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Granado by RMC - FINISHED - Caldercraft - 1:64

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Having just finished 5 years or so building Amati's Vangard, I have decided to do something quite different: the bomb vessel Granado.  There are a number of good logs for Granado  on this website and I don't know if I can add much to them, but you never know. 


Most of the materials in the kit seem to be of good quality, though I am working on the first planking now and have found the wood strip splintery and cross-grained.  The gun carriages could be improved and consequently I have substituted Syren  carriages which are excellent though rather fiddly to put together (photos in my vanguard log).


Here a few photos of the very beginning of the building process.  I hope to have something a little more interesting soon.


Having I hope, installed the bulkheads squarely The gunport patterns are next having given then a good soaking in warm water. The red-handled clamps are particulary strong and were necessary to made the pattern conform with the curved bulkheads



Bulkhead 10 is rather more complicated than the rest.  It has 4 extensions, two of which are at an angle, and is best completed off the model.


Here is the bow.  I have installed a balsa guides to help shape the wood strip around the bow.  The screw-in clamps I find a far better than nailing the strip to the bulkeads.



I have tried to upload a couple of other shots, but for some reason the uploads failed.


I find that I have photographed one of the small drills I use mostly in preference to my Dremel.  I have two of them and they save time and annoyance switching tools. Also shown are couple of the small pieces of wood strip with notches which help position the screw in clamps.



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Hi Bob

I'm eagerly looking forward to follow you on your Granado adventure. :)

I still think it's a great kit but then I didn't have any problems with the wood quality. However with the Pickle kit from the same manufacturer I had some. It seems that the quality may differ but it's wood after all and never perfect.




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Joe: Whoops - it is Caldercraft!  After the time spent with Victory models it's hard to get used to.  Sorry about that.


Rob: thanks for your interest. I don't think the difference in scale will prove all that significant.  It was though one of the things that attracted me to the model. I found with Vanguard that you could provide more detail than in the plans, though most of it is below deck and is now obscured.  At least I know it's there.^_^


Jorgen: I bought them quite some time ago and can't remember where I bought them.  That's age for you. I do remember that there was a discussion of this type of thing in the tools section of this site.  It would be some years ago though. 


Thinks: they may have come from a ship modeling shop in Melbourne in Australia.  I do have their website somewhere and I will try to find it.  However it will have to wait until next week as I will be away for the next few days.


Peter: good to hear from you.


At the moment I am doing battle with Windows 10 again and agai  it is far ahead on points.  I'm going to try to upload a couple of photos now.  At least as a pessimist I'm rarely disappointed.  Well, well. It worked.


For what it's worth here is a detailed picture of the clamps (they may actually be called something like 'planking screws') and the piece of scrap strip I use to help position the clamps.



I use a standard hypodermic syringe for gluing with PVA.  In this country you may buy then at a chemist shop.  I then grind off the sharp tip. The glue keeps indefinitely provided you stick a pin in the tip after use.


In the first planking I cut joins at about 45 degrees. - it makes it easy to keep the new plank correctly aligned, especially as the plank is obscured when the clamp is applied.


The plank is glued and clamped ....



Edited by RMC
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A pessimist, huh? Would a real pessimist start a project which takes years to finish? Imagine all the disasters which could happen to stop it - then why start it? No, you still have far to go, to become a real pessimist. I'm quite optimistic about that.


Found those clamps. when you google 'planking clamps', they show up as: https://www.micromark.com/Planking-Clamps-10

Shipped to Europe they would cost me about 30$.




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Ah, Caldercraft kit, OK good Bob. You'll enjoy it, it's well done. Good move on the gun carriages, I wish the Syren ones had been around when I built my Granado.


The one big knock I had was how bad the outer walnut planking was. It was very splintery and I'm glad I substituted boxwood above the waterline. 

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Joe: I have looked at your Granado.  It's very, very well done indeed. I hope you don't mind if I steal shamelessly from your work. Your paint work, in particular is really impressive.


The first planking is taking far longer than I thought.  The instructions are particular in specifying PVA for gluing the planks to the bulkheads. Waiting for it to dry properly is a bit frustrating.  In previous build I have use medium CA.


While waiting I have been putting together the gun carriages. Taking off the char from the laser cutting is tedious and in particular the char on the wheels is a bit of a pain.


Here is a relatively painless war of 'decharring' the wheels.


I had piece of 2mm dowel that I had tapered to about 1mm. I further reduced the 1mm end so that it fitted the axle hole.   The hole and the dowel must be very snug.  The dowel and wheel are fitted to the collet of a Dremel or similar - switch on and very lightly apply the turning wheel to some 400 glass paper.  The second photo shows the result.







Edited by RMC
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Joe and Bob: your substitution of boxwood for the walnut supplied in the kit really worked out well.  Unfortunately boxwood appears to be an alien species in Australia.  As far as I can see the nearest I can come to it is tanganyika (sp?) which appears to be a light fawn colour. The problem is that is comes either in 4mm x 0.6mm or 5mm x 1mm sizes, rather than the 4mm x 1mm specified in the kit.  What sized timber did you end up using?


I am not happy with the walnut supplied. It's very dark indeed, and any tree nailing will not show up well at all.

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My memory is that I used 4mm x 1mm boxwood for the upper hull, 4mm x 1mm and 5mm x 1mm holly for the lower hull and 4mm x 1mm holly for the deck planking. I thought, from reading logs here on MSW, that Castello boxwood was being used by modelers in Australia.



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Joe and Bob: thanks for your replies.  You have given me something to think about.


I have tried quite number of Australian timber suppliers regarding the availability of boxwood (until I began looking at this website, I had never heard of boxwood, and holly would never have occurred to me)   - no joy. I am a little hesitant to use the 0.6mm x 4mm tanganyika (would prefer it to be1mm thick - provides a bit more leeway if mistakes are made), but will do so as a last resort. I will do a bit more hunting.

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I have finally found a boxwood supplier - Float a Boat in Melbourne. They are however only enough for about 4/5ths  of the second planking. I will do the remainder in the walnut supplied.  It will be painted anyway.


The first planking is going slowly and only moderately well.  I made it hard for myself by not tapering the top planks early enough. I should have known better.


I have, however, made a valuable discovery.  At a recent checkup I asked my dentist if there were any old dental drill bits lying around.  Were there ever! I am now the proud possessor of around 100 bits of all shapes and sizes.  While they mightn't be so good on teeth now, they work a treat on wood.  I may also go in for cut-price dentistry.


Below is a very small sample, some of which are ideal for making rabbets.  The photo makes these look far larger than they are.








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  • 3 weeks later...

January for one reason or another has not been very productive for boat building with the holiday season and the hottest summer I can remember. I have finally finished the first layer of planking, though I am not very pleased with the job.  I had intended to do it by the correct method, but a couple of silly mistakes at the beginning of the process put an end to that.  The result however, will be an acceptable basis for the second planking, and at least I'll be more careful next time.


The dark marks shown in the photos are pencil marks.


Alligator clips were the only way I could find to clamp the stern.  The little teeth hang on for dear life.









The box wood for the second planking has been delivered and is of excellent quality. It is very light in colour - almost white - and I would prefer it to be a light brown.  I have some brown stain so I will experiment with colour over the next few days while I do a bit of sanding.






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I hope you don't mind if I join you in the journey as well. I have the Granado on the shelf as my next build. I intend to finish my current build the Syren first so I won't be starting for a while. (I can't do two or more at the same time, like some)

Funny place Australia, as you were sweltering over east in one of the hottest summers ever, we in Perth had one of the coolest ones. Not a single day over 40C. Still hot enough at times to skip working out of the shed. I found myself more than once squatting a fly away from my face not realizing that I was still holding my scalpel. I wouldn't recommend doing it too often...lol.

I think you planking looks great BTW.

Cheers, Peter

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On 2018-01-11 at 1:57 PM, flyer said:


Found those clamps. when you google 'planking clamps', they show up as: https://www.micromark.com/Planking-Clamps-10

Shipped to Europe they would cost me about 30$.




You can get them here:


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The first planking is finished.  The result is adequate as a basis for the second planking and I hope that process goes a little more smoothly.


I found the gun port patterns above and near the gun ports had a tendency to distort.  I used a very wet paint brush to wet the affected area, clamped a fairly stiff piece of wood strip over it and left it overnight - joy!



Here is the result - unfortunately I didn't think to take a 'before' shot which would have shown quite a bit of distortion.


I couldn't resist a two for the price of one shot, though unfortunately it is not very clear.








Here are the Syren gun carriages all but finished.  They are quite awkward to put together but the result is far better than the carriages supplied in the kit. There are 10 on the ship and I have 12 of these - the two worst will be left on the dock.  One of the quoins is shown on the left of the photo below.




Just a note if you use CA and the nozzles and caps become clogged with hardened glue - I now put them in a small jar of acetone after use.  They are then completely clean for the next use.










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"Just a note if you use CA and the nozzles and caps become clogged with hardened glue - I now put them in a small jar of acetone after use.  They are then completely clean for the next use."



Thanks fot the tip. I'll bear that in mind.

Keep up the good work !

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Thanks for your comments Bob and Joe. 


Having avoided it as long as possible, I've now started the first planking.  It starts from the lowest plank on the wale which is located by very precise measurements from the bottom of the keel.  (Incidentally, I have found the instructions for the Granado are far superior the those for the Vanguard; the plans for the Vanguard are far better.)


Here is the means by which I measured the appropriate distances of the wales from the keel (at the time the model was not in its cradle as shown in the photo). As the boxwood strip may be only just sufficient to complete the entire planking, I decided to use the walnut for the wales as they are to be painted . 





The walnut is more difficult to bend than the boxwood, so a good soaking is needed.  I have use a piece of PVC pipe as a 'soaker' (I have rotated the image, but for some reason the rotation has been lost).




Here is the result of the first plank for each wale.











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Looking really good.


As far as the photo rotation goes, there are two ways of rotating a photo on a computer... one is to actually change the file data to be the rotated image (this is a fairly big job as all the compression maths that keeps the file small probably has to be reworked). The second is to just set a parameter in the file metadata (Exif)that says e.g. "display this file rotated90 degrees clockwise" .


The second option is much quicker and many desktop computer programmes and cameras use this function... so it will look rotated in your screen. However internet browsers / websites often ignore this data so an image rotated the second way will appear as it originally was.


The solution is to find a programme that actually rotate your photos as per the first method.


Hope that makes sense.



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On 1/10/2018 at 3:09 AM, Passer said:

I will also follow:)

Were did you found these screw in clamps? Or have you done them by your self?

I had some of those c!amps. I think I got them from Model Expo.  They are not high quality; the metal is soft and after a few uses the screw part snapped off of the handle. Also, they split the bulkheads.

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Thanks Rob and Rich  for taking the time to help.  I'll see what I can do.


Ragrove:  I remember some time ago a reference to poor quality screw clamps similar to the ones I am using.  The actual screws (ie: the part you screw in) on mine are black and I have had them for three modeling builds over quite a long time.  They are good as new and have not shown any tendency to split the bulk heads - either MDF or ply. You do however need to drill holes for them slightly larger than 1mm (say about 1.2 or 1.3mm - but definitely less than 1.5mm).  I think the screws on the poor quality clamps were not black, but were otherwise very similar to look at.

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