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Chesapeake Bay Flattie by EricWilliamMarshall - FINISHED - Midwest - Scale 1:32 - SMALL

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A few of images of similar flattie models show a grating in the rear, so I thought I’d give it a try. The others are parallel rails and thought I would try to splay the rails slightly to match the surrounding trapezoidal space. That was a bit trickier than first glance would suggest. I cut a piece of paper as pattern and folding the pattern gave me the center line to work with. I set the rails on a bit of tape. I could adjust the position to my liking that way and then glue the cross rails. Later oak oil based polyurethane was brushed on.








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As per ccoyle’s and GrandpaPhil’s suggestions, I created a bit of non-metal frippery to act as the metal work for the tiller. I used an index card painted black (with a little brown mixed in), cut into thin ribbons. These were cut length and glued on.  I then used an awl to indent slight marks where I wished to show bolts and added a drop of paint to create the suggestion of a bolt.






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In light of VTHokiEE‘s experience with the cleats on his flattie, I ordered some brass black to see if I could learn to use that on the cleats. I cleaned the with steel wool and vinegar. I found that the brass black didn’t work well brushed on but if the brass was immersed in the liquid, all was well.


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I was hesitating working on the sails; unsure how to proceed. I didn't want to waste or wreck the small piece of cloth that came with the kit. It occured to me to buy some more fabric, experiment and fail a few times until I am more comfy. I now have access to a sewing machine, although I may not use it. While hemming and hawing regarding the sails, I finished fixing up a old tool chest. I had fixed the broken drawers and cleaned and shellacked the drawer fronts. And relined the drawers. 

I had a little plastic tool box that was overflowing and this is much nicer.



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People's opinions on sails vary a great deal, but I have never been a big fan of sewn sails (though I'm using them on my current project simply because they were available, and I didn't feel like making them scratch). The issue is two-fold in that 1.) sewn stitches on models are always way over-scale (this is due to the small size of real-life stitches), and 2.) the stitching on sails is never actually visible at what's known as "scale viewing distance". Think of it this way: when your 1:32 scale model is viewed from 12 inches away, that's like viewing the real deal at 32 feet -- you can't see real stitches from that distance. At 1/32nd scale, one foot of real deal is represented by 3/8 of an inch on the model; even if the real-life stitches are an inch long (ridiculously large), that still works out to trying to cram twelve scale stitches into only 3/8" of sail hem. That's why when I do choose to make sails, I glue the hems instead of sew them.


Just one modeler's opinion!

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I basically followed the directions in the kit and I don’t think they came out that bad from a normal viewing distance. I traced the pattern on the material in pencil, painted it with polyurethane and cut it out.  One thing IMO that would make this simple method better would have been to trace the pattern on both sides of the sheet (which I sadly did not). You can get cheap white cotton fabric from Walmart for a few dollars and have plenty to experiment with.

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56 minutes ago, ccoyle said:

I glue the hems instead of sew them.

Ah, I hadn't thought about that. Excellent thoughts!


42 minutes ago, VTHokiEE said:

trace the pattern on both sides of the sheet

Thanks - simple but smart!


43 minutes ago, VTHokiEE said:

You can get cheap white cotton fabric from Walmart for a few dollars and have plenty to experiment with.

That is what I did! (Well, at JoAnn's instead of Walmart.) I now have yards and yards to play with (I over-shot on the amount but I don't get to that part of the world often.) I'll soon post some of my successes and failures!

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I also attempted: to sew a set of sail, I tried paper, cloth, spray stiffener, etc. I found I couldn't use the iron "at scale" to fold over the edges of a sail.  Both sewing and paper are worth more work but are slightly out of reach due to skill and resource constraints. :) UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1d2c2.jpg.80d78250b3e96627b84a7c254284f7af.jpg

I tried using an acrylic paste over plastic wrap over a mold.


When drying the whole arrangement, I (re)discovered the principle behind shrink-wrap, which led to wrinkles in the sail. There is potential for the paste but I need to play around a bit more for it to be presentable.


I tried using a foam tile as a possible mold:



That worked well seemingly so until I saw the back:



At the moment, just paint the sail with polyurethane has proved best so far. That allows me to skip trying to iron over the seams without have too many loose ends.


Little by little...



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I’m inexperienced at the all the stages! These are my first cloth sails. I cheated and used a white gel pen and a ruler. If you look closely you can also see some pencil lines as well. I’ll post which one I used when I’m next in the workshop. The lines were simply drawn with a ruler. You might enjoy taking a peak at 

 That’s where in picked up the white gel pen idea. JerseyCity Frankie has a number of interesting ideas. Thanks for asking. Your skiff is looking a very neat and clean. 

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Thanks for the reply Eric!  I had never really considered using gel pens.  I guess I figured that the ink would seep through the fibers in the cloth and make a mess but gel pens would be much more resistant to that.  Plus it looks like  you have saturated (sealed) your sail cloth with the polyurethane in the process of shaping them. 


BTW I hadn't thought about trying to shape the sail to make it look like its filled with wind, but I did coat my sails with clear aircraft dope (similar to polyurethane) to flatten it and prevent fraying.  Now I want to try this "shaping" technique with my crabbing skiff. 


I also have the Midwest Flattie kit you are building here and will be referring back to this blog when I start that project.  These Midwest kits are really fun and it's too bad that they have been discontinued.  I was luck to have purchased several of them a few years ago.  Anyway just wanted to say GREAT JOB! and thanks for sharing.

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DonInAZ, white Gelly Roll was the pen I used. The is nothing particularly special about that choice. It happened to be the first one on came across. I did notice, as did JerseyCity Frankie, that the gel pen needed a little coaxing on the untreated fabric. It worked fine on the fabric coated in polyurethane. There wasn’t bleed in either case for me (the ink is on the thick side and “coats” more than “soaks”) but there was a slight difference in how sharp the edge of edge of the lines were. Play with a scrap and see what you like. 


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