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HM Brig Supply by Acker - Caldercraft / Jotika - Scale 1:64

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I needed to keep my mind occupied during the long covid lockdown in the Melbourne area from June to October 2020 so I thought model ship building would be good. I built a few balsawood and tissue paper model aircraft when I was a kid (a long time ago) but nothing since so thought a kit would be best and looked for one suitable for a novice.

The Jotika website stated "The kit of H.M. Brig Supply has been designed with the Novice builder in mind"  so this looked OK. I also like the history of the Supply, linking Britain with Australia, as I also migrated from Britain to Australia later in life. Knowing what I now know, having progressed well into the build and struggled numerous times, I would not describe the Supply as suitable for a novice and thank goodness I didn't start with a more advanced kit. 


I ordered from Cornwall Model Boats and the kit took about 3 weeks to arrive, which considering the logistics during covid was pretty good, and started in late July 2020. I hesitated to start a build log as I was not sure if I could complete the build but as it progressed and each difficulty overcome, step by step, I slowly became more confident of finishing the job. I also realised after completing the hull that I would need some help when it came to the rigging.


Anyway here goes with some photos of the early stages.







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The keel had a slight bow in it - hence the balsa blocks between the bulkheads to straighten it up. Thanks to other Supply builders logs for this idea.


The first planking was a real problem. The limewood broke at the slightest bend so I went online and bought a planking tool but couldn't get on with it and threw it into the bottom of the toolbox. Applying a hot iron was little better. I found a piece of plastic plumbing pipe a bit longer than the planks, stopped up one end and stood it up in a bucket of pebbles, poured in near boiling water and capped it with a mineral water cap. After a few minutes in the hot water the planks bent much easier provided I bent them slowly didn't try to rush it. The only problem I found with this was that the planks shrunk a bit when they dried out.










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That's coming along very nicely! The pictures of the finished planking look much better than I expected based on your description of the difficulties you described. I would say that you are definitely up to the challenge of this kit. I was going to tackle this as my second model, but got cold feet and opted for the Lady Nelson (one level, one mast, less rigging). The Supply will be my next build, so I'm eager to get a preview. 


I think you did a nice job with the fairly abrupt direction change of the planking at the stern, finding a nice balance between a 90 degree turn and a smooth curve. It couldn't have been easy, and it looks great.


If you don't mind, I'll just perch here on the edge of the dock and watch you work.


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Careful sanding after the first planking made the whole hull look much better.


The thinner walnut strip - 1mm x 4mm - for the second planking was much easier to bend after a short time in hot water. Started to really enjoy the second planking and made slow and steady progress. Used PVA glue for everything so far and by allowing the planks to dry out before placing the next row, managed to minimise shrinkage. Quite pleased with this as I really wanted to avoid using any filler.





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Found a much better way of bending the walnut strips, quite by accident. One strip was particularly difficult and had virtually dried out before I got the right curve. In desperation I made a cup of coffee and, without thinking too much about it, re-bent the strip around the coffee cup. Amazing - the curve turned out just right! After that I bent the rest of the planks, still dry, around the hot coffee cup and found for me that was the best way and didn't need to wait for each plank to dry. The cup had straight conical sides and by moving the strip up or down and holding it there for a short time, could get more or less curve as needed.


I have realised that some of my photos are probably breaking the rules by being too many pixels. Sorry moderators. I have now reduced the size to what I hope is acceptable.,


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Getting closer to the keel, so had to measure carefully and apply the correct taper to the planks at the bow and add in some stealers to the stern. Trying to avoid having to insert any odd bits to make the planks line up and finish properly next to the keel.



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Thanks Mike - but I know where the flaws are!


Thanks also to  all the people that reacted to my build log - Dfell, PRS, RichardG, CiscoH, BenD, ccoyle, Bruce d. Thanks in particular to Dfell - I have been frequently using your super build of HM Brig Supply to assist with my build.


Planking fitted to the inside of the bulwarks and started the deck planking .....





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Had many goes at fixing the deadeyes and strops to the straps. Tried copying the methods used by other builders without much success but one method described by "riverboat" in his build of "Supply", where he used solder gave me a clue. In the end I soldered them together but in a different way to riverboat. The first attempt resulted in a lumpy mess but fortunately solder is easy to melt off and redo. After a while they looked OK and after painting them with black metalwork paint I was reasonably happy with the result.


I wanted to put on stern windows but looking at other builds was not sure they looked right, most looked cramped into the available space with the top corners cut off. Designed my own but still not entirely happy - may yet pull them off and redesign them.




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Great build so far! Sorry i've only just caught up with your log, but will definitely be following now. Had to put my Supply build on hold while i attempt Vanguard Fifie (planking exercise lol) but when i resume i hope mine turns out half as well 😁 Will obviously be stealing some of your tips lol.

Keep up the good work


Edited by RockinBudgie
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Thanks Reg and RB for your kind words and encouragement. Have been busy fitting footropes and blocks to the yards tonight and will put up some more photos soon.




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Not really happy with the tall stern windows and would welcome comments from other members.


Also undecided how to finish the masts - whether to stain and varnish or just varnish. Undecided also whether to paint the yards, crosstrees and trestletrees areas black as per Nelsons Navy colours.


I stained the main wale with dark walnut stain and am happy with the result but I like the look of the natural wood on the rest of the hull and was not planning to paint it, just clear varnish it. Again would welcome opinions on this.


Bowsprit fitted after considerable puzzling over the drawings but think I got it about right.


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Made and assembled the masts, crosstrees and trestletrees etc. Really enjoyed this part of the build. Wondered why the woolding to the foremast was rope and the mainmast was iron but did it as per the instructions? The masts are not actually diverging, it looks like this in the photo due to parallax error. Tried rotating the first two photos every which way before loading but they always came out landscape!


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Thanks Mike your comments are much appreciated. All the best with your Lady Nelson - looks like you're getting some good advice and it's coming along nicely. 


Thanks also to Chris Watton, nzreg, Rockin Budgie, CiscoH, BenD and Dfell for the "likes" - it's great to receive the encouragement.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Is there anyway to get photographs in portrait orientation to stay in portrait when they upload to the build log? 


Covid lockdown number 5 ended two weeks ago. Lockdown number 6 just started, what a shambles but I guess it may save help some lives.


My first attempt at shrouds on the topmast. Reminds me of my old school reports - "could do better"....



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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Jobbie, it has taken me just over a year so far but I didn't start my build log until the end of June so it only looks like rapid progress. Your "Supply" was one of the build logs that inspired and motivated me in the earlier stages so I can blame you for getting me into this malarkey! Thanks for that.☺️ I am rigging the lower shrouds at the moment and getting the deadeyes roughly level and the tension right is proving tricky but I am nearly there, then on to the ratlines which I enjoy.


Thanks also to Landlubber Mike and Fernando E for your likes, and Dfell - who was also partly responsible for helping get me into this modelling madness!👍



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  • 3 weeks later...

Shrouds and ratlines finished at last. Found the shrouds to be the most difficult process so far on this build, getting the correct tension and getting the deadeyes level was very difficult, but liked doing the ratlines. Attaching the shroud cleats was also tricky at first but got easier after the first couple.


Started on plan sheet number 4, hooray. Forestay and mainstay fitted.


Still in lockdown and new covid cases in Victoria rising exponentially.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks GrandpaPhil, the likes are much appreciated and encouraging.


Enjoying fitting the standing rigging but kept busting the swivel guns off the bow. Note to anyone building the Supply - never mind what the instructions say, don't fix the swivel guns until right at the end!  I will have to make new fixings and put them back on later. Also managed to break the very top of the mainmast above the topgallant, have glued it back on but it is now a bit crooked and I might have to remake and fit a new topgallant mast [strong swear word deleted].


Plan sheet number 4 - standing rigging completed, photos following. Now for fitting the yards - plan sheet 5.



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Edited by Acker
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