Jump to content

King of the Mississippi by Anna - Artesania Latina - 1:80

Recommended Posts

Hi All, 


As promised in my introduction


here is my first build blog.


Thank to other build blogs I found on MSW I was able to make a good start.


Any tips/advice/things you notice are very welcome. 


The hardest thing about the instructions is the jargon. As English is not my first language and I'm not that familiar with ship terms like keel and stern.

Right now I'm working on the first layer on the deck. These are the stables. As you see on the last picture I'm making the "windows" with bars.


Also, should I use some kind of oil/paint for the keel and base where I made the "wooden floorboards"? 


Thanks in advance!! And I am looking forward sharing this adventure with all you guys!














Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Anna,


Nice going!

Whether to use paint, lacquer or oil is largely your own choice.

I prefer paint/lacquer (just the normal smallest tin of non-coloured 'histor blanke lak' sold by  Gamma :) )

that way the wwood is protected. I never tried oil. From what I have seen here: oil goes into the wood, lacquer remains on top. So any errors with (too much) glue tend to show up with oil, and lesswith lacquer).


Paint is another story: some like the wood to show, and use different types of wood to have variation in colours. Other refer to the ships that are modelled, and that are never unpainted, and therefore use paint to resemble to original as best as possible. Up to youo whichever gang you belong (and you can always turn to the others :) ). When using paint, you can use the standard stuff from the home deco, but it works easier with modelling paint. tamya and Humbrol sell small tins waterbased enamel/paint in a broad range of colours. Originally for plastics, they stick very well to wood and metal as well.

I guess Shamrock still sells them.


In al cases, it needs some ahead planning: you have to paint when everything is still reachable. Nothing so annoying a a spot you can see, butnot reach with yourbrush.

But on the other hand, glue will not hold on paint, lacquer and oil. So, don't put the stuff on too early.



Edited by amateur
Link to comment
Share on other sites



Re Nautical terminology here are a few links  I use 






Maybe if you utilise Google translate you could convert to Dutch.


An interesting page on how the English took a lot of their nautical terms from the Dutch language!




Further an English to Dutch translator for nautical terms 




I am sure other members, specifically the Dutch contingent, will be able to help you more than I ever could.





Link to comment
Share on other sites



Something for you to think about on future models -- in your fifth photo down, the planks make a hard bend where they meet a bulkhead near the bow. The planks should follow the curve of the hull, which you can see in the shape of the false deck. This requires that the bulkhead formers be beveled, which means that they are filed or sanded in a manner that allows the planks to make the desired curve without kinking. You can see how this is done in some of the other build logs.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone! I had a productive Sunday!


I continued by applying some lacque to the base of the ship 


Then I started with the doors of the stable. I used acryl paint and a plastic strong foil on the windows





The base dried up so I attached the stables



Now i have to add a piece of wood to the front of the ship.. but im not sure how to bend it without breaking the wood? I dont have professional woodbending tools so i would like some advice on this? see next two pictures:



In the meantime i started planking the second deck!


I would love to hear any tips or thing you would do differently!



Link to comment
Share on other sites



There are various ways to bend a plank like that. I like to soak the plank in warm or hot water, which makes it more flexible. Then, when it's damp, you can clamp it into a curve and let it dry. Once dry, it will hold the shape you want. Some people advocate using a hot-air dryer (like for hair) either in place of water or after soaking. Either way, the heat helps loosen the wood fibers and make them easier to bend. Several warnings:

  • First, different types of wood bend more easily or with more difficulty, so you have to be careful and bend slowly to find out whether your piece risks breaking.
  • Second, you can clamp a wet piece of wood directly on the model if the wood underneath won't show (like structural bulkheads), but in your case as you've already placed other finished wood there, doing so risks warping the wood below. So I suggest finding a curve surface with a similar radius, like a pot or bucket, and clamping the plank you want to bend to that.
  • Third, clamping too hard to compress the wet wood fiber and ruin the piece. Again, be careful as you do this. Sometimes it's best to use another, thicker piece of wood between your plank and the clamp to avoid direct imprints into the plank.

I suggest trying this once or twice with scrap pieces if you have any, to get the hang of it before you try on a good piece. Good luck!


On your next model, this is also how you would approach bending planks for the hull so that they have a smooth curve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone :)


I couldnt work on the ship last week because i had a little box cutter incident! Box cutter 1 - my thumb 0. (its okay now!)


Today I worked on the second deck! 


(the front wood piece bending will have to wait till next week when i buy some clamps)




It always amazes me how much time goed into these planking parts! But it is very relaxing :) 


Next i started bending the thin wood ( soaked it in hot  water and this worked perfectly). However i decided to use nails to keep it at place because I didnt think glue would work on moist wood?







I added plank to these pieces to and added them to the rest.







SNOW bonus picture :)




Next step will be to add the windows and doors. After that i can start on the paddle-wheels and staircases!


As always let me know if you see any improvement points, have tips, advice etc!



Link to comment
Share on other sites



You're right that glue won't bond well to wet wood. The best approach is to soak the wood and clamp it in place until it dries, after which it will hold its form well enough to be glued. If you don't have clamps that fit a certain piece, you can try using small nails that you then withdraw once it's done. You're moving right along!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

G'day Anna, elastic bands (rubber bands), make great temporary holding clamps. They conform to pretty much every shape and are cheap as chips. As Eric has said, once the wood has dried it will hold its shape enough to allow gluing. Again, I usually use elastic bands to further hold the piece whilst the glue sets. As for you bow section on your hull; it wont be too expensive to buy some more thin strips to put another layer of planking over what you have done. If you choose to do so, firstly sand and fill the entire hull to achieve a nice flowing curvature toward the bow and stern (front and back). Give it a nice sand, and you will find you now have a really nice surface to apply a final planking layer which will look first class. Also, try not to use nails unless you want them to be seen. On my current build you can see where I have deliberately put exposed nail heads on the blades of the paddle to simulate large bolts. I will do this to a few more larger structural pieces to further simulate what I think may have been seen on the real vessel.


Overall, your vessel is coming along very nicely and you should be very proud. I will continue to follow along with interest. Good luck.






Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hi Chris, how would you recommend sanding the hull? I currently use this:


It works fine for sanding the lasercut bit smoothly but for larger pieces its not working well. I think there has to be a more effective method?


I want to make the bow and stern better looking as you suggest. 





Link to comment
Share on other sites



I think the foam sanding pads is what the doctor ordered. They have fine to coarse pads that are easily removed, they also stay in place with vigorous sanding. They are flexible and can be slightly bent to sand some curves.


They also have a pad about twice this size, the small ones are about 1&1/2 inch wide and about 3 inches long.


They sell here at any home building supply store I am sure they have an equivalent where you are. The coarse removes a lot of wood with very little effort, for what your building these are perfect and of course need no power supply except some elbow grease. They sell for about $ 6.00 usd.


Good Luck happy building looks great so far.






Edited by John Allen
added price
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Anna, I would start by using 80 grit sandpaper to give the hull a good sand by hand. Don't use power sanders unless you are very skilled with them as they can, and will, remove more than you want to. Once the hull has been sanded you need to fill in any large gaps and attain the correct flowing hull shape for the final planking to cover. To do this you may need to fill and sand a few times to form the correct shape. During this process I would suggest you use 120 grit sandpaper. Everyone will have their own method of sanding, whether using blocks etc. I tend to just fold the paper and hand sand it. This way I can sort of feel the curve as well as see it. When you are happy with the hull shape, give it a final sand with 240 grit paper. Note how we have progressively gone from quite course to very fine paper. Finally, depending upon the type of filler you applied you may need/want to brush a clear coat on it so the subsequent glue on the covering planks has a good surface to bond to. I don't tend to do this as the filler I use doesn't require me too, but I know of some very good builders on this site that do. So as with many things in this hobby there are many ways to skin a cat. Or plank a boat.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone!

I havent sanded the hull down yet, im a bit scared i will mess it up.. But i know nor for the next boat how to properly do it!


I added windows and doors to the second floor. I spraypainted them red and then added white lines by hand




Then i started with the back wheels. The instructions said to glue the strips but they were so firm that i didnt bother. I think it looks good and its solid, i spinned them more than once to check :)




Then started with the staircases:



Next step here is to add the railings. :)


Let me know what you think! 




Link to comment
Share on other sites


You say first build log, but is this your first wooden model. If this is your first you are doing a cracking job. Especially building an AL kit. I have this kit in my retirement stash and am currently building the AL Marina II.

Brilliant advice on plank bending around jar tops and glass rims.

As for the instructions, even with English as a first language AL's instructions can be daunting to follow. They don't tend to be in any real order. But I find that their picture instructions are easy to follow. You have been given some great advice so can't really add a lot other than that you should always think at least ten steps ahead.

Keep it natural or paint it is all down to personal choice, I personally prefer to paint my models.

Little mistakes here and there are how we learn in this hobby. I make loads of them. Look at my log for the Amerigo Vespucci and an expert will pick out quite a few mistakes, but for me it looks like it should so I just don't concern myself with them.  At the end of the day you build for you and the finished model once displayed is a joy to behold especially as you are the one that built it.

As for ship terminology, I know a smattering of it but it does not concern me. The hull is the hull a block is a block and a rabbit is something kept in a hutch not a groove down the keel. (LOL):):):)

I look forward to following your log. Keep up the excellent job you are doing and above all enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Paul,


Thanks for the compliment! I agree the picture instructions are good to follow. But I feel like I need to guess which part of wood i'm using a bit to often. I think near the end I might encounter some issues like: "ohhh that piece was for this deck, oops.. " But i hope to creatively solve these things 😊.


I'm really impressed by your Amerigo Vespucci! Love the paintwork and details! Wish i was at that level already! 


Can you recommend some more beginner/amateur friendly brands? For my next build?





Link to comment
Share on other sites



If you like steamboats, I'd strongly recommend Model Shipway's Chaperon kit. It's far more historically accurate than most steamboat kits and has a number of good build logs to follow. A long series on building it was also published in (now-defunct) Ships in Scale magazine; the writer is a frequent MSW contributor, Kurt Van Dahm. You could message him to find out more, I think he's planning to release that series on CD.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Anna,

Thanks for your compliment. I will get back to building it once I retire in November.

You will be amazed at how soon you can get to the stage that you will be building advanced level kits. In some respect they can be easier than beginner level kits because of the scale you work at.

I am building the AL Marina II and that is a good kit as are most of AL's kits. The Mamoli Baltimore Clipper looks good, another kit in my retirement stash. Billings do some very good kits. They just let themselves down with plastic fittings and the instructions need careful reading. At the level you are working there are so many kits to choose from and I am certain you will get some good advice from other members.

I know how the oops were does that bit go syndrome works. Usually it's a piece that has been forgotten or needed to be added before certain areas are built.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Can you please help me understand where the keel is at in the model parts?  There is nothing specific that I can find and I don't want to screw this up too badly.  I have the hull put together, but I can't figure out the part "26" :(. It is probably something really obvious

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Swoolley2002 said:

Can you please help me understand where the keel is at in the model parts?  There is nothing specific that I can find and I don't want to screw this up too badly.


Don't know if Anna is able to reply.

Part 26 is a length of walnut, 500mm long and 4mm x 5mm. You have to cut this to length yourself, and shape it to fit as in pic 9 where it meets part 25, and pic 10 where it meets the end of the flat bottom.

Before cutting and fitting ensure part 25 sits flush to the hull, as it hasn't fitted too well on my build.

Your best idea would be to start a build log of your model in the 1850 - 1900 area, (check out how to create a build log name), and use the same tags as this log so that other builders of this model who are currently active can follow along and give you help and advice.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...