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  1. Like many, I had an old kit sitting around for years (this one from early/mid 80's) and finally got to it. It's one of 4 models I have, two I bought to build "some day", and two more my father bought but passed on to me when he realized he was running out of "some days" as it were. I didn't start recording all the steps so this is going to soon jump right into the thick of it with some pictures of things I finished up in the last month. I'm also going to artificially break down some of the steps into separate posts just so there's a bit more of a focused subject for each one. Before showing what I started recording with photos, I thought I'd share some of the steps I did "off camera" and what I learned, plus what I used as motivation and learning. First, the plywood bulwarks were a real pain to get right. I quite like the approach that the OcCre kits take, where there is a notch in the bulwarks that fits into a protruding part on the deck plywood so they go just where they should. If I'd seen this before I assembled mine, I'd have been tempted to modify them to use that technique. Second, rather than plank the first layer around the very bow and stern, I built them up with balsa infill. I left the infill proud of the frames such that they had the same surface as the main hull first layer of planks. I got this trick from the YouTube builder Harry Houdini Models. See this video starting about 2:30 for the technique. Third, I quite liked the planking approach that OcCre uses on their models, where they place full width planks without tapers, then fill in with wedges. Their Endurance YouTube series shows it well I think, plus it's got the most pleasing music I've ever heard on any build video! Here's their starting video for planking. Next post will be a fast-forward to the close to finished hull.
  2. On Again Off again build. 15 April 2021 sanding and filling gaps first layer of Hull planking. I find the instructions to be minimal. In an earlier phase of build, I missed that Bulwark planking and stern planking are different. Not all the different planks were separated in the kit...easy to miss a slight change in width. Enjoying the build despite minimalist instructions/photos.
  3. I posted this in the Member's intro section, but on suggestion there will start this log... I bought the Swift kit a few years ago as a first ever timber ship kit, but put it down after constructing the frame and half-planking the deck, when I realised I wasn't happy with the planking I had started. This last week I picked it up again and decided that no-one else would ever realise that some of the planks didn't quite look perfect! So progress since then has been to finish the deck planking, fit the deck to the frame, and start planking... I ended up clamping the deck down pretty hard to get the curve to the bulkheads, but it looks really good so I'm pretty happy with it. One thing I have noted is that I was not happy with the hull curve generated by bulkhead 6 (it really pinched in and didn't flow well at all) so I have packed it slightly - it can be seen in the last photo as the bulkhead with an extra pin in it near the keel. I've been reading a lot on planking techniques - and reading through @stripehunter's build log - some excellent advice all round. I daresay this will go through stages of modelling energy, but I'll get there eventually
  4. Greetings! New guy here and wanted to share my work on the Swift. This is my third wood ship kit and I am almost finished, but have photos from the beginning. This is the version of my kit: Compared to the other kits I have done and the ones I have waiting on the shelf, some of the material in this kit was really poor quality. As I progressed through the build I had to substitute much of the kit supplied wood with spares that came with some of the other kits I have acquired. Examples of items I did not use from the kit include: Perhaps I am being too picky about these items, but they really don't compare with the quality of the other kits I have. The first hull planking wood was horrible - all twisted, splinters, and very brittle. The cap rails came a thin plywood and just did not look right along with the flag which was printed on one side only. The plywood keel was a bit warped but I was able to use it and the frames. There were other items in the kit that I did not use which I will mention later in the build. Started as usual with keel and frames. Added some additional blocks to help get everything straight. I did use clamped lego blocks to square up the frames, but can't find the images or maybe lost them: This part of the build went well and once everything dried I moved on to the deck which I will post next. Many thanks for having a look - comments and questions are always welcome and much appreciated! Happy Holidays . . . Bill
  5. Hello Esteemed Builders, First, I would like to say that it is very exciting to see all the great work everyone has posted on MSW. I am completely new to the hobby of model ship building. I took a course in the history of sea power during college and fell in love with tall sail ships. Some how I landed on a website looking at wooden model ships and before I knew it I had the Swift kit in my hands. Lucky, I have now found some time to work on it and am excited to see how it goes. I wanted to say hello and I certainly welcome all advice and expertise as I build the swift. Tyler
  6. Given the copious amounts of free time afforded by the Coronavirus lockdown, I decided to try my hand at building the Swift by Artesania Latina. I've just finished the planking, so I'll share some photos of my progress and a few brief comments. May 30, 2020 I purchased the kit on eBay from someone who had been carrying it around with them for 30 years or so. They included some old catalogs and tools from the 1980s which were a curiosity but this is what I was after: The kit was in perfect shape. No missing parts or warped wood and the bags were all sealed. I wasn't terribly scientific with the hull. I checked that all pieces were flat and extended pencil lines on the bulkheads from the slot to the top, checking for squareness. I then test fit all pieces, ensuring they were level with the top. I used some pretty high end tools to get everything nice and square: So here I made a bit of a mistake, which I didn't find out until later on. Bulkhead #5 was flush with the deck but the bottom bit closest to the keel was slightly above the hull line formed connecting bulkheads 4 and 6. I didn't realize at the time that this would cause a dip in the planking. We'll see how this plays out later. The provided small inner decks and filler blocks were no problem and were useful in ensuring squareness of the bulkheads. I took the opportunity to test some Satin minwax and did not like it at all (maybe because I only did one coat). I sat on this one for awhile. The stern filler block was a real bear. I didn't understand how to find the shape of this block from the plans, nor did I know about the old line plans available online. So instead of making these concave, I made them convex. It looked good though it was a deviation from other builds. With the hull structure (mostly) satisfactory, I then attached the upper deck. I saw some other build logs in which people had problems with this. I found it to be very straightforward by following the instructions included in the box. I traced a centerline on both sides and carefully marked out perpendicular lines for each bulkhead, then transferred those to the top. I then used the little brass nails provided with the kit to clamp the centerline and let the Weldbond dry overnight. This was pretty important because the upper deck bends in two axes, so it needs to be attached firmly before proceeding to the second bend. The next morning, I glued and nailed down the sides and used some rubber bands to help keep the shape. This was challenging because the rubber bands weren't all that strong. A couple of small clamps helped. I also managed to go through the sides of a couple of the bulkheads with my nails. But in the end, the deck laid flat with no gaps between it and the bulkheads. You'll notice that the quarterdeck has been attached as well. I was careful to bevel the stern filler block down, following the horizontal curve of the main deck. This enabled me to keep a consistent 1/8" distance between the two decks at all points. It's a small detail but it looks nice.
  7. Hello! This is my first ever post on MSW. A friend and I recently found out about ship building and through looking at kits and build videos, we were immediately hooked - fortunately, it only took a couple days of "research" until we found MSW. Before we even had kits in our hands, we read through many build logs - the resources here are tremendously helpful, thank you all!!!! I have little woodworking experience and no modeling experience, but I was ready for the challenge. Looking at all of the beautiful boats on here is quite inspirational, and certainly narrowed my "type" of model to a wooden ship kit. As a college student, I was on a budget when looking for my first kit. The Swift kit by Artesania Latina seemed like a common starter kit, which I liked (there are already many build logs for this boat which is largely why I chose it!) I managed to find a "new" kit (the older version from 1982) on ebay for $70 with some tools/stand included. I have already started building so I will add to this thread. Bear with me - this is most likely going to be messy and slow!!!! Thanks again to everyone who's log I have already read.
  8. This will be my second build. I bought it on eBay for $15.00 + shipping. It looks like all the major parts are there. If not I will either make them or buy them. The frame and false deck was already built. But it wasn't to my satisfaction. So I bought somemore basswood. My plan was the take everything apart trace the old parts and make a new frame. But the old parts weren't symmetrical and wound up scraping the new cut out parts. So what I did was scanned the drawings and cut the parts out and glue them on to the wood and cut them out. I only wish it had sails. That is okay. I want the experience before my HMB Endeavor build. Tomorrow I will start putting it together. As long as I don't get tired I will keep working on it. This is a hobby not a job. Russ
  9. I’m posting a build log for my first build: the “New” Swift from Artesania Latina. Apparently, this kit has gone through a number of iterations over the years. Since I ordered it in November from my local hobby shop, I assume this is the most current version. For those who have posted build logs for this boat, you’ll notice the differences. Some of the changes made are somewhat superficial (in my opinion as a rookie modeler), like the sail configuration has been modified. Other changes are more substantial. The boat no longer has a lower deck beneath the cabins. The false deck is one solid piece. It is also only single planked, which I understand will likely force me to paint it? I had hoped to leave in with a wood finish, unpainted. Oh, well. On to the build. One curious thing about this kit is that there are no plans. Only a poster of 1:1 color photos of different views of a completed build. I contacted AL by email to inquire whether plans should have been included. After a few days, I received a response that the plans were those photos. I don’t consider those “plans” in any sense, really. But that’s all there is. The instructions with a couple of generally technique videos come on a DVD in the kit and are also viewable on the AL website if you view the Swift model online. I dry fit the bulkheads on the false keel. They seemed to all go in fairly easily. Unfortunately, the keel is warped. I tried a number of times and ways to straighten it by moistening, bending, flattening with weights, moistening only one side and clamping flat...nothing worked. I finally decided to use balsa fillers between bulkheads at selected spots to either mildly constrict or expand the interbulkhead distance in that spot to try and straighten it in that manner. I also added some filler at the bow and stern to aid in planking. It’s not perfect, but hopefully workable. I soaked the false deck and left it rubber banded in place over night to develop the compound curvature necessary, then I glued it the next day. Now I’m ready to start planking. Attached are some photos to document my progress. Hopefully, I will get better at posting. Not sure how this will work, but here goes...
  10. I decided some months ago to expand my fascination with the age of sail into wooden model building. With no experience I spent much time reading and researching to be certain of what I was getting into. I haven't started this log earlier, as I wanted opportunity to make a bunch of mistakes on my own first. Picked up this swift kit open box but unstarted and complete for a song. Looked like a perfect 'starter' kit. I have my next two kits on the shelf already, each a step up in complexity. Makes me even more anxious to get this one done. Sometimes I follow the directions, sometimes not. As I progress I find it easier to pay less attention to the instructions.
  11. Hi: This is going to be my first build. However it will be a challenging one, my skills will be put to the test immediately and that is because the kit is incomplete. It is missing all the hull parts, keel and bulkheads are not present. It might not be the best idea to start this hobby with an incomplete kit (I have a few others complete) but I like challenges. Wish me luck.
  12. Ready for another Swift build. I originally was going to do the Lady Nelson as my first build but couldn't find many build logs on it, so after seeing all the Swift logs, decided to do it. It looks like a good first build, not being to big and detailed. Opened it up yesterday and checked the parts, and cut out the keel and frames. After reading all the logs and the problems everybody was having with warped keels and frames with problems, was expecting the worse. But the keel was straight with no structural damage. Then dry fitted the frames and checked everything. The frames were in good shape, non warped or damaged. The only thing I found wrong was frame #7 was off a little, so filed down the keel slot and re-adjusted. Then added the decks and they fit well. Now my question is, am I ready to glue the bulkheads, or do I glue the decks first. ??
  13. First build here, i read somewhere that the first kits have detailed instructions that build your knowledge base to know how to fill in the blanks when it comes to the less detailed instructions on the larger / more complex kits.. if that's the case I sure am glad i started with this little guy because i'm really struggling with the instructions! The miniature furniture kits / scratch-build tutorials i've worked off of have been drowning in detail. The build was going reasonably smoothly until I got the planking, where the instructions call for installing the sheeting, after rummaging through the kit a few times looking for a sheet of planks I decided it must be another name for strip wood. I didn't question this until i was securing the deck and the spacing between planks grew out of scale that I started second guessing and, digging through the kit one more time, found a pile of veneer strips - at this point i'm not sure if i've used my hull materials as planking or not! The images all appear to be strip wood, so i'm going to carry on and assume everything is fine. It's incredibly difficult to tell from any of the images online which wood was used, i seem to be the only one having this existential crisis. Yesterday was spent sanding / sealing the decks and today I will tackle filing down the ribs so I can start working on the hull.
  14. This build is coming right on the heels of the Bounty Jolly Boat. I decided to go with the same maker, Artesania Latina, while I was not particularly impressed with their instructions it did leave me with some creative license in the end. I chose the Swift 1805 at 1:50 scale. I wanted increase in size and complexity, double planking and two masts. The following is the unboxing and contents. I noticed it was definitely bigger but not by much. Much bigger than this and I will need a bigger shipyard. Admiral?! Some nice selection of parts. I noted 167 parts on the part list. Here is a picture of the simplistic instructions. One picture of the completed step to be paired with a short two or three sentences on what to do. Make note here, never do they say how to do it. But that was this forum is for, and build logs! I really excited about the two little decks under the main deck, don't know what they might be call beyond a hold. The plans, nice, they say 1:1, big readable, I'll have to check to make sure they are 1:1. Long part list. Spar/mast lay out as well. A fair bit more rigging diagrams, but I have bought a reference for that since the Bounty had basically no guidance. And here are the wood bits and pieces. Comes with sails. And a base and mounts. (Still trying to figure out the base for the Jolly Boat)
  15. Ok, here goes. This is my first model and it's not going to be pretty so I apologise in advance for my butchery of this fine starter kit. There will be blood (I must use round nosed scissors), sweat and tears along the way. Hopefully not too much blood. What there will be is lots of questions as I stumble through the process but, I am looking forward to learning. Firstly I need to work out how to post pictures etc so bear with me. So gripping my nose, cheeks puffed out like a child jumping into swimming pool, here goes. Wish me luck.
  16. Well having been browsing through other peoples builds I felt brave enough to start one on my Swift...It may also get me in the habit of taking pictures and writting up my progress for when I start the Bounty. These photos were taken 2 weeks in to the build and although I have made many mistakes I have managed to getting it reasonably the right shape. There are things that I wouldn't do the same way, but I am sure trial and error is a great way to learn.
  17. As a diversion while rigging my Armed Virginia Sloop, I started building AL's Swift. I switched out some of the wood: Boxwood planking above the wales, bloodwood trim, wenge wales, cherry and holly details. I like the contrasts in the wood. Progress so far in the photos. Dave
  18. I have done many plastic models but I have never attempted to work on a wood model ship before. I was inspired by reading other peoples logs to get started on something I have wanted to do for many years. I hope I can do a well enough beginner build log to help other beginners like me, so I may get a little bit step by step detail-ish along the way. Should help me as well to think about what I'm doing, right and wrong. So, this should be interesting. (btw people can use my first name if they like, Tony, vs the forum name.) My first step was to clean out my basement ( at least one corner of it) so I could have some work space. My time modeling in my teens to twenties taught me a few key things: Lots of light. Lots of table work space to spread out on and be able to leave things sit for days weeks months at a time where things won't get disturbed accidently or intentionally. A work surface that you can work at both sitting and standing as you will do both frequently. My neighbor was rehabbing his home and tossed out kitchen cabinets and counter tops, so a few 2x4s, screws and a little cutting and drilling, got a hobby work space for a few bucks. (BTW the light on the arm is from a dentist office has a large magnifying lens in the middle, they are awesome for working on detail work but buggy on the eyes after a while). Next after reading over suggestions on basic tools (NRG has a nice PDF on this as well as forum posts on what to think about when having to get started) I dug through all my tools and layed out what I thought best for modeling so I could keep them from mixing back in with the other tools. Also gives me an idea what I may need to go get right away and what I can work towards getting. If you are new to modeling, you should take note: you will never know what you can use AS a tool when it comes to modeling. You not only have to be creative when making the model but also HOW you make the model. The most unlikely of things can be helpful and takes imaginative thinking. Now on to the model: Important to not only inventory but inspect parts for anything you may have to fix or replace. Even a new sealed kit can be a mess, Read the directions and follow along checking out each part at each step without taking anything apart or out of packages unless you have to. After doing lots of reading, and more reading, and even more reading, I did some reading. You can never learn enough but eventually you have to take the plunge and dive in. Now, while I have built more plastic model kits, dioramas, and painted miniatures then I could ever possibly try and remember, I was still worried I was going to mess up on the first knife cut to remove the wood pieces from the sheets as I have never done one in wood. My experience with wood working ( construction ) is you can take away but can't put back without making a mess of things. After looking over the model you should have an idea where you want to go with it. Paint, colors, little extras that give the model life. I have my plans but I'll cover that in a post later on. So to begin the work, the Hull: Section A.1 False keel and frames. The two parts I needed here are all on one sheet, the false keel and the bulkhead frames. Using a scrap piece of 1x board to work on (so I don't cut up my work surface I always use a board to cut on/into), I begin by cutting away the wood holding the parts to the sheet. I don't cut near the piece but instead cut near the sheet side this way I won't damage the part accidently cutting into it while cutting it loose. I will use my knife to trim down the 'nubbies' but I won't cut them all the way down to flush yet, just enough to take the excess off. I now will practice fit each part, to see how they fit, if any trimming is needed to get it to fit in place and if they don't fit right. I also look to see if there are any problems with the parts. From the reading getting these frames to go on JUST right is the first important step, else it will cause headaches for the rest of your hull work. I think it can be summed up in 3 points: 1. Frames must be Perpendicular(90 degrees) with the false keel. Perpendicular both to the sides as well as up and down. 2. Frames must not be canted or tilted left or right. 3. Top of the frame pieces must be flush with the top of the false keel where the pieces meet. So test fitting I see that many pieces fit in so loose they are 'floppy', and the keel is also not straight ( can't do anything about it yet, but must keep and close eye on it as we progress to get it straight). I know they make some nice 'jigs' out there to make this easy to attach, but I don't have any and probably don't want to spend the money one one yet. So time to break out the creativity and come up with a solution. I don't have spare balsa laying around but after some digging I found a piece of 1x2 that the edges were square. So I cut it up into four 6" length pieces and ran a sander over them ( sanded my cutting board at the time too ). Since the slots the bulkhead frames fit in on the false keel are perpendicular to the bottom of the keel, I used my cutting board, which was squared, as a guide, trimmed down the 'nubbies' along the bottom of the keel till flush, and used a small square lined up on the bulkhead frame slots and drew 'guide' lines on the keel with a mechanical pencil. These lines will help me place my 6" 1x2 boards on the keel as supports and guides for placement of my bulkhead frames. I put the guide lines on both sides of the keel. Well, I hit my 10 picture max on this post, so I'll continue in the next with putting the blocks on the keel and glueing.
  19. Hopefully this will be a good log where I can learn a lot. I have slapped together a couple of plastic models and two solid hull childrens versions of the Bluenose and Constitution, but nothing on this level. I love a challenge. I read through many of the excellent Swift logs and the information in the Ship notes section. I learned a lot. After buying some tools at Harbor Freight (which I found on this site), I jumped right in. My keel had a slight bend so I dampened it and set weights on top for a day. While that was going on I cut out my bulkheads, and hour and two cut thumbs later I cut them out with no damage. I dryfitted them the next day, since everything seemed in line and level I carefully glued them. I'm not sure what is meant by fairing so I havent done that yet. also worked on the bow filler blocks. Never have anything before, but I used some balsa wood traced out with the bulkhead and keel. Not sure if this is how it is supposed to look. Now I am stuck on how to do the stern. There are no measurements and not sure how to make a template. Also started on false deck. Wasnt sure how long deck planks should be so I made them 40mm but when I put in the treenail details I think I did it wrong. Should they be centered on top of bulkheads if so can I do it on my main deck without it looking bad. Going to try to add some pictures. My layout might be wrong but I will work on it. ANY and ALL comments welcome.
  20. The Preface It has taken me a while to build up the courage to start this log...but after a few months of reading these forums I now realize just how accepting and supportive the people are here. Also, discovering that I'm not the only person who has an "accidentally long-term project" has made me less embarrassed to tell my story! But first, please bear with me as I explain how it all started... 1974. I was in grade 7 and I had just found out that a teacher in my school built wooden ship models. How cool! But I nearly died when I priced out kits in a local hobby store. For years I would drop in and just dream of the day I could afford to buy one. This started a minor obsession - I began reading Alexander Kent novels and I became an amateur historian of Napoleanic-era ships, particularly the Royal Navy. Dreaming, ever dreaming. 1986. University was finished and I was starting a career. Still a bit broke with rent and car payments – still dreaming of getting a kit. My girlfriend (now my wife), knowing just how much ships have been on my mind all these years, gives me Artesania Latina's "Swift" as a Christmas gift. (And that was probably the moment I knew she was the right one!) Boxing week was spent buying tools and supplies. That same Christmas I happened to get a little journal from someone else and I decided to use it as a log for this build. So, in the box with all the parts this little book has sat and I have faithfully (more or less) kept track of every step in this project. The first entry... "Thursday, January 1, 1987. Cut false keel & bulkheads. Shaped the frames. 2 hours." Let's just say that over the next 25 years I spread the work out pretty thinly, with a few big gaps around the birth of our two sons and switching careers. Between 1987 and 2012 I logged 156 hours and I had a hull with partially finished second planking. Sitting in the box were completed cabins and tapered masts and spars. In that time I also built a pretty good collection of books and tools. A quarter century in and the Swift looked something like this: In the next log I'll go over some of the highlights up to this point in the build.
  21. After looking at many other kits I chose this as my 1st build cause I love the hms ships and this one seemd to be the most reasonable in scale and detail for a 1st time build I got to work on it right aways trying to get all the bulkheads to line up properly was a bit of a pain as well as the deck you really have to bend it good to make it fit I used a lot of glue both ca and wood glue ca just to get it pinnd down and then wood glue to hoipefully keep it down over the years
  22. Hello all. In the interest of current Swift and Virginia Pilot boat type builds being conducted currently, I've decided to recreate my build log of the AL Swift kit that was lost in the great crash of MSW 1.0. Hopefully it'll help some of the folks along with their own builds. I'll do my best to provide the information I can based on memory, but in all fairness this may end up just being a bunch of photos. ;p~ To the moderators - hope this is ok since I already have some completed photos of the Swift in the gallery. Obviously if I'm stepping on some of the rules please let me know and act accordingly. :-) Here are the initial shots of the kit. Although this was a very enjoyable kit to build, I found that unlike my San Juan Nepomuceno this kit had quite a few warped and messed up parts. I had to straighten out the keel quite a bit. First I soaked and weighted the keel and bulkheads. Then I inserted balsa wood blocks at the front and rear and lined up all the bulwarks by inserted dowels that were cut to match the exact distance between each bulkhead. I measured that distance dead center at the keel to ensure accuracy.
  23. Instead of posting a lot of photos of the kit components I’ll limit myself to the box art because it appears to be different from everyone else’s, a newer 2013 version. There are some small differences between this kit and others I’ve seen here. To start with there are no filler blocks for the bow or stern. And . . . my first newbie mistake. No build board or clamps to make certain everything is square. That said, my research indicates that after a ships framing was completed the first timbers fitted to the frames were the wales: much thicker (sometimes double the thickness) than the other hull planking. This was done so that the frames would remain ‘square’ as the frames were faired, the strakes steamed into shape and then clamped and treenailed. Or, am I mistaken? So, despite the fact this model doesn’t actually have room to fit the wales before the rest of the hull is planked, and has a few bulkheads instead of lots of actual frames, I thought I would wait until I fitted the top strakes to make certain each bulkhead is square. As you can see, in this kit the ‘bow filler’ is simply another piece of plywood glued on each side of the false keel. The stern is an even sillier idea. More later. Phil.
  24. I picked up a older AL Swift at a flea market over the week end. The kit had been started and was in rough shape; The frames, deck and bow, stern blocks were attached in a sloppy way. Nothing was aligned in general it was a mess. It was only $5 and I figured that the wood in the kit was worth it. After getting it home I inspected it and everything seems to be there except the pin nails, the keel was broken In half by frame #7 so this morning I ordered the pin nails from Ages of Sail ad took a good look that the keel and frames. This afternoon I took a saw and cut the keel by each frame to free up the frames. I managed to save the frames and deck now need to cut a new keel this week and start rebuilding the hull. Will update as progress is made. A couple of pictures of the kit as I got it.
  25. This is my first build log of any type on any forum so I am a little intimidated. Plus I am an old guy and the technology age has passed me by. I have been modeling for many-many years but am still not very good at it. I have three goals in mind. First - I hope, with a log, I might be encouraged to actually finish something. Second - I am sure I can learn a great deal of modeling from you all. Third - To learn the technology... I am going to attempt to upload my first ever picture in my next post. A little background on my build. I built AL Swift about 25 years ago. I intend to remove the rigging, try to get all the dust off, refinish, add detail and redo the rigging with sails. I have ordered the Petersson book "Rigging Period Fore-And-Aft Craft. I already have his other book. I really don't know what details can be added or even what an early 19th century pilot boat should look like. I am going to start by searching this forum for ideas. I'm sure I'm not the first person to want to improve this old kit.
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