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Hi, this is my first build log.

I decided to get into the ship modelling hobby, so I bought the Modellers Shipyard started kit, that includes the HM Cutter Mermaid, a set of basic tools, and a beginners guide to ship modelling in e-book and DVD.


On the picture you can see the unboxed model kit and the tool set. I took a step further and decided to add later the sails to the model, so I also bought sail cloth, the sail plans, and an instructional DVD on the topic.



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Day 3


The next step is to put the false deck in position. First, I had to trim the false deck about 3mm in the back to have a good fitting. Also, the keel is not flat on the upper part, but it has some curvature, so the false deck was nailes to the bulkframes to maintain it in position.

I noticed also that at the transom, the false deck is about 5mm thicker on each side, so I guess I will have to do a lot of trimming tomorrow.


Edited by federicoaa
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Hi everybody. I almost finish the fairing. I had to give some thought to some parts and that's why it took me some time. Now that I am fairing the last bulkheads, I realized that the BH 9 is 1mm or 2mm lower than it's supposed to be. If I place a plank between the transom and BH8, it doesn't touch BH9.

Fairing BH 8 is not an option I think, because then I should refair the others to keep the line, and fairing the transom to follow BH 8 - B 9 line may finish on the false deck line, and maybe the line would be too pronounced.

I am actually inclined to just ignore BH 9 or add some filler, I actually like the line the plank does with my actual fairing.


I hope I can solve this dilemma soon so I can start with the planking next week.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Planking took me a lot of time. I made some errors with the second plank and that made all the transom part looks bad. Also, the garboard was really difficult to glue in position because of the twisting.


After finished the planking, put some filler and sanded away the mistakes :)


Something I learnt till now: a good fairing will avoid hours of sanding later.




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Bulwarks are wet molded as the manual suggests and fitted in position with two part epoxy. The wet molded was not quite good, and it took me a hell of a time to fit the port bulwark. Finally I had to add some filler at the transom (and that's why the false deck looks dirty). After some sanding the bulwarks are smooth with the hull.


Next step is deck planking. I've started drawing a diagram in paper for the deck planks and also wondering how to make the treenails. By the way, what kind of glue do you use for fitting the treenails? PVA, superglue, contact cement?


See ya next time with more updates



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Today I finished the deck planking. First I started cutting the planks in 10cm pieces, but I soon realized there was a large mismatch in the planks width (from 4mm to 6mm), so it was quite difficult to do the planking that way. I decided to lay the full planks and then cut them where correspond once glued. It was hard to make the whole cuts lie in line. Nonetheless, the final result looks good. First attached picture shows the termination at the transom. There will be a 2mm deck trim placed on top of the deck planks at the bulwarks, so the union between deck and bulwarks is not done carefully.


I also decided to add treenails to enhance the model. I only had at hand a pin vice I used to drill about 500 holes (my back and wrist both hurt hehe). Because the planks have different widths, it was not practical to use a pattern to drill the holes, so what I did was to use a ruler to draw lines parallel to the cuts to mark the holes positions.

The result of the holes is not perfect, but it is the most I can do with what I have at hand, and also it's my first time, so I am happy with the result.


Second picture is the treenails being placed using toothpicks.


Next step is to plank the inner part of the bulwarks and add the deck trim and false frames.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I've postponed my update for long time. After the deck, I thought taking pictures until finishing the hull won't look good, so I waited until now.


Here is what I have done:

Plank the inner part of the bulwarks with mahogany and walnut strips

Plank the hull second layer with mahogany, and apply varnish. I had problems to find varnish, since practically everything I can find here is in japanese (and sometimes chinese translation). But just one of the guys at the store could read japanese son I bought a varnish with mahogany color.

Then I installed the bulwark extension in walnut and the cap rail. I then opened the holes for the gun ports (and realized I could have done this earlier and have a better alignment). The kit comes with two cannons and four cannon ports, but I decided to install only two ports since I only have two cannons.

Installing the rudder was quite challenging but I finally made it (second picture shows the rudder).

Then I glued the wales and wales trim. For the wales trim, I got walnut strips of two different colors, so I painted the wales trim with brown acrylic paint.

Finally, I painted and glued the davits. Looking at the manual, I see the transom is about 1cm lower in my model. I will try to fit walnut or mahogany to level the transom with the davits.



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I finished the deck furniture and I'm ready to start fitting the anchors and boats.


First picture is the anchor winch. It took me a while to realize how to assemble it, as the manual has a blurry brown thing instead of an actual picture of the winch XD. I used a burned cork from a wine bottle to give the stain. It is something I remember I learned when I was like 5 or 6 years old. You burn a cork and rub it gentle on a surface to give a dark stain.


Second picture shows a general view of the deck (it is a dry fit). When I was placing the false frames on the deck I didn't realize to ensure alignment on both sides and so the gun ports are not aligned. Another lesson I learnt here is that making the gun ports BEFORE second planking and adding the bulwark trim would had been much easier.

You may also notice I covered the mast hole with tape to avoid small things going inside while working.


Also, when making the cat heads and bit heads, all of them in walnut, I discovered how pleasant is to work with walnut, it is really easy to carve!


By the way, my kit was lacking one belaying pin, so I did the pin rails with 6 pins instead of 7, which is not big deal as only 5 are used for rigging (also I think having them shipping one single pin was not worth the trouble, and delay).



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The anchors are finally rigged in place. Second picture shows a termination I was trying for the bit head.


Now I am rigging the boats. I paint the boats white as the manual says and fit some mahogany leftovers for decoration. The boats are nested and hung from the davits at the transom. I'm still wondering if I make a hook for the pulleys or just tie them to the rings.


I found difficult to work with small cords in tight places, but I'm used to work with smaller things, so I put a 1mmx2mm chip I made in 65-nm, just for reference hehe.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had a quite busy time in my lab these weeks. Finally some time free to start masting and rigging.


Attaching the pulleys to the mast was a bit challenging at first, I couldn't get one done without covering my whole hands with super glue XD.

After I got the first one, the others were much easier to fit.

In Fig 1 you can see the mast and bowsprit fit in the ship (now it does like a ship :))


And I just finished installing the first two pairs of shrouds and lanyards (figs 2 and 3).


Tomorrow I'll try to finish the lanyards and start with the lanyard strips.


See ya.






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  • 9 months later...

I've been out for like a year. As I bought an apartment and recently moved in, I've had no time to put into this. Besides, some parts were broken during the moving :(

Probably at the end of the year I'll have some saved money to build a workshop and continue this model... or start another one.

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