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Revenue Cutter by sjanicki - FINISHED - BlueJacket - Scale 1/48

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For my third wooded model ship (after the Monitor and Virginia) I decided upon the Revenue Cutter by BlueJacket.  I chose it for its entry level status but also because it will introduce me to more rigging. 


Anyways, on to the build log! 



The kit comes in a nice cardboard box with a color label showing the completed model.


The kit includes a number of brass and cast fittings as well as laser cut wood and a machine carved hull.  A nice touch is a display cradle is included as well.



The laser cut deck is really well done.


Excited to start working on the various cast components!

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So I made a little progress this evening shaping the hull. 


I began with photocopying the template sheet and cutting out the hull templates. I also mirrored the sheet so I could have a right and left deck template. I then glued the templates to a piece of cardboard and cut them out with a razor. 


I then marked the various template locations on the hull as well as the centerline. I used the instructions suggestion to drill a small hole in various locations along the centerline to keep track of it while sanding away.  


I also recently acquired a fordom flexible shaft tool and it makes shaping the hull much faster. 


Using this tool and the templates I made a little progress on shaping part of the hull. 


Up next is is just more hull sanding and shaping.

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So I spent a little time this evening carving the hull. 


Using the rotary tool I carved the stern area to match the template.  Quite a bit of material had to be removed but it didn’t take too long. I was a little nervous though about taking too much away. 


Next was continued hull carving. I shaped one side first just for reference. 


I then carved the other side and sanding by hand for a while. I also used the laser cut deck as a template. I’ll probably paint a layer of primer to help clear up any rough patches. 

Edited by sjanicki
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Looking great. I'm my humble opinion, the hardest part was the hull, but the templates are sound....trust them. This is a great starter kit for rigging. My biggest issue was reading the plans closely and getting the blocks in the right position on the masts. Also, recommend you leave the skylight clear and put in a false bottom. A piece of lightly stained basswood worked well for me. Oh, and I did not like the waterline tracing tool. I went with a piece planking material and traced it referencing the plans. I found that much easier.

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  • 3 weeks later...

@MrBlueJacket thanks for the complement! And you are right, there was quite a bit of material that needed to be removed at the stern. The template though that came with the kit pre-cut was super helpful there. 


@austristan thanks! I look forward to seeing your completed photos 👍🏻


@Javlin thank you! 


@Eric W thank you for the all the tips. What I learned on solid hull kits on the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor was super helpful on this one.  Also, I’ll definately take your advice on the skylight. I may also just cut a deeper hole in the deck to make the appearance of a large cabin - though your tip may be better. 


In general I didn’t actually make too much progress on the kit over the holidays. I did however put together a really nice paint booth and just made general improvements to my work bench. 


I did manage to make a few more passes sanding the hull as well as priming and applying putty to any pit marks go get the hull as smooth as possible. Making slow progress! 

Edited by sjanicki
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  • 4 weeks later...

This “Snowmageddon” in Seattle has allowed me to focus a bit this weekend on the Revenue Cutter.


I wen’t to attach the keel to the hull only to realize I somehow misshaped the hull quite a bit.  Fortunately I had excess material which allowed me to simply sand away more to get the proper fit between the laser cut keel and the hull.  This will require a bit of work to get rid of the large flat spot on the bottom of the hull though.




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Made some more progress today fairing out the flat spot on the hull where I had previously made a mistake. Considering how forgiving wood is I doubt if I’ll ever make a model from any other medium again. 


Once this little bit of rework is complete I’ll be back to make progress again at full speed. 



Marking the proper location of the keel on the flatten bottom of the hull. I dry fit the laser cut deck with the pre-drilled mast holes to insure the proper location. 


The keel location properly marked. Not sure how I had gotten the hull so acymetric before. 


After some more shaping and sanding it’s finally starting to look more the way it should. 18D5E890-634D-4790-AAE3-661451379A7E.thumb.jpeg.98072eea5b929d3b84dcdf94498503f3.jpeg9586DBCC-81C6-4078-A1D5-B15214221BDF.thumb.jpeg.807277657eab7635079f456e8950a0f1.jpeg


Edited by sjanicki
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Made some more progress last night mounting the keel and gluing the deck down.


I used CA glue to attach the keel without any issues.  Unfortunately I did over sand the after section where the rudder post connects resulting in a bit of filler being required.  I'll need to sand this and probably fill again until it is smooth and fair.


For gluing the deck down I ensured the the drilled mast holes lined up with the laser cut holes in the deck and glued it down with wood glue.  I chose wood glue so I could have time to fix things if there were any miss-alignments.  I then used a number of rubber bands to hold it in place while the glue dried. 


The laser cut deck looks extremely gorgeous in person.  I'll probably try and stain it this evening.

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Thanks @Tom E! For sure, the entire kit is well done.  And I went with a Minwax Cherry stain (actually left over from when I stained the case for the combined USS Monitor and CSS Virginia).


Here are some photos of how the stain actually went.


Unfortunately when I glued the deck on some glue was pushed through a hole near the carronade rail resulting in a bit of a blemish on the deck.  I'll need to cover it with some rope or something when it comes time to rig.


I also discovered another mistake on my part when I went to glue the transom onto the hull.  I had over sanded the section of the hull substantially (by about 1/8" inch) which resulting in a huge valley once the transom was glued on.  I decided to glue some wood material for the majority of the fill and then utilize some putty to do the rest.  Bit of a big screwup on my part but I think I may have figured a way to recover from it. 

Immediately after gluing the transom on it was clear there wasn't enough material. 



The wood I used to fill most of the gap.


After the putty was applied.  I'll likely have to spend quite a bit of time sanding this until it looks proper again.

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I know it doesn’t look like a lot of progress but it’s four passes of sanding, adding putty, sanding, priming etc. I also used progressively finer sandpaper - going from 120 grit, all the way to 400 grit. I also primed and sanded the rudder. 




Next up is re-drilling the rudder hole, making one last sanding pass then priming and painting the hull black. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Nic! 


For anyone else looking at this thread I have decided to copper plate the hull of the revenue cutter.  I have never copper plated a hull before so I'll definitely be reading other logs and looking for advice.


While the copper plates are being shipped I plan on painting the hull as per the plans (black above the waterline and copper below).  I saw in another build log how useful it was to paint the hull coper so that any potential gaps aren't obvious.  

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First light coat of black paint on the hull. Next up is a couple more light coats of black and then masking the waterline and painting below the waterline copper. 




Aside from reading other build logs here, is there a good source people recommend to read on learning the best way to apply and pattern the copper plates? 

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On 2/26/2019 at 3:59 PM, sjanicki said:

While the copper plates are being shipped I plan on painting the hull as per the plans (black above the waterline and copper below).  I saw in another build log how useful it was to paint the hull coper so that any potential gaps aren't obvious.  

For my hull I painted below the waterline in gray. This was because I was overlapping the plates and I found the grey easier to see the plates against. If you're not overlapping the plates (which I think is the case in the build log you mention), then copper paint would probably be better.


Your hull looks really good!



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I haven't documented how I made the stamps for nailing pattern. Let me know if this would be useful and I'll put something together. BTW, this doesn't require any special tools, just some patience.



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Thank you @RichardG! I actually purchased copper plates from Bluejacket which I believe already have a nailing pattern on them.  USPS shows that they should be delivered today so hopefully I can get a start on it this weekend.


I forgot to take a picture but I added another coat of black to the hull and its looking great.  I'll try and mask the waterline tonight. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a work trip for the last couple weeks so just getting back to this. 


Built up the waterline jig jig that was included with the kit and marked the waterline. In order to get it level I had to shim the base just a little. In the photo is also a clamp but I used super glue to attach the pencil as the instructions recommend. 


I then masked along the waterline. I’ll paint it a copper color tomorrow in preparation for copper plating.  It took a little while to mask though because of the substantial curves of the hull - or maybe due to my lack of experience. 


The coper plates showed up too and look super good! 

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