Jump to content

Recommended Posts

So, as promised in my post introducing myself, I’m starting on this kit as a resurgence of my ship-building gene. Last build was HMS Bounty by Billing Boats back in 1983 which only took me about 20 years to finish!

 

Before I start I want to thank all those members who have posted build logs of this kit before me - your experiences and photos have been enormously helpful and clearly I have a great deal to live up to! Hope I’m up to the challenge.

 

I’m expecting to spend around 500 hours or so on this build, so this will, I think, take me around 18 months or so - although I’m retired, there always seems to be something to do; today for example was switching out the dishwasher and humping the old one over to the MIL. And, once the winter is over I’ll have a lot to do in the garden (my Admiral’s pride and joy) as well as a potential kitchen remodel...

 

I won’t be lighting it or doing any major alterations; my skills aren’t anywhere near good enough (yet).

 

The kit arrived a couple of days ago; so far all I’ve done is inventorying the metal parts. Everything OK so far except I don’t see the piece that’s meant to thread the steering wheel to its supports. Tomorrow afternoon I hope to check the supplied wood, having noticed other builders’ difficulties with over/undersized wood. That said, the kit box has a 2017 copyright mark and I’ve testing the brass smokestack rings on the smokestack wood, and they do fit, if very tightly, so perhaps AL have fixed a few issues.

 

Anyway, enough text, here’s the obligatory pix of the box and its contents.

 

Hugh

 

 

78145B32-41F8-4BDF-A5EB-F80D47B568B3.jpeg

99579C64-4D4A-4A62-891E-9D1DD6E7A888.jpeg

844CB520-0DF0-4082-A0CF-20F6FCD52C9A.jpeg

CD40F873-3CB2-4D5B-8551-13E3299A2F96.jpeg

BDAAFE78-CFB7-4436-9DCD-4AA47D8C7755.jpeg

D219E0D9-AEBB-450C-8987-4272C63409B3.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the welcome Antony. Once I’ve inventoried the wood I intend to do a dry fit of the decks and built rooms to see if previous problems like hole alignment and over/undersized cutouts still persist, then figure out a way forward.

 

This is my first laser cut kit; have to say so far (and without unpacking the ply & wood sheets) it all looks very crisp. We shall see! One thing I’m not looking forward to is the circular stairs; one thing at a time though.

 

I’ve started jotting some thoughts down about how to approach various issues; one of them is the metal windows. I’ve not been convinced by the paint approach, so I’m wondering if I could maybe drill and file out the window panes, replacing them with insect screen to represent diamond shaped leaded lights. What I don’t know is if that approach would work and I don’t have any spares to practise on. It’s also a LOT of work!

 

Hugh

Link to post
Share on other sites

hee....hee...hee.......I got the admiral scrambl'in 'round right now  :)    she got me this same kit for Christmas.......except mine is dated 2015.  she noticed that your box isn't the same as my box......and set the stones to rolling  :D     another fellow just finished his.....he had a few issues that you might want to be aware of.   I'm keeping his log in mind for the day I start mine:

Look for Vossy's "riverboat" log too.......he's putting people on his and posted a link as to where he got them.   they are not riverboat figures though....you may want to look into getting some that are more correct for the subject.   I'll pull up a chair and look on.......perhaps you'll have some additional ideas {or maybe spark a few of my own  ;) }.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi hugh, so glad you are doing this kit as well. I just love the riverboats and will definitely do this one once i'm done with Mississippi and chaperon. btw, I reckon I have searched the outer limits of the known universe for correct scale (1:50) and period figures for my build, and the only ones I can find are some of those you can see on my log. if you are planning to put people on your build, could you please let me know if you come across any that might be of interest to me?

 

thanks, and good luck with your build. I am looking forward to following it.

 

chris

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Popeye & Chris (vossy), thanks for coming aboard - all comments and suggestions very gratefully received! Chris, I’ll certainly let you know if I see anything (I spent an idle 10 minutes - well OK, half an hour - looking for 18th century sailors in HO scale; not much joy. I guess you could always bash or scratch build some.... 😜 (see, I'm picking up the lingo already!)

 

Not much time today, but I did manage to inventory some of the wood; and yes, the walnut supplied is 5mm wide, not 6 as per the inventory, so I’ll have to order some more. I may as well get sufficient to plank the whole boat from one supply, rather than mix & match. I’m also not very happy with the sapele supplied, it seems too open a grain and very coarse to the touch, so I’m going to look at alternatives.

 

I did begin my dry fit of the bottom, frames, false keel and 1st deck. Getting the pieces out of the ply wasn’t too difficult (used an Xacto 11 blade to cut through) though it did take some wiggling - there’s not much clearance. A very little sanding will give clean lines. Much different from my old Bounty build where I had to cut/saw the bits out one by one!

 

When putting the pieces together, I found there’s very little to no clearance. Frames 6 and 7 needed a little thinning on the tabs to actually fit - in fact on 7, pushing the piece onto the false keel actually peeled back the very top layer of ply! And yes frames 4 & 5 are wrongly numbered - glaringly obvious when you put them in place.

 

Dry fitting the 1st deck, the curvature is clear (and some slight sanding of the top of frames 2, 3 & 8 to make them line up). On a positive note, no warping was present and the frames, once on the keel, are all at 90°, though when it gets to the glueing stage I won’t be trusting to luck! On deck curvature, I’m planning (at the moment) to sand down the 1st deck structures to match the curve so that Deck 2 (and all those above) will be flat. Some precise measurements required!

 

Having spent all of 10 minutes thinking about it, I’m not convinced about the stair arrangements across the decks at the front of the ship. I think a grander double deck staircase might be in order, but I’ll need to think this through and plan it out - it will mean some cutting and rebuilding of the fronts of decks 2 & 3 as well as rethinking all the railing at the front.

 

Tomorrow, once the Admiral has gone to work - and assuming no ‘honeydo’s’ - I’ll be dry assembling the deck structures to check on tab & hole alignments. 

 

Some pix

 

 

 

Hugh

2F9A2478-8D51-44D6-99CD-64736F82483F.jpeg

8E5DB925-9248-42CF-82EE-3702DAC62DFF.jpeg

D596518A-134A-42B2-AB95-B622A1800933.jpeg

AF2713ED-83ED-4BD6-A1D3-62B924942A8D.jpeg

F17E2010-5006-4ED0-980D-C193F7895DD7.jpeg

DACE933B-A5F0-4D5E-AA5D-CDB9544FCD37.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

And on the third day ... there was a mild panic when I came down to my shipyard (aka basement, cellar etc) to discover one of our cats had been exploring and had knocked the main ply boards onto the floor, together with a small cup of water I’d been using to clean brushes on another of the Admiral’s honeydo’s. Some slight warping had occurred, but the ply was still damp so I clamped it all down between some 2x6 and let it dry. Sorted!

 

7CCA0D74-18B6-4125-B9BB-64A400990097.jpeg

 

I carried on my with my dry fit and got all the way up the wheelhouse, ignoring the Ventilation deck bits for now.

 

D7C754EA-9635-4EDF-BA08-0BC6AEB0D9C7.jpeg

 

E80E607A-1F7E-4DC7-A38F-87AB051A3254.jpeg

 

My main discovery was that the 2nd deck structure is actually curved fore and aft - see pic below against a straight edge.

 

E8DD4A1C-1291-4193-A0E6-C350E17DA6BD.jpeg

 

C322FABE-06BE-483A-A39B-467DD6FE1F0C.jpeg

 

This curve is replicated on the top, so clearly the decks are meant to bow (this also solved a slight puzzle of mine, in that when the main deck is pushed against the frames and becomes bowed, the tabs of the main deck structures all fitted in their slots. That said, all may change when everything gets glued together...)

 

Other discoveries: Once you have the rear of the 2nd & 3rd decks vertically aligned the top tabs of the 2nd deck don’t align with the 3rd deck slots - the tabs are about 3mm too far forward. I’m going to cut those misalignments out.

 

B2D68F55-1917-4C28-ABB5-653B8416A36D.jpeg

 

Confirmed the holes for the side posts then need redrilling at a 60°ish angle for the posts to fit. All the post holes need a very small amount of widening - the posts barely fit the 3rd deck, won’t go through the holes on the 2nd as they are, never mind with paint on. The wood for the stacks did fit, but won’t once painted.

 

Amused myself for 10 minutes dry assembling the grating pieces. What fun! (Seriously, it’s the sort of task I enjoy - no real thinking involved haha).  

 

I’ll come back back and edit this if I remember anything else. (Almost certain!)

 

Hugh

(Edited to put pix in the right place in the text)

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, tentatively started proper work on the kit. After rectifying the various misaligned tabs, non-slanting and over-tight holes (used a round jeweller’s file, worked pretty well but a little ply veneer did split off on the main and 1st deck) and as it’s been 30+ years since I worked on such a small scale, I’ve started with the various cabin doors, just to get my hand and eye in. These were cut out with an 11 blade, a quick sand down against a sheet of 220 grit to remove any lumps, then stained a dark walnut for 2/3 minutes - so not too dark.

 

I don’t like the brass ring door handles - they seem over-scale and frankly a bit silly - so I decided to use some of the brass pins as supplied with the kit suitably cut down to act as proper door knobs. Checking the size of the pin head and shank gave a good approximation to real life. I drilled the doors with a 0.6mm bit - managing to break two of them in the process, good job I’d bought extra! (it’s a learning process after all) - using a little jig constructed on the fly with double-sided sticky tape. Won’t be doing that again though, not enough stability (learning process again).

 

For the door windows I’ve bought an insect screen repair kit; this gives a diamond (or square if you prefer) pattern of about 4 scale inches, which is fine with me and comes on a white background sheet which is removable. I’d intended to keep the sheet in place to act as ‘glass’ but when discussing this with the Admiral she decided she’d rather see through the windows. That means painting and possibly furnishing the inside of a few rooms; that should sort my mild OCD out!

 

No pix today, I’ll add some to this tomorrow.

 

Hugh

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if there is some correlation between the misalignment of the dowel and the structure.   your really giving me the itch to pull mine out of the box and do some research into it ;)    that's a dry fit on a large scale.......it's a good way to think ahead.   I wonder how this model would look if you subbed the stairs with an elevator?  apparently there's a problem with the incline of the stairs......plenty of time to figure a course of action.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, popeye the sailor said:

I wonder if there is some correlation between the misalignment of the dowel and the structure.   your really giving me the itch to pull mine out of the box and do some research into it ;)    that's a dry fit on a large scale.......it's a good way to think ahead.   I wonder how this model would look if you subbed the stairs with an elevator?  apparently there's a problem with the incline of the stairs......plenty of time to figure a course of action.

Popeye, I found that once the decks were properly bowed fore and aft, the stack dowel fit perfectly, apart from some minor sanding. This is all dry fit of course, so things might be different once glued. I’ll be checking fit continuously as I proceed.

 

I’m still thinking on the stairs; there’s not a great deal of room to play with once the circular saloon(?) wall and foremast are taken into account. Not sure how an elevator could work given all the overhead gear and counterweight needed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So, tentatively started proper work on the kit. After rectifying the various misaligned tabs, non-slanting and over-tight holes (used a round jeweller’s file, worked pretty well but a little ply veneer did split off on the main and 1st deck) and as it’s been 30+ years since I worked on such a small scale, I’ve started with the various cabin doors, just to get my hand and eye in. These were cut out with an 11 blade, a quick sand down against a sheet of 220 grit to remove any lumps, then stained a dark walnut for 2/3 minutes - so not too dark.

 

I don’t like the brass ring door handles - they seem over-scale and frankly a bit silly - so I decided to use some of the brass pins as supplied with the kit suitably cut down to act as proper door knobs. Checking the size of the pin head and shank gave a good approximation to real life. I drilled the doors with a 0.6mm bit - managing to break two of them in the process, good job I’d bought extra! (it’s a learning process after all) - using a little jig constructed on the fly with double-sided sticky tape. Won’t be doing that again though, not enough stability (learning process again).

 

For the door windows I’ve bought an insect screen repair kit; this gives a diamond (or square if you prefer) pattern of about 4 scale inches, which is fine with me and comes on a white background sheet which is removable. I’d intended to keep the sheet in place to act as ‘glass’ but when discussing this with the Admiral she decided she’d rather see through the windows. That means painting and possibly furnishing the inside of a few rooms; that should sort my mild OCD out!

 

No pix today, I’ll add some to this tomorrow (now added)

 

As you can see, I made one door the wrong way round (d’oh!) - I’ll put that on the back of the ship!

 

Hugh

 

 

D2577171-F478-4560-81FD-4CEAD900779B.jpeg

8D86C828-79F6-49D3-8DC3-3D2183806422.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not much done the last couple of days (it’s busy being retired!) other than the Admiral oohing and aahing over the doors lol. Finally got round to glueing the frames to the false keel, using the base to keep everything aligned, and glueing on the knightheads. Plenty of clamps involved - you can never have enough! Next step will be glueing the assembly to the ship’s bottom (ooerr missus! - sorry, old UK joke that one!) and sorting out the stern piece.

 

Once I’ve done that, fix the two end pieces for the paddle wheel assembly on the main deck and then on to decking. Still haven’t made my mind up about whether to show caulking or not, and if so how. Probably won’t be treenailing, tbh I think they would have been using iron nails and they wouldn’t show at this scale. Then again I might change my mind...

 

Will add a pic when I figure out why it didn’t transfer from my iPhone to my iPad. Technology, eh? (Now added)

 

Hugh

 

 

A3728A30-1946-4291-ADE3-20DB61C980C8.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

it's nice to hear that your misses is on board with the hobby.  sadly,  some are not......makes it tough to enjoy when there's friction,  every time one wants to spend some leisure time.  my admiral is totally on board.....I used to work with plastic,  but when she saw my first wood ship....she decided that I would continue with wood and stop building in plastic!  she gets involved with the color coordination {no plaid},  and she's a great sounding board.  should I get stuck on something.  she won't do sails though.......pity :( 

 

I dunno......there may be a call for a left handed door,  you never know  ;)     great to reason out the possibilities!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Mike!

 

Popeye, I hope I find a reason - otherwise it’s relegation to the wall!

 

Not much progress for the next few days I’m afraid - managed to slip over on some snow-covered ice this morning at my local DMV (45 years driving, 1 I say ONE speeding ticket and no accidents that I was ever at fault for and I STILL have to take a driving test on immigrating from the UK to then be told by someone half my age who wasn’t even born before I took some rather advanced law enforcement driving schools that I maybe picked up some ‘bad habits’ before giving me a 96/100 score whilst demonstrating absolutely NO knowledge of anti-lock braking systems) and banged my elbow up pretty hard.

 

Can you tell my elbow is still hurting? 

 

Anyway so here’s the false keel, frames and bottom all glued up and clamped for your delectation. Next step, stern piece.

B3E1332F-5790-4EDE-82EA-F1419F611FF0.jpeg

Now, a question for you old salts - what do you suggest for spreading PVA glue? I’ve tried using cotton buds, both full and cut down - doesn’t work as the cotton fibres end up forming a ‘horse tail’ that’s difficult to manage at small scale. I’ve seen other builds talking about ‘microbrushes’ but no one near me seems to stock them. Am I off to an internet source, and if so what do you recommend?

 

Hugh

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The elbow being a lot better, I started work again. The stern piece needs fairing down to meet the bottom and as others have noted, is too tall. The slot for the keel also needs deepening by about 3mm so you can get a good angle against the bottom.

 

02E02846-9CFA-4EBF-A064-F8847BEC3128.jpeg

 

Having glued and pinned the stern, I attached the paddle wheel deck extensions. These are loose fitting so the only thing holding them in place is the glue - no wonder they get knocked off easily. It’s also a pain making sure they continue to align properly as you clamp them once glued. I’m going to put some bubble wrap around them once I’ve planked the deck and look into some small screws to hold the whole paddle assembly more securely.

 

Started assembling the main deck structures and knocked up a small jig to ensure corners remained square. 

6397DCBE-CD81-4A3F-A026-061032EE8075.jpeg

Some of the tabs are very tight and needed a little easing. Now letting the glue cure overnight before more fiddling about tomorrow. In my enthusiasm carried on with glueing together the 2nd & 3rd deck structures.

 

Edited to add: the building plan calls for 3x3mm strips to be glued in between the frames just inboard of the outer hull. Apparently these are ‘support’. Can’t see why these are necessary so will be leaving them out. Let’s hope I don’t regret it!

 

Hugh

Link to post
Share on other sites

The fiddling about referred to in my last post involved cutting enough deck planks to 10cm for the main deck. Initially tried using an Xacto knife, but found it hard to get a true 90° cut. Then on to my Harbour Freight mini chop saw, but this mangled too many ends. Ended up using an Xacto saw and mitre guide, doing 5 at a time. Not perfect but will do, I think.

 

Experimented with pencil to simulate caulking and treenailing on some scrap. Not doing it, which I’d thought of earlier, simply doesn’t give enough differentiation between the planks; you’d just end up with a bland blond across the deck. So I’ll be edging the planks with pencil lead. Also found my local Walmart stocked 0.5mm pencils, which when briefly pushed into the planks gave a good impersonation of nails, so I’ll be going with that.

 

Now that I have the main deck structures all glued up, I took the opportunity to dry fit again. I can confirm that with the main deck bowed fore and aft the main deck structures DO fit the slots in the deck, though a little pressure is required to get them into place, and that the second and third deck structures also fit nicely. Kudos to AL! Also noticed that the bottom edges of the right angles of the structures aren’t quite aligned - about 0.25mm or so - and thus some sanding will be required to get the whole thing seated properly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds like you've been busy ;)   I use an archive pen for simulated calking.   it contains India Ink which won't seep into the wood.  one time though,  I left the cover off too long and it dried out.  I bought a bottle of India ink and gave it a dose.....works fine now,  but I will have to toss it soon.....the tip is starting to fray.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a slight hiatus due to having to do other things, got back to work yesterday bevelling the frames, smoothing out any high points and experimenting with decking - caulking, treenailing etc. Got carried away and decided to steam the hull sides to bend them overnight on the frame. All was going well until I heard ‘crack’ - the port side was insufficiently wet, I hadn’t sufficiently bevelled frame 1 by about 0.5mm and the side cracked just behind it resulting in an angle to the bow rather than a smooth curve. Woe is me.

 

I left the sides overnight on the frame for them to dry - and me to recover - and came back to look over it this morning. I’ve decided to glue the sides on as they are and when dry will add some wood or ply behind the angle, then sand it all back to the curve I need, since it seems the cracked side refuses to do anything other than bend on the line of the crack.

 

Oh well, it’s a learning experience....

 

Hugh

 

 

image.jpg

image.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

After a few days doing household stuff (ripping up old carpet, but lovely hardwood floors underneath, etc etc), back to the build.

 

For the slightly misshapen portside bow, I went with sanding down the angle quite a lot and have left it at that. I know I’ll  notice the slight difference between the two, but by the time it’s planked and varnished I don’t think anyone else will.

 

I went with pencil caulking in the end and have glued on the main deck planking. This is drying at the moment and tomorrow I’ll be adding effect nails etc before giving it a light sand and then varnishing. I’m also going to test a colour stain (American Oak) on a piece of scrap and if I like it I’ll stain the whole deck. I’ll add a pic or two tomorrow or the day after.

 

DAAB08D9-902D-4A6C-AEE8-81B05BC83C9C.jpeg

 

Edited to add this is how I did the butt joints - a straight edge as I don’t trust myself to manually get them straight - scoring gently with the back of an Xacto 11 blade and then pencilling with a 0.5mm point with treenails simply a rotation of the pencil point. Could have been a bit more precise with that though, and probably didn’t need the scoring first.

 

Colour stain in the end was Summer Oak on the Admiral’s advice, a bit darker/yellower than I was thinking but I think it’s a good choice. Then matt varnish on top. I’ll use the American Oak stain on the deck structures to give a colour contrast.

 

The current plan is to then glue the deck to the hull and then begin hull planking, sides first then bottom.

 

Hugh

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Managed to grab a few hours and did some detail work, making the curved doors on the main deck and the ventilation grids which are now glued in place and intentionally placed to give a little overhang over the siding. The ventilation grids were stuck down in twos on double sided sticky tape and drilled though with my trusty Dremel drill press. I later tapped in the nails with a jeweller’s hammer, cutting off the heads which I’ve kept in case I find them useful later.

 

Also stained the undersides of the decks in case anyone bends their heads! 

 

Can you spot the unintentional mistake? (Prize is a personal jet to your tropical island of choice, all expenses paid. *Some restrictions apply*.)

 

6077400F-ED9E-4225-8885-A8FE02896E2C.jpeg

53747F47-AE00-4117-B5F3-4128188E6F27.jpeg

 

13CD8278-1A8A-413A-9FAF-D500A10C8818.jpeg

 

Hugh

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...