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Bluenose by BigJ - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64 - My first build!

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Hello all, great to be here and thank you all so much for the wealth of info you've provided.  I've spent hours reading and researching and preparing myself for the build to come.  I've also purchased Bob Hunt's Bluenose Practicum and have read the first few chapters half a dozen times. 


I used to build model cars and tanks and planes and such as a kid but was never very good.  That was 30 years ago.  Since, the only building I've done is RC planes from sticks and reloaded ammo :D


Anywho, I figured I'd get my log started here and now, even though my kit is still, apparently, on back order.  I ordered from HobbyL Inc 6/20, the arrival date came and went, I contacted them and was informed the one remaining kit they had in stock was damaged, and now I'm in the backorder queue.  Supposed to arrive and ship to me "in a couple weeks".  That was a week ago.  Fingers crossed...


In the mean time and as I've said I'm reading, rereading, researching and learning.  Even though I've yet to cut my first piece from its plank, I'm enjoying the experience.  


I don't expect this log to measure up with any of the excellent logs already here, but I would like to chronicle my experience as I go and in my way, so I appreciate the forum and opportunity to do just that.


Something I'm still not clear on:  I realize the Bluenose is an easy boat to plank but in reading I'm convinced soaking the planks beforehand is still a good habit to get into.  I'm not sure if taper sanding is supposed to happen before, or after soaking (aka the boards are wet while sanding)?  


I've also read that the newer Bluenose kits use plywood for the bulkheads, which means fairing them can be challenging.  My plan is to just take my time and sand using a block working until the planks will lay flat against each.  Sound reasonable?


Another concern I have is regarding the stern's filler block.  I don't have a scroll or jewelers saw, so I'm not exactly sure how to cut the block down to size properly, and how best to contour it and cut the flat up-sweep.  Need to figure that out.  Very open to suggestions or links to others's suggestions.  


Lastly, I'm not exactly clear on how best to transfer the rabbet and bearding lines from the plans to the keel.  I'm thinking on making a copy of the plans, cutting that copy to the rabbet line, pasting to the keel then following that cut with a pencil.  Now, cut again to the beard line and again follow the new line with a pencil.  Does that sound reasonable or am I missing something?


Again, thanks to you all.   I'm looking forward to delving into the world of model ship building!  

Edited by BigJ
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I built the Model Shipways Bluenose but it was back in 2012 or so. I do not remember much about the build except that I finished it and the completed model (in a Bluejacket's case) is hanging on the wall in my living room. It was my second kit (Bluejacket's Smuggler was first) and first plank on bulkhead (Smuggler is a solid hull). I believe you are correct that it is not a difficult hull to plank since I don't remember any significant issues. I remember buying a plank bender (the modified soldering iron type) but never used it.


I would sand the wood and then soak. Sanding wet wood is pretty messy and difficult to control.


Sandpaper (like 80 grit) glued to tongue depressors make really effective sanding sticks where you need to take off lots of wood - like shaping filler blocks. Also consider substituting balsa wood (I get mine at the local Michael's) for whatever the kits supply. It sands quite easily compared to bass wood or whatever they are putting in the kits these days.


Your methodology for transferring the breading line to the keel sounds fine. I recommend using rubber cement to attach the plans to the keel. It makes it easier to get off when you are done.


Looking forward to following your build.







Current Builds -  HMS Sphinx 1775


Prior Builds:  HMS Winchelsea

                       USF Confederacy




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With regards to the filler blocks: I installed mine flush with the bulkheads in the stern so I could plank over top of them without issue, and after I had otherwise mostly faired the bulkheads. The general angles created by the fairing was then used as a guide for a rotary tool to bring the filler blocks down to something approaching the right size, then the final fairing pass was completed by hand with regular sand paper on a sanding block. I think I did the fairing with 120 grit sandpaper and experienced no issues with tearing out the wood. Specifically, I used my wife's Foredom tool with an abrasive drum on it for shaping the filler blocks-- I now have my own Proxxon tool that meets my needs. There are tons of cheap and cheerful rotary tool options out there, and I do recommend picking up a razor saw, ideally with a miter box, as it will be handy for this build.


You can see it here. The transom was also added at this point, with the contour shaped in large part by using a couple of what I referred to as "bunny ears" that were installed into notches on the top of the filler blocks and then planked over. This has helped me get pretty close to what I feel is the correct oval shape of the transom, with a gentle curve on the main and monkey rails:


I've also gotten a lot of mileage out of emery boards that my wife keeps around for doing her nails. They can make for splendid sanding tools and for the kind of job we are doing here, even one or two will last quite a while.



Edited by Tector

Under Construction

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Drift boat, scratch build, c. 1/12 Scale

Bluenose, Model Shipways, 1/64 Scale

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Hi BigJ and welcome to the Bluenose club.  My recollection of those filler blocks is that I traced the cross sections from the plans onto the sides and end of the blocks and removed the excess material with a coping saw, then glued them in place and finished shaping them as part of the bulkhead fairing process.  Of course this all happened 12 years ago, so there is no guarantee that is exactly how it went down.


My advice is to take a deep breath, take your time and work the excess away slowly.  And always remember - it is wood, if things get too bad, you can always remove what you've done and start over with new filler blocks :)



Current build -- MS Bluenose

Future build - MS Flying Fish


"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." - William G. T. Shedd

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