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Found 12 results

  1. Just starting up the gunboat Philadelphia build... I just completed the USN Picket and anxious to get started on the Philadelphia. I am by no means an expert builder but having a lot of fun along the way. One word of warning,,,,, this will be a painfully slow log to follow. I know most people hate slow logs. I am not a full time modeler so I only get to work on it when I have some spare time. Hopefully I will be able to have at least one post a week. Maybe more,,, Rather than have a log and shows only the good stuff I plan to bare my dirty laundry and show a lot of "what not to do when building the Philadelphia". I will plan to complete the Philadelphia, but it may get ugly along the way... One item that I am sure is a "no brainer" to more experienced builders, but is worth mentioning... The Philadelphia, like most medium/large models has a lot of wood strips of various sizes. Before you begin, I would suggest you identify each different size of wood strip and label it so you can easily find it later in the build. The wood strips are very similar in size and no sense rummaging through all the word each time to want a particular size. Below is my attempt at labeling each strip size. Does not matter how you label them, but you will save yourself a lot of grief in the build if you can easily identify each strip as you need it. Starting right in,,,,, The instructions call to build the false keep, glue the stem and stern posts to it, and then trim the stem and stern posts. I guess right away I am altering from the instructions,,, Hope this is not an omen for the future,,,, To me it is much easier to build the stem and stern posts, trim them, and then attach them to the false keel. Not sure if I will get in trouble later on or not, but one thing I did do when beveling the stem/stern posts for the rabbets was to trim them more than the suggested trim lines. In the past when I have trimmed the stem/stern posts to the suggested lines, it is never enough to accept the planking, and when planking I had to shave the ends of the planks to fit into the rabbets. This time I choose to bevel the stem/stern posts enough to accept the end of the planks that will eventually be inserted. Like I say, have never done this before and later on in the build I may regret it, but it has been done. Here is the result of the stem and stern post builds. Stem Post Stern Post Then building the false keel there are three cross pieces to provide support and help verify the keel is plumb when glued to be bottom of the hull. I do not have a couple machine angle plates to help insure the cross pieces (and later on bulkheads) are square... So you use what you have. In this case some angle braces. Worked well for these cross pieces, but looking at the bulkheads, I can see some (shall we say) "fun" ahead trying to get the bulkheads square. In the past I have had issues getting bulkheads square when each bulkhead was one piece, but in the case of the Philadelphia most of the bulkheads are two pieces. Doubly hard to get square.... and if the bulkheads are not square, you are in for all sorts of issues down the line - ask me how I know this 🙂 Let's just say I plan to pick up a couple machine angle plates prior to taking on the bulkheads Laying out the bottom of the boat pretty straight foreword. Glue the three pieces together and you are done. Just insure you have a very flat table and while the glue is drying, put some weight on it to prevent warping. Below is the completed keel (with stem/stern plates attached) and the bottom of the boat. One note, the bottom section of the boat is 608mm long, but the false keel is 610mm long. Not a big deal, and I probably could have left the overhang, but just to be safe I shortened the false keel by 2mm before gluing on the stern post. Was not sure that 2mm gap would have made a difference when planking, but did not want to take a chance and easy to correct. Verify you false keep fits the bottom of the boat before gluing. Below is a picture of the stern post after gluing to the false keel. The stem post connection to the false keel was really sloppy. Not a good fit at all. Below (in red square) I glued a small piece of wood on each side of the false keep where it meets the stern post - just to insure a good bond
  2. Hello all! This will be my build of the Continental Gunboat Philadelphia. A brief history of her is taken from the model shipways website. "Launched in August of 1776, the gunboat Philadelphia is the oldest American fighting vessel in existence. Part of the American fleet commanded by General Benedict Arnold, she sank on October 11, 1776 during the Battle of Valcour Island against the Royal Navy on Lake Champlain. She remained sitting upright in the cold waters of the lake until she was raised in 1935. Today, she’s on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., complete with 24-pound ball that sent her to the bottom. " Length 26-3/8” Width 13-3/4” Height 24-5/8” Scale 1:24 (1/2” = 1 ft.) The actual gondolas built by Benedict Arnold were armed with two nine pounders, one twelve pounder and a few swivel guns. Arnold's gondolas were around 53 feet long with 15 1/2 foot beam and 2 foot draft. An overview image from the website is the following. The first few steps were pretty simple. I removed the parts I needed for the keel, stem and sternpost and glued them together. The keel was very straight with no noticeable war page. I sanded most of the laser char off. The pieces of wood that form the rabbets are pretty simple to carve. I just used an Xacto blade and a sanding block. There are also the visible parts of the stem and sternpost a which get narrower towards the ends. I have yet to make these rabbets at the bow. That's it for now. Thank you for looking in!
  3. Hi all, This will be a build log for my second wooden ship kit. I have a lot of experience in styrene and railroad modelling, and this log will be a running commentary of my trials and tribulations during the construction process. I've read through the other Philly build logs here on the forum, and I'm really impressed with the skills and techniques the builders used to complete their amazing results. I've been interested in building the Philadelphia kit for a while, liking the large scale, interesting construction and unique history of this ill-fated gunboat. Over the holidays I finally pulled the trigger and got the kit. After unboxing and examining the components, I'm mostly impressed with the quality and precision of the plans and materials. The only complaint I have (and it's a big one) is the quality of the 12 and 9 pound cannons (more on that later). So, here's the start and first few construction pics and comments. Here's the hull frame partially assembled just so I can get an idea of what I'm getting into... This thing is huge! Only problem I found was frames 12 and 13 on the port side were laser cut a little wonky. Luckily, fixable. I used Superglue at this stage, but will use wood glue for most of the rest of assembly. Here's the assembled and shaped bow and stern posts. Here is the framing completed and shaped, along with "the construction guy", who hasn't been named yet.... any suggestions? Here's my first attempt at a weathered deck piece. I sealed the wood with Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner, added nails and tar edges with a hard pencil and then stained with Minwax classic grey. I'm not sure what to use as a final finish coat, on this piece I used Krylon matte clear. Any suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated!
  4. I've begun this build as a companion to the Syren build log I started earlier. I had planned to co-construct the Pinnace or the English Longboat but apparently these models are rather challenging (in the words of mikiek (December 8): "You know, I remember thinking about this kit right before I bought it. Looking at it online, I figured it would be a cinch to knockout. A small footprint. No rigging. A cheap price. How hard could it be? "WRONG!") So I put those two boats aside and looked for something larger for my inexperienced fingers and found the Gunboat Philadelphia. I knew I was on the right track when the kit arrived: the Pinnace box easily fits inside this one. Time now to review this forum's currently available build logs for this kit: Elijah (in progress), Brucealanevans (finished) , MarkCC (on sabbatical), Chuck Seiler (as of 2015), and Steve. Y (finished). Jonathan
  5. I've started my first wooden ship kit build. I chose the Philadelphia for a number of reasons. Due to it's hull shape, large scale and relatively simple rigging, I thought it would be a good foray into model wooden ship building. (To be candid, I built the Independence by AL when I was an early teenager, but had no real knowledge of what I was doing). As of the creation of this log, I've completed the exterior planking and nearly finished the ceiling planking. The other build logs here have been very helpful and I've taken some pointers in building my kit. I've not encountered any serious issues, although I did note that as I planked the exterior, I encountered an issue where the planks would curve up at a joint to form a heart, particularly near the bow and stern. I largely corrected this as I proceeded and blame my inexperience. I think it is due to me not being as accurate with the widths and following the marked bulkheads as I should have. This kit also is a great one to learn spiling as the planks are large and there are not too many of them. That being said, I spent many hours fitting, cutting, sanding and trimming to get a decent fit, and I certainly got better towards the end. The exterior planking is "ok" in my mind, but I did learn a lot. I also learned that despite the markings on the bulkheads, I wish I would have made the rabbet deeper. Anyways, here are some pictures. My First spiled plank as neither the top two or the wale needed any spiling or tapering. Starting the ceiling planking
  6. I wasn't going to start another boat until after I moved however, the Army is slow in producing orders so.... I'm hoping by starting another build my orders will be dispatched with much haste. That's how it's always worked in the past, get in the middle of a project and it's time to move! I chose this kit for 2 reasons, it seemed a logical next step after building the MS Armed Longboat in terms of complexity and secondly, my interest in the American Revolution. So without further adieu, here's the obligatory photo of the box, or at least the label on the box: Kit contents. The hardware. This boat was armed with 8 swivel guns however, there are only 2 guns included in the kit. I don't know why MS likes to provisions boats for more guns than they supply, the longboat has 3 mounts and 2 guns. In any event I will order 6 more, my cursory inspection of the kit swivel guns is that they are very nice. Had I seen these sooner I would have ordered some to use on my longboat. The instruction booklet is very thin, however the plans are extremely detailed and I doubt I will be left guessing what goes where. This plan set is really amazing. This is just 2 of the 7 sheets. The ruler is 18" for those interested in the size of the finished model. I'm already sanding and gluing parts so hopefully I can post an actual build update soon. Thanks for looking!
  7. Background It has been suggested that I should post a retrospective build log for my diorama of the sinking of the US gondola Philadelphia during the Battle of Valcour Island, Lake Champlain, in 1776. The final result is shown under “Diorama” in the gallery of completed scratch builds. A retrospective log may be unusual, but I hope that there are one or two ideas that others may find useful. If too many people get fed up with it, I’m sure they’ll tell me. The story started when I saw the Philadelphia in the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Although she sank in 1776, she was recovered in 1935 and is now on display, complete with the 24pdr British cannon ball that sank her. The Smithsonian has published a set of plans which I obtained (with some difficulty!)... .....but Philadelphia is a pretty basic and crudely built barge, and I decided that it wouldn’t make a very interesting model on its own. However, there is a modern painting by Earnest Haas of the US galley Washington standing by the Philadelphia and taking off the crew (Photo 4), and it struck me that this would form a good diorama. Washington was captured later in the battle, and the Admiralty, as was common practice, took off her lines. The draft is now in the National Maritime Museum in UK, and has been reproduced in a number of books. (I should add that my model was built before NRG published the plans for Washington). Although both vessels were small (Philadelphia is 53’7” OAL and Washington was about 80’ OAL), I have run out of room for large glass cases, so I decided on a scale of 1:144. (......to be continued)
  8. With the Charles W Morgan safely in her case awaiting only a brass engraved nameplate before moving upstairs, it's time to start a new project (projects?). Going to start with the gunboat Philadelphia which I've had on the shelf for some time. I need a break from 1/64 fully rigged ship so the Granado will wait for this project to be completed. [note: Granado will wait a while longer] I'm looking forward to (super)detailing a 1/24 build with minimal straight-forward rigging (at least compared to the Morgan). I've ordered replacement blocks and line from Chuck, and gathered materials including the 6 part series on this build from Ships in Scale. I'm not detailing in photos the box contents as they have been covered in a current build log and several fairly recent finished ones. Will start construction next week. I've been at loose ends in the mornings as that has been my shipyard time through the (long) end of the Morgan build. There is a nice case awaiting this rather wide model (nearly 14 inches) that I had bought years ago for a Victory model I bought but did not build. As my house started to fill with MY completed models I decided to give that ship away to a friend who had admired it. I was tired of explaining to people that I had built the New Bedford Whaleboat, Picket Boat #1, and now the Charles W Morgan but NOT that one. At the same time (now that I'm fully retired) I'm going to practice Byrnes saw, scroll saw, and mill skills to begin the Echo cross section on some ordered boxwood before I break into the wood included in the Admiralty Models package. These are things I've not done so need the practice for this entry into the shallow end of the scratch build pool.
  9. Well, After some prodding I am starting a build log on my recently acquired Model Shipways Gunboat Philadelphia. I am rather new to ship building, and anticipate a lot of fun trying to construct this boat. Fellow member Chuck Seiler (builder of a scratch Philly) has been very kind in offering up advice and tips. I welcome any advice. In fact, Please! Chuck is building the same kit, and I will shadow his progress gathering info and ideas. I have already inundated him with questions. So that being said, off I go to glue, cut, sand and try and figure how to build a boat!
  10. Greetings all....I'm back!!! Model Shipways Kit (modified) Scale: 1:24 1/2”=1’ Circa: August-October 1776 Happy Moon Day!!! I am starting my build log on the 45th Anniversary of the Moon Landing....just because. I don't actually plan on building until the first or second week in August, so I can do some summer stuff. I will be doing some pre-build planning and I may add my thoughts here. I wanted to get started early so that my small but dedicated band of followers can find a seat. Background. This will be the SECOND time I built PHILDELPHIA. The first time I did so as a scratch build based on the Model Shipways plans. I will refrain from going into why I chose PHILADELPHIA and save some bandwidth by giving you the link to my scratch build (if I can figure out how to do it). Chux scratch Philly. It was a fun build, but I had some challenges. I have found that there was an additional sheet that comes with the model that does NOT come when you buy the plans separately. This includes all the templates for bulkheads and other pieces parts. Thanks alot Model Expo for not including that!!! At any rate, it was an interesting build. I entered it into the County Fair Design in Wood Exhibit (Scale model class) and actually got an offer to buy it. By then, I was too attached to it to sell. I offered to make a model from the kit, with boxwood and holly replacing the planking and primary exterior wood, as in the scratch. I figured with the kit as a guide and my experience from the previous build, I could build it much faster and I could correct some problems...both with my build and what I perceived to be with the plans. It also gives me an opportunity to work in a larger scale. Some of those corners got really tight at 1/4" scale. History. Again, so save bandwidth, I direct you to Philly History. PHILADELPHIA and the history behind it is fascinating. It (and its associated fleet, not to mention many of its adversaries) was built in a few weeks. It 'lived' only a few months. IIRC only PHILADELPHIA and ROYAL SAVAGE were the only two ships sunk during the battle, but within a week or two of the battle the entire American fleet was sunk, scuttled or captured-but it was considered a strategic American victory. A century and a half or so later, it was discovered, raised and preserved. It exists today, on display in the Smithsonian Institution. NOW your interest is piqued, eh. I think you REALLY want to go to Philly History and read more about it. Other suggested readings include: The Gunboat Philadelphia and the Defense of Lake Champlain in 1776. by Lundeberg, Philip K. The Gondola Philadelphia and the Battle of Lake Champlain. by Bratten, John R. Benedict Arnold's Navy, by Nelson, James L.
  11. Hello Everyone. New member here starting my first wooden ship build. I am not quite sure how it happened, but a couple weekends ago I stumbled across Mamoli's website and got hooked on the idea of building a wooden model ship. I spent a lot of time growing up building plastic model kits, and I have dabbled in model railroading as well. So I have some experience, but nothing this intricate or in wood. It will be challenging and I am really looking forward to getting started. According to FedEx the kit will be delivered today . As one might expect, being brand new to the hobby I found the choices in kits and manufacturers overwhelming at first. This website really helped me get my bearings. I quickly settled on this particular kit for the following reasons: Model shipways seems to have a pretty good reputation for producing high quality kits with decent instructions. The Philadelphia is an interesting ship visually without appearing ridiculously complicated. I also have some knowledge of the history of the battle in which the ship fought and the fact that it is a somewhat obscure piece of our history appeals to me. Popular opinion on the internet indicates that this is should be a good ship for a first build. The model contains all of the basic elements that go into the larger ships, such as the frigate USS Constitution, like frame over bulkhead planking and relatively simple but complete rigging. The price was reasonable. ​After choosing the Philadelphia I was delighted to find three build logs in progress using the same kit by Chuck, Steve and Bart. So I have been following their progress which is going to help a lot. Mark
  12. Based on Model Shipways plans Scale: 1/48 ¼”=1’ Circa: August-October 1776 Caveat. I start this build log with the understanding that I am better at building than I am at documenting…and I’m not all that good at building. As such, there may be large gaps in coverage. I actually started the model in the spring of 2013 so I would have a project to work on at the County Fair in June. After the Fair, I worked in dribs and drabs until I decided (got strong armed by our Guildmaster) it would be great to enter into the Fair in 2014. Some work got done without photographic documentation. So now you know. Background. I have been interested in the colonial gunboat PHILADELPHIA for many years. Having grown up in the Philadelphia area, I was interested in the Revolutionary War. I knew of the battle of Valcour Island, but it was more of a ‘backwater (literally) engagement’ (needs work). It is was more of a footnote to me than anything else. I really became interested in the model and the battle when I saw the in-progress model of PHILADELPHIA by Dave Yotter (Ship Modelers Association/SDSMG). He was building from scratch using the 20+ page set of plans from the Smithsonian. He even cast his own guns. Dave’s model is three times larger than mine will be. When Model Expo announced they were coming out with a model of PHILADELPHIA, I knew I had to build it. I saw that it was in 1/24 scale, which is a bit too large for my work/display area, so I decided to scratch build it in 1/48 scale (1/4”=1’). I would have preferred to build in 3/16” scale, the scale I have used for colonial ships LEXINGTON and SULTANA, but it was a bit too small. The ¼” scale is perfect, however, because it is the same as fellow SDSMG member Mike Lonnecker’s HMS FLY from the same era. Hey Mike, my ship might be smaller than yours but my guns are bigger!!!! Take that!!!
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