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HM Cutter Sherbourne by architectnavalis - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64 - First wooden model

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As the master studies finally reach an end (have to bring in the thesis next week) and I will have more time for the numerous hobbies, I have taken up the work on the cutter Sherbourne again, which I bought 3 years ago as a reward for the finished bachelor studies. Now, after three years of ripening I started the kit. It is my first wooden model, and I thought Sherbourne might be a good start, as it is not too expensive.


As I forgot to take some pictures of the earliest building steps, I will just show you the current progress. During the first planking of the hull, I built some of the equipment (anchor, gun carriages and the gratings), but I have to admit, that I don't really like those gun carriages. It will possibly happen, that I do them all over again from scratch, as soon as I made a little CAD-drawing.



The sanded hull. There are some errors in the 1st planking, but I hope the 2nd planking + whitening the underwater hull will hide them sufficiently.



A lot of glue marks on the stern... Will be hidden under red colour I hope. 


Some pre assembled equipment. As already mentioned, I dont like the gun carriages. Regarding the anchor, I decided to fair the stock on the ends, as found in "Historische Schiffsmodelle" by Mondfeld.


So far. As this is a weekend project, I hope I can provide you with more photos of new progress every week. I am looking forward for tips, maybe some encouraging words for a newbie in wood. Most of my modelling experience is strongly limited to plastic/resin kits.

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A good start. Watch out for the height of the gunports above the deck so as to allow the cannon to go through without a problem. You can make a card cutout of a gun in order to do this.


Glue stains on wood have a nasty habit of poking through, so you may need more than one layer of paint. It's worthwhile thinking about how to use the minimum amount of glue to avoid spill. If you're using PVA a quick wipe with a damp cloth on any excess will do the trick. Another way is to use a toothpick to pick up excess from corners immediately after gluing. CA glue is much harder to hide or wipe, so you need to be much more careful with that.


I'd also protect the stem, keel and stern from further damage as you plank and sand. Some people put these on after planking in order to avoid the damage, but putting tape over them will also work.


As you know, luckily there are lots of excellent build logs of the Sherbourne on this site which really are worth studying. They will help you with such details, will point out pitfalls to avoid before you get to them, and people no doubt will also pop in to help you as you progress. It's an excellent model to start with, and allows you many possibilities for improvement as you get into it.



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Thanks for your reply, Tony.


Yeah, I might have overdone it with the PVA glue. I think I will sand the parts, that received to much of it. In my first attempt I wanted the planks to be fixed quickly, as I was eager to see results. Maybe I should try myself in patience and classic wood glue :D 



Yeah, I already have seen a lot of the build logs, but then I have to remind myself, that it is the first wooden kit and I should not reach for the stars, seeing all those little master works. 

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I wouldn't regard the build logs as master works, more as guides, hints and tips as to how to approach the various problems you definitely will encounter. Of course some of the builders may have more builds to their name than you have, but I, for example, had as my first kit the Sherbourne and immediately was given a great deal of help by others (some of whom had never built a Sherbourne). I benefited hugely from reading the logs in detail and then deciding whether I could have a go at some changes to the kit or not.


I very quickly came to the conclusion that it wasn't that hard to modify the kit in various ways and in the end the only bits of the kit I used were the internal bulkheads, the first layer of planking, the keel, stem and stern, the rudder, the nameplate and the anchors. I had no previous experience other than assembling simple plastic kits as a young boy, and had never done anything like a wooden kit. Others prefer to stick to the kit. Whatever you choose, you'll end up with something you're proud of and you'll have learned a lot.


The end result was nowhere near their perfection, but I certainly had a great time learning!


So my message is, don't be frightened of what you see as others' perfection. Everyone on this site started as complete novices some time, and they all have experienced the same problems and mistakes that you will. The members are a really helpful lot, so don't be afraid to ask questions. There really isn't any question that is too stupid to pose!


I hope that helps a bit!



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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello together,

I made some progress the last three weeks, planking the inner bulwark and painting it red.

Next step will be the outer shell planking and the deck. Regarding the deck I am thinking about the treenails, if I should try it. On the one hand it really looks great, on the other hand I should keep it simple for the first wooden model. 

I also saw several models, which had nibbed planks, but also found this thread: 1760s Royal Navy deck planking and waterway nibbing patterns .

I will try the pencil method regarding the caulking of the plank as I like the subtle look of it.

As you see in the picture, I tried to mark the way of the main deck beams, as I found them on a plan from NMM, but I think I should try using AutoCAD to make a more correct plan of it. Maybe I just should start and think about the treenails later.


Regarding the deck planking and the outer hull planking, how accurate is the pattern, which is shown in the Mondfeld? At least I want to do that the right way, that planks always end on the beam and so on. 


Regarding the red colour of the inner bulwark, it was right. glue stains all over the places. So I have to make a second and maybe thirs layer. 


Best regards



Edited by architectnavalis
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Treenails on a deck are barely visible on a real ship. Check this out with some photos, e.g. of HMS Victory where you can just make out the slightly lighter shade of the plugs covering the bolts in the deck. Typically they're about 32-38mm, so at 1:64 about 0.55mm wide. At 1:64, you have to imagine yourself staring down at a deck from 64 x 5ft = 320ft and thinking how visible those treenails would be. Some modellers manage to do it in a very subtle way by lining the holes with a gentle edging of lead pencil and filling with some very similar-coloured filler or wax. all you have to do is practice on some spare planking until you have found the level of visibility that pleases you. But there's no shame in not demonstrating them.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, I think I didn't get the planking pattern right, but at least it starts to look like a ship's wooden deck and it has some kind of pattern. For the first time I am doing this, I am happy.  

About the margin plank I feel a bit "anxious" to start, but I think I will take a first try next week. Until then, this is my current building progress:




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  • 3 months later...
  • 7 months later...

Hey together,

it is a long time ago, that I posted some progress on this build logs, but today I made it and finished the wooden deck for HM Cutter Sherbourne.

I wanted to plank the deck in some kind of pattern, as I thought it would not look right, if the planks go from stem to stern without seams. At several places I think I lost the pattern and the distances between the planks isn't completely correct. The outer plank of the deck was also my first try to fit that one in, but It seems to be to wide. Will definitely change that on my next model.


But I am happy, that I have found the time to finish the upper deck planking and the gratings.

Next stop: completely planked outer hull and outfitting.



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