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HMS Surprise by Rossi46 - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - Scale 1:48 - First Wooden Ship Build


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Howdy,

 

This is my first build and thought I would share the experience on here as I am sure there will be lots to share with others new builders and lots learn from you folks. I know the forums suggest going easy with the first build, but I inevitably regret not getting what my heart is set on with these types of projects, and will all of the online support and my own commitment to doing a good job and researching plenty, I just jumped right in with the HMS Surprise kit. These were the main reasons(for those new builders grappling with the same situation)

 

-I wanted something in as large a scale as possible and 1:48 was appealing

-I wanted something imposing, artful and sentimental to display in the home

-I thought the Surprise was very visually appealing and had enough detail and accessories to be interesting, but wasn't as daunting as 100+ HMS Victory cannons for instance.

-The kit had very good reviews, online support, build logs and INSTRUCTIONS:)

-I wanted the kit to have a full complement of rigging and sails.

 

So that's it. On to the build.

 

Note: I started the build 2 months ago and took tons of pics along the way in case I decided to do a build log. I'm currently finished with the upper decking and inside planking, and starting the many upper decks accessories. I'll post pics and comments in chronological order until caught up, then it'll slow down significantly to real time progress lol.

 

I appreciate any comments and tips...thanks.

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Having no experience with these models, I decided to build the launch boat before proceeding with any decking/planking on the main boat, as a "safe" introduction to many of the techniques I would be using throughout the build. This ended up being a positive experience and gave me some really good fundamental tips that paid dividends on the big boat.

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Planking.  This was a little intimidating, but I learned some things from the launch, did lots of research and took my time.  Lots of dry fitting before applying glue. I also made the early decision that I would nail everything as I really liked the added detail it provided to other peoples builds.  Initially I bent the planks using a bladed bender, but switched to heat and soaking.  I have a kettle with uninsulated metal sides that worked perfect for bending and significantly shortened to the process, which came in really handy for the sepele planking!

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When it came to the underside planking, which with the more aggressive curves and more difficult to work with sepele, I decided to copy the technique used by Youtube user Bill Bergmark(thanks!).  Rather than tapering each end piece like it seems is more accurate and preferred by experienced modelers, I chose to run straight pieces right down the middle and the fill in the sides from there.  I thought this would give me the best balance of aesthetics and likelihood of success lol. 

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G'day Rossi, I'm just coming to the end of my build of the AL HMS Surprise, but if you do not mind I will follow your build, mine turned out a bit different as there were a lot of stuff missing from the kit, not ALs fault however as the gentleman I am building her for bought the kit off ebay, I hope and wish you as much fun and enjoyment building her as I have had, looking forward to your log,

 

  best regards John.

I will take a look through your build, hopefully take some good tips!  cheers.

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Next up was the captains quarters.  This was a little intimidating, as the instructions basically have you roughly carve into the side of your newly finished planking(which I was quite protective of lol).  But I figure, its only wood, and I could always redo something if I needed to.  My main focus was making sure that the lines on the side of the captain's cabin were perfectly parallel with the rest of the boat.  Also, being painted, I knew I had the option to use filler:)

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Rough planking done, now to sand it smooth.  I actually chose not to sand it perfectly smooth, just wanted it to look tight and clean, but still show the handbuilt quality.  I was happy with the results, especially the symmetry, which was another mail goal.  I would say though, there is a very fast learning curve with these things, my dad and I both talked about how much better and easier the work was the second and third time etc... 

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Edited by Rossi46
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I decided to go off script for the Captain's cabin.  I wanted to take advantage of the inside space and make it more of a showpiece, so I decided to add some fun little features, including lighting.  The first thing I did was come up with a plan and how to incorporate lighting.  I decided on a table and chairs, with a burning candle.  The tricky part was hiding the wiring and having the effect look like a candle and not a flashlight.  This is what i came up with.

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The book is a replica of Darwins famous book, not period correct but I don't care about that stuff as much.  Its fun, and that is what this build is all about.  Scale wise, I just tried to make stuff close, as long as it passed the eye test it was good for me.  As you may notice, I used a mini dremel bit to drill through the leg of the table, which is where i plan to run the LED wiring for the candle. 

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Adding the strips down the side, and giving everything a coat of Danish Oil.  Again, not too experienced with this stuff, so I soaked the wood in the oil but didn't wipe off the excess, so it got gummy and nasty.  I used fine steel wool to rub it down, reapplied and wiped off excess.  No problems now. 

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I had to grab the book so I could call of the parts by the right name lol.  Next I planked the captains quarters and built the wall.  I screwed up the planking by coming up short, which was partially due to an illusion in the manual pics.  But I should've caught that.  I fixed it by adding a couple of strips of sapele laminate as an "entry transition".  This provided the space I needed for the furniture plans.  I also laminated the edges of the door so you couldn't see the layers of plywood and added knobs/mortise.  Again, it was fun so I did it :cheers:

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Here is the rough layout, with a phishing wire run through the table leg, for pulling through the LED when it came in.  For the LED, I chose a 1.8mm flickering yellow LED from Evan Designs Shipworks.  He has tons of stuff and different colours for different applications.  The flickering effect is awesome and completely random.

 

To create the candle, I ran the LED through the leg and shaved down what I could to get as small a profile as possible.  This is also why the table legs were so thick, to accommodate the wire and hole I had to drill.  Then I wrapped dental was around the LED assembly right up to the very tip.  I painted the whole thing white, with varying thickness of paint, to give the glowing effect of a candle with the wick burning down into it.  Worked great, and pictures really don't do it justice.  Very pleased. post-26658-0-95408900-1483814883_thumb.jpg

 

 

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Edited by Rossi46
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Now on to the some deck accessories and cannon rigging.  I went with something different for the rigging, as I was having a very hard time twisting wire to make loops for the little blocks.  So I used the loop attached to the side of the boat as a makeshift block because it can't really be seen.  On the upper deck I will use a different approach that will use a little hook attached to the block. 

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Happy with mast alignment.  Had a little trouble with drilling mast holes when using a bigger drill it.  Had some tearout that required surgery, but that is the great thing about wood!  Besides, I try to be thorough and calculating, but I'm not too worried about making a mistake, its part of the learning process.  The way the ended up working for me was to drill a rough outline(smaller that required) of the mast hole with a tiny micro bit and dremel, then cut the rest out and file to size. 

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Edited by Rossi46
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While working on the inside planking and gunwale covers(lots of difficulty with the bow end) I decided to have more fun by doing the decorative parts to the backend.  Not in the right order, but I'm the boss lol :piratetongueor4:   And I also made sure it wouldn't cause issues with any preceding steps. 

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I also settle on a colour scheme for the launch and inside planking, cannon ports.  Happy with that.  This pretty well catches up the build to where I'm at now, so updated will come much slower, but I will do my best to keep the info and pics coming.  I wish I could add a video of the light effect, it just so hard for the phone still pic to capture it well. 

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She's looking great and that led candle looks amazing but the electronic engineer in me is concerned with if you have a resistor in series with the led looks like you are using a 9v battery which is far to much for an led, or does the led have a built in resistor.

 

Cheers Rexy

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She's looking great and that led candle looks amazing but the electronic engineer in me is concerned with if you have a resistor in series with the led looks like you are using a 9v battery which is far to much for an led, or does the led have a built in resistor.

 

Cheers Rexy

Great point rexy. The led's do have a resistor built in to the line. The guy sells them as kits with required resistance depending on power source, but a very good point to note. I got the 9v setup.

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