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Armed Virginia Sloop by Rob Jones - Model Shipways - Scale 1: 48


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Hello,

This is the initial entry in my build log of the Armed Virginia Sloop. My #1 goal is to complete the ship. I've got a few secondary ideas floating around in my head such as quality, craftsmanship, scratchbuilding and upgrading materials but I really want to finish this thing. For those not familiar with the kit, It is a 1:48 scale model sloop of the type built in and around the Chesapeake bay around 1800. As such I don't believe it represents a specific ship.

 

I began by reading the instructions, going over the plans and perusing various build logs here at MSW. I took the plans to a local office supply store and had them make copies that I could cut up and use as patterns etc. keeping the original set intact.

 

First step was to transfer the bearding line from the plans to the false keel. I then cut, carved and sanded the rabbet. I have begun to attach the keel.

 

While waiting for the keel to dry, I removed all the bulkheads from their sheet and cleaned up the edges. 

 

Next I used my extra plan sheet to cut out each bulkhead and transfer the bevel line onto the front side. I'm going to leave myself some wiggle room to adjust the angle once the bulkheads are glued to the false keel. 

 

I welcome any and all comments even if they seem critical (I spent several decades on submarines - those guys have no problem telling you what they think :)  ) I won't be offended at all. 

 

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It's nice to see another AVS getting started. Feel free to ask for input, there is a lot of experience on this site with this kit, I'm nearing completion with mine.

 

Are you planning to work with any of the practicums available? I used this one, the cost was right for me.

 

http://www.modelboatyard.com/avs_articles.html

 

Ken

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Good to see another AVS underway. It is a great kit and makes a very nice finished piece. I would recommend that you fair the bulkheads after you have fixed them to the false keel. I found with my AVS that I had to add material to some bulkheads rather than removing it and it is impossible to tell which requires what until they are all in place and you test the flow of the planking. That said your kit may be more accurate than mine was.

 

I'll follow your log.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Ken, I hadn't planned on using a practicum. Something to think about. OK just took a look at the link you provided. Wow. This will help answer a lot of questions! Thanks.

 

Alistair, I'd begun fairing the first two bulkheads and have came to the same conclusion. I don't think it will be any harder to do once they are in place. In dry-fiting the others, many fall short of the bearding line which means I'll need to add shims only a couple are too big.  

Edited by rjones726
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I've been making a little progress. Bulkheads are going on and bracing added between them. I am trying hard to get them square. Once they are on I can already see that I will need to add some shims and do a lot of sanding. From looking at other build logs I will be spending quite some time getting the hull faired. Thanksgiving is coming with a 4 day weekend and I aim to spent a good portion of it in the shipyard

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Edited by rjones726
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The Thanksgiving holiday has given me a four day weekend and a great opportunity to spend some time in the shipyard. 

I completed attaching the bulkheads and the bracing in between. The braces really do stiffen it up which will help during the fairing process. Many of the bulkheads fell short of the rabbet. I cut some strips 1/32" thick and glued them on the offenders. Much of the strip will be sanded away but it will pay big dividends when I get to the planking stage.

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I also began taking a look at the stern. There are four lights (windows) across the stern. They are not perpendicular to the keel for some reason (that would be too easy :) ) The vertical strips of the window frames are angled. To ensure the rough opening is correct, I sanded an angle on the innermost frame. I don't need to sand the angle on the other 2, I'll just glue them on parallel to the inner frame. In an attempt  to avoid screwing this up I'm taking the time to lay this out on the bulkhead. I still need to mark the outermost frame. Once I get the starboard side done, I'll repeat it on the port side. That's my plan anyway. We'll see how it goes.

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Hi Rob

The whole stern area is perhaps the most tricky part of the AVS in my experience. The windows are tiny and very fragile but you need to use them as a template for the framing pieces. One small tip - after removing them from the billet, I separately labelled them in in small containers as it quickly becomes very difficult to tell the inboard windows from the outboard ones!

 

As all AVS builders will all so tell you, you really need to fair the frames up to the stern counter. If it not faired enough the planks will tend to snap as they bend up. I'm looking at your last photo with the filler - the frame forward of that needs to be heavily faired, much more so than you'd expect.

 

Look forward to more - a trip down memory lane.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Looking really good, the bulkhead braces really stiffen things up. Be careful of the bulkhead extentions, they will snap off if you sand them too hard during faring.

I agree with Alistair, the window frames are tricky, I had to review the plans several times before I got a feel for how they should be. Also dont forget to check and fair as needed the deck framing tops of the bulkheads, with mine there was varying heights that needed sanding to get a reasonable camber and smooth transition between bulkheads for the subdeck panel to mount .

 

Ken

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Too late Ken, I broke one off this weekend. It's glued back on. Hopefully I can be more careful in the future. You are absolutely correct in that the stern lights are going to be fun to align correctly. I'm taking my time and will checking the plans frequently as you suggest.

 

v/r,

Rob

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The lights were one of the deviations that I did from the plans. I ended up with the bottom/top frames following the curve of the stern and deck and opted to have the frames radiused on the outer edges and protruding slightly beyond the surrounding planking. I liked the look better and it sort of made them stand out a bit rather than blending into the planking pattern.

 

Ken

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I've been busy building up the stern. Thanks to the advice I received here, I used the window frames to set the stern extensions. I added two filler pieces below the extensions and one on each side of the outer extension. Then I got busy sanding. It's not quite there but I'm getting close.

 

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Like I said earlier, the advice I received was invaluable. If you're reading this and you can't decide to start a build log or not, Go for it !

 

v/r,

Rob

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Hi rob

Looking good in all respects.

 

One thing I've realised from my photos and memory is that I fitted the false poop deck (cabin deck or whatever it should be called on this type of ship) before fitting the stern extensions. That is too late in your case but no worry. I would definitely suggest you dry fit, if not permanently fit, that deck soon. I'm not saying it is a critical part of the sequence but getting that deck into sync with the stern and its lower edge is much easier, in my opinion if it is fitted earlier. I think my log shows it and all other false decks going in very early in build. For instance, I put in the main false deck before doing the bow fillers. I have found some more photos if you want and can forward them by a PM.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Rob

Welcome to the AVS ranks!  I really enjoyed this kit and learned a lot from my mistakes.  Here are a few things I learned.

1.  Install spacers on the bulkheads and their extensions.

2.  Make sure the plywood sits level and slopes as required.  I did not and after installing my decking and planking the bulwarks, my cannons did not sit well.

3.  Spend the time studying plans looking for eyebolts that will be needed later and at least pre-drill the holes.  Install if possible.  Trying to fit a pin drill in later may be difficult.

4.  Pre-rig the cannons as much as possible before gluing in place.

5.  When installing the rigging, I found it easier to work from the center of the ship outward once you get the shrouds in place.

 

Enjoy!  I became addicted after the AVS.

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Alistair - Thanks for looking in. I've been dry fitting the cabin deck while shaping the stern extensions to help me get the right shape. It 's funny you mention that because I spent last night sanding the cabin and main deck bulkheads  so I could install the false decks.  I've begun roughing out the bow fillers using the templates on the plans.  I'll take your advice and install the false deck then the bow fillers and then complete the hull fairing. 

 

Shawn - Thanks for the list of things to look for. I've already taken care of 1, I'm in the process of completing 2 and I'll file the rest away for later in the build.

 

One thing I'm learning -there is a lot of preparation required to ensure things look good later. No shortcuts - I just put some music on, get some sandpaper out and go to town  :)

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It's been a few days since my last update. Life has intruded on the shipyard with visits from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and various other distractions. I manage to get in a little time here and there - good thing I don't have a schedule to keep.  I have no pictures. Maybe later this weekend I'll find time. Progress has been very slow. I continue to shape the stern and bow fillers, fair the hull and get the bulkhead tops sanded for the false deck. I've broken off several bulwark extensions and despite being very annoying they're not that hard to repair. I've taken much longer than I thought I would to get to this point but I think it's time well spent. I've been thinking as I sand away about single planking or double planking. Double planking can be more forgiving but I'm really drawn to the idea of single planking just for the challenge. I have a little more time to ponder that before I need to make a decision. Next update I'll include some pictures of the progress I've made.

 

v/r,

Rob

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Regarding single or double planking, are you planning to paint the hull? or keep a natural finish? I double planked mine, but could have got away with single planking if I painted the hull, but wanted the natural walnut on the hull, so did the second layer. Your prep time is well spent and will show once you start laying the planks.

 

Ken

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Regarding single or double planking, are you planning to paint the hull? or keep a natural finish? I double planked mine, but could have got away with single planking if I painted the hull, but wanted the natural walnut on the hull, so did the second layer. Your prep time is well spent and will show once you start laying the planks.

 

Ken

Hi Ken,

I plan on painting the hull. I have also thought about replacing the deck with holly or maybe maple. We'll see. 

v/r,

Rob

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Hi Rob

If you single plank the planks need to be thicker to get the right thickness on the upper works for the cap rails and gun ports. For this reason alone, even though I painted, I double planked. I would definitely recommend upgrading the decking - my kit supplied stuff was not good and I've seen several others regret not doing this simple upgrade.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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