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Finished port side first planking belt below the wales.

Only doing perhaps 2 strakes per day - each plank, especially at bow and stern - is a mini project with bending, twisting, beveling, etc, to try and get it neat enough that no filler or painting over filler required. Would like to be able to just give a wipe on poly finish to these planks. The edgewise bending jig included in the kit is a real life-saver!

Bow especially hard and a bit wonky on this side, but overall looks ok. Have given the planks a preliminary sanding to make sure of the look and fit. Will clean up the meeting of planks to the stern counter later.

Now to turn her over and repeat on the starboard side. Decided to really take my time with the planking to try to get it right. It's easy to get tired of it and rush but so important for the final look of the model.

First Belt Below Wales.jpg

First Belt Below Wales-2.jpg

First Belt Below Wales-3.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

After planking 10 strakes below the wales on both sides, I inspected the bow configuration. I was very unhappy with the job, and determined that the line was wrong, especially with the planks diverging away from the foremost bulkhead. The problem appeared to be insufficient/downright wrong faring of the block in front of the bulkhead leading into the stem, which should have been gradually beveled better as it moves down towards the keel. The error forced a more bluff contour to the planks which then could not fully contact the first bulkhead.


So, with a heavy heart, I removed the foremost planks to prepare for a better faring job so that the planks lie appropriately. I wish I hadn't talked myself into "it'll be OK" after doing the port side, since I now have two sides to fix. At least I have really learned something from this job. We'll see how the repair goes. I'm happy with the rest of the planking going aft.

planks removed.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Finished the planking. Only did a couple of strakes per day so took a while. A fair amount of fiddling. Didn't (I guess) taper the bow strakes enough so ended up having some severe tapering and several drop planks added to the final 2 belts. In the stern, ended up with the same problem, probably due to the fact that I wrapped the black painted wales around the stern but didn't take that into account when I started the planking below the wales and blindly added widened planks per instructions.

Overall, met my goal of not requiring filler/painting so I'll be able to clear finish the planking below the wales. Far from perfect - the bow area is a bit uneven on both sides, but overall I'm grudgingly satisfied with the effort. Learned a lot, and were I to ever undertake a planking project of this size again (unlikely) I would do much better.

The light from above for the pictures highlights the imperfections.

Unfortunately, I'm now at a standstill. The stern post piece has a sizeable flaw on the edge that meets the planking leaving a visible gap, especially on one side. Since this piece will be stained, can't use filler, so I've requested replacement from Model Expo and will have to wait for that to arrive before I can fit the stern post and then turn this puppy over and get to work on the stern.

Planking Complete.jpg

Planking Complete-2.jpg

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While waiting for my replacement piece from Model Expo for the Confederacy, I got twitchy modeling fingers.

So I turned to the very first ship model I built back around 1980 - Mantua Model 1:50 HMS Schooner Sharke.

I don't remember exactly why I cut that project short after doing most of the rigging. I never properly dealt with the 2 yards after putting the uphauls on them. Just tied a string from mast top to top yard ends and down to main yard tips and then to a belaying pin just to hold them in place. Also didn't mount the falconets - as I recall had trouble getting the uprights for their mounts to stick to the finish on the hull.

At any rate I found I still had the falconets hardware in my stash, and with time on my hands decided to finish the orphaned model.

Placed parrels to fix the yards and added foot ropes and proper braces. Added the falconets, 3 to each side. Just a few hours work. A bit fiddly to add the rigging with the yards already in place.

Now after 40 years (nearly the span of my professional career) it is done and looks much better, ready to honorably take its place with my other builds on display.

Now, if my new stern post comes soon, I can get back to work on the Confederacy.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Received my replacement piece from Model Expo. Shaped, stained, and fastened the sternpost on and trimmed the keel to fit.

touched up some staining where worn by the clamps of the building board.

In general, reasonably pleased. Not a great look at the bow where the planks below the wales meet the bow stem, but acceptable (except when I look at it of course)

Now ready to start on the stern.


Hull Done.jpg

Hull Done-2.jpg

Hull Done-3.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished up the initial work on the stern and on the bases of the quarter galleries.

Some of the alignment of the pieces was not perfect, but by and large I was able to compensate. Getting all those pieces starting with the stern frames and the associated bits in perfect alignment was the hardest thing on this build for me so far (except for the endless planking).

Now on the the bulwark thinning (UGH). I have not been looking forward to this from the very start.


Stern Step One (1 of 2).jpg

Stern Step One (2 of 2).jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...


    I am going to start my Confederacy shortly and am going to review your log in great detail as I get started.

    Hope I can do as good a job as you have done. I have never planked a hull that was not painted and thus have used Bondo and wood putty to "cover my sins". Hopefully I will be able to at least "do better" on the Confederacy.

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Brief side trip to install cap rail on the transom. 
note to those who follow : if you use the laser cut cap rails on either side (as I did) since the exposed 1/4 “ surface is cross grain it will stain darker than the thin strip in the middle that completes the cap rail. (Noted after staining by this builder. Not a huge deal but appearance would be improved if I had anticipated this) Maybe a sealant would help

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finished the transom and quarter galleries, ready for the windows.

This involved a lot of re-work and not an inconsiderable amount of wood filler. Every slight error or discrepancy in the placement of the stern frames, side blocks, curve sanding, and placement of the initial planking strakes can add up. Doing this again, I'd be even more meticulous about precise placement with engraved lines, distances prescribed, and sanding the gentle curves of the stern and the transom prior to placement of the transom piece. I think building the rear of this model accurately, beginning with the frame placement, is one of the most difficult aspects, at least for me.

Also to watch out for: be certain that the spaces between the trim strips (some of whose placements are dictated in the end by the above tolerances) are sufficient to allow placement of the decorative pieces to come.


At any rate, next the windows (having verified that the decorative pieces will fit).

Unfortunately, real life puts the shipyard on hold for a while - we are in the midst of selling a second home condo in Minneapolis (75 miles away), buying a second home in Marblehead Massachusetts, and moving everything from one to the other and getting that place set up.

Probably a month before I get back to the Confederacy.


Quarter Gallery.jpg

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Finished the transom and quarter gallery windows, and re-positioned a trim strip on the transom to make a more symmetric appearance and make certain of a constant height space for the decorative strip below the windows and the "CONFEDERACY" name letters.

Next will be the decorations, but that will have to wait until after our 2 visits out east to put our Marblehead second home in order.

The closeup makes the black paint look bad - much better in person.


Stern finished (1 of 3).jpg

Stern finished (2 of 3).jpg

Stern finished (3 of 3).jpg

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