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HMS Surprise by Mayohoo - Artesania Latina - Scale 1: 48, after Aubrey-Maturin series (First wooden ship build)

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Hrs 746-760

Finally got the aft deck done.


A struggle but it finally came together.


I chose to make a plank around the hole in the middle.


Will try the butt shift thing again forward, hopefully with a little better success.

Found the plywood was a little warped so filled in with wood putty.

Did the trenails and they look snazzy at 0.021 or a little over 1 inch to scale diameter.


First sanding is nearly done. post-549-0-75657000-1397880020_thumb.jpg


Also lined the skylight and grating. Note can see thru glass 


Note scarf joints and trenails.

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That looks great Mayohoo!


The whole aft deck really does look terrific!  Joints, treenails, skylight and deck!

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Hi Bindy,


Thanks for the kind words. It is a work in progress and since it is my first ship of this kind it is going kind of slow. I tend to get picky and if it doesn't look right I go back and redo a fair amount (see copper, hull, redo).


I see you are building the Mamoli kit Surprise. That should be fun to compare the two as you go along. 

Are you planning the Historical, the Fictional Aubrey-Maturin, the Jotika plan, or the Mamoli ship plan version? If you want the Historical or Fictional I have a fair amount of research stuff I've picked up along the way.


Oh, and I'm a long suffering Twins fan. Only slightly better in misery than a Cubs fan  B)

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Hi again!


And sorry for the slow reply (I have been away).


I fully understand and agree with being picky and redoing the bits we aren't happy with, particularly as we are so new at this and learning so much as we go!


I am glad I found your log so we can compare and maybe inspire each other as we go?  In answer to your question though, my plan for my own Suprise is towards the Historical version as much as possible with my skills and I would be incredibly grateful for any suggestions, pointers, or information you have found yourself but please, please don't feel obliged!  Apart from the challenges of building ships, I am learning there is so much confusing, differing and opposing information about the ships we build.  Still, that makes it fun too haha.


I forgive you for supporting the wrong team, but you definitely get bonus points for being a Baseball fan!   (The Sunday Night game on ESPN is playing live now and Tanaka is on the mound!)


Thank you again for your kind words and sorry again for the slow reply, but I am back now haha

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It is a bit surreal as I am in a sportsbar watching the Yankees and also the Stanley Cup (hockey) and having a beer with dinner...and you are a world away in Australia watching the same game!
For the best hints on the Historical Surprise go to Jotika Surprise on Google. They have a nice set of pics showing their construction. I've used some if the stuff in the AM version I'm doing. If you click on them they come up in color!

There is also the original plan for the ship I can email or pm you from my other computer (on iPhone now)(also had a pint already ;0)) later

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Hrs 761-770

Let's go Wild! So two hockey games is about 9 hours of work and building.


Nearly finished with foredeck.






Also put in framing of the amidships opening with camber of the deck. Can just see bottom of stove with copper pot and bread cask.









Plywood was warped a bit so edging straightened and flattened imperfection. Note temporary wedges placed underneath and then removed once glue dried.


Need to touch up paint of course, then add trenails and perform sanding to finish level. Starting to come together tho. :piratetongueor4:

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This will be probably my next project so although you you may not realise it, you are providing a wealth of information for future builders like me. Don't be shy in sharing what might seem trivial, it's probably a new technique to someone like me.Thank you.

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My mistakes will become your glory... ;)  :P


I'm trying. It feels like I am so slow, but it's kind of make it up as I go along or find it on the web. I am most concerned about the rigging as that looks very complex. I've bought some books and between them and this website I THINK I might get there... B)


Anyway, next step is bowsprit I think.

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[Hrs 776-790

Resanding and finishing


To get that silky smooth feel have resanded and redone the rails and deck. Combination of emery nail boards, sponge sanding blocks, and file. Also used woodd filler as needed.

Now to repaint.




Like a baby's bum!

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And a fine looking Baby's Bum it is too !!


Wow, your Surprise sure looks great and I am looking forward to stealing some secrets, hints and tips from you now that I am back and can begin my own version  :)


I will do my VERY best to prove you right!



My mistakes will become your glory... ;)  :P

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Hrs 791-795

Using Tamiya paint tape as it seems to work very well, very little bleeding and a nice edge. 

Had to adjust exposure to see the black, so some may look a little washed out.







Now for the red on the inner bulwarks...

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Hrs 796-800

Cleaning up and fine work. Took awhile, but am pleased with look. Needs a dusting however.






Built base of stern lamp up to partially camouflage the base of the lamp where wires enter.




Also still have removable hatch for cabin view. Am contemplating a flag locker along taffrail. Also, binnacle and wheel area to use as base over the little hatch.



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Hrs 801-805

Watching the Dutch and Ticos play and working on the flag lockers. It appears the predominant colors are, red, white, yellow, and blue. (NOT fluorescent yellow ;) ) So I made 2 lockers, each with a bigger slot for national country flags and the smaller slots for signal flags. 

Used grill material framed and then fit into place along the taffrail.


Used fabric from the flooring, then colored with markers, then mod podged matte over the top. Then cut them out and glued together so that they looked folded in the slots. Then cut to fit and glued into place.








Then painted the frame white. Have to add another coat...


Not sure how to cover the lockers. Maybe canvas flap in front?


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Thanks for taking the time to post this and inspire amateurs like myself. Will try to borrow a number of the ideas that you have put into your build but doubt I will get to your standard.



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Thanks for the kind words. I think I should point out that this is my first model ship and that without the kind assistance of the members (eg. Gil) and moderators(MTaylor) and the resources here and on the website that I would not be near where I am currently. And I am definitely an amateur!

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Hrs 806-807

Wrestled with a couple ideas to cover the flag locker. If I used faux canvas, then it would cover the color of the flags. I thought of glass, but getting it precision cut would be tough. So I decided on using tulle, the mesh fabric that Gil Middleton suggested for netting. Went to local fabric store where I asked for it. Apparently it is used to poof up skirts for little girl outfits. Go figure. When I told them it was for a model ship, they just looked at me. If you are well off, you are eccentric. If you aren't, you're weird...




Made the cover using a small frame, painted white.



Flag lockers, with added piece above in gold to cover unfinished edge of stern



And top view




And rough placed needing to be glued in place.




Can still see into lockers and see the colors of the flags which is what I wanted.





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Hrs 808-811

Finished the flag lockers and added a frame around them with netting over the front. Also completed the gold trim along the stern.




Then began work on anchor davits. First I trimmed to length and added the openings on the end. Also a single hole on the inner side to secure it down with a big trenail.




I liked the AL look using brass on the ends, but couldn't figure where the brass came from looking at the inscrutable instruction sheet. So I took some scraps from the brass in the kit and made it up.




Cut to length and then superglue...


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Hrs 812-817

Anchor davits away! So built them pretty much how AL kit has them as they look spiffy. Made them correct to scale length according to the Lavery plans. 


Note hole for trenail reinforcement into deck.



Brass highlights and gold trim



The supports for the davits needed trimming and added pieces to fit correctly. Will be painted before sliding under.




A little rope holder for the anchor davit.




Have decided to try my hand at gold leaf on the catheads. The molded ones from the internet are kind of sketchy ie not square or uniform) but I figure gold will make them different. Gold leaf is $16 on the internet for 5 small pages, which should be plenty. Might do something for the figurehead too (eventually)

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Hrs 818-819

Catheads... while waiting on gold leaf to arrive, decided to mount the lead ones on clay to increase size. Then, what the heck, made one out of clay. Following are three pictures one with cathead on clay, one with cathead on clay and added clay base, and one made out of clay. Not sure what looks best... opinions?




They will presumably be covered with gold leaf (if I can figure out how to do it...)

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Hrs 820-821

"Lessons learned are like bridges burned..." Dan Fogelberg


Working the catheads. Gold leaf is ... tricky. 

First, the gold leaf comes in little booklets. It is very thin and folds in any breeze. I made a mistake (one of many) by taking the adhesive outside to spray along with the gold leaf.



Upon opening the booklet, the first leaf folded... a lot.



I then created a ...mess.



Using the soft brushes to transfer to the catheads... but they looked ok.



So I put them on the davits.




Now, what about the other ones? Guess what, I thought I'd turn the temp up to bake the clay faster. A. Clay burns B. Commercial catheads melt at 400 degrees F. Ooops...



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Ouch is right.  One thing I've found about gold leaf.. it's a pain in the tuckus and moreso for tiny details.  You did a great job with it.   


If you want to get away from using the real thing, Michael's carries some gold leaf paints in various gold colors.  Very thin and they do a nice job of coverage.

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Holy smokes! I do operations less convoluted than doing gold leaf that way Denis R!


As any surgeon (and Monty Python fan) would do... "retreat!"...maybe a reconsideration of doing stuff in gold leaf in the future. The paint looks more manageable. (Thanks MTaylor). At least the davits looks ok  :P


"There are old surgeons, and bold surgeons, but no old and bold surgeons."


Live and learn. B)

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Hrs 820-823


Decided to do something different and created grate over the kitchen stove. Plan on having ship with wind abaft so smoke stack is pointing forward. Drilled hole in deck and placed grating and solid section in place. post-549-0-46326800-1408153850_thumb.jpg




Naturally, I didn't realize it wasn't perfectly square, so had to take it down and redo it after squaring it. 







Deja' vu all over again  :rolleyes:

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Thanks for the kind words jastrzab and waitoa. Ideas are fun...execution is hard for me as this is my first major ship model. I am thinking its been ok so far, but slow as molasses with many backsteps and redos. Thank goodness for the resources and collected wisdom here!


Hrs 824-825


So according to my source book Roth, the bowsprit in an 18th century ship should be approximately 0.45 of the length of the mainmast. Since the mainmast is either 17.67 inches long for the lower mainmast or 30.02 inches total mainmast, I am not sure which length is correct. In any event, inboard portion is 0.3, so 0.7 outboard.

17.67 x 0.45 = 7.95 inches x .7 = 5.565 inches bowsprit length.

Now presuming ship wall is one foot thick would subtract another 0.25 inch for 5.315 inches (if using lower mainmast)


30.02 x 0.45 =13.59 inches x .7= 9.456 inches - 0.25 inches = 9.21 inches (if using total mast)



Hmmm... the Marquardt drawings show a Mainmast of 11.7cm measured total mainmast length or 4.7 cm for the lower mainmast alone. The bowsprit appears to be 3.5 cm long. 


3.5/11.7 = 0.3 if using total mainmast

3.5/4.7=0.75 if using lower mainmast only


So, they must be using total mainmast length...


So I will cut the bowsprit to have it 0.3 x mainmast length extending from the hull, also adding a 1/2 inch to embed and secure into the hull.


The measured mainmast is 30.0 inches long, therefore the bowsprit will be 9.0 inches plus 1/2 inch or a total of 9.5 inches.



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Hrs 826-827


After staring at the AL directions for the boom, have not been happy. 


With the AL directions, the dolphins (?correct name?) extend way beyond the bowsprit area and end up being really skinny pieces of wood. I had to sand them to match the contour of the bow. Then I had to add another piece to form the slot where the rope for the bowsprit would go and it fit poorly. Then the anchor cable holes seemed to be in the wrong place below the bowsprit rather than above.




After hemming and hawing and looking at the Jotika build




and also after going to see HMS Victory over vacation (more on that later) I decided to redo the area more like the Jotika build with the anchor cable exiting above, since it seemed the Victory was a much taller ship it made sense to have the anchor cable holes lower on the hull proportionally for her




Now as for HMS Victory, she is being extensively renovated and preserved. As a result, the masts above the lower masts have been removed as had the jibboom to reduce weight. They will eventually be replaced with fibreglass facsimilies as apparently the extra weight was causing the keel to bend. post-549-0-62233700-1409244729_thumb.jpg


This will apparently be at least 5 years work (and one guide said 10-15 years), so those who want to see her in all her glory will have to wait awhile. Still, it was a great tour and the guides were really nice (kudos to Ian Heath and Ian the Scot!)

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