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Hannah by Major - Amati - Schooner in a bottle - my first build


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Good morning everyone.

 

 

 

After few years I finally got my first ship kit - received still warm box yesterday morning ;). For some reason I expected something more... or bigger... or maybe just a box filled with some more stuff... but when I started to look closely at all parts included, the scale of this ship has hit me like a tiny, micro bag of potatoes. My "previous small scale modelling" seems totally irrelevant now, seems like smallest bits I have painted before are of average size of Hannah bits....

 

First thoughts and impressions are the most positive. Plywood is of good quality, details on metal parts are amazing, there was even a strip of 180 grade sand paper included ;). However, the bottle included in the kit is not the clearest one I have ever seen (hope a good wash will make it better) and brass parts will require a little attention. Some have marks, some have fingerprints, but I will try and clean it all up - and if that's not possible, I'll just try and repaint them.

I aim to use some build logs from here, as well as one @ Tigersbay blog as help. With all that information it seems easy, well - seemed easy till I have seen the parts, but I hope to finish it in maybe few weeks time.

 

Will try and include some pictures of the build, just so I can share my progress and maybe some future builders of same kit will find it helpful ;).

 

 

My modelling background stretches in time for more than 20 years now (how quickly that passed....), I started as a kid when my mum bought me first plastic aircraft kit - I remember it was Jak 1M ;). Since then I made planes, tanks, cars, railway, more planes, some figures like Mantic and Warhammer, RC planes made of balsa (electric and nitro powered), so I hope that it will be enough to start with my little girl.

 

 

To compare scale of painted bits, here is a photo of  Warhammer figures I painted few years ago. The pic was taken just now, so they faded a little bit. Height is about 4cm.

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And to fulfil MSW's tradition ;), two unboxing pics

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Now I will have to ride to my lms to get some glue - I can't find bottle of aliphatic anywhere, also few small drill bits might come handy. Then I plan to ride to seaside for few hours and start to build this little beauty later today.

All the best.
Tom

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Thank you gents.

I managed to get my glue and few other bits. but my long awaited trip to seaside had to be postponed. Weather outside looks nice, but it's quite cold and looks like rain is about to hit, so I chose to stay at home and start building Hannah.

I thought it might be good idea to get few bits done to check if I am not too rusty, and I can tell you - I am rusty as hell :D. Hands are shaking little bit more, eyes are not as good as they used to, it'll be fun build ;).

So my first step was to prepare little stand for the ship. Since my smallest drill bit is too big (1.5mm...) for mounting columns, I just inserted one into my hand drill and pushed it onto the base - this made nice holes that will allow me to glue brass part on it and to accomodate all remaining columns without any wobbling etc. Here is the pic so far - with some small accessory I bought to make building even nicer :D. I  know it's not the top stick, but it's name seems to match the climate of my build :D

20977431109_c8e10c888b_z.jpg

Brass part will be glued to wood with CA glue.

More to follow in a bit, I guess it'll be almost live transmission of  what happens :D

Regards


Edit

So the first step would be done.

20977147608_7445c55b17_z.jpg

For now I inserted only two columns as per instructions. The other two have to be shortened to accomodate keel, but I will do it all when the hull is built. They look straight-ish, also the base was slightl sanded, but will receive coat of paint later on.

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I've spent some time with bottle stopper and Washington's family crest, but my painting skills will need to be refreshed... Not happy at all with the result I've put parts away and moved onto the hull - at least for now it does not require painting :)

Firstly, sheet of ply was given slight sanding, just to make it smoother and get rid of some discolouration, after that parts were numbered as shown in instructions

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Then I removed all components and tried them on the plan. It looks like fair amount of them is not exactly as they were meant to be....

20981298849_9ecf898b05_b.jpg

... but it's nothing that sand paper will not sort out later ;)

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So far so good eh? The bottle that came with my Hannah was also a little foggy, though it's now too late for me to do anything about it and viewers will have to pretend that they're peering at the ship through a light mist.....

 

I don't think you'll have any problems with the finishing on this tiny kit - given the scale and detail of those figures! I'll be following along here with interest

hamilton

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So far the only thing I don't like is quality of wooden parts - out of all, only one part of the hull was in fact matching the plan size wise. Rest of them is smaller, not really straight/round as they should be, it looked like some drunk operator was cutting them out ;). Luckily Amati provided 1:1 drawings, so if anything goes wrong during shaping of the hull, I will cut my own parts from my scrap wood ;). I knew it might come in handy one day ;).

Also, a note for anyone wishing to start this kit. Copy the page with mentioned drawings, then cut them out and use as templates to mark "+" on your bread and butter. This would save a lot of time during construction. There are also parts with etched slot in the middle - do not separate them now, cut keel slot later, after hull is glued together. One of mine somehow snapped in the middle and this will take some time to put on nicely.

Pic of today's progress will come tomorrow, it's dark now and my phone simply can't cope with light.

That thing is really small. The more I do, the smaller it seems ;). Can't wait to crack on with guns and rest of the stuff ;).


Thanks for kind words ;).
Regards
Tom

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Hi Tom:

 

It's funny that you say the more you do the smaller it seems - this is definitely true! Wait till you get into the rigging!

 

I also found the laser cut wood to be unevenly cut. Also - I suspect that a couple of the lifts might be mis-numbered on the plans - I can't remember which, but I would advise you to test their fit against each other before gluing them and making sure that the numbers correspond to the right part. There was one lift that should have been wider than it was given its placement and I think it was actually mis-numbered in the plans....if I hadn't been assembling as I went, I could have fixed this easily, but I ended up using some wood filler during and after the sanding of the hull to correct for this.....maybe your kit is different, though.....

hamilton

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I found the part no 5 the most off out of them all. It was much shorter than no 6, but wider at same time. I figured out I will just glue that bit somehow in the middle to avoid too big gaps at the bow and stern, but will see after shaping how clever was that idea...

Progress from yesterday

21000437460_19488b76b2_z.jpg

Today I finally finished hull

21196409071_b5ccb0b36a_z.jpg

and stern quarterdeck

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I also glued underdeck, but spotted quite big gap between that and hull, luckily glue still didn't set, so I took it off. Will resand it later and hopefully shape hull today. In the meantime, I am thinking of colour for it - somehow would prefer to see the wood itself instead of all white ship, but have no idea yet what to do with keel... Maybe a visit in local hobby craft will brighten my mind a bit :)

Regards

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Hi Tom:

 

Looks about right to me! The sanding will help a lot with the unevenness of the lifts. I spent a lot of time sanding (probably could have spent more). The top side particularly and the bottom both needed quite a bit to smooth out the edges that define the sweep of the deck and the shape of the lower hull. The bow was probably the trickiest area to sand to smoothness while keeping it even. Looks like you'll need some filler in a couple of places, but it's better than mine - I had a small gap (about .5-1mm) that ran around the entire ship due to the misnomered lift.....

 

One issue with leaving it with a natural finish is that the lines between the lifts tend to really show up when the hull is sanded and it looks kind of weird. Maybe this would be ok with the dramatic effect of the sails and the opacity of the bottle, but you'll see once you get it sanded - you can hold off on the decision till then, fortunately - I actually held off until I'd already installed the bulwarks....

 

Anyway keep it up!

hamilton

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Thank you again for good info mate.


I finally managed to get my lower deck to stay in place, but before that I painted brass decks and some hatches. Think I will give it a wash later on, cause that shine looks terrible. Decks don't really look like decks, so might paint it with mix of white and brown and later give it a brown-black wash. Also don't like the idea of leaving hatches unpainted, so might spill some gunmetal or even dark silver on them, to resemble bars.

After that I started to shape my little hull.... Well, few hours have passed and I can see no end of it... I didn't think it will be so time consuming. I also got a little carried away with stern and sanded one side just a tiny bit too much. Upper deck still fits though, and I still have some room for final shaping, but it will be more precise job that I wanted it to be... Ehhh, being careless paid off very quickly...

I have also cut the slot for keel and here are few things too. Hull seems to be on the short side, but still meets both ends. I also got something in the middle of the hull and for some reason using junior hacksaw doesn't seem to work, but will figure it out later. Another thing, parts 13,14 and 15 started to come off again, so will have to put them back and of course finish sanding.

Questions :D :D :D

Just one - how deep keel is supposed to sit in the hull?

Progress so far

21212344741_023af92fdc_z.jpg

Not bad for two days, but I'm affraid I will have to slow down a lot during the week. Hate when work gets in the way of anything... ;)

All the best
Tom

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Thank you again Patrick ;).

Today I managed to sand my little hull a bit more, but it's still long way to go... Will have some fun with it after work, and hopefully will finish sanding in few days.

What I noticed, the slot for keel I cut is a little too deep, I have about 1mm left when parts are put together, but that will be easy fix too. Might actualy leave it a bit deeper, so I have more room when it comes to final stage.

More to follow soon.
Cheers

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Hi Tom - my keel also sat deep in the hull - I don't think it's a huge issue in terms of construction and I think that given the height of the model and the space inside the bottle, a low set keel will actually help (I think it helped in terms of the relative ease of getting mine into the bottle. I don't think the keel should disappear entirely but it doesn't look like that's the case with yours - how far does the keel protrude at the bottom? Mine is at a minimum of about 1mm I think, though it is well exposed at both stern and stem....

hamilton

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Hamilton - your posts here are very helpful and informative, and once again I thank you for your input - it's appreciated a lot!

I have been working on Hannah everyday since I got the glue, but as I expected, progress slowed down to almost standstill. As much as I enjoy it, I don't like painting after work - can't really see details and usually I find some bits that need touch up.

Here is the picture

20637733923_38d6905278_b.jpg

Before anyone will be getting ready to keel haul me - let me just say that everything is dry fitted! I swear :D!!

As you can see, hull has been shaped somehow and for my first model I am happy with that. I also painted it with Ogryn Flesh wash - it's one of paints I used to paint my miniatures. I applied two coats, but think one more will do no harm - and after that will also apply a layer of gloss varnish.

I did some research but couldn't find any info on full size Hannah, except for what is on Wiki. And since everybody has white Hannah, I wanted to do something different ;).

I also think that decks will remain as they are now - for some reason mt paints don't cover it at all when I try to put thin layer on, so to avoid loosing details, I decided to leave them alone ;).

I also painted some hatches and one anchor, but I did it now, so most probably will have to do it again in daylight.

Keel and masts will also remain unpained I think - will polish them, a bit, but again - don't want to make my ship look like one blob of paint.

Quarter deck is still unshaped and not washed, but it will be prepared.

I think that's all for now, next update in a day or two ;).

Regards
Tom

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Hi Tom:

 

No problem, of course - it's nice to follow a log so close on to a model I'm building, and glad to be of assistance. 

 

A couple of notes. My quarterdeck needed A LOT of reducing in size. It ended up being quite thin top to bottom, with a slighter angle aft. Looks like you've got more sanding ahead of you there!

 

As for the paint - I think your hull looks good, though it would be nice to see it in daylight. Just my opinion, but I would avoid a gloss finish. Satin would be my choice. I think that the glass will give the hull a glossy shimmer without applying the extra coat of gloss finish....again, just my opinion.

 

I think I mentioned before, I use artist acrylic paints (by Golden) - don't know if they're available in the UK, but something equivalent must be - you should be able to pick something decent up at any artist supply shop. I like them much better than other modelling paints I've tried because they hold the pigment extremely well over time and do not separate. They go on very smooth and require fewer coats to get something that looks clean. The trade off is that they're a little pricey (small bottles ranging from $8-12 CDN - roughly 4-6 pounds) and they do not come in the variety of colours that model paints do....

 

Anyway, enjoying your build - you'll catch up to me very quickly at this rate!

hamilton

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Morning Hamilton ;).

Yeah, quarterdeck will need a lot of sanding yet. I considered building it without parts that were marked as optional, but later I thouht it'll be easier to sand down excess rather than build up lack of wood ;).  But I must say that sanding plywood isn't the task I like the most - hard or medium balsa is my choice ;).


That is a good Idea with satin finish. I must admit, I didn't really think about it, but what you say about glass + gloss coat makes a lot of sense.

My paints are just surprising me... I started to play with models many years ago and I remember from modelling group we had in school that Humbrols
were much, much better than now, same as beer and some other alcohols (but I remember that NOT from school :D). In some cases black undercot solves the problem, but can't really use it everywhere, especially that I don't have an airbrush.

Here is the picture in a daylight

20645368144_d63272e476_z.jpg

I think I will apply final coat of wash and that would be it. Since I have some time before work yet, I will try and paint some metal castings and will leave fitting them for after work relax ;).

All the best
Tom

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Thank you for kind words mate ;).

That is one downside of using washes - they are suppossed to bring out shades etc, so some lifts will be showing up. Finally I didn't even touch the model before work, but next step will include one more coat of wash for my hull. Would like to get it done quickly now, so I can proceed to decks and rigging (can't wait for my sails to go up!), but on the other side - can't glue keel in place without coating hull with satin (I think it deffo will need it to bring out some shine on the wood ;) ) and I don't want to risk getting it dirty after polishing. Ehh, did I mention I hate when work gets in a way of hobby? ;)

Another thing that sprung to my mind - how you (I mean builders of Hannah) managed to get guns in correct places? Were there any problems? I have seen that bulwarks need to be raised a little, but how can it be done if they are glued to decks?

Just now had my dinner and having a rest after work, might get something done today.

Regards
Tom

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Hi Tom

 

I can't help you get out of work, but I can say that my cannons needed some slight adjustment given the positioning of the bulwarks. I had fit the bulwarks and then realized that the cannons sat too high. My choices were either to scratch build cannons at 1/300 scale (HA!! - I'm a masochist but not that much of a masochist), to peel off the bulwarks and reposition them (I was both too lazy and too afraid of doing this after much wrestling to fit them), or to try bending the barrels of the cannons downwards to accommodate the low gunports (I opted for this, but accidentally snapped one of the gun barrels off....)

 

I think you could correct for my errors by trying the following:

 

1. Dry fit the bulwarks - the key here is getting the little channel extensions (the 4 tabs sticking out from the deck) to slide into the slots for the bulwarks. With some light bending these could be positioned and then held in place with an elastic band

 

2. See how the cannons fit and make any necessary adjustments to the bulwark positions.

 

3. Then fix the bulwarks, being confident that your cannons will go where they're supposed to....

 

Hope this helps - my work is now getting in the way of my building too - It's almost midnight and I've only just finished work for the day - 15 hours! And it's only the first day of the semester....it's going to be a long one.......

hamilton

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After few long days of being stuck at work, I finally managed to get back to my Hannah.

I bought today satin cote from Humbrol, got black thread, but also one which is light brown-ish. I got it to simulate the lines for cannons and anchors, but am not sure if I will use it.

Finally little hull received long awaited coat of satin and then, after few minutes, disaster happened. I knocked it off the table top with my hand and it fell on the middle shelf... well, not on the shelf, I managed to dip it in my nearly full of water glass. Sorry, but didn't take photo :P. Luckily clear coat was dry enough and nothing happened. And it actualy floats, but upside down :D :D :D

I have also polished keel and bulwarks, which were later bent to shape again and dry fitted to the deck. I've bent slightly those parts of the deck with holes and now guns seem to match just fine ;). Bulwarks themselves are still not broken ;) but I snapped off one part with another hole it in, at the bow. Oh well, nothing that drop of glue won't fix ;)

Some photos will be uploaded tomorrow, along with next part of the log.

Cheers
Tom

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Those darn bowsprits are always a problem.  I've broken more than a few.  Be careful to make sure the fix is secure.  The bow takes a lot of tension when raising the mast and fixing it in the bottle is tough work.  She's looking great so far.  I particularly like the color of the hull.  I look forward to seeing more.

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Thank you ;).

Apologies for slow updates, but since we had weekend, i wanted to spend some time with my family as well ;). Today my son had his first ride on my bike and he loved it to bits! Later I took daughter out, just to watch sunset somewhere in countryside, we found some horses as well, took us a while ;).

Anyway, progress untill yesterday's morning

21395502285_55a057cd88_z.jpg

After that I glued upper deck with its brass plating, bent stairs down, fixed bulwarks completely, painted some cannons, glued hatches, bent bowsprit countless times (it is much easier than it seems!), glued two cannons to the deck...

Hamilton, thanks for advice re guns. It worked for some of them, but since my ship is not pefrect, I might be guilty of poor fit now...

One thing that made build much less enjoyable are all metal parts. All, with no exception. They bend easily, also break easily, are not easy to clean up and a total nightmate to paint! Any coat will come off as soon as I look at it, in addition paints don't really stick well to it.... I'd much rather have plastic cannons and hatches and ply bulwarks.

Instructions state that masts should be painted too. I am not too keen on that, but will try. If I don't like finish, I will just polish them and leave without paint at all.

I finished just now cause there is work tomorrow morning... Photo is of very low quality, but at least shows what I had done so far

21384651472_f080f5f3e2_z.jpg

Only two guns, deckhouse, anchors and some paint touch-ups and I can get to work on what I like the most - masts, lines, sails! ;). I think she might be finished by the end of the week, but that's not for sure...

More to follow soon...

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Hello Tom, I just found your build log. I must say that your hull looks best of all Hannahs that i saw so far, including my own. I didn't like the white either thats why i decided to paint it black together with a satin varnish. Good that you inserted the keel deep in the hull. The deeper the better the ship will slide into the bottle. 

 

You mentioned the cannons. Mine were a but too high too. I solved this problem with sanding down the front wheels a bit. Then painted them. I didn't rig them because i found it too much at this small scale. 

 

The bowsprit got on my nerves too. I broke it twice at different positions. But since it is pure brass it is easy to repair. I managed to solder it back with no visible marks. And it was refixed so well, that i broke it at a different position the second time. 

 

I must say you are on a very good way with your Hannah. I am sure she will come out nicely and I bet you will be infected from building SIBs from now on and the next one will be a scratch model. 

 

Enjoy your built. Don't hurry. Wishing you fun.

 

Harry

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Sorry for late reply gents.

Igor
for now I can say it is not going at all ;)... I didn't touch the box from last update, planned to get it done this weekend, but time with family and trip to seaside just consumed me.

As to the sails, am not sure yet. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd like my ship to look real, with scale details etc, but must admit - I kinda like sails from the kit ;). Not that it really matters that much with my first build, but if I won't source another material and make them look better, will use what's provided.


Hyposphagma

thank you for very informative post. Great idea with the cannons. I broke one of mine, but glued it back - now if one looks closely, barrel looks a bit odd, but hey - at least I learnt that bending them too much will not work as intended ;).

Infected with sibs... Well, I already have some plans downloaded and have small project in mind, but will see how it turns out. First I need to find smoked bottle, so I can insert my 'ghost ship' in :).


But before that, I still need to sort Hannah out. I am doing my research on adding sea into the bottle. From all methods I have seen, the one with epoxy glue seems to be the best. Will just need to test how it behaves when mixed with paint and how it looks when painted, then figure out how to work it around the ship. Then I will make stand for complete model - got some nice wood from one of my drawers (admiral still doesn't know I already took it, the front is still on the chest, let's just hope she won't find out before I cut it to pieces :D :D :D ). Here again I have seen few nice examples and can't decide on which will be relatively easy to make with hand tools only and will look good at the same time. I plan to add some rope with tied fancy knots, but need to build my stand first ;).

One thing that doesn't let me sleep - how could I smoke the bottle myself? I think it could look nice with water and dark night sky. If I use the candle or matches on the outside, it will come off easily with first dusting, I may not be able to do it inside due to lack of oxygen. Any ideas?

Will post update soon. Weather isn't too kind now, this should increase my chances of finishing her ;).

All the best.

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