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Longboat HMS Sirius by bundybear1981 - Modellers Shipyard - 1:24 - 1786

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Good day all!

After an extended hiatus I'm back in the shipyard!  Today I received my next project, the longboat from HMS Sirius, one of the first fleet ships.


The box in which she came!



Next is the contents of the kit spread out.



First step was to lay out the frames and put the keel in place.  The frames aren't glued to the baseboard so once planked it can be removed from the internals of the longboat, it is there to provide the framework to build on to.  The transom is glued on to the keel however.



Next was to shape the bow blocks with a 45 degree bevel.  To do this I used my rotary tool in the Dremel drill press with a sanding disc on it.  It made the job faster, easier and did a great job!




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Today I started to run the first set of planks.  Firstly the bulkheads 1 through 9 are taped to prevent the glue and planks from binding to it (as mentioned earlier they will be removed later to give the hull its internal shape)




The bow was too sharp an angle with too little timber for the clamps to grip so a map pin was pushed through.  The bow and stern are glued in place.








The next step was to calculate the taper on the 1st run of planks, these run from the first plank 45mm up the bulkhead where the 2nd run begins.  After the angle was calculated the boards were marked for tapering, bundled into groups of 5 planks and sanded on the rotary drill.


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This is my rotary drill in the drill press the I used to taper the planks before laying them.  It is currently fitted with a sanding disc, this made the shaping of planks fast, easy and accurate.


Next the tapered planks were fitting to the hull,working toward the temporary plank.



As I worked toward the centre the clamps became less practical, having planks only glued to each other and not the frame it was much slower so I reverted to map pins to allow more planks to be laid at a time, running a thin bead of glue on the faces of the planks being joined each time.



To help with shaping and holding the planks together while the glue dried I got out my forceps clamps and applied light pressure on the planks.




Once all the planks are in place I trimmed the overhang planks flush with the transom then any gaps filled with wood filler, holes and marks.





This was followed by sanding the planks smooth, removing excess filler and giving a good surface ready for the next stage.





After I was satisfied with the sanding job the next step was to fit the washboards strip.  This was 2mm laser cut ply.  It needed to be shaped to follow the curve of the bow.  Using a hand held plank bending tool (incidentally the same tool as in the diagram provided with the model) was quite difficult.  The laser marks for the oar locks cut-outs gave significant weak points while the ply sheet itself was very hard.  It took several attempts to get the shape right, many times re-shaping previously crimped marks.  


I would use another method to shape it should I re-visit this build in the future. (as a scratch build)  As a side note the picture showing this process must have been from an earlier version as it wasn't laser cut ply but rather a standard plank marked and shaped.  


This was then glued to the 1st plank run that was done.  I used a combination of pins and rubber bands to hold it in place to dry overnight.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Over the last 10 days I've been slowly working on the longboat (however I have been a bit slack on taking progress pictures)


The next step was to do the 2nd layer of planking. After the main planking was completed rowlocks were cut out, then a timber strip fitted over the rowlock strip and another one just under it to trim it.


Once all the planking was completed it was stained with a teak stain, and a coat of varnish applied (this was later removed with some turps, very wet weather prevent it from properly drying and was still tacky 2 days after application)



Next step was to remove the hull from the build frame and remove the bulkheads from the hull.  Thanks to the sticky tape this was easily completed.  Once they were all removed I sanded the inside of the hull, clearing excessive glue and smoothing the inside.  Some marks remained from the plank bender, if I were to redo the model I would use heat to bend the planks so it didn't have the markings from the bends.  


Once I was happy with the sanding the inside of the hull was painted white, I applied 3 coats to get a good coverage.


Next step was to install the strip below the rowlock inside the hull.  In hindsight this should have been fitted prior to painting (the instructions are out of order here too, they show this being fitted after the painting but later show it painted white with no mention of painting it).  Once this was in place I then cut the timber strip off the rowlocks.  I then filed these with the square needle file to tidy the sides and make sure it was square.


After this I proceeded to fit the ribs of the hull.  I drifted from the instructions here a little.  When fitting them I pushed them hard up on the rowlock strip, pushing them out against the hull down to the keel.  I used a sharp cutter to cut them tightly in to place (they were tight enough to remain in place on their own)



When I had them all in place I diluted some PVA glue and applied a light coat over the ribs, which then fixed them in place.  The instructions showed each strip (inefficiently) being glued and pinned with map pins to allow the glue to dry.


When I worked up to the bow some bulldog clips were used to hold the ribs in place where they bunched at the front.



Following the completion of the ribs being placed, the grating that fits under the bench at the transom was fitted in place.  The rear bench was then planked, stained teak and fitted in place.


You'll see two ribs slightly moved in the picture, the glue had not fully dried at this time.  They were placed back in position and clipped in place to fully dry.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Time for the next update!


Next I laid the boards inside the hull and the cap rails.






Once the glue had set I cut the row locks in the cap rails and stained them with golden oak stain.  


After that I put the benches in then put the supports under them.  Next was to fit the rudder.  I had a materials issue here, the instructions had the same 3x3mm timber that was used for the seat supports for the rudder handle, however there was not enough length left to do so.  The supplied strip was 250mm long.  There was 220mm needed for the bench supports, with the rudder requiring a piece at 10mm and another at 60mm.  To get around this I used one of the spare planks from the first run of planking cut in half and glued together then sanded to 3x3mm.  This was stained teak when it was fitted to the rudder.


I then put the rudder brackets on the rudders and fitted the rudder to the transom.





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Hi Jason. I had the same problem here with the galleon i'm doing. I had to wait for days for the varnish to dry properly. . To start with I thought it was a bad batch but now you've had the same issue it's got to be the humidity. I think i'll be switching to a wax instead of a varnish. She's coming along nicely. Keep those pictures coming.


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thankyou for your kind words Scott.   This is my 3rd build of a Modellers Shipyard (now Modellers Central) kit and I have been happy so far with the quality of their kits.


I'm up to a point where I can either finish it and leave it as a row type or continue on to add the rigging.  I plan on doing all the rigging on her.

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