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Mare Nostrum by Probablynot - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - wood


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I started this build in January 2013, having bought the kit two months earlier.

So far I've assembled the frame.  I've also planked the decks and attached them.  I started the first layer of hull planking a week ago, and so far I've got four of them in place.

When I get time, I'll add the pictures I had placed in the previous incarnation of this log.  I'll not post pics of the planking as it progresses - you'll have to wait till they're all on.

I'm finding the planking a rather traumatic process.  My pin pusher isn't very accurate ...

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... and here they are.

I'm not quite sure of the value of building-in those pretty little bunks.  With the deck and superstructure on, no-one will ever be able to see them.

I suppose it's about me, myself, knowing that they're there, and that I carefully built them in.

I'm beginning to understand how Schrödinger must have felt when he put the cat in the box ...

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Brian, adding things that nobody else knows or sees is half the craziness that all of us must endure in this hobby. I, for one, am a big fan of knowing little secrets about my builds. It lends itself to self satisfaction in a big way. Your ship is looking excellent and I'm looking forward to seeing some updates.

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A little update.  My plank score is now 4 on each side.

I think I've found the answer to my inaccurate pin-pusher.  Instead of shoving a nail up the pin-pusher's spout and just hoping, I now use a map pin to create a pilot-hole, into which I poke the nail.  The pin pusher then just does what it's supposed to do.  It pushes the pin!

I feel SO much less stressed!  Things are going along OK!  I may even post a picture of progress soon!

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I now have fourteen hull planks attached.  Eight more needed, I reckon.  Instead of using the pin-pusher for the last two pairs, I hit the little nails home with a tiny, 1-ounce hammer.  A much neater job, and far less prone to accidents.  I wish I'd known this from the start.  I've shoved the pin-pusher to the back of the cupboard ...
Such a learning curve!
This model (my first) will be OK.  The next one will be better!

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I'm embarrassed to post pics of planking in progress, John, but since you ask ...

As a bit of relief from planking, I've been making some of the deck furniture.  The little ladder is assembled and ready now, as are the fifteen fish boxes.
Instead of using 1.5mm stock throughout for the fish boxes, I switched to 0.6mm veneer for the bottoms and the top stiffeners.   At 1:35 scale, 1.5mm represents a thickness of over two inches.  They would have been bloomin' heavy fish boxes!

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First layer of planking complete, at last.  Onwards, now, to the bulwarks, I think.
Avid readers may remember that, in the previous incarnation of this build log, I mentioned that the bulkheads stuck out about a millimetre to one side when I glued the main deck on.
I was rather proud of my fiendishly clever 'fix' (of sticking veneers on one side of the bulkheads and shaving the other side)!
Unfortunately it wasn't a real fix.  Just look (or if you're squeamish, do NOT look) at the gracefully-curved keel.
Still, not too bad for a first-ever go, I tell myself.  I'm learning.  My second build will be perfect!
But OK, just don't look too closely at the planking either.
I think it will look a bit better when I've applied a bit of filler and done all the necessary sanding and filing.  And I promise I'll be much, much more careful with the second layer.  

Just a little question.  When I apply the 'real' (walnut) keel, should I let it follow the curve I erroneously created, or should I try to straighten things out a bit?

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Hi Brian,

 

The keel should be a straight line, otherwise it looks a bit silly since when the boat is placed in her element, she will try to sail in circles. The benefit of a wooden model is that you are always able to correct things.

 

Regards

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

The walnut keel has gone on nice and straight!

The instructions said to do the inner planking on the bulwarks before fixing them on.  I felt that might cause problems when hot-soaking/bending the bulwarks to fit them to the hull, so I'm now doing the inner planking in situ.  Seems OK so far.

I find it hard to believe just how much superglue I'm having to use on this build!  Those little tubes are deceptive - half the volume seems to be air!  I suppose it's impractical to look for very large tubes.  I wonder if it's cheaper to bulk-buy them?

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Hi Brian,

 

At the time I did the same, innerplanking after fitting the bulwarks to the hull. I am using superglue in 125 ml tubes, no problem to handle, the nozzle is the same is the little tubes. Noted from the last picture the hull planking is not yet smooth enough, which can cause problems with the second planking. The keel is straight as an arrow indeed. Nice recovery.

 

Regards,

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for telling me about your build on my other thread.  The build log I had was lost, or I could show you mine.  It is nearing completion and lacking other obligations, I would probably finish her today.  I need to do the ratlines and finish a couple of other lines.  For some reason, I put off the thick plank that goes around the seam between the gunwale and the lower hull- got to do that. 

 

I didn't have near enough of the mahogany veneers.  Apparently this is a common problem.  YOu might want to check now so you can get some if you need them.  They are used for the hull, but also for the wheelhouse, engine cover and other parts.  You need A LOT of that stuff.

 

I bought a 2 oz bottle of superglue at the craft store and it has lasted me.  I'm using three different kinds of glue though.  I have been told if I don't use it all, I can put it in the freezer.

 

I made several mistalkes that I can tell you avoided.  As you will see in one of the photos, I didn't shape the bow correctly and had to make a filler block.  I also did some minor painting.  All in all, I think I'll call her a 3 meter model.  She'll look Okay from three meters or more.

 

So, here (as requested) are a few photos of my little boat.  I think you will see that it could indeed be worse that you imagined.

 

 

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Edited by PopJack
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I got the first planking layer smoothed down OK, and I'm making progress with the posh (walnut) outer layer.

However ...

I'm using woodworkers (white) adhesive rather than superglue.  It gives me more time to get it all lined up, and I use duck tape to hold the planks in place while the glue sets.  But I do notice that the planks tend to bow outwards at the edges  -  due, I suppose, to the presence of moisture on the glued side.  The bow effect does tend to reduce as the glue dries, but it does mean that my final sanding job when the planking is complete will have to be rather careful!

 

The kit didn't contain enough 0.6mm by 5mm walnut or mahogany planks for a second planking layer.  I think AL must assume we'll just do one layer, and use thick paint to hide the imperfections.  Anyway, I found a website that sells veneers, and I spent £20 on about 8 square feet of nice walnut veneer!  I'm using a steel straight-edge and a VERY sharp craft knife to slice off precise 5mm-wide planks, and so far it seems to be working out OK.  Oh, except that the first plank on each side is 6mm wide amidships, so that I don't get left with an embarrassing gap when I get to the final plank.

 

I'm working downwards from the waterline, rather than upwards from the keel.  Seems all right so far.  I'll post pics when (if) it starts to look pretty!

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Making progress.
I don't know if it counts as cheating, but I find I'm having to use both types of glue with these second-layer planks.
I'm not shaping the planks accurately.  To do so would mean either [a] a very tedious bit of shape-cutting from my sheets of walnut veneer, or an equally tedious process of hot-soaking and shaping the straight planks.  Instead, I attach the straight (but shaped) planks with white glue, and accept that they will bulge a bit on the lower side.  When the white glue has dried, I put some superglue under the bulges and press them down.  Looks all right so far!
Sorry if this reads like teaching my grandmother to suck eggs.  This is all new to me, and I'm hoping that my experiences might be useful to anyone else approaching the hobby from new.  Or if I'm doing something horrendously wrong, someone might tell me about it before things go too far!

I've also been assembling some of the deck fittings (cabin, hatchway etc.).  Quite a challenge to get everything perfectly square, but I managed.  I've got some interesting veneer samples (teak, oak etc) that I'm tempted to clad them with instead of the supplied 0.6x5mm mahogany.  Further, I want to cut the veneer in 4mm wide strips instead of 5mm.  Scaled up, that represents 5.5-inch wide planks instead of 7inch.  However, I won't be getting down to this until I've got the hull fully planked, decorated at deck level, and sanded and varnished.

I never knew how much fun there was to be had from sticking your fingers to little bits of wood!

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Planking isn't as easy as you might think.
When I did the first layer, I was aware that it didn't have to look perfect.  I was building a body, not a frock.  Provided I got the shape right, when I added the frock it would hide any blemished on the body.
I got the body shape right.  Well, right-ish.  Now that I'm adding the frock, I'm finding out how hard it is to make it look good!
But enough of the metaphors.
I started the planking by working downwards from deck level.  This worked well for about 5 planks each side, and I really thought I was keeping everything in good proportion from stem to stern.

Five planks is a shade under halfway, and at this stage I could already see there would have to be some intricate 'stealers' if I was going to end up with a model that in any way resembled a full-size, properly built boat.
So I added a couple of planks each side, from the keel upwards, hoping to even things up a bit.
But things didn't even up.

The gap now remaining is zero, for about 50mm from the stern.  It widens to perhaps 15mm amidships, and 25mm at the bows.  But I don't care - I looked closely at the pic on the Mare Nostrum box, and I reckon Artesania Latina are about as good (or bad) at boatbuilding as I am!  If they think that's good enough to sell their kits, who am I to argue?
Anyway, the planking will present a good appearance when the model is mounted on a plinth.  You'd have to lift it off and peer closely at the planking if you were a seasoned modeller who wanted to be nasty about my work.  Plus, I can tell myself that I'm learning, and the next one will be SO much better!

At this stage in the build, one thing that I keep noticing is how much more substantial the hull is, compared with when I first assembled the false keel and the bulkheads.  It's a satisfying thing to feel in my hands.  Solid.  Smooth too.  And silky.  Sensuous.  Throw a bucket of water over me, someone!

 

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Yep, the vessel gets real weight and from own experience I guarantee she is stable in the water as well. Had a practical experience at the time when my little grand daughter took a bath at ours, I dropped the Mare with her in the water. Great fun.

 

Regards,

John

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Brian, 

 

You mentioned how much super glue (CA?) you are using.  Even though I did much of my HMS Victory Bow section with it (mostly small parts, cannon, hatches, rigging line and blocks) I still had quite a bit left in the little bottle.  Mine came with some needle type applicators that were so small I was able to leave the cap off while building the section.  The opening was so small it limited the amount of moisture that could get in and so did not cure in the bottle.

It is quite good for many things....except getting on a finger and anything else....I have the un-cure stuff at hand at all times. :P

 

Good progrees on your ship!

Cheers,

 

Jim

 

:cheers:

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She really is lovely.  The stem came out very good- the way you matched the wood ends is really nice.

 

Concerning the way you were using two glues, I did the same thing with one glue.  Everything looked good, but once it dried there were places I had to go back and glue down.  At times this left a bit of an edge, but she sanded pretty well.

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Thanks for your comment, Popjack.
I added the keel and the stem before I started the second planking.  But before I added them, I stuck a piece of 3mmx1mm wood on to the aft edge of the stem.  This ensured that I would have a rebate to take the leading edges of the second-layer planks.
This does mean that my model will be a whole 1mm longer than the plans (and the kit) specify.  Purists would no doubt tell me this is sinful, and I should immerse my model in sulphuric acid and start again.  My reply is that I'm not deviating - I'm innovating!
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, Popjack, but I've already decided this little craft is going to be called 'La Petite Nella'.

I'm making progress.  Despite a stupid attempt to bend 3x3 mahogany to become the rubbing strakes (should have been 2x2 walnut, duh!) I now have only 6 more bits to add to the hull before I do a serious varnishing job.

The bent 3x3 mahogany had to be re-soaked and straightened.  It didn't seem to be too put out by my stupidity - I used it all in making the stanchions, and they all went on OK.

The six bits still waiting to be stuck on the hull are the rudder, the port side rubbing strake, and four of the six bulwark capping pieces.  It'll be another seven days before I can do them - the Admiral needs me this weekend!

 

 

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Oh, I forgot the wooden side cleats that have to be attached to the stanchions.  Make that 14 more bits to be added.

I'm not counting that rather silly-looking rack for the fish-boxes (although I shall certainly have to add it before I consider my build 'finished').

Edited by probablynot
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