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Frigate Essex by Rafine - FINISHED - Model Shipways - Kitbashed

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Thanks Rusty. I know you've got other things on your plate, but I'd love to have you doing this one with me.

 

Bob

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I've now attached and braced all of the bulkheads. Mostly this work was very straight forward and went along with few difficulties ( after I had spent considerable time opening up the slots when I first fitted them). A couple of the bulkheads were not sized properly and had to be adjusted by adding strip wood on the inner side at the top and reducing the outside by sanding.

 

Kudos to Model Expo for sending me the replacement laser cut sheet that I had requested in just a few days, which allowed me to complete the bulkhead  mounting.

 

I braced the bulkheads with strip wood, added wood blocks for mounting the masts and added strip wood framing for the drop down deck planking. Lastly, I sanded the bulkheads to get them level for the future decking. Next, I will do the gun deck gun port framing to help stiffen up the framing prior to fairing. I will leave the stern framing and the bow and stern filler blocks until that's done.

 

Bob

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Nice work .... glad to hear ME came through.

 

Pretty long 'horns' on the quarterdeck bulkheads.  I know you'll work carefully.

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Great stuff Bob. Kudos also to ME for making kits with this number of bulkheads - closer to a fully framed model than a POB kit. It makes for better planking I'm sure.

 

I'm looking forward to all your updates.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

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This looks like it's going to be a rather large model when completed. I'm looking forward to seeing this take shape.

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Thanks, Ben, Alistair and Patrick. This is always the part of the build that's a chore you have to get by to get to the good stuff.

 

Bob

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I really hate to say this, but this build is becoming a frustrating pain in the neck. After framing out a portion of the gun ports and doing some fairing of the hull, a few things have become clear. Whether due to design problems or manufacturing issues, or to some combination of them, there are serious issues with the accuracy and consistency of the drawings and with the dimensional accuracy of the framing parts. Without listing the full litany of the problems I've encountered, I will summarize by saying that the model cannot be built as delivered without making significant alterations to the kit parts and without a lot of interpretation of the drawings that may or may not lead to a correct result down the road. I have exchanged a number of messages with Sam Cassano, who  also seems frustrated, but I would prefer if he would speak for himself on this. 

 

Although I'm going to try to work myself through this for at least a while longer, It is my opinion that Model Expo should withdraw the kit from the market until the problems are resolved and that the kits already delivered should be recalled and/or replaced in whole or part with proper ones.

 

Bob

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Thats too bad....I know Sam worked really hard on that kit.   I do hope that all of the issues get worked out soon.  I would imagine it would stand a better chance if you folks with a kit would post this info on the Essex kit launch topic.  I think Eric would likely see it more readily and see the need to make amends more timely.  :(

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Wow Bob, hate to hear all that.  I was looking forward to getting that kit this fall, guess I need to hold off.  Good luck on whatever course you decide to take!

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I'm truly disappointed for you Bob....and Sam as well.  I have seen this happen before on newly introduced airplane kits.

 

Hopefully the technical issues can be resolved and everything set right all around.

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Hi Folks,

 

Thanks to Bob (and a couple of others) for keeping me updated. I just had a very brief conversation with Eric (hard to do much after hours on a Friday night).

 

Although I've not seen a full released kit myself yet at this time from what I've been told and seen out here my first inclination is that an old file(s) may have been inserted into the kit some how. The issues Bob has described (and we've discussed off line) as well as some other indicators show "things" that I went through during design/development and corrected. They shouldn't be there (anymore)

 

I'll be working with Expo to get these items addressed ASAP.

 

Have faith and I'll be back................

 

Sam

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Thanks all for your  thoughts. I'm having trouble deciding what to do. One side of me says to just leave it until there is some resolution of the problem by ME. The other side of me sees a challenge that's hard to resist. Stay tuned.

 

Bob

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If you're taking votes into consideration, I say you should go for the challenge. Your other work has been outstanding and I think you have the skills to make this into another work of art.

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Tough call, Bob.   I know that whichever way you go, you'll succeed, even though there may be some "sailor language" flying about the workshop.   If it were me, I'd pause for a few days and see what ME says.  Then when my head clears, I'd press on.  I know you love the challenge also.

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Hi Bob

That's a bugger (in my Kiwi lingo). An uphill fight against the fundamentals of hull structure, frames and basic set outs must certainly turn a fun hobby into a chore and a bore. While I do not take anything away from ME and MS kits - their service is fantastic and their AVS model, which I cut my teeth on, is an absolute beauty - as I'm sure many of their other kits are, but perhaps your fine skills should be tried on another kit maker after this experience?

 

With any decision I hope you get back on track and enjoy it. The Essex is a fine looking ship and I know you'll do it justice with the right foundations.

 

Cheers

Alistair

Edited by aliluke

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Hi Bob,

 

I'm silence for a few days because I was reading all this.

It's no fun when this happened but it's just what Mark is saying.

Put in hold for a few days, clear your mind, take a beer of 10, and with a fresh mind ( if that's possible after 10 beers ) go further on it.

I know with your skills you can make something of it.

We have all the faith in you !!!!!

( Easy to say ,I know, but you have to do it )

So grab the bull by the horns and go for it.

 

animaatjes-sjors-94584.gif

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I appreciate the votes of confidence. Still going back and forth and having further discussion with Sam.

 

Bob

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I finally made my decision. The choices were: 1) abandon the project (totally unacceptable); 2) try to get a whole new kit from ME and begin again ( not likely to happen); 3) get replacement parts from ME and tear out the bow and stern framing (possible, but not likely for a while and probably a pain to accomplish); 4) try to correct the bulkheads (worth at least a try, since I'd still be able to remove them later).

 

I started with the stern bulkheads. The last four were improperly sized and shaped. The simplest fix seemed to be to add wood to them and then sand to shape, which is what I have done. I added 1/16" x 3/16 " strips that were wet heat bent to shape and glued on in layers as seemed to be needed. The two sides were different because I had previously tried to fair one side. After these had set up, I faired both sides. I can only say that now the stern area is faired to a point where battens fit. I have no idea whether the lines I have faired to are "correct" or whether the port framing I have done by extrapolating from incorrect drawings will turn out right down the road. I'm hoping for the best.

 

The photos show the sequence of the work and the current state of the stern area. Now it's on to the bow.

 

Bob

 

 

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Good luck with the modifications Bob.  I know it's a pain but at least you're making progress again.  You said even the drawings were wrong?  I hope Sam or ME got you a corrected set of drawings.

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Wow that is a lot of added wood - given current technologies it is hard to understand how the kit could be so off. Good on you for carrying on - a hard call and I hope that once the foundations are properly set that the rest flows and we get to see your fine skills unfold for the remainder of the build. 

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Congrats on your call to tough it out.  With your savvy this should work out.

 

Good luck, Bob.

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Bob, (everyone)

 

I've had  several at length conversations with Eric at ME trying to decipher what has happened with ESSEX.   I know the kit is "buildable" as I'm looking at it as I type this.

 

Expo is rushing me masters to compare against my files to see where (and what has happened) This will take a little time. I'd like to have an answer (answers) within the next week or so. It will actually be almost akin to reverse engineering the boat as I'll have to go backwards against my drawings (images) and then against the parts (each individually) to see what's what. No small feat to say the least. Please believe me when I say that I (and Expo) are fully committed to clearing this situation up as expediently as possible.

 

The solution is not as easy (or economically feasible as some have recommended)  of me just re-submitting my masters. First, this would require the abandonment of all existing product. Secondly we haven't determined (yet) as to where the issue (s) are in the process. They could be in the juxtaposition of one of my files as well so all the problem isn't so easily answered. We just cant throw out the "baby with the bath water"............

 

In the mean time for any and all of you who have ESSEX please do not hesitate to contact me here or through PM with any questions. I am only too happy to help. If you need clarification on drawings, manual (the updated version is still at the printers) - just ask. 

 

 

Thanks - Sam

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I'm glad you decided to go this way. Your builds are nothing short of inspiring and this will help other folks when they purchase a kit and find shortcomings that they need to overcome that would otherwise leave them frustrated. I'm positive that ME will get a great product out there as well. I've been a fan of their kits for a while now. I'm keeping my eyes peeled for further updates as this will be on my wish list when it gets released to the public.

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