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Sirene by Roadking (Vincent) - Corel - Scale 1:75 - 1775 French Frigate - First wooden ship build

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This is my first attempt at model ship building. I purchased the kit about 5 years ago and after about 2 months could not find the time to continue so I put her down. I am now recently retired and looking forward to completing it.

 

She's a beautiful ship, however since this is my first attempt I am not looking for museum quality by any means. That will become obvious when I post my photos. I am hoping that when I have completed it it looks nice enough to display in my home. My friends will think it's nice because they won't know any better anyway.  ;)

 

I appreciate any and all help, ideas, suggestions and constructive criticism. I will not be offended and i am here to learn. If you are willing to spend a bit of your time to help me I'd be a fool to not thank you.

 

I will try to correct major errors that may be identified. Some minor mistakes might stay and i will know better for next time. Since I am well into the project it might be too late to fix some anyway.

 

Thank you in advance for your help and encouragement.

 

Vincent

:cheers:

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Earlier photos. I have since fixed the big dimple on the first layer of hull planking at the bow.

Wood filler is my friend. :)

 

I may have gone a bit heavy with the marker on the edge of the deck boards.

 

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This is what I am up to at this point. Trick part is getting the hull planking to follow the correct lines. This same kit was posted here on this site a couple of years ago but I do not see any finished photos and the kit illustrations are not too helpful. 

 

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Hello Vincent,

 

Where would we be without wood filler. Great fix on what you call 'the big dimple'

Edited by Anja

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I have found it is easier to work with shorter pieces of wood, rather than trying to get one piece to work for the entire length. If you think about scale, the full-size ship would never use one plank for the entire width. At 1/50 scale, a ten-inch plank from your kit would equal about 42 feet in the real world. Shorter pieces are easier to fit, and far more forgiving. I have used the long boards in the past and had the same problems. Just a thought. :)

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Thank you Maturin52. I never thought of it that way but you have a great point. I actually thought it was not good practice to use short pieces, hence my struggle. That tip should certainly help with the remainder of the hull.

 

I also just learned the correct way to use the heat tool for plank bending. I had the tool but was using it incorrectly all along. Since I learned how to use it, plank bending is a breeze. I will post the video as it may help another newcomer. 

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I've tried dry heat bending, soaked strips then heat gun, and plank bender (head soldering iron with a big head).  So far I've found the plank bender has been my friend! I haven't tried maturin52's approach yet. I'm going to revisit all the techniques as I move along before I settle into the one that works best for me. 

 

Doug

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The Admiral (my lovely wife) just got me a plank-bender for Christmas. I love it, it's my new best friend - or wil be when I start my next build. HMS Bounty is almost finished - a year and a half in!. Knowing I am considering USS Constitution next, she also got me the Anatomy of the Ship Series edition of the USS Constitution. I guess she's either supportive, or an enabler, depending on your point of view.

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I guess the repairs come down to how much work do you want to put in and what do you want the end result to be? The easiest and fastest way is to simply split the space with two planks and fill it in. It will not be technically correct but it will fill the gap. The other way unfortunately would be to remove all the planking below the whoops and resuming planking from the remaining plank down to the keel. This will provide you with a much nicer finish in the end though it may cost you some replacement planks and will teach you an extremely valuable skill that you will use a lot while building model ships: the art of rebuilding! :P  

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Yea. I know my build will not be technically correct anyway so I think filling it in is my option. I noticed in your log that special attention was payed to lanterns and cannons and some mentioned alternates for the items provided by the kit. In my case I will be using the kit items. I wouldn't know the correct details anyway.

I'm enjoying the challenge of building and feel somewhat confident that my finished ship will look good to the average observer.

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Some progress! I have been under the impression that it was a no-no to go less than 1/2 width of a board. I think I may have to place a few planks that come to a point to fill in the center.

 

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You will have a great looking model and you are right, the vast majority of your viewers won't know the difference. First models are learning experiences. My first wooden ship is full of imperfections and quite honestly some horrible things. Still, she sits proudly in her case in my living room. I like to see where I started and have always said that as long as you are improving from build to build you are growing and learning.

 

This hobby is as much about the journey as the finished product. Keep up the good work you are doing!

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Here is my hull almost completed.  :D

As you can see, I have a bit more finishing work. I gave her one coat of tung oil and some imperfections came out and some residual glue spots, but I think I can fix all of that.

 

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Making progress. 

  • Cannons are not glued down yet. I just put them in place to see how they look. I may put on the block & tackle (not sure if that's what it's called) on the cannons that will show.
  • Next step is to put on the upper deck, which will pretty much cover most of the lower deck shown here.
  • I also tried to "weather" the lower decking because it looked too clean, like brand new wood, and not very authentic in my opinion.
  • I put it on the stand that came with the kit. The flay stand plate was badly warped. I thought I had it fixed but over time it warped again. I'll figure out later what to do about it but in the meantime I can use it to work on the model.
  • The instructions kept referring to "Table 2" but there was no table 2 in the kit, so I sent a note to Corel. They answered the same day and said they were mailing it to me. Great service! I was very impressed. Not sure how long it take to get here (USA) from Italy but I'm hoping that when I receive it I "guessed" correctly when I got to those points. 
  • As always, if anyone has a suggestion for improvement or constructive criticism it is always appreciated. My first build and still learning.  :)

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Very nice looking. I usually only fully rig the canons that are visible myself. The others I might fake a few lines like the breech rope so that when viewed through the port "rigging" can be glimpsed. 

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You gave me an idea. With today's LED technology a couple of small lights might be built into the lower decks. Maybe on my next one.

I was also thinking of putting in a small piece of paper with my name and info built into the hull. Some day, maybe 100 years from now someone will accidentally or on purpose break the ship and find it. Who knows.

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Making progress ! ! !

Starting second deck. The kit was short some material so I had to improvise on the handrail supports. I actually think they look better than what was supposed to be there.

 

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Improvising is a common theme in model ship building. When the improvised parts turn out better than the ones they replaced, well that is a great bonus!

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Nice Job Vincent, you’ve really made progress in little over a months’ time. The basic hull for  Sirene is almost the same as my HMS Unicorn, another Corel 1:75 scale. I like what you did with the keel/stem did you stain the plywood edges to make them match the outer veneer? Ive been afraid to oil my hull thinking I should sand a bit more, yours looks great!!

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Hi Sailorross. Thanks for the compliments. I love retirement  :D Gives me the time to work on my hobbies. I started the Sirene about 5 years ago and only got half way through the hull before I put it away. Work kept getting in the way. In December I took it out and have been working on it since.

 

Your Unicorn is looking good. It seems that many of the Corel kits are of very similar design. Regarding the keel and staining, I used 2 products on the entire ship.

 

The Formby's on everything. Easy to apply with some cheese cloth hand rubbed in. A couple of coats. I did the edges of the keel I used the Watco. It's got a very slight tint, but enough to darken just a bit. Same application method. 

 

I also used the Watco on the yardarms (you can see them in the background). The masts stay light (Formby's) and the yardarms are a shade darker. I need to give them a couple more coats.

 

Good luck with the Unicorn and keep in touch. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

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