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Havelock

Polaris by Havelock - OcCre - 1:50

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Another first time builder here, attempting to build OcCre's beginner kit: Polaris. I know nothing about ships or their historical accuracy and such, just want to get my feet wet and the Polaris seems like a decent enough kit to start out with.

 

1200_2007_IMG_9116.jpg.f6d07b9785b87e60ecad4d63797b22e6.jpg

 

[There is a MSW review of the kit: here]

 

I've managed to assemble the bulkheads/ribs to the false keel. This was relatively simple using small metal angle plates with clamps to get each rib square using Titebond II:

 

600_2007_IMG_0734.jpg.c4d7356c3f138f6783ae3cfc53f119d6.jpg  

 

600_2007_IMG_0740.jpg.9db0c9a80b9dea54ab7ce10da600d8e5.jpg

 

 

I have to say there was quite a bit of play in the joints and while I did get the ribs square to the sides of the false keel, I wasn't paying attention to making it square along the top:

 

 600_2007_IMG_0739.jpg.48b4b24030b6b937a057740d6b77853c.jpg

 

And you can see that false keel has a slight bend too. However, I'm thinking it's not a problem as tolerances for mounting the deck shouldn't be that demanding. Well, I hope so.

 

Currently working on the decking:

 

600_2007_IMG_0738.jpg.686d5f8edef6feeda3547fa71fa54958.jpg

 

Again using Titebond for glueing the deck planks rather than using contact glue per the instructions. I'm able to get a thin bead of PVA onto both the plank and deck, using the dispensing bottle shown in the picture above, and smooth it over with a small brush to avoid beads of excess glue forming. Working out really well. I get down 2 or 3 planks at a time and then use heavy books to press the planks while they set.

 

Not so happy about the planks themselves. They have a lot of large grain criss-crossing them and I think ruin whatever scale effect the planks might have had to begin with.

 

600_2007_IMG_0742.jpg.71e6d877affa695664df22bbd1a2e511.jpg

 

Not really a problem as I'm not looking to create a realistic model this time out. I'll be glad to just have something that doesn't look like a dog's dinner at the end of all this! :)

 

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Looks like you are of to a god start. 
 

Does the bend in the keel get better if you install the deck? With such a slight bend, that could be enough to get it straightened.

 

I agree that the wood grain does not look good scale wise. I guess OcCre has chosen a cheap material to keep the kit price down. If I remember correctly it is only about 60 euro for the basic variant.

 

 

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19 hours ago, bolin said:

Does the bend in the keel get better if you install the deck? With such a slight bend, that could be enough to get it straightened.

Yes it does, Bolin. I wasn't too worried. Though, as you'll see in my next update, the deck doesn't install totally flush with the ribs, and the transom is not square either.

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Got the deck planking finished and marked up. Decided to use a wipe-on poly to seal them:

 

600_2007_IMG_0744.jpg.8ea5de84d79b25632ac7f684b94d8d77.jpg

 

The WOP is really easy to use. Had to do a few thin coats; the wood really soaked it up. First time using this kind of product. I think I put enough down to protect the wood but not enough to make it look like a finish. I can always put more down later, right?

 

Gluing the deck to the false keel/ribs was quite the effort. Did a dry fit (a few times) to see how well they mated. The slight bend in the false keel meant I had to twist things a bit to get all the rib keys to sit properly in deck rabbets.

 

Used generous amounts of Titebond and tried using CA to tack down the deck while the wood glue dried. Should have used a medium CA but only had thick CA on hand and it wasn't very effective. In the end I was able to squeeze things together long enough for the glue to take. Titebond is relatively fast I'm finding:

600_2007_IMG_0754.jpg.12482334d337e6d186fe723a2ab634bd.jpg

 

Happy enough with the results. However, the transom is not square with the deck:

 

600_2007_IMG_0751.jpg.76d08206de76130d5b2d0c0cd59d2c9c.jpg

 

Thinking it's not the end of the world.

 

Also somehow managed to lose one of the bow filler pieces (C1) and had to make a replacement out of 1/8" basswood. Still can't figure out where that piece got to....

 

All in all a very productive day and am pretty happy with the deck, even with the horrible grain:

 

600_2007_IMG_0760.jpg.dbf4660e31a97520faafa3332a6f7bf8.jpg

 

Now on to doing all the fairing, ugh.....

 

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Bah humbug! I didn't pay attention to centering the bow point with the false keel:

 

600_2007_IMG_0761.jpg.002664ae9ec3050cb9ad5bd2f679f841.jpg

 

Going to require some creative sanding to center the bulwark later.... I think. 

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I read somewhere here about how to unglue titebond. Do you think reinstalling the deck would correct the alignment at the bow and stern? The actual keel glues to the false keel and may look off center.

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LH, good thinking but I'm going to fudge along this time.

 

I have to say though that my philosophy on this build is to not fret much on mistakes; at least I'm going to be telling myself that regularly. Learning a lot and that's what matters most for this build. Also curious to see how noticeable the errors will be at the end of the build. :)

 

Also have to say how much I love working with wood. Built a few stick and tissue airplanes and there is something so satisfying about it, particularly after sanding. I can't say I like wood dust though...

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2 hours ago, LHsmith said:

read somewhere here about how to unglue titebond

It should debond with isopropyl alcohol (I’ll pretend that I don’t have any experience doing that on my model 😁). Looks nice so far!

 

If I may offer one small suggestion - it is a learning experience making a mistake and then working out how to correct it. I’m not trying to push you to realign everything, but you may want to take a shot at correcting a thing or two on a build like this (or maybe your next one) so that it doesn’t seem so devastating to do it later on a build that may be more “important.” Just a thought though, take it with a grain of sand.

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36 minutes ago, VTHokiEE said:

If I may offer one small suggestion - it is a learning experience making a mistake and then working out how to correct it. I’m not trying to push you to realign everything, but you may want to take a shot at correcting a thing or two on a build like this (or maybe your next one) so that it doesn’t seem so devastating to do it later on a build that may be more “important.” Just a thought though, take it with a grain of sand.

 

For sure! 

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Got the fairing done. For the stern I had to use sandpaper wrapped around a dowel:

 

600_2007_IMG_0766.jpg.81aff86a0444686bc27af7200f151b5e.jpg

 

It worked really well. 

 

Happy enough with the results:

 

600_2007_IMG_0770.jpg.157dfe94364ecdce4ea68170c85ec89f.jpg600_2007_IMG_0771.jpg.f06d20f1e2c32a5d9b73bde04768a9c3.jpg

 

 Tried to get the transom to look fairly symmetrical but with it not being square with the deck in the first place, and not wanted to sand away too much, I felt I had to stop.

 

Made sure to sand the edges of the deck to have a good contact surface area for the bulwark to glue to:

 

600_2007_IMG_0772.jpg.760d5808524ba7f70e00e368ca9b4c99.jpg

 

Also decided to give the decking one more coat of wipe-on poly. It now has a very slight sheen:

 

600_2007_IMG_0773.jpg.de2abe361b296b96b28d1fc98e5b1d87.jpg

 

 

Next up will be attaching the bulwark and then attempting the first planking. However, I'm already anxious about damaging the bulwark while doing the first planking as it's only going to be glued on along a thin 1/8" of its surface. 

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After bending the bulwarks:

 

600_2007_IMG_0769.jpg.67758d8e67617214d431c8035b5ee189.jpg

 

Gluing them to the deck was quite an adventure. Did a lot of dry fitting and trying to figure out if there was a way to clamp them but because of the slight angle with the deck I didn't have any clamps that would do the job. In the end I glued them on in sections (from the stern to the bow) and held them in place by hand till the wood glue set. A long process and quite stressful. In the end I did manage to get them on well enough I think:

 

600_2007_IMG_0783.jpg.61bbd889222cfcabca6f04f7d66a3669.jpg600_2007_IMG_0787.jpg.b5fe5ee90208ac11a0e04bb0ff31ed6b.jpg

600_2007_IMG_0782.jpg.e5a4f5c8e1335f2d3b3b23ae9599b663.jpg600_2007_IMG_0778.jpg.158c43c4a2260530f455463963e56816.jpg

600_2007_IMG_0780.jpg.cdcbe317bc554936afb091bdfb8ceeef.jpg

 

 Have to say that I'm very impressed with the PVA's gluing power; feels really sturdy. 

 

Next up is planking which I'm hoping is fairly straightforward. 

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Was planning on laying down the first 6 planks on each side but ended up only managing 3 for now.

 

Started by bending the planks first so that they conform better to the hull:

 

600_2007_IMG_0789.jpg.70101b6963d3c0834f025277c540abca.jpg

 

Six of the planks span the full hull and required significant bending at the bow. The other six don't span the full hull and only require a slight bend. Not sure if one really needs to bend them in order to do the planking but it sure makes it easier to manage.

 

In the OcCre videos they use a small brad pusher to nail the planks to the ribs. I don't have one of those so had to use a mini hammer instead. I did find that life is much easier if you first mark where the nails go in along the plank and pre-push the nails in:

 

600_2007_IMG_0790.jpg.3d9de92a3f64148e8924a6dc84d26ccc.jpg

 

After that it was plain sailing, though I was a bit too judicious initially with the wood glue between the planks:

 

600_2007_IMG_0792.jpg.384f291fd51dfdfe75646db3cb2b5415.jpg600_2007_IMG_0795-2.jpg.38d6afb62e41f2964db688bc3b6562d3.jpg

600_2007_IMG_0791.jpg.00e9c6ff23ce8bba93f49fe73d56e092.jpg

 

It took more time than I thought but part of that was figuring out a process for both the plank bend and installation. The next pass should be more productive....

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Still working on the first planking but thought I would share two things:

 

1) Just noticed that one of the planking nails managed to penetrate up into the decking:

 

600_2008_IMG_0798.jpg.ea7149b02276c96832e3797991183391.jpg

 

Ugh! I was able to remove it and push down the "bump" so it's not terribly noticeable. Definitely a cautionary tale for other newbie's like myself. Thankfully it was only one and not a bunch of them.

 

2) I've been thinking about the second planking and using contact cement (CC) as shown in the instructions. Decided to do a test run on a scrap of wood to see how hard/easy it was as I've never used it before and people have mentioned it bounds too quickly and so is unforgiving when placing the strips. I also tested using PVA glue:

 

600_2008_IMG_0805.jpg.8582ec44a86b9517548672f1e0650ea3.jpg

 

I found laying down the strips on the CC was not too hard although, in reality, on the hull the strips will be much longer and have slight curving. Still I found that if I'm gingerly with laying them down then there is a some wiggle room for adjustments.

 

My main concern with using wood glue is that there's not good way to "clamp" the strips down while the glue cures. I'd have to keep manually pressing them down and I think that will be too laborious for all the strips needed. I also noticed with the PVA'd strips that they "cup", as you can see in the photo above. Not sure if that is a deal breaker. I guess sanding will remove the cupping but I don't think I'd want to sand too much with these super thin strips. I'll see how much the cupping reduces over time as the strips dry out fully. 

 

Anyone have other suggestions for gluing the second planking? For now using CC seems the simplest.

 

In other news: Had a pop inspection at the shipyard:

 

600_2007_IMG_0797.jpg.7366bc194c90ee399d42156b7c23cd7d.jpg

 

 

The Admiralty were not impressed. They mentioned something about there being a lack of consumables...

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Making progress but it's slow going.

 

Doing the garboard planks and upwards was quite challenging at the bow. Luckily I got experience bending planks while trying to build Model Shipway's 18th Century Longboat. That build is proving too hard for me at present but it gave me enough experience to be able to pre-bend these planks to get an easier time of laying them down nicely. However, the very tippy part of the bow I had to soak and then bend and nail into place as it is simply too server a curve.

 

Some pics of the progress so far:

 

600_2008_IMG_0812.jpg.dfb5258e3f5ea0232e75cd11bb41b8f2.jpg600_2008_IMG_0813.jpg.83f381a057201fb15c275150638fac93.jpg    

600_2008_IMG_0814.jpg.3f7c5aac12b58fd95d7bb321019a3ad4.jpg600_2008_IMG_0815.jpg.bc52021e0ac34391910ab748d90bb50a.jpg

 

 

For fun I added a little "Built by..." message inside:

 

600_2008_IMG_0808.jpg.37db739505ca29db3e13bfad79325279.jpg

Should add a little object in there too... so it makes an annoying rattling sound... 😁

 

So far spent 12 hours on this build.

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I used this stuff on my second layer of planks for my ocre build https://www.amazon.co.uk/UHU-purpose-adhesive-clear-glue and a bit of ca on the bends where I wanted an instant hold.

 

It's a bit stringy and can get a little messy, but some nail varnish remover cleaned up any that got on the planks.

 

Alternatively you could just use pva/wood glue and a load of elastic bands and push pins?

 

Contact cement is great but it will shred the thin strips trying to remove them if you get them in the wrong place

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Thx, Sweep. I ordered some. Always interested in trying out new glues.

 

Main planking done. Just need to fill in 16 holes:

 

600_2008_IMG_0824.jpg.c4cf207b48e0c0661b99eacae9bea060.jpg600_2008_IMG_0823.jpg.950329c2e83d40fd814a0c08b1357d27.jpg

 

Side note: Thought I was following the planking from the videos but messed up with the 5th plank from the keel at the stern. Oh well.... 

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7 hours ago, Havelock said:

Thx, Sweep. I ordered some. Always interested in trying out new glues.

 

Main planking done. Just need to fill in 16 holes:

 

600_2008_IMG_0824.jpg.c4cf207b48e0c0661b99eacae9bea060.jpg600_2008_IMG_0823.jpg.950329c2e83d40fd814a0c08b1357d27.jpg

 

Side note: Thought I was following the planking from the videos but messed up with the 5th plank from the keel at the stern. Oh well.... 

Your planking is good for 1st layer. Now you just have to fill those holes.

Just a suggestion - maybe try not to push all those nails in. Many of us removes those before sanding and 2nd planking. Sanding wise is a nightmare.

For sanding you can also try small delta sander. i have used that for major part and then difficult parts by hand.

 

 

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