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Ketch Clara May by Moxis - 1/48 scale - after David McGregor plans - Finished

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Thanks again for all of you who have welcomed me into this forum and encouraged to start a build log about my present project.


As already mentioned at the introduction area, I am building a wooden ketch Clara May after David McGregor plans, which I obtained already about 14 years ago, but never really started to build it. Soon however I found out that the plans could have been better to show more details as they do, but I think that with help from the forum all questions can be solved.


The reason to choose this as my first wooden ship project was, that the hull & superstructure are simple enough for the first project, and that the outlooks of the ship was appealing to me.

I chose scratch building instead of a kit because I happen to have a rather well equipped workshop to be able to cut all my timbers by myself. And having scratch built already a couple of tanks and cars in 1/6 scale I was not afraid of the work which might be ahead.

And thirdly, when scratchbuilding you can freely select your materials and are not tied to the ones included into the kit, which are not always the best possible.


So here we are, in the beginning. The first pictures show the plans of the ship and some of the equipment which I have in my workshop.


To be continued...







Edited by Moxis
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I`m checking in 

In progress:

CUTTY SARK - Tehnodidakta => scratch => Campbell plans


Content of log :


Past build:

Stella, Heller kit, plastic, Santa Maria, Tehnodidakta kit, wood, Jolly Roger Heller kit, plastic

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Thanks Nenad, Jim Lad and aviaamator for reading!


And now to actual building. I selected the Plank on Bulkhead method for this model, and decided to make the bulkheads out of 8 mm MDF. I know the purists among you will say: "Wrong decision", but this was made because MDF is cheap, easy to cut, sand etc. and it is very obvious that the model will never see any water when standing at our bookshelf.

The planks were cut out of birch, which is also cheap, local and can be used as solid, veneer and plywood. And it is very tight grained so small details can be easily made out of it.


So here am I, half of the planks glued and no problems yet:




I didn`t want to use any nails which would be seen on the planks, so I made curved jigs like the one in picture to keep the ends of planks steady during the glue setting.


Very nice tool for tapering the planks is this tiny little plane made by Veritas, and the attachment where the plank was fastened during tapering:




And finally after few days work the planking was finished, and the hull was sanded smooth:




A false deck made of 1 mm birch plywood was installed:




And deck planking made using again 2x4 mm planks sawn from birch. Caulking between the planks was made by blackening the plank`s edges with soft pencil:





To be continued...






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Super smooth looking job on the hull planks Moxis. Looks great all round.

Regards, Scott


Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli


Completed builds:

1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli  -  1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli  -  1:54 Adventure, Amati  -  1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL

1:64 Blue Shadow, Mamoli  -  1:64 Leida Dutch pleasure boat, Corel  -  1:60 HMS President Mantra, Sergal


Awaiting construction:

1:89 Hermione La Fayette AL  -  1:48 Perserverance, Modelers shipyard

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The hull is looking good, and that shipyard has everything one could wish for.. including a Panzer. 

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Thanks guys for your kind words and comments!


It is time to write some update. Next I was building the bulwarks. To support them as rigidly as possible, 1,5 mm steel pins were glued into the holes provided at the edge of the deck. On those pins came bulwark supporting pieces cut from solid birch. And finally planks for bulwarks were installed:




At the same time the stem, keel and sternpost were cut from solid birch, sanded and glued. The whole hull was then coloured with oak stain and sanded lightly to represent somewhat weathered outlook:





Edited by Moxis
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Thanks Patric and Tom!


Now that I have gathered experience of ship model building about a month, I have to say that this is really nice hobby.

So was car and tank building too, but I think this is better.


And Tom, when I was nearing my retirement years, I purchased so many tools and machines I could, because I knew that after retirement there is no more money to spend on them.

I have been making models almost my entire life, so I knew that this is going to continue also on retirement. After all you must have hobbies when you have nothing more than free time. Without them life is going to be very boring.

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Hello Matti, Beautiful Hull that you have built, I like your shop space, I will have to pull up a chair and follow along 


Best Regards,


"may your sails be full of wind and the sun on your back"
Current Builds :





 Future Builds :

N.G Herreshoff 12 1/2 Scratch Build 3/4" = 1' - 0" Scale


Completed Builds :


Volvo 65 Farr Yacht Design

Herreshoff Alerion

Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14

Volvo Open 70


 Member : 


The Herreshoff Registry                                  Montgomery Sailboat Owners Group       Peter Kunst Sailboat Models 
http://www.herreshoffregistry.org/                       http://www.msog.org/                      http://www.facebook.com/Peter-Kunst-Sailboat-Models-1524464774524480/ 

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Matti, you mean to say you've only been model ship building one month?  Well, this is a pretty darn good start to this hobby.  It was a VERY SMART move buying all those beautiful tools before retirement.  While most jobs you will encounter can be done with hand tools having those power tools (precission miniature table saw, lathe, milling machine, small band saw, bench sander and drill press) will allow you to take on more and more intricate and involved  tasks, and do them quickly.   Yes, they will be a HUGE time saver!  Another big time saver, and I can't emphasize this enough, is to follow the build logs here in the MSW site.  Here you will learn building techniques from some of the best model ship builders on this planet (unfortunately not me).  Have a good holiday Matti, only the best to you and your family.

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Thanks a lot Tom!


Yes, only one month shipbuilding, but 60 years aeroplanes, cars, tanks, dollshouses etc. etc.

And I agree with you, now that I have been lurking here watching other people's projects, I wish that I wouldn't have started my own. So wonderful and beautifully built models that I hardly ever can do the same.

Ok, I will learn, and when me and my wife are satisfied to what we do, isn't that all that matters.


I too wish to you and everybody here who is reading my humble build, very happy holiday season!



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First of all, very merry and peaceful Christmas to everybody! Santa Claus has started his trip to all parts of the world from Korvatunturi in Finland where his workshop is situated. Don`t worry if it takes a little more time than normally, because we have no snow here in southern Finland: http://youtu.be/9LDtPR8xHNg


And again it is time for a short update. I started to make the deck structure. First the rudderhouse, helm, binnacle and skylight.


Material for rudderhouse is 1 mm birch plywood. Framing is cut from 0,6 mm veneer. Roof was made by scattering thin sand on the roof which was soaked with diluted glue. Then painted with Vallejo colours and weathered with Mig pigments.


Spokes for the helm were turned from dia. 1 mm birch dowel. Other parts are 1mm birch veneer and 0,3 mm brass sheet.


The binnacle stand was milled octagonal from birch dowel. Brass looking parts are resin and styrene. And finally the skylight is made of 1 mm veneer. The black metal bars are 0,25 mm insect needles.




Turning the helm spokes in the lathe:




Rudder house, helm, binnacle and skylight:




And the structure on deck. Not yet glued:



Edited by Moxis
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Beautiful work, Matti. 

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Thanks for your kind words Omega1234, Mark and Tom!


And again some more deck structures.


Pumps, hatch and some sort of cabinets. All made of 1 mm birch plywood and 0,6 mm veneer:



Cargo hatches:




Pentry house and winch:




And everything arranged on the deck but not yet glued:





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very nice Fitting out work Matti,

and lovely built boat....



Current builds

-Lightship Elbe 1


- Steamship Ergenstrasse ex Laker Corsicana 1918- scale 1:87 scratchbuild

"Zeesboot"  heritage wooden fishing small craft around 1870, POB  clinker scratch build scale 1:24

Pilot Schooner # 5 ELBE  ex Wanderbird, scale 1:50 scratchbuild

Mississippi Sterwheelsteamer built as christmapresent for grandson modified kit build

Chebec "Eagle of Algier" 1753--scale 1:48-POB-(scratchbuild) 

"SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse" four stacker passenger liner of 1897, blue ribbond awarded, 1:144 (scratchbuild)
"HMS Pegasus" , 16 gun sloop, Swan-Class 1776-1777 scale 1:64 from Amati plan 

-"Pamir" 4-mast barque, P-liner, 1:96  (scratchbuild)

-"Gorch Fock 2" German Navy cadet training 3-mast barque, 1:95 (scratchbuild) 

"Heinrich Kayser" heritage Merchant Steamship, 1:96 (scratchbuild)  original was my grandfathers ship

-"Bohuslän" , heritage ,live Swedish museum passenger steamer (Billings kit), 1:50 

"Lorbas", river tug, steam driven for RC, fictive design (scratchbuild), scale appr. 1:32

under restoration / restoration finished 

"Hjejlen" steam paddlewheeler, 1861, Billings Boats rare old kit, scale 1:50

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