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Virginia 1819 by Sweep - Artesania Latina - First Wooden Ship Build

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I have recently started building the Virginia 1819 Schooner from Artesania Latina. Having started building and flying (often crashing and rebuilding) RC aircraft, I decided to try my hand at modeling my other passion, ships. I have spent a lot of time working on traditional vessels ("Tall Ships") and so I am very excited to be able to actually build a model of one on my own. I have sort of skipped ahead and did not take many pictures at the beginning of my build but I have been perusing the forums and have been so impressed with the wealth of information here. It is exciting to see so many different ways to do things like deck planking.




The bulkheads and deck are all set. Starting to plank after soaking the planking.




Planking progresses. The instructions have the builder nailing each plank into the bulkheads. I nailed but also have been using CA and tacking each bulkhead to each plank as I go. I alternated port and starboard sides and although I should have used some measuring device, the old eyeball seemed to work out quite well. I have yet to sand the first layer of planking but with another to add it seems like it will smooth itself out quite nicely. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how the shape turned out almost symmetrical. 









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Further work on this project; I started planking the main deck but I did not have enough wood to cover the whole deck. I used some balsa I had left over and it worked well. I plan on cutting slits to make it look more realistic, as well as adding tack marks. It seems some people have used pencil lead or graphite shavings to darken the wood. Perhaps a stain, I am not sure how exactly I want it to work out but I am looking forward to figuring that out.





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Work continues on the Virginia when I can, which is usually short 30 minute periods but there were a couple of late nights. I could not figure out which wood was supposed to be used to plank the deck so as I mentioned I just used some balsa I had around. I then shaved down a pencil and applied the graphite to the deck with a q-tip. Very scientific modelling I know but I think it turned out with the solid worn look I was going for. 





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Started and finished the outside planking. It really looks much better than it did! I am not completely happy yet with how the planking comes together at the bow but I will figure out how to solve that. I also glued the stem and false keep to the Virginia but realized too late that I had it in the wrong position: too low. It will not look exactly right in the end but I am just going to add a spacer and maybe even try a figurehead up there. 






These second two photos are of the sanded outer hull planking and the bow planking coming together at the stem. 





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Continuing work on the Artesania Latina has left me somewhat frustrated. I slogged through the poor directions and figured things out on my own for the planking and framing of the hull. All of this made general sense. Then I added the railing. Neither the directions nor the picture seemed to be as I needed for directions and my railing ended up coming out much higher than the railing of the actual model. Not a huge deal as it still looks good to me but a little frustrated. I am approaching adding the chain plates to the sides of the ship (too attached the deadeyes to run the shrouds to step the masts) but a perfect example of the poor instructions arises. I look for the pieces that are supposed to be #60 and #70. These are the chain plates for the fore and main masts respectively. I assume they are plywood and not needed to be shaped themselves but on the plywood cutout sheet the only pieces that look like they might be similar are numbered #77 and #78. I then look in the instruction manual with pictures and #77 is the water cask/barrel... Hmmm. I will persevere but I know that my next model will not be from Artesania. 


Any suggestions on a better manufacturer?


Anyway, here are some photos to go with my progress so far. Keep in mind this is my first whack at ship modeling, and some parts here are somewhat of a hack job but I am constantly learning so I am happy.




Filling in the stern as the shape did not line up with the rudder post piece.




The bowsprit is glued in place and lined up nicely. I have added a small balsa plank under the bowsprit and plan to build up a bit more of a "beak head" I believe it is called; the front structure of the ship around the sprit.




Spars under way!




Railing all glued. You can see my shoddy workmanship coupled with Artesania's poor directions have created something different than is shown in the pictures of the actual model but from two feet away it looks great!




The cannon took awhile and I cannot figure out the blocks yet. Can someone give me an actual close up view of what the blocks look like? This is perhaps the most frustrating part yet. I know how blocks (pulleys) are supposed to look and I could probably rig the whole schooner without directions but how to actually construct the blocks is very frustrating. Any help would be great.


I know I sound perturbed but I am actually still really enjoying this. I might just postpone this Virginia build in order to build a 45" balsa bi-plane that I have in a box...

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I think its coming along good.  I'm on my first build and having AL manufacturing problems too but after reading other posts of ships of other manufacturers it seems to be somewhat universal.


I'm finding I have to take measurements off the cross cut diagrams when working on a part so I get it more accurate to the diagrams and pictures, and some parts just arnt shown well enough in their illustrations to get a clear idea what you are suppose to do with them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your build is looking great. I think you will find that all manufacturers have their positives and negatives. I would look at the aspects of the build you want to do, then look for any build logs of that model in the forums. Then you can decided if the model is right for you.


One suggestion on your current build is to sand the metal parts to remove and molding marks or flashing.  Keep up the great work.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Here we go; some actual updated pictures! In the course of this build and two moves, I have misplaced all directions. My rigging is not perfect and has come from my memory working on tall ships. My goal is to set up all running rigging and sails to be fully functional!








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  • 1 year later...

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