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18th Century Longboat by Stubby - Model Shipways - Scale 1/4"

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So I've taken advantage of the Model Expo sale to purchase a model of the U.S. Brig Syren, and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.  While I wait I thought I would pull this little longboat out of the closet and work up to the far more intricate model.

So, I don't have the time that I would like, but kicked off this build by glueing the keel into a single piece, shaping the bearding line and glueing it to the false keel.  The directions stated that the pieces were "delicate" and to handle with care - they weren't kidding!  I broke the false keel three times working on the bearding line (I broke the same place twice).  Luckily it glued back together nicely, and now glued to the keel it is a bit stronger.


So that's it.  A small beginning, but a beginning nonetheless.


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So okay.... day two.  My only real goal today was to glue the bulkheads to the false keel.  I started by dry fitting the bulkheads to check for fit.... and promptly broke the first one.  Seriously, I'm not usually Magilla Gorilla, but I've been a wrecking ball so far to this model.  Luckily it was just a small corner at the false keel; it will glue back no problem and won't even be noticeable.
I did have to file almost every bulkhead and every notch in the false keel in order to get it all to fit.  That's not a problem, but something to be aware of.  To make sure the bulkheads were square to the false keel, I used Model Expo's "Fair-a-frame".  The little longboat looks ridiculous in the huge contraption, but it works as advertised!

So the other mistake that I made today was that I glued bulkhead "H" to the bow post - forgetting that the middle of the bulkhead will be removed later.  I'm not too worried about that either; it wasn't a lot of glue I can sand out any residual, and it will barely be visible (if at all) under the cap rail.  

Okay, enough damage for one day!

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All right....


So in the words of every novice ever.... "this is tougher than it looks."


I've read through some of the others that have worked on or completed this model - some truly extraordinary work!  In so doing I've learned some things that will help me out immensely.  There are a couple of things that I was thinking as I look at my work thus far;


I did have to enlarge the laser cut slots in the false keel and the bulkheads in order to achieve a fit.  I tried to keep everything centered, but that is a difficult proposition even on a large model; on this small and fragile model even more so.  I think if I were to start again I would only file one side of the slot, and use the other untouched side to align the bulkheads.  That would preserve the spacing and keep it square.


I used the fair-a-frame to keep alignment, but was less successful than I would like - maybe I didn't give enough time for the glue to dry before moving to the next frame, but the bulkheads are not terribly square.  Because it is a small and delicate model, the bulkheads do move even when glued to the false fame - which is why many are using a false deck to provide stability before fairing the hull.  I will certainly do this, but I am contemplating how to ensure the bulkheads are square before securing a false deck.


I'm thinking of taking a break and working on a different model while I contemplate....



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Your build appears to be coming along nicely! To square the frames, I would likely either cut a stack of scrap wood, clapp them together, and sand them to the proper spacing between bulkheads and just glue them in as spacers for the time being. Or if the spacing is not the same between each bulkhead, just take the measurements from the plans and make them in pairs so that the spacers on the port and starboard sides are equal in width.


Just the two cents of a fellow novice builder. I look forward to seeing this build progress, I really like this kit a lot.


Best Regards,

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G'day Stubby,


Have you checked out Chuck Passarro's practicum on building this kit? He designed it in the first place, and I'm guessing that there are things missing in the kit instructions that will be in the practicum. Here's the LINK to it.


BTW - I'm (sort of) making the same boat in 1:100 scale, and putting it in a bottle :) . The link to it is in my signature below.


:cheers:  Danny

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  • 1 month later...

Just coming back to the forum after some busy time away.  Thanks for the recommendations!  I did dabble with the spacers as Max suggested, but the spacing is carried, so I will have to make individually customized spacers for pretty much each frame, and I haven't committed the time for that yet.  


I will certainly look at the practicum suggested by Danny.  I'm always happy to learn from smart and experienced people.

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