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  1. Ahoy! from Snug Harbor Johnny, this is my first build log but not my first build. All (but one) of the models I constructed (ships, planes, rockets in wood, paper or plastic) growing up in the 60s & 70s did not (alas) survive transitioning to adulthood, and my adult non-work activities ranged through a wide variety of Colonial crafts demoed in public with my wife - who got me into 're-enacting' time periods ranging from Renaissance to Edwardian ... but mostly of the 18th & 19th century. Now in semi-retirement, I want to more-or-less finish the old first-issue Billings Wasa that works out (as best as I can compare the model to the original) to about 1:105 scale. The information on the newly-raised warship was in the early stages in those days, so I don't fault the kit for making some assumptions to 'fill in blanks' (which there were a few then) - perhaps influenced by a contemporary model of another Wasa built in the late 18th c. (A 17th c ivory model of the Norwegian Lion - a near contemporary warship to the first Wasa comes much closer to the mark, and could be a 'twin' ... but that's another story.) Here is the aging plan (separated down the middle and slightly misaligned) from Billings, which shows the ship having an 18th c windowed stern cupola, the stern not as high as now known, a forecastle deck and a figure head not as jutting as later restored to the original in a Stockholm museum. In fact, the state of restoration and knowledge of the original (and pictures available on line and in books) is astounding - so I'd like to do at least some 'surgery' to make my model come reasonably close to the original. It will by no means by 'museum quality' or 'dead-on' accurate, but still should be recognized by knowledgable modelers as the Wasa. I anticipate that the effort to undo the forecastle deck (forced by the internal bulkheads in the kit at that time) may not be worth the effort. Or I could be wrong about this and with a little guidance I might chance to undertake it. Ah yes, note the hank of full-sized jute rope in the upper left of the picture, which I made myself on a real rope walk that is one of the crafts I demonstrate at historic houses and fairs. (Other crafts have included book binding, candle dipping /molding, colonial gun making, harpsichord playing - on one of three I built myself - and dancing, of all things ... I was strongly encouraged by my wife to help her start an historic dance group.) So I mat yet build a mini-rope walk for making my own scale rope for ship models. Well, there's the hull - untouched for decades - that was single-planked, and has a slight 'bulge' from the middle bulkhead being just a tad fat as supplied (and can be seen on other vintage build of this kit not corrected by fairing) ... and I did not appreciate the finer points of fairing in those days. I drilled little holes and filled then with round toothpicks to simulate wood pegging (tree nails ?). The modeled rings around the gun ports of the weather deck were done as follows: I modeled one in clay on a piece of glass, then painted successive layers of latex gunk (drying thoroughly between coats) to produce a one-sided rubber mold, which I peeled off the glass and cleaned out. Modeling plaster over the back of the latex mold to support the flimsy latex and then multiple 'copies' of the gunport rings could be made from hard dental plastering the mold - taken out when cured. I did the same for little lion's head for the inside of the gun ports (yet to be made.) More on those gunport later. Here's the stern, and the 'carvings' were modeled as described above - except that due to the complexity, I just slathered wood putty into the mold and slapped it onto the back to set. After all, it will all be painted anyway. But the arrangement of the carvings and size of the stern were what was thought by Billings around 1970. I plan to cut of the top below the feet of the lions and move that piece upward to raise the stern to where it needs to be - as well as correct the relationship to the pair of cupids below ... and many more figures need to be added - another challenge. Now for those gun ports. After cutting them (many are not quite square) I glued false 'decking' below each line of ports to support gun carriages and pieces of wooden dowel I drilled-out so that the 'half-cannons' supplied in the kit would fit into them. I also 'lined' the gun ports with small pieces of wood for a better look. Yeah, I know now that the plank widths are out of scale - they should be half the width - and the pegs are way out of scale ... they are what they are, and they really look OK on the model to the casual observer. Now you can see the 'stanchions' (extensions of the kit bulkheads are fat, but they can be trimmed and additional false stations added. There needs to be a third level in the stern, and raining the stern will provide space for that - but it will won't be exactly like to original ... just closer. I'll have to make the 'coffin-like' doored companionways as well. And there's the darned forecastle deck - most warships (at least drawings of them) before and after do have it this way, and perhaps I'll leave it but add a bulwark plus railing. There would be a lot of nasty cutting to get rid of it, and the deck would definitely show a surgical 'scar'. Under where each mast is to go I've already glued a large block of wood to drill a hole into for the mast. Do I try and mess with it, or just leave it alone? Here are some of the kit fittings. The full cannons leave much to be desired, but the ports on the weather deck already align to the carriages as-is. I can carefully belt sand some off the underside and glue 'wheels' on the outside so there will appear to be a little space underneath the carriage. Yeah, the blocks an deadeyes are plastic - but I bought a bunch of wooden ones to use instead. I'll have to make triangular deadeyes for the shrouds. Those bits in the plastic box are little lion heads cast from a latex mold - a few are flipped over to the flat reverse. Now here's a view with the 'half-cannons' installed, and they look OK - a whole lot better than just painting a black square and drilling a small hole to stick the half-barrels in as the kit suggested. Decals were provided for the lion heads for the open gun ports, and the ones I make with 3-D gold painted lion heads will be a definite improvement ... but I might glue the lids open against the hull. I'm trying to imagine the trouble of trying to fashion hinges that will be covered-up anyway, since almost all will be open. Plenty of guns, yeah, I'm all for that ... maybe its a 'guy' thing to build a warship bristling with cannon (a compensation or wishful thinking?) Here's a close-up of the guns, and they have a natural patina from just sitting around for so long. I know I have a great 'head start' (after a long hiatus) to build on what I have and end-up with a pretty good model. I'm NOT aiming for 'perfection' - 'good enough' is good enough for me. I don't want to put sails on - in fact, I'm considering to build it to the restored state of the original in Stockholm that has the first sections of the masts in place and shrouds/ratlines on them. That would be like some sort of Admiralty or dockyard model - plus the lower masts instead of cut-off (or serrated) 'stubs'. Or I could just do the masts and yards complete with standing rigging. That way the sails and scads of running rigging won't be needed. The third option would be to have just the few sails set that were actually used on the disastrous 'maiden voyage' ... most of the sails were found still in storage when the ship was salvaged. Your comments/suggestions are welcome. Fair sailing! Johnny
  2. Opened my next build! The Airfix 1/144 Wasa. I find the history of this ship to be fascinating. This will be the smallest scale I have tried. Looking to really hone my skills and techniques on very small features, especially painting the stern. Pictures I have seen show it to be beautiful and I hope mine will reach that level when complete. I checked the MSW index and only see one build of this Airfix kit and that is by kpnuts. Fantastic job! I really like the ocean effects and the displaying of the ship lesning over before it eventually sank. Numerous other builds of other kit manufacturers. Will read through several before starting mine. One thing I have already determined is that is debate over if the stern end of the ship was primarily red or blue. The kit shows it as being painted red but several builders an articles I have read say it was actually blue. Will need to make my first education decision right off the bat. If there are any MSW members currently building, or previously built, any version of the Wasa please share any advice or suggestions you may have. I thoroughly enjoy this site and sharing with other builders.
  3. I am very glad to have found this website with, luckily for me, many build logs on the Wasa from Corel. I will use many of the tips and pictures posted in these logs for my guidance and as a example of what gifted modelbuilders can achieve. I have bought a 'used' model of the Wasa about a year ago for a low price. It was in a very bad shape and the modelbuilder (not the person from which I have bought the model) did some things really well, but other parts were absolutely desastrous. Also it had suffered from neglect and the masts were broken off. When I saw the model as it was at the time it became clear to me that I first had to do a lot of demolishing and then try to rebuild parts of it. Most notably was the bow section as it appeared that the previous builder had had problems with bending the wooden strips for planking that part of the hull. First some pictures of the model as it was 'before restoration':
  4. Well here we go, with my first log. The Wasa. It looks quite challenging but extremely interesting to build. The history of the ship is fascinating, and one day I will visit the WASA Museum in Stockholm. The attached file is just the beginning, with the layout, and the review of the drawings. I will keep you posted on the progress with as many pictures as I can spare the time for. Looking forward to talking to you all and those in particular building the same boat. JM
  5. Hello MSW. I'm Doug, a first-time plank-on-frame builder in the USA. I've built many models over the years, mostly many years ago, and one kit from Denmark's Billing Boats (Jacques Cousteau's CALYPSO), but VASA is my first attempt at a wooden sailing ship kit. As a kid, I pored over books of historic sailing ships, as I'm sure many of you did, and the VASA was often featured in their pages. In 2016, I had the opportunity to visit the ship at its museum in Sweden, and the impressiveness of the ship and its preservation stuck with me. Fast-forward to 2020, and as a quarantine project, I decided to try my hand at the kit you see here. I'll try to document my progress as best I can while reflecting on my many mistakes (several so far). One lesson I've already learned: if you're not happy with something, and it can be fixed without destroying the model, take the time to fix it, even if there's short-term pain. Off we go.
  6. My new one commissioned by my boss, the Airfix Wasa, I bought it off ebay and I've no idea how it was stored but its warped to hell, its been a real pig to get it together, didn't do it as per instructions as i could not get the deck atattched and level so glued the hull front together then when the glue set glued the rear the glued the deck a bit at a time using loads of masking tape to hold it till dry. Broke lots of these bits on the top rails (whatever they are) so will have to make some new ones.
  7. Hi everyone, Did you seen the new VASA from Artesania Latina ? I found it here : Vasa 1/65 from AL. Base and 6 figurines are included. BUUUUUUT, 800 Euro. Ouch. Length 107 x Height 87 x Width 40 cms.
  8. I am very happy to have found MSW and to get the energy and inspiration to build this ship. Thanks to fmodajr and md1400cs. The WASA ship section below (unknown fabricator - prob. Billing boats) - was built in the early 90s and I mostly remember the tedious work cutting all pieces by hand (not laser cut) from wood panels. It took two years to build the main part and then another 4-5 years until the rigging was finished. Most of the time the build was put away waiting for me building up confidence to finish the model. This time I had the opportunity to have a dedicated work space, were the model could rest when no work was being done, and laser cut pieces. I though replaced the keel with a solid wood bit due to poor quality plywood. I had read that the foundation was a key to get the hull planking go easy. I tried to follow the instructions but later I found the book by Björn Landström "The Royal Warship VASA" from 1980 (ISBN 91-86448-12-9) and I ended up with some "creative" planking pattern compared with the images in this book. I was very close to mix two of the mid pieces before cluing them on the keel.
  9. Just had a major 7 week vacation through Europe and arrived home to find the first of 12 packs from England for the Vasa kit. I saw the original Vasa in Sweden in 2012 and always wished I could get this ship for my collection and to my surprise England has the kit and allowed us guys down under to purchase direct. I am exited to see the parts are of the same high standard as the Souvereign of the Seas I finshed early this year. photo’s will follow when i commence serious construction
  10. Hi, My name is Peter, and I live in the snow country of south-east Australia (yes we do have snow in parts of Australia during winter!!!). About 12 months ago, following an inspirational cruise in the Baltic Sea and a visit to the Vasamuseet in Stockholm, I commenced building the Billing Boat's Vasa. This is the second large Billing Boat I have constructed, the first being the Cutty Sark, almost 40 years ago. This model is proudly displayed in a glass case in our home and has been a talking point and feature most of my life. Hopefully, while I now have more time, the Vasa will be the same. I have read many of the build logs regarding the Vasa by Nazgul, Marketdiens, fmodajr, md1400cs, mar3kl, Karleop and others. These builds are a mix of Corel, Sergal/Mantua, Billing and more recently the De Agostini release from Italy. Prior the DeAgostini model (by ModelSpace), a number of writers commented that they felt the Billing Boat's Vasa was the most accurate, and it was available before the DeAgostini model release, and so my choice was the Billing Boats kit. Having now progressed through this build, overall I am reasonably happy with the content of materials (although I have substituted some timbers), and scratched a number of items (eg below decks cannon mounts etc). The instructions are limited and short on detail, but the build logs have subsequently helped and filled in some of the 'gaps'. In particular, the exquisite build of Matti (Nazgul) has been wonderful, but many of the ideas of Mark (mar3kl), I have also adopted. So, to begin, the packaging and delivered product was complete with no obvious broken parts or missing items, but these would be picked up as I went along in the build. One thing that I did notice however was that hull planking used timber referred to as 'Obechi'. While this was all included, I did not like its scaled width or thickness, and so I did some maths to scale the planking of the actual ship pictures I had, and then purchased some 5 x 1 mm mahogany in precut strips. This to me, was a much better planking material, and better for the scaling appearance of the ship. A similar argument held for the deck planking and so I milled some of the mahogany to use for this as well. Different stain/treatments were also used to maintain reasonable appearance and weathering effects. Bulkhead layout was straightforward but the bulkhead extensions above deck (which were instructed to be 'thinned') were weak and fragile. Some of these broke in the process of the build, especially with the deck plywood fitting and so I trimmed these and added extensions later when the planking was built up above the deck level. The decking base needed some trimming but this was minimal and fitted satisfactorily. Before any comments are made about the Smirnoff bottles in the background, these are holding raw alcohol which I intend to use in assisting the bending of planks. This is to be an experiment, but I have read where it is more effective than water and/or steam bending. More on this later!!
  11. To all WASA Billings builders. Just planning ahead to finish off the planking on my build and have seen a number of nailed hulls (with a lot of nails). My kit does not supply nails in any number to complete a hull nailing task. (52 nails...whatever they are for ??) I can order the nails and lay them out on the hull.. time consuming but no problem really. some builds appear to have not used nails at all...... could always use pin holes then varnish which would appear to be nails..... I think... Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated from anyone... Thanks JM
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