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HMAV Bounty By Phill Elston - Amati - 1/60 - Ostensibly from the kit plans but potentially modified to "more authentic"...


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I bought this model years ago... Then "life" got in the way.  So it has languished in lofts and cupboards in three houses as well as in a "Lock'n'Store" facility.

My father often asked me how "the build" was going, only to be given a Caribbean "soon come mon!".  Sadly, my father "crossed the bar" last November, so he never got to see any part of the build.   Now I find myself laid up with a plaster on my leg and unable to walk my two dogs (or do much else truth be told...) but what a perfect time to start building!?

 

I went and bought a 'Model Slipway' "Fair-a-frame" that I thought would help me build better...  Then I found out how poor the laser charring is on the parts, as well as the poor fit of some of the parts... and don't get me started on the instructions!  Add to that the fact that on the Amati Bounty, there is so little false keel, the clamp part has trouble holding it.

If you are thinking of getting one of these "tools", save your money!  Suffice to say that I haven't labelled it as "money well spent" and I'm hoping to get a refund through the retailer.

 

Anyway... the build.

 

I found the quality and precision of the joint cuts on this kit to be very good - if anything, some had to be filed open a little to allow the free flow of glue or the joints were simply too tight!  Dry fitting was good, sometimes needing a little "deck-ape" force to separate them before glue fitting!

 

I've actually pretty much finished block filling and fairing the bow and stern, but haven't taken shots of those yet.  Once that task is finished, I'll get the camera out again.  I've taken onboard the advice from many other builds and I'm taking my time as I realise that it is going to pay dividends in later stages.

 

Whilst glues were going off on the fairing blocks, I made use of the time to start constructing some of the deck fittings, ladders, hatches etc.  I have found though, that I have made a couple of boo-boo's... One which will stay as is because it'll take a real nerd to find it (I planked the half deck under the ladder "thwartships" rather than fore & aft) The other, I'll put a call out for advice on... In line with the instructions, I planked the "Cutwater Keel piece" that is to say, the bow part of the keel.  Then realised that with the supplied bow blocks, the cutwater will no longer fit!  My thought is to sand off the planking that I have fitted to the cutwater, dry fit it and mark where it butts the bow sections and re-plank it in accordance with the instructions.  The thought of sanding out the slot where the cutwater sits by an even 1mm each side is not one I really want to put into practice.

As I say, I'd appreciate any steering in the right direction from the more experienced builders out there?

 

Many thanks and I look forward to reading your comments and LEARNING from all of you.

 

Phill

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Thanks guys. Yes, frames are squaed withthe false keel and I think I going to fit baulks between frames to stiffen it all up. Only had a couple of hours "on board" today due to a hospital visit but managed to get a good bit of filling and fairing done. More tomorrow.

Still looking for help on the question of the cutwater bow section of keel? Anyone?

Thanks.

Phill

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As of this evening, the bow and stern are blocked and filled. The frames, I believe are all faired correctly, the transom is fitted and faired and the stern bulwarks are glued, pinned and set to dry. The main deck is ready to be planked as I believe that once I have done that, the hull should be ready for initial planking...

 

Oh and I went with my gut feeling on the cutwater. Sanded it down and re-planked it and will sand it once the glue has fully gone off.

Time to re-read the instructions and plans, then look at other build logs to glean more tricks & tips before making a hash of things!

Feeling quite satisfied

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I've also planked, "Caulked" and "nailed" the upper deck.  A long and arduous, though ultimately, rewarding job!  I made up an end-stop on my plank cutter to ensure that all the upper deck planks were of uniform length, which at this scale, I think I worked out to be 8cm.  It seemed to work really quite well!

Time in the RN taught me that traditionally there were a couple of planking patterns used in the days that Bounty was afloat.  I went for the "three butt shift".  I started on the Centre Line of the deck and worked from there.  I was quite chuffed that when I had reached the stern, I was only anout a quarter of a mm off the line.  I only had to sand about 8 planks to get them fitting flush and nicely...

 

Then it was a question of how do I show the caulking between planks.  I thought that picking oakum and forcing it between the planks was taking things just a LITTLE too far, so had the thought to rub one edge and one end of each plank on the graphite edge of a 4B pencil...  It worked to a degree, but not as well as I'd liked.  So, it was yet another tedious task of stepping in the edges of the planks.  This time, I used a 4H pencil as the B grade were just too soft.  I also used the 4H pencil to "dot in" all the nails...

 

I don't think that the results I have achieved are too bad - for a newbie!

 

 

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I had an hour free this morning, so thought I'd get the deck glued into place.  The Quarterdeck area was held in and down well by the bulwarks, the bow lined up well with the cut out for the cut water...  The only thing I had to do then, was to try and get the curvature of the deck formed onto the rib frames.  The solution I came up with was to use bulldog clips and rubber bands. if a band needed a little more tension, I jury rigged a little "Spanish windlass with a bit of scrap wood and some more bulldogs.

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Oh you want clamping?  I've been camping/wedging/tying/pinning/taping... you name it!

 

So I got the first planks onto the hull frames at deck level today, with both good results and OK results...

For some reason known only to the gods of sleep deprivation, I started on the port side with a plank that was way shorter than the hull.  (I thought "I shall'nt be making that mistake again")  I glued the dry plank from the stern, drilling it so that the map pin wouldn't split it... but the map pin drove through too far and split the bugger anyway!  I glued this plank (and a corresponding plank on the stbd side as well as adding an extra piece of planking on the "short" side) on each frame up to the third from the bow (where the curvature starts to get harsh)

Once this glue had gone off, I then stood the remainder of the planks in hot water for a few minutes before gently teasing them round the bow curve.  On one side, again, I'd drilled holes to allow map pins to pass through... but again, it split - re-think required!

So I changed tactic and I changed map pin type from conical type pins to flat bottomed pins which i could position each side of a plank to hold it in place.  I gave the planks that I'd formed around the bow time to dry (a couple of hours). Before lifting them slightly, squirting some glue underneath and then pushing the wedging pins back down. and again setting aside to dry.  Planking the hull won't be a quick thing, but if the results I got from the first two planks are anything to go by... It'll be worth it.

I set the next two planks in place from the stern fwd and clamped them up.  They could be drying while the bows set too.

 

Then I thought, looking at the plans, Planking also starts from the keel...  So I cut and sanded a pair of planks to fit one each side of the false keel.  I glued these at their contact points and once that glue had gone off, I bent them round and down to be glued on the curvature.  Getting there I believe...

 

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Yes it's double planked. 1st layer is 1.5 X 5, second layer is 0.5 X 4. Not SO concerned about that layer as they should bend really quite easily (watch this space to see me eating my words!)

 

 

Not doing holes from here on in as I've changed to a flat based map pin as you can see from the keel / bow view above.

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So over the past week or so I've been working on the first planking of my Bounty...  Please remember that this is the very first ship build that I have done, Admittedly, in my youth, I made a LOT of models, but not one wooden one.  Miniaturised wood butchery is turning out to be pretty good fun though!

 

Luckily, I was reading another build log that urged other builders to exercise caution when planking the hull and to plank port and starboard sides equally - otherwise there is a chance that the hull could buckle or warp with the uneven shrinkage of the planks set.

I've planked the hull down six planks from the bottom of the bulwarks and a similar number up from the false keel.  I'm now reaching the point where there is no hard frame at the forward end of the planks to pin them to while they are drying... 

 

So the method that seem obvious to me to pinion the planks in position whilst they dry - either from soak/forming or gluing.  I have several pieces of 1mm plywood scrap that will pin to a hard point on the keel frame and then bend over the setting plank until it's dry (as seen in the first photograph below)

 

Throwing a question out there to all you more experienced builders now...  I was able to work out deck planking because I have real life experience of deck planking.  However, all the ships I ever served in were steel...  So I have no Idea what lengths to cut the secondary planking for the hull, and I have even less Idea of how the joints between those planks were staggered?

As I type this, I'm thinking I should simply "google" or "YouTube" it...  Nothing though, in my opinion, beats hard experience from first hand, so please readers...  Throw me a tip or two?

 

Many thanks

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So...  First planking is pretty much complete. There's more filler than I would have preferred, but it IS my first attempt and the first planking WILL be covered by the second...  And I read somewhere else on here that "filler is your friend".

 

There is seemingly far more filler at the stern than at the bow...   Most of the bow filling is correcting my not having got the compound, two dimensional bends correct in the planks laid into that area.  I have learned from that, so that next time I build, I'll focus far more attention into this aspect.  As for the filler at the stern; a lot of that is making up for the appalling lack of instruction and diagrams of the stern area.  That, and the fact that the supplied white metal castings that are meant to fit around the stern area simply don't! The etched brass stern gallery windows are great...  But they are instructed to be simply fixed to the stern planking.  Looking at the "Anatomy" pictures, and having seen several sailing ships, I see that the stern windows would generally be a "bowed" group.  So with that in mind, I built a bowed relief onto which I will fix the frames...  AFTER I have "glazed" them (having found this product - https://www.deluxematerials.co.uk/gb/scale-plastics/49-glue-n-glaze-5060243900333.html) I will also carve away the balsa behind the window and then paint it to add some depth. 

The quarter galleries are probably going to get a makeover too...  the metal castings that make them are a little lacklustre in my opinion - watch this space for development there!

 

I have fully planked the bulwarks, rather than use the pre-cut gun ports.  Reason being that the gun ports shown in the "anatomy" are somewhat higher in the bulwarks than the ones pre-cut.  The tops of the bulwarks have yet to to be cut down to their correct height and then internally lined but that is a work in progress...

 

So I guess the next job is to fit the cut water, true keel and sternpost. Thereafter, it is to mark the waterline and wales before starting the second planking.  On that note, please,,, anyone reading this...  I need advice on the maxim length at which to cut the planking that will show on the ships sides?

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Well today was working on the bulwarks, gunports and construction of various upper deck fittings (gratings, bell gallery, ladder etc.) and, of course, more filling.

 

The keel was set yesterday, along with the stern post and the cutwater. At least it will now sit in the keel clamp (for what that's worth - another LONG story)

 

The frame points are pencilled in ready for second planking, though I haven't had time to think about marking the waterline yet.  Knowing I have more filling and sanding to do, I have held off doing that.  I'm planning on "copper plating" the hull (using tape) so I want the get the hull - especially the lower hull - as smooth as possible with no dips or bumps in relief as these will show up glaringly.

 

The gun ports I have cut are higher than the pre-cut ones on the plywood bulwarks as they were not authentic.  For some reason, no "eyebolts" were supplied with the kit (just bent wire as far as I can ascertain) so I have ordered some better looking etched brass ones.  They haven't arrived yet, so I can't do too much more to the gun-sites until they do.  The supplied (cast metal) gun carriages look - in my opinion - pretty crap, so next week will involve some of my first proper scratch building in wood...  Watch this space.

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So having had several days doing the secondary planking on one side of the build, I kind of find myself "planked out"... Needing some sort of break.

 

As it happens, a packet arrived this morning from Cornwall model boats. One of the things in there was the 23' Launch I ordered. There's my diversion. Nice, easy & relatively quick. So I pull the bits out of the bag and have a good look at them. Not a lot for what you pay, but scratch building such a hull would, I believe, be beyond my current level of expertise... Thankfully, there wasn't any moulding "flash" and little or no unwanted marks on the resin.

 

But, when I take my time to inspect the parts, I am disappointed to realise that the hull of the launch is bloody awful! The transom is SO Far out of whack, it's going to take fairly substantial surgery to put it right. (Picture 1)

 

Luckily, the work required to rectify the fault is fairly straightforward... Mark, cut, trim, cement, fill & fair. The resin hull glued fairly easily with CA and, realising that I didn't have any filler, I used walnut wood sanding dust sprinkled into a film of CA. It seems to have worked quite well and I'm quite chuffed with myself!

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So the kit bashing of the 23' Launch is progressing...  But I forgot to take photos before i set it aside to dry earlier, so I will post more photos another time.

 

But otherwise, I've been bashing the main build a bit too...

 

The Quarter Galleries supplied are not as authentic as I'd prefer and so I set out to make my own.  I only had a couple of hours to work on them today but I got enough done to post here...

 

There are a fair few differences between the supplied galleries and the ones shown in "The Anatomy Of The Ship".  So, using the supplied cast metal ones, I mapped out the shape onto some 1/16" basswood sheet and then cut the tops/bottoms of the bays from some scrap 1mm Ply.  These were glued to the bases and then I fitted the first two uprights.  I will form the rest of the framing from 1mm x 1mm walnut stock.  The domed uppers and lowers to the bays, I intend to shape from milliput.  I hope to mould it into place using some scraps of cling film to stop it from adhering to the wood.  Once set and dry, I'll free them from place, file and sand to shape, add detail and then glue them into place.  The filigree type adornments on the base will be added using relief medium - a kind of putty like paint often used for glass painting.

The frames for the windows in the bays will be made from 1mm walnut.  And then I'll glaze the bays!

 

As I've said before... watch this space!

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Well, good and bad today...

 

The galleries are progressing well but I noticed something that I had otherwise either not seen, or at least failed to register on the 23' launch.

 

When I looked at the galleries as I had left them last evening, I decided that I didn't like the 1mm x 1mm uprights that I'd set in place. So out they came, and I started to frame up the windows.  I'll go back to the 1 x 1 for the glazing cross bars but for now...

 

I'd forgotten quite what a gooey medium Milliput is to work with! I tried to do as I said I was going to with the cling film...  It didn't work. So I had to apply it direct to the pieces. hopefully it'll carve/sand/file OK in place. The round blobs of setting milliput, I envisage carving into the rosettes that can be seen above and below the galleries in the pictures from the book above.

 

Then I went back to the launch...  I was quite pleased wit the progress I'd made. And then, as I say, somehow, I hadn't noticed the buckle in the hull overall.  I did write to Jotika/Caldercraft. I have had no reply in a week, so I have just written again.  To say that I am unimpressed would be an understatement.  I sincerely hope that this doesn't reflect the quality of the larger, more complex Caldercraft kits?  Has anyone else experienced such difficulties?

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Admirable work on those quarter galleries, Phill,  but I'm not sure where you're trying to take them.  It looks as though you're 'squaring up' a detail that would probably not have been squared up on the original.  They seem to have delighted in making windows that just weren't square - and indeed, you've got an example of what I mean at C3/4 on the middle picture of your post no. #23 above.
Of course, I can see that scratch-building the quarter-galleries with none of the corners at ninety degrees could be a bit of a nightmare!  You could probably mitigate the effect by offsetting the canopy above (and the filling below) so that they line up with the top/bottom 'bulges' of your basic basswood shapes.  As per my sketch.

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Nice work so far on the hull.  I've added your build log to my watch list and I'll be following with interest.

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Thanks Brian.  Where I'm going is trying to get away from the "flat and inorganic" cast metal.  I was going to try and drill out the glass areas on the metal castings and rework those. But then I noticed that they weren't actually the same - or even close to the same - as the actual ship.  If what I'm aiming at misses the mark, I can always go flat and inorganic LOL

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Hi Phill,

 

I'm a big fan of the Bounty myself and I see you have a copy of McKay's Anatomy book...worth it's weight in gold for anyone building this ship :)

 

Here's a link to the construction of a very nice set of Quarter Galleries (very helpful build log for people that like to upgrade their kit with custom details): http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/230-hms-vulture-by-dan-vadas-1776-148-scale-16-gun-swan-class-sloop-from-tffm-plans-completed/page-49

 

And good luck with the build...you're off to a great start :)  

 

  

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