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Continental Frigate Confederacy 1778 by Dubz - 1:64 - kit based semi scratch

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I think your mantra for this build should be " trust Chuck's plans not ME" :D there seems to be a lot of complaints about the kit, but not the scratch builds that preceded the kit. I think your comparison of the cannon and the figurehead says it all.....

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Thanks a lot my friends for your kind comments. @Gary: Unfortunately Model Expo is not answering my mails since a while ... so ... @ASAT: Believe me that's what I do ... 


I'm still not 100% sure what happend, especially as the lasermark on the first and last bulwarks fits ... (???)


Disaster Recovery mode on. First, more filler.






Then using the print of the hull to adjust the template for the sweep ports.


Question here to the Confederacy builders. According to the plan the sweep ports are notched within the 3rd plank up from the whales, most build, even Chucks have them a bit lower, directly on top of the 2nd plank. Is this just because it is easier not to notch so much or what other reason? Not sure which way to follow now. Plan or easy way :P






Sweep ports marked. 




Then I set a batten exactly at the position under and crossing the gun ports, from there on I marked the bottom line with a distance template.










Crosschecking the line with a batten strip.







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Disappointing about the problems with the kit. I'm too inexperienced to fully understand the problems you are having or provide a solution, but it seems frustrating when the plans and laser cutting do not match. I look forward to your resolution and I hope that if it is kit problems, Model Expo resolves them. I'm sure someone will provide assistance.

Wishing you luck- Steve

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Super work, Dirk! Detecting problems and resolving them really makes out a good modeler! And that is one of your great skills. Your build log and your detailed description on how to identify and resolve these problems will help a lot of succeeding Confederacy modelers. Keep going - your model will end up as a master piece!



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Dirk, I would vote for the "easy" way not only because it is less work than cutting the notches but also I think more pleasing to the eye as you look at the run of the planking along the sweeps, smoother line and look if not "interrupted" by all the notching and if you make the sweeps two planks wide then the plank on top of the sweeps is smooth flowing also..... Just more pleasing to my eye but you are the builder so I watch to see what you will do.



Edited by ASAT

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Hey Dirk


Looks like I can confirm your findings.

I haven't updated my log for a while but I am nearly ready to plank, sweep port backings and all fairing done.

Then thankfully I caught up with your log.

So I traced the side profile from Chucks plans much like you did.

I find very similar to you, the sweep ports in the centre part of the hull are a good pitch higher that the bulkhead markings.

They seem to improve as you get towards bow and stern.

Likewise the main wale marks would need to be higher by a similar amount.

I can use about half of the sweep port backing in-fills but will have to add to the top of the rest.


This is certainly a huge benefit of MSW and a big thanks go out to you.

You will certainly save me from a lot of rework later on (I know that's not a lot of use to you but hopefully it might make you feel a little better about your troubles :) :)).

As others have said it is very disappointing to think that a high value kit from a good maker could contain such basic errors, thank god for Chucks original plans.


Still visiting your build regularly and loving your work, keep it up



Edited by pompey2

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I too have built a Confederacy kit except for completing the ships boats.

This is my first model ship build and the kit was chosen because of the very good instructions. I had to read them very carefully,soon it was

discovered that it is impossible to use the flat drawing of the plan for exact measurements on a 3d object.

I have found that if the planking locations are taken from the reference lines on the bulkheads, they seem to work out pretty well.

In my opinion,this was a very high quality kit.  Just my 2 cents worth        Chizelguy

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First thanks for your nice comments ... and no I gave not up ... ;) Thanks Nick for confirming, good to know that's not only me ;) Chizelguy it is absolotley NO problem, as I wrote, to use the plans partly for the hull. The perspective distortion is minimal. And unfortunately the lasered reference lines did not worked out for me, as not for Nick like he stated above ... :(


Ok, restart ... I tried different ways to make both sides symmetrical and to avoid the plankingmismatch as before 






To make it short... doesn't worked out satisfying so I redid the portside 2 times ... haha




Another try to find good runs. I formyself found it much easyer to use a top to bottom process.




I decided to follow exactly the plankingscheme on the plans, so a lot of planks needed to be notched.








This time I did not used a marker to simulate the caulking. I wantedt to try a different way. Combining danish oil with a bit of bitumen patina.




First impression with non sanded planks.




Rechecking positions again.




After sanding and applying more coats of oil.








Little helper for the twisting planks at the aft.







Edited by Dubz

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Time for an update before leaving to La Gomera on monday for an one week vacation in warm conditions :)


Confederacy is still a fight and I had more than one moment trashing her ... the wood I bought from a germany (high class ... hahahah) supplier sucks so much, every pear strip has small but in sum major differences in dimensions so that to often things would not fit as expected as you can surely see in the next pictures. Maybe it's just me ...  I don't know, maybe I shall only build smaller vessels...






So deconstruction again (the fourt on portside ...)








More deconstruction




Rebuilding top down




Done .. finally... yeah ...






Some shots.








At the moment I have no idea where this build will led me, it's far away qualitywise from what I wanted at the beginning ... I might change to a intended more "rough" look ... or do a longer break as fun is something I definilty NOT had the last weeks with her :(


Anyway see you all again in mid December ... take care and stay healthy!





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That looks very GOOD Dirk.  No problems I can see.  Building a large frigate has its challenges but you stick with it all the way.  Dont make it a rough looking model.  Just keep doing what you are doing.  You will surprise yourself when the planking is finished.  Try not to overthink it.  You will suffer from "analysis paralysis".

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Hey Dirk,

Keep going - as many know on Modelshipworld - I almost gave up my Confederacy build several times during its now 7 year build history.  Yours is looking really good - we all seek the elusive "perfection" in our own eyes in our builds that is never attainable....



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Unless you mill the wood yourself, there's no guarantees.  Even milling it yourself, you'll find that some dimensions just can't be held.  In spite of the problems (and doesn't every model have it's share of problems, headaches, and the "I'm ready toss this into the fire" moments?) she looks great.  You're doing a remarkable job on this build.   As others have said, don't beat yourself up.  Have a great vacation and when you come back, things will look different.

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It's a fine looking looking Confederacy Dirk and streets ahead of what most of us mortals here on MSW can achieve. Don't lose heart. I'm sure others are looking forward to more progress we can learn from like I am.

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Interesting about the wood. I ordered from Arkowood for the cross-section, and in general they milled very slightly over-size which allows for sanding, planing, re-cutting etc. It also allowed for slight variations in width over the entire length of, for example, a 1000mm length. So a 5mm width might translate to 5.2 which varied to 5.08. However, for the smaller strips (e.g. 1mm width) there was also some occasional very slight under-sizing. So in future I'm going to be more cautious and order slightly over-sized where I think it's going to be critical.


And Mark's right. Even when milling my own wood I often have to cut a couple of pieces before achieving the exact width needed.



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Thanks a lot guys :-) 


To get a better picture about the colours (I will try acrylic this time and a different red as usually) I built a small battlestation yesterday. 














More detailing will come soon ;)





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