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USN Picket Boat #1 by GuntherMT - Model Shipways - scale 1:24

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This will be a build log for my Model Shipways USN Picket Boat #1, a 1:24 scale representation of the steam launch built in 1864 that was responsible for the sinking of the Albemarle in Plymouth, North Carolina.


This first post will be used as an Index for the build log which I will do my best to keep updated as I add content.




Section 1 - Hull start and framing.

1. The beginning, keel preparation.

2. Forward bulkheads beveled and placed.

3. Deck planking begins.

4. Bulkhead planking, bow deck planking.

5. Stern deck margin plank.

6. Middle cockpit section bulkheads.

Edited by GuntherMT
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So it's been quite a while since I completed the Armed Virginia Sloop, and it's well past time for me to get back to making sawdust in the shop.  


This log will probably be quite a bit slower developing than the AVS log was, as I have a lot more time consuming things going on in my life right now that were not happening during the AVS build.


To start with, a photo of the basic kit contents, although I forgot to include the little box of cast parts including the cannon and propeller.  Most everyone knows what those look like anyway.




I've only just begun, with the preparation of the keel parts, and the gluing of the 'bridges' that will allow the removal of the wood needed to make a tunnel for the propeller shaft.




That's really all I've gotten done at this point, but hopefully the beginning of the log will give me the kick in the rear I need to dedicate more time to actually working on this.



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Guess I'll be following along too even though I'm not too fond of anything Yankee in that war, lol. This one hits home for me. I am from the area of North Eastern NC between the Chowan & Roanoke Rivers which enter into the Albemarle Sound. My hometown is just across the river from Plymouth near where all this happened.



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You mention a tunnel for the propeller shaft.  Will your boat be radio controlled?  That should be fun.




No R/C Bob, it's just the way the kit is designed.


Thanks for all the likes everyone.  Just got home tonight (9pm, got up this morning at 4:30am... the life of a working stiff I suppose) and tomorrow is picking up family from the airport and dinner, so won't get anything else done in the immediate future.  As I said above, this is likely to be a fairly slowly moving build log for a while.  

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Small update on the Picket Boat.


This kit uses an interesting system for the keel.  Instead of a separate piece (or pieces) that attach to the bottom of the false keel, this one uses pieces that are applied to either side of the false keel in order to widen it to create the 'keel' as a laminated piece where the false keel is sandwiched between the side pieces.  Since this is a model that will be painted, not left natural, this seems like it should work just fine.


Here is the false keel, with the parts that will make up one side of the keel laid along side in the approximate areas that they'll be glued to the false keel.




The long main 'keel' glued in place and clamped (you can never have too many clamps):




The finished keel glued in place on both sides of the false keel.




You can also see in the stern pictures how the pieces of the false keel have been removed now that the supports are in place so that the propeller shaft can be placed through the centerline of the keel.


Next up is carving the cut-water in the bow.  The kit provides a template for this in card stock, but I'm going to go make copies of it and cut out the template and paste them to both sides instead of trying to cut out the card stock and trace it.


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Thanks for the comments and likes everyone, and welcome aboard.  As promised, progress is very slow!


A card-stock sheet is provided with a pattern for the cutwater, as well as a pair of patterns that match the keel in order to mark the first filler blocks for the planking pattern.  Interestingly, these patterns for the planking also have a lighter mark which is the same pattern as the cutwater.  Instead of cutting the cutwater pattern out of the card stock, and using the other patterns to mark the first filler blocks, I made paper copies of the card-stock sheet and cut out those patterns and used a glue-stick to paste them to the keel, and used that for my cutwater pattern.


Here are the patterns glued to the keel.




Here we have the cutwater rough-cut on both sides ready for final sanding to exact shape/depth.




And finally, I have the forward and aft bulkheads cut out and did a test dry-fit.  They all fit perfectly, and will need no shimming of any kind, which is pretty nice.  I haven't removed the laser char or beveled them yet.




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Thanks all,


Dave - At this point the plan is to basically do it out of the box, except that I will probably do walnut veneer planking on the decks that the kit says to scribe, like many other builders on here have done.  Since most everything else is painted, I don't plan on replacing any of the other wood on this one, but we'll see what happens as I progress.

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As promised at the beginning of this log, very slow progress!


I've beveled the bow bulkheads and the two pieces that go forward of the first bulkhead, and glued them all in place and added reinforcements to the bulkhead joints.


I did the beveling for the bulkheads on my 1" belt sander with 300 grit belt, and then finished to the lines with a sanding block by hand.  For the bow pieces ahead of the first bulkhead I used a sharp chisel and then finished with a sanding block.


I'll do the final fairing in place using planking strips.



Edited by GuntherMT
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Hi Brian.  I should mention that I am also building this kit.  Actually, I have completed all the deck details (steam plant, engine, howitzer, spar torpedo, etc).  I have the keel built with the first few bulkheads installed (like you).   It's one of the 4 models that I am building simultaneously with no build logs.  It seems to be a very nicely designed kit and I love the history behind this boat (they should make a movie about it).  So far I have found no issues regarding this kit.  It is going together as it should.

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LOL Dave!!  I knew you would call me out.  My only excuse is that build logs slow me down and not all the models I am building are ships.  ;)  However, I will be sure to post pictures of the completed ships and promise to do build logs on future projects!!

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