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HMS Ballahoo by sziggy8 - Caldercraft - 1/64 scale - First Ever Build


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As a new member and model ship building neophyte, I posted a couple of months ago, with the ambitious goal of having my first build be the Le Cerf.  At the urging of others on this site, I took on a little less challenging project for my first build.  So, I ordered HM Ballahoo, and after waiting a few weeks for it to arrive.  I began the build and I am close to completing the first planking of my first planking.  Will submit pictures in the next couple of days. Be gentle, LOL.  Constructive criticism welcome.  

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Sziggy, I'm not sure how you are adding attachments to your post, but you should use the file uploading link that shows up in the bottom-left corner of the reply window (example below) to upload pictures. Practically no one will want to view your photos by sequentially opening a series of downloads -- too time-consuming. My PC couldn't even open the files.

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Sziggy,

 

Getting the first planking down is a major step forward and shows the shape of the hull properly. I get a sense of achievement when I pass this step and I am sure you did too. 

I notice some big gaps between several of your planks. This is normal at the stern where the shape of the hull forces them apart but at the bow I expect the planks to jam closer together. (Do a search on stealers to find out more.) You might have trouble applying filler over some of these gaps. 

 

My suggestion is that you fill some of the gaps with shaped pieces of lime wood. This will give you practice in bending planks and getting a good fit which will be useful for the second planking which is less forgiving. For some of the gaps cut a length of lime and glue it inside the hull to seal the back of the gap. This will give your filler something to press against. You could use strips of cardboard on the inside instead of wood to achieve the same purpose. 

 

A couple of photos from my Ballahoo. 

One shows triangular gaps at the stern which I filled with limewood. (The transom and counter are different on mine.)

The other shows how I worked out the tapered shapes to get the planks to fit around the bow. 

 

Don't forget that we do this for fun! 

 

George

 

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you George!  I appreciate your input.  I am just now seeing your posts, I did not realize new comments came in.  I could have used some of your advice..lol.  I will use it for my next build for sure.

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I have been steadily progressing with my first build.  Obviously have made mistakes, but am learning much and am generally happy with progress albeit slower than I anticipated.  I am finishing up planking and decking and am getting ready to install rudder.  Does anyone have any tips on how to create holes and install copper eyelit?  The hand drill is very slow going and just wanted to see if there is a better way to proceed.  

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Sziggy,

 

I was wondering if I had been too harsh and you had given up with the build, but the photos show that your planking is now something that you can look at with pride. The double-plank method is good for beginners because it lets you hide earlier mistakes as your technique improves. Keep at it!

 

With regard to your question about drilling, I use a pin chuck and twist it with simple finger power. I slip a drawing pin into the end so that I can apply pressure from my palm to the end of the pin chuck without it making a hole in my skin. There are plenty of low cost mini-drills available and Dremel is probably the brand leader. Personally I don't like the high pitched whine they make and accept that hand tools are slower. 

 

George

 

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Thanks George,

Not too harsh.  I cant be scared away that easily...lol.  As you said, I used first planking to learn for second.  Really took my time with the second, but still made many mistakes, but happy with the overall results.  I have a Dremel, was probably a dumb question. never used it as a drill.  I just did to put in the pins, it worked well.  Thank you!!!  I will send pics when I attach the rudder.  Another probably dump question.  Is there a way to avoid PVC Glue from drying out?  I opened the medium viscosity a couple of days ago, put lid back on snuggly and quickly and it is dried out already.  I also have thin and thick viscosity and am afraid to use now.  

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I'm not sure what you mean by PVC glue.

PVA glue is the white stuff to fix wood and it usually takes an hour or so to set and turn clear. When my PVA glue gets too thick I just add a little water. A (plastic) bottle lasts me several years unless I have a big DIY project.  

Superglue or cyanoacrylate or CA glue is the one that grabs and sets instantly and will glue your fingers together if you take liberties with it. It also comes in thick and thin varieties. I find that it builds up around the nozzle which gives two problems: it will not dispense properly and the cap will not close properly. I chip away the dried glue with an old knife blade. A small plastic bottle of CA glue typically lasts about 3 to 6 months for me before it gets too thick and sets. The little foil tubes of glue are good for one application and, in my experience, go solid or empty after that. 

 

George

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Sorry, I got my verbiage wrong.  I have been using PVC glue to date.  I had also ordered 3 viscosities of the CA glue.  That is the one (medium) that dried up on me in a few days. Not sure what happened.  Thanks for the info however. 

 

I just tried to put on my rudder and had 2 issues, #1 the PVC glue did not hold the Brass Eyelits into place, and #2 the Brass wire is too thick for the eyelits.  Should I use a different glue and is it normal to have to sand down wire girth to fit into eyelits?

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Sziggy,

 

The PVA glue works with wood and paper and I would not use it for metal unless it is just to seal over a mechanical joint. The CA glues are much better for fixing pins into holes though they are not very good at filling gaps, so a pin should be a snug fit in the hole. 

 

If the pintles on your rudder do not fit into the eyelets then it could be that the wire is too thick, or that the pins and eyes are not properly aligned. Try a length of unused wire and see if that fits into an eyelet; if it does then the problem is alignment. A solution in this case is to leave one of the eyelets (or pintles) loose in its mounting hole and fit the rudder to the hull. You will need tweezers or fine pliers to get all the joints to couple but it can be done. When the rudder is hanging happily apply a drop of CA glue to the unglued pin (or eyelet) and the alignment is all sorted. 

If the wire does not fit into an eyelet then trying to reduce its thickness is possible. However, it is usually easier to find a replacement wire which does not have to be brass. Look in electrical cable, staples, paperclips, and so on and find a wire that does fit into the eyelet. 

 

George

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Thanks George,

 

Unfortunately the issue with the Pintles fitting into the eyelets is that the wire is too thick.  I actually did a good job of lining them up!  Lol.  I wish the kits provided proper materials that fit together!  The hole I drilled for the Eyelets is a slight bit bigger than the Eyelet, so I will need to ty and comeup with a work around.  

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Bulwark capping rail-I am confused by instructions..."Dry fit the capping rail before gluing using brass pins to hold them in position.  Once you are happy with the positioning, glue the rails in place using PVA wood glue and pins to secure the rails until the glue dries".   Do they mead to hammer pins in the top of rail to bulwark top edge?  THis seems like it would split the wood, and top bulwark edge does not seem designed to be nailed into.  Can someone please clarify?  I researched on this site and cant find an answer.  

 

Thanks

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Dry fitting before gluing is for me an essential step to make sure that the bits fit before they get sticky. However, I do not use the brass pins from the kit because they will cause splits unless you drill holes for them, in which case you will have holes to fill later. 

 

I use map pins which are thinner than the kit brass pins and have a head that you can grip easily. Push them in enough so that they do not fall out, and do it near the edge on the underside of the capping rail. The pins will now stop the rail from sliding to the side while you check the fit.

When gluing I use large elastic bands to hold down the rail to the top of the bulwark while the PVA glue sets. Pull out the pins when the joint is secure and you are left with small holes where they cannot be seen. 

 

Other builders have their own preferred methods which you can sometimes see in build logs. 

 

The capping rail here is not the plywood kit part but strip wood that was bent to shape

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George

 

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, so I tried an experiment.  Looking to paint inside of Bulkhead and trying to not have any "Bleed" onto deck planking.  I had read that it if you apply some enamel to the masking tape that it will help eliminate this problem.  Being inpatient and not having any clear enamel on hand I decide to try a can of sealant that I had on hand to a piece of tape and with another piece of tape with no additional applications.  Image 1230 is the piece with the sealant and image 1229 is with piece with nothing added. and there was no bleeding with the piece with nothing added vs. a good bit with the sealant.  I thought this was interesting.  I realize the sealant is not the same as enamel, but interesting nonetheless.  The question is should I forge ahead without the enamel, or wait and do another test with enamel to try and create the best results.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Sziggy, not sure which paint you'll be using, but assuming it will be some sort of acrylic.  You seem to have masked off the deck pretty well, worst case scenario is you get a couple of areas bleeding through, but this can be easily scraped off gently using the sharp end of a scalpel blade once dry and no-one will be any the wiser (at least that has been my experience with the Admiralty acrylics).  Applying multiple, thin layers will help lower the risk of bleed as well as give you a better finish.  Something to consider for next time is to simply paint the lower plank prior to installation and then you don't have to deal with it, above a small amount of touch up where you don't need to worry too much about perfect masking.

Edited by Beef Wellington
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  • 1 month later...

Build is progressing.  Still trying to figure out Rudder. Need to re-check Eamon's Log for guidance. Don't hate me for the Blue Bulkhead.  I know it is not period correct.  I am doing this (my first) build to display in my beach house and the Blue matches the interior.  Lame, I know, plus I actually like it!

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