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Swift 1805 by stripehunter - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - 1:50 - first build

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I decided some months ago to expand my fascination with the age of sail into wooden model building.  With no experience I spent much time reading and researching to be certain of what I was getting into.  I haven't started this log earlier, as I wanted opportunity to make a bunch of mistakes on my own first.  Picked up this swift kit open box but unstarted and complete for a song.  Looked like a perfect 'starter' kit.  I have my next two kits on the shelf already, each a step up in complexity.  Makes me even more anxious to get this one done.  Sometimes I follow the directions, sometimes not.  As I progress I find it easier to pay less attention to the instructions.



Edited by stripehunter
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Good Morning Stripehunter and welcome to MSW.


My first ship was the Swift 1805, and i think that it was very challenging for a first ship,

but a great ship to learn with.


BUT, do not be anxious to finish, you probably won't be happy with it.

There are a lot of things you need to learn, to do ship modelling, so you

might as well start learning how to do them now.


Look around this site it has all the resources you need.

So take a deep breath and relax so you can enjoy ship modelling.

It will be finished when it is finished.

Cheers Chris

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You couldn't be more right.  I spent many weeks reading all sorts of logs before even deciding what kit to start with. 


Though not supplied in my version of the kit (I've seen at least 3 different variations out there), I added filler blocks at the bow and stern.






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Though most don't seem to do it this way, I followed the directions and planked the deck before gluing it to the frame, as well as the inner decks.  I'm still unsure if that was a good or bad idea.  I think it was easier to plank with a flat deck, but I can see how planking after application would make it easier to bend the decks, as well as not open up gaps between the planks.


I decided to not do any trenails.  I plan on adding them to my next build. 




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I wasn't sure how much extra wood I'd have, otherwise I would have done some more finish work around where the frames meet the inner decks, laminating over the plywood edge, etc.  Considering it won't really be seen anyway, I just added some red dye over the plywood edges and tried to fit the decks as snugly as possible.





After gluing the inner decks, I decided to add some hot glue in the hidden areas for added structural strength.  Was it worth the hassle? I don't know if I would do it again or not.  Works well in electronics work I do, so figured it couldn't hurt.  Tried to trim and shape the edges of those inner decks to match the future planks as tightly as possible.




Edited by stripehunter
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My one big mistake at this point was having one of the bulkheads be a little low up top.  I should have shimmed it to raise the deck.  Instead, there is a little divot there.  I didn't think it a problem since I evened it out, but it made for a little hiccup when putting the bulwarks on and planking later.



I did a lot of shaving to the bottom of the false keel and dead wood area, so I could plank the whole hull with the first layer. Though not being seen, I was determined to do the first layer as 'right' as possible.  The AL instructions in this regard are far from what I'd consider 'right'.  I wasn't so picky about the first layer's meeting at the keel and bow, since it would get flattened off anyway.







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After first sanding:



The plywood bulwarks always seem to be a problem with this kit.  I halfway cracked one just trying to dry fit.  The crack was only through one ply; i was able to CA glue it to hold.  I made sure to put the week spot on the inside of the curve.  I bent the bulwarks using a pair of jigs I made from 2x4s.  I traced the curve of the deck, and estimated the angle of the deck.  Little hot water soak, and drying on the jigs made it easy.  The jigs have come in handy for some other bending tasks as well.  they were well worth the time to make them. 





More putty and sanding after bulwark application.  I wanted a smooth transition between them and the planked hull.




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My bulwarks seemed a little too angular in the stern.  I steamed the back portion of them and clamped them to dry and square things up. 




Given the little irregularities in the lay of my deck, I opted to plank the bulwarks after application. 



My first working with the thin planking, I decided to let it take the shape of the bulwarks, angling up at the bow.  In hindsight, I probably would have used my jig to shape these planks, as I did on the outside.   Live and learn, although I must say I'm not opposed to the angular appearance.  Most of this will be concealed anyway.


At this point, I decided that I would apply the keel/stem/post before the second planking.  I applied the stern piece, and started filling it in. 




At this point, I wasn't sure what to do about the stern and the post; whether to transition to thinner planking, etc. There's not good pictures or instruction detail regarding this area.  After giving it much thought, I decided to use thick wood over the entire stern/rudder area.  This would make my keel too short, so I opted to inlay the post into this wood. It should put the rudder in a nice spot still, and I like the results so far.



I glued the post in place there before doing the rest of the keel pieces.



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After much shaping and adjusting, I finally had the keel pieces ready to glue.   (I had glued the stem and the two keel pieces together previously).  I did cut a very small rabbet into these pieces to make for a nice edge on the final planking.  I have also decided that anything else inside the boat will wait until the outside hull is to my satisfaction.  That way I won't have to worry about wood conservation if/when I want to add extra trims.





After several months working here and there, this is now where I am currently.  I started my outer planking starting on the bulwark edge and working up. 




Now I shall start posting in real time.

Edited by stripehunter
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today I got the bulwarks finished, and the garboard plank on one side done.  getting these thin planks to bend across grain is an acquired skill i find.  I think it would be easier if they gave sheets of veneer to let us cut our own spiled planks from scratch.




Edited by stripehunter
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

After trying a variety of different methods, I finally found what is working best for me for curving these planks.  I lay 2" clear tape over the plank edge on the hull, trace it as if I were spiling, and cut out a template from the tape.  I stick the tape to my metal work surface, then after soaking the planks (I've found ammonia works better than hot water), I lay them to match the curve in the tape.  I use a bunch of strong magnets to hold down and flatten the inside edge of the curve to prevent the bacon ripple effect.  Then I hit everything with a heat gun to rapidly dry and set the planks.  It only curves in one plane, but as thin as these planks are I find it takes no effort for the glue to hold them in place once the edge shape is correct.




The flat metallic disc magnets are very good for flattening those ripples.  Once dry and cool, I have a plank that looks as if it were cut that way from flat stock.




Hopefully the next time I can spare a few hours I will get the outer hull finished.

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Check my build log for what I did at the bow of the boat.  The kit has you fasten the foot of the bowsprit to the undersurface of the crosspiece of the forward riding bit.  That would never have been done on any actual vessel.  I fastened the sprit to the deck surface with a metal bracket to hold it down and got rid of the bitt altogether.  Much more accurate.  The new bowsprit angle fits more with the sheer of the ship, also.  One change I would have considered in retrospect is to lengthen the bowsprit some.  I think that would enhance the profile of the ship,  Don't be afraid to experiment a little!  This is fictitious vessel, so there is no "right" or "wrong".

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