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Duchess of Kingston - Beauty of the Seas - Wooden Sailing Ship 1/64


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2 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

I actually enjoy these models, Rob.  I just hit a setback with mine when I screwed up my second planking and had to redo it.  It happened in the area most visible: below the main wales but above the copper bottom sheeting, so I at least want that area to be as flawless as I can make it.

Basically I just got in a hurry.

The other area I was VERY careful on is the sternpost. I found out it's very important to thin the first planking as needed otherwise the rudder will be too thin.  

Ernie

I had no idea you have  a passion for wooden sailing ships. How about posting a few photos so we can see where you are.  Admiral Nimitz was from Texas, so there is a great tradition of great sailors from your neck of the country.

Keep 'em comin

Peter 

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13 hours ago, Martinnfb said:

Looking mighty fine Rob. I remember cutting the hill segments out of sheet of plywood by hand after I transfer them on it from a set of drawings. I never finished. :)

did you know that mr. Kopecek passed away recently?  His saws are legendary. 

I didn't knew about the Mr. Kopecek' passing. Sad news, I bought the saw and mitre blocks a year ago and they became irreplaceable tools on my bench.

Cheers Rob

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13 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

I actually enjoy these models, Rob.  I just hit a setback with mine when I screwed up my second planking and had to redo it.  It happened in the area most visible: below the main wales but above the copper bottom sheeting, so I at least want that area to be as flawless as I can make it.

Basically I just got in a hurry.

The other area I was VERY careful on is the sternpost. I found out it's very important to thin the first planking as needed otherwise the rudder will be too thin.

I followed your progress with Speedy by the time Ernie and am really sorry to hear about your setback. Will it be possible to remove the boxwood planking or do you plan to sand it down or even do a third planking onto it.
Thanks for the warning about the rudder, I will check that out on my DoK when planking.
When I see all the angles and curved contours, specially in the stern area, I have some sweat pearls on my forehead. The manual though claims, that only one plank has to be tapered in the aft area, let's see...

Cheers Rob

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10 hours ago, Peterpools said:

I just can't tell you how much I'm enjoying following your progress. Your work as always is flawless and precise .. the mark of a true craftsman. Kudo's on making your pin/nail pusher - nothing like Necessity being The Mother of Invention and being prepared.

Thank you Peter, by the way, I discovered the wheel - err - bummer, it's existing since a long time, somebody told me :D. Actually time was the trigger, as I need the pin pusher soon and to get one to my remote part of the world would have taken three weeks, I guess.
Generally, I like to work with metal and wood, specially very fine things. When I was in my late teens, I made a mini replica of my Camera (Minolta X-700) from brass. It was only three cm wide and consisted of ca. 20 parts. By the time, I started my apprenticeship as an engineer and had access to all the machinery needed and it was one fun project among others.

Cheers Rob

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10 hours ago, Peterpools said:

I had no idea you have  a passion for wooden sailing ships. How about posting a few photos so we can see where you are.  Admiral Nimitz was from Texas, so there is a great tradition of great sailors from your neck of the country.

Ernie started a WIP on Speedy Peter.

Cheers Rob

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We had a very cold day yesterday and I decided, a bit of sanding would warm me up a bit and it did. Using 120 grit sanding paper on a block or simply by hand, depending on the curvature of the hull, I produced a lot of dust (using a mask), while shaping the spars and filler blocks smooth to accept the planking later. After three hours, I liked the result and checked with a plank, if all is fine. I will review the result today, as I think, these steps of preparation are critical for a good planking job.

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Planking starts with the upper bulwark pieces, which following the manual, I soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and then clamped it to a tin and leave the parts for drying for a whole day, lets see, if this will be sufficient, as there are many more parts, which will be pre bended this way.

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Cheers Rob

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Rob, loving the build. Like Ernie I to fell foul of the dreaded planking. I was doing the tiny Artesania Latina Bounty Jolly Boat and completely screwed the planking up. At the time I think I was rushing and was only returning to plastic let alone wood modelling. Going follow your build and then re-appraise if my lack of skill could actually complete one. Looking forward to the next update….

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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.

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2 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

Rob, loving the build. Like Ernie I to fell foul of the dreaded planking. I was doing the tiny Artesania Latina Bounty Jolly Boat and completely screwed the planking up. At the time I think I was rushing and was only returning to plastic let alone wood modelling. Going follow your build and then re-appraise if my lack of skill could actually complete one. Looking forward to the next update….

Thank you Phil and I have my doubts about my ability in planking as well. You might not have done yourself a favor, building a tiny ship, which naturally leads to tiny radii and a lot of tapering and beveling of planks. I guess yours had only one planking, which is more difficult to get a decent result off, than double planking, where you can sand and fill the first layer and using very fine strips of noble wood for the decorative second planking.
I hope, I can manage to find solutions for the difficult parts of the build, trying to plan ahead and peek a lot in other build descriptions, mainly in MSW.

2 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

I just read the instructions, it says at the bottom of them built that the prototype was built and photographed by James Hatch, is this out very own James?

The very same ;).

Cheers Rob

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44 minutes ago, Landlubber Mike said:

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.

Thank you for the tip Mike, the tool looks absolutely gorgeous, sturdy and good to handle. I will try to buy one or to grind a bit on an old pair of pliers. I suspect my self made tool is not overly robust with the protruding brass tube.
You are absolutely right about re using the pins. My tool drives them in halfway, same like it looks with these pliers.

Cheers Rob

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6 minutes ago, BlrwestSiR said:

Some really great progress there Rob. It's fun to watch and see as it's so different from the usual planes and AFVs.

Muchas gracias Carl, it is indeed very different, from our usual stuff, but I like to widen my skills permanently and get easily bored with too much repetitions. In the moment the DoK build feels great and keeps my wandering mind occupied.

Cheers Rob

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1 hour ago, GazzaS said:

Hi Rob, keep up the good work.  VEry interesting that you have to soak them in hot water and let them dry.

Thank you Gaz, the plywood bulwark parts are very rigid and preforming helps a lot to get them to fit perfectly, specially in the curved bow area. The decorative parts and the pre fabricated inner and outer planking for the bulwarks will be treated this way too.
Meanwhile I decided, to preform the bulwark parts again, after trying to align them yesterday. I smaller radius will help in the critical bow area. I marked the positions of the spars on the plywood and drilled 0,5mm holes, to pin the parts to the spars. On the pic, the bulwarks were warped for the first time, a bit more is convenient, as I want the best possible fit with these parts.
I also found my old plank bending tool, which will be handy to contour the stern ends of the planks, which are tightly curved.

Cheers Rob

IMG_9743.thumb.JPG.9a1b87f040140ffe20ce0b64001e000a.JPG

 

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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):

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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:

image.thumb.png.985863c07c67bcec71558e3a3ae3e720.png

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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):

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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.  

image.thumb.png.c75f003d9967b44b39abc35bf7aae5c9.png

 

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.

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Rob

Noting like learning new techniques and skills with each build. So glad Mike was able to help with recommending some tools that will help insure there will be very few fit issues.

Sanding looks good and it's easy to see why it took three hours of careful and delicate work.

Keep 'em comin

Peter

 

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21 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

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):

Thank you very much Mike, for your great support on this project. I'm eager to learn more and more about wooden ship modelling and would consider myself as an educated beginner :D, with not a lot of experience, but the general knowledge how to work with different material like wood, metal, plastic or others.

I take my time with the bulwarks as it is like you said of great importance to do it right as the first step of planking. The used 0,8 mm plywood is very durable and rigid and not so easy to bend. After the first process of soaking in hot water and leaving to dry overnight, clamped to a tin, I found it necessary to repeat the process with a tighter radius. 
Other than your description Chris recommends to let the soaked and clamped wood completely dry, before installing it, because of the expansion of the damp wood. I followed his advice.
I used a lot of pins and rubber bands along with clamps to get the contour glued correctly working from spar to spar, starting at the most complicated part, the bow.
In the case of DoK leveling the bulwarks is easy, as Chris designed the temporary framing exactly the same height over deck as the bulwarks has to be assembled.

These planking tools look great, IU will consider buying some, while getting my experiences with planking ongoing. My pliers thin the plank considerably while bending, but I only plan to use them near the stern for tight radii, where I think thinning is playing into my cards. 

Cheers Rob

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21 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

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):

There are no filler blocks used by Chris, but lots of beveled supports in the critical areas. I have to develop a feeling, if this is enough. On my first ever wooden hull for a sailboat, I used some filler blocks.

There is no rabbet in the classical way on the keel area. You install the first planking and then the keel is added, like a retrospective rabbet. I think, it is helpful to start planking from the deck downwards, but at least install a full plank as the last plank, where it later meets the keel.

You have a good point, about possibly thinning stern part of the keel. I will build up the rudder, which will help to estimate the correct thickness of the stern post.

I haven't finally thought about mounting the model later. The idea, pre installing screws is now planted in my head, but initially, I planned to  use the supplied acrylic stand. For the construction phase, a second one made from MDF is supplied, but until finalizing the first planking it's obviously not of great help.

With DoK you have to remove the bulkward tabs along the deck line. The kind of saw you suggested looks great, but I will try chiseling first. I have a set of very sharp and good chisels for woodwork and my only fear is, that while removing the tabs there is a twang sound and the bulwark is gone, lets see.

Thanks again, for being so helpful and I plead guilty for hoping exactly for this kind of generous help, while starting the WIP.

Cheers Rob

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21 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Noting like learning new techniques and skills with each build. So glad Mike was able to help with recommending some tools that will help insure there will be very few fit issues.

Sanding looks good and it's easy to see why it took three hours of careful and delicate work.

This is way different from plastic kits Peter and there is a different skillset and preparation necessary than with plastic kits and obviously lots of different tools involved as well. Were a good plastic kit is in it's final shape, you have to exactly do everything to gain to that final shape with a wooden hull. Preparation and experience is everything, like with all craftmanship and hobby and where I lack experience, I try to get hold of the experiences of others. Luckily there are some WIP's existing for the DoK and like Mike shows, a lot of will to share own experiences, which is priceless.

Cheers Rob

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No bench time today, as it was sunny and nearly no wind, so I tested my new SUP, instead of building. I had lots of fun and a fully grown soreness now, but had some hard achieved progress yesterday with applying the bulwarks.
What I expected to be relatively easy proved in fact difficult and I'm very thankful, that I did a second soaking and pre bending of the bulwarks before. I glued the plywood down, using clamps, pins and rubber bands, and worked spar by spar on the larboard side from the bow, to the third spar. 
I then did the same for the starboard side, as I found it easier to apply the very helpful rubber bands for both sides. I destroyed the tabs of the third spar and had to rebuild them, as this is the area with the tightest curvature.
After this was done, I continued on the larboard side for the next spars. The last spars will be much easier, as there is nearly no bending required. I used that sequential attempt, to get a sure bond of the glue in the bow area with it's heavy bending, before I continued to work my way to the stern. 

The spar tabs above the deck and the beams will be removed later and I hope, the bulwark will stay in place after that.

Cheers Rob

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2 hours ago, DocRob said:

I take my time with the bulwarks as it is like you said of great importance to do it right as the first step of planking. The used 0,8 mm plywood is very durable and rigid and not so easy to bend. After the first process of soaking in hot water and leaving to dry overnight, clamped to a tin, I found it necessary to repeat the process with a tighter radius. 
Other than your description Chris recommends to let the soaked and clamped wood completely dry, before installing it, because of the expansion of the damp wood. I followed his advice.

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.

2 hours ago, DocRob said:

You have a good point, about possibly thinning stern part of the keel. I will build up the rudder, which will help to estimate the correct thickness of the stern post.

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.

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On 3/8/2022 at 5:25 PM, Landlubber Mike said:

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.

Thank you again Mike, for sharing your knowledge. In case of my planking, I will see, if dry assembling is possible and leads to fine results, if not, I will deploy your method. My approach is, to make a good first planking, to learn a lot for the second planking, so it will be a clinic. I will take my time for this important step and if it has to include soaking and drying time, so be it.

On 3/8/2022 at 5:25 PM, Landlubber Mike said:

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.

You are absolutely right about the significant thinning of the planking around the stern part of the false keel. As this area is also tightly curved, I plan to deploy my plank bending pliers in this area, wich thins the planks, while bending, lets see, how this works out.

Like you mentioned, the DoK is extremely well designed. I do not have much expertise, but my other wooden kits, I partly build, where good kits, but not in the same league with Vanguards. 
The whole framework of spars and support beams isn't flexible at all, there is absolutely no movement and the fit of the parts is absolutely tight. I like the MDF in the lower hull areas for the spars, but the tabs above the deck line are a bit fragile. I had to repair the third temporary spar twice, which is suite in the area, where the bulwarks produce the strongest forces around the tabs.

I used a rotary tool on my Proxxon micro drill with the minimum revolution set. I had no problems at all with burns and fumes, but wear a respirator mask, when sanding MDF, which was a good idea, I guess, as there was a lot of very fine dust in the air.

Cheers Rob
 

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