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USF Confederacy by UpstateNY - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64

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Hi All,

 

Welcome to the start of my build log of the USF Confederacy from Model Ship Shipways as designed by Chuck Passaro.

 

Her full history has been summarized in Chuck’s fabulously detailed instructions which can be downloaded from the Model Shipways site.  Suffice it to say here that the Confederacy was an unlucky ship, surviving some actions, hurricanes and collisions before being captured by HMS Roebuck and Orpheus in April 1781 and taken into the British Navy as HMS Confederate.  However, while only 2 years old, inspections showed a great deal of rot, probably due to the use of green timber during her construction. She was then broken up, but her lines were at least preserved by the British Admirality. Below is a Revolutionary painting of the Confederacy from the Navy Art Gallery at the Washington Navy Yard. 

 

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My impressions of the kit are very favorable. The kit arrived very well packaged with all items present. I’ve already mentioned the great instructions, but the plan sheets are also extremely clear. All the wooden parts are laser cut and the etched brass and cast metal parts are nicely detailed. I am perhaps fortunate as all the more fragile parts are intact, like the figurehead and ships wheels. Images of kit contents and parts are below. 

 

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The Confederacy’s rigging plan has not survived, but I do plan to fully rig her following the plans by Crothers. The exception are the belaying points as Chuck has kindly warned me the Crothers belaying plan is incorrect. So, following his advice, I will be working out the belaying points using other contempory frigates as a guide.

 

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This will be a long build and all advice and help will be most appreciated. I will certainly be referencing all the other great Confederacy build logs to help me along the way so my thanks in advance here! 

 

My dream for this build is to try and bring the Navy Art Gallery painting to life! I hope you find some time to stop by and enjoy this voyage with me!

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

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Hi All,

 

Firstly, thank you Don and Nick for stopping by and of course to all for the likes.  Nick, looking forward to seeing the start of your build....please start soon!  :)

 

So, some progress as the bulkhead former has been assembled. Took a few days to remove a slight warp in the pieces by dampening them and weighting them down on a flat board. The rabbet strip was glued to the center of the former after shaping it follow the bow shape using some light heat.

 

While the former was being flattened, the stem was assembled.  It took some time to remove the angles formed on the cut faces by the laser cutter so they would fit together evenly. Shaping was slowly done using needle files and often checking both sides for fit by holding them together flat on a glass plate. The 3rd image shows the pieces in a test fit. 

 

Following Chuck's instructions, I then stained all the pieces before gluing. I already had some Minmax Golden Pecan stain so tried a test piece after a light sanding to clean up the basswood surface. After 2 coats, with each left 15 mins before removing the excess, the basswood was a nice warm red/gold color. I hope you like it!  The last two pictures show the stem after staining and glueing along with my reference piece.  I plan to use this reference through the build to try and keep the color consistent.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

 

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Hi Nigel, I see you haven't let the shipyard cool off at all between your Red Dragon and this build.  Looks like an interesting build and I'll be pulling up a barrel to watch.

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Welcome one and all and very glad for all the company! Better make yourselves comfortable as this won't be a fast build!  

 

Yep Sal,  no "cooling off"!  Quite apart from the fact, I've been itching to start the Lady Confederacy for months,  modeling is what helps me "cool off" after the usual work day challenges!   :)

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

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Hi All,

 

Thanks again for the kind comments and the likes.

 

Assembly of the bulkhead former, keel and stem has been completed which finishes Chapter One of the instructions.

 

Former was sanded to the thickness of the rabbet strip at the bow and stern following the provided bearding lines. Stem was then tapered to 1/8in thick where the figurehead will sit and was glued to the former after re-staining and a coat of protective poly.  Keel was assembled with the scarf joint being filed to fit in the same way as the bow and the false keel was added.  All keel parts were initially stained and poly'ed before assembly.  Scarf joint bolts were simulated using a #70 drill to make the 2 sets of 8 holes and the tips of toothpicks glued into the holes. The tips were then sawn off and sanded smooth before a light staining to darken the end grain and a final coat of wipe on poly.

 

Images below and next up is assembling the bulkheads and numerous filler pieces to start Chapter 2.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

 

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Hey Nigel.  I'm going to follow along.  I might try my hand at a full sized frigate for my next build, but that is over a year away. 

Good work so far.

Cheers.

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Hello Nigel, good to see you starting a new project. I'm grabbing a seat and following along. I look forward to seeing your progress....have fun, we'll be enjoying.

John

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Welcome aboard John, Ken and PAnderson, good to have you along on this voyage. I'll certainly need everyone's keen eyes to help me along the way.

 

PAnderson...no deck swabbing needed...that will actually be my job as I try to keep the dust down to manageable levels!

 

My thanks to all who hit the like button as well...very much appreciated!

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

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Hi All,

 

A little more progress over the past week. The 16 (!) bulkheads have been scraped clean of the top layer of laser char.  The char was very sticky and thick. I prefer to scrap using the back of a dull Xacto blade rather than sand to minimize the dust.  I left a thin char layer as recommended to help guide the fairing of the hull later in the build. Bulkhead and former slots needed a lot of filing to enable the them to engage evenly using just gentle finger pressure...initially the bulkheads would not slide into the former slots at all.

 

Images are below including the last one which is just for fun showing just how large this build is when compared to my Red Dragon!  The Dragon seemed pretty large when I was building her, but she is completely dwarfed by the Lady Confederacy. So...lots of fun to come.... :)

 

Thanks again for all the kind comments, the likes and for just simply stopping by!

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

 

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Edited by UpstateNY

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Welcome Mike and Phil...glad to have you aboard and thanks for the kind words!

 

Phil,  

 

You see anything that doesn't make sense, please just sing out! I am happy to take all the help I can get!

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

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Hi All,

 

Well all the bulkheads are now glued in after checking each one was square the bulkhead former. The numerous bow and bulkhead fillers along with the stern half bulkheads were then scrapped to remove the char and glued in. I took a lot of care with the bow and stern pieces to try and make sure the alignments were correct. I then planked the three sub-gun deck platforms with the caulking simulated using a soft pencil. I tried to select basswood strips of the same color and texture as Chuck points out in his instructions, but a couple still seemed to come out darker once the wipe on poly dried. These platforms will be hardly visible in the final build, but I'll perhaps need to be a bit more selective down the road once I start planking the hull and main decks to get a consistent finish.

 

Thumbnails below...thanks for reading.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

 

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Hi Nigel,

I just ordered this kit. I planning to start at the end of summer. I am going to follow your work with a lot of interest. Great work and great presentation. Thanks for the opportunity!!!!!

 

 

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Welcome Elijah, Bigmac and Roger and thank you all for the kind comments and the likes. You won't be disappointed with the Confederacy kit, it's a real beauty and hopefully I will do her justice. 

 

Fairing the hull right now...taking it slow and checking things as I go, but I hope to have an update worth posting soon. Please ignore any reports of unseasonable dust storms in the Saratoga Springs area.... :)

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel.

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