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USF Confederacy 1778 by JohnB40 - Model Shipways - 1:64 scale

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Greetings to all,

I have decided to restart my build log for my present project.... Model Shipways USF Confederacy. My 2 previous attempts disappeared from the forum without a trace and I'm hoping that 3rd time is a charm.

I won't go back to square one,but will continue on from the last point I was at,which was completion of the stem,keel,false decks and bulkhead formers. The only thing I can add to this part of the build that might be useful to others was the use of AARP cards to keep a uniform distance between the exposed frames while glue sets.



870 kb · Done5a875ba06ebe2_Confederacyandsander002.thumb.JPG.b3befc3d46c99b9cb5b8754db5019cef.JPG5a875dcb3e064_Confederacyandsander018.thumb.JPG.4dd6999f25a34eaadb07296376db92b1.JPG

The bulkheads were then faired and a start was made on the stern framing5a875e111393c_Confederacyandsander021.thumb.JPG.f539697a9d52dba79fda10ce0a2f0c7a.JPG5a875e4104168_Confederacyandsander044.thumb.JPG.2c110a0fde9d8dea3009165be31e4dc4.JPGand followed by fitting the rear lights sills and lintels. These were faired to the curve of the transom. The final fairing of Bulkheads 7 & 8 was finished too . The large and small aft facing ports framing was added and faired to follow the curve of the counter.5a87648b4ff36_Confederacy017.JPG.a1d768d3f94592b022d737a0c95547fd.JPG5a8764e7a1776_Confederacy002.thumb.JPG.d9f16b64d8ce6785db9b1229f1c74cb3.JPG



Edited by JohnB40
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The next task was to lay the four  sections of false decking. I spent quite some time aligning the sections,making sure the joints were as  tight as possible and the center joints  were true to the center line of the bulkhead former. I used clamps on the outboard side and 1/32" brass brads down the center line,which were removed and holes filled after PVA had set


The beakhead deck was planked,a #2 pencil used to create caulking.



The beakhead bulkhead was planked  on both sides. After looking at this part of the construction I decided to add some details like the doors ,hinges,frames and doorknobs. I thought it would be better done now owing to the small parts and easier access



The inboard side was painted and hinges and doorknobs added. I couldn't decide whether to frame these doors...I might go back and do them. It took me a long time to decide on the interior bulkhead paint color. I chose an ochre acrylic artist paint in the end. I think this is more realistic color for the period after looking at many models on the NMM website. From what I read ochre pigments (from mustard yellow to brick red) were mixed with linseed oil to paint period ships. Bright red pigments for paint were not formulated until the late 1800's. I will be using Dulcote to matte down the paint.













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Good call on the ochre. Much easier on the eyes.


Bright red has been around for centuries. It was just cost prohibitive to make quantities needed for a boat - unless you were a Roman emperor. Whereas red ochre was one of the cheapest colors to make.  In the late 1800's they began to use different materials to make red - until then a particular dried bug imported from the Americas was widely used. Cadmium in particular became a major source and red for the masses soon followed. Interestingly the bug dye is making a comeback. FWIW

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Today I started on gun port framing. I had previously checked the laser marked guidelines on the bulkheads against the plans to verify. All checked out OK. I used a strip of 1/16 x 1/8 x 36 balsa to align the bulkhead marks,check the run of the sills and mark the outboard face of the bulkheads. I found it was easier to use balsa as it formed a curve better than basswood.The sills were trimmed to the correct length and marked in sequence from the aft forward. The false deck was also numbered at their corresponding place between the bulkheads.


When I started to lay the sills,I found it hard to establish when the sills were level as the curve of the deck and bulkhead were confusing my trifocal eyes. The only way I could see overcoming this was to make sure my building bench was perfectly level. I then made sure the ship was level in its building jig. I used a couple of small levels on the beakhead deck and other points to check this. I shimmed the upright supports of my jig to get it spot on and then clamped them.


I then aligned  each sill with the bulkhead marks,used a 2" level  to lay each sill in place. Each was leveled and aligned as I went forward. I can now use spacers to put the lintels in place and know and they are laying parallel and level to each other. As an additional check I made a small gauge from thin brass with a mark scribed at 1" which I could fit between the slot in the false deck and the bulkhead and double check the position of top of the sills.








I  will start on the lintels tomorrow.....


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  • 8 months later...

Greetings to all,

Well the rainy season has started in Oregon,so it is time once again for inside hobbies. I'm back at my workbench continuing my build of the Confederacy. Before my hiatus I finished the sills,lintels and uprights framing the gun ports. I also finished fairing most of the hull after fitting the Hance pieces.


I fitted the sweep ports framing blocks using a batten aligned to the bulkhead marks and then faired them to the hull. Before cutting the sweep port templates from the plans I reinforced the area around the port cut-outs with clear tape. This made a more defined edge for the port outline which was marked on the framing.435191225_Confederacy2003.thumb.JPG.bb3762278525f5e48577211f5aa64131.JPG989271277_Confederacy2006.thumb.JPG.5467607bfe8f8f5cd8d90287b9eed979.JPG 

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The hull sheaves were then made. I laminated some thin scrap hardwood. When cured I used a hole punch to make simulated sheaves,these were trimmed to fit in the slots of the frames. They were then stained golden oak.

Once they are fitted to the hull I can start the planking........

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Before you start hull planking I recommend you check out Dubz's build log.  He ran into some issues where the plans did not match the instructions, or something like that.  I don't recall exactly what it was,but it resulted in having to remove all planking and start anew.  You should be able to locate that portion of the build...IIRC there was alot of wailing and rending of garments.

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  • 1 year later...

Greetings to all,

Whilst being under house arrest and inspired by the other Confederacy builds on the forum,I have at long last finished the planking above the main wales. As I'm about to flip her over on her deck to carry on with hull planking,I thought I would share a few photos. I have included a few of the jig I used for bending planks for the stem and the building board and adjustable height stand. I have another building board made to support the deck to hold her steady for the lower planking.




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I couldn't use the 1/16" basswood strips for the moldings,so I used boxwood supplied by a Luthiers supply which I cut to size on my Micro-Mark table saw.

The black painting used was mars black artists acrylic,very diluted and many coats applied. I first used golden oak Minwax oil based stain,but didn't like the result. I sanded it down,used a really diluted shellac mixed from flakes as thin sealing coat. This I sanded lightly and used General Finishes water based oak stain wiped off quickly. I finally ended with more or less blotchy free look...


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