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18th Century Longboat by Jason - FINISHED - MSW - 1:48, (first wooden model)


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Hello All,

 

This is a build log for my Model Shipways 18th Century Long Boat kit.  Two very new things for me, one building models from wood, and the second posting about a process in an online forum.  So here goes...

 

I have been interested in building models since I was a teenager, and indeed built many while in high school.  Though none have seemed to survive the journey into adulthood with me.  In the last couple of years, that interest has been rekindled, due to a remarkably well stocked hobby store in the neighborhood that I was living in, and the fact that my wonderful wife encourages me in my many hobbies.  I have since been working on many models concurrently, mostly plastic ships and balsa airplanes which adorn our son's bedroom ceiling after we are done flying them.  I had been dreaming about building a Model Shipways kit for quite sometime before the opportunity presented itself.

 

First a promotion forced us to move, and in an act of self consolation I bought myself the US Brig Syren Kit.  Once we settled into our new place I realized that I needed a bigger desk if I was going to work on the Syren, so it sat and still sits patiently in it's box in my office.  Soon I came across something that really piqued my curiosity.  That was the Long Boat kit.

 

I thought that it would be a great place to start, on something that wasn't quite so detailed as the brig.  Additionally, it is of course a very handsome little model too.  I got the kit at Christmas, and started it a couple of weeks later.  I have been taking pictures during the process.  Over the next week or so I hope to post everything up to where I am currently at in my build.

 

So far it has been a very pleasurable experience, I am especially enjoying working with wood instead of plastic as a medium.  I feel as though there is a life in the material itself that I just do not feel with plastic.

 

Edited by Chuck
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Thank you Chuck and Ben.  I have followed both of your longboat builds as well.  It is great to see how different people apply their own styles of aesthetics, techniques, and ability to the same project.  Not only on this boat, but on all of the great build logs across this site.  It is truly inspirational.

 

So to start the actual process of building this project.  I have to begin with my first impression of the kit.  I thoroughly examined the contents of the box, making sure that everything in the parts list was actually in the box.  After that I read the plans through a couple of times to get the general idea of how this boat was going to go together, what extra tools I would need, and any items that I might decide change in the process.  Overall I am very happy with the quality of this kit, it is very well thought out, and has a great instruction manual.

 

On to the build...

 

I was a little hesitant to start for fear of messing up the bearding line, and the rabbet, but I decided I wasn't going to learn anything by just looking at it.  I actually found the shaping of the false keel easy and fun.  It was at this very first step that I knew I was going to be hooked on working with wooden models.  The feel of the material and its forgiving nature  made a strong first impression after working with plastic.

 

There was a small issue when I glued the stem, keel, and false keel together, but I was able to get it to where I was happy with it fairly quickly.

 

Tomorrow night I will continue with gluing the bulkheads...

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Jason,

 

Your Long Boat keel looks great.  I forgot about that step when I did my build log.

 

Also, the squares on your cutting mat can be used to line up your bulkheads when you glue them to the keel.  This was told to me by a master ship modeler and it worked when I loosened some when I was doing the fairing process.

 

I will be following your build.

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Jason that is a great start.  Its always great to see another kit get started.  I was wondering if you would like me to move this log to the dedicated group project forum??  Just let me know.  It doesnt matter to me but I figure it would be easier for folks to look at everyones progress and share tips.

 

Chuck

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Thank you for moving my build log to the group forum Chuck.  And thanks Ryland, I will be following your log as well.  

 

 

Part two:  Bulkhead Installation

 

This process did cause me a few problems, but nothing that I would consider too great.  Being new to the building wooden boats, and being eager to dig into the model, I went a little too fast through this phase of the build.  I unfortunately didn't think of your advice, Ryland, or the ingenious use of lego blocks I have seen elsewhere on this site to true the bulkheads to the keel.  So I ended up with some less than true bulkheads.  This did cause some problems for me down the road, but I was able to deal with the problems as they came.  

 

As far as fit of the pieces goes, everything went together nicely, except maybe 2 bulkheads that needed to be lightly sanded to get them to snugly fit into the false keel.post-1453-0-02606500-1362109262_thumb.jpg

 

After completing the bulkheads and transom, sorry no picture of the transom, I faired the hull using a 1" and a 1/4" sanding sticks.  I found that there was plenty of strength in the assembly at this point, even with no sheer plank in place yet.  I would credit the strength to the innovative bulkheads.  Being that the vast majority of the material in each bulkhead will ultimately be removed, I would consider the removable bulkhead center key to the ease of construction designed into this kit.

 

I did have a couple of areas where I removed too much material from the frame during fairing, which I remedied by gluing on wedges, filing and sanding to match the curve of the hull.

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post-1453-0-50745600-1362196974_thumb.jpgPart 3:  Planking:

 

The first step in planking involves a choice.  What will the profile of your boats sheer look like?  With some guidance as to what period considerations this choice affects your model, the design leaves it up to you how pronounced you would like the sheer to be.  For me, I like the aesthetics of compound curves.  So I chose to put a pretty pronounced sheer into the boat, which had a consequence for me down the line in planking.post-1453-0-50745600-1362196974_thumb.jpg

 

I followed the instructions pretty closely, and made good use of the tips on how to form curves in the planking using a hair dryer.  However there was one thing that I did not do, and I will excuse it as novice exuberance.  I did not measure my distances to determine how many planks were needed between the sheer plank and the garboard plank.  This did lead to an error, but reflecting on it, I don't think even with measuring that I would have caught it.  The error was this, in following the instructions i placed the forward edge of my garboard plank at 1/8" forward of the scarf joint in the keel.  However, I think, due to my chosen sheer, it should have extended forward another full width of a plank.  What I ended up with was a small filler piece approximately the width of one plank.  Please, if anybody can tell me if this is the right assumption I would appreciate it.

 

Also during this stage I broke off the stem above the cap rail.  It was a clean break, so I kept it off of the model until after I had completed the cap rail, and then glued it back on with no ill effects.

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Jason,

 

You are making good progress on your long boat.  Your planking looks great, especially where the planks meet the rabbet joint at the stem.  It sounds like the top of the stem above the cap rail is very fragil.  I know other builders of this kit have had the same problem with it snapping off.  Also, thanks for the tip on the placement of the forward edge of the garboard plank.  I am ready to do that step on my build. Keep up the good work.

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Jason,

 

   Welcome to the build and welcome to woodmodeling.  You will find that wood has it's challenges and it's rewards.  The rewards far outway the challenges.  ...plus, when you REALLY get frustrated and throw the whole danged thing into the fireplace, it burns cleaner.

 

   Great work so far and great progress.  You might be new to wood models, but it is obvious you are a skilled modeler.

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Ryland and Chuck,

 

Thank you both for the compliments, I appreciate them.  I am definitely enjoying the departure from styrene, though I do enjoy a good photo etch set.  And thanks for the laugh Chuck, with the fireplace remark.  I hope not to be that frustrated, but it is comforting to know that for the most part you could roast marshmallows with one's model if the impulse struck.

 

Good luck with your planking Ryland.

 

--Jason

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Part 4:  Cap Rail, and Interior Details

 

Moving right along, the cap rail does take a little work.  I over sized my pieces, and then filed and sanded them to the desired width after they were attached to the boat.  I also chose to make three total pieces, with a small filler piece behind the stem.  If you look carefully you can see the seams, but it came out fitting quite nicely after some shaping.  

 

For the interior, I chose to include the scribe marks shown in the instructions, I thought they add a nice detail to the model.  For me, the hardest part about this part was taking my time.  I rushed through some of these pieces, and didn't quite get the desired finish that I would have liked.  However I am still happy with it.  One other thing that is giving me pause at this stage, and I must admit to skipping ahead a little, for I have skipped the windlass.  I will install it, and I have one carved, I just don't know If I am happy with it, so look for it to appear sometime in the future.

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Hi jason and very well done up to now, your motoring right along.

I do have a question on what you are using for paint? the ME paint that was optional? looks like it was going

on a bit thick, maybe try thinning it down but adding more coats, may give better results.

 

ben

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Hello Ben,

 

Thank you,

 

I did use the Model Expo paints, and I have mixed feelings about them.  I'm not incredibly happy with the finish, yet it does look smoother to the naked eye than on camera.  I typically use Vallejo paints, which are much thinner to begin with than the ME paints, that being said I did use some water just not nearly enough.  As I go through the masting and rigging I will be trying smooth it out a little, but not with too much contrast in finish to the hull.

 

I have to say, there are some great paint jobs here on modelshipworld with mirror finishes, but I am going to need another 20 years or so to gain the patience to accomplish that.

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Hi jason, Yeh - the model expo paints are not very good, Id go back to the Valjeo paints if i was you, Myself I use Newton&Windsor Galleria Acrylics and i paint them on VERY thin, pretty much just a wash, but many many coats with sanding inbetween, I think the titanium white that I used on the hull had about 15 coats over a weeks period.

 

Looking forward to seeing more.

 

ben

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Ben, I thought that at first about the ME paints, but now I take a glop of it on some tin foil, wet my brush and then get some paint on the brush. (you could also just thin it with some water...) and I got some fantastic results.

 

Jason, the boat looks really nice. Can't wait to see it finished.

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Thank you Sarah, I can't wait to finish it.

 

Ben, I may try Newton and Windsor on a future build, especially since they are easy to get at the local craft stores.  I may be a millennial,  but I still like to buy things from brick and mortar stores rather than the web.  

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Finishing the Hull Details, and Preparing for Masting:

 

Since the last build update, I have finished the details related to the hull, including oarlocks, windlass, rudder, horse, and eye rings.  I am still not especially happy with the windlass, in terms of how it's finish looks.  Even though the facets of the piece are relatively sharp, being filed into the wood, they are not well, defined, at least not under any light I have seen it under yet.  Does anybody know of a finishing technique to bring out sharp facets in such a small piece of wood?

 

The handles for the windlass have been made, but I will not put them on until the finishing details of the model are being installed.  The projecting handles just seemed too susceptible to being damaged at this point if I were to put them on.  A tip that I can perhaps offer about the installation of the Windlass.  I was wondering how I was going to get it into the riser without scratching the wood with the wire axle.  Instead of installing the wire into the windlass, I put pieces on each side through the riser, then positioned the windlass with drops of glue in the axle holes, then with fine tweezers pulled the axle wires through the riser and into the windlass.  It worked pretty well.

 

I also sanded the cap rail paint, and trim strip slightly, and put a few wash coats of paint to even it out a little.

 

When installing the horse, I chose to go with one that spans over the tiller rather than under it.  It may not look as clean from a presentation perspective, but I think it makes much more practical sense.  In the instructions to the kit, Chuck does mention that boats of a later decade did have this raised horse, so I will call my example from a later decade in the 18th century.

 

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I have also started the main mast, and have opted to carve a mast step, like that shown in the plans. 

 

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For the horse....while researching that aspect of small boats and longboats.   The shape was somewhat different than the squarish look when it was placed below the tiller.   Pictures I had seen had the tiller shaped like this.  I altered your image and drew a line in blue.   If its not too late you might want to change it to match.   There were several examples of longboats in the science museum in London that showed it as I drew it.  

 

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With regard to the windless.   What I sometimes do is take some powder pastels and rub my finger on it.   Then I rub one side of a facet to make it stand out more.  I usually pick a color that is very close to the wood its being used on.  This way it acts like a shadow.  Its very lightly used.   Dont overdo it.  Just a very light rub across one side of the facet being highlighted   Use a rubber eraser to clean it up on the other side to get a really sharp edge.

 

Chuck

 

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Thanks 42rocker.

 

Chuck, thank you for the pastels technique, I am going to apply it to the windlass.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to take into account the advice on the horse.  I risk too much damage to the cap and hull planking as the horse passes through the cap and right along the planking to the bench, and it is attached with CA.  Even with using debonder, I don't want to risk breaking something else.

 

However, I do want to ask if you know of any extant examples of a period boat, full size, that has a horse on it?  I would be interested in what the real boats used.  

 

I am unfortunately paused in my progress at the moment, as I discovered in the early stages of rigging that I do not possess small enough drill bits to accomplish the necessary holes.  So I have ordered the correct bits, and impatiently await their arrival in the mail later this week.  In the interim, I have started my US Brig Syren kit, despite the small size of my work space, so I will be starting a build log for that kit shortly.

 

--Jason

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  • 2 weeks later...

Masting Update:

 

After acquiring the requisite diminutive drill bits I was able to continue towards completion of the longboat, but I must admit, that this phase is completely alien to me, as I have always given rigging a wide berth on any plastic kit that I have ever worked on..  And I am finding the learning curve on seizing blocks, and making sure that lines run straight to be rather steep.  After the first round I am happy with how the mast and bow spirit came out, but the sheet tackle needs reworked.  I knew it wasn't going to work right when I first seized the block to the horse, which didn't sit right.  So I will be re-doing that part in the near future.

 

One tip that I can perhaps pass on, a helpful to me, trick for getting the holes through the brass mast fittings.  Even with an awl, I was at first having problems with getting the necessary sized hole in the fitting.  So, I made the fitting wider by striking it with a small hammer.  I didn't need to work it very much because the brass is soft. but it gave me some extra room to work.  Once the hole was drilled, and the CA set, I ground the excess material off with a rotary tool.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jason,

 

Well done thus far.  Your Syren is patienbtly waiting but it won't be long until she is on the ways.

 

BFN

 

Cheers,

Hopeful aka David

 

“there is wisdom in many voices”

 

Completed: Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Posted  to the Gallery

 

Current: Sultana (MSW)

Current: Phantom (MSW)

 

Next: Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

Edited by hopeful
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Thank you Hopeful.  And indeed you are correct, the Syren is already on the ways here in my shipyard.  I reached a point in my longboat build where I was having problems due to a lack of rigging technique, which I will explain, and ask for suggestions in my next post here.  

 

Look for the Syren in a new log here soon.

 

--Jason

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