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Benjamin W Latham by sideliner - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1/4"=1' - kit ms2109

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After much thought, I have decided to post yet another Benjamen Latham build. There are many better builds than this, my 1st attempt at plank on bulkhead modeling. However I felt the need for some critique .

I will post photos of my progress to date with a minimum of comment. I have reached the dreaded transom build and am not sure if I am on the right track. I have studied the build logs posted here for this ship. They have all been very helpful. But as I said the transom is scaring me and I would appreciate any criticism and suggestions.

I like this kit because it gives more build info than others I have seen. Still it leaves a goodly bit to your discretion or imagination. The greatest thing is the knowledge I am accumulating while working through this build. For instance I found that scraping the hull planking with a exact o blade can give a much smoother surface than sanding. Especially since the basswood planks swell at different thicknesses when water soaked for bending. Again, this is my first build and I hesitate to comment too much in front of such experienced builders.


With respect to the transom, I am not sure if the transom angle is correct.  Also where does the main aft rail fit?  At the top of the bevel? Like most of the questions I've had on this model the answer became obvious as the build progressed.  The transom build does not seem to have a clear solution.












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Have just finished putting decking supports under plank shear for butt ends of planking. Have torn out the transom and am trying to establish correct angle  for re install.  Have been looking at G. Kaps build and hope to get a respectable transom on and bulwark planking done this week.


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  • 4 weeks later...



I've just popped in to your new build - nice progress!  On your question of the main rail and the transom: yes the main rail sits on top of the transom.  In your picture it is sitting on the transom but tilted down to the deck level.  The main rail, which will run along the tips of those bulkhead 'stanchion' extensions, will join into that precut transom piece in one tangent, continuous feature.  So it won't be canted at the angle in the picture.  The upper edge of the transom may need some sanding so that that main rail aft piece sits flush to it.  The way the transoms on these schooners were shaped is pretty extreme - from the hull planks at the counter flowing over the lower edge of the transom, the sides , and the main rail running aft and over the transom - and all of these planks overlapping a transom edge surface.





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I totally removed transom and rebuilt it based not on plans but what fit and looked right.  As noted in one other build log the angle of transom on drawing on page 13 of manual will not work. I took new measurement from sheet 2. Don't know if I got it right but it looks better :)  You can see in attached pics that I still have some finishing to do on the stern area.  I could not find anything in the kit that looked like it belonged to the transom of this build.  So I cut the transom piece from sheet stock on my jigsaw. Like other models Ive worked on, I used the illustration in the plans to make it look right.  I have also become quite expert at "un glueing and re doing errors. I am convinced that the kit manufacturers purposely leave little things out so more of a challenge is presented to the builder. I went ahead and finished up most of the deck furniture prior to deck planking.  There is nothing that tells you how to build the various hatches and trunk cabin.  Just took dimensions off drawing and built them the way that made sense.        


































































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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a little more progress. Painted the hull using brush and 1/16" automotive detail tape.  Great stuff. Had trouble figuring where to put waterline. Finally just took dimensions from drawing and applied tape in two stripes.  Painted white {3 coats)between tape. Painted copper on lower half over two coats primer and black above waterline. Then removed tape and laid a 1/16 wide tape on top of painted waterline, touched up black and copper to the tape and removed tape. It did not pull off paint.  Big Mistake was scribbling the cove line and then trying to paint it.  Finally used yellow 1/16 wide auto detail tape.  I'll do better next time :) . Second mistake was putting hatch on fwd end of aft cabin. Will anyone care? Started decking.  Plan calls for 1/16 x 1/16 planks. That's what I'm using.  Taking black colored pencil to one side of plank to represent caulking. Also alternating plank ends. Very tedious since I am planking around hatches and cabin. Live and learn! As you can see I got the initial planks too close together. Debating ripping and redo. Using instant glue when planks don't lie flat.  Cannot use leggo solution with deck furniture installed. I am going to experiment with lite(thinned) grey finish for deck to see if caulk and plank ends will show.  After looking at french guys beautiful deck job I'm some what depressed with my efforts. But I don't guess the real ships were perfect :(




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Sorry about my last rather dour post.  My solution to a couple of irritating issues I've had.  Where the 1/16x1/16 planks look too jammed up, I've CAREFULLY run a new exact blade between said planks. Also I corrected the sloppy planking of cabin roof.  Then, as a test, painted planking of cabin roof with highly diluted black paint, wiped any excess and when dry,  painted with watered down grey deck paint.  Looks much better..pics in next post please feel free to critique before I paint main deck.


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Thanks for the response. I have attached a pic of finished fore-deck. I like the looks of the 1/16 planks. I think it's more to scale.  If my math is correct that would make the planks about 3 inches wide.  I read somewhere that in later builds of the actual ships they did widen the planks to improve water tightness.  The picture really doesn't do the deck justice. It is pretty level and dragging an exacto blade backwards between planks gives them more definition and cleans out junk. Moving on to the after deck looks more difficult because of angle.



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I have tightened up the gaps and almost finished the aft deck. Finding thin bass wood planks very inconsistent in dimensions and difficult to make deck absolutely smooth. Maybe more sanding??  Working on wheel house and more detail in deck furniture.  Debating a deck finish that will simulated weathered oak as I doubt these commercial fishermen daily sanded their decks snow white as did the Royal Navy. Thinking something along the lines of a light grey wash over even lighter black wash.  I'm going to make a simulated deck section to test.



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Please excuse this wordy reply but it might be helpful for someone just stating out like me.

Welcome to my struggles with the Ben Latham..  I am currently working on the wheel house and preparing to finish up the aft railing.  I caution you to not necessarily do all the things I have done.  I have made many mistakes and have corrected most but the ship you see in the log is a variation of the actual ship.  Here are some of the mistakes I made


1. I wish I had taken more time to select the hull planking from the wood furnished in the kit.  It seems to vary quite a bit in thickness and width. I will seek out a better grade of wood on my next build.

2. When planking the deck, I darkened the edge of each plank to simulate caulking, but left too much space between planks(there should be none) I corrected by wiping with HobbyLite filler and then wiping with a very diluted mix of black paint and grey paint wiping off excess.

3. Made the cabin wrong with hatch at front. I misread location of cabin on deck and did not see my mistake until I had planked around it. I removed it from deck, planked in the gap and glued it over the planking in the correct position.  When you see my next pics you will note that I mounted it backwards so the hatch faces the wheel.  I could have rebuilt the cabin but decided I liked it that way.

4.  As you may have noted on other forum builds the stern build up is not clearly defined in plans and you just have to wing it by looking at pics of real Latham.

5. Also when planking the deck, I cut the planks to scale and aligned the butt ends every 3rd plank.  Looks good but if using 1/16x1/16 planks it is not necessary, plus it's tedious gluing that many planks. Next time I'll use longest planks possible and scribe the butt ends with an exact o knife.


I am enjoying this build and am learning so much about modeling and what tools to use. I feel that my next effort will be more professional looking.


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  • 1 month later...

Well, a month later and I am ready to tackle the construction and shipping of masts. Evidently I must take mast dim. from drawings.  Also looks like cross tree and spreader assembly is mostly made from scratch. Instructions say that chain plate assemblies are included in kit.  They are not.  I must practice my tiny metal working skills ;) .  There is a comment in the manual that I have taken to heart.  Page 24 encourages building and rigging this vessel in "Bristol" fashion, but reminds us that this was a commercial fisherman and was most likely outfitted in "Gloucester" fashion.  Not being greatly skilled in modeling, I chose to make it look like a fisherman with all the splinters and dings suffered by such a rig.  Also allows me to cover many of my mistakes :) .


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