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HM Cutter Alert by JMartti - Vanguard Models - 1:64


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Hi, new member here. I wasn't planning on starting a log initially, but I've lately ran across some issues that I could use a second opinion on, so I thought why not. This is my first proper build after introducing myself to the hobby by building the Bounty's jolly boat by Artesania Latina. 

I'll try to keep the updates regular, but most of the time I'm forgetting to take pictures of the different stages.

 

First planking and initial sanding done. I just could not get the slot in the front stem to work as intended, so I have no room in it for the second planking, but I don't think it'll be much of a problem.

IMG_20200712_161552.thumb.jpg.8b4e859b1cf8ffed30185483c5f7273f.jpg

 

IMG_20200712_161538.thumb.jpg.1aad3c47290128f47de27e2e32554425.jpg

 

IMG_20200712_161617.thumb.jpg.b53fe9be038d62bff66ef1a640d5815c.jpg

 

And after proper sanding.

 

IMG_20200714_175618.thumb.jpg.30841fd26cda8d23a82ad41d31e81aab.jpg

 

IMG_20200714_175640.thumb.jpg.996e605ad83970a1f793970c96f2f848.jpg

 

IMG_20200714_175659.thumb.jpg.ffa5e856c2260214091ef2a3be0cf187.jpg

 

IMG_20200714_175715.thumb.jpg.54cb76af6d193c54f7a66cb6876f3c19.jpg

 

Even managed a pretty nice stealer plank, too bad it's going to be covered pretty soon.

 

IMG_20200714_191358.thumb.jpg.88e95fbf0fda55a3f57f4b56988ef9af.jpg

 

I'm super happy and relieved how my first proper planking job turned out and I sure learned a lot!

 

After sanding I planked the stern bulkhead and attached the stern counter pattern. Turned out even better than I expected. 

I still have a slight gap under the inner most planks and I'm unsure if I should cover it with diagonal planking or to sand the first planking flush with the rudder post.

 

IMG_20200714_191332.thumb.jpg.ccb9091b50193627ce522233bef2859c.jpg

 

In addition, I misunderstood the instructions and sanded the whole rudder post to the thickness of 1,5mm. I was thinking of hiding this mistake by tapering the rudder slightly to match the thickness at the post, but I'm not sure how it'll affect the final look of the model.

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Is your sternpost glued - I have toyed with the idea of fitting a fake stern post  at about 1.5mm which makes sanding of the first planking easier .

And then you could replace with a new one cut from the scrap from the kit

 

But i think that you need to have a rethink about the stern - remember you have the second planking still to fix. That should end up flush with the stern post

I think you need the first planking and the keel edge bringing down to about the thickness of your present stern post

 

And both layers of planking are not supposed to fit in the forrad slot - your first layer is fine as is there

 

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2 hours ago, SpyGlass said:

Is your sternpost glued - I have toyed with the idea of fitting a fake stern post  at about 1.5mm which makes sanding of the first planking easier .

And then you could replace with a new one cut from the scrap from the kit

 

But i think that you need to have a rethink about the stern - remember you have the second planking still to fix. That should end up flush with the stern post

I think you need the first planking and the keel edge bringing down to about the thickness of your present stern post

 

And both layers of planking are not supposed to fit in the forrad slot - your first layer is fine as is there

 

I forgot to mention in the first post, that this is the older version of the Alert, so yes, the sternpost is fixed in place before the first planking.

I'll probably sand the first planking flush with the stern post and sand the second planking as thin as possible and maybe chamfer the edge so the transition from the plank edges to the sternpost is as smooth as possible. I don't think this will have too much of an effect on the overall look of the model. This is my first proper model after all and I won't be expecting the same quality of finish as some of the other examples on this forum.

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1 hour ago, VTHokiEE said:

Looking quite good! I'm impressed that your stern post tops are all attached (mine were not quite so lucky 😁).

As they say, looks can be deceiving! I actually broke one of the outer post tops and thin portion of the stem, but nothing a drop of CA can't handle.

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I have a possible adjustment .

Sand first planking down to "your" stern post as you say.

Then add  a couple of second planking strips vertically to each side of stern post to bring it back to width

That should enable a perfect join to the second planking - totally flush.

 

But what a good first go at the planking !

 

I would comment that - despite any kits instructions - its very very often a good idea to not permanently fix the stern post and, if possible, stem pieces tof the model until first planking is sanded - saves so much accidental damage.

 

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1 hour ago, SpyGlass said:

I have a possible adjustment .

Sand first planking down to "your" stern post as you say.

Then add  a couple of second planking strips vertically to each side of stern post to bring it back to width

That should enable a perfect join to the second planking - totally flush.

 

But what a good first go at the planking !

 

I would comment that - despite any kits instructions - its very very often a good idea to not permanently fix the stern post and, if possible, stem pieces tof the model until first planking is sanded - saves so much accidental damage.

 

I had the exact same idea for fixing the stern post, except that I was going to use scraps from the 1 mm laser cut sheet, that way I'll have matching colour with the keel!

 

Thanks for the advice, though I'll try to deviate as little as possible from the kit instructions until I accumulate enough experience to not make any critical mistakes doing so. Also the stern post on this kit is fitted with a kind of a jigsaw puzzle joint that is planked over.

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Oh gawd I had forgotten about that Jigsaw thingy on the early version  - thank heavens Chris revised it.  It does indeed really prevent the temporary fitting of the stern post.

I have it though  on my kit - I was/am going to cut a step along the line of the aft "jig"to fit the planking.

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I was thinking about this and you might have been able to simply cut the keys of and installed them separately or potentially left them off completely if needed. I only mention this in the event that someone later reads this and maybe an idea pops into there head.
 

4 hours ago, JMartti said:

I actually broke one of the outer post tops and thin portion of the stem, but nothing a drop of CA can't handle.

Good save! I think my stern angle may not quite match the plans but few will know aside from me in the end.

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I've been able to make some progress on the Alert.

 

After sanding the first planking smooth, I attached the spacers for the final, topmost strake, of the first planking. The instructions tell you to pin them in place, but I found it some what difficult. I ended up using masking tape as seen on other Alert builds. I contemplated on attaching them with a drop of CA as an alternative as well.

The top port strake seen on the picture sits a millimeter or two below where it's supposed to (you can see the faint pencil line), at 4 mm below the top of the bulkhead. I re-glued it a couple of times when I started the planking but just could not get it to sit right. The strake runs low only on the first bulkhead and at the correct height at the others. I doubt it's noticeable on the finished model.

 

IMG_20200717_183407.thumb.jpg.43298dfd6b18f0642bbb0e84dcb6632a.jpg

 

After that I soaked the planks for around 20 minutes in boiled water, clamped into place and let dry overnight.

 

IMG_20200717_183112.thumb.jpg.6779d49218f2a44184321128462830d1.jpg

 

I fixed the top strakes in place using CA. I tried apply the glue mostly on the plank edge, as the bulkhead tops will be trimmed down to deck level after the second planking is done. Finally I sanded the top strakes flush with rest of the planking. 

 

IMG_20200717_192723.thumb.jpg.c5dce2dbe2cf0882a2d68075087961c4.jpg

 

IMG_20200717_192745.thumb.jpg.093492e9125bc488a3f28a8aecf8e657.jpg

 

Only a little bit of tweaking left and I'm ready to start the second layer of planking. It's been relatively smooth sailing so far and I hope it stays that way.

 

Thank you all for the likes, views and comments!

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Steady progress over the weekend.

 

I made a paper template and then cut the pieces out of 1mm sheet to thicken the over sanded stern post. Final shaping will be done once fixed in place.

 

IMG_20200718_150823.thumb.jpg.aae0dca0f2cabe244e41fa9406c16cef.jpg

 

I then fixed the two top most strakes of the second planking and the garboard. I'm still not quite sure about the garboard, but I guess time will tell. 

I then sketched the location of the bulkheads on the first planking. There will be 21 planks plus the ones already in place. I drew the measurements at each bulkhead on to a planking fan so that I have a quick reference to work from. I didn't divide the hull in to bands as I just couldn't get it to work out on the first planking, I'll soon find out if it was a mistake.

IMG_20200719_202453.thumb.jpg.7db0fe1d3558c39e76e7d0b71ad3700e.jpg

 

As I'm going to have pretty much equal tapering on each plank, I made a template of every plank width at each bulkhead on to a scrap piece of planking. I'll be measuring the unplanked space periodically and adjusting the tapering accordingly.

IMG_20200719_202433.thumb.jpg.45e10d3e4923f3f5c6cbe84bc8724eff.jpg

 

I drew on the line for the taper and used my sanding block as a sort of a hand vice to plane the taper.

 

IMG_20200719_202314.thumb.jpg.8f291eef356de0f6bdf8e0fe2f832d29.jpg

 

IMG_20200719_202244.thumb.jpg.ff89e7b3f89ce65b168e64f065fe90e7.jpg

 

I've got about a quarter of the planking done so far. These first planks went on pretty easily with just CA glue, no soaking or heat needed. The last ones are starting to lift slightly from the bottom edge, so I soaked the next planks in hot water and pinned in place to dry. I'm bit hesitant to use the Chuck's edge bending method even though I got it working pretty nicely on the first planking, I caused quite a bit of charring with my electric plank bending tool.

 

IMG_20200719_203510.thumb.jpg.be6bdad5809f668d1981a1b19a46492b.jpg

 

IMG_20200719_203555.thumb.jpg.865f6b0e1300394314b731dfed2a63d1.jpg

 

IMG_20200719_203620.thumb.jpg.36b8ce2e8278a63e8fcbfc491e26683d.jpg

 

Even though everything is going better than I initially expected, I can't wait for this nerve racking phase of the build be over.

 

I noticed it looks a lot rougher on the photos than in real life, I'm confident it'll clean up real nice with final sanding.

Thanks for all the likes, views and comments!

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57 minutes ago, JMartti said:

I'm bit hesitant to use the Chuck's edge bending method even though I got it working pretty nicely on the first planking, I caused quite a bit of charring with my electric plank bending tool.

Have you tried using a small travel iron? That’s what I used and did not experience any charring. Everything is looking good so far! Soon you’ll be caught up to me 🙂

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8 hours ago, VTHokiEE said:

Have you tried using a small travel iron? That’s what I used and did not experience any charring. Everything is looking good so far! Soon you’ll be caught up to me 🙂

I don't have one on hand at the moment, and I'm trying to limit the amount of new tools I buy for this build. I guess I could apply the heat on the under side of the plank so that the possible charring wouldn't be visible.

 

8 hours ago, SpyGlass said:

I think that your slight lifting may be caused because you have not quite tapered enough??

 

Is that the reason? I thought it was just from the way the plank has to bend in several directions, going around the bow.

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This plank shaping is quite simple and quite complicated at the same time !

But if you look at your own pic you can see how much better the first layer is lying - nice job.

There are two elements to planking from strip

one is shaping the strip - tapering etc

the other is bending it in three dimensions usually by heat with or without damp ( steam).

Chucks method is one approach  - basically puts a curve into the strip in one direction and then adds the curve in the other dimension as the plank is fixed on - using heat.

Works fine if you can get on with  and dont mind using CA. 

There are many, many , many  other variants .

I favour steaming the strip and shaping it before fixing. Mainly because its closest to how the real thing was done.

Usually by several passes temporarily   fixing it to the hull and allowing it to dry out in that position

1820426114_prebendtopsecondplanks.jpg.cca2b9337bce51e3f504aa58d3dfaa00.jpg

but I frequently put in that first curve off hull.  Just clamping the steamed  strip to a flat surface

1473622183_plnkprebend.jpg.1f87812f80c16c98633a09d0bbe596df.jpg

Then a bit of shaping by hand against the hull curve

1476327791_bentplank.jpg.3db26771870d92cf7f4c97e9f26c7243.jpg

and finally after a couple of passes shaped on the hull the final strip gets ready to fix  - without any shaping while attaching  - just need to be held in place.

This is a garboard for Pegasus ready to fit

680500131_bottomplankcurve.jpg.ff0f888783a4b3f0e0c839d17ca93d19.jpg

 

and similarly a higher positioned plank also ready for Pegasus

284225174_topplankcurve.jpg.54f32b5bc4780b6f16a29b471d43783e.jpg

 

And there are LOTS of other shaping method  versions favoured by others.

BUT if you dont get your tapers right first its very much harder by any method.

tapering.jpg.264690554820e7deb68350e4f101be2d.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Progress has been slow and steady, about half way down with the second planking.

 

IMG_20200722_182503.thumb.jpg.bf064ffa5d4c809522b14b5528cb187a.jpg

 

But, I've got a slight dilemma here. The planking tapers nicely from the fourth bulkhead towards the bow up until the first bulkhead, but then it widens again from the first bulkhead to the bow. The difference is small, about 1-2 mm in total. I guess this is caused garboard plank not shaped/positioned correctly or is it an issue with the tapering on the planks? How should I try to correct this? Using a drop plank? Removing or re-shaping the garboard? Planking the rest from the garboard up and using a filler to cover the possible gap?

 

On 7/20/2020 at 8:59 PM, SpyGlass said:

 

But if you look at your own pic you can see how much better the first layer is lying - nice job.

 

Surely you meant that the top layer is lying better than the one beneath it? 

 

Thanks for all the likes, views and comments!

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7 minutes ago, JMartti said:

I guess this is caused garboard plank not shaped/positioned correctly or is it an issue with the tapering on the planks?

I'm not certain if this is the issue, but your garboard comes up a little high on the bow. It should be straight but yours curves up the bow a bit. You may wane to redo this if you're considering it. You might be able to see what I mean if you look at my garboard here:

 

 

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No I did mean the first layer was lying nicely.

 

 I think your problem arises because you have not tapered the strips sufficiently especially in the last little length - in particular there are a few strips  which are nearly full width-  those are the main problem throwing you out now. 

How to fix - hummm -  main question is - are you coppering her, if you are then it can be corrected easily because the correction will be hidden. 

 

I dont understand why you think the garboard is involved in the issue at present.  It does rise a bit high forrad but you can just trim the top of that if you wish

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On 7/22/2020 at 11:20 PM, SpyGlass said:

No I did mean the first layer was lying nicely.

 

 I think your problem arises because you have not tapered the strips sufficiently especially in the last little length - in particular there are a few strips  which are nearly full width-  those are the main problem throwing you out now. 

How to fix - hummm -  main question is - are you coppering her, if you are then it can be corrected easily because the correction will be hidden. 

 

I dont understand why you think the garboard is involved in the issue at present.  It does rise a bit high forrad but you can just trim the top of that if you wish

Yes, I think I see now where the problem is. I won't be coppering the hull (not provided with the kit), but I will paint her below the waterline, it will hide some of my mistakes. 

It's been quite difficult to envision how the planking should look, and what are considered beatiful lines and how to achieve them. 

All in all, I'm still quite happy how it's coming together as I'm not after 100% historical accuracy with this build.

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If you are painting her then the simplest fix may be simply to taper heavily and smooth the line of the lowest strip you have fixed and work from there as a new start point.

 

Try fixing a well tapered temporary strip under the lowest one - you can pin it - and just see how it "wants" to lie then cut the one above to match.

If you make it a long taper  then you can also move the temporary strip back and forth to see how much taper on the next strip to go on isappropriate

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  • 1 month later...

Even though the log has been quiet for a while, the work at the shipyard continues. I've finally finished the second planking and sanded it with 240 grit sand paper. I also fixed the overly thinned stern post. I did have to fit in one plank, that was tapered to a point, at both ends, on either side. Also the two stealers were just regular triangle shaped. I guess the drop planks could have been a bit longer (and the same length!) to fit the scale better. The whole planking process was quite exhausting and that is the reason it started to drag after a quick start. Overall I'm extremely happy how it turned out.

 

IMG_20200825_191051.thumb.jpg.88c95fbea5eb61aa02bdde1d59834a07.jpg

 

IMG_20200825_191204.thumb.jpg.80657c1bc2d067676e537d9129eecd15.jpg 

 

Next I'll be planking the bulwarks. I used up all the full length second planking strips, but luckily I've got a lot of cut offs from the planking. I've also been thinking about the outside finish a lot lately and I still haven't made up my mind if I should paint her white below the waterline or not. I guess I could use it to hide some mistakes. Also I'm not sure how to treat the unpainted parts, would a water based stain be ok to use here? I've read some discussion saying that the planks should be stained before glueing, but it's a bit too late for that now.

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17 minutes ago, JMartti said:

I used up all the full length second planking strips, but luckily I've got a lot of cut offs from the planking.

The same thing happened to me, but the cutoffs worked fine.

18 minutes ago, JMartti said:

Also I'm not sure how to treat the unpainted parts, would a water based stain be ok to use here?

I'm not certain what is available in your country but I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear Satin and I'm very happy with how to pear turned out.

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42 minutes ago, VTHokiEE said:

I'm not certain what is available in your country but I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly Finish Clear Satin and I'm very happy with how to pear turned out.

I'll have to do some digging, I'm sure there's something comparable to the wipe on poly available. It's just that I can get this stain in almost every possible colour for free. I just don't know how it would behave on model ships.

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14 minutes ago, JMartti said:

It's just that I can get this stain in almost every possible colour for free. I just don't know how it would behave on model ships.

Well that is certainly enticing, maybe you can test some out on the scrap pieces and see what you like?

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Nice work on the hull, well done. 👍

The Pearwood comes up very nicely simply using wipe-on -poly. 

It is easy to make your own with oil based polyurethane thinned 50/50 with white spirit. It is also much cheaper than ready mixed stuff such as Minwax.

I've no experience of using water based poly to make wipe- on but I 've read that it can be a little more tricky, and perhaps with less consistent results.

 

B.E.

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On 8/26/2020 at 9:34 AM, Blue Ensign said:

Nice work on the hull, well done. 👍

The Pearwood comes up very nicely simply using wipe-on -poly. 

It is easy to make your own with oil based polyurethane thinned 50/50 with white spirit. It is also much cheaper than ready mixed stuff such as Minwax.

I've no experience of using water based poly to make wipe- on but I 've read that it can be a little more tricky, and perhaps with less consistent results.

 

B.E.

Thanks for the tip, this is what I'll be going with. 

Just finished planking the bulwarks and gave all around sanding with 320 grit sand paper. Also applied some polyurethane varnish on some scraps, undiluted and 50/50 diluted with white spirit. How will multiple coats affect the outcome? Will it darken or change the finish from satin to matt? I'll be using natural polyurethane varnish.

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My only experience thus far is with my Fifie build.

I only used two coats of wipe-on.

DSC06045.thumb.JPG.66660f1873ccb76c1082fbed712f90b9.JPG

This is the effect, the richness of the Pearwood is brought out, there is a very slight natural sheen but it is enhanced here by the artificial light used for the photo.

 

Hope this helps.

 

B.E.

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I finally got the outer hull finished with poly. I used clear satin varnish mixed about 50/50 with white spirit and a light rubbing with 0000 steel wool between coats. After three coats I noticed the varnish had not penetrated in a few spots I had smudged with glue, while planking the bulwarks. I gave the spots a thorough sanding to remove the glue and reapplied varnish on and around the spots to blend them in. After that I think I gave one more coat of thinned varnish and a final, undiluted coat. So all in all 4-5+1 coat of varnish.

I know there's still a couple of spots where the varnish didn't penetrate, but I'm very happy how it turned out.

 

IMG_20200904_141753.thumb.jpg.3810478d60c27d250ffeb6cff9b0eec8.jpg

 

IMG_20200904_141619.thumb.jpg.562659fcd6f2cd75b097648ee2e6e05c.jpg

 

IMG_20200904_141212.thumb.jpg.0e9b3474c7a5460c595093fa00b2d10d.jpg

 

The photos might be a little out of focus due to not getting enough natural light. The lamps I've got are quite yellow and would distort the colour of the finish.

 

Next I'll probably mark and cut out the gunports. I'd like to paint the bulwark planking red before installing the deck planking, to avoid having to mask it. I'm still waiting on suitable red color from Cornwall model boats, I fear the package has been lost in transit.

 

 

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