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18th Century Longboat by tlevine - FINISHED-1:48 scale - from Modelshipways kit - TriClub

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This is my build of Chuck's (Modelshipway's) kit of the longboat.  I am building this as part of the Chicago TriClub group build.  The Chicago TriClub is comprised of the three Chicago groups: Midwest Model Shipwrights, Northshore Deadeyes and Nautical Research and Ship Model Society of Chicago.  I plan on painting the model based on the prototype.  Although I had originally planned on building out-of-the-box, I personally found the basswood strips too soft and fuzzy and so all the planking is castillo boxwood.  I have plenty on hand from my Atalanta build. 


Two of our club presidents designed a building jig to help with installation of the bulkheads.  This is simply some plywood with two wood strips separated by the width of the keel.  There is a block with the stem width routed in to it anteriorly.  This keeps the keel from flexing as the bulkheads are installed.  Because this is a laser-cut kit, there is some char which needs to be sanded off.  Also all of the cut surfaces must be sanded to that they are exactly perpendicular to the basswood sheet.  Otherwise the keel scarf will not be correct and the bulkheads will not slip into their slots easily.


Once all of the bulkheads were installed, I glued in spacers between the scrap portions of the bulkheads to prevent the hull from flexing once it was removed from the jig.  Finally, the hull was faired.








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Chuck suggested twelve strakes of hull planking.  All of the planks were spiled.  I used the tick-strip method of spiling.  A strip of card was placed along the edge of each bulkhead.  That card was then divided into eleven segments.  Because the gargoard strake is a special case, I fit that strake by eye.  Rather than a single run of planking (as suggested in the kit) I used planks that were approx. twelve feet long.  One long and one butt edge was rubbed with pencil to hightlight the run of planking.  The key to a good run of planking is the garboard strake.  As shown in the instructions, the fore end of the garboard strake ends at bulkhead "F".



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The sheer rail was installed.  The key to this is making it very oversized and then trimming it with a No. 11 blade and sandpaper.  I also drilled two holes in the keel for insertion of brass rod for mounting.  The frieze was applied with dilute yellow glue.  When I start painting I will improve the appearance of the freize by the stem. 


I am going to take a break from this build to return to Atalanta. 








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Looking great.   Its wonderful to see the log up again.  Thank you for that.    :)


Hopefully you will get some company in this forum soon too!!  I will try and reach out to some of the folks who also started logs of the longboat.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Time again to take a short break from Atalanta (and resurrecting build logs).  I used the second to smallest freize downloaded from MSW for the transom.  The kit supplied ones were too large.  I used very dilute yellow glue to apply the freize and then painted over it with Testor reflectance reducer.




The rail, inner bulwarks, etc. were painted with Polly S Soo Line Red paint.  The rub rail and edge of the top rail were painted with flat white enamel.  The kit instructions suggest using black paint on the stem adjacent to the freize.  I had some blue paint (Testors Blue Angel enamel) which matched the color of the freize and used that on the stem.  I then feathered the paint onto the freize where the blue darkened to near-black.  I will try to remember to take a picture of that and post it next time.


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I went back and took a picture of the painted stem.  Even though I painted over the dark blue/black at the bow, I left the dark color aft.




The floor boards were installed next.  The central one is wider than the two outer ones.  The instructions say to keep the distance between the floor boards the same.  I was uncertain whether that meant constant along the length (and as a consequence tapering the floor board towards the bow) or symmetric so I tried both ways.  Keeping the floor board a consistent width and gradually decreasing the distance between the boards looked better to me. 




Once they were installed, I made templates for the fore and aft platforms. The photos show the aft platform stopping at bulkhead 7 but the plans show that it goes aft to the sternpost. I followed the plan.  I used pencil on one edge of the planking to highlight the individual boards.


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The riser strake was installed next.  I scribed the top and bottom with an 11 blade using a straight-edge as a guidel  It turned out that the correct distance from the rail was exactly where the paint-natural wood transition occurred.  Another template was used to get the correct shape for the trunk, located aft of bulkhead 7.  Once this was installed I applied a coat of Watco's Danish Wood Oil to the entire hull except for the painted rail.  I am still planning on painting the hull below the water line white.  I don't think I will have any problem with paint adhesion.


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Thanks, Chuck.


I scribed the edges of the thwarts to match the risers.  The top edges were camphered but the bottom edges were left sharp.  The thwart at bulkhead B is wider because of the mast.  I took the scribing along the edge of the bump-out for the mast.  The holes for the belaying pins were marked, scribed and drilled with a #64 bit.  I will install them later.  The mast bracket and support strips were made with the provided brass strip.  I heated the strip in a gas flame to remove any laquer finish and temper the metal for easier bending.  Once shaped, they took a bath in isopropanol and a dive into Birchwood Casey.  The metal surfaces that would be glued were filed to remove the blackening and then installed with CA (one of the few times I have used it on this model).  The thwarts were installed and then a coat of finish was applied.


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The cockpit seats and trunk lid were made using the provided basswood pieces.  Even though the thwarts and risers are boxwood, I decided to use the basswood as this area will be painted.  In the pictures they are press fit in place.  I have no paint with me this weekend so they will be permanently installed later.


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Edited by tlevine
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have painted the cockpit and the hull exterior.  The most difficult part of painting the hull is getting a fair water line because of the tuck under the transom.  I have applied three coats of dilute white acrylic paint with a light sanding of 320 grit between coats.  I will apply a final coat just prior to mounting the mast.




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The next project to tackle was installing the knees.  These are straightforward except at the bow.  I made a template of the curve or the rail and cut a new knee from scrap basswood. 


I made the windlass from boxwood but the handles are basswood for the contrasting color. I would suggest taking a measurement of the length of the windlass from your model, not from the plans.  I discovered (too late) that the internal dimension from riser to riser was less than shown on the plan.  As a result, the octagonal ends are shorter than shown on the plans.  The square holes were first drawn in and then scribed with a fresh 11 scalpel blade.  I found that an Exacto blade was too thick to give me good results.  Finally, I used an Exacto to dig out the central area.  The handles have been removed for safe keeping. 


The rudder was shaped and painted according to the instructions.  I am on vacation this week and the government frowns on taking combustables on airplanes.  Consequently, I did not apply the clear finish or decals to the rudder yet.  I'll post a picture after it has been completed.









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In the instructions Chuck discusses the shape of the horse.  The prototype horse is a simple bar.  I decided to span the horse over the tiller.  As I have not made the tiller yet, the horse is push-fit into holes in the rail to facilitate reshaping it later.  The oarlocks have been painted red.






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The mast and the bowsprit have been made .  There are three "sheaves" in the mast and one at the end of the bowsprit.  I used an archival pen for the black areas on the masts.  The ink is supposed to be alcohol based and so hopefully it will not bleed when the Watco's is applied to the clear part of the spars.  The ball truck has two "sheaves" in it and is temporarily installed.  I do not have any metal crafting supplies or a torch with me so the bands will be added later.  For the same reason, the bowsprit is tack-glued on to the rail, without its metalwork.








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Nice job.  When he was first building the boat I had a discussion with Chuck regarding the positioning of the horse.  I see you found a solution that makes sense.  It could not be sailed with the horse under the tiller.  The kit's on my shelf for some time later.


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Maury, I can take no credit for the shape of the horse.  In the directions Chuck makes reference to the old vs. new style horse (flat vs. curved).  I went with the new style because it made sense to me.  Once I mount the tiller I will adjust the height to allow clearance for the sweep of the tiller.

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