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US Brig Syren by CPT_D - Model Shipways - 1/64 scale (first build)


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So I bought this kit a year and a half ago and due to several reasons, I never got around to starting it.  Now my work situation and living situation are much more conducive to building a wooden ship model.  In my research to pick my first ship I bought 3 kits the Syren, the Marseille (C. Mamoli 1/64 kit), and the HMS Victory cross section.  I got the other kits because 1, I like them and 2 I got a killer deal on both from eBay.  I decided to start with the Syren for a couple of reasons.  First, is the fact that the Syren came with the step by step manual. Second, is because there are so many Syrens being built and completed which will be invaluable for me.

 

So lets get started.

 

First off I start with a question... lol

 

I noticed that several others have mentioned that the bulkhead former was warped, so that was the first thing I checked.  I found that my BF was warped a little (about 1/16" corner to corner) and bowed in the middle about 1/64".  With finding this I Clamped it to the bedway on my lathe.  Is this what I need to do or do I need to something else?  

 

Even with this small setback I still tried to do something, so I sanded the the bulkheads to fit the BF, I made them tight, but not so tight that I would be concerned  about breaking anything.  I also skipped ahead and glued the 25' longboat and will probably start sanding on it tomorrow.  I know that the longboat is going to be difficult and very detailed but I think I can do it.  The one question I had was related to the stain.  The guide book says to stain the wooden parts prior to gluing them; what color stain do I need to use and what can I get it?

 

IMG_2183_zpsinfglchl.jpg

 

IMG_2184_zpstzw7c1w3.jpg

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Excellent choice of model ! And welcome to the Syren fleet  :).

 

I would not worry too much about the little warp. You should be able to easily correct this with filler blocks. Where the longboat is concerned, I have not built it myself yet, but the wood stain mostly used for the Syren is Golden Oak (MinWax) which you can get for example at Lowes or HomeDepot. Of course what stain you want to use on your model is really up to you  ;)

 

Thomas

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Hello cpt_d and welcome to the Syren build club. Hope you enjoy this kit as much as I do. Thomas you just beat me to it and like Thomas said, I wouldn't worry too much about the slight warp in the BF, it should straighten out if you add the filler pieces between the bulkheads as shown in the instructions.  I also made up the keel clamp shown in the instructions which also helps keep it straight.  For the stain I used the minwax golden oak mixed with minwax natural at a 60 (natural) to 40 (golden oak) mix but that's more a personal preference.  Good luck.

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Thank you all, I really appreciate the kind words.  I am really excited to get thing under way.  As far as the warpage is concerned, I didn't really get a good picture of the actual problem.  The picture below shows the warpage (if you want to call it that).  If I hold down the opposite lower corner the opposite upper corner lifts.  Please let me know if this is going to be a problem, or should I just keep plugging along.

 

Thanks for the Minwax idea, I actually already have some in my wood shop, so that saved me a trip to the big box store.

 

IMG_2197_zpsqcadjpiv.jpg

 

IMG_2198_zpsdb0h0jy0.jpg

 

Just for kicks

 

IMG_2199_zps87csyvtj.jpg

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So after so stressing and lots of checking I decided that the slight (very slight) bend was negligible so I got started tonight.  I think the reason I was so nervous was because I don't want to make a mistake right out of the gate.  In the end I realized that I know wood working and I can have a little faith in myself.

 

The biggest part of tonight involved making a "table" to build my ship on.  My shop is small so I came up with the idea of using my lathe.  I cut some wood to fight tightly in the slot on the bed of my lathe, then I added a couple of handles that turn to lock the whole thing in place.  The great thing about this setup is the versatility it allows me.  I can easily remove the table when I need to use the lathe, then I added an holder for my manual (not shown).

 

As far as the kit.  I put my rabbet strip on, so tomorrow I will start on the bulkheads.  I will need to get some wood for the filler blocks, so a trip to Hobby Lobby is in order.

 

IMG_2200_zpsrw1o6ptc.jpg

Edited by CPT_D
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For the last couple of day I have been setting the bulkheads and blocks.  I had an issue with the blocks at first because I couldn't find large balsa blocks (or other soft wood) so I had to improvise.  I ended up finding strips of balsa and making blocks that were the sizes I needed.  

 

IMG_2212_zpstmilf9qa.jpg

 

Got clamps

IMG_2210_zps8uxtkwvz.jpg

 

 

Looks straight to me

IMG_2218_zpscvrp7b6p.jpg

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Looking good!

 

For the last couple of day I have been setting the bulkheads and blocks.  I had an issue with the blocks at first because I couldn't find large balsa blocks (or other soft wood) so I had to improvise.  I ended up finding strips of balsa and making blocks that were the sizes I needed.  

 

Probably a bit late now, and this is purely a novices opinion, but I used balsa for filler blocks on my first build, and found that I wished I hadn't used it.  I know that some people like it because it's so easy to form, but I found that it was very difficult to keep shaped properly because it sanded so much faster than the surrounding bulkheads, and it hasn't got enough strength (hardness?) to hold pins.

 

On my second (current) build I only used basswood for filler and reinforcement blocks, and I'm much happier with both how the wood works (bulkheads are also basswood), as the hull faired evenly when sanding, and the basswood holds pins very well while planking.  The cost of basswood carving blocks at the hobby shop is comparable, or even cheaper than balsa blocks.

 

The only downside is that the basswood is obviously harder to cut to rough size and shape compared to the balsa wood.

 

Edit: Basswood carving blocks can be found at most hobby stores (I know Hobby Lobby carries them as does my local hobby shop), and you can also buy them in larger quantities at wood workers shops like Woodworkers Source and Woodcraft (http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/149262/Basswood-Grab-Box.aspx)

Edited by GuntherMT
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Gunther:  Makes since to me, I will have to try that on my next build.

 

I might try putting CA on the ends of the balsa to give it a little more strength if I have issues.

Edited by CPT_D
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Before you proceed you might give thought to how you will you will mount your masts. Chuck’s method for the masts is not for everyone. I made a drill guide that had the correct angel for the masts and drilled a pilot hole at this point Also you may want to think about how you will mount your model to it’s base. These are two things that are a lot easier now than after its planked.

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They were on my build site before the crash. I'll try to find the old photo's and repost them. As I recall I cut a piece of the wood that I used for my filler blocks and cut it to fit within the width of the deck at the narrowest point where the the mast holes were to be drilled. Then glued strips of wood at each end to allow for the curve or the deck. At this point I don't recall if I had the capability to chuck it up in a drill press and drill the hole to the correct angle. I may have filed the strips on each end of the block to achive the correct angle. Either method would work, and a few test drills on an old 2x4 would allow you to verify its acuracy.

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So I started to do a test planking for the lower deck.  I bought some graphite in multiple degrees of softness hoping that it would work.  The issue with the graphite is that, after i apply it to the sides, the dust from the graphite gets everywhere and makes the actual planks look dirty an smudged.

 

Any alternate ideas would be appreciated.

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After some testing I found that medium hardness graphite worked fine.

 

My first shot at planking.  Once I got it all glued together, I sanded it with 400 the stain it with a 2:1 mix of natural to golden oak.  I like the  color.

 

After seeing the piece up close in the photo, it loos like I need to sand it a little more.  How do you go about sanding after it is stained and still keep the color? 

IMG_2234_zpsaoinntmt.jpg

Edited by CPT_D
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  • 1 year later...

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