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Queen Anne Royal Barge circa 1700 by Blue Ensign - Syren Ship Models - 1:24 scale


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Queen Anne Royal Barge circa 1700 –1:24 scale.

 

 

This build has been waiting in the wings for three years, long overdue to get stuck into Chuck’s wonderful creation of this early18thc Royal Barge.

 

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I can only hope that I do justice to this high-end kit as indicated above.

 

I am fortunate that there are around a dozen recorded builds on MSW at various stages. Half of them are completed, so I will have the benefit of a wealth of experience from those who have gone before.

 

My first step will be to read through Chuck’s comprehensive build manual and the logs of my fellow members to get a feel for the build.

 

 

B.E.

24/02/2021

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Cheers Guys,

 

@ Michael -  you're so right, open the box and everything exudes quality, as did Cheerful.

 

@ Chuck -  this is such an  impressive looking subject, thank you for making it possible. if my Cheerful experience is anything to go by my cup will runneth over. 🙂

 

@ Glenn - as I will following on from those who have gone before, I've already picked up some useful pointers. This log will probably turn into a 'like he did'  build. 😄

 

B.E.

 

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Posted (edited)

Post One

 

This involves the keel assembly and I was happy to follow the leads of JpR62 (Jean-Paul) and Chuck Seiler, by using scrap 1/32” sheet to assist the alignment of the inner keel pieces.

 

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I utilised the fret cut out to hold the bow section during keel gluing and the inner keel sections.

 

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The stern section is likewise fitted in a jig for gluing.

 

I also agree with Chuck Seiler’s approach of assembling the keel pieces as two separate sections and bringing them together only after tapering and the addition of the inner bow and stern keel pieces.

 

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This is a long keel secured initially only by the central scarph and I share his concerns about the risk of breakage.

 

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Gluing the bow inner keel piece.

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…and the inner stern keel piece.

 

 

The stem, keel, and Sternpost require tapering.

The pieces are 4mm thick and will initially be reduced to 2.5mm. Final finish 2.38mm or thereabouts.

 

The taper runs down the stem, starting 18mm down from the head, and from inboard to outboard. The taper continues along the keel from top to bottom and is also applied to the lower sternpost.

 

To this end I have pva’d a styrene strip 0.25mm x 2.5mm along the parts to be tapered to give me a guide to the thin end point.

 

With the two sections joined the centre inner keel piece can be fitted which adds security to the structure.

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Initially I used pieces of scrap 1/32” sheet to centre the piece along the keel, but this didn’t give a good result; something must have been off, probably me, so I resorted to placement by eye which worked better.

 

 

Chuck mentions that the piece was made long on purpose and that sanding the after end may be required. In my case it did, reducing the keel slot size, the implications of which I have yet to find out.

 

 

The final tweaking of the tapering is now done making sure the inboard edges of the keel remain untouched so as not to affect the rabbet.

 

 

The final task of this part is to attach the transom piece.

Chuck makes the point about ensuring the transom is perpendicular to the keel.

 

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There are etched lines to assist centring the transom, but I then used my eye and diverse methods to try and check that the piece was vertical to the sternpost.

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One of the diverse methods I used to check the transom was level.

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Not quite as simple as may seem given the inbuilt flexibility  due to the length and relative thinness of the structure.

 

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A coat of w-o-p and I can move onto the next part.

 

 

B.E.

01/03/21

 

 

 

 

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Posted (edited)

Thank you, Jason,

 I found your insights and tribulations regarding the frames of great assistance, and also a little worrying, good that you are returning to the build.

 

Post Two

 

Prepping the frames.

 

With the keel section completed a simple jig/building board is made to hold the keel straight and prevent warping whilst I attend to the Futtocks and frames.

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A slow process but valuable in the sense that it lowers the natural build pace. This is not a project to rush, deliberate movements and soft hands are I suspect essential to avoiding mishaps on this build.

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I started with the fore half and found that futtocks J – F required tape over the tabs to give a good fit, and Futtocks E -B required the building board slots easing for a good push fit. The final two Futtocks ‘A’ fitted without attention.

 

 

One slight hitch, I mistakenly glued a Frame O to Futtock A because the incised reference letter was closer to the O than the A frames on the fret. There are two Frames A and O.

 

My error was quickly rectified but I note it as something to watch out for.

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The aft half of the Futtock/ frames generally fitted without attention, only a couple required slot sanding and the application of tape.

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Before going further I test checked each of the frame bottoms into the keel slots, most needed a pass with the sanding stick to fit in the slots.

 

I hesitated about what to do with the keel slot for Futtock 7. This was narrower because the long central keel slot section was slightly reduced to fit on the keel.

 

I settled on a combination of shaving a fraction off the forward edge of the slot and reducing the frame bottom. I didn’t want to thin the frame bottom too much lest it weakened the structure.

 

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Having checked both slots and tabs the parts will now be taken apart and the building board support blocks added to the underside.

 

 

B.E.

04/03/21

 

 

 

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Posted (edited)

Post Three

 

 

 Bringing together keel and frames.

 

 

 

The futtocks are sufficiently firm in the base board, and the frames sit cleanly in the keel slots, so I can move onto the next stage.

 

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Support blocks added to the board underside.

 

 

The prime concern now is to ensure that the frames are properly centred in the build board, the keel is vertical and centred along the frames, and the final fixing and tweaking is achieved before the glue starts to set.

 

Chuck mentions in the blurb that there is a little wriggle room in the slots of the build board so the frames can be shifted left or right.

 

 

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This does not seem to be the case with my kit, there is no leeway to tweak the Futtocks in aligning the keel along the top.

 

With the Futtocks fixed I am limited to ensuring that the keel is vertical across the top.

 

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Sighting along the set up the keel does not sit naturally centred across all Frames.

Warp in the keel is not the issue.

 

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The mismatch in aftermost frame 10 is clear to see here.

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If Frame 10 is centred it throws several of the others out.

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I am reluctant to introduce ‘wriggle room’ into the building board slots but I do need to resolve this issue before I can move on.

 

 

 

 

B.E

Postscript

Having disassembled everything again I think I have found the issue.

The tabs in the board feel ok for removal but from beneath there is no ‘wriggle’ gap apparent. From the top laying the Futtocks on the board there is a gap of around 1mm.

The board slot cut must have a slight inward angle to it top to bottom which prevents the futtock tabs from moving.

I will take a shave off with a micro chisel and try again.

 

 

B.E.

 

 

 

Edited by Blue Ensign
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It is probably easier to adjust the tab on the frame than adjust the slot if need be.  It shouldnt be and issue to make any tweaks to get those frames centered and aligned.  Its looking great so far.  Take care now to make all adjustments to get the frames centered and at the proper height to ensure that keel sits straight and level.

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your build looks great!
 

I noticed with my build that the frames didn’t stay in place after a dry fit. I probably dry fit the keel to the frames 4 or 5 times before glueing and after each time I removed the keel the frames moved a little bit. I used the dry fits not so much as a method of how I’m going to place the keel but instead how I adjusted the frames once the keel was in place. 
 

Bradley

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Oh no! Another build I'm going to have to add to the to do list. I was very tempted to go for it when I read Meddo's log and seeing you build the barge will probably push me over the edge 🤪. Too many models, not enough time!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your input Guys.

 

Thanks for the advice Chuck.

 

@ Glenn – you’ve got to be working on the kit to appreciate the problem, but I doubt you will have any issues once you get around to it.

 

@ Bradley – useful insight, and yours turned out beautifully.

 

@ Derek -  It’s always worth having one of Chuck’s kits on hand, in fact I’ve also got the Longboat kit  beneath the bench.

There are so many exiting new projects coming along now from Syren and Vanguard, - too many models not enough time – surely does resonate.

 

Post Four

 

 Completion of Keel/frames assembly

 

I did a little more work on the slots and tabs to give the lateral movement necessary to align the frames. I concentrated on the underside and didn’t touch the upper edge.

 

I also took Chuck’s advice and made a pass of the sanding stick across the tabs.

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The keel then fitted much better and I felt confident enough to apply the glue.

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The forward section went somewhat easier, but I still managed to break the tab on the single frame H, temporarily secured with Tamiya tape.

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Moving on to fairing.

 

 

B.E.

06/03/21

 

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Very Nice.....just take care when fairing.  It will fair easy enough with a light touch and some sandpaper that is NOT too course.   This is a step you dont want to rush.  You can just glue that tab back together.  No worries with that.

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57 minutes ago, Chuck said:

Just to show you a different look with the barge here is a friend of mine building it right now.  Early paintings show the planking painting white.......it looks nice.

 

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Wow the white looks awesome! 
 

Bradley

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Posted (edited)

Post Five

 

Fairing.

 

I approach this job with a degree of trepidation, being aware of the damage that can be done by a simple lapse of concentration in holding or manoeuvring, or a degree too much pressure put on the frames.

 

Chuck re-iterates this point more than once.

 

Using the fret from the Futtock sheets, I practised sanding the edges with a variety of different grade papers to gauge the removal effect and effort required to achieve it.

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I am using a finger sander with P150 and P240 papers, and Sheet P240 papers were also used.

 

 

Using a fine touch was uppermost in my mind but even so a couple of frames dislodged from the keel at the stern, but it was easy work to re glue them.

 

The process mainly seems to consist of cleaning off the char with actual bevelling only being applicable to the forward four and aft five Futtocks/frames plus the Transom board.

 

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I use a 0.7 x 6mm Boxwood strip to check the lie of the strake across the Frames.

 

 

I am taking this very slowly, a lot of the fairing I do is along the vertical line to clean the char to avoid putting lateral pressure on the frames.

 

This also has the effect of easing the friction when applying the necessary lateral strokes to fair the forward and aft frames.

 

I didn’t do too much fairing at one time lest my natural inclination to complete the job got too much and the speed of working picked up.

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With the test strake fully sitting across all frames at various points I decided it was time to move on.

 

 

A coat of wipe-on-poly is applied.

 

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The planking phase beckons.

 

 

 

B.E.

09/03/21

 

 

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Posted (edited)

Post Six

 

Planking begins.

 

The positives

 

Chuck has designed this kit with pre spiled planking.

 

The materials are excellent.

 

The instructions are clear.

 

There are excellent build logs providing the benefit of experience, and I read them all before moving to a new section. One would be a fool to forgo all this valuable information.

 

There are only three strakes which reduces the error element that can creep into fully planked builds.

 

The Negatives.

 

None as such, but the planking is quite delicate, and care must be taken to avoid undue pressures that may result in breakages of plank or frame.

 

In the event of disasters Chuck does supply a get out of jail card in the form of spare planking sets.

 

To avoid such setbacks, I will try my best to achieve a no tension fit of planks before I commit to glue.

I start on the Portside.

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Tick strips prepared and sanding sticks assembled.

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I use Tamiya tape to define the bevelling area.

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I soak the plank and heat treat to impart the bend into the bow.

In practice this amount of bend is not required, a shallower curve is sufficient.

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This photo demonstrates the direction of twist that is required to enable the plank to sit square in the stem rabbet.

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With the twist imparted the plank lies correctly.

 

The clamps are applying very little pressure, sufficient only to hold the plank in place. Lateral pressure on the frames must be avoided at all costs.

 

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Before I fix the first plank I prepared the Starboard side so I can gauge the uniformity of the pair.

 

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A little more dry fitting and fettlin’ required before I commit to glue, I think.

 

B.E.

11/03/21

 

 

 

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Posted (edited)

Thanks Rusty, sometimes that ‘handle’ feels a little fragile, this is a build that surely concentrates the mind, but enjoyable all the same.

 

Post Seven

 

First fixings

 

I have spent most of yesterday faffing around with the first planks.

 

The final tasks before gluing is to bevel the plank for the bow /rabbet fit and trim the plank to terminate at the forward Futtock ‘O’.

 

The Portside plank went on fairly easily, but the Starboard version not so. To my increasing frustration the ca initially refused to grab on several of the Futtocks.

 

The bow strake/rabbet connection was particularly stubborn and in the end I left it until last and used pva which allowed me to tweak the level to match the Portside.

 

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There is an element of flexibility in the as yet unsupported stem, and it really needs holding in the vertical line whilst the first plank is applied.

 

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I am satisfied with the outcome, and not a little relieved that this first critical task is completed.

 

 

B.E.

12/03/21

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Posted (edited)

Post Eight

 

 

Progressing the planking strakes.

 

I begin with the Starboard aft first strake which is a simpler arrangement than the bow section.

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Dry fitting the aft plank.

 

I imparted a shallow bend to assist the plank to lie flat across Futtocks 8 and 9, followed by a shallow outward bend between Futtocks 10 and the transom. This is to create a concave sweep running into the Flying Transom.

 

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This photo shows the concave curve that will run to connect with the Flying Transom.

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As with the stem, a support block is temporarily fixed to the board to support the Transom and counter any lateral pressure when gluing.

At this point I haven’t glued the aft plank to the transom, I will do that once the second (Portside) plank is fixed, and I can tweak the set up with both in place.

 

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Aft piece shape.

 

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The Transom is held steady for the gluing.

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A small block of balsa is used to support and protect the transom.

 

 

B.E.

13/03/21

Edited by Blue Ensign
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Great work as always B.E. - I'm sorely tempted to add this kit to the list!

 

As an aside, can I ask you about the clips you're using, with apologies if you've covered this elsewhere? I use similar clips, but yours look more effective and adaptable, and I wondered where you got them. Here's yours compared with mine - the latter made by cannibalising spare clips to use the wire handles to apply downward pressure:

clip.jpg.808c38fac86479667d491b434a480741.jpgclip2.jpg.2139cb94acc813352c56fea0ea98c6ad.jpg

 

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