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The Tumblin' Dice by popeye the sailor - Artesania Latina - 1:80 - Mississippi riverboat

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I got this kit as a Christmas gift.  I thought....cool!.....there have been quite a few of these models done here on the site.  I will have plenty of info to follow when I get around to building it.   we have two builds going on at the moment.....the Sergal Mississippi Riverboat being built by Vossy,  and the King of the Mississippi,  another A.L. kit,  being built by oldbritabroad.  there was another A.L. kit being built,  but I think it's finished.......it was a combination of that build and Hugh's,  that really got me thinking.   the issues that were discovered,  enticed me even more.  I hadn't looked in the box.......not intending to start it any time soon........and I did........sorry :ph34r:   I didn't do a parts inventory so to speak........I hardly ever do.  what ain't there....I don't care........I always make do or improvise.......I'm just silly like that.   I see things that I normally see in most kits......metal parts,  that really should be wood......windows {really?!?!?!}.......there are other thing too.   there are no decals......hence no name,  so I gave it one.   Tumbl'in Dice came to mind from the Rolling Stone's song {not the Keith Urban song}......funny,  all I hear in my mind is the song 'Mixed Emotions'.....anyway.....there will be decals......I also have plenty of lattice work decals from the Susan A. build  {are you kidding.....I have decals left over from all of my builds}.   this won't be a quick project......I have so many ideas and so many modifications to make {beats my dream of a hillbilly PT boat :D:D }   {that was a nightmare.......woke me right the heck up!}  I started this a couple of weeks ago.......so far,  all I have is the bottom of the hull pretty much done.   I plan to make this as a show piece,  rather than an actual boat.......I have been hampered though by the admiral.   she doesn't want any lighting,  or interior decorating....already ran things by her....no carpeting or chandeliers {pity}..........but you never know,  I might be able to sneak something by her.   I hope anyone who follows,  will enjoy what I'm gonna do to this model. 

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OK........I just started build'in.........popped out the base of the hull and the bulkhead parts and dug right in.   it's true about bulkheads #4 & #5......the diagram used to number the parts are backwards.  a simple swap.   I started the build on 2/8.


looking at the counter on this hull,  I thought it better to sand the mating surface to the bottom diagonally and deepen the slot by a couple of mm's.   there is more than enough meat on the part to do this.......and there will be enough to bevel the mating surface to the main decking too.


in the meantime,  while this was drying,  the paddle wheel extensions were cemented on the main deck.


by the time I got this set up to dry,  the counter had dried enough to handle.  some sanding took place.


the top was beveled flush with the center spine and bulkheads.......the outer edge was rounded up as well.


one thing that bugs me about this kit,  is that they don't tell you the dimensions of the strip stock to use,  nor the length that part are to be cut.  all they give you are mere part numbers....I have yet to see a breakdown parts list.  once the sides are in place,  the hull is to be planked over.   nothing in the bundles interested me...I had other plans.   I have the pack of .5 x 25 mm mahogany strip stock,  that I've had ....like forever........and I have the big bundle of 1.5 x 5 mahogany strips in the Nordkap kit.   since I'm going to buy new planking to replace it {decorative wood should not be wasted},  I threw that into the consideration list too.


I had cut some of the flat stock mahogany strips down to repair the deck on the Boulogne Etaples...it's apparent that I didn't use it.


there is some really nice wood grain there......but I wondered how it would lay,  once it got wet by the white glue.  I think too much of a problem of it lifting in spots would be an issue,  so I decided on the 1.5 mm planking....good wood grain there as well.


these are about 880 mm long too......so there's plenty to go around.

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hello Mike.......welcome to my insanity  :)    that's right........I think it was the Chaperon...you finished it not long ago!   there was some bending to do at this point,  but nothing that I had to set aside planks for.....nothing that blunt.  I have a couple more updates to post here.....glad to have ya following along :) 

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the sides were cemented in place......there was a little trouble here.   for one thing,  I failed to fare the bow section good enough,  but I also thing that the spilling of these parts at the bow,  were too aggressive.  originally,  I wasn't going to use them.......I was simply going to plank the sides.   dry fitting planking.....I didn't like how it would have worked out,  so I used the sides.   the aft section was straight forward.......not much of a problem.  first,  the counter was planked over.

    this was done on 2/14


the ends {corners} will be sanded flush for the side planking.   the center was marked on the bottom and the planking started from there.   I plan to give this a clear coat to bring out the wood grain,  so I'm saving all of the fine sawdust,  in order to fill in any gaps or cracks.  the mating at the counter was beveled on the planking for the bottom,  to try and give it a seamless joint.


as you can see in the picture above,  the structures were assembled in between everything that has been going on.   I'm looking at the second issue,  with the structure tabs not lining up with the slots provided,  in the main deck.  so far,  I see that both structures do not line up with their slots.  it could be that the deck is not fitted to the bottom of the hull yet,  which will give it a curvature.   I haven't planked the deck, nor the structures yet,  till this is cleared up.   these structures only go together one way.


further planking has been done.......1/2 almost finished.


the bottom was completely done lickity split.


sanding done to the counter bottom joint.....


tiny cracks and gaps can be filled in by forcing glue in the crack and sanding over it....done this more times than I can count.  after some sanding,  the bottom is beginning to look fairly smooth.


my imaginary line for the center can be readily seen....good!   now,  time to plank the sides.  grabbing a plank strip.......and I notice that it looked a bit wider than the others.........well......nestled in all that planking were six 1.5 x 7 mm plank strips!


sure that I had gotten the odd planking out of the bundle,  the side planking started.   I'm surprised that I didn't see them earlier.


by the time I ended this session,  one side was almost done.   normally,  the admiral and I don't celebrate Valentine's day.........too commercial and we don't need to have a day set aside to make kissy-face :)    I did take her out to dinner though.......a great time at our local Applebee's  :wub:

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on 2 / 16 the hull planking continued.   I'm having fun confusing the admiral.......I'm either out there with the Norden,  or I'm in the spare room with the Dice AYYYYYYEEEEEE! {what an obnoxious man}.   one side of the hull bottom is done at this time.  there was some minor clinkering,  but tapering the plank helped it to lay better.   especially where I had spliced in planking and around where it met the bottom,  the glue fill method worked well.


all edges were rounded off.........I did some repairs as I was sanding.


I did my best to stay away from CA....only using it where I needed a quick bond.


sanding is never done.......spot checks and spot sanding was done all over.


the wood called for is a lot darker than this......and a lot thinner.   I can afford to sand as much as I want off.....the benefit using 1.5 mm as opposed to the .5 mm dark stuff {walnut}.   the bow stem and keel is walnut......should be a nice contrast.


I'll get the other side done now.  I can wait on the port bow,  to get rid of the remnant of the clinker affair.

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....which brings us to the most recent.  the starboard side is done......


and an obscure shot of the bow.....


over all,  the bottom looks almost ready for the clear coat.




I already had a look at the bow stem part......the shape...they're kidding....right!?!?!


that's quite a curvature.......the bow is definitely not shaped that way.   I knew I would need to create the curvature,  but I also knew that it would bring it down to the bare plywood underneath.  the more of a flat surface to the bow tip,  the wider it would get.  soon,  it would go beyond the width of the part itself.   taking a piece of wood,  the same width as the part,  sandpaper was cemented onto it,  and was used to form the curved slot for the part.


the sanding continued,  until the part was close to fitting........I even sanded the part a little {but not too much}.   again......I needed to select the keel strip from the bundle.......and again,  nothing to denote the size,  nor the length.   taking an educated guess,  I used the straightest 4 x 5 mm length of walnut {3 in the kit}, and cemented it on,  after trimming the mating end and cutting the trailing end on an angle.



one small adjustment,  and it was ready to dry.   when it is set enough to handle,  I can address the gap.


....after fill it in.......



I separated the bundle I got it from.......you have the dark walnut,  pasty stuff that looks like mahogany.......a strip of .5 x 3 mm blonde stuff {could be sapelli},  and the other walnut strips.


I like the color of this wood.......kinda has that 'barn plank look to it.


the mahogany.....if that's what this is....doesn't have a lot of wood grain to it.   some is very bland {seen it before}.


I guess I'll have to make another organizer for this room.   I've managed to finally bring the other organizer out by the main table.   this project will remain here.

     I've put the brakes on any other plastic projects for the time being.   the Norden.......she'll stay on the main table.   once she's done,  the Thermopylae will take her place,  and continue that project there.   thanks for look'in in  :) 

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Will grab a chair. One of these Mississippi types will eventually be on my list. But I better also bring ropes and stakes to attach my chair you are going at a hurricane speed. What you have done so far today would take me a month :imNotWorthy:


PS: Very nice planking - looking to be an excellent project.



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welcome and thank you to all the kind comments and to those who hit the like button.  it's still very early in the project.   I haven't done very much as far as progress goes.  I haven't given the bottom the clear coat,  since it needs a little more prep and I want to install the rudders.  before I look at the misalignment of the structures,  I want to paint the underside of the main deck and have the bottom ready to assemble the deck to.   this may be part of the issue.  another thing I forgot to mention,  pertains to the two paddle extensions.  finding the correct wood to use led to my taking a hard look at the different woods in the kit.  it's also convinced me to make another wood organizer.  I'm pleased with your response.....humbled actually.....I just hope that you all enjoy the progress of the model,  and combined with other build logs of the same subject,  future modelers can avoid the nuances associated with the kit.  the first one was very minor.....this next one will be a little more involved.  others managed to come up with the solution for it,  so it can't be too big a pill to take  ;) 


welcome Kevin,  Jack and Piet...make yaselves ta home  :)  I'd offa ya sumpt'in at tha bar........but I gots ta built it first!  :D 


welcome Michael.....I'm on time then.......I started it at the beginning of the month :)   it's not a bad kit......the instructions are about as detailed as any others I've done in the past.  I think there are enough build logs here on the site.....you'll have a wealth of information for when you do get this kit :)   besides.....if you can do the level of work you did with the Wasa......this will be a piece of cake!  enjoy!


I haven't looked in the camera.......I may have done somth'in today.....I've been back and forth.  if I did,  I'll post it  ;)    thanks again all!

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hi there Chris.....glad to have ya look'in in { I had an urge to say 'Ya'll.......stems from the five years I spent down south}.   that's one thing the admiral does want....I can't seen to get any leverage talk'in her into other things.  I might do something with the windows......Britannia metal is not my idea of a window.  I hope she doesn't hang over my shoulder,  like she did with the M&M boat.   I'll try and sneak a few thing in there ;)   you and Hugh are having too much fun......I couldn't resist!  hope ya follow along for the rest of the ride

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I spent a little time play'in with the decal maker this morning.   gonna be tough folks........the admiral is over my shoulder.   of course,  I had to keep reminding her of the time period that this vessel was dominant in.  this is what I came up with so far.   I had done some searching for images of dice,  staying with the confines that the dice should equal either 7 or 11 {can't have them showing 'snake eyes',  now can I?} 



the text can be changed over to any font I want.  I may need to size them down a bit more.   right away though.......I kinda give a thumbs down to the dice at the bottom,  simply because they look too real.  the cool thing about this decal maker,  is that you can import any image.  from there,  the size can be adjusted,  but color can be a problem,  if it's a multi layered image.

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they are water slide,  printed on Testor's decal paper.   they are made using the decal maker program,  and printed off on an ink jet printer.   after waiting a short time,  to let the ink dry,  they are sprayed with a product called decal bonder,  which seals and locks the image on the paper.   the program give you a field to work in,  which the equivalent to the 1/2 sheet of decal paper.  the only drawback to this program,  is in how they are printed......ink jet printers cannot print white.   the only alternative is to use white decal paper....you can get it clear or white. 

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if you look into it,  make sure that you purchase the standard edition,  and not the basic.   the basic decal it kit will not let you import images into the program.  I've scanned lots of stuff,  like stencils to print out scroll work...perfect for friezes.   I have both programs....visit the Testor's site  ;) 

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39 minutes ago, popeye the sailor said:

that's a good point.......thanks for the suggestion  :)     the picture is awesome.........now,  if only the manufacturers made a replica model for this vessel.  they'd be taking a huge step in the right direction  ;) 

True nice ship indeed. That said the Amati Robert E Lee is prob. considered the greatest of these paddle steamers. From what I've seen in photos it also appears to be

an excellent kit - one that can easily be bashed as well. But (again) having stern paddles more visible is a big detail plus!!

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