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Wonderful work so far, hard to believe this is your first attempt at planking!

It certainly is a fine looking model and I have it on my “wish list”.

I’ll be following along with the rest of your progress. As another newbie I probably won’t have any advice to offer but I will be enjoying watching your progress and clicking the ‘like button’.

I do like the idea of painting the top black too.

 

I also dabble in a bit of  R/C sailing too. I have a pair of Kyosho Seawinds that are fantastic boats to sail.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been swamped with work and other distractions, so progress has been slow, but I am chipping away at the second pearwood planking layer.  Per the suggestion of Chris and Jim, I've been preparing each plank, tapering and beveling as required, and then gluing it in place using thick CA gel.  This works very well.  The gel gives you the delay in set-up time that's necessary to get the plank into correct position before it hardens up.  Here's a few progress shots.  I've been working my way up from the garboards, and down from the gunwales, alternatively. 

 

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I've been beveling the edges of the planks where necessary to allow them to fit closely together without large gaps.  I've been using this big sanding block to bevel the planks.  It's long enough that I can sand in a bevel over a long length easily.

 

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Here's a couple more shots of the start of the second planking.  Slow and steady.

 

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Edited by EKE
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5 hours ago, James H said:

For a first time ship modeller, I envy your discipline and results! 

 

Beautiful work, and soon you'll be on the real fun stuff.


Thanks, Jim.  I have to say that I am really enjoying this.  I work hard at my profession, and the days are hectic and sometimes stressful, so when I can get a few minutes out in my shop to work, it’s a pleasure.  It’s therapeutic.  
 

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By the way, I bought this really great foam hull cradle from Micro-Mark, and I really like it.  It’s made of a nice quality foam that’s firm, but pliable.  And it’s cut into two different sized cradles, which fit one-inside-the-other, for different sized hulls.  It’s turned out to be a great thing for doing tasks like the second planking, when I have had to press a plank down quite firmly to hold it in position while the CA dries.  With this foam cradling the hull, I am not worried that I’m going to crush or damage anything.  I really recommend it.

 

Here’s the link:

https://www.micromark.com/Triple-Duty-Foam-Cradle-for-Models-and-Ships

 

 

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Edited by EKE
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Erik,

 

I do like the look of your hull cradle. I made a DIY version when I started ship modelling in the summer....I find it very flexible for man handling the ships. But I suspect your's is a bit more gentle on the paintwork etc. I'm going to see if I can hunt your one down in the UK.

 

And I really like your Zulu build. I'm thinking it will end up on my wishlist.

 

I'm building Vanguard Model's Fifie and thoroughly enjoying it. However, B.E.'s Muirneag Zulu version highlights what is possible if one puts in a lot of research combined with experience and skill..... one day maybe ;-)

 

Best regards,

 

Richard

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While I finish up the planking, I need to make some decisions about painting the hull, and I’m hoping to solicit some advice.

 

My plan is to fill and sand the hull surface, mark the waterline, and to paint up to the waterline with a matte red oxide spray to simulate the bottom paint.  All good there.  But I want to paint the hull above the waterline black, in conformance with nearly all of the photos I’ve seen of Zulus.  My first thought was to simply use a matte black acrylic paint like the Vallejo acrylics I have.  But looking at vintage photos, it looks to me that the topsides paint on the Zulus was most often glossy, or at least a satin finish.  I’m having trouble locating  a good satin black paint to use.  Can anyone recommend one?   I suppose another option would be to use the Vallejo black, and then topcoat it with a satin sealer of some kind, to give it a bit of sheen.  I’d love to hear any advice you all may have on how to proceed.  My plan is to do the bottom and topsides as described, and then to paint the white boot stripe last.

 

Another question, this one for James... in your build log, you mentioned after painting that you coated the entire hull with a matte clear varnish.  Do you recommend putting the varnish over the painted surfaces, including the red bottom paint, or just the bare wood surfaces?

 

Thanks to all for any advice! 
-E

 

 

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Edited by EKE
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25 minutes ago, EKE said:

While I finish up the planking, I need to make some decisions about painting the hull, and I’m hoping to solicit some advice.

 

My plan is to sand and fill the hull surface, mark the waterline, and to paint up to the waterline with a matte red oxide spray to simulate the bottom paint.  All good there.  But I want to paint the hull above the waterline black, in conformance with nearly all of the photos I’ve seen of Zulus.  My first thought was to simply use a matte black acrylic paint like the Vallejo acrylics I have.  But looking at vintage photos, it looks to me that the topsides paint on the Zulus was most often glossy, or at least a satin finish.  I’m having trouble locating  a good satin black paint to use.  Can anyone recommend one?   I suppose another option would be to use the Vallejo black, and then topcoat it with a satin sealer of some kind, to give it a bit of sheen.  I’d love to hear any advice you all may have on how to proceed.  My plan is to do the bottom and topsides as described, and then to paint the white boot stripe last.

 

Another question, this one for James... in your build log, you mentioned after painting that you coated the entire hull with a matte clear varnish.  Do you recommend putting the varnish over the painted surfaces, including the red bottom paint, or just the bare wood surfaces?

 

Thanks to all for any advice! 
-E

 

 

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First, for that black paint with a satin finish, I highly recommend Games Workshop's Chaos Black aerosol. Superb coverage will prob just have that correct finish you want. I would maybe apply some varnish to those areas before spraying it.

 

https://www.waylandgames.co.uk/citadel-sprays-and-aerosols/25619-chaos-black-spray

 

For the varnish, yes I apply over the whole paintwork/timber to unify the finish. Of course, you may want to keep the black area in satin, so you'd need to mask accordingly.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, James H said:

 

First, for that black paint with a satin finish, I highly recommend Games Workshop's Chaos Black aerosol. Superb coverage will prob just have that correct finish you want. I would maybe apply some varnish to those areas before spraying it.

 

https://www.waylandgames.co.uk/citadel-sprays-and-aerosols/25619-chaos-black-spray

 

For the varnish, yes I apply over the whole paintwork/timber to unify the finish. Of course, you may want to keep the black area in satin, so you'd need to mask accordingly.

 

 


Thanks so much, Jim!  I appreciate the tip.  I found the Chaos Black paint on Amazon, so I’ll order some and give it a try.  
 

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Finished the second planking this weekend.  I think it came out pretty well, and should sand out nicely.  I will need to do a bit of light filling with wood filler, especially at the stern post and stem, where there are some gaps at the ends of the planks.  But overall, I’m pleased with the results.  

 

Here’s a few photos after an initial light sanding with 80 grit paper.  Filling and more sanding to follow.  Again, I am reminded how lovely the lines of this Zulu are, particularly in the stern.  I’ve always been smitten with double-enders, and this one is so unique and pretty.

 

Next steps...  building the rudder, installing the rubbing strakes, and finishing and painting the hull.

 

 

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Erik,

 

Your hull and planking is looking very good. I feel that the Zulu is moving up my wishlist pretty fast 😉

 

I'm also still admiring your Foam Cradle...I did have a look for it in the UK but it doesn't seem to be sold on this side of the pond...shame. However, I've got my own Mk1 cobbled together version that I've used on my first two ships and it's been fine but maybe a bit harsh on paintwork. I've got a large chunk of foam in the attic that will soon be morphing into a Foam Cradle methinks.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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1 hour ago, Rik Thistle said:

Erik,

 

Your hull and planking is looking very good. I feel that the Zulu is moving up my wishlist pretty fast 😉

 

I'm also still admiring your Foam Cradle...I did have a look for it in the UK but it doesn't seem to be sold on this side of the pond...shame.

 

 

I bet Micro-Mark could ship to the UK... don't you think?  It would probably cost more to ship than the sales price for the cradle, but if you bought some more stuff, it could make sense.  Micro-Mark has a bunch of terrific product, so it shouldn't be hard to find lots of things to buy. :)

 

Edited by EKE
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I had a wander round Micro-mark the other day and there are definately loads of things to buy, but I can't justify enough of them at the moment.

 

But I did do a test checkout cart at $80 and the total was $120 ie +50% shipping, which is a bit too much.

 

But thanks anyway Erik for thinking of new ways to spend my money 😉 ....not that I need too much encouragement.

 

All the best,

 

Richard

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I made a bit of progress this weekend.  I filled and sanded the hull.  Since I am painting the entire hull surface, I went in pretty heavy with the wood filler, so that I’d end up with as smooth a surface as possible.  Started with 80 grit for initial pass, then 120, 220, and finally 320 grit paper.  Smooth as a baby’s butt.  :)

 

 

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Next, I built the rudder.  I gave it good sanding, and then attached the straps for the pintels.  This was a bit fiddly, as the straps are tiny, and need to be placed carefully. Fortunately, Chris has taken care of us, because the holes for the pins are pre-drilled, so it's hard to make a mistake here.  I trimmed them from the PE sheet, and filed them smooth, then I glued them to the rudder, pinning them temporarily with brass pins.  Then, when the glue had set, I removed the pins, cut them to a short length, and hammered them gently into place.  The pins need to be shortened because they come in from both sides of the rudder, so they can’t be more than half the rudder thickness.

 

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Then I marked out the waterline on the hull and rudder, to get ready to paint the bottom.  I set the boat up on the acrylic cradle provided in the kit, and then marked the WL point on the stem and stern post per the drawings.  Then I used my Model Shipways WL tool to mark out the WL.    If you look closely, you can just see the pencil line for the waterline in these photos.

 

 

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Slow and steady.  She’s starting to look like a proper little ship.  :)

 

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I finished the rubbing strakes.  I spent a good amount of time measuring off the plans and marking the lines out carefully on the hull.  I think they came out rather well... nice and fair.  
 

By the way, the 1mm square stock for the lower strakes is very small and brittle.  If you are working with this material, be very careful.  I broke one of them while trimming it to size.  I had to very carefully glue it back together with CA, and then sand it down to proper dimensions.   The kit is supplied with just enough stock to do the strakes, and no extra pieces.  Respectfully offered:  I’d recommend to Chris that he include at least one extra spare piece in future kits, as I think it’s inevitable that some builders will break these.

 

Next, I’m ready to start masking and painting the hull...

 

 

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Been super busy with work this week, trying to keep clients with high expectations happy.  :)    But I am moving forward on the Zulu, as time allows.

 

I masked off on the waterline, and put down a first coat of red oxide bottom paint.  The hull looks pretty fair!  It’s going to end up nice, I think. There are a few areas which need some additional filling, but that looks to be minor.  My opinion is that I want to fill all of the major gaps where there are cracks between planks, but I’m not too worried about seeing a bit of the planking broadcasting through the paint, as I think it adds character and realism to the finish.  I’d certainly be interested it all of your opinions on that.  Here’s a few photos of the hull after the first light coat.  I expect to build up three or four coats at least, as necessary.  
 

By the way, I used 6mm Tamiya masking tape to mask the waterline.  The stuff is fantastic.  Flexible as required to lay down difficult curves, and just sticky enough to burnish right down on the surface very reliably.  Great product. 
 

 

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Edited by EKE
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seeing a bit of the planking broadcasting through the paint, as I think it adds character and realism to the finish.

 

Absolutely. I think seeing the 'joins' is all part of modelling the real life item. I'm fairly sure that straight after manufacture trawlers would not have smooth surfaces, and especially so after a few trips out to sea.

 

And then there is the ongoing maintenance...painting, patching up damage, scrapes etc that happen in the course of the life of a trawler.

 

Your Lady Isabella is looking great and I imagine you are having a fascinating, enjoyable time building her.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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Richard,

 

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  It seems to me that is an interesting question for model ship builders:  how for do you go in to smooth and perfect finishes?  My personal inclination is to keep sanding, and to smooth out the surface as perfectly as I can.  I love sanding, it’s meditative and I like the results.  It probably comes from spending hours as a kid painting model cars, or sanding the bottoms of full-size racing sailboats.  But models of vintage ships are different indeed.  There, seeing the wood grain on certain parts, seeing the joints between elements, the planking lines ghosting slightly through the finish often looks to me more “real” than perfect smoothness.  I suppose it depends on which parts we’re considering.  I think the best modelers I’ve had the privilege of observing on this site have really excellent discretion between elements which would look best smoothly finished and those which need some “grit”.  
 

By the way, Richard, I just discovered your build log for the Vanguard Fifie.  I don’t know how I had missed it.  You finished her out with a look very similar to the one I plan for my Zulu.  I’ll be studying it closely.  Thanks for the inspiration!

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Your hull looks good Erik.

 

Personally I like to see strake lines thro' the paint to a degree on period ships, imparts a reality in my view. otherwise you may as well have a plastic hull.

 

When I did the Top and Butt  planking on the wale of my Pegasus build,  I positively wanted the lines to show thro' otherwise I might as well have used straight planks.

 

I used to have this argument with my Dad in relation to  door painting. he always strived for a plastic smooth finish.  I aimed for a smooth finish but didn't mind seeing some grain show thro'  provided there were no runs/ thick spots etc.

 

A matter of taste I suppose.

 

B.E.

 

 

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