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Hi everyone!  Brand new to the forums, and to ship building.  My build log is going to start with a bit of searching for advice before I proceed. Let me lay out the problem/story for you, and then we'll go from there!  


My grandfather started this model many years ago after he had retired.  Shortly after, they moved, and it has been sitting in his storage at his new place for... 15+ years.  On a recent visit, the subject of model making came up (we both make model cars and airplanes), and he asked me if I was interested in this ship.  Wooden ship building has been on my list of things to try for a long time. I've even bought and read several books on the subject. Of course, I said sure!  Upon getting the model home and reading through the instructions and plans, organizing the components, and trying to figure out where he left off years and years ago, I discovered some potential issues with the model.  


I did a lot of research, found these forums, found a series of older posts, and a log by John Earl that made the light bulb come on.  This is the old kit that has incorrect parts, and that most people have to modify or supplement parts for... Long story short, my grandfather didn't have the internet or access to these logs all those years ago, and forged ahead, and now I need to figure out what the best course of action is so I can proceed with the build.  I hope to finish the ship and send progress photos to him since he is no longer able to do the fine detail work. 


A couple things:


- I fully understand that this model is not the most accurate, and that most people single plank it due to painting it. I am not worried about the inaccuracies, and have accepted that it won't be perfect due to the "mistakes" that were already made. I also will be doing the second layer of planks for that experience and to learn, as it's my first ship.  


- I'd like to figure out the easiest and most straight forward way of getting the bulwarks (namely the bow) to an acceptable state, that won't entirely mess on the model, and proceed.  I don't want to cause major damage to the rest of the ship, and am fine with inaccuracies and a bit of... improvisation for the purposes of learning and finishing it while my grandfather can still appreciate it.  :)


Thank you all so much. Seems like a great forum, and I'm excited to get this under way.  Here are some pictures, and if you need more photos or different angles, I'm happy to do so.  This is the state that he gave it to me in. I haven't done or changed anything yet.  








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Hi and welcome to MSW!!


Looks good to me for a start.

I bought this particular version of BN II off E-Bay a few years ago, was my first serious attempt at a ship model and came out o.k. in the end. (From memory, it was something like 10 months build time. (Mainly weekends.))

Double planking will help the finish heaps and makes an excellent base for paint, (Once sealed.), if that's where you're going to go. 

A bit of wood filler on the first layer of planking and some judicial sanding will help tidy up the Hull, looks like all this will need.


A very fine sand on the Deck and clear satin polyurethane will finish and protect also. 


Looks like the False Keel needs to be attached and will assist in firming up the Bow Bulwarks.


Anyway, take your time and contemplate the steps necessary before diving in!! 🙂


(My two cents worth.... 🙂)


I'll follow you progress with interest.



Edited by hof00
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Thanks, Hof! 


Do I need to worry that the bow side of the bulwarks aren't meeting at a point like the plans suggest?  I don't want to throw anything off.  I was concerned I'd need to cut them away and do some more sanding and shaping to get them to meet, or add some material. Should the false keel lay on top or meet underneath?  Pardon the extra questions, I just want to make sure I do this right!


I'll start this week by getting some wood filler and massaging the hull smoother for the second layer of planking.  I need a few more tools and some fresh glue as well, so I need to make a trip to the store, anyway. Oh, I'll also get the finish for the deck.  I do intend to paint it, too.  


Thanks for the input! Any help I can get is welcome, as this is a new adventure for me.  I'll make sure to keep photos coming as I make progress! 

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Hi Chap,

Sorry, I was incorrect as to the Bow Bulwarks, It's been a few years since I constructed this....

The Bulwarks do meet at a point as can be seen as per attached photos.

I guess that you may not have enough length perhaps  on your Bow Bulwarks. If that's the case, you'd need to add some material. (Small bit of scrap wood glued/sanded to form a pointy bit.)

( note that the Bulwarks from your photos are pinned. Can they be removed and re-positioned to meet in a point? They should be flush also with the planking.)


Yup, the Keel components are affixed direct to the False Keel. Pin and glue them with Cocktail sticks or smilar.


Have a look-see at he photos and drop me a line if you  have any queries.


John Earls practicum is invaluable!! 🙂
















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Oh man, those photos are exactly what I needed.  You are a life saver!  


I'll continue to refer to the practicum as well, but I think I'm going to go in the spirit of the original build, and make it as the kit instructs ala the way grandpa would have years ago without those resources.  A little bit of a homage to the time it was started.  That said, John's articles are incredibly detailed, and really look helpful.  So this may be a hybrid build, especially in regard to colors and paint.


I managed to pull the pins and release the glue through some very careful x-acto work.  There is a bit of damage to the backside of the bulwarks from the 15+ year old glue, but I THINK I can make some repairs.  I added some CA glue on some thin cracks to strengthen it, and I will do some very delicate wood filler and sanding.  I think once it's on the model, it should hide most of the crimes, and I will be able to get away with it.   As you can see, I was able to salvage the outward facing side.  


I can see that when my grandpa added the bulwarks, he didn't do much sanding and shaping of the pieces underneath, so I'll be able to account for that now, and get them more flush with the planking.  After I manage getting them back on the best I can, I'll do some wood filler, more sanding, finish the transom, and be able to move forward.  Progress is being made on the model for the first time in well over 15 years, at least!  :) 


Huge help, my friend!  Thank you!


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Hi Chap,

I'm pleased that the photos assisted. You are very welcome.

(I have more if required.)


As I stated previously, I'll follow your build with interest. Give me a shout if you think that I can help at any stage.


Take you time, consider future steps, test fit lots and plan ahead.


(Just a PS with the Bulwark stuff, you my wish to slightly bevel the inside edge of each Bulwark where the Bulwarks join at the Bow. this should give a nice pointy bit at the Bow when they are mated.... Anyway, I'm not going to teach you how to suck eggs, so to speak.... 🙂





Edited by hof00
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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, made some progress. Sanded like crazy, filed a bit, and managed to refit the bulwarks so they came to a point and I have a bit of extra on the stern end to shape and sand as needed when I continue there. It's not perfect, and it will need some body filler and A LOT more sanding after that, but it's the best I could figure out without much heavier work. But I think it will be serviceable.  I have some wood filler that is going to be slathered on the entire thing, and used to fill the hole under the point of the bulwarks so I can properly fit the keel and second layer of planking, but I am starting to see the path. 






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Hi Chap,

Things seem to be progressing....🙂


Have a look at your plans to confirm Bulwark orientation, ie lining things up.

The Step in Bulwarks in relation to the Step in the Deck, etc. Plans will also show how far forward the front of the Bulwarks are from the apex of the Hull. (From the first photo, the Bulwarks look very far forward of the Bow apex. The step in the Bulwarks should also assist in orientation. Can't really tell.... your measurements should confirm things.)


You may still need to adjust the apex Bow Bulwarks. (Sanding?)


Anyway, just my humble opinion from what I can see from your photos.









Edited by hof00
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Hey HOF!


Thanks again for the input. I looked really hard at yours and at a few others, and made a calculated risk and went off the path a bit and improvised. As I was sanding and grinding away to try to reshape and move things around, I was running the risk of carving way too much of the waterways away, and unfortunately, my grandfather didn't do a great job of sanding and shaping the bulkheads and the rest of the ships skeleton, so things were very uneven as I got in there. The bow of the ship the way he had it came to a hard, flat edge that was about half an inch or so, and I sanded down as much as I could before I was afraid of taking off too much of the planking and causing issues. 


I found another builder on here with the bulwarks overlapping this way too, and he was successful in using wood filler to fill and sand it back to shape, so I'm going to attempt the same. It elongates the bow a bit further than the plans, so I'm hoping that doesn't get me into trouble in the future, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work without risky deconstruction... Fingers crossed my plan works! 


I'm going to do a bit more shaping and sanding before then, to see if I can massage it a bit more before going further based on your input before going on, so we will see what I can manage! 





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On Ya Chap!! 🙂


I agree wholeheartedly with your comment, basically picking up someone else's work and fixing.

(An example, my A?L Sanson, I'm still working on this now and again.... To cut a long story short, I was very unhappy with my  work so decided to pull apart and try to fix all the errors. (In this case, my work at fault.)


Anyway, I wish the best for your work going forward. (I'll be watching with interest. 🙂)


Remember, take your time, dry fit, etc.


Cheers.... HOF. (Harry.)


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Alright, spent several hours filling, sanding, shaping, and checking and double checking angles and curves. I think this is as close as I'm going to get given the corrections I had to make, but I'm feeling good. I test fit some of the keel pieces, and I may need to do some filling and shaping when we get there, but it's pretty darn close. The bulwarks are a bit lower than I'd like, but I think I can compensate. (See below.) I have sanded this pass down to 200 grit, and it's smooth to the touch. A couple questions:


1) Should I do a second filler pass since I plan to double plank and then paint the second layer of planking, or will the second layer be enough?


2) should I add a small amount of additional height to the bulwarks with some leftover plank? It will be painted, so that would hide some of the discrepancy. Looking at your photos and the plans, HOF, I could use an additional 2-3mm of height. (See attached photo for my idea.)


3) When double planking, does the second layer cover the bulwarks as well? The instructions are unclear, but I see that your second layer does go all the way up. 


thanks! :)






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Hi Chap,

You have been busy!! 🙂


Looking good.


Filler: You could touch up a little where planking stands "Proud" and gently sand, or not, up to you.

The first cover should be nice and as smooth as possible, it's the Base for the thin stuff.... Just be careful not to sand the first cover too thin!!


Bulwarks: Look really good, pretty much how fussy you want to be getting correct height. (I probably would, (I'm a fussy bugger.), but up to you.)

You may like to consider if this height, or lack thereof, may be a problem further down the track.

2- 3 mm strip of wood fixed with CA would probably do the trick. Have a think about how you will achieve first. 


2nd cover: Yup, plank the Bulwarks.... This will fair planking overall. (I think the newer version of this kit varies in this respect, at least what I have seen thus far.)


Again, my two cents worth.... 😀






Edited by hof00
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Excellent, thanks! I will do another light pass of filler and one more pass of light sanding to get that finale shape in place, and I think I will attempt to add some height to the bulwarks so I don't run into trouble later with some of the finishing details. Then I'll do the second layer, and put some finish on the deck after a fine sand of that, and I'll be on my way. 


I'll do some planning and experimenting for that height addition this week and see what I come up with. 


Again, as always, thanks for the input!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been a bit, but it's been a crazy busy few weeks. I managed to get another round of filler and sanding done, and it's much better all around. I'm satisfied. 


I got to the hobby store this weekend and picked up some different widths of bass wood strips, and I think this is the ticket to extend the bulwarks up a bit. See what you think! I believe it matches the plans MUCH better with this amount of extra. So far, just clamped in place for mock up, no glue yet. If this looks good, ill lock it down, and CA glue it to the model, then add filler again if necessary. It will at least need some gentle sanding to finesse it to the same width as the kits bulwarks. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for this step! 


Edit: this height was measured to the bottom of the rail that will go on top, so it should fit that. Thanks HOF!



Edited by WhiteWolf
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Hi Chap,

That's a bit of extra height there....  3.00/5.0mm?

(Difficult to tell where I'm sitting. 🙂)


Don't know chap if this is correct or not.

A couple of ideas to maybe assist with the decision making process:


  • Make a mock-up of the Deck House - The Roof sits slightly higher than the top of the Bulwarks?
  • Place a couple of Bulwark stanchions - Ask yourself questions - does it look correct?
  • Would a 1.5mm strip added to the height be a good place to start? (Plans can be in error....)
  • Photos of other builds fort comparison?


(Had a look at mine, since it is in a glass cabinet, I can't get measurements for you....)

Send a PM to the other BNII build log on this site and ask for their Bulwark height measurements above Deck.


Don't want to put you crook here as your work looks really good thus far.





Edited by hof00
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Thanks again for the input.  This is 1/8 inch height by 1/16 inch width.  Lovely imperial measurements and no metric at the store. Arg! 


I will do a cardboard mock up of the deck house and see what I think.  I can get a 1/16 in square as well if I need to. I'll do some more measuring and looking.  It feels right when looking at the plans and shuffling it around in my hands from different angles.  I'll check a few different things once more, and keep at it. Once I can get this sorted, I think I'm back on track to move forward!

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