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Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA by Chuck Seiler - Model Shipways - 1:24 Scale (Enhanced)

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    A couple more thoughts:


1.  I am at the point where I need to decide whether or not I want to show nails-all, some, none.  I have some black mono filament that I will be using.  My main concern is that the nailing overwhelms the model.  I think t should be subtle.  I will be doing some testing over the next few weeks.  Will advise.


2.  As I was looking ahead, I noticed the instruction does not cover assembly of the cook stove (at least I could not find it).  The plan shows it.  Parts are provided to build it.  The instructions do not discuss it.  I recommend you build it and install it BEFORE installing the mast partner. 

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Of course it is planked. Mine also. I am almost done with the planking. Not perfect, but after sanding and stain, should look good. How are you proceeding with the piece's under stem/stern? Like an extension? I am really having fun with the planking. It is cold here in Seattle but have plent of WRONG planks to use as kindling. Oh, when sanding hull, just a small sanding block? Should I fabricate a curved block?

I am not going to try nails. I am thinking my next build I will...



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    It does, indeed, take time.  It is taking longer than I anticipated and I have done this before.  ...but it is better to get it done right than it is to get it done fast.


    Extension?  Yeah, I guess that is what you would call it.  Just a piece of 1/16" boxwood under each area to even it out.


    For sanding I use a couple things.  1.  A rubber sanding block.  2.  Those spongy sanding sheets that curve.  3.  Flexible spongy sanding sticks (that look like fat emory boards.  I will include a pic when I get home.)  The sanding block is just fine if you 'work the curve'. 

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Chuck -


I'm very new to this hobby and this forum, but I had to chime in about the cookstove.  I have the kit (haven't started it yet) and noticed both in the plans and some pictures the stove is in the forward cockpit under the mast brace.  But the Smithsonian pictures seem to show a stove immediately to the right of the port nine-pounder, with a wall of bricks against the ceiling planks.


See the 3-D (http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/gunboat-philadelphia) or one of your own pictures from post #5 in your scratchbuild:




So I've been following your build and was wondering what your approach would be here.


- John

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    Welcome aboard!  That certainly falls into the "gee, if I only had a time machine and go back to look" category.  I don't know if you had a chance to take a look at all of my scratch log.  I go into to detail starting at a later post http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/5721-gunboat-philadelphia-by-chuck-seiler-scale-148-1776-scratch-from-ms-plans/?p=173370 and going on for several posts. 


    Where you see it in the Smithsonian display is where it was found when the ship was raised.  The way that it was raised left everything pretty much in tact...even little things that might normally get washed away were still on deck...like human teeth (eeuuyywww!!!).  This means that is where it was when the ship sunk and where it was at the time of the battle.  This is good evidence to indicate that is where it normally was.  However, there is also evidence that it may have been used in the forward cockpit as well (charring on the underside of the mast partner).  Because of cramped conditions and the hazards it created, actual use of the stove in the forward cockpit seems awkward as well. 


    My approach?  I put it in the cockpit in my scratch build.  I may experiment with putting it on deck this time.


    To me, it seems like having it on deck during the battle would have been awkward and in the way...but there it was.  Is it possible that it was normally stowed (and sometimes used) in the cockpit but in this case was on deck on the morning of 11 October, and they were unable to get it stowed in time?  Who knows.  You could put it in either location and be correct.  The on deck location is probably MORE correct because we know it was there.  The cockpit location is only speculation.

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Planking progress continues.  As previously reported, I am running some tests on nail patterns.  I decided to go with black monofiliment line.  I think I figured half inch nails would have been .020".  I got close to that with .5MM (.0198"). 


My first test was on boxwood planking the same size (width) a on the model.  On the primary width planks I went with the standard 4 nails and a couple spots with 3 nails.  Using #76 drill bit, I made my holes, dipped the line end in Weldbond glue and inserted it into the holes.  Some I snipped off immediately and some I let dry first.



In all cases there was some glue residue and (more importantly) the nail head made the nail more noticeable than I wanted.  After the rig had an hour t dry, I sanded don with very fine sand paper.



Here it is again from a further distance.  I am not wild about it.  I think the nails are too prominent.


I will stain the wood with pecan and see again.  I will also insert nails in the other side after it is stained to see if there is any difference in appearance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Gosh...I got a sled for Christmas.  :dancetl6:







This does not have a sawcut all the way thru the bed yet.  I did my initial cuts with a larger blade.  I will make my final cut with my .030 slitting blade, the one I will use with this.


My thanks to Krug for his directions.

Edited by Chuck Seiler
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  • 4 weeks later...


A couple of pics of my Philadelphia planking.  I used a mechanical pencil with constant diameter lead.  The scale is so large I think the blandness of the basswood needs something to keep it interesting.  I'm not sure if I'll do the same with the interior plank, but almost certainly will do the deck plank the same way.

At the bottom are guns, Floquil Engine Black for tthe barrels and other hardware.

Pic below also.



The Smithsonian has done a 3D scan of the Philadelphia, very interesting.  You can drag with your mouse, expand/contract with the scroll wheel, and there is a measuring tape feature.




Joel Sanborn

Edited by jbshan
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  • 4 weeks later...

For some reason, I am not getting email notifications on the builds I am following, so I did not see this earlier.


As I have told Steve, I have stalled on this project because I am obsessing over the nails.  Your nailing looks pretty good...although I think you are using 1 less nail/plank/strake (based on Smithsonian ship).  While not historically correct, after looking at your pics, I am thinking about going with the reduced number of nails.

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Hi Chuck


Here's what my Philadelphia looks like. I planked it with 1/32 oak veneer as the real one was made out of oak. I used .025 square evergreen plastic strip for the nails. I drilled .020 dia. holes then squared them up with a square steel punch. Then I colored the white plastic srtip with a black felt pen on the outside. Then inserted the strip into each hole with Titbond glue on them. Cut them off about .020 above the plank surface. Then I sanded them down until they were about .015 above the surface. after that I painted the ends with a Gundam Paint pen dark grey. I also stained the planks to show the staining that iron nails would have done to the oak planks. Over 2500 total of these guys inside and outside of the hull.  




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...Your nailing looks pretty good...although I think you are using 1 less nail/plank/strake (based on Smithsonian ship).  While not historically correct, after looking at your pics, I am thinking about going with the reduced number of nails.

I have four in the sheer strake, one in the wale, which is what I see in the Smith 3D scans.  Other places I have three and they have four, yes, though toward the ends of the hull, where the plank gets wider I have more, to keep the number of nails per foot about constant.



I, too, have to decide what to do about the stove/hearth location.  We KNOW it was on the middle deck at one point (when she sank) but only can suspect at a cockpit location.

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I used  Minwax Golden Oak and Natural stains to finish my hull. On the basswood that I used and wood grained with the teeth of saw blades and xacto knife blade points to engrave the wood grain patterns ,I used the Natural stain first to keep the Golden Oak from being too dark of color. It would seal part of the wood,so that there was less of the dark stain that would go into the basswood.



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