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Polaris by BranPie - OcCre - 1:50 - First ever wooden ship build


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My very first build. Shopping around for a kit for that first build I really wanted to get HMS Beagle from OcCre but from watching some of the build videos on YouTube I decided I'd be way in over my head with that one. No matter, this way I have something to look forward to if I really take to the hobby.

 

I've already the read the completed - and ongoing - build logs from Havelock, LHSmith and Spongebob22 (and am expecting at least one more log to follow soon). I've learned a lot from those and am sure that I'll learn a lot more from them in the following months.

 

So now for my build. I started out yesterday, sorting and counting everything to make sure my set was complete. It is 🥳 

Then went on to cutting out all the pieces to build the hull. Saw that the false keel had a small bend to it (picture). It's actually worse than it looks on the picture, so I was wondering if there's some I could and should do to fix that since I read that Havelock had a similar issue which led to some problems attaching the deck and the bow not being completely centered and so on...

 

433794518_Falsekeelcrooked.thumb.jpg.5f00fc69b00387f1f90e64a9906aee46.jpg

 

If there's nothing I can do I'll just continue and follow Havelock's lead on fixing things as I go. His model turned out great in the end. 👌

 

Oh, I also "built" the little stand thing (don't know the proper name, have a lot to learn). Still requires quite a bit of sanding and all but I really wanted some "result" yesterday :) 

Edited by BranPie
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So, I started on fixing the bulkheads to the the keel tonight. I was unsure about getting the bulkheads nice and square because I don't have any tools for that and because of the warped keel. So I decided to glue the bulkheads and then (gently) clamp the deck on top of them. My logic being: if it fits now, it should fit later... 🤞

 

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First 4 bulkheads are drying now. I'll do the rest tomorrow.

Edited by BranPie
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The false keel's warping & twisting is an issue that many of us already have encountered.

Therefore I'd like to submit a question to all members reading this : as the bulkheads require some bevelling, can the load of bevelling, be it on the port or starboard side, partially compensate the problem ?

Although caution is required, is it worth a try ?

 

It's just an idea.

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In the initial phases of the build I use metal angles screwed on a wooden board. Make sure you position them so that they fall inbetween the frames. Make it a tight fit so that the false keel slides inbetween them. That will keep the keel straight while assembling the frames. You can then place spacers inbetween the frames to create a firm structure that will keeps its shape (much better). I also make sure it is positioned on the board when installing the first couple of planks on either side. If only I had a picture to show you, but there are many building logs here that will show you what I mean.

 

I would never (ever) compensate by bevelling because you will end up with a different hull shape, very likely not symmetrical.

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5 hours ago, Gr8teful Rick said:

Hello BranPie,

I'm starting Polaris also, and will start a build log in the next day or two. Need to straighten the keel first. Seems like a common problem with this kit. I will be following your build.

Yes, I'd seen that in the other Polaris logs that you were waiting for your kit. Will be following your log when it comes. Glad there are others I can learn from. How are you going to straighten the keel?

 

I decided to go ahead and start assembly because the warping isn't too bad and some tryouts have me believing I can fix things when permanently attaching the deck. Because of Havelock's log I'm aware of the issue (I probably wouldn't have thought to check otherwise) so at least I can try to avoid more problems. It probably won't be perfect, but hopefully it'll be good enough. 

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Have been busy planking the deck for a few days now. Decided to make things hard on myself by not following the instructions. So I'm not laying the "planks" in one piece over the deck and then drawing the separations. I'm cutting the boards to length and using a 3 butt shift system. I think it's turning out quite well. 

 

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This is a lot of work. And pretty hard. Those strips of wood are not straight! At all! 

Is there something I should be doing about that or is just forcing them in place the way to go?

 

But I'm having fun. So all is good I guess. 

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On 12/20/2020 at 3:04 AM, BranPie said:

How are you going to straighten the keel?

Neither of the two techniques that I've tried has worked. I found some suggestions here at MSW and have tried a couple of them a couple of different ways. Both techniques "worked" for a few hours, but the warp always came back. So then I took the OTHER advice from builders and contacted OcCre for a replacement keel. It's on its way and I just have to wait for it. It better be straight!

Meanwhile, I'm building Doc Blake's keel clamp just so I'm building SOMETHING!

https://modelshipworld.com/topic/20229-home-made-keel-clamp/?do=findComment&comment=646093

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I ran into a little problem with the decking. A lot of the wood strips for the deck widen from 5 mm on one end to 6 mm at the other end. I thought about dealing with that by just alternating the direction of the strips as I lay them.

BUT, is there an achievable way to correct those strips and make them 5 mm wide along the whole length? I have very little tools, this is my first build after all...

Any suggestions are welcome.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Well I've finally finished my deck planking. Just need to smoothen the surface and then I can treat it with the dye supplied with the kit. 

 

20210106_201554.thumb.jpg.3baab49f3b413f4ef0abbfedd4657f9d.jpg

 

While I wait for the scrapers I ordered to tackle this job, I'll be starting on sanding down the keel and bulkheads to mount the deck (or I'll be painting walls and doors at home 🙂 ). 

Edited by BranPie
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  • 2 weeks later...

Been going at it slowly but steadily. Filed down the transom to get it flush with the false keel.

20210112_204309.thumb.jpg.56f455e6311c1dfd2dba3243692d167e.jpg

 

Attached the deck to false keel and bulkheads. Did a nasty, dirty job but it stayed stuck. So all in all not too bad. Will need to plan this better on a next project though... Then I glued the reinforcements to the false keel and started sanding them down in preparation for the first planking.

 

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And then I messed up. I don't really have a workspace for now. Basically, I do my modelling on the dinner table when my 18 month old has gone to bed. That means I need to get everything out and put everything away every time I work on my model. A few days back I did something stupid. I'd used a wet rag to clean up some glue and when I put everything away I placed my model, deck down, on that wet rag. Result: parts of my deck have curled up due to the humdity. The picture shows the worst one, but there are actually three zones that now need repair (it's actually much worse than it looks in the picture). So, I now know what my next job is. Breaking up my planking and fixing that. Lesson learned...I hope.20210118_193534.thumb.jpg.8ffd4dcd31804b491e88b788fd0c0821.jpg

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9 minutes ago, BranPie said:

A few days back I did something stupid. I'd used a wet rag to clean up some glue and when I put everything away I placed my model, deck down, on that wet rag. Result: parts of my deck have curled up due to the humdity. The picture shows the worst one, but there are actually three zones that now need repair (it's actually much worse than it looks in the picture). So, I now know what my next job is. Breaking up my planking and fixing that. Lesson learned...I hope.

That is unfortunate as your deck looks really well done. Sounds like you have the right attitude on it though and I imagine you have a separate bin for damp rags now 🙂

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  • 1 month later...

Time for an update. Progress has been (very) slow. In the past few weeks I was sick, we were quarantined due to a COVID-19 outbreak in my sons daycare and we've (the admiral and I) been trying to get some work (mainly painting) done in the house. But every once in a while I find myself with some time in the evening (or even the afternoon) to get a few things done.

 

First up was fixing my deck, which turned out to be a pretty easy fix. When it had completely dried out, the damage wasn't quite as bad as it seemed at first. So I inserted some glue into the gaps and glued the damaged parts down again. If you really try you can still see some damage (mostly some shrinkage), but I doubt anyone but me will ever see it. Besides, this is my first model and I don't want to lose myself in these little details ...

 

Next up was sanding the bulkheads. for first planking. This took me a week or 2. In the meantime I made a little bending jig for the bulwarks and put those in there to dry for a night (which ending up being about 3 weeks).

 

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After that attaching the bulwarks and the stern thingy (no idea what the actual name is) went really well. Only needed 1 elastic band to make it fit.

 

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Then I started on first planking which is when I noticed I'd taken too much of bulkhead 1... 🤨 So I cut a piece of a plank and glued it the bulkhead and then sanded it down again. I think I got it ok now. I also took of a bit too much of bulkhead 2, but decided I'd fill that tiny gap with filler later on.

 

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I'm now in the process of doing some bending on the lowest plank. I decided not to follow the instructions for the first (and second) planking. Instructions are basically put full planks anywhere they fit and then cut and insert wedges. I want to practice bending and tapering to get a clean run. So I thought I'd start with a full plank just beneath the bulwarks and just above the false keel and then do the measurements to do the tapering (I'm pretty sure I'll need to add (at least 1) stealer at the stern too).

 

20210303_195004.thumb.jpg.94eaf57b1d39c291e3cb3fef5cbc5082.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Just a quick update of my progress. Have finished one side of first planking, other side is about 2 thirds done. Have had to insert a stealer and even had to put in a shorter plank to seal things up at the end. Quite happy with how this is going, but still need practice to get this right. Especially bending the planks at bow and stern. Think I might need a heatsource to get things really good there. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finished my first planking yesterday. I had to end by inserting a plank to fill a gap midships (it this called a stealer too?) that I ended up with after using full width planks up to that point. For that I used a neat little technique I learned from a buildlog by a builder called Pietsan on modelbouwforum.nl (he isn't active here, I think) which I wanted to share here since mostly beginners will be following this topic.

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Picture 1: the gap I needed to fill.

 

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Picture 2: tape over the gap with masking tape. Note: I didn't tape al too well here, pressed the tape down too much so I ended up with a slightly too large piece (better too get the tape tighter to start with).

 

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Picture 3: draw along the edges of the gap with a pencil.

 

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Picture 4: remove tape from model and stick it to a plank (this is the hardest step, according to me).

 

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Picture 5: cut carefully around pencilmark, peel away tape from outside and continue your cut until you have your plank to insert. Then remove all tape (I went too fast here and forgot to take pictures during work).

 

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Picture 6: after some careful sanding (mostly because of me not starting with my masking tape insufficiently taut) you have a perfectly fitting plank to insert into your model.

 

So, on to the next step. Sanding and filling (or is it the other way round?).

Edited by BranPie
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