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San Francisco II by ortho85 - Artesania Latina - scale 1:90

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I was given this as a birthday present by one of my sons.  So, despite intending to select a model with excellent instructions, I'm stuck with A-L.


It will be my first attempt at single planking.  I've seen a couple of brave souls attempting this as their first build - no way would I recommend that!


There are surprisingly few surviving full logs on MSW, but I have found others on another forum that have more detail.  After reading and asking for hints, it was time to get under way.


The plans say to test all the frames and decks, so off we go (no glue yet):






They then tell you to pin everything, then glue by running diluted PVA glue into the joints with a brush.  I couldn't see this being successful, as the assembly would be too flimsy and flexible, and likely to distort during the glue application.


So I opted to fit some of the frames before the decks.  Here are frames 5 & 6 squared and glued, also you can see the mast supports glued in:






Next came frames 7 & 8, then frame 9 complete with the waist deck:






So, I'm off and running, and hoping for hints and comments from anyone.





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I plodded on fitting the remaining frames, trying to be as accurate as possible, then added the remaining decks.  However, when I got to what I normally think of as "the sharp end" (this ship has a very blunt bow), I noticed an error of a mm or so:






You can see in the red circles how the deck and frame are a bit out.  So I put my ungluing skills to work:






Fortunately I didn't have to remove the frame, just twist it a little.  Decks all fitted, I cut some blocks to strengthen the assembly:






I also added some roughly cut balsa at the bow, to aid with planking later:









I'm thinking of adding some balsa at the stern, too.  Any comments on the necessity of that?


Now I'm on to the deck planking.  The supplied planks are 5mm, which is obviously oversized for the scale.  Unfortunately I could not source thinner planks locally, so I've decided to run with what I have:






All comments and suggestions will be gratefully received.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Before I post my progress photos, I have a question that I hope someone who has made this will answer.  I have not been able to find out from reading logs.


The frames do not all finish at the same level on the false keel.  The sternmost 3 are short as shown by the red arrows, below.  This seems intentional, but odd:






I am ready to get stuck into the fairing, then I will be planking.  Should I do anything in this area to simplify the planking?





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Hi Brett:


It's hard to tell from the profile photo, but do the bulkheads in question taper off towards the keel? I built the first version of this kit (the San Francisco) a few years back and can't remember this situation on that build (and unfortunately don't have documentation!) I believe you'll be adding the sternpost, keel and and stem as separate pieces, right? If so, then plank the whole thing - the final planks will bend up to land on the centre keel part at the stern, creating a little slot above the bottom edge of the keel into which you'll place the keel piece(s)....I hope this makes sense.....


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Hi Hamilton,


Yes, the stem etc are added after the planking, into a slot cut to receive it, like so in the plans:






Here are two better views of the way the frames sit on the false keel at present:









My concern is that this is single planked, and the planks are 2mm thick!  It may all work out simply by pre-bending the planks, but I just want to make sure I'm not missing something here.


I think the one you did was double planked?


Ah, the fun that poor plans/instructions cause!  I can see why the experts build from scratch.  :D





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Hi Brett


Yes mine was double planked - making for a much easier build! Though I've seen some very nice planking jobs on the SF II, but it looks like quite a battle....You might try replacing the wood with two thinner layers that add up to 2mm - a 1.5 and a .5 or a 1 and 1.....I'm not sure whether this would cause construction issues down the road (do the bulwarks come as a laser cut piece?) but it would certainly make the planking easier....


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Bit of a progress report.


I completed the deck planking, using 10cm max length planks.  Scaled up, this makes 9m long, by 45cm wide.  Not sure what the real size would have been.


Here they are before edge trimming:






After some trimming:






And after some of the vertical walls were planked:






These walls are planked in a clinker pattern, which may show up in future photos.  This view from the stern shows a variety of patterns.


The top 1/3rd is thin planks, butted together vertically; the next little bit is the same planks run horizontally; then there are six 2mm thick planks horizontally; finally the same 2mm ones in a 45 degree pattern:






And after a bit of fairing, starting to place the nails:






Currently I am waiting for the glue to dry on the bulwarks.  Photos of that and more detail to follow.





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Bulwark time.  These are precut thin plywood sheets, seen here pinned on:






You can see they need a bit of light persuasion to fit fully:






So they got it:









And done:









Views of the clinker built walls:









And the fairing is under way:






Now to finish off the stern!






Then the planking begins!





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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice job so far! I remember the planking, and still have nightmares. Just take your time and if you don't have a bender, or steam bender I soaked mine in some hot water for a few to help with bending. Nightware came from the fact that they leave you thick lumber to plank with.

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Ah well, I had sort of decided to stop my log here, but am now encouraged to continue.


Hamilton - on we go!


Sephirem - I know EXACTLY what you mean about planking nightmares.  More later.


LMDAVE - yes, I would use 2.5 or 3mm wide deck planks if I could get them.


So, planking began.


I asked around, and the response from another forum was that it works/looks better using full length planks, so that is what I decided to do.


In retrospect I think it looks pretty, but incorrect, with full length planks.  It is also proving $%@*ing impossible to bend them accurately, so I am currently experimenting with fillers to compensate for the clinker built effect on the hull.  To be continued!


I found most started with a plank below the pre-formed bulkhead, so, after much experimentation and agonising, that's what I did.






Clamping it was a bitch, and is getting harder with each plank:






The planks are 5mm wide, 2mm thick, brittle as hell, and need to be bent in all three planes.  I tried various methods of soaking/heating/bending, and ended up going with an hour of soaking, then clamping around a curved former.  This has to be repeated with gradually smaller curves, necessitating about 2 days to get enough bend!


After all the breakages, I think I may be short of timber later.


To get the edge bend, I used a router to cut out a curve in some MDF.  I soon found that the curve needed to be exaggerated, but this is the first attempt:






I had previously obtained the (relatively) simple curved end, but, of course, when you resoak the plank the first bend wants to straighten out.  Hence the plastic tubing to hold/increase the curve there:






BTW, if you use this tubing idea, remember that the enclosed plank won't dry out as fast as the exposed timber.


I was doing one plank per side, for symmetry.  Here we are with 3 planks each side:






It soon transpired that there were differences in my bending, which did not equalise when the planks were glued on.  So I experimented with some wood filler:






After sanding and sealing, that looked stupid, so I am now looking for a better match.  I may use strips of thin timber and extreme sanding.


Next is the dreaded garboard plank (I had to look up the term!).





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  • 3 weeks later...

Dave's progress on his build prompted me to show a bit more of mine.


After failing to find a definitive guide (I think that's the only purpose of these logs - to help those who follow), I decided to use a garboard plank that tapered towards the bow.  I planned to leave the 4mm gap at the stern, and trim out the rest of the space for the keel later:






In that photo you see that I was gluing a break towards the bow.  I prefer to use PVA for my models (where possible), so at this stage the stern is glued, and I added glue further forward later.



I tried to shape the planks in 3 dimensions as much as I could, but soon found I was useless at it.  Here we are after 4 planks each side:















It all gets a bit boring after that.  I just wanted to get the planking finished ASAP.


So we'll cut to the chase.  Here are a few photos after the planking has been mostly sanded, and given its first coat of poly:












If anybody wants more gruesome detail please PM me.





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Thanks, hamilton.


Dave, I use 'Satin' Poly.  I have sanding sealer, but, when I tested that on this timber, I decided I preferred the deeper colour that straight Poly gives.


Also the Poly seems to hide the blemishes a bit better, where I have filled with strips of timber or wood filler.





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