the course of a year or so, I stumbled upon both this site, and the Model-expo site. I caught a great "year end sale" from model-expo on this kit so I couldn't resister....figured even if I really botch it up it's more a waste of time then money. There is a ton of great info on this site!!! For the last month or so I've been doing some research, and reading the build logs of Jpett, Eric and Scott L. I've picked up quite a lot of information but I've got a lot of learning, a lot of trial and error and a lot of work coming up but I'm very excited for the challenge. Firs thing upon receiving my kit this week was just opening it up and doing a parts inventory. It appears that everything that's supposed to be included is in the box, so onto the reading and first baby steps of the build! I've gotten the two center keel pieces marked and glued together as per the instructions and plans and have the stern and back half of the keel glued on. The front half of the keel and the stem are going to need some sanding to properly fit. I've cutout the area of the stem for the figurehead and will be working on tapering it to get him to fit on it. I've also made photocopies of each of the bulkheads as well, which I will cut out and fold in order to check for their symmetry, as per Scott L's method. This eliminates the need for accurate pencil and cutting work, and just relies on an accurate fold. I have a few questions already however: 1.) After cutting out the bulkheads, I've noticed that a few of them are warped...some more then others. I was wondering if this is going to be an issue, and I should soak them and get some weight on top to flatten them out. I'm not sure if it will wind up being a problem later on or not, what with them getting faired up to fit the planks anyway. 2.) My center keel also seems to be warped. After making sure the waterlines were properly aligned I glued the two pieces together and placed a weight across it to assure that it was flat. However after removing it and checking to see if the keel was in fact straight, I noticed that the aft section of the keel is actually warped. I'm again wondering if this needs to be soaked and flattened out? 3.) The last one for now just concerns the stem. The manual states to taper the stem. The plans show a top view showing the front to back taper, but not how far down the stem the taper is "supposed" to go. My assumption is that the taper begins around the water line, where it would've been "effective" on the actual ship cutting through the water.I know it's not something that has a major effect on the outcome of the ship, I would just like it to "look right" Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out my build! I'm really looking forward to the upcoming challenges! I know it's going to be difficult, but with the help from all the awesome people on here, some good music and of course good beer, everything should work out in the end
  18. Okay boys and girls, as I've been saying, I finally got my Rattlesnake kit as promised for Christmas. Last night I sat up rather late into the night to read the opening pages. Yawn, had to go to bed after the first 5 pages. Today I finished and got the keel out and started working. Remembering to take my time, read the instructions and look at the plans several times before making a move. As previous people had mentioned in their posts about the Model shipways drawings, yes, they do not match up exactly to the cut out wood pieces. Sadly I was hoping that it was a fluke but it is true :-( Anyways, knowing this, it really did not hinder the start of my project. I've also read where the wood is extremely fragile. Yep, found that out already too. Didn't even realize that I had my finger too close to one of the bulkhead seperation spaces and as I was flipping over the keel to put pencil markings on the other side I heard the faintest of "snicks" "Son of a Witch!" Good thing I was in the glueing process. LOL. Anyways, here is the start. Please comment all you want on my progress and offer any suggestions you can. It has been a long time since I built a wood ship and my first to this scale and detail. Here is the keel with the suggested markings as per the instructions. Got the rabbet line on, the water line on and the bulkhead markings. I saw where one modeler sanded the rabbet line to size. Not wanting to really work with chisels I think I'll take the extra effort to sand this to size.
  19. I started a log with a few photos of my build on this site before the great crash - then my own computer crashed and I lost some photos myself. I've been building so I decided to take the time (we can't wait until we have enough) to start the log again. Reading the logs and responses on this site and seeing the museum quality work, I know the kind words and encouragement you all give. I also know any criticisms or suggestions is entirely for the best. So I post this log to give and receive as much help as possible. These are some of the original pics. My gosh this kit has some fragile parts! Now some of the gun port framing. Ship's boat. I shifted to this to get up the nerve to start planking. Plus that, it just looked fun. This is a small 'bread and butter kit' inside the Rattlesnake kit. The instructions give a hint to glue all the layers together using the stem guides except the last one, that will make sanding the inside easier. I say stack them together, mark the lines and sand as much as you can separately, then glue them together. It's a very small space Sorry blurry. Stapler holding down the layers
  20. I final finished my first wooden boat, the Mini Mamoli British Schooner Evergreen, a 1:125 Scale Solid Hull Model after a two year build. This was my first attempt at such an endeavor in 30 years. I had started the Billings Boat’s POB Zwarte Zee , an ocean tug back then but got about only about 85% complete. I never finished it. So with a completed build under my belt, I set my sights on the 1781 American Privateer, The Rattlesnake. I considered the Evergreen my “training wheels” for this build. Although technically the Zwarte Zee was my first POB boat, all of the planking flaws were covered up with wood filler and paint. This would be my first true test in this construction method. What you see is what I built for better or worse. This build was started in October 2010 and I have only now decided in May 2013, to post my build log. I was reluctant to do so because compared to the others members who post comments regularly and have submitted their many build logs, I am but a beginner. I have knowing or unknowingly made many errors, omissions, and mistakes. It would be like hanging out my dirty laundry. But after some prodding by some of the members, I agreed to post my build if anything to show the error of my ways to anyone who wants to follow a slooow moving project. I had a choice of the Mamoli or the Model Shipway kit. After a little research I discovered Robert Hunt’s Practicum (http://www.lauckstreetshipyard.com/) and thought this is just perfect for me. Having struggled through the minimal instructions of the Norwegian translation for the Zwarte Zee and the simplistic instructions translated from the Italian for the Evergreen, and after reading the free sample Chapter 1 with its highly detailed instructions and detailed photographs, I was easily convinced to purchase Robert’s practicum. There I found that the practicum was based on the Mamoli kit, so I chose that kit to build. To be fair, Mr. Hunt did state that his practicum could also be used for the Model Shipway kit. The practicum was written to both supplement and enhance the original kit instructions or to kitbash the project. Because the “journey” to me is the purpose of building a model, rather than the destination, the final model, I chose to build the kitbash and plunked down my money: · Basic kit - ~$240 · Robert Hunt’s Practicum (http://www.lauckstreetshipyard.com/) - $150 · Harold Hahn’s plans ¼” scale - $45 · Reduce the Hahn plans 74% to match the kit’s 3/16” scale (1:64) - ~$25 · Hobbymill Wood Package (http://www.hobbymillusa.com/) - $210 This not a cheap build/modification. This does not include the tools that I accumulated and still am accumulating for this project. Hell, it’s a hobby, so it’s OK, that and the fact that I just retired and am a bachelor. A kitbash goes beyond what the basic kit instructs to make the model more interesting, challenging, and pleasing. In this case Mr. Hunt’s practicum is based on the model Harold Hahn, a master model builder, built using plans he created based directly from the original British Admiralty drawings. Although this is an American ship, it was captured by the British and it is from them we can thank for having the historical drawings and the name Rattlesnake. In this model Mr. Hahn used direct woods to create the colors of the ship. Therefore in keeping true the Hahn model, the practicum substitutes the basic kit wood with a wood package purchased separately from Hobbymill (http://www.hobbymillusa.com/); and has you purchase the Harold Hahn copyrighted plans which Robert is basing his kitbashing modifications. Since Mr. Hahn built his model in ¼” scale, the plans have to reduce to match the kit scale of 3/16” (1:64). Your ordinary office copy won’t do the trick due to the size of the sheets. You need a large copier and one that can do reductions, specifically 74%, the kind found at a large stationary store, graphics, or engineering firm.
  21. Looking far far ahead at some of the rigging instructions for my Rattlesnake privateer (I'm only at the first planking stage...), it has a "horse" (part # 125) for the mizzen boom sheet. #264 is the mizzen boom: On the model, this is bent brass wire. Anybody have an image or a description of how a horse actually looked? I don't know what the Model Shipways version does for this rigging. Lees in '...Masting and Rigging..." mentions the horse but suggests an eyebolt was generally used, such as this image from Petersson "Rigging Period Ship Models". I suspect using a horse versus the eyebolt was the model designer's choice and not necessarily the definitive arrangment. I'd likely go with the eyebolt version without a better vision of the looks of a "proper" horse. Thanks! Brian
  22. I am new to the Model Shipways community, and I suspect I am one of your younger members (born 1988 - anyone younger?). I grew up on an island in Maine and was always around boats, and my whole life I have been doing something boat-related in one way or another. The neighborhood kids had tree houses; I had a rowboat in the yard that my dad had turned into a kid-sized lobster boat. When I was growing up I made many simple boats from kits (the kind with a solid hull and like ten simple blocks that you glued on for detail). I had a Titanic phase some time before middle school: plastic models, paper models, and high-pitched lectures about waterproof compartments and buckling steel to anyone who would listen. In the last few years, I made two small plank-on-frame boats from kits, the first with my dad and the second on my own, after a crash course in plank bending from a neighbor who I wouldn’t be surprised to find on this forum. Last year my parents called me from a weekend getaway in a small town and said they had found the Rattlesnake kit, on sale, in a hobby store, and wanted to know if I would like it for my birthday. I thought it would be fun to get back into model ship building. At the time, my main hobby was an iPad app I was writing in my spare time, but that’s also partly my job, and it was a bit of a programming overload, and I wanted to do something in the real world for a change. I built my last models when I lived with my parents, so I had fun setting up a work bench in my apartment and getting new tools. I started with more or less nothing, and have bought tools only when I actually needed them. I didn’t know about the Model Ship World forums when I started my build. I wanted to document my progress, so I set up a tumblr account for this and other projects that I work on. I only found my way here when I started googling around with questions about this particular model, and discovered at least two other build logs for the same exact model. What an amazing resource! The first bunch of posts will be reposts of the same photos from tumblr, though I may embellish the text with technical details better suited for my fellow pintsize shipwrights. It seems customary to start with the box, so I will as well, along with a sneak peek of my current progress: I look forward to interacting with and learning from all of you as my build progresses. I welcome your feedback and questions, and I will have many questions of my own.
  23. Not sure what the protocol is here for reposting a pre crash build log started in Apr 11. post a few to keep things simple I will go with a quick time line getting up to my current stage
  24. Ahoy everyone – After benefitting so much from reading other people’s build logs, I finally came to the realization that I should participate by doing more. And so, after talking with a few of my fellow Rattlesnakes in Pms, I’ve decided to take the plunge and post a log of my own build. I’m about 2/3 through the standing rigging, so this is where I’m starting. First of all I have to give credit where it’s due, and say that I’m bashing the Mamoli kit with the guidance of Bob Hunt’s practicum. I came across Bob’s practicum when I started rigging my previous (and first) square-rigged model, The Prince de Neufchatel – the kit’s instructions left me utterly baffled, and so I bought 2 of Bob’s practicums, the one on rigging, and the 2nd half of the Rattlesnake practicum, which deals wholly with the rigging of that model. Because those helped me out beyond what I’d even hoped for, I decided to do the Rattlesnake as my next build, following his kit-bashing instructions. This was a big step, and pretty much over my head, since I’d only built one other model. But I decided to go SLOWLY and to treat the build as another learning experience (and lots of little learning experiences). The first photo shows the masts sitting in the hull with the standing rigging attached (don’t mind the clutter in the background, please). The second photo shows the masts lying on the mat. The mizzen mast is raked slightly, and I tried to accommodate for that by angling the top and the cap – and I was sure I’d gotten them parallel before the glue dried, but found after the glue dried that I was off pretty noticeably. That’s one of numerous errors. The third photo shows the spars. The 2 on the left are another couple of errors – when I was laying them out for the photo, I realized I’d put the cleats on the wrong side in relation to the chocks. But I think these will be a lot easier to fix than the top & cap. The masts are spruce. The spars are boxwood. For the caps I used walnut, since I had that on hand in the right dimension. The tops are holly planking over a sheet of thin plywood; they’re too thick, especially with the edge I put on, but the other alternatives of just using plywood or cutting big lap joints in the planking didn’t seem satisfactory for different reasons. I might mention that I started off shaping the masts & spars with the method described by Frank Mastini using a drill as a lathe. That method has the advantage of enabling you to get the taper down pretty fine at the ends of the spars, and of keeping the tapers symmetrical. The drawback is that you have to add about 1/4 inch to each end of the stock to fit into the drill chuck, and even then when the taper gets thin the spar breaks easily, and you can’t get a good fit in the chuck with a tapered piece of wood (and the chuck will leave grooves in the wood). After the first couple of spars, I switched over to the method described by David Antscherl in the Rigging volume of the Swan Class series. I like that method because it uses hand tools – a chisel & a jig. I used an exacto knife and set the stock in the groove in the jaws of my vise. Since 99% of my aim is to learn and improve my skills, forcing myself to take the time and care to cut and shape the spars by hand will payoff some time. I could not get them tapered as finely as I wanted, and keeping them symmetrical also proved more of a challenge than with the drill method. But – this is the mystical part – I felt closer to the wood, and got more satisfaction from working that way. Next up: although Bob Hunt doesn’t include crow’s feet, I’ve decided that I’m going to give them a shot – again, I want to learn how it’s done, and they are shown in Harold Hahn’s plans. I’m also really intrigued by Antscherl’s use of served line, and I think I’m going to do that for the collars on the Bowsprit. Cheers, Martin
  25. So this will be my 3rd build and my first model shipways kit. Up front I am impressed with the supplied kit. After inventory the any issue was some broken or bent cannons. I have read extensively about model shipways customer service so we will see how that works out. Oh yea and just to let everyone know up front I am an absolute F.U.N.G. So most of the proper terms for the parts of the ship are beyond me, but I am learning. Makes me wish I had payed a little more attention about navel history during boot camp. So here we go !

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