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Hi guys,

 

Here we go, starting my second ship.  My first ship was HM Schooner Ballahoo, but I didn't make a build log for that one.  To be honest I didn't think I would get very far with it.  However, I did complete it and was quite happy with the result.  During the build I relied very heavily on the build logs of others (especially The Lazy Saint) and now realize how important and useful build logs are to people new to the hobby.  I'm obviously hoping this build goes well and I can get it completed.  I must admit I'm still having problems with a lot of the nautical terms and the whole thing is a learning process for me.

 

I started making plastic models of aircraft as a young boy back in the 60s and 70s (my father was in the Royal Air Force).  That continued for many years, eventually moving on to military fighting vehicles in the 80s and 90s.  Then last year, after a few years of deliberation, I took the plunge and got my first wooden ship, which as I said turned out okay.  Now I'm converted :) 

 

Chimp

 

 

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My first consideration is whether or not I need to straighten the keel.  When placed against a straight edge it has a very slight bend.  Along the length of the keel (40cm) it is warped by about 1cm.  I think this will straighten out when I fit the deck but it would be nice to have it straight to start with.  I'll try making it damp and bending it back the other way.  I guess I need to be careful I don't bend it too much the other way.  Do you think it would be better the try and iron it on a flat surface?

 

Chimp

 

 

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Glad to see another convert. I, too, got into wooden modeling after doing lots of other styles and find that nothing is as challenging and fulfilling to me in terms of craftsmanship and results. 

 

That looks like enough warp to need fixing. First step could be to wet it, then weigh it down thoroughly on a flat surface and let it dry.

 

This is a fun prototype that I've always longed to build, as a geologist and naturalist. If it's of interest, a few years ago (seems like a lifetime) I was fortunate to visit a full-scale Beagle replica being built in southern Chile. I posted a number of photos here, which you're welcome to peruse if they'd be of interest or use as a reference or inspiration. No promises that it's 100% accurate, but it might be useful nonetheless.

 

Looking forward to seeing this come together!

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Posted (edited)

POB is not my thing, but I offer the following:

The curved spine is seeking its equilibrium shape.  A quick fix reshaping is essentially pointless.  After whatever reshaping you do, it will try to go back the where it is now.

The trick is to make that impossible, by using a mechanical repair.  That is add wood to the spine that will not let it bend.

 

A 1/2" or better 3/4" plywood (AA hardwood Birch) base board is a good start.  Make a centerline that is straight.  Place blocks on either side of the line that are a tight fit for the spine and will hold it straight.

As long as the spine is in the slot, it will be straight.

When the moulds (bulkheads) are fitted,  four square sticks - one at each corner where the mould and spine meet, will hold each square and 90 degrees. 

I would cut out a hole in each side of each mould to allow a strong stick (batten)  to run the length of the spine on either side of it - to keep it from bending.  But this does not seem to meet with much favor and if done well, the first layer of planking will probably supply all of the necessary resistance  to the spine regaining its curve anyway.   I am belt and suspenders and tend to over engineer.

 

Now, about this kit - there is one thing that is really awful:  the supplied deck.  I do not know where they got the unrealistic deck butt pattern, the way too dark seams and chalking, and silly choice of which trunnels to show and which to leave off.  You should consider either laying a new deck using individual planks - Maple is good - or using the supplied plywood piece and adding an individual planking of very thin veneer - again Maple is cost effective.   Read here about butt shift rules and if you wish to show deck trunnels ( I like them, but know that it is a modeler's conceit - and not realistic). Be a lot more understated in the color contrast.

 

This kit really is based on a Cherokee class 10 gun brig.  It is close to the Marquardt book.  It is a good choice. 

Edited by Jaager
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Hi guys, thanks for your comments.  The Beagle replica in Chile looks fascinating Cathead, thanks for the link to your photos.

 

Regarding the warp to the spine, I've tried to bend it back flat which has worked but I take your point Jaager that it will probably only be a temporary fix and it will ultimately revert back to the warped state over time.  I do like the sound of a mechanical support which will physically hold it in position.  Fitting supports at each spine/bulkhead join should do the trick - thanks for the tip.

 

Jaager, your comment about the deck is interesting.  The kit is supplied with a plywood deck which is then laid with plank veneers.  I guess I can have whatever deck butt pattern I wish.  I currently know nothing about what would be realistic for this time.  Where you say "read here about butt shift rules..." was that meant to be a link?  I would be interested to learn more about what is realistic and how best to achieve it.

 

Thanks again for your comments.

 

Chimp

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Just now, The Gimps Chimp said:

Where you say "read here about butt shift rules..." was that meant to be a link? 

No, there is no link attached to that comment.  I was being lazy about that.

I did a quick forum search using: deck butt shift   and among the many results is    ... lets see if this works ....

 

Looking for the Correct Sequence and Terminology forDeck PlankButt Shift

 

OK, I am not sure if this will work as a link, but if it does not, do a search for this title in the Building, framing, Planking ... forum     good luck, it gets kind of twisty.

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We crossed paths in the dark there.

The sequence in your picture ...   too busy

And, I had not seen a 5 strake repeating sequence before that post.  A 4  strake is enough.   And at least 2 beams  for adjacent strakes.  My shipyard would have a better planking timber supplier with longer planking  and I would have 3 beams  between adjacent butts 

If you are going to color the caulking seams,  give serious thought to walnut instead of black.  And I think it was Bob Cleek who wrote that there is no caulking between butts.  The length does not change - not matter the conditions,  just the thickness, which does no matter, and the width which does.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jaager said:

The curved spine is seeking its equilibrium shape.  A quick fix reshaping is essentially pointless.  After whatever reshaping you do, it will try to go back the where it is now

 

The trick is to make that impossible, by using a mechanical repair.  That is add wood to the spine that will not let it bend.

 

I would cut out a hole in each side of each mould to allow a strong stick (batten)  to run the length of the spine on either side of it - to keep it from bending.  But this does not seem to meet with much favor and if done well, the first layer of planking will probably supply all of the necessary resistance  to the spine regaining its curve anyway.   I am belt and suspenders and tend to over engineer.

Don’t underestimate how much that spine wants to ‘spring-back’, I have the same kit partially built, and have the exact same problem.  I used heat to straighten it and held it clamped straight whilst adding the bulkheads, I also inserted filler blockers on both sides between each bulkhead, which should have locked it sufficiently, a week later a small curvature was evident, and this was with some planking that was put in place whilst all clamped up.

 

I’d suggest giving it a few days after straightening to allow it to re-acclimatise to its internal tensions so you can see what residual warp if any you are dealing with.

 

Gary

 

Edited by Morgan
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Posted (edited)

This is why I offered the battens as a solution.  A stout stick -that is straight - on either side of the central spine - glued to it - ( and I would use bamboo skewers as thru dowels for mechanical hold) -should pull/push the plywood back to flat.  Maybe two rows of them.  

Now, if this is done before the moulds are fixed into place, they block the moulds from sliding down their slots in the spine.  This means that the moulds are first to fix in place. 

Now the moulds block the battens.  Holes are needed in each mould exactly where the battens go, so that they can be slud ( Dizzy Dean ) in place.  All this will be hidden.  The holes in the moulds can be larger than necessary. 

The spine needs to already be straight before the moulds are fixed.  The baseboard is meant to do this.  Once the spine is placed in the slot in the center of the baseboard, it should not be removed until the moulds are placed, the battens are placed and the first layer of planking is completed.

In my mind, I see the following:

Planning is necessary in where the battens are placed.  later trouble with where masts go or any later parts should be taken into count.

There is a reduction mating surface for the moulds at the spine - what with the holes for the battens, so corner blocks to reinforce the join with the spine are more important. 

The battens mean that those blocks are two or three pieces instead of one.  

With wood, an end grain bond is many times weaker then a side grain to side grain bond.  Plywood end grain is flat out awful when compared solid wood.  Even without the disruption produced by adding battens, the bond of a mould with the spine is not a strong bond.  I see the corner blocks as being prudent.

Edited by Jaager
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Update on the curved spine:

 

I moistened the spine then bent it back straight and allowed it to dry.  This took out the curve (albeit temporarily, time will tell).  I've now cut out the bulkheads and done a trial run fitting them together.  They fitted together without any forcing and when the deck was fitted the was little or no adjustment to be made.  I won't get the time to fit any planks for the next few days so I won't glue anything just yet, and see if it warp returns.  If it's still straight in a couple of days time then I'll glue the bulkheads and start the planking.  Once the planking is started, my hope is that any movement will be constrained.

 

Chimp

 

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The battens could be made of angle Al.  That would not bend.  It would need holes.  Being metal, it would require using epoxy to bond it to the spine.

 

If you fancy doing an experiment in public, I can write you a way to build the hull in way that will remove the need for the first layer of planking. If you do a bit of fudging, and you intend to copper the bottom, no planking will be necessary at all.  It is a different way of filling between the moulds.  It will require additional wood, a proper drawing program and power tools.

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I understand,  but for a couple of pieces of Aluminum angle - ~ 1/4" x 1/4"  all that is needed is a hacksaw to size it and a 3/8" or 1/2" power drill  and a bit that fits the size bolts that seem right.

If you explore the tool section of this site and stumble across the threads discussing the merits and usefulness of a lathe for the wood part of model ship building,  I am pretty sure that a 1/2" power drill securely mounted in a frame that holds it horizontal will work well enough to shape any spars.  So keep that to mind - read the site postings - if you have to decide on a power drill purchase.  As far as a lathe, unless you know from experience that you really need one, then it is very likely that it you do not need it.  It will be a very expensive door stop.

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After leaving the spine to 'rest' for a couple of days to see if the bend returns, it looks like things are looking good.  There is a very slight bend but nothing to worry about, at least that's what I'm telling myself.  I've decided to progress with the build as is.  I've now added the reinforcing blocks to the bow and stern to aid planking.  I've marked out the deck with a 1-3-5-2-4 butt shift.  This seems to be the most sensible sequence as far as I can tell.  The kit instructions are indicating a 60mm plank length, which at 1/60 scale would equate to 11' 10" (12-foot).  Not sure if this is correct but it looks okay to me (but then I quite ignorant on these things).

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I'm now ready to plank the deck but have a question.  I've used a HB pencil to darken the edges of the planks (after sanding them smooth) to try and simulate the caulking between the planks.  My question is, should I cut the deck veneer strips to 60mm lengths and fit them individually, or should I apply them as one strip along the entire deck length and mark on the plank length with pencil after fitting? 

 

Chimp

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Personally, I feel like individual planks always look better; the eye can distinguish a real gap from a fake one. However, that's obviously a lot more work. If you do decide to mark rather than cut, perhaps consider using a file to score a "gap" at each plank end that you then darken with pencil; that way there's at least a hint of three-dimensional joint there. It'll also be more consistent, as the eye will probably notice the difference between the actual junction on the long side and the fake junction at the short end. This is something you could practice on the reverse side of the veneer until you work out a method you like. 

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A bit more progress on the deck.  I've decided to go with your advice Cathead and try the individual planks.  As you say, it's more work but hopefully it will give a better and more consistent finish.  After cutting the planks to size I'm ready to start fitting them.  Thought I would start in the middle and work towards one edge.  The first couple of rows were straightforward and went on well but then one of the planks was slightly wider than the others.  Unfortunately I didn't realize this until the glue had set so couldn't swap it for one the same size as the previous planks.  I guess there is a tolerance in the veneer strips which the planks are cut from.  If I were applying them as whole strips you would never tell the difference because they would be consistent along the entire length.  As I'm now taking random planks from a pile made up of multiple strips I can get different width planks.  Fortunately the gap wasn't really that noticeable so managed to recover without it looking too bad.  I've now finished planking the main deck and I think it looks okay.

 

Chimp

 

 

 

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Hi guys,

 

hopefully just a quick question here.  In this kit there are four doors which are supplied as etched brass to be cut out and glued in place.  I can't imagine for one minute they would have been brass doors so what would they have been, oak?  So I guess they'll need painting.  What would have been the wood of the cabins they are placed on, oak again?  Same colour?

 

Chimp

 

 

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A big gold star for using a realistic butt pattern.

Another gold star for not doing trunnel simulations - especially not waaaay over size trunnels that visually poke you in the eye.

 

Doing some extrapolation from sparse facts:

The wood surfaces exposed to the elements were probably painted, so the species that made up the door would not matter.

I think that the captain was afforded a budget.  It covered incidentals like paint.  He got to take home what was left over.  I suspect this is what was meant by a captain having to pay for the paint.  The exterior color would probably include: what was popular or the current fad, what cost the least but had a reasonable time between needing a new coat, what the captain preferred, what the captain's boss preferred if he was a ...jerk or AH, what would last in reserve in the hold for several years.

Interior:  no LED lighting.  too many burning oil lamps in space that is moving constantly in 3 dimensions and is easy to ignite is not a good idea, so a color that sucks up light would be a bad choice.  I think that white wash would fill the bill of being low cost, easy to apply and help make it brighter.  In scale it would be a tad translucent.

Edited by Jaager
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Hi Jaager,

 

Many thanks for your response.  I fear I may have lost my second gold star as the photo of the deck was taken before I simulated the trunnel pattern.  Ah well, it's a learning curve and I must admit I'm still at the lower end.

 

I was thinking of trying a weak water soluble oak wood stain on the external faces of the cabins to try and darken the colour down a little.  I think the Lime wood veneer used is a little too light.  I'll have to experiment with it first as I don't want it to bleed into the wood of the deck.  Maybe start with drybrushing the stain on first and see how it goes.

 

Chimp

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Well, a stain is actually a semi transparent paint. 

A USN corvette from a little later was described as having a "pearl" for bulwarks and deck structures.  In my limited perception of color pallet: off white.

Mineral pigments are possibilities.  ochres, sienna, umber. for interior colors.

Read up on scale effect as far as how pure and intense the pigment should be.

Having brass and the species of wood that is supplied with mass market kits as a base, your degrees of freedom are a bit limited. Mostly paint is your choice.  As far as a stain, something intended to make lousy looking wood (in it natural state) look more attractive and appear to be of better quality than it really is, I would be worried that its binder is developed for wood alone.  It may not adhere to brass for long.  The brass would need to be oil free (really clean) in any case and probably needs significant "tooth".   Doing that sort of manipulation to what is essentially foil will require care.

 

If you have an ambition to paint with wood, and  desire quality, the choices are scratch or the products of the small boutique kit companies featured here.

 

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Just a quick update on the build:

 

I got some oak stain and applied it to the cabins and it had the desired effect.  It darkened down the wood and retained the grain.  It didn't bleed into the deck so I was happy with that too.  I decided to not paint the brass doors as it would look a bit flat and would really need some texture, I'll live with the brass.

 

I've now fitted the forward and aft decks as well as the bulwarks.  It was during the fitting of the bulwarks and pinning them I managed to get one of the pins to surface through the main deck.  As it turned out this was easily repaired.

 

I've now started the process of fairing ready for planking.  As I now know from my last ship, it's worth taking the time to get this right and will save time and effort in the long run.

 

Chimp

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've started to consider the planking, which I know is going to be a challenge.  Hopefully it will also be rewarding if I can make a good job of it.  The supplied planks are 5mm x 2mm limewood.  I'm finding these quite difficult to bend to the required profile especially in two directions.  I think I might be making things difficult for myself.  The instructions don't seem to bother about getting a close fit between the planks and rely on filler and sanding once finished and the fact that the second planking will cover the first.  I'm trying to get as close a fit as I can between the first planks and as a result progress is slow.

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Good innovation. Wood definitely does not like to bend in two directions, one of the challenges for modeling in this way. I've done something similar in the past by creating a flat pattern for the amount of vertical bend, then clamping the soaked plank around that pattern. As it bends easily in the other direction, I found that getting some of the vertical bend locked in allowed the rest to happen naturally. Your method also looks promising. 

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