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Rattlesnake by JPett - Model Shipways - (MS2028) Scale 1/64th

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Ahoy Mates :D


Thank you all for your comments and compliments. You guys "rock"


Martin: I don't work slowly. It is the fact I spend so much time in reverse that it just seems that way.


Ben: I did not find that with the Winsor & Newton acrylic. I actually did the Black in under an hour. Put a coat on, hit it with the heat gun, repeat. I did find this when I used enamel and as I stated it took 4 days to do it the first time. The water based Oils also take more time but the acrylic is surprising fast. I also find their colors much richer then the plastic model paints.  It would be hard to convince me to use something else right now.


Russ: Well I guess I should publicly thank you for that. The scheme I chose came directly from the image you sent me. I added a little "JPett" to it of course. There were some aspects like the colored border that I felt best if I attempted on future builds.


Michael: We both know the idea for the treenails came from your log. Thank you.


Jason: one word "beer" and lots of it. As for making sure there is symmetry on both sides I agree. Why I feel it is bad practice. I needed to make sure I was happy with my plan. I am sure I will pay for this decision. I thought it was the best of the bad choices I had.


Wes: Welcome to my log. You need to read it from the beginning and I am sorry you missed the 1.0 version. This is merely a bump in the road. There have and I am sure will be many more Whoppers. Stay tuned. For me it is all part of the fun.


Eric: Yea you do. You passed me on your build. What the hell, And I liked you too. "lol" Actually I like following your build now. It is so much easier to see how it is done. Please "lead the way" and never take me seriously ;)  Thx for the compliment and keep up the good work on your Ratt. It really has become a place of inspiration for me.


Blue: Your compliments are "gold" to me. You are truly a inspiration to all of us here at MSW. Not only in your skill as a builder, researcher, friend to all but the effort you make to share your knowledge is not wasted by this humble shipwreck, I mean shipwright. :)


Kenneth: Thank you. I love your log. Again more inspiration and someone else to show me how its done, warn me of the pitfalls and share the solutions


Popeye: I will share this with you and only you. I have a dream, no not that dream, another "lol". it is to cut a model in half. Right down the keel, finish the kit and mount it in a shadow box like frame. I think it would be so cool. So in a word "I'm covered. Yea I know it was two words


Mark: We both know I am far from that. But is was a nice try, love love


Augie: There you go again, Using that "P" word again. I know what your up to and your not fooling anyone. Thanks Augie, as usual you are great. "Sir" ;)



Back to the build :pirate41:


I thought I would use this post to clarify the rumors that I am slow. I am not slow. I just spend a lot of time in reverse. I am new and have no idea what I am doing. I make so many mistakes it is not funny. Well really it is and I have no problem laughing at myself when it comes to shipbuilding.


Take this simple part. I spent about over 6 hours to get here. There were a quite a few failed attempts. It needed to be curved to matched the hull, stepped and have a hole centered in the upper section. it took me three attempts just to figure out the right order which BTW is Mill first, and more then just  the needed amount,  then soak it. It needs to be long enough so it can be bent and make more then one. They need to be at least  three times as long with the milled part about 2/3rds or it won't bend right.  Carving the round part doesn't always go as planned either. Use a razor blade and following the milled part make the horizontal cuts first. Then use a chisel to cut down to the first cut to get the rounded edge. Glue sand paper to only one side of a piece of wood to finish the curve. And don't get this far just to drill the hole in the wrong place. That really stinks. The starboard side should be much easier now. Yea I had planned on making them both but used up my extras.


I really do not know what I am doing but I know this. I am having fun and that is all that matters to me. Maybe I will spent years on this kit but they will be years I can look back on and remember all the fun I had here on MSW.


Thank you all :) :) :) You guys truly "ROCK"


Edited by JPett
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Hi JPett -- going backwards is the same as going forwards in the modelling universe.


Is that the hawse hole you just milled out?  It looks good.  In the practicum that both JSGerson & I have followed, that part is made by layering 2 pieces of thin boxwood -- I'm not sure the result looks as good as yours, but it was probably a whole heck of a lot easier.





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  • 2 weeks later...

JPett,  Wow, I have to compliment you on your work and this log is GREAT!.  I too am new to ship building and after doing some research I also have chosen the Rattlesnake.  I will admit though, going through your log here is making me nervous about my choice of getting into this hobby.  I'm no slacker when it comes to building things. I've built highly accurate plastic models and have built a pretty accurate model train layout as well.  So I know I posses building skills and an eye for accuracy.  What worries me is the lack of experience with so much wood.  I tell you this though, I know my build will be slow because I will be reviewing so many logs from this site to make sure I mess up as little as possible.


Please keep this log going right up to the end.  I'm really getting a great education and you seem more candid then other postings on things gone wrong and things gone right.  I hope to learn from the things gone wrong so I don't make them too.  That is probably the best thing you can do on this site.  Help us learn from others mistakes.  I tip my hat to you.  Thanks again.

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Scott, I too was new to building POB models and the Rattlesnake was/is my first build (four years an still counting). In my case I am using the Mamoli kit following Bob Hunt's Practicum, and using a wood supplement package (all the gory details on my log).


Don't be intimidated. If you break it down into small steps, progress will be made. I watch a multitude of logs and gleam every last detail to help with my build. Although I was intimidated by the quality of other builder's skills, I was encouraged to start my own log so others could learn from my mistakes and triumphs. Because of the log, it kind of gives you the incentive to keep going because others are watching you. That, and all the tips and suggestions you get from your followers.


I hope to see your log soon, yes?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...

Ahoy Mates 


Well its been quite a while since my last post but that does not mean nothing has transpired in the shipyard. We can say for a few months it was next to nothing but the shipyard never really shut down. 



As anyone who has been following my log knows, I seem to have a slightly unhealthy obsession with gunports and their appearance. This is combined with my ignorance and undeveloped skills, but overcome with by a level of determination that borders on insanity. It has taken me quite a while to reach this point. The gun port framing was done six times on one side. This BTW was a mistake as I learned that the position of gunports does not have to be determined by the framing but can be adjusted in the final filing and sanding after planking if you prepare it this way. On my build around "take 4" I made the framing for a slightly smaller port using slightly wider pieces of wood. then I finished them to the proper size and orientation with a file and sandpaper after the planking. Care and caution must be exercised as any wood removed can not be easily replaced but for me this way has more options and yields better results in much less time :P 


First I painted the interior sills red which I loved on everybody else's ship but for some reason I did not care for on my Ratt. Probably because I am only doing the sills. Black was brought out but the Red put up quite a stink and did not leave with out a fight. 


I use long paper strips to transfer measurements from the port side ports to the starboard side ports which will remain slightly smaller until the inner gunwale is planked. I mark the paper and then cut those marks with my Xacto knife so I can accurately transfer/mark the other side of the paper. Port is a mirror to starboard so you need to flip your ruler. It all sounds so simple now "lol" 


After an accident in the shipyard I learned a nice trick to paint the inside of the gunports. Apply a thin coat of WOP to the surrounding "wood colored" area first then paint. This way you can come back and easily sand away stray paint to get a sharp line. Any paint on the wood finish just sits on top of the WOP and sands away easily leaving a sharp crisp line. A fresh coat of WOP prevents any paint from soaking into the wood like it did on my initial attempt. This is much harder to correct BTW. In one of the pics you can see where I have gone back and re-re-re-filed the line for the lower sills which was not up to par after sanding. The black really shows any irregularities in your work. I will re-coat with WOP, and repaint until I get get the clean "straight" line I want. Its a side project. :P 


I spent a lot of time with the trim. What you see here is "take 4" on the trim and "take 6" on that fancy step down "thingy" which I think I will now go with. I was burning the midnight oil with the Vanda Lay trying to come up with something here. I made both the trim and steps with the Vanda Lay. Although the trim does not follow the plan it does look "acceptable" to me. My stern window position is too high and has the "scale" trim running into it. It 's not a very good look and after multiple attempts  I have decided that a "trimming of the trim" is my best option. I was however able to duplicate this window and its height on the starboard side. In shipbuilding; it isn't whether or not you can perform the task but whether you can repeat it on the other side that counts. 


Speaking of which I did make one more try, to save the step in my wale plank by adding a piece of wood which has now been completely removed, I am finding that many things I did wrong in the beginning are still haunting me and I expect this to continue just a little bit more. Like in chess I see it pays to be a few moves ahead in shipbuilding. I still have some minor issues with the poop and stern decks, but after that I am telling myself that my earlier mistakes should only cause minor issues. Well; less me cutting out the transom windows but I am working to resolve that now. 


I am also experimenting with a slightly "weathered" look which I have found a blue kitchen scrubber sponge to be very useful for (see insert). In one of my painting accidents I recently also found that  simulated gunpowder residue can be created using flat black oil paint and a wide feathered brush. This also adds another nice weathering effect, although I am not sure if I will use it on this kit: We will see.


I am now starting to experiment with decking using paper for chalking and my gunports. Can you say ADHD. I really like the paper and found that just bending the gunport hinge around the lid looks much better then creating a full on hinge at this scale. I am not a big fan of the cluttered but its historically accurate and functioning look that I seemed to be able to create so well with my previous attempts. Sometimes less really is more 


Last but not least. There is concern as to whether I will be able to show 20 guns. I have 10 of the nice brass ones and can not currently secure anymore. I called Frank and Chucks are too big too. If anybody has a lead as to where I can get ten more of these brass cannons please let me know 


Thanks for stopping by :)




Edited by JPett
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If you can't get anymore cannons of the type you want/need, you can always close the gun ports under the fore and aft decks to show what the ship looks like with them closed. Because your decks will be completed (I assume, unlike mine) the viewer will not be able to see below decks very well. I will be too dark and cluttered. I have seen a number of models done this way.

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Ahoy back, JPett -- it's great to have you back in the Ratt Pack.


I just measured one of my guns from the Rattlesnake, and it comes in right at 25 mm.  RB Models has guns at 26 mm, which just might do the trick -- or would at least be worth considering.  Here's the link.




And I actually think that ADHD is a basic component of the initian desire to build model ships.  :o





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Ahoy Mates :D


I thought maybe a picture might help 


I would be willing to do the half cannon: ME used to sell those too. I do not see me replacing all of them so they match but leaning more towards just using 10 if I can't find the others 


Thanks for the likes and comments 


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Ahoy Mates  :D


I may have found my Ratt cannons @ our new sponsor 




I ordered 10 of these plus 2 each of the others and a toy  :P


I will post some pics when they arrive Hopefully of them installed 


They also carry replacement wood for kits. 

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Ahoy Mates :D


Russ; Coming from you I consider that compliment an honor. It was your help that was instrumental in me getting this far along in my build.   Thank you, it is people like yourself who make MSW what it is   :)


JS: I agree, clutter is a big problem "lol" I will try my best to avoid it. My decks will only be completed topside. 


Martin: Yours came out so good. I miss your updates. I did a search for your next build. Please PM me a link to it  


Ben: Thanks for checking in. Anytime I feel overwhelmed by my build I stop by yours for some inspiration. That truly is an amazing project you have going on there. You are doing an incredible job, thx for posting. 


Sam: Yea I was not a happy shipwright after the storm.


Augie: Rear Admiral "Sir" I am hoping that you and yours are enjoying yourselves. There is a line forming to see your next post. I think some are even camping out. One of them is wearing a Moose hat. I think its Sjors. 


Bill: Thanks, it is good to see your back in your shipyard too. 


Popeye: Yea I like that color best. Mother is the only one who makes it. She's a natural. 



Back to the Build  :pirate41:


Well we got our cannons. Our new sponsor "rocks" and I received them two days ahead of schedule. Sadly they are very close, I even put one in my Vanda Lay to try and get some conformity but I could not. If anyone wants them please PM me. You must have a active build here on MSW and promise to make a small contribution to this site through Paypal. It does not need to match their cost, I don't need to know what it is, and don't want any for myself. I will also pay to ship them to you USPS. I am however very happy with the toys I got 


I used Woodland Scenic transfers to do my badge. They were very easy to use and I am very happy with the results. Don't let anyone tell you they are hard to use: They are easy, just don't cut them out, use them straight from the sheet, The other letters on the sheet aide in registration, and follow the instructions to the "letter".  I used a gold metal flake which the camera does not capture very well. You will have to trust me when I say it looks really good in person. I can see I will be repainting the artwork and need to correct the port side of the placard. That image is over twice the actual size too. . 


I also finished the lower transom. As I mentioned before but I think those comments were deleted in the great crash, this Model Expo mahogany is not easy stuff to work with. I am glad to be done here. I would however use this wood again, now that I know it's limitations and how to work around them. Just not here 


I am having a really hard time with these ports. It was hard enough doing the port side. Matching them on the starboard side has turned into a major undertaking for me. Slow would be a compliment, Progress is so slow to the untrained eye "stopped" might be a better description. Galaxies are spinning faster in my telescope. I spend more time measuring, checking and postulating then sanding, cutting or building. I have however come up with a plan. I had to throw my other lady out of bed to do this, and she was not happy about it. Truth be told I should have; and highly recommend that anyone building any ship make a jig. Even if it is a flat bottom ship. You just can not beat a "constant" for making/transferring measurements from plans or side to side and a jig does this for you in spades.  Considering they can be made for under 2 dollars it really is a no brainer. 



Well happy building Mates. I am hoping that my next post shows my lady ready for a night out on the town. The thought of me ripping off the starboard side gunwale planking is a post I prefer not to make. 






Edited by JPett
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Looks good, the "Glacial Progress" (to steal a term from the HipExec SGram) is frustrating but the extra time spent will pay off in the long run.

As far as mahogany is concerned, I agree, it's just not suited to this kind of work; if its not splitting then that open grain is just screaming at you, "Look at me, I am SO out of scale!"

We will both know for the next build.


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Hi JPett -- Your stern looks really good.  And those gun barrels are also sharp -- but to my eye they look oversized; what am I not seeing?


Here's the link to my current build:




I'm fully embedded with the Fly/Pegasus crowd, though still find lots to admire with my old Ratt - mates.  Both of these models are really good, with lots of detail, and the builders in both camps are doing phenomenal work.





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