Jump to content

USF Confederacy by pompey2 - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64

Recommended Posts

So here we go.

Recently finished my Caldercraft Victory and I've picked the Confederacy as the next victim.

I bought the kit a few months back in preparation.


Also in preparation I went to Chuck for a full set of his great gun barrels.


A big difference from the kit supplied ones.


And also his figurehead (got in before discontinued I think)

Also a very very big improvement on the kits offering.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won’t photo the kit contents, most of you will have seen the like before.

However some first impressions.

Chuck’s stamp on the kit stands out a mile.

His instruction book with many many colour photos and detailed descriptions is a joy.

Also the drawings are first rate.

There are a lot of features that show a really good eye for the detail and the build has been very well thought through.

The decorations in the form of the etched brass and castings are also numerous.

The timber strips are pretty good quality and consistency. However I’m not a big fan of Basswood for external finish. So I am ordering some replacement timber for Hull planking. I will think about deck planking later, may stick with Basswood, not sure yet.

The many sheets of laser cut Basswood and Ply parts are all good quality.

One downside (for me at least) is that the laser cutting means I will have to spend time removing the char caused by the cutting. My Caldercraft Victory used machine cutting so no char, maybe I’m a bit spoilt.

Also after reviewing some of the parts I decided to revisit Syren

A lot of the line was quite shiny so I replaced it all with Chucks line. Plus I like his Deadeyes so threw in some of those.


And lastly the cast ships wheels were a bit poor.


So imagine my delight a few weeks back when Chuck announced a ships wheel kit at a very suitable size. Two of them also included.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, to starting the kit.


The two parts of the Bulkhead former were cleaned up and glued together. I sandwiched them between two glass sheets plus some weights to keep things straight.


Cleaned up the bulkhead slots and test fitted them for a nice tight fit.

I’m very conscious of the length of this hull and wanted to be extra cautious to avoid any warping.

So gave some thought to a keel clamp arrangement, this is what I came up with.


I sawed up a few pieces of 18mm MDF. One big bit as a base, one smaller bit as a fixed jaw and another smaller piece as a moving jaw.


I Positioned the former between the jaws with a false keel spacer below and measured/marked the bulkheads positions


Then clamped the parts together and routed out slots to correspond with the bulkhead positions. They are different widths and depths, half the slot in each jaw.


The glued the fixed jaw to the base. Drilled screw holes/slots to allow the moving jaw to be clamped tight. I left the two jaws overlapping the base along the long side to act as a lip for fixing clamps, elastic bands etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next the rabbet strip. I wanted to try an idea I had a while back for plank bending so tried it here.


I had bought a flexible curve, the sort often used for draughting (a lot in my past).


It was a cheap one but holds the bend very well and can go to a pretty tight radius.


I set up the flexi curve, soaked the bow part of the strip for an hour or so and gently bend it round the curve. I overlaid some scrap, very thin strip to avoid clamp marks then applied clamps all along.

Gotta say I’m pretty pleased. The curve held the radius completely and once dry the strip was just right.



Glued and clamped the strip to the bottom of the former. My keel clamp comes in handy already as a work holder.


Once set I transferred to bearding line on the former to the other side and tapered down to the rabbet strip both sides with chisel and sandpaper.


Here we are all done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I decided not to go with the Basswood for hull planking.

So I have ordered some Maple to do the planking.

My wood order included some to allow me to reproduce the Stem parts so that I get a good match with the planking, which means I will have to wait a bit before the Hull can move forwards.


In the mean time I thought I would start a couple of the smaller project while I wait.


The first one will be the Guns, well carriages at least.


The instructions say to paint the separate parts before assembling.

But I decided to put the main parts together first and then i will air brush them.




First step was to build a little jig on a piece of scrap to get the two axles and the sides aligned correctly for gluing.




Then start the production line. 1. glue the first parts. 2. shape and glue the Transom across the front axle. 3 shape and glue the Bolster across the rear axle. That little production line is now in full swing, a couple of gun carriages come off each session.


I also wanted to clean up the carriage trucks (wheels), there are attachment pips and laser char to get rid of.

Doing each one by hand would be a real pain, plus I would have ended up with a bunch of oval trucks.

So got to thinking of an approach.




First I loaded a couple of dozen trucks onto a long needle and used a clamp to keep them in place. You can see the char and pips.




Then by holding the clamp and rolling them along the edge of the table I can apply a sanding stick and work it back and forth as I roll. This is how they come out, still perfectly round, consistent diameter and cleaned up. Might do them a bit more yet.

If you decide to try this then switch them around part way through because the middle ones get cleaner more quickly.

Edited by pompey2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other mini project I am running in parallel whilst I wait for timber is the first of the ships boats.




First off get the Bulkhead former and thin the edges to form a Rabbet and for the bearding.




Then add on the keel and stem. The joint does not match properly but I will get back to that.




Then real carefully glue in the Bulkheads a pair at a time making sure they are square and even in two planes.




Then I glued a couple of scrap plank strips along the top.

They do a really good job of keeping the bulkheads square and the structure rigid.

the bulkheads can easily flex as you try to fair the edges down.

They have also proved to be helpful when placing clamps.

They are glued to the inner parts of the bulkheads which get removed later so they don't present any problems

Once the strips were done I faired the hull down.




Then added the Transom, the scrap bits also helped keep it in place whilst the glue dried.




PS - I could kick myself. Just reviewing my photos and realised that I could have easily re-cut the keel to get that badly lasered joint correct, dooh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will have to follow, I like this ship too much :D! She's gonna be great!



Current build(s):

Continental Gunboat Philadelphia by Model Shipways



Completed build(s):

Model Shipways Phantom



Member of:

The Nautical Research Guild

N.R.M.S.S. (Nautical Research and Model Ship Society)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Well finally my replacement wood arrived.

I am going for Maple from a German outfit.

I am very happy with the quality and sizes, all as hoped for.

Their prices were especially good about half of other Europe suppliers and nearer a third of US suppliers when the Import duties are included.

Here are some pics.



So now I can get on with the main show





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

So, it's about time for an update.

I got to work on the stem:




Here it is fitted together and with the leading edge faired down.




And now going into place.

I found two thin strips to act as shims, they were the stem thickness minus the bulkhead former thickness /2.

Put one each side then laid strips on top of them and clamped it up.

Did that in two places.

That helped insure that the stem was glued as central to to former as possible.




Here it is now in place.




And where the edge is faired. made sure that the figurehead was a good fit.


Next job is the keel.




Used my keel clamp (here it all finished)




Mounted the former inverted and clamped it for a solid working position.




Put on the rabbet strip, and the Keel sections.

Drilled them off to simulate tree nails (as per Chuck's method)

The false keel will then follow.




Then stood the former on it's Keel and clamped it tight.

Now ready to start on the bulkheads.


I will continue later (next lunchtime at work :) )








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Dirk


Thanks for the update on your wood.

I found his prices very good (very) and I am happy with the quality.

But I must say it was a big struggle.

His delivery took quite a while and I wasn't actually sure he was making my timber.

When I asked for progress i was told to just be patient, shame.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Nick!


Welcome aboard the Confederacy train! I'm eager to follow the build.

I found that I actually rather enjoyed the char, as it ensure that I touched every piece properly to ensure fit. A little bit of s "doubecheck" if you will.

Also, great choice on Chuck's wheel, I JUST finished putting it together and it turned out beautifully.



Edited by Moonbug
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To continue.

I made up some jigging to help me keep the bulkheads square, both in the vertical and to the former.

Just a base with a triangular section glued on.

Then the vertical trued up square on a face sander.




This is how they work.

One placed each side of the bulkhead and clamped to my base.

The bulkhead is then adjusted and checked with a square.

The jig moved to hold it there and a clamp added.




So here goes the first bulkhead.




Continuing to add bulkheads, up to number four.

I have to wait for the glue to dry each time because I only have one pair of jigs.




slowly getting there.




Last few to go on the Stern.




All bulkheads now done.

here I have added the re-enforcing parts onto the former between each bulkhead after sanding to size.




I thought that the bulkheads still had a bit of fore/aft movement in them.

So to stop them moving when I fair the hull I have used some cut up pieces of scrap to re-enforce between the bulkheads further out from the former.

Here are the first few.




And with a full set in place.

They also help confirm the squareness of bulkheads.


Will continue on next post








Link to comment
Share on other sites



Adding on the Bow pre-cut pieces.




And at the Stern.


I am going to put filler pieces at the Bow and Stern to help maintain the shape of the planking and to provide greater gluing area.

So that's my next job.




First I cut some 1/2 thick balsa into rough shapes.

This set is for the gap between first and second bulkheads.




Then I offered them up and marked bulkhead profile on the edges.

Then removed them and roughed a line across the upper and lower face to correspond to the edge marks.

Then carve an approximate shape following the lines.




I am doing them for the first three bulkhead gaps.




Here the Bow fillers are now glued in place.




And as the manual advises I have added temporary bracing pieces across the tops of the more exposed bulkheads.


Next I will making lots of sawdust by fairing the frame.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great start. I just finished my Syren and the Confederacy box is calling me. Did you use the kit stem pieces?

Thanks, Harley

Cheers, Harley<p 



Under Construction:       


Completed:                      USS Atlanta CL-51 1/350 by Very Fire 

                                    Liberty Ship John W. Brown 1/350 by Trumpeter

                                    HMS Spiraea K-08 1/350 

                                    USS Arizona BB-39 1/200 by Trumpeter/Mk1 Design

                                 HMS Sir Gareth 1/350 by Starling Models

                                  USS Missouri BB-63 1945 1/350 by Joy-Yard, 9/11/21

                                  USS Indianapolis CA-35 1945 1/350 by Trumpeter

                                  USS Kidd DD-661, 1945, 1/350, on The Sullivans kit by Trumpeter

                                  USS Alaska CB-1, 1/350, Hobby Boss, Circa 2/1945

                          Brig Syren 1/64 Model Shipways, Wood

Started,On Hold:     Frigate Confederacy 1/64 Model Shipways, Wood

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Harley


Yes I did use the kit stem pieces.

I hadn't intended to and I bought replacement 1/4" maple.

I even cut out the pieces in Maple.

But I thought I would have a go with the kit parts first.

As I was pleased with how they came out and the wood shade is very close I went with them.

I will always have the Maple ones if I need to replace :)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Done most of the initial fairing – stern infills.


Bow infills.


And hull. I will need to do some more yet but will wait until I can finish the whole hull together.


So my next job is to plank the sub gun deck platforms. I made them up in sections glued to a paper backing to avoid having to place them in awkward positions one at a time.


Then after trimming the backing they were glued them into position.


Next I made up the shadow box for the exposed hull frames and placed the frames into position.


So this is where we stand, now with the frames faired as well.


Will continue on another post



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next onto Framing the Stern. First the two centre frames, carefully clamped to be square and correctly positioned etc.


Then the four outer frames using the lintels as spacers and the first frames as guides.


Then moved on to the Quarter gallery framing and flooring etc. The objective here is to see how many different types of clamp I can get into place at once. :D  :D  :D




Then onto the window lintels and sills.


I used cut outs of the windows from the plans to check that they were positioned to allow the windows to be fitted later.


Then framing the ports in the lower counter.


Then some fairing of the outer face. And, using a converted electric toothbrush, fairing the inside faces.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next, getting the false deck to fit cleanly.


And before I put the deck in place, painting the faces adjacent to the lower decking black.


Then glue and pin one side of the false decking.



Once the other side was glued on I moved on to getting the gun port Sills in place. First running a batten right along the side. I also checked things out by using a little height gauge from the deck surface.


Starting adding the sills using the batten to confirm height.



I still have a bunch more updates to add, so i will continue tomorrow.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the likes and comments, much appreciated.

So here we go with the next few installments.

Using a couple of lengths of kit stock to get the correct gap and then gluing the gun port lintels in place.


Continuing with lintels.


Gunport sills and lintels now in place.


Now I’m struggling to recall what’s happening here, it’s my age you know, my Grandad was the same…… before the end.

Actually I used another batten to place the Quarterdeck gunport sills, seen in place, and before I place the strip that forms the lintels/rail I have run a second baton which is what you see here.

Then I can use that batten to bring the tops of the bulkheads down to a common height by sanding them down to the batten.

Once trimmed the top strip can be glued on which is what you can see on the Port side.


Then onto placing the gunport sides. I traced the plans onto a piece of tracing paper and pinned it to the frames. Then used a pin to mark the positions through.


Quarterdeck done, now doing the same on the main deck.


Gun port sides now done, I made a few adjustments by eye to keep both sides matched. And now I need to take out a bit of bulkhead where it crosses a port.


Then capping strips added along the sides of the Waist.


Once that was on I could add the Hance pieces to the top.


Then another batton, this time used to place the blocks which will back the sweep ports.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this point I and read Dirk's (Dubz) problems on alignment.

I must say I was very please I did. So a big thanks to Dirk.

I replicated some of his checks, not as well as he did mind you.

Here you see where I had already marked the sweep ports vs. where the tracing put them.


The same tracing confirms things because the gun ports are pretty well aligned.


In some places I had to add extra pieces to the port backing blocks to cover the ports.

I have also done the fairing to the upper works now.


Then revisit the tracing paper and confirm the sweep port positions.

I wont use the rough tracing paper to actually place them.


Finally I used the template supplied in the kit (traced) to mark the proper positions of the ports through cutouts in the template.


Now, that's better.



I still have some catching up to post so will continue later.

Thanks for dropping by



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...