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Swift by DocBlake - FINISHED - Artesania Latina

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As a diversion while rigging my Armed Virginia Sloop, I started building AL's Swift.  I switched out some of the wood:  Boxwood planking above the wales, bloodwood trim, wenge wales, cherry and holly details.  I like the contrasts in the wood.  Progress so far in the photos.







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Since I'm changing a number of things on the model, I've decided to change her name from "Swift" to "Lucy.B.". I added a name plate to the transom. I found an appropriate period font (Essays 1743) and typed the name out in various sizes and printed out the results. I chose the best size, cut it out and glued it to a shaped piece of holly with Weldbond. The result was too starkly white! To tone down the color, I gave the plaque 2 coats of orange shellac, added two nailheads and glued the plaque to the transom. The result looks like a varnish finish, much more appropriate than stark white.


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  • 4 months later...

I've been wondering.  Why doesn't "Swift" have rattled shrouds?  It would seem that there would be the same need to go above while underway as there would be for a ship of the line:  To repair or replace broken or worn out parts, lines, sails etc.  Why no ratlines?

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  • 2 months later...

I redid much of the bow portion of the kit.  I eliminated the bit, whose only function was to support (inaccurately) the bowsprit.  I fastened the sprit to the deck and held it with an iron fitting...much more accurate.  I also scratch-built a windlass to weigh the anchors, and a hatch to lead the anchor line below decks. Notice the boxwood timber supporting the pawl that engages the center gear on the windlass cylinder.   Almost ready to rig.


BTW, the hawse pipes are actually fairly symmetrical.  The photo introduces an optical illusion! :D




Edited by DocBlake
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  • 4 weeks later...

I finished up the bow area on "Swift" by adding knightheads and catheads, installing a scuttle for stowing anchor cable, and gammoning the sprit to the stem.  Ready to start rigging.  The kit is odd in that the supplied channels are sized so the deadeye lanyards rub against the main rail when rigged.  I redid them, making them wider so they start out further outboard to avoid rubbing.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally finished "Swift".  I renamed her "Lucy.B." after our beloved golden retriever (my AVS was named after my wife!).  I made a lot of changes to the stock kit.  I've enclosed photos of the build, as well as a shot of the stock kit box to point out the differences.  Here's a list of the changes I made:

- Switched out wood, using boxwood, cherry, rosewood, maple and blood wood.

- Eliminated the bitt over the bowsprit

- Fitted the sprit to the deck with a metal bracket (more authentic)

- Gammoned the sprit to the stem

- Added knightheads and catheads to the bow

- Added a scuttle to stow the anchor lines below deck

- Scratch-built a windlass

- Made deeper channels for the chain plates so the lanyards didn't rub against the top rail

- Fabricated tubular brass vents for the holds

- Add metal grab bars and ports to the deck cabins

-Scratch built the elm tree pump

- reworked the tiller to bring it to scale

- Redid the knee bracing in the cockpit with beefier cherry

- Replaced all cleats with scale cleats (the supplied AL cleats are 2 scale feet across!)

- Redid the rudder.

- Switched all blocks to Syren blocks


Here are some photos.  I hope you enjoy them!
















Edited by DocBlake
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  • 6 months later...



Thank you for the comments. I had to lookup "nibbling strake." I must say that the strake was great fun to build and still gives me a thrill when I look at the deck. Shame all those rings an bitts and deckhouses clutter the view!


I sure wish I'd found your log when I started back up. Your bow answers so many questions and is a joy to behold. You've made the deckhouses actually interesting. Mine are so drab, the lack of scale is very noticeable, and I think they detract from an otherwise pleasant form.


Lots of answers in your rigging. Its not too late for me to take advantage here. I see what you mean about replacing the blocks.


You choice of woods is spectacular. Where do you find your wood. Too late for my Swift but not for the next build.



Edited by jmcsys
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