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Armed Viriginia Sloop by JpR62 - Model Shipways - Scale 1:48 - First wooden ship build

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this is my first build log. After reading many build logs and hesitate between some models (HMC Sherbourne, HM Cutter Mermaid), I finally choose the Armed Virginia Sloop from Model Shipways in 1:48 scale. I choose this model because I can found many advices on the excellent build logs of this forum:  aliluke, DocBlake, GuntherMT, Ryland Craze,... All this logs have wonderful pictures on the building process. I have also found two excellent documents on the web :  an addendum from John H. Earl and the practicum of Robert E. Hunt. It's also a model not to much complicate with only one mast.

On mid November, I ordered the kit through the modelexpo website and, one week later, I received it. It was a big surprise: what a quantity of woods...

Just after the beginning of my work, I realized that without the practicum of M Hunt it will be very hard to complete this model. So, on beginning of last December, I ordered the complete version of this practicum. Two weeks after, I received the CD and was a little more reassured.


I first slowly cut out all the bulkheads and I adjust the slots. I made a first try with all the bulkheads but without glue... Before gluing I extend the lines of the slot and mark all the letters to be sure to not invert some bulkheads...

I also made a copy of the plan with my printer and cut all the paper bulkheads and glue them on a piece of cardboard. It will be so more easy to report the bevels on the real bulkheads.






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Following steps of the AVS build


It takes a lot of time to prepare the bulkheads to just arrive to easily insert them into the false keel. When I have finished to glue them, some of them didn't reach the bearding line. They are too short. I had to add shims to the bottom. Then I add scrap blocks between each bulkheads to make the structure more rigid so I can faire the hull.


The three false decks were glued in place and I have my first problem... I use strips of wood and elastics to keep up the false deck. But one of the strip brokes suddenly and a little part of the false deck was broken... Nothing irreparable. Some glue and a little piece of sandpaper. You can see this on the third pictures on the starboard of the quarter false deck. But as it will be cover by the planking, I hope we will finally see nothing...


As I have an exemplar of the excellent book 'Modeling an armed Virginia Sloop by Clayton A. Feldman, I see a little modification that I can ad to the keel. The stem was divided in two parts. I can only recommend to read this book which is a source of great advices and contains a lot of details.


As my next build ship will be the Cheerful from Syren Ship Model Company, I try to add some treenails on the keel. I use the Chuck process to add these treenails. I made 5 small holes using a drill (0.5 mm) and fill the holes with wood filler.


The bow filler was cut and carefully sanded. Finally I glue it in position and put two balls of blu tack to keep them in place during the drying times of the glue.


The building it really great. Each step brings many questions... But with the Hunt practicum and the build logs of this forum, I always found an answer.


Thanks to all to share Your works !










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The word is still going.

I have worked on the stern transom.

Following the plan, I have glued the 6 laser-cut basswood parts. To be sure that the frames are in correct position, I have used the windows to set the space between these parts. I made a photocopy of the plan and labeled the windows so I can memorize their location. You will note that the two parts glued on the center keel have been shaped in form following the plan. Thanks to the build log of GuntherMT to get my attention on this detail.


The wing transom and filler pieces are added beneath the stern frames and then sanded. On the third photo I put temporarily the windows in place to see how they will be fit.


Always great pleasure with this model ship.





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Little update on my AVS build log.

I have added the first plank of the wales and the black strakes.

I try to already open the scuppers. It will be a little challenging to align them with the spirketing plank but I like the fact that we can see light through to them.

I used a copy of the plan to find the right location and drill them with a little rounded file. The black strake is made in 3 parts.

Next steps the waterway at deck...



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Great job so far.  I’ll be following this build closely.  Anything I can help with, please ask.  I had the same problem with bulkheads needing shimming and the sub decks breaking in spots.  “Design flaw”!!


Feldman’s book is helpful.  The MS kit was based on his plans, with some modifications.

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Thanks so much ragove, DocBlake, captgino and all the likes.

DocBlake I will have probably a lot of questions when it will be time for masting and riggings. Because it will be a new world for me. But the road is still long...

Captgino, I have beginning the building on last mid December, so I have a small advance. When I received the ship model, I was a little afraid... So much woods... I wanted to see if I would get to do something with it before to start a log...


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The extension of the bulkheads have been slowly reduced at the width of 3/64". I used my proxxon to achieve this job.

The waterway was glued on the false deck using epoxy glue. When the glue has dried, I noticed that in two places, a small gap remain between the false deck and the waterway... I put some filler to be at level... You can look this on the last picture.

I decided to fill the space between the outer black strake and the waterway. I don't want that we can see a hole through the scupper.  I protect the waterway with a piece of Tesa blue tape and carefully fill the gap with some wood filler ('Pate à bois' from Libéron, walnut color).

When it was dry, I painted the space with black acrylic color.

Now come some more interesting job. I prepare the 1/16" spirketing plank. I decided to use two pieces. One at the bow and the second with the scuppers. The first piece was put in hot water and then bend. For the second, I made a photocopy of the plan and using a small rounded file, I carefully cut the scuppers using the plan as guide.

The two pieces were glued in place and I just paint an undercoat of red acrylic color to have some idea of the final result.

I will now work on the transom & counter...







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I have worked on the first planking of the transom & counter.

I started with the counter. Then I applied some black acrylic color inside the interior of the windows cavities.

Inspiring of the method described in the addendum that has been written by John H. Earl, I made a jig to cut three planks for the planking of the transom.

So I could keep a consistent curve for all the planks using this template. I copied the profile from Detail 2-J on Plan Sheet 2 and cut this template from a scrap piece of wood.  I used this piece as a guide to cut out each plank from a large sheet of basswood of the proper thickness. The line drawn in the center of the planking material enabled me to glue each time the piece in the good position so the curve would be the same on each plank. The plank at the top is intentionally larger. It will be cut at the right size when the second planking will be performed.

Finally, I cut the four holes for the windows and glued them in position. The windows should just protrude a little from the first layer of wood in prevision of the final layer of walnut. They should be at level when the second layer of planking will be done...

I need some sanding before begin this next step...




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Looking good so far JP.

I have very little time to cruise the forums these days, but I will try to drop in and check on your build from time to time, so if you have any questions I'll try to answer them, but I can't promise that it will be timely.  :)


Have fun, it's a great model to build.

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Thanks GuntherMT. I think I will have questions when it will be time to work on a more technical job like planking the hull...


I have finished the second layer of planks on the transom & counter.

For the counter, not really a difficult job. For the transom, the first plank is cut from a piece of walnut so I can open the little spaces for the windows. All the others planks are bent using the same template that I have used to cut the first layer planks. I just glue it on a board and brace the mount with three toothpicks as treenails. The strips are soaked in hot water and bent using this template. When the last plank was glued, I cut the excess of the basswood first layer.

Following the excellent practicum of M Hunt, I put the fashion pieces in place.

You notice that I have paint beforehand the windows with Vallejo white acrylic color. I like the contrast between the white of the windows and the dark of the walnut strips. I finish my work with a layer of teak oil.





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Not really happy with the curve of the fashion pieces, on next day I play again with my little files and try to obtain a more smooth shape.

A new coat of teak oil was applied. The result is a little bit better.


Now it's time for a less difficult part of the building with the first external planking of the upper hull.DSC_0374.thumb.JPG.f1541f4e62ff80f029a13630f1b95ef0.JPG


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Nice work on the transom.


One note of caution - as you are following the practicum, make sure to compare everything Bob says against the plans and the kit instructions (even though he tells you not to), as well as reading ahead a lot (in both places).  While overall I found the practicum very useful when I was building this kit, by the end I was only using it as an 'order of assembly and checklist', as while it starts out very solid, by the rigging phase he was just skipping over things and/or doing them in an order which I found made no sense, and in some cases would not work at all when done the way he described.  I think the problem is that he builds the model completely, and then goes back and writes the practicum, and nobody has a perfect memory.


I do not regret purchasing the practicum as I think it allowed me to get deep into the build with a lot less trouble than I might have had otherwise, but I just caution you to use common sense and study things before blindly following what Bob says to do.



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Thanks Wallace, DocBlake, GuntherMT and all the likes.

Without the B. Hunt practicum I never arrive at this step of my build. But I not only refer to it, I use too the addendum from John H. Earl and naturally all the wonderful logs on this forum. I try to refer as a maximum of sources. GuntherMt and DocBlake,  a big thanks for Your advice.

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As my daughter had a week of school holiday for the sports winter, I have also taken vacation. During this week, I could work a lot on the AVS.

It was a very interesting part of the build without great problems.

I used always the same template to bent the strips at the bow. I have add some fillers at the bow between the bulkheads extension. So it was more easy to glue the planks.

When all the planks over the black strake have been glued, I cut them at the correct length in every gunport.

I have also cut some filler pieces from a sheet of 3/64" basswood to close the gunports.

The same sheet of basswood was used to cut fillers and added them between the extensions of the bulkheads at each position where I will need to open the sweep ports.

Finally I added the two last planks at the cabin.


The first planking above the black strake is over. It was a very pleasant job.

Now it will be more tricky with the first planking below the wale... It will be probably much more difficult...










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The first planking of the hull is done. It was a very interesting experience. I learn a lot and I must change my way during the process...


When I try to cut the first plank under the wales, I never arrive to spile it from the 1/4" basswood strip... So I decide to pose this first plank in three parts. It was a big mistake... After four rows, I understood that if I continue in this way, I will never arrive to finish my hull...


So, when I began with the garboard, I have taken a couple of hours to find the method to spile the strip, but finally I have arrived to something acceptable. So the planks near the garboard are more in a traditional method.

I have used 1/4" strips to fill the space between the upper and the lower parts of the hull... and some strips cut in special shapes...

The next time, I will adopt  a more academic method from the beginning... But as it's only a first layer, it was acceptable.


Now, I will use some lightweight filler and a good sanding to finish this first step.







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A lot of of lightweight filler and sanding...

I hope that this first planking will do his job for the final layer...

I'm studying the good way to achieve this next part of the build.

I will try to applied the method described by master Chuck in the chapter 5 on the Winchelsea: 'Planking below the wales'.

So I take an old box of colouring pencils who belonged to my son and I represent visually the three belts that will divide the hull. So I can have a pretty good idea of the position which I must applied  the tape.










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Thanks John and all the likes.

Continuing to study the photos of the original model from Clayton A. Feldman ("Modeling an armed Virginia Sloop of 1768"), I try to reproduce his planking schema.

First, I discover that the wale was made in three parts: the first part from stern to the end of gunport "1", the second part up to the middle of the space between gunports "3" and "4".

The second picture allows me to reproduce the planking schema under the wale at the position between the gunports "3" and "4". And finally with the last picture, I see that the the first plank under the wale must end between gunports "3" and "2".

I try to draw the planking drafts on a copy of the plan.

But, as the length of the planks is a 5 bulkheads covering, I never have an ending of a plank at bulkheads "L" and "G"...

Can I  use this planking schema or should I use the more classical model plank that covers 4 bulkheads (my last photo) ?

Your opinion is welcome...






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Thanks John for your opinion. I will probably opt for the schema inspired from the Feldman's model.

Thanks to all the likes.

Progress of this week. I have glued the final wales and black strakes. The scuppers have been pierced using a small rounded file.

The alignment is not so bad. We can look through them.

I will paint the wales and the black strakes in black with some acrylic paint. First a little sanding is required.





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The second inner planking is done. I choose to use basswood strips instead walnut as I will paint the inner planks in red color.

It was a very pleasant job.

I prepare also the lower part of the hull for the final layer. I use the plan as reference to trace vertical lines at the emplacement of the different frames. It will be more easy to divide each belt in 6 equal parts at each frame as the belt A and B will count 6 rows of planks. I hope to be able to determine more easily the shape of the various planks...


I open carefully a hole for the bowsprit. I choose to drill this hole directly at the good size.



Now I'm waiting on my order of Vallejo air model red and black colors to begin the painting job.

A little question: can I already open the sweep ports and the hawse holes or it is simpler to wait to have ended the final layer of the outer planking ?


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Thanks Dave and all the likes.

Today I received a small package from Syren Ship Model Company.

I have decided to replace the cannons and swivel guns by those produced by Chuck.

And I'm not disappointed. They are superb.

I order also the carriages.




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