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DonInAZ

Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiff by DonInAZ - Midwest Products - Scale 1:20, My first wooden ship build - Small

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Next up was attaching the fore and aft decks and sanding them down to size.

This step revealed the only kit flaw I've come across thus far. The aft deck piece is a fraction too narrow and short to place it as the instructions indicate. The fore deck was fine. Since Midwest has stopped producing model boat kits all together I guess I won't bother with an email...

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False Stempost and Sternpost...

In shapping these I managed to sand the side hull planks near the bow all the way down to the stempost and ended up using a little wood filler to build it back up. No worries since this part of the hull will be painted anyway. The false sternpost is squared off to meet up with the rudder.

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Edited by DonInAZ

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Kit Complaint #2:

The kit instructions say to cut the stem cap and sternpost cap out of a scrap piece 3/16 x 1/ 16 wood. Since nothing was that size in the kit, and I don't have any laying around, I'll be making a trip to Hobby Bench on my lunch hour tomorrow.

I mean really...how hard or expensive would it have been to throw in an inch and half long piece into the lumber bag.

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I lost my modeling area for a time. I have since carved out a corner of my office that will get me back in the game and the Crabbing Skiff back on the ways soon!

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Hi Don! Found your log this morning and I must say that you are making a nice little skiff. Great work so far, I'll be looking forward to seeing more as she progresses. 

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Just a quick update since it's been awhile...

 

I got laid off in late summer of last year (I know...life happens...) and that obviously had an effect on my time and money priorities.  As such, the crabbing skiff (and modeling budget) went back on hold whilst I concentrated on finding a new job.  I did make a little bit of progress in the fall (as seen in the previous few posts) but not a lot.  Well I'm happy to report that right after Thanksgiving, I started a new and better job.  The only problem was that my commute is about 90 min to work and 120 - 150 min home in the evening (depending on traffic) which doesn't leave much time for modeling.

 

Anyway, that's probably more than anyone wanted to know about my personal life, but I wanted everyone who might be following this build to know that I have not abandoned the model and nothing has gone wrong with it, I've just had very little spare time lately.  This should all be changing soon as we are in the process of buying a new house that will be closer to the office and will allow me to have a dedicated room/workshop for modeling.  What that also means is that it might be a little while longer before we finish this build as it will take some time to set up in the new house.

 

I have made a bit of progress on the mast, boom and sail and I will try and post something on that soon (before packing up for the move).  Then hopefully come summer, I'll be back in full swing with a dedicated workshop and we'll get this little gal done!

 

Don

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Unfortunately life does tend to get in the way of model building but I am glad to see that you have not quit and are continuing along as time and money permit. Looking forward to having you back at it and seeing the updates!

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So here is the only recent progress I can report on:

I've cut out the sail and shaped and stained the mast and the boom.  As you can see from the picture below the boom is not taking the stain quite as well as the mast did.  I will attempt a few more "coats" and if it still looks dodgy, I will likely just replace it with a higher quality material.  As for the sail itself,  I coated it with dope on both sides to give it a little rigidity.  I'm probably going to experiment a bit more with it since I purchased aftermarket sail cloth and have a lot of extra to try different things.  The one below isn't too bad but the "frays" tend to grow over time even after sealing the edges with fabric sealer.  I don't really like the "hemmed" approach as it usually looks way out of scale.  I have to admit that I don't know a lot about fabric or sewing so I'm a bit out of my element here.  And I'm definitely open to suggestions...

 

As far as the stitch lines on the sail go, I just used a pencil to lightly indicate them.  I still am not completely satisfied with those.  On my next attempt, I think I will use a brown colored pencil.

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As I stated in my previous post, this will likely be the only progress I make until I get settled into our new house and my new dedicated workshop.  Look for something in the early summer perhaps.

Don

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Behind schedule as usual...  Ok so we've made it into the new house but my model room is currently a model storage room.  I need to sell off some stuff I know I'll never build so I can get my work area set up.

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Okay, so I've set up a temporary modeling area in my game room...  The model room is still packed to the walls with unbuilt model kits of all kinds.  It's time to sell a lot them I know I'll never build.  Anyway, I hope to post some more progress pics soon.  Need to get this build over the finish line!

Edited by DonInAZ

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Just checking in... I still have not made any more progress on the skiff but it's still in good shape.  I have to do a paint touch up as I had a can of spray paint explode in my "temporary" modeling space and the hull got a couple of minor splatters of metallic blue lacquer.  I was able to remove the blue paint spots but the lacquer thinner went right through the Tamiya acrylic white on the hull and that will need a re-paint.   Unfortunately, my main model room is STILL a storage room.  I do have a buyer for my surplus kits but he is a small hobby store owner and can only purchase a few at a time.  Space is very tight right now, which is probably the main thing hindering my progress.  I tend to lose interest when things get disorganized.  That's not something I'm proud of, but a weakness that I know I have.  The other major obstacle I have is lack of time.  I leave the house at 6:00-6:30am and don't get home until 6:30-7:00pm.  By the time I eat dinner and spend some time with the family, it's time to go to bed.  Weekends end up being the only time I can take care of chores and "honey-do" items.  That doesn't leave much time left for hobbies.  But I have not given up and I will endeavor to make some progress soon and get this little gal finished. 

Edited by DonInAZ

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On 1/10/2020 at 10:10 AM, DonInAZ said:

 I do have a buyer for my surplus kits but he is a small hobby store owner and can only purchase a few at a time. 

It may be too much of a pain to ship, but have you given any thought to listing some of these here on the forum? I can't wait to see the rest of your progress on the skiff! It looks very nice so far.

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1 hour ago, VTHokiEE said:

It may be too much of a pain to ship, but have you given any thought to listing some of these here on the forum? I can't wait to see the rest of your progress on the skiff! It looks very nice so far.

LOL!  My ships aren't the models I wan't to sell...  I have a lot of older plastic kits (airliners, sci-fi, military, cars, etc...) that I've had for a long time and don't really have any plans to build.  So, it's those I'm selling to the hobby store.  I'm keeping my ship models and my real space models as I definitely want to build these someday.

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There is no better tape I'm aware of for masking hull lines than Tamiya masking tape.  It’s flexible around complex shapes and provides the perfect amount of tack that gives you a tight seal without ripping up the paint off your model.  A little pricey but definitely worth it.

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Edited by DonInAZ

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Got the first coat of Tamiya flat white on the touch up areas and it will need at least one more coat as there was still quite a lot of wood grain visible on the side that I sanded the paint specks off.

I was a little disappointed in that I was hoping to make use of my new Harder & Steenbeck Infinity airbrush for this exercise and was greeted with spitting and a bubbling paint cup.  Not sure what the issue is since it is a brand new $300 airbrush, but it made quite a mess in my spray booth.  I'm just not having good luck with painting lately ☹️.

Fortunately I had not moved the Skiff over to the booth yet so it was safely out of range of the spitting.

I have a few other airbrushes and one of my old standbys was employed to safely get that first coat applied.  The H&S is in a torn down state over on my other work area and I'll be keen to see what's going on with it as I was counting on that being my "go to" airbrush for acrylics.

Edited by DonInAZ

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Paint touch-up completed successfully.   It actually looks a little better than it did before the "incident" 🙂 .

Now it's on to completing the hull which is basically going to just be adding the trim boards along both sides and getting the rudder and tiller attached. 

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I was able to get my H&S airbrush to work after a complete tear down and cleaning.  I found out that it came with the 0.2mm nozzel (shown below under hi magnification) installed which is probably too small for fast drying acrylic paints.  I swapped it out for the 0.4mm nozzel and everything seemed to work fine.

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I'm pretty sure what was happening was that the paint was immediately drying at the tip and clogging the tiny nozzle.  Even the 0.4mm tip would spit if I didn't cut to air at the end of each paint stroke to clear the tip.  In the future I will probably have to use a little retarder and shoot at a lower psi.  I plan to do a little experimenting before my next model.  Fortunately, with wooden ship modeling painting (while important) isn't a huge part of the hobby (like it is with car modeling for example).

Edited by DonInAZ

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Soaked mahogany trim rails in warm water and set them on a jig to give them some shape.  Will hopefully make attaching them a little easier.

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The instructions say to use CA glue for this step, but I don't want to risk having it soak into and stain the mahogany so I will be using wood glue. 

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Edited by DonInAZ

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QUESTION:  Is this "cord needle" method a standard practice with rigging wood ship models?  Is there a reason not to just use a sewing needle?  Inquiring minds want to know! 🤔

Edited by DonInAZ

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6 minutes ago, DonInAZ said:

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QUESTION:  Is this "cord needle" method a standard practice with rigging wood ship models?  Is there a reason not to just use a sewing needle?  Inquiring minds want to know! 🤔

Most blocks (afaik) have (or should have) holes that are not large enough to fit a needle pulling the rope/thread through (which is over twice the diameter of the rope).

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23 minutes ago, VTHokiEE said:

Most blocks (afaik) have (or should have) holes that are not large enough to fit a needle pulling the rope/thread through (which is over twice the diameter of the rope).

Thank you for the fast reply!  OK, I guess that makes sense for dealing with the holes they want you to make in your masts, and also for blocks, deadeyes and other such wood rigging tackle.  I guess for those things I was imagining just using the old "spit and thread" method... but this "cord needle" idea would be a lot more practical.

 

This is a good example of why I wanted to start my wood ship modeling hobby with such a small project as this.  Rigging model ships just seems like "black magic" to me.  I have always been a little (ok...very) intimidated by it and it was the primary reason I chose this particular little boat as my first build as it has just about the simplest rigging plan of all the kits I looked at.  All the kits that had at least one sail that is...😉

Edited by DonInAZ

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Quick update:  So I was planning on attaching the mahogany trim pieces last night but I learned another tough lesson in being in too much of a hurry...

 

While removing the white acrylic paint from the thin strip along the top of the hull where the trim pieces attach (because I want to use wood glue and not CA), I ended up damaging the paint further down on the hull with the alcohol soaked paper towel I was using.  I had masked off the thin strip but did not mask off the lower hull near the waterline.  If I had taken the time to do that, I would be updating this log with pictures of the attached strips... instead I'm re-painting the hull (at least one side of it) again.

 

To make matters worse the damage region extended down past the black waterline and into the lower hull color.  So I will be repainting that whole side of the boat from the top down. 😡

 

Lesson learned...again!

Edited by DonInAZ

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As for myself, I found looped needle threaders better than needles, but I found 'cord needle' even better! For me, applying the CA to about 1/4" inch of the thread was the best length of glue; if it was too long, the coated part would bend in weird ways and if it was too short, I couldn't make use of it. So keep an eye on that and play a bit with it. If you go with the old-school 'spit' approach, be aware of tiny, near invisible 'mini' threads which will make it harder to thread small holes. 

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