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Hermione La Fayette 1780 by Bobstrake - Artesania Latina - Scale 1:89

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The Hermione was built expressly for La Fayette to help with the American Revolution, and she departed France on March 21, 1780. A reconstruction of this ship has recently been completed and will set sail from France to the United States on April 18, 2015.

I will be making some modifications to the kit as I go along. Since there are nice windows for the captain's cabin, I will cut openigs in the stern to look in. The solid brass side windows will have to be replaced to let in light. I hope I can pull this off.
This is my second ship build, although I haven't completed the first, the Carmen, because I've gotten snagged on making the sails. Thankfully, this kit has the sails already made.

Here's the box and contents:

No matter what I try, the pictures come out upside down. I don't know if this because of the old iPad, or the old man. Sorry.





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The build begins. I found that the knightheads had a very loose fit, so I shimmed them with deck planking and got a snug fit. The bulkheads did not need the shims. This part seemed so much easier than my first build, thanks to the great ideas I discovered on this site. Using Legos to clamp on the bulkheads was great! I double checked with a right angle square and found the Legos correct. Holding them on with modified clothes pins, was perfect. With the bulkheads being held at right angles, I was able to concentrate on lining up the top edges. I even stole the idea of using clamps for model stands.




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Thanks, Larry. I was lucky to find a picture of a tour on the Hermione gun deck during construction. You can see the plank nailed across the gun port.


I held my gun deck down with a piece of scrap wood and rubber bands for gluing. Not too pretty, but it worked.



Here's where I lost my mind.


I decided to cut holes in the stern to look into the captain's cabin.  First drilling holes in a rectangular pattern, then cutting between the holes, the stern looked liked it had been chewed by a crazed rat.  Fortunately, it cleaned up with a file.


Then I noticed that the false keel cut the captain's cabin in half, so I removed it.    I hope I don't regret this.


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I will be following your build log with great interest! I also have this kit, but opted to scratch build most of the ship. Your L'Hermione is looking very good so far. I have about 300 pictures of the replica ship if you need something for reference, let me know. Also this book has a lot of great information. The only detractor is you will have to translate it from French (although I am finding that part enjoyable). I think there is also a copy of the book that will be released shortly in English.




Also the replica will be in sailing up the East Coast this summer, if you would like to visit it in person.


Thank you,



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Tres bien, Jim,

Thanks for the assist. I've just gotten some help from your build log.

I will be taking some liberties with the actual cabin interior. I want to let a little light shine through.

It looks liked I roped myself into making some basic furniture, a bench under the stern windows and a table. I don't think very much detail will show, once the windows go up. Maybe something like this in the Surprise:


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The photos are very much appreciated. I'm finding that the kit's photos, instructions, and drawings are surprisingly lacking in details and measurements. While planking the top deck, I'm pondering what to do next. It's an interesting problem of continuing the build without blocking access to the captain's cabin.


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I struggle with weathering on ships myself. That is why often, I prefer to leave them dockyard fresh. The interesting part about the Hermione's deck is how weathered it looks for not yet going to see in this picture.


The deck probably has weathered so much because the ship has been under construction for almost twenty years.


Your model is looking good!


- Tim

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I decided to reinforce the bow and stern before adding the strakes. I found some basswood leftovers from a previous model and glued them all over the place.



After hours of filing, they turned into these.



I'm afraid the commodora was displeased with the massive amount of sawdust in my workshop but eventually I vacuumed it up. Here's my workshop.



So now, it's off to bigger and better messes, and maybe even some progress.

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I'm going to follow NickvN's lead by adding the stem, keel and sternpost before planking.

The plans call for adding these pieces later. You are supposed to leave a notch for these pieces to be fitted into. My first build also called for this technique and I found it to be INFINITELY frustrating.


Now I am firmly stuck on the horns of a dilemma. Where do I attach the first strake? The plans show very mysterious pencil marks on the bulkheads, but no explanations or measurements, just hints.

                                Will the planks run straight, or follow the curve of the top deck?   post-14120-0-44585300-1430418914_thumb.jpg
I know I simply will have to decide.    

Based on my own ignorant judgments, I will either enjoy the accomplishments, or the consequences.  This is a most fascinating situation.

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