Jump to content

San Francisco II by newbee - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - Scale 1:90 - 2nd wooden ship

Recommended Posts

Firstly I would like to thank you for  the kind comments I recieved when I attempted a scratch build of a 50 gun ship. After 2 failed attempts I realised that my knowledge of boat building was nowhere near being close to succeeding though it was fun attempting it. It has also provided me with a lot of extra timber which, having read a lot of posts, should prove very useful. So now it is back to building a kit.



At first sight the kit looks well organised and the plastic boxes will be very useful for the smaller bits and pieces. However on closer inspection this version only has the crude metal gun carriages which I am hoping to either make or buy as wooden ones. The deck planks at 5mm wide look way to wide for the scale but I have plenty of 4mm strips which look closer to scale despite only being 1mm different. I was pleased to see the gun port frames and lids are separate and I hope to have some open on the lower gun deck as I have 12 cannons already made up though not historically accurate. I also have several widths of 1mm mahogany which will allow for double planking of the hull. My previous completed ship kit was the Golden Hind by Mamoli and I found the 1.5mm lime wood planks hard enough to work with never mind 2mm thick mahogany. I have also noted that several people had trouble cutting out the gun ports and I plan to add extra balsa between the frames and improvise a small deck area under the ports to mount the extra guns. I hope this should also allow me to plank around the gun ports rather than cutting them out.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck to you on your new build. Hopefully this one goes better for you than the last. Scratch building is a hard route to take even when experienced. Having a kit should provide a better starting point and guidance to get you through it. As always, we will be here to help you out. Just remember to take your time, double and triple check things and if something doesn't look or feel right, stop, take another look or ask questions. It is much easier to fix or redo a little bit than a lot.


I look forward to seeing your build!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This sounds like an excellent build I did look at this ship but ended up with the endeavour in regards to working with the hull planks traditionally the planks would be steamed on site this makes them bend a lot easier by opening the pores of the wood you can achieve this at scale by steaming them or soaking a plank in boiling water and clamping it to the hull overnight to let the water dry out and in the morning it should hold the shape of the hull.

Edited by REXY
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks EJ and Rexy. This build should get underway in earnest over the coming days. I have already numbered the main parts to avoid confusion later and attached the mast supports. I have also  dry tested the frames. when I cut away the tabs holding the frames and sanded the rough edges I found them to be too tight fitting to the false keel so filed the notches very slightly on both frames and keel. I again dry fitted  The bad news was that frame 11 got really jammed and I thought I might damage the false keel trying to remove it. The good news is that I checked it's alignment and luckily it is true perpendicular so have glued it in place. My first bit of luck.  One thing I should add at the beginning, before this kit arrived, all the photo's of the contents I could find looked as if the sheets of wood were laser etched rather than cut. I was, therefore, highly relieved to find they were cut. The next thing I shall do is dry fit again and check if the decks will be curved or flat as this time I am considering planking them prior to fitting. However that is a job for tomorrow.
























Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having dry fitted the bulkheads and decks I found that the aft of the main deck formed a bulge with the false keel. I wondered how I hadn't noticed this the first time. I fliiped it over and the bulge had disappeared. I also found the poop deck seemed a little concave where it joins frame 12. I solved this by taking the point off the bottom of frame 12 and it now lies flush with the false keel. However now piece 22 will not quite be flush where it fits against the false keel and also the supports either side of the cabin door to the balcony may not fit either so I will need to be careful when I get to the planking here. I am hoping a couple of wedges will sort this later.


Now I am happy with the decks fitting I have started planking them. I really like the idea of showing the treenails in the planks but at this scale and also using 4mm wide planks I think they will look out of place. I started to plank as per instructions but have found that if I line them first I can do a better job of getting the plank edges straighter. Once the quarter deck was lined I realised that I hadn't taken the photos of the dry fitting.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over the last 2 days I have planked the decks in between figuring out how to get the look I wanted. (Thanks to everybody who has previously posted their build logs. I think I have seen them all and hope to learn bits and pieces from most of them.) and also what I am going to do with the hull. I have decided that I shall double plank the hull. I am also considering ditching the plywood bulwarks an planking these sections as well. I do not feel comfortable with trying to cut out the gun ports after they have been fitted. Thinking of gun ports I would still like to have some of the lower deck cannons showing. For this I am now considering installing dummy carriages and mount cannons to them towards the end of the build.


Meanwhile back to the decks. After a couple of dummy runs I finally decided to have 3 planks between butts. I tried  having 2 and then 4 but neither quite looked right to me. I laid some planks down and marked lines across the decks to help line the planks up.


For the foredeck, Poop deck and the bowsprit deck I did not butt any planks together due to the shortness of these decks. The next stage is trimming and then sanding these decks smooth.


I also still need to file the bulkhead slots down a little more as when they are all in place the keel becomes slightly kinked. Without the bulkheads in place it looks fine so I think it just a case of the bulkheads fitting too tightly. I will need to be very careful not to have them too loose or uneven.       



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over the last week I have been working out exactly how I want to continue with this build. having dry fitted all the frames and decks in place I realised that the keel was slightly kinked at both the stern and the bow. I tried adding some small planks to ensure all the bulkheads were in their correct positions but this made no difference. I took time out from this and decided to add the filler blocks at the bow and also to work out where and how to place the lower gun deck. I added the bulwarks and found that I now have a completely straight keel. However, I do not feel confident yet about gluing everything in place yet.


I have also changed my mind about not using the bulwarks as supplied. I shall however move the 3 main deck gun ports 1cm aft to avoid the foremost cannon blocking the ladder to the fore deck.  





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jason. Welcome aboard my post. You will have to have a proper look at this site and the ships that have been built. Maybe you will get the bug in the future.


I've made good progress this afternoon. I have fitted the supports for the false lower gun deck using 3mm balsa stock and have the deck sections from 2mm thick balsa sheet ready to fit once the bulkheads and upper decks are installed. I've also moved the main deck gun ports 10mm towards the stern. The next step will be adding the rest of the bow and stern filler blocks followed by building up the hull between the lower deck and main deck. I will use 5mm high balsa strips above the deck but will leave extra space around the gun ports so the hull does not appear too thick if it is still visible after the planking is done  




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I was planning to have posted sooner but as I thought to change one thing I found the effects would have consequences later. As a result I have taken more time over planning and doing little bits in between. I have all the decks planked and  they are now sanded down. The bulkheads have also been clinker planked but still nee to be trimmed. I have the deck gratings ready to fit though I have not decided whether to varnish the decks yet. (With the golden Hind I added no varnish as I liked the natural look). Any advice on this would be appreciated. Also now the decks are sanded the caulking effect looks really out of scale. I have also realised that by moving the main deck gun ports further aft the lower deck ports will not line up properly especially considering the rubbing strakes. The stern has also been planked having first pencilled in lines at 45 degrees as a guide.  


One thing (of many) I learned from my only other wooden kit build, the Golden Hind,  was to test ideas or make changes before fitting anything together permanently so please forgive the delay in my progress. I am enjoying the challenge of this ship and, though I was 95% happy with my first kit, I want to be 100% happy with this one so I am treading, I hope, a little more carefully. Also as I do not have a workshop or real modelling equipment I can only sand parts down out side in daylight and dry. Not easy when working 9 to 5 especially in winter in the UK.


 One frustrating though highly enjoyable thing about the posts here is I find it so easy to look for one thing and get distracted with the quality and ideas within different builds that I end up forgetting what I was looking for in the first place. (Many pleasant hours spent here).








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don;t worry about rushing to please us. We will be here when you are ready. It is good to hear you taking your time and fitting pieces before gluing to ensure proper fit. Patience is the most valuable skill a modeler can have. I too have found myself drawn deeper and deeper into reading, watching and learning fascinating new things or even revisiting the same picture 100 times over. This place has so much useful information and great people with educational logs, questions and answers that it is easy to to go in looking for one things and when you finally surface realize that you have not found hat you started looking for but have learned 20 new things instead!  :D  Great update, looking forward to the next!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for your kind words EJ. You are quite right about the learning to be had here.

Having filled the bow sections I have now ordered some more balsa blocks for the stern. I ended up using 5mm sheets for the bows but the stern is not so suitable for this. I have also ordered smaller belaying pins. The ones in this kit are 10mm long which would mean 90cm in real life. I will now have 5mm long ones which though still out of scale will look a lot closer. As well as these I also have 1 cannon with carriage,  though it is 40mm long when complete, but a Spanish 2 wheeled version which, I am hoping, will look more realistic especially compared to the crude metal ones included in my kit, There are also 20 cannon barrels for the lower decks on their way. The idea with the carriage is to basically customise it to fit and then reproduce it for the upper decks. This leads on to another problem. The 3 aft main deck gun ports were cut out of the bulwark by measuring their positions from the full size picture to place them. However when fitting the bulwark the rear most 2 ports coincide with bulkheads 10 and 11. I now need to decide whether to leave them as they are and have these ports closed or adjust them away from the bulkheads and have them open. I will plan this on paper before going any further with this, especially as their positions will effect the lower gun ports. This will keep me busy for the next few evenings while I wait for my deliveries. I also hope to build up the lower gun deck sections for the gun ports to fit in to. In the mean time tonight it is back to reading and admiring more posts and pictures.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I can't believe another week has passed already. My Balsa wood shipment arrived late last week but was a fair bit smaller than expected. Still useful but not enough blocks. Never mind. Most of the time spent over the past few days has been taken up with the false lower gun deck and the placement of the gun ports. My original supports were between and 1 and 2mm too high up so these had to be lowered. The next step was to build up between the bulkheads with the gun ports. I achieved this by using 3mm balsa sheet cut to the width between bulkheads and to the height of the bulwarks. All that was needed then was to cut the 1cm square gun ports. This took 5 evenings to complete and in my enthusiasm and delight of completing this, (and my haste to see her taking shape) I then started gluing these sections in place. Once these were almost complete I realised that I should have mounted the fake gun carriages in place on the deck beforehand. Thankfully this is not a disaster. I have constructed the carriages with a base of 7mm wide and 3mm thick balsa. I added the sides using 1mm thick balsa with notches cut out for the trunnions. The whole assembly being 15mm long and 9mm wide. having checked out how they will look they fit through the gun ports and will be glued onto the fake deck. I was also interested to see how the cannon would look when painted so I gave the barrel a coat of brass enamel. While I had the tin open I also painted most of the gun port surrounds, however this paint  looks rather dull. I do like the look of brass cannon barrels but will research a little further before deciding on the final colour. The gun port frames will, however be painted gold. I have attached photos of the fake deck and gun station I used to get an idea for the carriages as well as the cannons included with the kit and also the 17th Century English cannon I already have. I also mounted these in the gun ports on the model to compare how they would look. I knew that only a little of the carriages would be visible but this at least gave me the heads up for my idea.  









Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have put off finnishing the filler blocks at the stern for now as I will not be able to sand it down until the weekend. It gets too dark before I finnish work. For now I am concentrating on some of the fiddly parts that will be added towards the end. I found with my first build that by the time I had finnished the rigging I had little enthusiasm for the niggly finnishing touches which dragged on for ages. This time around I will progress with these while unable to to do anything too messy until there is more daylight and better weather. I was not sure if I was going to be able to use the gun ports supplied or make new ones from scratch. I am very pleased that I can use them with modifications.


First I needed to file down the little knob of metal and then drill a small hole for a copper eye ring to fit into. I made up a small jig with balsa for the gun port lid to fit into with a section over the top with a hole drilled 2mm up from the middle The next thing will be finding the right colour paint to use but there is no rush for that.


I am heading towards using painting the cannon barrels bronze, although I would prefer brass, I think bronze would be more appropriate.  







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Smart plan doing some of those fiddly bits when you have breaks in major construction. Nice to have them ready to go when you get to that stage. Carriages and gun ports are shaping up nicely. All that work will pay off big for you when you close her up as everything will be nice and secure and located where it needs to be. Nothing worse than finding out the gun ports are misaligned! :o Looking good, keep it up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recieved the parts I ordered last week and found the cannon barrels 5mm longer and 2mm wider than the ones supplied with the kit. The Spanish Cannon with carriage has a carriage that is 2X longer than supplied with the kit and with a tiny cannon mounted on it. I will still re design this using wood for a carriage and the kit cannon barrels mounted to them which had been the original plan. Luckily the kit barrels look perfect on the carriage as it is so I just need to half the length of it I think that the larger barrels will look ok on the lower deck unless anyone thinks they are too large. The handy thing is that the rear end of the barrels will not be visible once the ship is complete. I have also had to change all of the carriages I had made as they are now too small. The moral of this story is not to build anything until you know what will be added. Having checked the gun ports with surrounds added they still look ok I think though there is not a lot of space around the barrels.  







Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have spent a lot of time over the last week looking at different completed models, actual ships and also older illustrations. The majority seem to have much smaller cannon than gun ports but a few do show larger cannons in the ports. I am not yet decided on these but again the cannons will not be fitted until the end of the build. I have also found that the gun port frames and lids can not be fitted before the cannons I have as, although they fit now, they will not fit after the frames.

I have now also added the stern filler blocks and been able to do the rough sanding. The time is now approaching to contemplate the hull planking. With my first kit 2nd planking I cut the long strips into individual planks and started by planking amidships from the gunwales to the keel and the laying the planks from there for and aft. I was not able to figure out whether or not this caused me to run out of the required strips or whether there were not quite enough included. I aim to avoid this as last time the new timber did not match what I had already done resulting in having to stain the entire hull which looks a lot darker than it should have been.


If only I had found this site before the build. However as a first attempt I was very happy with it.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that the stern filler blocks have been added and rough sanded I shall use a little filler where needed. I am also thinking of adding some extra balsa between some of the other frames. Especially as the plank butts will not all line up with the bulkheads.


One handy thing about taking photos as you go is that you can see things that you may otherwise miss. At first look the port side gun ports look fine but on closer inspection the rear most port is not quite right. Not a big problem as the planking will cover any modifications here. 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Having finally added the stern filler blocks and sanded down the entire hull I think I am ready to start contemplating the hull planking. I tried starting with the garboard plank being 6mm wide compared to 5mm strips I shall be using for the rest. The problem I now face is that all the planking instructions state not to allow the garboard plank to rise up too high at the bow. However if I allow it to rise up the adjacent planks fit much better. If I shorten it, which means it is more tapered, the adjacent planks do not fit so well and look bent and twisted. Also looking at previous posts it looks like everyone has their own method. The result always looks good but I am trying to find out the correct way the planks would have met either with the gunwales or a few strakes below, and also the bows. The instructions don't help as a lot of the planks appear more as splinters which would not be accurate either.

On the plus side though, the way the planks sit there is not much need for steaming or cutting most of the planks I am using. I will need a couple of drop planks at the bows and the odd stealer at the stern. At the moment, as I am only thinking of the first layer I guess it doesn't matter too much how it finishes as it will all be hidden by the second layer. This gives me more time to find out the correct finnish of the planking for the second layer. 

While I have been doing some of the odds and ends to be fitted later I have discovered, for future reference, is the foc'stle rails instructions say cut 2 X 63mm lengths for the base and hand rail. you actually need to cut them 68mm long to fit the length of the deck. I will note this for the other rails as well.   







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Newbee. That planking method looks familiar. I had a similar dilemma with the Occre San Martin. Didn't fancy using the  timber supplied with the kit for the second layer (.5 x 5mm). It looked far too fragile to survive without chipping the possibly 2 years or so doing the masts and rigging etc once the hull was turned over. I bought some Mahogany timber online (1 x 4 mm) and decided I might as well plank the way of Dirk De Bakker and Booker described below rather than the wrap up way used on many AL and Occre kits.




It was far easier than expected. The planking above the wales needed virtually no tapering and for the planking below I divided the hull into zones and measured the width of the zone at the centre and two or three other points toward the bow and winged it towards stern as measurements showed very tapering was needed. Was pleased with the results, and used 4 drop planks per side, just about the best hull I have done, not up to the standards of the best on this website of course. My build log is below




Good luck, thought it was a shame you abandoned your second attempt at the 50 gun ship it looked as if it was going well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


Thanks for your input Slowhand. Sorry have not updated for a while and have just seen your comments. I shall have a look at your build log after posting this update. The reason I gave up on the 50 gunner was that having sanded down the hull frames I found that the port side at the stern was not as symmetrical as I wanted ( 2 or 3 mm out)  and also could not quite figure out how to build up the correct shape between the stern post and galleries. I also have limited work space (small table in living room) and tools. While planking the ship is mainly in my lap.


Regarding the planking I know that planks should be laid alternately between port and the equivalent starboard strakes. With the san Francisco I found that when pinning the supplied bulwarks  and 3 strakes on either side I kept a straight keel. Once the stern planks were laid I removed the bulwarks to prevent damaging them again. They are fairly weak and while pinning a plank in place I  broke one but was able to repair the damage. I am also not sure now that I made a good choice with using 2 layers of 1mm planking. As the hull was not as true as I had thought some sections have either raised out or sunk in a little. There are also a few planks between bulkheads that flex a little. I am hoping that by adding smaller strips to fill out the sunken planks and weaker ones followed by adding a thin coating of PVA that I can then sand the hull down before the second layer.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the link to your build Slowhand. I will not have enough 5mm strips to complete the second layer and was not sure whether to order more or reduce the size to 4mm widths. Seeing the effect you achieved I am veering towards the 4mm wide ones. This will also avoid placing plank directly over plank. I have noticed you are in Dartford, about 2 miles away from me. Small world huh. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Over the past week I have completed the first layer of planking and it has been lightly sanded down. I added some small planks where a few strakes were sagging between correct ones. I then used filler for any gaps and dips between planks and again lightly sanded down. as well as wiping some extra wood glue around the planks that were too flexible. It was then sanded down lightly again There are still a few gaps which have again been filled and while waiting for that to dry I have added a first coat of matt varnish to the decks and bulwarks. The gratings are ready to attach once the varnishing is completed. The for-most gun port has been cut out though this will remain closed. Once the hull is sanded down and the decks re varnished, I will add the bulwarks and plank them.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

After my last post I have taken time out for a few weeks. I maybe should have taken a little longer as having added the plywood bulwarks and completed the first layer of planking I made the mistake of standing outside in the sun to file the gun ports when she slipped from my fingers and hit the side of a table. This resulted in 12 planks between bulkheads 8 & 9 being crushed. Luckily the extra balsa I added to all the bulkheads meant that it was not too hard to cut the damaged planks back and file down to 2 mm depth so I could add lengths of the 2mm strips that haven't been used until now. Unfortunately I can't find the photos taken before the accident but have some of the repair.     



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Spellapeaka. Second layer will be started in a week or two when I get a new order of mahogany strips. I am looking forward to starting the second planking with a little trepidation. I should have the first layer sanded completely smooth by then and hope to have the second planks fitting better than the first. My main aim with the first layer was to cover the hull and practise shaping the planks rather than obtain a perfect finish. I have just started lining the inside of the bulwarks, while I still have to fit the stern sections in place I am still not sure how well they are going to fit so I am leaving them for later in the build. These are the latest photos of my progress   





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I have finally got around to updating this post. I spent some time on paining gun ports lids as well as the doors and starting on the shields. I have also started the second layer of hull planking along with lining the bulwarks and the stern balcony. It looks like I will need to be careful when planking around it as it does not fit as well as I hoped.

I have new smaller belaying pins which should look closer to scale than the kit ones which look far too big.  






Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

After a couple of mishaps I have finally got around to updating the post again. The second layer of planking has progressed quit well but rather slower than I had hoped. The upper hull is complete and most of the stern to mid-ships as well. The bows are presenting the problems I expected and are slowing me down further.


While checking the fit of the stern gallery the deck snapped again. The first time this happened I thought I had reinforced it well enough but apparently not. As I was not happy with the original width port and starboard I used a sheet of balsa and planked top and bottom and also made the widths 2mm wider. This still needs rounding off. WP_20170704_002.thumb.jpg.9c3adba91b5924378e5f3ce148ea4798.jpgWhen the handrail supports are glued on there will be a little extra space between them and the hull.WP_20170630_009.thumb.jpg.d5aae6e128e30240f308182660202dd5.jpgWP_20170630_010.thumb.jpg.df4aa30d60e910384bdbcb59e329b596.jpg

    When I had completed the first layer of planking I found that there was a small bulge under frame 6. The keel at this point was level with the garboard rather than being sunk in. I have filed the false keel a little but still need to do a little moreWP_20170630_007.thumb.jpg.d4d9f49097c1d1721f87b5a5ef69b4b7.jpg with it for the second layer to fit correctly as well as the cut waterWP_20170704_002.thumb.jpg.9c3adba91b5924378e5f3ce148ea4798.jpg. I am now concentrating on adding the first stealer at the bows 10 strakes down from the bow sprit deck. I am wondering now if it should have been added a little further up though.WP_20170630_008.thumb.jpg.a4cac0f29b08710265f074c344eb790c.jpgWP_20170704_001.thumb.jpg.8516a80ca3d28984b69d23d1e5e0a595.jpg Sorry I can't seem to get the text/photo's the way I want them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realised after adding the previous post that I should have said drop planks rather than stealers. Having added another strake below the drop plank I am unable to continue planking without shaping the next few strakes. The planks at the bow are now curving too much to allow the planks to bend. At this point I have ordered a mahogany sheet 1mm X 100 mm which I shall endeavour to cut into 20mm wide planks and cut them to the desired shape. I have cut a thin strip of cardboard as a rough template as shown. 













I have changed the orientation of the second layer to, I had hoped, to strengthen the hull a little and also to avoid laying 1 strake above the other. Should I attempt another build after this one I will definitely add balsa wood between every bulkhead from top to bottom, rather than just on the edges of each bulkhead. This will allow me to place more pins to hold the planks in place after gluing them and not damaging the planks underneath. Another thing I was going to do was to mount the cannon rigging eyes to the inside of the hull before adding the second layer. However, I got carried away with the second layer and will now have to be much more careful when I fit them in place so as not to drill right through the hull.


While I am waiting for the additional timber I still have plenty of things  to do. The gun-ports need to be squared off, I can make the pin racks and maybe decide whether to leave the gratings as they are or paint them black. I still haven't decided which way to finish them.WP_20170715_005.thumb.jpg.19ca333c6b7edb38b137b3b2a7724f07.jpgWP_20170715_006.thumb.jpg.e93cae75e2d1cc9f729fdf5446d63ab0.jpgish them.  

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...