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HM Cutter Cheerful 1806 by JPR62 - 1:48 scale

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Having completed the AVS, I can finally start this new and long awaited project.
Indeed, it's been two years now that the kit has been waiting for. I really wanted to finish my work on the Virginia in order to gain some experience.
I chose this project because it is an example of the best in the world of model shipbuilding. The kit is of the highest quality and the instruction manual is a model of perfection.
Moreover, I have many logs on this site and they are all very informative. I will try to show myself up to the height.




When I bought the kit from Syren, I immediately ordered the wood necessary for its construction.
The wood comes from Wood Project Source and it is really of excellent quality.
I opted for two types of wood: the hull will be Cherry wood and the deck will be Castello Boxwood.



The quality of laser cutting is truly exceptional.



I start by assembling the 2 parts of the keel.
The gluing is done between 2 plates of glass in order to have a really flat surface.



A first blank assembly of the different elements of the keel only reinforces my opinion on the quality of the kit. Everything fits together perfectly.



The stem is assembled.

I feel like it's going to be pure pleasure



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Thank you Chuck and Glenn for your kind comments and thank you to all the 'Likes'.


On 1/7/2021 at 5:59 PM, glbarlow said:

I wish we had a ‘Wood project source’ on this side of the Atlantic. 

Glenn, this is 'Wood Project Source' in New Jersey, USA. I ordered all the necessary wood as early as January 2018, just a few months before the company unfortunately ceased operations.


Installation of the rabbet strip.


I shape it using the laser board.




Gluing of the 2 segments






The keel elements are ready for installation.

This will be the next step.


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Fairing this ship is important, especially at the bow, run lots of battens to ensure it’s a smooth flow.  Be super careful measuring and placing the ports on the frame. Eventually there will be a only a 1/64th rabit around them, this seemingly harmless step carries forward what happens on the rest of the model. The thick wood used gives you the opportunity to get them lined up.


I’m happy to see you’ve got the start and I wish Project Wood Source, and seemingly every other similar business hadn’t closed its doors...

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Thank you Glenn and Michael for your support and thank you to all the 'Likes'.

I glued the keel on the false keel.



I work on a glass plate in order to have a flat surface.






Finally I simulated the treenails using Minwax wood putty.




Next step : the bulkheads

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Thank you to the people who follow this build.

Installation of bulkheads. And here all the difference in quality and precision of the kits produced by Syren appears.
When I remember it took me over a week of work to prepare and test the bulkheads setup on my Armed Virginia Sloop.
With the Cheerful, in ten minutes, the bulkheads blank test was done and I was able to start gluing them.




I had fun with my children's legos again. 😄 They won't hold it against me. They are now adults and have other interests.




Finally, I prepared a working basis to deposit my model.




I also planned a second base in anticipation of the fairing. I will probably raise it to make this task easier.




But before this phase, I'm going to reinforce the bulkheads and make a first modification to the model. I plan to add the detail of the captain's cabin which will be visible through the skylight.


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Thank you to all the 'Likes'.



As a first step, I studied the possibility of recreating some of the internal elements of the Cheerful.
Using the excellent book 'The Naval Cutter Alert' from the 'Anatomy of the ship' series, book written by Peter Goodwin, I enlarged the plates representing the internal configuration of the ship.
It soon became apparent that the only part that will be partially visible from the deck is the one located at the back of the cutter.
We should be able to partially see the captain's day cabin as well as the wardroom.




I trace the location of the bulkheads of the Cheerful in order to determine the cutting to be done.
I plan to leave the companionway on the deck door open.




I quickly sketch the different elements constituting the 2 rooms. The door separating the 2 rooms will be left open to let a maximum of light pass through.
I will probably illuminate the inside of the 2 rooms. I'm looking forward to the next video of the construction of the 'Ragusian Carrack' by Ohla Batchvarov (Shipphotographer.com) which will be about this very subject.




My cat had the happy idea to lie down on the plan 😄, but that doesn't prevent me from visualizing the space needed for the implementation of the 2 rooms.
Place now for the various reinforcements needed to consolidate the hull before being able to proceed to the cutting.

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Thanks for your help and your feedback.

Using the plans of the inside of the Cheerful, I was able to determine the internal positioning of the 2 rooms that I will try to reproduce.
It is really a real plus to have a copy of these 2 plans. All I had to do was print them to scale to determine the precise positioning.





I will have to work on 3 bulkheads.

But first of all I need to reinforce the structure.

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Thank you to all the 'Likes'.

I am currently studying the configuration of the 2 rooms that I will reproduce (based on the copy of the NMM plan).



I wonder: on this plan, only 2 doors are represented. One that connects the Commander's Cabin and the Bread Room, the second one that connects the two rooms that I am going to reproduce.
Now it appears that 6 rooms are located laterally: 4 Bed Places and 2 extensions for the Captain. So we should represent on each side 3 doors? Is it also necessary to provide a door to connect the central spacing of the ship?
I would like to have your opinion on this subject...
Thank you in advance

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It’s going to be interesting to see how you work this out and keep the hull integrity. I will enjoy watching you progress but don’t have any help to offer other than I can only see about 1 square inch thru the skylight. Should be fun, enjoy. 

Do keep in mind the stern frames are a delicate part of the frame in your planning. 

Edited by glbarlow
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Thank you Glenn and thank you to all the 'Likes'.


Reinforcement of the structure

I proceed to the reinforcement of the structure in order to prepare the necessary space for the 2 rooms I plan to reproduce.
I first sketched on the bulkhead plan the future position of the cabins.




This allowed me to determine the position of the reinforcements. These reinforcements will be made of 5 mm thick lime strips.



I start by gluing the board that will support the floor of the rooms. I use 4 wood supports (2 per side) cut at the right height.



They will be positioned face to face and held in place with clamps. This allows me to glue first the bottom piece at the right height and inclination.
These supports also have the right width so that the side reinforcement can be glued in the right place.




These supports are adjusted or recreated for each bulkhead separation.



I will still have to glue reinforcements between bulkheads 14 and 16.




Then I will only have to empty the inner space thus delimited.



But before that, I will proceed with the fairing of the hull...

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I will follow yur log with great interest. I am waiting on some replacement parts and the Cheerful timber set from Chuck to start with this beautyful little model. I like your idea to show the room, but if you don't make a cut out of the deck I think that you will not see much. The room is really dark.


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I’m sure you’re watching the reference lines with your reinforcements, remember those lines are the top of the wood you’ll place there for the gun ports, you need from below them too. It may not seem like it now but getting the bottom of the gun ports right is important later when you’re doing a 1/64th rabbit.   

I’m enjoying seeing another Cheerful come to life. 

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Thank You Christian and Glenn for you interest and thank you to all the 'Likes'.


On 1/23/2021 at 10:31 AM, AnobiumPunctatum said:

I like your idea to show the room, but if you don't make a cut out of the deck I think that you will not see much. The room is really dark.

Christian, I will leave the door of the Companionway open and I will mostly add micro lights inside the 2 rooms. The door connecting the 2 rooms will also be left open so that a maximum of light can pass through.
I know that only a small part of the 2 rooms will be seen but it is above all the pleasure of adding personal details and the possibility to gain additional experience that motivates me 😉.


21 hours ago, glbarlow said:

It may not seem like it now but getting the bottom of the gun ports right is important later when you’re doing a 1/64th rabbit.   

 Thank you Glenn for your advice. I note that the positioning of the gun ports are very important. I will have to read the instruction manual and build logs again in due time.

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The fairing is over.
I protected the keel with masking tape and used different models of 'Soft-Sander' blocks. These blocks are really handy at the bow or stern because they fit the hull shape more easily.
I started with an 80 grit and then switched to a 120 grit to finish with a finer grit.
I will probably have to make some final adjustments when I sand the port sills.










Next step: marking the position of the gunport sills.


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Thank you to all the 'Likes'.
Today, I proceeded to mark the position of the gunport sills.
Two thin battens were placed temporarily following the reference lines of each bulkhead. Slight adjustments were then necessary to obtain a smooth run from bow to stern. It was also necessary to try to obtain the same line on both sides of the hull.




Once I was satisfied with the position of the two battens, I drew a line above the batten on each bulkhead with a sharp pencil. The batten strips were then removed.




I will now proceed to cut the 2 forward chase ports that will be located on the filler pieces at the bow.


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Thank you to all the 'Likes'.


The two forward chase ports were cut after determining their position on the filler pieces.



The opening is slightly smaller than the final measurements. The openings are then sanded with sanding blocks manufactured to the correct dimensions.



I will probably cover the wood with a thin coat of 'Gesso' before doing a final sanding with very fine sandpaper.

But the next step will be to cut out the space that will house the two rooms.


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Thank you Gary for your words of encouragement and thank you to all the 'Likes'.


I spent several hours cutting carefully bulkheads 8, 10 and 12. I must admit that using my Proxxon Delta sander OZI/E was really useful. Indeed, it can be equipped with an 8 or 4 mm saw blade.




Fortunately, I didn't break anything and I could see that the positioning of the floors was quite precise.




However, I had to add two fine fillers (0.3mm) on the floor between bukheads 12 and 14. Then I did a light sanding.

The structure is really solid thanks to all the reinforcements I applied.




A small test allows me to see that the necessary space is sufficient. I just have to build the interior layout...




I also have to order the electrical equipment necessary for the future lighting of the two rooms. By chance scrubbyj427 is currently doing a remarkable lighting work on its Winchelsea frigate project and has given the references for the purchase of micro leds.

Once again a great example of the interest of this forum 😀


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Thank you to all the 'Likes'


The port sills
I added the gunport sills.In order to be sure that the positioning is the same on both port and starboard, I replaced a temporary batten on the opposite side so that I could position the port sills well level. The port sills are cut from a 1/4" x 1/4" alaskan yellow cedar.



The port uprights have been cut to different thicknesses from a 1/4" sheet of yellow alaskan cedar using my Byrnes table saw, , measurements were carefully taken from the plan.





The sanding was first done roughly with my Proxxon OZI/E delta sander and then finished by hand with different grains of sandpaper.



Hell and damnation! I discover with amazement that on the starboard side the positioning of the upright port of the first gunport at the bow is slightly too inside and that once the sanding is finished, the bottom of the piece is too inside a few tenths of a millimeter...
There are three possibilities: the first is to remove the part and replace it with a new one that will be positioned correctly. But I'm too afraid to break the bulkhead knowing that Titebond glue is a super glue! Second option: vertically cut the piece and replace only the front part. But I'm afraid to mark the piece horizontally and finally have to start the gunport sill all over again.

Finally, I opt for a repair of the missing part. I still have to find the right product to use... Then I remember one of the properties of the putty which is not to adhere to the plastic. So I make a 'formwork' using a piece of plastic packaging (transparent plastic, the one that wraps for example chocolate boxes or other foodstuffs) glued with double-sided tape on one side of a wooden piece. This piece is then fixed with a clamp on the side to be filled. My 'formwork' will allow me to obtain a completely smooth and level inner face. Once the putty hardens, the scrap wood ('formwork') can be removed without causing any damage because the plastic will have prevented the putty from sticking to the 'formwork' and will have made a completely smooth and level surface.
Naturally, this option could only be chosen because the repaired area will eventually be painted red and therefore the choice of a different material than wood is not important.





Finally, once the work is finished on the different port sills, I realize that the two forward chase ports are not at the same level of detail as the others. At first, I thought that my cut was good but comparing the result with the other ports I decide to add port uprights. So I enlarge the 2 gunports by making two vertical cutouts of 1/16th and add the vertical pieces using the reference chase. My two forward chase ports are now identical to all other gunport sills.



One last sanding with a very fine grit and I will be able to move to the stern.





You may have noticed that I have started working on the two rooms. I'll talk about it again once the work is more advanced.





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Thank you Captain Hook and Glenn for your kind words and thank you to all the 'Likes'.

This week I've been working on framing the stern.
Once again, the concept is really perfect and everything has been thought out so that the assembly is done in a simple and precise way.



For fairing the outboard sides, I used the method described by Rustyj in his excellent build log. I'm lucky to be able to rely on many build logs and to be able to reuse the tips and tricks found there 😁.
So I glued a piece of pencil lead to the end of a trip of wood and I was able to trace the future shape of the stern. A first roughing was done with my Proxxon rotary tool then I finished the shaping with sandpaper glued on different pieces of wood.


The two stern ports are then framed. I first determined the position of the port sills and lintels using a photocopy of the stern framing.



The installation of the two stern ports pushed me to think of a system to facilitate its assembly. Indeed, port sills and lintels must follow the ship's waterline. So I decided to build myself a small jig to facilitate their poses.
So I drew the waterline on the plan and measured the distance from the top of the bulkhead to the bottom of the sill, measurements were taken for bulkheads 14 and 4.




I then cut two pieces of wood whose height corresponds to my measurements. They were joined together and wooden strips that will pass through the x and y frames were glued.




These two strips are glued so that they are just 3/32" below the marks established using my template.

(3/32"  being the thickness of the wood pieces used for port sills and lintels)




I also added on each side a thin wooden stick (about the thickness of a sheet of paper) to give the second angle to the port sills.




Then all that's left to do is to glue the port sill on my jig.




For the lintels, a piece of wood the height of the stern port was simply placed on the sill and used as a support for positioning.

The pieces were then sanded at the back.




Next step : the square tuck and always so much fun.


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Thank you to all the 'Likes'.


With the installation of the square tuck and the two filer pieces, I finish the construction phase on the skeleton of the model. A few more sanding touches and I will be able to start planking the hull.




A copy of the square tuck template is glued on a piece of cardboard that will allow the piece to be cut from a 1/32" thick sheet of Yellow Alaskan Cedar.




Once the piece is glued, the space at the back is filled with different pieces of Alaskan Cedar and then sanded.

Time to start planking the hull.


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