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Justin P.

18th Century Armed Longboat by Justin P. - FINISHED - Model Shipways - Scale 1:24

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13 hours ago, BobG said:

Nice work, Justin. How are you simulating the nails?  

Hi Bob, 

 

Thanks!   Im using a .5mm drafting pencil and just poking little holes.   I was going to go the filament route but decided that's for another project as well, the pencil works well enough on its own. 

 

I have looked for a long time for a complete set of those AL scrapers but can only find half of the set.   Even when the razor blade is made specifically for a certain size piece its still tricky to get the motion right so it doesn't stray.    I did many rehearsals, and will do a few more before committing to the final piece.  

 

 

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12 hours ago, jwvolz said:

Just caught up on your log Justin. Very nice work so far. 

Thanks for checking it out, it is appreciated.   

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Last update for the weekend, it'll be a few days before I get back to this build, but am definitely in that grace period after planking and prior to rigging where it can feel deceptively like I know what Im doing.   Parts are coming together and I am enjoying just popping out to the workshop to take another look at my progress.  

 

Thwart risers are installed and thwarts are fashioned and ready for install.   I haven't glued them in yet as I think I should take a step back and read ahead here.   There is some complicated sequencing ahead and Id like to have a firmer grip on what Im to do before moving forward.   I also need to give some attention to more fiscally rewarding activities for a bit.   

 

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Just ran across this, feeling bad I wasn't in from the beginning. I learned a lot from building this kit's little sister and it's neat to see what a nice and careful job you're doing with the bigger version.

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Another few days and another few steps completed.   I neglected to mention that in these stages I got a little out of order, but I think the end result is that things came together a bit less clumsily then had I followed the instructions step by step.     I also began to realize that the same problems outlined by others are definitely being repeated in my own build.   For instance the laser-cut cockpit seats and stern locker definitely do not fit - not even close.   In fact they were almost 1/4" short which struck me as odd, and the fore aft measurements align with the frames and transom, so weather I managed to magically make my boat 1/4" longer or they just are way off somewhere in the manufacture of the kit.  I suspect a little of both.   Ill give both Model Shipways and myself 1/8" degree of error ;). So I needed to fabricate those myself, which is no big deal but still something I wish I had foreseen as I didn't have any 1/8" basswood sheets laying around.  I went ahead and made the templates and moved forward with other steps. 

 

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Next was to fabricate the cap rails which turned out to be easier than I was anticipating.   I did have some 1/16" sheets so I knocked those out pretty quickly.   They are not quite finished as I want to get everything install before finalizing their shape and width.  I did however take them down pretty close to done just to get an idea of how things would come together.  The cap rails do seem a bit wide but that's because I haven't taken down the outboard edge and given them a final shape.  Hopefully they'll lean out a bit and better fit the proportions of the boat. 

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After satisfying myself with the caprails I moved on to thwarts and thwart supports install.  I also waded into a bit of metalwork.   The mast bracket needed a little cleaning and is made for a much larger dowel then the one provided, or so it seems.   Other builders have also ran into this problem but with COVID, running out to find the right mast was not something I was interested in doing.  Not to mention it fit the mast thwart notch and the mast foot well enough that I decided to do a little Macgyver to make it work.  Notching out the mast thwart and manipulated the bracket a bit gave me just enough extra space that the oversized bracket fit nicely afterwards.   After running it through some pewter blackening solution, it turned out pretty nice.  

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(DRY FITTING THE MAST AND MAST FOOT)

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I also moved ahead with some (not all) of the thwart center supports.   Mounting them up in the lathe I was able to turn them out pretty quickly.  

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For a days work Im pretty happy.   Gave everything a coat of wipe-on poly as it will likely be a couple days before I get back to her but I am loving this little boat. 

 

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Your boat is looking really awesome! I had the same issues with the mast/thwart and the cockpit seats not fitting. Like you, mine were off by a lot. If I may I would caution you about the provided rigging, it's not even remotely close to the correct size. I ended replacing it all with Syren rigging and I'm really glad I did. If you decided to go that route, for a few bucks more I would buy new blocks from Syren as well, I only got some after I was done with my build and boy are they nice!!

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On 5/10/2020 at 6:34 PM, Cathead said:

Just ran across this, feeling bad I wasn't in from the beginning. I learned a lot from building this kit's little sister and it's neat to see what a nice and careful job you're doing with the bigger version.

Thanks.   Im trying to do a careful job, but find that there is always something I could do a bit better.   I think that is the joy of it.   

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18 hours ago, Arthur Wayne said:

Your boat is looking really awesome! I had the same issues with the mast/thwart and the cockpit seats not fitting. Like you, mine were off by a lot. If I may I would caution you about the provided rigging, it's not even remotely close to the correct size. I ended replacing it all with Syren rigging and I'm really glad I did. If you decided to go that route, for a few bucks more I would buy new blocks from Syren as well, I only got some after I was done with my build and boy are they nice!!

Yes, and a few others had the same problem.  It seems almost inevitable, as I ran back through the instructions and can't see a step where I might have prevented this.   There are some very narrow tolerances to get it to fit just right.   An easy solution would be to make the port and starboard seats longer, so that a builder can cut them down to suit.   The stern locker lid I think would fit fine with adjustment.  

 

I had planned to upgrade the rigging as well.   Actually Ive done this for a few projects.   I hadn't thought about the blocks though, Ill definitely do that.   

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On 5/14/2020 at 2:51 PM, Arthur Wayne said:

replacing it all with Syren rigging

Arthur, 

Did you end up going with a close proximity selection for your Syren line replacement or did you base your diameter choices on some other information?   

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I basically copied Chuck's Medway Longboat. Medway Build Log There was a "plan" somewhere in the build log or on his Syren website that showed the sizes used for the rigging but I can't find it now. If you follow his build log though he calls out the sizes and colors he used. All my ship building supplies are packed for a move, otherwise I could tell you the sizes versus having to hunt them out of the build log. 

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I just finished the Medway Longboat and I can give you the various rigging line sizes if you need them.

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24 minutes ago, Arthur Wayne said:

I basically copied Chuck's Medway Longboat. Medway Build Log There was a "plan" somewhere in the build log or on his Syren website that showed the sizes used for the rigging but I can't find it now. If you follow his build log though he calls out the sizes and colors he used. All my ship building supplies are packed for a move, otherwise I could tell you the sizes versus having to hunt them out of the build log. 

18 minutes ago, BobG said:

I just finished the Medway Longboat and I can give you the various rigging line sizes if you need them.

 

Thanks to you both!

 

If you have them handy, sure!   Ill take a look in my Syren supply.   Im a bit far off from that point yet, but was looking at the provided line and comparing some numbers to his catalog, also being aware that some people are able to suss out the appropriate scale diameter of actual rigging line.   Id be curious to see how the various selections compare, true scale/Medway Longboat line/MS Armed Longboat kit line.

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I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.   An especially solemn occasion for anyone who has known or lost friends or loved ones in war.   I spent this morning watching the 21 Gun solute via virtual program at the USS Constitution.   I thought the Sailors there did an excellent job with the reading of names and the salute.   I thought they brought home the reality that those ships really were battlefields and not just vessels.   

 

The rest of the day was spent wrapping up a weekends worth of work.   I've made progress but its no longer linear in the way one might expect reading through the kit instructions.   Because I was waiting on lumber to scratch build the cockpit seats, I had to spend time elsewhere so began work on the windlass, rudder and tiller, as well as the oars.   

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When the lumber finally arrived this weekend I also spent time fashioning up the cockpit seats.   They will look odd to anyone familiar with this particular kit, as I chose to impart a  bit more fluidity in their lines and made them a bit more narrow than was called out for in the kit.   The issues of scale are becoming much more apparent with the more kits I build so recognize much that is starting to go awry.   I was also able to get the cap rails installed, seems filled and the lot painted, as well as the transom knees and thwart knees shaped, painted and installed.   

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A sharp eye will note the backwards transom knees.   This unfortunately is not the result of artistic license, but more the result of too late a night and acceptance.   I spent so long shaping them to fit all the angles and fit was so good I just accepted they were backwards.   I only realized it, of course, after they were well and glued in place...  ho hum. 

 

I finished up the day working on the rub rails, which required another scraper and some time sanding.    They'll go in once I figure out how to make the process for fitting, bending, painting and so forth work for me.   

 

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Work continues as those of us who choose, hunker down, and wish the world the best.   Ive been steadily marching towards the finish line checking off small tasks as I go and lengthening my "don't do that again" notes.   So much learning goes into these small boats that Ive grown really fond of them.   I look forward to Medway when it becomes available again.   As my skills have improved Ive been contemplating some redo projects to complete a nice collection of small boats.   We'll see...

 

In the last few days since my last post I was able to get the rub rails bent to shape and dry fit.  The instructions have you bend them and then paint before installing but something about that sequence didn't sit right with me so I decided to install before painting.   This allowed for more precise fitment and very minor gap filling where my miters weren't quite perfect.   

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After drying, I began painting the rub rails as specified in the plans.   It turned out ok-ish.   I guess the benefit of painting prior to install is the very clean line, however I felt it was a balance between my skills at getting the perfect fit versus painting the best line.   Using a combination of masking tape and a careful, non-caffeinated hand I was able to get a passable result.   Ive had to go back and forth through some areas, as one one would do when painting in a line along the ceiling in a house.

 

Ive also installed the bowsprit, deadeye chainplates and backstay anchors.   The instructions here get a little imprecise, but with some careful study of other build logs, and a bit of common sense I was able to piece it together.   Some details are depicted in the manual photography, but not mentioned at all in the narrative which I found frustrating.   

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I also began shaping the mast and fitting it in the usual way.   I found I had none of the  problems observed by other builders with fitting the hardware to the mast so long as I was willing to make minor modifications to the cast metal parts.   I feel perhaps this was always intended, with other builders expecting a bit more precision in the provided cast metal parts.  I think they actually are made larger to provide more room for error - but that is just my opinion.  

 

I also began setting up shrouds.  Ive made the highly recommended decision to replace all the tackle and rope with Syren products, which is simply much more satisfying to work with, and the result much more in-line with the time and effort invested in such endeavors.   I served my shrouds in the usual way using a Syren serving machine and used a jig to get the deadeye distances correct.   The pictured jigs are NOT what worked by the way, I ended up using a scrap bit of wood with nails as is documented in many logs across MSW.   

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I then began work with the Gaff and Boom, back and forestays and the bowsprit rigging, all of which were not particularly well outlined in the instructions.   Here Wolfram Zu Mondfeld's Historic Ship Models was an invaluable resource.   In fact much of my rigging questions were answered through 80% that book and 20% perusing MSW logs of similar builds.   Everything from block stropping, deadeye rigging, knots, and other peripheral rigging minutia is well covered.  

 

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I also decided to scratch build new belaying pins.   The provided pins were absurdly small brass things that really did not look or function correctly, nor did the reference materials bear out the use of metal for a belaying pin.   I knocked a few out pretty easily with some dowel stock and my foredom.  I made a bunch until I got it right and could consistently make the same size and shape.   Time well spent.  

 

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Currently working on the other bits as most of the rigging is done.   I need to go through and shoot photos of all the cleaned up rigging and so forth which Ill include in the next post.   I did get the deadeyes rigged and lines belayed.  All that's left is coils and touch-up paint where my blackened metal components left some black scuffs on the paintwork.  I also have a flag halyard to rig now that a glaring omission in the instructions has been cleared up for me thanks to BobG.

 

Ive also got to convince myself to add the oarlocks - which I think are just hideous as designed for this kit.   The rudder and tiller gudgeons were not well executed on my part, so I need to return to that mini-model and see if I can recover it.   Getting there.   

 

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1 hour ago, Justin P. said:

Getting there.   

Finely executed and truly exceptional work, Justin. These small boats are indeed wonderful to build. You'll absolutely love the Medway Longboat.

 

What is the clamping device you have that has all the pegs in it? Also, what is the foredom that you refer to for making the belaying pins. I used my Dremel for making them on my Medway Longboat and it wasn't easy.

 

What glue or glues have you been using?

 

Cheers,

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Very nice job Justin.

I used my dremel for the belaying pins as well, very tedious and difficult job. But yours looks so much better than mine.

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7 hours ago, BobG said:

What is the clamping device you have that has all the pegs in it?

Thanks Bob, again I think undeserved but Ill take it ;)  The clamping device is a "work holder" I picked up from Ages of Sail some time ago.   Ive been using it more and more for the small stuff as it has some heft to it and thus give the work a bit more presence.  Its also really great for painting small bits. 

 

7 hours ago, BobG said:

Also, what is the foredom that you refer to for making the belaying pins. I used my Dremel for making them on my Medway Longboat and it wasn't easy.

Foredom is what I would call a more serious rotary tool than the Dremel.   All the Dremel bits work with it, but as a tool the Foredom is much more purpose built.   My own Foredom is over 25 years old.    They are foot controlled so more speed precision and are much better designed and thus less hard on the hands.   Well worth the upgrade if you are using your rotary a lot.   I keep both a Dremel around and the Foredom.   99% of the time I use the Foredom.   Its easier and faster to switch out bits and more flexible.  I also think the Dremel is too fast for most things.    https://www.foredom.net

 

7 hours ago, BobG said:

What glue or glues have you been using?

Mostly CA to be honest, but when necessary Ill use a PVA.    

 

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4 hours ago, Justin P. said:

Mostly CA to be honest, but when necessary Ill use a PVA.    

I use CA primarily as well even though it seems to get a bad rap from a lot of our forum members.

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29 minutes ago, BobG said:

it seems to get a bad rap from a lot of our forum members

It does seem like the black sheep!   Frankly I think it comes down to what you are trying to do, and how confident you are in your final decisions.  There have been plenty of instances where I regretted its use as I moved to undo something.   However keeping some debonder around has helped a lot in this regard.  

 

I tend to agree that CA needs to be used minimally if at all with rigging, but for everything else I think its mostly fine.  

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2 hours ago, Justin P. said:

 

I tend to agree that CA needs to be used minimally if at all with rigging, but for everything else I think its mostly fine.

I use it quite a bit for rigging but I use only the tiniest dot of it carefully placed because it will darken lighter rope material. However, I'm aware that many modelers strongly recommend against it. I will use diluted, white PVA when I don't need a quick hold on a spot of line and on flat rope coils etc.

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Not much more to update, just some more shots of the rigging as Ive been cleaning things up and finalizing tension.  

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You'll likely note the funky sinker I added to the end of the gaff.  The gaff has no opposing attachment so floats, and the line has some memory Id like to remove so this is my solution.  This is temporary and meant to take some of the loose character out of the line.  I hit the line with hot steam using a tube and fine tip nozzle and let it dry under weight and it will straighten out nicely.  

 

Some oar work is coming along thanks to my Ibex planes, which are just a pleasure to use.  I played around with sanding sticks, and lathes and ultimately found a plane and sandpaper did the job the best, the most consistent and the fastest. 

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Getting the anchor tied up properly thanks to some reference material and away I go.  

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Ive spent the end of yesterday and some today working on coils.  Ive made many, and have been satisfied with none of them.   Unfortunately this photo is dark, but pictured on the forward-port belay pin is the best one Ive come up with following a process ccoyle outlines here.

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So I ended up wrapping it up this weekend.   I got the last few bits sorted out, including the brass ornamentation and the fix with the rudder gudgeons.   I decided to omit the oar locks.   It seems stupid to have model with oars but no oar locks but they are just so ugly (in my opinion) that I just couldn't bear putting them on.   Ultimately, Ill accept it as is and explain to whomever asks that I just exercised some executive decision making - right or wrong.    I managed to get some coils I was happy with combining the ccoyle method I mentioned earlier and my own adaptation using the parts holder.   

 

Shown below wet with diluted white glue for setting the coil, and on the right rigging a gasket coil as I could think of no other way a seaman might have dealt with rope that was only meant for use while the gun is stored under heavy swell.   I used the same for the anchor for similar reason.  I suppose when the anchor is stored, they might have used a gasket coil for the line.   I don't know.   

 

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I neglected to take a lot of photos during the last stages as is was just a lot of fiddling with details but much can be seen in the gallery I created using more formal photographs.  

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Well that was a fast build and a beautiful job as usual. That's some serious photography too!

 

I like your idea of using the sinker to try and get the gaff to stay where you want it. Mine still floats around on my Medway Longboat.

 

What's up next, Justin? Are you going to add to your small boat collection? 

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39 minutes ago, BobG said:

I like your idea of using the sinker to try and get the gaff to stay where you want it. Mine still floats around on my Medway Longboat.

 

What's up next, Justin? Are you going to add to your small boat collection? 

Thanks!   Yeah it went by fast.  Trying to take advantage of all this COVID time before I have to return to work full-time.   The sinker is gone now, my gaff still floats around, I was using the weight to take out the slackness of the line and straighten out.   Having it on there for a little over a week did the job really well.  

 

I am actually.   Next build log will be SYREN, but as I work through preparations for that I have an ongoing Bounty Launch project that has been haunting me for awhile.   Ill be returning to that in the interim.   I have no plans for a build log on that one, as I tried before and I ended up shelving it.   I wanted to do Medway next, but Chuck reports that the availability of those kits are a while off yet.

 

34 minutes ago, Bossman said:

Justin, a truly awesome job Sir! Very, very well done. 

I appreciate the comment, thank you.

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Justin.....I am actually cutting more Medway longboat kits this week.  I am already about half way done with another six kits.   

 

So sooner than later.....

 

Chuck

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Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
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