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Chris555

Start with the Medway Longboat?

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Hi, I'm new to the site and checking in...  I'm recently retired and have been investigating model boat building as a new hobby.  I originally thought a simple longboat or Viking long ship would be the best way to develop skills but then I came across the Medway longboat group project.  This seems like a hybrid between PoF and PoB and still manageable for a first build.  What do you think in terms of difficulty,  too much?  I really like the highly detailed explanations from Chuck in the project thread.  It seemed like planking would be the killer when I first started investigating this hobby but now I'm realizing it's more likely to be sails and rigging that trip me up.  

 

I haven't built a model since I was a teenager (plastic WW2 tanks and planes mostly) but worked as a carpenter (mostly house framing, some finish work) in my 20s and have done some basic mechanical and architectural drafting back when that was still done with pencils and paper.  Hopefully some of those skills, at least the 3D visualization, will transfer over.

 

I've been fascinated with the "age of sail" historical period all my life and read the entire Patrick O'Brian series of novels after seeing the movie Master and Commander.

 

Thanks for any guidance you can provide,

Chris

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Hello Chris and welcome to MSW. Someone who knows the Medway Longboat first-hand will no doubt give you an answer but it sounds like you have seen the build logs and haven't been scared away: that's a good starting point. 

I'm like you, my first project jitters are all about the rigging. 

 

Bruce

 

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Welcome Chris. Having built the Medway Longboat Myself I see no reason a beginner like yourself could not build it and come out with a beautiful result. The beauty of it is Chuck is always available to answer questions and there are quite a few build logs and builders available. I say go for it!

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Welcome to MSW Chris. The Medway Longboat is not an easy build but I think you can do it if you take your time.

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Hello Chris, and a warm welcome to the forum from 'Down Under'.

 

John

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Hi Chris welcome!   

 

I don't have experience with that kit, but know Syren projects to be quality and the support here on MSW for those in particular to be un-matched.   I personally have been holding off on Chuck's kits until Im more confident in my basic foundational skills, but that is no reason YOU can't jump right in.     For what its worth, Ive wrecked LOTS of balsa planks...   Im wary of doing the same to that beautiful yellow cedar.    Looking at the Medway build, Im certain that is where I personally would be struggling and on a build like that, there is no paint or second layer to hide your mistakes.     

 

Be sure to note that if he is describing it as a "intermediate/advanced POF model" then there is a reason.   For some reason, I trust that description more than I would on other manufacturers.  

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Hello Chris

 

While I think the Logboat kit is doable I would recommend starting with at least one smaller kit just to get started.   It is an advanced kit but nearly everything is laser cut for you.  But it requires a bit experience with sich fiddly parts and the hull can be a bit delicate.  

 

I would recommend you start with one of the smaller Bluejacket kits first which dont take a lot of time to build.  Something with a little rigging.   Once done I am sure the Longboat would make the perfect second project.

 

Chuck

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6 hours ago, Chuck said:

Hello Chris

 

While I think the Logboat kit is doable I would recommend starting with at least one smaller kit just to get started.   It is an advanced kit but nearly everything is laser cut for you.  But it requires a bit experience with sich fiddly parts and the hull can be a bit delicate.  

 

I would recommend you start with one of the smaller Bluejacket kits first which dont take a lot of time to build.  Something with a little rigging.   Once done I am sure the Longboat would make the perfect second project.

 

Chuck

Hey Chuck, thank you for responding, it's greatly appreciated.  I looked over those kits but they seem more basic than I want.  It's a tough call to have enough challenge to maintain interest without so much it destroys motivation.  What would be the next small step up from these kits?  I would like a kit that provides experience with simple PoB as well as basic rigging.  Planking is really limited for the Bluejacket beginner kits, solid hull doesn't interest me much.

 

I see there is this model "Model Shipways 18th Century Armed Longboat 1:24 Scale" that looks virtually identical and less than half the price of the Syren Medway longboat.  I see this is basswood, how else is this kit different, quality I assume?  At that price I could build it twice for the practice and keep the best one :)

 

thanks,

Chris

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Definitely the quality and with far less detail and accuracy.  Having said that it wouldnt be any easier.  So i would say something like the badger by caldercraft or even the Alert by Vanguard.   Or even the Armed Virginia Sloop by MS.
 

The medway longboat is an actual plank on frame model with floors and top timbers.  I would suggest a more traditional pob kit like those i mentioned first....but there were a few guys in the group that actually did a fantastic job with the Medway longboat as their first projects.  So it really depends how excited you are about it and if you are a slow and careful builder.  
 

For a first build its especially important to take it really slow and take your time.  No matter what you choose.  Either way, I am willing to help in any way i can while you work on any of them....as well as a whole bunch of other guys on the forum.  
 

Chuck

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To my uninitiated eye the Badger and Alert seem more complex than the longboat.  I assume these would take longer to build.  Is the difference that while slower to build I'm less likely to make a fatal disfiguring error with these ships?  I'm finding difficulty levels hard to gauge.  What makes the three you've mentioned easier than other ship models that look somewhat similar in configuration?  

 

I like the lines of the Badger and would be more excited to have this on a shelf vs a dory from Bluejacket.  Certainly plenty of learning opportunities here.

 

No worries about going slow and careful, I'm a retired engineer and my tendency is to over-analyze and over-design.  

 

Again, all advice is greatly appreciated

Chris

 

 

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When just getting started, I think a big difference is the quality of the instructions..

 

The Medway longboat or the Model Shipways 18th Century Armed Longboat 1:24 Scale  are great options in this regard..

 

You also might want to consider the MODEL SHIPWAYS 18TH CENTURY LONGBOAT..  Great price and a decent tool package.

 

Also great instructions by Chuck..

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A belated welcome to MSW, Chris. Go ahead and put the Badger on the shelf is that's a goal.  It'll help encourage you to finish your first build.  Meantime, what the others have said... start simple (Chuck gave a good recommendation) and go from there.  The first model is always a learning experience and sometimes the learning curve can be steep.

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Hello Chris, you've received some good advice here from some very experienced modelers. I thought I'd add my two cents worth since I'm a relative beginner and I am currently building the Medway Longboat. The Longboat is a beautiful model with the high quality materials, instructions and support that you can always expect from Chuck's kits. However, I agree with Chuck and most of the others here, that it would not be the best first model for someone who is just starting out in this hobby. 

 

The Longboat is actually my 4th model but it has been quite a step forward in complexity over the first 3 models that I have built. I had previously completed the Saint Malo dory from Artesania Latina, the Indian Canoe from Midwest Products and the Batelina from Maris Stella. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the models that I have built so far. The only one I wouldn't recommend is the Saint Malo from AL. It had poor instructions and there are much better dory models available. The Batelina from Maris Stella makes a very nice small boat with a beautiful, natural walnut finish. 

 

Each of the models I built before I started the Longboat had their challenges for me but none of them were as involved, delicate and intricate as the Longboat. Each of them also provided me with new problems to solve and new skills to practice. Things like what glues and tools I like to use and when, what paints and finishes I like and how to apply them, skills involved in fairing the hull and planking which is very much an ongoing learning skill for me,  and things like shaping and carving by hand and often doing so on a very small scale etc, etc. Each of those builds taught me a lot and built my confidence and desire to build another model and prepared me to be able to enjoy the challenges of building the Longboat and further grow my modeling skills. Yes, I could have started with the Longboat but I know for certain that I would not have been able to build her as well as I'm doing right now. So I'm glad I started more simply because I'm able to do a much better job on the Longboat as a result.

 

My advice is to find a small boat that captures your attention. One that you really like for one reason or another that is fairly simple in her lines and won't take all that long to complete. I find these small models with simple lines are very beautiful in their own right when done well. There isn't as much going on to pull your attention away from the simple beauty of the sheer line, the nicely faired frames, tight planking and carefully crafted thwarts etc. Done well you can really see the beauty of their design.

 

Good luck on whatever you decide!

 

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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