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SpyGlass

Brigantine Phoenix by SpyGlass - Master Korabel - Scale 1:72

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I am having a discussion with them but frankly I am so interested in their approach I am very forgiving.

The deck I feel is rather over treenailed anyway so I may  do it myself. The maple deck actually sits on a "normal" ply deck so its no great effort to plank in holly with a bit of thickness adjusting.  I have also a small stock of good dyed black strip and i think I could get creative with that agan not a huge job since I have the templates as it were.  But in general I think the maple and hornbeam could be altered with advantage and i would have been just a bit happier if it could be addressed

 

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4 . TRIAL DRY-FIT ASSEMBLY                                                                        BACK TO INDEX

Just to check out how well this kit was cut out and prepared , I did a dry fit on the base Bulkheads and keel.

 

They fitted beautifully - best I have ever met  -no looseness and just one or two slightly snug points that i will ease just a fraction to ensure glue entry. 

These guys are a real challenge for the established makers who are not going to be able to compete with old kits cut to standard of a decade ago.

These laser lines are so much finer and the quality of the draughtmanship in the computer guidance layouts is clear.

 

So - a very different hull base on such a small build and an ingenious system of interlocking tabs.

I have not driven anything in this dry fit pictures hard home and I have done no sanding or shaping

 

First  just the bottom keel and the main lower bulkheads .

They all fitted perfectly -  secure and at right angles.  The kit  guides you to fit the BHs to take advantage of the slight laser cut angle. Note the upper "tabs" on keel and BHs

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next the HDF central deck - very important part of the whole build. The tabs from the BHs fit tightly into slots

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and here is a view of an upper and lower BH set with their interlocking tabs. the two sets of tabs fit snugly into the same slots

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It wouldnt be built like this but here is the central deck - first fitted with the upper keel and some of the upper BHs

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then the upper BH set placed - everything fits perfectly

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Then just to illustrate - here are a couple of of the bulwark additional pieces placed.

Of course I havent pushed home all the tabs into the central deck

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all lovely - just a breath of light sanding in about five places and all ready to go

 

An additional shot - I checked the "false rabbet"  - again perfect.IMG_1433a.thumb.jpg.92c6e0548cdf59cf395b257b5c9d616b.jpg

and finally just a shot to show the laser engraved chamfer guidance lines on the BHs  and you can see the end of the rabbet

IMG_1434b.jpg

What can one say about such a superb set of parts !

 

I suppose - "Time to get the glue out!"

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What I found ingenious about the design of the gunboat kit is that the locations of the many tabs and slots make it mostly impossible to orient adjoining parts incorrectly.

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And it all FITS spot on .

I bow to no one in my admiration for example of Mr Wattons wonderful Victory/Amati stuff but  Amati/Corel etc  etc need to up their game - the cutting and accuracy on this kit is simply in a different league.

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On 1/24/2019 at 3:40 AM, SpyGlass said:

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I've put all this stuff together, the pieces fit perfectly and they are easy to remove from the sheet. So far this kit has been a pleasure to work on. I look forward to seeing your progress. 

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5. MOUNTING  FOR THE MODEL                                                                        BACK TO INDEX

AHHHHH

 A point just arose - I dont like the kit stand and its at this point in a build that I normally drill the keel for mountimg rods/bolts for my preferred pedestal stand.

 Pause while I  consider asthetics and practcalities of mounting.

 

I normally use 3mm rod into holes drilled in the keel section but in this case the keel section IS 3mm. So i think a simple addition slot strengthed both side will be the answer. the "false rabbet" strip will also serve to strengthen a bit.  

 

Next check - which caught me out on Pickle - is the keel bottom parallel with the water line?

No waterline marked on the plans but all is presented as if it is so..

 

A bit of " visualisation" needed with published side views to work out where the pedestals go.

I normally prefer to allow for the bow sprit when placing the stand  -not just make them equidistant on the hull but in this case the position for the supplied stand seems fine.

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or maybe it will fit into the keel sections better if i just reduce the distance between a fraction which move them a bit more away from the slots.

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Yep thats seems fine - but i will just hold off and have another think overnight - it will be hard to fix if I cut this bit wrong!
 

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6. ROUGH FAIRING THE HULL                                                                        BACK TO INDEX

I am a great fan of shaping keel pieces and bulheads  etc - at least roughly - before assembling together.

This kits laser etched guide lines are a great boon to that process.

 

Just to be sure though I did an initial shaping on the central HDF deck ( be careful folks I think the dust from this stuff is NOT healthy). I tried to leave the faintest trace of char line on one side and coming just barely onto the marked lines on the deck.

View from below

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Mounted some top and bottom BHs and indeed the cutting guide for those match up precisely as you can see.

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So I will proceed with happily to initially cut to the guide lines - that will save a hge amount of effort doing it on the build.

Except I will err a fraction inside to allow an "overall"sanding finishing when all the bulk head are mounted and glued.

 

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7. REAL LIFE PHOENIX                                                                        BACK TO INDEX

 

phoenix.jpg.17962529053258406fa77d3dfad3b2ae.jpg

I KNEW the name rang a bell - and then it struck me - I have actually been ON a Brig called Phoenix she is docked about 15 miles away in Charlestown ( yeah  yeah Poldark country!!)  So I can check fittings etc !! 

 

Site is here  A REAL PHOENIX

 

For those of you who dont know - I have the luck of living in Cornwall with my  balconies overlooking Plymouth Sound.  The RN dockyard is a mile or so away filled with modern grey things, lots of yachting and gig racing below, several repro tall ships regular visitors and I am a member of the RWYC Royal Western Yacht Club which is preparing for the 2020 OSTAR.

And before you think its idyllic - you can see the disgusting weather I am having at the moment on the clubs webcam RWYC webcam  Drakes island in the middle

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Thanks for sharing the info! And that just moments after reading about the existence of a schooner  called the Recouvrance of Brest (in a book about the Hermione), which ressembles the Polotsk I'm working on. How about that for a coincidence!

Another reason to visit wondeful Cornwall (high on our bucket list)

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On 1/25/2019 at 6:59 AM, SpyGlass said:

And it all FITS spot on .

I bow to no one in my admiration for example of Mr Wattons wonderful Victory/Amati stuff but  Amati/Corel etc  etc need to up their game - the cutting and accuracy on this kit is simply in a different league.

They could also take a lesson in customer service. Eugene at Korabel is customer oriented, very responsive and a pleasure to work with. Korabel kits and service is on the same par as Syren Ship Company, the best.

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8. FIRST HULL ASSEMBLY                                                                         BACK TO INDEX

 

Finished preparing the rough fairing - I decided to not try to make too fine a job of it since some edges were quite delicate - I think better left till the whole hull is done.  And the 6 pieces forming the fake rabbet are delicate toooo  - I know I broke three bits _ TAKE NOTE

 

Test assembled over and over again making sure the pieces were not too tight into the slots because there is quite a fast assembly sequence required - 9 BH and 6 additional pieces all to be done before glue sets.

 Should have done one more pass - when I came to glue some BHs they were sticky with the glue and I had to use a scrap piece of wood to drift them hard in.  SEE MY NOTE ON GLUE !

 

Anyway it all looks OK except spot the  deliberate ? mistake!!

 

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Did you notice it - YES I forgot to put in the slots for mounting on pedestal - I shall have to drill later !

 

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23 hours ago, Dutchman said:

... a schooner  called the Recouvrance of Brest (in a book about the Hermione), which ressembles the Polotsk I'm working on. How about that for a coincidence!

… and I am relying heavily on La Recouvrance for lines of my first ever ship build, on the drawing board at the present. 

 

I like the look of this kit, will be watching closely.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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9. GLUE FOR THIS BUILD

The new bottle of Evostick I used had a VERY short grab time for a PVA ( stated good bond 5 - 10 mins) - it gave me a bit of grief with the first hull assembly but I envisage much worse problems if I get too early grab on some of the very fnie bits on this kit .

I am shifting to a PVA which has a bit longer time  and suggest you do too.

Posted a query here  UK PVA GLUE

 

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10. PEDESTAL FITTINGS                                                                         BACK TO INDEX

 Decided upon the pedestal positions 16cm apart and drilled pilot holes.

I have lots of 3mm threaded brass rod but I shall pick up a length of 2mm and try before I drill for 3mm if i need to.IMG_1474.JPG.d1bee25384318447ad1ad8e9254c5370.JPGIMG_1475.JPG.24a20d3d826a5202afcce2270b3da392.JPG

I will cut slots for nuts to sit just below the position of the point of the drill bit and then strengthen the keel with some ply pieces over the bolt slots

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Hi, SpyGlass! Greetings from Sevastopol, in this city was the naval base of the Phoenix))

 Phoenix is a very good kit, I'm also building it now. I want to say, when grinding, you need to grind off about half the thickness of the first planking. In another case, the second planks may not be installed precisely enough, as I did - the length of the planks was not enough.  I was very upset((

Unfortunately, there is no reserve in the length of the second planks.

1.jpg.425be069485e8fa6aa2c52299dc601bb.jpg

In the bow, everything fits perfectly.

2.thumb.jpg.435213d33e9605c9b414429fb4185193.jpg

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Thanks for that note Eralex.

I have already seen that there is no reserve planking and have set aside enough  spare from the sheets to cut additiona bits if needed

I am used to patching planking so  I probably could fix it - but best to take care in the first place - so thanks for the warning.

 I am a bit puzzled about the need to sand the first layer down by half - its thin enough already -  I will keep an eye open for the point but I think maybe I will make sure that the BulkHead fairing is really well done - its very easy not to take enough off. I have seen that resulting in planks being short.

My rule is - when you think you have faired the hull enough - do some more !

 

Nice bows !  

 

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I am familiar with the one of the developers of the kit. When I told him about my failure, he replied that it was necessary to grind off about half the thickness of the first skin (there is 1.5mm plywood). And that is not shown in the instructions.

This is difficult to fix if you make a mistake, because there is not enough plank length.

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11. TOP HULL                                                                                                                     BACK TO INDEX

 

 I struggled with this a bit - I followed the instructions but on fitting the the top keel section I noticed that  it was a bit off the vertical line of the bottom section- especially at the stem.

With the BH extensions being fitted first at the back there was no additional "squaring" BHs forrard.  So I put a vertical clamp  arrangement quickly across the two hull sections stem and stern -and promptly partly broke the important vertical stem bit of the top keel  - flooded it with thin CA and clamped and I think I have saved it.

MEANWHILE yes - the PVA was setting off !!

So I heaved off one of the BH segments which I wasnt happy with and rubber banded the remaining stern one to vertical.

 

Something not quite right here though the angle makes it look far worse than it actually is

16027534_IMG_14761.thumb.jpg.8a36050e48c0c1d3be92c4977af817f7.jpg

 I think I would be happier with all the top BH sections fitted to get everything lined up  - so I am just going to read ahead to see if there is any reason why not.

There is a lot of fancy bits at the stern at this point and I would rather have the top keel fixed better before getting into that area

 

I fitted all the top halves of the bulk heads with rubber bands

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and I  did a temporary positioning of the wonderful device up forrard called the "conductor" ! and used rubber bands again and it all seems to come out adequately straight at the stem -

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so I moved into a bit of the stern.

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I suggest if you are building this one you carefully dryfit to have a look at how it all goes together.

I also "rubber banded" the stern deck just to make sure all was square !

I feel a bit happier now!

 

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FIRST BLOOD! 

Cleaning the slots of the rather complex but nice stern structure with scalpel  - banged my elbow on my work light   - dropped vessel - knife flew.

Scalpel embedded in thigh ( well just a bit... )  and the stem bit I broke and repaired took the fall - so thats to be done again !. ( Best left till some more structure around it I think.)

 

But no blood on the wood !!  And i did make progress soooo.

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On 1/27/2019 at 10:55 PM, SpyGlass said:

There is a lot of fancy bits at the stern at this point

You have not seen the stern of the new kit of Master-korabel  -  tender Avos! That's where a lot of fancy bits)))

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FMK-gwPRsLU.thumb.jpg.cdd95b8a0f30a762f21e77760a1fcd05.jpg

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12 TOP HULL - STERN

It all went together nicely and I have done first shape of the lower counter which is like a layer cake !

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I have been doing preliminary fairing to the lasered marks across all the hull - but not really hard since I was unsure whether the marks could be relied on - but actually they can be they seem spot on.

DRY FIT  -  DRY FIT -  DRY FIT 

I have just positioned  the stern taffrail and counter  - again they sit spot on their marks - you can see the little position tab in the centre of the taffrail. But to glue them i need to do some proper fairing on the stern so i am putting that aside and just doing the blocks at the stem next. Then I shall  do the fine  shaping/fairing stuff where needed at first  and move on to fix the rest of the hull parts and do the real overall fairing then

 

 

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13 CUSTOMER SERVICE

Just had a brilliant reply from Master Korabel.

Sending replacement for broken bits and explaining what they are doing about packing to stop it happening again.

Also explaining their wood supply difficulties and what they are doing about that and also they took some suggestions of mine and took the trouble to explain the pros and cons.

And I just compared their laser cutting with a few sheets from "established kits makers" MK are so much finer -the old hands need to look to their laurels !

I am going to look at the windlass "sub kit" in the next day or so - I have a direct comparion with the Pickle build there

 

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14. MORE TOP HULL

 Used new "iron"version of my patent method for curving ply for the lower counter.

IMG_1491.JPG.dc6eeb64b701400f63f81b4985cc1068.JPGIMG_1493.JPG.1514e60b0d574157fcae9f86084d75c4.JPG

NOTE to others - the engraved laser lines on the counter do NOT represent planks on this first layer - its to facilitate curving it ( very clever) .

I didnt realise this until after a bent it a bit the wrong way but its a nice fit now.

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Fitted the stem blocks - i think i will have no problem re-attaching the broken stem bit later.

 

Went onwards to dry fit the numerous additional bulwarks - couldnt make head nor tail of the instruction to use the bulwark strip marks to line up the bulwarks verticals

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- they didnt .

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UNTIL I looked at the INSIDE of the bulwarks and there are row of tiny marks exactly where you need them/.

So tomorrow the glue!!

IMG_1503.thumb.JPG.7cd1a88c153e43d0d32a0c7a3b726331.JPG

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15. TOP HULL - UPPER BULWARKS                                                                                      BACK TO INDEX

Paused before doing the gluing today to consider the fairly low tolerance on the the length of the "bulwark strip" rough pattern. This is nicely located with slots which sit on lugs on some of the Bulkheads.

But the slots allow a little play and though my measurements say there is a few mm tolerance at the prow there is only a mm or less on the stern.

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I decided the kit idea of fitting and adjusting six top bulkeads and twenty sub bulwarks "before the glue sets" is beyond my capability ( see previous section) I think a slower method suits me !

It seemed that the good fit of the bulwark strip was of primary importance and that the minor bulwarks didnt matter so much since they could be sanded back if slightly off AND the ports are lined.

So deviated from the instructions and instead just fitted top bulkheads C3.2 to 3.7.    -  (3.3 and 3.5 have lugs along with 3.8 ( already fitted)) - using the rough bulwarks to line up and assuring just enough margin at the stern to allow for a little adjustment later. Arrow show slots and lugs

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I will leave those to dry and bond and also will bend the bulwark strips before proceeding to the minor bulwark heads.

 

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16. BINNACLE                                                                                                                            BACK TO INDEX

While the glue set on the BHs I had a look at the Binnacle kit.

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Absolutely amazing demonstration of precision laser work -  it actually has properly fielded door panels !!

 

And yes those are laser cut compass cards <2mm across!! Never be seen of course.

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Ah !! Do I varnish or do I paint - first time the decision has arisen - not going to paint the hull ( except maybe to enhance the black rough finish areas) But some deck fittings perhaps?

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21 hours ago, SpyGlass said:

Ah !! Do I varnish or do I paint - first time the decision has arisen - not going to paint the hull ( except maybe to enhance the black rough finish areas) But some deck fittings perhaps?

Only oil! Best wood coating! 

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Oil is lovely but I personally have found it doesnt age well.  I oil my " 1:1 real life" woodwork - its fine to re-oil a nice table regularly but re-oiling a ship build is fairly impractical and its also I have found that its a bit "sticky" for pieces of dust. I had a build  ( I think HMS Snake) about 15 years ago - I used good quality Tung oil and it looked lovely but after 5 years or so  hummm not so good.  May have been me of course!!.

I usually use  a UK standard commercial satin finish wood varnish - Ronseal thinned as required.  BEWARE they changed it fairly recently and its now water rather than spirit based so thinning with spirits make it have a white bloom.

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