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This is my first build!

 

I've always been enamored with fishing boats, tugboats and merchant ships. I chose this particular kit, as it comes complete with all the materials required to complete the model, including tools and paint. It is also designated as an entry-level model. There is a completed build log of this kit by schooner. As He covered the contents of the kit thoroughly (complete with photos), I will abstain from repeating that here. (I hope that is within the rules, if not, let me know and I will edit this post).

 

I've been looking over the plans, reading the instruction manual and reading schooner's build log. Although a bit nervous, I believe I am ready to begin. All comments and suggestions are most welcome.

 

Paul

 

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Paul, This looks like an excellent kit for your first build.  I have seen the instruction manual for this kit and it is very detailed for the first time builder.  It also includes all of the tools and supplies necessary to build this kit.  I look forward to following your build.

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Michael - thanks for following along. Yes, lobster boats do have great looks. Living on the coast of maine I see them everywhere. 
 

Ryland - one of the reasons I chose this kit was because of the detailed instructions and tools. Also, Bluejacket has a dedicated 800 number for questions concerning their kits. 

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So, I haven't disappeared. I've been busy readying my "real" boat for a ten day cruise up the coast of Maine with my wife. It's our annual haj! We leave on Friday. We can't wait, the beauty of Maine's coast is hard to beat!

 

So, continuing my build, I have stuck with the instructions and sanded, primed and/or gloss coated the designated parts before removing them from the carrier sheet.

 

I had to locate my old breathing filter, as the fine sand dust really had my lungs rebelling!

 

Although, I am grateful that the kit contained paint brushes I am definitely investing in better brushes going forward.

 

The next step will be shaping the hull.

 

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Paul-

 

Great to se your log- you and I will certainly be learning together as we go.

 

Have you painted with enamel before? Any tips? I have been trying to find a good tutorial and cant seem to find anything on wood. Most of what I have found are airbrushed on plastic or brushwork on miniatures, which I imagine is a different technique.

 

Enjoy your trip up the coast!

 

-James

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11 minutes ago, CTYankee said:

Have you painted with enamel before? Any tips?

Hi James, I have only painted with enamel back in my youth on plastic models. I'm thinking that I will need much better brushes than the ones that came with the kit. The kit brushes don't seem to hold much paint. Schooner has a build log of the Red Baron (if you haven't seen it yet), he addresses the painting a bit.

 

Thanks for the good wishes. Talk soon.

 

Paul

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Everyone,

 

Okay, I am back from my getaway and ready to move forward on my build. I have been following the instruction booklet and referencing schooner's log. I started shaping the hull.

 

I'll have to admit I have been freaking out about this part, as I barely can draw a straight line with a ruler on paper, let alone a straight line on a curved surface. But, I'm happy to say the bow went pretty easily.

 

I used a couple claps to hold the boat so I could use the template and draw my "don't sand any further line.

 

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For the following image I taped the template to the bow to show my result. The sanding went way faster than I imagined it would. The top of the stem fell away from the tape while taking the picture. The template fits a bit tighter at the top, but admittedly I still have a tiny gap, which I hope to take care of during my final shaping of the stem and adding the keel.

 

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Next, I needed to mark the center line on the stem, deck, bottom and transom. I found this to be a bit tricky. I took several measurements, used the deck piece as a template and finally think I got it as close as I could. On the bottom I used the "string trick" from CTYankee's build log; thanks James. That seemed to work very well and I'm happy with the results.

 

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My next step was to mark the location of the three template stations for shaping the hull at the bow.

 

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Now, it's sanding time again!

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Continuing on with my build...

 

I sanded the hull into shape and my next step was to attach the keel.

 

I took a page out of schooner's log and decided to insert pins into the keel while gluing it to the hull (for a stronger attachment). I took 1/16" brass rod and cut four pieces to fit into the top of the keel, leaving a 1/4" protruding to fit into the hull. I drilled four holes into the top of the keel and inserted the rods. I then took a pencil and rubbed the top of the protruding rods to cover them with lead. I then placed the keel into position on the hull, then drilled holes 1/4" deep into the hull at the four marks left by the lead.

 

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My next step was to finish shaping the stem and fair it with the keel. Once, I had that done I used auto spot and glazing putty to fill in any gaps or dings, then fine sanded the entire hull to get everything smooth.

 

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I did this twice, so far, but am having a difficult time getting the well deck smooth.

 

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I decided to put a coat of primer on, to better see where I still needed to smooth on the hull. The primer is drying as I type this.

 

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Obviously, the well deck still needs attention. Once, the primer is dry I plan on hitting the well deck again with spot putty and more sanding. In the mean time, I am trying to think of a better way to get into the well deck better with the sandpaper.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have used a sanding block, wrapped sandpaper around a hobby knife handle, a chop stick and used my fingers.

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Good evening Paul,

 

I detest sanding.

I mean, I start with all the best intentions, with real honest ambitious resolve.... but sometimes it just never seems to end.

It just goes on, and on, and...

 

I find you just have to stick with it and tune into a radio station with some good music you can get lost in.

 

I also experiment with all kinds of different backers for sand paper, including a small cut off length of pipe insulation foam tube.   It is similar to those noodles kids use in the swimming pool.   I stick the paper into the slot, wrap it around the round pipe insulation and grip it as best as I can... then get back to work.  It will form to quite a few odd shapes and is forgiving to the grip.

 

Alan

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Hi Alan,

 

Thank you for the tip. I have some of that Pipe insulation Laying around somewhere. I’ll hunt it out and give it a try. Although, that may be too big to fit the space I need to get at. 
 

Paul

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Paul-

 

Great to see the progress. I didn't reinforce the keel and so far I've been impressed on how strong it has been.

 

I HAVE broken the cabin... TWICE. (I'll detail that in my next update) So be careful once you start cabin assembly.

 

I didn't get the floor of the  well deck super smooth and have been agonizing over what to to and then I remembered- the floor of the well deck of the real boat must not be super smooth either, it must be textured for grip, no?

 

I am having a total crap time priming and sanding smooth. Take a look at my posts and let me know if you have any advice.

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Hi James,

 

Thanks for checking in, I appreciate it.

 

I'm getting ready to start my cabin assembly, so warning noted!

 

I sanded and filled and sanded the well deck three times and I am finally happy with the results, at least before painting. You are correct - smooth decks on real boats tend to be very slippery when wet.

 

As far as sanding goes, I've learned to be patient and take my time. As you can see from my post I have been using spot and glazing putty for filling cracks, etc. and that has been working fantastically! After I did the initial priming of the pieces still on the card I went and bought some artist paint brushes and the new brushes made a world of difference when I primed the hull. The primer went on much easier and covered better.

 

Paul

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Paul

I hope the pipe insulation idea works for you.  It is cheap option if you've got the item laying around the house.

I have since purchased a Proxon electric sander and transformer... but that is a considerable expense for one small well.

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I got the well deck sanded to satisfaction. No, tricks, just slow and patient work. I am planning on sanding and priming the hull and well deck again after the cabin is completed.

 

That being said, my next step was to attach and build out the cabin former and the cabin. Following the instructions, I aligned and glued the lower cabin former and then attached the transverse and longitudinal cabin formers.

 

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I then soaked the cabin sides in hot water in order to make them pliable to bend into shape. I struggled a bit with bending the cabin sides into shape. They were easy to bend, but my issues were with getting them to hold their shape. I solved my issue by using rubber bands to hold the sides in position until the wet wood dried. This worked very well.

 

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Once the cabin sides were shaped, I glued them in place. With the sides in place I went back to final fitting of the aft cabin bulkhead, which fits into tabs that are on the cabin sides. Getting the two sides and bulkhead to fit nicely was a challenge! It took a lot of carving and sanding to get a satisfactory fit. The instructions warn a few times about how the windshield area of the cabin sides are fragile. I confirmed this fact while fitting the three pieces. One of the sides got stuck in my shirt while sanding and broke off. I glued it back on and continued my build. The forward cabin bulkhead needed to be bent to fit the cabin former. I got as good a bend as I could and glued it in place.

 

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Finally, I was able to put the cabin roof on and attach the windshield former. That was very straight forward. The next step was to sand the cabin roof and bulkheads to be flush with the cabin sides. I'm pretty happy with the way that all turned out, this being my first build. Although, I'm pretty sure I'll need to do some more adjustments to get the deck piece to fit nicely.

 

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One very important lesson I learned during this part of my build was that when my hobby knife starts to roll off the table, ignore my reflexes and don't try to catch it; let it fall. Ouch, the red smudge you can see on the cabin roof, is blood!

 

I am really enjoying this build. I am learning a lot and starting to get better with sanding.

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After a major catastrophe I've completed the structural build and started to paint.

 

Someone, who will remain nameless, tripped and fell on the corner of my work table. The ensuant chain reaction caused the boat to land on the floor breaking off both cabin sides and added a few dents to the hull.

 

After more than a few choice "sailor terms", I glued the cabin sides back on, but now there is a slight starboard list to the pilot house roof.

 

The sheer guards and toe rails went on easier than I thought they would, as I'm still working on my gluing chops.

 

I added the side coamings, transom guard and pilot house roof.

 

Then there was more filling, sanding and priming.

 

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So, it's time for vulnerability. I am embarrassed to post the next images, but they're part of my log, so here we go...

 

My painting skills need a lot of work apparently. I don't know if it's the paint, my application, method of paint prep (thinning, not thinning) or a combo of all, but the next images show the build after two coats of white on the cabin, windshields, coamings and well deck walls. I find that some of these areas are very difficult to get to without "painting outside the lines". I'm counting on my being able to cover the overflow when painting the rest of the boat.

 

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Any comments and/or suggestions and/or tips on brush painting with enamels would be greatly appreciated. Now on to coat number three!

 

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19 minutes ago, pwog said:

I find that some of these areas are very difficult to get to without "painting outside the lines".

These areas probably don’t matter if you are going to paint over them later, bat have you given any thought to using painters tape to mask the areas? I find that Tamiya masking tape works well. If I need to mask out a larger area (deck) then I’ll put some blue painters tape on the inside of the Tamiya tape and maybe tape some paper down to prevent daisies with stray drips.

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41 minutes ago, pwog said:

Does the Tamiya do a better job?

I honestly don’t know, I have seen people claim that it’s better but I don’t know (of course with tape I have found that there is differences among brands and not all blue painters tape is equal - I’ve become a proponent of name brand tape it seems to work better in my experience).
 

The big advantage, to me, is that I have the Tamiya tape is 6mm and 10mm widths making it easier to do curves. You could cut the blue painters tape down as well though.

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6 hours ago, MrBlueJacket said:

Once you mask off, it is a good idea to paint either clear of the color under the tape. That seals the edge of the tape and makes for nice crisp lines.

 

Hi Nic, I‘m not sure what you mean by “paint either clear of the color under the tape”? Can you explain further.

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The idea is to seal the tape line. If there is a painted color under the tape painting that same color at the tape line before painting your new color will seal the tape and any bleed under the tape will be the same color as the paint originally there. In the same vein if there is no paint under the tape you can use a clear coat to seal the tape and prevent bleed. I’ve only done this on larger paint jobs, but I’ve seen it recommended for models as well (can always do a test or two on scrap wood to see).

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18 hours ago, MrBlueJacket said:

Once you mask off, it is a good idea to paint either clear of the color under the tape. That seals the edge of the tape and makes for nice crisp lines.

 

@MrBlueJacket, I don’t understand what you mean by once you tape, painting under the tape 

 

do you mean: don’t try tape on bare wood because the tape will never stick and seal properly. So alway tape on a pre painted surface, or c,ear if you want the unpainted look?

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On 9/25/2020 at 9:39 PM, VTHokiEE said:

The idea is to seal the tape line. If there is a painted color under the tape painting that same color at the tape line before painting your new color will seal the tape and any bleed under the tape will be the same color as the paint originally there. In the same vein if there is no paint under the tape you can use a clear coat to seal the tape and prevent bleed. I’ve only done this on larger paint jobs, but I’ve seen it recommended for models as well (can always do a test or two on scrap wood to see).

Yes, what he said.

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Continuing on with my build...

 

I decided to start building my lobster traps between coats. I broke one of the hoops in three places taking it out of the fret! It took me a while, but I was able to repair it. I’m not impressed with my first trap, but hoping to do better with the next two. On the first trap, I put a coat of clear on thinking it might make the wood look a bit used. I was wrong, so I rubbed it with a stain using a q-tip.

 

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I have six coats of white on now and I am moving on to the next step on the recommended painting sequence; the well deck. 
 

I’m still upset at the way my pilot house roof lists to starboard due to the mishap mentioned in an earlier post. Overall, I am happy with my results and I am really enjoying the process!

 

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