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Landlubber Mike

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Everything posted by Landlubber Mike

  1. Hey Rob, Second planking is certainly trickier in some aspects, but I would say easier in others. The nice thing about it is you have many many more points to secure the plank to the hull, whereas with the first planking, you only can secure it to the bulkheads or filler blocks if you used them. What works for me is to use those red-capped pins I posted earlier in your log. I place the plank against the plank above/below it, run the pin just under the plank all the way through the first planking to secure it tightly against the already fixed plank, and between the pin and the shoulder of the pin cap, the plank usually stays in place. Sometimes it's a little tricky as you can't push them into bulkheads but usually you have many more pinning points. Here is an example: Where there is a big curve, I will usually pre-soak the plank, and sometimes will even put it in one of those plank bender devices (like the one pictured below) to pre-start the curve. This method takes a while, but it gives me the best results. For what it's worth, pear (at least the swiss pear I've used) bends nicely when soaked. In the picture above, the pinned pear plank is 1mm thick. The strakes above are the wale are 2mm thick pear - and you can see how much of a bend around the bow and at the stern was needed. Certainly, you might need to use C- or bar clamps to help keep the plank in place while the glue is setting. It's a good idea to put a scrap piece of wood, cloth, etc. between the clamp and the plank so that you don't mark up the wood. Learned that lesson the hard way! I tried CA glue on my first build, and hated it. Frankly, it was the first time I used CA in a modeling situation so I didn't know what I was doing. But, I found it really messy, and it either set too quickly due to moisture in the wood, or didn't set at all. I'm a little more facile with CA now from plastic modeling, but I don't know if I would still use it. I could see using CA to set a plank in the rabbet along the stem, and then bending it around and using PVA for the rest of the length of the plank. PVA is just easier to clean up, and if you are looking for a natural wood finish, getting a CA spot could spoil the model as it will block the finish. Of course there are people that use CA for everything and have no problems. These are the same people that can build a museum-quality wooden model using only an X-acto and sandpaper, when the rest of us mere mortals resort to power tools and other gadgets to hope to arrive at a lesser result 🤐
  2. Nice job Rob! Starting to look like a ship. A little sanding and filling and you'll have a great foundation for the second planking. By the way, a small palm sander can make really quick work of sanding the hull down. I used to do it by hand with sanding blocks, etc., but it's so much quicker and easier with a palm sander. You'll still likely have to do some manual sanding in some of the curved areas like near the stem, but otherwise, you can knock most of the hull out using the palm sander.
  3. The MS Constitution looks like it builds up into a nice model. In terms of their kits being "rough as their aircraft kits," remember that wooden ship kits are mostly wood strips and dowels. The bulkheads, keels, and the deck items generally are laser cut. It's less that the ship kits are rough and more that you are mostly working with raw materials to build the hull, masts, etc. For what it's worth, I'm building the MS Charles Morgan whaler as my first MS kit and it's a nice kit - great plans, the laser cutting looks great, no warping, etc. The framing is basswood if I remember correctly, and I tend to prefer MDF for rigidity, but it worked out nicely for my hull. At 1:76, I believe it's a pretty big model. I think the Bluejacket one builds into a nice model too, but take a look at the fittings of both kits, not just the size. The one caution I would give you is that the Constitution is not the easiest kits to start with if this is going to be your first model. I don't believe that it has all the helpful items more modern kits have such as pre-formed bulwark planking strips, very detailed instruction manuals, etc. that you see in more modern kits like the DoK. In my Morgan build, you have to build up the framing above the deck level and was a bit tricky even with two other hulls under my belt. You're also mostly working off the plans as the instruction manual isn't anywhere near as informative compared to the DoK manual. That being said, if you take your time, read other logs, etc., I'm sure you'd be fine. There's also a practicum out there from Lauck Street Shipywards which people say is really good. The one I got for the Pegasus was terrible, but the Conny one gets good reviews from what I've seen. If you are going to buy the MS kit, make sure you sign up for emails from Model Expo. Their kits go on deep discounts all the time. Definitely do not pay the full price for the kit! One thing to also note is that there is a lot of controversy about the stern of Constitution - number of windows, etc. Depending on the particular period you want to model, the kits may be different. Taking a quick look, the MS stern (which seems to be based on what the ship looked like in 1998) looks different from the BJ stern (which is supposed to be for the period 1812-1815). Even then, I think people fight over whether there were five or six stern windows if I remember correctly.
  4. I use these pins - I forget where I found them, but they have a longer and thinner needle and a narrower shoulder. For me at least, the thinner needle made less of a mess of the first planking underlayer and were easier to insert than the typical thumbtack. The narrower shoulder made it easier to use in more situations. EDIT - just looked at my Pegasus log and I said i bought them from Hobbylinc. Might be these pins: https://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/mid/mid587.htm
  5. Painting the lower hull white will make the second planking a lot less stressful. From the pictures, the white stuff comes up very close to the wales so you only have to worry about a few planks being visible. The great thing is that these planks should be relatively straight runs with little need to taper the planks or add stealers. For the planking under the white stuff, there are two ways to approach it. You could plank it and try to make it as perfect as possible to get the experience for when you might want to tackle a hull without white stuff or copper plating. Or, you could focus on the visible planks, and then not care as much about how the planking looks under the white stuff. As an example, here is my Pegasus hull after finishing the second planking. The lighter color planks are pear wood, which I ended up staining. The darker planks, which are under the copper line, are the kit walnut planks. I'm planning on copper plating the lower hull, and didn't want to spend the money on using pear that would just be covered up so I drew the line for the copper line, and then used pear above it. At the belly of the hull, there aren't many strakes, but you can see how at the bow and especially the stern there are a lot more. I show this in case you might think working with shorter planks at the stern will be easier, rather than try and bend a full plank around the hull and potentially get gaps or other issues. Alternatively, you could use full planks and focus on a tight fit at the stern, and then care less about perfection further forward in the hull whether the planking can be filled, stealers added, etc. In either case you just fill in the rest of the hull the way you wish without worry about how the lines look. It was really quick for me to plank the remainder here, where I just laid planks flat and used stealers where necessary. One other tip I forgot to pass along is that in planking, sometimes it's worth putting in a slight bevel to the planks so they fit tighter together. This is especially true where the hull curves or you can get a visible gap between the planks. I forgot if you were already doing this, but just thought I'd pass this along. Oh, and sorting the kit wood by color is a great idea. Sometimes there is way too much variation, especially with woods like walnut. In large part that is why I've moved to mostly replacing kit wood with other woods that are more uniform in color like pear, boxwood, ebony, redheart, yellowheart, etc. I'm enjoying watching your build, you're doing a great job! You're making me want to get back to my wood ship builds. I just have to clear out the too many plastic projects I have going on.
  6. I should have mentioned that some people edge bend wet planks that they dry to shape with a hair dryer. Not sure exactly how all that works, but it might be worth looking into for the second planking. You can also look for planks in your kit that have a slight curve to them laterally, and use that to your advantage when planking. If you really want to torture yourself, you can always try spiling your planks. It works really well to avoid gaps, clinks, etc., but is (1) incredibly time consuming, and (2) you need to use wider planking materials to be able to cut the planks to start with. I was just looking through my Pegasus log and found these extreme examples of what spiling can entail - worth it in the end as you end up with nicer looking plank runs. Most of the planks weren't this bad though. Here is one at the bow (in third picture, I believe it's the foremost plank under the wale): Here was one crazy one at the stern that had to not only go around the drop plank above it, but carry upwards to the stern counter:
  7. I'm really impressed with people who can single plank a hull that is plank on bulkhead. The good news is that you can plank a second layer, so not as many worries how the first planking is turning out. As long as you take your time filling and sanding to ensure a very smooth hull, the second planking is easier in that you don't have to worry about whether the bulkheads were framed enough or too little. It also gives you a practice run in determining where the potential lines of planking runs go, where you might need to thin planks, where you might need to use stealers, etc. Your stern area is coming out well. In your last picture, there is a sharp bend in the fifth plank which probably means that last bulkhead could have been faired a bit more. Shouldn't be too much trouble as you can just sand it out. Planking at the bow is really tricky - not only is there an upward sweep to the planking runs, but often times you have too many planks crowding into a smaller space, which means you have to narrow them. When you narrow them, you get all kinds of potential for problems. Really the most critical thing is to not bend a plank laterally against its width. When you do, you end up with the clinking effect. Really try to resist the urge to set the plank against the plank above/below it - just let it lay naturally against the bulkheads, and then using stealers, etc. You also have what appears to be a couple of low spots between the first and second bulkheads, and possibly between the second and third bulkheads. But, a little filler and you should be fine. This is where I'm a big convert to the approach of using filler blocks in this area of the hull, as you can help ensure a smooth curve to the bow and not have the tendency of a straight plank/low section between bulkheads. What has worked for me is dividing the hull into three planking bands, with the middle of the hull equal to X number of full width planks. Doing that leaves a much easier space to work within. Then you take tick strips to measure the planking distance at each bulkhead. That gives a good idea of where planks may need to start narrowing, and where you might need a stealer plank or two if the planking distance is greater than the area at the belly -- that's usually at the stern, but interestingly from your pictures, it looks like this might not be the case for the DoK. Every hull is different, but I think measuring the planking distance along bulkheads really helps avoid the natural tendency to want to press the plank against the one you just did, and letting the plank lie naturally is the best. This is a picture from my Euromodel La Renommee build - this hull is really curvy, but you can see how at the bow, in some cases I had to narrow planks, and some places I had to use stealers - even within a few rows of each other. It's been a while, but I think I started planking from the top down, then when I had to start modifying planks, I switched to planking from the keel up. I also used filler blocks which really helped things immensely (second picture below). I probably won't need much, if any, filler on this hull. Much different story from my first three hulls! You're doing a really great job so hang in there.
  8. Looking good! I had the same experience planking my hulls as well - can usually at most get three strakes on. Better to take your time now, which will just save time later when you have to sand and fill, etc. On the four hulls I planked, I think I started from the bulwarks down, got to around the middle of the hull, then started planking from the keel up. I'd at least consider thinking about putting the garboard strake down (the bottom-most plank along the keel). Depending on the hull, it can have a bit of a funky shape since it goes from practically vertical at the stern end to close to horizontal at the belly and then back to vertical near the bow. You definitely want a clean line of that plank against the keel and stem, and I think it's easier to fit a custom plank in the middle than fit a garboard at the very end - at least that's what I was thinking. Of course this is all less of an issue for the first planking. Also, if you are going to paint the lower hull white for 'white stuff' then it matters less too.
  9. Nice work! I agree on not using CA on wood - sets way too quick for my liking, and can be messy.
  10. Holy cow that looks nice! Great job!
  11. I have that same cutter from RP Tools - it looks like AK rebranded it. I've tried some of the other cutters out there, and this one by far is the best. Good choice! For longitudinal cutting, make sure your blade is super sharp if using a steel ruler. I learned the hard way that if dull, the blade could jump the plank if using a thin ruler and find your fingers. Not fun! I found this item from Micromark makes cutting a lot safer, though haven't used it recently as I bought a thicker steel rule and keep sandpaper nearby to hone the blade after a few cuts. https://www.micromark.com/Straight-Edge-6-Inches-Long
  12. Looks great Rob! Putting the gunport patterns on is one of the more stressful parts of the build - congrats on getting past it, it's all downhill from here I have to say, this looks like a really good kit even for a complete beginner. The instruction manual is an incredibly detailed practicum, and the design of the kit is such that it helps the builder avoid some of the trickier parts of building wooden ship models - no need for filler blocks or rabbets, framing of the hull is designed to eliminate any flex and keep everything perfectly square, positioning of the gunport patterns is simplified, etc. My first model was the Caldercraft Brig Badger which was a well designed kit with a great instruction manual, but nothing quite like the DoK. Even though the Badger is a simpler two-masted brig with no ornamentation, I still think the DoK would be an easier kit to build. I also like how the stern ornamentation is in resin, as opposed to multiple layers of PE or worse yet, white metal - looks great! I probably sound like a broken record, but the framing of the hull on this kit is really impressive. If you are a stickler for symmetry, you need to make sure that the false keel and bulkheads are at perfect 90 degrees to each other, without any flex or warp. Using MDF, particularly with the extra braces in this kit, is an easy way to make sure that everything will be rock solid. Older kits tend to use other materials like plywood or basswood for the false keel and bulkheads, which are prone to warping and flexing. Warped false keels are notorious in certain kits. As an example, I'm building a Euromodel La Renommee kit at the moment, which is a really beautiful kit. The first false keel had a significant warp to it, and Euromodel kindly sent me a replacement. The replacement had a very slight wave in it around the back 2/3 of the false keel, and it took me the better part of 6-8 hours to adjust all the bulkheads, etc. to make sure that everything was symmetrical. Learned a lot doing that, but man, I'd rather be spending those hours building rather than fixing a defect.
  13. Nice start! Don't see many BF108 models out there, but I kinda like the looks of it. Am waiting to see if one pops on eBay with all the assorted accessories
  14. Good question - when building US-manufactured aircraft, I've focused on kits for US models so I'm not sure. I don't know how much the Martlet differs from the Wildcat. I know the FM-1, which was built at a different plant, only differed slightly from the F4F-4.
  15. When i've done my planking, after pinning soaked planks, I let them dry overnight and then glue them the next day. Then I add another row or two of soaked planks and let those dry overnight. Takes me a while to plank that way, but I find especially with the first planking, which is typically lime or basswood, the wood can hold a lot of water and will contract quite a bit after drying. It's not a huge problem as you can use filler if it's the first planking, but taking a slower, more methodical approach leads to minimal need for filling and sanding gaps, plus, it helps me determine the lines of planking runs for the second planking. Some people use hair dryers to speed things along, some people just deal with the gaps later at the end, etc., so there are certainly different approaches when it comes to planking. Just take your time and with your skills, you'll have a beautifully planked hull. The nice thing is that if you make mistakes on the lower portion, you can always cover it up with white paint if you are intending to show the model with "white stuff" on the lower hull. In the manual, looks like steps 74-78 cover the stern post assembly. It looks like Chris suggests sanding almost all the planking off at the end of the false keel. You could always make up the stern post (interesting that it's in multiple parts, as most kits just have the full post as a single part) and dry fit it to make sure you have a smooth continuum of planking to the post. I have to say, after just now skimming the instruction manual, you picked a really great kit. Not only is the manual so clear and informative, but Chris has put in a lot of extra work to make the more difficult parts of wooden model ship building easier. For example, as you mentioned, he has done away with the need for filler blocks and rabbets - which are a pain! I also like that he included multiple support rails on either side of the false keel to ensure the rigidity of the skeleton as well as making sure the bulkheads remain square. I've found the bulkheads to have a bit of flex especially when they are plywood or basswood, so I've resorted to putting in spacer blocks between the bulkheads so they don't flex and remain square. Chris's approach obviates the need for that, though there was probably less of a need with his use of MDF over more flexible materials. I first saw that approach in I think the MariStella kits, and was like, wow, why don't more kit manufacturers do that as spacer blocks are a pain to measure, cut and install! Speaking of MDF, I don't know if you are using a rotary tool to bevel the bulkheads or hand tools. Be careful if using rotary tools - on my Pegasus, the bulkheads were similarly MDF and when I used a rotary tool to bevel the bulkheads, the MDF started burning a bit giving off a gas that gave me a nasty coughing fit. Probably from the adhesives in the MDF.
  16. @Clunkmeister and @Martinnfb, sorry to interrupt your log. I wasn't quite sure where to put this question, and wasn't sure if the buddy build thread was still open to other builds - happy to join if you guys will have me. I've been working on the Special Hobby 1/48 Brewster Buffalo 339-28 kit, and since I can't seem to build anything OOB, I bought a whole bunch of CMK and other AM for the kit. One of the AM sets I bought was the Brengun Buffalo controls and flaps set, which seems to be identical to a similar set from Griffon. The instructions are confusing, to put it kindly: What I'm confused about is (1) do parts 4 and 3, with the ribs, go on the bottom of the upper side of the wing like the picture below, or are they the drop portion of the aileron, and (2) what to do with parts 2+5 (and 1+6). Given the way the hole in parts 4 and 3 line up with the open section of the top of the wing where the wing gun port is (see picture above), it seems to me that these parts fit against the underside of the top of the wing, and would be the fixed portion of the aileron. This seems to be the approach for the Brengun set for the 1/32 kit: Where I'm really confused is where the ribs should go. In the 1/32 package in the picture immediately above shows the ribs on the bottom portion of the aileron that drops, whereas the 1/48 set seems to include the ribs on the top fixed portion. The 1/48 kit only gives you enough ribs for the parts 4 and 3 with the open section, so the ribs have to go on those parts. On the other hand, the picture below is taken from Naval Fighters Number 104, which suggests that the ribs go on the bottom section of the aileron that drops: Parts 2+5/1+6. Once I know where parts 4 and 3 go (fixed portion of aileron or drop portion -- I'm thinking it has to be the top fixed portion), then I need to figure out how parts 2+5 should fit together. The parts have one side with what looks like small rivets or bumps (side shown in picture below), and the other side is completely flat. I can't tell from the pictures whether I (1) create a triangle with the two pieces by doing the long fold, then having the part with the open spaces finish the triangle, or (2) glue the open spaces part directly onto the other part, then do the long fold which somehow locks the part into the wing, or (3) glue the smooth sides of the two parts together back to back like the picture below. I don't think (3) is correct because the pictures of bottom of the wings of the real thing suggests that the aileron was completely flat, and not grooved or with rivets/bumps as would be if I took approach 3. From the instructions, I'm thinking that maybe (1) above is the way to go. The triangular shape of the two pieces glued together would somewhat resemble the ribs on the dropped portion of the aileron. Ernie and Martin, and anyone else with thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I've spent hours trying to figure this out, and even emailed Brengun but got no response Thanks in advance, and sorry for mucking up your log!
  17. Looking great! You're giving me the motivation to finish my FM-1 Wildcat...
  18. A couple of other things I thought I'd pass along: 1. Not sure if Chris suggests using filler blocks, but they can be really helpful at the bow and stern areas where the planks bend a lot yet have few attachment points. I didn't use them on my Badger (first build), but tried using them on my next builds and found them to be a life saver. 2. Also not sure if Chris recommends cutting in a rabbet along the bottom of the keel and stem post for clean planking. 3. I've found that the back end of the false keel (where the stern post sits) generally needs to be thinned down quite a bit, as you are running one or two layers of planking into the stern post on each side, which usually makes it considerably thicker than the stern post. There are multiple ways to deal with this, but I find thinning the end of the false keel in anticipation of the planking layers that will hit it makes things much easier. EDIT: Just saw that Ernie ran into this on his build. 4. Are you planning on mounting the model on pedestals? If so, you might want to consider how you are going to do this (maybe Chris' kit already makes arrangements for this). I used some #6 machine screws (2" or more in length), which are epoxied into the false keel. There is a channel drilled through the keel for the screws. You need to take into account the length of the pedestals, how far up the false keel the nuts need to be to avoid interfering with the planking, placement of the pedestals so visually the model looks supported, etc. Easier to do all this before the planking goes on. Here is a picture from my Pegasus log on MSW (which also shows the bearding line and thinned down area near the stern post, and not too clearly shows the rabbet along the keel and stem post): EDIT: Just saw that the kit provides an acrylic stand. Personally, I like pedestals to better show off the hull than a cradle type stand, but the one with this kit looks great. 5. I can't quite tell from the pictures if you will have stubs to cut off at the tops of the bulkheads once you have planked the decks and bulwarks, but I found veneer saws to be very helpful removing the stubs. Again, my apologies if you already know all this - just thought I would pass these along in case they might be helpful to you or to others that are new to wooden ship models.
  19. Hi Rob, great start so far. I wasn't sure if this was your first wooden kit or not, so forgive me if you already have experience with all this. Take your time with the pre-formed bulwarks, as you need to fit them correctly and accurately or you'll have problems down the road. Soaking followed by pinning/clamping, let dry, then repeat. On my Pegasus build, I did this maybe three cycles. I found that the plywood has a tendency to spring back, and the subsequent soakings/pinnings after the first have diminishing returns. One good thing about doing it a few times is that the plywood tends to soften as the fibers (?) stretch out and you can build in a concave/convex curvature in the bulwarks - that was a feature in the Pegasus, not sure about the DoK. Get lots of clamps and pins, and use levels to make sure that the heights of the bulwark patterns are equivalent on both sides. A key thing would be to stick the keel spine perpendicular in a jig so that you can use mini levels. For plank bending, I haven't used that particular tool, which I think might score the underside of the plank to assist with bending. When I need to put a good sized bend in the planks, I usually go with either of these two bending tools, which I believe I purchased from MicroMark (the second one is awfully expensive now, I love mine but I'm pretty sure I didn't spend anywhere near that on it when I bought it): I've also used this heat based one when working with ebony, as ebony doesn't really comply very well when trying the soak and bend method:
  20. Wow, that's really nicely done. I wish I had 10% of your mojo...
  21. Rob, To insert pins, I tried a ton of different products. The Amati pin pusher was the best "pin pusher" product out there, but it died after my first build. Since then, I found these spike insertion pliers. I think mine may be from Xuron, but this is the Micromark product: https://www.micromark.com/Spike-Insertion-Plier I found it allows you enough strength to hold the pin and manually push it through the plank into the bulkhead, filler block, etc. You don't have to insert the pins all the way down to the head with the tool, so once the glue is dry, you can then use the tool to pull the pins out and re-use them. It's the easiest tool I've used to pin planks to the model.
  22. I've been a member of MSW for many years now. Before getting back into plastic I worked on wooden ships. This Chris Watton kit looks absolutely fantastic. Not only is the subject beautiful, but he is an expert kit designer. You'll have a lot of fun with this one!
  23. Nicely done! What did you think of the kit? I have one sitting on the shelf with the MDC glazed nose bomber conversion kit.
  24. Nice Martin! Thanks for sharing those rivet plans. I started my 1/48 Buffalo a couple of nights ago, and might add riveting details as well. Those plans are really helpful!
  25. Thanks guys! Bomber, my 1/350 destroyer (Hasegawa's Shimakaze with the excellent Infini upgrade set) is just about done, but can post a bunch of the WIP pics I took along the way. Hopefully should have that completed in the next week or so. I'm also currently working on a 1/700 IJN minelayer Yaeyama, which is a FiveStar resin and PE kit. I've had to supplement it, but it's been a nice kit. I'll post that one too if people are interested. I just don't want to annoy people posting modeling subjects and smaller scale projects that really aren't the intended subjects for this forum.
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