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Sultana by ca.shipwright - Model Shipways MS2016 - 1:64 (title edited by moderator)

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Several years ago I bought the Model Shipways Sultana. I butchered the first hull and Model Shipways was nice enough to send me another gratis. I proceeded to butcher that hull as well So, the Sultana went on the shelf to fight with me another day.


Then I went into plank on frame construction and am having a ball. I am building HMB Endeavour, 1:60, by Corel. I have a log ongoing here. While perusing the Model Ship Builder site, I discovered Charlie Zardov’s Sultana log. He is doing a beautiful job. I also found Chuck Passaro’s practicum. The juices started to flow , and, I needed a break from the masting and rigging of Eneadvour. But, I just couldn’t get myself to ask MS for another hull. So, I decided to build the hull from scratch out of a block of bass wood. As Jack Nicholson said in the movie As Good as it Gets, “I know I can do this”.


Now we begin: Since I had all the templates cut from file folders from the previous attempts, I had a nice head start. I laid out the profile view and the deck plan on the block, as well as marking the center line on all 4 surfaces and the station lines. I cut out the profile first so I would have a flat surface (keel to be) to cut out the deck plan. The band saw did a very nice job.


The next step was to locate the top of deck line. There is really only one reference point that is reliable for measuring  the height of the ship's lines. and that's the keel. By using a combination of the profile view and the inboard bulworks  view, I was able to get the top of the deck line at the edge of the deck. Then measuring the camber drop from the plans and adding this to the edge deck line, I was able to get the top of deck line on the centerline.


Now, it’s time to start carving. I am going to start with the area between stations 4 and 6. This is the widest beam and the gentlest curve on the hull so there will be less wood to remove.


Some photos below.


Also a picture of a homemade mini-lathe using an electric hand drill as the motor and head stock. It works pretty well. Courtesy of U-Tube.










Edited by ca.shipwright
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The lathe has a problem of splitting the dowels at the tail stock end. I am going to make a bunch of blocks out of hardwood, drill holes the sizes of the dowel diameters, Insert the dowel and use this against the tail stock. As an alternative, I may just wrap the end of the dowel in duct tape and see what happens. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

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If you are trying to make spars by tapering dowels I believe that you are doing things the hard way. I find it much easier to cut a strip of straight grained stock and to taper this as a square. I use a homemade taper jig but you could also use a disc sander driven by your drill. Assuming that you have a small block plane, plane off the corners to form an octagon- doing this by eye works surprisingly well. Plane off an equal number of strokes on each corner.


Now, using sandpaper on a block round the tapered stick. You can then chuck it up in your drill rig and spin it while pinching it between a piece of sandpaper. Don't use the tail stock. Try it. It's surprisingly easy.


Roger Pellett

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Here we are back again with an update.

I carved the hull to the profile using the station profile templates. This was a much more difficult task than I had anticipated. Carving end grain is absolutely brutal even with a pair of the finest wood chisels you can buy.


I wound up over carving at the bow. I thought that beginning at the bow would be the best method. Wrong. After mangling the bow I moved to the amidships area where the greatest beam lies, and worked fore and aft from there. This gave a much better result. A little over cutting here and there was expected. That’s why I purchased the large size of Elmer’s Wood Filler.


One of the issues that I ran into was that I tended to lose track of the keel while I was carving. I don’t have the flat 1/16th wide strip at the bottom of the hull that is need to attach the keel. As soon as the wood filler dries and is sanded down to match the hull. I am going to install a keelson and blend this into the hull with wood filer where needed and then sand to the final profile. Once this is done. I will cut the 1/16th rebate for the blanking.


The attached photos show the end product of the carving and the first sanding and with the first wood filer treatment. It's amazing what a good camera will do.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Here we are again with another update and some photos.


The first thing I discovered is that it takes a lot more work then I expected to shape the hull out of a single block of wood using the ships lines and templates. It's check, carve, check, carve, check, sand,...... you get the idea.


The included photos show the hull shaping almost completed. Since these pictures were taken I have put a coat of primer on the hull below the 1/16th inch rebate. This will show minor defects that need to be filled and smoothed. Above the wale line won't be as sensitive to the smoothing process since it will be planked.




Edited by ca.shipwright
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    I had similar experience as you with the hull block.  After I screwed it up the first time, I decided to make the hull using the bread and butter method using lifts based on the horizontal waterlines from the body/sheer plan.  It turned out to be much easier than trying to sculpt the single block of wood.

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    After having spoken from memory, I checked my sources and found that there is also the half breath plan.  At any rate, here is a better discussion of the lines using SULTANA as a reference.




    I only used waterlines to create a hull once (with success).  I have used the station lines several times to make bulkheads...using them to make a hull.


    Starting the model is easy.  Finishing it is...

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Hello again,

Time for another report. Working on Sultana and HMB Endeavour simultaneously means both move kind of slowly.


The last photo was the first of several wood filler corrections. Several followed and now  am within 1-2 mm on the critical measurements. I’m pretty well satisfied at this point until something shows up that will not mate like it is supposed to.


Carved the 1/16th inch rebate down to the lower wale. Almost got it perfect. Another small touch up job for the wood filler. Painted the hull below the rebate with an acrylic tinted to get the tallow color. Not too bad a match but I may wind up painting the bottom white. Installed the keel, stem and rudder post. I made them out of boxwood. I like the edge-holding property of boxwood more than basswood. Started bending planks using a jig. This is not an easy chore with the 1/8 x 1/16 basswood. The well soaked strips have a tendency to kink in the curve. We’ll work it out. Managed to get the first planks installed P & S; marked the planks as per John’s practicum. Again, the symmetry not perfect but good. A little filler on the seam and all will be well.


I am using the bent T-pins to hold the planks down as the glue dries as shown in the photo. Very easy to do with basswood. Not sure how easy they would be on a plywood bulkhead. They work well with double planked hulls as well because you can pin them anywhere on the 1st planking.


In the photos, it looks like Sultana has a little list to starboard. This is due to the slot in the stand being slightly oversized. Also it looks like there are flats near the stem and stern post. This is filler where final touch up sanded through the paint, an optical illusion.







Edited by ca.shipwright
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