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Eric W

Pirate Brig by Eric W - FINISHED - Bluejacket - 1/64

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Bluejacket's Pirate Brig kit just arrived. This should keep me busy for several months. This is a step up from their "Ensign" level. Instructions are a lot less detailed than the Revenue Cutter, which was my previous build. Hull is about 75 percent finished. Fittings look great, and the plans are quite nice with three seperate sheets (hull, standing, and running rigging).

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This is an updated version of an eighty-year old classic first introduced by Bluejacket's predecessor, Bouchert. I selected it for my second build since I thought it would make a good primer for square rigging, bulwarks, and carriage guns......arrrghhh.

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Attached are photos of the initial carving on the hull. This required chisels and a saw prior to sanding. This has been about four hours over two days. Templates are good, and it is coming nicely with just sanding at this point.

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Edited by Eric W

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Here is my update on fitting the stern post. This kit is a step up from the entry level solid hull kits, and the lugs required some work to remove. In reading through different posts in MSW, I gather there are those that find solid hull kits more difficult than plank on bulkhead. It is certainly an art, and not as precise. I recommend with this kit to use the actual stern post as well as the stern template. As you can see in the photos, the template fit looks pretty close, but I over sanded the aft end at the keel. This required me to cut out a "prosthesis" out of scrap wood and fit it in the gap. I think I can fill it in with bondo or spackle and be okay. Does anyone have a good recommendation on a good gap filler? Bluejacket recommends either above and recommends against wood filler.

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Edited by Eric W

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Here are some shots of the stern, keel and stem fitted, sanded and first rough application of spackle filler. Note: I recommend drilling the bowsprit hole at this step and ensuring the angle is good as you dry fit the stem. I had to re-fit my stem as my angle wasntoo steep. Nic at Bluejacket said they will likely be tweaking the shape of the stem in the future. My result was that I deviated from the plan and mated the keel into the foot of the stem, instead of having the foot meet the keel. I think it came together pretty nice.

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Never heard of her so I looked it up and I think you are right. Very similiar. I picked the kit because it had three areas I wanted to practice on as a second build: basic square rig sail plan, bulwarks, and carriage guns. I am slowly working my way up to a light frigate. Plus I really liked the story behind Bluejacket re-introducing a nearly 90 year-old kit. And, come on, who DOESN'T like a pirate ship? Arrrggghh....

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Having a quandry on the color of the fore and aft bulkheads that open amidships. The model and plans have them the same dark brown as the hull. I think this looks a bit simplistic and am looking for suggestions. Time period is mid-eighteenth century. I was thinking about ochre. Oh, and before you even ask, the huge goofy paper pirate ensign at the mizzen will be replaced. Any leads on silkscreen ensigns would be greatly appreciated.

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This weekend, I was able to fit the main deck, bulkheads and bulwarks. I have been working on the bulwarks for several days, sanding a bit at a time, until I achieved a slightly "sprung" fit to the hull, per the instructions. Note, that I will have quite a bit of sanding and some spackling to flush out the bulwarks to the hull, but the instructions say that is expected. I also painted the interior of the bulwarks and the bulkhead faces. This is a departure from the instructions, but I think they were easier to paint first, vs once installed. Risk here is dinging the finish with sanding and spackling afterward.

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Edited by Eric W

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I received a set of precision sanding tools in a kit from Lumberton industries for Christmas. They are 1/4" strips of sandpaper with varying grains on little belts wrapped around a stylus. These have been worth their weight in gold.

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Edited by Eric W

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Coming along nicely, Eric. In answer to your paint question, most any combination of earth tones would be good. Not likely an actual pirate would spend much on cosmetics or upkeep of cosmetics...

Edited by trippwj

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Wayne, welcome your input on this. I was thinking about putting in a little French Blue on the upper works to alleviate the monochromatic look of the brown. It would give it a bit of relief. My "precedent" for this are other merchantmen (assuming this was likely a captured merchantman) such as Endeavor or Bounty, prior to their being bought in to the RN.

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Here is the hull painted above the waterline. I think the French blue came out pretty nice. I did not use a waterline jig. Bluejacket provides one, if you prefer, but I find them too cumbersome. I took measurements from the plans and then marked the hull at intervals.

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So, I had an issue with the placement of the main channels. You will recall Bluejacket reintroduced this model from the 1930s. There is a discrepancy in the plans on where to place the channels. I emailed Bluejacket, and as usual, Nic the owner of the company (I love small, locally owned businesses) got back to me within 24 hours and sent me a great photo clearly depicting the proper placement. They will also be updating their plans for future builders. Correct placement of the channel is just aft of the aft open gunport amidships. Note in the photo of the plan the channel ( part LPS17) is about 1/4 " past the aft gunport amidships. 

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Here is my transom, just completed columns and windows. An eagle will go above the top moulding. The paint scheme is a big departure from the kit, but I thought this more accurately represents a typical merchant brig. As we know there were no purpose built pirate ships, and I may go more toward an early colonial privateer....keeping the options open. 

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Eric,

 

I thank you for the kind words for BlueJacket. Being a modeler myself, when I answer questions, I always think "what honest answer should I deserve if I asked that question."

 

I've enjoyed seeing your skills improve and develop from the Revenue Cutter to this. Nice job, good creativity, and a little buccaneer flair! Looking forward to your rigging experience with this.....

 

Nic

 

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This shows the rough quarter deck  bulwarks being fitted. I put some spackle on the top rail to make it flush. All of the fitting has been done with the previously mentioned sanding tools. Those things are great. 

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My challenge here is the gap between the quarter deck and gun deck bulwark where the rail overhangs a bit. I think the best solution is to fabricate a small piece of decking from the leftover deck template. 

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I fabricated a piece of "planking" from some scrap bass wood.  I used the same width as the pre-formed deck inlays. These still required some sanding to bring them flush.

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I have been finishing the bulwarks, and  rails for the quarterdeck and forecastle. Everything is dry fitted right now. I assembled the pieces, then filled in any gaps and spaces with spackle, sanded, added primer, then finally painted each piece. 

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