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Dos Amigos by Meredith - OcCre - 1:53

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Taking a break from Syren (awaiting some supplies) so decided to get two of the kits I have stashed away up to the decking part. I thought it might be a good idea while it was fresh in my mind all the mistakes I made with Syren - and hopefully improve.One step at a time :)


Originally I didn't like the ply that came with the kits - it was bent - so I spend a morning building a keel clamp to straighten it up - worked a treat.


I used angle brakets and drilled holes through the keel to hold it straight - and now its great - AND solid. I can lean on it and it doesn't budge. Should do this more often.


I planked with pear - but unfortunately I didn't have any stock wide enough to cut the margin planks - so they are from basswood and lime wood. The will need sanding down as they are much thicker than the pear stock for the deck planks. Not sure yet how I will treat them - leave natural or stain.. time will tell.


I am happier with the but joints - seem to be more in line and straighter than previous attempts.  I will caulk as per Syren - so that has happened yet. Still have 8 more rows of planks to lay.l But all in all everything went well.


The keel clamp thingie....




To keep the bulkheads square - I used aluminium square (hollow) tube - worked great - easy to clamp at opposite corners of each bulkhead. I forgot to take pics - I will take some with the Supply build I have also started.


Onto the planking...




The margin plank is not glued - just clamped so I can take it off to easily cut the joggles...







I dint joggle the back end of the planks - maybe next time... thought I was pushing it a bit and might not end up very happy with it - so left well enough alone. I will cover these bits with lots of deck stuff anyway... cant have too many ropes :)





Clamping the next bit of the margin plank to shape...




No too worried about the dents from the clamps - the margin planks need to be sanded a lot down to height size anyway...




One half done... only 8 rows of planks o go - up to the joggling on the second side now..




All glued....

down to the last 8 rows.. and that's all there is so far folks...











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  • 1 month later...



Have a few up dates


But I need some help...


Its the Wales - do I treenail them or not...


I have a sample with three different wires - from the left 0.5mm brass, middle 26 gauge brass and on the right some sort of steel wire - very dark green on outside (which you don't see when inserted) and a dull grey sort of steel colour is what shows. I am leaning towards the one on the right. Lot littler than they appear here. drill size was a 79


Photos aren't too good as they are at night under reflective light.








I also remade a fed things - the kit came with awful ply laser cut parts - other than painting them - I could see no way they could be used. Took me all day for one of them - as I didn't have any wood the right size or thickness  - so I had to rip a billet down to 4mm (from 10mm thickness) with little handsaws - took ages. Then I go to the point of shaping the individual pieces- and yep - I broke my only blade in my fret saw almost instantly. So the shapes were all cut out with little Japanese saws - didn't go too badly.




They are wet with oil - no going to be this shiny when finished.

New timber is pear.

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Made all the deck fittings - using mostly pear and Huon pine. The kit supplied pretty awful looking ply. Nothing is attached of course - as I haven't finished the hull planking yet. The bucket came with the kit - I have remade that - but no photos as yet.



















Edited by Meredith
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  • 3 weeks later...

Bit of an update:


Progress on the hull so far:




I don't have enough pear strips to plank the entire hull - so as I am going to copper plate below the waterline - I have used the kit supplied wood for the planks below the waterline that will be covered up.

Might not be the "correct" way to do it - but it solves my problem






Planks are pear above the wales.. the wales are ebony stained pear (thicker stock) and below the wales to the waterline is alos pear.. below waterline is kit supplied sappelli (think that's what it was)



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I decided to try something different than the last time I made the copper plates.


I got a metre long piece of balsa wood (needs to be soft to make the indentations). Attach some strips to the balsa wood - nice tight fit for the copper tape.



So I can make 1 metre long strips of copper plate.


For the ponce wheel - I used Proxxon cutting discs



I originally had them attached to a handle - but found I get more even indentations with the rod and hands both sides and just roll towards myself


Tape laid in between the two strips (wrong side up)



I let a little bit go over each end and just masking tape it down - to stop the tape moving when I roll the wheel over




With the Proxxon discs - I quickly filed them a bit narrower - no more than a minute each disc. I filed from both sides. Then gently ran the file around the point of the teeth - just so they weren't so sharp. Don't want them cutting through the copper tape.


The two outside discs I left as they were - the two centre ones - I removed every second tooth. I marked the teeth that I wanted to grind down - so I didn't loose count and cut the wrong ones.



I lined the two outside discs teeth up and the two centre ones were off set.



Then I epoxied a large washer of the correct thickness between each disc - it worked out the perfect width for the tape.



You can possibly see the line up of the teeth....



The self adhesive copper tape



The balsa board clamped to the table




Then its just a matter of putting the disc on a rod (it was something I had for some piece of machinery - so not specifically sourced)

and then rolling it towards yourself with fairly firm pressure.


I can make enough tape for an entire ship in less than 10 minutes - probably more likely 5 minutes.


To make a leading edge with a row of rivets - I marked the spare surface of the balsa board evenly (about 18mm apart)

Pinned each piece of tape to the board fairly taut - I can place about three at a time side by side. If the board was wider - I could do a whole lot more at one time.


Then using a square I run that along the tape and at each mark I use a single Proxxon disc and just roll across the tape.











From this point you can either cut the tape (with scissors or a chopper 11 cutter).


I did the first two rows as single plates. Then remembered someone mentioning that you can use one piece of tape per row... I wasn't sure it would sit right - but with the backing off its very easy to take the contours of the hull.

So from row two onwards - each row is just one single piece of tape - with the "joints" marked with the single disc as above.

Edited by Meredith
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Some pics of the progress:












The dress plates were made with another set of Proxxon discs - no teeth removed - two outer discs teeth line up and the two centre ones are off set - no gaps.













One side completed - less than an hour's work. Much quicker than the method I used on Syren.


The tools I used... The one with the little fuzzy end - I used to burnish the plates - which will soften off the look of the rivets. The photos above (and the close ups inparticular show then before burnishing - so a  bit too pronounced). Burnish till you like the look of the "rivets"..



The burning tool has a very firm end - its not soft - its just covered in some sort of flock. It was a tool I used for another hobby - its not actually a burnishing tool.

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Now I will treenail the pear strips on the hull... just marking the spot as the planks above the wales will need to be carefully lined up with the strips of wood inside deck - or I will end up drilling through the whole lot - not a good look.


Below wales isn't important as it wont show inside.20140412DosAmigos28.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Meredith:


Really impressive work! I'm about to start work on this kit, and had thought of building it out of the box (more out of exhaustion after a major kit bash of the Corel HMS Greyhound), but after seeing this I might have to push myself a little harder....


You answered here a question I was asking myself today as I was doing some prep work - would the hull not have been coppered below the waterline? Your coppering job is really excellent. Anyway, I'll be following with great interest and possibly asking you some questions as I start going with this one.


Bye for now


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Hi Hamilton,

I couldn't find many examples of this ship on the Internet - but I found an old one on a museum site ( can't remember where - I sacked the site on my pc but I am away from home at the minute so can't link it for you). The old one had a coppered hull - so it solved a few problems for me. Eg not having enough pear in stock to plank the entire hull. This way I didn't have to wait on ordering new wood :) so for below waterline I could use the kit supplied stuff and that would be covered with copper plates.


Ship is on a bit of a hold at the minute - until I get home again - and I am not quite sure when that will be.


So far it's been pretty easy and well designed. As usual - I have made a few mistakes - always a good learning experience. I had plenty of small bits of nicer timbers - so all ply that will be seen has been scrapped and replaced with some nice timbers.


I have since replaced the final row of coppering and used one continuous row - which has given a much smoother line. Hard to tell the difference between separate copper plates and a full strip - and so much easier and quicker. I mucked up a few minute bits of the coppering when I was sanding and oiling the tree nails - so decided to remove the dressing row of plates and replace the entire row instead of just the odd ones that had a little damage.


Hopefully a bit more progress soon

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  • 2 months later...



Finished the coppering. Aged it with vinegar and salt... nice lot of green :)


I am having trouble uploading from my own website/server - so I will have to use the site upload feature... Not real good at getting the photos in the right place and the typing along with photos.. so I will just add photos and type after !













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Beautiful work. It's a shame that kit supplied wood is usually pretty crap. I guess that supplying fine woods would make the kits way too expensive to buy!. One reason why, once you've built a couple of kits, scratch building isn't all that much more work - if you've got reasonable plans, that is.

Keep up the good work!


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And after using woods from Hobby Mills - I would never go back to kit wood!


I have a couple of plans for scratch builds waiting patiently :)


But before anything else - I have to tackle the head timbers - I keep putting it off. I keep trying to solve the problems and have a few experiments - but I just have to DO IT!!!

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Hi Meredith:


What stunning work! I love the aging on the copper plates - looks very authentic, and you're right the quality of the hobby mill wood is FAR superior to what is supplied by OcCre - I replaced the deck strips, but only with lime sourced at my local hobby shop....An improvement over OcCre's materials but nowhere near as nice as yours.


I've now just finished the first planking (have to clean it up now) - the 2mm strips were not very easy to work with, I have to say, and I'm a little worried about the material supplied for second planking....


in any event, your build is setting a very high bar for this model! Well done!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Been making some blocks. I have been meaning to get some from Chuck for ages - but if you don't order them.. they don't come! So even though I still plan on getting some Chuck blocks - I wanted some NOW....


These are 3mm blocks... the smaller sheave looks better - and of course they are blown up in size in the photos so all the bad stuff shows :)


I totally forgot about a few purchased blocks I had.. after making the others. Would have just been easier to shape the purchased ones.

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Thanks Mark,

I am a bit disappointed in them so far - but I was trying to work with a few bits of wood I had to hand. (without re-sizing the wood).. I know the principle works ok.. just need to get the dimensions right - eg size of wood.. size of sheaves. its was pretty late when I was playing around with it - so it was just an experiment. I then went to look for some photos/pictures of the real thing.. boy can they vary in shape/style/size. So I really need to pick one style and copy it. Most had flat sides (faces) - and I rounded mine too much. And sheaves aren't right size for the blocks - but that's easy fixed. It was all just a bit of improvisation.  Now bigger sizes would be very easy.. I might have to up the scale I am working in and do nothing smaller than say 1/48 !!!!


I had almost decided last night I will just order some Chuck blocks.. but being impatient I was trying to get something I could use NOW - not wait for international postage. If I had ordered them when I first thought about it - they would have been here months ago - just waiting for me to get to the stage I needed them. procrastination does not always pay!

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I gave in an ordered a heap of blocks from Chuck,,,


But I had another experiment....

This is only from basswood - so a bit soft - but easy to sand. They are oiled so still wet. Once I can decide on the shape I want (these are all different on purpose) I will have to work out a way to make some sort of jig thing to get the sanding uniform. Probably second on the left might be ok (if the bolt was centred. I was slack there). I have a few ideas to try for a sanding template... Or maybe I should just give in and buy a Mill :) :)




Edited by Meredith
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Hi Meredith:


These experiments are great and truly inspiring! I hope you will at least use some of these (despite potential contract with Chuck's blocks).


A quick question - OcCre only supplies 4mm blocks with their kit - how did you determine the variable sizes of blocks to be used at various points of the rigging for this model? I couldn't find any detailed rigging info for this vessel, though I imagine there must be published sources of such.....any hints? I'm thinking those 4mm blocks will look awfully clunky up on that fore royal yard!


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Hi Hamilton... re the sizes of rigging blocks - I just ordered a few sizes and hope they will look ok.. really scientific eh?


I will replace the ones I have on the Bowsprit once Chucks blocks arrive - so I wont work on anything else on the bowsprit until then.


I am going to re-do the dead eyes .. strops and chain plates and hopefully do a better job than the first attempt. I also ordered some Chuck deadeyes.


Got some progress photos to post - going to add in new post and see if I can link to my own server so I can control the pics a bit better. It hasn't been working for in the last couple of weeks and I really cant be bothered retying posts when the link thing freezes and I have to close the site and restart again... so here goes..

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I have a couple of questions - if any one can help...



1. Should I leave the belaying pins natural wood - of make them black??


2. the rope on the canon - should it be thicker.... before I glue things down (sick of the canon falling over every time I bump it :))


3. The blocks on the tiller ropes - I think they are too big/long - are they?









Edited by Meredith
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Might notice - I have missing cannon balls - the cat lost them - not me. So I have some on order.


I did finally do the head timbers - they are not right - I know.. but that's the way they stay. I hope to do a LOT better on the next build and have the right size timbers to make them properly. Once again I improvised.


The copper plating is now very aged looking - I haven't wiped it or anything yet...


I also added a little thingie round where the rudder goes into the hull to neaten it up a bit.


Need to lash the anchors to the hull.. maybe I will do that next - but I do need a couple of blocks - I could do part of it - we will see..


Probably start doing the masts next - after all I cannot finish off the dead eyes/strops/chain plates until I get the angles from the shrouds on the masts etc..



So that's it for now.. all updated..









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