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Enterprise by MDG - Constructo

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Good day all,


I've been browsing the forums for the past couple of weeks as I begin my Enterprise build (my first). First off, thanks to all for the contributions, it's already been very helpful to me.


I've got to set myself up to transfer the pictures I've taken thus far into this thread, hopefully I'll have time this weekend.


I've been reading through the many other Enterprise build logs but haven't been able to get a clear answer on something, I was hoping to get some feedback. I'm close to starting in on the hull planking, and my question is this: have most people done a second planking using the veneer? As well, what is commonly used to hide the nail holes once they are removed, by that I mean any specific brand/color well matched to the wood? I can assume this is a relatively moot point if the veneer is used ...


Finally, are most people using water to soak their hull planks? I've seen the references to ammonia but not sure how widespread this is?


Thanks all, looking forward to posting more as I progress,



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Greetings Mark,


I built the Enterprise by Constructo several years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I have never used ammonia, preferring water and steam to bend wood. I have read recently that ammonia will actually weaken the wood because the ammonia destroys the wood fibers. In my opinion, if you can't induce the wood to bend with water and/or steam forget about it. Plus, ammonia bottles come with warning labels.



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I built the Enterprise back before Constructo modified the kit. It was my first build, and while the instructions back then left a lot to be desired, I think it came out very nicely.

The veneer covered any nail or pin holes used to secure the first level of planking.

I used water on both the first and second planking (and on subsequent builds). I went to a thrift shop and bought an old electric coffee maker, and I had no problem bending the wood. On the second layer, I'd soak the wood, applyglue and then use my plank bender to heat the plank until the wood "took." I found this process pretty easy.

I've never used ammonia, since I could toss the water or spill it all over my work bench without worries.

Under construction: Mamoli Roter Lowe

Completed builds: Constructo Enterprise, AL Le Renard

Up next: Panart Lynx, MS Harriet Lane

In need of attention: 14-foot Pintail in the driveway

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Welcome to MSW and the Enterprise Build Club! She is a fun Lady to get to know, but like all relationships the instruction manual is a bit lacking in some areas.


I have been building this kit for about 4-1/2 years now (I might even finish it one day :D ) When I did my planking I used a combination of hot water/steam and brute force - Not recommended, it draws out the Splinter Demons and aggravates the Gremlin. I have never tried the ammonia rout before; it reacts with tannic acid and may darken the wood. Everybody here who has tried it says they have not seen any color change in their experience. Experiment first.


Out of the box She builds into a very nice ship, although there are several areas that can do with some TLC. Regardless, enjoy your build time, if/when you have questions there are plenty of members here who will be more than happy to help with advice and encouragement, I know I wouldnt have the build I have today if it wasnt for the people here at MSW.



Current Build Constructo Enterprise

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Hi Mark.

Welcome to MSW.


I use water(cold) to wet the plank and then I use a large wattage soldering iron with my home made bit on the end approx 25mm dia.

Just wet the planks and run the iron over one side and when warm bend the plank into shape. You will notice the planks trying to curl up.

Bend the planks just a little bit more then needed. And let them dry

Never had any issues with plank bending using this method.


Regards Antony.

Best advice ever given to me."If you don't know ..Just ask.

Completed Mayflower

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Completed scratch built Korean Turtle ship 1/32 Turtle ship

Completed Santa Lucia Sicilian Cargo Boat 1/30 scale Santa Lucia

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Completed HMS Victory by DeAgostini modelspace. DeAgostini Victory Cross Section

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  • 5 months later...

Hello Mark.  I'll add my own 'Welcome', firstly to the Model Ship World and secondly to the merry band of Enterprise builders.


After trying out my planking skills on the 'Mare Nostrum' (an Artesania Latina kit), I decided I'd try to do my Enterprise with only one layer (ie,without claddng the first layer with the 0.5mm-thick strips).  It seems to have worked OK.

To bend the planks I used boiling water, allowing them to soak for about 30 minutes before I applied them to the hull frame.  This worked OK for me.  I didn't glue at this stage; it was just to bend the planks. 

Then, instead of just applying a nail and banging it in, I drilled a pilot hole for each nail - this helped make sure the nail went in straight and true.  And I left each nail sticking out a little bit - that made it easier to remove the nails once a plank had dried, apply glue and re-install the plank.


Apologies everyone - I’ve accepted that I’m OLD.  I’ve put down my tools and immersed myself in  activities that don’t require me to work in a cold, outdoor workshop!   I now do other things, but I do still look in to MSW.  And sometimes I comment!  When I die, I’ll let you all know!

Abandoned build: - Occre's "Spirit of Mississippi" riverboat.

Previous builds - La Petite Nella (aka AL's Mare Nostrum);  Anastasia (1:12 scratch-built sailing kayak);  USS Enterprise (Constructo);  Half Moon (Corel);  Lt Bligh's Bounty Launch (Model Shipways); Silhouet (1893 Dutch Barge)(Constructo)Mephisto (aka Constructo's 'Le Camaret' lobster boat)

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