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Bluenose by CPDDET - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64 - First ship build

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Double post! The caprails widen in places around the chain plates. This was added later on after the cap rails were installed. 


So an edit, with some content:



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Thanks to all for sharing their method on cutting the top rails.


After giving it a good deal of thought, I decided I wanted the top rail to be one piece between the bow and stern pieces.


I went to a local hobby shop and purchased a 1/16” X 3” X 24” piece of basswood, about $2.50. Having already trimmed the false frames flush with the top bulwark plank, I laid the new piece of basswood on top of the false frames and, using a mechanical pencil, traced the shape of the hull from underneath. This, I think, was much the same way Tector did his.


Then I measured the widest part of the rail on the plans and scribed a line parallel to the one I drew.




Using ships curves, I cut out one top rail (tough to see the ship curve as its clear plastic).




I then used the cut top rail as a template to draw the second top rail and cut that one out.


I now have 2 rough cut top rails. Next will be transferring the measurements from the plans to the rough cut top rails for the wider areas and sanding everything to form the finished pieces.


Here is a better picture of the ships curves, I believe there are actually 6 pieces in the set.



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I like your way approaching of the top rail in just one piece. I created all mine in pieces according to plans.

I have to get used to using the ship curves. 

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Its yet to see if my approach will work the way I imagine. My mind is busy turning over the order of steps I need to take to complete it.

Won't be able to work on the ship till tomorrow so I have time to figure things out.

Thanks for your vote of confidence. BTW, the plastic curves I used are Ships Curves, not French Curves.

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Hi Dave

Great Meeting you at Midwest Model Shipwrights last night!


I like your approach to the cap rails. I think they’ll turn out beautiful.


Pat (Overworked724)

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Thanks for the comment on the cap rails, they are still a work in progress.


And thanks for making me feel so welcome last night. Walking into a room full of strangers can be a bit intimidating, but you made me feel comfortable and welcomed. See you next month!

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Be sure to include the width extensions for the pin rails, otherwise you will drill the holes nearly on the glue line. This leads to more shaping of the cap rails but is worth the effort. This is not an original thought, I saw it on another build log at the time.

One thing I’ve learned about ship building is to always think ahead. 


Dave B

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It’s been awhile since my last post. Butting the flowers and lawn to bed for the winter has taken up time, as well as 2 early season snow falls. We got about 4 inches on Halloween and another 4 inches the day before yesterday. I’ve also been spending lots of time choosing a new insurance and drug plan.


Now that things have quieted down somewhat I’m able to get back to the build.


I finished off the port side cap rail


Then I pinned the finished port rail on the second rough cut and outlined it




Here are the finished port and starboard cap rails




I decided to use Titebond III to allow a bit more work time. I worked from aft forward, putting dabs of glue on top of each frame and pinning it in place as I moved forward. This allowed me to very slightly bend or straiten the cap rails, aligning them with the inbound edge of the frames as I went along. Once the glue dries I will lightly sand the outboard edge of the cap rails to achieve the desired 1/32 inch overhang




I’ll have to do some wood filling and sanding where the cap rails meet the bow and stern pieces.  I didn’t cut the cap rail ends to match the “S” curve in the bow and stern piece, choosing to butt the edges. But if I had to do it again I would use a short, perhaps an inch or so, piece of cap rail and match the “S” curve and then butt the cap rail to that. Always seems I thing of a better way of doing things after the fact, just part of the learning curve I guess.

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Cap rails installed and 2 coats of paint, 1 coat to go.



Next will be to draw the waterline. I'm going to build the jig shown on page 55 of Frank Mastini's book, "Ship Modeling Simplified" rather than buying one.

I'll also follow his instructions for drawing the waterline on page 56 which gives instruction for doing this on fishing schooners, which is a bit different than on other types of ships. Bluenose, a fishing schooner, is deeper aft than forward. Referred to as "keel drag".


Looks like I'm off to Home Depot tomorrow to pick up a few boards.



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Spent yesterday running around to get necessary supplies and building the jig. Came out pretty decent. Minimum height is 7 inches and maximum is about 10.5 inches.





Before moving on to the hull painting I want to touch up a few things topside. But insurance guy will be here in an hour and tomorrow is carpet cleaning day. So dont know how much progress will be made today or tomorrow.

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Here is a close-up of the cap rail after painting. I pretty happy the way it came out. The rail looks smooth, yet some of the gain still shows through so one can tell its wood.


I accomplished this by sanding with 400 grit paper, applying a coat of Ceramcoat Sealer, sanding lightly again and painting 3 - 4 coats of Tamiya flat white. I prepared the paint by adding 20 – 25 drops of Tamiya Acrylic Paint Retarder to the 23ML bottle of paint.



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Spent this week painting the hull. Masked off the deck and sprayed the cap rail, frames, waterways and inside of the bulwarks with acrylic sealer.




Then masked all painted areas topsides



Applied 3-4 coats of primer


Painted a wide white stripe in the area were the waterline would eventually be.



After marking the waterline, ran a 1/4 inch strip of poly tape along the mark.  Also taped over the scuppers and painted the outer bulwarks yellow (photo show tape removed after yellow pain was applied).




Extended the masking from the center of the 1/4 inch poly to the top rail.


Painted the low part of the hull



Then reversed the masking, extending from the center of the 1/4 inch poly to fully cover the painted part of the hull



Before painting the top part of the hull black, I ran a 1/16th inch piece of poly tape just above the scuppers. Then painted the top portion black




After removing the masking, 1/4 inch poly and 1/16 poly, I gave the entire hull 4 coats of matt finish acrylic sealer









Still have a few small touch ups to do on the outboard edge of the top rail and some very minor oversprays

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Have read thru the complete thread of your build.  Have enjoyed and learned a few tricks along the way.  I will follow until you complete.


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Thanks Ricky! Things move slowly with this first build. It's a learn as I go and I don't always get it right the first time, forcing me to re-do a process: sometimes more than once.


Tools and material needs also slow the first build. Buying as I move through the build causes delays as sometimes items can be back ordered, or I need to stop and save some money for the purchase.


The constant delays can be frustrating but I'm not going to let it stop me from acquiring the proper tools and learning proper techniques for a decent build.


Currently I'm working on the pintles and grugedons on the rudder. I'm on my 3rd try, using different materials and assembly. I'm on hold because I don't have a soldering iron. But I've done my research and the tool should arrive in a day or two.


Patience is key. And some of the best advice I received when I began was to not buy a tool until it's needed. Buy the right tool and buy the best one can afford.


One consoling thought is that by the time I finish this build I will have the tools, material and more experience in place for the next.



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This is looking really good!  Thanks for the inspiring photos.  Yesterday I got my Bluenose kit out for the first time in a while.  No time for modeling in 2019, hoping this year will be better.  I'm still installing bulkheads...

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This process has seemed to take forever because of the holidays, gathering new tools, much trial and error and some pure laziness. But it’s finally done. I found working with metal vs wood is a whole different world. I did acquire a Dremel 4300, a Dremel workstation which forms a decent drill press and an inexpensive X Y table which fits the bolt hole pattern on the workstation. Also needed a soldering iron and extra drill bits. All a bit expensive, but needed.


I have been following Bob Hunt’s practicum, somewhat loosely, but didn’t care for his idea to use black automotive pinstriping to simulate the pintles and gudgeons. I also looked at Dave’s (suburban shipbuilder) blog but didn’t feel I wanted to go as far as building a working hinge.


I started by attaching the rudder to the ship with tape and marking the angle and length of the pintails and gudgeons. I decide to use 1/64 by 3/16 brass strips for the pintles / gudgeons, 1/16 round brass rod for the hinge and insert small nails to represent bolt heads.






I then cut and shaped the brass pieces that would form the gudgeons




And attached them to the rudder (I would later regret doing this)




Placing the rudder in a vice and placing it on my Dremel workstation, I drilled 1/64  holes in the gudgeons.




Using small nails with 1/32 heads, I placed one in each of the drilled holes. The shaft of these nails was a perfect fit into the drilled holes and, since I drilled just deep enough to get through the brass, sank nicely into the wood. The white stuff on the rudder is wood fill, fixing one of my many mistakes.




I then painted the rudder and set it aside.




I  measured and cut 3 pieces of brass for the pintles. Being too small to hold by hand and drill, I took a block of basswood, applied sanding sealer and sanded it smooth. Then used rubber cement to hold the pintles to the block. This went under the drill and worked nicely to get the holes drilled without moving. The rubber cement came off easily.







In order to get as close to a perfect 90 degree angle of the pintles to the 1/16 round brass rod, I built a gig to hold them in place while soldering. The white substance on the brass strip is water based white-out which acts like an anti-flux. Got that idea from a jewelers forum and it worked great. 






Now is where I ran into the problem mentioned earlier. Having already installed the gudgeons on the rudder, I couldn’t solder the pintles & rod to them without having the solder job I previously did come apart. So out came the CA gel glue. What I should have done was solder the pintles and gudgeons to the rod before installing. But what the hey, live and learn.




I let this dry overnight, touched up the paint and then did the final install.




I know the pintles and gudgeons are supposed to be black, but I really like the brass detail. And since this is my model they will stay that way. 

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Haven’t posted for a while but the work continues. The Monkey Board, Monkey Rail and Buffalo Rail are done.




Installed 6 ringbolts on each side as well as the anchor pads. I will leave these as brass (not painted) like I did the pintles and gudgeons.







I will start building the deck housings next. Have some research to do on these first.



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Starting the deck housings, beginning with the wheelhouse. 


Research shows 2 different finishes, one all varnished wood:




And one painted white with varnished top and corners:




Since the ship I saw in Kenosha last year had the painted white and varnished corners / top, I decided to go that route.


I thought I would make the corner posts first. they are square at the bottom and rounded the rest of the way up. I had some 1/8 x 1/8 stock to work with and needed to cut that. So I first built a jig. I used some scrap 1/16 inch brass bar to limit the depth of my cuts and to help hold the piece as I cut it.




Then cut 4 lengths of the 1/8 x 1/8 and 8 pieces of 1/16 to use as a guide for the saw.




Glued 2, 1/16 inch pieces to each 1/8 X 1/8 piece.




Places a strip of double sided tape in the jig, and cut along the 2 pieces of 1/16 with a razor saw.




The 1/16 saw guide and the 1/16 brass bar allowed me to "notch" the 1/8 x 1/8 pieces. Since the 1/16 pieces were glued to the section being removed there was no need to "de-glue" anything.




Cut a square block of basswood to form a small triangle and stuck that to the cutting mat with double stick tape. Glued some scrap pieces of wood at the bottom to act as a stop and put double stick tape over the rest of the jig.



Dropped in one of the cut pieces to make sure it would hold securely.  Worked great.




The square bottom of each corner post needed to be 1/8 in high and the rest rounded. So I used 1/8 inch vinyl tape to mark where the scraper would start. 




Used a scraper to round off the top portions of the post and cut to length using the proper angles.




Then tested 2 different staining methods. Sanded a piece of basswood with 600 and 800 grit and sectioned it off with painters tape. Then applied wood conditioner to both areas. The wood conditioner is supposed to help stop "blotching" in softer woods.




Applied oil base stain to the right side and poly - stain mix to the left side



As one can see, the oil base stain still came out blotchy but the poly-stain came out quite nice. Although the poly-stain took 2 coats to deepen the color.

I then removed the tape and noticed some serious bleeding from the oil stain but almost none from the poly-stain. So I'm going with the poly-stain.



Took another small block of basswood and applied double stick tape to hold the pieces to be stained.



After 3 coats of the poly-stain the corner posts cam out pretty good.



Now to start on the side, back and front white panels

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Very nice details Dave,

Just wondering which Bluenose are you making the original one or Bluenose 11, I see the two pictures of the steering housing above are of the Bluenose 11




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I'm building Model Shipways Kit 2130: Bluenose.


While the Bluenose was both a fishing schooner and a racer, Bluenose ll is neither.


By build plans allow one to build her as a racer or a fishing schooner: I've chosen the racer deck plan.


So I'm just following the plans that came with the model. I can't vouch for their historical accuracy.


In some ways I view this first build as a primer for future builds. It won't be as perfect as I would like but will be as good as my current skill set allows.


As the build progresses my techniques and workmanship are improving, which is my personal goal.


By the way, I've nothing against power tools. I'm just interested in learning old skill sets. Kind of like when I taught myself to shave with a straight razor several years ago. 



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Your build is coming along just fine. It too was my first build from an AJ Fisher kit that was a solid hull. Plenty of on-line pictures to help guide you and if I recall there was a book out on its build that may be of help. Of course most of the recent info is of II. And I notice that much of the deck "furniture" is for safety or comfort conformance. I did use Erik Ronnberg Jr's manual of Benjamin Latham as a guide as I viewed him as an authority.


I have a question for you. When you speak of her as a racer what do you mean. It was my understanding that the original Bluenose raced against some American vessels of the same "class" to see which was the fastest. It is my understanding she was never converted to be a racer as such.


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Great work on this schooner! The hull looks fantastic and nice clean look. Thanks for posting and sharing your work with all of us. 

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