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Swift by Moonbug - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - recreated build log

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Hello all. In the interest of current Swift and Virginia Pilot boat type builds being conducted currently, I've decided to recreate my build log of the AL Swift kit that was lost in the great crash of MSW 1.0. Hopefully it'll help some of the folks along with their own builds. 


I'll do my best to provide the information I can based on memory, but in all fairness this may end up just being a bunch of photos.  ;p~


To the moderators - hope this is ok since I already have some completed photos of the Swift in the gallery.  Obviously if I'm stepping on some of the rules please let me know and act accordingly.  :-)


Here are the initial shots of the kit.



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Although this was a very enjoyable kit to build, I found that unlike my San Juan Nepomuceno this kit had quite a few warped and messed up parts. 


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I had to straighten out the keel quite a bit. First I soaked and weighted the keel and bulkheads. Then I inserted balsa wood blocks at the front and rear and lined up all the bulwarks by inserted dowels that were cut to match the exact distance between each bulkhead. I measured that distance dead center at the keel to ensure accuracy.

Edited by Moonbug
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I used quite a bit of extra wood on this kit. Because it seemed a little flimsy out of the box, I decided it would be to my benefit to overbuild it a little bit then put in some extra work on the sanding shaping end. In particular the planking strips were thinner than I would have liked. 




I cut out additional false deck solid pieces out of .5 mm plywood. I then planked these decks with aftermarket strips of wood. Not 100% sure what kind of wood this ended up being, I want to say basswood.  It actually ended up being a little softer than I would have liked - so had I to do it again I would use walnut of the like.



I stained the deck with a softer color. My treenails are made from sewing pins chopped and sanded. Once again, a lesson learned I would probably do a "drill and fill" method if I were to do it again.





For the main hull, I once again cut out an additional false deck and measured and drew in exactly where my deck strips would go. This helped tremendously and allowed me to cut and place the deck planks efficiently and relatively quickly. 



This is a broken piece of the bulkheads and the head of the ship and it needed to be repaired after the bulkheads and deck were placed. 


After drawing in the main deck planking, I mounted the deck. This is where the false deck really came in handy - I was able to hold it in place and shape it exactly how I sanded all the bulwarks. 


The thicker strips I used for the deck allowed me to shape easily and gave me extra sanding room.


I then stained my main deck a light oak stain.

Edited by Moonbug
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This is better lighting to show the color of the oak stain I used. It also shows the mitre'd borders for deck access.  At this point the bulwarks have been added. 


It was very beneficial for me to mount and glue the bulwarks before I planked the ship. This greatly helped me even out the hull.





I planked and sanded the hull.  The hull is double planked. It was super important to get the sanding and shaping done properly on the first layer of planking because the second layer of planking is very, very thin and not super high quality wood.  I used quite a bit of filler and re-sanded several times using nothing more harsh than 200 to 400 grit paper. 





Were I to do the ship again, I would likely have planked it with aftermarket wood of better quality. 

Edited by Moonbug
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Because of the delicate nature of the hull planking, I used several layers of tung oil and then lacquered with polyurethane before I started working on treenails for the hull.




I used strips of painters tape to line up where I wanted the treenails. This also had the benefit of preventing splintering of the hull planking when I drilled. 




My treenails are .5 mm pencil lead. I poked the pencil lead into the holes then snapped them off. I then sanded down very gently and got a decent end result. The process actually went relatively quickly. Not the exact look I was going for, but it came out ok and was an interesting experiment. 

Edited by Moonbug
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I'll go through this pretty quickly - the inside of the bulwarks are strips of walnut and the rails and wales are both walnut and mahogany strips. 




The bow of the ship is a little flimsy also and took some "fixing" to line everything up.





Edited by Moonbug
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I get board with some of the bits of the ship, so I start messing around with details. 
I wanted to add some extra features to the lower decks, but I also wanted to be able to see those details. This kit has permanent deck houses.  So I devised a plan in which a viewer could remove and replace the deck houses.




The doors are framed with thin cut strips of mahogany with mitre cuts. They're mounted with frames made from brass so that they can be opened and closed. 




I mounted pins on the bottom of the deckhouses, then I drilled corresponding holes into the deck access pieces.




Edited by Moonbug
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This kit is where I came up with my "fake lathe" method of creating barrels. I put a dowel into my drill and mount it in an anvil vice. When I tighten the vice on this particular drill, it somehow squeezes it just enough to keep the speed consistent. I then use both sandpaper and pin files to create the barrel shapes. I then use a miniature mitre saw to cut off the barrel and do the finishing sanding.




I then score the barrels with one of the many X-acto blades where I've accidentally broken the tip off. 

I stain it, then I create the black barrel strips out of electrical tape that is super glued in place. The electrical tape actually works quite well as long as it is stretched the correct amount and held in place by hand until it dries completely.




These are the barrels and packages that I created for below decks. The bags of wheat (or whatever they might be) are made from canvas pieces filled with balsa wood that is carved and sanded to the shape I want. 




Finally a captain's desk.




The desk is taken directly from Mastini's book "Ship Modeling Simplified" The ink pot and pen are created from a walnut carving along with a tiny piece of paper. The sextant is soldered from pieces of brass as well as a couple of sewing pins.

Edited by Moonbug
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I discovered that this ship is lacking in certain details of course - one of them is an proper anchor mount and wench. These details were taken from Mastini's book as well as Baltimore pilot boat plans. 




These are some basic mast and rigging constructions.



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Some other rigging details.


In particular the way the main sail was rigged - this rigging method was the result of quite a bit of research and was as close to authentic as I could find.  The rigging directions in the kit were not specific and not particularly accurate.





Edited by Moonbug
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Moonbug, I've gone through your build log with a stupid grin on my face which only got bigger as I went along, I actually Wow'd out loud when I got to your Hammock photo.. Beauty is in the detail and this Swift is class!! BTW love your little 'cargo' additions, they really make things pop !


Thanks for sharing mate.



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  • 11 months later...


I just had to log in here for the first time, and say wow!  the details of your Swift are amazing!  I too wow'ed out loud when I saw the captain's desk.  I inherited a half built older Swift (without the sails) and have just started to complete it.  The hull and planking was already done, so am trying to fix all the many errors, and a lot of pieces were missing (maybe a sheet plan too because I kind of have to guesswork many parts).  I might copy a few of your ideas (the pencil treenails for ex..)  thanks for these excellent pictures - good job!

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  • 1 month later...

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