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USN Picket Boat #1 by jct - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1/24 scale

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  I'm starting my third build log here on MSW, this time Model Shipways rendition of Picket Boat #1.    I first must apologize as once I cracked the box, I couldn't contain my enthusiasm and started building right away...so I've no inventory pics.   What drew me to this kit was the exposed boiler and steam engine, the kit provides some excellent photo etched detail parts and some white metal castings that I'll photo and index as I add them to the build.  The laser cut wood pieces appear to be of the highest quality and those I've worked with have proved to be such.


  So without further adieu... Model Shipway's Picket Boat #1.


  The first thing to notice is that the kit deck planking is laser etched into the fwd and aft sections, and no planking is supplied for the decks or bulkheads.  The kit instructions recommend staining the decks but my kit had some rather prominent grain on the forward piece that would have been way out of scale so I made the call to use some walnut veneer to make planking and apply this where required.


  The aft section is to be painted so that is fine as it is, but I wanted wood on the bow and did not want the planking to stand above the trim boards so the center was carefully removed following the laser lines, a new section was made from stiff card which was planked with walnut.  All the decks, seats, and exposed bulkheads were covered, the bulkheads may or may not be painted, I haven't made up my mind yet.


  The keel was built up following the kit instructions, no modifications here, but when I went to carve the water way at the bow it did not go to well, so this has been filled and will be sanded in later.  All the frames that required faring have been marked out my Model Shipways, all one has to do is carve and sand to the lines.


  I plan to add some details to the kit so I've opened some of the coal bunkers with the thoughts of showing off the fuel, not sure yet whether this will be purchased or scratch built, leaning toward the latter.


Well that's about all for now, pics follow, thanks for your time and attention.
















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Hi J, mind if I pull up my beach chair?


Like Brian, I've been looking at this kit for some time, so I'll enjoy watching this one go together. Is this the first MS ship you've built? I think your choice to go with the walnut planking was a good one. Did you mark the edges of the planks? In one of your photos of a bulwark the plank edges are nicely delineated, and I was wondering if you put pencil or marker on the edges.



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Glad to have you all aboard, 

  Hey Steve...this will be my second MS full build...I completed the 18th Century longboat and started the Brig Niagara but needed a break from her.  The walnut planking was done with a compass I've modified with two points, one dull to act as a follower and the other sharpened.  Once set to the appropriate width I trace the factory edge with the follower making multiple scores the cut the planks, the edging was done with black sharpie...which you cant see on the bulkheads now cause they have been painted gray, the decks and seats will be oiled.


  While on the topic of paint, I'm using Model Expos acrylics which I've used in the past with little issue, but am having some trouble here with both coverage and worse part warping, spending a lot of time back painting and weighting parts down.  To those planning to build this kit I would recommend a coat of sanding sealer prior to using acrylics.


  Hi Bob...did you experience any issues when you painted?  What paints did you use?


  I hope to have more pics to post tomorrow, as always thanks for your time and attention.​

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  While on the topic of paint, I'm using Model Expos acrylics which I've used in the past with little issue, but am having some trouble here with both coverage and worse part warping, spending a lot of time back painting and weighting parts down.  To those planning to build this kit I would recommend a coat of sanding sealer prior to using acrylics.


  Hi Bob...did you experience any issues when you painted?  What paints did you use?



Model Expo paints have a pretty terrible reputation.  I got quite a bit of it when I purchased my kits, and it's a very mixed bag.  The thickness of the same exact color paint is very inconsistent between bottles, and all of it is terribly thick and requires a huge amount of thinning.  I've gotten pretty decent results with it, but I've thinned it probably more than 1:1 with distilled water, and then further thin it when doing the painting of various features and then use multiple coats.


Both the bulwark red, and yellow ochre on my AVS are MS paint, but once I'm through with this kit I doubt I'll ever use ME paint again.  I've switched to using Vallejo Model Air paint (also an acrylic) and primers and it's simply a much better quality product.  As a bonus they have white, grey, and black primer depending on what color you are going to use over it.

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THX Bob...it's a shape that Poly and Floquil are both no longer available


Hi Brian...I can agree with the mixed bag...the yellow ochre and red on my Longboat are ME and they brushed out and even airbrushed fairly well...this light gray is a nightmare.  I may try Vallejo I need some alternative, short of going back to enamel...trying to avoid as many toxins as I can now that I'm on the back of the hill!!

THX for the likes and comments


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a short update… The paint issue has been resolved; I picked up some Tamiya acrylics
and have been reworking all the affected parts.

First each was sanded down to bare wood then the surface was sealed with two coats of
thinned water based urethane, similar to a spit coat with shellac.  The grain was then
knocked back using a piece of worn 400 grit I keep for just that purpose.

The original gray was MS light deck gray; this shade looked very light to me.  The Tamiya
paint shade out of the bottle is Dark Sea Gray…and it is dark, too dark for my taste, so the
mixing began, slowly lightening  I finally hit on a shade I liked and proceeded to re-paint all
the ribs, aft deck and coal bunkers.  This were done with a brush…the outer hull will be
airbrushed.   Hoping to get to assembly next week

Thanks for your time and interest, Pics follow:




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Ran into a bit of a set back when I started assembly...and figured I'd ask the fellow picket boat builders about it before I started cutting an chopping, did anyone have trouble with the fitment of parts 26 between the bulkheads and aligning the ribs?  Mine seem way off!! pics follow





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It looks like you have an issue with the bulkheads being square. Hopefully, they are dry-fitted. I personally dry-fit at least three times before using a fixative. If not, I would highly recommend you delicately deconstruct and re-align the bulkheads.


Once disassembled, I would fit the bulk head into the slot then gently fit down the seat piece on them. Then once your satisfied, run a bead of CA glue straight up where the bulkhead meets the keel assembly. That is what I did on mine, when I encountered a similar issue. It will not be "perfect" but once planked the variance will be easy to hide.


I hope this helps. Like Josh mentioned, some more pictures might help us in getting a better idea on what is going on.


- Tim

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Thanks much Tim and Josh...  I did have a frame out of place, that and the aft section was off by a couple mm, it had snapped off during test fitting and had been glued back, so between the two there was enough tolerance stack-up to equal what you see in the pics.  Got everything where it should be and glued in.  no pics yet I'll post some later today, thx for the assist guys, much appriceated


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Hello All,

An update, since I opened up a few of the coal bunker lids to show the fuel, bottoms had to be added.  These were made from card stock and painted a dark gray.  This way I wont have to fill each compartment. 


With open coal bunkers I thought some light weathering would be appropriate, to accomplish this I called on some armor weathering techniques...first the panel lines were darkened with a wash made of thin gray/black.   Once the wash was dry charcoal dust was brushed into the surface to simulate coal dust staining.  The dust was made by rubbing a soft charcoal pencil over a sanding stick then picked up and applied with a stiff brush.  The finished parts were then shot with a coat of flat clear to seal everything.


The "coal" had me scratching my head for a while, I wanted to make it as opposed to buying.  Inspiration struck one day on a trip out to the garage.  I noticed the edge of the asphalt paving in the ally was broken into small pieces and it is black and lumpy!  So after placing a piece in a plastic bag and pulverizing with a hammer...instant 'coal'.  I may have to pick out the lighter pieces and add some color, haven't decided yet but I'm happy with the overall look.  This materiel will be added to the bunkers later in the build. 


Planking has started...


Pics follow













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  • 3 weeks later...

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