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Rattlesnake by scott larkins - FINISHED - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64

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Okay ship log, finally got the outside planking on, sanded and painted.  I primed the bottom of the hull with a gray first.  I think my gray was too dark, it took 5 coats of white to cover it up. A tad bit frustrating.  The gray certainly showed the mistakes / beauty marks I made as well as any wood imperfections.  I tried to use the best wood I could from the kit, but obviously not.  The yellow ocra was watered down so it was more of a painting stain and not as sharp as the yellow ocra I put on the metal parts of the transom and side windows.  Used 2 light coats to get the texture that way I wanted it.  The black molding took quite a few swipes with the blade, too bad you can't really see the cuts in the wood in these shots.  I was quite surprised to see the wood actually curl up as I ran the blades over it.  Kind of hard with the naked eye too.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it.  Next comes the deck.












Made sure to put all of the rope holes in the sides of the hull as well as the anchor bumper and chesstree now so the glue would not mess up the paint if I did this later.

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Moving on to the next step, the decking.  First was to make the grating covers and other covers and doors.  Below was my progress.  The worst part about this step was the lack of instructions and suggested wood sizes to use.  The instructions said to use scrap wood, which was not a problem, except, which size scap?  So I took my best guess and went for it.  Hopefully I won't regret it.  The other sad part.  I ran out of pre-cut grating before I got to my last one.  Now I have to order more :angry:



I added a little angle to the top side of the grate walls.  I thought it would look better than a simple cut piece of wood.



And finished with two of the three grates.  Yeah, I have a little super glue cleaning up to do.

Edited by scott larkins
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Hi Scott -- Those gratings are pretty nice looking.  If you've run out of the pre-cut grating, why not try making some of your own?  It's not that hard, if you devise a jig, which plenty of people on MSW have discussions on how to do.


You're making great progress,



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You can make your own grating with the right blade. I did not get a good look at your corners. Did you mitt or cross lap then? Your corners would have been cross or ship lapped as this would provide the greatest amount a strength.

David B

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HwereDear log,


The following is the work done so far for the decking.  Decking was so much easier than the planking but it still had a few challenges.  Though I opted to put in the hatches before the decking, that choice did cause a few problems.  First, the plans' drawings of the hatches were not right on.  If I was to do this again I would do all of the decking first and then put on the hatches.  The problem was that the hatches were not sized to the planks, thus I had to do a little fitting of the planks "around" the hatches.  This caused a little bit of a problem laying the planks up by the bow.  Granted most people probably won't see this, I know it's there.  For those of you following, I would suggest that you measure out or lay out planks on a flat surface first and then make you hatches fit withing the decking planks.  Go the full width of the deck planking, not half way.  It will just make the lines cleaner.



Here is what I am talking about for the hatches and deck planking.



Some people use pencils, some use colored glue, some use artists charcoal.  I first tried the charcoal but I found that it often rubbed off on my fingers and I ended up chalking the top of the deck.  So I used sharpies to color the side.  I used the finer point sharpied to color the top edge of the wood and the fatter one to color the sides.  If you follow this, pay attention to just ink the edge of the plank, right were the horizontal and verticle sides meet.



I'm pretty happy with the decking.  The sharpie seemed to work pretty well for me.  I even managed to put in the deck section cuts.  I used a flat edge exacto blade as I did each plank.  I don't suggest you try to cut the pieces after you put in all of the planks.  You could end up cutting into the plank next to it.

Edited by scott larkins
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You did a good job with the deck planking, especially given the fit problems.


There are a couple of reason to fit the deck planking before the hatches. One, if you lay the deck first, you can sand/scrape the deck smooth first without anything being in the way. It is easier to make a good job of the sanding/scraping that way. The second is what you encountered. It is easier to make the hatches fit the plank widths than the other way round.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay ship's build log.  Things are slowing down due to the summer outdoor work that needs to be done but I am still making progress when I can.  Got the forecastle deck on and stained and the wall that goes to the officers quarters done.  Notes on each step will follow with the pics.



Here is the forecastle decking completed.  It is not as symetrical as I had hoped.  Somewhere when I put on the plank floor edgeing, I must not have put it on evenly to the center.  One may notice that the port side decking has an extra piece of wood off there on the back edge.  Not sure how that happened of course, since had I known, I would have fixed it.  So word of warning when putting on this edge piece, find a way to measure it from the center.  I put the bow pieces together so they would line up right, which did work, but the back did not.  Oh well.  Oh, one last thing.  I put the bow sprit on before I planked the deck.  I was thinking about this and trying to think ahead and I realized that if I put the forecastle decking on before I put the lower part of the bow sprit, how would I make sure it fit well, let alone be able to glue it.  So for those following, put in the bow sprit before decking the forecastle.



Next came the wall to the officers quarters.  This step isn't even in the instructions.  Again, IMO, very important to do this wall before planking the back upper deck.  Why, because you have to be able to take this wall in and out of position as you are trying to fit it.  Of course, the drawing from the plans did not fit my ship so I had to cut, sand, fit, sand, fit and repeat until the wall fit properly in it's spot.   Had I decked the upper level I would have had a hell of a time trying to push out the wall between fittings.  Here is the first step, and as you can see, the drawing and actual wall are not the same size.  The fun/challenge of a wood model/kit.



Here is how the wall will fit after a long time of fiting and sanding.  Make sure to cut out the bottom corner to allow for the decking edge.



And here is the finished wall.  I used cherry molding instead of cutting into the wall.  My preference.  Since this step is not in the instructions I don't think anyone's method is "the right" method.  I just like the look of stained wood.  You will notice that I put red support beams in there. Using my imagination again, I figured the removable wall pieces had to hook into something stable and what else would one use to hold up the beam that arches over the top, making the poop deck stable.  Not sure if it is historically accurate, but I like the way it turned out.  Now that this is done and glued in, it is time to start on the poop deck's flooring.



Edited by scott larkins
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Okay, the next big step is done.  All of the decking is done.  I certainly can see how my skills improved over time when I look at the poop deck planks as I tappered them off towards the back as per plan.  Pics follow with comments.



I'm sure I'm giving away secretes here but if you compare the right side decking with the left side decking you can probably tell with side I started on and which side I finished.  Yep, you can say my skills improved over time.



Here's the whole deck from the front.



Here is the whole ship.  I like the way the staining came out.  Shows the cauling and plank joints really well.  Sure, there are a few flaws like so many others that proceeded this step but I can say my skills are improving over time.  Do I have any words of advise for this section?  Besides the usual "take your time" I have found that for me at least, as I'm tapering down the wood, I actually close my eyes and "feel" the wood as I place the wood between my thumb and index finger and "feel" the wood as I drag it between my fingers.  I've found that sometimes I can feel the wood better than my old eyes can see it.  Perhaps I'm just weird that way but I used that idea more on the starboard side of the poop deck and I think, if you look close enough, that the taperings are better than in the port side.

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  • 1 month later...

Dear build log,


Been a while since I've entered anything on my work.  Been doing lots of little things but all important as I close in on the masting portion of the build.  I don't have a lot of helpful hints for anyone following along.  I simple followed the directions.  The only thing that actually did go wrong was the bucket rails.  I ended up trashing them after a week of trying to get it right.  Either I lack the necessary skills or the britannica metal was not molded very well or something.  But I can tell you this, the 6 buckes side-by-side are really too wide for the space you are supposed to put them.  I used the metal parts from the kit for many things.  I figured if I had them I'd use them.  Anyways, pics follow.



Here is probably to most wood work I did for this section.  The Cathead has to be made out of scrap wood.  Took me three times to get this right.  Instead of scrap wood like the instructions said, I had to take a larger square piece of wood and cut it down.  The soft wood from the kit kept splitting as I was drilling the rope holes for the anchor lines.  Oh how I got mad. I also had to make the cathead a little wider than the plans called for because of the splitting wood issue. I don't think anyone will notice.



Here is the finished forecasle with rails and cathead.




Found a good use for my eyephone while I was trying to drill holes in the sides for the cannon rope rings.  I just learned a little while ago that my I-phone can use the camera flash as a flashlight. Who knew?  LOL  Yeah, I'm shining that through an open cannon port.  Kind of hard to see the spots to drill under that forecastle without a little light.



Finished poop deck



Finished anchor and cannon rope rings.  Simply follow the plans for placement.  Also I put down the deck rope eyebolts for the future mast/yardarm/sail lines.

Edited by scott larkins
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Hi Scott -- Your progress is impressive!  If the wood keeps splitting while you drill, you're probably using too big of a bit -- try a smaller bit, then come back with the right sized bit in the same hole and you might avoid the splitting.  Sometimes, when opening the sheave hole of a block or something that small, I have to move through 3 or 4 bits to get the hole open enough.


Keep at it -- lovely photos.



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Thanks everyone.  Martin, I did try that technigue.  Still didn't work.  I think part of it had to do with the direction of the grain.  The grain was running perpendicular to the cat head slots when I was using scrap wood from the pieces I pulle out of the forcastle and poop deck punch outs.  I ended up using a larger piece of square wood that didn't really have any grain to it plus I made it a tad wider.  I think maybe about 1/32 wider.  In the end, it all worked out.  LOL  thanks for the tip though, keep them coming.

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