Jump to content

HMS Ballahoo half-hull by owend - FINISHED

Recommended Posts

Hi, and introduction.


I was on MSW I until it sank without trace; I had several hundred posts including my build-log for HMS Cruizer. I was busted to OS and no posts  when MSW II started up!


I had completed Billings' Marie-Jeanne, a scratch-built Clyde puffer, and I posted my build-log for HMS Cruizer (which overrlapped with cancer, two operations and chemotherapy which slowed me down somewhat) and the free card yacht Viacosa.


Since MSW I crashed I've done HMS Saumarez and the trawler Consul Pust in card (fun but frustrating, although no posts. I probably won't do a card model again. I've just given up on a card DH Mosquito - the compound curves don't work well with card).


The First Lord of my Admiralty is somewhat less than encouraging, as we have a small-ish home. - comments such as "Where do you think THAT'S going to go?" gave me a hint. So the next model is half-width, will be mounted on a plank of some sort and hung on a wall - clever, eh? no space needed on top of bookcaes etc, all I need to do is get rid of that old Picasso hanging in the lounge.


I've chosen as base HMS Ballahoo. It looks interesting and importantly it's a true schooner rig with no yards, so it should be safer/easier to build as a half-hull. It's going to be the port side, using the provided keel, and so the new centreline will be about 1.5mm to the starboard of centre (as the keel is 3mm ) - that'll allow me to set masts and booms with perhaps the starboard side of the dowelling sanded down to sit flat on the mounting board.


I'm going to bash it a bit - I'm going to build her as a rigged half-hull commercial schooner, so there will be some departures from the base model:


1) no gunports. I'll do a continuous planked bulwark, with an entry-way probably marked out on the planking.


2) a larger, cargo, hatch between the masts.


3) the masts and yards will be full height, and rigged for centreline and port side only. I may have to smooth the masts to 3/4 width? Still to be assessed.


4) It will be finished in bare timber, varnished, possibly with a narrow black strip for the waterline but no other painting, so almost an Admiralty model! Not sure of the colour of the mounting board yet.


5) concerns about the anchor for later - the set provided seems too large, and no capstan or windlass seems unrealistic. More research needed!


I've made a start by cutting the bulkheads and false deck 1.5mm to the starboard of centre - that way they'll line up with the 3mm "keel" backbone (which was gently curved to starboard, and has needed some persuasion to become straight). The bulkheads and deck and keel are glued and drying now, and I've made a solid block to mount the build on while I work on it.


And of course, being a cheapskate, later I get the chance of a second model (starboard side) for free!!!!


I'll try to post pictures: apologies if they don't appear, it's a while since I posted.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had the kit for some weeks, sitting with a whisky and planning (the whisky worked, not sure about the planning yet), checking everything's there (it is), separating and dry-fitting (with one hitch, the keel is curved). Straightened with steam and patience, and as a half-hull it's less critical, as the keel will be flat on a board - fitting the false deck helped too.


The two blocks of wood between bulkheads 3 & 4, and 8 & 9 are for the screws from the rear holding the ship down on its working board, and eventually onto the mounting board.


You can see the bulkheads cut off level with the starboard side of the keel; this makes the port side 1.5mm wider on the starboard side than the true centreline, as you can see from the divided false deck.


The working board is wood not metal, it's covered in aluminium foil because B) it's not actually oven-ready, it's so that the keel and other pieces that'll have to be glued up to the centreline don't glue themselves to the workboard and the hull should come free cleanly, which may be necessary from time to time.


Next is the outer keel etc, and the counter pieces. I'm not cutting the keel, which means it'll be too thick, but I don't think it'll be noticeable. The counter will need carefull cutting though.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, latestarter: and egkb - your Ballahoo log was one of the research subjects during the whisky phase!


I'm finding the bulwark awkward to fit, like others have, but mine looks to be about 5mm longer than the ship (dry fitting only so far). If I hold it in place at the bow it extends beyond the counter: I don't see this as a major problem as I can trim off the excess, but has anyone else seen this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey There Owend, the Bulwarks on my Ballahoo were grand, the only issue I had to deal with (not a problem for you though) is where or how they meet right at the bow, but it wasn't a huge issue and they will be covered with a layer of planking anyhoo.

So I suggest that as long as the Bulwark extends right Forward to where the Bowsprit will be then cut the overhang off at the stern, you can even glue the whole affair in place then cut it or sand it flush later.

Keep an eye on the height of the Bulwark though as it certainly didn't sit flush with the Tops of ALL the Bulkhead 'Horns' on my kit, I compromised and had it level with as many as I could, with special emphasis on the Very First Bulkhead & the Port Starboard Transom 'Prongs' (the 4 upright timbers that the Transom will attach to, can't recall the names right now  :P )


Hope this lot is of some help down the road.


All The Very Best




PS There seems to be slight ambiguity between kits of the same vessels sometimes.. not sure why, but I hear others on MSW mention it re their own various builds... Rare but not unknown I think.  For Instance, my capping rail was too short on both sides by about the same 5mm you mentioned.. Oh Well  ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I've attached the bulkhead, but it wasn't a good fit. I started at the bow and got the bowsprit hole lined up OK, but it's too shallow at the stern - to get the top of the bulkhead level with the top of the counter, it ends up not in good contact with the deck. It's OK now, as it's attached to the bulkhead extensions, but they have to be removed later!


I'd already decided to do what Eamonn suggested, fit the bulkhead as-is then cut off the 5mm overhang when it's all set solid. Also, because it's not firmly attached at deck level, I'm going to put a small triangular reinforcement timber between the counter and the bulkhead. Hopefully, that plus the laminate of first and second planking and deck planking will keep it all solid.


After your warning I checked: my capping rail fits perfectly!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slow progress, but planked - the picture is before the second planking is completely finished (main wale and counter not yet done, hawse hole and bowsprit hole not opened out, not sanded). The varied shades of the walnut planking is (are?) deliberate, to give some "texture".


No major issues, but there is a fair amount of variation in the walnut second planking supplied, which was a bit disappointing - the darker pieces in particular are a coarser grain and are prone to splintering if I try to bend them too much. It worked out OK but JoTiKa's quality control seems a bit lax.


I also found it challenging as the hull needed smaller-radius bends than my Cruiser, and perhaps surprisingly I found the shorter hull, and hence shorter planks, more difficult than the Cruiser.


Next is the counter, then plank inside bulwark, then decking, in order to strengthen the hull; I'm bearing in mind that the half-hull doesn't have the strengthening effect of full bulkheads and the starboard side planking.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've added the main wales, and cut some scuppers to avoid a floating swimming pool. Also the counter, which took a bit of fiddling. I think it would have been easy if it was going to have a painted finish, but as I intend to varnish it, the joints show up a bit. The capping rail was marginally short, meaning the stern counter didn't project far enough to go over the counter, meaning a slightly cobbled finish; probably no-one else will notice but it's annoying to me! Again, Jotika's quality control is a bit disappointing - my gripes so far are bulwarks too long (easily remedied), walnut planking variable in colour and some easily splinter and now the capping rail is short by about 3mm. Eamonn, you were right, even if my capping rail seemed to be OK dry-fitting earlier!


I'm going to scribe in joints for the deck planking, and an opening gate in the bulwark and capping rail, but as I'm giving her a cargo hatch between the masts, I'm having to relocate the pump and possibly other deck furniture, so I'll do that next, then do the scribing.


As she's going to be mounted on a board, I've glued the rudder in place, and made up some "ironwork" rudder hinges.


As you can see, the centreline is actually slightly to starboard of the true centre, just to the side of the keel. The masts and bowsprit need 1.5mm shaving off one side, to allow them to fit, as you can see from the shape of the holes in the decking. That will actually help them lie flat on the board - I'll probably glue or pin them to the board for stability before tightening up any rigging.


I need to decide what colour and substance for the final mounting board - solid wood may be heavy unless it's thin enough to risk warping; a sanded/polished plywood would need edging. And would a dark wood look too heavy? Decisions, decisions!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

After a delay (the New Year bug, family visits etc), an update. I seem to spend hours and achieve very little that's visible! She's had a lot of small work done: the deck has been scribed, eyelets and cleats attached, the half-length bitts attached.


Channels and chains were fitted, which caused slight problems, as I didn't think to check the height between the mainwale and the capping rail, and with one-piece straps I found I'd made the gap too great, so the straps are attached to the very top of the wale. Annoying, but I don't think it's too obvious.


I haven't fixed the timberheads yet, nothing is attache to the at this stage and they're one less thing to get in the way and broken!


I shaped the masts and they've had a coat of stain. They look very brown, which is partly the photograph, they're not quite as brown as that, and when the whole ship is varnished (clear satin acrylic) the hull will go browner on my experience.


She's mounted on a larger board now that she's masted. The rubber band looking attachments to the mast ARE rubber bands, to keep the masts flat on the workboard.As there is only one side's shrouds, there's going to be a tendency to pull the masts to port; when it's finished, I'll mount it permanently and I'm planning to pin the masts and bowsprit to the board.


Next is the fore-and-aft standing rigging then probably the booms and then the shrouds.


The photos show the split deck fittings - I'm putting the companionway fore-and-aft, so it's been cut, slightly off-centre as the dividing line is slightly to starboard as I've explained.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've started the standing rigging. First major change is at the bow: the line from the foremast to the block on the end of the bowsprit (sorry, not sure of the name) is shown just being connected by a rigging hook to an eyelet on the stem, with no adjustment, which seems both wrong and strange - why use a block if the line doesn't move? I've adapted it to include a block and hemp line to allow for adjustment.


With the masts held flat to the building board, I've put up shrouds, and put ratlines on the shrouds, although there are none on the plans - it would be more typical of actual operating practice, and they look good on jim_smits' build (thanks for the inspiration!).


That's fairly standard I think. Specific to the half-hull, if I remove my tie-down rubber bands the masts each lift about 2mm from the edge of the building board, about 75% length. The shrouds are not tight, so the lesson is to keep masts and bowsprit firmly pinioned. I'll be pinning them down to the display board, probably with a brass pin through to the back of the board and clinched over.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Progress is steady but fiddly - it's proving difficult to make, for example, half a parrel collar, and some of the rigging runs to different tie-offs, as there's only one side.


One error I've found: the line from the end of the main gaff to the deck isn't on the plan at all, although it's on the box photograph. There are some other minor differences between the box photo and the plans, but nothing a bit of thought can't overcome, I think.


I've found, as I'd expected, that the masts are lifting from the board, as the shrouds (and other rigging) exert an upward force. that would be to port if the ship was upright, abut balanced by the same forces on the starboard side. If I was doing this again I would use something stronger than rubber bands, perhaps some string? Wide and soft to avoid marking the masts?


I went with a sheet of ply for the mounting board, with some walnut for a frame. The ply was completely flat in the shop (I checked several before buying, which made the shop assistant worry, I don't think he's seen so much fussing for a 610mm square piece of plywood), then after getting it home it was more Pringle than mirror-smooth, I think the cold carrying it to the car and different moisture levels at my house caused some warping, I was surprised how much. Anyway, a week lying flat on the floor and it's back to smooth. I think the colour sets off the Ballahoo's woods well.


Advice appreciated: the two photos are on the finished size of the ply, with about 45mm all round. Which angle should I mount it - keel horizontal which gives the stern a pronounced sweep up, or waterline horizontal which gives the keel an upward slope to the stem?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks brillo Owend.. regardless which way up you choose (really helpful I know,eh? :P )  hmmm  but f you pushed me to decide then she 'weirdly' looks a tinsy-bit better with the Keel level !! (which goes completely against what I'd usually have suggested ie that the waterline be level, but seeing as how there is no marked waterline either on Ballahoo or the base board I guess that isn't a problem  ;) ) most Half Hulls I've seen tend to level the waterline but with the big 'Dead Drop' aft in Ballahoo I feel this may look odd ! (admittedly most of the Half Hulls I've seen don't include masts etc as they were done by boat builders to show clients the basic hull shapes)


That said I think the pattern of the 'Table Cloth' she is sitting on is making her 'angle' look more exaggerated than she is in reality.. ^_^  :huh:  :huh:   'cos when I block it out with my hands the Waterline Level one looks a little better.. if you follow !!  Yup I'm a massive help..  :D


All The Best



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks both; good point, Jan, I hadn't thought of the different angle of rake; I've gone with a thin line for the waterline and mounted her waterline-horizontal.


I've now mounted deck furniture (anchor to go - interesting that it's catted up in a different place on the plans and on the box photo!), marked the entry port, varnished board and Ballahoo, and mounted the hull. As expected, the masts are being pulled slightly proud of the board; after the anchor I'll pin the masts to the board, and possibly the gaffs and boom also.


I'm making a start on the starboard side - it's going to be a bare hull with "broken" 3 - 4 cm of mast and bowsprit, and with all four carronades. I'm thinking of giving it to a relative who has seven year old twin boys, who'll no doubt be more impressed with guns than rigging!


I'm mulling over the next project : I quite like the look of the Constructo Louise, those old steam river cruisers were elegant - anyone know of any other kits? Alternatively, a Bluenose kit: there are several Bluenose and Bluenose II kits, can anyone help with choosing a good version? Or a similar type of racing yacht, preferably two-masted?






Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Bit of a delay! I finished the starboard side, and pinned down the masts of the port side (which were being pulled away from the board by the tensioned ratlines etc).


I'm fairly happy with the result, although in retrospect I might have painted the port (rigged) side, as I like the ppearance of the painted starboard side.


I added a waterline, from a strip of black-painted paper.

The painted, starboard, half has a strut sticking out, which makes it free-standing; teh port side will have to be hung like a painting.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Eamonn! Not up to your standard I'm afraid, but I enjoyed it. I've carved a couple of scale figures to represent the grandchildren, and I'm really surprised to see how small the Ballahoo is compared to them- try a couple of quick paper figures, 27mm high is 5 feet 8 inches at 1/64. They make Ballahoo look like a rowing boat.


If I was doing it again, I'd do her full-hull and painted. I'm pleased to have tried half-hull though.


Next one is a scratch 1/150 tug which I've just started (with a buildlog in the scratchbuilt forum, if I'm allowed entry, having seen some of the amazing work there!).



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea.. Ballahoo is defo a small boat, though I kinda prefer small boats to their bigger cousins.. not sure why exactly!


Love the wee scale grandkids you have there..  they really do give a feel for her size.


Remember with your experience of having built Ballahoo TWICE .. I'm sure you could knock up another in no time  ;)  ;)


I'll go take a looksie for your Scratch Build Owen.


All The Very Best




Edit.. was just over on Scratch Builds but didn't see your Tug.. perhaps you could give a quick 'heads-up' on here when the Log is 'up' ..  (of course I may have just missed it!! wouldn't be the first time I didn't see something right under my nose  ^_^  ^_^ )


Edited by egkb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eamonn: the scratchbuild went live at 2.26pm; this should be the link (but I've never tried posting a link before): http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10045-tug-hermes-1150/ 


Mike: you're welcome to try the ideas, but bear in mind they may not work - as the financial adverts say, you may get back less than you put in!

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...