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Spray by Ken_2 - BlueJacket Shipcrafters – 3/8” = 1’ or 1:35

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I finally feel like I am making some progress.  I’ve successfully installed the stanchions, airbrushed the cabins and bowsprit, and installed the bulwark planking.  After gluing the bowsprit on and 2 of the bulwark planks I found the bowsprit was crooked.  Not by much, and I tried to ignore it, but was unable to.  So, I used mineral spirits and a small syringe and removed the bowsprit, sanded some more and re-glued it.  It is much better.



Next I added the cap rail by bending the 5 narrow strips onto the tops of the stanchions. 




Then I put the final coat (I hope) of wood filler and sanded the cap rails, hull, stern, and deck.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I masked the deck and airbrushed primer on the margin planks, inside bulwark planks, caprail and outside hull.  Then added more yellow masking tape to the margin planks and airbrushed flat white enamel paint.  I can’t tell if I thinned the enamel too much, or it takes 4 -5 coats of paint, but I sprayed several coats of the flat white paint and removed the masking tape, only to find a lot of the primer was still showing through.  So, I re-masked everything again and sprayed a 2nd time.








Up to now, I’ve delayed putting on the rub rail, rudder assembly, bow block and taffrail.  So, the time has come to put these on and finish painting the hull.  I started with the Bow Block and Taffrail.  This gave me a chance to redo the sanding of the cap rail one more time.  While I’ve been waiting for the wood filler, sealer and paint to dry, (fill, seal, paint again …) I have started on the cabins and steering gear.




Each of these items took much longer that I anticipated.  I am not done with them yet, as I need to glue the final parts together and touch up some paint. 

It is not museum quality, but it is better than I have done before.  Notice all the scrap pieces around the steering gear.  This is what happens when working with really small parts and the resultant assembly is not good enough.  You try to fix it and it all breaks.  So, you start again.  At some point you say to yourself this is good enough!






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11 hours ago, Ken_2 said:

Notice all the scrap pieces around the steering gear.  This is what happens when working with really small parts and the resultant assembly is not good enough.  You try to fix it and it all breaks.  So, you start again.


Noted midwestern modeler Steve Wheeler said your best tool is the wastebasket!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I installed the rudder and I am ready to paint the bottom copper.  I’ve always painted using a brush on previous models.  But airbrushing seemed best to me especially when making the boottop stripe.  I marked a straight line on the hull by finding a level spot on my countertop and spun the boat around as I marked the line.  As I lay the wide yellow Tamiya tape, I found it curved up and did not follow the pencil mark.  There must be some kind of topology involved that I did not consider.  As the boat curves, the tape does not.  Making the tape follow sheer line causes the tape to wrinkle, which breaks the seal and will let paint go underneath.  At the bow, I started laying shorter pieces of masking tape to follow the pencil line.  But then I found as I stack these shorter pieces of tape, the seal between the boat and tape is not secure (too thick).  I looked at some YouTube videos on taping.  I found there is such a thing as masking tape for curves, which worked very well.  Since I will overlay the boottop black stripe on the white/copper boundry, I went ahead and used the yellow tape and ordered the 5mm tape for curves.  Below you can see I am almost ready for the copper paint.  I added some more blue masking tape to keep the overspray from going where I don’t want it.


I like this True North paint provided by BlueJacket Shipcrafters  It looks nice.  After the paint dried, I added the rubrail.  I will sand the hull in a few more places one more time.  Then mask the lower part and paint the upper hull white again.  


As you can see in the pictures below there are 3 rows of this masking tape for curves.  The center tape, marked #2, is where I will paint black.  It is centered between the upper white and lower copper.  I then place yellow tape halfway on the upper and lower tape, and remove the center tape.  The white tape (#1 and #3) provides a clean edge and good seal to bound the black paint.  The yellow tape continues this good seal, but is not used to provide a smooth curved line.  I continue to mask all the upper and lower portions to minimize overspray.  As a note: as I got better at using the airbrush, I found there was not as much overspray as I thought, and I masked less in later uses.







The result was good (as shown below).  There are a few blemishes. Some I corrected with hand painting, but it was not easy to keep a straight fine line.  So others I left.  I will look at the boottop on the bow more carefully – later.





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Now I turn my attention to the deck gear.  I am looking to finish as much of the deck gear as I can before I start the rigging and sails.  The picture below shows a “batch” of gear placed on my turn table for painting at my spray booth.  I am starting with primer.  It comes out of the can with some force, so I am using play-doh to hold the lighter parts in place.  Also, the primer stinks of chemicals.  The fan in my prototype spray booth (130 CFM) pulls most of the odor outside, but not enough!  When I build my next spray booth, it will be bigger to accommodate a larger boat, and will have a much stronger fan.  Tomorrow, I will airbrush the flat white on most of these parts, and later airbrush Black on the rest.



I have been postponing the installation of the lower deadeyes on chain plates, but now is time to attempt this feat.  I measured and started with a pin vise drill.  It worked.  It required drilling several holes, sometime using the drill bit as a file.  Each time I fit the soft chain plate in the hole it bent.  So, I cut a thin piece of metal to the width of the chain plate and used this to “fit” the hole before I did a final fit of the kit chain plate.


Here is the total of my work so far.






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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been working to finish most of the hull by installing the steering gear, drilling and painting the hawse holes, installing the 4 lower deadeyes painting the chainplates, along with a few other cleanup tasks.







Now I change my focus from the hull to the rigging.  I started by tapering the main mast, Gaff and Boom.  I used my drill, and started with 60 grit, then 100 grit, and ended with 220.  I used my calipers and ruler often to taper only as far as the drawing specifies.




The instructions call for using the stropping wire to strop 15 single blocks.  But I like the look of seizing a line to beckets.  I’ve never done this but thought now is the time to learn.  I hope they come out good, as this is taking a lot of time.  I found instructions on MSW, and on YouTube:



Following the examples in the above links, I wrapped a line around the block and seized it.  I trimmed the line and then added another line and seized it to the eyepin or mast ring..  I used a sharpened toothpick and carefully placed CA glue between a small part of the thread and block and added glue to the seizing knot so they would not come loose, but such that the body of the thread remained somewhat flexible and the eyepin was wholly free to move.  For the next blocks, I will try diluted white glue, as the CA glue runs into the threads more than I like and becomes very hard.

I had to practice for a while.  I bought some thin fly fishing thread (70 denier ~ 8/0) for the seizing line.  I made 5 blocks seized to the eyepins provided, and 2 more blocks seized to the large metal eye ring provided.  The holes in the eye rings were filled with metal, and I had to drill them out very carefully.







The next step is to look at the laser cut boom jaws.  I knew to be careful, but I still pushed the boom into the jaws too hard, which broke them.  Dooh!.  I will glue the jaws back together.  I made the main gaff Jaws per the drawing.  I will refine these jaws later in the build




The instructions state to paint the spars tan, buff, or grey.  I painted a spare rod with the 3 colors.  I am not used to these colors.  So, I coated the main mast with varnish like my other boats.  Nope, the varnish did was not colorful enough, so I sanded and tried a pecan stain.  Even with the warmer color, the finish was just not to right, and the rods (spars) were plain looking.  So I searched YouTube and found that Tom Lauria used a heavy body acrylic, colored Raw Sienna, which I liked.  I ordered it.  It took me a while to find the right paint consistency.  The longer you leave it on the darker the wood gets.  So I found the time I like before wiping it off.  I stayed with the Raw Sienna.  I have some small cleats for the main boom, so again I had to determine how to finish the cleats.  (Stainless Steel was not invented in the days of Mr. Slocum).  The following picture shows some of my trials.  And the spar at the top of the picture is the final configuration.




Next I colored my white rigging line, #6 and running line #3.  Again, I found one of Tom Lauria’s YouTube videos (Tips) to be useful.  Between his advice and the Rit dye instructions, I colored the line and it looks very nice.






I also bought a tan dye for the #3 running line.  But you know the old saying, “Pride goes before the fall”?  Well, it was all going great.  I got out the running line, cleaned all the dishes, and dyed the running #3 line, but I used the dark dye again, not tan.  Dooh!  I could not bleach the line white, so I had to order another spool.  Until it comes, I used sewing thread.  Which is a good thing, because as I rigged my blocks and spars I took the line on and off several times.  Now that I have done this, when it comes time for the final rigging, I will be able to use the thicker line with more experience :-). 

Next I rigged the main mast, boom and gaff.




Then I traced out the 3 sails per the drawing.  I have a small light I tablet use for viewing negatives and slides, and is also handy for tracing. 


When I put the prototype sails next to the yards, they did not fit!  The 2nd picture below shows the mismatch.  The mismatch was not as bad as indicated in the picture because the boom was set too high, and the gaff is a bit too low.  But, still, it did not fit.  It took me a while to figure out what the problem was.  My mast is leaning slightly more aft than shown in the drawing.  This also affected the jib which did not fit properly either.  I was going to rerig the mast, but I realized I could just recut the cardboard sails instead.  It was only a small trim, so I suspect the deviation from the drawing will not be noticed when assembled.






Before I make the sails, I thought it best to finish all the spars and masts and install the blocks.  Then fit all the cardboard sails to ensure I am on the right path, before I actually cut cloth.  So I am now cutting, and painting the final parts for the mizzen mast.  The assembly onto the boat will require cutting slots into the railing and rub strip.  So, completing this task this will take a while.  



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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I found that the #6 thread I stained dark for standing rigging was not dark enough, so I had to dye it again.  And when my new #3 running rigging line came, I dyed it tan, but looked like the brown of the standing rigging.  So, it also was not dyed correctly.  I read that bleach does not work on this dye, but that Rit dye remover does work, so I bought some and put the #3 in the dye remover for a short time, trying to get the brown to turn tan, but instead it turned yellow.  Holy Moley, what a mess.  I studied what color tan is, online, and tried again.  I took the yellow line and dipped it in a less dense tan dye for 10 seconds. And then rinsed.  It came out a nice tan!  This is very complicated.  First the Rit instructions are for clothes, and second I don’t know what the #6 or #3 line is made of, but the type of material really impacts what strength of dye you use, and how long you let it soak.  I did test 18” of line the first time and during all these experiments, but the pieces were small enough I guess I missed the true result.  At one point I gave up and looked for tan line on Amazon.  None of the line I could find seemed as nice as that provided by BlueJacket, so I tried coloring one more time.  I’m glad I did, and I am now happy with the result.  I used a 0.6mm thread for lashing the sails to the spars.


I trimmed the cardboard sails and re-mounted them with sewing thread and tape, and I had to do yet another trim to get it right.  I then traced the cardboard outline onto the sail cloth and cut the sail out.  I used two different methods. 

First, for the mizzen sail, I used Heat and Bond UltraHold, as shown/discussed in Tom’s build.  I liked the results.  One nice thing about this is that I did it myself.  Having done it once, I think I could do it again better than the first time I did it.  One cuts a strip of Heat and Bond ½” wide and lays ¼” inside the outline traced on the sail cloth, and ¼” outside.  Then iron the tape, which deposits glue onto the sail cloth.  Then using an exacto blade cut along the outside of the tape, making the cut sail ¼” bigger on all sides.  Pull up the paper from the Heat and Bond, fold the extra ¼” extra cloth over and iron again.  The result is a sail the size of the carboard, with a good outside seam.  I also used Tom’s great idea of a thin wire for all three sails, which I plan to use later when “posing” the sails.  My explanation is a bit of an oversimplification.  for example, overlapping corners should be avoided, and caused me no end of analysis and adjusting.





I saw Josh sewed the seams of his sails.  My wife generously offered to sew my sails if I cut them and marked them.  She assured me that sewing a seam on each side and a straight line simulating where sail cloth is joined, and where reefing lines are reinforced would be easy.  Again, I used the cardboard sail as a template and added ¼” extra on all sides.  She suggested I use a disappearing ink pen to mark where the sail was to be folded, and where the lines were to be sewed.  I was somewhat worried having permanent pink lines on my sail would be a detraction.  But on the contrary, the ink disappeared so fast I had to remark them again.  And where I was too aggressive in re-marking the sailcloth the ink did not disappear after a day.  But I found a damp cloth dabbed on the few remaining spots cleared all traces of the marker.  I tried to explain my findings about the corners and other helpful tips to my wife, but she told me to leave her alone – she knows how to sew (haha).  I am learning a lot with each boat I build, but after watching her sew, I realize sewing is not something I want to take the time to learn (at least at this time).




We fixed the lines that terminated before the seam.  What you see in pictures above and below are the display side of the sails (folded seam in back).  But when I went to mount the sails I found somehow I reversed the markings such that the folded seams of the main were showing on the display side.  I told my wife it was OK, no need to change, but she took all the stitching out and re-sewed it correctly.



I like the sewed sails as well as the glued sails.  If I ever build a large boat with lots of sails, I wonder if she will be willing to sew all of my sails again for me?

I fitted the sails on the sticks and they looked good.  But I had to think a lot about the sequence of permanently mounting them using my newly tanned #3 line and double dyed #6.  Some things are easier to add while off the boat.  I think I got most of it right.  I had lashed the sails to the booms and gaffs, and made my own rigs attaching the main to the mast, and added threaded loops to attach the jib to forestay. I added reefing lines to the sails which I will trim to length later.  I glued the forward cabin and belaying pin rack.  I then seized the top of the forestay to the mast (first time I’ve done this).  I then added the sails in their final configuration.



Edited by Ken_2
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Well, there were a few things I wish I had completed before I installed the masts and sails.  I forgot to add the parrles (beads and line holding the boom and gaffs onto the masts), drilling holes in the metal mizzen mast yoke for the belaying pins, and a few other assorted tasks that were more difficult because of mast assembly.

Next, I installed the hand railing.








I added the shrouds, cabins, boat, anchor and chain.  I underestimated the remaining work needed to tie off the various halyards, sheets, docking line and associated coiled lines.  My date for completion keeps on sliding.

I have yet to add Spray’s name and harbor to the stern, but with this exception, I am declaring that I am finished.












This has been an excellent kit and fun boat to build.  I will have to read Joshua’s Slocum’s adventure again expecting to have a new appreciation of his descriptions of the boat.  And I especially appreciate all the previous build logs of the Spray and the tips and build information found within Model Ship World, as well as the support from BlueJacket and especially Nic.



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