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HM Brig-Sloop Flirt 1782 (MSE) by Rik Thistle - Vanguard Models - 1:64


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Hi all,

 

After finishing VM's Lady Eleanor Fifie the other day I wanted some downtime. But by the next day the Flirt box had somehow found it's way into the shipyard, opened itself and started assembling parts...strange!

 

Truthfully, I just couldn't stop myself. I haven't even read through the manual once or even looked at the plans. So that needs to be rectified over the next few days before further building continues (he says). I have  read through the excellent Flirt builds on MSW and will take notes from them to supplement VM's instructions.

 

Having built VM's Lady Eleanor I'm now a bit more familiar with the excellent layout style of the manual, the plans and how they relate to each other. I don't expect the Flirt instructions to be any different.  Having experience of a company's way of conveying instructions shortens the learning curve.

 

So here's a couple of pics to get started....

 

Below - manual, box cover and cradle. I think I actually prefer the wooden cradle to the plastic version. It's stronger and more rigid - I might try to paint/varnish the wooden version when all is done and use it as Flirt's permanent display cradle - we'll see.

734585805_flirt1.thumb.jpg.9f053b0dea2435bf60c36947069d5804.jpg

 

And some parts have already been dry fitted together....
559948684_flirt4.thumb.jpg.f8328b213e7523d7adc5fe05fe2bd35b.jpg

 

The build should gather momentum once I've spent time reading the instructions and cribbing from MSW Flirt builds.

 

And that's all for now, catch you soon,

 

Richard

 

Edited by Rik Thistle
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Hi all,

 

HMS Flirt continues her construction, in spite of some minor distractions.

 

Below, The lower decks have been glued in position and weighed down overnight. Everything seemed to fit fine.

1312112661_hull4.thumb.jpg.71ed659e9a1bdcbf0407548b65d062cf.jpg

 

Bow patterns etc glued in to position, and now preparing to fit the Deck Beams.

646500785_hull5.thumb.jpg.d5d10e1ee6bccb03887ed4aadc90d692.jpg

 

Upper deck longitudinal supports, Stern Frame Parrerns etc all glued.  One of the Bow Patterns had slipped down a few mm during clamping but I don't think it will affect any later fittings.  And Main Sub Deck ready for fitting.

1954735736_hull6.thumb.jpg.d446652cd82b2a01a293d8ae1085caf4.jpg

 

The Main Sub Deck, although accurately made, does take a fair bit of manoeuvring to get it to slot into all the bulkheads etc. As the instructions say, curving the deck longitudinally helps squeeze it into position. Even after I was convinced the deck was snugly in position I twice went round each bulkhead slot location pressing firmly down on the deck and on the secound round heard a couple of clicks as the deck found an even snugger fit....to the naked eye all had looked fine but there was obviously the odd 0.5mm here and there to still be taken up. And just to make sure the deck didn't try to free itself the heavy squad was called in for overnight duty.

2020760823_hull7.thumb.jpg.88f7fd6325047973f603ce43727a21ad.jpg

 

The (slightly curved) Stern Counter was soaked in hot water and clamped to a chisel handle for an hour or so. I really need to sit down and figure out better clamping methods - appropriate clamping is a subject that keeps raising it's head with me. 4x tie wraps isn't ideal but did the job.

1554733469_hull8.thumb.jpg.cdbb2ddd720962125736ab439fc40f90.jpg

 

Bulldog clips clamping the stern Board.

1345634846_hull10.thumb.jpg.93b6a2695fca162fe3fc35c1348c60f6.jpg

 

About to check the beveling of the parts that the planks etc will run over. Correct beveling is still an area of 'great mystery' to me. The plank showed good contact in all the places it should up and down the depth of the bulkheads, but the Bulwarks...ah, that's a different story.

1765230202_hull11.thumb.jpg.66a997ef805413400d91148a9c7f3b43.jpg

 

Bulwarks soaked in hot water and then clamped (rubber bands) overnight to achieve the desired curvature before gluing. It's fairly easy to get the curvature correct in one plane, but as the bulwark approaches the bow there are at least two directions of curvature. I still haven't figured out how to clamp in two planes.

1310294556_hull12.thumb.jpg.615fb410f53b240cf7da7e0c94fccb48.jpg

 

Bulwarks now glued in position. There are some small gaps between the bulwarks' lower edges and the bulkheads, near the bow and to some extent near the stern. The gaps are maybe approaching 1mm (worst case) - I've driven in some nails to push the bulwarks towards the bulkheads but I still see some 0.25mm - 0.5mm gaps. Probably nothing I can't fudge a solution to, but the gaps are the result of less than perfect beveling and not being aware of appropriate clamping methods....two areas I need to brush up on.

2098065090_hull17.thumb.jpg.327e1f8fdef4de018f23425cc235e7d6.jpg

 

OK, well the planking is next 🙂

 

My study, which not so long ago was a radio shack/electronics learning area has now been usurped by a shipyard. And boy, do shipyard tools, materials etc quickly spread to all corners of the room in a matter of hours.  Fortunately, I have workshop training so at close of play the last thing done is a full tidy up. I'm not a fan of the 'clean desk' policy that some companies force on their employees but am in full agreement with tidying up the workshop at the end of the day....it pays dividends.

 

All for now,

 

Richard

 

PS: There is a door to be fitted below decks...it was...but fell out... I need to figure a way to glue it back in position before planking commences... that is tomorrow's first challenge.

 

Edited by Rik Thistle
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No one can see the door I think !!

 

What thickness lime are you planking with 1 or 1.5mm  -you can get away with more with thicker first layer.

 

Think about ungluing and reshaping the Gunport strips  dont know which glue you used but any can be undone fairly easily you will see from my log I took one off and moved it a bit. 

If you do you will find that the strips have got a lot of the basic bend now set in - so its easier to do a bit more bending for a better fit - Use  more rubber bands and pin the bottom edge

IMG_2245.JPG.372785204a476fa90de2d757db65329b.JPG

 

Edited by SpyGlass
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Hi Spyglass,

 

Thanks for the info.

 

My first planking layer will be 1.5mm x 5 mm limewood, so that thickness gives me plenty scope for sanding the planks to the same level as the bulwarks.

 

I used PVA glue.  I did pin the bottom edges, but would ideally like to aim for a solution where pins mostly aren't necessary.

 

And that sure is a lot of rubber bands ;-)  But maybe that's what I need to plan for before gluing. 

 

As I gain more experience I should be better able to look at a part to be glued and know what clamping is required beforehand to get the desired result.

 

I did realise afterwards that a rod pushed though facing gunports would give me a couple of sturdy attachment points for rubber bands to hook on to and therefore put loads (in the necessary directions) onto the glued part.

 

So it is a case of me building up a database in my head of 'best practice' clamping methods.

 

Thanks again,

 

Richard

 

 

 

 

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Pins I use as temporary fastenings - either through a piece of scrap or as in the picture a length of strip. - means you can take the pins out after glueing which makes for easier sanding.

  You  can see from the pic that i use strips along the bottom and elswhere - not all pinned - just helps to keep the curve nice and regular. But this is a pic of  prebending the strip - always the best practice - i try to get it so it sits in place everywhere without any clamps.

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Hi all,

 

Here's my weekly (or so) update on Flirt.

 

Planking the hull with the first planking has been the main activity.

 

But let's get the important stuff on first. The below-decks door that had fallen out has been glued back in position. Schrodie, the ship's cat, would probably be the only one that knew it was back but it's the thought that counts.

 

Below, the door stuck back where it should be. A bit excess glue showing, but the door is ajar enough for the cat to wander about.

1122112539_1door2.thumb.jpg.3d241ae3e37373d3317b243541ef01ba.jpg

 

Below. I've been using a 6" rule to cut planks etc but never felt comfortable with it for two reasons ...

1) my finger tips were dangerously close to the blade, and ...

2) the narrow width of the ruler caused it to tend to coggle over under pressure. Adding a scrap of wood on the opposite side stopped the coggling but reduced the clamping load on the part being cut.

2021707891_2acurring1.thumb.jpg.abcc334f4ba539b60944a030e98f8dc6.jpg

 

So I dug out my old 12" rule which has a nice finger-safe groove in the middle. Also, it's greater width reduces the coggling effect. So far it seems to be doing the trick.

618936289_2bcurring2.thumb.jpg.fafe10271c71cf0f5ed2d7c9d0a792aa.jpg

 

So, on with the hull planking. Below is my 'bending jig' - 1/4" ply. Ideally it needs to be a couple of inches longer since the Flirt planks hang over the ends, but it's good enough for now.

1141257209_3blankbending2.thumb.jpg.ecf2a2400eb4049ef28ca2d353293d61.jpg

 

And here is how I make the bends permanent. I use the same method for as for putting a sharp crease in trousers ie hot iron plus a wetted hankerchief.  I'm still puzzling as to how to simply make bends in two planes, which is sometimes desirable on hulls.

454256852_4blankbending3.thumb.jpg.67f7da7e11b8240b0ad7c74b3346a284.jpg

 

Below. I've also been looking at how the planks are pinned to the hulls. A comparison below shows some pin diameters (in mm....my schooling was at a time when the UK was switching from Imperial to Metric so I tend to switch between the two systems without thinking). 1.2mm is way too fat and splits wood too easily; 0.7mm is also just too fat; 0.5mm nails (as supplied with Flirt) are a perfect diameter but really need to be positioned with needle pliers, to be pushed in or tapped with a hammer.  So I've ended up using 'Map Tack Push Pins 1/8"' (from Amazon), and am quite happy with them.

822291190_5pintypes1.thumb.jpg.9f112f5eda51f24ac486d44e84ed83fd.jpg

 

The Map Pins can take a fair bit of hammering, and are also 'grippable' enough to be finger pushed into the (in this case) 1.5mm Lime planks.

126815868_6pinhammer1.thumb.jpg.0a467df3b2a08c9adb64ef0c34a7aa96.jpg

 

Below. Map Pins finger pushed into the plank and the plank glued onto the hull. Next is to tap the pins with a hammer into the bulkheads.

1665455564_7hullplankpins1.thumb.jpg.a7d7cd52e99e65f1ec67034804e3c116.jpg

 

The Map Pins can be easily reused by extracting with needle pliers (or if the red head comes off then gingerly use side cutters on the 2mm wire protrusion). Another benefit of the Map Pins is that if dropped on the floor they can't be missed!

 

Anyway, back to the chase.  The final hull planks held in position with the poppy field of pins.

341838517_8hullplankpins4.thumb.jpg.2ffbfe25491fba6d02cc0342b0c6d7b9.jpg

 

And below, two views of the hull before any cleaning up. It's a bit of an ugly duckling at the moment but hopefully it should brush up good enough.

 

Bow view.

739552763_15hullbow1.thumb.jpg.97002e6aff5c6a82aec6590bb6fcee55.jpg

 

Stern view.

1448351510_16hullstern1.thumb.jpg.b56586d97b1f1bbc9571d6b267925f35.jpg

 

I now need to read up on what planks and where, there needs to be feathering before adding the second planking layer to the stern area and the hull.

 

I feel I haven't progressed much since the last update but hull planking does take time. Fifie has a smaller hull so didn't seem to take too long.

 

Ah well that's it for now. Hope everyone is fine, and that the 'vaccine competition' provides a worthy winner and soon.

 

Regards,

 

Richard

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rik Thistle
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Thanks James.

 

Actually, now that you point it out the stern planks are most definitely not parallel with the false keel....hmm. Thanks for the heads-up.

 

I think I had been relying on the fact that those planks will be heavily feathered as they reach the edge of the false keel, but even then they are a bit too squint. I'll see what I can do 😉

 

Regards,

 

Richard

 

 

 

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Ah Richard, Richard, it hasn't taken long, fresh from your success  with the Fifie I see you're a lost cause now fully seduced into the world of model ship building. 😀 There's no cure you know.

 

Following on from what James said, if you mark on the plank towards the stern where it starts not to lie flat, dampen it, put the strake in a vice, twist it using pliers whilst applying heat with a hair dryer and Robert's your Mothers brother, -  works for me.

 

ps Love that expression 'coggle over'  know what you mean about using a six inch metal rule, but sometimes it's the only thing that will do, annoyingly I've misplaced mine and I miss it.

 

B.E.

 

 

 

 

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B.E.

 

Yes, no cure now ...I've joined the ranks of the unsaveable ...at least I've got company, lots of it 😉  And I doubt if BigPharma is working on a vaccine!

 

mark on the plank towards the stern where it starts not to lie flat, dampen it, put the strake in a vice, twist it using pliers whilst applying heat with a hair dryer

Brilliant. That's what I was missing...makes sense and will be employed in future.

 

I used to think planks were simple, straight things. Now I find they they are cut to profile, heated and curved in two planes, positioned and glued, pinned in position and then sanded smooth. And then painted.  Life used to be so much more simple in Spring 2020.

 

I've probably got about half a dozen 6" rules dotted around the premises, but only three or so are findable at any given time.

 

I think 'coggle' may be Scots or Irish but I suspect the whole of the UK uses it. It's one of those words that kinda sounds like what it means - onomatopoetic - I remembered that word from school days but did have to Google to confirm spelling.

 

Thanks again,

 

Richard

 

 

 

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If you used PVA   then try if  a bit of heat on the stern strips - it may soften the PVA sufficient to allow the extra twist and then a strong clamp or a nail and it will restick as it cools.

 

Never too late to adjust - here is a "late adjustment" as I put my Speedy garboards on a day or so ago !!

2085515423_IMG_23031.thumb.jpg.7c52428e837238698495cee00f5f17cc.jpg

Edited by SpyGlass
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3 hours ago, Rik Thistle said:

definitely not parallel with the false keel

You can get that second plane with your iron. Clamp one end of the plank to your table and gently twist it while running the iron along the board, like “air ironing.”  I did this a lot on my Cheerful, it’s less precise but it gets the job done. Just be careful not to iron your plank holding hand ...he said from experience... I just wet the board with my finger dipped in water. 

 

edit...what I said is essentially what BE described 

Edited by glbarlow
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Glenn,

 

Thanks. It has been a gap in my knowledge...how to bend planks in two planes. But you and B.E. are getting me up to speed. It's one of the many things this website is very good at ... sharing knowledge.

 

Yes, keep the fingers away from the iron 😉 ...even with my current bending method I'd had a few unplanned warm digits!

 

regards,

 

Richard

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Never too late to adjust - here is a "late adjustment" as I put my Speedy garboards on a day or so ago !!

 

Spyglass,

 

Thanks for your suggestion. It has been added to my 'data bank'.

 

I've slackened off some of the worst offending planks, reglued and squidged them down hard with clamps. And then done a bit of light sanding on them. They're looking a bit more acceptable than they were.

 

All the best,

 

Richard

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2 hours ago, Blue Ensign said:

Following on from what James said, if you mark on the plank towards the stern where it starts not to lie flat, dampen it, put the strake in a vice, twist it using pliers whilst applying heat with a hair dryer and Robert's your Mothers brother, -  works for me.

I recommend giving the rearmost inch or 2 a good soak with isopropl alcohol.  That will de-glue it and make it easier.

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I've joined into following your build since I have the same model an the shelf waiting for it's time in shipyard.

 

I'm a big fan of working with each plank until it nearly sits exactly on the hull without any clamps by prebending the plank using dry heat while slightly moistening the plank. Clamping the plank to my work table and then bending and twisting it while heating it with a hair dryer to create those compound curves near the bow works very well also.

Edited by BobG
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Thanks Bob.

 

I think I've been guilty of trying to short cut the work needed to get planks to fit. I had set myself a target of getting the first planking done in about 1 week, even though I wasn't working on it every day. Less haste, more speed.

 

Thankfully my build log highlighted where I was cutting corners and the members have been great in advising me how to fix the issue and what to do in the future.

 

All the best,

 

Regards,

 

Richard

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27 minutes ago, Rik Thistle said:

Thanks Bob.

 

I think I've been guilty of trying to short cut the work needed to get planks to fit. I had set myself a target of getting the first planking done in about 1 week, even though I wasn't working on it every day. Less haste, more speed.

 

Thankfully my build log highlighted where I was cutting corners and the members have been great in advising me how to fix the issue and what to do in the future.

 

All the best,

 

Regards,

 

Richard

Pretty much anything is fixable, especially at this stage.

 

Just take your time. Really liking watching you build this one. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Well it's been a couple of weeks since my last update, mostly concentrating on hull planking and playing with new toys.

 

Below - I eventually got the first layer of hull planking to a vaguely acceptable profile and then planked the stern area. A bit more sanding still required.

1919636392_1hull1stplank1.thumb.jpg.97bee750012f70310bc6084dbc1a3e23.jpg

 

Test fitting a 2nd layer plank to see what final sanding was still required for the first layer.

580913290_3hull2ndplank1.thumb.jpg.39b84dde36ab0ca39075163bc1256780.jpg

 

Below-  4x second layer planks glued.

And a new toy making it's first appearance. I think I have managed to use the hot iron to create curves in two planes, plus a twist at the bow and stern ends of the plank...but don't quote me on that 😉

900845138_3aplankbender1.thumb.jpg.172511faacf3758bc527fa3badfc3fbe.jpg

 

2nd layer planking all on. Now for the tidying up of it and sanding.

1113289149_6hull2ndplank4.thumb.jpg.c52157210ecb3a82ed3a7b0720bd5c10.jpg

 

The final planking is starting to look a bit more shipshape...from a distance.

1923239291_9hull2ndplank7.thumb.jpg.c94960f3e76b5fde22d7295067cf595a.jpg

 

Cutting through the base of the bulkhead tabs prior to twisting them off. Even a 2mm deep cut is enough to encourage the tab to snap off at deck level rather than half way up.

558213663_12hullbulkheadtabs1.thumb.jpg.5cd5c9f16ef1de3d4003e675ff65be2f.jpg

 

I have a couple of Zona razor saws...one came with some extra blades which included a pseudo flush cutter. Make sure the knurled locknut is topside to let the saw lie as flat as possible.

1156697690_14hullbulkheadtabs3.thumb.jpg.ff55924c6fb042ef76d974acde4e9d8a.jpg

 

I also used one of my small Veritas chisels to get the tabs flush with the deck.

2006096035_15hullbulkheadtabs4.thumb.jpg.4f3ec08c33cdaec8408469d16775cd4c.jpg

 

Laser engraved deck fitted and glued in position. It pretty much dropped straight in to position with only some light persuasion at the stern end with a 1/8" screwdriver blade to find it's proper rest position.

1779655426_17deck2.thumb.jpg.dbc9753515fceb22c97a4f66d8db34f3.jpg

 

Inner bulwark planks being fitted. I used continuous planks rather than two halves...it seemed to work fine. I had pre-painted the planks in the shed the evening before.

151304616_18innerbulwarksplanks1.thumb.jpg.deba8e8df243db8ec2bc1330c07de189.jpg

 

I've fitted two full length planks each side. For the 3rd layer I will use short lengths of plank (which will leave all the hole positions revealed) then revert back to a full length plank for the 4th and final plank. Then trim out the holes.

1481628657_20innerbulwarksplanks3.thumb.jpg.6c6ce05119c39d3db450d85621f94678.jpg

 

I've noticed at the bow and stern the bulwarks 'swoop' upwards which means that 4x plank widths will not be enough. Have I fitted the bulwarks incorrectly at the ship's ends?.... and how do I remedy this? ....I can always put in some 'stealers'...or sand down the bulwarks' height...hmm.

 

Ah well, that's it for this fortnight....most of the time has been spent on hull planking...glad it's finished. If only the rigging wasn't blocking the light at the end of the tunnel the outlook would be quite sunny 😉 But I chose Flirt to improve my skills so I can't complain.

 

See you all soon,

 

Richard

 

 

10 hull 2nd plank 8.jpg

Edited by Rik Thistle
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I've noticed at the bow and stern the bulwarks 'swoop' upwards which means that 4x plank widths will not be enough. Have I fitted the bulwarks incorrectly at the ship's ends?.... and how do I remedy this? ....I can always put in some 'stealers'...or sand down the bulwarks' height...hmm.

 

Ah, I've just noticed on the .pdf version of the manual (pg 18), if I zoom in, there is a short tapered length of (5th row) planking added at the bow, and a longer length added at the stern which is then sanded (or cut) to follow the line of the upwards swoop of the bulwark. All is good 🙂

 

Richard

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

 

Work continues on Flirt - two steps forward, one step back....due to someone not reading the instructions properly.

 

Below - Clearing out the holes in the bulwarks after the internal planking was fitted. The Banggood 'dremel' is really quite useful, and it's rechargeable battery lasts an acceptable amount of time. The internal planking needs a little bit of 'filling' plus a bit of touchup paint.

1766277647_2bulwarksdrill1.thumb.jpg.f34c61eae4ae617bbbcdf29106b46d7e.jpg

 

And hacking out the gunhole ports with a scalpel blade and then a needle file to smooth the sides off.

1959327852_3bulwarksholetidy1.thumb.jpg.7f1ac06952804dd3919dd37c116a380d.jpg

 

Yes, the stain (now difficult to see after major clean up) above the wales looks like someone has mistakenly glued the wales above the pencil marks rather than 'up to' the pencil marks. Also, I couldn't find the 3mm x 1 mm wood so used some walnut I had in the 'stores'.

1849768090_4wales1.thumb.jpg.319c6a05399ca34dbab7b088d74b0379.jpg

 

Below - Keel being glued into position. The toothpicks are wedges to make sure the keel lies centrally. Yup, there is a handy gap (don't ask) between the keel and the garboard planks for the toothpicks to dig in to...filler later removed those gaps. Filler is great stuff  😉

1018631618_5keel1.thumb.jpg.62bd5f05a28f1a661a1158c7faf4111d.jpg

 

The MDF Pegs for aligning the keel parts are necked at their ends... so I couldn't get them to slide on to the keel parts. Not sure what I was doing wrong here?

1167453679_5amdfpegs1.thumb.jpg.1786135fb5a46336d362dfbbb7c66dd7.jpg

 

Wales painted black, and a bit of general tidying up done.

1694337117_5bwalespainted1.thumb.jpg.8c8a91685e1461ef62b77acb1be88b68.jpg

 

Below - Marking the waterline with my home made marker. Note the bulldog clip, bottom right on the keel to stop the hull sliding about in the base.

810057982_6hullwaterline1.thumb.jpg.cb062620f1edcf19f68c15c4df4b09a3.jpg

 

Hull painted white. Gaps showing between the planks. They look worse than they actually are, but I may add a touch of filler and repaint, or more likely hand paint in the gaps at a later date. I don't mind the planks showing since it indicates what the structure is but the gaps mustn't be too obvious.

417832934_7hullwhite1.thumb.jpg.343f0485b981fcaca319f379fa309910.jpg

 

Whilst the white paint dries, the rail and timber posts were painted black. There are a lot of small parts that need painting black, yellow etc.

655333974_8railgunposttimbers1.thumb.jpg.c0a54482711faa70afa2db467bd617e9.jpg

 

Below- After getting fed up continually digging in to the Flirt box for wood/brass sheets I decided to lay them all out my home made drawing holder/work platform. A Banggood Christmas tree has been added because...well, it's that time of year. Nope, I'm not on a commission from Banggood 😉

1118177862_8sheets3.thumb.jpg.21b679e2af5d00b0ed37124aadea1419.jpg

I think that's all for this post.

 

Flirt seems to be progressing very slowly. The hull planking did take quite a bit of time and I lost a bit of momentum, but I guess it's not a race.

 

Catch you all soon,

 

Richard

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