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Prince de Neufchatel by cardensb - Model Shipways 1:64, 1812-1815 (Shawn Carden)

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This space is reserved for me to repost/rewrite my build log from when I picked the hobby back up in 2011 and started to fix errors on my Prince de Neufchatel (PdN) that I had stopped working on in 2006.  This log will pick up with a completed hull that had gunports in the wrong positions and poorly planked bulwarks.



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Imagine a beautifully walnut planked hull.  Now imagine that the gunports are misaligned so the carronades will not fit properly.  Add to that, inner bulwark planking that was uneven, had cracked and be patched then painted over to hide the errors of a rushed job.


That is how I found my PdN after unwrapping the bubble wrap that had protected the hull from 2006 to 2011.  I could not continue the model and thought about tossing the whole thing into the wood burning stove.  Luckily, myfiancée challenged me and basicly said, "you can fix it".


While working on finishing a pair of Clay Feldman's Lexingtons, I ordered some bloodwood planks from The Lumberyard and started cleaning out the mess.  I made a protective cover for the deck out of paper and taped off the rails.  Then I commenced to grinding away the inner bulwarks until they were flat and a proper thickness minus 1/16" planking.  I cut away all of the gunport linings and planking that was in the wrong place. Who knows maybe the gunports were right but my desk was wrong.  Either way, the deck looked nice and the bulwarks were terrible.


In January 2011, I was in Virginia attending some training and thought I could work on the hull in the hotel room at night.  I had decided to copper plate the hull while plating one of the Lexington's to cover up a poor planking job - It was good practice.  The earthquake did not disrupt my work.  I bought a roll of 1/4 inch copper tape at Hobby Lobby and started cutting it into one inch strips.  I also bought a roll of the copper sheeting.  I cut a one-inch strip of the sheeting and wrapped it around the keel and the garboard strake in order to give a smooth surface for the tape strips.  I marked the waterline (my limit of advance). Then I started at the stern by wrapping strips around the sternpost from the keel to the waterline.  I worked in staggered rows while applying hundreds of plates and made sure they were staggered.  When I reach areas that were not an orderly fit, I laid plates and then laid a new set over them.  This was necessary in the waist area as the hull bows outward.  I completed one side before starting the other.  I tried to replicate the first side as much as possible.

Here is a photo taken in the hotel room of the plating in progress.




Upon returning home, I had bloodwood 1/16 inch planking waiting to be installed for the inner bulwarks.  Some may complain that this area should be painted but I am taking the approach that my model is more art than a faithful, museum quality replica.


Next I will post some comments and photos on deck furniture.

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Here is a starboard side view after repairing the gunports and completing the copper plating.



I built all of the deck furniture and did some dry fitting so I could work out spacing.  I was concerned that the carronades would not have sufficient space to recoil.

Here is a shot of the waist area.



Here is a wider view.  Notice the catheads have not been installed yet.



In February 2012 I began with the bow equipment.  Here is a work in progress of the catheads.




I wish I would have spent more time studying the rigging plans.  I would have discovered all the various hardware that needed to be mounted which could have been done before gluing everything in place.  No, the furniture has not been attached, it is all loosely placed on the deck, I promise nothing was installed obviously crooked.


Here is a shot of the stern after installing some eyebolts.  I made all of the eyebolts used on the ship from 22 gauge annealed wire.  I chose to only install the breach lines.  I made several attempts at the tackle assemblies but was never satisfied; everything looked too cramped.  i tried making a false assembly with cordage, a short piece of scrap wood that I drilled through and inserted wire through for the hooks but was not satisfied so I left them off.




During the rigging of the arms, I ran an assembly line similar to how I had constructed them in 2006.  Gun #1 was being rigged on the deck and glued in place.  Gun #2 had the breach line threaded through the rings and had one eyebolt being glued to the line.  Gun #3 had rings being installed on the carriages' eyebolts.  Gun #4 had the carriage eyebolts being installed.  I had a side production of eyebolts and eyebolts being attached to a precut breach line going too.




Overall, my log shows I spent about two weeks, 1-3 hours a night working on the deck furniture.


Next update, I will spotlight my assembly line for the gun port lid assemblies being built and attached.

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I probably overcomplicated the gunport lids but I made an assembly line for them.  I used the plywood ones that came with the kit.  Then I installed three rows of planking on each side with the same material used on the main body's planking.  Next, I wrapped the edges with additional planking to cover the end grain of the plywood. Next, I sanded everything and removed the excess.  Then, I drilled holes for the hinge pins, an eyebolt and a pin that would assist with mounting to the hull.






Once I had completed the first one I began installing them.  Some were still slightly missized so I did a little mixing and matching.






To break up the monotony, I started attaching the rest of the deck furniture.  I know the red lid for the bow hatch is not accurate but I wanted a little color.








At some point I decided to do some enhancements like I found in a book on building the same ship in a different scale.  I decided to add a water cask, some barrels on the deck and various cannonball holders with beads as cannonballs.  Here are some pictures showing the effort.  I also built and installed the pin rails and repaired a damaged channel.  My placement of the cuts in the channels could have been better planned and executed.  I think just drilling small holes and squaring up the corners would be easier than cutting each channel then installing caps.  I also installed the stem framing.  I am not sure if I like the yellow paint but the directions called for it.  I doubt I installed it correctly, the plans and directions were not very enlightning.








Well that is enough rebuilding of a log for the night.  My next post wil cover the addition of davits on the stern for a boat, the ground tackle being installed and building the small boats.

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  • 4 months later...

For the rest of Spring 2012, I worked on the ship's boats, anchors and started on the lower masts.  I enhanced the model with cannonball racks too.  I took a short break for a training exercise, my wife had surgery and we sprung a leak in our second home that was being prepared to be sold that ended up costing us a lot of time to repair the water damage.  Water leaked from a second floor toilet pipe through the floor that had been stripped for new tile, through the first floor ceiling (ruined in living room and kitchen), through the brand new hard flooring (causing 100% replacement on the first floor) through the subfloor and into the crawlspace ruining much of the insulation.


Here is a photo showing the stern davits that I added based on pictures on a book on the same ship.




Here is a picture showing one anchor in storage and some of the cannonball racks.  The cannonballs are 4mm beads found at Hobby Lobby.  Notice, I replaced all the brass eyebolts with black wire that I shaped myself instead of having to paint them all.




Here is a photo of the waist.




Here is a photo showing the ground tackle or anchor rigged in a stored position.  You can also see the additional rigging added to the gunport hatches.




Here are several photos of the ship's boats under construction.  I built the one provided with the kit and bought an additional one from Model Shipways.  Both were built at the same time.


Here is the larger one on it's frame assembly.




Here is the small one on it's frame assembly.




Here is one of them removed from the frame and partially planked.  The planking was quick and required minor shaping.  I regret not taking enough photos.  I planked as in the plans.  The I installed the rails, seats. and stratchbuilt accessories.




Here is the stern boat attached.  This was the larger one which was bought separetly. 




Here is the kit provided boat on the deck.  Note the addition of oars, masts, sail cloth, coils of rope and you might be able to see a small grapple hook towards the bow which was made from four short lengths of thin wire.








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The lower masts did not recieve much documentation.  They were pretty straightforward.  I did create the rings for the sails to be attached too by laminating strips of brown paper from a grocery bag around a same size dowel rod.  This modification would later be removed when I decided to sew my own sails and replace the rings with wire.


Here is the base of the main mast.




Here is the bowsprit getting a stay attached.  The lower fore mast is barely in the shot.



Here is the lower fore mast getting a shroud attached.  My shrouds were partially rigged with a third hand tool to help with the serving.  Then I would run the line through the trestle, sew a few loops on it and serve it on the model.  Finally, I would measure the second side of the shroud and serve it on the model.  Not the most efficent method but everything stayed even and taut.






The upper masts were shaped and added.  Intersting point about the PdN, she has extra standing rigging.  This frustrated me and I turned to several fourms for help.  The rigging plans had so many lines on them, I could not tell what went where towards the trestle areas.  I took a break to build and then rig the spars.  All were unpainted and clear coated with poly.


Here is a photo of boom jaws and a trestle.




Here are photos of many of the masts and spars assembled.  This is my first multi-masted ship to rig.  I put the smaller spars in ziplocks with their part numbers on them so I would not put them in the wrong place.







The plans are hard to follow and I ended up re-rigging several shrouds and stays.  For reference here is how I rigged my fore mast.  pairs 1&3 go to the platform and will have ratlines attached.  pair 2 goes to the top mast.  pair 4 is a stay that goes to the platform and is not rigged with ratlines.  pair 5 goes to the platform and was rigged with ratlines.  pair 6 goes to the fore mast tree as a stay and pair 7 went to midway up the topgallant mast as a stay.  The main mast was simply with 3 pairs of shrouds and 1 pair of stays.


I temporarily tied stays in place to make sure everything remained orderly.




Well, it is late.  I will add more when I have time.  I need to show rigging the tops, ratlines, running rigging and sails.  I probably need to photograph her completed too still.  I know I did not allow any photos of me operating the sewing machine. lol.


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  • 10 months later...

Well, It has been almost two years since I updated the journal.  My PdN has been completed for almost a year and a half and I completed LSS's Fair American during this time.  Now that I am in the middle of leave and my household goods have shipped to my next assignment, I find myself with lots of time to provide an update.


In July 2012, I moved on to the main mast installation and rigging.  The main is much simplier than the fore, none of those mysterious lines to figure out and I had worked out my techniques for ratlines, serving, etc... I did however, run out of rigging lines and had to order more.


I installed the stays and shrouds in pairs and added the horizontal planks to the shrouds.  I decided to exceed the model kit in a few places such as the hearts being added. (It appears I have forgotten how to have my images orient properly' they look fine on photobucket...)






The ratlines went fast due to my index card that was marked for spacing. although I did have some sliding since I was not gluing each knot as I progressed.




The upper ratlines got tight as expected but were not too bad.



Here is an in progress photo taken on the 17th.



This week ended with a decision to sew sails and add them causing some changes such as having to remove the rings from the masts and fashion new ones as well as more research into how a sail is actually fashioned, attached and manipulated.

As I reveiw my excel spreadsheet daily journal, I loved my comment "I love ratlines" and also noticed this was the week after our honeymoon (finally) in New Orleans.

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