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Armed Launch "Lancia Armarta" by mobbsie - FINISHED - Panart - 1/16 - Small

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Hi Guys,


Well here we are, back on familiar ground with a kit build although there is an awful lot on this boat that needs to be scratched. 


The Armed Launch was used by different navies during the 19th century, approx. 10 metres in length it was armed with different size guns, one large cannon at the bow and two small swivel guns at the stern.


These boats were used for coastal patrols or in escort services, they also demonstrated their wartime capabilities in surprise actions by attacking craft in trouble, anchored up or in the roads. 


The model is triple planked with the first planking on full show on the inboard, this planking is Walnut, the second planking is for strength and is Lime, the last planking should be Walnut but I want to change this to Swiss Pear, I want a bare wood finish if possible and I want to keep the paint away from the main parts of the boat.


I started with the keel by cutting two 3mm rabbits, I'm not too sure if this was the right thing to do but it's done and so I have to make it work.


With the rabbits cut I dry fitted the bulkheads, the top 2/3rds will be removed when the planking is completed, these were then glued into place and the alignment deck put in position, this deck plays no part in the final boat, it's purely to keep the bulkheads square whilst planking.


I started the first planking (Walnut) and have so far got just about halfway and so it continues, care has to taken as this first layer is on full show apart from the bow section.


I hope all that follow this build will enjoy the trip and please feel free to offer any advice / comments along the way.


Some pictures


First up the obligatory kit shots 

post-493-0-08113400-1449316406_thumb.jpg  post-493-0-07234100-1449316573_thumb.jpg




The Keel in my clamp showing a Rabbit



Bulkheads dry fitted



Bow block attached and alignment deck in place



The first three rows on both sides





Not very exciting at the moment is it.


I'm not right upto-date with the pictures but they would only be more of the same planking so that it for now, I will post again when I have more progress, that will be a bit slow due to the time of year and the Admirals just do jobs.


Please feel free to make any comments guys.


Be Good





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Hi Q A & Mike,


Thanks for looking in guys and I think I am going to enjoy building this boat, Mike your absolutely right about letting your imagination run riot.


I see Mike that you have suspended your HMS Surprise, have you any ideas when you'll restart her, I've been waiting for Caldercrafts Surprise now for about 3 years, good job I didn't hold my breath.


Q A, the first planking is Walnut, I sanded both sides down prior to starting planking just to tidy the wood up, I've never been happy with any Walnut that comes with a kit, it all seems to need quite a bit of work.


Be Good



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Hi Guys, 


Thanks guys, it's an honour to have you sitting in on this project, you are all more than welcome.


Bob & John, you know me, I'm not one to let the grass grow beneath my feet, I get bored fairly quickly and need something to do. Having retired 4 years ago if I hadn't got this hobby and forum I would have gone stir crazy by now.


Ray, Hi mate, it's strange how some things do work in parallel, I now build small mainly due to a lack of space but there is a lot of detail in some of these boats which pleases me. Still like to hook up for a coffee some time.


Hi Ken, Pull up a pew, it's a pleasure to have you along mate, catering trundles by quite often so no need to go hungry, I don't.


Grant, You my friend have a lot to answer for, the books been found and is in the cart, most likely my next project. Not a word my friend.


Be Good



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  • 2 weeks later...



I am not sure what will happen with my Surprise. I made a bad error early in the build which has led to major misalignment of the hull. 

That problem coupled with where to keep the monster when finished has stopped my decision making stone dead.


Good luck with your armed pinnace.



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Mobbsie, nice start as I stood up for the first part. lol, now I am sitting with my own cup of joe. Since this is a fairly small hull kit,I would have replaced the stubborn walnut planking with basswood or boxwood. I guess it is a double planked hull?! Looking forward to next episode.


Hmm, so it wasn't doubleplanked. I found several builts on youtube, some shorter other longer.

Edited by Nirvana
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Hi Guys,


Mike, Have you discovered what distorted the hull in the first place and if so would it not be possible to un-do and re-do, glue can be undone by using Isopropyl Alcohol for the wood glue and Acetone for C.A., if you could take it back you may be able to straighten it out. It all just depends on how far you've got with her.


Per, your right about the boat being short, she's only 59 cm in length but she is triple planked, the first planking is Walnut followed by Lime and then Walnut again for the final planking, I intend to make the final planking Swiss Pear as I don't want to use any paint where I don't need to.


At the moment I'm having a nightmare with the first planking, as you say Walnut is pretty stubborn and I'll be honest it's going to look like a dogs dinner. The only saving grace is that a lot of the bad stuff wont be seen, the important planks are above the deck as these will be in full view when the bulkheads are removed, thankfully they are ok.


Progress has been slowed somewhat due to the time of year and the up and coming festivities,  plus I've had a few problems that have needed to be sorted out, things like getting my car repaired after a truck took the back end off whilst it was parked up outside my house, then I've had T.V. trouble, my Wi-Fi box packed up, then my viewing card burned out, the end result is that I'm getting it in the neck from the boss to get it all fixed, still nearly there.


So please be patient with me and hopefully a pictorial update will come soon I hope.


Be Good



Edited by mobbsie
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys,


Its been a while since my last post but thankfully the festivities are almost over and I am able to get back into it.


All problems are solved on the domestic front, cars fixed, toilets working again, TV's all sorted so the boss is happy again and that makes me a happy chappie.


Since my last post the first planking is now done, I didn't post any progress pics mainly because I was so embarrassed with the result, it honestly looked like a real dogs dinner with so many patches and fill-ins, believe me it was a mess. I have filled and sanded down and given a single coat of diluted PVA, so as far as the second planking is concerned and although it's only Lime I will be using it to practice on in readiness for the final planking which will be Swiss Pear.

I am studying Keith Harris's tutorial on planking and am determined to get it right so Wayne, I'm coming your way.



I was given a link into ebonizing wood by Grant and so am in the process of making up an experimental batch, I want the Sheer Rail to be Ebony and I want it in one piece, but as Ebony is the devil to try and bend and I would be trying to bend a 10mm x 4mm piece, it's not going to happen so an alternative is needed.


OK, I have some pics, they are of the completed 1st planking with filler, except for inside the boat which will be in full view once the bulkheads are removed. As I have said guys, apologies for not posting progress shots. 


The first two pics are of the inside of the boat which as you can see is looking ok.






Now we come to the dogs dinner, almost more filler than wood.










So thats it for now, next job is to put a couple of rows of planking at the top and the Garboard planks then take a few measurements, my heads starting to hurt already.


Sorry it's not much gents, hopefully it will get better.


Be Good






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Hi Guys,


Thanks for your comments and likes gents, very much appreciated.


As I have already said in my last post that I was experimenting with an Ebonizing solution and I would like to share my findings.


The solution is as easy as breathing to set up, there are two parts which make up the process, firstly there is the Tea, this is a standard tea mix and either loose or tea bags can be used.


My made my Tea using 4 x Teabags put into an old coffee jar and hot water from the tap, this was then set aside to brew giving an occasional shake up.


The Ebonizer is a solution made from Distilled White Malt Vinegar and fine Wire Wool, place a good quantity of the wire wool into a jar and fill with the Vinegar,  after a couple of hours bubbles start to form within the wire wool, this is the start of the chemical reaction, don't worry it's not explosive and although a gas is produced it's totally harmless. Set the solution to one side and forget for a couple of days.


It is possible to speed the process up by removing the wire wool after a couple of days, place some old rags in an old ice cream tub and cover with paper, place the wire wool onto the paper and let it oxidise ( rust ). When a good covering of rust has formed replace the wire wool back into the solution and allow to steep for another five days or until the wire wool has disappeared.


Your solution will now have become brown in colour, it is now ready for decanting, using the neck of a plastic bottle, another jar and a coffee filter, place the filter into the top of the plastic bottle and put it into the jar, pour the solution into the filter and allow to drain.


Your Ebonizer is now ready to use but it will mature over the next few days. Depending on the amount of Tanning in the wood you want to stain you may have to soak the wood in the tea, if this is the case allow a day for the tea to soak in, remove and allow this to dry. To Ebonize the wood pour the solution into a tub and place the wood into it. The depth of colour depends on what you are after and the time left to soak, a longer soak will result in a darker colour.


If you want an aged look to your wood just soak without the tea until you achieve the desired look.


It is recommended that all work on the wood be completed before staining as the stain is very much on the surface, I'm now doing a check to see what the penetration is after a few days of soaking.


I hope that you can understand the process and that my explanation is clear, if you have any questions please ask.


I have a few pictures with my results.


The first picture is of the solution after six days, the wire wool has all but disappeared



Both the Tea and Ebonizer with some examples



Samples, the three pieces on the left have not been soaked in tea and the Tanning is quite low

Far Left to Right= Lime, Walnut and finally Swiss Pear.



Second Part, the three samples on the right have been soaked in tea so the Tanning is higher

Far Right to Left= Lime, Walnut and finally Swiss Pear.



The next picture is Swiss Pear after about a four hour soak, very little penetration.



So there we are, an alternative to Ebony, some experimentation on your part will be required to meet your needs. The finer the Wire Wool the better it melts and it can be washed in soapy water to remove it's preservatives to also help to speed up the process.


I will pass on my result for the long soak when their ready.


Give it a go gents, it's safer than using Ebony and you'll be helping safe the planet.


Be Good



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