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January 19, 2007

Second Planking

The spare basswood and walnut strips arrived from Model Expo, and were a pretty close color match to those supplied in the kit — though, being sized to imperial rather than metric measurements, the walnut was a tad thinner and a skosh wider than the original .5x4mm strips. The basswood was a pretty close match.

It was a bit tricky to glue the basswood strips edge-to-edge to the top of the existing bulwarks, even with the tip-tops of the frames to aid in alignment. The problem was that I'd already done the exterior planking in walnut (see the picture here) so the 1mm thick basswood had to be lined up properly on the edge of a 1.5mm bulwark. I solved the problem by glueing the edge of the basswood, getting it approximately lined up, and then using scraps of .5mm walnut as shims while applying every single spring clamp in my collection. I'm pleased by the results.

The second planking then continued, three plank widths above the false deck and all the way down to the keel. More accurately, I worked from the top down and the bottom up, meeting approximately mid-way down.

I spent a lot of time fitting the second layer walnut planks, particularly at the joint where the planks meet the stem — it's a lot of fiddly work with very sharp X-acto blades and small rasps. I paid a lot of attention there as I wanted to minimize the amount of wood filler that's going to be needed before sanding and painting the lower hull. As expected, the planks needed tapering at the bow, and a couple of stealers were needed to fill in some gaps at the stern.

[Click for larger.]

I'm not terribly happy with the contour of the hull right above the keel and abaft the stem, but the frames and drawings all seem to indicate that I got it right.

Though they don't show up well in this picture, the wales have also been installed. A fair amount of soaking was required to get them to bend around the bow properly.

January 10, 2007

The Things You Learn....

I discovered this evening that the cat really really likes head-butting things.

Perhaps it would be best to not allow her up on the work table.

No, nothing broke... and the cat didn't have to learn how to fly out the window.

January 07, 2007


I'd put on the top two strakes of the second planking, and was getting ready to stick the wales onto the hull, when something struck me as odd. The bulwarks didn't seem to be high enough, even though the instructions and drawings were clear that the bulwarks should be two plank-widths high.

A look at the box cover art seemed to show the bulwarks as three planks high. Uh oh.

By way of confirmation, I used a cannon to check the height. . . .

There's just not enough height there for the gun ports — and there will be even less when the deck planking is added. Uh oh.

Now, as is usual (I'm told) with kits, the planking supplied is just barely enough to do the job. And sure enough, I'd used every stick of the basswood for the first planking, and right now I'm thinking the walnut supplied for the second planking is going to be barely enough for that task.

So, what do do? I need to add another level of planking on top of what's already there, but I haven't the material.

Well, there's always Model Expo....

The additional timbers should be here by the end of the week.

January 05, 2007

Necessity is a Mother

With the second planking ready to commence, It occurred to me I would need to prepare the wales in advance.

When doing the first planking in 1mm basswood, bending planks was not a terribly difficult obstacle to overcome. A couple hours' soak in water, and they were flexible enough for me to bend by hand or with a crimper... not that there was much bending needed on this particular hull form.

The second layer, of .5mm walnut, seems not to need much coaxing at all for the planks to bend properly.

The wales, which helped to stiffen ships longitudinally, are necessarily thicker and heavier than regular planks. Being 2mm walnut, they are also more prone to breaking. Because of this, I needed to take additional steps to get them bent — without breaking, of course. So, I gave them a 24-hour soak prior to bending.

But then I realized that for the bend to set, I would need a form of some sort to which to clamp the wales as they dried. My eyes lit on a shape that looked to be the right size. . . the corrugated cardboard insert for a kitty scratcher.


January 03, 2007

First Planking

The first layer of planking has been completed, and the hull sanded fairly smooth.

Somewhere along the line, I got the fairing off a bit, which left a bit of a hollow on each side of the bow. That necessitated the use of about 1/16" of wood filler. I do take some small comfort in the knowlege that the hollows on either side were nearly symmetrical.

Onwards now to the second planking, in walnut. It'll be puuurrrty.