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Mayflower by Barry1 - Model Shipways - 5/32 Scale

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Last month I started the Model Shipways Mayflower. I noticed there are several build logs for the Mayflower but none are finished. I hope this is not a bad omen. I will use the first couple of posts to catch the log up with my current progress so apologies for the long posts. 

Initial thoughts upon opening the kit were the laser cutting and wood stock were typical of Model Shipways ie generally good quality. The instruction booklet looks well done with many pics to exhibit the build narrative. Looks to be well written as well. I am not great at picture taking so apologies in advance. 

First step was to create a small rabbet by adding strips along the false keel and a little shaving at the lower stern of the false keel. 

The bulkheads all needed a little tweaking to fit into the false keel slots but once done the fit was well aligned. I then glued them in place with Titebond. There are a few other supports to add to the stern as well as the three stern plates. These all fit and aligned perfectly. I should mention the bulkheads and stern plates all have reference lines pre-etched into them to facilitate alignment and give you a good idea where things should go. This is a great feature for a kit. 

Next up was to add the strips to support the openings for canon. All fit well and the plans were very clear on all above steps.

Lots of fairing to the hull was next. I am never really certain when I have faired enough. I use the batten test but was the planks are actually glued in place there is always some difference in how they lie. A little more sanding is usually needed. Key for me is to go slow on this step. Once that was done the stern plate on the lower stern is planked. I used artist charcoal to simulate chalking.  It does tend to get into the basswood a bit but cleans up with a light sand. Before starting to plank the hull the two side templates are temporarily attached to ensure proper alignment. The reference lines on the bulkheads are also helpful with this alignment. 








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Before planking starts the false decks are added. They fit fine and some light sanding will be needed once the side templates are to be installed. They also have alignment lines pre- etched which made this a snap. Planking the hull was pretty straightforward even though the bow does have a severe bend. The plans suggest a simple jig for this bending which helped. There is also a spiling guide included in the kit to make the bow area planking easily transition along the hull. Once done lots of wood filler was added. I am not sure if I will second plank the hull as it will be painted. If I can get it to look good I will not second plank. Will see. With planking done and some of initial sanding of the hull done it’s onto to the decks. Three of the 5 decks are to be planked but first the hatches on these two decks are added. The deck planking is very straight forward with some cutting needed around the hatches. I will be staining the decks as I complete them. I am using golden oak on this model. Treenailing was simulated by a pencil. Sorry, I just could not gear up for the drill and fill method on this ship. Maybe next one. I am working on the bulkhead structures or sides now. These contain the doorways and windows on the ship. You might see one attached in the pic. More to come on these when done. 






Edited by Barry1
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During the past week I completed all the side bulkheads, stanchions with preplanking added and planked the upper stern. One structure I needed to redo was the hatch on the forecastle deck. I mistakenly assumed the plan lines were the inside edge. They are not.  The windows are made by applying thin white pinstripe to a piece of acetate in a diamond pattern supplied in the instructions. A wider pinstripe simulates the window frames. It’s a neat way to model the windows. Unfortunately a couple of the thin pinstripes moved slightly during gluing the window to the stern. Trying to adjust them would be an adventure so I chose to leave as is. The lines on the side templates are for planking alignment. That’s the next step. 386B3DB9-C843-44F8-A6E8-E6699F8504C6.thumb.jpeg.cd9645d02e5e528edcd9f85210ada819.jpeg





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Progress continues on the Mayflower. Over the past weekend I planked the upper sides and stained in same golden oak. Then started painting per instructions; first I painted the yellow, black and green sections of all required structure. I painted all the wales and moldings in their primary colors first before attaching them to the ship; black for the wales, white for most of the moldings except that is red and two that are stained. Once these were attached I taped to create the patterns for the red and green stripes. In researching I have seen numerous schemes for the ships colors. Since this was a merchant ship it was not elaborately decorated. I decided to align the stripes versus offsetting them. Same pattern follows on front and rear of forecastle. 

After painting I added the 8 port lids. This was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be as the parts are fairly small to fit and manipulate. I’ll also need to do something to address the holes in the sides needed to receive the brass used to simulate the port lid supports. As I thought back on this step it might have been better to use black card stock here instead just like on the doors. Since I am only showing the lids closed the hinge work is not needed. Something for others to think about on future builds. 







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I totally agree with this comment. I tend to build too quickly but its my style and I do enjoy this hobby so it’s not work but enjoyment for me. That said the instructions are very well done-clear and supported with numerous black and white photos. This gives me the advantage of looking ahead to see how the parts and sections will relate to each other. While it hasn’t made up for some of my skills being sub par it has enabled me to avoid some pitfalls. One thing on the instructions that I do think is off a little is the order of build. For example, if I had elected to have the port lids shown open I would not install them this early in the build. Too easy to get damaged. Also, I believe the following order of build is easier to follow: finish out half deck, rudder, and then beakhead. Instructions show order of beakhead, halfdeck then rudder. It’s clearly a matter of preference but for me I’d rather do the more intricate work(also easily broken) last. Thanks to all for looking in on my build log. 

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Looks really good. I agree that you have accomplished a lot in a short period of time, well done! 

Edited by SigEp Ziggy

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I completed the half deck extension. This included adding the hatch and a grate that would be used to remove the capstan when repairs or replacement were needed. Also worked on painting the hull. Many of the “box” pictures show the hull in a fairly bright white but as the instructions and current pics of the replica indicate this would see to unreal. So I am trying an ivory paint (close to eggshell) and covering it with very diluted brown. My goal is to find something that indicates aging on the lighter color. Next up is the beakhead and rudder assemblies. 






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This week I have worked on the beakhead and rudder assemblies. While the beakhead requires many angled cuts and lots of fitting the instructions and pics are excellent and provide all the necessary info. Same goes for the rudder assembly. I really liked the build order suggested in the instructions. This made the rudder assembly the most straightforward I have done. Still learning though!! Most of the painting was done before I attached the beakhead sides to the ship. This made it easy to tape and ensure all the trim moldings would be aligned. I still need to touch up several areas but I will wait on this until later in the build.  




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Continued to make progress over the past week plus. I have added all the deck fittings and structures including 8 kevels, 14 pin rails, 3 ladders, 2 railings, one that includes the belfry, 2 knight heads and 2 pumps. I decided to use the kit supplied kevels and Knight heads. While they aren’t great I did not feel the difference in scratching them at this scale would be a significant negative. After painting them up they looked ok. The 2 pumps are scratch built and some fun with very small and thin components for handles. Good experience though. After assembly these parts were all added to the deck. I also drilled the holes for the masts. I plan to use tenons on the mast so waiting until this stage is fine, if you decide to step the masts without tenons I would recommend you drill your holes as you plank your deck. Once the deck fittings are in place drilling the main mast hole in particular will be a challenge you don’t need. Next up was the ship’s small boat. The kit supplies 7 lifts for a bread and butter hull. First time I did one of these. Pretty neat way to do these. I would suggest as the plans indicate to not glue lift #1 on until the inside of the boat is sanded. I failed to do this and it made sanding the inside VERY difficult. I added most of the details indicated with the instructions except for the oar locks. Also tried my hand at adding 3 clinker planks to each side. Best I can say is I learned a bit on building small boats. Lots to improve on in this area but I am glad the boat is wood and not a cast one.

I stained all the deck structures Golden Oak, same as deck and the small boat in American Walnut just to give it a little more depth on the deck. It looks better in real life than in the attached pics. 

Then the outside structures were tackled including making up the catheads and channel knees; the channels and chess trees were all laser cut in the kit and all fit without much trouble. Per instructions I painted the channels, knees and catheads black and stained the chess trees. 

Last items were to add the Mayflower emblem to the stern (this is a casting supplied in the kit and painted per instructions) and putting on a coat of matte poly to the ship. And with that the log is pretty much up to date. The work in this update took place over about 10 days and again the instructions have been great in guiding me. Next up is starting work on the masts. I’ll post an update when they are completed. 












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