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big.matt

Albatros by big.matt - OcCre - Scale 1:100 - First wooden ship build

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Hi,

 

After a few clumpsy and failed attempts to build a kit as a teenager, I decided (ten years wiser) to jump give it a go to ship building again with Occre's Albatros.

There is already good logs and videos on the kit around, but there are still a few unanswered questions for me. With this log I hope to get help answering them and, maybe, to help future beginners as well.

 

Let's start with the tools: I started from scratch, getting the basic kit, the nail pusher, a cutting mat and some small clamps from Occre. Additionally I bought extra drill tips, larger clamps, white glue and contact glue from a local store. The wood paste I'll hopefully not need, but you never now.

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At first sight the kit looks very good and "approachable": Occre provides illustration and textual instructions for all steps of the construction. Ready to go!

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The first ~8 steps are fairly straightforward, but still I was able to do a few minor mistakes: Aligning the frames "by eye" was not enough for me, I still had to fight a bit when gluing the deck. I wish I had seen Barry1's log before, his approach definitely allows for more precision.

 

Take your time when lining the deck: minimize the amount of glue and remove the excess immediately. Also, I found that the contact glue is way easier to clean up from the model than white glue, resulting in a clean surface. I used a regular pencil to draw the nails and the dirt/shadows between the planks. A light stroke seemed sufficient to me, but next time I'd probably use black for the lines.

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Do make a dry try before gluing the deck, in my case I had to remove 1mm at the front of the main frame and cleanly cut the bottom of the lining of frame 9 in order to have the hull fit.

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Next I attached the reinforcing chocks to the false keel. The scar next to the rudder in the right image is a reminder to cut out your pieces properly with a knife rather than pushing them. Luckily that part will not be visible at the end.

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This is the result so far, hopefully I'll quickly get past these trivial issues in the future.

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Now it starts to get interesting, and I have a few questions on how to continue:

  • For the first planking of the hull. I think that many people soak, bend and let dry the planks first, and only afterwards they attach them to the frames. Is there anything wrong in attaching them when they are still wet?
  • I've seen in other logs that the bulwarks don't bend uniformly, in particular because the front gunport weakens them. I'd like to bend them better by soaking them in water, but I also read that this can be dangerous with plywood parts as it could delaminate. Any advice? Below is a picture of the part.

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Cheers, and happy new year!

Matt

Edited by big.matt
typo

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1 hour ago, big.matt said:

After a few clumpsy and failed attempts to build a kit

But you got your build log title right on the first try, and that's important -- at least to those of us that have to edit the titles!

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17 hours ago, GrandpaPhil said:

Attaching wet planks, if thoroughly soaked, creates the problem of shrinkage that can leave gaps between planks.  I may or may not have experienced this. 

Oh right, of course. Thanks!

 

Regarding bending the plywood: I found a few posts in other forums suggesting to steam it or wrap it in hot wet towels, I'll test both on some scraps and see how it goes.

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2 hours ago, Auger said:

Thanks for that video link tmj, I learned something.

I'm glad that you got something out of that video, however. I'm not the one to thank. "I'm just the delivery person." 'Chuck' is the person behind the informative videos and the one whom you should thank! 🙂  

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Thank you for the video tmj and Chuck, it will be very useful!

 

After a few tests with some scraps, I decide to use steam for the plywood bulwarks. I moderately steamed the area to be bent for a few minutes and then placed them on a "support structure" (please don't tell to my girlfriend what I do with her kitchen tools). I first fixed the weakest point (the foremost gunport) under the large clamps and then slowly added the others.

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The bulwarks bended much easier and, once dried, maintained the curvature even after release. The new curvature is not perfect, but it's a good starting point, glue and nails will do the rest!

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Meanwhile I sanded the frames. I'm pretty satisfied with the shape of the bow, but I'm not sure whether the stern is correct. I guess that after planking the first ship I'll get a better intuition of how it should look like.

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Finally I attached the bulwarks. As I bended them already, the process was quite smooth and I only needed to apply some pressure when fixing the last few centimeters of the bow. Although Occre's instructions only use glue, I needed nails as well to maintain the shape of the bulwarks.

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As a first timer I'm satisfied with the result, however there are two geometry issues: (left) at bow, the bottom of the bulwarks is too short and the top is too long. (right) the cannons would touch the top of the gunports. Is this kind of problems common or did I make a mistake? For the bow I will probably use some wood paste to add the missing part, the lining will cover it anyway. However, I'm not sure about what to do for the cannons.

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So, I finished installing the waterways. At the same time I managed to join the tips of the bulwarks.

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I thought this would have been a quick step, but had to sand down all the parts from 4mm to ~3mm, otherwise they would cover part of the gunports.

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Unfortunately I noticed too late that I didn't properly part of the waterways and now there is a 0.5mm gap at bow. At least it's not too much in sight.. 😁

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Time to start planking the hull. That's the part I fear the most, wish me luck!

 

Matt

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As expected, things go much slower after the Christmas holidays are over :D 

Anyway, I'm done with the first planking and gave her a good sanding. I'm quite happy with the result, the hull looks decently symmetric and sturdy. I didn't really have the tools to temporarily fix the planks to the hull for drying, so I just glued them on when they were still wet. Of course GrandpaPhil was right a few posts above, this left some small gaps between the planks after the wood dried. However, as there will be a second planking, I'm not too worried about it for this build.

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Unfortunately I've been a bit imprecise at bow and at stern (I should have sanded the frames better, some planks were really difficult to place). So I decided to use some wood paste to fill the gaps in order to have a smooth surface available for the second planking.

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Now I'll use the elements of the keel as a guide to sand down the profile to the correct size and width (4mm) and then I should be good to go with the second planking.

 

Matt

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Hi Matt, Looks good so far. I'm thinking of getting this model myself, so I will watch your progress with interest.

 

Steve

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