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Agilis by JCT - FINISHED - Steingraeber - 1:60 scale - slave ship

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Well hello everyone...it's been a few months since I posted anything here and felt it was high time I got back to it...

What prompted this build log was a PM from Popeye, seems he stumbled across a kit that he recalled seeing in my signature, that of the Agilis by Stenographer.


  This is an older kit...my best guess is late 60's early 70's ( if anyone can cast some light on this please do, I'm sure Denis will appropriate it as much as I would).  The instructions are very rudimentary at best, one reason it was still in my stash, that and a reluctance/revulsion for the deplorable subject matter. 


It seems to be a fictitious vessel.  None of my research has yielded anything about this ship. All in all this was probably a quality kit back in the day, no laser cut pats or the like but there is a sheet of stamped pieces but all the bulkheads will require cutting.  I know Popeye has already experienced an issue with wood delamination with his kit, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.   


I plan to use as much of the supplied kit materials as I can....I know Denis has said he may scratch build much for his, so If you have an interest in seeing two different approaches to the same subject I invite you to pull up a chair to this pair of build logs. Below is the link to Popeye log

Pics of the kit inventory will follow.














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here we are........I'll bet your syked to see this one built ;)   there is a thread....I think back in 2016 that asks about Steingraeber kits.......I think the gentleman had another vessel he was building.   I think the blonde plywood will be a plus for you......and using a band saw might even be a better choice of weapon.  some of my planking is a bit warped........and I can't understand why it's so wide.  I would think narrower strips would define the contours better.  I wish you good luck with the build.......I know I'm gonna need it.   ......not for the faint of heart.......you weren't kidding about the instructions :wacko:

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Welcome Bill...hopefully you'll see it finished...I can easily see why a novice could be overwhelmed...the instructions are weak at best.


Hey Denis...ya I did some preliminary cuts today...and the ply held up well, the bandsaw is the right choose, when I tried a coping saw on a piece it began to splinter like yours did, the stuff does not like the cross tooth action, that means some on mine will be removed with a scalpel.  All my planking seems straight, but it is a bit on the wide side...about a foot and a half in scale, it may all have to take a ride through the saw.


  Do you have that funky looking orange wood with a prominent grain in your kit?   I've no idea what it is, never saw it's like before, got a lot of the world famous beige wood too.  All the planking is super wide.  You are correct this is gonna be fun, GOOD LUCK

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So this a.m. I started cutting the bulkheads and keel from the ply sheets


and you can see there is some delamination taking place


not as severe as Popeye had on his but damage all the same.

  I managed to get all the bulkheads cut but the keel gave me a bit of trouble due to its size.  My bandsaw only has a nine inch throat  so I split the piece in two and proceeded to finish the cuts,


They were then glued and clamped back together


not to concerned about this at this point as these pieces are going to require a lot of reinforcement before all is said and done, all these pieces are showing chipping at the edges from their ride through the saw, so I think I'm going to coat the very edges with thin ca in an attempt to strengthen them before final shaping on the rotary sander...hoping to minimize any further damage.   We will see. well that's all for now, thanks for stopping by


Edited by jct
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band saw did work better though ;)   the whole frame is going to need reinforcement.   cutting the keel isn't a bad thing......actually the added thickness there {and in other places}  might be a plus.  you got 'em all cut out......that puts me still slightly ahead of you.  the build slip is you next step.

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A bit of an update...started mounting the bulkheads. started by finding and marking the center of each


While preparing the main backbone/keel i noticed a warp at the stern, so I built up some clamp faces with the venerable legos and clamped it straight prior to gluing in the number 9 bulkhead, hoping it holds square


then is just trial fit and glue and clamp square one bulkhead at a time..kinda like watching paint dry...


Well that's it for today, gonna watch 500 qualifying latter 


Edited by jct
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Got a little more done on Jumbo the Clipper today...


Got all but the number two bulkhead secured, and test fit the deck plate


Number two will have to be massaged into place as it does not align with the keel ledge or the slots in the deck plate


everything else seems acceptable (just FAT) , will need a little tweaking, but should not be a big deal

I have come across a few issues though 


You'll notice in the pick above there are a couple extra slots in the deck plate with nothing in them...and there is nothing in the kit or mentioned in the instructions about them...that has me scratching my head. Maybe the stamping was used for multiple kits?


you can see in the pic above there is a pretty good drawing of how the stern supports should go...


but you can see that the provided parts are a bit off...replacing 13 with longer pieces won't be a problem, lots of stuff in the spares box, but you can see they will interfere with the intended rudder location


Seems scratching and modification will be in order...not a prob, just thought I'd be a little deeper into the build before it was required, oh well let the fun commence :)

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your further along than I am.........I like the name you gave it :)   I call mine Andy  :D   interesting insight........part #13 looks nothing like it does in the diagram.   the platform fits weird........I imagined the planking which should go all the way to the bow stem........it will leave a gap at the bow decking,  I think.   I saw the same thing with the two final slots in the platform........not to mention,  how far back the platform sits {the tiller hole doesn't align with the stern stem}.  I had a feeling that there would be scratch building with the hull.  you may have confirmed it ;)   I wanted to do some on mine during my work week.......couldn't get up the energy. 


I'll work on her tomorrow night.......see what I come up with.  which ship is that in the background?   looks cute :) 

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Got a little more done on Jumbo today...I glued the deck plate on with CA and PVA,  moving from one frame to the next till it was complete, I was surprised at how well it fit and how much stiffer the entire assembly ended up being. 


As I mentioned in my last post the stern reinforcing blocks were too short so new ones were cut from some scrapIMG_0242.JPG.4446edddc986a2256ed0f92ffd746ea6.JPG

the very rear bulkhead, #10, pretty much disintegrated when it was cut out so a new piece was made from glued up basswood


and glued to the end of the new braces


the thickness of this piece was then built up with additional layers of wood 


I want this part plenty strong as all the rear planking will terminate here


The kit supplies no keel material nor is it mentioned on the plans, I've been pondering this for a bit and decided on just adding some basswood strips to the false keel...so strips were cut and applied to each side to form the beard line, as opposed to carving it.



At the stem more material was added and the stem built out, this will need some serious trimming when it dries completely...but that won't happen today, battery for the rotary tool is on the charger !!


Thanks for the likes and comments, and for following along







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so basically,  your adding rabbits to the frame,  that will act as a termination stop for the planking.   good idea ;)    they can be done externally,  as you've done,  or they can be done internally so the planking will have something to rest on. I see you removed that #13 part........it doesn't look anything like what the diagram shows.  did your bow stem break off or something?


your doing an awesome job! :) 

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that's the same place where a large chunk of the outer plywood layer came off.  luckily the piece was still intact and I was able to put it back in place.  but then again,  I ended up not using the keel part anyway,  so what did it matter?!?!?  :D   I did a little faring to the frame.....but it made me thing that the stern isn't framed and will need to be done later.  so,  I'm assembling the stern,  giving part #10 a bit of a slant.....not as much as the stern stem,  but enough to notice.    there is a cover part that will be cemented over it......thinking it should be done after the hull is planked.  but I'll do something differently just to add flavor to the stew ;) 

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I was playing around with the orange wood supplied in the kit and it lays down real well, super flexible. it doesn't look like much faring will be required to use it.   The beige wood is another story sacrificed one plank to the gods trying to get it to bend with no joy, may try steaming it...not sure yet what I'm gonna do

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Not yet...It all might take a ride through the saw tomorrow, I'm thinking all of the 10mm wide stuff can come down to 5mm the orange stuff will go fine from there...I can see a fight coming with the hardwood, but we shall see


 ya the other stuff is very dry...and hard, the stuff just flexed my band saw blade when I tried to resaw it...may have to step up to a thicker blade to see if it will work,  As it is the stuff is 2mm thick and wont take a bend worth a damn. Sure wish I knew what it was


My thoughts were to use the orange below the waterline...which will get a coat of white stuff and just stain the upper wales...maybe paint the bulwarks, leave a natural deck...haven't decided on the deck furniture yet, but am leaning toward some combination of paint and stain...gonna add a bunch of trim to the deck house and the like,

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I'll have to look and see if I have any of that hard stuff your talking about.......here's a breakdown of what I see:

1-#15   that looks to be the cap rail........they should have been told that there are two sides to a boat,  and it doesn't have to be 2 mm thick :D 

4-#21   apparently,  these are to cover the inner bulwarks.   nice thought,  but I don't think I'll be doing that.  I'll see what the inner bulwarks look like and go from there.  says nothing about pin rails either.

13-1.8 X 6 mm strip  this I believe is for above the waterline.  the hull is to be double planked.  there is no suggestion of what to use below the waterline

25- 1 X 10 mm strip  this looks like it's to be the second planking...it can't be used as deck planking,  it's too wide.  this is the orange stuff.....it must be pine.....if you look close,  you can see crystallized pitch on the surface.

16- ? X 10 mm strip  this sadly is a jumble of 1.8 and 2 mm wood strips.  it was taped together.   it's badly warped........I'll use it somewhere,  but not here.  chances are,  this is the stuff your talking about......I have no idea what the wood is.  pretty dense....I'll grant cha that ;) 


makes no sense to plank the hull with 2 different woods,  especially if they are different thicknesses.  I will post a picture of the Clotilda tomorrow.......it had a coppered hull.  chances are,  if this was an American or British ship, it may have been coppered too.  I like your thoughts on the deck structures.......when you see the picture,  you'll have a better idea ;) 

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I took the booklet pic you posted and expanded it...it does clarify some but adds some confusion too!  Counts provided are whats in mine


According to the booklet:

2x6mm is decking

#15 is the cap rail, 2x8mm, 2 count 

#16 to plank the entire hull, assuming this is the orange stuff as booklet states it's 1x10mm, 25 count

#17 between the ribs as the inner bulwark, none found


According to the inventory sheets:

#20 planking above the waterline, 2x10mm 13 count

#21 between the ribs as the inner bulwark, 2x10mm I've a four count of these


there are also 4 2x10mm strips half the length of all the others, no clue what these are for


The instructions (??) say to, I paraphrase here, to plank the entire hull top to bottom with 1x10mm (this would be the orange stuff) and fill the hull.


  No mention of any other planking on the hull....it does allude to another layer by stating to fill with wood paste to eliminate the difference between the planking #16 and the basic planking.  This combined with the inventory sheet call out, #20 planking above the waterline, leads me to believe its only the top half is double planked, more weirdnessimage.png.8c522a8f4b7d17a9b0b6edaa14659713.png


I think I'm gonna move forward by planking the entire hull with orange stuff after narrowing it down to 5mm, should be just enough, then punt from there.


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On 2/14/2020 at 7:42 AM, jct said:

entire hull with orange stuff after narrowing it down to 5mm

Well this turned into a fiasco, this stuff won't cut correctly for anything :angry:...there is such a difference between the hard and soft sections that even with a fence its impossible to get an even cut the stuff just wanders everywhere.   May just split some basswood down and plank with that, really wanted to make use of the kit materials though, but it seems they may be too old to be salvageable. :(   Stopping for the day...else Jumbo could end up in the bin

Edited by jct
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