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Picket Boat by Turangi - Model Shipways - Scale 1:24-Small Finished


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I am undertaking building the Model Shipways Picket Boat as my second foray into model ship building. I previously built their New Bedford Whaleboat with a modicum of success so thought I would give this a go.https://modelshipworld.com/topic/20442-a-novice-at-age-70/

 

As seems to be the tradition on this forum please feel free to pull up a chair and laugh along with my neophyte mistakes. One word of warning, make it a comfortable chair, a recliner would probably be best as suspect I will be plodding along at a snail's pace! Another warning, my photography and graphic skills are on a par with my modeling skills, hopefully I may see some incremental improvement in both as this project progresses. 

 

Cast off, we are underway.

 

First the obligatory picture of the box. I didn't take pictures of the contents as there are several other logs showing these. First impressions of the kit: The laser cut parts seem very crisp and well done, my other build was an old kit with die cut parts and this is a vast improvement! The photo etched parts all look very well done and the cast parts look very usable. The various wood strips seem to be of good quality also. The instruction sheet was a surprise as my last kit had a rather nice book with essential step by step instructions but this kits instructions seemed to have been pared to just the essentials. I did separate the instructions, place them in sheet protectors and then into a binder. I am sure I will refer to them often and thought they needed some protection. The plans are very nicely printed but perhaps not as detailed as the whaleboat plans.  

 

I constructed a building base out of some old shelving and Aluminum angle. One side I permanently fixed to the base and the other I slotted to allow for adjusting the width, I also drilled and tapped one side so that when I slide the movable portion into position I can tighten it down to the base and use the other screws to snug it reasonably tight. I then attached the wood strips to the bottom of the keel using spots of wood glue about every inch per the instructions to avoid excess moisture warping the keel. Rather than weighting it down to dry I put it in the build board, tightened it down and allowed it to dry and then did the other side, worked very well. Being a belt and suspender guy  I followed up with an application of thin CA adhesive along the bottom seams. 

 

 

 

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Edited by turangi
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Moving along the next step was to apply the two parts to the bow. As I prepared the parts to do this I noticed that was a very small gap at their seam, I considered sanding them for a tighter fit but was sure I would either break them or change their dimensions making matters worse. I happened to flip them over and discover the seam much tighter. It appears the laser cut is not exactly 90 degrees to the face of the wood sheet. Not sure if it was a setup issue or more probable that a tiny bit more material is burned away at the initial point of contact of the laser. Not a big issue at all but interesting. The parts went on well with a great fit. My next step was to apply the strips over the propeller shaft tunnel and cut away the bridges in the keel, very straightforward. The two bitts with the red arrows pointing to them gave me a bit of pause as in my mind at least the plans didn't give an exact location for parts 23 and 24. I looked at the log for this kit by GuntherMT and his excellent photos sorted me out.  https://modelshipworld.com/topic/13246-usn-picket-boat-1-by-gunthermt-model-shipways-scale-124/

 

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Edited by turangi
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I next moved on to making the bevel on the forward bulkheads, I found the engraved line in the part worked well as a guide. I first tried cutting the bevel with a hobby knife but found that a bit inaccurate, I then tried hand sanding but that was slow going. I then remembered I had a Work Sharp tool for sharpening knives that had an attachment for grinding lawn mower blades ets.. It is essentially a small belt sander with a small platen area so I tried it to sand the bevels. It worked great! I sanded not quite to the reference mark on front and outlined the back edge of the bulkhead with a marker so I wouldn't oversand it. I thought once they are mounted to the keel I can do hand sanding to finish fairing them. The tool is a Work Sharp Ken Onion model, I'm not sure all the models accept the tool grinder. The tool works great for sharpening knives and I think I will try sharpening some hobby knife blades rather than just tossing them, I'll let you know how that works out. 

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Made a bit more progress, shaped the blocks at the stem according to the plans. I started using a bobby knife to carve them but quickly switched to my Veritas miniature block plane to hog out the wood and then used sandpaper on a block to finish it. The plane is a great little tool and highly recommended and easy to control. I thought it preferable to shave away excess wood rather than reduce it to sawdust by sanding alone. I copied the templates onto heavy stock rather than cut out the originals included with the kit so as not to sacrifice the original if a mistake was made. I did check my copier to insure it copied at 100% rather than enlarging or reducing the image, it was spot on. Used a Dremel with a sanding drum to rough cutwater out and finished with  hand sanding. Starting mounting bulkheads using a square and clamps to keep them square. Used PVA glue and added a bead of CA when dry, probably not necessary but a bit of insurance. 

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Edited by turangi
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Made a bit more progress. Painted frames prior to installation and installed them in the rear portion of the boat. As mentioned in other logs and also in the kit instructions the center frames are very delicate and I did manage to break a couple. I glued them back together and used a nub from the matrix lightly glued to span the broken area. I applied glue to the char area of the nub and attached them to the char area of the frame. I experimented first and the extra piece will easily pop off once the frames are in place and well supported by the surrounding structure but provide extra strength during assembly. I started finishing decks, seats etc.. For the floor and rear floor I took measurements from the plans and scored the wood to resemble pank seams. I used a sanding sealer to try and keep stain even and less blotchy, I will finish them with a mixture of Testors Dull and Gloss coat for a bit of sheen. I am using Minwax Gel Stain and find it much easier to control than their normal liquid stains. I just rub it in with a cloth until I achieve the desired result.  The first couple of parts I finished were not great but I am improving. 

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Edited by turangi
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Did a bit more work today, attached the center frames using the deck and coal bunkers as an alignment tool per the instructions. Ater they were dry I installed the main and cockpit deck. I used a food storage bag filled with sand to weight down the main deck and a couple of bottles for the cockpit deck. The frames appear well aligned and I am reasonably happy with the decks although I notice a bit of a gap at the fore and aft ends of the main deck. Live and learn. at least the aft end will be covered by machinery, should have sanded the center portion a bit. I have prefinished the coal bunkers and am still debating whether to leave a couple of lids open and fill them with coal. I also included a bonus picture of sunset from my hobby room. Cheers, John.

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  • 1 month later...

Made a bit of progress, I warned it would be slow, like me! Added the coal bunkers and did decide to leave one open with simulated coal inside. I will finish the cut and open it at a later stage. Faired the frames and started the planking. I wet the planks and bend them to shape using a plank bender I bought many years ago but only used occasionally as this is but my second build. I jury rigged it to hold steady and bend the planks over the barrel of the tool rather than using the apparatus at the end, seems faster and easier. I will have to make a proper stand at some point but it works for now.

 

I am reasonably satisfied with the planking, wood filler will be my friend I think. I sanded the inside of the planks to provide a smoother surface for finishing. I was concerned with the small surface area of the planks at the stern so glue them initially with Titebond and follow up with a bead of medium CA on the inside, probably not necessary but makes me feel better. Again, as a beginner, I would appreciate any suggestions or criticism!

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Edited by turangi
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  • 2 weeks later...

1048456599_DSC_3097_LI(2).thumb.jpg.98aceac36fff7c8b22703d274aea6a9b.jpgA bit more progress with the planking. I reached the point where the frames have a pronounced radius so I used a technique I learned on my other build to put a curve in the planking to better match the frames. I soaked the plank, put it into a piece of cove moulding and clamped a dowel over it until it dried, worked quite well. It makes a nicely curved plank across its width and creates a good contact area for installing on the frame.   

 

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Edited by turangi
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  • 1 month later...

I'm following your blog with interest as I started this kit a few days ago. Not exactly overburdened with "step by step" instructions but hopefully enough. Current puzzle- how to use the cutwater at bow pattern with its notch at lower bow ? can't see this notch on later or finished pictures. What does this pattern ad after beveling of 19A? Thanks in anticipation.

Edited by stuglo
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Hopefully I understand the question and this may help. In the first two pictures the pink area is the cutwater. The cutwater does overlap the joint in the stem. The aft side of the stem needs to be left full width so that when the beveled part 19A is attached there is an area for the forward ends of planks to land and make a smooth transition to the stem. A word of warning, I am a beginner and no expert but this is how I interpreted the drawings and rather sparse instructions.

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Thank you but how does the card stock with notch showing relate to this?

You know that ships and boats are referred to as SHE. This is not surprising. Being married for 45 years and building ships for 30, I often take a while ,and the telling and the explanation  needs to be simple and repeated, until I understand what to do. (Apologies to those wonderful lady builders).

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Thank you Sea Hoss!

 

Still not sure about the notch, in the photo the blue arrows point to the cutwater outline, the green arrow points to what appears as a notch but is actually the intersection of the stem joint outline and the cutwater line that crosses the joint and terminates below the joint.

 

The second picture with the terrible drawing shows the outline of the cutwater and the green is the stem joint., the cutwater continues below the joint. In post #12 above the 3rd photo shows the cutwater goes through the joint.

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by turangi
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Oh happy day! I have completed the planking on this model. Time to move onto smoothing and sanding the hull. I purchased a cabinet scraper and during the trial run sure seems to speed up the process! I posted a query in the Planking section so as to not double post here is a link, 

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Could I suggest a sanding sealer - I have occasionally used this and it seems to be a diluted glue which also seeps into  the joints. By the way, the plywood (especially)is so light and absorbent that applying a water-based dye or acrylic paint causes warping. (previously built the Charles Morgan by Model Shipways, and though I think they are good value, I prefer the wood quality of the italian kits-the manufacture precision is excellent however)For the grey areas I used a Snowman permanent marker (oil based) good colour, no distortion, but not 100% sure of "finish". Unfortunately no grey Floquil left.

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Thanks Stuglo, I do intend to use a sanding sealer after an initial fill and sand and then a final sand with fine paper. Acrylic has a propensity to raise the grain also if a sealer is not used I have found. Like you, I miss Floquil paints.😪 

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Really not happy with the stain (admiralty) on plywood. Used some old veneer cut to planks. Also not happy with pen- used Plaid acrylic, with some improvement . I had a fantastic teacher as a school kid. He used to say that while firsthand experience is good, second hand can be less painful. So lets continue informing others- at least it may save time and frayed nerves

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On 1/16/2020 at 8:10 AM, stuglo said:

Really not happy with the stain (admiralty) on plywood. Used some old veneer cut to planks. Also not happy with pen- used Plaid acrylic, with some improvement . I had a fantastic teacher as a school kid. He used to say that while firsthand experience is good, second hand can be less painful. So lets continue informing others- at least it may save time and frayed nerves

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I have found that using a pre-stain wood conditioner to allow the even penetration of the stain really helps. I also use the Minwax gel stain and it is easy to control the color. I rub it in with like shoe polish with a cloth and it allows me to to make it as light or dark as I desire. 

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I have made some progress since my last post that I had finished the planking. I did an initial smoothing of the planks with cabinet scrapers. Great tools! I then did some filling and another light scrape followed by an initial sanding. Did some more filling and sanding then then applied sanding sealer and sanded again with fine paper. It feels quite smooth to me but I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating so when I apply paint I'll see how well I did!imageproxy.php?img=&key=4f3b55ae31fcd018

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Edited by turangi
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have made a bit more progress. I have added all the rubbing strips to the hull, added the trim boards and finished painting the interior. I have started on the boiler and rather than installing the wood on the exterior of the boiler one bit at a time used the following method: I sealed and stained the the 24" strips then cut them to rough length. I then lined them up and applied packaging tape to their rear and glued them in place in sections of 8, rather less tedious than doing one at a time. I secured them with rubber bands while the glue dried. I did relieve the frames a bit where the tape was to prevent the strips from being a bit high at the gluing area above and below the tape, relieved areas indicated by arrow, the tape actually was quite easy to remove after installation. I sealed and sanded them first as I was afraid that any glue squeeze-out would negatively effect the application of stain. I didn't bevel the strips on the edges as there was no a need to be waterproof and I suspect the boat was not built to yacht standards. I also installed triangular pieces at the forward end of the lower deck, looks better I think and prevents a crew member from falling in the gap and turning an ankle while rushing to load and fire the gun!  

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Edited by turangi
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Did some more work on the boiler. The instructions showed the steam dome perched on the top of the boiler and the wood strips going down to the boiler, it seemed to me a rather tenuous connection. What I did was glue a piece of balsa to the bottom of the dome and then carved it roughly to shape. I then wrapped sandpaper around the boiler and slid the dome along the length to get a better shape in fit. I then attached the wood strips to the dome and did a final sanding and installed it. I am pleased with the way it turned out and it seems very strong. 

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Edited by turangi
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  • 1 month later...

A bit more progress to report. I have filled sanded and painted the hull. I gave it one coat of lacquer and ran out so more is on order as I am sheltering in place right now. I finished the engine and gun and am happy with the results. I will start work on the torpedo and hold off on installing boiler, engine etc. until I put a couple more clear coats on the hull, don't want to damage the paint. I hope everyone is well and staying safe!

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Edited by turangi
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Some more progress to report.  I made the hangers for the torpedo, perhaps the most challenging task so far. As others have mentioned using the suggested method of riveting the parts together with a brass pin was quite difficult. At first I was using the light hobby hammer with little success so I switched to a heavier hammer and punch. cut the pin barely above where it protruded and gave it a substantial blow and it seemed to work somewhat better. I also managed to break a part by over bending it but fabricated a new one using brass from the PE matrix. I also included a Tamiya Diamond file in the tool picture, great for cleaning up PE parts!

 

I am having a disagreement with myself whether to round the area of the boiler end where the chimney attaches. I am afraid if I muck it up I won't talk to myself for a week. I'll let you know what happens.

 

I also included a couple of photos of the method I used to attach the gun to its base.  The wings on top are constructed using a brass part mounted to aluminium tubing, after building them I thought it would be useful to put a pin through the tubing to attach the mount to the base. Alas I had cut them too short so I inserted a smaller diameter tube inside the larger and put the pin through it. Worked well. 

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