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Willie Bennett by LA Don - FINISHED - Model Shipways - SMALL


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After reading many of the build logs, I have decided to make my second project, and first build log, the Willie Bennett by Model Shipways.  My first build was a solid hull so the built up hull of the Willie looked like a logical next step.

 

I did not photograph the kit box and it contents.  Sorry about that but there are many such photographs on this website.  I will state that the kit contents are very nice and the lazer die cut parts are well done.

 

The Willie build begins by building a simple frame over "moulds".  The moulds were laser cut and matched the plans perfectly.  Generally, the beginning assembly is relatively easy.  I did find, however, that when I added my first stringer that it caused the structure to twist.  I tried removing and regluing the stringer but the structure continue to twist.  I decided to continue and add the sides hoping if I weighted the structure down when I added the sides it would dry and remove the twist.  It worked.

 

Here are some pictures:  1)  This is the basic structure. You can see the pattern I made for the sides in the background.   2)  Fitting my pattern for the sides.  I cut the pattern from construction paper.  3)  Gluing the sides in place while weighting the structure. I used sandbags made from sand filled baggies.  I learned this trick in my model airplane building days  4)  The basic structure is complete.

 

 

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I was able to spend almost a whole day in the workshop and got a lot done.  First I completed planking the bottom of the boat and begin work on the interior.  The plans provide the information to detail the entire inside of the hull.  However, all of this would then be covered.  I have looked over other builds of the Willie and I have decided that I will not detail the interior.  I will concentrate on those portions of the model that will be viewed.

 

My next step will be making the structure that will support the deck.

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Very nice work. Would you mind telling me how you made the jig seen in the first two pictures in the first post? I am especially interested in the the metal pieces and whether/how they are attached on the work board. Thanks. Chris

 

Csimoni,

 

Those metal pieces in the first two photos are magnets that are sold by micro mark if I am not mistaken.  Based on the photo of the mat in picture #2 of post #4, it looks like the building mat is also magnetic.  Hope this helps!

 

Regards,

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The building board is the "Magic Magnetic Builder" which was purchased 25 years ago.  I don't think it is available now.  It is 16" x 48" which can be a bit cumbersome when you have to turn it around.  Similar magnets are available from MicroMark.  They also have a 10 X 24 inch board.  Which someone would make one in between.  I like the board because the magnets are square and hold part vertical/horizontal.

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Well I finally completed the structure that will support the deck.  Most of this was done by rough cutting 1/8" bass sheet and then a lot of sanding and fitting.  It was not a difficult process but it took some time.  I had previously said I was not going to do any detailing of the inside of the hull but I changed my mind slightly.  I installed a deck and walls in the aft-most cabin.  I might leave the door open to this cabin and would want the viewer to see a little detail.

 

This really is turning into a challenging but fun project.

 

For you Willie builders out there.  Did you stain your deck before or after installation?

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The deck planking can be stained or clear coated after installation. I would not try to stain each plank and then install it. Better to deal with it after it is installed. I would recommend a clear coat and leave the wood a natural color unless you are going to paint the deck. In that case, a thin wash of grey.

 

Russ

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Well, the basic hull is complete.  The time has come to begin laying the deck.  Getting this far into the build has been a challenge but I am learning every step of the way.  In building the bow, stem (or whatever the front of the model is called) a lot of basswood hit the floor to become scrap but I think I finally got it.  I read the comments of new comers...my suggestion to them is keep trying because one of the joys of the building process is to get past a problem or difficult piece.

 

Looks like the decking will be a bit tedious....still have to make up my mind on finishing the deck.  I know I don't want to paint it; but stain or not to stain that is the question.

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Looking good. I just ran into a problem with mine last night, but from your pictures I think you will be OK when you get to that step. I found that when I installed the bowsprit that my knightheads were to short. An hour, some scrap and some white paint. All better now. Just remember, it is your model, have fun!!!

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Well I have started planking the deck.  To simulate deck caulking I am using a permanent marker to darken one edge of the plank before positioning and gluing.  I am a little nervous how this will turn out.  You cannot see the effect in the attached photo but as I sand the deck planking the grey saw dust from the edges is coating the decking and making it look greyish.  Brushing and blowing off the decking removes some of it; but there is no doubt there is a grey tinge to the decking.  Anyone else experience this?  Should I try wiping the deck down with a tack cloth?  Some cleaner like Windex?  A light solvent?  Help!

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I have never used a marker like that, but others have and I have heard of this sort of thing happening. I do not know want would clean it. I can tell you only what I have done on my models. I use a number 2 pencil lead rubbed against the edge of one plank and set against the edge of a plank left uncolored. I scrape the deck down afterwards with a single edge razor and I have had good results doing this.

 

Russ

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Don, 

 

The build is coming along very nicely, it is getting me excited to start working on mine!  I used Russ' method on my Phantom and was very happy with the results.  As for stain or not, I would take a few pieces of the planking material and test stain them, try it with some wipe on poly or similar, maybe some tung oil or something and see what you like.  If you have enough scrap planking material, it may be worth it to build little test deck sections on a building board or something so you can see the stain etc with the simulated caulking and everything.

 

Keep up the good work,

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I have made some "deck swatches"  The lightest of the three is the wood, not stained but sealed with clear polyurethane.  The next is light oak stained and then sealed with clear.  Finally, the darkest is stained with dark oak and then sealed.  What do you think?  Remember, the deck will be surrounded by white.

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I really like the natural sealed look. These decks were usually pine and this looks like it.

 

As for the single edged razor, I never scrape quite that hard. I am still using the same razor I have had for years. 

 

Russ

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