Jump to content

Willie L. Bennett Skipjack by Jack12477 - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1:32 Scale

Recommended Posts

For my third build I've decided to resurrect the kit I started about 3 years ago, but gave up on because I found the plan sheets so cluttered and confusing that frustration took the fun out of the build. So after completing the basic hull structure on the inverted skeleton I packed the entire boat up in the box and went on to do Chuck's 18th Longboat and the AL Marie Jeanne instead.  Now that I have several excellent Willie Bennett build logs to use as references, I've decided to give it another try.


I've wanted to build a Skipjack model after taking my granddaughter to the Chesapeake Maritime Musuem on St Michaels MD several years back and seeing several examples of these fine Chesapeake Bay work boats.


First the box with contents and ship's plans (if you enlarge the photos - last 3 photos below - you'll see what I mean by cluttered).




This is where I left the model when I decided to suspend the build




This is the status so far. Since the below decks structure will be completely covered I chose to not spend a lot of time detailing it and instead installed just enough to strengthen the model. This kit has a tendency to paint one into a corner if not careful. Installing the centerboard was a bit tricky and drilling the holes for the pivot was even more tricky given the side to side clearance and the length of the drill bit. I had to hold the bit in my fingers and rotate it slowing without the aid of a chuck.  And, yes, a few of the deck planks are skewed and not completely perpendicular. I cut the notches in the clamp plank off the model after bending to shape using Chuck's hairdryer heat method  and letting the planks sit clamped for about 36 hours. In some instances I am using butt joints and in others I'm notching the ends to fit into the pre-cut notches in the clamp plank. ("Clamp" is the term used in the plans)




So pull up a barrel, bench, chair, box or whatever and enjoy some popcorn from Sjors popcorn machine (Thanks Sjors ;) ) and join the build.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

George, Mark J, Al, Joe, Mark, Ken, Gerty, welcome to the build log.  And all those who hit the like button.


Yes, the cluttered plans are presenting a major challenge to me and a source of many mistakes and re-do's  but I will muddle thru. Gerty I have been referring to your excellent build log and photos a lot trying to figure out how the pieces fit together.  


After a lot of hair pulling I managed to get the planksheer cut to shape and installed, messed up the scarf joints a bit (didn't a lot of wood pieces to spare), the log rail went on with no problems. Found I had some gaps to fill in between the hull side and the planksheer which I took care of with some extra wood scraps planed down to thickness, and some good ole white model filler.  Since it will be covered by paint it won't show.


Here's the latest progress photos:





Link to comment
Share on other sites





Yes, the cluttered plans are presenting a major challenge to me and a source of many mistakes and re-do's  but I will muddle thru. 

Chan ann leis a’chiad bhuille thuiteas a’chraobh ...


However, you've just laid the ground work for a very smooth deck ... looking real good




(translation off the Gealic: It is not with the first stroke a tree falls)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Budge up Mark & Ken can you please make space for a petit rotund figure, I don't need feeding, not a lover of popcorn. ;)


Regardless of the very muddled plans your making a great job so far, just don't look at the plans if your suffering eye strain, they make Amati plans look plain sailing ( pardon the pun ). :)  :)


Good luck Jack.


Be Good



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Lawrence, thanks for stopping by. Yes, progress has been a bit slow - I seem to keep losing my way in the clutter of the plans -Had to deconstruct and reinstall the head rails for the cut-water. Now I need to find the cross braces for the trail boards in the plans and build them.  More pictures to follow shortly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As promised some pictures of the small progress.  Installed the side guards - to bend them I soak them in water for about 12-18 hours then bent them to the hull using a hair dryer for assistant and some screw clamps, left them to sit for 24 hours before I glued them in place. Installed the cut-water, then the head rails. Had to wing it on the trail board cross piece supports.


I guess the next thing to install is the bowsprit.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone. thanks for the comments and likes.


Yes Elijah it is a bit of a challenge dealing with these plans


Small Update:


Installed the samson post - worked on the bowsprit - needs a little more work I think - as many times as I've read tutorials and watch videos on how to cut an octagonal post I still can't get my mind to visualize the steps and do it right.


Installing the decking - feels like I'm building the deck from matchsticks - these "scale" Planks measure 1/16 x 3/32 inches x 22 inches long - progress is sloooow - I'm also having difficulty keeping the planks from skewing off to one side or the other requiring a "wedge steeler" plank to get them back in alignment.


Pictures follow:




The "string" in the photo is to keep the dagger-board aka center board from dropping down and getting broken while I'm moving the model around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Small Update:


I finished planking the deck and as I had feared ran out of wood strips just before completing the entire deck. I anticipated this so I left the section over the center board unplanked - for now - since I may be able to hide most or all of it with the deck houses, cabins, structures, etc.  The second photo below shows the amount of scrap planks I have left to work with.


For now I will move on to the deck structures and come back to the deck planking after I have a better feel for how and where the structures will sit. Of course I had to hunt thru the clutter on the plan sheet with a hi-liter pen to find the layout and dimensions for these various structures.


Photos below:





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are from Lee Valley - do a search under "Machinist clamps" - they come 2 to a package - just received another shipment this week of 5 packages (10 total) - they work great  but be careful not to put too much stress on the screw threads when clamps, I've stripped two of them already. There metal but the threads are real tiny.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Go to EdT's Niaid log.  I think early on he shows how to make them using wood and brass.   And no.. I haven't made any..... yet.




Looking sweet on the planking.  Looks like you got just barely enough left to finish if you want.  I do wish the kit makers would put in "extra" wood to allow for errors and also to give the builder a sense of reassurance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...