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Rattlesnake by campbewj - Model Shipways - American Privateer by Bill Campbell


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After lurking on the site for a few months taking advantage of all the great information, I'm jumping in.  As I've been working on the model for a couple of months, I have a bit of catching up to do.  This is my second build since getting back into modelling.  I built many, mostly plastic models of ships, planes, tanks back in my younger days.  Jumped into wood ship models about 2 years ago.  Based on the advice on this site I started with the Model Shipways Phantom.   With that under my belt I've started the Rattlesnake.  I still consider myself very much a beginner.  Most days I wish I had instructions like the Revel plastic models from my past.  I guess that's part of the hobby and what makes a community like this so valuable.  so here goes....

 

box.jpg

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some pictures that get me caught up to today. 

At this point I  have a couple areas I'm working on;

 

1) I'm still working on the transom.  Looking at the other builds, I'm trying to do some finishing work on this.  I'm a bit stuck on the lettering.  reading other builds it seems like MS word and some decal work is in order.  Any other ideas on lettering?

 

2) Waterways and covering boards - You can see the waterway on the 2nd pic, still working on the covering boards.  I'm thinking the covering boards in the Bow may wait until I get a bit further.   I can't seem to see how this will align with planking particularly where the knighthead and timberhead are located.  I suspect I have some rework to do in that area.  In one of the pics I have the two pieces laid across and there isn't a great fit.  I'm also not understanding why the instructions move ahead with the rails at this time.  It just screams out to be something that will be broken as I move forward.  I'm thinking of leaving this undone for a bit and working on the gunport framing

11 18 2017 overhead bow with.jpg

11 18 2017 overhead bow.jpg

11 18 2017 overhead stern.jpg

11 18 2017 stern.jpg

11 18 2017  side.jpg

11 18 2017 stern pieces.jpg

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Since my last post, I have been working on the framing for the gun ports.  For the most part is has been pretty straightforward.  The biggest challenge for me has been deciding if the horizontal framing should be horizontal or aligned to the curve of the deck.  Using one of the guns and some throwaway wood for temporary planking I was able to determine the correct height.  For most of the middle ports the difference between horizontal and aligned to the deck is trivial, it becomes more apparent at the bow.  I went with horizontal, we'll see later on if there are any regrets.   I've also used heavier stripwood, than what was called for and have tried to have it set out just a bit so sanding will align to the curvature of the ship and not leave a gap in the planking.  I've done about 1/2 the ports and will continue working my way to the stern.   I measured and cut the horizontal pieces individually as I worked across the boat.  I pre cut the verticals so they would all be the same size. 

 

 

5a1ad2366518b_11262017gunports4.thumb.jpg.05643b12b1aecc9d3c9d05035d35e391.jpg5a1ad235afeba_11262017gunports3.thumb.jpg.76dad80c8f2d28af23d92aeb9e9f09a0.jpg5a1ad23513049_11262017gunports2.thumb.jpg.11833da5f7453974356e1cb2120631db.jpg5a1ad23463ff1_11262017gunports.thumb.jpg.d06d97eedb78a0ea3366443ec9c9082d.jpg5a1ad233b9bf1_11262017gunportsbow.thumb.jpg.d387f4957002f12c98478cefca3a657e.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Steve,  thanks for joining in, you may be the only one so far...

 

Over the weekend I was able to complete the framing for the gunports.   I've been struggling to align the bow and finally bent some wood to see how things might line up.  Helped a lot to get comfortable I had things aligned correctly.   So I'm thinking for about the 5th time I'm done fairing.  Eventually I will be right about that. 

I put together a jig to bend to the shape of hull.  At first glance it seems to work.  I used a standard Iron and sprayed the wood a couple of time, "ironed" the piece top and bottom a couple of time and clamped it into the jig.  There are some less then perfect portions but I expect I will get better at this over time. 

12 11 2017 gunports.jpg

12 11 2017 jig.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

welcome all new followers, glad to have you on board.  I went looking for your build (Pond) and haven't found it.  My searching the site skills still need work but I'd be interested to follow your build.   I'm trying to find others builds that are following me as well.

 

I've now attached the wale board and sectioned off section A,B and C so I think I'm ready to start actual planking.  Making use of my new Christmas present now holding the ship frame.   I've also made a significant investment in binder clips to get setup for this.  Other than the wale, none of the others are attached.  I've measured, twice, and I think I have these sections correct.  I've marked the locations and I'm about to pull off the boards and remark the center of each board for the true start/end to each section.   Then it will be marking the location for each board. 

Hope you all have a great New Year.

 

 

 

12 26 2017  plank sections 1.jpg

12 26 2017  plank sections 2.jpg

12 26 2017  plank sections 3.jpg

12 26 2017  plank sections 4.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Glad to see some new followers.  I hope to get to your builds this week to see what I can learn. 

I've started the planking around the gun ports.  With the smaller planks and more straightforward alignment and little shaping of the planks, it seemed like that would be an easier place to start.  So far so good....   Some things I've learned along the way.  As this is my first planking effort, there is a lot to learn.

- Its great to be doing work that makes is really look like a ship

- the first few planks were pretty straightforward

- Once I got to the gun ports, I debated cutting planks for each opening vs running the plank through the opening and cutting out the port once the glue was dry.  There are some benefits for both.  Running them through make aligning the next plank much easier.  Where I cut individually and stopped at each gun port, there was a lot more work on the next strake.   I've been running them through and you can see in the pics that I still have some to cut out.

- Getting the right amount of glue is key.  Too much and your wiping, and scraping and sanding to get rid of the excess.  To little and the planks will pop off when you are cutting or sanding around the gun ports.  When cutting use a really sharp knife and be very patient.

- redoing work is a pain.  I had to pull a plank or two after it was on the model and getting all the glue off and ready for the next one is a lot more work than double checking the original one.

- The Micro-mark stand was the most effective Christmas present I can remember.  I can't imagine how I would hold the model for this work without it,  Highly recommend it.

- I'm looking forward to the sanding and cleaning up the work.  It's really hard to tell how this will turn out.  I've been very careful to minimize gaps between boards but there is more variation in the thickness of the planks than I expected.  With the basswood being very thin, I hope I don't sand through anything trying to make of for this. 

 

Interested in comments where you might see me going down a path that might cause issues.

 

thanks

Bill

 

 

 

 

5a5cc5f0939d1_11518gunportplanking2.thumb.jpg.5f4b82193888b0ea167f8f2dc5588834.jpg5a5cc5f2ea1c5_11518gunportplanking3.thumb.jpg.f917559142e242d81b793203099fba7c.jpg5a5cc5f4c8f6d_11518gunportplanking4.thumb.jpg.68dfce037d6d9d8fee7ff7b6a341e581.jpg

 

1 15 18 gunport planking 1.jpg

1 15 18 gunport planking 5.jpg

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redoing work is a pain.  I had to pull a plank or two after it was on the model and getting all the glue off and ready for the next one is a lot more work than double checking the original one.

One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received on this site was to bend/shape each plank until it sat perfectly without glue. Treat each plank as its own mini-model and only use glue to gently hold it in place, rather than to force it in place. I don't always get this right anyway, but it's a great ideal to shoot for.

 

I also agree that a rotating work stand is fantastic. I use a different version but it's such a help.

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  • 1 month later...

All,  Continue to make progress on the Rattlesnake.  I'm better about working on the model than posting pictures about the progress.  A few weeks back I completed the planking around the gun ports to where the rails would be.  I haven't done the rails yet.  I've done preliminary sanding and like the way things have turned out.  There will be more sanding and cleaning up the ports before I would call them done but I did enough to convince myself I wasn't digging myself into a big hole.   There are 4 pictures of this part of the ship.   I've now started the lowing planking as well and have found the larger wood strips more difficult to work with.  I'm just taking it slow, bending the strips for the bow and the stern and taking my time.  More pictures to come of that part of the ship.  It's slow going so the posts don't come that often.  

 

02 18 2018 gunports 4.jpg

02 18 2018 gunports 1.jpg

02 18 2018 gunports 2.jpg

02 18 2018 gunports 3.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Its been about a month since my last post.  I have completed the planking of section A.  while there are places that my inexperience shows, overall I'm happy with how it has turned out.  I have not done any sanding and I expect like the area above the whale, sanding will make a big difference.  While doing this section I changed the technique I was using.  Initially, I was using a jig to bend the planks into a shape that was close to what was needed and then do all the final fitting after it was bent.   As I progressed through the section, the bending required more precision than this method allowed.  I shifted to shaping them on the model itself.  I would transfer the measurements from each bulkhead to the plank to get the width close down the length of the plank.  then i'd use an iron with a lot of steam to heat and soak the plank.  I'd do that for about 60 seconds flipping the plank over and being sure it was always wet.  I would then clamp it to its place on the hull and let it dry overnight.  ONce dry, final shaping and gluing would occur.    This technique works a lot better than what I was doing before.   I've seen so many Jig's on the market and in pictures, I don't see how they will work for complex curves needed on a ship like the Rattlesnake.  

 

I do see a problem that will happen when I get near the end of planking.  All the clamps I'm using require access to the bulkhead.  Both the binder clips and the purchased clamps that screw into the bulkheads need this access.  As I get to the last few planks, what do I use to hold them in place while the planks dry.  Looking for suggestions,

 

thanks to all for their encouraging words and support,

Bill 

plank sect A 4.jpg

plank sect A 3.jpg

plank sect A 2.jpg

plank sect A 1.jpg

Plank Sect A 5.jpg

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With regards to the last few planks where clamps will no longer reach the bulkheads: this is where the old advice to ensure that each plank is pre-bent to fit really comes into play. I'm no pro, but what has worked very well for me on multiple models is to soak the given plank and hold it in place with my fingers while using a hair-dryer to quickly "set" its shape. This may take several rounds, but the dryer works quickly enough that clamps aren't really necessary. Once the plank is bent to its shape, any final shaping can be done, then it can be set in place with glue and held in with fingers. Even basic wood glue will set within a couple minutes under finger pressure, meaning you don't really need clamps if you've done the work ahead of time to ensure that the plank isn't trying to spring out of its slot.

 

You can also try laying a loose piece of wood across the plank and fitting a rubber band or other strap around the hull to hold that loose piece down as a sort of "floating clamp". A thicker block can help if the band is held away from the hull by the keel or other protrusion. And the thicker it is, the more pressure is on the plank as the band stretches around it.

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Eric,   Thanks for the tip, I hadn't heard the idea of a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.  I'm sure my wife will appreciate another one of her appliances making its way to the workshop.  First the nail files, then the iron and apparently now the hair dryer.  :)    I'll give it a whirl before I get down to the last few planks

Been about a month since my last post.  Seems there isn't that much to show all that often at this stage.  I've been planking section "A", from the whale down.  Seems to be going ok.  I've changed my technique where at the start I had been using a jig to pre-bend planks into near correct positions and then cut, shape and sand them to the form needed.  Once that was done I'd glue into place.  That was fine for the simpler curves but as I moved down the hull with more complicated curves a different technique was needed.  I have shifted to shaping on the model itself.  I transfer the measurement of the width at each bulkhead to the plank and get the width close.  I use an iron with a lot of steam and water to heat the plank and then a combination of different clamps to clamp it in place and let it dry overnight.  Once it dry and has taken the shape, I do a final sanding and glue in place. 

Overall I'm happy with how it has turned out.  There are definitely places where inexperience shows but i'm hopeful that some sanding will clean it up. 

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Bill:

I soak my planks after they have been shaped and then clamp them to dry in place on the model, much like you are doing. I have had good results doing that. I leave mine in clamps for several hours at least before I gluing. 

 

Russ

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bill,

Thank you for all your photos.  About three weeks ago I began working on the same model.  As a novice, I found the instruction booklet lacking, so I started to use the plans as my main source of information

I decided to deviate a little from the building sequence and after curving the stern and bow filler blocks I started working on the deck planking.  Since this model doesn't come with a false deck, I installed one using 1/16" basswood.

Once the deck planking is done I'll post some photos.

Regards,

Luis

Gilbert, AZ

 

What's best in life?

"To crush your enemies - See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!"

Conan the Barbarian

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have made it to the point where I've finished the "B" section of the planking.  took a bit longer than the "A" section and with better weather coming I expect the final section to take longer yet.  There is golf to play, water to be skied, sun to be seen.  I am looking forward to sanding.  Every time I look at the bottom where its not sanded and compare to the top that is I want to get with the sanding.  Anyway, this is where I am.

5 21 2018 plank sect B 2.jpg

5 21 2018 plank sect B 3.jpg

5 21 2018 plank sect B 4.jpg

5 21 2018 plank sect B 5.jpg

5 21 2018 plank sect B 6.jpg

5 21 2018 plank sect B 1.jpg

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Hi, is this a single planked hull? The quality of your planking certainly makes it appear so. Saying this is your second build, and this does not look like an easy kit, you have displayed a lot of skill so far. I love the lines of the hull and that planking is going to look great when sanded down.

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  • 1 month later...

I've completed the planking and I'm about to sand it down.  I wanted to put some pictures in at this state to show the difference pre- and post sanding.  I've had the burning question about is the planking "good enough" throughout the process but without knowing how it would look after sanding it was difficult to say.  I'm sure on my next ship I'll have a better idea.5b2d2c148df00_06222018planked1.thumb.jpg.55dffb20d476adfed0eebb5249037fcc.jpg5b2d2c1688ade_06222018planked2.thumb.jpg.50bc2e564f67b238a0567dc6a59cd6ed.jpg5b2d2c18713a2_06222018planked3.thumb.jpg.5c16a9781b54d96a029f825e02b9b286.jpg5b2d2c1c62f51_06222018planked5.thumb.jpg.ab8b574460ce56245d5a872bbeeb37f1.jpg5b2d2c1e5653a_06222018planked6.thumb.jpg.ff7cd5973932afe5423ccde23798cb93.jpg

06 22 2018 planked 4.jpg

06 22 2018 planked 7.jpg

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It looks good overall. You've got a few places where the plank's going to be almost gone by the time the hull is smooth. I believe the hull is still open at the top; you might want to consider spreading a bit of wood filler on the inside in such places to thicken and strengthen the planking before you accidentally sand or break through an especially thin spot. For example, those few planks right at the bow and stern that are especially offset along the edges.

 

I love the process of sanding down a hull, it's amazing how good it starts to look as a smooth hull emerges from the rough initial form.

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  • 3 months later...

Been away from the site for a bit but progress has been made.   The hull has been sanded and for the first POB model, I'm happy with the results.  I painted the inside areas have attached the rails and did a little priming and painting.   Went through many try's of the scrollwork but seems ok in the end.  At the moment they are primed white, but expect them to be black in the end.

 

9 28 18 side of ship.jpg

9 28 18 scrollwork 2.jpg

9 28 18 scrollwork.jpg

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have also started on the lower deck.  I'm using the black construction paper technique between the planks and it looks like I'll have a lot of sanding to do in the end.  I've been able to avoid breaking the upper deck supports so far, but I fear they could be a casualty when the sanding begins. 

9 28 18 deck in progress.jpg

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The one area where I have been struggling for some time is with the name on the back of the ship.  I have been using testors decal sheets and created a good temple on the computer.  I'm happy with the lettering just not the decal.  I'm having issue both with make the decal still to the painted wood as well as the shine that seems to come with it.  Any suggestions would be most welcome.186604381_92818baddecal.thumb.jpg.0ceca3adac09db6937445c0331711fb4.jpg

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I have no experience with decals, sorry. The one time I put a name on a ship's stern, I did it by printing out a full nameplate and affixing that to a thin sheet of wood. See the linked build log for the revenue cutter in my signature. Maybe not authentic but looked better than anything else I tried.

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  • 1 month later...

After getting a question from Jazzdc I realized I hadn't been taking many pictures or posting so there seems to be a bit of gap in the work.  I'm past the lettering on the stern.  Ultimately I used the decal solvents over and over again until I was happy with the results.   using a separate piece of decal for each letter minimized to glossy look of a larger one.

 

I've begun the hull painting and I'm 2 coats in.   This is where Jazzdc's question was very timely.  he was asking about how much sanding etc.   I thought I hade sanded pretty well but as you can see there are a lot of imperfections once you put some paint on it.  Along the way I gave up on the idea of staining the hull.  one of the failures that didn't get recorded on a picture.   the basswood even with pre-stain conditioner didn't take the stain well.  Some board absorbed it to a fault and others didn't take much at all.  Then there we glue marks that looked bad as well. 

 

You can see the pictures below of current state.  I'm going to touch up with some wood filler again and then re-prime and paint and see where that gets me.  

 

thanks all for suggestions,

 

Bill  (campbewj)

11 18 2018 stern.jpg

11 18 2018 hull2.jpg

11 18 2018 hull1.jpg

11 18 2018 hull4.jpg

11 18 2018 hull3.jpg

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