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Indian Girl Canoe by Vann - FINISHED - Midwest - Scale 1:12 - SMALL

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I was inspired by GuntherMT's build log of Midwest's Indian Girl Canoe kit and decided to try and recreate the family canoe from my childhood as a Father's Day present for my dad.  It was an Old Town canoe, but the Indian Girl seemed close enough.  The model is completed as I did it completely in secret as a surprise, but I thought I'd share some photos of the build here.  (I wasn't patient enough to actually wait until father's day!) The build was a lot of fun and I'd definitely recommend it.  Unfortunately, Midwest no longer produces this kit, but there are still some available on eBay.  


Some recent photos of the inspiration below.


Note, for anyone attempting the kit, definitely check out GuntherMT's build log.  He is a *much* more experienced and talented modeler than I am and has a bunch of helpful pointers.  His log was invaluable to me for my construction, but I have a few additional tips (and warnings!) to pass!.  Gunther also gave me the critical trick to getting the bend in the planking correct. 



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Unpacking and initial construction.  All seemed to be going well up until this point.  But, around the last photo, I realized I had a big issue.  When laying the planks, the board has to go from vertical at the bow and stern to nearly horizontal as it forms the bottom.  Normally you would have a lot of glue surfaces on a model (at each frame), but with the removable mold for the canoe, you can only glue to the plank next to it.  I did my best to "glue" them to the right shape but failed somewhat miserably.  Each plank would more or less stack on the one above it.  With such huge overlaps, there is no amount of sanding that would have made a good bottom.  


At this point, I reached out to GuntherMT who gave me the secret - using a hot air blower / hair dryer to pre-bend the planks.  This is probably obvious to an experienced modeler but was not present at all in the instructions.  (Thanks @GuntherMT!).


I purchased another kit off ebay and started again.  This time things went much better.  (Somehow I always seem to run through two kits in the building of a model!)





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With kit #2 things progressed much better.  I used CA per the instructions rather than PVA like @GuntherMT.  CA has the advantage of being faster and not requiring Gunther's expertise in clamping, but it does have is disadvantages (see later).








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Formed the bow and stern.  I hadn't looked at the Old Town photos in a while and just went with the Indian Girl look.  If I had to do it again, I would have tried to match the rounded ends of the Old Town.  


The framing was *far* from perfect with them not being particularly straight and evenly spaced.  But, somehow when they are all in place your eye tricks you into thinking they're pretty good.  Just don't look too close!  







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Here is the next place I went awry.  I decided to stain the interior to try and match the dark wood look of the Old Town.  Unfortunately, the CA prevented the stain from taking over much of the area.  It is something of a disaster compared to what I intended, but I decided to move on.  The funny thing is that people who have seen it after completion think that it was a deliberate attempt to make it look old/authentic.  So, perhaps I got away with it.  

Lessons learned - staining with CA is risky!  Use CA sparingly.  And, work with a substantial representative test piece before starting on your model.  I did a test, but it clearly wasn't indicative of the actual model.



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All done!  And my Dad after opening his surprise present.  I think he was quite happy with it.  It brought back great memories of canoe camping and summers on the river.  


I'll put some more photos in the finished build gallery.  



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Nice work Vann, and the end result is great even if it was by accident!  


Thanks for posting, good to see another one of these little canoes.  Some day I need to go back and strip the resin and finish mine.

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Hello Gunther, 


Do you still have the instructions for this canoe? I built one a couple of years ago and would like to build another but I think I put the plans in the recycling at some point. 


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