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Charles P Notman by cdrusn89 - BlueJacket Shipcrafters - FINISHED- 1/96

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I have been alternating between hull planking and mast work (when not doing "house" work).


I have several rows done at the keel and one additional row at the sheer clamped on and drying on the stbd side - port side is similar with planking drying at "top and bottom".


I think it will be a row or two more and I can dispense with the soaking and things should speed up.


Here is the stbd side.


On the masts I have been getting the top masts tapered.


I decide to stop at 5/64s at the very top of the top masts. I fear 1/16 is going to be too easy to snap off sometime in the rigging process. I made the top section (the 5/64s part) a bit longer than required as I intend to use this to get the tops of all four masts to the same height after all is "said and done" before adding the "finals" with the flag halyards to the tops of each topmast.


Here are two of the topmasts after tapering but before stain and WoP.






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I ran into my first "problem". We actually it was my own fault - I depended on one drawing when there are two that contain useful info.


I was preparing the Britannia bands for the jib boom. Based on the drawings of the jib boom on sheet 2 the bands (which come with four potential eyes (spaced every 90 degrees)) each band needs three eyes which will become the starting point for the jib booms guys, martingales etc. (although it looks like the ones on the under side of the outermost pair are not used based on sheet 4).


So I dutifully cut off one of the eyes on each one and proceeded to trim them, drill the holes where necessary, and blacken and then touch them up with some flat black paint.


Then while looking at sheet 6 (the sail plan) I see that the head sail downhauls use the top eye as fairleads to take the downhauls back to their belay points. So it appears that all four of the top eyes are used afterall.


Good thing I had BlueJacket throw in some extras with my last order of blocks.


On to planking - I have three rows at the "top" (aka moving down from the main rail) and four rows down from the keel on the stdb side and one less on the port side.



I also got the top masts completed and stained (although they still must be shortened to their final length). WoP next and then on to the booms.




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I am working several areas in parallel.


I got all the bands for the booms cleaned up and darkened using the BlueJacket solution diluted 10:1 per their instructions. I put a coat of clear flat on each band to help keep the darkening in place.


The bands for the gaffs presented a small problem. Using the 1/8" bands provided, and cutting off three of the four eyes yields a single eye with the opening parallel to the gaff. This is to be the location for a single 3/16" block (three on each gaff) but there does not appear to be any easy way to attach the block to the eye since both are "closed". That and getting the block oriented with the sheave shaft perpendicular to the gaff (which is what the drawings show) would require some intermediate fitting (very small split ring or similar). My solution was to remove all the eyes and then fabricate an eyebolt by twisting 28 gauge black wire with the block captured in the eye. I generally make my own eyebolts this way (without the block). This way there is no chance of the eyebolt pulling open when tensioning the rigging and it avoids some intermediate fitting. I will drill holes in the bands after they are glued to the gaff so I can insure they are all aligned correctly. I may have to use epoxy to glue the eyebolt/block to the gaff as 1/8" is not a lot of wood to grab with CA, although the rippled surface of the eyebolt would help.


Here are the blocks and bands for the gaff and booms (these are for the Spanker boom)


I also got the jib boom bands completed and mounted on the jib boom - so that is one spar "complete" (except for cutting to the final length).


Note that all four eyes are present on all four bands. Although not shown on the drawings I am considering adding block to at least some of the upper eyes to lead the downhauls aft. All of the previous schooners I built had blocks at the foot of each head sail for the downhaul line.


And I got one side of the hull planked. When I got to about six rows on the top and bottom of each side I concentrated on getting one side completed before moving to the other. Helped to see how things were going to work out. I also stopped adding rows on the keel side. If there were going to be "issues" with the planking I want them where they will not be as noticeable as they would if I worked evenly from the top and bottom.


Here is the finished but not yet sanded port side.




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So I decided to put at least the Fore, Main, Mizzen and Spanker furled sails on the model (similar to what I did on the Gorham). I am considering adding furled sails for the jib and Fore Staysal also as they have a "boom" upon which they could be furled.


For the Gorham I used some 7mm plastic mast hoops (sanded down to 1/32-1/64" vertical thickness) which included an attachment point (ring) where I used line to attach them to the sail. Unfortunately the plastic ones only come in 7mm (which are too small for the Notman's masts) and a larger size which is too big. So I searched for how to attach the mast hoops to the sail.


The first issue was the mast hoops included with the kit. As I discovered on the Gorham, these are very fragile. Too fragile (IMHO) to survive the handling necessary to get them attached to a sail, on and off the mast (potentially several times) and furled down (also potentially several times). So I searched through my "extra" stuff and found other mast hoops which are both the correct size and considerably more sturdy (read horizontally thicker).

Here are the kit provided and "extra" hoops - see if you can figure out which is which.


So, this the mast hoops decision made I used some "sail cloth" left over from the Gorham to make a "test" sail. I decided to make it 6" tall instead of the 7+" called for in the sail plan and to use hoops every 1/2" (13 in total instead of the 15 called for in the instructions. The shorter sail will make for less materiel to furl down without materially affecting the appearance (IMHO). Fewer hoops reduces the size of the "pile" at the bottom of the mast.

I did not include a bolt rope on the test sail because I wanted to see how the furling went without one. On Gorham it seemed that with the bolt rope glued to entire length of the sail made it more difficult to get the small furls between every hoop done.


To attach the sail to the hoop I opted for the simple expedient of using a drop of white glue with the sail and a stand-in mast arranged so that the hoop, mast and sail were in the correct orientation. Here is what it looked like for the first hoop.


This method worked admirably and I was able to get all 13 hoops attached and dried using this same "jig". The shine on the mast is Scotch Tape I applied to the mast in case the glue were to get on the mast - would not want the hoop glued to the mast.


I set the mast/sail in a piece of wood and took a boom and gaff (which I have assembled but not yet varnished) to see how it might look. Not bad IMHO. IMG_5389.thumb.jpeg.d52cb675ffe810aad8e5c16d1e432fe1.jpeg








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Hull planking completed (finally).


Not my finest effort but good enough to support a second planking if I was going to leave the hull unpainted. As it is going to be painted it is certainly good enough to support a few spots of Bondo and several coats of automotive spray filler/primer before going to the finish coat(s). Speaking of which I have decided to paint the upper hull using Badger 16-435 Tug Deep Blue. I think I have accumulated 7 or 8 different blues to chose from and I like this one the best. It is not as dark and whatever I used on the BJ Latham and it will be easy to tell it is not black (like my Bluenose II).


Here is the planked hull back in the vice for a rough sanding.


Here is the port side after a first pass rough sanding an a mineral spirits wipe off.



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Starboard side given the same treatment.


At a minimum there will have to be Bondo on the bow and in a "divot" on the bottom just forward of the start of the deadwood. I am sure once I get a good look there will be many other spots that require some kind of remedial action.


Now back to the instructions for the next step.




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I decided to try and get the hull ready for the final sanding now rather than wait until just before the paint goes on.


I hit the obvious spots with Bondo and will get some automotive filler/primer spray paint tomorrow. My experience with my model of Endeavour indicates that this product will show ALL the defects. Whether I manage to get them ALL corrected is another matter. I think I went through four or five cans of the filler/primer on that model before I was satisfied and even then there were spots that seemed immune to my corrective efforts.


Anyway, where is the hull with the measles.


While waiting for Bondo to dry I did manage to get all the spars stained and varnished. Here they are although the jib and staysail booms have not yet been cut from the pieces that were thinned down to 3/32".


And I only broke one jaw in the process. Given their somewhat tender nature I consider that a victory.



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When I started the planking I left a 1/16" space at the top of the hull - I misread the instructions and thought that the top strake (that is supposed to fit in the notch in the bulkhead extensions) was one of the 1/16" wide pieces with the double bead rather than a "regular" 1/16" X 1/8" piece of planking. So I am in the process of adding a 1/16" X 1/16" piece at the top of the planking all around the hull.


Here is the piece across the main deck on the port side. Another thing to do while the Bondo hardens.


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And there are always the sails.

I am using the methodology from Tom Luria's You-Tube video using silkspan to make sails although I am only doing the furled version (so no reef points for instance). Since they aare to be furled I was not too careful about extraneous marks that occur when your cutting mat is not really clean and you forget to put some wax or parchment paper down over it.


So here is the starting point after I use a 4H pencil to draw in the fabric seams. I have taped both the parchment paper to the mat and the sail to the parchment paper (as best I can).


Here is the sail with the reinforcing at the edges in place.




For cutting the thin strips for the reinforcing I used a rotary cutting (courtesy of my quilter girlfriend). It makes cutting thin pieces easier and straighter than using an Xacto knife which (at least when I use it) tends to push the fabric ahead of it and make a somewhat jagged cut. The rotary cutter does not seem tom have this issue so I use it for all the cutting on the sails.



And here are the four mail sails reinforced and cut out. Now for the bolt ropes, mast hoops and grommet holes.



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Continuing to work on the hull - three sets of Bondo so far but the number and size of the spots is going down.

I have enough sanded off it is time for another coat of filler/primer. One thing of note is that the filler/primer really clogs up the sand paper. I ran through three sheets after the first coat. The Bondo does a pretty good job too but the filler/primer really clogs up the paper.


One mistake (although it did  not cost anything) from the first coat is that I now have the decks covered with masking tape. With the hull attached to the build board that was not possible on the first coat. Luckily none got on the deck but taking no chances this time.


Here is the hull in the spray booth ready for another coat in the morning.




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This coat of filler/primer looks pretty good except for one spot (see if you can guess where it is) where I was apparently too vigorous with the sanding and went all the way through the planking. Luckily it is in an area where I put the extra filler blocks so repair will not be as difficult as it would be without the backing material.





I will fix that spot and the area near the deck where the planks are still mismatched.



While the paint was drying (it is dry in about an hour) I managed to get the peak halyard blocks on the four gaffs. All I need now are the throat halyard blocks and the little bails and these are ready to have the sails attached.


Also got the two head sails fabbed and the reinforcing panels attached.


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11 hours ago, cdrusn89 said:

One thing of note is that the filler/primer really clogs up the sand paper. I ran through three sheets after the first coat. The Bondo does a pretty good job too but the filler/primer really clogs up the paper.


Try using 220 wet/dry sandpaper (the black stuff) and use it wet. The water helps to sluff off the sanding dust and the paper lasts a lot longer ( a lot lot longer)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have decided to deviate from the assembly instructions in order to try and get some of the painting done before all the coverboard and waterways are installed. I have picked out a dark blue (Badger Tug Deep Blue) and a light blue (Model Shipways Clipper Pearl Blue) for the hull and vertical parts of the deck furniture and bulwarks. I will also use the dark blue for the coverboard and trim on the hatches and other places where the instructions call for green.


To make it easier (for me) to get clean lines I have painted the waterway and lock strakes on the main deck the dark blue and the bulwarks the light blue and will install the waterways after I get the main deck "varnished" (aka Wipe-on-Poly).


I painted three pieces of the 1/16 X 1/16 stock the deep blue and will use this for the inboard most piece of the coverboard (once the poop and fo'c'sle decks are finished. this will make it easier to paint the coverboard without worrying (too much) about getting blue paint on the deck.


Here is the hull with the waterway on the stbd side being glued in and the inner most portion of the coverboard being glued in on the port side.


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I have also been working on getting the blocks cleaned up and the holes drilled both for the attachment point and in many cases the becket. It goes pretty slowly especially with the 1/8" blocks.


I got the four triples for the throat halyards done and mounted on the gaffs. I have chosen not to put the topsail sheet block on the underside of the gaff since (at least in theory) I will have the gaffs down on top of the furled sails you would not be able to see it (or the sheet line running from the end of the gaff).


Instead of using the 26ga wire provided to make the bails on the ends of the gaff (and boom) jaws I used 1/16" eyebolts. It seemed much easier than trying to make the little clips envisioned in the instructions.


So here are the four gaffs ready (IMHO) for mounting.


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I got another coat of filler/primer on the hull and fixed the few remaining spots - one last coat before we go with the final color (Tug Deep Blue from Badger).


I decided to try and fabricate the chock/fly rail off the ship (using wooden pillars - from Model Expo I think) and get it painted without trying to mask off the coverboard. Using the wooden pillars presents the issue of how to get the assembly to not be slanted outboard. Since the deck has a good deal of camber (at least up forward). I finally figured out how to get the tilting table for the Byrnes table saw installed and cut a 10 degree camber (or maybe it is a champers) on the chock rail. This provides a modest inboard tilt at the stern and is more or less vertical at the forward end of the poop deck. I also am going to use the Clipper Blue for most of the vertical surfaces on the deck houses and the chock/fly rail. Here are one of the assemblies after a coat of paint and the lower portion of the rest of the stbd side.




My one concern is getting the assembly glued to the deck since it will be substantially stiffer than just the pieces individually. I have some adjustable collars that fit onto pins which I think will address the issue. Here is the painted rail pressed down to the coverbaord as a test.


Working on completing the stbd side then on to the port. I will not install these until I get the hull painted its final color.


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Here is the chock/fly rail fitted to the coverboard. It needs another coat of paint and then I can paint the rest of the coverboard (leaving some bare wood where the chock rail will go).


Once that is done I will tackle the items on the forward coverboard (cat heads, etc.).


And of course there always seem to be more blocks that have to cleaned and painted/chemically blackened.




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Following the instructions I added the forward chock rail sections on the forecastle.


Then I got the cat heads off the carrier and made a test fit. For whatever reason the cat heads did not seem to stick out as far as the drawings show. I measured mine and they extend about 8.5mm beyond the hull planking. As best I can tell from the drawings this should be more like 11mm.


Given that there are three eyebolts (which will have deadeyes attached later) on the outboard portion of the cat head I decided to use the extra wood on the carrier sheet to fashion new cat heads which will extend out further than the kit provided ones. I actually made them a little longer than the drawing shows to make getting the deadeyes attached and rigged a little easier. The kit provided piece is 19mm from the notch for the coverboard to the end, mine are 25mm. This is 3mm more than shown on the drawings but - "I am the captain".


Here are the two sets of cat heads.





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I finally got the hull "good enough" and into the paint booth. I used the Badger acrylic paint, thinned about 1:3 (3 parts paint, 1 water). It dries really fast so you can get several coats on in an afternoon.


I am probably going to use a commercial spray paint (burgundy) for the bottom paint. I ordered some Badger paint of the correct color but it will not be here for a week or more.


Here is the hull in the spray booth. I had to shift to an upright position to make sure I got the upper sides and chock rails done. Am considering putting a coat of clear flat on after the bottom paint as a measure of protection as the chain plates and channels must still be installed. Not to mention the bead rail on the shear and the trail boards and eyebolts on the bow.


While waiting for the paint to dry I built the jig for the trestle/cross trees and did the first step of getting them assembled.


Here is the jig and the four sets of trestle/cross trees.


I added the center line on the jig and marked the centerline on the cross trees to help get them centered. I also put Scotch tape on to help keep the glue (thick CA) from causing problems.





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So I got the hull into the spray booth (just barely) and got the topsides painted in the Badger Tug Deep Blue.



The blotchy look is due to the paint not drying everywhere at the same rate. It all looks "flat" when everything is dry.



So now for the waterline and bottom paint. I ordered the Badger red bottom paint but have the Model Shipways 4814 Hull Cooper Red already so I decided to use that even though I have never tried to us MS paint in my airbrush. I thinned the paint a bit less than 1:1 with water and it seemed to go on and cover okay using the Paashe Talon airbrush with the TN-3 needle and associated fittings.


For the waterline I set up my Bosch Gl50 laser level (I bought this to help get the chair rail in the hallways level throughout) to shine on the hull, which I stabilized using two quart bags filled with BBs.


The black items are shims to adjust the orientation to get the waterline where it needs to be on the hull. I measured off the drawings how far up the stem the water is and used dividers to check that I had it correct.


At the stern the drawings show the waterline to be just above the middle set of pintles.


Once I the laser where it needed to be I used Tamiya masking tape to just the top part of the laser beam on the tape.



Then I sprayed it with the MS4814.







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Hull has its final paint and clear flat applied. Next up for that is tom get the name on the forward chock rail and stern. I much appreciate that Bluejacket has gone to the dry transfers for these rather than decals.   On the Fannie Gorham I made my own dry transfer after failing to get the decal on correctly.

Here is the hull in the paint booth after the clear flat was applied.




So while waiting for that to dry and between coats of the hull and bottom paint I worked on the trestle/cross trees for the fore mast (the most complex one). It took looking at the drawing several times before I got all the nuances down, but I think I got everything where it needs to be.


Here is the basic structure. Instead of the polystyrene strips provided in the kit for the "barn door" and "guard irons" I used black laserboard. One less thing to paint and polystyrene does not take paint (at least acrylic paint) very easily in my limited experience.



One thing to note for those building the Notman in the future. The two eyebolts on the top are for the topmast and top gallant stays (coming from the main mast). The instructions indicate to put pins in these locations while assembling the trestle/cross trees but it would be easier to put in the eyebolts rather than have to take the pins out first. I made the mistake of gluing the pins in but apparently did a pretty poor job of it as I had little difficulty getting them out.


Since the upper throat halyard triple block has a becket and both the jib and fore staysail halyards have beckets I decided to go ahead and rig the lines to the beckets now rather after the trees are mounted on the masts.


I still have the boom topping lift blocks to mount on the after side of the trestle trees. I am "on the fence" over whether or not to use fabricate the boom lift links as indicated in the instructions. I am thinking of just using eyebolts as I did with the other blocks. The boom lift links will orient the blocks with the sheave shaft aligned with the ship centerline unless I put another ring between the block and the lift link. The photo CD does not have any pictures that clearly show the aft side of one of the masts but the very last one does show the lines on one of the topping lifts twisted as if the two sets of blocks are not aligned in the same plane. Here it is:



I want to avoid this and will probably just use eyebolts for the upper topping lift blocks.


Anyway here is the mast top in its current state (prior to painting) dry fit on the lower fore mast.



The ends of the lines at the beckets have yet to be trimmed up.I used epoxy to bond the eyebolts to the trestle trees. Hopefully the paint will make them lookm like bolt heads.  And I just noticed that one of the upper eyebolts has lost it upper half. I need to figure out a fix for that before I worry about the topping lift blocks.

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I finally got the chock/fly rail assemblies mounted on the hull.


It took five separate sections as I decided that trying to fabricate each side as one piece was "a bridge too far". I also have to patch the holes I drilled for the pins I used to clamp it down to the deck, add the mooring chocks, fashion the  and put on a final (hopefully) coat of paint.


Here is the hull with the chock/fly rail in place





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With the chock/fly rails done it is time for the sheer strip. The provided double bead trim piece is quite thin and care needs to be exercised to keep from bending it out of line while getting it attached.


I measured the distance from the top of the deck edge to the sheer strip on the drawing and set my dividers to this distance.


Then I measured down on the hull and made a horizontal scratch (enough to get through the blue paint about every three inches from bow to stern. Here is what a part of the stbd side showing the marks.



I followed the instructions on the port side and drilled #76 holes in the bead every 3" and used the provided .020 brass rod to secure the bead to the hull. That worked well enough on the port side but the attachment spacing seemed too far to avoid getting the bead out of line (don't ask me how I know this) so for the stbd side I drilled them every 1.5".


Here are the port and starboard sides. I still need to touch up the port side with the yellow paint to cover the brass but it came out pretty good.




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I'm going to be following along because this is such a nice looking ship. I enjoyed your build log of the Fannie G and learned a lot that will help me with my (just started) build of BlueJacket's ALFRED kit. 


At the rate you move along you will be done with this one before I've even finished shaping the hull!

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       One of the "good" things about being retired is that you can treat your hobbies like a "job". My girlfriend is not crazy about that characterization - she thinks I should treat her like a job (unquestioning devotion/attention).

       Besides it is summer in Florida and too hot to do much outside.


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     I noticed that you built a model of the DD-824 (Basilone). I did my 1st Class Midshipmen cruise on the Basilone and served my first tour in the Navy on the DD-880 which was in the same squadron as the Basilone. Did you have some connection with her?

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