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Enterprise by src - Constructo - 1:51 - or Lessons in Adapt Improvise and Overcome


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Edit 03/25/2020

I have been very humbled to hear of several new builders of this kit mention this build log as a reference. thank you, I hope it helps you out. That being said, at some point I threw the instructions away and began using Lees Masting and Rigging as well as Antscheral Fully Framed as inspiration and guidance. There are most likely many details that are incorrect for the ship. I used the building experience more to learn techniques to build a model I was satisfied with visually rather than an historically correct museum build.

So, carry on and enjoy!!

 

Well..... where to start?? Unfortunate about the hard drive crash. I guess Murphy lives around every corner. And to think I was going to save my build log before the change...... It could be worse, MSW could be gone forever or my actual build could be gone forever

I am working ridiculous hours at work, sometime in the next week I will get a couple of pictures up and start posting again.

One thing I see that I love already.... SPELL CHECK!!!!  :D Woo Hooo!

Ok back with a real post soon.

Sam

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Rich, Carl,

Yeper! Cant get rid of me THAT easy!!! I am like a bad penny, delete me and I just come right back.

Ahhh work..... That nasty four letter word. Today was 14 hours, tomorrow the same most likely, then the fun starts!.

Hopefully Monday I can go through some of the pictures I have from my build log and can do a real brief post to bring everything up to date.  For now just a "here is where I am at picture"

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I originally started this build when I was unemployed. It looked like a great way to keep my sanity while looking for a job a=in a really tough marketplace. I bought the Enterprise without much thought as to what it would take to build in the way of tools and time. It was May 6 2009 when I laid the false keel. Right after that I was rehired at my old company where we build theme park attractions. There have been many starts and stops due to work, but I have managed to keep a steady if not slow progress.

 

I started with the usual fitting up of bulkheads

 

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Then the deck planking

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Then I got the idea to light the captains cabin

 

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More to follow

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After the lights came the lay out for the planking

 

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Then the dreaded first planking. My plan was to try to do my first plank as the finish plank knowing I could alway do a second plank if I screwed it up. I quickly found that a second plank would be necessary.

 

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Waterways were next

 

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Then per the instructions were the scuppers.

 

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At this point Russ pointed out that the scuppers were wrong for this type of ship and recommended a more correct style. A back and forth exchange ensued as well as some brainstorming on my end to figure out how to do what was needed

 

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At about this time based on my picture dates I meet my Future Admiral (FA). As sometimes happens a new relationship takes over your life, I finally finished planking the hull in August of 2012.

 

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Wales were next

 

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Then gunports

 

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Final installation of the scuppers

 

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Finally some stain

 

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Sometime before I did the gunports I noticed a slight situation. The instructions called for the cap rail to be made from three pieces of 2x2mm manzonia laid edge to edge to create a 2x6mm rail. Unfortunately the material they supplied was so mismatched that i really felt that I would not be happy with the result. I ordered some manzonia to make a more traditional scarfed joint cap rail. (I also had to order some boxwood to line the gun ports with since I had kind of screwed up my hull thickness and curve.)

 

Cap rails were formed and installed

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I built the transom but was not happy with the way the band of mahogany looked laid over the boxwood stern ring. As of right now I have stripped that and am in the process of rebuilding the stern ring. Pictures to follow

 

I have also stated in on the poop rails. I was having problems making the little tiny tennons required for the stanchions out of mahogany by hand, just couldnt keep them consistent. I think with a finer grain wood I could do it. since I am somewhat stuck with mahogany I bought a router base for my dremmel tool, we will see how that works out.

 

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That is about where I am at the moment. There has been very little progress in the last few weeks cause of work. That should end in the next week or two and I can get back to work.

 

Comments, suggestions and constructive criticism alway welcome.

 

Sam

 

 

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A quick update to where I am at the moment.

I have stripped the stern ring off like i mentioned in an earlier post. Cut out for the gun ports, started new ports based on information provided by Russ(?) I dont recall whose input it was at the moment, if it was not Russ, i apologize. Late last year while I was waiting for replacement lumber I started playing with photo etching. The plate and one of the rough port hinges is there also. The rough hinge is laying on the transom. Its long to give me room to experiment with bending and fitting. I only need four plus there are more on my first attempt so I should be able to get 4 good ones plus the other half of the knuckle to mount it to the transom. Also in the picture is the window frames that I plan on using to replace the Gallery windows and the door

 

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That is about it for now. Hope to get some work done over the next few days. Work and guests are going to affect that but I hope to get a couple of hours in this week.

 

 

Sam

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Sarah, Thank you!! Outside of the mahogany for the planking and the somewhat obscure instructions its not a bad kit although since this is my first wooden ship model I may not be in the best position to judge kit quality. In my opinion a heavy open grain wood like mahogany is not really suited to this kind of work. It can be great for building furniture but is too splintery/grainy for this kind of work. If I had to do it again I would get some new planking material. Just my thoughts.

 

Carl, thanks! The drill jig was a head scratcher for me, the scuppers had to enter and exit in just the right spot. Its not really noticeable in the pictures but even with the jig I missed on a couple. Still I am pleased with how they came out. 

 

Sam

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]Robbyn, Thank you!! 

I lined the gun ports with Box wood. I did the stiles; the vertical pieces firs,t and then the rails second. I am not sure if the cabinet terms for the parts follow ship building or not but that is what I called them. I was having trouble keeping them paralell and tight to the hull sides so I "stole" a trick I learned at work: two apposing wedges. If you have access to a miter saw and a 2-3" wide piece of wood or MDF which is what I used, several inches long (like 12" or more, gotta be safe ya know) Set your miter to 2-3 degrees, the actual angle is not important. Cut a sliver off and discard it. Then flip you pice over and cut another sliver of and save that piece. Continue flipping and cutting till you have a dozen or so pieces. You can appose these wedges to use as a clamp.

 Hope this helps.

Sam

 

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Sam,

Thank you very much for the reply and the pics that make even more sense of it. I do have some left over boxwood, and a miter saw. I like the wedge shape much better than just using a butt joint at the corners, and I dont know if I am capable of mitering the corners on pieces that fit in an 8mm x 8mm hole. Your way looks great, and if you dont mind I intend to copy it on my build!

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Anytime Robbyn, copy away!!!

I didnt actually miter the corners of the port linings. If you look closely at the picture you will see the horizontal pieces, what I called the rails are full width and the vertical pieces, what I call stiles butt into the stiles. I am not sure, but I doubt this type of construction, if it was even used on a real ship, would have been mitered. Unreinforced a miter is one of the weakest joints you can choose. Too much end grain to end grain. My best guess is these would have been a rabbeted joint or even dovetailed. Dovetails would have held up better to the stresses of sailing before failing. Like you I questioned my ability to do that small a joint by hand. Regardless how you go, I am sure you will do a great job.

Sam

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Wow! Its been since mid January since I have been able to sit down and really work on my build. I have a couple of days off so now I get to "play" a bit.

 

My firts attempt at a mortice and tenon joint was disappointing. The mortices were fairly easy to chop out but cutting scale tenon in mahogany was just not working for me. The wood is just to splintery at this size in my opinion. I went out several weeks ago an bought a router table for my dremmel tool. While not perfect it was hands down better. I was able to get the tenons real close and then use  a file to clean them up.

 

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Then I dry fit them. most of them fit well enough that I could turn the rail upside down and they would not fall out. I have done a wash coat of shellac and filled the grain with grain filler. they are outside drying right now. I might even get tehm glued up tonight.

 

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While they dry I am going to see what I can do about making some gun port hinges.

 

Thats it for now.

Sam

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Quick update on todays progress.

I got the Transom stained and fit up the stern ring. That will get glued up tonight. Gun ports are next, making the hinges may be a bit of a challenge.

 

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Last night I glued up the upper parts of the waist deck hand rails and this morning I finished staining them.

 

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I glued the poop rails on. The hand rail is set in place, I want to stain the cap rail and poop rail before I glue these down. Easier than masking. I didnt stain the tenon on the hand rail and I will cut a small square of masking around the mortice so I get a good glue joint.

 

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Thats it for now.

Sam

comments, criticisms and questions always welcome.

 

 

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Robbyn, Rich Thank you! I have really enjoyed the last couple of days off. Other than my "Nine Pounds of Frolicking Feline Fury" (aka Lorcan) knocking over my kit box....twice, its been a very enjoyable and productive break from work.

Port hinges will have to wait till the weekend, I discovered my "crack" torch is out of butane. No time to get more as the Future Admiral will be home soon and expects dinner on the table promptly at six. Sheeesh! Women!  :P

 

Now a question concerning my handrails if somebody knows. On a real ship, would the tenon have been a through tenon or a stop tenon like I did? Thought anybody?

Sam

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]Didnt get a whole lot of time to work this weekend. I did manage to start on the gunport hinges. Forming them around the hinge pin to create the barrel was a bit of a challenge. soldering the parts together was far easier than i imagined it would be. I barely touched the flame to the parts and the solder was flowing. I have done a very small amount of brazing in the past and it always took a few seconds to heat the metal. This brass is so small its instantaneous.

I only need 2 pairs, I am going to make several and choose the best. As you can see they vary a bit. Some of the barrels are out of alignment and some of my drilling is off. All in all though I am pleased with how they are coming along.

 

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On the upper left are raw parts off the tree from the photo etching. on the right are "completed" parts. Below is teh kit part I am basing my hinges on and a gunport. I havent decided if I will blacken them or leave them bright and coat with lacquer. Most likely I will blacken them, it will hide the inconsistencies think.

 

Sam

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Rich, Thanks

The kit part is in the lower left corner of the photo. Back during the dark days of MSW B.C. I was waiting for some new lumber to come in and started playing with photo etching. I want to make my own gallery windows since what was in the kit was rather sad looking. another user, Auger, had built his own and I felt they looked much better than the kit so I thought I would give it it try. As I was drawing up the window frames to be etched I figured I would etch some port hinges as well. The new parts look ok, I need to do some clean up and may have to make a couple more to get two more or less matching pairs.

 

I have made a couple more parts. Pictures to follow. domestic duties first.

 

Sam

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Sam,

The Enterprise is looking fabulous.  Glad to see you put this ship back on your bench to finish.  I am lurking, still trying to find the time to rebuild my build log.  I have been slowly working on mine as well, but work has been busy and spring has sprung, so I am only getting a couple of hours per week at the bench.  I have the 1st planking of the hull nearly done, only 9 more strakes to go and I should finish the planking of the decks this week as well.  

 

Cheers.

Shawn

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Russ, Shawn, Thank you both. Its nice to be building again. the hand rail were fun, I did end up making the posts twice, just couldnt make the tenons correctly by hand, next time. 

Russ, I am not sure if 8 parts will be enough, we shall see. The camera REALLY exaggerates little inconsistencies.

Shawn, lurk away! I guess the streams are calling? I know the feeling, I used to fish every weekend I could; ocean, lake, stream, the fish store.... I am lucky to get two trips a year in now. My brothers, nephews and I try to go up to Bishop creek near Mamoth every year for a long weekend. Caught a 5.5lb German Brown last time, I didnt think they got that big in a stream.

Sam

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Sam, I am impressed with your ingenuity and skill. I am not up to the task of building new gun port doors from scratch regardless of how much better they might look than what is provided in the kits. My only concession is to at least paint the provided parts to make them "mine". More power to all the builders such as yourself who bash kits so well. I will continue to follow these so one day...I too can join the bashing!

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