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Phantom NY Pilot Boat by eclipsefire - Model Shipways - First model boat

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Hello! Happy to be posting my first build log. I've been working on this ship for awhile now. i originally started it back in February 2014, but coppering the hull got a bit tedious so I didn't work on it for awhile. Recently I started back up on it though and have been making a lot of progress. Anyways, enough background, on to the build.




First up, I started shaping the hull. I'll be honest I'm not a huge fan of the solid hull. The sanding wasn't that enjoyable for me, but it went pretty quick so wasn't a big deal.










I ended up not having a ton of pictures from this part before I started on coppering the hull.


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I started the coppering across the keel and working my way up the sides. These photos represent about 20 or so hours of work. Coppering the hull took a long time and got to be a bit tedious.






It was shortly after this point where I took a break for awhile before starting up again.



Here you can see I've trimmed up the copper plating along the water line.




I painted the hull black before adding the final line of coper plates.



A look from the starboard side.


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Here I added the decking, and also had to do a bit more carving on the fore deck as it wasn't quite deep enough.




I've added in the scuppers here.



And here you can see the waterway added. I'm following the practicum by Chuck Passaro and he recommended using a manila folder for this. I liked that, but as you can see it got a bit marked up from the pencil lead. I fixed this by painting it and the inside of the bullwarks white, which you'll see here in a bit.



Progress photo of the stanchions going in.





Stanchions installed an painted.


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Thanks for the kind words everyone. :)


Chief Don, have a build log? Would like to see someone else's go at it.


Hamilton, uh oh, we are expecting our first child in just a few weeks now so I'll be having to figure out child protection in the not too distant future.



Here's some more progress shots.


Small deadeyes are small.



Chainstays put on with deadeyes attached. It was interesting tying knots with tweezers.



Belay pins and all cap rail fittings installed


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At some point around here spacing got messed up and as you see coming up I ended up running short on space and had to make some adjustments. I'll call them out in the photos, I think they turned out okay though in the end.


The kit also didn't have the cast fife rails, so I figured I'd give hand making them a go. I think the turned out pretty well.


I ended up having to make the skylight smaller than the charts specified. I still can't quite figure out where things went awry.



Here it is fitted in with the hand made fife rail test fit in place.



Aft deck mostly completed.




As you can see it mostly worked out, I don't think most people will be able to tell something is off.

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Full shot of the ship with the aft deck complete.




The fore deck has the same companionway but I wanted to try a different construction method. I felt I could do better than the one on the aft deck.



I wanted to match it closer to how the actual companionway would work.



Here the fore deck is mostly complete. I'm a lot happier with the fore deck companionway, but they do look quite different. I figure since this is my first ship it's more about learning than the preciseness of the outcome.



Full shot of the deck, just missing the winch bits and bowspirit.


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This post will get the log up to current. Tonight I finished up the details with the bowspirit and tied on the first bits of rigging. I also made some stretching screws which were pretty fun to make.


Deck fittings are all finished in this shot. The unfinished bowspirit is placed for fitting as well.



Some details roughed in, jackstays and gaskets added.



Progress of the stretch screws. They were made from toothpicks and the eye bolts that came with the kit. This was the suggested method from Chuck Passaro's practicum. It worked really well.



More progress.



Stained bowspirit and stretch screw attached



Rigging lines attached.




One thing I was having trouble with was getting the rigging lines tight, what's the best way to get the lines snug?


Next up, the masts!

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One thing I was having trouble with was getting the rigging lines tight, what's the best way to get the lines snug?



Unfortunately, the rigging line that is supplied with the Model Expo kits is very difficult to work with (it's probably the biggest complaint I have with their kits), and in your pictures they are rigged in a way where you don't have any sort of tackle to use to tighten them, so I really don't know how you can get it tight without cheating.  


To cheat, first test this on some scrap, because it may cause discoloring.  Pull the line tight, and use some sort of knot that allows you to pull the line tight while you are tying it (as long as you are holding onto the line), and drop a tiny bit of fast CA glue on the knot while you hold it tight.  The CA will dry quickly and keep the knot from slipping and loosening up the line.


For future builds, consider replacing the rigging line with aftermarket line like that sold by Syren or other companies, it's much easier to work with, and looks much better.

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I'm sure it can't be any worse!


Pretty sure most kits have cotton or linen line of some kind, but in the case of my Constructo Carmen, it was hilariously fuzzy and out of scale.  They only provided 2 sizes, and the smaller size wouldn't fit through the blocks from the kit, even when I drilled them out significantly larger.  I threw it all away and bought Syren line for that kit too (which was my very first one).


If you go through build logs for the ships you are going to build, and look at the rigging, you may be able to get a better idea of how good it is (assuming the log you are looking at is using the kit line).


You can also just open those kits up and experiment with that line and see how you like it, how fuzzy it is, etc.


If you take a look at my build log, you can get an idea of what the Syren line looks like, since that's what I'm using, and compare it and make your decision.


Note that if you go through the rigging subforum, and lots of build logs here, you will find lots of information on how to fight the fuzzies on the cotton/linen kit lines using various things like beeswax, if you would rather use that sort of approach.  You can also make your own line, and there are plenty of subjects on that too!


The line in the Model Shipways kits is actually nylon, which is why it's so difficult to work with and keep tight.  It also has a tendency to not even be round because it's wound on the spools so tight and it's a plastic.

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I took a look at the other kits I have, the rope line looks far superior and good quality. I order some Syren line to replace the rigging line in the Phantom kit, should be a big improvement. I may cut off the rigging line I've done so far after it arrives so it all matches.


I was rather amazed after seeing the difference in line from the MS kit and the Corel and Mamoli kits. Like night and day. Thanks again for the insight Brian.

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  • 2 weeks later...



I just caught up on your build and it is coming along nicely. I too am working on the Phantom as my "first" build (the quotes are because I built a few much less involved kits before starting the Phantom). We are at similar points as well, but your progress is much faster than mine, life just keeps getting in the way! I will watch your progress with interest, glad to see another phantom build on here, there were far more on the old MSW but they were lost a few years back. Anyway, keep up the good work!



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