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GaryKap

USF Confederacy by GaryKap – Model Shipways – scale 1:64

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I am still working from Chapter 3 of the Instruction Manual. I completed the stern framing and installed the stern window sills and lintels.  I made templates of each window and used these to insure a correct fit.  Gotta say...this was one nerve-wracking operation.

 

 

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Edited by GaryKap

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Thanks for the kind words, captgino, John, and Mike.  Yes, it is a well designed kit with a lot of nice things that will contribute to beautiful result...unless the builder really screws it up...  And, as always, thanks for the "likes".  I am still finishing off the stern and the fairing.  As other build logs attest, there is a LOT of sanding to be done here.  Augie said it best:  " This turned out to be an exercise in Olympic-level Freestyle Sanding "  No pictures this time but I will try to post some soon. 

 

<<Gary>>

Edited by GaryKap

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I love this model and the beautiful work you are doing on it. Look forward to future progress photos.

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Hi CDW, and welcome aboard.  I have spent a lot of time agonizing over the filler strips under the stern counter.  I read and re-read the instructions and studied all of the Confederacy build logs that I could find (of course, as usual, Dubz was the most helpful).  I decided to completely fill this area to make sure I had the right curves and shape.  I used the basswood for areas  where the planking would end, like the underside of the counter.  Where just "filler" was needed, I used balsa because it is much easier to work with sandpaper and wood files.  I checked for "fair" using the same 1/8 x 1/16 inch strips that will be used for planking.  The dry strip easily followed the curve from keel up on both sides.  Here is how they look right now.  I welcome any thoughts or suggestions; especially by other Confederacy builders.  Dubz??  Chuck??

 

 

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Edited by GaryKap

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Hej Gary, it "looks" good but it is very hard to tell if it's perfect. Chuck can I guess, hehe. 

 

As you know I decided to fill the whole hull to get the curves right and while doing that found the gap between the last 2 bulkheads. So I would suggest filling 2 more areas to check the run.

 

cheers,

 

Dirk 

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Hi Dirk - Thanks for your input and your advice.  I will at least continue to check the hull for "fairness".   Today I will be gluing on the false deck.  I have already dry fit all four sections in position, and would strongly recommend to future Confederacy builders that you do this.  As careful as I thought I was when squaring the bulkheads, some minor trimming was still needed to make it fit properly.  Photos will follow in a later post.

 

<<Gary>>

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I have finished installing the false decking consisting of four laser cut sections of 1/32 inch thick plywood. The deck pieces additionally have laser reference lines showing the locations of hatches, etc. Some of these were “burned” too heavily, and the plywood was nearly cut through. I soaked super glue into these cuts to strengthen them and avoid portions of the deck coming off. I did this before and after gluing the sections. I also painted Titebond glue into the seams betweeen the pieces, and sanded these after the glue had dried. (this shows in the photos) Additionally, I glued ¼ inch square wood pieces to support the false deck where it joins the beakhead bulkhead. When I glued each section, I used small clamps to hold down the false deck at each bulkhead extension, and put heavy weights amidships. Here are the pictures:

 

 

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Hi Gary,

I'm following your and Dirk's stern assemblies very carefully and book marking them for future reference  when I get to that part.

 

"I will at least continue to check the hull for "fairness". " Point taken... I have ordered a small machinist square and a couple of Machinist 1-2-3 square blocks from Amazon to help myself get the bulkheads at a true right angle to the Bulkhead former. I'll have to wait until they arrive to continue with chapter 2,but with my eye sight plowing ahead would probably end in disaster.

 

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Hi John -  Yup, we need all the help we can get when it comes to eyeballing bulkheads and other ship's parts.  But also, keep the bulkheads as FLAT as you can until you are ready to glue them in.  They might have a tendency to warp just a bit.  I did everything I could, and yet when I installed the false deck, I discovered that a couple of the bulkheads were "off" by just a little.  But I don't think it will make much difference in the end.

<<Gary>>

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Hi Zappto and welcome aboard.  Harley, those little orange clamps are Bora 1 Inch Mini Spring Clamps and come in a 20-pack (BORA 540520).  I got mine from Amazon for $11.00.  And you can always find other stuff you can buy to get you to the $25 for free shipping.   Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/20-pack-540520-yourself-polymer-clamps/dp/B008FLNECW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1504460750&sr=8-2&keywords=bora+mini+spring+clamps  

I use them a lot and find them handy to have.  Its nice to have 20 available when you need to do things like secure down the false deck, or when planking to get the planks tight together.  They have held up well.  I did lose the pad from one side of one clamp, but otherwise OK. 

 

This morning I noticed that I never faired the inboard side of the transom so that was my project for today.  I found that sandpaper folded and hand-held did a much better job than wood files or sanding sticks.  It is a complex concave curved surface so flat surfaces like files or sanding sticks don't work as well here.  More advice - don't skimp on the sandpaper - buy the "good stuff".  It works better and lasts longer.

<<Gary>>

 

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Hi Harley -  I noticed that you live in south Florida.  I hope Hurricane Irma doesn't cause you problems.  Stay safe.

<<Gary>>

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Thanks Gary, we have storm windows so other my generator not behaving itself, we are as ready as can be.

Batten down the hatches matey, we'er in for a blow!

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This is a someday build for me as I really like the look of Admiralty models. Your careful build looks great so far. I look forward to your progress.

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Hi Eric - Thanks for dropping by.  There is a lot of progress yet to come. 

Beginning Chapter 4 of the Instruction Manual – beakhead bulkhead, gun ports, hance pieces, and sweep ports. Here is the link: http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Confed/chapter4.pdf

So far I have completed the beakhead bulkhead and run the batten to mark the location of the gun port sills. The bulkhead planking is interesting, with two alternatives. Either it can be planked with straight planks, or with curved planks that follow the curve of the deck. I decided to use straight planks on the forward side and curved planks on the aft side. I used the piece of wood from the bulkheads to get the correct curve. After soaking the 1/32” x 1/8” strips, I edge bent them with my fingers and used the small clamps to hold them to the bulkhead sheet with the right curvature.

 

Running the temporary batten was pretty straightforward.  Instead of the 1/8 x 1/16 inch strip, I used thinner strips left over from another kit that were intended for a second planking.   The laser lines on the bulkheads worked very well for me; but then the bulkheads were all is good relative locations as evidenced by the smooth run of the false deck. The distance from the false deck to the top of the batten was the best confirmation for me that all was good. Here are the pictures:

 

 

 

 

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Edited by GaryKap

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Today I worked on the gunport sills and lintels for the gun deck and quarterdeck. These have been laser cut, so a specific piece will go in a specific place between two of the bulkhead extensions. To keep things straight, I numbered each sill and lintel segment starting aft and working forward. Similarly, I numbered each space between bulkheads the same. This proved to be a real help. The gunports are 3/8 inch high, and the kit supplies a bundle of 3/8 x 1/8 inch wood. I used these to construct a spacer to maintain the correct distance between sill and lintel for each segment. The spacer I made is 1 ¼ inch wide and fit across all bulkhead spaces except the very forward one. The sills and lintels are all slightly too long, allowing for bulkheads that are not quite square. Each must be trimmed to size. This is a bit tricky. If the sill or lintel is slightly long, it will force the bulkhead extension out of alignment. If it is slightly short, it will not stay in place. I used a wood file to make final adjustments so each piece was snug but not too tight. I discovered that those little orange clamps were perfect for holding the pieces in correct alignment while the glue dried. I put a clamp on each bulkhead extension where it could support the ends of two pieces. The pictures may help explain this.

 

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All those gun port sills and lintels need to be sanded “fair” or flush with the bulkheads prior to framing the upright sides of each gun port. This means a LOT of sanding!!! If the freeboard was not fair before, it certainly is now. (Any other Confederacy or Syren builders wonder if Chuck Passaro owns stock in a sandpaper manufacturing company?) Just kidding...but I did make a lot of sawdust today. No pictures to prove it. Next step will be to use the templates to establish the location of the gunport upright frames.

 

<<Gary>>

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Hi Jim -

Good choice!  So far I am very pleased with the CONFEDERACY kit for the same reasons I liked SYREN so much.  I really appreciate Chuck Passaro's design elements and the inclusion of laser cut wood parts that might be otherwise difficult to fabricate.  And both kits incorporate a lot more fine detail than I found in FAIR AMERICAN or BENJAMIN W. LATHAM.   I think Model Shipways is now using much better quality plywood for the bulkheads and bulkhead former. The stuff that came with my kit is first rate.  The color Instruction Manual is a great help as well.  I have learned many modeling skills from them. The cautions from Dirk's build log are worth noting though. 

 

<<Gary>>

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I am still working from Chapter Four. I framed the sides of each gun port using the laser cut uprights that were provided in the kit. I used the templates to mark their locations. The uprights were slightly longer than needed, and had to be trimmed to fit properly. I discovered that my 3/8 inch wide Xacto chisel was the perfect way to do this. I became pretty good at judging how much needed to be trimmed from each upright. Before the Xacto chisel, I had tried using sandpaper to trim the uprights but almost always changed the angle and screwed up the fit. The uprights are cut as parallelograms and the tops and bottoms need to be parallel to fit between the sill and lintel. The forward most gunport, or bridle port needed to have the bulkhead extension removed. Because a portion of the bulkhead extension sticks up above the portion that was removed, I elected to double the uprights on either side, just to make sure I provided enough strength. I also framed the sweep ports. The Instruction Manual says to use 3/8 inch by 5/15 inch wood for the frames, but I only found 3/8 by 3/8 inch wood in the box...and it worked OK. With 20-20 hindsight, if these were installed earlier in the construction process, they would have provided all of the strength and stability that was needed. I sanded them fair and used the templates to mark the sweep port locations. I “monumented” the corners of the sweep ports using a sharp compass point to punch into the wood. I still have to add the hance pieces and the hull sheaves. The pictures show my progress to date.

 

 

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I have completed Chapter 4. I added the hance pieces and the hull sheaves. One comment on the hance pieces – two pieces 3/16 inch thick each need to be glued together to form a piece of wood 3/8 inch thick that is sanded to shape after it is glued to the hull. This requires a lot of sanding with existing bulkhead extensions and other basswood parts in close proximity, and therefore the risk of deforming existing parts of the hull. I discovered that there are TWO sets of these provided in the kit as laser cut parts. One set is in basswood, and the other is in the same plywood as the bulkheads. NOTE TO OTHER CONFEDERACY BUILDERS: Use the basswood pieces because they will be easier to shape. The plywood ones are much harder wood.

 

I also constructed the ship's wheels, using the mini-kit from Chuck Passaro' Syren Ship Model Company. I am probably around the median skill level for folks on this web site, and I was able to assemble – two of them. I think they look pretty good. Someone with more skill would likely make fancier spokes. I would encourage other builders to consider them. Chuck has his usual excellent instruction sheet pdf for them on his web site. For me, the hardest step was adding the spokes. I used my large “yarn darner” needle to pin the hub to the center of the template and then it became easier. When you look at the pictures, remember that the actual wheels are 11/16 inch rim diameter so you are seeing them greatly magnified. I stained them with Watco walnut stain and finished with wipe on poly.  The finished rim is 3/32 inch thick, which is a scale six inches so that is not too bad.  P1040999.thumb.jpg.70ebacd091f2e08cd6b4b5d47dc2617b.jpgP1040999.thumb.jpg.70ebacd091f2e08cd6b4b5d47dc2617b.jpgP1040999.thumb.jpg.70ebacd091f2e08cd6b4b5d47dc2617b.jpg

 

 

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Edited by GaryKap

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Since my last post, my brother died and I also had to deal with other family health problems. I did not feel like working on my ship model...or doing much else. A couple weeks ago I started planking the hull above the wales, following Chapter 5 of the Instruction Manual. But as I began, I did not feel like taking pictures nor did I feel like posting to the build log. So I dottered along half heartedly and not doing great work.

 

Before things “went south”, I pre-bent the planks for the lower counter, using the window cutout for the transom piece as a template or guide for the correct curvature. I also stained several of the 1/8 and 5/32 inch wide wood strips. This avoids the nasty glue spots that will not take stain after the planks are glued into place. I like to glue the edges of the planks as I put them on the hull.

 

One discovery that I can share – an old coffee can with a six inch diameter works perfectly for pre-bending the planks for the curved bow. The soaked planks bend easily around the unifom curve and can be held in place with just two clamps each until they dry. Proof of the pudding – my bow planking came out very nicely with no “proud” planks. The method used in this kit to create the rabbet helped too.

 

As I write this, I have completed the planking up to and including the channel wales. I used a thick lumber marking crayon to darken the edges of the planks to simulate caulking. This shows in some of the photos below as dark areas between adjacent strakes. I will sand everything and re-stain after the planking above the wales is complete. I know it all looks a bit rough right now, but sanding and re-staining will greatly improve the appearance. I feel that I got the location of the planks pretty close to the plans. The top of the third (upper) strake of the channel wales is exactly flush with the deck planking. The top of the first (lowest) strake of the channel wales is at the level of the false decking. And the planking is symmetrical and even port and starboard.

 

 

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