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Starting my very much looked forward to British Man O War. From looking at other builds on MSW I gather that this model provides the luxury of personal preference in color scheme. Anxious to see what I go with. I have already painted the deck sections and weathered them like old wood. I have also glued the hull halves together and used putty followed my sanding to hide the seam along the bottom. I followed this up with Vallejo surface primer since I plan to paint it with acrylic paint. I like to make a custom base for my ships since I don’t care much for the little plastic stands included with the kit. For the Man O War I employed a great idea another builder detailed on MSW. Once the hull was glued together I cut off the little tabs then turned it upside down in my drill press and carefully drilled holes through into the inside of the hull. Using epoxy I glued nuts over the holes on the inside that bolts will eventually screw into. I found a nice piece of veneer that I thought resembled the V shaped wake a ship makes as it cuts through the water. I glued the veneer up to some nice oak and cut the base shape to flow with veneer. Once I paint the hull I will assemble it by running bolts up through the bottom of the base then through two black pedestals the ship keel will set in, and then through the bottom of the ship and into the nuts epoxied into the interior of the hull. A test proved the plan results in a solid and level assembly. 

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Looking good. I agree about the little stands supplied with the kits. A while ago one of our members spent a long time restoring a big model of a steamship for a museum. The ship had turned turtle on its stand and crashed to the floor, with horrible results. Anything that can be done to avoid that is worthwhile in my book.

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Since my last post I have been painting the hull. Decided to darken the hull/weather the hull a bit more below the water line. Thought my original color had to much of a mustard look once I added the other colors up the sides. Once I do a few minor touch ups here and there I am going to give it several coats of a clear flat spray for protection and then mount it permanently to the base. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Devoted a good amount of time recently to building the masts and installing them. I have accidentally broken my bowsprit on two of my previous builds and had to carefully repair it. This time I borrowed an idea from fellow builder Robert Taylor and added reinforcement between the halves before gluing together. Being this was my first galleon I was initially concerned about the fact that my mizzenmast and boniventure mast were not vertical. I was sure something was wrong but could not figure out what it was. Thanks to help from other builders on this site I found out they are supposed to be “raked” toward the back of the ship. Also learned why that was the case. I tried a couple different color pallets for the masts and the crows nests. Decided on the scheme in the photos that I like. Installed the masts, the pre formed ratlines, and have begun some of the standing rigging. 

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Completed rigging my foremost and started rigging the mainmast. Also started working on my sails. I like to make my own since I don’t care for the plastic formed sails that come with the kits. The is my second ship using the technique I do to make my sails. It is a combination of a few different techniques I I picked up on MSW. I first measure the distance between the molded lines on the plastic sails of then transfer that measurement to some standard printer paper and fill the entire sheet with lines spaced the determined width. Once done I make a bunch of copies in my printer. I then take a sheet of the lined paper and lay it over one of the formed sails making sure the lines on the paper match up with the lines in the plastic sail. Holding it in place I carefully draw out the pattern of the sail under the paper. I add a small tab on a side where I write the number or letter of the sail. Once I have all my paper patterns I lay them aside and get the cloth I am using for the sails. For my Man O War I found some light weight antique cloth I thought would make nice sails. I then stretch out the amount I need and line it the same way I did the paper. This is now ready to transfer the patterns to the cloth. I line up each paper sail on the cloth matching the lines and draw around the perimeter. I now have all my sails layer out on cloth. After that the monotony begins. I do not have a sewing machine so I hand stitch all the lines on all the sails with a medium weight thread in a matching color. Once I have all the sails sewn I cut them out and prepare to make my billowed sails. I make a solution of half and half white glue and water. I then paint the back of a sail with the solution an lay it over the plastic formed sail as a mold. Follow that up with a heavy coat of the solution on the top side and shaping the cloth sail to match the mold carefully smoothing it it to resemble a sail billowed from the wind. I will the molds set over night and apply a second coat to the top side tomorrow. Once they dry completely I will pop them free of the molds and trim to size. They will then be ready for some airbrush antiquing and adding rigging components as necessary. I liked the way they came out for my Cutty Sark and am anxious to see this finished product. 

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Thanks Robert and Jeff. Robert are you talking about the big E and R on the main sail when you talk about the transfer?  If so, as you can see I drew them on the sail before I stitched it and applied the white glue. Once they are dry I am going to hand paint the letters red. 

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Sails are dry now. When removed from the plastic molds they hold their shape and have a look as if rippling in the wind. Next I will add a touch of color here in there for aging and then trim them to match the plastic sails, and  add some rigging points in the bottom corners. They will then be ready for for the ship when the time comes in assembly. I also hand painted the large E and R on the main sail. 

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Next step with the sails is to pop the them off the plastic molds. Then cut out each of the plastic sails. After cutting them out I again place the cloth sail over the corresponding plastic sail to form an exact template to trim the new cloth sail to size. Once finished I have a complete set of hand made cloth sails that match the formed plastic sails in size and billowing. Next will be to add the necessary rigging components and a bit of paint. 

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That's what happens when your nearing the end of a build you have loved doing, I was the same with my kit Bill. 

The comfort I have though when I finished it, was that I was really proud of it, and don't think I could have done better. 

She now sits tall and proud on display where I see her everday.

I'm  not normally so ott about anything I do, but I am with this for some reason.

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Same with me Robert. This was my first galleon and I found I really enjoy the vessel that they are. Once I build my case it will be displayed right beside my USS Constitution and Cutty Sark in their case. The Man O War was not as complicated as either of the other two and my skill level is definitely improving. Of the three I would probably say the Man O War was my favorite build. Also thanks for your excellent advice along the way. Should finish it this week. Will post the final pictures. 

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