Jump to content

Swift 1805 by Grumpy Old Salt – Artesania Latina - 1:50 Scale - My very first wooden kit

Recommended Posts

Instead of posting a lot of photos of the kit components I’ll limit myself to the box art because it appears to be different from everyone else’s, a newer 2013 version. There are some small differences between this kit and others I’ve seen here. To start with there are no filler blocks for the bow or stern.




And . . . my first newbie mistake. No build board or clamps to make certain everything is square.




That said, my research indicates that after a ships framing was completed the first timbers fitted to the frames were the wales: much thicker (sometimes double the thickness) than the other hull planking. This was done so that the frames would remain ‘square’ as the frames were faired, the strakes steamed into shape and then clamped and treenailed. Or, am I mistaken? So, despite the fact this model doesn’t actually have room to fit the wales before the rest of the hull is planked, and has a few bulkheads instead of lots of actual frames, I thought I would wait until I fitted the top strakes to make certain each bulkhead is square.


As you can see, in this kit the ‘bow filler’ is simply another piece of plywood glued on each side of the false keel.




The stern is an even sillier idea.




More later.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Phil,

You really do need to get the bulkheads right now, before doing any further work, as everything else in the build depends on the framework that you create with the false keel and bulkheads.


Also, it's much more difficult to correct any issues with the alignment later, as opposed to now where nothing else is in the way, and you can't really fair the bulkheads until they are properly aligned, as if you change the alignment after fairing, then the fairing will be wrong.


Those stern bulkheads look wrong to me, but I don't have this kit, so hopefully someone who has done is can chime on on those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice Brian. I have already checked everything to see if it is true and square. There will need to be some minor adjustments in the angles, less than 1/2 a mill at the worst and, as the bulkheads have some flex anyway, I thought I would wait until I fit the top strake on either side (before any others) to finally 'true' the bulkheads.


And yes, I thought the rear bulkheads looked wrong too. But that's what the instructions and accompanying photos showed. In the end I've decided to remove them and put in a solid filler block between the last two bulkheads so I can be certain the planking will hold.



Edited by Grumpy Old Salt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The next step, according to the instructions, is to shape the bow and first bulkhead. In order to get the right shape the instructions say to mark out the shape using to top deck as a guide. So, prior to that I removed the top deck from it’s little home and proceeded to make certain that the top of the joints between the false keel and the bulkheads were flush. As you can see, the top deck in my version of this kit has very large cutouts where the deck cabins will go. This presents intriguing opportunities.





And I even ‘levelled’ the rear bulkheads . . .




Then I marked the shape I’m supposed to achieve with a pencil on the tops of the bow and first bulkhead . . .






Then I got out my file and sandpaper and went to work. Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to . . .



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings, Phil,

The Swift is a sweet vessel. By now you may have found some of the well-documented build logs of the Swift. If not, I suggest you take a look at those so that you don't feel you have to reinvent the wheel. Brian advice is spot on; get those bulkheads right, or treacherous waters lie ahead. My own psychology is to get things as right as I think I can, then put the model aside for the evening. In the morning I see things needing improvement.


Good luck,


"Anything can be made to work if you don't fiddle with it too much."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Swift was my first build and I didn't pay enough attention to he bulkheads. The result is....my model has a slight curve to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks John and Rich. It has actually sunk in that all the bulkheads need to be absolutely square; it would also be nice if the instructions in the kit mentioned that too, instead of simply saying they must be perpendicular. Anywho, on with my build . . .


Well, filing and sanding is completed on the bow and it now looks like this:




And, from the side:




The tank tracks are NOT a part of my build. Since doing this I have had a number of re-thinks (not a real word). First, put in balsa wood filler-blocks to make a larger gluing surface for the strake curvature on the bow and, second, filler blocks in place of the silly stern rubbish in the kit, like so:




When I get around to doing this I will need to make absolutely certain that bulkhead numbers 1 and 10 are true and square. For which I’m going to need some thick aluminium angle pieces and some strong clamps. Oh, I nearly forgot; does anyone know a good recipe for softening white, wood glue? Oh, well, guess I’ll just search the Internet.


And, just so you know, this is the point in my build when I decided that the hull planking instructions in the kit, including their pictures, didn’t look right. (Stupid kit!) This, as I’ve said in my introduction, led me to this site, among others, and me needing to swallow a packet of Aspirin as I began to delve into the ‘real world’ of hull planking. Gee, shipwrights really do earn their money!



Edited by Grumpy Old Salt
Link to comment
Share on other sites





should note however some wood glues bond MUCH harder than others, so can be more difficult to dissolve.


you may also need to add some filler block between the 1st and 2nd bulkhead along the false keel for the garboard strake ( first strake along the keel line which will stop someplace midway between bulkhead 1 and 2)

Current Build Log(s):

-Swift Virginia Pilot Boat 1805- Artesania Latina 1985 no sails kit.  My first wooden ship build.

Carrack - Woodkrafter Kits


Completed Build Log(s):

-Pirate Ship- Woodkrafter Kits Ship in a Bottle - First ship in a bottle kit build.

-The Secret Revealed Boat in a Bottle Kit- Authentic Models - Ship In Bottle


On the Shelf to build:

- Build a Ship in a Bottle Kit - Authentic Models

- The Chesapeake Bay Flattie - Midwest Products

- Armistad 1832 - Serial Modellbau

- San Gabriele 1497 - Serial Modellbau

- Clara May English Ketch - Artesania Latina

- Santa Maria - Scientific

- Margaretha - Tris Model

- Paranzella - Tris Model

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the links Grimber. I had found similar results in my quick web search yesterday. Also, you may be right about that filler block between bulkhead 1 & 2. I guess I'll leave that decision until I'm ready to look at fitting the garboard strake, but I will also loosen that bulkhead in anticipation of such a need.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

During my web search for information on planking a ship’s hull I gathered together a small number of resources that I wanted to study more closely before I attempted to plank the hull on this model. Which, in my humble opinion, I now consider to be nothing much more than a complicated woodworking toy; but more of that at another time and in another place.


One site, with images of the skills needed to build a full-sized, real world, plank on frame ship is here: http://www.boat-building.org/learn-skills/index.php/en/home-en/


 In essence, this site shows you how what we all do in modelling a wooden ship is done full-sized. To demonstrate how valuable real-world application to model shipbuilding is, take a look at the page: Hull and frames design for ‘hogging’. Now, check out the restoration work on the USS Constitution undertaken to rectify ‘hogging’ in her. You will note that, in her original construction, some deck planking was up to double the thickness of the rest of the planking in order to prevent hogging in the first place.


Another interesting article I found on the construction of wooden ships is this one: http://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol03/tnm_3_1_1-43.pdf which if you want to know the names of all those fiddly bits of woodwork in you ships hull, will tell you. At least from an English wooden ship POV circa 1710. But, it has other uses as well.


Then there are the excellent tutorials on this site and the reason I’m here. And you probably thought it was just because of the skills and knowledge of the contributors, didn’t you? Well, that’s partly true. All right, it’s a major reason. Okay?


Anywho, I had gathered together a number of excellent (I thought, and still do) resources and had skimmed through them all to get a feel for what I would have to consider. Just as I was about to get serious about ‘learning’ what I needed to do, the real world intruded. Let’s just say I was suddenly overloaded with work and, while it didn’t make me physically tired, it exhausted me mentally. So, while I felt in no position to learn ‘new things’, I set about fairing the frames (actually bulkheads in this case).


Already I can hear the cries of, “You’ve got to make sure everything is square first!” Well, yes, and no. My fairing of the frames is simply a ‘first pass’. When I get to the actual planking, each one will be treated as a separate model in itself, and each place where a strake contacts a bulkhead will be individually shaped. Just like in the real world. So, this is what I did:




Also, in my skimming of the research I had gathered, I realised that the model (?) attempts to simulate the rabbeting along the keel rather than actually doing it. What this means is that, when fitting the garboard strake, it would (or could) be bent over the false keel, which would in turn tend to crowd the other strakes at the bow. This likelihood was compounded by the way the 2nd bulkhead fitted into the false keel, like so:




To correct this, I made a small modification:




Now I can shape the garboard strake properly, when I get around to it.


More later.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Phil and welcome to the Swift club. She's a great kit to cut your teeth on but I recommend tossing the AL instructions and using MSW as a guide. There are many Swift to learn from.

Definitely put balsa in the bow and stern. Nice red illustration. For the stern you will find a 5/8" dowel with sandpaper glued around it will help sand and shape the stern block.

Also on the loosening glue, good old H2O is usually the best. If its deep, rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) will help a bit more with penetration. I typically use water with luck.


I just clicked the follow button as I can't miss a Swift build. The kit has SO MANY issues, but the bones are there for making a nice little pilot. It's always good to see another builders interpretation on this classic, new or old version.


Your right on the fact that the Swift kit simulates the keel/rabbet interface and once you fair the keel bulkhead to a "V" across the second bulkhead it should make a nice transition. The balsa between the 1st and 2nd bulkheads along the keel is so that the bow end of the garboard is best ended between those 2 bulkheads and it will need a solid glue surface. Moving the garboard plank much farther forward and the bow becomes crowded and forces either a dropped plank or over-narrowing at the stem of the planking. Creating a tight keel/stem to hull line is one of the more daunting tasks of this build with the way its simulated. You will also find AL simulates lots of things and leaves many details out, but it is up to the builder, how far they want to take the build by adding to the kit.


Looks like your off to a good start and doing some good research. Traditional Maritime skills is a great research tool and don't miss Marcus Lewis's clinker built boat videos on Youtube. They are amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments Keith. I have checked out your build, along with a few others, and am impressed by your original take on this particular boat. Personally, I'm more of a prototype modeller, but hey, each to their own, and you do demonstrate some amazing woodworking skills.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Phil.

I agree, no 2 Swift builds should be alike, even if just going for the box picture. As with all of life's events, it is all about the experience and each person has to have their own experience, fulfilling what ever their needs are for doing such a task in the first place.


I've always enjoyed people watching and as a teacher I found the social interaction of the students an interesting study. I find the same interest with MSW. Each build log has a personality of its own, based on the builder and their wants and needs. Having worked intimately with the older swift kit, I find it interesting to see how others approach the task. I haven't seen a build yet, that hasn't taught me something. No matter whether a veteran builder or a first time builder does the task.


The Swift is a beautifully lined boat with a nice sheer line and she's always fun to watch built. I've travelled far off the beaten path with my build of her, but yet the task has given me a real respect for the task the Pilots performed in a nautical world and also their step towards the development of the schooners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...