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VTHokiEE

HM Cutter Alert by VTHokiEE - Vanguard Models - 1:64

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I finally succumbed and started work on my Christmas present, the second version of the HM Alert 1777 by Vanguard Models. I also picked up my first foray into the Anatomy of the Ship series, The Naval Cutter Alert 1777 by Peter Goodwin. I'm not certain how much I will stray from the kit (certainly not as much as Blue Ensign) but I think that it will be a useful guide and will hopefully help resolve any questions that I have as they arise. 

 

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I think I might need a bigger workbench to fit that beautiful manual on.

 

I started by removing the false keel and the bulkheads and here you can notice one of the differences between the initial release and this second edition. The false keel and the rudder post are not keyed together anymore. This allows the rudder post to be added after (at least, I don't have the errata sheet in front of me) the initial planking.

 

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After a dry fit (bulkhead 10 is installed incorrectly here 😬), I added a bearding line to help with sanding down the false keel. Working on the half hull planking kit from the NRG helped me understand exactly what I was doing in this step.

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After sanding down the keep I sanded down the last bulkhead to get the proper angle.

 

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Dry fitted the false deck (I hope I'm not messing up my terminology) and gently rested the ship in my new building slip (and wow is this building slip overkill for this model).
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There are a few questions that I have to ponder since the manual still reflects the initial release instead of the second version (with the keyless rudder post) so I have to consider when to install bulkhead 10. I'll probably finish up my half hull before continuing too far on the Alert, but I had the day off and the half hull was in a different location so I couldn't resist starting.

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1 hour ago, Blue Ensign said:

Good to see another one started VTH, it’s been very lonely on here for the past seven months.😉

 

B.E.

Glad to be part of group 😁. I’ve been watching your build and I simply couldn’t put mine off any longer. Thanks for such a detailed log as well, it has already helped me out regarding the bearding line and syncing that with my half hull kit. I’m certain that I’ll frequently be referring to your build.

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I arrived at the stern frames, which I believe were slightly redesigned for version 2 and unfortunately they still gave me a slight issue regarding the fit. As cut the outer stern frames didn't align with the cut slots.

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I filed the slots slightly and was able to fit the pieces, but the outer frames look like they are under some stress. Now that I am studying the images I think I may have had a eureka moment but unfortunately I don't think I can do anything about it at this point. The slots in the transom look angled to me which suggests that the I may have installed the transom backwards (I don't recall seeing anything anything about this in the instructions and after rereading them I don't believe that I overlooked it), but the transom has been beveled so there isn't any going back now unfortunately. EDIT: The more I think about how these would have been laser cut I can’t possibly think this really would have been a one-way part so I suppose there simply is some force there on the outer frames. I probably should have filed an angle into the slots on the transom but since the pieces are fragile I was nervous about removing them.

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Ugh, “disaster” struck tonight. The deck needed to be bent to get it on:
 

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and while I was dry fitting it was quite snug against the bow and unfortunately:


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The part gets cuts away eventually but I’ll have to determine how to attach it back in the meanwhile. Slightly frustrated with myself at the moment :-).

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B.E. - Thanks for the splint suggestion, with it I was able to make a fix (it isn't quite perfect, but such is life).

 

I made my splint:

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Then I glued it to the bulkhead and shaped it. Unfortunately I couldn't get it perfectly back together, probably a downside of MDF, but I think it will be fine.

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I then sanded the inside edge of each bulkhead to make the fit of the deck a little easier and cut out a larger notch in the deck to fit around the repaired section.

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Now the deck is attached. I believe the minor off-center issue in the bow notch of the deck is due to my repair. I plan on sanding this even with the braces. 

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Thankfully, tonight I feel better about the whole ordeal than yesterday when it happened.

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You may want to score your split with a slight saw cut on both sides. You’ll be breaking off all the tabs later, scoring will make that a little easier. 

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9 hours ago, glbarlow said:

You may want to score your split with a slight saw cut on both sides. You’ll be breaking off all the tabs later, scoring will make that a little easier. 

That’s not a bad idea. I don’t want to weaken the joint until I finish fairing the hull. After that it probably makes sense to score it before planking. Thanks!

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Sorry i was going to suggest -  maybe too late now -that you made a card template for the bulkhead repair from the plans. to make sure it was right.

Or also you could have used the "cut out edge" from the mdf sheet as a former . I NEVER throw away the sheets they always come in handy !

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47 minutes ago, SpyGlass said:

Sorry i was going to suggest -  maybe too late now -that you made a card template for the bulkhead repair from the plans. to make sure it was right.

Or also you could have used the "cut out edge" from the mdf sheet as a former . I NEVER throw away the sheets they always come in handy !

I don’t think it’s too late (but maybe a little trickier). I had given this some thought (and probably should have given it more, but I think I can still put it into practice.

 

I’ll probably trace the bulkhead from sheet onto a piece of card paper and then try to match it against the installation to see where I am. I can then trim up the bulkhead as needed, but I think, based on the deck layout, that I need to build the bulkhead up some.

 

 

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My advice to you if you sanding anything to fit   - is to sand the deck ply notches NOT to sand the stem cutout - its important that the centre line of the deck sits square over the keel etc the notches being overbig doesnt matter very much because they will be covered

 

Another guide that comes in handy for bulwark line up is the ply rail section!

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48 minutes ago, SpyGlass said:

sand the deck ply notches NOT to sand the stem cutout

Thanks SpyGlass, that is my plan - leave the MDF alone and widen the notch in the sub deck ply to allow the entire gap in the stem to be accessible.

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sorry i misread you - i  thought you meant to widen the central stem notch - aaaahhhgggg  but you meant the BH notches to centralise the ply - phew

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I’m pondering how to install the rudder platform. There is a gap:

 

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At first I thought that I should build up the back of the pieces so that it pressed flush against the false deck. However, closely looking at the manual it looks like the gap may have been filled in front (extending the false deck) instead. I do know that the pieces should be vertical; maybe it would be fine either way. Any thoughts?

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my suggestion is to bring it forward to align with that center keel piece, a little extra space at the stern isn't going to hurt anything, it will be planked over on top across the back. My two cents without knowing the rest of the build plans.

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Nah  it will fit properly if I know Chris  - he may well reply anyway on here but I will have a quick look at my plans and put in my tuppence worth !

 

I am not sure what gap you mean if you look at the relevant pages - there is vertical piece part 56 ?to fit as well and have you got those tricky bits at the back fitted properly

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2 hours ago, glbarlow said:

my suggestion is to bring it forward to align with that center keel piece, a little extra space at the stern isn't going to hurt anything, it will be planked over on top across the back. My two cents without knowing the rest of the build plans.

 

1 hour ago, SpyGlass said:

Nah  it will fit properly if I know Chris  - he may well reply anyway on here but I will have a quick look at my plans and put in my tuppence worth !

 

I am not sure what gap you mean if you look at the relevant pages - there is vertical piece part 56 ?to fit as well and have you got those tricky bits at the back fitted properly

Thanks for the suggestions. One of the reasons that I haven’t made a decisions is because I was waiting for this to arrive:

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I also bought some gratings as well:

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If I was going to plank the deck myself I think I could have done either choice but with the laser etched deck I wanted to be precise. I was going to guess that the laser etched deck would be the exact same size as the false deck (it is). So I believe this means I should press those pieces forward to be flush with the main deck. I was a little hesitant about getting the laser etched deck at first, but wow it looks superb to me and I’m quite glad that I bought it. 

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29 minutes ago, Gregory said:

That deck looks a lot better than some I have seen..

 

What was the source?

Chris Watton (Vanguard) made it: 

The light in my garage is really, bad but the pictures from Chris’s post are much better. I’m really impressed.

 

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As a respite from fairing I'll add a small update as I am lowly progressing further along. I attached the pieces in question above to match the curve of the deck.

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Unfortunately when I went to remove the keel pieces and install the keel I noticed that the laser cutter did something funky and didn't cut all the way through the sheet for this (and one other part) and may have caused some overburn (?):

 

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It was a little bit of a struggle to remove the keel pieces (I unfortunately left a touch of it behind as seen in the above image) and creating a tight fit left a small gap at the stern where the rudder post attaches.

 

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This will all be painted white in the end so my current plan is to taper to rudder post slightly to meet the keel and fill in the hole with some filler. When I get to that other piece that may not be quite symmetrical I'll address whatever modifications are needed (and hopefully do a better job of removing it from the sheet. Now back to fairing...

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And so it begins.

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First plank on down 4mm from the bulkhead tops. This feels like a huge achievement for me but I promise not to bore you with pictures of every plank that I lay down. I'm currently prepping the corresponding plank for the opposite side. Given the time it takes me to prep and place a plank this log may go a little silent while I continue to work in the background. I'll post an update when I hopefully have several planks on each side.

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I read everything I could on planking, I watched Chuck’s videos and I thought to myself my first layer of planking (and first planking ever) is going to be so smooth and beautiful.

 

I was wrong, completely wrong. I’m not completely certain but I think that I didn’t fair the bow of the ship anywhere near as well as I thought that I had. I believe this caused a clunker effect to develop which, to put it lightly, was quite disheartening. I think the pictures make it look a little worse than it really is, but a beauty it is not. I’m learning a lot in this process and, since this is a first layer, I’ll be able to use some filler and I believe everything will clean up just fine but I need to, and have, reset my expectations for this build. I blame you all with your beautiful masterpieces (sarcasm) 😁.1659DD32-DDCE-4984-A271-661F0F0401A4.thumb.jpeg.263d952c0cc7b117f8881128f184e18b.jpeg122E576F-9824-4EAB-93DA-3F541506CA0A.thumb.jpeg.259970a389d1d8f29fa7b277cf8a5564.jpegFA46E30C-727F-421D-AA3C-F7749A670292.thumb.jpeg.ed63fc8da2a60a5c1aa006eeca3622e3.jpeg18AD6BCC-AE20-4046-9723-616BB51A294E.thumb.jpeg.61bf6a21884067f538ca492fb7ee3e35.jpeg

 

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I dont know quite how to put this !!

BUT I would suggest you dont try to go the filler route with that much clinker ! .

Remove the planking you have done .

Recheck the B/H fairing  - it does look as if te could be some more done with advantage.

And start again planking again -it will save sooo much time overall!

 

I dont know which type of  glue you have used but its surprisingly easy to get the strips off again .

In general  -

Use acetone  ( CAREFULLY) or commercial remover for CA.

Isopropyl alcohol for PVA  -soak joint . But in fact I have always found that at the stage you are at - for PVA- ., I  just hold the joints over a boiling kettle - and off they come - a heat gun may have the same effect.

 

I would further recommend  when planking that you soak and clamp the strips to position and let dry there  - much easier to shape and get correct a strip which is already bent to fit

 

 

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20 minutes ago, SpyGlass said:

 

I would further recommend  when planking that you soak and clamp the strips to position and let dry there  - much easier to shape and get correct a strip which is already bent to fit

This is what led me to believe the issue is with the bulkhead fairing since no amount of soaking/heat would solve my problems 😞.

 

21 minutes ago, SpyGlass said:

Remove the planking you have done .

As much as I dread this, it’s be foolish to ignore someone with more experience. I used PVA glue (but glued the edges of the planks). I’ll try to pull off the planks and restart.
 

Do you think that I could number the planks and maybe reuse them? If not I need to order more planks...

9 minutes ago, mcpwilk said:

is a lot easier to plank a clinker hull from the keel upwards than try from the wales

Thanks, unfortunately I didn’t want a clunker hull, my inexperience in planking simply created one. Time to restart and hopefully salvage what I’ve done.

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I would have to agree with Spyglass, you're never going to get a satisfactory job on that basis, remove the planks and start again.

Use a temporary plank to check the fairing at all levels down the bulkheads; the amount of plank tapering you have towards the stern looks far too much, I don't think I needed to taper very much at the upper stern on the first planking.

 

B.E.

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