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San Felipe by Bender - Mantua/Panart --Scale 1:75--Rebuild Log

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The following was orginally posted on June 22, 2009.


 I built the winding staircases this week. The ship has 6 winding staircases, and the kit supplied laser cut plywood pieces for four solid stair rails. The direction showed two of the staircases with open stair rails. I could not see why four staircases are solid and two open, so I scratch built two solid stair rails. I included pictures of the two scratch built stair rails. The kit supplied a plastic tube (32 mm diameter) to form the railings. For the 4 rails the kit supplied: first, you glued two pieces of laser cut and engraved pieces of plywood together back-to-back. Second, bend them around the tube and tape. Let the glue dry and you have one curved solid rail. Last, a top handrail was glued to the top edge of the curved rail.


For the two rails I scratch built, I wrapped tape around the tube with the sticky side out.




I then cut 26 pieces of 0.5 mm thick strips of planking and stuck them to the tape.




Next I spread glue on these strips and stuck 27 more piece of 0.5 mm strips on the glue.






I then tightly taped around the tube and wood strips,






let it dry, slide the railing off the tube,




remove the tape,






and then sand and shape.








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 Originally posted June 22, 2009.


 The kit supplied 48 laser cut plywood steps.


There was nothing to do but sand these pieces. These step pieces were then glued to a piece of dowel, forming a spiral. The curved rails were then glued to the spiral steps. It took a lot of sanding and staining to cover up the ply layers in the plywood steps. Total time for the six stair cases was nearly 50 hours: over 8 hours per step unit.


Step pieces.  Steps glued to the dowel, forming a spiral. Winding stair case ready to be installed.






Bunch of deck stuff ready to be glued 








The next 3 pictures show the stair cases in place.









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The following was originally posted June 30, 2009.


The cannon are done and installed. I haven’t decided if I will add the block-and-tackle to the cannons. I installed the hook-eyes to the cannons and beside each port just in case.  Only six cannons will be in clear sight to a casual observer. I might fully rig those six. Also, there are six cannons that I have no idea how to rig.  The parts list calls these cannons “falconets-pumps”. They have only two wheels. I looked back in the gallery, but only one San Felipe had any rigging on these six falconets. I have included two pictures of the falconets. They are the last two pictures in this post.
























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More cannon pictures.

This is a template for drilling the holes.





















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It’s been awhile. I found the San Felipe pictures on my old lab top, and wanted to post the rest of the build.

This was in my notes from July 3, 2009.


Headrails? I think the headrails must be the most fragile, frustrating, grueling, ambiguous, vague parts to build on a ship. For each single rail, the kit supplied three 1mm X 3 mm strips of plywood. The plywood strips had the correct shape in two-dimension ( c-shaped ). Two of the three strips are glued together and glued in place which give the rail its shape in the third-dimension. The third plywood strip is then glued to the other two. The first two pictures are of the strips being glued in place. The next picture is the rails after I removed them the next day.  The next picture shows the rails I made of brass strips. These brass strips are glued and nailed to the stem and hull. The last pictures shows the catheads and the falconets. I decided to have just a breaching rope on the falconets.





Three layers of ply. I was afraid it would be too flimsy.


I replaced with brass strips.


Finished headrails.


Trying to clamp the flimsy ply headrails.






Another picture of the ply headrails.



Another showing an attempt to attach the ply headrails. 


Edited by Bender

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Some more pictures and notes from 7/7/2009.


I glued the last of the brass on. My next build will have no brass. The last four gun ports—the four under the curve of the transom—are finished. The last four guns ( chasers ) are in.







And I’m in the process of installing the gun port lids. I have discovered a problem with some of the lids and will write about it on my next post.

While the ship was up-side-down I built and fastened the rudder.  



When I turned the ship back over I discovered I had damaged the hand rail.


A little CA glue took care of that. 

And some more pictures.







Edited by Bender

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Notes from 7/14/2009

Mantua supplied a jig for drilling the two holes for the gun ports lid’s hinge pins and the two holes for the rope that would open the lids.





After drilling the holes, I inserted the hinge pins.



And glued the glue tube to my finger.



There was a problem with the supplied drilling jig.  After installing the channels, the holes for the lid ropes are above the channels. Also, as I was drilling the holes for the middle roll of guns, ( note in the picture above the white scuff marks above the rubbing strakes) I noticed the drill bit was piercing the hull inside above the main deck. I ended up having to put down a waterway to cover up all the holes.



Another problem. With the lid up the eye-bolts hits the bottom of the channels, but the lid does not open high enough.


On one side I left the ten lids under the fore and main channels closed. On the other side I clipped the eye-bolts off and glued the lid open.




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Notes from 7/23/2009


I have never soldered anything before this build, so to say I could not solder is an understatement. And now after soldering 66 sets of chain plates—many of them four of five times—I am better but still cannot solder very well. The tutorials are a big help. I did not know how to start, so I went through the tutorial over on the left: “A guide to Silver Soldering, by Russell Barnes.” I found the needed supplies that Russell Barnes suggested at Ace Hardware. I would solder a link then test it by inserting a length of wire in the link and pulling with a little force. If it broke I would do it again—sometimes as many as five times. After three to five times though, the ends of the wire forming the link would be burned short. The kit supplied 66 of the middle links. I ended up making 52 because of burning the kit supplied links. I got a lot a practice, a whole lot. Of the last ten links, only one link had to be soldered for a second time. There is a learning curve. 








The chain plates were the last of the hull building. Now starts my favorite part: masts, yards and the rigging. I started with the bowsprit.


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Thought I’d attach a few random pictures that I left out.

Parts of the lids for the cannon ports.


All the lids finished and ready to be painted.


I strung a string through the eyes of the port lids and hung it out out to paint.


Rails, stairs, pin rails 


Skylight and stair rails








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Notes from 8/6/2009

Everything is built: nothing but rigging left. Although, I am still trying to build a ship’s boat by scratch. Two attempts have left me with nothing I would want to show off. I will try one more time. If after this third attempt and the ship’s boat does not look good I will go with the kit supplied plastic/ wood boats.

I have all the standing rigging on the bowsprit, all the forestay on the fore mast except for the fore topgallant stays, the ten shrouds on the fore mast, and one fore stay on the main mast attached.











 A thought occurred to me at this point: There are 10 shrouds each side on the fore mast, the main mast will have 12 shrouds each side and the mizzen mast 6 shrouds each side.  I started thinking: that’s going to be a lot of ratlines. . . a lot of ratline knots. So I multiplied shrouds by ratlines, added up those from each mast and came up with 3110 knots. The plan—when the time comes—is to tie 100 knots a day for 31 days.  We will see.  Rigging really is my favorite part.  I have decided to add sails; this requires 96 additional blocks tied to masts, yards and stays.




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Pictures of ratline tying. I used Microsoft Excel to print parallel lines the correct distance apart to keep the ratlines straight, level, and uniform.












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I tapered the masts and yards by chucking a piece of dowel in my drill and spinning the dowel against a bench top belt sander. When the dowel was nearly the correct size, I finished up by spinning the dowel inside a piece of folded over fine sandpaper. 




I came up with a “cheat” for tying blocks to yards, masts, and tops. I made a crude drawing.5F4A644A-9D5C-4698-B19A-359EF458A263.jpeg.d07af92d849150fba6eaeb38715f4516.jpeg

The thinner thread—with ends marked A and B—can be wrapped around the thicker thread four times to as many as ten or more depending on the length you need.


I usually tighten the thread around the block first and then slip the other loop around the yard or mast.


A drop of CA glue holds it. I’ve never had a block come loose using this method. 



If the block is attached to an eye, I thread the string through the eye and then do the tying as shown in the crude drawing above.





Here is a link to a post I made several years ago that better explains this method.






Edited by Bender

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I had ordered sails from Model Expo, knowing they were back ordered. (Remember this was back in 2009.) I had been sitting around looking at the ship, wanting to do something.  So I decided to try my hand at making sails.  The kit comes with sail patterns. Sewing machines are not easy to use. It is easy to sew but not easy to sew in a straight line. Making a hem tiny enough for a model ship takes more practice than I have patience for, not to mention all of the parallel stitches one would have to do. First attempt found the trash.  After reading more posts and tutorials here on MSW and reading on the model shipwrights’ database, I found out they make stuff for stitchless hems. You just place the stuff within the fold of the material and iron the hem. Works great.  I found some thin cotton that already had the parallel lines.  (Is that cheating?)  I hand sewed the clew lines on and stuck myself several times. On the model shipwrights’ database, under sail making, I found several ways of making the sail appear to be windfilled.  While ironing the hem, I put wire in the hem. Then after attaching the sail to the yard I made a sling in the bathroom sink (lavatory in the water closet.) 



Then I moistened the sail, put a little glue on it, then smoothed out the glue until the sail was evenly covered with the diluted glue.



I laid little plastic bags of pea gravel on the sail  and let the sail dry.




When the sail was completely dry I took it to the back porch where I made another sling to hold the sail and sprayed it with lacquer.



These pictures were of my third attempt for this one sail. I ended up emailing model expo to cancel the back order for the sails. It had been over two months.


You can see that the sail presses against a fore stay, which is the reason for the dowel that is crossways to the yard in the above pictures.




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For the furled sails I attached them to the yard and coated them with diluted glue. I then tied loops around the sail were a line would crease the sail and let it dry. This process left the sail too bunched up and looking like a sail where weight was not pulling it down. After attaching the yard to the mast I sprayed the sail with more water and used a bunch of clips to give the sail the appearance of weight.53CB2503-4863-4E41-96C2-E2351DCDE173.jpeg.a0d535947d4589f7ec1a6db2a0018a0d.jpeg





And it ends up lookin like this.









Edited by Bender

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HThis is a good picture that shows the sails. 


For lines that are tied off at the pin rails, I work my way from the top down. For example: I start by attaching the line to the sail, run the line though all the blocks, and finish at the pin rail by poking the line through a hole in the pin rail. I press a pin in the hole to hold the line in place. When I’m finished with all the lines I can readjust the tension if needed. I don’t glue the pin in until I’m sure everything in in the correct spot, the tension is good, and no lines cross each other.


I finish up by making a bunch of rope coils and gluing them to each pin.


Some more pictures showing rope coils. And I had a few little plastic guys I painted and placed around the ship.





Edited by Bender

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