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Sultana by Skyline - Model Shipways

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Hey all, 


First, I'd like to say I'm impressed by the community and excited about becoming a contributor to it. This seems like a great collection of folks who are passionate about the hobby and quick to help one another. 


A little background on me: I'm brand new to this whole thing with minimal woodworking experience. Put together plastic models in my younger years and finally pulled the trigger after mulling over a model ship for the last year. I decided on the Model Shipways Sultana with the tools/paint provided by Model Expo. Decent little kit with a few of the tools needed to get going. A story you've likely all heard once or twice before. 


I started putting tool to wood about 24 hours ago (though I've only done about 1-2 of actual work) after reading up on a handful of materials. I've been following the log by hopeful, Chuck's practicum and the instructions included with the kit.  


Step 1 was removing the bulwarks. I've been using a combination of the #11 blade, a chisel edge blade and a file to do so. Frankly my inexperience is showing right from square one. It's a rather solid butcher job and I'm concerned that the edges are not sharp enough. Any tool/technique suggestions to achieve some cleaner lines would be much appreciated. Photos are attached for reference. 






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Hello Skyline and welcome to MSW. 

  Accurately " carving " a solid hull   has its own set of challenges. How close a fit did you manage with  the suppliesd templates and drawings? In ones haste to remove material it is easy to become overenthusiastic particularly if using knives and chisels. I found that removing small amounts at a time and then continually checking and rechecking the hull ( using the templates) was  the best policy. Wood files, rasps and sand paper backed with a solid sanding block were my tools of choice.     Wood is very forgiving  as is Model Shipways! If too much material is removed it is always possible to splice in a repair piece of wood and in the case of gouges etc fill them with  woodfiller.I prefer  Elmers water soluble  brand. If things  get really out of wack Model Shipways have been known to supply a free replacement hull. At the onset of my build I  photocopied the original plans so I could cut them up and make additional  templates  when needed . For example I cut out the individual decks from my copy of the plan view( mount them on card) so I could check the individual decks. The dimensions and symetry of these decks, particularly the main deck is quite critical   if you are not to have later problems.

 I hope my  own experience is of some value and I look forward to following your build.

 Enjoy the journey,

 Kip( aka Sawdust)

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The feedback is greatly appreciated - and I'm thankful to know about the woodfiller. My issue is not actually in length as I haven't started shaping the hull yet. I have enough space (if not extra) at this point in terms of length. 


My concern is with my progress thus far with the deck. I removed the bulwarks, but the lines are not as sharp or smooth as I'd like. You can see from the photos that it's a bit lumpy in places. Would woodfiller help fix this? Really I'm curious what tools/techniques should be used to create those hard, sharp lines/corners. I have a feeling I'm going to need to have it down moving forward. 

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 Hello Skyline,

 Have you finished shaping the hull according to the supplied templates and the deck templates I suggested you make? if not you still have material to remove and may be able to create straight sharp edges  and remove  what you refer to as lumps in the [process. I have been studying your photos and believe that you may have rounded of corners by using sandpaper supported only by your fingers, not a good idea.

  My preference is to use a combination of wood files, rasps and sand paper supported by a sanding block to get a cleaner edge. Rather than carving with a knife or chisel. I also scrape surfaces with a single edged razor blade to get a smooth and flat surface.  It takes longer but allows more control. Remember once you have shaped the hull according to the templates you will still have addition material to remove. Since you are following Chucks  practicum you will need to remove an additional 1/16"   above the wale to allow for hull planking and there will need to be additional material removed at the junctions between decks to allow for the installation of face boards. Before you do this you should also check the deck camber  Youneed to make another template   to do this. Wood filler is not the easiest material on which to form hard sharp edges and corners, but all things are possible.  Remember both hull and deck sides are planked so this allows some latitude in hiding imperfections.

Take your time and enjoy the journey.


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I was optimistic the planking may be able to hide some of those imperfections, but I took your advice and put together a sanding block. In about 5 minutes I was able to accomplish what I spent nearly 2 hours fussing over. Invaluable tool.


I've attached a few new images as an update. There isn't much changed but the cleaner edges at the deck replace what the formerly lumpy, soft edges so it's a subtle but important improvement. I'm not quite ready to begin shaping the hull but I believe I am close.


The 4 markers are lining up properly to reflect a good length but I believe I'll need to take off 1/16" the stern and replace it with the scrap wood. It does seem the less painful approach to creating the ledge for planking. I'll need to run to the store for some scrap first which I'm hoping to do in the next few days. Currently I'm in the process of flattening the keel throughout and marking center lines.


Didn't get as much time as desired this weekend, but looking forward to am extended holiday break after this work week to get some serious time with it.




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