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HALF MOON by probablynot - FINISHED - Corel - Scale 1:50. Wood.

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Well now ...
I bought this Corel 'Half Moon' kit about six months ago, when Model Expo were occasinally putting kits up for auction on eBay.
The kits seemed to be selling at well below the list price, but I knew the cost of postage from USA to UK would be very high, plus there would be import duty to be paid if I put in a winning bid.
So I set my highest bid at about 60% below the best UK price I could find.  And to my surprise the bid was successful!
The result, after I paid HM Customs their ransom, was a net saving of about 15% over buying here.  Not a lot, really.  And now that Model Expo seem to be doing cheap overseas postage on some of their items, I'll doubtless be looking at their website more diligently than I've done before.
Anyway, here's the kit box.  I opened it yesterday, and took out the documentation to look at.  Plans look OK - easy to handle and follow.  BUT the instructions come as a four-language jobbie, photocopied down to half the original size and printed both sides of the paper on 24 A4 sheets.  I spent most of last night and this morning scanning the English version (plus the l-o-n-g parts list) into my computer, feeding the pics (enlarged) into a MS Word document, and printing them out single-sided.
Comes to 44 pages now, but at least I can read it!

Actual work on the model will probably start next week.  I've got to put a new coat of wood preservative on my workshop before I'm allowed to play!


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Welcome to the Shipyard, friends!
There are biscuits in the tin by the Domanoff rope-serving machine.  And if George will get off the rum-barrel for a few minutes you can grab a tin mug and help yourselves!

Anyway, first steps ...
The frames are just dry-fitted so far.  This is my first kit that didn't have laser-cut frames, and I was rather surprised to find I had to do some serious (but careful) filing before they would fit onto the keel.
I was even more surprised to discover, on looking closely at the frames, that the Half Moon has a hard chine.  I haven't looked very far ahead in the Instructions, yet, but methinks the hard chine could be the cause of some heartache when I have to do the planking.

On the matter of planking, I'll need to make up my mind whether to abide by Corel's instructions and do two layers, or to go for single planking (like I did with my Enterprise build).  I'll probably check all the Half Moon build logs I can find, and see which way the majority went.  However, there's something in my mind telling me I'd be likely to get a better finish on this one if I adope the two-layer approach.



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Fellas, you can use my mugs, or your own mugs, or just swig from the spigot!  Just remember to leave a few drops for the shipyard workers!

Sam, I think you're right about the Enterprise bulkheads being die cut.  A look back at my build log showed no burn marks on them.  But die cut is better than whatever Corel did when they made these Half Moon bulkheads!  There's a lot more fine shaping to be done than I was expecting.

I'm glad you'll be looking in sometimes, Max.  Guidance from someone who's already built the Half Moon will be very welcome.
I was also hoping that Jerry (of Naples, Florida) might look in - I followed his recent (and excellent, and entertaining) Half Moon build log quite closely, knowing that I'd be building the same model pretty soon, and I'm sure he'd have plenty of hints/tips for me as I go along.

This afternoon has been a filing-and gluing afternoon.  All the parts in the accompanying pic are decently (to my eye) squared and glued now, including the main deck.
I'm thinking I might do the main deck planking next, while the deck is easily accessible, instead of adhering to the instructions and waiting until all the decks are fitted and in my way.  Hmm, now that it occurs to me, I wish I'd drawn a pencil centre-line on the deck before I glued it in!


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Getting a bit crowded here!  But you'd better come inside Buck - they're forecasting rain again ...


I did plank the main deck.  It took several days - I'd forgotten how being married limits the time you can allocate to tasks as important as model ship building.

I used some of my own stash of  0.5mm x 4mm strip for this, because I felt the stuff supplied by Corel might not have been quite sufficient for the job.  Mine's a tad lighter in shade than Corel's, but it's got nicer grain.

One of the three upper decks (the foc's'le) is properly fitted; the after decks still need to be glued in.

But once that's done, I have to start on the planking.

Corel have a rather idiosyncratic (and apparently patented) method for the planking, so my original hope that I could opt for a single-layer planking job goes out of the window.  I don't want to get too far into the Dark Side known as 'scratch', and then find I can't relate any of the future build stages to Corel's instructions! 


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Hanging from the ceiling by my finger tips, to get some view in your crowded workspace ... Considering the wood quality of the 2nd layer of the Dolphyn ... I wouldn't do that 'itchy' method either, Brian ... Best stick to that 1st and 2nd layer, or you should replace the wood for your single layer to some more volumunous material - 'planks' instead of strips ...

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Shihawk, I'm afraid I couldn't say what the deck planking wood is. It's leftover wood from a part-built Endeavour model that I acquired a couple of years ago. i would recognise most of the usual pale-coloured woods, but I can't place this one. The grain is irregular but close, and with a nice colour contrast.

Yes, Carl, I agree the quality of some of Corel's wood could be better ...

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I made a start on the first layer of planking today.

But I took a few minutes out to make a special clamp.  It pinches onto the keel and holds down the plank ends where they have to be bent around a small radius.

I'm sure it's possible to buy commercially-made versions of this clamp, but [a] I wouldn't know what to look for in Ebay or Amazon, and I  bet they don't make inexpensive 'mini' versions for modelmakers!

The planking is going to be a slow job.  I soak the planks in hot water for the bending process, and nail them in place (without gluing) wjhile they dry out.  Then I remove them, apply the glue and refit them using the same nail holes.


Corel haven't been generous with the wood strips for planking.  There might just be enough though, if I don't have any breakages or mis-cuts.  Keeping my fingers crossed.



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I'm making progress with the planking.  Going against thr instructions somewhat (by planking above the gun ports first, instead of starting with the main hull planking) but I don't think that will cause problems.

The tool that I'm currently making quite heavy use of, is one that I made (well, adapted) myself.  It started off as a 3mm-wide electrical screwdriver.  I used a miniature triangular file to create a v-groove in the middle, then I ground the underside to make the blade chisel-sharp - and to create a fulcrum-point just behind the v-groove.  Perfect for lifting out tiny nails with a minimum of damage to the planking.

Nice of you to look in, John.  Yes, married life is good!



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Hello Brian...

We've been away for a couple of weeks and I'm so happy that I looked in on MSW today and found your site.  I wish you the best with your build of the Half Moon and I now you will have many hours of enjoyment from it; I did. Your work to date looks excellent and I look forward to watching and enjoying your progress and if there is anything I might add by the way of answering any questions, you know for sure I'll do my best.  I definitely recommend that you double plank the hull as it will enhance your finish greatly.  


My Half Moon is sitting on a shelf by the entry to our home but I still haven't covered it with a display cover.  It hasn't gotten dusty yet and I'm sure that's due to the waxing of all the rigging which I wholeheartedly recommend to you.  Please let me know if I can ever be of any help.



Edited by Jerry
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Hi Jerry - Welcome back!  If it was a holiday, I hope you had a great time!  Anyway, I'm really glad you dropped in here!  I've got a small problem that I hope you can advise on!

Looking at your Half Moon build log, (your post #72 of 30 Dec 2014) I see you carried the first planking through as a 'lining' to the keel.  To accommodate this, you cut away some of the thickness of the keel at the - well, let's call it the skeg.  I've seen this approach recommended elsewhere, with other models, and I'm sure it works, but it makes me feel uneasy somehow.
The method I'm planning to adopt is to leave the 'skeg' bare of the first planking, but to fit filler pieces that 'round' the planked hull on each side into the skeg, so that the second planking can be carried through smoothly.
I'll need to cut a shallow rebate in the keel, close to the rudder, to accept the ends of the 1mm-thick second-layer planks, but it won't have to be deep.  About 0.5mm I reckon. I think the keel itself, where it still shows after planking, is likely to need cladding with some 0.5mm mahogany veneer, which would thicken the keel to 5mm (about 9 1/2 inches in scaled-up terms).  And reading ahead in Corel's Instructions, I noted that the rudder has to be similarly clad before it's fitted.

Jerry, I'm sure you considered the pros and cons of all this when you were at this stage of your build.  Any advice that you (or anyone else) can offer before I get too deeply committed will be most welcome!

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Hello Brian.. I just received your post and I'm sorry for the delay in answering but we were away (for a change.)  


Actually, I didn't cut away any of the keel but merely sanded it to arrive at the proper thickness.  Any gap between the planking and the skeg was filled in with a putty wood filler that matched the walnut color.. I found a couple of older pictures that were never put in my log and I don't know if they will be useful but I've attached them in any event.  I never tell anyone how to do something as i firmly believe different ideas create a collection good for different folks.  You must do what you feel is best.  You will notice that the rudder is indeed planked as well.

I hope this has been helpful.





Edited by Jerry
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The first layer of planking is complete.
Well almost.  I'm going to add a small triangular fillet of softwood on each side at the stern, to soften the angle between the hull and the keel and allow the second planking to run smoothly from the hull onto the keel.

There's a little nail loose somewhere in one of the compartments inside the planking.  It fell in there when I was pulling nails after a gluing session, and I forgot to shake it out before the final planks went on.  So the ship could also serve as a baby's rattle!  I *think* it's in one of the compartments where the gunports are.  I've shaken the model several times, but so far I haven't been able to dislodge it.

Anyway, now there'll be a few sessions of filling and sanding, and trimming of edges, before I can start on the prettier planking.

Thanks for those pictures Jerry.  They helped to clarify a part of the build where Corel's instructions aren't particularly useful.


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Hi Sam.

Bending the planks at the bow end wasn't really a problem. As I took each plank (hot and well-soaked) from the water, I wrapped one end around a beer can and held it in place for about half a minute. After that, it was easy to trim each plank to shape and apply it to the model.

My 'plank soaker' is a 21" length of white plastic tube (left over from when I refitted my kitchen), blanked off at tha bottom end with the lid from an aerosol can and held vertically in my bench vice. It takes exactly a pint of boiling water. Another aerosol lid acts as a cap to stop the soaking planks from floating up from the water. I'll try to post a photo tomorrow.

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Here's my model-making equivalent of the Steam Box.
When I was a 14-year-old kid I used to store my kayak in a shed in Wm. Wyatt's boatyard at West Mersea in Essex. He charged me five shillings a year for that.  The shed was a long lean-to at the side of the boatbuilding workshop, and of course I would always sneak in to the workshop to see what was being built here.
I remember seeing a yacht under construction.  It actually looked very much like any plank-on-frame model, writ large, with the keel, stem and transom in place, and about 7 or 8 frames held firmly, and beautifully squarely, waiting for the planking.
In fact there were already some planks in place.  The shipwrights were working from the keel upwards, and as I recall they had done about two on each side.  Alongside the build there was a long wooden box, that I was told not to sit on unless I wanted a blistered bum!  This was the Steam Box, where the next pair of planks were being softened up before being applied to the framework.
My plastic tube serves the same purpose as Wm. Wyatt's  Steam Box, although it operates at a slightly lower temperature.
The end is blanked off with the lid from a paint spray can.  It didn't fit exactly, so I filled the gap with a few lengths of rubber cut from a bicycle inner tube.  It doesn't leak.
The lid - it's necessary to stop the planks from floating up out of the boiling water - could be anything that fits.  Mine was originally the base of a large test tube jar.

I put the planks in, and add a pint of boiling water.  Ten minutes later the planks are pliable and ready for use.
And every time I do it, I remember those old shipwrights in the boatyard, and I wonder who owned that yacht they were building, and I wonder where it is now ...


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