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Colin Archer by Arjan - Billing Boats - 1/15 - ABS hull

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This summer I bought an old second hand kit that had already been started. I think its previous owner bought it in the mid nineties, the certificate that comes with the kit shows number 455. He had already fitted the deck, superstructures, bulwarks, chain plates and bow sprit. Also, the winch was assembled and the hull painted. 


Buying a kit that has been started by someone else is always a bit of a gamble and usually  some mistakes have to be corrected and some parts may also prove to be missing. Fortunately, the only missing parts were a bag of small brass nails which could easily be sourced.  Unfortunately, the previous owner of the kit made quite a few mistakes and I will only mention the most annoying ones now. The fore deck companionway and hatch were positioned incorrectly (one full centimetre too far forward). The plastic bulwark end parts were assembled and fitted incorrectly. Winch parts not assembled and painted properly. Needless to say, the colour of the hull bottom will also have to be addressed. Finally, no ballast was added to the hull and since the deck has already been fitted adding the lead ballast will now be more difficult.


I started by shaping and assembling  the masts and spars. The first pics :





For sanding the main mast into shape I temporarily screwed a metal rod into its base so it would fit into the electric drill head (the diameter of the mast is 2.2 cm, almost the size of a broom handle). Some pics of the boom :







I applied a uniform colour to the darker pieces of wood :




I have by now also shaped and assembled the boom of the mizzen mast and the gaff of the main mast. I will make and post some pics of these parts later.







edit: not clear to me why the pics I posted don't show


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  • 2 weeks later...

I must say that it is quite hard to see the mistakes that you mentioned in the first post. I think that the build looks nice and clean. Especially the deck looks really good in the natural light of your pictures.

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Hi, I moved the companionway and hatch on the fore deck one cm to the rear. This wasn't easy because the previous owner had used two component adhesive. I couldn't remove these parts without causing damage to the deck which meant I had to use some putty afterwards. After sanding down the putty I had to paint it in a colour which more or less matched the surrounding planks. I used a mix of Vallejo Sunny skin and Bronze skin tone which proved to be a reasonable match. Compare the position of these parts in the following pics . I removed the plastic bulwark end parts because only half of the parts were used and only those intended for the rear deck  (the parts for the fore deck were still on the sprue).











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IMG_3036 (2).jpg

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Thanks gentlemen ! I've been working on the curved anchor chain ducts in the deck. According to the BB drawing these ducts should be positioned at some distance from the mast foot . I drilled holes into the deck accordingly but I noticed that the chain would then run onto the winch at an angle. This didn't make sense to me so I looked for some pics of these ducts on real CA boats. These images show that the ducts should be positioned tight against the mast foot which means the anchor chain now runs straight onto the winch. I filled the holes I had drilled and I also positioned the smoke stack further forward than in the drawing.







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you've done very well with this kit.   second hand projects usually have the little surprises you mentioned ;)    nice look'in model ;) 

I yam wot I yam!

finished builds:
Billings Nordkap 476 / Billings Cux 87 / Billings Mary Ann / Billings AmericA - reissue
Billings Regina - bashed into the Susan A / Andrea Gail 1:20 - semi scratch w/ Billing instructions
M&M Fun Ship - semi scratch build / Gundalow - scratch build / Jeanne D'Arc - Heller
Phylly C & Denny-Zen - the Lobsie twins - bashed & semi scratch dual build

Billing T78 Norden


in dry dock:
Billing's Gothenborg 1:100 / Billing's Boulogne Etaples 1:20
Billing's Half Moon 1:40 - some scratch required
Revell U.S.S. United States 1:96 - plastic/ wood modified / Academy Titanic 1:400
Trawler Syborn - semi scratch / Holiday Harbor dual build - semi scratch

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Thanks gentlemen !  I like buying second hand kits which have been languishing in an attic for many years. I guess well over 50% of all the wooden boat kits people buy never get finished.  Also I often seem to prefer vintage kits which are no longer available. Popeye, I've just noticed you are the modeler who built Susan A which I liked  very much.  I also built (not quite 100% finished) BB's Regina Yacht which is also one of the vintage kits I  bought second hand.







Edited by Arjan
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  • 2 months later...
On 10/9/2020 at 9:25 AM, Arjan said:

For those interested,  the pics that fail to materialize in my previous post (I really tried everything I could think of)  can be seen here :









Hello Arjan, very nice photos..and very helpfull for people like me who have started a CA RS1 from Billing. Seems that many people have given up building when they have just done a few first steps. I have now have TWO 414 kits. Both are abandoned projects by guys living in Stavanger. Billing instructions are not for the inexperienced and when guys like you and Andreas Sundt post many build sequences it helps to inspire others (like me) to get going!  I have started the RS1 but will not be building at full speed until my Fisher 34 is finished. I have also bough the books about CA RS1 by Knut Von Trepka who sails the full size RS1 in Norway.  


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Nice to see this kit being built. Your painting is very good. Spray paint or by brush I wonder?


And I was particularly glad to spot Regina in the pond. I did put ballast in mine but have no intention of splashing her.


Keep it up!

Happy modelling!




Current build: Atlantica by Wintergreen

Previous builds

Kågen by Wintergreen

Regina by Wintergreen

Sea of Galilee boat, first century, sort of...

Billing Boats Wasa


Kågen (Cog, kaeg) by Wintergreen - 1:30Billing Boats Regina - 1:30Billing Boats Dana

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Thanks gentlemen for your kind remarks !  George, I think for most people building the CA kit just takes far too much time. The new kit, with the wooden hull, only makes matters worse in this respect . Personally I think BB should have upgraded their instructions instead of discontinuing the ABS hull.

Håkan, most of the paint work was done by brush. I must confess that the Regina model is not a viable rc boat (too small and vulnerable).

I put my CA build on hold last November but I will continue once my current Schnellboot project has been finished (shouldn't take too long now) :




I usually find it hard to finish projects because new ones are always more interesting 🙂.









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  • 4 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Your Colin Archer looks very good indeed Arjan. Nice to see that you did not stain the masts in colour nr36 mahogany -as on the plans. I think that the spars look best in 'natural' spruce wood.

Progress on my CA is slow just now due to trying to make a scale-ish interior.


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