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King of the Mississippi by Dan Vadas - FINISHED - Artesania Latina - Finishing off a kit started by someone else - Restoration

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Hi all,


Here's another project which I'll be doing at my "Holiday Caravan" (which will soon be my permanent address when I build a workshop alongside it :D ).


This uncompleted model was given to me by a guy who's father had passed away before he could finish it, and he asked me if I could do it for him as he has no modelling skills whatever and he'd like to give it to his mum in memory of his dad. How could I refuse ;) ?


The old guy was a reasonably good modeller (unlike my last project on the Del Prado "Victory"), so I didn't have a real lot of things to rip off and replace before continuing on with the job. However, as his son said, he was "losing the plot" quite a bit not long before he died, and the last few things he did on this model needed a bit of reworking.


Here are a few "Before" pics. The planking on the 2nd deck cabin wasn't the best, and the windows all had to come off again because the wrong glue was used on them :


Before 001.jpg


Before 002.jpg


Before 004.jpg


Before 005.jpg


Before 007.jpg


Before 008.jpg


Before 009.jpg


Before 010.jpg


Before 011.jpg


More will follow in the next post .......


:cheers:  Danny

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Yeah, just great Edwin. The docs are very happy with the way my treatment's going - I'll be around for a lot of years yet :D . Thanks Frank, you are SO right :D .


Moving right along, I pulled out all the windows and doors on the 2nd deck cabin. This was very easy - just slip a flat knife blade under them and give it a twist and they all popped out. I'm not sure what type glue he used, but I suspect it may have been PVA, which doesn't bond metal to wood very well in most cases.


I don't know what he was thinking when he recessed the windows into the planking (perhaps he glued the windows on first and tried to plank around them), but it made my job a lot more difficult than if he'd planked the whole cabin and then glued the windows to the planking. Much trimming and replacing of missing or short strips was needed.


The easiest way to fix the gaps at the bottom was to fit a skirting board. There was no walnut veneer left in the box, so I made do with the only stuff I had on hand - some VERY VERY poor quality Sapelli left over from the "Victory" kit. I had to cut 1.5mm wide strips out of the middle of this stuff using a sharp Xacto and a steel rule :


Before 013.jpg


Before 014.jpg


Before 015.jpg


Before 016.jpg


The 2nd deck cabin after replacing missing planks, sanding and windows refitted :


Before 020.jpg


The next problem I found belongs to AL - the 3rd deck was too short by about 10mm. From memory, I think I had the same problem with the "Mississippi" I'd built about 30 years ago (these two kits were about the same vintage). To fix the problem I simply glued a piece of scrap ply to the aft end :


Before 017.jpg


Next job was to glue a strip of ply around the Ventilating Chamber of the 3rd deck cabin. I used PVA and held the piece in place with masking tape until it dried. Then I did the other side :


Before 018.jpg


More follows ....

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The 3rd deck cabin gets it's re-enforcing blocks :


Before 019.jpg


Halfway through planking the 3rd deck :


Before 021.jpg


Joins were used in a 3-butt shift pattern :


Before 022.jpg


To bend the ply around the aft end of the Ventilating Chamber I made some saw cuts halfway through and once again used masking tape to hold the piece in position for gluing :


Before 023.jpg


Before 025.jpg


Next I cut out the spaces for the ventilators with a sharp Xacto :


Before 026.jpg


Then I glued the sides and bottoms of the frames into the edges of the spaces :


Before 027.jpg


:cheers:  Danny

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At least you've got s good starting point for this one, Danny!


It'll be finished in no time. :)




I'm guessing about three weeks John, maybe a tad more :) . And thank you Grant, no major probs :) .


:cheers:  Danny

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Thank you Geoff.


It must give you real satisfaction in taking on the build.



It certainly does, and as an added bonus I don't have to fork out for a kit :) . Although I find it a lot easier to get a good result by starting one from the beginning rather than doing a few (or a LOT of) repairs :D .


:cheers:  Danny

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At least it was in better shape than the last one. You will not have to work so hard.



Very true David, but this time around I can't use bog and paint to hide the defects - it's all in natural timber. At least most of the "oopsies" were fairly easy to fix, and they're all behind me now :) .


Continuing on from the last lot of pics, I've finished the Ventilating Chamber. Strips of the same stock used for the bottoms and sides of the cutouts have been glued in, and brass bars have been drilled and fitted :


Decks 001.jpg


Decks 002.jpg


Decks 003.jpg


Apologies for the quality of the next couple of pics - I was using natural light at 6:30am. I glued three strips of 0.6mm walnut veneer around the curved section of the forward part of the deck - "rough as guts" in the 1st pic, and sanded to almost perfect in the 2nd :


Decks 006.jpg


Decks 007.jpg


Continued next post .....

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.... continued.


I've glued veneer to the forward and aft curved sections to all the decks in similar fashion to the previous one.


The straight sections of the edge strips were a lot easier - 2mm x 3mm walnut did the job perfectly. I used masking tape to "clamp" them whilst they dried. This whole step should have been done before the deck was fitted by "old mate" - it was considerably harder to do with the already fitted deck :


Decks 009.jpg


Decks 010.jpg


To cut the 142 pieces of planking for the 3rd deck cabin I used my Chopper :


Decks 011.jpg


Decks 012.jpg


The cabin after gluing on all the planking strips with PVA :


Decks 014.jpg


And after sanding smooth :


Decks 015.jpg


:cheers:  Danny

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Hello Dan,The Admiral and I are sincerely happy with your upgraded health news,You were smart to tackle the repairing of those models,I would say mind over matter did its part as well as med's and lots of well wishes.bravo Edwin.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks very much for the "well wishes" Robert and Edwin - the way I'm going now I should be around for a long time :) .Thank you too for dropping in John.


There won't be a lot of updates on this project over the next couple of weeks as I'm in the process of building a total workshop at my "holiday van". I've moved in there permanently now. The workshop will be quite a bit smaller than my previous one, but I'll manage.


Stay tuned for progress on both projects - as soon as I get the workshop completed there will be some MAJOR work done on Vulture :) . I'll complete the Mississippi first though.


:cheers:  Danny

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Can't wait to see the workshop photos Danny. With your knack and ingenuity I'm sure it will be well designed and highly functional.


Yeah Grant, it only has space for ONE of my three workbenches so I really have to have a good think about how I'm going to set it up.


:cheers: Danny

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks S.Coleman. The Chopper isn't very expensive - about $75 from memory - and is available at most of the larger hobby stores in Australia. It's made by Midwest Shortline in the US.


Well I've pretty much finished my latest workshop, so work restarts on this model.


While waiting for the glue to dry on the upper cabin I did some work on the lower posts. These have two (supposed to be three, but there wasn't enough brass wire left in the kit) rails running through them. They are also chamfered for about 3/5 of their length.


The posts all varied a bit in height due to the second deck being already fitted, so each one had to be individually measured and cut with an angle both top and bottom - they slope inward about 8 degrees. I prepared and marked all the posts prior to fitting them (they are in no particular order for this pic) :


Lower Posts 001.jpg


I threaded both wire rails through the posts before starting to glue them in, first dry-fitting the whole assembly to ensure all fitted properly - so far so good :) . Once I was happy with the fit the port side was glued into place :


Lower Posts 002.jpg


Lower Posts 003.jpg


Lower Posts 004.jpg


:cheers:  Danny

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Good job you mentioned that, Danny.  My first thought was, "Hmmm, they don't look right."  :D




Haha me too!  For a moment I thought Danny was human like the rest of us but I should have known better  :P

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Thank you once again John and Bindy. The pic below might show the difference in angle between the lower columns and 2nd deck columns a little better. I think I may remove and straighten the foremost ones a bit - I have a little TOO much angle on them, which wasn't all that noticeable until I took this pic :


2nd Deck Posts 006.jpg


I've made and fitted all the 2nd deck lower rails. The curved ones around the fore end were particularly difficult to make - I tried to soak and bend them but the crappy wood just wasn't up to it. Every piece snapped in at least one place, so I cut them from wide flat stock and chiseled the rebate into them. The 3rd deck rails will get a similar treatment.


2nd Deck Rails 004.jpg


2nd Deck Rails 003.jpg


2nd Deck Rails 001.jpg


:cheers:  Danny

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This particular kit of the KOTM is a more recent version of the one I made about 28 years ago. The railings on the original version were made from die-cut timber, but these have been replaced with brass strips. They are easier to fit, but aren't particularly "authentic" (if there is anything authentic about a fictional boat ;) ) and would need to be painted. As I prefer to use as little paint as possible on a wooden model I'm leaving them as brass. Besides, my girlfriend prefers the look and I'm sure that the owner will too (I hope).


2nd Deck Railings 002.jpg


2nd Deck Railings 003.jpg


:cheers:  Danny

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Thanks John, Dragzz and Grant.


unless the ones on the other side have significantly less



They are the same on both sides John.


I've fitted all the brass railings to the starboard side, as well as around the forward end of the 2nd deck. They're turning out quite well and I've definitely decided to leave them in brass - as Grant mentioned they suit this particular model.


There is only JUST enough brass railing stock to do them all, and they need to be cut from pieces that are about 1/3 longer than the openings. This means that I'll have to join some of them in the middle. See if you can pick the one that I've joined :D :


2nd Deck Railings 004.jpg


2nd Deck Railings 006.jpg


:cheers:  Danny

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