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HMB Endeavour by bizibilder - Caldercraft - 1/64 scale

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The start of my second foray into Model Ship Building after the "Royal Caroline" the log for which was lost in the great crash a couple of years ago ( I have slipped in a sneaky pic of it below).


I wanted to build something that was essentially a "rigged hull" rather than something that would take hundreds of hours just to pile on the detail as with a larger fighting ship.  I don't have a huge amount of time available so had to find something that could be completed within a reasonable time frame.

After the laser cut Royal Caroline I was quite surprised at the amount of dust in milled kit!!  However it was quite easy to shake or poke most of it out of all the slots and grooves and gently sweep it away.


I do intend to try out some new (to me) techniques to try and "improve" the basic kit - however don't be surprised if there are some lengthy "gaps" in the build log as other commitments take up my time.


For a start an empty modelling desk!  I like to work on a white melamine surface that reflects light back onto the model - as you can see I have two top lights and (out of shot) a bright ceiling light behind me when I'm working.  This set-up leads to a reasonably shadow free work area.  I also use a lazy-susan turntable to put the model on - this allows it to be easily swing about into the most convenient position.  if I want to "lock" it then a piece of sticky tape soon teaches it some manners.




And the opened box - about 24" x 9" x 3".  The unrigged hull length will be about 19", the overall length rigged is 28.5".




And a sneaky "one I made earlier":



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It was always going to be a slow start - the first two pieces dry joined.  I found filing was the easiest way of getting rid of the "lumps" after cutting the parts out - I have a few new files that I reserve for woodwork.  In the small scales that we work in they are quite useful tools even if they are "wrong".



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Good Morning Bizbilder

I have an AL Endeavour that i have just started, hopefully get a log started tonight.

Like you i have just dry fitted the bulkheads. It will be interesting to see how

the kits vary. Though, mine is a 20 yr old one bought off ebay.

Like yours, I think that mine will be a slow start, and a slow middle, and a slow end.

Hooroo Chris

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A little more done today - cutting out all the basic hull bulkheads, filing down the "tabs" and fettling the keel slots.  Caldercraft cut these slots with what I can only describe as "tabs" within the slot to guide you when filing and fitting them - if you just don't quite fully remove them, the bulkheads slide firmly and squarely over the keel.




I have also received a small bundle of Balsa in the post so that I can block in the stem and stern before planking - I think that rather bluff bow will need it if I am to get a fair run of the planks.  Still just dry fitted as there is plenty more to do before gluing anything!





Edited by bizibilder
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  • 1 month later...

A little progress - Now that the frames are dry assembled and I have made some blocks to keep the masts straight in their slots.  Made from offcuts of plywood from the kit and a few pieces of 0.5mm card from a cereal packet to get the widths right.  Each mast needs a different set of spacers so I am laminating pieces of 1mm ply and the card as required.  The first glued joints on the model are now drying :D !







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A tiny bit more progress today - measuring the actual distances between the frames.  I intend to infill between all the frames with Balsa wood to give a firm base for the planking.  Knowing the dimensions, I can buy some appropriate sized thick sheet/block to "stack together" and fill the spaces.  I've also been reading the Endeavour build logs on the forum - well done all of you!  I'm sure I will have questions as I go along.  Just got to order the balsa now and progress should start to speed up a little!




Edited by bizibilder
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Another small step forward - marking the line of the Main Wale on the frames.  This will become a "master" line (actually quite a curve!) for the planking.  Marking was done using an assortment of blocks to make up the heights required.  The second picture shows the markings - they are in the right places, the different spacings of the frames and the perspective of having the camera on "macro" make one or two of them seem a bit "out", so I double checked after looking at the pictures and they are OK.  When I do the balsa infill the marks will me made "permanent" by making pin-holes in each frame along the line of the wale.





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Good Morning Biz, Yes it is a long gracious curve. Did your plans have the wales marked? Lucky you

My plans don't show anything which means its up to me to work out. I will probably end up having

a dozen different versions. That's partly why I blocked most of the ship, easier to mark lines on.


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My sheets of thick Balsa wood arrived today so I made a start on the "filling blocks" for the first pair of frames.  I'd forgotten just how much dust Balsa makes!!  Each block will be made up from a series of pieces to fit exactly between the frames - this should keep things straight as the build progresses.  I must admit that I always find keel jigs etc far too restricting when building - I just rely on careful construction and the good old Mark one Eyeball.



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 months later...

First glueing!  Hopefully progress will speed up a little over the next week or so - I intend to get the frames glued and sanded to a fair shape.  We shall see...








The sash cramps I'm using are really useful - but I only have three of them.  There are quite a few UK suppliers - I really must get some more before it's too late :) .

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A bit more glueing and it all seems to have become a bit of an untidy mess!  However all the important bits are straight and true and very solid - a bit more blocking in to do on the undersides and then a session of carving and sanding should lead to a strong stable "plug" to work on.


I'm actually quite glad I took the trouble to do all this blocking as it should make planking much easier - I remember my "Royal Caroline" where I just planked across the kit frames in the "normal" way and had a bit of trouble getting the first planking to lay where I wanted it to rather than taking on a shape of its own!













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I really like your approach to putting the fillers in. It definitely beats trying to insert the filler blocks after the bulkheads are in place and I suppose also serves as a solution to squaring the bulkheads. Even though it is a simple solution when you think about it, it had never occurred to me to use this approach. Thanks for sharing this.


Best, Ian

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More progress with the blocking - many of the areas where the hull's curvature is greatest have been blocked in with bits of Balsa, making things look very rough indeed!  However some deft whittling with a scalpel and stanley knife soon taught it some manners! ( A really sharp blade will easily cut through the Balsa across the grain to leave a good surface).


A sheet of 60 grit (coarse) glasspaper and some shaped hardwood blocks soon started to make thing look presentable again.  I've held back a bit and have left the surface a few mm proud so I can get everywhere "the same" and then go for a final shape and reduction to size ( A vacuum cleaqner and mask will be essential for this job - it is going to be MESSY  :o ):-














I will probably fill in the "bottom" as it looks a little strange with all those holes in it!


One good thing about the method I'm using is that the hull is immensely strong and I can quite happily handle it quite roughly without fear of any damage.

Edited by bizibilder
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Another 20 minutes with the coarse glasspaper tonight - The shape of the hull is finally beginning to emerge from the rough blockwork.  For others trying this method use 60 grit paper to rough out and "go for it" at this stage - there is no point in spending hours with finer papers.


The missing blockwork on the bottom of the hull (caused by a mixture of laziness and wanting to see the hull form emerge :) ) has actually proved to be very useful as a way of getting a firm grip on the hull.  There is still time to block it in later as the amount of sanding on this area is quite small.  





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  • 1 month later...

I've finally found time to get the sanding to about 95% finished so it is time to complete the "blocking in" process.  The final pieces are glued and drying ready for the final sanding to shape.  I can't get over just how solid the whole thing is!


The blocking material was one sheet each of 20mm, 15mm, 10mm, 3mm, 2mm aqnd 1.5mm balsa.  I've used all the 20mm, about half the 15mm and a few bits from the others (all were 1m long and 100mm wide).  I also bought a pack of "useful" balsa blocks of various sizes and found that I have used none of them - so not so "useful" at all.


If I was doing it again I wouldn't bother shaping the blocks as I did - Just cut rectangular slabs of balsa, glue up and leave for 24 hours to thoroughly dry then sand it down.   Balsa wood gets shifted very quickly with fresh coarse paper in the sanding block..  When sanding I do set-up a vacuum cleaner hose to collect the dust and wear a "monkey mask".  With this set-up (in the garage) I was surprised to find that I had the dust pretty much under control throughout the whole process.








I may finally get around to some proper "modelling" before long  :) .

Edited by bizibilder
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  • 3 weeks later...

Nearly there now!  I have finished (I hope!) the blocking in of the hull.  Eventually I decided to block in the stern as it will be "solid" on the model - no inside details.  The whole thing has been sanded to shape and set aside for a day or so - then a critical eye and a touch more here and there with the sanding block has produced a hull that is the right shape.


The next stage is to practice a bit of plank bending I previously used a plank nipper but this time I will try boiling the planks and maybe a bit of heat /drying from a hair dryer - My first practice plank seems to be getting to be about the right shape.


The blocked in stern:



Sanded to shape:



The final bow shape:



And the decks propped in place to give an idea of the finished article:



I've just realised that this has taken me eleven months so far - I suspect folks with more time could get to this stage in a couple of weeks of evenings  :) !

Edited by bizibilder
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