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Iondriver

1970's Billing Boats Wasa Help

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Hello All,

 

During the early to mid 1970's my grandparents lived in Stockholm Sweden. While they were there, they purchased a Billing Boats NR. 440 Wasa kit. They never finished it.

 

40 years later, and I am now trying to build the kit. Does anyone have any experience with this kit? I Would appreciate it if you have any information if you could please share. I need to know what kind of the wood the kit is composed of, because I have a couple of pieces that have cracked. I also need to know how to recondition wood that has dried out for 40 years in a hot garage.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Iondriver

 

 

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Hi, Iondriver.  I can't help you with your particular questions, but I have moved your post to the appropriate sub-forum and edited the title for clarity.  Hope you get an answer soon.

 

Cheers!

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Hey,

 

Thanks for all the help so far. I do have a picture, and I have attached it. This is how much it is finished. The frame is complete and the upper deck is glued on. About half of the hull planks are nailed and glued on. That is really all that is done on it.

 

Thanks,

 

Iondriver

post-21526-0-50287600-1440643306_thumb.gif

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Okay, first I'd like to say you have an intriguing set of book titles on your shelf.  I used to breed African cichlids and had 22 aquariums at one point; sold them all off when it got too much like work rather than a hobby.

 

Now, this next bit you're not going to like.  Your photo shows that you are off to a bad start.  Don't take this personally, but if you truly want to wind up with a decent-looking model, then you need to take a few steps backward before going forward.  First, I'd strip off all the planking you have done so far and remove the false decks, if possible.  Trust me, if you don't get those right, your entire build will be one giant headache.  Next, grab some refreshments, settle into a comfy chair and start reading some articles and/or books about wooden ship modeling.  A great place to start is here.  Next, take a look at some of the build logs here at MSW to see how getting a proper hull shape is done.  That's why we have logs - so you can learn from those who have already made the mistakes for you.  Third, give some very serious thought to starting with an easier model.  Much easier.  Wooden ship models don't get much more complex than the Wasa.  You'll be far more likely to succeed with Wasa if you complete something simpler first.

 

I hope all of this hasn't put you off.  This is a great hobby, if you get off on the right foot.  Unfortunately, kits like your Wasa have done in many aspiring modelers before they had a real chance to accomplish something.  I hope you will give my advice some consideration.

 

Kind regards,

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Ok. The parts that you were done by my grandfather. I'll see how easy it is to pull them off. Thank you so much for the information. It has been a huge help.

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Chris pretty much said it all.   But I'd like to add:

If the planks are glued, and the glue is yellow or white, the glue is probably PVA, soak the joint with alcohol.  If it's clear or cloudy and seems to be a plastic, it's probably CA, use acetone to soak the joint.  If you use acetone, work on it outside and stay upwind of the fumes if you can.

 

Good luck and do try to have fun with it.

Edited by mtaylor

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It might also be something that was rather popular inEurope: called Uhu-hart.

No ca, no pva. As far as i know only to remove mechanically (and some problems in regluing with normal PVA).

But i agree:riping of and starting over is the only option.

Reconditioning old wood isn't the easiest way. You might try to get some basswood: not too expensive, far easier to work with than the Abachi billings provides.

 

Jan

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Hello Iondriver

 

After you get those planks off the bulkheads you need to find a wooden ship building group that's in your area. Starting off building this ship for a novice will be very difficult. You need to see from others first hand just what to do and in the right sequence and way.

 

Do not order any wood until you find the group and are able to talk to someone about what would be the best wood for this build. The kits wood IMHO is garbage,and after being dried out it's just good for starting a fire.

 

It is great to now rescue the kit after 40 years and to honor your Grandfather by finishing up this kit. But you need to maybe start with a beginner kit and have the gaol of building this kit after you have learned how to build wooden ship models. Otherwise you might end up  stopping halfway threw the build after getting fustrated with the build.

 

Again,find a club that builds wooden ship models and ahve a lifetime hobby that your Grandfather will be looking down at you while you build and finish the Wasa that he started 40 years ago.

 

Keith

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Ok, so here is what I am getting.

  1. Remove the planking from the bulkheads
  2. It would be better to get new wood than trying to recondition the existing stuff.
  3. Start with a simpler project first.

Does anyone have any recommendations on smaller kits that would teach the basics?

 

Also, on the planking that is already there, is it wrong because it has dried out, or where they installed improperly?

 

Thanks,

 

Iondriver 

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Iondriver,

 

I have only built one Billings kit, Bluenose II, that I modified to look more like the original ship, and I wasn't too impressed with the wood.  If the new wood you need is for hull planking, I would definately use soft woods, even pine would do, as they are much more flexible than hardwoods and much easier to steam for the radical bends an alternative would be Basswood. My Emma C. Berry (Model Shipways) Instruction Manual also recommends Lime wood (Tilia  vulgaris) which they say is an European wood which might be easier for you to get, and they say that  Lime wood has superior steam bending qualities. They note that it is often called Basswood in Europe.

 

As an experiment some years ago, I tried restore dried out wood by lightly moisting a paper towel, wrapping it around the wood (don't stack the planks), then wrap in waxed paper and weight or clamp down onto a flat smooth surface.  After a couple of days remove the papers but leave the wood clamped down until it dries.  The process restored the wood, but much of it warped; it wasn't worth the effort.

 

Good luck with your building project.

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Welcome aboard and this is a great site to locate ideas and get your questions answered.  There are many posts on here regarding model building for the beginner.  That is what I am, so still learning.  Here is a link to a fairly simple kit that you may start with, there are many others.

 

http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=MS2027SP

 

The folks on here are really great on helping us new modelers out, so ask a bunch of questions.

 

Jeff

Edited by jdbradford

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Also, on the planking that is already there, is it wrong because it has dried out, or where they installed improperly?

 

 

There are two primary things wrong with your grandfather's technique:

 

1)  It does not appear that the bulkheads are chamfered.  You can see this by the way the planks bend sharply at each bulkhead station.  The bulkhead parts are cut perpendicular to the plane of the sheet they were cut from; the square edges must be shaped to allow the curved planks to run properly along the length of the hull.

 

2)  The planks on a ship's hull are not of uniform width, because the distance from the keel up along to the top of the ship's side is not the same along the length of the hull.  Because of this, individual planks must be shaped along their length prior to affixing them to the hull.  This process is called spiling, and it is one of trickier parts of our art to learn.  Fortunately, we have some tutorials on spiling in the resources section I linked to in my earlier post.

 

As for choosing a kit, we have a couple of relevant articles on that topic here.  Enjoy!

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I actually live in the United States. So for planking the hull, I am looking for a softwood then? What would be best to use? Thanks for all of the info. I'll look into some of those kits.

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My two cents. Start with a not too diggicult plank on bulkhead kit, to get the feel of planking.

For the wasa kit, try the lime/baswood. It is easy to work with (far easier than dries out abachi), it is easy to shape, easy to bend, and quite tolerant to overbending (hardwood like walnut (european kitmakers favorite) snaps at toomuch bending.

Also, by more than you need: easier to replace a not so well placed strip when you have enough of them.

 

Btw: -although billings is not the best in drawings, manuals or materials, their research is quite good. billings wasa isbetter than themore expensive versions of corel or sergal (although the 70-ies version micgt be less, as they redesigned a couple of times as research on the wreck showed new There is a billings build log somewhere here on msw that shows what you can achieve from the kit.

 

Jan

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Jan, I think you might be referring to this one by Matti.  I think it might be worth pointing out that Matti's model took roughly two years to complete, and that the kit build logs section is littered with Wasa build logs that stop mid-build somewhere.  It's an intimidating model subject.

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That's one of the logs I referred to, yes. The other one is this one: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/5431-vasa-by-karleop-–-billing-boats-–-reviving-a-poorly-built-model/page-1

Don't misunderstand me. Wasa is indeed not an easy one. And there are more projects of this size that end somewhere long before the finish line (not alway sthe large, sometimes also the smaller ons that end their lives unfinished in a cupboard)

The only thing I wanted to stress is that Billings Vasa has Always been the one closest to the real thing.

And no, a ship like Vasa isn't the easiest start in modelling.

 

 

Jan

Edited by amateur

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just a thought

I am sort of building the same kit that I bought from E bay a problem I had was that there was no fittings with it (they were sold seperatly on early Billings kits)

Billings do not supply them as seperate items anymore and they are a MAJOR part of the finished model if you don't have them then I would strongly suggest that you either buy a new complete kit and pretend it is your grandads but as been said before the Wasa isn'y realy a good first model and I think you will get very disheartened and maybe put off the wonderful hobby we all (mostly) enjoy

Andy

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The Billing's Wasa was my first kit... until after I opened the box and took a good look. :o   I immediately backpedaled for a simpler kit (the AL Scottish Maid).  So it ended up being my second ship... and took 11 years as life got in the way a lot.

Edited by mtaylor

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I actually do have the fittings. It consists of various bits of tackle, anchors, around 50 half cannons and 12 full ones. The Bronze is a little tarnished, but not too badly.

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The cannons are part of the basic kit I think have you got all the cast minions and soldiers ? They are what makes the kit unique take a look at some builds on the site

Andy

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I just built that kit but made several modifications to the design as the kit is an inaccurate reprentations of the Wasa.The kits mahogany planks are of high quality and should build to be an attractive decor piece.  image.jpg1_zpsboid593z.jpg

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I realize that this post is older, and maybe dead, but I think a few folks assisting Iondriver are talking about 2 different Wasa kits. I have the one Iondriver is asking help for "Kit #440" which is different from the one most are referring to "Kit #490". Kit #440 is a smaller version of the Wasa than Kit #490.

In my 440 kit, there are decals instead of  cast metal lions, window details and trim.

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