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USF Confederacy by Brucealanevans - Model Shipways - 1:64


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Thanks for the advice Gary. Still deciding.

Meanwhile, finished the bulwark painting, placing margin planks and waterway.

Constructed the floor for the quarterdeck cabin. The instructions had the alternating strips glued to a 6x6 piece of 1/32 basswood before cutting into strips. Provided however was a 4x8 piece. To get the diamond pattern, had to remove and patch parts of the completed glued strips (Thank you Byrnes saw - that walnut is HARD to cut with a knife or razor saw) to get something that would accept the pattern to fit the floor. A lot of work and difficult to match the pattern. I know basswood strips come in 4 inch widths, but I'd strongly suggest obtaining or making a 6 inch square before gluing on the alternating strips prior to cutting across to make the alternating pattern strips. I wish I had done so.

At any rate, here we are now, ready to start on the coamings.

margin planks and waterway (1 of 4).jpg

margin planks and waterway (2 of 4).jpg

margin planks and waterway (4 of 4).jpg

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Bruce, as to fully rigging the cannon I would say it is totally up to you. It does add a few weeks to the total build time. Wether it’s worth it is your call. May I suggest, if you do, spring for some different blocks other than those supplied. I used Syren blocks and was very pleased with them. 

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Thanks for the input, Bossman. Yes, I have used Syren blocks on all of my models and if I decide to fully rig the cannon will definitely order those. I'll likely experiment first to see how hard it would be, but leaning to do it.

Meanwhile, completed the gun deck structures except for the two small scuttle covers. Nothing glued yet. The main grate, as seen in the pictures, had a through and through laser burn that could not be sanded out and is quite unsightly. Didn't glue that one in, and requested replacement from Model Shipways. I love their replacement policy - it certainly helps make me a loyal customer.

 

 

 

gundeck structures (1 of 3).jpg

gundeck structures (2 of 3).jpg

gundeck structures (3 of 3).jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, a real milestone: finished the deck, added the scuppers, the stairs, and the cleats, to the best of my ability. I was very glad I had just ordered a new set of mini wood files to take to stock a (small) model workspace in our second place in Marblehead Massachusetts which included a straight file just 1/32" on edge - perfect for making the slots in the uprights for the steps.  Looks OK, warts and all.

The planking was tedious, and after congratulating myself on finishing it, realized the next step was drilling hundreds of little tiny holes, filling them with Elmer's wood filler, and then sanding again and again. Once the wipe on poly was put on, I'm really pleased with the treenailing - it doesn't draw the eye but clearly there when you look for it. I don't like the look when the treenails are dark or otherwise prominent. Thankfully the deck is not stained - any residual wood filler repels the stain as I learned on previous builds.

 

Now I'll go dark for I know not how long as I take on the construction, painting, and rigging of 28 12 pounders. I probably won't finish that before we leave for a month or two in Massachusetts and I won't be working on this model there (I have a small but very complicated Fokker Triplane to feed my construction addiction there - hence the small workspace).

 

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Deck finished (4 of 6).jpg

Deck finished (5 of 6).jpg

Deck finished (6 of 6).jpg

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Faced with construction of 28 12 pounders. While waiting for some stuff to create a good finish on the cannon barrels after drilling and gluing the eyebolts in all 28, decided to work on the initial steps for the carriages. Got the idea for a jig from a Bossman (I think) post (thanks).

Constructed a simple jig to hold the axle pieces and the sides in correct orientation. Four spots of Titebond in the notches of the side pieces for the axle pieces, slide the side pieces in, and as they say over there 'Bob's your uncle'.

Carriage Jig (1 of 4).jpg

Carriage Jig (2 of 4).jpg

Carriage Jig (3 of 4).jpg

Carriage Jig (4 of 4).jpg

Edited by Brucealanevans
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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well, went about it a different way.

Firstly, discovered that if I want to use the kit carriages, I needed to modify them due to the fact that the cannon barrels I'm using (Syren resin barrels) have the trunion symmetrically placed rather than offset to the bottom. This resulted in a depressed pointing position for the barrels. So I ditched the piece above the rear axel, made the other piece 1/32 rather than 1/16 thick, and built up the trunions a bit with black shrink wrap tubing. With those modifications everything worked. Secondly, I found it easier to drill all the holes for the iron work (11 per carriage) before assembling the carriage. I then assemble the carriage and glue a small length of black monofilament line into the holes for "bolts", paint the carriage, and then cut the line flush with the carriage. Then glue in all the eyebolts and the ring/bolt combinations. Finally, seize the rope to one ring/eyebolt, pass the rope through the carriage eyebolt, the cannon ring, and then the other carriage eyebolt. Having marked the 3 1/4" on the rope, I seize it to the last eyebolt ring with the cannon dangling on one side clamped by the rope next to the ringbolt and the ring clamped on the other side of my "third hand" apparatus. I found this easier and much less messy than trying to get the carriage ring/bolt well seated in the carriage holes if I made the entire rope structure ahead of time per the instructions. YMMV but it works for me.

Once I got my workflow figured out (not how the instructions do it) I am able to make 3 complete cannon every two days with the hours I have allotted for modeling. Have completed the port battery (but not attached yet).

I have dithered about adding the gun tackle. Rigged some up - just to convince myself I could do it if I wanted - and decided finally that for an admiralty hull model it didn't make sense, and gave a cluttered look at this scale I did not like. So no tackle. If this were a fully rigged "sea going" model I would add it.

Trying to decide whether to press ahead and finish all 28 before I leave town in several weeks or take a break and make one or more of the deck structures. I am tired of cannon at the moment.

 

Cannon (1 of 2).jpg

Cannon (2 of 2).jpg

Cannon (3 of 1).jpg

Edited by Brucealanevans
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well, I've finished 28 12 pounders! I love the resin cannon from Syren. I wish he had a size suitable for the upper deck 6 pounders.

 

Going to be able to get them installed before leaving the shipyard for 6 weeks or so to travel and stay east.

I have definitely decided not to install the cannon tackle, and therefore probably will not install the (upper) eyebolts beside the cannon ports. The thought of blackening and installing 56 eyebolts to no purpose led me to this decision. Judge me if you must.

Touched all the cannon up, and will drill the holes for the ring/eye bolts tomorrow and then glue the cannon in place and insert the breech line bolts.

Excited that when I return I can leave the tedium of the last several weeks behind and start on more varied construction projects.

 

By the way, if you follow the Manual's procedures, there are not enough split rings and eye bolts included with the model. I requested more and received them quickly from Model Shipways.

Unfortunately, the split rings were a smaller size and passing the breech line through them was a nightmare, using every trick in my book. Ended up using the kit rope (stiffer and slightly smaller) on those few I had left to do. On the positive side, the smaller rings - joined with eye bolts - were perfect for the pull handles on the forward hatch covers, replacing the bent over eye bolts I had used per instructions but the look of which I simply wasn't happy with.

 

Will be back in 6 weeks or so.

 

28 12 Pounders (1 of 2).jpg

28 12 Pounders (2 of 2).jpg

Edited by Brucealanevans
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I have managed to get the cannon placed and breech ropes rigged.

It was surprisingly difficult to persuade the eye bolts at the ends of the breech ropes to seat in the pre-drilled holes. In the end, it took two tweezers - one curved - and my optivisor to manage it, and even then often two or three tries before success. Because of all the fumbling I didn't put any glue on the ends of the bolts to avoid smearing it all over (as everyone says, don't ask me how I know). I dribbled a bit of white glue diluted with water on each where it protruded from the hole to secure them. After drying, nothing visible.

I wanted to finish this part before shutting things down for 6 weeks, so I wanted to place the out-haul anchors. I was reluctant to use the brass eye bolts and split rings due to the hassle of blackening them and the probability of some of the blackening disfiguring the deck. Since a nice roll of 28 gauge black wire came with the kit, I made the split rings and eye bolts with that. I've never done that before and I have to say (with the proper tools including a good cutter with sharp points and a fine needle nose pliers) it was surprisingly easy and an hour's work provided me with 28 nice black rings with attached bolts. Put those on the deck and I'm pleased with the look.

That's it for now. Cleaned up the shipyard, put away the tools and vacuumed the carpet monster. Will start on the additional deck structures when I return.

 

Cannon rigged (1 of 3).jpg

Cannon rigged (2 of 3).jpg

Cannon rigged (3 of 3).jpg

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

577657655_2bulkheads(1of1).thumb.jpg.41354e1ae7d5d5eaab1a004d5f23f857.jpgA bit more progress, with both bulkheads now in place, including the speaking tube (not glued) and the supports for the first three beams.

Capstan next according to the instructions.

So far, other than the use of Syren resin  12 pounders and the carriage changes that necessitated, everything pretty much out of the box, including all the wood. I chose those cannon to make it easier (much!) to drill the holes to glue the eyebolt into the breech of each cannon. Not sure what I'll do for the 8 pounders when I get that far since the resin cannon don't come in the right size. I have brass ones but haven't decided how I'll deal with the eyebolts.

 

Edited by Brucealanevans
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I've got most of the quarterdeck beams on (up to the mainmast area. Hanging and lodging knees in place. Here is where the eccentricities of the kit wood can bite you. I snapped the ends of several of the lodging knees off with minimal pressure  while sanding due to the grain of the basswood running across that end (the smooth curved end). Thank goodness extras were provided!

I saw on the Winnie thread the beams in front of the cabins painted red on the front and back. Loved the look so I'm going with that. With the eight beams and their attendant supports done I'm now more in the phase of a bunch of sequential small projects rather than mind-numbing repetition, at least for a while. I love this part, and it fits well with the time periods I've allotted to building. The mainsail jeers were fun. Next, the pumps.

Quarterdeck Beams and Knees (1 of 3).jpg

Quarterdeck Beams and Knees (2 of 3).jpg

Quarterdeck Beams and Knees (3 of 3).jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did up the stove, which was a fun little project.

Then put the additional foredeck detail in place, and added the beams and knees.

This wouldn't be a project of mine if I didn't make a silly mistake along the way - I placed the stove a bit too far aft so that the lower stack is not centered right with respect to the beams/carlings. Won't really matter, and it would take a nitpicker to notice that the upper stack will be slightly out of line with the stove, but bugs me nevertheless.

Next up: planking the inner bulwarks.

 

Frameworks done (1 of 4).jpg

Frameworks done (2 of 4).jpg

Frameworks done (3 of 4).jpg

Frameworks done (4 of 4).jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finished the inner bulwarks and their painting, and then the cap rails, volutes, and associated decorative molding.

That's it: all of the internal structure is now hidden!

I think I'll take a step back at this point to touch things up. A fair number of dings and rubs from clamps, so some spot painting and renewing of stain in some rubbed spots. A few infelicities  that I may be able to improve upon, and I need to see if I can salvage the rudder that seems magically to have lost all its pins. Then on to working of the quarterdeck.

 

Cap Rail Done (1 of 4).jpg

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Cap Rail Done (4 of 4).jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Finished the quarterdeck completely.

I decided to go with a look allowing maximal views of the main deck structures, planking along the mid-line as far as to enclose the coamings. Added a small area of planking next to the port bulwarks to mount 2 six pounders (the viewing side will be the starboard), and 2 small pieces for the binnacles.

As is my wont, I am my own worst enemy. I discovered (not until adding the piece for the deck planking to abut against) that somehow I drifted off the mid-line with my coamings and carlings as they moved forward. Arrgh. So a fair amount of jiggery-pokery to mitigate to the extent possible the resulting disruptions of the symmetry of the planking and the main rail. I guess it's my next build that will be perfect.

I'll take a bit of a short break before starting on the fore deck, as I have several packs building up for my Agora 427 Cobra model crying for my attention.

Quarter Deck Completed-2.jpg

Quarter Deck Completed-2-2.jpg

Quarter Deck Completed-2-3.jpg

Edited by Brucealanevans
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  • 3 weeks later...

No, rigging her fully at this scale would result in a monstrously sized model and I’m already nearly out of display space. Also I’ve constructed this as an admiralty display model with partial decking to show structure and lower deck detail so full masts and rigging don’t seem appropriate to me. Happy to build as intended. 

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Thanks for the "likes" all.

I have done some work on the beakhead, getting as far as the cheeks. Really fiddly work that shows up every small asymmetry in one's work. I hope I've mitigated these. The next work is worrying, as Chuck's instructions state that the head timbers are the really difficult part. Sheesh.

Anyway, 2 weeks now at our place on the east coast, so no ship modeling for a while.

 

Cheeks done-2.jpg

Cheeks done-2-2.jpg

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Congratulations on completing a very difficult section Bruce! Your model is looking very nice.

 

This is my first visit to your log and I note the gratings in the waist are very different than those on the quarterdeck. Would you consider replacing the ones in the waist with Chuck's kit versions as they are not period correct and to me detract a bit from your otherwise excellent work.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the comments. The gundeck coamings are too thick and a bit too tall  - they were the first ones I did nearly a year ago. 
I will not be revising them as I am not driven for perfection here to that degree while I fully respect those who are. This monster of a model has fully stretched and often exceeded my abilities and I have learned much about following the plans and measurements more carefully. My model building career is time limited both in time in the day, time in the main house with the shipyard and tools, and by advancing age/degrading near vision. 
Assuming I am able (big assumption) to do a reasonable job on the ships boats and make sure the rail stanchions for this coamings are not too high this will be less evident to the discerning. There are a number of errors I’ve had to work around and rather than tear down and redo I’ve compensated as best I can. Will take my lessons forward to my next and almost certainly last complicated build, currently planned to be Dusek La Real reimagined as a Maltese galley. I appreciate your attention to my build. 

Edited by Brucealanevans
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