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Mayflower by RDL - Amati - Scale 1:60 my first build


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Hello All,

 

I bought this kit - my first - in April 2011 and discovered the MSW site and forum soon after. It has been an invaluable source of inspiration and information and I was saddened to hear that a lot of work and information was lost recently when the site crashed. I'm sure the forums will soon be back to full-strength and hope that this build log will be a small contribution to that effort.

 

It has been a slow build so far, but one which I am enjoying hugely. I'm determined to do a decent job, and not to rush or make silly mistakes. There's and old carpenters' saying: "Measure twice, cut once"; I've developed my own mantra: "Measure twice, stop, check the plans, measure again, have a cup of coffee and a think, measure again for luck, cut once!"

 

Again, this is my first kit and build, so I have no real point of reference for comparison, but the kit (by Amati) seems to be of reasonable quality. The instructions are patchy and are mostly in Italian, so I've been relying on 'Google Translate' for some assistance. Here are some initial pics before moving on to the build:

 

Packaging - nicely designed

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Photo on the box

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Contents

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Guide book and instructions (Italian & English)

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Plans (page 1/2)

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Plans (page 2/2)

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As mentioned above, I started this build almost two years ago and have made steady, but slow progress. Unfortunately, I've only recently started to photograph the ship, so my apologies for missing the early stages.

 

To summarise: the false keel was slightly warped and needed a little straightening, but fitting the bulkheads was relatively straightforward. They needed a little sanding but fitted snugly. I then shaped the edges of the bulkheads to allow a smoother run for the planks at a later date. The instructions gave no details about bearding-lines, but having trawled through the old MSW forums it seemed like a good idea, so I cut one.

 

The Decks were laid using the 0.5 x 3mm basswood supplied and lengths of dark brown cotton thread to simulate the caulking. The bulwarks fitted pretty well and are being planked on both sides with the same 0.5 x 3mm basswood. I've made a start on the planking of the hull (1 x 4mm walnut) but am taking this part very slowly as it's only single-planked and I want to do a decent job of it!

 

I've also jumped ahead slightly (couldn't resist!) and built a few of the loose parts for the deck: the gratings, 'helmsman binnacle' and the upper deck hatchway.

 

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Deck furniture:

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The ship's stern features three small windows. The kit provides stickers which are applied to the stern wall and framed with 1 x 1mm walnut but this seemed a little cheap and nasty, so I've decided to 'freestyle' and construct the windows in a more realistic fashion by cutting apertures into the stern and filling with transparent plastic sheet. I'll show more images of these as they're built, but the rough-cut apertures can be seen below:

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  • 2 weeks later...
 

Slow progress of late, but I have glued together the loose parts of the hatchway (various sizes of walnut). Next step was to drill the holes for the brass eyelets; 48 holes in total (0.5mm diameter).... I have a sudden respect for those of you who decide to treenail your decks and hulls :D

 

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All right, then!

You've the same problems of mine. I love the Dutch ancient navy and books, drawings, instructions are written in Dutch or (when I'm lucky) in English. Until now I had heard lots of fellow citizens of mine complaining about translations from various languages to Italian. But I had never heard anyone from Italian to English. :D  If you need help I'll be glad to be helpful. :cheers:

 

Cheers

Alex

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  • 2 weeks later...
 

Slow progress of late, but a couple of big stages have been completed. The first four gun-ports have been cut at the rear of the ship (two on each side):

 

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One big job that I had been dreading was cutting and fitting the garboard planks. I've tried a few methods over the past few months(!) - poster-board templates, masking tape, measuring from the keel rabbet, string, prayer! - but finally settled on using strips of cardboard from a cereal box:

 

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The cardboard is pretty close in thickness to the 10mm wide walnut strips that I had bought for the garboards. It is stiff enough to hold it's shape without buckling, but has enough flexibility that it can be bent and twisted over the bulkheads. (the thumb-pins are for planking battens so that I can gauge how many planks I'll be needing for the next phase.)

 

Time to cut the planks... I glued two lengths of the walnut back-to-back with a little contact adhesive and stuck the template on top of that. I was then able to cut and sand around the template, confident that the two planks would be identical:

 

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Next job: glue 'em in place...

 
 
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Window kit bashing....

 

I decided to move on with the stern windows this week. As previously mentioned, the kit provides stickers for these windows, but I wasn't very impressed - they looked a little fake - so an alternative was required. These are the kit provided stickers:

 

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After a quick Google search for '17th century windows' I found these reference images which I felt would suit the Mayflower and should definitely look better than the stickers:

 

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I had some spare wire mesh which was about the right scale. It's an aluminium wire mesh which is used for car body repairs - it helps to strengthen and hold car body filler putty. I first coloured it with a permanent marker pen then stuck on two pieces of black cotton with CA glue:

 

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When the CA was dry, I painted a layer of PVA glue over the back and left it to dry. The PVA dries near transparent and has a slightly bumpy, handmade quality that matches the look of the glass in the reference photo's. Cut to size, here's how they look:

 

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I'm quite pleased with the outcome, especially compared to what the kit provided. The panels still need to be framed with 1x1mm walnut, but here's the result so far:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 years later...
  • 1 year later...

Louie..I am working on this exact model myself, and at the same stage. There is something  fake about this. There is no way " this is my first boat" including his knowledge of terms and methods, can be true.

Then he stops posting.

No one can plank like this on a first boat...but his k owledge is extensive, expert perhaps " garbage strake" etc. Then, as a beginner, is not happy with the decals and decides to amazing work on the windows. If you are new, you just want to finish your first model.

9 years and he has disappeared.

Weird.

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Egil,

First, welcome to MSW!!  It would be very polite of you to post an introduction and a little background on the new member forum.

 

I respectfully disagree with your assessment on RDL's expertise.  Studying everything available before and during a build is something everyone should do. Some folks have a working knowledge of the terminology many years before building a model due to their profession such as naval architects, merchant mariners, pleasure sailors, etc. While the planking workmanship on RDL's model is quite good, there is no reason to doubt he was a first timer.  For example his method of making the garboard strake is quite common, nothing expert about it.  If you closely study and follow the planking tutorials by Chuck Passaro and David Antscherl here at MSW, anyone can achieve an excellent planking job, first timer or not.   (I would avoid the tutorial by Dirk Debakker like the plague.  Great guy, terrible methodology)    Taking one's time to do things right, including do-overs, probably has more to do with a mind set than having experience.  Kit bashing to replace some of the stuff  kits provide is common as well.  

 

As to disappearing, keep in mind MANY of us at MSW are up in age.  Lord knows what might have happened since he last posted in 2013 and visited MSW in 2017.

 

Again,  welcome aboard!!

 

Allan

 

 

 

Edited by allanyed
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