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Lady Smith by TheMachineKnows - Constructo - Scale 1:90 - First time builder

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Hi all, this will be my log for my first ship build: the Lady Smith kit by Constructo.


I had planned on ordering a kit from the internet, but after a stop at a very unique local model store I found this on the shelf and brought it home:






The box was in good shape and everything was packaged really nicely so I figured it was worth a shot. Being my first build, I wanted something that would be challenging but perhaps not as much so as a ship with considerable rigging. This seemed like a good balance, though to be honest, having read through everything, I may have bit off more than I can chew at this point..




Here is my workspace. I was quite pleased to see a plan, instruction manual, and a photo booklet showing the various steps.




Right off the bat my main concern is that there are two thin plywood sheets of parts (including the decks) that are significantly warped. I've soaked and steamed them but I think they are unrecoverable. My guess is this kit had been sitting on the shelf for quite some time.


Thankfully the thicker plywood which has the false keel andbulkheads is straight so I at least have a decent starting place.


My plan is to find some thin plywood (looks like 2mm according to the parts list) and recut the warped pieces unless by some miracle they straighten out after sitting under weight.






I was hoping to get started but I think patience will be key and getting new plywood for the decks at the very least will be worth it.


Thanks for looking and I plan to keep updating as I make progress.

Edited by TheMachineKnows

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Welcome to MSW.


Interesting kit..  Is that balsa or actual plywood?   If it's warped, sometimes putting weight such that it actually bends the wood the other way works pretty good.   You'll have to be careful though that the cut out parts don't fly off into the Twilight Zone. ;)

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Depending on what the parts are that are on the warped sheets, it may not matter.  You say it's very thin, so for example - the false deck.  Since it will be glued solidly to the bulkheads and false keel, the warp won't matter, as the thin sheet will be held flat to the bulkheads.  


So while it won't hurt to find a nice sheet of thin basswood to replace any critical parts that are warped, some of them might be just fine even though they are warped.


One of the cool things about wood though, is that even if a part is completely unusable on the model, it can easily be used as a pattern like you say, to make new parts out of good wood!


Good luck, and that's a very interesting ship you've selected.  Look forward to seeing it be built.  Constructo off the shelf of a local hobby shop was my first wood model too!

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Thanks all!


I've begun to make some progress I think.


The false keel and frames seem to be balsa or something similar. The decks, which were quite warped, are indeed plywood. After visiting the one of the local hobby shops and seeing how warped their thin ply stocks are, I decided to take your advice and make the kit work! I went slow and glued section by section.


I think it's going pretty well. My only real visible mishap so far has been putting my nailer tool through one of the decks (oops). Lesson learned!


Here are some pictures:








I've added some extra bracing. I've been acruing a fairly significant number of bent nails I've had to pull out though the amount has lessened as I've learned to use a more delicate touch. I think I underestimated how much the angles would affect things and I should have filed down the tops of the frames to match the deck angles... Another lesson learned I suppose.


The instructions called for the decks to be attached to the false keel before the frames. I decided to ignore this for the bow because of the warping but will try it for the aft. Is there a standard?


Overall I remain cautiously optimistic about the build.

Edited by TheMachineKnows

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Hey there !

Please help before you throw anything away !! I am trying to scratch build this kit from empty wood frames which I came across. Is there anyway you can hep me to identify the part numbers on the hull and frames sheet. I can't find reference to them in the instructions. The other die-cut sheets are in the instructions with numbers for each part but not for this sheet. I see you have already put those parts together but is there any way you can help me out ?

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