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Rattlesnake US Privateer by Zack Soderquist - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64

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Beginning a build of the Rattlesnake US Privateer by Model Shipways. This is only my third model, second wood ship. Previously I have built the

  • USS Constitution by Revell - Scale 1/196 - Plastic
  • 18th Century Longboat by Model Shipways - Scale 1/48 - Wood


After building a plastic ship model and a wood ship model, I am totally hooked on the wood ships. My first wood ship build was purchased as a combo kit from Model Shipways which included the kit, paint and tool kit. I falsely assumed that if it came with a beginners toolkit that it was a beginner ship model. After receiving it and seeing how small it was, I researched further and found it was for advanced builders. Although a bit dismayed, I gave it a go and did complete it slowly. I learned a lot during the process. I probably learned more about what not to do. For this build, I used the MSW Model Ship Kit Database to pick my next model. http://mswshipkits.ampitcher.com/ This is a much larger ship and rated at an intermediate level. I hope the larger size will make it a little easier in some ways.


After reading the instructions for the kit, it provides a lot more "beginner" details on how build a wood ship. It is much more detailed than the longboat instructions. 


Edited by Zack Soderquist
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After attaching the the keel, stem and sternpost, I chiseled the bearding and rabbets. Then I sanded the slots on the bulkheads and center keel to fit. I also marked the waterline on each bulkhead to aide in installing the bulkheads properly. 


To square the bulkheads, I used a small square and clamp. The instructions say to nail a piece of scrap plank to hold the bulkheads square while the clue dries. After trying this, I found it very cumbersome. I then took some double sided tape and attached it to the scrap planks and used that instead of the nails and it worked very well and was much easier.


I beveled the two fore bulkheads prior to installing. The rest, I will bevel after they are installed by using a sanding block. Not yet sure how I will bevel the inside of the bulkhead for the ceiling planks. After all bulkheads are installed, I will add a strip of wood on each side to strengthen the bulkheads for beveling as well as making sure each bulkhead is perfectly aligned before planking. 


In hindsight I wish I would have installed the bulkheads starting from the back to the front as there is not a lot of room to use the square on the aft of the boat.


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  • 3 years later...

I have abandoned this project. To be honest, I got in way over my head. I may circle back to this one in the future but I will likely purchase a 2nd kit and start from scratch. I can use the 1st kit for spare parts I suppose.


Since this project, Model Expo has release a shipwright series that I have purchased and will build to learn the fundamentals.

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