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Le Camaret by Padeen - FINISHED - Constructo - WOOD - 1:35 (first model)


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Here is the build log of my first model ship. This build, now completed, was started in June 2010 and the first part of the build log (untill June 2011) was done on DDM. After DDM was lost in Jullly 2011, I started this log again on MSW and ended it there in March 2012. I will put the date of the original posts as I go along.

 

So here we are:

 

 

14/08/2010
Welcome aboard my first command, a 1:35 model of the French cutter Le Camaret !
Here is part of the description given by Constructo about this ship: "At one time lobsters were plentiful along the West coast of Brittany. In the early part of the 20th century the Camaret fishermen used several different types of boats to catch these crustaceans: luggers with vertical stems, sloops with elegant sheers and sterns and cutters such as the one you have here. All the Camaret lobsters boats had a characteristic type of upperworks, but the feature wich really distinguished them were the fish tanks wich communicated with the sea by means of openings under the hull called the fish tank ports. The key task was to bring the precious cargo home alive."
 
So, there will be no guns on this cutter but rather fish boxes intended to catch lobsters...
 
Let's open the box: all the small parts come in little plastic bags, everything is numbered and referenced on a list at the end of the instruction booklet as well as on the three ~A1 sheets of plans. There is plenty of everything, more planking material than needed so you can experiment. There are different kinds of wood: manzonia, sapele, boxwood, pine... (As is usual with Constructo apparently, there will be no paint so they play with several shades of wood). My first concern was to identify those woods as I did not know their respective colors, except for pine. There is also a great sheet of cloth for the sails and two colors of threads: one for the hauling part and the other for the standing part.
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The instructions are rather clear (in particular they lead you by the hand for the hull planking) and many photos help clarify the text. Most details on complex parts are explained with sketchs on the plans, as well as the rigging which is well documented. You have a choice among seven languages. The French is very good and as far as I can tell the English is good too (it does make my life easy to translate and explain all this here anyway B) ).
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Edited by Padeen
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14/08/2010

OK, so let's begin!

I numbered all the frames and knightheads and began following the instructions to glue the knightheads on the false keel and place the frames. My first problem was: would it be best to cut square the mast bottom part to fit between the knightheads or rather drill these and leave the mast have its circular section...  :huh:  I decided for the second solution after discussing that with some of you here. Meanwhile, I put the stand parts together.

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After a great lot of patient sanding I got all the frames glued on the false keel. I don't know how it is with other kits but not a single piece fitted at first because they cut 4 mm wide holes when the plywood sheet was closer to 5 mm thick  :angry:  . But, perhaps it is better than the other way round: it is still easier to remove wood than add some...

I used some cardboard pieces to equally space the frames while glueing the false deck (a 2 mm thick plywood sheet). It did the trick  :D  .

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14/08/2010

Before moving to the planking (I needed pliers to hold the brass nail while knocking them into the planks, otherwise they bend under the hammer...  :angry:  ), I finished planking and polishing the stand which is now ready on my cupboard, waiting for me to complete the rigging. Oups!  :wacko:  there will be a thick layer of dust on it before that happens!  :D   

By the way, I found some here use syringes among other things to apply carpenter glue. I use a "paper fastener" (we call that a "attache parisienne" in French...): it's rather ridgid, I can choose the angle I want for the tip and it's easy to remove the remaining glue when it is dry (just pull it away!).

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Pliers do help maintain the nails straight when knocking them, ...most of the time. I find it really great that there is more than plenty of those nails in the kit because my success rate is not so high!  :wacko:  

Anyway, I laid on my first plank last month and proceeded without too much difficulty untill now. It is really easy to work with these pine wood planks: it is a very soft and flexible wood. I had hardly anything to do but simply hold them in place while the glue dried for the first four lines...

...well, still, it is not so flexible if you does not help it a bit when you want to twist it at 90°!  :rolleyes:  That was my conclusion when a plank cracked.  :o:huh:  

Again there are many techniques for bending wood in DDM. I decided for a mix between several of them that seems to work well so far:

1/ Put water in a kettle and wait till it boils.

2/ Pour the water in a bowl.

3/ Plunge the planks in the water for around five minutes (it's rather like for spaghetti actually  B)  ).

4/ Mop up the excess water from the planks and put them on the hull where they belong.

5/ Hold everything in place with clothes pins, rubber bands and (possibly  :D  ) a model Atomium.

6/ Glue and nail in place when dry.

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13/09/2010

There! I finally completed the hull planking.  :)   It took me two full months! I now have to sand it and put on the keel, stem and sternpost so that it looks respectable...

Well I'm not ashamed of my result even if I did some mistakes. First of all, I'll try and remember to taper planks at the bow next time I plank a hull. I said before that the instructions in Constructo's booklet were good and I should have paid more attention to the pics: you can clearly see that they tapered their planks so that there are as many on the bow as on the main frame...  :wacko:  :blush:   As Kester wisely foresaw, you can avoid tricky strong plank bends at the bottom of the hull if you taper the planks all the way. I'll know for the next one.

 

Since my last entry, I discovered paper clips and strong rubber bands which I now find invaluable: no plank can have the last word when tied up with a solid rubber band  :D  ... nor can any hopping clip!  B)  

 

They say "practice makes perfect", (I prefer the French version: it is by forging that one becomes a blacksmith (that does not mean the blacksmith is perfect!!!)... I now manage to knock brass nails properly!  :D

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There are also a few bumps here and there, mainly due to a bad clamping during drying time, I guess. And the hull would definitely need some caulking if it were to float because of the few gaps between planks below the water line!!!

 

I decided on planking the deck before I get carried along and forget to do it before glueing the bulwarks...  :rolleyes:  The instructions said to do it before hull planking but I was concerned about spoiling it with glue stains from my fingers while maintaining planks for the first minutes of glue drying...

I decided on a three plank pattern with 5 x 60 mm planks which seem reasonable at this scale. Here are the first three planks laid down.

I also tried a caulking technique: I used a brown pencil (Faber-Castell Dark Sepia #175) between the planks after glueing and sanding them and applied one layer of varnish. I find the result satisfying though I should put a bit more (the sanding between varnish layers removes it a little).

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19/09/2010

I completed my deck planking today.  :D  It went all right even if I realized it was a good thing not to spoil any plank, considering what I am left with...  :huh:  I said there were plenty of planks provided but if it was true for the hull (eight full length planks left plus a huge amount of big pieces) it was not for the deck: just enough of it.

I also owe an apology to Constructo: reading the instructions again, I found that they tell us to use 8 cm long planks and to use a two-plank pattern...  :blush:  

 

Next step: finish the hull!

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26/09/2010

I put the bulwarks in place and began planking them. It went OK except that I had again to do some major sanding... The bulwarks were supposed to sit on the first hull plank which I had placed 3 mm below the deck, as instructed. It did but around the second and third bulkheads where the deck was too wide  :angry:  : I think Constructo either misshaped the false deck or these bulkheads...  :rolleyes:  

Anyway, I have now more planking ahead...

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Yesterday, I bought a very nice book about traditional French boats (mostly Breton boats, of course...) where I learned a bit more about those lobsters fishing boats. In fact, there were at least three harbours specialised in lobster fishing: Camaret, Audierne and Douarnenez. Their fishermen would sail to the British coasts and even Portugal and Marocco. This explains why they needed a fish well: they had to keep the lobsters alive all those months the expeditions lasted.

As for their caracteristic shape, with their hen-rump-like aft, it was designed so that they could luff or change tack quick and in close radius to take back up the lobster pots. They also sailed extremely well, which was appreciated on the journey back home, I imagine!

I also discovered that there exist several replicas of those boats: one in Camaret, le Belle Etoile, is a 18 m yawl, while the one in Audierne, le Cap Sizun, is a 14.8 m cutter (pics can be found on the Cap Sizun website...). I guess Constructo's Le Camaret is in fact closer to the Cap Sizun... Anyway, I will need a Brittany flag when I get to rig mine... and decide in which harbour to register her!

 


09/10/2010

A little more progress...

I put the stern, stem, stemson and false keel pieces on. This involved a lot of sanding so that they lay flat on the plank ends.

I had to make a new stemson reinforcement hooks (the little piece between the stem, the keel and the hull) because Constructo provided a so-called "prefabricated" one which was neither the right shape nor shade...  :wacko:  Fortunately, there was a little spare wood left on the manzonia beam containing the stem, stemson, false keel and stern...  :rolleyes:  I begin to guess that one has to love scratch building and sanding to complete a Constructo kit...

 

I am also nearly finished with bulwark planking. I love those foldback clips!  :D  Next come the scuppers.

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18/12/2010

O.K., never ever say "nearly"! I'll have to ban the words "nearly", "quite", "almost" or "soon" from my ship modeling vocabulary... So, hum I did progress a little since early october (two months!) that I'll describe here before forgetting all about it...

 

First of all, I now understand why the stemson reinforcement hooks was not the right colour: manzonia wood goes from a very pale bistre to a very dark sepia...  <_<  

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What gave me trouble is first that manzonia is not as soft as pine and second that 1.5 mm is not at all the same story as 0.5 mm when it comes to bend it, whatever the wood! I first did it brute force with only white glue (that's why the rubber bands were involved) and I then decided to get smarter about it... I first bent the planks in water vapor above the kettle exit before laying them on the hull with white glue everywhere and three drops of CA to clamp them. This kind of worked but it is a good thing I bought a "slowly" drying CA glue which allowed a few seconds to remove unfortunate fingers... Otherwise I would not be able to write this because my hands would have been part of the model now...  :wacko:  

As for the last line of the interior bulwark planking, it is not hard to achieve but it requires carefull sanding/cutting of planks which I can't do properly without daylight.

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18/12/2010

While waiting for the glue to dry and to figure out how to get this double planking done, I began making the fish boxes.

They are made of four cardboard strips on which are glued 24 1 mm x 1 mm sapelly strips. Then you just have to roll them on a cylinder and close them with a grille at each end. And there you are  :)  :

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The only tricky thing is that the box tends to stick to the gray cardoard jig!!!  :D
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It's got to be a real proverbial pain-in-the-you-know-where to not have to redo this one time, but twice. But then again you did such a fantastic job the previous times. And now we'll get to see the whole thing in fast forward.

 

BTW congrats on the completion of your doctorate.

 

Andy

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25/01/2011
O.K.! So, after 4 months... I finally got the scuppers done!
 
My double planking on the bulwarks is done. After all, I did not need to scrap them: a big file did the rough work easily and sand paper did the rest... B)  
The scuppers were a bit tricky to do and I'm not so pleased with the result.  :unsure:  The booklet suggested the use of a 2 mm drill to open each scupper and then finish with a knife. If I had to do it again, I would use the knife only. First because I managed to break my 2 mm drill :D  ("Et M...e !") and second because my drilling is not so clean as gently cutting: I find it harder to control.
Well, it is done however. Maybe I can fix that a bit later when I get an idea... :rolleyes:  
 
I am now in the process of gluing all those little pinewood bits (the stanchions?) outside and inside the bulwarks.That's easy! It is so pleasing to work with pine wood! The only tricky thing maybe is that clamps leave marks on it.
 
Next step? The rail and the chains hopefully...
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30/01/2011
After a very helpful suggestion from Elia (thank you!!!), I tried and fix my scuppers. I first cut out more of the wood from the deck and the plywood sheets that were still rough in the openings of the scuppers. I then used six planks from the remains of the deck planking material to cover the bottom of each scupper. I now have neat openings and a better looking deck. :)  (The pics make them look a bit worse than with bare eyes... they enhance quite a lot the defects! :D  )
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I also finished placing the stanchions.

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Aldo,

Thank you. I am not so satisfied with this planking now  :ph34r:  but it was a first and I have learnt from my mistakes... More is coming soon! I will be following your Peggy again!

 

Andy,

Thanks. Well it is not so tedious after all and as I don't have the TV here in Rome... nor my HMS Fly either (she would not have survived a trip by plane in the luggage  :rolleyes:)... Nope, contributing to MSW will be all my modelling activity for the months to come! And it's not so bad reviving all the build of my little cutter.  B)

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19/02/2011
A few february updates:
The rail (which is made from two pieces of 1.5x5mm hull planking as I broke the original 2x5mm rail planks while trying to bend them...  :rolleyes:  ):
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The fish tank:

Some precut plywood bits covered with manzonia strips. Rather easy to do. The
interior was not supposed to be planked but I didn't want to leave the plywood
visible so I painted it white. I still have to add two blackened brass strips
on the cover to complete it.

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At this point, I had trouble figuring
out how big these deck furnitures were... So I made a little paper&glue
fisherman at 1:35 scale to help:

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19/02/2011

And, finally, the hatchway.

Here, I decided for China ink and plastic strips (from the kit plastic bags...  ;)  ) to simulate glass. It is hard to make a good picture of this but I find the result not too bad. It looks good when light reflect on it, a little worse when in the shadow.

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And a final view of my progress so far... I still need to put some manzonia strip on the hatchway side to cover the plywood.

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01/05/2011
A few updates on what kept me busy these last two months...
First, I made the stem bitts from 4 mm x 4 mm manzonia strips:
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This was quite easy and very enjoyable!
 
Then, I painted the cast iron reeeving bitts so that they look like wood and put them in place:
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I also had a go with the brass blackening product I bought: I tried it on the two brass strips wich go on the fish tank cover (simulating hinges).
To use this selenium dioxide based product, I followed these steps:
- put gloves on
- rince the brass parts in demineralized water and dry them with a piece of cloth 
- apply some blackening product on the brass surface with a cotton wool stick (don't know the proper name for "coton-tige" in English...)
- when the darkening is satisfying, rince the brass part in demineralized water again and dry them with a piec of cloth
- remove your gloves
I am quite happy with the result even if I could have let the acid act a bit longer.
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Trufo,

No problem... I beneficiated so much from MSW, it is only fair that I do what little I can for MSW 2.0!

 

Uinsin,

Well, as I wanted to be able to look at my log without needing to connect to the Internet, I thought a copy & paste in MS word was a good idea... And after what happened with DDM, I was not going to stop this habit! But that does not mean we don't need YOUR log back! You built her differently and beautifully so... may we induce you to consider?  :D But no pressure... it's up to you of course.

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01/05/2011
And finally I began making the chain plates / deadeye assembly, getting my inspiration from Arthur's technique for his Gulnara. (Constructo's instruction here are nearly non-existent...)
So I used some diameter 0.5 mm brass wire to make the part that goes round the deadeye, forming two circles at each end for a nail to go through. I also curved the end of the chain plate into a tube for the same nail to go through. And here I am, waiting for a soldering iron to complete the assembly.
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12/06/2011
There. I finally managed to complete those chain plates after a month lost to modeling. I learned at least one thing making them: I'm lousy at soldering!   :blink:  I ended just bending the nail around the whole thing for the last two chains (pic. #2) without soldering anything  :D  .
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Well, they are all in place now, nailed to the hull and I am rather happy with them even if they are not so good-looking...

 

I also made two pieces of wood from remains of hull planking with four notches to hold the chain plates close to the rail.
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I can now move on and finish putting all the deck items before starting the rigging.
 
 

---

...which ends the DDM build log. Episode MSW on your screen soon...

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Hi Elia!

Good to see you again here... and Arethusa of course! I will have to dive and rejoice in a fair lot of build logs when mine are restorded...

 

---

 

25/07/2011
Let's go on with my build, shall we? 
So, I was at the chain plates and I still have to correct my block orientation mistake...
(Remark 2013: I think it was Dan Vad who kindly made me see that the block on the left of the previous pic was upside-down (as well as its counterpart on the port side of course!)... Obviously the hole should be on the bottom, the rope going round the block. There are two solutions: either drill another hole (a priori the least demanding) or remove the block, turn it upside-up and put it back in place. We will see the correction in a few entries...)
 
In June, I made a few more of the deck furniture: 
- the wardroom:
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- the engine room:
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I used "black of Mars" acrylics to paint the wood and selenium dioxide on the brass parts.
 
Then (or before, for some parts: who knows?  :rolleyes:  ), I painted the barrels and the bucket: they were prefabricated boxwood parts which I painted with acrylics. I used a Faber&Castell brown pencil to simulate the joints between planks. I also made the anchor (black painted castings) and I finished making the lobster pots: I was not satisfied with the yellow plastic nettings but did not want to make replacements so I tried painting them and I like the results!  :)  
 

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25/07/2011

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The next victim was the windlass. No big difficulty even if I managed to break one of the gears while dry fitting it on the shaft  :rolleyes:  . But the bowspritt roller being of no use at its intended location (no the right dimension for the bowspritt!  :angry:  ...but exactly the right diameter for the gear  :D  ) I drilled a hole in it and it made a suitable replacement for the lost part  B)  . As for the engine room, I used my blue chemics and acrylics to make everyone dark and metal shining! (The gear actually works! Yeah! I'll be able to move the anchor!  :P )

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And at the moment, I am trying to decipher the rigging instructions, that is to say plans and black&white pics: no instructions whatsoever as to how to rig!  :angry:  Either Constructo decided we did that since babyhood or they run out of paper for their booklet.  :blink:  
Here are views of what I have been playing with this month:
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(this is O.K. ...)

 

 

Edited by Padeen
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25/07/2011

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(my rigging material)

 

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(my resumé of the different rigging plans)
 
And a final view:
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The mast is simply dry fitted. I think shaping it will be my next task. I will at least be able to make the shrouds as a starting point. Although I need to attach all the necessary eyebolts in the mast before gluing it in place.
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25/07/2011
I did not began my main mast shaping yet but I found I still had plenty to do before that. Here it goes: 
 
Before the holidays, I completed the fishing equipment with boxes (I would never have imagined making miniatures of those before!  :D  ):
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And last weekend, I decided to put the name and registers on the hull and varnish it as I won't have anything more to glue on it. 
I used a Faber&Castell ivory pencil to write the name and registers (which is not the one chosen by Constructo but will help me remember my first model birthday  :D  ).
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I then put three coats of clear finish with a light sanding after coat #2 and coat #3. The hull is now smooth and shiny when enlighted and I find it brought out the wood colours, making them warmer.  B)  

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While varnishing, I also decided to fix the bowsprit parrel lashing. I did not do it before because I could not decide on darkening or not darkening... but plain brass looks good here so plain brass it is! Those three nails where a bit of a pain to knock but they ended in their right place anyway... without too much damage to the hull nearby  :D  :D !

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Oh, and I also got the upside down blocks fixed! At first, I tried to drill new holes as some of you suggested but I could not get a proper hole with my current tools. I then tried flipping them by spacing the brass wire around them with tweezers and tightening them again after the flip. Fortunately there was enough brass wire around to do that. Pfff... Done! I'll try not to misplace other blocks in the future.

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post-508-0-10515900-1361389667_thumb.jpg

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25/07/2011

I am now making the "legs and support":

post-508-0-76051100-1361389823_thumb.jpg

 

I can't figure out the use of these. Is it to maintain the ship straight when in drydock? But where do they go and how do they keep their equilibrium?   :unsure:

 

 

03/09/2011
More on the legs:
post-508-0-24365300-1361389921_thumb.jpg
post-508-0-82240700-1361389958_thumb.jpg
(a bit of PVA and nobody will know...  :rolleyes: )
 
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I warmed the credit card this morning:
post-508-0-54282600-1361390177_thumb.jpg
 
I will now practice a bit with the plane and the push drill before going on with the build. Next on the "to be bought list" are 2 or 3 volumes of David Antscherl's Swann Class books (#2 and 4 for sure!)...
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05/09/2011

My mast is taking shape rather fast. A plane really is the thing! B)  I never used one before but it is just an amazing tool! (and much less messier than a file: rolls of wood rather than saw dust :D  ) Thanks for the advice, guys! (Remark 2013: was it Arthur or Kester... I think you both contributed. I hope I am not forgetting someone, if so tell me!)

 

The mast had four sections that required a separate shaping: two tapered ones (one on the top with a strong tapering and one along the main sail height with a lighter tapering) and two straight ones where manzonia planks would be glued. I made the tapering with a plane and the straight sections with a file and simply finished everything with a go of sand paper.

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The mast is only dry fitted (I still have a lot of job to do on it such as all the eyebolts positioning...)

post-508-0-15726600-1361724462.jpg

 


16/09/2011

Some progress on the mast (and my brand new work table!  :dancetl6:  ).

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To install an eyebolt, I premade a hole with a nail and then knocked the eyebolt in it. Then it's all brass wire twisting! I am so glad I bought "self-blocking tweezers": they are unvaluable to hold the standing part of a wire or rope while making a knot.  :dancetl6:  

I am not sure about the way I am attaching the blocks (not very nice looking I fear...) but I could not conclude anything usefull by staring at the pics on the kit box... and the computer was off!  :unsure:  Any comment / suggestion will be most welcome!

 


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17/09/2011
Dan, 
thanks for the pics! This seems a very simple method indeed. I'll keep them in mind for Fly.  :)  (Remark 2013: I don't have the picture anymore but it was a great "how-to" for attaching blocks to the mast or spars with rope... I think I will ask again sooner or later for Fly.)
The thing is I want to use brass wire, not rope (mad I know but I don't like to give up!) so let's fight...  :pirate41:  Indeed, on the Notre-Dame de Rumengol (pic bellow) which is from the same period and area, the blocks are provided with metal hooks that are then fixed on metal rings, no rope there.
post-508-0-04069600-1361724826_thumb.jpg
 
Uinsin, you are probably wiser than I am, deciding to use rope instead of brass wire!  ;)  
 
I also had a look at Arthur's Gulnara. It gave me inspiration and I made my blocks rigging afresh this morning:
post-508-0-81459300-1361724874.jpg
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They look far much better for me, though the loops are still a bit too wide... But I'm not making them a third time!  :rolleyes:  
 
---
 
Thank you, Uinsin! I don't know about patience... but I am not to be stopped trying when a block rigging wire breaks for the second time at the very end of the last loop  :blink::angry: The third works!  :P  Good thing I bought more brass wire than needed... 
 
I finally put all the necesary blocks to the mast, glued it in place and varnished it. During drying time, I began making the shrouds. There are three of them on each side so I made two double shrouds and one single shroud. 
To close the loop that goes around the mast, I followed my "nautical knots learning kit" when they suggest to use clove hitches to whip a rope. It is a easily done knot and it seems to be rather strong for this job. I made 5 or 6 clove hitches per loop end and then fixed the knots and ropes ends with varnish. 
Here is the process and result in pics:
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This was the easy part! I now have to end up with six shrouds of the same length...  :D
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22/09/2011

Thank you for the advice, gentlemen! (Remark 2013: hum, it must have been something to get all the shrouds at the same level... Don't remember who helped there (you were a few) nor what exactly was the tip but it involved temporarily putting the shrouds under tension and fixing all but one while attaching the dead-eyes one by one, but I may be mistaken...)

I began with the single pair of shrouds and had them the same lenght without too much trouble and then used them as a reference for the four other shrouds. Many paper clips and cloth pins were involved to mark the measurement and hold the cords while seizing the deadeyes in place. 

They are not perfectly aligned (the fore one on the starboard side is way to low...). I think it is mainly due to the fact that I thought it would be easier to seize things with the shrouds not on the mast: I suppose some of my cloth pins have moved a bit during the process... Next time, I'll try and do everything directly on the model. 

The lanyards were not a problem, that is when I was focused enough: I did have to do some several times having passed the cord in the wrong hole or even the wrong lower deadeye!  :rolleyes:  I used a "monkey tail"? knot (could not find a translation for this one) for the dead end of the lanyard.

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I also made the bowsprit stays:

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And the anchor is in place, though not properly attached yet. The working windlass was greatly apreciated to get the anchor chain around it!  B)  I wonder where the end of the chain is supposed to be fixed, though...  :unsure:  There is no indication for that on my plans.

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25/09/2011

More rigging. This is very instructive: I now understand which is which and what is the function of every single line!  B)  I will not see the rigging as a pack of spaghetti anymore!  :D  

 

First, the side lights (red on lardboard, green on starboard):

post-508-0-96260100-1361725751.jpg

 

Then the spanker boom and gaff (the manzonia wood pieces on the mast side of the boom are a home-made reinforcement piece I made because the metal jaw broke when I handled the boom and glue was not enough to make me comfortable about it (if it broke once...  :rolleyes:  )):

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A general view of the present state:

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And my first rope coils on bitts and lugs... This is easier than I thought but it still requires a lot of patience!

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08/10/2011
I finally made the rudder (should have done that before starting the rigging!  :rolleyes:  ). 
I wanted to have a working rudder and came up with this assembly:
post-508-0-24388500-1361726217.jpg
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The two brass axles are angled and fitted in holes in the rudder so that the rudder accompanies the rotation of the shaft. They are mounted on the rudder thanks to hinges, the latter being fixed with nails passing through pre-drilled holes. 
I know they might look strange on the port side but this was the easiest method I saw that did not involve soldering! And the rudder is supposed to be under water anyway!  :D  
post-508-0-39779200-1361726394_thumb.jpg
 

I will have to modify the stand as the keel cannot rest in the rear notch anymore with the rudder in place (maybe I placed it too low  :unsure:  )...

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