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Virginia 1819 by Matt763 - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - Scale 1:41 - First Build

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After lurking for a while and checking out everyone's amazing builds on here, i decided to embark on one of my own. I had previously done plastic modelling and such but nothing ever quite like this so needless to say it was a bit daunting and overwhelming what with the vast amount of knowledge people seem to have and how the instructions for these models arent super clear.


I wasnt going to do a build log for the ship originally mainly because it was my first one and i wasnt sure how well it would turn out. But so far i am quite pleased! It is not perfect and there are flaws and things i am unhappy with, but for my first time i would say not too shabby. So i am going to start the log part way into the build.


I have just finished my first layer of planking and i am working on sanding and filling the small dents and gaps with some wood filler. The instructions had suggested to put on the decking before doing the planking but since i thought i would be flipping the model over and pushing on it to drive in the pins for the planks, i opted to take care of that after.


So here are a few pictures i have taken so far. A few pictures partway through the planking, some of the completed pre-sanded hull and lastly some of the mostly finished and sanded hull (still have a bit of tweaking to do on it).


Next up will be planking the deck and any suggestions are helpful!








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First of all w very warm :sign: ,

Guess I am the first to grab a chair.

As for your kit I like the reversed order of pictures.

That hull is very smooth and if this is your first wood model, you have done a fantastic job.

So, when it comes to the deck. I don't know what the instructions says of pattern, but there is topic when it comes to planking and pattern in the tips area.


Looking forward to see the next step.

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I too am building that ship. so, I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. Mine isn't that far allong yet with all the other duties I have, but I now have an example to work toward.

Keep up the good work and, more importantly, keep posting.

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Thank you for all of the warm welcomes!


Nirvana, the reverse order was not intended but i will be sure to not make the same mistake twice, dont know how it happened! I am pretty happy with the first layer of planking, just need to do a little bit of filling and sanding to prepare it for the second layer. As for the decking, the instructions have no suggestion but i have found good tips on here for different styles.


I was going to go for 13524 planking style at first, however my model is not very wide so i think that might be a little bit much. Perhaps i will do an every 3 style instead.


R.C.P, i checked out your log and it is looking quite good so far! I will be tuning in and i am going to try to keep the posts regular but like you, everyday life seems to get in the way.


Trufo, Thanks for the encouragement!!


More to come as soon as possible :)

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I am getting ready to do the deck planking on the ship and i have been thinking about how i want to do it for a few days now. I found a great article on here (by Ulises Victoria) on deck planking and i am going to be following that. I decided to use 90mm long deck planks on my ship with an every 3 pattern. So i marked up the center line of the boat and drew horizontal lines every 30mm (90mm planks/3).


that is all good and well but now i am starting to ask myself a few other questions. For one, which type of glue should i use for this? I was leaning towards my good old fashioned white glue that i used to plank the entire hull. The problem with it is that i will surely need to clamp down the planks if i do it that way but im not sure how i would even clamp them down. Any suggestions? The CA glue wouldnt have that issue as it dries very fast but im worried about making a mess with that stuff.


Any suggestions will help!



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Thanks for all of the kind words, much appreciated!


After much consideration about how to proceed i decided to use the good old fashioned method of doing some tests. So i did and i found that by applying a thin layer of my white glue and pressing with my fingers, the planks stuck very well and i did not have much of a problem with that at all. I colored the sides of the planks with a pencil and what a difference that makes! the deck planks really pop out i am happy i took the time to do it. I also know there is a debate on whether or not to put the nails on the deck boards but i like the look so i put it in.


Cleaned up and sanded the sides smooth and used a round file to carve out the hole for the mast. Sanded smooth with 800 grit sand paper and i would call the deck done! Just need to now decide how to treat and seal it, which will happen after the hull gets its 2nd layer of planks. 


Next up though is installing the bulwarks on the ship and the stern piece and filling the gaps so it sits smooth with the hull.

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   Welcome aboard Matt - Nice work thus far.  This is a great project to start with because it not only allows for a fair learning curve, but it also offers some good flexibility to either 'enhance' the kit, or just go along straight with the instructions.


    Since you've gotten through the planking so cleanly, I'm confident the rest of the build will be a breeze!



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Thanks Moonbug. I have taken a look at a few of your builds on here and they are really impressive! The planking on this boat wasnt too bad i dont think and very forgiving as i made a bunch of mistakes on it. I think as of now im going to be following the kit but that can always change. There are a few parts to be used later on that i might scratch build but again that remains to be seen. 


Richard and Trufo, thank you both for your kind words aswell. I am trying to keep my posts on here not too spread out but that is difficult what with life and work getting in the way.

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But time for a mini update! Since the last post i have worked on fitting the bukwarks to the side of the ship and getting all of that smoothed out. Easier said than done. In my case, the bulwarks didnt sit too nicely on my planking and i had numerous gaps form. Sometimes the bulwarks were sticking out further than my planking and othertimes the planking stuck out further than the bulwarks. I did a lot of puttying on it to try and smooth it out as best i could and i got to a point where i am happy enough with it. Once i put on the second layer of planking it should hide alot of these defects. 


I also started attaching the keel pieces to the ship. Due to the shape of my transom, the aft keel piece provided with the kit is going to need to be shortened which is no ideal but not a big deal either. The bow piece was also fit and i test fit my bowsprit to make sure that i was going to get the fit and angle i want out of it. 


I did encounter one problem however that has me worried. After installing the bulwarks i began to work on mounting the keel parts and noticed that i am going to have trouble fitting the rudder. It seems that i may have shaped my transom wrong since it sticks out further than it is supposed to (the part of the rudder sticking up hits it). I dont really understand how this happened though. The angle at the back of the ship is determined by the false keel and the amount the transom sticks out is determined by the false deck provided with the kit. Maybe i am doing something wrong or looking at it the wrong way but something doesn't seem right and im not sure what to do. 


Any suggestions?


The next step at any rate after figuring this out is to begin the second layer of my planking and for that i am unsure of how to proceed. For the first layer i fixed all the planks using the nails provided with the kit which worked very well. The small holes created by this on the first layer wont be seen though and i dont want holes on my second layer. How should i be clamping them down? I also need to decide on plank length which i am unsure about. 


Any help and/or feedback is always appreciated!!

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Matt - I've no idea what your plans call for but many rudders on later period ships don't go outside the transom. A hole is drilled right next to the stern post and the rudder ends up inside and comes out on the aft deck. It almost looks like that is what yours should do.


Also, is it still a problem if you turn the rudder around - so the edge we see in your pic faces the boat?


One more thing. Your pintles & gudgeons will extend the rudder out from the stern post a little, giving you a bit more clearance.

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Hey Mike,


Thanks for your help on this one. Ive attached a picture showing how the rudder is supposed to be attached and this one does go on the outside like i thought it did. There is a sort of pole that sticks through the hole in the transom and attaches to the rudder.


As for flipping it the other way around, the problem i see is that once you flip it around, the point that is on the rudder will be pointing down instead of lying parallel to the stern post as recommended. Plus there will still be the gap between the two. I know ill have a little play with the pintles and gudgeons (thanks for telling me what those are called by the way i didnt know they had a special name! thought they were just the hinges :p) but there is still going to be a bigger gap then i would like left over.


What i think i might do to solve the problem is just add on some material to my rudder so that it sits flat with the sternpost but clears the transom. Might look a bit off but i doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference. 



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My suggestion would be to cut a completely new rudder. Welcome to the world of kits!


Should you choose to add on, you might do a little research on rudders. Quite often they were not a solid piece. Rather several pieces that fit together. See post 194 here. You might take that approach. Take a chunk out of the current rudder and have your new piece fill it back in as well as add more material. Just keep in mind you will be wanting to round off the inner edge and sand to sharper edge on the outside so your addition needs to stand up to some sanding.

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I guess this is my wake up call to the fact that not all the parts that come with the kit are necessarily going to work properly. I wasn't sure at first if I should be modifying my hull to work with the rudder or modifying the rudder to work with the hull. Seems like a silly question to ask myself now though so I will definitely be changing the rudder that comes with the kit. Whether I modify it or remake into remains to be seen. I was checking this before I did my second layer of planking in the event that more shaping or sanding would be needed but I now am going to go ahead with the planking and worry about he rudder afterwards!


i appreciate all the help! And Mike, your builds are very inspiring you do some amazing work!

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Thank you Matt.


Kits are hit or miss. Some brands seem more reliable than others. I just finished one where the instructions and the plans did not match up. Both on positioning and dimensions. Plus they were in Italian. If it was me, I would work on the rudder. If it gets hosed up it's pretty easy to make another.


Another option might be to extend the stern post. Looking at the last pic you posted (I guess from the instructions) and your one from earlier, The upper end of the SP is not landing in the same spot.


Maybe the ticket is to do all of the above. That way no single part gets enlarged too much. That's what you have to watch out for.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another quick update! I have finished the second layer of planking on one half of the boat and overall i have to say that i am pretty pleased with the look. There are some small gaps here and there but those are only really seen when you look at it from the keel towards the deck. When it is sitting in its stand the right way up you wont really be able to notice, so i am happy enough. 


The second layer of planking surprised me though, i thought it was going to be easier than the first one but it was actually quite the opposite. I found the first layer went on much easier than the second. I might try to do a single layer hull next time, but we will see. I was unsure how to go about clamping down the planks while they dried and i pondered many methods; using thumb tacks to hold it down, mini nails, rubber bands. But in the end i saw something on MSW (cant tell you exactly where, completely forgot) that i thought would work really well, and that was masking tape. I spread the glue onto the planks, pushed them down with my fingers to squeeze out all the excess glue, wiped it away with a Q-tip and then fixed it down with tape to dry. Only took about 15 mins or so and then i could take off the tape and move on to the next one.


Where i had problems was with the planks themselves. The wood used here is mahogany veneer (0.5mm) which is crazy thin and bendable. The planks that make up my first layer have a slight upwards bend to them along their length in addition to the width. That worked really well with the thicker planks because they were able to be twisted in this way pretty easy after being soaked. But the veneer is so thin that as i try to get that curving slight banana shape to it, the plank buckles and sort of forms "bubbles" where ever there wasnt any tape holding it down (i forgot to take a picture of this effect, hopefully im explaining well enough!). This caused my planking to be slightly wavy which i was able to correct later with some sanding. But i am curious if this is a common problem or if i maybe did something wrong somewhere. Let me know! And here are some pictures to enjoy :)

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Don't feel too bad Matt - 0.5 is very thin and difficult to work with. At that thickness most wood can easily crack or fray. You could try filling your gaps but there can be some evils involved with that, particularly if you are leaving the hull natural. Some real fine sand paper or 600 sanding sponge could smooth some of that out without sanding thru the veneer.

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Hey Mike,


Yeah that is kind of what i figured. When the wood is thicker it has more material to twist on and it goes alot easier but i think i overall did a pretty good job with it so im not too upset with the result. I had been trying to take little splinters of wood and use that to fill the gaps and it did work, might continue doing that and then give it a light sanding afterwards.

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Well I wasn't planning on getting glue on the hull more putting glue on the wooden splinters and then wiping off the excess just to fill the gaps. I don't want to get spots though so if that's what is going to happen I'll probably just leave it as is. Would rather have a few small gaps then a spotty hull! 


Thanks chuck! Your stuff looks pretty great too :)

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 Hello Matt,

 I'm sorry, but I've only just come across your build, but I think it looks fantastic, so far.

 This was my first build, a few years ago. Mine was quite the bash, though.

 I don't know if you've solved these problems, but here are some thoughts to mull over.

 On your stern post, if you haven't planked finish the other side, yet, you might try removing it and installing one that brings out your rudder to the right place. Learning to "unbuild" is a natural byproduct to building, I think. It takes a while to think five steps ahead.

 On the second planking, contact cement is another way to adhere the strips. Keep some lacquer thinner in a shot glass nearby, and keep your brush clean (I use a small cheap paint brush); the thinner also thins out the glue.

 When you apply a little thinned glue to both surfaces, and let it dry a bit, you can fit the planks with a little pressure, before they take hold for good. It cleans up easily and won't interfere with any future staining or finishing. No need for pins or clamps.

 Anyway, I look forward to seeing it finished.



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Thanks for the the kind words Steve! I really did try to do the whole thinking 5 steps ahead and I actually noticed the issue before I did the second layer of planking. I decided to leave it as is and fix the problem by remaking the rudder instead of the stern post (or both). I kind of like the way the stern post looks right now and I think it will look better with a wider rudder anyways. 


As for rhe glue, I had did a few tests with some CA glue (which I think is the same thing?) and I quickly discovered that I am not the cleanest of workers and I got finger prints all over it. I didn't know about the lacquer thinner though so I will definately look into that for next time because using tape to clamp the planks down takes a really long time to do. 


I would love love to see some pictures of your build because I think the rigging is going to be challenging based on the unclear instructions. 


I appreciate all all the help though! Currently finishing off the planking so hopefully will have an update with pictures soon!



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