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Willie L. Bennett Skipjack By Richard Bradfield - Model Shipways - 1/32 Scale


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Hello all, This is my first build log and my first build of a somewhat detailed wooden model boat.  I retired about 18 months ago and decided to get into building model boats. I am partial to work boats, especially those of the Chesapeake Bay, so I built a simple crabbing skiff and a smaller scale skipjack wood model to get into it a bit. This kit is far and away more difficult. I am having fun though and the hours just slip on by.  I am sorry I did not start the build log properly by documenting the kit unboxing and early stages of my build so this log picks up after I finished the basic hull. I started this build on Jan 15, 2013. I am building the boat as close to the "real thing" as I can and adding as much extra detail as I am capable of.  Comments or questions are welcome of course.

 

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The cabins and hatches are just temporarily placed on the deck. The main cabin roof was split in two so that I can remove half to see the detail.  The cabin windows are clear plastic. The cabin mattresses are pieces of cardboard covered with old sail cloth. All doors are hinged and hatch covers are removable. Well that brings this build up to date.  The next task is to cut and install the planksheers.

Edited by Richard Bradfield
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Very nice Richard !  Thanks for posting the pics - the more Willie L Bennetts the better !

 

The cabin and other deck structures look great - nice work on your Chesapeake Bay Skipjack !

Edited by gerty
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Richard,

 

If you get a chance, visit the website for Hampton Roads Ship Model Society.  http://HRSMS.org  We meet the second Saturday of the month at the Mariners Museum, Newport News, 10:00 am.  We have a member who live in Midlothian, and another who lives in Richmond, they both make the monthly trip to our meetings.  Please feel welcome to come and check us us out!

 

Thanks,

 

Tim

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Hi Richard,

 

For your first build, you are really doing a great job.  It is a shame that a lot of the details of this kit get covered up.  I am also a member of the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society that Tim spoke of and several of our members are building this model or have built it.  In fact, our Club held an auction this past Saturday and I was the high bidder for this kit.  The member that I was bidding against wanted this kit badly, so I let him have it after the auction had ended.  He will do a good job on building this model.

 

I look forward to following your build and welcome to Model Ship World.

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Richard,  love what you are doing with this.   I opted away from detailing the inside due to where it will be housed when done;  but am really impressed with the work you put into it!!   Can't wait to see it lit!!

 

Very nice, very nice indeed!!

 

 

-Adam

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How did you build the hinges?

How did you build the steering gear? 

My biggest problem with this kit is the instructions. They are very clear up to the framing part, but it seems that anything after that point is up to the builder to figure out- for example the steering wheel box- no instruction on how to build it.

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Adam and Bob, Thanks for the comments. I am having fun with it.  Worked on it a bit today.  Faired the deck frames, installed the planksheers and the side guards. I soaked the log rails in water a few minutes and am forming them to the hull. Only one pic to add today.

 

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How did you build the hinges?

How did you build the steering gear? 

My biggest problem with this kit is the instructions. They are very clear up to the framing part, but it seems that anything after that point is up to the builder to figure out- for example the steering wheel box- no instruction on how to build it.

 

mbaryckyj,  The hinges on the main cabin doors were purchased.  They were photo etched but I still had to "make" them, that is to form the cylinder shape to accept the pins.  The other hinges I made from scratch.  Being new to this hobby, I tried a couple different ways to create them.  The forward cargo area door hinges were made from medium sized solder wire that I hammered flat, cut to size and shaped around a small nail.  The hinges on the engine cover access door were made from some of the strip brass in the kit and bent around a small nail. The pivot latches are made from solder and attached with pins so they operate.  The handle is brass wire bent to shape. The wheel box dimensions have to be scaled from the drawings.  The Ben Lankford modeling guide provided in the kit provides a general sketch of how it goes together (page 28).  The guide also provides three sketches of different types of steering gear.  I just picked the easiest design.  I made the steering arms from a block of solder I melted into a rough mold.  The steering shaft is just a screw I bought at a hobby store.  My steering gear does not actually work because I would need the shaft to be half right hand threads and half left hand threads. If you want to see one that actually works search for a completed Willie Bennett by Dandyfunk.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

Edited by Richard Bradfield
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Richard: Thanks for getting back to me regarding the various hinges. Your build looks terrific. I am working on this boat as well but I do not have any pictures to show.I made small beds as well from old cloth. I think I will put real port and starboard lights.

 

Someday I hope to scale up this model and add R/C equipment.

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Found this interesting link for those of us building the skipjack. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/md1454/.  Based on the drawing I found here, it confirmed my concern about how I attached the side guards on my boat.  I had just glued them on the wale with a square edge which made them rest at a steep angle to the hull. They need to be tapered so they are horizontal to the water line/surface. I am now in the remove and replace mode. On the other hand, I have successfully installed the log rails, tapered them and carved the inboard portion of the planksheers to the deck height. I also cut out the scuppers, reworked my knightheads and installed the hawse pipes.   post-1790-0-70252900-1363896665_thumb.jpgpost-1790-0-75370500-1363896699_thumb.jpgpost-1790-0-97531000-1363896719_thumb.jpgpost-1790-0-99775900-1363896739_thumb.jpgpost-1790-0-67439100-1363896766_thumb.jpg

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Hi Richard,

 

Beautiful build u have there. Your terrific photos are appreciated. Will enjoy following your build.

 

Cheers,

Hopeful aka David

 

 “there is wisdom in many voices”

 

Completed:      Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Reposting the build log at present

On the bench:  Sultana (MSW)   Reposting the log and keeping on with the build

 

Next:  Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

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Hi Richard,

 

Beautiful build u have there. Your terrific photos are appreciated. Will enjoy following your build.

 

Cheers,

Hopeful aka David

 

 “there is wisdom in many voices”

 

Completed:      Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Reposting the build log at present

On the bench:  Sultana (MSW)   Reposting the log and keeping on with the build

 

Next:  Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

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A short update.  Spent the last two days installing the headrails and trailboards.  I am not planning to torture myself by trying to paint the fancy trailboards so I went ahead and installed them.  They were quite a challenge but I am satisfied with the results.  Will put a primer coat on the new wood then start the deck planking next.  Here are some progress pics.

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Hi Richard,

 

Am really enjoying your build!   Lots to study and learn from your fine work. The many photos you provide really helps to understand the build. Think you could build one life size after your done with the scale vessel.

 

BFN

 

Cheers,

Hopeful aka David

 

“there is wisdom in many voices”

 

Completed: Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Posted on kit build log.

Current: Sultana (MSW) Updating the build log and continuing on with the build

 

Next: Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

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