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Lady Nelson by Holty - Victory Models - Scale 1:64


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After much deliberation I have decided to try and do a build log for my Lady Nelson. It took a while to summon up the courage for fear of having my hard work torn apart but I decided that it may help others that are new to ship building like myself and also I may be able to get much needed advice in order to get through my first build.

 

So here we go (I may live to regret this)

 

Firstly a quick thank you to Ray and Pnevrin and a few others whose logs helped me to get started. Its a shame that some of these have now disappeared but good to see Ray re-posted his. I think the new site is fantastic by the way so its not all bad news.

 

Kit arrived just after Christmas 2012, I was astounded by the quality of the parts and also scared stiff by some of the smaller parts, the first steps in to the world of Ship Modelling is a daunting path indeed.

 

So I set about making up the Bulkheads and found they were a pretty good fit, only a little filing and packing to get them straight was needed. I did not add Rabbet / Bearding line as, although I understood the concept it did not make sense to me until I actually started planking. I will definately do this on my next build though as I can see what a huge difference it will make. I did file down the keel a little but being a nervous newbie I probably could have been a little more ruthless

 

 

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Edited by Holty
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I filed down the bulkheads and I must admit that in hindsight I should have spent longer doing this, Its difficult on a first build to know what is too much and too little but lessons learnt.

 

So I then set about adding the false Deck, I did not have a nailer at that point and found that I could get enough tension using rubber bands to hold it in place and I was please how it turned out, The Bulwarks I soaked and they bent pretty well, but a bit jagged in some parts. I suspect this was more down to my filing of the bulkheads however.

 

Also If I were to build this again I would probably have left off the sternpost until I had planked it so I could continue to file right down but then saying that if I had prepared the false keel better I would have been okay.

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Edited by Holty
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So on with my first attempt at planking (Groan). Already I look back at this and curse my efforts. Im sure that remains true for even the most experienced (you can always do it better). Still, it is what it is and I enjoyed doing it and look forward to applying what I have learnt to my next kit.

 

I struggled mainly with two issues.

 

Firstly: clinkering. Is this down to not preparing the bulkheads adequately?

 

Secondly: what type of steelers to use and where?

 

The tapering side got easier as I went , I am starting to get better at this. (He says.)

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Edited by Holty
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So, second layer of planking and this is where I am at as of today. The more wood I add, the more I wished I could turn back time and add a rabbet and Bearding line. Theminute I added the first plank it all made sense but too late by then. I have left a little space in the gun ports so I can cut and file them out properly once I have planked.

 

I know a lot of people have sugested using sawdust and PVA for filling in the gaps but I fear there may not be enough! :D

 

Any suggestions for a commercial Walnut filler? I will also invest in a far better sanding block as I can see that this is one bit of kit definately worth investing in.

 

Note: my camera appeared to leave off the stern? (probably for the best)

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Edited by Holty
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Hi,

 

Thanks for taking on the Lady Nelspon, my next build. You are doing well, keep up the good work. You are right  when saying we builders are in the constant would'a, could'a, should'a mode. We are all striving to do better each time we build.  Patience is the key, and then more patience after that.

 

I like your photos. Can you make them larger so I can learn from your build?

 

As to a filler for walnut, I use two approaches.

 

One approach is to lightly sand the strakes thus filling the pores with sawdust, followed by walnut stain, and sanding sealer. Another possibility is to mix walnut stain into diluted wood filler, fill the pores,  sand lightly, and follow with sanding sealer. Yet another choice is to live with the situation as is. I would live with it!!!

 

Other builders will have additional ideas. Suggest you start a thread.  Ask the question ns the discussion portion of the forum.

 

Wish you well as you move along.

 

BFN

Cheers,

 

Hopeful aka David

 

“there is wisdom in many voices”

 

Completed: Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Posted on kit build log.

Current: Sultana (MSW) Updating the build log and continuing on with the build

 

Next: Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

Edited by hopeful
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Thanks for the kind words of encouragement David and the filling tips.

 

You have seen through my ruse! make the pictures so small nobody can pick up on your faults!

 

I will hijack the better half's camera for future photos, I am taking these on my phone which is not ideal. I was not going to do a log but I think they are a great idea for learning and asking questions as you go, so I will set myself up better from here on in.

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Don't worry about taking pics on your phone, Holty. Lots of people do this. The only thing you have to be careful about, as with any camera, is to try to ensure the lighting is good enough to show what you want.

 

I can't advise you about clinker building as I decided that my cutter was built before cutters were clinker-built.

 

If you want to learn about stealers, there is an excellent planking tutorial available on this site. If you click on 'Main site and article downloads' you'll find an excellent resource on planking.

 

I too cursed when I realised it would have been better to leave off the sternpost till later, but as it turns out, with careful sanding, the result was fine. One way to protect the keel, stem and stern is to put masking tape over them while you sand away at the hull.

 

There used to be lots of good builds of the Lady Nelson on the site before the crash. At the moment I am sure you will have seen  Ray's build of the Lady Nelson, and Bettina is starting one as well.

 

However, the Sherbourne build logs by Dubz and Sumner may well be of use to you because the Lady Nelson is quite similar to the Caldercraft kit of the Sherbourne.  Those builds have been a great help to me in my own attempts.

 

Also very valuable for great tips on how to manage without complex power tools is the site 'Wooden Ship Building for Dummies' which costs a one-off 40 Canadian Dollars. And of course there are the many tutorials and other brilliant builds on this site.

 

As you look at these other builds, you'll find lots of great tips as to how to proceed and you'll also notice that we all learn from each other. With the better search functions of MSW2, you'll be able to track down specific questions far more easily than before.

 

I'll be following your build with great interest as the Lady Nelson is a lovely ship.

 

Tony

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Hi Tony,

 

Thanks for your tips. Regarding the camera, the light has been pretty much god awful since Christmas; its like Game of Thrones round here, Winter spans decades.  I will sort this out, I just did not have any historical pics taken on my other camera.

 

I wondered about the Wooden Ship Buiding for Dummies site, I bumped in to that whilst surfing the web. So its worth the subscription then? Also looked at Bob Hunts Lauck Street site, looks helpful but my issue is cash at the moment, I had to buy a lot of tools etc.

 

I have the beginners guide to planking and it has been a fantastic help so far but until I make mistakes I never seem to learn. I am just crossing in to Steeler country so I will try and brush up on this before I make too much of a mess. I will be painting the bottom white though so that will cover a multitude of sins.

 

Good call on the Sherbourne logs too, I will have a look

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There have been a number of negative comments about the Lauck Street site, which you can search for on this forum. With regard to the 'Dummies' site, it was well worth the Can$40, and much better value than a lot of the books that I bought. It also saved me money by making me avoid buying more expensive equipment than I currently need.

 

Tony

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Cheers Tony I will look in to it. I must say I am surprised by the lack of full colour step by step books with photos available. Someone is missing a trick, perhaps MSW should branch out in to the world of publishing, some amazingly talented people on here.

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It is a common refrain on this site that the plans that go with kits are in general very inadequate for the first-timers such as ourselves. It is this problem which means that so many who set out with high expectations give up in frustration after the first few steps. However you'll find that if you take a deep breath, overcome disappointment with your progress and look around on this site, then bit by bit you will overcome each step. Everyone on the site will tell you of their own regrets at not having done it 'right' first time, and that they continue to learn. In fact a lot of the fun is in learning how to overcome each new problem.

 

It may be that some of the practicums that used to be available on this site will be reposted. If so, you'll find very good step by step guides to other models which have plenty of relevance to most builds -- although as far as I remember they were all of solid hull models. However, it would be asking quite a lot for there to be practicums for every model available. It is indeed a pity that the old site went down, because the vast range of kit builds that were posted constituted a pretty good set of instructions for a huge range of models. All the same, the current reconstitution of the site has meant that the situation at the moment is not bad -- especially if you look slightly beyond your own model and look at builds of similar ships.

 

Also don't be wary of looking at the scratch builds. Many of them are incredibly detailed in a step-by-step way, and you'll be surprised at how quickly you start finding things you'd like to do better than possible with the parts supplied with a kit.

 

Another thing to realise, again repeated oft on this site, is that wood is very forgiving, and it is always possible to repair mistakes. Dan Vad started a whole thread on grappling with mistakes which is very instructive.

 

One of the past masters of this craft, Harold Underhill, said in one of his books that there is nothing in ship modelling that is beyond the skill of anyone. It just requires patience and perseverance and the willingness to learn from mistakes.

 

Finally, never be afraid to ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question on this forum since everyone has been through the same process and understands first hand the difficulties. Everyone is very willing to help you out with any difficulty. I myself have benefited hugely from the friendly and highly experienced advice from people here. Indeed I can see that others have already started chipping in.

 

Tony

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Hello Holty,   a subscription to Hubert Sicard,s site "Woooden Ship Modelling for Dummies" is  definitely money well spent .  Many of his tips and techniques are well illustrated with excellent photos and video clips. He continually updates and adds to his site.. As Tony has said the site is better than many books .

 Kip

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Hello Holty

I built the Lady Nelson a few years ago. The kit builds into a really elegant

model. And the skills you learn will scale up to bigger projects. i went on to the Granado

after the LN

Keep at it

 

Regards

Ken

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks first of all for the tips and  encouragement, Its really appreciated.

 

I have been busy with one thing and another but I have completed second planking.

 

Mixed feelings really, parts went well other parts did not. My advise to myself for next time?

 

Firstly, really learn how to measure properly! I have been reading up on using calipers etc and It makes more sense to me now I have completed this planking. I think I mentioned before It did not make sense to me until I was actually doing it and a little too late to start tearing strips off.

 

Secondly, need to learn more on stealers! I totally winged this and I will need filler on the lower part. Its the "what type to use where bit I struggled with, the beginners guide is brilliant but my brain struggled to get round this.

 

I mentioned before about not setting up correctly using rabbets etc so I wont go over this again. 

 

I would like to mention that I don't believe there are sufficient walnut strips included considering it is touted as a "beginners model". I am yet to add the main whale and inner bulwarks and do not have enough so I have a dozen on order.

 

Couple of questions too, do gun ports tend to have rounded corners or are they more straight edged?

 

Any advice on filling, varnishing / possibly staining a little darker?

 

I can definitely see why the planking pros tend to leave the wood exposed, it is rather beautiful

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Edited by Holty
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That planking has come out very nicely, Holty. It seems you're well on the way now. I also found a bit of a problem with the wood, but more because I wanted to have wider planks rather than more, and also because I wanted to do the second planking with 0.5mm thickness strips. So I bought extra wood from Cornwall Model Boats.

 

As to your other questions, I leave that to the experts. But everything I've seen points to sharp corners for the gunports.

 

For the wales, I found that in my kit there were special strips for that (two strips on each side). This did not mimic the original practice, but it did make them much easier to build.

 

For filler I used the sawdust from filing and sanding and then mixed this with dilute PVA glue. Leave it to harden just a bit and then apply. That way you have a filler that has the same colour as the wood you are using.

 

Staining and varnishing is up to you. I toyed with this but in the end settled for painting most of the hull. For really beautiful finishes to preserve the wood colour some use oil, others use a matt silk varnish. I used Ronseal satin clear quick drying varnish which is water soluble, so easy to clean off. However, I prefer the finish given by linseed oil and probably will use that much more in future. You'll find an excellent guide to oils which clears up the confusion as to types and names at http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniques/finishing/oil-finishes-their-history-and-use. The advantage to using the varnish is that it will still allow the use of glues after varnishing.

 

Tony

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Phew! I went with sharp corners on the gun ports, could probably do with a little tidy up though. Difficult not to file both sides at the same time if you see what I mean, I think it is because my files are serrated on both edges, think emery board might be better cut down the mddle.

 

I will give the filler a whirl this weekend, I think the painting will hide a few sins too.

 

Bit worried about the Wales, need to read a few logs regarding this I think.

 

Also the wood arrived too that I needed but the quality not as good as the kit quality. Ill see how it sands up before I glue it. Might be alright with a lick of paint.

 

I ordered a tub of the Admiralty Walnut Varnish too, I just want to darken it slightly to contrast with the white. There was a build on here from before (by Pnevrin?) where he had used Bison Wax to darken it and it looked really nice next to the white. Is primer a good idea or will it be okay without?

 

Cheers all

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As far as I know, primer is useful in that it seals the wood as well as allows for better sanding. However, I haven't used primer. Just multiple coats of diluted acrylic paint together with light sanding between coats. I should mention, though, that I have still a lot to learn about finishing surfaces!

 

Tony

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Thanks Tony, I heard people mention sanding sealer a few times, it seems to be a popular way to prep the surface. I thought primer might show up the lumps and bumps but I guess that so will a light coat of paint. Need to treat it like the planking and just get on and do it!

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Agree with Tony, smoother sailing from here. You are doing well with your vessel.

 

Not all wood strips or portions of the same strake have the same  density because of variance in growth rings and surface tension as a tree grows. So, when stained without the use of sanding sealer, the strakes will not be the same color, e.g., harder wood in the strakes will be darker than softer areas in the strakes. The use of sanding sealer helps to prevent uneven color. Sanding sealer goes on in one uiform color and seals the wood. Should you have to sand an area you can reapply the sealer with out altering its color, before the stain is added of course. Give it a try on a few sample pieces of wood and you will see the difference. 

 

BFN

 

Cheers,

Hopeful aka David

 

“there is wisdom in many voices”

 

Completed: Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Posted  to the Gallery

 

Current: Sultana (MSW)

Current: Phantom (MSW)

 

Next: Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

Edited by hopeful
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  • 4 weeks later...

Little more work done over the long weekend and again mixed results. As I mentioned before I wanted to darken the wood "slightly" unfortunately despite testing it came out a bit too dark! At first I was cursing but I decided to paint in the waterline and leave it on my shelf for a few days to see if I could live with it; and yes, I can. Part of the purpose in this build is to try many different things out for use in future models so I am trying not to be too hard on myself.

 

The waterline I am quite pleased with, the masking is the difficult part but it has come out quite neat, I would have waited to do this later in the build but I was concerned about whether it was going to look right. Some of the defects and sloppy work don't seem to be too bad, they almost seem to make it more "ship like" in some ways.

 

Started the inner planking too, I think if  was to do this again I would pre-cut the planks as trying to do this afterwards is a total nightmare, us amateurs dont think of splintering until its too late. Lick of paint and a tiny bit of fill though and I think they will be okay.

 

Decking is approaching and I dont have a clue about patterns, where to look?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks David / Tony,

 

I seem to be learning everything the hard way :) I'm still quite pleased though, perfect kit for learning on I must say. The Waterline is a little lop sided in parts so I may give it a little touch up on one side but yeah its looking alright. Little bit more work on the Inner bulwarks and I can give that a lick of paint too then

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Hi I have been working on my own Lady Nelson, and just a little behind were you are with tour build. I have been reading your log and some of your tips and ideas have been helpful to me. thanks I'm at the second planking now I have been busy sanding the planks to fit I never realized how much work these kits are, the pics you have with you second planking look like you have done a very good job and I hope mind turns out just as good

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