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Continental Gunboat Philadelphia by wool132 - Model Shipways - 1:24 Scale


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I've begun this build as a companion to the Syren build log I started earlier. I had planned to co-construct the Pinnace or the English Longboat but apparently these models are rather challenging (in the words of mikiek (December 8): "You know, I remember thinking about this kit right before I bought it. Looking at it online, I figured it would be a cinch to knockout. A small footprint. No rigging. A cheap price. How hard could it be?
 
"WRONG!")

 

So I put those two boats aside and looked for something larger for my inexperienced fingers and found the Gunboat Philadelphia. I knew I was on the right track when the kit arrived: the Pinnace box easily fits inside this one.

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Time now to review this forum's currently available build logs for this kit: Elijah (in progress), Brucealanevans (finished) , MarkCC (on sabbatical), Chuck Seiler (as of 2015), and Steve. Y (finished).

 

Jonathan

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This looks like a great kit for a first build, so instead of just a narrative, I'm going to try and create a sort of revised instruction manual (instead of kit bashing, manual bashing?) for other beginners to perhaps follow if they wish. Hopefully I'll get done with the build (gulp!) and the blog will be a worthwhile effort.

 

To that end, I plopped the contents of the instruction manual PDF file (available from ModelExpo Online) into Pages and sifted out the historical notes and extra explanatory material to get just the basic build steps. I'll use that to start my amended, abbreviated, annotated, and mostly-photo-documented version of the manual. The steps are numbered to make it easier for y'all to make comments if you want (as in "Yo! Woolly!! You blew Step 22. You should have said the shearstrake ...", or "Steps 61-71 should be done before Step 47."). I can then edit the steps based on your improvement suggestions and use the Reason for Edit feature to help keep track of step versions. There seem to be around 200 individual tasks, so this could take a while... :)

 

Building the Gunboat Philadelphia by Bob Crane (as told to wool132)

Building the Hull

Step 1:    (This is from the Syren user manual; seems like a good idea for the Philadelphia too): "Before removing any of the parts from the basswood sheets for the bulkheads and keel parts, sand both sides of each sheet smooth with some 320 grit sandpaper to remove the laser char."
Note to self: be careful not to erase the laser marks that are on many of the parts (e.g., bulkheads).

 

Step 2: Glue together the keel, stem, and stern post using parts 17, 18, and 19 (these are all found on sheet PA-5) using a pane of glass as a flat reference surface (see Detail 2-1 for Steps 2-6).

 

Step 3: Glue a pair of part 26 to the Stern Post and two part 18Bs to the Stem (they are on sheet PA-8).

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Step 4: Carve and sand them to shape according to Detail 2-1.

 

Step 5: Carve and sand the bevels on parts 18A and 25 (PA-7).

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Step 6: Glue to the keel assembly (there is a small gap between parts 18A and 18B at the stem and parts 25 and 26 at the stern).

 

Jonathan

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I developed and wrote Technical Documentation for the Navy for several years and I applaud your effort. In order to improve the process you should do a walkthrough after a certain number of steps. Locate someone that has the kit and has not started yet and use your process ONLY to do the build. It would be better if this was their first build.  If this is their first build no bad habits have been developed yet. This is the best way to get proof of process and identify and fix issues. Remember a plan never survives first contact. Good luck.

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1 hour ago, Jim Rogers said:

I developed and wrote Technical Documentation for the Navy for several years and I applaud your effort. In order to improve the process you should do a walkthrough after a certain number of steps. Locate someone that has the kit and has not started yet and use your process ONLY to do the build. It would be better if this was their first build.  If this is their first build no bad habits have been developed yet. This is the best way to get proof of process and identify and fix issues. Remember a plan never survives first contact. Good luck.

Totally agree! I was thinking of buying another kit and doing just that. Kinda expensive though...

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20 minutes ago, wool132 said:

Totally agree! I was thinking of buying another kit and doing just that. Kinda expensive though...

I was going to suggest that but....kinda expensive. I use to grab ladies from the office bring them to the lab give them a pump and procedure and have them do the maintenance. If they could do it so could a tech.

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Note: The instructions that come with the kit say to now glue parts 20, 21, and 22 to the keel. I think this should be done later. Delaying allows the use a straight edge when trying to keep the keel straight as it is glued to the bottom in Step 9 below.


Step 7: Match bottom parts 23S (PA-2) and 23P (PA-1) and apply a strip of Scotch tape to the joint. Turn over and apply a few spots of glue to the joint.


Step 8: Glue part 24 (PA-1). Clip all three parts to a piece of glass to make sure the assembly is flat while the glue dries.

 

Note: the next step also deviates from the manual. My keel was slightly bent. By gluing it to the bottom at the ends there was no place for the wood to go when I tried to center the middle of the keel on the bottom: the glued ends forced it into an S-shape because the wood wouldn't compress. A better way would be to glue the stem then the center and the stern last.
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Step 9: Carefully align and center the keel. Glue it to the bottom at the stem using CA glue. Next, align the keel using a straight edge and use CA glue to fasten it at the center. Finally, glue the stern while you continue to keep the keel straight using a straight edge.
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Step 10: Glue parts 20, 21, and 22 (PA-5) to the keel and to the bottom while making sure they are perpendicular to the keel. (The picture below was taken when following the kit instructions, not the revised steps above. I've included it as an example of how these parts can be kept perpendicular to the keel while the glue dries.)
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Jonathan

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Step 11: Number the bulkheads (parts 1-16) with a soft pencil while they are still in their boards. Some modelers recommend numbering all of the parts, not just the bulkheads.
Step 12: Remove the two bulkhead 8s from PA-4. Carve and sand the bevels into the bulkheads using the engraved bevel lines as a guide (see Detail 2-4). 
Step 13: Clamp the bottom of the hull to a piece of glass to ensure it stays flat while you assemble the bulkheads (I didn't do this and now the bottom is slightly warped. Nothing serious but fooey.).
Step 14: Glue the bulkheads to the keel. Make sure they are square to the keel (use fnkershner bulkhead braces, angle plates, Lego blocks, index card corners, etc). Make sure the two-piece bulkheads fit properly to the edge of the bottom by shaving the center joint of the bulkhead if needed. While the glue is drying prepare another bulkhead pair. Work out from the first bulkhead pair on alternating sides fore and aft (8, 7, 9, 6, 10, 5, 11, etc).

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Step 15: Glue a pair of part 27s (PA-8) to either side of the keel in the forward cockpit (see Detail 2-5). 
Step 16: Glue four 3/16” square members. The picture below shows all six parts from these two steps being clamped in place. The stem is off to the upper left.

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Step 17: Cut, fit, and glue twelve 1/16” x 1/2” floorboards, six on each side of the keel. Mark the edges of the boards with a Number 2 (HB) pencil to simulate caulking (some recommend only doing this on one edge for each pair; I did both edges). The ends of the floorboards were cut square but they came out bowed after I sanded them to fit. Word gets back that a Northwest Short Line True Sander would do a better at keeping the edge square when adjusting the length than the hand-held sander I used:

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To make sure they're the same length, I cut the first of the floorboards to the desired length and then used Nirvana's jig idea for use with the chop saw:
a) Place this first board (the template) on top of a 1/16" x 1/2" wood strip, making sure the ends on the right are aligned:

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b) push both boards towards the chop saw blade until the left end of the template touches the saw blade then tighten the saw's clamp to keep the wood strip in place:

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c) Remove the template:

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d) Align an authentic, genuine, certified fnkershner bulkhead brace (:) - see prior post) with the right end of the wood strip:

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e) With the brace taped in place, push the wood strip against it and cut:

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Check to make sure it's the right length then cut the rest of the twelve pieces.


Step 18: Glue part 29 (PA-8) to the aft side of bulkhead 12 and part 29A (PA-8) to the fore side of bulkhead 11 on both the starboard and port sides:

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Jonathan
 

Edited by wool132
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  • 2 years later...

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