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Mary Ann by laps - Billing Boats - scale 1:33

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Hi All,

A while ago I was given an old Billing kit of the fishing vessel Mary Ann.

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Someone had already started the model but obviously given up. The keel and frame structure had once been assembled but are now in pieces. I cleaned up the frames the best I could - luckily it seems like only frame 8 will have to be redone. Not sure why there are 4 holes in each frame!

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The keel timber itself is missing and the bow and stern pieces are in a sorry state.

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It may be difficult to purchase plywood of similar thickness so I will remake both pieces in 4 mm plywood. Hopefully, the frames will not be too loose. I will deal with that when the time comes. Other pieces are also damaged or missing. The greatest challenge here will be to remake to false deck. 

The fitting set was not included but it is still available. However, with the kit I also got a big box of all kinds of fittings. I will go through this pile and see what I have already. I know there is a winch that looks very similar to the one in the instructions. 

 

I'm still finishing up my AV but thought I would start this. It shouldn't be too difficult given the scale. I will pick up some birch plywood on Monday so I can get started.

 

/Lars Peter 

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you've got an old kit........are the parts laser cut?  I've built one older kit of the Nordkap.......I've started on a second,  a bit older kit,  that I'm going to build the Progress...it's another Nordkap kit.  the bulkheads have the same marks as yours does........I believe these parts are pre cut.......they are fastening holes from a jig.  the newer laser cut kit of the Mary Ann is a very nice kit to work with........the Cux 87 is basically the same hull design, just outfitted differently.  I've built both models,  as well as a few other Billing's kits......I've enjoyed all of 'em ;)    if you want to make it easy on yourself,  looking around on E-Bay or the like sometimes has these particular kits,  either missing the fittings kit,  or partial in some way.  you can get them on the cheap.  if you don't have the fittings kit for her,  Billing Boats have released the kits for them.

Billing Boats Official Website 2012

Billing Boats USA

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No laser cut parts in this kit. However, the frames seem to be precut. The original builder was not very skilled with a saw so I will have to redo at least the supports for the false deck.

I have bookmarked your build log on Wordpress. That turned into a very nice model :)

There are plenty of fitting sets for Mary Ann for sale but they are quite pricey, I think. Have to look into the instructions what I actually need to purchase. 

By the way it seems like this was the first model BB designed all the way back in 1958. There are 4 different version of the kit - mine is probably from the 1980s (best guess).

 

/Lars Peter

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Today I got a stack of new plywood, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 mm and went straight to the shipyard.

I remade the 3 pieces for the keel assembly and a new frame 8. 

Only downside is that the new 4 mm ply is slightly thinner, 0.6 mm, than the old 4 mm plywood supplied with kit 😒 Thus, the remaining old frames do not fit snugly on the keel. So I will have to glue on some filler pieces and then file the slots down to fit. Not a big deal but still a bit annoying.

 

The keel structure is now ready for gluing. Before I fit any frame I will have to remake all the rabbet pieces. Some were already glued on the stern pieces and the rest is poorly cut out and cannot be used. But compared to fiddling with the small boats for my AV, this is easy - big pieces to work with 😊 The overall length of the finished model will be somewhere around 550 mm.

 

/Lars Peter

 

 

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I was looking at some of the deck supports (some are missing) cut out by the previous builder. It is difficult to determine whether there should be a slight chamfer to the deck. From the visible lines it seems like some are completely flat while others seem to have a slight curve. No help from the instruction or plans. Does any of you have any idea whether there is a slight chamfer or whether the deck sits completely flat. Perhaps someone with a newer version of the kit (laser cut parts) have noticed anything related to this. Of course it is easier to make flat parts but I would like to make it right.

 

/Lars Peter

 

 

 

 

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I have solved the deck chamfer problem. Looking at the parts list in the instructions I noticed that the pieces showed in my previous post indeed should have a slight chamfer. I played around with my laptop and a printer and managed to print out the needed parts at the correct scale. I cut them out, glued them to a piece of 4 m plywood, cut them out and voila new parts ready. I realized that part 3a was missing entirely. Didn't clean up the bottom of deck supports because it will be hidden anyway; thus, the crooked look of some of the parts. Regarding part 13, I don't really know what was going on with the original parts, but the new parts have the correct shape 😲

 

Next up the rabbet pieces.

 

/Lars Peter

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I have now added the stern and bow rabbet pieces. Made them the same way as the deck supports in my previous post. I made a quick framing jig and has now started the framing process. The first frame has been glued in place ensuring 90 degree angle all the way around. 

I have two more rabbet pieces for the stern to attach. I will not do that until all the frames are in potions as it may have to adjusted to fit with frame 10.

 

/Lars Peter

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This photo is supposed to added in portrait format not landscape. But my skills are obviously not good enough to figure out how to do that. So please tilt you screen 90 degress 😉

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Framing of Mary Ann is progressing nicely. No issues so far except that the length of the filler pieces has to be adjusted to accommodate the thickness of the frames which deviates from the instruction a bit. I hope I got each frame in the almost correct position. I put up a string to mark the center line, using this and a square to ensure a 90 degree angle in both planes. 4 more frames to go before I can move on to the deck supports.

 

/Lars Peter

 

 

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Looking good. Does the kit use filler pieces between the frames? I don't know why but I always get nervous with plank on bulkhead without some intermediate supports...

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No filler pieces are included in the kit. I was actually thinking of adding them but after adding the deck supports the framing structure is actually quite rigid. Planking will be done using 1.8x6 mm strips so I think I may be able to do without filler blocks. I do a test when I have fared the hull.

 

The model is proceeding quite well. I have finished gluing the frames into place, added the the longitudinal deck supports and added the last to rabbet pieces at the stern. Still have to add the keel rabbet pieces. I will do that once the hull are ready for planking.

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Next task was to make the false deck (yeah, it is also missing). I began be making a pattern out of cardboard. I marked the center line.

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Then I removed the pattern from the model, draw the center line and cut of most of the overhang.

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The pattern was then traced onto a piece of 2 mm plywood. Now come the fiddly job of cutting out the false deck and fitting it to the hull. I will have to cut in half for fitting.

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/Lars Peter

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Seems a decent approach. It is also highly likely that the deck should have a camber (I would be very surprised if it does not) so a 2mm thick base should give enough flexibility to add that bend.

 

If you are cutting in half then you'll have to watch for a triangle type effect in the middle..

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you've done well in recreating the deck beams :)   if you have my log on word press,  then you've got all the info you should need......I put quite a bit into her ;)   yes.....this particular hull style was use in {I think} three of Billings kits...the Cux 87,  the Mary Ann,  and the Norden {which is in another scale}.  I found another use for this hull style as well...the M&M Fun Ship {it's in the gallery}  I kept the part sheet and traced out the hull parts...the rest I did from scratch.   if this was not laser cut......then you've got an old kit.   early Billings kits were not laser cut,  and the fittings were sold separately.......the Nordkap {my first wood build} wasn't laser cut...though to be around 40 or so years old.  I recently got another old Nordkap kit,  which I am building the Progress,  a model that was produced around the same time as the Nordkap.  I've seen older Cux and Mary Ann kits out there......I've wanted to get 'em,  but the admiral says I have too many kits already {by who's standards?}.  I'm not sure if you need to cut the deck platform in half........can't recall if I did it,  or even if the kit came that way.  the deck beams do have a slight camber to them,  but it's not an aggressive curvature.   it'a good point Matrim....what can be done is to weight down or fasten the center to prevent it.  if it does occur,  a plane can bring the rise down sufficiently.   I've split 'em a few times...or they came that way........once the rise is removed and planked over,  you'd never know the difference  ;) 

 

I remember your Danmark build.......turned out a very nice ship,  you did ;)   I see it needs restoration.  hope it's nothing serious.  your stern posts and truss beams look good too.  the frame look very good.  no filler came with the kit........you won't need them.  the stern bulwark cap can be tricky.......hopefully the guy didn't cut it out :stunned:  he did a sow's ear on the beams!

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Well, it wasn't as difficult as I thought. I cut out the false deck, didn't cut it in half and it fit on the first try 😊

 

False deck is now glued in place - plenty of Tightbond and some nails did the trick. Once dry, it is not going anywhere.

 

The deck has a slight chamfer as it should. A perfect fit of the false deck is not crucial as it will be planked later anyway.

 

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Now the dreaded sanding. 

 

/Lars Peter

 

 

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I decided to play it safe and added some balsa filler pieces at the bow and stern. Doing some fitting with a test plank, I didn't think the curvature looked right. It looks much better now and the increased gluing surface won't hurt either.  This morning I spend some putting everything into shape for planking.

 

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Now I have to turn my attention to make the bulwark pieces. There are also missing so I will have to bring out my trusted cardboard once again and make a template for cutting the plywood.

 

/Lars Peter

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I've made a cardboard template for the bulwark walls. In the kit each wall was supplied in two pieces, probably because of the dimension of the plywood sheet. My 2 mm sheet were big enough to make the walls in one piece; thus the odd shape.

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The wall sits flush with the false deck. The top will be sanded flush with frames once the walls are glued in place. I soaked the ends of the wall in hot water and clamped it to the hull. It went quite well - no kinks or other issues. Once dry I will glue it in place. 

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No I'm off to Finland for a couple of days so the model will have to wait.

 

/Lars Peter

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Thank you Popeye. I think the filler pieces were a wise choice. The 2 mm birch plywood held the shape nicely. I have now started gluing the first in place. I do this in two steps - mainly because I do not have enough strong clamps. I'll post a picture once both pieces a glued in place.

 

/Lars Petet

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Both bulwarks are now glued in place. I cut both pieces a bit too short so I will have to add a filler piece at the stern. The top sides still remain to be sanded flush with the top of the frames. That's going to take some time.

 

I will now start the planking process. It's a single planked hul - and it is big - so it will take time. But I don't foresee any big issues here. Abachi strips will be used. They are kind of course grained so I'm thinking about adding either a treatment of diluted wood glue or sanding sealer after planking and sanding. I believe the original Mary Ann had a steel hull so it is important to get a smooth unblemished surface before painting. 

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Yesterday, the postman delivered this cute little thing 😊 It cost a small fortune in shipping and taxes but I will now be able to dimension my own lumber for model ship building. My Dad and I have quite a nice stash of different kind of lumber so I guess some money can be saved in the end. My current push sticks are a tad too large to be used with the small table saw so I will have to make some smaller ones preferably with a kind or rubber surface to prevent slipping when feeding small stock through the blade. Mr Byrne does not disappoint - I'm very impressed with the quality so far. I will purchase both the sliding table and the tilt table at some point - just to have the complete package. The main reason I bought the saw is to be able to make some customized grating for the Hjejlen paddle steamer project (Hjejlen) . Can wait to get started on that one in the future.

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/Lars Peter

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now I'm jealous.........all I got for Christmas was a scroll saw.  it's on my 'hope to get' list :)   small problem with the bulwark panels........patch and sand........when painted,  you'll never know it's there ;) 

 

looks great!

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Time for an update.

 

Planking of the hull is progressing well. I now have 6 planks laid on each side - plenty too go. I will post pictures of the hull once the planking is complete. The Abachi wood, I use for planking, is rather soft, so I'm actually considering covering the hull in fiberglass cloth once it has been sanded, filled etc. I did the same with for the Church ship Denmark restoration and it provides a very nice surface for painting. But more about that in the future.

 

Alongside the hull planking I have started work on the deck house, starting with base. I replaced all the plywood for this as it was twisted anyway. From the box pictures it seems like the top of the base should overhang the side a little. I missed that until it was too late - so the top is sanded flush with sides. And no one will know how it should be except me (and you of course).

The bottom was sanded to fit the contours of the deck. It went quite well and sits nice and flat without any gaps. IMG_0642.thumb.JPG.86e0b5707bbc4564f8d823fd59e58cfd.JPG

I added a reinforcement strip on the inside to keep every straight as the 2 mm plywood isn't completely flat.

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For the deck house itself I choose to use the plywood supplied with the kit - I have glued the first 3 sides together adding some square stock in the corners for reinforcement. Mr. Boozoo came to visit 😒 - you may notice that I have not glued the sides on the same way. So I had to sand one side back 2 mm. It is no big deal as I will cover the deck house with Mahogany strips anyway and try to mimic the doors somehow. Openings will be cut once the deck house is assembled completely.

 

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A "door" will be glued to each side at a 22.5 degree angle which again will be glued to the curved front. After a bit of head scratching I came to the conclusion that to achieve a nice curved front I needed something a bit more substantial than the kit supplied "formers". So I made two "formers" of 4 mm plywood which accomplish both the angle for the doors and the curved front. It will not be easy to use clamps for the front so nails will be used until the glue dries. 

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"Formers" glued in place.

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The deck house will be covered in 3.0x0.5 mm mahogany strips. Looking through my wood stash, I realized that I was running low. So a good opportunity to play with my new Byrne's table saw. I basically have an unlimited supply of Mahogany off-cuts from a local window production facility. So, I ran a plank through my planer. It has a helix head so the surface is nice and smooth. I then ripped a 3.0x30 mm strip on my big table saw. On the small saw I changed to a fine-toothed blade and started cutting away. I made some 1.5 mm strips (bottom), a 0.7 mm strip (middle) and a 0.3 mm strip. I cannot believe how accurate this saw is. Nice consistent thickness even for the thinnest strip. As I'm cutting on the left side of the blade I need to come up with a good way of moving the fence the correct distance for the 0.5 mm strips. That would be the thickness of the strip + the thickness of the blade = 1.5 mm. I only have a pair of digital calipers at the moment. I cannot get a good measurement between the blade and the fence with the fence extension in place. So, I'm actually planning to remove the extension, set the calipers at the correct measurement, put the calipers between the fence and the blade, move the fence over, tighten it and cut. For the next cut I will reset the calipers by subtracting 1.5 mm and repeat. 

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/Lars Peter

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if I recall,  I scratch built mine......gave it larger windows and doors that open.   another trademark of an older kit.......the printed wood  ;)   look'in good!

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Work on the deck house continues. With the reinforcing plywood I added to the top and bottom I realized that I was now unable to access the inside for adding glazing later on. So I cut a hole in the top. It will be covered by the roof anyway. I carefully marked out all the the windows and cut them out and gave the whole thing a light sanding in preparation for adding the mahogany siding. 

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The 5 front windows have a thicker frame than the rest so I decided to start with these. The frames are cut from my own stash, carefully measured and cut off on the table saw using the miter gauge. They only need a light touch up with some fine sandpaper. The frames will be 12x18 mm. The window holes are slightly undersized and will be sanded to fit the frames.

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I quickly made a jig from some scrap wood to able to hold the frame together while the glue dries. I first add the bottom slat, put some CA glue on each side and slide them into the jig. Before the glue dries I add glue to the top and push it down into the jig using a small machinist square. This action squares up the frame and push the sides against the jig. I just have to be careful not to add too much glue to be able to remove the frame from the jig. I push it out using the square from the bottom side.

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The frame was then cleaned up using a small sanding block with some 240 grit sandpaper. The first hole was filed to fit the frame and the frame was pushed in until the frame protrudes 2 times the thickness of the side planking. I think it will look decent once given a coat of poly.

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/Lars Peter

 

 

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some of the parts are done in wood sheet that is too thick......sometimes best to make from scratch.   the pilot house looks very good :)   old kits are fun....aren't they ;) 

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