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Lady Nelson by daveward - Amati/Victory Models - 1:64 Scale - First wooden ship build


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This log will document my progress as I build the Amati/Victory Models Lady Nelson.  I've always wanted to build a wooden ship model, but I've never had the time.  Now that I'm finally out of school, it's time to get started!  I've done a good amount of research before starting this build, but I'm sure I'll have some questions for the experienced and knowledgeable members of this forum as I make my way through the build.  Thank you in advance for your help!  

 

I'm going to do my best to take as many closeup photos of the process as I can.  Perhaps they will be helpful to other modelers in the future!  So, let's get started!

 

After taking a look through the kit and getting acquainted with the instructions (which are basic), I sat down at my workspace with the sheet containing the bulkheads:

 

2v1lpx0.jpg

 

First, I numbered all of the bulkheads, based on the plans.  Then, I cut them out using my X-Acto.  The cutting left some rough remnants of the tabs that held the pieces into their sheets:

 

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So, I sanded these smooth with my sanding stick:

 

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The final bulkhead/transom sits at an angle in the center keel:

 

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This piece had to be beveled to match the angle of the center keel:

 

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Here it is, sitting flush with the center keel:

 

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Next came the fairing of the fore and aft bulkheads.  I did this before I glued anything in place, as it made the process easier.  I fit the bulkheads in the center keel and bent a plank around them to get a feel for the required curvature, then filed by hand:

 

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Here is the second bulkhead fitted in the center keel, with its bevel on the forward edge:

 

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Here is the foremost bulkhead, with its extreme bevel:

 

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I test fit each bulkhead, marking each with the letters "F" and "A" to represent the fore side and aft sides, respectively:

 

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Edited by daveward
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Here are the bulkheads sitting in the center keel, with their bevels:

 

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The bulkheads sat slightly low in the center keel, which I took care of later:

 

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Here is one of the bow filler blocks, with its edge beveled:

 

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Here it is during one of my test fits:

 

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Here's the beveled stern block during a test fitting:

 

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I applied some Titebond III and clamped the bow filler blocks to the center keel (I did this first to allow me to position the first bulkhead square in the slot).

 

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To make the bulkheads sit flush with the top of the center keel, I cut a small piece of index card so that it could be glued into the top of the slot of each bulkhead.  This was the perfect thickness to get a flush fit.  In this photo, the card has not been trimmed down to match the width of the slot yet (I did this to make it easier to see in the photo):

 

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Here are the bulkheads, sitting flush, during the gluing process:

 

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I glued each bulkhead, checked for perfect alignment, then let it set up before moving to the next bulkhead.

 

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The results were quite pleasing:

 

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I used the false deck to check the alignment of the bulkheads, and everything looked good.

 

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I marked a center line on the false deck to aid in planking the deck later (note that the holes for the bowsprit bitts are offset to the LEFT):

 

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Interestingly, my false deck was slightly warped, but I was confident that this would work itself out when the false deck was glued to the tops of the bulkheads and false keel.

 

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I used a combination of rubber bands and modified binder clips to hold the false deck down during gluing.  I made sure that the deck was centered, and that it followed the slight curve of the tops of the bulkheads (the deck curves downward on the port and starboard sides, which was done to allow water to drain from the deck at sea; it also curves upward toward the bow and stern):

 

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The foremost hatch opening was too small for me to fit a binder clip into, so I ran a rubber band around the center keel and held it in place with toothpicks:

 

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In this picture, you can see how the binder clips hold the deck down against the center keel, allowing it to take on the right curvature while the glue sets:

 

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In these pictures we can see the false deck held in place, with the proper curvature:

 

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And this is how I left it for tonight, to give the glue time to completely cure:

 

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So far, I've spent 9 hours on this model.  Stay tuned for more!

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Hi Dave.

Nice model for a first time build.

And welcome to MSW.

The faring of the frames/bulkheads can now be finished. I normally do this after the stage you are at now.

There are plenty of build logs of the Lady Nelson on the forum. Read up and look for issues they have had during the build.

A very nice start and I'me real happy to see you making sure everything is square at this stage.

Will you be filling the spaces between the bulkheads with timber to help with the lines and planking ?.

 

Will follow along on this one. I like cutters. And the lady Nelson has nice lines.

 

Regards Antony.

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Thanks, guys!  I'm a little worried about my fairing job.  I had planned on getting the bulkheads glued in before I started fairing, but the instructions suggested that this be done beforehand, so I gave it a shot.  It was not easy to figure out how much to take off each bulkhead while things were only in the "test fit" stage, so I'm worried that the angles might be a little off.  I suppose I can always go in with a little wood filler and then sand the edges of the filled bulkheads to the proper angle if I find that this is the case...  

 

I had planned to spile the planks for each layer of the hull, but since I don't yet have my wider lime and walnut sheets from which to cut my spiled planks, I'm wondering if I should just plank the first layer normally and spile the outer walnut layer...  I don't think this will affect the final appearance of the hull, and it would give me experience with both methods of planking.  Decisions, decisions!

Edited by daveward
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Here's how the Lady Nelson looked after I took the rubber bands and clips off.  The false deck looks great, with nice curves:

 

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Next, I glued on the stern supports:

 

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When the glue cured, everything looked great:

 

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Next, I soaked the bulwarks in hot water, using a very sophisticated and historically accurate technique (holding them down in the bathtub with forks):

 

sfxu08.jpg

 

While the bulwars were soaking, I took my Dremel and got rid of the excess glue that had dried on the top of the center keel in the hatch openings:

 

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I also took my sanding stick and made sure the edges of the false deck were flush with the bulkhead posts:

 

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I decided to take a look at my fairing job, so I temporarily pinned a spare plank to the bulkheads.  For the most part, I was rather pleased with the results.  The bevels of the bulkheads followed the curve of the plank fairly well.

 

333d0lz.jpg

 

2qxnrwl.jpg

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After the bulwarks had soaked for an hour, I took my binder clips and clamped the bulwarks to the bulkhead posts carefully, making sure the top edges of the bulwarks were flush with the tops of the posts:

 

svp936.jpg

 

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I used Zap-A-Gap to attach the bulwarks.  I mainly glued the bulwark to the edge of the false deck, since I knew I'd be removing the bulkhead posts later.

 

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When I was done, I thought it looked pretty good.  The bulwarks are just a bit below the tops of the rear bulkhead posts and stern supports, but I can bevel those down to look better later.

 

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In this photo, you can see that the little dip in the portside bulwark for the bowsprit to sit in is a little too far over to the starboard side:  

 

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I'm not sure if I should have started the bulwark further aft, as the instructions weren't very clear on that.  I can always carve out a more aligned dip once the bulwarks are planked.  If I end up with some space at the aft end because the bulwarks were set too far forward, I can let the planks on the outside of the bulwarks carry out a little further and cut some small pieces to extend the bulwarks on the inside.

 

The bulwarks look a little strange where they meet at the bow, but this would be covered by the stem, so I wasn't too worried.   

 

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I took my sanding stick and filed them down a bit, just for good measure:

 

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All things considered, I think the bulwarks came out looking pretty nice.

 

24xf5ar.jpg   

 

Here's where things started getting challenging...  I wanted to cut a rabbet joint in the center keel so that my planks would fit flush with the walnut keel.  I had seen this done in the Lauck Street Shipyard video practicum for this model.  However, I don't really think this kit was designed to have a rabbet joint.  There is no mention of it in the instructions, and the center keel and walnut keel piece are both only ~2.8 mm thick.  With two layers of planking, each 1 mm thick, it would be physically impossible to bevel the deadwood down enough to get the planks flush with the sternpost.  I decided to try my best to get a good bevel on the center keel so that I could hopefully sand down the planking near the sternpost to make everything flush.  The instructions for this kit are really lacking here, as they make no mention of how to achieve the flush look.  Anyway, I started to draw out a bearding line:

 

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Then, I started to carefully carve out a bevel, checking to see how it looked with the keel piece in place:

 

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As expected, all of my efforts didn't produce much of a rabbet joint.  In hindsight, it was a very poor decision to try to cut the rabbet into the center keel before attaching the stem, keel piece, and sternpost.  By the time I was done beveling, the deadwood (and much of the edge of the center keel) was razor thin:

 

2gw9fgn.jpg

 

This made it incredibly difficult to properly attach the walnut stem, keel piece, and sternpost, as they don't have a wide, flat surface on which to sit.  I probably should have called it a night at this point and approached it with a fresh mind the next day, but I carried on...  That is one of the lessons I'm going to take away from this project -- when things get rough, take a break!  

 

The worst thing that happened was that the scarf joint between the stem and keel piece broke.  I was trying to get the stem to sit straight on the center keel, and my CA glue set up too quickly.  Once I got the stem on properly, I attached the keel piece and did my best to fill in the crack with wood glue, then sanded it down.  

 

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Also, the top of the stem had broken during a test fitting.  I had to file down the inside of the piece that hangs over the bulwarks, but I was able to re-attach it in the proper orientation, and it ended up looking alright:

 

1zlf3hf.jpg

 

Here's a shot of my almost non-existent rabbet joint in the deadwood section:

 

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And here are some shots of the ship after I did my best to sand the excess glue off of the walnut stem, keel piece, and sternpost:

 

2h353py.jpg

 

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I'm really kicking myself over what I consider to be a subpar job on this part of the build...  I really wanted this to come out perfect, and now I cant stop staring at that scarf joint.  I'm consoling myself with the fact that it will be painted over, but it's still a bummer.  I'm also pretty worried about that rabbet joint --  I'm going to have to scrape a lot of glue out of the joint, and even then, it's not deep enough to conceal the edge of even the first layer of planking.  I'm likely going to have to be very careful and bevel the edges of the planks just right so that when they meet the keel piece and stem, they simply appear to be sitting in the rabbet.  I suppose that was the intent, with this kit.

 

So, that's where I am now, after about 16 hours of work, in total.  What do you think, guys?

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As you say, it'll be painted over, so no need to worry. Just another learning experience.

 

And don't worry too much about the rabbet as it's not so hard to line the planks up -- as you say. Lots of modellers use filler if they don't line up. Again, as it'll be painted there should be no worry.

 

You might want to consider putting filler blocks between the bulkheads, especially at stem and stern. That would make the process of planking and fairing much easier. I used balsa, but next time I'll use something firmer such as pine or basswood/linden/lime.

 

Tony

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Looking very precise and neat Dave. I would go with Tony's advice and add filler blocks at the bow and stern - of say basswood. Balsa is fine for in-between all other bulkheads since they would likely be used for shape only, unless you figure you will have plank butts attachments in some of those areas.

Keep up the great work,

Ian

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Thanks for the encouragement, guys!  I'm on the fence about the filler blocks.  Since my model already has partial filler blocks at the bow and stern, I think it would be a little tricky to fit additional ones in...  I might give it a shot without them, and add them if I find them necessary.  I can't go too much further with the hull right now, as I am currently waiting for my sheets of 1 mm thick lime and walnut to arrive from Crown Timberyard so that I can begin spiling my planks.  I don't want to plank the decks yet, as I'd like to get the bulwarks planked and painted before I do that.  I went ahead and tapered one of the planks that came with the kit, just to see how it would look.  After bending it around the bulkheads and beveling the edge so that it met flush with the stem, I was quite pleased with the results.  I also took a practice run at tracing a plank's curvature for spiling.  I used masking tape (since it's low-tack), and ran it smoothly across the portside bulwark.  Using the edge of my pencil lead, I rubbed against the edge of the bulwark, through the tape, and it gave me a nice pattern of the curvature of the bulwark's lower edge.  I didn't take any pictures of this process, but I'm sure I'll have plenty to show you guys once I begin planking.  I feel fairly prepared for this task, and I can't wait to get started!    

 

Since I didn't want to be idle while I wait for my sheetwood to arrive, I decided that I would take a stab at tapering the main mast.  This has been a process I've been dreading -- the mast materials that come with the kit are round dowels, and I don't have a lathe.  I spent a good deal of time reading about the various ways that people taper their masts, as well as trying to determine the best way to proceed in order to achieve a perfectly tapered and straight mast from these round dowels.  

 

My first idea was to place the dowel in a drill chuck and secure the other end, forming a makeshift lathe.  So, I tried it out -- with my drill on a level surface, I tightened the dowel in the chuck.  At the other end, I took a plastic zip-tie and formed a loop, securing the "tail" of the zip tie in a vise.  Then, I slipped the end of the dowel into this loop, and checked to see how the dowel turned.  While this method might work, I found that it was hard to tighten the chuck around the dowel in a way that let it spin completely true -- there was a bit of wobble, although it was lessened by the zip-tie loop at the end.  I was not satisfied with this setup, as I felt that the slight wobble might lead to a less-than-straight tapered mast.  Plus, the only tools I had for tapering the dowel on this little "lathe" were some files and sanding sticks.  I found that using these tools on the dowel while it was spinning put some downward pressure on the dowel, causing it to bow slightly.  I thought this might be detrimental, and might even lead to the dowel breaking when it got thin enough.  The situation would be even more precarious when I started tapering thinner dowels for the yards, etc.  Another problem was getting the taper right -- even with the miniature "lathe," it would still be up to me to work the file/sanding stick up and down the length of the dowel to get the proper taper, and that seemed difficult and very time-consuming.  

 

The next technique that I tried was the one I ultimately chose.  First, I compared the dowel to the plans, making the necessary diameter measurements and marking the positions of the flared sections on the dowel itself.  I marked the ends of the mast on the dowel in such a way that I had extra space on either end.  Next, I took my X-Acto blade and scored along the lower edge of the base of the lowest flared section (the edge that would be closest to the deck).  I knew that the base of the mast would be tapered to this point.  The base of the mast needed to be ~7.8 mm, tapering down to 5 mm at the lower edge of the flared section.  With my X-acto, I began to shave material away from just under the bottom edge of the flare (about an inch below) up to my scored line, forming a distinct "shoulder" in the material.  I apologize for not having a photo to illustrate this process, but I hope I've explained it well enough.  Once I had a discernable "edge" carved out, I took my miniature wood plane, set the blade just barely below the bottom surface, and began to plane this 1-inch section very carefully, allowing the blade to shave off tiny curls of wood, up to the newly formed "edge."  Each time I ran the plane up to the edge, I would rotate the dowel just a hair, which kept the planed surface round.  The edge, which was still as wide as the dowel itself, gave me a nice surface for the body of my plane to slide against, keeping the cuts at a consistent depth throughout the process.  Here are some photos of my progress:    

 

2mydkl2.jpg

 

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I continued this process, gradually adjusting the blade depth on the plane to slowly decrease the diameter of the dowel below my "edge."  This photo shows the process as it unfolded (note how smooth the dowel is after planing, due to the tiny rotations of the dowel between each pass with the plane -- I had not done any sanding at this point):

 

2dazs6p.jpg

 

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I continued painstakingly planing this small section of the dowel until it's diameter was just slightly larger than the dimensions given in the plans.  I knew that I couldn't continue this process down the length of the dowel, as I would no longer have my "edge" to guide the body of the plane and keep the cuts consistent.  Even if I could somehow manage to make straight cuts in small sections of the dowel, I'd still end up with a mast that looked more like a bunch of progressively smaller concentric mini-dowels stacked on top of each other, which I would have to find a way to sand down.  So, it was time to change things up a bit.  I place my dowel in my keel clamp, which has level metal plates on the top edges, specifically as guides for planing.  Using a straight edge, I angled the dowel in the vise so that the face of the thin end was flush with the top of the metal plates, and the face of the full-size end was also flush with the plates at the opposite end of the vise.  This exposed only the wood of the dowel that needed to be removed in order to form a flat taper.  I then set to work planing this exposed wood:

 

2h6bqlc.jpg

 

I found that it was a bit difficult to run the plane smoothly down the length of the dowel, so at some point I ended up switching to an X-Acto whittling blade, running it at an angle down the metal plates instead.  This was the result:

 

2rxuyx3.jpg

 

When I had formed a flat taper on the dowel using this method, I repositioned the dowel in the keel clamp so that I could do the opposite side, and then the third and fourth sides.  When I was done, a had a fairly square tapered mast (it's a bit hard to see the square shape in this photo, but it's the best I could do):

 

346pd0o.jpg

 

Next, I place the dowel back in the vise and, following the same procedure, shaved away the corners of my square shape, forming a tapered octagonal mast:

 

28mh6p0.jpg

 

I then used my sanding stick, running it against the grain (to remove more material), and rounded out the edges.  After that, I tightened the dowel in my drill chuck and wrapped a piece of 400-grit sandpaper around it, letting it spin a bit to further smooth it out.  The result was a glassy smooth, round, tapered mast:

 

2gt0tbt.jpg

 

Now it was time to reduce the diamter of the dowel in between the first and second flared section.  I basically just started repeating the process on the other side of the lower flared section:

 

28sbw52.jpg

 

In this photo, you can barely see my pencil mark for the second flared section, on the right:

 

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Here's another photo of my progress:

 

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And here's where I left off for the night, as it was getting past my bedtime:

 

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This constitutes about 6 hours of work, for a total of 22 hours spent on this project thus far.  You'll notice that the flared sections are still untapered.  I'm planning to use the same method of tapering in the vise for these sections, although I will have to be a little more careful with them.  I'm really pleased with the results so far, and I have to say that I did feel like a shipwright while I was slowly but surely planing down this mast.  It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to see it taking shape!  I'm going to continue tapering dowels until my sheetwood arrives, and I'll try to document the process.  

Edited by daveward
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Great progress.

 

There are lots of really great hints on most aspects of model making at the late Hubert Sicard's site called Ship Modelling for Dummies, which you can find at http://www.shipmodeling.ca/aaplandusite.html

 

The site has a great number of videos as well as detailed hints and tips, mostly using jigs you can make yourself at extremely low cost.

 

It costs USD40 for a lifetime's access, but is really worth it. I thought of this site since tapering masts using a drill is one of his specialities.

 

Tony

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Thanks for the kind words and useful information!  I'll have to check out that site, tkay11.  Well, last night I finished the main mast.  I have to say that I'm quite pleased with the results.  I finished rounding out the section in between the two flares, then I started cutting out and shaving down the final portion above the second flare:

 

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This was the result:

 

2j2x5dz.jpg

 

Here's a shot of the full mast, so you can see the various tapers at this stage of the process:

 

aouuiq.jpg

 

Next, it was time to cut the mast down to size.  I gave myself a little bit of extra room at the end in case of splintering:

 

29g26gx.jpg

 

Then, I filed the end down:

 

2v3q1km.jpg

 

Here's another full shot of the mast at this point:

 

xkvepz.jpg

 

After sanding the final section, I performed a test fitting of the cap, and it fit just like it was made for it (which it was):

 

o8x9mo.jpg

 

Now it was time to undertake what I considered to be the trickiest part of the process -- shaping the flares.  I started out using my method of cutting the angle with the mast in the vise:

 

2v2e6u0.jpg

 

2a5krok.jpg

 

I should mention here that throughout the process of shaping the mast, I encountered some hard spots in the wood that gave me trouble.  These spots would catch on my plane or X-Acto blade and create small gouges in the wood.  Usually I could sand these out fairly well.  Anyway, I came across one of these spots during the shaping of the 2nd side of my first flare, and it ended up taking a small chunk out of the flare.  I was not aware of this hard spot until the accident happened, and once it was done, there really wasn't much I could do about it.  I'll show a picture of the defect later.  Once this happened, I decided that it would be better to carve the flares by hand, since it gave me more control and allowed me to be more careful.  Anyway, here are some shots of the top flare after I was done smoothing it out:

 

2r5wxvo.jpg

 

2zpje5x.jpg

 

Here it is during another test fitting of the cap:

 

2evzwaf.jpg

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I repeated the process for the second flare, and there were no hang-ups this time.  Here's a shot of the overall shapes of the flared sections:

 

9a9swo.jpg

 

And here's the top of the main mast during a test fitting of both caps:

 

o89dmv.jpg

 

At this point, I cut the other end of the mast down, bringing it to its final size (I had left the bottom a little long in case I wanted to put the mast in the drill to spin it during its final sanding.  The last step was test fitting the mast in the ship.  It was a nice snug fit, and I think it looks great:

 

2ngxtuo.jpg

 

Here's a photo of the mast in the light of day, with the tops of the flares flattened out as much as possible:

 

2rp7itu.jpg

 

And finally, here's the unfortunate gouge in the top flare caused by the irregularity in the wood:

 

jj8njk.jpg

 

I'm thinking that I might rotate the main mast so that this gouge is directly underneath the overhang of the bottom cap, where it will be hidden fairly well by the cap itself and the rigging.  Alternatively, I could mix some walnut sawdust with a drop of wood glue and try to fill in this little chip, sanding it out once the glue has dried.  I believe the main mast is painted black from the bottom of the lower flare to the top, so the "filler" would be hidden.  I still haven't quite decided yet.

 

Anyway, that's my progress so far -- I have spent about 27 hours on this model, in total.  I think tonight I will try to shape the topmast, which will be a little tricky since it's so thin.  I think I will spin the dowel in the drill and sand it to the proper shape this time, as I don't think I could plane such a thin dowel very accurately.  Wish me luck, guys!

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Nice work!
The mast is very nice, You can fill it, as it will be painted it will be OK.
About using the drill and sanding, one precaution, maybe You knew it yet, don't wrap the paper completely around the wood because the friction will be to high and something will be broken... Use the paper only bent for a half profile.
 

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Thanks, guys!  That's a good tip, Leo-zd.  During the few times that I've used the drill for sanding, that's exactly what I've done, and it has gone smoothly because of it.  

 

Last night, instead of working on spars, I basically just took some hull measurements for planking.  Unfortunately, the battery on my phone was just about dead, so I couldn't really get many pictures.  I used some strips I made from an index card as "tick strips," marking each strip with the number of the bulkhead, as well as a "T" for "top" and a "B" for "bottom," so I could keep them properly oriented:

 

xauuqf.jpg

 

I ran the tick strips along the edges of the bulkheads:

 

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Then I marked the point on the strip where it met the keel piece, giving me the length of each bulkhead section:

 

b65w82.jpg

 

This was the point at which my phone died, so I couldn't get any more pictures...  I'll make sure it's properly charged next time!  My largest bulkheads are #4 and #5, which are both about 65.5 mm.  With a plank width of 5 mm (the size that comes with the kit), that breaks down to 13 planks, with the last plank being a 5.5 mm garboard strake.  However, the measurement at my last (transom) bulkhead, down the deadwood to the keel, is 73 mm.  Normally, this would be solved with the use of stealers (2 of them, in this case).  However, since I'll be spiling my planks, I'm going to cut them so that the stern end of the planks are about 5.6 mm, which will eliminate the need for stealers without throwing off the scale very much.  It should look really pretty, if I can do a good job.  It doesn't look like I'll need any drop planks in the bow, as my plank widths in this section come out to about 3.4 mm, if I recall correctly.  I haven't marked the widths of the planks on the bulkheads yet, as I wanted to take some nice pictures for the log when I did that.  I'll be sure to document the process when I get the hull divided into bands (I'm thinking 3 of them -- 4 on top, 4 on bottom, and 5 in the middle).  

 

I made an attempt at carving some filler blocks for the bow and stern out of basswood, but I found it to be quite difficult since the model is so small.  It's hard to get a good feel for the angles (especially in the stern), and any small difference could negatively impact the shape of the finished hull.  Since I already have some small "guide" blocks in these sections, I think the best course of action for me would be to try planking without the use of additional filler blocks.  This way, the shape of the bow and stern will be based on the natural curvature of the planks themselves, rather than the shape of the blocks (which would include some degree of human error).  

 

One thing I'm noticing, based on the bulkheads in the bow, is that this ship does not have what most would refer to as a "bluff" bow -- I'm assuming that this is because it is a cutter, and was designed for speed.  Most of the planking tutorials I have seen depict wide, U-shaped bows (when viewed from the front).  However, the hull on this ship seems to go from U-shaped to V-shaped very quickly (i.e., below the first 2 planks or so), so I hope I've got everything mocked up properly.  I'm not particularly worried about the bow, but the stern seems like it will be difficult to plank properly.  The final (transom) bulkhead is extremely small when compared to the bulkhead that comes before it, so the planking will require a significant bend in this area.  Also, based on the angles, it looks like there will be a lot of twisting in this area, too.  In a couple of cases, some of my planks seem like they'll be going from almost horizontal at bulkhead #8 to vertical at bulkhead #9.  That's a big twist in a space less than 1 inch wide...  Here's a picture to better illustrate what I'm talking about:

 

29a1qq.jpg

 

Another issue that I'm nervous about is the difference in the angle of the bottom of the last bulkhead and the stern.  The effective surface basically goes from a 45-degree angle to completely vertical:

 

dfx7gy.jpg

 

I'm worried that this will be difficult to plank smoothly.  Given the widths of my planks at the stern, I would either end up with a plank that ends right at the junction there, creating a distinct angle instead of a smooth curve, or a plank that straddles the junction, creating a gap underneath.  The plans for this model actually show a plank straddling this junction, but it looks as if the plank has been bent down the middle, which I think would be next to impossible to do without breaking the plank.  Here's a drawing I made to illustrate this point (please note that the angle is even more extreme in reality than what I have depicted in the drawing):

 

wk6brp.jpg             

 

Finally, I'm really worried about the rabbet joint (or lack thereof).  I'm struggling to see how I will end up with planks that sit flush with the walnut sternpost when the sternpost is only ~2.8 mm wide and my planks alone are 4 mm thick (counting both layers of planking on both sides).  This doesn't even take into account the thickness of the center keel/deadwood, which would make the total thickness of the planked hull in this section even thicker.  I'd basically have to sand the planks down to slivers at the sternpost to get them flush...  I suppose I have the option of cutting thin facades for the sides of the sternpost, keel piece, and stem from my walnut sheetwood to make these pieces slightly thicker and help me out (while also covering the scarf joint), but I'm not sure how that will look when the rudder is installed.    

 

Any tips or suggestions for these issues would be appreciated.  I'm excited to start planking when my kit arrives, but I'm also fairly nervous, as I've never done it before.  I really want to do a good job so the ship comes out looking perfect!  I sometimes get the feeling that working on a smaller model such as this one may be a bit more difficult than working on something larger.  With larger models, you have more space and material to work with, and minor variations in dimensions can be managed more easily.  On a small model, space is tight, everything is tiny (or tinier), and a minor angle change has the potential to cause headaches and be very noticeable.  It can be tough, but I'm confident that I'll end up with good results!

Edited by daveward
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rschissler, 4mm refers to the total thickness of the planks, as they contribute to the thickness of the stern -- 2 layers of 1 mm-thick planking on each side of the ship, for a total of 4 mm.  Compared to my ~2.8 mm sternpost, that leaves me with 0.6 mm of planking that sits above the surface of the sternpost on either side.  This does not take into account the thickness of the stern/deadwood on which the planks will be sitting, so I'm going to have at least 1 mm of non-flush planking on either side of the ship.

Edited by daveward
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I could, but then I'd have a plank that was narrower at that point than the rest at the stern, and I'd have to make up for it with even wider planks elsewhere...  Keep in mind that this point is not near the keel -- it is about 3/4 of the way up the sternpost, so I still have to plank below this point, down to the keel.  Also, the angle is much more extreme than what is pictured in both of our drawings.  I might try to fill in the junction a little bit, then sand it down so that the angle is less defined and more of a smooth curve...

Edited by daveward
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I guess I don't understand then.  You can always have a few narrower and tapered planks here and there.  How do you think they do real ships?  Still, I would start laying down that first layer of planks.  It doesn't have to be that perfect, because the main purpose is to get the overall shape.  Then use some filler and sand the rough spots.  The first layer will help you realize what problems you may have with the second layer, and how to make them fit.  Nothing wrong with sanding the second layer too.

Edited by rschissler
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rschissler, I appreciate the advice!  I'm quite familiar with the concepts of tapering and stealer planks.   :)  In fact, I mentioned stealers in my post earlier today:

 

My largest bulkheads are #4 and #5, which are both about 65.5 mm.  With a plank width of 5 mm (the size that comes with the kit), that breaks down to 13 planks, with the last plank being a 5.5 mm garboard strake.  However, the measurement at my last (transom) bulkhead, down the deadwood to the keel, is 73 mm.  Normally, this would be solved with the use of stealers (2 of them, in this case).  However, since I'll be spiling my planks, I'm going to cut them so that the stern end of the planks are about 5.6 mm, which will eliminate the need for stealers without throwing off the scale very much.  It should look really pretty, if I can do a good job.  

 

My comments to you were based on my decision to use spiling, rather than simple tapering with the kit planks.  If I were just using the 5 mm wide kit planks, I'd have to use stealers at the stern.  However, since I'll be cutting each plank out of a sheet by hand, with the required curvature cut into the plank, my goal is to not have any stealers on this ship.  It's a choice I made mainly for aesthetic purposes.  Using the spiling method, my ultimate goal is to have a very neat hull with planks that are fairly equal in width at the stem and sternpost.  I didn't really want all my aft plank ends to be at 5.6 mm and then have one odd one at that junction that is much narrower.  I'm trying to get as much uniformity as possible (and we'll see how that plays out in reality).  There will likely be a little variation here and there.  

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