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Colonial Sloop Norfolk by Jeff E - FINISHED - Modellers Shipyard - 1:36 scale 1798

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Hello Everyone,


I have finally got around to start to reconstruct the build log for the Norfolk I had on the old site.

I have done a search on this site and found that there are no current or completed build logs for the model on this site, that is if I have done the search right  :(  .


I will endeavour to make this log as comprehensive as possible and hope it asssits anyone wishing to or currently building this model. I also wish to declare that a lot of the techniques and ideas I used were taken from an excellent and  very instructive build log of this model, on the old site, by Dan Vad who also offered me a lot of advice during the build :D .


Alright now for a little bit of history of the Sloop. She was built on Norfolk Island in 1798, designed probably on a decked long boat  from HMS Sirus, she was subsequently confiscated when she sailed into Sydney Harbour as it was against Governor Hunter's orders to construct boats on Norfolk Island that Convicts could sieze and escape in.

She was then fitted out, on the Governor's orders, and given to Lieutenant Matthew Flinders, accompanied by George Bass, to explore south to see if Tasmania, then Van Diemans Land was an island or not, having proved it to be an island she returned to Sydney to prepare for another voyage to the north, reaching as far as Hervy Bay in Queensland.

She ended her days in 1800 after being wrecked in the mouth of the Hunter river in a storm after bieng siezed by Convicts in the Hawkesbury River, how ironic!!


I started this build back in March 2011 and ther have been a few breaks in the build but I am happy to say I have been back building now for a couple of months and hope to continue until the completetion of the model. :D 


Following are some photos of the kit. Please excuse the quality as they were taken on a mobile phone as my digital camera at the time was having issues with my computer or visa versa :huh: 

Sorry about my foot in the first photo


I will post some more photos of the start of the build tomorrow




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Hello All,


Thankyou John for taking a look.


Before I go on with the building of the model I would like to make a few comments on the kit. The timber and fittings are of high quality as are the laser cut ply sheets and the instrucitons are easy to follow, the sheet palns supplied however are a bit dissapointing as they are not scale, but this is an older kit. I believe now the kit has been upgraded by the manufacturer and an instruction manual with colour photos and full size 1:1 scale plans are supplied, there is even a deluxe version for sale with copper bottom plates.


Ok on with the construction. The first job was to identify and cut out all the bulkheads and keel, check that the keel was straight and the bulkheads were symetrical. I checked the symetry of the bulkheads using a method described in 'Ship Mdeling Simplified' a book by master modeller Frank Mastini.

The method he uses is to trace each bulkhead onto a sheet of thin card and then cut it out, mark acentre line on the bulkhead and the card and the fold the card in half along the centre line making sure the outer edges are matched. Then place the folded card along the centre line marked on the bulkhead it wil show any of the edges need filing or the keel slot is cut out of centre.

All of the bulkheads on my model were acurately cut and needed little adjustment. The next step was to check the bulkheads fit into the slots in the keel, again the fit of each was firm with little adjustment required. The only thing that needed to be done was a strip of 0.5mm timber had to be glued on the top of 4 of the bulkheads to bring them level with the top of keel.


After gluing all the bulkheads to the keel, ensureing each one was held square to the keel as it dried, I then cut and shaped the bow filler blocks and glued them itno position. These were to be made from 2 limewood blocks supplied but I messed one of mine up and so I made my two blocks out of pine instead.

I also inserted balsa filler blocksin the stern between frames 9 and 10 and the tramsom.

I deviated from the instructions in the next two steps by fitting the mast filler blocks and the deck, the instructions tell you not tofit these until after the first planking is completed, but i felt that fitting them at this stage would make the structure more rigid while fairing the frames and laying the first planking.


Follwing are some photos of the keel and bulkhead construction and the fairing of the frames.

Any comments or criticism gratefully accepted











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Hi Jeff,


Good to see your build log coming back together again - I'll be following it with interest, so if you have any questions I'll try to remember what I did way back then :D . At least I still have all the pics from my old build log :) .


:cheers:  Danny

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:DHello All,


Hi Danny and thank you for looking in and I will take you up on your offer of advice when needed :) 


The next stage was to fit the first plank which is to be positioned, according to the instrctions, 3.5mm below the the top of the frames. As i had already fitted the deck I measured from the top of the deck which is 1.5mm thick, therefore my first plank was fitted 2mm below the frames, a mistake I did not realise I had made until the first planking was almost completed. :o 

This problem was over come when the bulwarks were fitted I sanded them down to suit .


After this first plank was fitted I then fitted the garboard strake. To ensure that the keel fitted snuggly to the garboard strake I temporarily fitted two 5mm spacers to the false keel.Before laying the garbord plank I soaked the rear end of the plank and then clamped it place on the frame to ensure the twist from about frame 8 sternwards was achieved. Both  the first plank and the garboard plank were laid full length.

Once  these were laid I then measured each frame, both port and starboard, and recorded them. This would tell me the width of each plank at each frame. I then ran a series of planks aproximately 5 plank widths apart and left to lie naturally.

These planks served two purposes one to form planking bands, and the second to show how the planks would run.


The following pictures will hopefully explain it clearer :D 











Edited by Jeff-E
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Hello everyone,


After marking the and measuring the frames the next stage in the build was the first layer of planking.


Anyone one who followwed Dan Vads build of this model on the old site will know that used scale plank lengths for both the first and second layer of planks, I have done the same . I found it eaiser to glue on and position the smaller lengths than trying to glue on a full length plank in one go without the glue going off. :D 

The length of the hull is approximatly 330mm from stem to stern along the keel so at a scale of 1:36 the longest plank could be about 200mm which equates to about 23ft. I used a 3 butt shift pattern to lay the planks.

I followed Danny's log closely while laying the first layer of planks however his turned out a lot better than mine :(, but for for my first attempt at this method I was quite happy with the result :D.


The first photos show the first bow plank fitted and the stern stealers. I will post some more pictures shortly.






Edited by Jeff-E
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She's looking good :)  I'll be following this log closely, its what I am planning on doing for my next build.  I'm almost finished my Port Jackson (Mercury) build so should be starting this one end of the month.  Be interesting to see if there is many changes from your build to what they offer now (see if they changed fittings, plans ect)

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Hi Jason,


Thanks for your comments and for looking in :D


 It will be interesting to see what they have changed , I do believe the instructions are now in colour and the plans are full size.


Have you ordered the kit yet?

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Hello All,


Here is the next lot of photos of the first planking. Being such a bluff bowed vessel the bow planks were tapered from the first plank laid underneath the bulwark strake. The stern planks were left full width until the hull stared to curve under towards the keel some drop planks and and stealers were added in the stern to keep the run of the planks true.


I will post the second half of the first planking photos later. :D  











Edited by Jeff-E
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Looking very nice!  Great job on the first planking run.  Looking forward to seeing your next work   Keep up the great job!


Also, with the balsa fillers you installed in the stern, are they to help give more binding for the rear planks or for another purpose?

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Hi Jason,


Thank you for your kind comments. :) 


The balsa fillers served a couple of purposes as you said to give more meat for the stern planks to stick to and so the stern would hold an even shape without any hills or hollows they also gave me some exrta surface to pin the planks to while they dried, although balsa is pretty soft and the pins don't always hold very well in it.

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Hello Everyone,


The next task was to lay the deck planks. this was also out of sycnh with the insructions as they tell you at this stage to fit the false deck and the bulwarks and then plank the deck.


I find it eaiser to plank the deck without the bulwarks fitted, although this cannot always be done, because you can lay the planks without shaping each one to fit . They can then be shaped to the profile of the deck.


I also wanted to fit a margin plank, which is not catered for in the kit and to tree nail the deck.


My first job was to measure and mark the deck for the planking pattern I was going to use and to detemine the length of the planks. The pattern I decided on is a 3 butt shift and this will be done outside the main structures on deck these being the hatch, companionway, mast ect.


I used a HB pencil to simulate the chalking which on this light wood I think shows up well and is not to thick.


The first couple of photos show the marking of the deck and the next couple show the 2 main deck structures marked. The planking pattern will start outside of these.










Edited by Jeff-E
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I made the margin planks next. These were made from 10mm x 1.5mm limewood. After they were completed I trmmied or joggled the deck planks to suit and fitted them.


They were then sanded down to the profile of the false deck and flush with the deck planks amidships but left a little bit proud in the bow and stern.


I then marked on the 'false frames' and tree nailed the deck with 0.5mm bamboo nails; after trimming them off I sanded the deck and gave it a coat of matt varnish. :)


Some pictures follow I will post some more soon











Edited by Jeff-E
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Hi All,


After finishing the deck my next job was to fit the bulwarks. These were shaped to fit the bow area by soaking the end in hot water for aout 20 minutes and bending themusing nails driven into a board with the shape of the bow traced onto it. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the jig. :(


The buwarks are spilled (preshped) to fit against the first plank laid, however in hindsight I would have temporaily fitted the bulwarks and then fited the first plank to minimize any gaps.


After fitting the bulwarks I then marked the false frames on the hull for the second planking. I then planked the stem post as it made of 4mm ply and fitted the keel and stem post to the hull and marked a rabbet line for the second planking to fit into. After cutting the rabbet I then permanantly fitted the stem post and keel to the hull.


The following pictures will probably explain it better :)


This will be my last update for a week as I'm going on hoilday :D   











Edited by Jeff-E
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello All,


After fitting the bulwarks and the keel I then marked out and cut the holes for the scuppers and drilled the holes for anchor cable. I did this now so that if I did have any slipups with the dremel I could cover them up with the second planking :D 


As I did with the first planking the second planking was done with scale length planks so it was basically a mirror image of the first, with a couple of exceptions. Because the second layer is wider , being made of 0.5 x 6mm walnut as oppsed to the 5mm width of the limewood first layer, I had to recalculate the widths of the planks at each frame but this was not a big problem. :) 


I started laying the second layer of planks from the keel up but after layiing about 4 planks on either side it became too confusing as to which side to put the taper so I reverted to laying them from the bulwarks down and I decided to only lay one side at a time so if I made any mistakes I only had to redo that side and the next side would go on a lot quicker as I already knew all the measurements for it. This made the whole process a lot eaiser to work out and I'm fairly happy with the final result. :D 


Following are some pictures of the second planking the first pic's are of the scuppers cut out and then the planking













Edited by Jeff-E
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Hi All,


I have a question I hope somebody can clear up for me. I am up to the rigging stage on this model and having rigged the shrouds the instructions then tell you to rig the forestays next and then the backstays, Keith Julier in his book " Period Ship Kit Builders Manual", seems to confirm this as he says that he rigs the backstays last. Where as Lennarth Peteerson in his book"Rigging Period Ship Models", shows the backstays being rigged after the shrouds.

My question is in what order are the stays rigged on the lower mast?


I do intend to rig the backstays last after the running rigging is completed but if they are next in sequence after the shrouds I can put them in place and let them hang to be rigged later.


Thank You

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Hi All,


The last lot of photos is about where I was up to on the old site.The Photos that follow will document my progress from the end of Febuary till now. I will try and post them as reguarly as possible so that I can bring you all up to date with where I'm at now with the build. :huh:


The next step was to plank the inner bulwarks this was farly straight forward and posed no problems. After this was completed I then fitted the false frames, these were fitted at each row of tree nails.


Some pictures of this stage :)













Edited by Jeff-E
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Hi All


While I was fitting the false frames I also shaped and fitted the gunwales these are made from 4x4mm walnut 220mm long and are fitted 15mm below the cap rail. They follow the curve of the hull and also the sheer of the buwarks.

I made a template of the hull from a thin plastic folder and traced the hull curve onto a piece of timber I then soaked the gunwales in hot water for about 30 minutes and the bent them to the line on the timber and let, holding them in place with nails on either side and let them dry.

After they where dry I fitted them to the hull holding them in oplace with brass nails until they dried I then removed these and inserted bamboo treenails into the holes and sanded them back.


Some pictures follow.


P.S the 'jig' photo does not show the gunwales in the jig I took it after I had fitted them sorry :( 







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Hi All,


I had PM from Dan Vadas yesterday regarding the amount of pictures in some of my posts, I had nearly 30 in one post. :o  It seems that when viewed on some browsers the page goes black and the pictures cannot be viewed nor the text read. I was totally unaware of this :o  and I thank Danny for bringing it to my attention :D . I have just  gone in and edited these posts down to ten pictures each and I hope this has rectified the problem for any of you who could not view them.

I was going to try and repost the deleted pictures order after each post but this cannot be done so if any one wants to see extra pictures of a certian part of the build please do not hesitate to ask and I will happily post them for you.

I do apologise for any inconveniance caused.

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Hi Jeff,


There's still an issue with the last three posts on page 1 (for me at least), but don't worry about trying to change anything.


If anyone else has a problem with reading those posts the answer is simple - it only seems to happen on the "Spectrum" theme if you are using Firefox as a Web Browser, so change it to something like "Old Skool MSW" and you will be able to read those posts. You can change back to Spectrum later if that's the style you prefer.


:cheers:  Danny

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Hi All,


The next step was to attach the cap rails. I was intending to make these out of 8mm x 2mm walnut but after a bit of experimentation found that it was going to be too hard to shape espeially in the bow area. the cap rail is meant to be 6mm wide. So in the end I went with the kit supplied flexible beech which was very easy to work. The kit supplied a 4mm x 2mm length which is glued on first and a 2mm x 2mm length which is then glued to the outside edge of the first strip thus giving the 6mm required.


Some pictures follow :) 








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After the cap rail was fitted and sanded the next job was to fit the rudder.


I had made the rudder while ago as a distraction from planking the hull.


The supplied rudder is 4mm ply and has to be planked with 0.5mm walnut strips the slots for the hinges also need to be marked and cut out. The tiller is also made from 4mm ply, and although you can see the grains of ply while it is in it's raw state, it does not look to bad once it has been stained.


I also added tree nails to the rudder to simulate the separate planks being nailed together.


The rudder was then fitted to the transom.


This post will show pictures of the costruction of the rudder and the next post will show the rudder fitted to the hull. 











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