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Hi everyone!

Last week I celebrated my birthday (53rd). From my wife I received HMS Agamemnon by Caldercraft. What a wife I have! To push me a little bit further I have decided to start a build log on my project in order to push myself and encourage others. I know there are so many skilled builders out there. I am perhaps not one of them but maybe I can help others avoiding the mistakes I eventually will do. I am a slow builder. I can be expected to put in 4-5 h a week into the project. The building instructions warns you to expect 1000-1200 h of building joy. With my tempo I will struggle for at least the next five years so be patient and enjoy my quest for the holy ship.

So far I have dry fitted all the bulkheads on the false keel as well as lower gun deck and bevelled edges. The garage where I do the building is white with dust which slowly spreads in the house. I have to vacuum clean the garage before the wife retakes the birthday present…

Whilst dry fitting I discovered that the upper side of the false keel is slightly banana shaped (not parallel to the bottom of the keel). It has its lowest height in the middle (around main mast) and the height by bulkhead 3 is different from that by bulkhead 14.

I first thought this very strange. The height difference from the highest to the lowest point is slightly less than 10 mm. That is 64 cm in reality. Imagine dropping a cannon ball on a sloping floor like that. Sailors will lose their legs! Checking drawing 1 I realized the lower gun deck is bent into the banana shape of the upper side of the false keel. I cannot remember anyone commenting this on Caldercraft’s Aggy. I will now follow the drawings in hope that lower gun ports will be correctly located. Anyone who wants to comment on this? I suppose Caldercraft’s lower gun deck is not an exact depiction of the reality.

Kind regards

Henrik

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Hi Henrik

Welcome to the forum! I will be following your build with interest.

Best of luck and enjoy. You'll find a lot of very friendly and helpful people here!

Is this your first build?

Cheers

Pieter

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Henrik

 

I have recently started to build Caldercraft's HMS Agamemnon and have noticed the shape of the top of the lower gundeck,

particularly as I am  in the process of adapting this deck and the to enable it to be fitted out with cannon on carriages, chain pumps,

hatches, capstans,& gratings etc. I suspect  that this shape may be linked to the "sheer" of the hulls of ships of this type/period.

Best wishes and enjoy your build.

 

Jon

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14 hours ago, Henke said:

Anyone who wants to comment on this? I suppose Caldercraft’s lower gun deck is not an exact depiction of the reality.

As Jon said, this is deck sheer and is one of the basic design considerations in building ships in the age of sail. Generally it went from very high sheer in the early carracks and galleons, slowly reducing over the age of sail until we had nearly flat decks just before steam engines arrived.

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Construction continues. Thanks first for constructive comments regarding the “sheer” and the lower gun deck from Jon and Vossiewolf. This exactly what I like about MSW. There is always someone who can help you out.

 

Lower gun deck is in 5 mm plywood so it does not bend easily. After a couple of sessions with dry fitting and filing I glued the bulk heads and lower gun deck in place yesterday. In order to gently press down the lower gun deck towards the false keel and bulkheads I drew a center line along the gun deck and drilled small holes with my Dremel. I then inserted small screws and secured the lower gun deck towards the false keel. It worked perfectly! The smallest screws I had was in brass🙂. I can of course take them out now when the glue has set but I think I will leave them in. I plan to paint it black all over anyhow. I think I saw in Sjors nice building log that he did some deck planking on the lower deck. For me it is over the top.

 

I am soon finished with the hull construction. I am looking forward to the deck planking of the middle gun deck. I intend to divide the middle gun deck and put it in place before planking so that I can plank the deck with the correct curvature. Instruction says deck planking can be done before as well as after. I imagine deck planking is easier to do before installation into the hull but I think I will do the other way. Any comments on that?

 

@peveka and @Jörgen

This is not my first build. I have done a couple of other kits before. Worth mentioning is Billing’s La Concalaise (Bretagne peveka as your indicated location!) and Amphion by Corel. I enjoyed both projects.

 

Kind regards

Henrik

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have been off for a couple of days for Easter holiday in Finland with my family and have not spent much time in the ship yard this last week. Deck planking of the upper gun deck has started and the bow deck is in place. Enclosing a picture of the bow deck. Planks got a stroke of white oak before the polyurethane varnish.

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Cheers

 

Henrik

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi boys and girls,

Last week I got a cold (first in two years). Not a very pleasant experience but the good thing was that I had to stay home from work one day so I got an extra day at the ship yard 🙂 instead. Then the admiral left me (she went on a business trip) leaving me alone with our two navy cadets. Since the navy cadets spend most of their woken time in their rooms behind their computers I have had a lot of time spent at the garage ship yard. When the admiral came back home yesterday she had a severe cold. Where did she get that cold from?

 

Gun deck has now been planked and inner walls are planked and painted. 

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The red paint is water based Admiralty Paints Red Ochre. I did two thin applications and it looks OK but it dries extremely fast. A little bit too fast in my opinion. This the first time I use Admiralty Paints so I did not know what to expect. But it looks nice with a saturated red brown colour and matt finish. although the quick drying was a bit disappointing. Next up will be preparations for the first hull planking.

 

Kind regards

 

Henrik

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Hi everybody,

 

Top and poop  decks is temporarily fixed as well as the bulwark patterns in order to mark out the first planks. I test fitted dowels for the fore mast, main mast and mizzen mast. The dowels show perfect alinement! Next step will be some balsa around the bow and after that start of first planking. 😎

 

Kind regards

 

Henrik

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Test fit of a 9 pdr cannon. The grand admiral looked at the cannon and said it was cute. I wonder what Nelson would have said?

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Hi everybody,

Just a short update. I have started planking! Maybe I am a little bit childish but I really like planking. It requires a bit of planning and thinking in three dimensions. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong but the good thing with wood modelling is that you can normally redo. The worst thing that can happen is that you have to buy extra wood strips 🙂.//Henrik

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  • 2 weeks later...

Planking continues. I do one row of planks on one side and then repeat on the the other side in order to get at symmetrical look (and do the same mistakes on both sides 🙂). I guess I have done about 1/3 of the first planking on both sides. I am getting close to the point when planking turns onto the underside of what will be the transom, one or to planks more. I am a little bit nervous about that.....

 

Regards

 

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Henrik: I dont know if you are a sucker for punishment like me but with my Agamemnon I got rid of the lower dummy guns and scratch built carriages and bought full length guns for the lower deck. I like how it gives some depth to the lower deck guns and looks more "real". If you are interested I would be more than happy to explain to you how I did it and post some pics on your forum. Let me know and I can give you a description. Also.. there are a few things on the Agamemnon that the kit has as inaccurate and I can give you a heads up on.. You have taken on a beautiful ship and will be pleased as she comes together.. Im so far logged 2000hrs and Im just working on teh standing rigging.. and Im planning to rig her with full sails!

 

Have a good one

 

Mike Draper

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Mike (aka Kusawa 2000):

I have missed your Aggy build log but I will follow it from now on. You have a very nice build ongoing. My intention although is to build her "out of the box" but if you can give me some hints about any inaccuracies as my build progresses I would be more than happy. This is what MSW is for. I have done about 60 h so you are 1940 h ahead of me 🙂.

 

Ian (aka VicNelson)

Thanks for nice words and encouragement. I hope I will get some more time at the ship yard this weekend.

 

Regards

 

Henrik

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Made a first try with the first plank coming from "underside" of the transom. I am not entirely happy with the result but I will wait until glue has set. Maybe I will take it away but a bit of sanding and filler may do for the moment. For the bending I used a combination of my own plank bending method and and the Amati "Form-a-strip". The Amati tool sort of chews on the wooden strip thus creating a bend which can be quite sharp or steep. I do not know if I liked it. I need to to practice more I think. Instead I will explain to you my own method. And yes, I know there are many many methods.... Mine is probably a bit brutal and comes with a warning. You can burn your fingers unless you are careful but with a bit of practice it works fine.

 

On the first picture there is a LPG (liquid propane gas) bottle with an attachment which I saved when my brother and I cleared our parents house. My parents were keen cross country skiers and the attachment to the propane bottle is for melting ski wax but I use it to bend wooden strips. I first soak the strip in water for a couple of minutes. I then light the gas at lowest possible power. I move the strip over the front edge of the attachment forth and back until warm and soft. I then start bending while still heating the strip. With a bit of practice the plank is bent and dry in minutes. The trick is to heat the wood as much as possible without over heating the surface in contact with the heated metal. Pyrolysis of wood starts around 250 degrees C. The wood turns dark or black and fumes. What I look for is 100 degree C or a little bit more. The dry substance of wood consists of cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin. The lignin acts as glue holding the cellulose fiber bundles together. The theory is to heat the wood so that ligin softens but without over heating.

 

Enough of wood chemistry! My method can probably be derived from some kind of mental occupational injury from working in pulp and paper industry during most of my career 🙂. Anyhow I am sure my parents would smile in their heaven if they could see how I use their ski waxing tool.

 

By the way, yesterday at the dinner table my wife complained saying that I nowadays spend more time with Aggy than I do paying attention to her. I did not know what to answer....

 

Regards

 

Henrik

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Hi all,

Just a short update as first planking progresses. I have now done about 20 planks from deck and down on both sides. I expect it to be another 15-20 from the keel and up. The sides look good, planking of the bow will need some filler before it will look OK and the last planks to the aft bending around the underside of the transom went very well. I have abounded the Amati  "Form-a-strip" for my "flame torch" method, see above. I first make the correct bend to the plank and when I am happy with that I once again re-heat the plank to give it the correct twist. Within minutes I have a plank which can be glued without applying any force 🙂. It is now 10 weeks into the build and I have put in about 80 hours. It has been a pleasure so far! It is a very good model.

 

Regards

 

Henrik 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time runs and it is now two weeks since I last did a post. First planking is still going on and will so for another couple of weeks. Some parts of the build result I am very happy about and others not. In general planking towards the aft looks a lot better than at the bow. The bow can be saved by filler and sanding but before that I will not show any pictures of the bow. That would be too embarrassing 😐. Instead I would like share some thoughts which came up yesterday about this problem.

 

Planking of the a hull of the size of Agamemnon has its challenges but also advantages. One row of planks stretches for about 850 mm. My apologies for not translating into imperial units 🙂. I have not got a clue. I have divided this length into typically three strips of alternating lengths. A 200-300 mm long strip is easy to handle and can be shaped and bent in practical way. Yesterday I started thinking why do the bow look so crappy when aft looks so good? My explanation is that I have started planking from bow to aft. When I come to the aft I tend to better see how each individual strip should be tapered  taking into account the natural curves of the hull. The first strip in a new planking "row" starting in the bow is difficult to get in a correct shape with correct tapering and stealers put in where they should be. I have therefore started planking from midships and going from there aft and towards the bow. The result after that change in planking approach  is much better!

 

In the meantime I will consider stripping off the worst part of the bow and as you can see on the second picture planking is closing in on the rudder post Ouhhhh!

 

Kind regards

 

Henrik

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Great job on the planking Henke. Remember that this is the first planking. I am building this as my first build, I became hung up on a problem around the bows area. Eventually, I simply accepted it was not the end of the world cut a portion out and rebuilt it. I then found having smothered the hull in filler and rubbed it down, there was actually very little filler left. I then covered it all anyway! My time on the vessel is restricted by my work too. So, many years of watching your build ahead will likely be finished around the same time. Good luck and enjoy the build.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hy Henrik, Nelson's Favorite .. . and you are nearly ready wirh the basic hull. Congratulations! 

What books, drawings and so on are you going to use to refine the kit and referee to? She is a historically importand ship - so she is worth the work.

 

Can you kindly add some ruler (or a coin, etc. Commen to everybody) from time to time beside or on the kit due to show the size if the kit to us?

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Here my way to do so.

 

Looking over your shoulder very interested.

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Hi Christian,

 

Thanks for the comment regarding ruler or coin but I then need a long ruler or big coins 🙂 (at least in her present stage). Aggy's hull is about 90-95 cm equivalent of the average length of a three year old child 👩‍🚀.

 

Then to the question about reference literature and drawings. I actually spent some time this very weekend searching the internet looking for reference literature but I did not find anything particular on Agamemnon. I found books about HMS Victory (of course) but also HMS Diana but nothing on Aggy. I therefore raise the question if there are any knowledgeable people on MSW who could suggest suitable reference literature for my Agamemnon build?

 

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Aggy with reference object (1 liter)

 

Kind regards

 

Henrik

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  • 1 month later...

The bottle is empty and progress has been slow. Is there a connection 🙂? But now, first planking is finished! Being first time with such a big boat I am reasonably happy with the result. Filler, sanding, filler, sanding, sanding and more standing will start now. I am now almost 6 months into the build. 

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Kind regards

 

Henrik

 

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