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I'm new. Please HELP!! Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack from Midwest

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Hello everyone.  I am new to Model Ship World and model ship building.  I've been spending time on this forum looking through your builds and I must say, WOW, you guys are good!  Maybe one day I can be as good as all of you.  But for now - not so much.


I'm currently working on my first build - a Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack from Midwest.  I'm not sure if this is where I should post this but I have a few pictures and I'm looking for some critique/guidance.


Picture 1 - When I put the deck on it cracked (pretty big crack, too).  I tried to hit it with some woodfiller but the crack still shows.  Is there a better way to fix this or should I try another layer of wood filler?  Clearly at this point I am going to have to paint the deck rather than stain.


Picture 2 - A gap between where the coamings are supposed to come together.  Is it best to hit this with wood filler, too?  I still have some sanding to do on the front before adding the cutwater.  But you can also see my messy glue work.  I am getting better, I promise!


Picture 3 - A large gap between the hull where the rudder goes.  The instructions call for a small strip of wood to be added.  My gap is much bigger than what the instructions call for, but I'm still going to try to cut something and fit it in there.


So those are my 3 big problem areas for now.  Again, sorry if this is in the wrong part of the forum.  When I do my 2nd model I will start a build log.  But in the meantime, any criticisms or guidance in how to fix these areas would be appreciated. 






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Welcome aboard.


This is not as bad as you think. Yes, you have some problems, but they are fixable.


On the crack in the deck, I would recommend hitting with another treatment of wood filler and then sand it out smooth. Paint the deck. A little crease there is actually not that big a deal. Call it some of the boat's "character" and move on. :)


On the coaming, I would try and fit a strip of wood in that gap and then fill as needed. Paint it afterwards.


On the area at the stern, add a strip of wood, then fill and paint.


I would also urge you to begin a build log where you can post your build pics and get some answers, advice, and encouragement. That is really the best thing you can do. That is one of the primary reasons why MSW exists.


Good luck and have fun.



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Hi h2ogoaliekk,


First, a name would be nice so I know how to address you. The member name you have is a bit slow to type and to remember.


On the model, first on the cause of the problems, I'm guessing that you didn't soak and pre-bend the coaming? That would put extra strain on the deck and would also cause the leaning out of the coaming in the photo and leave you with a gap in the end. To fix, you probably will need to resort to wood filler and sanding. I just use Elmer's myself.


The gap in the coaming might be a bit weak with just filler, I would think. So, you might consider gluing a scrap of wood into that opening to give the filler something to stick to.


As for finish, for the Midwest kits, probably painting is more appropriate anyway.


This is just my 2 cents. Maybe someone else here will reply with some better advice for you.


In any case, welcome to MSW!  :)



Edited by catopower

Clare Hess

He's a -> "HE"

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Thanks for the advice you two.  I can see that this site will be a great resource as I continue my build.


Russ - I'll go ahead and add a build log for the second half of this build and attack those problems as you suggested.


Clare - I changed my name so it's easier to address me :)



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I like all the comments above, it's not as bad it seems!   All of us have "Been There and Done That" before, it's just a learning curve, don't beat yourself up.   :) 

Personally I like Elmer's Carpenters Wood Filler, it goes on well and sands GREAT!   




Edited by Timothy Wood



Current Build:






Future Build:

  • BlueJacket - USS Kidd (Fletcher Class Destroyer) Solid Hull
  • BlueJacket - U.S.S. SAMUEL B. ROBERTS, DE413 | Butler-Class Destroyer Escort
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  • Model Shipways - Pride of Baltimore II (Topsail Schooner) 
  • Model Shipways - Willie L. Bennett (Chesapeake Bay Skipjack)
  • Constructo - Pilar (Ernest Hemingway's Fishing Yacht)  
  • Sergal - Race Horse (Bomb Ketch)
  • Classic Warships - USS Salem CA-139 (Heavy Cruiser) Resin Kit
  • Pen Duick Schooner - Half Hull (Scratch Build)
  • CSA Submarine Hunley (Resin Kit)
  • Classic Warships - USS Washington BB-56 (Battleship) Resin Kit
  • Blue Ridge Models - USS Alaska CB-1 (Resin Kit)


Completed Builds:



Hampton Roads Ship Model Society



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Hi Kirk-


My first build was a midwest product as well.  My main complaint was that they only suggested medium CA for the glue, which made it very difficult to fix mistakes for a first time builder.  As for the gaps, if you are going tp paint it, I use my 11 blade and cut out a little piece of wood matching the part and fit in there and then I sand it down to fit, it works very well to fill the gaps like pics 2 & 3.  Also, I use Wonder Fill wood filler and it plugs things up great, would work very well for pic 1.


Best of luck!



"I drank what?" - Socrates


Current Builds:  


Finished Builds: 


Future Builds:        

  • Mamoli Golden Hind
  • Mamoli Black Prince
  • AL Swift


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Hi Kirk,

   I had some of the same issues with my MW Smack. Go here and you can see what I did. They are pretty simple to fix....



Thank You all...





:piratetongueor4:  :piratetongueor4:

"Each of us is a mixture of some good and some not so good qualities. In considering one's fellow man it's important to remember the good things ... We should refrain from making judgments just because a fella happens to be a dirty, rotten SOB(biscuit) ;) "




My Builds....







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Thanks for the input everybody.  I think I'm going to add small pieces of wood to the coaming and hull problem areas.  The deck will just get more wood filler.  I'm in the process of taking some pictures and getting ready to put up a build log as I finish this project.  Keep the advice coming!


Mario - Thanks for stopping by.  I've seen your build and it blows me away.  As does your build on the Chesapeake Bay Flattie (my next build).  Although there is no chance of mine turning out as nice as yours, I may be checking in to steal some inspiration from you!



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To fix the crack, clean it out and with the same wood type gather a little pile of saw dust. Mix the saw dust with a little bit of diluted PVA glue into a paste. Now smear this into the crack and let it dry. Once dry sand smooth. Just be a little careful when you use the glue if you are going to stain afterwards. Hope this helps :)

Regards, Scott


Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli


Completed builds:

1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli  -  1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli  -  1:54 Adventure, Amati  -  1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL

1:64 Blue Shadow, Mamoli  -  1:64 Leida Dutch pleasure boat, Corel  -  1:60 HMS President Mantra, Sergal


Awaiting construction:

1:89 Hermione La Fayette AL  -  1:48 Perserverance, Modelers shipyard

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