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Benjamin W. Latham by matt.s.s. - Model Shipways 2109 - 1:48

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Welcome to my newest build log my friends. I picked the Benjamin W Latham because it's the largest model I have. It a 1:48 scale so I should have ample room for details.


With my Ranger bash there was virtually nothing left of the original model. With this bash I'm going to build most of everything, but leave it the same ship. I'm also going to take this one as far as I can with the details, adding any/everything that was on this fishing schooner. I like the look of real wood so I'll be staining, not painting, this model.


Launched on Oct 30, 1902, she was designed by Thomas F McManus(Boston) and built in the shipyard of Tarr & James(Essex, Massachusetts) for Captain Henry Langworth(Noank, Connecticut). She was built as a sailship and fitted with a 48-horsepower engine sometime during her 2nd or 3rd season. A 72 ton mackerel seiner, she had in tow one seine boat and accommodations for a crew of 15. As with most fishing vessels, most of her career was undocumented, finally lost off San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1943.


So take a seat and buckle up, we're going on a journey. I will attempt to make this build an intriguing one. Thank to everyone for all the help and encouragement I received on my previous builds, I welcome you all back again.


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Welcome a board CaptainSteve, Mark, Buck, Ken and Elijah!


So we're off! Thankfully after a couple builds fairing ain't so bad. I got the keel-stem assembly(yep, that's the term they use) and bulkheads together squared and true. Transom turned out well, after a soak and steam. I got an idea from my son and used an old hair iron for bending. This worked surprisingly well.


So instead of jumpin right in I'm going to study up a bit and take my time on planking. I really like how the double planking turned out on my pirate ship so I may do this again. Since I'm staining. I'm considering using several contrasting woods to get a contrast. So I'm off to start this process.



Edited by matt.s.s.
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I bought a Benjamin W. Latham kit almost 20 years ago and never finished it.  It was the second kit I purchased - the first being the Phantom.  In the course of moving from Virginia, to Iceland, to Hawaii, and then to Florida, I'm not sure i even have all of the pieces anymore.  I made a lot of mistakes in construction, as resources like this were less available back then, but I've learned a lot looking though these build logs, and i plan on picking it up again and finishing as much as can be done before moving on to the other kits I have in waiting.  I'll be very interested in following your progress!



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Thanks Mario, Ken, CH, David, Stubby and to everyone for the likes and encouragement.


I'm definitely going to double plank, but I'm taking my time doing a decent first plank for the practice. I decided to hack off the bulkhead/stanchions points since I'm staining and they are ply, which doesn't look good when stained. I'll build all the stanchions and install them later on.


The next step was making a solid plank sheer since the models piece had cutouts for the stanchion points. It took a minute to visualize how the plank sheer met up to the transom.



Next was to divide the planking into belts and lay them out with battens. Measurements were taken at each bulkhead and evenly spaced ticks were drawn on.




The top six planks (7 at aft deck) were fairly simple to install since they were all close in size. I only had to spill a few of them. Now I'm off to the next belt of 6 planks,



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Wow!  You're moving right along.  I'll be interested to see how the double planking works; I didn't do that on my build.  I also like the idea of hacking off the stanchions.  They were a pain to shape and match to the rest of the non-bulkhead stanchions when they were added.



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Thanks Ken, Stubby, Sam and everyone for the likes and words of encouragement.


I know, I know...I broke the rules and used CA for the first planking. However, the lines of this ship are smooth and gradual. That, and making the planks more true to scale, made things so much easier.




Now I'm left with a very nice, smooth and flowing surface to double plank. I've been reading MS's book 'Planking the Built-up Ship Model', and I highly recommend it. Made my first stealers which turned out ok, except I should have done one more(note the sliver). But hey, that's what practice is for.




As I mentioned previously, instead of painting, I plan on leaving finished wood instead. I would like to use different materials to accentuate where these color changes are made. Next up, the decks.





Edited by matt.s.s.
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Thank you daddyrabbit1954, Ken, CH, Elia and all those who've pushed the like button.


Well Ken, no clue yet. I have piles of veneer, and no clue what most of them are. I've been spinning ideas through my head, maybe split the hull on the waterline with two colors, same thing on the deck.


I have to go through my supply and start cutting strips to see how workable they are. I want to make this one lighter than the ol pirate ship.

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Thank you Frank and Buck. I always enjoy hearing from a couple of master-craftsmen.


So I decided on these two woods(cherry and yellow poplar I think) and will split these on the waterline.




Got the keel/stem and stern post covered as well as a portion of the planking below the waterline.




More to come soon.



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