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Swampscott Dory by bolin - FINISHED - BlueJacket Shipcrafters - scale 1:12

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Just starting out as a model ship builder. Originally I ordered another kit to build during the Holidays, but due to some mix up at the seller it has not yet arrived. Instead I went to the Eskader hobby store in Stockholm (Sweden) and bought this kit. I selected it as it looks nice, has at least some rigging and seemed about equal to my skill level.


When looking through the site i don't find many build logs of this kit (only one by westphalia). It is a beginners kit, and for many here it is probably trivial, but I thought that some other newbie in the future might be helped by my first stumbling steps in this hobby.


I also bought a set of paints recommended by the store. That is the colors painted on the built up model in the store. Maybe I will alter this when the time for painting comes.


Looking inside the box i find laser cut parts, dowels and strip wood together with metal fittings, lines and sail cloth. As this is my first ship model kit I have nothing to compare with. But I have experience with working with wood and my impression is that this is really nice quality. The instruction manual is well written and I think there should be no problem for me to follow it. One possible improvement is that most of the pictures are black and white photos. The contrast is not optimal, so some details are a bit hard to see.


The kit is said to be built in the same manner as a real boat of this type (upside down). I found this image that proves this.





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Just a side note to mention that one of our sponsors, Chesapeake Light Craft, offers a couple of full-size dory kits much like the model you are building.

Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix, Hawker Hurricane

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First steps; building the frames. Here I had an option, to stain the wood before staring to glue it together. Thanks to the good quality of the wood a stained and varnished finish (especially on the inside) would look good. However I decided to stay with my original plan to paint the inside. This will also give me more options with hiding mistakes with filler and paint.


I notice that the laser cut parts does not match the full size drawing exactly. Half a mm error here and half a degree error there. I tried to assemble the frames to get the best alignment of angles. Unfortunately it may not have been the right option, as when i glued the frames to the bottom plank the two foremost frames does not go all the way out to the sides.


I built two vertical walls to help with the alignment of the frames when gluing them to the bottom. (We can also see my warm-up project in the background, an eighties rubber band balsa airplane from Czechoslovakia that I had since my boyhood but only started on now).


After all frames has been glued on together with the stem and the transom it is time to bend the bottom. I put a wet rag in the micro wave oven for a minute and placed it on top, after that it bent nicely. One observation is that the first and last frame bends inward. It is not clear in the instruction or in the drawing if this is intended or should have been adjusted for.


All i all I'm a bit concerned at this stage if the frames are aligned well enough for the planking.




Edited by bolin
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Step by step I have now steamed, bent and glued the first and second planks to the frames. I had no previous experience with steaming and bending wood in this manner. I was rather surprised of how easy it was.

However as I feared the alignment of the frames was not correct and the otherwise probably perfectly cut planks needed some persuasion to put in place.


In the following picture it is easy to see the gap between the frame and the first plank. As it is now the frame is to narrow, and I had to force (mildly) the second plank in position. What I have learned is that I should have dry fitted the frames and planks in some way to check that they fit.


I did consider backtracking and breaking up all the glue, but I'm afraid that I would break some of the planks by doing that. I have also dry fitted the rest of the planks and it looks like it will be possible to shape them nicely.


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A quick update.


I built the stand for the boat, so that I have something to hold it up when gluing the rest of the planks. The kit contained laser cut parts for the stand, and the instruction says to use dowel from the kit. Unfortunately there is not enough left after I have made the mast, boom and oars. I got some new 6 mm beech wood dowel from my local hardware store. I stained the dowel and the parts from the kit in dark mahogany and the color seem to come out close enough for the different parts.


The last plank steamed and left to dry. My trusted miniature iron is used to hold it down.




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Thanks for the input, it sounds plausible. However, the gaps are not equal on all the frames, so I still think I made some mistakes.


When I have continued with the model it seems that the gaps and the possible misalignment of the planks are not so severe. Here all the planks are glued and I will just start to cut down the frames.


I have also been busy preparing parts to be installed later; mast, boom oars etc. In the picture below they have been given a coat of base filler before paining and are hanging to dry. Unfortunately the filler I got together with the kit contains thinner that's not really suitable for indoor use, and I don't think I can use it for the rest of the build. So now I'm looking for some alternative. I seems that wipe on poly is quite popular in these pages. However I'm not familiar with that and have not found it here in Sweden. Instead I have bought shellac and will try that.


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The result of the weekends work is starting to look like a boat:


I have cut down the frames, stained and added rails, painted the centerboard and mounted it in the centerboard box, glued the assembly to the bottom and finally steamed and bent the thinner frames to the sides. The line from the centerboard box is used to raise and lower the centerboard.


The next steps will be sanding the inside before installing and more details that would be in the way.

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I opted for trying shellac as a sanding filler before painting. The result came out yellow-brown and somewhat spotty where the shellac did not stick to the places where there where some glue rests. However since I plan to paint both the inside and outside so it should not matter. I realized that it would be easier to paint the inside before I installed the seat risers, seats, cleats etc. Maybe I should have masked of the spots where I need to glue them, so that I wont glue on painted areas. But that would be tricky so I hope it will work anyway.


I marked of the waterline so I know where to put the white color.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again,


Two weeks with only short periods at the building table. Mostly painting. The inside has been painted in vallejo cork brown. Maybe it came out to dark, could have used some brighter color.

In the picture below I have started to fit the seat risers to the frames. I painted the inside before I mounted the seat risers as I though it would be hard to reach when they where in place. I scratched away the paint before gluing, to get a clean wood to attach to.


Next I mounted the seats (which has been given two layers of shellac) and the rudder.

I have also move into a new build area (below the stairs). It will be sufficient for this size of boat, but for any future larger projects someplace else is needed (but that is for a later time to figure out).


The bottom has been painted as well.


Next I will add varnish and then mount the hull to the stand so it will be steady when working with the rigging.

Edited by bolin
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The last steps of this (rather short) journey has ended.


The sail, mast and boom I had already prepared. The only step needed was to mount them together. For this rings made of steel wire was used. I'm wondering what they would be models of? In most pictures i find online the sail seem to be tied to the mast using rope.


I have also mounted the cleats and eyelets for attaching the rigging.


And finally everything is assembled and the rigging lines are tied to where they should go.



All in all I'm happy with the result. Maybe the boat even turned out better than I expected when I started. I am a beginner, and most of the techniques and methods used where more or less new to me.


The kit from BlueJacket turned out to be what was advertised, a suitable kit for a beginner. The material provided was of excellent quality. The instructions and drawings where good, even though there where a few places where the drawings, text and photos did not align exactly. Especially regarding the rigging.


Now I will turn my attention to other projects. I have a small kit for a ship in a bottle, a kit from Billing boats and scratch build of a similar dory that I have started at a ship modelling course I started last week. I will be busy.




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Congratulations!  Well done!

Building: 1:64 HMS Revenge (Victory Models plans)

1:64 Cat Esther (17th Century Dutch Merchant Ships)

On the building slip: 1:72 French Ironclad Magenta (original shipyard plans)


On hold: 1:98 Mantua HMS Victory (kit bash), 1:96 Shipyard HMS Mercury


Favorite finished builds:  1:60 Sampang Good Fortune (Amati plans), 1:200 Orel Ironclad Solferino, 1:72 Schooner Hannah (Hahn plans), 1:72 Privateer Prince de Neufchatel (Chapelle plans), Model Shipways Sultana, Heller La Reale, Encore USS Olympia


Goal: Become better than I was yesterday


"The hardest part is deciding to try." - me

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Very nicely done! She's a beautiful, little boat. I look forward to seeing your second build.



Bob Garcia

"Measure once, cuss twice!"


Current Builds: 

Hms Brig-Sloop Flirt 1782 - Vanguard Models

Pen Duick - Artesania Latina 1:28


Completed: Medway Longboat 1742 - Syren Ship Model Co. 

Member of the Nautical Research Guild




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  • 10 months later...

She is a great looking boat! Well done. 



On the Ways: Mighty Mite, Harbor Tugboat by pwog - NautiCurso - 1:64



Completed Builds:

Lobster Boat Red Baron (Bluejacket)

Sardine Carrier Pauline (Bluejacket) 
Swampscott Dory (BlueJacket)


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  • The title was changed to Swampscott Dory by bolin - FINISHED - BlueJacket Shipcrafters - scale 1:12

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