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Found 9 results

  1. Greetings- New here to the forum, and new to the model ship building world. I have been a sailor for several years and have increasingly grown more fond of anything and everything related to sailing, and life at sea. I lived on my sailboat for a couple years in Seattle, WA and have had the opportunity to sail abroad on some fantastic journeys in the North Sea, Ionian Sea and Dalmatian Coast. Before COVID hit, I was set to do a charter in French Polynesia with some family and good friends. Always looking for more opportunities to get out on the water under sail... Now on to genesis of starting this model: About every year or so for the last decade, I would pick up my copy of Joshua Slocum's "Sailing Alone Around the World," and lose myself in the fantastic story of his solo circumnavigation of the globe. I found myself gravitating towards his story when times were stressful, work was unrelenting, or when my mind just simply needed somewhere else to be. The telling of his journey is so astonishing in some respects that it can almost be from the pages of a Jules Verne story. I wondered about the things he saw at night under the stars, and pondered those long crossings on open water. Since reading "Sailing Alone", I have been fascinated with the Spray, and the almost mythical qualities of it being able to hold a course over many nautical miles. This seemed like a great first build, and I am excited to share the progress. (As an aside, I only later noticed that the kit is labeled "Admiral" level on the build complexity. Not that it would change my approach to the build, but I plan to move slowly and carefully. I am hoping that my architectural model building experience will help...) * Before starting the kit, I read up on other's build logs of the same (and similar) kits. Some of my methodology was borrowed from others, whereas other techniques were adapted from my own experimentation and trial and errors. Here is my documentation of Days 1 and 2 of building the model: Upon receiving and opening the kit, I surveyed the parts list and took out the plans and booklet. I read the instruction book once (and probably a bit more), and perused the 2 plan pages on the kitchen table every evening for a few days. I removed the laser cut keel first, and marked the centerlines of each frame as well as the WL marks. 1. I set out to make a cradle for the Spray which would hold her at correct position relative to the waterline. All of the bulkheads (except for 12) are perpendicular in this position. I wanted to be able to remove the Spray from the cradle and return it to correct alignment , so I built little blocks that elevated the stem and stern accordingly. Using a scrap piece of particle board and two aluminum angle metals, some machine screws and wing nuts, the loose angle is "clamped" into the fixed one. This gives a sturdy base to work from. Testing the angle of the keel, I placed a level about the waterline marks and made sure the bubble was centered. It was. (NOTE: Prior work ensured that my desk was also level and true). 2. Test fitting bulkheads, I made a small T-square that I used to make sure the position was correct relative to the waterline. Most of the bulkheads fit just right, whereas 3 or 4 needed a small paper shim to get snug. 3. After reading some other build logs of the same model, I chose to install the stanchions to bulkeads PRIOR to decking. (The instructions prefer doing this after the sub-decking install because this method better approximates how Slocum raised the gunwales to make the Spray more seaworthy). I measured each stanchion from the plans (giving a little extra height at the top that can be cut off if need be), and glued them to the forward face of each bulkhead. Before gluing in place, I rounded edges to better accept the future planking.. A little bit of guess work on the correct bevel of the edges, but I assume I can finesse this a bit more later. 4. Working forward to aft, each bulkhead was glued and while the glue set, I checked the "true-ness" relative to the waterline as well as to the keel. 5. I cut and dry fit the center stringer, and well as curved a thin batten near the sheer line of the bulkheads to look for any anomalies which would make the planking more difficult. The center stringer is running quite straight, but I did notice a small curve to port at the stern where meeting the transom. I will make a center mark that is adjusted so that when I am fitting the sub-decking I will have a better idea of the true center-line. That's it for now. Next installment... prep for planking, affixing transom panels.
  2. I enjoyed reading the Aubrey–Maturin book series by Patrick O’Brian so much so, I got the idea to build a model boat of the H.M.S. Surprise. Luckily for me, I decided to build a simple boat first. I selected the Titanic Lifeboat by Artesanía Latina as my first and easy boat. This was not easy! My eyes were opened to the skills required to build model boats. I enjoyed the building process so much, that I have built 2 additional boats. My skill level is getting better, but I am still no-where ready to build the H.M.S. Surprise, if I ever will be ready. I am getting better at planking, but I need much more experience with rigging and many other technical aspects (painting, rope work, cutting my own wood, etc.). I have sailed on and off for more than 20 years. I enjoy several hobbies such as hiking and photography. So I combined my model boat building with video editing and have hosted 4 model boat building videos on YouTube (https://youtube.com/channel/UCp0E-BCe0yOltd3V0d94eXQ). Thanks to those who commented on my YouTube videos, I found how valuable forums and build logs are. I have recently joined Model Ship World to make my first Build Log with my upcoming 4th boat, the Spray. I had bought the model of the Spray some time ago and decided now is the time to build it. When I searched the build logs, I found there were other's who were building this same boat. Excellent! I reviewed each of their build logs carefully. I then opened my box and read all the instructions multiple times. This time, the instructions seem far more clear, thanks to the help of these existing build logs. Thanks guys. Now I can focus on my craftsmanship, and not spend hours wondering what the cryptic instructions mean. I made a keel clamp based upon examples of others. This special clamp will hold the deck at the correct position relative to the waterline. The keel is higher in the bow than the stern, so to keep the frames perpendicular to the water line, one must assemble the frames with a 5 degree tilt. Next, I dry fit the frames to the keel. Some of the frames have a loose fit when they are placed on the keel and easily fall over. So there are several methods to stabilize this dry fit. I liked the Lego approach. Next, I shaped and smoothed the frames, ensured the stringer fit in the groove, and cut the stringer to length. Once the dry fit looked good, I removed all the parts from the clamp and starting gluing one frame at a time. I added a little extra support where each frame joined the keel. I was concerned that bending the stringer to the curve of the deck would add a strain on the frames. So I soaked the stringer and went to clamp it in place overnight to give it a bend before gluing. The stringer became swollen and would not fit in the slots. So I clamped it above the slots, where indeed it took a slight bend. After drying, the stringer fit. I have not yet added the transom as it is not clear to me how things should fit. I will deal with this when I need to during framing. I took a thin plank from another boat and fit it on the frames. This informed me how to shape the frames. I hand sanded the edges to make a good bond between the frame and the plank. Power tools make work easier, but power tools can easily cause damage to these delicate pieces. And, also, Bass wood is soft. Hand sanding did not take long. My next steps will be to add the planks
  3. This is the first time I have ever blogged about a build. I've kept notes on builds but not done anything like this. The reason this time, is I am hoping to learn from comments made on my posts, and also my intention is to do weekly updates until the boat is built. My hope is having this "commitment" will help me to make progress on my build, rather than long lulls between activity. This is my fourth build, the first was a Lightning by Dumas, it is incomplete after I messed up the mast, and got holes in the foredeck. It took me years to get to that point. I've subsequently repurchased the messed up parts, and directions/plans with the hope of finishing it after I finish the SPRAY. Every summer for the past 9 years we have spent time in Acadia National Park, and driving up RT 1 would see Blue Jacket. I've always loved wooden sail boats since I was a kid, and so we stopped in one year to look at the models and I was hooked. I purchased a Friendship Sloop in 2015 and finished it in 2018. I told you I'm slow. Before I started on it I built a small Model Shipways kit on sale at Hobby Lobby to practice with. Every summer we stop in at Blue Jacket and chat with Nic or his wife, they keep notes on their customers and ask about our kids and vacation, it makes me feel at home. Two years ago I bought the SPRAY, and a year ago I finaly started the build. This year we couldn't get to Maine, and I missed not being able to swing into the store. Here are some pictures of the build so far, I use LEGOS to try and keep things square. Oops top half of transom is upside down That's better Next a couple pictures at my attempt to steam the planks. First planks are always the easiest Today I tried using boiling water and a soup can to bend around and hold them in place seemed to work the best. I'm also experimenting here with not cutting the shape of the front of the plank where it meets the bow until after the bend is in the plank. It bent OK, but I think on the next model I need to use a jig, bend several at a time and let them fully dry before fitting them to the boat, rather than letting them dry on the boat. I have issues with the wood shrinking as it dries, and then not fitting quite snug in the bow. I push it forward, but all the bends are just a little off at that point. Any tips would be appreciated. And here is where we currently are. I've seen the masking tape clamping method be used on strip built kayaks, and thought I'd give it a shot. It works pretty well in pulling planks together and minimizes the chance of the wood getting dents in it from the clamps. My goal is to get the next 2 narrow planks on each side by next week. I get it way to wet, and it takes to long to dry before I can glue up, so that I can only add a row a day. But I don't think the next several will require that much bending, so they shouldn't need steaming or heating to get into shape. I spend too much time watching TV, it's not as if I don't have the time to do this. And to be honest, part of me is scared about messing it up. Cheers Don
  4. First ever wooden ship model build. Starting with an intermediate level build (hope this is not a mistake) knowing I have the great folks at Bluejacket to help me out of any jam.
  5. This will be my first journey into the DARK SIDE! I am collecting drawings, profiles, pictures so I can start drawing my plans. I shall use Cap N Bob's build as my guide. I took the first big plunge by buying a Dremel Scroll Saw. Now that I've set the saw up, I have to practice cutting precision curved cuts with it. At least I have tons of left over material from past builds to practice. Hipexec
  6. My first attempt at a builders log (we all know that long before it became a fashionable term, that is what "blog" referred to). I write this as I am a couple of months into the build. I expect to have the blog catch up to real time over the next week or so). * * * Joshua Slocum left Boston in April 1895 aboard the 35 foot sloop Spray, finishing his circumnavigation of the world over three years later, in July of 1898. He was the first to circle the globe alone. We know quite a lot about that trip since the definitive book on the subject, Sailing Alone Around the World, was written by none other than Joshua Slocum. Less well known is that he left New England in 1909 for South America, sailing alone again on Spray, never to be heard from again. While working on Model Shipways’ Yacht America, I decided to look to Blue Jacket for my next build, and while exploring its many interesting offerings, I skipped over Spray several times as not being interesting enough a boat, not realizing its historical significance. But about a year ago the name Slocum caught my eye, and Spray stepped into my on-deck circle. This was inspired in part by an imminent trip to Patagonia, including a short cruise on a small ship visiting the Straights of Magellan (where Slocum sailed), Beagle Channel, and Cape Horn. First thing, of course, upon getting the kit in the mail, I inventoried the parts (all present and accounted for), quickly read through the instructions, and examined the two sheets of plans with some care. The plans are in my view quite clear and detailed--here’s a small excerpt. The instructions are less detailed than I am used to (at least compared with Model Shipways). They include a separate booklet with general instructions for planked kits. BlueJacket identifies this kit as one of its more difficult ones (rated 7 on a scale of 1 to 9, although BlueJacket doesn’t rate its kits with numbers like that). Eight months later, after finishing America, I opened the box again, took another close look at the plans, and began cutting out the laser cut bulkheads. The bulkheads are referred to in the kit as “frames”, numbered from 2 (oddly) to 12. That aside, they are sharply and precisely cut and easy to remove from the sheets they were cut from. I also took a close look at the keel. It was slightly warped, but not sufficiently so to cause me any concern. You have to look closely to see it in the photos below. I later noticed that the warp has a slight twist to it (so the stem and stern portions are not quite in the same vertical plane), but again, not enough to be of any real concern. Using the plans as my guide, I marked the bulkhead locations and the water line on the keel. While cutting out the bulkheads, I quickly glanced at the instructions and noticed an oddity--the plans have this warning written on one sheet, while the instructions imply the opposite. Oh well, it certainly is easy to be critical; I shudder to think what my plans and instructions would look like were I to try to manufacture a kit. The instructions say that the fit between the keel and the bulkheads should be snug, but they warn that some bulkhead slots may need to be sanded to open them up a bit and avoid splitting the bulkheads. I had the exact opposite problem; most of the bulkheads were too loose to stand up unassisted. I cut a thin strip of construction paper and glued shims to the inside of the slots on most of the bulkheads--that took care of the issue. Here are the bulkheads dry fitted to the keel. Next installment, my first mistake. . .
  7. Hello, just started my fifth ship model build. This time it is a model of the Spray. I have had this model on the shelf for about 15-18 years. I am a bit concerned that the build is beyond my ability and the instructions assume more knowledge then I have but time will tell. One of the reasons I am building this boat is that Joshua Slocum was from Nova Scotia and I was born and live here, home of the Bluenose and many many other ships worth modeling. I just finished a small model of The Bounty's launch, this was the first model I have build in about 12-15 years. Now back in it. This Spray model is still available: http://www.bluejacketinc.com/kits/spray.htm
  8. One more new small project. My thanks to Cap'n'Bob for support. Best Regards! Igor.
  9. Hi all, Years ago I read "Sailing Alone Around the World" by Joshua Slocum, and in January 2012 I decided that I would build his boat, the "SPRAY", in 1/48 scale POF with bent framing. The way Slocum built it. I started asking questions on this forum, and I want to thank all those who answerd with help. The information on this forum is invaluable. Then the research began. In the first chapter of his book, Slocum said he was given an old "fishing smack". So I looked for fishing smacks of 1800. About when his was built. Someone suggested the "Emma C Berry" for framing, so I hunted for information on that boat. I also gathered as many plan drawings of the "Spray" as I could find. About five. Now it was time to check and redraw the plans. The first thing I discovered was that ALL the plans had errors. Things like, the shear and section views would agree and the shear and the plan views would agree, but the width of the plan was no where near the same as the width of the sections. Of the drawings I had, the drawing from the appendix in the book was the closest. So I traced that into an old copy of AutoCad and worked out the errors. Checking the fishing smacks plans had shown a frame spacing of from 15" to 22" I chose 18" for framing the Spray. I drew a section at each frame. I offset a line .031" inside to subtract the 1.5" planking Slocum used. The frames will be 3" X 5" so again I offset another line .062 inside the planking for the frames. This gave me the section lines for the plug I will carve to shape the frames. I am going to plank only half the deck and deck houses so I can show the insides, taken from the sketches in Slocum's book. (See below) Bob
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