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Found 63 results

  1. Started the HMS Victory the other night and already caught my first mistake with the bulkheads. Bulkheads number 4 and 5 were in each others position. They look very simular with the exception to the very top. Ended up cutting the the false deck plates (no:15 & 16), chiseling the glue join very carefully and as a unit rotated the unit into the proper position. Very lucky! Now re-glue and add some additional bracing under the false deck plates.
  2. Hi, I'm Phil. I'm about ten months into my build. I've never done a ship of the line before, so this is a learning experience. I chose to build the HMS Victory because I wanted to do a ship of the line. I bought it off of E-Bay on an auction. The kit dates back from 1991. I've had a few difficulties due to the age of the wood and my relative inexperience (compared to most of you guys) in wooden ship modelling. I am very patient. I am very stubborn. I have lots of experience with other types of models to draw from. I have finished the rough work on the hull. Both layers of planking are on. The stern and quarter galleries are built and painted. I have the base color scheme painted on. I am going to be coppering the bottom of the hull. I have 3/16" copper tape, a pounce wheel and Gene Bodnar's article on making copper plates using self adhesive copper tape (thank you very much, Gene, for writing that, as well as the other articles that you have written), that I pulled off of this website. I plan on making very good use of all three . Here's where I'm at right now:
  3. Hello everybody, the builging of the "Royal Caroline" from the beginning, many pic's are too large too download here That's all for today, next one, tommorow, friendly, Dom.
  4. I began building the Mantua Roman Bireme kit a few weeks ago. I’ve read and studied so many of the building logs here at MSW and the information here was invaluable. This log is my thanks.. The wheel may have been labeled as “mans greatest invention” but my personal opinion is the wooden ship is not only the greatest invention but they are also the greatest work of art ever created. I feel very fortunate to have “discovered” the beauty and importance of the wooden ship through the modeling world. Ok, now on to the build. I am a beginner builder . There will be numerous mistakes and odd ways of getting things done but I am enjoying every minute of it. Here’s the kit. Everything seems to be here. I haven’t gone through the inventory list but so far I am impressed with the quality. The laser cut sheets look accurate and clean. I’ve built a temporary stand. The keel had a slight twist to it so I’ve added some metal “L”brackets to hold it true while the bulkheads were attached. The first bulkhead. Here is the decking attached. I had trouble fitting it due to the extreme bends at the bow and stern. The laser cuts were accurate but would not fit until it was all the down on the bulkheads. I ended up cutting the notches wider for an easier fit. Ready for the first planks! (not exactly…. forgot to add the bulkhead blocking). Bent planks ready for glue Here is my poor mans bending machine. An old soldering iron clamped to the bench and The bass wood plank soaking in an old peanut jar. Spare no expense! But hey, it's working. The stern planks twisted and glued. Here, I finally realized I needed bow and stern blocking. It would have been much easier to fit these blocks before those first planks. Oh well…not too late, I hope? My foredoom tool will make short work of carving these blocks. Here are the completed stern blocks. If only I would have remembered them before the planks and deck. I am new at this and it shows. After staining the interior that will be seen when finished, the planking begins! It’s a much more stressful task than I had expected. I’m moving too fast and being too forceful…I have already broken four pieces. Here I had to create something that would hold the planks at the stern. This is a very difficult area. I’m not sure what I will do when there is no room for the screws. I’m hoping the answer will come while I’m supposed to be sleeping. Take note of the deep dent on the plank. It looks like my finger nail dug into that soft basswood. My solution was to use a wet rag with the soldering iron. I laid the rag over the dent and steamed it with the soldiering iron. It worked! The dent is gone! What a relief, I have many more dents to take care of. Well, that’s it for now! Thanks for looking! D_Mc To be continued...
  5. Hi and welcome to my build log of the Liveship Vivacia. This model is not based on a real ship but comes from the fantasy novels by Robin Hobb. My ambition is to build the Bounty, but I feel that I need more experience before I start such a project, especially in the areas of square sail rigging, hull planking and general component building (- basically everything, haha). So I have decided to build the ship that first got me interested in sailing ships when I read the books nearly 20 years ago. The books are fantasy novels based on a pre-gunpowder medieval style era, the ships mentioned are Caravels, Carracks, Cogs, Galleys and unspecified fishing and row boats. I have long wondered if it is possible to make an acceptable and “realistic” model simply from a novel. Repeated reading of the 3 novels in which this ship appears has convinced me that there is enough information to build a model that will fit in with the detailed description in the books. The Liveships trade along the coast and up and down certain rivers -think the eastern coastline of the North and South Americas - and while well-built and very expensive, are not ostentatious. The Liveship Vivacia is a merchant carrack/caravel style ship with at least two masts, raised fore and aft decks and transom stern. Due to a certain set of circumstances, these ships (made from a silvery grey wood), and the figureheads, eventually become sentient, hence Liveship. I know what you are thinking……. I won’t mention the magic and the dragons……… So I searched for a donor kit, eventually settling on the Pinta kit from Mantua. This kit has the required raised fore and aft decks, is multi masted, and a flat transom. It has square sails on the mainmast and foremast, with a lateen sail on the mizzen mast. Whilst the lateen sail won’t help with learning for the Bounty and is not specifically mentioned in the books, I’ve decided to keep it. To start off here are the pics of the kit contents; The kit itself is of a pretty good standard: single-layer hull planking in walnut, pre-printed sails, brass turned cannons and swivel guns, pre-formed pintles/gudgeons and other fittings already blackened, pre-cut decking, usual kit style blocks and triangular deadeyes and the usual laser cut plywood. This kit will need to be extensively kitbashed to achieve the result I am after and I expect this will be a project that will last me the next few years. I hope you will find this interesting and for those that wish to follow please pull up a chair, the beers are in the fridge! Cheers, Paul
  6. After HMS Pickle I started Santa Maria kit of Mantua which I bought three years ago. I will modify the kit a little during the construction. Everybody knows about everything Santa Maria. So, no need to tell about her history. I did the framing and glued the main deck in place.
  7. The last two ships I did were the Mantua Victory and the Panart San Felipe, and the next one in the pipeline was the Mantua Sergal Soleil Royal. Although the Soleil Royal would present a challenge in terms of complexity, it wasn’t going to be substantively different than the previous two big ships. I wanted to do something a little different. Of all of the ship models I’ve built, the one that seems to interest most people is the cross section of the USS Constitution. In a true "it seemed like a good idea at the time" moment, I decided to spice things up by building the Soleil Royal with the sides open and with the inner works displayed. I started the project a while ago and haven't done a build log because I didn't want to start a log I couldn't finish. But the good news is that I finally finished the project and I'd like to share the build experience with you. The bottom line is that I learned a lot and in retrospect would have done some things differently. But I'm happy with the end result. As you can see, I used all of the materials in the kit, so in addition to describing the cutaway work, I'd also like to share some ideas on building the Soleil. In planning the project, I had three big challenges. First, I wanted to use all the metal decorations and as much of the kit as possible, so I was limited as to size and scale. Second, I was concerned about structural support and warping, given that there wouldn't be the normal internal structure of an actual ship or model. Third, and most challenging, I had no real idea how the actual ship looked inside. There was a lot of information on ships of that period and the Wasa and Victory are available for study. I was really lucky and found a book in the Auckland Library by the guy who ran the project to restore the Victory after it was damaged by bombs during WWII. Accompanying the book is a box containing 17 (huge) sheets of plans. There is one for each deck and it was exactly what I needed. The plans had more than enough detail and with my other research I was now able to create a reasonable (but admittedly not 100% certain) picture of how the Soleil Royal may have looked inside. My first challenge was to copy the plans which I managed to do by tracing. The Victory plans are about 30% bigger than the model of the Soleil Royal so the next challenge was to draw detailed plans to scale based on the actual dimensions of the model. I needed to keep to the model dimensions because I was going to use the stern and bow decorations provided with the kit and therefore had to use the kit dimensions. Every time I thought I had solved all my problems, something new and interesting would come up. As I tried to map the dimensions of the Victory deck plans onto the Soleil Royal model plans, things weren’t making sense. I realized that the problem arose because the ship model takes certain liberties with scale in order to make the model look good. These ship models, because of their scale, necessarily have to make tradeoffs between aesthetics and historical accuracy. For one thing, the guns and gun ports are larger than they would have been on a real ship and the rigging is much less complex. Unfortunately, because I was going to use the bow and stern, as well as the quarter deck, forecastle and poop deck as provided in the model, I had to retrofit the revised dimensions to make everything look proportional. I built up a partial structure using the plywood frames provided in the kit and transferred my deck dimensions to the model: Once I got the frames and strings aligned properly I marked the deck positions on the frames. I then drew a plan of each deck looking down from the top. I drew a horizontal line depicting the keel in the center of a sheet. I then marked a vertical line at the location of each of the frames. I then laid the marked up frame centered on the horizontal line and marked the outer edge of the deck at each point. This gave me an exact outline of the area of the deck which would be exposed. I don't want to overwhelm one post with all of the history, so I will add more information in future posts.
  8. Hi, I am very sad, that my 5 years of updating my log on old MSW is over. Danny told me that HDD has failed in server. I did not intend to rebuild my log, because I have not much time for it, but fortunately I found web archive service, which make backups of web pages from time to time and I found there my thread, last backed up on 2010. I will paste here my posts from old thread and will continue with posting here new updates. Currently doing masts, very interesting work with round materials. Majq
  9. Hello and welcome to the build log of my second wooden ship model. This time it is the Royal Caroline by Mantua/Panart in the scale 1:47. I was admiring work of others on MSW while building this nice kit and that is why I have finally decided to go with this as the second build. I am constantly trying to do some kit bashing. I am also using the Anatomy book to improve some parts and details of the model to be more historically correct. Although some parts I kept as they were in the kit. I started the build in December 2011. Unfortunately I was not able to spend as much time on the model as I would like so I am still almost at the beginning. I will try to upload all images as in the previous build log of the RC from the MSW 1.0 forum...
  10. Beginning a new one after a short break. Here's the "what's in the box" picture. This is my first Mantua kit, and I'll be interested to see differences from other kit makers. One thing I've noticed is that plans are printed on both sides of the paper, which may turn out to be cumbersome (vs. just posting them up on the wall). Regards, David
  11. After 40 years, i finally retired from job, and made a small "gift"to me. It is a small build that i want to work with my grand daugther, that like to work with me (i have some pictures with she working) Hope to be a future modelist Today i received the package Wait for her to start the build, and the log.
  12. Hello and welcome to the build log of my first attempt on wooden ship modeling. I was asked by a few members of this forum to re-create the build log and I finally got to it so I hope it will be useful to some people building this kit. I will mostly upload only pictures, hopefully no words will be necessary. In case you would like to ask please feel free to do that. I have decided to bulid the Golden Star model that was suggested to me by a local seller of wooden ship kits. Before that I have tried to build a few plastic ship models but the wooden ships attracted me very much. Build of the kit took me around 10 months and I really enjoyed the work. So here finally are the pictures. Starting with the assembly and first layers of planking...
  13. Hi- would love some help as i stated this is my First wooden Model i have started planking top half of Build now after looking on line i think i go from the bottom to the top now. But were do i start from do i start from the arrow's then down to meet the rest or from the green clip,s, ( They seem to miss this bit out it suddenly is planked so i can,t make out how it,s done from here ) the Manual is a waste of time its hopeless
  14. Hi all, Here l am once again with my third wooden ship build. I have chosen this particular build for two main reasons, firstly, l would like to build HMS Victory but have not the room to display one of the large models l have seen, good grief, the Caldercraft example is bigger than the wife. The second reason is that I like the idea of posting the first completed build log for this particular model, l might be wrong, but l don't think one has been completed. The postman delivered my package today and l started on it immediately. I must admit to being a little apprehensive as l was a bit concerned as to why no other example has been posted, was it a poorly designed model, was the wood of poor quality, or perhaps, as someone remarked at the end of their attempt "it's un buildable". l will see, whatever the reason it will be a great challenge. And here she is, the box art is very nice even if what l find inside isn't. Well the paperwork, instructions and plans look great, so far so good. They look quite detailed and seem straightforward enough at first sight, although there seems to be a lot of numbers and arrows. I expect it will be clear when l study them. The nice colour instruction book looks interesting, these pictures should help no end, as they say "a picture paints a thousand words" It is written in several languages so, to make things a bit easier, l shall go through first highlighting all the English wording. All the fixtures and fittings (for want of a better phrase) look good, although l haven't undone the individual packets. The laser cut plywood is as good as you could want and l am very pleased with it l must say. The strips of wood for the planking is of a disappointing standard. Now, is it a disappointing standard because the rest is so good....... l shall have to carefully sand each strip before l use it. Here you can see the framework dry fitted, it was a very fiddly task but each piece fitted nice and snug. I am glad to report that my first impression of the wood quality and cutting precision was correct and everything is straight and true. Ha ha, Mantua recommend inserting the frames with a hammer, l do not. The wood is, as l have already said, good quality but not very robust. The stern pieces also fit well. During my next session l will look at filler blocks and the tapering of bulkheads. Best wishes as always, The Lazy Saint. Session. Time. Total. 01. 3 hrs. 3 hrs.
  15. Hello Everyone, My name is Johnny D. I am originally from New Zealand but have resided in Brisbane Australia for over 10 years now. I am new to MSW but not to modelling, especially wooden ships. I have built 6 and still find them fascinating, complicated and rewarding. I recently completed the Sergal 1:125 Thermopylae. Though not perfect, was more than pleased with the result. I looked for my next project, the C.Mamoli 1:150 HMS Victory, but had not luck finding it anywhere, so went for the smaller Mantua 1:200 HMS Victory. Really didn’t know what I was getting into, but quickly became apparent that it was definitely going to be a challenge, mainly because of the size of the parts and the skill needed to build something this small. I am certainly no expert when it comes to the Victory, but realized after a bit of research that the model had a few short comings when it came to accuracy. While the laser technology is great, I was shocked to see the stern galleries were laser etched and flat without any relief (added to). I studied this and determined that trying to work with the parts provided were near impossible to get any decent result. Before I made a start, I built my own stern galleries using ‘Evergreen’ styrene extrusions. If I managed something useable I would continue with the rest of the build. It took over 3 weeks to put the stern galleries together and not super accurate, but better than a flat piece of plywood. I did not take any photos of this, probably thought it would not turn out well, however there are photos of these parts in place further down. Been at this build for almost 3 months now, will post the photos for this period and update with more as I progress. Thanks, Johnny D. I bought the optional laser-cut copper plates. Difficult to work with and looked like brick work rather than plates. Sanded them down to an even finish and then sprayed the hull copper. Looked far better and a bit more convincing. This was my attempt at building the stern galleries. Though clearly still requires some work, it can up better than expected. Have since replaced the hull steps as the ones shown are way out of scale.
  16. I am resuming a build of the Mantua Albatros "Goleta tipica di Baltimora" - a Baltimore clipper, fitted out as a revenue cutter. I started the kit back in the mid 1980s and finished planking the hull. Then other things came along (buying a house, getting married, etc.) that left little time for ship modeling. The partially completed hull has resided on my bookshelf for about 30 years. I really like the lines of these ships so I decided to resume the build, but I am not sure what it will end up being. I am building it to get experience with a few new techniques. This is the 1980s kit, and it is different from the latest Mantua Albatros kit description on line. The new kit has a false deck, apparently of thin plywood, and the 1980s kit does not. The newer kit seems to have mahogany hull planking, and the older kit used tiglio or lime wood. The older kit came with two drawing sheets, hull construction and sail plan, plus brief instructions. The Mantua web site says the new kit has three drawings, and at least one appears to be the same as the 1980s kit. The 1980s "instructions" are a joke - one page saying to assemble the hull frames, plank the hull, assemble the base, build the masts and finish the rigging - just about that brief! For me this isn't a problem. I have been researching and scratch building plank on bulkhead models since I was a kid. I have searched and found no record of a Baltimore clipper named "Albatros." The kit name suggests Mantua's "famous" ship is just "typical" of a Baltimore clipper. Looking at the plans for the model and plans for actual Baltimore clippers I can see quite a few differences. This raises several questions, and I would appreciate any help you can offer. 1. Scale. The 1980s kit plans and instructions give no scale. Comparing with other ships I guessed it was about 1:64 scale. Some sites say the Mantua model is 1:55 scale, and the latest Mantua web site says it is 1:40 scale. The model is about 27" long (tip of bowsprit to end of the spanker boom), and this is what Mantua says is the length of their latest Albatros model. The waterline (length between perpendiculars) is about 17 inches. This would give a full scale hull length between perpendiculars of: 1:40 - 56' 4" and about 70 tons 1:55 - 78' and about 100 tons 1:64 - 90' 8" and about 180 tons Baltimore clippers were constructed in approximately all of these sizes between 1800 and 1820. Since the model has only six cannons plus one larger gun on the centerline, I assume the 1:40 scale is close. There were several 60 foot ships built. Any thoughts? 2. Mast angles. The Mantua plans show the rake of the fore mast to be 2-3 degrees and the main mast to be 5 degrees relative to the water line. I examined plans and drawings for 17 Baltimore clippers and found the mast rakes to be: Fore mast - 11.5 degrees average, with a range of 7-16 degrees Main mast - 13.75 degree average, with a range of 8-22 degrees The rake of the masts is one of the outstanding characteristics of these ships, and none were as boring as 3-5 degrees! I plan to build it with 11.5 and 14 degree rakes. 3. Deck fittings. The Mantua kit has four hatches with gratings and one flat solid hatch on the deck. Looking through Chapelle's books I see that almost all of the revenue cutters had some form of low deck house and companionway, even the small 30 ton ships. I think I will build deck fittings similar to an actual 70-80 ton revenue cutter. 4. Stern. Most Baltimore clippers had either round tuck or square tuck transoms. A few appear to have had curved transoms. The kit plans seem to show an odd flat stepped square tuck like nothing I see in any of the Baltimore clipper plans. In any case, when I started the kit in the '80s I constructed a curved transom faired into the hull lines, more like some of the later schooners I have seen. It may not be accurate for an 1815 revenue cutter, but I am not going to deconstruct the hull and start over again! 5. Colors. The hull was painted with white lead below the waterline. Chapelle says American schooners after the Revolution were painted yellow topside with black trim. In the early 1800s they were painted yellow topside with a broad black stripe along the gun ports. Deck houses were white or light gray, and bulwarks could be red, brown, green, blue, white or varnished. The kit box cover shows a broad yellow stripe along the gun ports with brown/black trim, and yellow bulwarks with brown/black trim. I am inclined to use the broad black stripe along the gun ports (between the main deck and cap rail) with yellow trim above and white below the waterline. The bulwarks will be white or yellow, and the deck furniture white. 6. Deck planking. I am familiar with nibbing, but this didn't come into practice until the mid 1800s. Before that planking was tapered and hooked. I have thought about this, and read the few tutorials on hooked deck planking, and I just don't understand the procedure. If you start planking at the center line and work outwards, you apparently have to curve the outermost plank while laying it and then cut into the previously laid plank to create the hook. Nibbing is a lot simpler! By the 1850s planking on revenue cutters was nibbed, so I guess I could build the ship as a mid 1800s revenue cutter. But I need the practice with the hooking technique for the next build I am planning to make (Rattlesnake). I guess I will create a CAD plan of the deck and practice making the hooked deck planking. I'll post some pictures of the 1980s hull and current modifications later. Phil
  17. Hi, This is my first wooden ship build. I started quite a few years ago, but I'll start the log from the beginning. I'm learning as I go, so I'll let you know my mistakes as well as problems with the kit. Thanks Marc
  18. This is my first ship model build so please excuse the mistakes. I actually started this model in the mid '90s with the delusion I would build it over a summer, quickly realized I had no concept of what it would actually take, then got distracted by multiple kids and life in general. The result was I took about 20 years off, but always planned to pick it back up again. I dusted it off earlier this year and have finally started to make progress. When I stopped in the '90s I had only completed the ribs, deck, the upper portion of the hull planking, and a few gun ports (that was about the time I realized the true scope of the project). So the first thing I did was finish the gun ports....... Then I moved on to hull planking....first layer (a little rough) Second layer....getting a little smoother High tech waterline tool.....the two-tone wood colour is due to a 20 year gap between laying the planks!
  19. I'll be starting a log for this build. I'm finishing my current project but I've done a dry fit of center keel and bulkheads and this is as good a place ever to start. The kit is the newer version of the Cutty Sark and I have gone through the counting process. Some pieces and such were short on the count and Ages of Sail will be getting the materials to me (nice folks). I'm sure I'll be needing advice and guidence and any comments will be appreciated. For reference I will be using Longridge, Campbell and plans from the Maritime Museum. I intend to do some bashing but my goal is not to go overboard with details.
  20. Hello. My name is Rafael, I am from Russia, the city of Rostov-on-Don. I finished this model from Mantua, construction has been going on since the beginning of 2018. The blue-green “backing” is an element of the future case, still in the manufacturing process. I decided to move away from the toy look, which is offered by the manufacturer and in which previously built models of this set were presented, there was a desire to make a more realistic image. Therefore, all brass parts (staples, rings, falconets and a gun) were blackened, steel parts burned. In the work I used stains for nuts (hull, mast, sensible things and oars) and for mahogany (runners, carriages). I bought the cheapest in a hardware supermarket. Black details (planshire, etc.) were painted with Tamiya black acrylic paint, the underwater part and oars were painted with white Tamiya paint. I didn’t like the native threads for rigging, I bought it separately. Sail sewed himself, took information from everywhere. The native instruction on it practically does not give any sensible information.
  21. Hello, after the warm welcome in this forum and the interest on a build log of the "Amerigo Vespucci", I will start it now. As you may know it is an Italien sail training ship which was originally build 1931. The model bases on the Mantua-Kit, which I tried to optimize according to pictures of the real Ship. I started to build the model in 1994, but just shortly after the begin, I had to disturb the building due to job, wife, house building, kids, ... A few years ago I restarted building the model again. Some data: Mantua Kit scale 1:84 length 1,25m hight 0,75m In a german forum I have already started a build log of this ship a few months ago. Therefore, first I will present as an overview also the steps which I have done since this time. Unfortunately, I have got no pictures from the earlier steps, so I will start with a mostly ready body of the ship and show you first some detail pictures. Hope, you enjoy it. Best regards, Joachim
  22. This will be my second build log since joining as a member in November 2018. I started building the Cutty Sark by Mantua Sergal on September 1st. Now, in late November, I have pretty much wrapped up all of the hull and deck work and am starting to work on the masts and (gasp) the daunting rigging. I’ll try to do better with my pictures. I read the build log by keelhauled, posted back in March 2013, and his overview of the Mantua Sergal Cutty Sark kit is so perfect that I’m going to borrow (plagiarize) a good bit of it and include it here. I hope keelhauled won’t be offended. His work was too masterful to ignore. KIT OVERVIEW Manufacturer: Mantua (Sergal), Italy Model: MA 789 (Art 789) Dimensions: Length 45” (1150mm) Height 26” Scale: 1:78 Purchased: 2018 Price: $549 USD (2018) Construction: Double Plank on Bulkhead: Limewood inner, Walnut outer Fittings: Brass, copper, bronze, copper plates, walnut dead eyes and blocks, copper sheet with ornamentation and deck siding, bronze figurehead, grey cotton rigging line in various sizes, silk flag. Instructions: Booklet with translations into English, Italian, French, and German. In my opinion the translations are similar to what Japanese instructions in the 1950s used to look like. Not very clear and only marginally useful. Plans: Four very large two sided sheets – Eight plans total . 1:1 sheets for the deck, side, standing, and running rigging. Other sheets detail building steps. The parts are generally high quality but in at least three instances I felt I could improve on the stuff they included. I’ll detail my deviations from what Sergal Provided as I go along. As for reference materials I haven’t yet checked out the books and sources that keelhauled included in his build log, but can certainly recommend a book which has become sort of a bible for me re the building of rigged ships in general. Mastini, Frank. Ship Modeling Simplified: Tips and Techniques for Model Construction from Kits . McGraw-Hill Education. (I have the Kindle edition which allows me to check things on the fly while out in the shop). KEEL & HULL CONSTRUCTION I’ve read a lot about various methods for checking the alignment of keel and bulkhead and deck components – and certainly about all of the after-market products that supposedly make this a breeze -- but the laser cut parts in this kit slipped together so easily and precisely that I didn’t waste a lot of time agonizing over that. Instead of an after-market vise to clamp the keel I used the large end vise on my workbench to keep things stable while I assembled the parts. Many years ago I built a plank-on-bulkhead version of the Vasa (a Billings model), and even though it didn’t turn out very well I learned about soaking & bending planks, and using small pins/nails to hold them in place while the glue was drying. That was a single layer planking job, and I think that the double planking of the Cutty Sark is much better for obtaining a smooth finish on the hull. It was during the application of the second layer of planks that I began taking pictures of my work. I got pretty cocky at that point, figuring that if I could do a nice planking job like this that this build was going to be a lot easier than I expected. So, after lots of sanding and filling and smoothing I proceeded to spray paint the hull with matte black paint as directed. This what the hull looked like when I finished -- but not until I had stripped, sanded and repainted the dang thing 2-3 times. I tend to work too fast on almost everything, and this was a really good message that I needed to slow waaay down. DECKING Applying the main decking material (which may or may not have been maple) was tedious but ultimately very satisfying. The directions suggested painting the decks with a nice varnish when they were done, and I used a satin finish spar urethane. I smoothed the work with 0000 steel wool between coats and after the final coat. The directions actually suggested that I start applying the gazillion copper plates to the lower hull before doing the deck work above, but I was a bit discomforted at the way the black matte paint I had applied to the hull was prone to showing fingerprints, so I decided to put that chore off. My disappointment with some of the model’s instructions started at that point. Ultimately, once I got the hull finish smooth I painted over the matte black with spar urethane, then restored the matte finish by carefully rubbing it out with 0000 steel wool. The final result looks great, but it required a lot of fussiness to get there. COPPER PLATING I found this chore to be a nightmare. If each little plate wasn’t perfectly aligned with the waterline or the surrounding plates it looked really crappy. Avoiding getting glue on the plates was very difficult too, and even when a line of plates was firmly glued on there was a tendency for some of the plates to bow out a bit, and some even popped off while I was working. Worst of all, when it came to tapering the plates I had no clue re how to do that. Tapering or trimming stiff little 1:78 scale copper plates with scissors or a small grinder just was an untenable answer. I suspect that anyone who has installed copper plating to a model of this scale will probably be nodding with understanding. In desperation I went hunting for advice online, and that's how I discovered Model Ship World and its fantastic group of members who can provide great advice on any phase of model ship building. I found the answer for my copper plating problems with a fellow that had ditched the little plates in favor of copper electrical tape. Sheer genius. I got some of that tape, stripped the lower hull of copper plates (for the second time) and applied it. Using an Xacto knife I carefully added slits to emulate the plates, and it worked great. I had to forego the rivets on the copper plates that were provided, but on a 1:78 scale ship it was no great loss. After I had the tape applied I finished up the lower hull with two coats of satin finish spar urethane for protection and enhanced bonding. I didn’t take specific pictures to document all of the above, but the one below should give you a rough idea about the results. DECK WORK Now let’s get on to another gripe I have with this model. Beautiful brass hull decorations are provided, as well as a whole sheet of doors and decorations for the deck crew quarters and hatches. The directions tell you to spray paint these bits with either black or white paint and then, when dry, to lightly rub the raised surfaces with a 600 grade emery cloth to (theoretically) rub away the paint on the raised surfaces and leave a decoration or component with a bright brass accent surrounding the colors. As it turns out, rubbing the paint, even very gently, results in you removing the very thin brass plating and exposing the copper underlayment. It just ruins the piece. I was beside myself, because there was so much of this work to be done. I had to finish the hull decorations with a very fine brush and some gold flake model paint. Looks OK, but they would be better with a real brass finish. The initial work on the deck housings and other deck components started with the stern deck house. Here is a picture showing a partially completed deck house, along with the various decorative brass pieces that are to be attached. I didn’t even think of spray painting and rubbing – I once again wielded the smallest brush I could find and filled in the sunken areas by hand. Yeah, I know they look OK in this picture, but I was not happy with them. Here is a picture showing the stern deck house completed and installed. The brass stanchions and railings came out nicely. Note also the rudder control housing and the ship’s wheel. BOWSPRIT Before tackling the other deck accouterments I went to work on the preliminary assembly and installation of the bowsprit and the hawse supports. Also note the two small lavatories (er, outhouses) on the main deck and the bits on the bench that ultimately became the two cargo hatches. Work on the rest of the deck structures went pretty well, and I think the various components look very nice. Shown below: one of the main hatches, a windlass, belaying pin holders and a very nice bilge pump assembly. The decorative panels and doors on the crew quarters shown in these photos require some better explanation – because I think I managed to solve the hand-painting of brass pieces problem in a rather unique and satisfying (to me) fashion. After carefully measuring the surfaces to be covered by the brass panels, I turned to an old friend – PowerPoint – and designed similar decoration panels for the crew quarters. It’s easy to size things in PowerPoint, and it also has the capability for dragging in colors from photographs. I took a picture of one of the brass pieces and used it to make the designed panels really look authentic. Here’s the brass picture and the designs I worked up to replace all of the brass work on the whole deck. I printed the page above on glossy photo paper on my ink jet printer, trimmed everything with scissors and glued them each in place with Goop rubber cement. Authentic? Maybe not, but a satisfying solution for me that I think looks way better than the glue-on brass pieces provided. Note the comments about properly orienting the crew cabin doors to account for wind direction. I got that tip from Mancini’s great book. It seems counter-intuitive, but the wind comes from behind on a sailing vessel, and doors that open the wrong way can be ripped right out of a seaman’s hands. LIFE BOATS So, I went on feeling my way through the rest of the deck details, and that finally included building and mounting the lifeboats. They are also plank on-bulkhead construction, and were fun to make. Laser-cut wooden parts are a huge improvement in model boats since the last ones I built years ago. Here are some other pictures of deck construction ... … and on to adding support chains to the bowsprit and installing the anchors. Yeah, I know the figurehead is supposed to be white, but I like the bronze color better. MASTS & YARDS For the past two weeks I’ve been working on the masts. Here is a shot of what I’ve done so far. See if you can detect the problems I’ve had that are going to lead me to start all over again next week. Note the completed and installed life boats that came out quite nicely. The masts themselves are pretty much OK. But the yards are a disaster in my eyes. Shaping them and gluing them together was not bad, but the attachments of the lower yards to each of the masts is “amateur hour”, and the rope supports that sailors stand on to work on the sails are all grossly out of scale. Also, I used the spar urethane on the masts and yards, which are supposed to be matte black, and it just came out way too shiny. No good. Last but not least, when trying to drill holes in the yards it is almost impossible to keep one’s drill bit from wandering off-center. Bad, bad, bad. DRILL PRESS FOR ROTARY TOOLS To solve the hole drilling problem I’ve ordered a drill press assembly for the Dremel, along with a machinist’s vise to hold even the skinniest of dowels firmly while I drill. I found all kinds of cheapo attachments like that ($30-$40), but somewhere I ran across a link to a review of a small company in CA that produces what appear to be real high-end accessory attachments for rotary tools. https://www.evilmadscientist.com/2013/drillpressplus/ If you’re interested in accuracy, and you aren’t totally constrained by costs, you might want to take a look at this guy’s work. Some really neat ideas for the small home machine shop, all powered by rotary tools. http://vanda-layindustries.com/html/drill_press_plus.html I am looking forward to taking delivery of my new drill press station next week. I’ll let you know if it’s as good as it looks. "He who dies with the most tools wins." So ends my rather lengthy narrative re stage one of my Cutty Sark build. From this point on I’ll try to do a much better job with photos and update my progress as I go -- and maybe not be so wordy. I’ve already gotten several responses to my previous posts from model shipmakers around the world. Really neat. I hope to continue tapping into this fine group -- not for approval of my work, but for suggestions re how I can do everything better. Phase 2 coming soon. Tom in NC November, 2018
  23. Guess this time I'll start at the beginning. I'll spare the group the open box pictures. I did inventory everything in there. It's all there. The wood strips, plywood etc. look like pretty good quality. The laser cut parts are nice and clean - although I've learned here not to trust them. I'll be looking at the member logs of the same kit (Art. 789) for trouble spots. Like a lot of other kits, the blocks are terrible. The rope set and deadeyes are not too bad, but I'll replace them all with Syren model Co.'s materials. Right out of the box the keel is warped - actually just bowed. I'll probably do inter-bulkhead spacer blocks, so I figure I can straighten it at that step. As expected the cast parts will need a lot of cleanup, and the stanchions are flat etched brass, so I'll have to replace them: This thing is big!! I have no idea what I'll do with it when it's done, but I figure I have years to worry about that. Wish me luck! - Tim

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