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Topsail Schooner Enterprize by Rick01 - scale 1:48 - FINISHED

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OK I'm now getting so far out of my comfort zone I'm almost coming back in the other side.One of our local historic ships was the topsail schooner Enterrize sailing from Hobart. Recently I bought a copy of the plans issued by Modeller's Draught as reconstructed by Karl Marquardt and am now attempting to build the model as a POB construct, I do have the luxury of having a full size replica visiting our local harbour frequently so am collecting piles of photos for additional reference. First step was to scan the A2 sheet and then reduce the scale to 1:48 and then break up the scan in order to print it as a series of A3 and A4 sheets that could then be cut and glued to 3mm MDF before taking to it with a band saw, files etc to make the basic frame. 


Edited by Rick01
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All the bulkheads have now been cut out, sanded to shape and dry fitted.


I now need to ensure everything is square and the deck line is symetric. Given that I'm using an old GMC band saw and a tongue depressor with sandpaper held on with double sided sticky tape I'm happy with the results so far.


Spot the error - counting from the prow third and fourth bulkheads need to be swapped!!  At least they're only temporarily dropped in to place. :rolleyes:


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Hi Rick


It looks like you're off and running!  The assembled frames and keel look good. My only comment would be why you chose MDF, instead of plywood. However I don't think it matters as long as you're not actually sailing the model. 


Anyhow, I'm hooked and will be happily following along in the front row!





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9 minutes ago, Omega1234 said:

My only comment would be why you chose MDF, instead of plywood. However I don't think it matters as long as you're not actually sailing the model. 

Two reasons:-

1/ I've got torn ligaments/inflamed bursar in my shoulder so I find it easier to work with.

2/ I've piles of the stuff laying around in the workshop. ;)


I will be filling between the bulkheads in due course so there will be a stable base for all the planking and subsequent attachments. 

The Enterprize replica will be in a local harbour next month so I'll be off then to grab as many photos as possible to help me in the build.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Infill completed and sanded back. Looks rough in the photos but is not that bad in reality. 





You'll notice a fine "bulkhead " just left of centre which is in fact a saw cut. I ended up with a slight bend in the keel (not noticed until after all the work had been done). To correct it I identified the section causing the problem then made a cut both sides centred on the kink, drove a small wedge into the body until the keel straightened then filled - problem fixed.





You'll notice a couple of gunwale supports missing (broke during deck sanding) - I'll make a temporary block to keep the correct shape/lines when I start on the gunwales.Next step is a visit to "Float-a-boat" in Ringwood for all the timbers for decking planking etc. meanwhile the false keel will be cut to shape.


I'll be more than happy if I get this bit right the first time!

Someone wil spot that there are no rabets - the frame is 3 mm mdf and the plans indicate a 5 mm false keel giving me a 1 mm tolerance either side when fitted so by my calculations I won't need a rabet which makes my life a little easier.

This scratch building is definitely scary but I'm happy with what I've got happening so far and I will not be giving up!


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Nice work, Rick. The Enterprize is a great first scratch build. Not too difficult, but with plenty of challenges. I like your workmanlike approach to fixing things that didn't quite turn out right - just fix it and get on with the build.


I think I saw the full-size Enterprize not that long ago in Geelong. She's a beautiful vessel, but I hadn't realized there was so much of her below the waterline!


Enjoying watching your progress,



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I've now got bulwarks fitted, plus the prow (?) which was needed to locate the bulwarks properly. A lot of stock card has been cut up bent, spindled and otherwise tortured to get a template something vaguely resembling the correct curve for the bulwarks. That way I didn't waste any timber when cutting the final bulwark, even now it's a bit wobbly however by the time it's all planked everything should square itself up and all the wavy lines will disappear (positive thinking here). Went down to Mornington today in the hopes of getting some photos but it seems the guys running her picked up their bat and ball Saturday morning and went home as it looked to be too rough for tourist trips.



1st planking next, then the balance of the false keel.  


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First planking is coming on slowly with my usual fight to get things to fit (I'm best left alone during this part of the build). In between swearing at planks and removing glue from my fingers I've also taken the odd moment out to make the rudder assembly and fit it all together.


Component parts.


Hardware fitted.





All test fitted. Due to the kink in the rudder itself this will need to be slotted in to the ship as a single unit at a later date. Currently it just need s slight clean up and then a couple of coats of a water based satin finish varnish. Meanwhile I'll need all sorts of operations/chemicals to remove the superglue that I always seem to coat myself with when putting these items together!


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Still on th first planking, only three more each side and that's finished. Meanwhile I've completed the components of the rudder and test fitted them.



The tiller was a bit of a problem and this is actually number four. Either they snapped during construction, straightened themselves once un-clamped or or split when drilling for a pin to secure them to the top of the rudder. Eventually I used a couple of small scrap bits of Maple (I think) soaked well then individually clamped. Once dry and released I then laminated them and reclamped for 12 hours - end result something I was happy with that held its shape and didn't split when drilled.

To get the right shape I cobbled together a few bits of scrap MDF cut to the correct form, one side glued to a base and the other floating free so that it could be clamped tight against the Maple.



Crude but effective and one of the reasons I never dump off-cuts until I've finished whatever project I'm working on. I may never need this specific curve again so I can happily dump it and not worry that I've wasted wood.


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First planking now complete, time to take a short break while I consider my next few moves. This working without an instruction sheet does make you think well ahead to ensure you don't do something that you have to undo later!!





Looks pretty rough in the photos but actually it's a good surface for final planking.

Next step ( I think) will be to take a break from working the exterior and knock off the gunwales supports, plank the inner gunwales and stern counter, mark out the deck for hatches etc. then plank the deck.


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Got the bulwarks lined and exterior planking fitted which has strengthened this area considerably. I've started on planking the deck but at the moment this is going slowly - got my centre line slightly off I think, which together with slight differences in decking widths shows up as I near the edges. Given that the original was a privately (non-gov't shipyard) built working schooner I'm happy to have a few "quirks" to the planking lines. Actually, unless you start counting and measuring the runs I don't think they'll ever be noticed.




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Deck planking finished and will be sanded properly later. I've also completed the deck housing/companionway and built the frame for the skylight. Can't do any more with this though until I've fitted the glass - I've ordered some microscope slides which will cut down fairly well and then will only need framing glued to the glass to provide the correct effect.

The deck housing is mostly scraps left over from decking and bulwarks planking fixed to a box frame. I've avoided the final planking as long as I can but I'm afraid I'll now have to start the one part of the build that I really dislike!




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Well I've started the exterior planking and seem to be able to progress at about 4 planks a day. In between times I've grabbed a couple of shots of my work area/tools etc. for those beginners who may look in at the build. See it is possible to make a workman like model using basic items at little cost (nothing over $10.00 au). 


Plenty of elastic bands, a couple of bulldog clips and lego bricks and the planking stays in position.



OK the saw cost more than $10.00 but it wasn't bought specifically for modelling work. Everything else has either been raided from first aid kits, make up bags or psaid for as a last resort.



One of my home made useful items - it's a 35 x 6mm bit of plate glass with a couple of off cuts glued to one end at right angles. When I need to edge glue .6mm bits I don't have to worry about them sticking to other surfaces - glue the edge, slide together on the glass and carefully clamp if needed. Once the glue has set it's then just a matter of sliding a scalpel blade along the glass to lift the item. Cleaning the glass is very easy again just lift any glue with the blade and polish the glass with warm eater. Likewise with any right angle gluing needed - I'd have been in trouble without it when making the deck housing.

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Still planking and still hate doing it. So just for a short break I've started on the trim surrounding the stern. Half a dozen attempts to get a really sharp bend on some wood later I decided it wasn't going to work as the wood splintered well before I could get the bend near correct, so on to plan B. Edge glued some scrap and when dry peeled off the glass and holding it against the stern traced the curve needed. Re glued to the glass and once set I slowly cut away the wood leaving a rough "hockey stick" which was then lifted again with a scalpel. This will then be cleaned up and fitted later in the build. 



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This is what she should look like once finished.



Missed her last month as the weather was to rough , but she sailed in to Mornington this weekend. I've got some detail photos now to help once I'm past the hull stage. One big difference between this and the plans is the raised superstructure just behind the foremast not shown on the plans. I'm guessing this is because the replica takes passengers for overnight cruises and weekends whereas the original was a trading schooner with a larger hold and no specific passenger accommodation.

Notice she's flying the skull and crossbones as it's a pirate weekend!

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Little side trip whilst I have  rest from planking (again). 

I've now finished the skylight- it just needs a very light sand and then a water based satin finish varnish. The glass is .18 mm micro slide cover which caused me a lot of trauma as it shattered every time I tried cutting it to size. Eventually (15 sheets later) I glued a full slide to the frame and once fully dry held a steel straight edge firmly on the glass and chipped it away, glued the trim one then very carefully filed the edges back. The bars are black cartridge paper sliced finely and glued to the frame. As is usual with close-up photos it all looks rougher than it really is.



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The exterior hull is now finished and it's time to start work on the deck fittings that need to be attached before I step the masts.



I've finished the planking with a satin water based varnish to save it from grubby fingerprints as I do further work - it's not as glossy as the photos intimate - there was a lot of reflected light on it!


Gunwales completed and pin rails drilled and attached. It only took five attempts to make these, rather a lot seemed to split after drilling half the holes no matter how carefully I worked. Got there in the end though.



I've also completed the deck housing and just need to fit door hinges and a handle.




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I've got the capping rail under construction now. First made a pattern by tracing round the gunwales top onto a heavy card, then cutting out the relevant curve.



Next was to soak then clamp a strip of lime for the basic curve.




Once that was dry I edge glues three strip of lime and using the pattern as a guide cut the sharp curve needed at the bow.



I'll be staining the finished product with walnut which has the added benefit of stiffening up the very soft lime timber.

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Planking in particular looks great and that is not an easy hull to plank. What are the plans for finish/paint? One thing I'd suggest is filling the grain, this wood has a pretty open grain structure for this scale, two or three sanding sealer coats would do it. 

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Just found your log and went through it as I have always enjoyed the looks of any schooner, including topsail schooners.  Well done.   One note, and I hope you don't mind me bringing it up, but the drawings you show are pretty clear that the hinge plates for the rudder extend nearly  to the aft edge of the rudder and further forward on the sternpost compared to what is shown on the model.   It sort of stands out (probably only to me) and maybe could be corrected easily enough with new hinge pieces.   






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No problem Allan - somehow I missed that probably as I was limited in the brass strip I had available at the time. I'll need more strip at some point so next visit to Floataboat in Melbourne I'll see what's available and look at rectifying this. 

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Jay - finish will be "as is".The history of this little schooner is that she was a simple trading ship purchased in Sydney by John Pascoe Fawkner - and became the ship that sailed from Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) in 1835 with the first permanent white settlers that started what has become the City of Melbourne. There are only a couple of contemporary sketches of her and no plans so in reality this is model is an approximation based on trading schooners of the period. When purchased she had been used to ship coal so one wouldn't expect any paint scheme at all.

Allan - you're causing me problems!!! :-)

Whilst looking at the hinge plates I spotted eye bolts on the top plate - obviously for chains to secure the rudder however I can't see any securing points for the chain. So over to you mate, where and how should the chains be secured to the hull? 

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OK fixed Allan's point - these comments don't upset me I'm on here for help and assistance as much as anything.



Some adjustment of the rudder still needed but that will be quite simple.


I've made a windlass and added locator pins to help secure it when fixing to the deck - only used 8 brass nails to get the 4 pins - the others are flying through the fourth dimension somewhere.



Bowsprit is under construction and as it has a curve at the base I'm attempting to bend 8mm dowel after soaking for 24 hours. We'll see how this goes!



And now one for you Jay - I'm very slowly upgrading my cutlery - here's the first item and now all I need to learn is how to sharpen these things!!


Few more deck fittings to make then masts and calculating the size and quantity of deadeyes, blocks etc.








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