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Colonial Brig Perseverance by Rodr - Modellers Shipyard - Scale 1:48 1807 ( first build )


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This is my second attempt at a wooden model ship after failing miserably several years ago - basically as I had no idea what I was doing and the kit I attempted had very poor instructions.
 

I chose the Colonial Brig Perseverance for two reasons:

  1. According to the guys at Modellers Shipyard, it's not too complex and ideal for a beginner, and
  2. It comes with a 3 DVD set showing a "master model maker" construction the model from start to finish.

This really appealed to me as at the time I began, I had not discovered Model Ship World and really needed some guidance.

Here is the DVD cover and a photo of the completed model (not mine!)

 

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As I am a new modeler its difficult for me to comment on the quality of the kit although the timber certainly does not seem to be as high quality as the timber in the Corel Unicorn kit that I started some time ago.  The limewood planking varied considerably in thickness meaning a lot of sanding on the first layer of planking but I don't know if this the norm or not.  Also, the silver ash deck planking varied considerably in width with some pieces 3mm, some 4mm and some 5mm wide.  Again, is this generally normal or not for a kit????

 

Unfortunately I started the model before I discovered MSW and therefore I don't have any photos of the early stages of construction.  I bought myself an Amati keel holder which has been very helpful. 

The bulkheads all fitted nicely to the keel and the fairing process although it seemed to take forever went smoothly.

Fitting the false deck also was a breeze.

 

As I am sure most beginners find, the first four or five planks went on very easily and I thought to myself, "this isn't hard at all", but soon I was needing to taper planks and to bend them laterally which I found rather challenging especially around the transom and onto the deadwood area.  I only needed a couple of stealers and made them (like wedges) as per the DVD instructions but I have since learned that tapering them to a sharp point is not really authentic. I guess it won't matter for the first planking.

 

I used one of those Amati plank benders which crimp the planks to illicit the bend and it worked just fine but I found that later when I came to sanding the planking that the crimps showed through.  Perhaps I am not using it properly and squeezing to hard???

 

Anyway, after several nights, I finished the planking.  Overall I was fairly happy with the result as there weren't many hollows or gaps to fill although I did need to fill a little where the planks transitioned from the hull to the deadwood as I was getting a bit of "clinker" effect.  Not sure how I should overcome this???

 

I made a big mistake of using a mixture of undiluted white glue and sawdust from the sanding to fill this area however when it dried it was so hard that I had to sand it for ages and ages to get it down to a smooth finish. 

I also sanded too heavily on one side where the planks bend around the tuck to the transom.  I realize now that this was because in the DVD, the instructor crimps the timber to make the bend but then files it to about 1/2 its original thickness.  I didn't take this into account when I started sanding and before I realized, made a nice little hole in the planking.

 

I still need to give the whole hull another sanding but will wait to do this until I finish the deck planking and a few other little jobs. 

 

I really enjoyed planking the deck apart from having to color in all the deck edges using a 6B pencil. Because the deck planking is only 0.6mm thick I found that it kept cutting the pencil lead off.  Although the instructions call for laying the decking in one long length, I decided to cut them into 100mm lengths to get a more authentic look.  I came unstuck because all the planks were of various widths and therefore I had to try plank after plank until I found one that matched the already glued plank perfectly in width.  Next time I will keep each cut plank together with the others that come from the same length to avoid this problem. 

 

Another thing that seemed odd was that the instructions called for installing mahogany strips to the inside of the bulwark which I duly performed and then the installation of the deck.  I had to cut and sand all of the edge planks very accurately so that there were no gaps between these planks and the lining of the bulwark.  I would have thought that it would be easier to install the lining to the inside of the bulwark after the deck planking has been laid as it will cover up any small gaps.   Is this generally the correct order to do these two tasks???

 

One thing that is troubling me is that the instructions state that I should epoxy the stern post, stem post and keel to the hull after I finish the second layer of planking.  I note that in many of the build logs on MSW these items are fixed after the first layer and then the second layer of planking is butted up against them.  This makes more sense to me.  Any advice greatly appreciated???

 

So this is where I am up to and where I will commence adding photos and no doubt asking lots more questions.  I have included some photos of my model below.  Its a bit rough but I am hoping that my second layer of planking will be much better and hide all of the mistakes I made in the first.

Thanks in advance for any hints and advice. 
 

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Hi Rod,

 

Your first layer planking and particularly your deck turned out very nice.

 

As for your questions I personally would put the keel, stem and stern on next for the reasons you suggested unless there is something in the construction that needs to be taken into account.

 

Not sure about using epoxy though.  A wood to wood PVA joint is very strong if done properly and the excess can be wiped away with a damp cloth or cotton bud, particularly important if varnishing instead of painting.  I think epoxy is very messy and cleanup difficult which will show under stain or varnish if not cleaned off and if left to harden is very hard compared to the surrounding wood so sanding it down is likely to thin the surrounding wood.

 

Cheers

Slog

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Thanks for the encouragement guys.

 

For the second layer of planking do you prefer contact cement or white glue?

The contact cement method worries me as there is no opportunity to adjust the fit once the planks are laid.

If you go the white glue, how do you hold the plank in place as I dont want to stick pins through the planks as per the first planking.

 

Thanks again.

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Hi Rod,

 

Thank you for starting this build log, and the detail you have put into it already!  As you know, I am very sure this will be my next ship for all the same reasons that you have started it and I would love to steal, umm, ahh, copy, hmm, learn as many things as I can from you  :P

 

You really is looking great already and I am particularly impressed with your deck!

 

(Sorry I can't answer any of your questions though)

 

 

Bindy

 

 

edit:  Actually, I see that Modellers Shipyard has recommended "The Mermaid" as my next build but I think I would be more inclined to build one where there is backup help with a log here from someone so helpful

Edited by Bindy
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Hi Bindy,

 

 

edit:  Actually, I see that Modellers Shipyard has recommended "The Mermaid" as my next build but I think I would be more inclined to build one where there is backup help with a log here from someone so helpful

 

I looked at "The Mermaid" also but I just liked the look of the Perseverance, especially as it has two masts versus one.  It is the same skill level (2) and the guys at Modellers Shipyard didnt feel that it was beyond a newbie, especially with the DVD instructions.  Its also substantially larger for not a lot extra cost which you can offset by borrowing my DVDs instead of buying the set for the Mermaid. :)

 

Cheers.

 

 

Hi Geoff.

Nice work Rod. Leon Griffiths DVD is well worth watching and gives a new modeller a lot of tips.

 

 

Yes, Leon Griffiths has lots of good tips but I cant help thinking that he should have put a shirt on when making the DVDs.  Seeing him sitting there in only his stubbies certainly cracked me up.  :D

Cheers

 

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I learned a valuable lesson tonight.

Before asking a question do a search on MSW first.

I wanted to know whether to use contact cement or white glue for the second planking.

I should have realized that most of my questions will have been asked by hundreds of others before me and its simply a matter of searching properly. 

 

I finished the deck planking tonight so now onto the part that scares me the most  - the second planking of the hull. 

No room for errors now.  Wish me luck! :(

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Glad to see another Modellers shipyard Kit on here.. I look forward to following you on your build.. A grand looking vessel.  Looks to be going really well.. I am learning how much needs to be considered on second planking..  All I can advise is treat each plank as its own entity and eventually they will add up.. The 'beginners planking tutorial' on here is great. Some good pictures.. Regards Ollie

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Hi Rod, great to catch up with you last night at the Club meet.  Good luck with the second-planking but you have a very good base onto which to build.

 

My personal preference is to add the stem and keel etc before the second planking to act as a 'false' or faux rabbet.  As to glue, my preference is white PVA or Titebond II and I usually put a very thin layer (smear) on both the plank and the hull then let it go slightly tacky (sticky finger job so have a bunch of wipes ready to go :)).  That way you can still move/jiggle the plank into position a bit and doesn't take as long to set.  For holding the planks in place I use a number of methods including map pins (the ones with a plastic lipped top to them which I push into the first layer under the new plank edge.  The next plank will cover the hole.  The other method I use is elastic bands and balsa soft blocks (Balsa strips/billets in various sizes as a bundle are very cheap at Bunnings).  I put a bit of electrical tape on two sides of a block I cut from the balsa (various sizes) then put the elastic bands completely around the hull in several places along the length of the plank and insert a block PVA side down/up under the elastic band then tension as required (either a second wrap or a toggle to twist). The balsa being soft bends/compresses slightly to shape and holds the plank well; I use the tape to allow it to slip/slide a little better when positioning and stop the rubber/elastic bands digging into the block too much.  I have built up a large array of different sized bands for this and also use surgical rubber tube for this purpose.

 

Please give me a PM and I will pass my details if you wish to chat about these techniques - at work so can't post a photo - don't let the boss know though   :)

 

cheers

 

Pat

 

Edit:  The electrical tape also minimises any excess glue from the planks sticking to the balsa during the clamping period.

Edited by BANYAN
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Hi Rod

All your work so far looks really great.

 

Just to offer a different opinion on glues...I use medium CA for the second layer but apply it in small increments. So do about 20 to 30mm of plank length at a time usually starting from the bow and working aft. White glues are too slow for my taste and if carefully used the speed of CA plus the bond strength = no downsides in my opinion. Biggest advantage is no clamps or rubber bands etc are required. Whichever glue you use the best trick is to make each plank tapered, curved, bevelled and dry fit to the hull so that it sits there, almost, without glue. This is impossible to do totally but the closer you get to a dry fit without glue the better the end result. Based on your first layer you should have no problems with the next.

 

Look forward to your updates.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Hi Pat,

 

Hi Rod, great to catch up with you last night at the Club meet.  Good luck with the second-planking but you have a very good base onto which to build.

 

Yes, I really enjoyed last night's meeting.  Seems like a very nice bunch of guys and I was made to feel very welcome by all.

I can see that there is a lot of experience in talent at hand so hopefully I can learn a little each month.

Thanks for the tips on the second planking with the map pins and the balsa and rubber bands.  I will give both a go and see how I go.

Where do you buy the Titebond? I have looked at Bunnings but they only seem to stock Aquadhere.  I've been using the fast set Aquadhere so far and it seems to be working well. 

I will PM you and get your contact details as suggested.  I would certainly welcome your expert advice as I progress.

 

 

Thanks for the advice on using the medium CA Alistair.  I used to scratch build planes and used CA a lot back then.

I understand what you mean by making sure each plank is tapered, curved and beveled before you actually try gluing it. It makes sense but I do have a question.  I have just read the articles on MSW about spiling planks.  I think I understand how to do it but how do you know when you should do it?

 

Cheers

 

Rod

 

 

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Hi Mat,

 

Your model of the Perseverance looks really nice.

From the photos, it looks like you planked the keel and stem post?

I added the plywood keel and post but didn't really like the look of them and was considering planking them with timber to match the hull planks.

Banyan suggested to remove them and build solid timber one instead but I'm afraid I might make a mess of the planking trying to get them off now.

 

Cheers

 

Rod

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G"day Rod, yes I did plank them, only I didn't know how to do it properly. The main problem is the stem. You can cut pieces to make it look more like it's solid timber but you would need a pattern of some description to work from. The Keel and Stern are just straight pieces, so not much mystery there. You don't have to remove them to put the planking on. You do have the option of solid ones. Modelers Shipyard have 5mm Mahogany boards if you want them.

 

Your hull looks very good. I would suggest you take the extra time to get a nice smooth shaped hull before going to second planking. A common problem is bumps and hollows that need fixing beforehand. I see you joined a club. With their help you shouldn't need too much help from me, but I'll chime in from time to time if you don't mind. Feel free to let me know if you have any problems as I still have the plans etc I can refer to.

 

Matt.

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Thanks Matt.

 

In the end I decided to plank the stem, keel and stern post.  It's not as good as solid timber but looks a lot better than the plywood parts that came with the kit.

It has also given me a pseudo rabbet into which I can butt the second layer of planking as the instructions just say to epoxy the keel, stem and stern posts on after the second layer of planking is completed. 

 

Because I had already faired the false keel at the stern I had to add some filler to ensure that the 2nd planking layer will be level with the veneer I just added on.

 

I haven't had much time to do much work on her this week due to work commitments but I have most of the day set aside tomorrow to make a start on the second layer of planking.  Hopefully I will get most of it done tomorrow.

Thanks for the tips.

 

Rod

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Rod that is all looking really good..  It may have been better/easier for sanding to leave stern post off till second planking done, but im sure you can butt the planks up nice and neat to finish at stern and wont come out much different.  I think your planked keel came up nice too mate... 

 

From my little experience and what was advised to me is... go really slow on second planking, do as much reading as you can and yeah really take your time.. Did i say take your time.. Just one plank can take a bit of time to get right.....  :)  Regards Ollie

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Thanks Guys,

 

I've made a start on the 2nd layer of planking this morning but I've already run into a problem.

 

I've fixed two mahogany planks, followed by 3 silver ash planks as per the instructions but the join between the silver ash planks in particular is not perfect (see pics), presumably because the edge of the planks are not perfectly true. 

 

Do you routinely sand the edges of these very thin planks prior to gluing them to the hull to ensure that they join perfectly up to the plank above or is there another way to avoid this effect?

Thanks in advance

Rod

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Hi Rod, the mahogany planks look fine mate.  Will you be painting the silver ash (if they are silver ash, they look a bit like the cheap pale coloured veneer in the AL kits)?  If you are, simply fill and sand, then paint.  If not you need to decide whether you can live with them; if you can, a light sand may remove some of the pitting/chipping.

 

I always bought more veneer than  provided in the kit so that I could select the least chipped along the edge ones; sanding can be done on the edge to bevel it which can provide a tighter fit (I did that) but if not painting I run a 2b pencil along the edge to give definition. 

 

cheers

 

Pat

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I agree with all of the above. You are being too tough on yourself. That planking looks very sharp to me. Ollie and I briefly discussed this thing where you get things so tight that you virtually can't even tell that it is a wooden model...A delicate balance but you are treading the line very well in my opinion. A wee sand and you're away. Your hull lines look spot on too - that counts for a lot. Bloody good work!

 

Cheers

A

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Finally managed to find some time to continue with my hull planking.

After doing the "easy" planks I had to begin the tapering process. 
I divided the remainder of the hull up into three sections using a planking batten as suggest in the article on MSW and this seemed to make it a bit easier.
After what seemed like 5 hours I had completed a grand total of 10 planks! :(

I hope I get faster at this!

Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the way its turning out.  After a good sand it should come out pretty smooth.
If its raining tomorrow, I wont be going fishing so hopefully can finish off this side of the hull, so long as the better half doesn't find a whole lot of other jobs for me.

Cheers

Rod

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Didn't get to go fishing today.  My wife had other ideas so in between lots of household chores, I managed to finish the second planking on the starboard side of the hull.

I ran into a bit of trouble as I neared the end and the last plank had so many undulations in it to fit the final gap, that it looked more like a snake than a plank!

I cant believe how long this took me.  Either I'm just very slow or there is a simpler way that I'm yet to figure out.

I've given it a rough sand but will wait until I've done the other side before doing a final sand.

 

In the DVD instructions it says to give the whole hull and deck a spray coat of satin estapol. 

Should I do this before adding the wales, stanchions and deck railing caps or after they are all glued on?

 

I'm really enjoying building this model but cant wait to get to the deck fittings etc.  This planking caper is hard work!

Cheers

Rod

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