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18th Century Armed Longboat by Arthur Wayne - FINISHED - Model Shipways - Scale 1:24 - Small

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Thanks Curtis, hopefully you will find something useful/helpful in this log. 


I've been off work this week and have had plenty of time for modeling. I shaped the mast, boom, gaff and bowsprit using the measurements provided in the instructions. I used my cordless drill and sandpaper, starting with 120 grit and finishing up through 400 grit. The instructions tell you to get measurements for the false sheave(s) locations of the mast from the plans. Sadly my plans are about 105% scale so I swagged where they should go. Although it doesn't mention this in the instructions, the laser cut gaff jaws are flat sided but attach to a rounded surface (the gaff). I used a Dremel and a drum shaped grinding bit to shape the gaff jaw to form around the gaff. I also used a bit of minwax wood filler to form a fillet between the jaws and the gaff. If you go this route beware the gaff jaws will be too narrow if you don't double check as you go. Lastly I applied a coat of wipe on poly and set these aside to dry for 2 days. 



After the wipe on poly had cured I painted the ends of the mast/boom/gaff/bowsprit black instead of the kit's recommendation of red. I admire the way the black and red work on Chuck's Medway Longboat so went this route. 



While I was waiting for poly to dry I experimented with the chain plates as well as the Jax Pewter Black recommended by DrPS. I'm not sure I like the way the chain plates work in this scale, specifically how they wrap around the deadeye. I may alter these or come up with something completely different. In the meantime, my experience with the pewter black is that is works 1,000% better if you brush in on, and use the brush to work the liquid on the part. Submersion doesn't work all that well and I've noticed other threads here folks have reported the same thing. 


Another activity that has filled in the time waiting for WOP or paint to dry has been sanding the blocks. There's not that many so in my opinion it's worth the tiny time investment to improve their appearance.



Finally the oarlocks, or tholes. I made the kit oarlocks and painted them black then set them on the cap rail without glue. I just don't like the way they look. I've been thinking of copying the Medway Longboat tholes and after seeing DrPS do the same I decided to give a shot. I spent an eternity turning square basswood in to tiny 1/4" long dowels. I planned on making them 3/64" in diameter but since a 3/64" drill bits seems to make a hole in wood that's more like 3.5/64", I made the tholes a few thousandths of an inch larger (I couldn't do this without digital calipers) for a press fit. Once they were complete a made a jig from scrap 1/4" plank to mark the holes. I also used masking tape lined up with the thwarts spanning both sides so that I could center the jig on the cap rail and centered between the thwarts. I then used the pin vise and drilled dimples. Once all of the holes were marked I went back and drilled through the cap rail.


I used a piece of tape to set the depth of the drill bit after I realized I had nicked the inside of the cheer plank. Finally I glued the tholes in. I made a miniature framing square from scrap to ensure the tholes were at a 90 degree angle to the caprail and parallel to each other. I would have taken a few photos of this operations but a third hand, I do not have. The tholes received a few coats of paint. I expect the few minor gaps between the tholes and the cap rail here and there will fill in with a few more coats of paint. 





As always, thanks for looking!



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Arthur, it looks very good. I had the same problem when drilling the holes in the cap rails. I like the tape idea. I too will have to give the cap rails an extra coat of paint or two. I probably should have squared in the tholes but It never occurred to me to do it. Oh well 😔 a perfectionist I’m not. That is why my treenails are pencil marks not in very straight lines. 

Edited by Dr PS - Paul Schulze
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I'm back with another update. As previously mentioned I wasn't in love the kit solution to the chainplate/deadeye arrangement. Although mechanically it's fine, at this large of scale I wanted it to look a little more prototypical. As I have continued to draw inspiration from Chuck's Medway Longboat I chose to emulate his design. I'm starting to think of this boat as "The Poor Mans Armed Medwayish Longboat". LOL


I would like to fit in that I had several metal casting that were short shot. I sent Model Expo an email and a few days later the parts appeared in the mailbox. They didn't communicate back to me which I find interesting but, they didn't request I send back the defective parts or photo proof like most vendors will. I have to say it's refreshing to find a company that will stand behind their product, no questions asked. I have 2 additional Model Shipways kits in my stash and will definitely be buying more in the future. 


I couldn't come up with a repeatable and acceptable method of making a strop that was an unbroken piece. While this method may not be the expert's choice, I think for the average guy such as myself this is a way to make a strop with basic tools. I used a product called Artistic Wire (free next day shipping for Amazon Prime members). It's 22 gauge copper wire with a very thin (think paint layer) plastic coating. I have a lifetime supply for 6 bucks. I suppose annealed wire would be a better choice, but it's not quite as easy to form. 


At any rate I came up with the following to make a strop, or a faux strop if you prefer. LOL


Step 1 is to drill through the deadeye to the predrilled hole. I tried to stay perpendicular to the hole with moderate success. I used a drill bit (forgot the size) that was just a hair smaller than the 22 gauge wire. 


I had by trial and error determined the diameter needed for the ring that goes around the deadeye leaving a gap no smaller than the diameter of the hole I drilled. I also made a bunch of eyebolts from the same wire, these will be used shortly. 



Next step is to add the ring, I worked it with my fingers and some jewelers pliers (gently!) to get a tight fit. Make sure your previously drilled hole is still visible!


The final step for the strop is to insert the eyebolt. Just a dab of CA is needed. I also made sure the shank of the eyebolt didn't penetrate the predrilled hole in the deadeye as rigging will need to go through there. 


Next I added the hook....


And finally, I used the kit suppled chainplates but clipped of the "Y" portion. I then rounded the end off and drilled a 1/16" hole for the hook to easily pass through. Longboat93.thumb.JPG.6888d1f1ecda13aa90b34d3010d07aac.JPG

The remaining parts for the other 3 deadeye/strop/chainplate assemblies. After I blacken the chainplates I'll go back and touch up the wire ends with black paint. I'll also close the gaps off on the eye bolts and the eye of the hooks. I also made a jig to bend the hooks since there are a number of them used around the rigging which, I'm finally about to get started on. 


As always, thanks for looking!!


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Arthur, great look for the strops and hooks. Right now I am not doing too well getting something looking even a fraction as good as yours. The hole idea may be the key. I have been trying to make a one piece strop-hook combination. Trying to bend a hook on it is a real problem. Thanks for sharing your post on this. 

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Remember guys....the best source for inspiration when building any model is to look at the contemporary sources available.   If you want to see how it was done in reality.....really study the this model and others.   Look at how the rigging is done...or how narrow the cap rail should be....or how thin the molding on the hull should be.   This is in stark contrast to the kit.   Look at the thole pins.   Check out contemporary plans that show how a swivel gun stock was built.  It was not just placed on top of the cap rail after widening it.  Note on the plan I posted how narrow the cap rail is along with the swivel gun stocks that are attached to the inside of the bulwarks.   Note where they are located on the hull.  They are never on the transom.  The aft pair are almost always shown where they are seen on the draft.














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I remember the mention about the cap rail width problem, but it would require either removing and replacing or shaving off some from the outside. The inside is somewhat fixed because of the frames so only the outside can be reduced. I am not sure I want to tackle this as if I mess up, I would probably scrap the build and start over with Chuck’s or something else. At this point I think I will probably have fun and finish it. 


There was also mention that the boat boat was too narrow for a gunboat. 

Edited by Dr PS - Paul Schulze
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I'm guessing the kit is a 200% enlarged and slightly modified version of the 1/48 scale version. Perhaps the guns and etched brass decorations were added to make it different enough from the original? Where did the bowsprit stay originate? I noticed this doesn't seem to be present in any of the contemporary models or on the Medway Longboat. Since the hole was already laser cut in the keel I can either install it per the plans or leave it off and leaves folks wondering what the purpose is served by mystery hole in the keel.


In any event this build is a laboratory for my learning the ropes of ship modeling. It doesn't hurt my feelings one bit if someone points out I've made a mistake or something doesn't look right, that's why I created this log. 

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In the reading I have done, many of the Longboats or launched in the early 1800’s were converted or built as armed. 


I would not be surprised if some of the boats did not have bowsprit backstays. When sails were up as for rescue boats, there would be strong upward forces needing a counter force.  


As as far as the x2 enlargement, I think you are correct. Obviously, some mods were needed for their concept of arming the boat. 

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While I consider imagineering gun mounts that are more prototypical I have kept plugging along in preparation for the rigging. I installed the upper 2 iron bands on the mast. These were friction fit and the instructions direct you to wick thin CA to fix them in place. So that I don't have to paint the shiny cured CA I chose to tighten the bands with round nose pliers (the masking tape prevents them from damaging the bands surface). Fortunately there is a slight V where the band turns out to form a loop, pinching this down with pliers locks it into place (see the yellow circle where I pinched the bands holding the pliers parallel to the mast. A toothpick inserted into the false sheave helps keep the bands oriented correctly. 


I have concluded based on the mast thwart and boom band that the kit should have included a 3/8" dowel for a mast. DrPS opted to go with a 3/8" dowel, I was too far into the build to make the change so... my boom band was far to big to fit the mast correctly. I created a new boom band from 2 pieces of telescoping brass tubing and soldered. This may make the band a bit too thick however it matches the thickness of the upper bands. I made a brass eye and drilled the band so that I could bury and glue the shank of the eye into the mast. 


The provides pretty brass belaying pins but I wanted to make mine from wood. I tried turning basswood but the results were not spectacular. I ended up buying 14mm boxwood belaying pins from MS. I didn't care for the shape turned down using my Dremel and sanding paper. Now I understand why boxwood is such a ship modelers favorite, it very dense, strong and not prone to splintering and breaking the way basswood does in such applications. 


I installed the modified chainplates at the locations indicated on the plans, nothing noteworthy for this operation. 


I used the bowsprit to fit it's metal supports. Cutting a square hole in the decking was a challenge, in the end my squarish hole ended up being slightly oversized which was disappointing and not practical to repair. 


I decided to try my hand at adding thimbles to some of the blocks ala Chuck's Medway Longboat. Besides the challenge I'm getting more bang for my modeling buck doing a little extra work. After several failed attempts I came up with the following for anyone interested in trying. The end of the block opposite of the end with the hole (on the right side in the picture below) needs to have the channel deepened with a file. 


A dab of medium CA and then place the clean cut end of the line in place and press down so that it sets and holds the line. 


Next just loop the line around and hold in place with your finger. By trial and error you need to figure out how long the resultant "loop" opposite of the glued end needs to be. For me, it was 15 hundreths of an inch. With the loop sized correctly glue the line down tight where it meets the previously glued end. Once set, you can cut straight down the into the line where it is glue and remove the tail. The joint should be all but invisible.


This is the loop (15 hundredths of an inch) we were concerned about prior to gluing the loose end. 


I made thimbles from brass tube flared with a homemade tool. These were the hardest parts to make, I threw out quite a few failed attempts! Mine are not as small as Chuck's, he has definitely mastered miniature thimbles! I made a small contraption to hold the block and the thimble so I could tie it all up. I'm sure there's a better way to do it but I spent very little time coming up with something that would work for the small amount of these I needed to make. 


Now the hardest part, tying tiny knots! I found the constrictor knot worked very well since you need to cinch up the rigging so the thimble is trapped. 


Finally on the opposite side of the constrictor knot I tied a square knot and then soaked the knot with 50/50 water Mod Podge Matte. Once the Mod Podge set, I trimmed the tails of the knot flush. 


Temporarily installed, I'm not digging the look of this hook, I think I need to close it up a bit more. 



And finally my failure of the week. I thought I had found just the right bead for the gaff parrels. Alas they are way too big! I'm going to blacken the kit supplied brass parrels and so how those look, they had appeared too small to me but now I'm thinking they might be the best option. I'll find out soon enough! 


As always, thanks for looking!





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Arthur,  it looks like you are really putting in the hours and making some cool modifications.  I like your thimbles very much.  I have not decided what to do in this regard yet.  I may give it a try but I will see - not there yet.


About the belaying pins, they should be rather easy to carve from square basswood rod.  When I made the thwart seat posts, to my suprise, I found it rather easy to care and shape round posts.  You may have skipped that step.


BTW, I was reading the supply list in the manual the other day and found a can of Matte Finish Spray listed.  I did a search of the instruction manual and found no reference to its use.  I thought about it and decided it would actually be good to spray painted surface, like the mast, etc., with it as they tend to scratch easily, e.g., when slipping on the collars and such.  I tried it out today and it does prevent scratching and it also takes out the sheen of the paint and gives it, in my opinion, a better look.

Edited by Dr PS - Paul Schulze
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Thanks guys! Paul I purposefully left the thwart supports out, only because I didn't see them installed on any other similar boats. As for the belaying pins, I made some from basswood and it may just be the batch of wood I have on hand but the bottom half of the pin was extremely fragile. I'm surprised by how strong the boxwood is in comparison, and after fooling around with the rigging I'm glad they have that bit of extra strength. 


What matte spray are you using? I thought about using some, the red area of the mast is going to get bumped into a lot and it might be worth giving it a coat. 

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I'm nearly done with rigging, obviously lots of lose ends need to be trimmed up. I abandoned the instruction manual for this part. Not sure what MS is thinking but they provide 1.5mm line for the running rigging, which is .5mm bigger than the standing rigging! It would look to big for the anchor line. I gotta think something got mixed up between the prototype and production. 1.5mm will not even fit through the blocks. Unfortunately, the rigging instructions don't actually refer to the rigging size so there's no way of knowing, other than what you get in the kit isn't going to work. I purchased rigging from Syren Model Ship Company and it was well worth the investment. For those interested I used .88mm brown for the standing rigging (and .20mm brown for seizing). I used .63mm light brown for the running rigging, .45 for the back stays, deadeyes, main sheet, flag halliards plus .20mm for seizing these lines. In any event this is how the model looked yesterday.


I borrowed another design feature from the Medway Longboat, that being the traveler. 


Not sure why the stem doesn't have a 3rd hole for the deadeye rigging, had I noticed earlier I might have added it. 


I'm still working out a way to get the deadeyes for the shrouds to behave and line up a little better, they are Twisted Sisters right now. 


This is just shot of the shrouds up top. 


I ended up chamfering the holes in all the blocks so that the lines would ease out of the block rather than have to make a right angle turn. I did this with a pointed diamond encrusted bit in my Dremel and it took all of about 15 seconds per block. Not sure if I mentioned this earlier but I also rounded off the ends and softened up the edges on all the blocks which made a vast improvement in their appearance, at least I think so. 



At least my deadeye sets

are level with each other, and there are only 2 on each side!


This photo shows how chamfering the holes in the blocks helps the line exit in a more prototypical manner. 


Last but not least the stern. I ended up not using the kit provided horse traveler. 


I've been making fake coils of rope today, still striving for predictable repeatability. I have 1/3 of them done now, but will be playing Army in the field for the next 5 weeks so this boat is gonna have to wait for me to come home. I think just might make my goal of getting this done before I head off on a longer term adventure in September. As always, thanks for looking and please feel free to point out anything that doesn't look right. 



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  • 1 month later...

I was out of town for a while since my last post and work has been bananas since, however I have been on leave this past week so I was finally able to get back to my build. I decided to make my own oars versus using the kit supplied versions. It seemed like an awful lot of work carving and sanding flat laser cut parts into an oar, and I had to make more than just one so this is what I decided to do. Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone else considering the same. 


I used the laser cut part for dimensions. I created a blade pattern using Adobe Illustrator that is a close enough approximation of the kit part. I printed these patterns out and glued them to 1/16" thick basswood sheet with Elmers stick glue. After cutting the part out I just wetted the paper pattern with my finger dipped in water and the paper peeled right off. 



Next I sanded the blade edges to a round contour.



My next step was shaping the handles, I chucked 1/8" dowel (cut a few inches longer than needed, no worry about the chuck jaws leaving marks) into my drill and used a Dremel and sandpaper to shape. The biggest challenge is making all the handles the same shape, I threw a few failed attempts away. 



Now I cut the dowels to length, allowing a 1/4" extra for the blade end which I notched with a Dremel cutoff disk. 



Next was test fitting each blade, most of the dowels needed to narrowed a hair with a sanding black as the notch in the blades was a tiny bit narrow. This was also the time to mark the dowel with a pencil line on both sides at the blade end for shaping in the next step. 



The dowel was then sanded to taper starting at the pencil line and terminating to where the notch fits over the blade. It should be paper thin where it terminates. I did this with a sanding block, then smoothed off the rest by hand with sandpaper. 


Finally the blade was glued to the dowel with thin CA. I used Minwax wood filler to blend the dowel to the blade. This product is water based, dries fast, and sands easy. It took 4 applications with some quick sanding between to build up these areas.  If I intended to leave the oars natural I would have done this differently but the blades will be painted so it seems a reasonable cheat to me. 


Overall I'm happy they all turned out to be reasonable oar clones. 



I only made 6! In my view after a quick placement in the boat, 6 may even be a bit much to pose in the model. There are actually 7 tholes per side, if I made 14 oars they would take up way too much room in the boat for the look I want because bundled together, they just look like a big clunky bundle to me. I'll apply a coat of wipe on poly and then paint these this weekend, after I settle on a color scheme. In the mean time, I'm working on the final bits and contemplating making a few wooden buckets and barrels, the kit provided cast metal bucket and barrel are not very nice in my opinion. I will be moving very soon so I remain hopeful to wrap this project up before move day gets here. Thanks for looking!!

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Very nice Arthur. I like your innovative procedure and final look. You are actually getting yourself ready for scratch building. Just curious as to how long it took to make one oar. After a couple were made and I had the procedure in hand, I was able to carve one out in less than 30 minutes. I used to be afraid of carving but now it is actually one of my most favorite  things to do.  Either way yours look great and you have provided an excellent alternative to a lot of carving. 

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Those oars are cool! I'm going to post my "almost finished" A.L.B. tonight or tomorrow. Got the guns on. I also don't think I want to dump a bunch of oars all over the details of the boat's interior! I may just wrap a bundle or two and plop them on the front of the stand. A few home made buckets and barrels here and there sounds good too along with some cleaning and loading ramrods for the guns! It could go on forever!

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I'm calling this boat finished! I considered making some additional items but as Sea Hoss pointed out above, there's no end to it all! Besides that, it's at the point now where it's starting to look cluttered already. I will make a glass display case but the Army is moving me very soon so, that will wait till I get to my new home away from home. I will also add a flag at a later date. The only things I haven't addressed already in my build log are:


1. Thanks go to Dr Paul Schultz for supplying me with an extra swivel gun. I'm sure we aren't the only ones finding it odd that the kit has 3 mounts for the same gun, but only supplies 2 actual guns. 


2. I added a handle to the large swivel gun with brass rod and a turned wood handle. I don't know that much about such guns but it defies my experience how one would aim such a weapon.


As always, thanks for looking!!  And thanks for the help/advice to all that offered.  












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It came out fantastic Arthur! Love the color scheme you chose and attention to detail! The handle on the "big gun" is definitely necessary imo...and fashioned in a realistic way, ( I think I shall copy that). Mine is basically finished also, just working on the additional do-dads. At the present time, I'm rigging a "Gadsden Flag". the first USN Jack. Also, the final photos are striking! Great camera work. Be watching for your future builds.

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