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A recent search on how to 'tie' rigging on model ships brought me to Model Ship World and the wealth of knowledge of its members. The information posted on this web site, along with other sources on the Internet has enabled me to finish my first model ship.

 

So to all of you, 'thanks!!'

 

One thing I did notice was no mention of the ship I built, and only a brief mention of the manufacturer, the Mary Byrne, manufactured by Modellers Shipyard in Australia.

 

So I thought over the next few days (whilst watching the cricket!) I would recount in a build log my experiences with this model.

 

Photo is from the web; my build is not quite that good.

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Edited by Duncan68
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First a little background.

 

I spent the past 20+ years in senior management positions in the building industry. So whilst I know a lot about the science behind modern construction, the only blisters I ever got were on the tips of my fingers from typing too many emails. I have a very practical and logical mind, but the only experience with hand tools was small projects around the house. So to start building a model ship I needed something not too hard and with good support.

 

Researching the Internet, I came across the Aussie company Modellers Shipyard, who manufacturer their own Australian Ships, as well as supply other manufacturers and parts.

 

With their own kits, they also do a starter pack, where you get a model ship, basic tools and some instructional DVDs. My kit came with 5 dvds with a "master modeller" showing how it is done. Although they don't cover every part of building a model, they were most helpful and turned what would have been a real struggle into a rewarding experience.

 

I chose the Mary Byrne, a 1826 Colonial Ketch simply because I liked the look of her. If I had done more research, I would have realised that this ship never really existed, at least in that name, but the story behind the name and the ship seem to be well founded.

 

As for the model, and the support from the manufacturer, overall it was pretty good. There were a number of minor errors in the instructions, a few resulting in incorrect quantities of materials. But the guys at Modellers Shipyard, whilst not admitting to all the errors did send me 'extra' materials when requested. For their generosity, I will send them a list of all their typos in the instructions which I hope they will take note of.

 

More to follow, along with photos

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Keel and Bulkheads were of plywood and were not warped. Fitting was simple with only minor filing. The model has a buff bow and this was formed with 6 plywood layers. Once I had marked the deck onto the top, it was an easy, if labour intensive process to create the correct profile.

 

Ditto faring the frames for the double layered planking and the pre formed deck were also done without problem.

 

The instructions provided with the kit along with the DVDs were most helpful here. To complete these steps, the instructions provided 5 x A3 pages of text and 18 colour photos. This included detail down to removing the deadwood area. For the novice, it made it easy. post-16859-0-23826300-1420174594_thumb.jpgpost-16859-0-33206400-1420174633_thumb.jpg

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I didn't take any photos of the bulkheads fared prior to planking, but below is several with the first layer of limewood planking in progress.

 

I found the process of planking tricky initially, but soon got into the swing of it. Again, the detailed instructions were helpful, as was a little basic mathematics. I fund it hard to pin each plank tithe bulkheads, so I used a combination of pins, rubber bands, planking screws and forceps to ensure there were no wobbles or bows.

 

Part finished first layer of planking below.

 

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As you can see from my signature, I have built a number of Modeller's Shipyard kits. Their Instructions are usually OK but be careful, they are often NOT drawn to scale. Take careful note of the measurements provided, don't just cut from drawings on the plan. I came a cropper when cutting a mast for one of my builds. I measured it from the drawings on the plan and it ended up being too short. Stupid mistake I know, but it wouldn't have happened if, like most other kit manufacturers, the plans were drawn to scale!!!!! As to them not admitting to errors or omissions in kits, you are not the first (not by a long shot) to encounter this problem with this manufacturer.

Edited by hornet
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Thx Hornet

 

I agree with the dimension issue with Modellers Shipyard. I'm not too fussed with their instructions being not to scale, but if they are not to scale, then they need to give dimensions on everything.

 

I will have a lot to say on that when I recount the rigging. I think there was only two dimensions provided for the entire rigging, apart from how long each spar or mast is. With every drawing marked "Not to Scale" all you can do is make an educated guess, or use trial an error! I ended up spending a day drawing up each spar/ mast with all the rigging points to scale based on all the pictures provided. Even then, there are a number of lines that clash requiring some rework.

 

But, I must say, when I told them of the errors in relation to quantities of materials they indicated were required they did send, at their cost, sufficient to complete the model.

 

So I can't knock them too much, but it is interesting the either won't (or can't - maybe a printing issue?) provide drawings to scale, or won't add sufficient dimension to take the guess work out of it. I'm sure in time, market forces will ensure either they adapt or . . . !!!

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Duncan

Modellers Shipyard has been around for a long time. They were originally called Coastal Distributors and operated out of Nowra. I bought my first model, the Golden Hind, in about 1984. They are now located west of Sydney and have new owners. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they have not realised that the Internet and online shopping has made the sale of model kits, components, tools and accessories very competitive. If you are interested in another build, have a look at Miniature Steam in Melbourne. They sell Caldercraft kits at very competitive prices. While you are at it, check out the Float A Boat Website (also in Melbourne). They sell a great range of gear.

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First layer of planking was completed without too much drama, although it was slow. I tapered all of the planks, except the top and bottom. I also changed direction several times at the bow and once at the stern.

 

Once finished, a light sand and a little timber filler at the bow gave me a very nice shape.

 

Second layer if planking was faster. Kit provided 0.6 x 6mm teak which I fixed with a contact adhesive. The instructions suggested I could do 4 strips at a time, but I found it too hard to fit all four before the adhesive had set. Two at a time was much more sensible.

 

All planks were tapered as per the first layer, with several changes in direction.

 

Overall, the finish was pretty good, I think. There were a few small gaps between the planks particularly at the bow which I filled with a matching timber filler from my local hardware store. This also filled some gaps in the grain of the timber.

 

Later, I sanded the completed hull with increasing grades of sandpaper up to 1200 grit, then finished with a clear timber varnish.

 

Finished hull pre sanding, with pre- finished deck below. The lighter timber for the whale flashing is silver ash, which was fixed on top of the teak.

 

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Thx for the tips re next built.

 

Agree Internet has changed a lot of things and price is a key issue. We have a SA based company called Hobby Habit who are very competitive both online and in-store, with all range of hobbies catered for. I picked up the Endeavour by Artesania at a very good price as my next build. Have got the box opened and read through the instructions several times and they are of greater detail (I see lots of dimensions) and quality than MS, but don't have the educational slant that MS has. (And, yes I have glanced at the other build logs highlighting some of the pitfalls).

 

MS should take note of Brian's post. We all wish them well and will support them, but they must take note.

Edited by Duncan68
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In addition I would like to add that I have supported Modellers shipyard SUBSTANTIALLY over the years. If you look at my signature you will see that 11 of the 12 completed builds were actually Purchased from Modellers Shipyard. I have also purchased many of their DVD's. I estimate that I have spent well in excess of $4000 with the company. My point is that in recent years, in my opinion, their competitiveness and customer service has slipped. I make no apology in pointing this out. Part of being a member of this forum, in my opinion is not only to suggest ideas and ask questions, but to point out shortcomings in the suppliers we have used. In that way new members, or those looking for a new build can shop with far more confidence than was the case before MSW. If you check other threads on this site, you will find that I am an equal opportunity whinger! I gave Caldercraft/JoTika a hammering for poor service as well. Incidentally, Modeller's Shipyard sent their members a survey to complete last year. This may indicate that they are starting to realise that they mayhave a problem. I hope that they use this survey to improve their business. That being the case, I would again be happy to shop with them.

 

P.S. Thank you Duncan for the heads up on Hobby Habit. I will check them out.

Edited by hornet
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Duncan, I also found that the use of contact cement was very difficult. Not to mention rather smelly. I now use Aquadhere Interior Quickset. I normally put a small dob of CA gel glue on the end of the plank to hold it while the aquadhere sets . This only takes a couple of minutes at most. The advantage of doing it this way is that you can move or remove the plank if needed before the glue sets. This is not possible when you use contact cement. Cleanup is also much easier.

 

Cheers

Edited by hornet
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Sorry to disagree with you Janos, but if you read Duncan's initial posts he said that there were some errors with the kit. He also said that Modeller's Shipyard did not admit to all these errors. This struck a chord with me as I and others on this forum have had similar experiences with Modeller's Shipyard. Duncan's issues seemed to be minor and yes, it appears he is satisfied with Modeller's Shipyards response. THIS IS GREAT!!! Maybe complaints from members of this forum, including myself, have made them think more about their customer service. When I initially read his thread I thought he had just started the build (rather than producing the build log after completing the build - as I later realised) for this reason I also mentioned the problem I had with the Modellers Shipyard plans NOT BEING TO SCALE - something that had tripped me up in the past. Because this was his first build I felt that I should mention this to Duncan as well as it is, in my opinion, a relevant issue. I mentioned Miniature Steam and Float a Boat to Duncan because they are good companies which I was directed to by other members of this site. I see nothing wrong with giving a new member some 'good oil' on Aussie Suppliers - particularly those who provide excellent prices and service. You have every right to disagree with me and express your equally valid opinions but I don't have to agree with you. Best wishes.

 

P.S sorry Duncan if you too feel I have hijacked your build log. It was never my intention. I will say no more on this matter and look forward to following your build.

Edited by hornet
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Stern & Stem Post, Keel

 

This is where I had my first serious challenge. These pieces in the kit were plywood which fitted well but had to be veneered with the teak to match the hull. I fitted them prior to the second layer of planks, but decided to veneer them after the hull, not before. I think this was the best approach but it was difficult, particularly the stem.

 

With only 6mm wide strips of timber to play with, I had to have joins in the veneer around the stem. And the only template I had was the plywood sheet the post was laser cut from. I ended up creating a paper template for each part of the post one at a time, which I tested and then trimmed against the hull until I was happy. I then cut each piece from stock timber, glued and repeated the process.

 

Overall I was happy with the result.

 

It was here that I discovered my first timber quantity error of the kit. There was simply not enough stock teak to do the hull, posts, keel and stern, not to mention channels. Did plenty of sums, assuming at first it was my error. But clearly the kit did not have enough stock to do the job. [As an aside, 20+ years in the building game, plus a few years at uni, has taught me how to measure. The kit was wrong.]

 

To their credit, Modellers Shipyard sent me some additional stock at their own expense and postage. They didn't admit any error ("others have completed the kit without any problem") but the did ship the extra. So to them, thanks.

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Deck Fence

 

This element was simple to assemble but hard to fit. The top and bottom rail were of plywood and the stanchions were of a hard "cardboard" which were simple to touch up with a file and fit.

 

What I didn't anticipate was how ridged it would be once glued and painted. The deck has a nice curve on it, maybe 12mm, but the assembled fence would not bend this far. Essentially the assembled fence was acting as a truss and was very stiff. In a number of locations the cap rail needed to be removed, for gangway, hawsers and tiller. I removed these portions and suddenly the whole assembly became very weak at these points and broke in several places. Nothing a little glue and paint couldn't fix, but lesson learnt.

 

Photos of the fence during assembly and after painting (& repair), and with fence fitted.

 

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Edited by Duncan68
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Deck Furniture

 

This was a long but rewarding process. The kit had excellent instructions and photos, with (surprisingly) some dimensions including a deck plan at 1:1 scale. The parts provided with the kit were of good quality.

 

One criticism, the hawses couldn't be fabricated from the parts provided. The kit came with plywood parts, but they were too thin to shape and I used some spare timber I had lying around (maybe walnut) which I used. Interestingly, the detailed photos provided in the instructions show the hawses fabricated from solid timber, not ply!

 

A few photos of part finished deck furniture.

 

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Spars & Rigging

 

It's hard! Initially I was unsure how to approach this so I built a model of the model.

 

Having never undertaken any rigging, I decided to try and build a model of the rigging which had all the key components of my model. I used some pine dowels from the local hardware store and some rigging components,a such as cord, deadeyes, blocks from my local model shop. I even found some fuse wire to secure the deadeyes.

 

I used these to practice and refine techniques that I was happy with. Whilst I never completed the model model, it provided a great way to a) show that I could do it and B) helped to resolve a number of dimensional issues that the kit didn't provide details on.

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Hi Duncan. I too found that I used many of the plywood parts in Modellers Shipyard kits as templates and built these parts from solid timber - usually walnut. The result was much more pleasing. Your 'practise' technique for rigging is most interesting. I have not seen that done before!!

Edited by hornet
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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi guys

 

Not scared off by the 'hijack' of this thread. I think the comments by all are of value. I have fallen into the trap of opening a new box, the Endeavour, and getting caught up in a new exciting adventure. Bulkheads on and fared, deck half planked, etc, before the Mary Byrne caught my eye and said "finish me".

 

All that is left to do is some of the finishing touches and some rat lines. So I will shortly finish this build log as promised.

 

First though, a couple of points.

 

Modellers Shipyard have a great product for newbies. As an introduction into this fascinating hobby, their own range are great, IMO. Their instructions are well written, their models are well thought out and their DVDs are extremely useful for a first timer. However, the Mary Byrne certainly has issues, albeit minor, with the instructions not offerings definitive detail in some areas. I have read some of the other build logs and found that other kits have issues too, but all that I found can be rectified through references within their instructions (ignoring historical errors). My new build (Endeavour) has errors, but I have reference to detailed scaled (1:1) drawings that includes deck, cross section and all spars. Mary Byrne only has a scaled deck plan and overall lengths for the spars. The rest is guesswork.

 

Finally thank you for the comments and feedback; the rest is on its way.

 

Duncan

Edited by Duncan68
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Hi Duncan, just one of your pesky hijackers returning! Have you finished Mary Byrne? If so I would love to see a couple of pics of your efforts. Good luck with HMB Endeavour. I have the Caldercraft version but will finish the Caldercraft Supply and then the Caldercraft Bounty before she gets 'on the bench'. I have a couple of hundred hi res that I took of the Endeavour Replica a while back. If you would like a copy, PM me.

 

Steve

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