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HMS Bounty Launch by probablynot - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1/16 - Small(ish)


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I did open the box back in July 2015, when my beloved Admiral gave it to me as a birthday present.  But now's the time to start on the build.
Here's the box.
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... and here's a view of some of the contents.
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This is the first time I've encountered a kit that provided pre-spiled planks.  No long, straight strips of beautiful mahogany or walnut planking - just a few sheets of what looka like basswood with long, thin, laser-cut planks.
And it's a new (to me) construction method as well.  Assemble the frame, plank it, then remove the frame.
It all points to the need for a careful - very careful - read-through of the instructions before any filing, sanding, fitting or gluing gets done!

I've seen, in other Bounty Launch build logs, that there could be a problem with the spiled planks turning out to be too narrow if they are sanded/filed at the edges to achieve a neat join between them.  I'm feeling tempted to buy some 1/16" mahogany sheet and use the provided planks as templates for cutting the mahogany.  That way, I could perhaps overcome the problem before it manifests.  Plus, I'd be planking with a good-looking timber that would allow a natural finish instead of having to paint her.  Yes, I realise paint would probably be more authentic, but natural wood is more pleasing to my eyes.

There's still time for that.  I MUST read those instructions thoroughly before I'm tempted to spend any more money!

Edited by probablynot
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Nice Brian. Welcome. I am building this kit right now also. It seems you are correct, at least in my inexperienced eyes, that there is not much room for sanding. The laser cuts seem to be right to size, with not much room for error. Be vewwy, vewwy, careful. It's not just the planks either. The keel parts are the same way. I ended up having to shim .020 or so to bring the keel into the plans.

 

Paul

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Thanks Paul.  Yes, I'll be careful!

I've started work, though I haven't done a lot yet.  I seem to be spending more time anxiously reading the instructions than doing the actual building.  I just stuck the sides of the keel together. and clamped them in my (aptly-named) keel clamp to ensure they stayed straight.
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Today I glued the basswood strip guide-pieces to each of the fifteen molds, and dry-fitted them onto the false keel.  Right after taking this picture, I clamped the almost-assembled keel between two hefty planks of wood, in an attempt to ensure the keel stays straight
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I've dropped my earlier idea about making my own planking.  There's no point in buying decent wood for the planking if I'm going to make the rest of the model from basswood, is there?  And I don't really feel like doing a full-blown scratch-build with this model.
So the next question in my mind is, do I proceed with this as a stain-and-polish job, or is it going to be my first attempt at a painted model?  I've never tried airbrushing, and my spray-painting skills are limited to car scratch touch-ups!  So it would have to be tiny paintbrushes and tins of Humbol paint.  We'll see ...
 

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Having seen your Half Moon end up looking far better than Corel ever intended, then I'm looking forward to see what you do with this kit, Brian.

:cheers:

 

(A little "heads-up" for you ... check the rudder stern-post against your plans. There should be a view on both of Plan Sheets #2 & #3. However, on my plans, they differ.) 

Edited by CaptainSteve
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Thanks for the kind words, Capt. Steve.
<<(A little "heads-up" for you ... check the rudder stern-post against your plans. There should be a view on both of Plan Sheets #2 & #3. However, on my plans, they differ.) >>
I wish I knew what to look out for, Captain.  I found four representations of the stern post - two on sheet #2 and two on sheet #3 - and the physical, wooden one seems to match properly with them all.
My plans are dated 2009; have you perhaps got a different version?

My building frame is taking shape.  All 15 'molds' are glued onto the false keel and squared.  I've added the stiffeners (substituting a spare length of 6mm dowel for the 1/8" basswood that Model Shipways forgot to provide with the kit).
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Note for any future builders of this Bounty Launch.  Fit ALL of the stiffeners in place before gluing any of them, and then check that the false keel remains straight and true.  The slightest inaccuracy in cutting any of the stiffeners to length can introduce unwanted stresses.  Check and recheck this throughout the gluing process.

Currently I'm cutting the rabbet/rabbit/rebate along the keel.

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Be careful when you add the frames. When I did mine, they shrank length wise and popped out of the notches in the keel. I am glad I only tried 2 the first time. I ended up using frames that went through the keel and did both sides with one frame. 9" long frames instead of 4 1/2" long frames. Just an idea, I saw this idea on another builders log. Sorry, I forget who.

 

Paul

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Yesterday I had a prolonged session with the bandsaw and a couple of Proxxon planing tools.  I managed to convert part of a very scruffy, nail-holed and rust-stained little plank of oak into about 25ft of neat, usable, 3/32 by 3/32 strip.
And today I tried applying them as the frames for the Bounty launch.
I had a fair degree of success.  I've hot-soaked and bent on five and a half (out of twelve) frames.  Some of the strips did split, but honestly I was expecting that.  At the current wastage rate I should be able to complete this first stage of framing with the strips I've already made, and there's still plenty of oak left on that plank for making the ones I'll need to add after the boat comes off the mould.
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In my view, the oak looks better than the rather bland cherrywood that comes with the kit.
The next picture shows my wood-soaking tube.  You can also see on, the floor beneath it, the oak plank.
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Thanks for the warnings about the frames, Paul.  At present I'm just bending them on and letting them dry out.  I haven't even waxed the moulds yet.  I'll glue them to the keel when they're thoroughly dry.
I did consider running them through the keel and making them in continuous pairs, as you mentioned, but doing them singly seems to result in less wastage.
And yes, I'm watching your build log with interest, to see just how the problem of the broadening beam gets resolved!

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I managed to make and fit the remaining frames with minimal wastage.  Now, I've started on the planking.  Bearing in mind what others have said about taking care with the cutting/sanding to shape, I'm trying not to remove too much material at this early stage.
In this picture, the garboard and sheer planks have been glued on, and planks no. 2 are just taking shape on the frame and being left to dry out.  I had to do a little bit of shaping on those second planks, to make them fit nicely against the garboard strakes, but so far they're sitting within about 0.2mm of all the plank marker lines.  I'll be going slow with the planking - about a pair a day I reckon.
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Meanwhile, by way of light relief, I've also been making the tool box.  I used some walnut veneer to create a panelling effect, and I used 4mm by 1mm walnut strip to create the curved lid top (instead of using the kit's solid basswood blocks.  Now I'm waiting for some 0.5mm brass hinges that I ordered on Ebay yesterday, and then I'll have a go at creating a latch using scrap brass wire.

I'm wondering what carpentry tools I should try to replicate.  A couple of saws, at least.  And I reckon I could make a decent brace-and-bit, plus two or three chisels.  Any more ideas, anyone?

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I like the paneled look of the toolbox, nicely done.

 

As for tools, check out the Bounty Launch build logs from Matt and Captain Steve, both of whom did some amazing tool work as I recall. And I think both had some discussion of research into just what tools would be appropriate.

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Pete, everyone's welcome here!  I'll make a new lot of Bread Pud soon!

Thanks for those links Cathead.  I'd already put a 'follow' tag on Capt Steve's excellent build, but I hadn't come across Matt.S.S's build before.  Both make for excellent reading, and today my lovely Admiral has already had to dig me out from them, twice, for tasks around the house.  Such as making this evenng's dinner...
In Capt Steve's log I found a link to another Bounty Launch build - this one by Capt Rat Fink.  So yes, another hour or so has disappeared this evening while I pore through all the superb miniaturisation that's been done.
Hmm.  The tool box divided into compartments, and neat little racks fitted for the awls and chisels?  Can I do this?  Can I be bothered to do this???
I can't remember now if it was Capt RF or Capt Steve who made a replica of Capt Bligh's coconut-shell drinking mug.  I might have a go at that, but I'll probably use a suitably shaped/sized hazelnut as the raw material.  File off the shiny outer surface, blunt the pointy end, then maybe apply a bit of stain?  Watch this space ....

Ken, thanks for looking in.
Oh, and Sam, re that Laser level you suggested.  Can't do it - in 1795 they had ivory handles, and there are laws about buying/selling ivory these days   :)

I glued up another pair of planks today, and bent-on the next pair to take shape and dry.  More pictures when it looks as though I'm making real progress.

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Thanks for dropping by my build log, Brian. Mario (aka Capt RatFink) was one of my main influences when building the Bounty Launch. I blatantly stole many of his ideas, including building the open tool-box, complete with tools. As well, it was also in his log where I got the idea for re-creating William Bligh's personal bowl.

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Well, the 5mm hinges arrived OK.  So did the Birchwood Casey Brass Black that I ordered as soon as I realised how out-of-place those shiny hinges were going to look.

Here's a picture of my basic toolbox.  I still need to make some sort of catch or hasp.  I'm thinking I could probably make a decent latch with brass wire, and then fake up an open brass padlock to hang from it.  Apparemtly padlocks did exist back then...
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In the same picture there's my first attempt at making Capt Bligh's coconut bowl, using a supermarket-bought 'hazelnut' as the raw material.  In my view it looks OK, but I'm concerned about the scale.  It represents a 10-inch diameter coconut shell!  I need to find some English hedgerow hazelnuts - they're a lot smaller than the ones we buy at Christmas (which used to be called cobnuts when I was a kid).

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And I've made a 5/8" chisel!  The blade was snipped from the end of a fretsaw blade, so it's hard(ish) steel and it's even possible to put a decent edge on it!  I seem to have a whole lot of different size fretsaw blades, so the toolbox could end up with a full set from ¼" to an inch and a half.

 

 

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Two more pairs of planks have been fitted (yesterday and today).  Six pairs are now glued on.  Four more to go, I thnik.

Meanwhile, I've been playing at toolmaking again.  I decided I wasn't happy with that chisel I showed you yesterday - should have been a bit bigger, really, and the handle (a sawn-off belaying pin) looked wrong without a ferrule.
Here are today's efforts.  Handles turned from 6mm beech dowel, ferrules added (2mm brass tube) and blades made from two different sizes of fretsaw blade.

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I dismantled the one I made yesterday, added a ferrule to the handle, then just stuck a nail in it to turn it into an awl.  The nail's wrong - far too thick.  I'll find a better one tomorrow.

Sam, thanks for the tool hints.  Not sure about the spokeshave - I would have to look up to see what they looked like in the 1780s.  I was actually thinking about making a draw knife - similar to a spokeshave but simpler to make.  My current 'want to make' list consists of:
    Rip-saw (one-handed)
    Tenon saw
    Small utility saw (keyhole saw)

    Draw knife
    Mallet
    Hammer
    Brace
    Hand drill(s)
    L-square
    Dividers
Later, I'll think about a sextant (did they let Capt Bligh have one when they cut him adrift?), a few cutlasses, the aforementioned coconut bowl, and better barrels.

I do love all this detail work!  Thoroughly self-indulgent, and it all adds character to the build!

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This one might really belong in the "Kit-bashers' Guide" thread.  But it relates directly to my Bounty launch build, so here goes.
When (15 months ago today) I married my Admiral, I consolidated her tool chest with the one I brought to the marriage from my own previous lives.  Among the bits and pieces I 'inherited' this way, there was a huge roll of light cotton fabric that, at first, I assumed was something a plasterer might have used to cover the joins between plasterboard sheets (I think they're called drywall sheets in the US).  I set it aside, thinking it might be useful one day.
Today I rediscovered it, at pretty much the same time as I was looking at the fabric that Model Shipways has provided for the Bounty Launch sails.
The 'feel' of the fabric on that roll was lovely, compared with the much heavier, thicker, cotton fabric in the kit.  And the roll is 1 7/8 inches wide, which scales nicely with the likely width of the fabric the 18th century Bounty sailmakers would have been using.  It has selvedges (ie, not raw, cut edges), and it has character because it's unbleached and the edges of the roll have darkened because of sunlight.
OK, I thought, let's try to make up some alternative fabric.
I cut some strips, and used my sewing machine to stitch them together using proper sailmakers' seams.
Here's the result.
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The Admiral really has no idea where that roll of cotton came from.  Her best guess us that it was used by her previous husbamd (a keen golfer) to re-do the handles of his golf clubs.
The resultant sailcloth is good.  I'll be using it when I get to that stage of my build.

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Looking real good, Brian ... and that substituted sail cloth will be one heck of an improvement over the kit-supplied cloth.

 

As to the matter of a sextant, it's been awhile since I read thru the logs, but, as I recall, Bligh did take a sextant into the Launch with him ...

Check out the Mutiny On The Bounty thread I created (in History).

Edited by CaptainSteve
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