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Niagara 1813 by JustBlowinInTheWind - Model Shipways - 1:64 - First build


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First build. I chose this model because it was described as intermediate AND we are from Michigan. I.E. the great lakes where she was afloat. Also fond of any time we kicked British butt!

 

Since I'd built untold plastic models from cars, to submarines, beginning at the age of 10, I thought I could handle an intermediate. I do believe I was wrong. But, I'm having fun and amazed at how much I've already learned. What not to do that is... So, take a back seat and see what else I do wrong. Learn from my mistakes. Do not as I say, nor as I do.

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Edited by JustBlowinInTheWind
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Te first thing I run across is a huge discrepancy in the lines on the centre keel vs. the lines on the bulkheads. If I use the lines that I traced from the plans, my little sailors would break their necks running up and down the deck. Then, most of the slots for the bulkheads are too thin to accommodate the bulkheads, so I open them up, but a fraction of an inch too much is a problem for squareness.

 

Also, the bulkheads at the bottom for the bearding line need to be adjusted, and the timber heads are all over the place. I guess I'll spend the next few days adding and reducing. Gosh this is fun! Why I don't know, but I can't WAIT 'till the admiral goes to bed so I can play in the man cave some more!!!

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Thanks, Kenr. Just be sure to laugh WITH me, not AT me ;) It's truly amazing, see the photo below of the Constitution I did 10 years ago in plastic. I had total control of my hands and eyes. Now with tri-foculs and hurting hands, I feel like I've lost it. But I don't care, I'm so addicted, I already spent part of my tax refund on 2 more ships. Should past me another couple years.

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Hello Mate

The tops of the bulkheads and the centre keel need to be level.

Otherwise it will play havoc when you lay the deck

Don't worry to much about opening up the bulkhead slots.

When you come to glue them in use something like Lego blocks to hold them square while the glue dries

 

Regards.

Ken

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The stantions are WAY off, so I think I'll make them outta balsa too. I used to build houses, buildings, bridges...etc. for my model railroads out of balsa when I was a kid, so it seemed like a good idea at the time... Hind site. Should have just built up the short ones. Now I have to fill in the gaps. And, now I have some sanding and filling to do. But I'm still having fun!!!

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Edited by JustBlowinInTheWind
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Welcome aboard!!!  I like your mentality- that'll keep you going strong throughout the build! 

 

There's tons of us building the Niagara- she's an interesting one to say the least.  She's also my first wooden build.

 

Don't be shy about asking for guidance- we're all in this together.  ;)

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The tops of the bulkheads and the centre keel need to be level.

 

I also see that the timber heads need to be exact to accommodate the gun ports with 6 - .09375" planks. I found some 3/16" square basswood at the hobby store and made a .5625" square jig for the gun ports.

 

It's just not "fare" at the stem. The stern looks better, but the timber heads are not square.

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  • 2 months later...

2 months later... My stantions may not look purdy, but I think the shape is close enough that the decking will lay satisfactory. One thing I DO have a lot of experience with is tape and paint. On plastic models. I used regular painters tape when on plastic I always used electrical tape. Definitely should have used electrician tape. Being more flexible it would have flowed better into the cracks and grooves between the planks. I thinned testors paint. Still too thick. THEN I found Greatgallions build and saw he painted them before hand. DUH!!! When I built plastic I used tape to make pin stripes. Parts to be put together I painted first. THEN I tested testors spray paint. Wood and I never did get along. I think I'm a little intimidated. I just hope I remember what I learned when I start my next ship. Yes, I know, I need to dull coat the yellow.

 

One thing I think I may have done right: I had long since noticed my gun ports and sweeps are not perfectly square, so I actually planned ahead and laid the pcs covering the ends of the planks first in order to reduce the appearance of the lack of squareness. I then cut each plank individually, checking each and every one before placing them. I started at the bottom of the stern, cut the piece, laid it on a flat surface, cut the one above it, laid it above the first, on and on until I had all the far stern planks laid out. Then I cut the planks to its right, and laid those to the right of the stern planks on my flat surface. My reasoning is to glue as many on at a time before the glue dries, rather than cut a plank, lay it, cut it, lay it...  Why so much detailed information on this build? So I can go back later to refresh my memory. Too much brain cell population control in my younger years. Believe it or not, the paint is not filling in and hiding any gaps between the grain end pcs and the planks. I actually got that lucky/good. I learned that I was good enough to do that when I cut and set the grain end pcs.

 

However, trying to give the planks a nice look, I sanded the upper and lower edges to make an angle. Only to change the height of the planks so that they were not all the exact same height. Ok Adams, not what're you gonna do? I laid the first - bottom - plank, then laid the vertical end grain pcs, but made them all about a 16th" too tall. Cut and laid the planks between the sweep and gun port on each side of the sweep and cut the end grain pcs level with the top of the 2 planks to the sweeps right and left. Still not perfectly square, but now I see how easy a jog could have been.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hope someone is reading this. I'm ready to start planking the hull. I've been studying "Simple hull planking techniques for beginners". It uses the term "battens". Is this the same as a strake? What is the water line? Is this just where the color of the hull differs? What is its importance? How do I know where it belongs?

Brian

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Hello Brian

I will attempt to answer you first email

A kit bash is where you buy a kit and then enhance it

By buying better quality fittings and wood for example

 

Scratch is where you start from plans only. Purchase all you

components and build the model from " scratch"

Cutting everything to size yourself Usually needs a lot more

equipment such as planes  band saws etc than a kit does

Hope that helps

 

Regards

Ken

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Hello, Brian;  Battens are temporary planks that sit on the bulkheads to provide natural curvature reference lines when planking the hull. They are usually removed during actual planking.  A strake is one continuous run of planks, from stem to stern. (A "row" of planks).  The waterline of a ship is where the water comes up to on the hull, in ideal engineering conditions, on a perfectly calm sea, with an even keel, and a normal and perfectly balanced  ballast, cargo load,

and crew accompaniment.

 

(with some allowance of cargo variance, ship's designers will set this)

 

Hope this helps...

 

~Bob

Edited by rfolsom
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Thanks, guys.

 

Per the picture... IS LWL the water line? Does this mean lower water line? That would seem odd to me since no one could ever guess what the weight would be when fully loaded. If I look real close at the box, it looks like there is a "stripe" along the side near the water line. Greatgallions build has one. I don't see it on the plans, nor the directions.

 

Bigger question. If I understand correctly, the planks are wider at bulkhead H (1/8") and tapers down at the stem and stern? Homey aint EVEN gonna try that!

 

And, they say both hull and deck use 1/16" thick planks. I have 3/32X1/16" and 3/16"X1/16" and 1/4"X3/16". My educated guess, (G.E.D.) is 3/16" for the hull and 3/32" for the deck. But I don't see anywhere that the 1/4" planks would be used.

 

???

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The planks do taper, and yes, to build an accurate model, you'll have to taper them.  Or just throw wood on, sand the living daylights out of it, throw on some automotive bondo, sand again, and paint a nice glossy mirror fiinsh on it!  (Ready for the Battle of Lake Erie! :pirate41: )

 

The planks in the bulwark area are slightly thinner, if I recall..

 

Photos show the tapering (hopefully)

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Do you recall what size planks are that are used for strakes a and b?

 

And do you recall what the width at the stem and stern were? Better yet, what rate they should decrease in width?

 

Thanks much! I take it you haven't worked on yours lately? Got some glue on the carpet and the Admiral came "unglued"?

 

I bought this ship because I'm familiar with it, having lived in Michigan most of my life and having camped up and down the St Lawrence, both sides. My brother lived in up State N.Y. on the river too. Hence all the camping on the way there and back. Had no idea what I was getting into. Recently Model Expo had the Golden Hind on sale so I snatched it. Soon as I have the hull, deck and coamings in, I'll switch to that one and the HMS Victory, both solid hulls. I want to get a little experience in on rigging before going back to the Niagara. I might even do the Rattlesnake first. Picked those up AFTER I got in over my head with this one.

 

Again, thanks!

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Belt "A"  3/32" wide by 1/16" thick.  Belt "B" 1/8" wide by 1/16" thick.  Use the "hull planking layout" on the upper right hand corner of sheet two of the plans to measure the taper at each bulkhead.  I would lay a plank (see pages 16 and 17 in the instruction manual for plank staggering and suggested lenghts)  temporarily in place, and then use the hull planking layout to tic a mark at each bulkhead, manually measuring directly from the plans and drawing a line with a straIgtedge (tedious, I know, but that's inherent in this hobby).  Each plank tapers at a different rate,

 

I actually don't (usually) work on the carpet, I just found that my $5 webcam takes better macro shots than my digital camera, so I have to get it close to the computer for photos. :D

 

Niagara with metallic green paint and orange flames?  Maybe.  Fake bullet holes? That works.  Not too sure about the cragar rims.... :dancetl6:

 

Hope this helps a bit..

 

~Bob

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At about 2 am this morning I figured out the views on page 2 of the plans are THAT accurate and required measuring. Figured out the widths from that. For the millionth time during this build I said "You have GOT to be kidding me!" And I haven’t even started the rigging yet. Could have saved you and me some time if I'd remember there's a booklet.

 

I actually read the booklet front to back before I started, but one must needs remember what one sees. Memory issues can be found under shore leave / what happens when you get old.

 

Thanks MUCH. Pages 16 and 17, required reading.

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If I lay the battens per the plans (shown above) I get the image shown where the battens are not crossed. If I allow them to lay naturally, I get the image showing them crossed. I used a digital calliper from the plans to masking tape, then to the hull...

 

I also tried measuring the width of the planks between the strakes from the plan and adding them up placing them all across the hull with the same result. Naturally the same results.

 

For giggles and grins, I even tried a cloth tape from my wife's sewing kits. THAT was worse:) sup wit dat?

 

The planks are so narrow I don't thin I'll get any clinker effect, but it sure is a no-no from everything I've read.

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Edited by JustBlowinInTheWind
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