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This is my first model ship build and my first post here on Model Ship World. I built a lot of plastic models as a kid, but got away from the modeling hobby by the time I got to college (more years ago than I would like to admit 😀). I do a bit of woodworking, and got back into building RC planes about 10 years ago, so thought I would try my hand at a model ship.


I started the project several years ago. I got to the point of adding the second layer planking and then got distracted by some other projects (including building a rocking horse and other toys for my new grandson). Last week, I picked the project up again. I thought I would post my progress here, and hopefully pick up few tips from others who are much more experienced than I.


Here are pictures of my progress.




Planking under way.




I was a bit apprehensive, but the first layer planking in went reasonably well.






First lay planking complete. Not perfect, but overall, I was satisfied with the results (for my first attempt).


Note: Sorry for the aspect ratio. Is there a way to rotate images in a post (I could not find one).




Deck planking came out much better than I expected.




This is more or less where I left off. I have been working on the second layer planking for the last couple of weekends, and will post my progress there a little later.

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Thanks for the compliments.


Here are some pictures of progress with the second planking.










Overall, I am happy with the results. It doesn't show well in the picture, but the bow area is a bit more ragged than I would like and there a few seams that are not quite as tight as I would like.


It took me a while to find an approach that worked for me. I started out using medium CA, but found that it made a huge mess. The wood for the planking (I am guessing it's actually sapele rather than mahogany) is extremely porous and the CA would bleed through and get all over the place. I thought about contact cement, but was concerned that there is absolutely no margin for error when positioning the plank.


I read something about a ship modeling tool that used heat to quickly dry traditional wood glue. I gave it try using the trim iron I use to apply heat shrink covering material on RC airplanes. This worked perfectly!!! I use a small brush to apply a bit of wood glue then used the iron to get the glue to quickly set up and grab (about 10 - 15 seconds). The heat quickly dries the water out of the glue and the combination of heat, moisture, and pressure from the iron helps to perfectly shape the plank to the surface. The trick is to work slowly, adhering down about an inch at a time.


I also have started getting more comfortable spilling the planks to get them lay tightly, and I have been learning about techniques like "stealers" and "drop planks" to get a clean fit.



Edited by aymodeler
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A little more progress. Have the planking done on one side.


Stealer added on the stern planking. A bit fussy but produces nice results.



I ended up with a small gap near the bottom. I know the "proper" way to fix this is with a correction plank, but I just fit in a small filler piece. It will never be seen.






Close examination does reveal some small gaps due to the relatively ragged edges to the sapele planking material provided with the kit. I tried to joint the edges by lightly sanding, but would have to have gotten very aggressive to get them completely square. I am tempted to apply a tiny bit of filler, but not sure if it will make things worse in the end.





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Looks great!

For those small gaps, make yourself some filler out of the same wood you used, just sand some extra wood into a little sawdust pile, add a bit of 50/50 water & white glue mixture until you get the consistency of thin putty, use a toothpick or something to squeeze it into the gaps, and then while it's still wet, sand across the area to add more sawdust from the surrounding wood which will stick to the gluey mixture.  Let it dry and do a final sanding, and I bet even you won't be able to tell where you filled, even though you know where to look!

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GuntherMT, thanks for the tip. I have done something similar in the past with larger woodworking projects, and will give it a try here.


I finished up the planking on the port side today. I did end up with a bigger gap on the last row, but was able to fill it like I did the starboard side. I had plenty of small cut-off scraps, so I would find a bit that was just a tiny bit oversized and then press it in with glue and the trim iron for nice tight fit.




Both sides have been lightly sanded. I will try filling in some of the remaining gaps next.



Edited by aymodeler
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Today, I did a bit of filling of the planking gaps with homemade sawdust and glue "putty". I did this vary sparingly deciding that less is more here. After a bit of sanding, I am declaring this part done and moving on. It's not quite perfect, but it will be fine and I am quite confident that once it gets a coat of poly, I will be happy enough with it.


After reading the Virginia build thread by SardonicMeow, I discovered a couple of mistakes that I made and need to address before moving on (I wish I had spent some time reading through other build threads before starting - lesson learned).


The first mistake is that it apears that I did not assemble the transom properly, leaving a big gap when you try to fit the rudder. This seems to be quite a common problem as it appears in several build threads for this model.




To fix this, I added a bit of material to the stern post so that the rudder will end up in line with the transom. Also, I needed to lengthen the post on the top of the rudder so that it will line up with the tiller slot.


20210130_141618.thumb.jpg.25d3f9d20f5c5bb33604005f358459bb.jpg   20210130_145337.thumb.jpg.061db54939be70d306a3287ffa7aa22a.jpg   


The next problem that I discovered was that I installed the stem too low down on the hull, such that the bowsprit would not sit at the right angle. To fix this, I glued a bit of scrap to the top of the stem, then rough cut it with a jewlers saw followed by a bit of cleanup with a small rasp and some needle files to get the right shape.


20210130_145813.thumb.jpg.879a4d68f422371d96749b0189379c9a.jpg   849719280_20210130_152210edited.thumb.jpg.5120215b02549e68103f12774131af17.jpg


Unfortunately, I also now see that the curve of the bow stem does not match the curve of the hull quite properly. There is not much I can do about that now, so it will be left as is. These repairs will leave some seam lines were the fixes were attached, but they are minimal and should get lost when all the remaining details are added.


Onto the upper hull planking next.



Edited by aymodeler
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3 hours ago, aymodeler said:

I discovered a couple of mistakes that I made

Nope.  The mistake is not yours, it's Artesania Latina's.  You're finding flaws in the kit that every other builder also encounters.


I like your fix for the rudder.  I think it'll look better than the correction I made to mine.


To my eye, your stem still looks a little low.  You'll need the bowsprit at an angle such that a line from the end of the bowsprit running aft towards the bow will be able to go over the bow railing. 

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1 hour ago, SardonicMeow said:

Nope.  The mistake is not yours, it's Artesania Latina's.  You're finding flaws in the kit that every other builder also encounters.


I like your fix for the rudder.  I think it'll look better than the correction I made to mine.


To my eye, your stem still looks a little low.  You'll need the bowsprit at an angle such that a line from the end of the bowsprit running aft towards the bow will be able to go over the bow railing. 


Thanks for the feedback. I really liked your rudder fix too and came close to doing some similar. I ended up going this route because it seemed simpler.


I tried to match the stem and bowsprit angle to the plans as best as possible. I'll check it again though.

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14 hours ago, Matt D said:

Your rudder fix is nice, because it’s different from what most of us did when we had the exact same problem.  I like seeing a new idea.  It’s definitely a flaw in either the kit or the instructions, but part of this hobby is problem solving.  


Thanks! It really just seemed like the easiest solution I could come up with.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not much new progress to report. I did get the stringers installed inside the bulwark. I soaked them in hot water then formed them around the edge of a small saucepan to get the bend near the bow in place. I still had a bit of difficulty getting them to stay tight into the corner between the deck and the bulwark and I really didn't have a good clamping solution, so I used some temporary pins to hold everything in place (filling the holes with glue and sawdust after they were removed).


Unfortunately, I am dealing with a bit of health issue right now, so I will not be posting for a bit (I have high confidence that I will be back later this spring though!).







Edited by aymodeler
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Your ship is looking great!  I wish you the best in your health issue.


Coming up short in your build is the railing.  In some logs, including mine, builders have used spacers to set the posts evenly.  I want to warn you that doing so poses a high risk of creating stacked tolerance errors.  If you look closely at mine, you’ll see that the railings are off from one side to the other near mid-ship.  I corrected it as well as I could at the time, but the step really shows off the error.  Do think carefully about how to get the spacing right while keeping both sides the same.  If I had mine to do over, I would have marked the post locations and checked side to side instead of trying to just use a spacer to set them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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