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Gunboat Philadelphia by John Gummersall - Model Shipways - Scale 1:24

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Posted (edited)

Just starting up the gunboat Philadelphia  build...  I just completed the USN Picket and anxious to get started on the Philadelphia.    I am by no means an expert builder but having a lot of fun along the way. 


One word of warning,,,,, this will be a painfully slow log to follow.  I know most people hate slow logs.   I am not a full time modeler so I only get to work on it when I have some spare time.     Hopefully I will be able to have at least one post a week.   Maybe more,,, 


Rather than have a log and shows only the good stuff I plan to bare my dirty laundry and show a lot of "what not to do when building the Philadelphia".   I will plan to complete the Philadelphia, but it may get ugly along the way...  


One item that I am sure is a "no brainer" to more experienced builders, but is worth mentioning...   The Philadelphia, like most medium/large models has a lot of wood strips of various sizes.    Before you begin, I would suggest you identify each different size of wood strip and label it so you can easily find it later in the build.   The wood strips are very similar in size and no sense rummaging through all the word each time to want a particular size.     Below is my attempt at labeling each strip size.   Does not matter how you label them, but you will save yourself  a lot of grief in the build if you can easily identify each strip as you need it.




Starting right in,,,,,

The instructions call to build the false keep, glue the stem and stern posts to it, and then trim the stem and stern posts.   I guess right away I am altering from the instructions,,,  Hope this is not an omen for the future,,,,


To me it is much easier to build the stem and stern posts, trim them, and then attach them to the false keel.   


Not sure if I will get in trouble later on or not, but one thing I did do when beveling the stem/stern posts for the rabbets was to trim them more than the suggested trim lines.  In the past when I have trimmed the stem/stern posts to the suggested lines, it is never enough to accept the planking, and when planking I had to shave the ends of the planks to fit into the rabbets.   This time I choose to bevel the stem/stern posts enough to accept the end of the planks that will eventually be inserted.   Like I say, have never done this before and later on in the build I may regret it, but it has been done.



Here is the result of the stem and stern post builds.


Stem Post



Stern Post




Then building the false keel there are three cross pieces to provide support and help verify the keel is plumb when glued to be bottom of the hull.   I do not have a couple  machine angle plates to help insure the cross pieces (and later on bulkheads) are square...  So you use what you have.   In this case some angle braces.   Worked well for these cross pieces, but looking at the bulkheads, I can see some (shall we say) "fun" ahead trying to get the bulkheads square.  


In the past I have had issues getting bulkheads square when each bulkhead was one piece, but in the case of the Philadelphia most of the bulkheads are  two pieces.    Doubly hard to get square.... and if the bulkheads are not square, you are in for all sorts of issues down the line - ask me how I know this  🙂

Let's just say I plan to pick up a couple machine angle plates prior to taking on the bulkheads






Laying out the bottom of the boat pretty straight foreword.    Glue the three pieces together and you are done.   Just insure you have a very flat table and while the glue is drying, put some weight on it to prevent warping.    Below is the completed keel (with stem/stern plates attached) and the bottom of the boat.




One note, the bottom section of the boat is 608mm long, but the false keel is 610mm long.   Not a big deal, and I probably could have left the overhang, but just to be safe I shortened the false keel by 2mm before gluing on the stern post.    Was not sure that 2mm gap would have made a difference when planking, but did not want to take a chance and easy to correct.  Verify you false keep fits the bottom of the boat before gluing.


Below is a picture of the stern post after gluing to the false keel.   The stem post connection to the false keel was really sloppy.   Not a good fit at all.   Below (in red square) I glued a small piece of wood on each side of the false keep where it meets the stern post - just to insure a good bond





Edited by John Gummersall
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Started to dry fit some of the bulkheads on the false keel and noticed that almost every bulkhead (on both sides of the keel) extend beyond the flat bottom of the boat.    The bow/stern sections (after beveling) seem like they will be close, but most of the others seem about 2mm long.  From what I can tell they are supposed to line up with the edge of the bottom of the boat.   Not a big deal as I can easily shave off some of the center joint where it meets the keel, but the fact that almost every bulkhead is too long somewhat concerns me.  Like maybe I missed an earlier step an did not build the false keel correctly.


Looking at some of the other Philadelphia logs only Brucealanevans mentions adjusting the bulkheads,,, and that seemed only because he mentioned his  false keel was not square.   Anyway,,, I have gone back over the plans and instructions all seems to be correct.  I just I just need to adjust them where they meet the keel so that the outside of the bulkhead lines up with the bottom.    


Should not be a big deal, but I am concerned I may regret this later in the build....   But do not seem to have a choice.



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I am following your build as I am only 2 steps ahead of you. One issue I found late was although you are directed to bevel BOTH inside and outside of #16 bulkhead (see sheet 2 ), nothing is said about a bevel needed at least on BOTH sides of #'s1, 2 and 3  and 14 and 15,This aids in attaching  the "ceiling planking". Perhaps I missed something !

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Following that age old philosophy stating "why do something easy when you can make it hard" I decided to plank the bottom of the hull and the decking in the boat.   But for this you need to get some extra wood.    I decided to plank the bottom of the hull and the decking with 1/32" x 1/2" wood.   In hindsight I think I should have gone with 1/32" x 3/8", but the wood has been ordered...


While waiting for the wood to show up I moved on to the cannons.   As others have commented both the 9lbs and 12lbs cannons need a lot of cleanup from the molds.   Might be time for Model Expo to get a new cannon mold.  Anyway, they clean up pretty well after some filing and sanding.




When assembling the 9 lbs cannon mounts it says to glue the front and side pieces on the etched lines on the wheels..   Problem is the front piece (shown in green below) is not wide enough.  When you glue on the side pieces they do not line up with the etched lines on the wheels.   While dry fitting I noticed this but did not give it much thought...  Not so good.    Problem is, later on,  when you lay the cannon in the mount the back part of the cannon will not fit down in the the slot...  So the cannon will only shoot straight and be able to shoot up into the air.   This might be an issue later on if the cannon potentially could not be high enough to shoot over the rail.  


I was thinking of breaking down the mount and add a small sliver of wood on both sides of the front piece (to make it wider),  but a better thought was just to sand down the two side pieces (shown in red).    The required sanding is so small that it is completely unnoticeable.    So when building you cannon mount,  note if the sides line up on the etched lines and if not, plan to sand down the sides or increase the side of the front piece.


Have not built the 12lbs cannon mount yet, but will look out for this potential issue. 




Final result for the cannons...  The do clean up respectable ...  Not museum quality but good enough for me.    Note the mount for the small cannons in red.   The mount from the kit was so bad that is broke even with really delicate handling.   Using two eyelets and some thin wire I created a new mount.   Once this is mounted on the boat, it will look fine.



Planking arrived and bottom planked.   I started out thinking I would do the 1,3,5,2,4 or 1,3,2,4 planking pattern, and spent some time in laying out both patterns to see what I like best,,,  It ended up being the 1,3,5,2,4 pattern.   However after lots of thought and time on the issue I screwed up the pattern on the very first row, but did not realize it until I was on the 2nd row....  So from there I just said "the heck with it" and went for a totally random pattern.


Oh well,,,, it is just the bottom and few (only those that peak) will ever see it.


If you plank the bottom hull, be sure to put weights on it as the glue dries to prevent warping...  I learned that the hard was on a previous model.




With bottom planked, stained (golden pecan), and sealed, I started  installing the bulkheads.   Take time to insure you false keel is straight before you start the bulkheads.  As mentioned earlier, I am not sure why my bulkhead pieces were so long.  On both sides of the hull they extended about 2mm past the hull.  So in addition to beveling the planks with bevel lines I had to trim each 1/2 bulkhead by about 2mm in order for them to line up with the edge of the hull bottom.   Not really a big deal, but the fact that every bulkhead was about 2mm long (and other logs only mentioned slight sanding)  made me feel a little uncomfortable that something was amiss...   Anyway,,, we will see what trouble I get into later on do to this "adjustment".


As with planking the bottom, be sure you have weights on the bulkheads as the glue dries,,,,  or you will have some warping and a lot of (shall we say) "fun" later on trying to unwarp the hull. - Again,,, ask me how I know this  🙂



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Posted (edited)

Completed bulkheads....  In previous  posts I mentioned that I had to trim what I would consider an unusual amount off each bulkhead.   This seems to have changed.  As shown in my  last post I started with bulkhead #9 and worked  toward the stern.   I mentioned I was worried that I had to trim each bulkhead what I would consider an excessive amount (2mm).   I was worried I was doing something incorrect but saw no other way.


Interesting enough, when I got to bulkheads #1-#8 they all seemed to be the correct length with only minor trimming for them to match the outer edge of the hull.   So I guess all is good with the world.


In the below picture, all bulkheads have been installed and I have started on the foreword lower cockpit I do not really expect any issues with the foreword and aft lower cockpits...   Famous last words....  we will see what trouble I can get myself into...



Edited by John Gummersall
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  • 2 weeks later...

Cockpit floors have been laid.   One issue I noticed on the bailing well is that there is no border to the well to support the lid.   The model does not have a lid, but I assume there should have been.   The 3/16" board on one side could support one side of the lid, but there is no support for the other side of the lid (marked in green below).  I did not catch this until after I laid the cockpit floor.    If I was doing this again I would have just cut the flooring plank a litter shorter exposing some of the 3/16" floor support board.   However, at this point, not sure If I will just leave it (as that is what the instructions call for) or just add a small piece of wood on the edge to support the bailing well lid.






With both cockpit floors completed I added a 1/32" strip of wood over the false keel portion of the cockpit  (marked in red) as I assume this will be visible in the completed model.





With the age of philosophy saying "you can never have enough clamps", below sits the hull with both port and starboard  strips of the sheerplanks, soaked in water, and bent into place.    Once dry, tomorrow I will glue them on,,,, and the planking fun will begin.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Been awhile since my last update... As I indicated early on, this will be a painfully slow log...  I do not get to work on the model as much as I would like.   Seems something else is always tugging for my attention...


Anyway, the first three planking rows have been completed....  Pretty straight foreword,  just a slow process.    Each plank has to be cut to size, soaked, pinned into place, let dry, and then glue into place.   Below is my attempt at the first three planking rows


Bow PXL_20210413_215037423.thumb.jpg.c4e38c23248269cbcbaf92c4c3524285.jpg





Port Side



Starboard Side



As I was waiting for each plank to dry I decided to plank the decking.    As mentioned earlier,,, "why do something easy when you can make it hard".

I used 1/32" x 1/2" planking as I did not want to add to much height to the deck.    Having said that, additional height does not appear, at this point, to make a difference with the Philadelphia.  


In hindsight I probably should have used 1/16" x 1/2" planking as 1/32" has a lot more warping to deal with than the 1/16".   In addition, others had mentioned that an additional 1/16" of an inch probably is what the original model designer intended and greatly helps with the placement of the canons.   In either case, do not forget to weight down the decking after planking it to prevent warping.    You will definitely have warped decking if you do not weight them down as the glue dries.


Below is the decking after the planking.   At this point I just layed the decking in the boat for the picture.    In reality, the ceiling planking will be applied before the decking is glued into place.





Now on to the (shall we say) fun part - spiling....   I am probably the world's worst spiler....      I have attempted and tried several spiling methods others have used in past models but do not really feel comfortable with any of them.   At this point I just to not have the knack for it.    I am not sure what the issue is...  too old to learn, too new to modeling, or just no talent - pick one.....    Once again, we will take it on and see what happens..  🙂

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Posted (edited)

Before I take on spiling I thought it best if I give Chuck Passaro's planking Videos one more review.   I have seen them before and they looked interesting, but I never really attempted his process.   Having gone back over the videos, I now realize this is the way to do planking - for me anyway.


I made a very small version of the bending station suggested by Chuck.    In Chuck's case it looks like he uses a 2 x 12 board over a couple of saw horses.  That seemed a really good setup, but I just did not have that kind of room.   Below is my smaller version of a bending station.   With the Philadelphia there are not too many planks to bend and each plank is much wider than the planks on most models.    This process worked great for me even with the wider planks.  I say "even with the wider planks" as the wider planks are much harder to bend.  Narrower planks would be much easier to bend.   I am looking foreword to trying this process on a future boat with narrower planks, but for now this worked great for me.


In the event you are interested, here are the links to Chuck's videos


     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCWooJ1o3cM&t=7s     Part 1

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T5C9rW2JkU                 Part 2

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atXqH0GWLL8                Part 3

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhwsf4lW6Sc                  Part 4






As I was waiting for planking to dry I wanted to experiment with blacking brass.   Just as many theories on spiling as there are modelers,  there are any number of ways to blacken brass - some successful other not so successful.


In my case I wanted to try "Novacan Black Patina / for Solder - Lead".   I had heard this works pretty well so I wanted to give it a try.    

Below is the result.    I need to keep fiddling with it.   In the example below I did not pre-clean them with acetone.    Just took the brass and stuck it into the Novacan Black Patina.   I was hoping for a more even black.  Instead I got a very rusty look.    So it defiantly aged the items - like they have been sitting on the bottom of the sea for some time - and that is a look if that is what you are after.     Tomorrow I will try with a pre-wash of acetone to see if  I get a more even look - We will see,,,,





As you can see the above blackening process left the pieces looking pretty rustic.   If that is the look you want then OK.  In my case I wanted a more even blackening.   I attempted diluting the Novacan to 1/2 strength (with water) and ended up with a pretty even blackening with nothing rubbing off.    Based on the dilution process, I am really impressed with Novacan for blackening brass.   Below are some additional Philadelphia brass etching pieces blackened with Novacan at 1/2 strength.





Edited by John Gummersall
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On 4/13/2021 at 9:03 PM, John Gummersall said:

Now on to the (shall we say) fun part - spiling....   I am probably the world's worst spiler....   

    IIRC spiling is not a big problem with PHILADELPHIA.  The structure and form of the hull is such that very little tapering is required.  Much of this is due to the nature of the ship itself.  A bunch of these were slapped together over a couple months in the middle of nowhere.  They had plenty of wood due the a captured mill, but shipwrights were pretty scarce.  They had plenty of plain old carpenters and folks who built lake bateauxs.

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I agree spiling is not a problem on the Philadelphia.    But as I have mentioned earlier, past models have shown to me that I am the "World's Worst Spiler"  (if that is a word).    Fortunately wood filler, paint, and  a lot of sanding makes hides even the world's worst "spiling" job.   


Having said that, there is some minor bending/twisting of wood on the Philadelphia.   I do like Chuck's method of bending wood as very few clamps are required to make the plank lie flat to the bulkheads.    My previous planking jobs usually have ended up with more clamps than wood try to get the wood to do unnatural acts to lie flat.


Looking forward to my next ship that has thinner planks and more curve/twist to them to see if I will loose my title as "World's Worst Spiler"

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1 hour ago, John Gummersall said:

 I do like Chuck's method of bending wood as very few clamps are required to make the plank lie flat to the bulkheads. 

    I agree.  Even the simplest planking can lead to problems if the is still "spring" in the plank and needs to be clamped down.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Planking going along pretty good.   As Chuck and I have mentioned above, the planking is somewhat easy on the Philadelphia.   Most of the planks only require a little shaping and bending.    I really have liked using Chuck Passaro's planking method.   Even with a little bending his method really makes planking easier..... especially for someone like me that has no idea how to do a good job with spiling.    Below are a few shots showing planking almost complete.   Then on to the sanding to clean up some glue spots and general smoothing out.










Noticed a little space in the top sheerstrake ,,,,,   Will need to fill that from the inside later on..






While waiting for some of the planks to dry I noticed it will not be a smooth transition from the bottom plank (W+4 strake) to the bottom of the boat. 


Note when the bottom plank will eventually be applied there is not much edge to glue to




Just as you need to trim the foreword/aft bulkhead to accept the strake planks looks like you will also need to trim the hull bottom to provide a better  base to glue the bottom strake plank.


A few minutes with the Dremel easily takes care of that and will provide a much larger area to glue the bottom strake plank.   Does not really need to be perfect, just provide something to glue to.





Edited by John Gummersall
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As the saying goes....   "you can never have enough clamps"....  Even with my attempt at bending the planking,  a little brute force (as in clamps) is always helpful.    I find these from Micro Mark really helpful and form a really tight bond to the bulkhead.





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Posted (edited)

Not sure why I did not notice this before, but now that I am at the last plank, I noticed that when the bottom of the hull was planked with 1/32" planking, the bottom now extends beyond the stem and stern posts... ugh,,,




If I had noticed this at the time, I could have adjusted for the 1/32" when attaching the stem/stern posts to the hull bottom.    This now needs to be fixed as the bottom plank will not sit properly with the stem/stern posts.    At this point about all I can think of is to extend the stem/stern posts.   Actually it looks like I need to add about 1/16" to the stem/stern posts as a patch.    Below shows the stern post patch after the initial gluing....  Tomorrow (when the glue is dry) I will trim it to match the stern post.   In the end will be hardly noticeable, but if not fixed, the transition of the plank to the stem/stern posts would be very noticeable.



Edited by John Gummersall
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Rodger,   Thanks for your comment,,,,  I appreciate it


Below shows the completed Stern post after sanding...  Now the bottom plank should fit pretty good into the stern post.




As for the stem (bow) post, looks like it only needs the additional 1/32" to be added.   Below are a couple pictures of the added patch to the stem post.   It too will be sanded later to confirm to the stem post.









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I appreciate your comments, I was not really very clear as to my issue.     My problem (before the patch) was not so much a shortage of wood.   But that would have resulted in a gap under the stem/stern posts (see below) as the planking stops at the stem/stern posts.  I really did not want to see that gap...   






Below  is the completed stem post with the 1/32" patch at the bottom.   Now both the stem and stern posts (patched stern post listed above) will be able to accept the bottom planking with no gap between where the planking ends and the stem/stern posts.




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Again,,,, I appreciate your comment, but back in post #14 I had two planks left to go.   I was really unclear on that point.    It was then that I noticed that when I got to the final plank the bottom of the hull would need to be trimmed.    Anyway, I am not on the final plank and how to complete the planking soon.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Planking finally complete....  As I first mentioned, this will be a painfully slow log...  Especially now that summer is upon us....  Seems lots of outside stuff keep pulling me away from the build.


Below is a side shot of the completed outside planking.... Still needs some sanding, but all in all I am pleased..  Not sure why, but in some cases the pencil marks on the side of the planking did not come out even on all planks...  Seems a little blotchy,,, Hopefully sanding and stain will cover some of it up.





Below is a shot from the bow....   Seems the starboard garboard is a little thicker than the one on the port side.   My intention was to taper it as it goes into the bow...  Looks like I forgot to tape the starboard garboard.   Will get to that later.   

As you can see, I have moved the shipyard out to our porch.  Not as convenient as in the basement, but it is summer, so ship building has moved outside.




Now on to the inner planking (ceiling planks)...  As with the outer planking, now the inside of the first five bulkheads needs to be trimmed to better accept the ceiling planks.



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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

It has been awhile since I last posted up...  What can I say... it is summer and too many other distractions...  I have completed a few items.

Below is the completed bow and stern sheerstrake planks glued to the now trimmed inner bulkheads.








As the instructions indicate as the ceiling planks get to the floor bulkheads they need to be notched.   Measure carefully and make the notch (shown in red) as small as possible - Just large enough to cover the floor bulkheads.    The planking is 1/16".  If the notch it too big or too long it will show as the ceiling planks continue on to the floor planking.


In order to get a better gluing base for the ceiling planking below the floor planking note the rectangle piece of wood (shown in black) added to the inside of the outer planking.   Earlier pieces were added along side the bulkheads to provide a better gluing, but I felt a little more is needed.    The gap between the outer planking and the ceiling planking is very close to 5/32".    Just glue 3 - 3/16 pieces of wood together and with minor sanding you have a good base for the ceiling planking below the floor planking.






OK,,,,, now is the time where the purists are going to roll their eyes and totally tune me out....  Below shows the bailing well made earlier in the build.

It took me several attempts to make it look OK (maybe), but at my skill level, I just can not get it to turn out looking anything that resembles a bailing well.   Anyone looking at it will surely ask "what is with the hole in the flooring"?




Anyway,,,,, I discovered that this boat was originally built so tight that it just does not leak.   It never rains in the boat and waves just never splash over the side.    As such,,,, does not need a bailing well.   So I removed the bailing well...   I just could not get it to my liking,,    🙂





Outer and inner planking complete,,,,,























On to staining,,,,, not quite sure what stain I will use at this time.... I keep going back and forth....  Will post again when I have made a decision  🙂

Edited by John Gummersall
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Been some progress to date...  It is summer and just too hard to be indoors building...

I ended up using Golden Oak for a stain on the hull and light sanding afterwards to "dull it up some".    Aft storage chests and knees have been installed too.  In addition all hull holes have been drilled and those that are to accept eyelets at this time have been installed.























I got a little anxious and moved on to the 9 lbs and 12 lbs guns.  A little our of order.  As usual, the guns needed a lot of sanding/filing to remove the rough edges.   For stock molded guns they did not turn out too bad.   Both the 9 lbs and 12 lbs gun axles are pretty straight forward to build.


For the 12 lbs gun track I did alter from the suggested plans.  There are two G6 parts (along with some stock wood) that make up the 12 lbs gun track.   Only one G6 is supposed to be glued in.   The other one (highlighted in red) is supposed to be used to temporarily hold the proper spacing as the glue dries.    For me I found it easier to trim the "temporary" G6 piece so it fits between the tracks and actually glue it to the tracks.   This way the entire track can be built/stained outside the boat and then fitted/trimmed and glued into the boat.   This now permanent G6 piece will be hidden by the 12 lbs canon.   For me I just found this easier.




Below shows the canon in what will be it's final spot hiding the glued G6 piece.   Track has yet to be stained below.



Moved on to the deadeyes..  One note.... the various string supplied with the boat is a shiny nylon that unravels just by looking at it.   Not good way to cut it with a knife or scissors without an unraveled mess on your hands.   

To me, the best way to cut this line is with a soldering iron.   With the  soldering iron hit, just touch it to the line and it will cut it like butter leaving both ends neatly melted with no unraveling.




Best way to strop the deadeyes (for me anyway) was to hang them from an alligator clip with a larger clip holding the line tight.   From there it is pretty easy to stop the deadeye




Here is the end result of the four deadeyes.   I am not the best deadeye stropper in the world, but they turned out OK






Here they are temporarily attached through the hull.  Instructions call to permanently glue them to the hull at this point.  I have to give that some thought....  Not sure I want to attach them at this time.   We'll see




Edited by John Gummersall
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  • 1 month later...

Decision made.  According to the instructions one is supposed to run the deadeye lines through the hull and secure them outside the hull with a "stopper" knot.  Realizing it is next to impossible (for me anyway) to tie a knot and have the deadeyes still all line up, I decided to "simulate" the "stopper" knot.   After running the deadeye lines through the hull I took the next size smaller line and just tied an overhand knot around the line sticking through the hull,  then trimmed the lines to look like a knot.   They more or less look like a "stopper" knot.  To me they did not turn out too bad.... or the best I can do anyway.




At this point I decided to complete the rudder.  The challenge here is to solder the pin at the exact center of the gudgeon.   Get the solder a little left or right of center and the gudgeon will not fit centered in the rudder.  Holding the pin in the center of the gudgeon and then soldering it into place is a lot easier said than done.    Be careful as the brass gudgeon is very thin and can not take a lot of filing or re-bending if you did not get it right the first time.


Instructions talk about putting the horizontal battens only one side of the rudder.  Purest may disagree, but to me the rudder looks better with battens on both sides of the rudder... That is what I ended up doing. 




Started rigging the canons.   As for stropping the single and double blocks, since they are canons, I decided to strope them with wire.   Where the line attaches to the becket on the single block I did strope with small line.    Below is my attempt at the single and double blocks used to rig the 9lbs and 12lbs canons.   Single blocks are on top (with the becket) and double blocks are on the bottom.





From there is was pretty easy to string up the canon rigging.   I did this outside the hull, so only need to hook them and tighten up the lines to complete the install.



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Below show the two 9lbs canons fully rigged minus the canons




Bow shot showing the 12lbs canon as a work in progress.    The black on the breeching rope is from the 12lbs canon.   Originally I attached the breeching line to the 12lbs canon with a little glue.    I then (actually read the instructions) realizef it was best to remove the canons until later in the build so as not to get in the way or get knocked around during the build.   When the breeching line is again attached to the canon, it will not be noticeable


I also found some small black marbles for the shot garlands




Rather the using the supplied brass rings for the hawse holes I decided to use 4mm grommets.   One on the inside and one on the outside.   To me they look a little better and must easier to install than the brass rings.    The rings are very small and trying to get the hawse hole just right for the rings to cover seems like a lot of effort for no gain.    Next two shots show the hawse holes from the outside and from the top before the rail caps installed.






Instructions call to trim and install the mast partner way before building the mast.  Since the mast partner has to be trimmed to fit the hull and the mast, it seemed like a good idea to complete at least the bottom mast before installing the mast partner.    As every model is a little different, and do to my lack of skill, I really wanted the mast to help with the positioning of the mast partner.   Instructions calls for building a jig to help position the mast partner, but still, I wanted the actual mast to be part of the mast partner trimming.   Otherwise, if the mast partner is a little off, (do to lack of builder skill) when you go to fit the mast, the mast may not be straight.   By using the jig and actual mast, you have a good chance to getting the mast straight up and down.    Mast is not permanently attached at this time - just used to help position the mast partner.





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