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Medway Longboat (1742) 1:24 by gjdale - Finished

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  • 4 weeks later...

Received my kit on Friday - just two days after my Birthday, so my wife was happy that I’d been away from home with work during the week and she could present it to me when I got home! I still have a couple more weeks travelling to do before having a few weeks off over Christmas, so will delay starting until then. In the meantime, it has given me some impetus to get back to the modelling table and get cracking again with the current project, which has been in limbo for the past several months.

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  • 4 months later...

At long last I am ready to start this kit! I had originally intended to start over the Christmas holiday period, but other priorities and life just kept getting in the way. Now, over the Easter period I have finally managed to finish my previous project (Da Vinci Flying Machine) and today I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the modelling space in preparation for this build.


Of course, a clean and tidy modelling space is just not on, so I had to make a start on this today. 😀


Opening the kit for only the second time, I was just so impressed with the quality. The laser cutting is nothing short of superb, with a super fine kerf and virtually no char on the faces of the sheets. I won't go into the "what's in the box" as that has been done to death already, but I will echo others comments that this kit sets the standard to which all kit manufacturers should aspire!


I opted to go for the more complex keel design, secure in the knowledge that if I botched it up I could always fall back on the simpler version. How many other kit manufacturers offer that? With the laser cutting providing a very clearly defined edge to the joints, I resisted the urge to reach for power tools and instead used a combination of a miniature chisel (one of the Veritas miniatures), a scalpel, a modellers rasp (Aurio), a file and a sanding block. Here is my array of weapons along with the completed joints:




These tools made short work of this task and I soon had some nicely fitting lap joints.




The three keel pieces were then glued up and clamped. I darkened the edge of one side of each joint with a pencil prior to gluing up to enhance the joint line.




I've only put three parts together, but I can't tell you how much fun I'm having with this kit already! 😊😊😊

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Welcome yo the group......I am so happy you are having fun with the project. Nicely done joints.   And yes,  Its so important to keep your area clean and your hands too.  It keeps the cedar looking vlean and crisp.


Enjoy the kit!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a couple of weeks, but I did manage to get some 'shop time' in this weekend.


The four additional 3/32” keel pieces were then fit, following the advice in Chuck’s instructions. I used some scraps of 1/32” material to ensure that these pieces were centred on the 5/32” thick keel. I then traced the keel bolt locations from the plan sheet and used this to mark the bolt locations on the keel. Holes were drilled using a #70 drill bit to provide a tight fit for the kit-supplied 25lb monofilament fishing line that simulates the bolts. These were dipped in glue prior to fixing in place. Once the glue dried they were trimmed with a single edge razor and sanded flush. The whole assembly was then given a coat of satin Wipe-on Poly.




I then made my first real boo-boo…. When fitting the transom piece, I glued it to the wrong side of the stern post! 😱I didn’t realise this until I went to test fit the single frames with the keel. Fortunately, a little isopropyl alcohol and some patience enabled me to de-bond the joint without any significant damage. I cleaned up the locating slot using some of my Russian micro chisels (thanks Mikhail😊) and re-glued the piece on the correct side. Phew! (Was too busy fixing the boo-boo to take a picture!)


The single frames were then prepared just as Chuck advises. I used packing tape to cover the laser cut on both sides of each frame, and then added some reinforcing pieces using some 1/32” x 1/8” cherry strips that I had in my stash.




I then tested and adjusted these for a snug but not too tight fit in the build board and the keel notches.



I next made up all of the two-piece frames, again following Chuck’s instructions to the letter. The laser-cut reference line makes this a very simple process. All of these frames were then tested and adjusted in the build board and the keel slots. 




The frames are now ready for permanent attachment to the keel.

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I didn’t see a tab either and that would make it hard to remove the top of the ribs when you remove the frame. If you look real close at Chuck’s photos you’ll note the tape is just the width with a tab at top. You want to be able to grip it with tweezers and remove it easily when required. Not sure if the entire thing taped would come off easily, I mean it may but....

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There are tabs there Jim - they just don't show well in the photos. I may re-visit these anyway before I glue the frames to the keel. Thanks for the close scrutiny - it's nice to have a pair of eagle eyes checking things. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that someone has saved me from myself! 😊

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  • 5 months later...

It has been six months since this log was last updated. It seems that the usual culprits of work, life and other projects and priorities have conspired against making progress. I did at last return to the build last weekend, although did not update progress as there was nothing really to show. The frames have been permanently attached to the keel, and then faired ready for planking. I then lined off the hull following Chuck's excellent instructions.




Planking commenced with the Garboard strake, per the instructions. A small travel iron was used to provide the twist and bend required for these strakes. I cut one of the aft sections too short and so had to cut a new plank – no problem thanks to the extra material provided and the laser cut outline providing the template for the new plank. Then, when attempting to place the second (forward) plank, I discovered I’d made the new aft one too narrow. Fortunately, I'd used PVA rather than CA (which I have an allergic reaction to), so out with the isopropyl alcohol and off it came. Third time is the charm as they say, and so it was. Both Garboard planks on both sides now fitted.





Hopefully it won't be another six months before the next update!



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  • 4 weeks later...

I quickly discovered that using PVA glue for this planking was going to be problematic in terms of clamping. Reluctantly, I started using CA glue and completed the first layer of planks. The next day, I started suffering flu-like symptoms. As I’d been wearing my respirator while using the CA, I wasn’t sure if this was a virus, or was in fact still a reaction to the glue. I checked the date I’d last changed the filters and let’s just say that I went straight out and bought some new ones! It has taken a couple of weeks to get over the resultant symptoms, and then of course the usual excuses that keep one away from the shipyard!


I was not terribly happy with the outcome of the planking. Despite Chuck’s best efforts to make this build fool proof, I managed to prove that it’s still possible to get it wrong! Although I did pre-bend and twist all of the strakes, I still managed to get a considerable “staircase” effect at the bow. I also ended up with dirty marks all over the hull as my fingers, graphite from the pencil “caulking”, and CA glue, combined to make quite a mess.


On the plus side, I found that taking the trouble to line off the hull iaw Chuck’s instructions was a big help in monitoring the evenness of the planking on each side. There was one strake that “got away” a bit, but I was able to correct that with the next strake. 


Today I finally got back to addressing that mess. I spent quite a lot of time sanding out the "staircase" as well as the other irregularities and the dirty marks. Overall, it has come up to an acceptable level, though not even in the same league as some of the other builds here. There was one place in particular where I had done such a bad job that when sanding I ended up with a hole in the planking. I made up a filler of sanding dust and PVA glue to patch the hole and fortunately both it and one other “untidy” patch will eventually be hidden by the frieze.


The hull is now ready for the additional layer of planks for the upper two strakes. That is going to have to wait for a couple of weeks as I’ll be away this week for work, and then taking a short trip up to Brisbane for my niece’s wedding. Will be nice to catch up with family for a few days.


Here’s a couple of shots of the planking as it stands today.





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  • 2 months later...
On 12/7/2019 at 10:54 PM, gjdale said:

There was one place in particular where I had done such a bad job that when sanding I ended up with a hole in the planking. I made up a filler of sanding dust and PVA glue to patch the hole

Grant, I ended up sanding too much in the very same place as you did and I also made a small patch to fill the thin spot. Getting the planking to lay perfectly flat with the other planks near the stem was the trickiest part of the planking for me. I spent a lot of time bending and twisting and checking and rechecking but had a hard time getting the planks to lay perfectly on there own near the stem. I'm not sure where I went wrong with the planking near the stem and ended up with that uneven hump. I think I may have faired the frames too much in that area even though I was checking my fairing frequently trying to get a smooth run. Oh well, after I made a small patch, used a little filler, sanded the area carefully and put a couple of coats of Wipe-on-Poly on it, it's barely noticeable. 


Good luck on the rest of your build.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I have some bad news and some good news....


First the bad news. I went ahead and added the two extra strakes for the whales, and then removed the hull from the build board and cut it free from the frame supports as per Chuck's instructions. That part of the process all went according to plan and once again, Chuck's thoughtful and well executed design made this quite easy. Unfortunately, once the hull was free from all of the supports, I was able to see what a truly horrible job I had done with the planking. Being able to hold the hull up to the light, I was able to see a number of ugly gaps in the planking - this apart from the two bigger botches noted previously. I though about patching and then painting the lower half of the hull, but some of the gaps would still be visible. I ummed and ahhhed about this for a few days and then after a PM discussion with Chuck decided that I was never going to be happy with this. It was going to destroy my enthusiasm for the rest of the build. In the end, the decision was clear - it was time to terminate the build.


Now the good news. The hard part was making the decision to terminate. Having made that decision, I did not want to walk away from this project entirely. Again, in discussion with Chuck, I've decided to re-start the project from the beginning. I have ordered replacement parts for all of the keel, transom, frame, and planking parts - a total of 17 sheets! Chuck has already shipped those so it will only be a week or two before I can re-start the project, hopefully applying the lessons learnt to date.


On reflection, here are a few of my key observations/lessons. They may be Blinding Glimpses of the Obvious (BGOs), but might also help someone following along from falling into the same traps.


1. Take your time. Even though model time can be a rare commodity, resist the urge to rush ahead when you do finally get to the shipyard. Looking back over some of the excellent build examples already on this group project, there is a common theme of just how much time was spent in shaping the planks, even though they are pre-spiled for us. So, go slow to go fast!


2. Glue. I have previously resisted wherever possible using CA glue. I have a sensitivity to it (like many others) and can get flu-like symptoms from even the smallest exposure to it. However, the way this kit is designed, and the fragility of the parts, makes using PVA pretty much a non-starter. So, get the respirator mask out, check the filters are in date, and wear it - EVERY time! I suspect that dust from the AYC might have irritant properties as well, so again get the mask out and use it!


3. Glues ain't glues. Even once I switched to using CA glue, I was using what was purportedly a "thick" CA. It was still pretty runny. I ended up using some accelerator with it, which in turn tended to leave a white residue behind. When I glued the second layer of the whales, I used a CA gel glue that I found. So much easier!


4. Gluing technique. I had been (like many others I suspect) applying glue to not only the frames, but also along the plank edges. This was not only difficult, but extremely messy as well and took a lot of clean-up. I was surprised to read recently in someone else's log where Chuck said he doesn't glue along the edges - only on the frames. Of course, I couldn't find that post again, so I asked Chuck via PM and this is what he said (and I'm quoting verbatim here):


"I only glue a little spot to the frames.  I dont apply glue to the edges of the planks.  Just in case I have to remove it. Maybe once in a while after a plank is on and it pops above the adjacent plank a bit.....in that case I will just add a very tiny amount of CA to the edge that is popped above the adjacent plank.  Then I just push it down quickly flush and lightly sand it.  But that is only after the plank is glued in position.   It's a rare occurrence."


I have the glue side of things sorted - got the "good oil" on technique straight from the "horse's mouth"; found a decent CA gel; have the respirator and new filters.


To help with the first point, I've decided to run a parallel project. While this might slow down the overall completion of this kit even more, it will hopefully give me something else to work on while I am taking my time with this one. To that end, I will be starting a new log soon in the Shore Leave section as it's a non-ship build.


Rather than starting a new log for this build, I will continue this log once the new parts arrive in a week or two. I look forward to "resumption of play".

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Well, Grant, that certainly is some disappointing news for your Longboat but some optimistic news for your rebuild. Your advice about slowing down and taking our time is sage advice. Clearly half of my mistakes have been because I pushed forward when I should have stepped back and reevaluated the situation before plunging ahead. 


I can see some places in my hull that are too thin when I hold it up to a bright light and I'm not really happy about that. I even sanded through the hull in one spot but was able to patch it and it is not terribly noticeable even though I seem to notice it all the time! However, I decided that, as a relative newcomer, I needed to continue on and complete this build. Each time I successfully finish a new step that I've never done before, like recently making tiny hooks and belaying pins, I feel a great sense of satisfaction. My boat isn't going to be as perfect as some of the beautifully completed models here but, truthfully, I'm pretty happy with what I've done even though it has a few flaws. That's progress for me since I can be perfectionistic about what I do and lose sight of what I have accomplished. At my age, time seems to be flying along so I need to focus on enjoying the ride.


I'll look forward to following your upcoming builds.



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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the friendly kick in the pants Chuck! 😀


Although my replacement parts all arrived safely a few weeks ago, I have been so absorbed in my non-ship project that I haven't gotten around to re-starting this one yet. I have been studiously reading others build logs though, and will re-start this one soon.....I promise.......I just need to get a round tuit. 😉

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  • 3 months later...

Grant's Medway Longboat Ver 2.0


At long last I have returned to this build, starting afresh. A few months of working on a completely different project, along with a little extra time for building, has allowed my mojo to return for this build. 


I again opted for the more complex keel design; however, my approach to the keel assembly this time was to use the Byrnes saw to hog out most of the waste and then fine tune with a miniature chisel and a sanding block. I then went ahead and glued the four additional 3/32” keel pieces following the advice in Chuck’s instructions again. I made a couple of 1/32” spacers, as others have done, to help centre the parts on the keel. I then marked the locations for the keel bolts from the plans, drilled using a #70 drill bit and inserted the provided 25lb monofilament fishing line to simulate the bolts. These were trimmed and sanded flush and the whole assemble given a coat of Wipe-on Poly. Finally, the transom piece was fitted, taking care not to repeat my mistake of the first time around! No in-progress pics of this work as it simply repeats work from earlier in the log. Here is the finished keel assembly.










The single frames were prepared as per Chuck’s instructions, with some packing tape and some reinforcing strips.




These were then test fit along with the keel in the building board.








The two additional bolsters were also added to the build board at the stern as per the instructions.




The double frames were then prepared following the instructions. The way Chuck has designed this kit makes this a particularly easy task.




The frames were then all test fit into both the build board and the keel slots. To adjust the fit in the build board required only a few light passes with some 240 grit sandpaper. The keel notches all needed a light pass with a file to provide a snug fit.




The frames are now ready for gluing.

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The frames were glued in place per the instructions and left to cure for a few days. The frames were then gently faired using 240 grit sandpaper on a variety of foam backing blocks.




The hull was then lined off using tick strips and the bow/stern templates provided by Chuck to place a pencil mark on each frame with the exception of the first and last three frames. Thin strips of tape were then used to adjust the line.




The frames were then marked again along the edges of the tape, this time using a thin black pen. Once the tape was removed, the original pencil lines were erased to avoid confusion.




Then it was time to gird the loins and commence the planking. This time around, I decided to use Chuck’s method for bending planks, only instead of a hairdryer I used my Proxxon heat gun (on the low setting). I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to do compared to my previous method of using a small steam iron. I also followed Chuck’s advice and used CA glue for attaching the planks and again following his advice, just placing a small amount on each frame. I used a gel CA for this. I was again pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was compared to using PVA and trying to clamp things in place. OK Chuck, I’m a convert on using CA for planking!




I’ve decided to depart from the instructions slightly and follow the lead of some others by drilling holes for the “nails” as I go, rather than waiting until all planking is completed. Figure I might stand a reasonable chance of actually hitting the frames this way! I'll  be back when planking has progressed some more.

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52 minutes ago, gjdale said:

I’ve decided to depart from the instructions slightly and follow the lead of some others by drilling holes for the “nails” as I go, rather than waiting until all planking is completed.

You're moving right along, Grant. I think it's a good idea to drill the nail holes as you lay the planks down. You could even go ahead and add the black monofilament to the holes too. I did it all at once after the hull was completely planked and, man, it was a tedious, repetitive job that got old quick! It was my least favorite part of the build. Doing it little by little would have been much better.

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