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Baltimore Clipper 1825...Ratlines 1.

43 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hello guys,

It's been a while, maybe a wooden ship model might be of interest to you.  This is a wooden kit from Occre in 1:53 scale, she'll be 3 ft. long when finished.  This is a double frame on bulkhead type of construction.  The hull preliminaries have been done, I'm with the 2nd and final planking now.  The bulwarks, that the ship sides above the deck, have been planked using real ebony veneer wood strips.  The stuff is nasty, very hard and brittle, but it sure looks nice.  I wanted something special this time around, and black hulls on old ships strike my fancy.

The planks below the deck, or the rest of the hull, is being done with mahogany veneer strips that I've darkened by using black wood stain.  This way the hull will be black, but the grain of the wood is highly visible.  No paint to be used on this ship, I'm staining everything.

1st off a view of the model as it appears out of the box;

59a98137921f4_-Dos_Amigos_OOTB.thumb.jpg

59a98155a454e_-Dos_Amigos_OOTB_2.thumb.j

 
 

I'd like a different look, so here's what's up so far.  The bulwarks in ebony, and starting the hull.  You can see the black stained strips in the foreground, all cut and ready to apply;

-IMG_1622.thumb.jpg.b1d07533629f0dbf1890

-IMG_1623.thumb.jpg.72579fc95a6095688088

Starting at the keel and working upwards;

-IMG_1629.thumb.jpg.27f704a7b731838c3e3a

-IMG_1632.thumb.jpg.1cb1f26e8c173ec114a5-IMG_1630.thumb.jpg.0fd30743836c39f08063

 

Here a few shots of the finished deck planking.  This is a Japanese wood, I think it's called Kyta or similar.  The width is a little small, but that's OK.  What I wanted was the color and shade, a nice contrast to the black, and the grain is really a winner;

-IMG_1601.thumb.jpg.f994526570a94f2f6490

-IMG_1605.thumb.jpg.3677dd340de13c997b7b

-IMG_1606.thumb.jpg.ce3d8a35abdcacce2a25

Actually, wooden historical model ships are my 1st love in modeling, after a long time fuel altered race cars come up.  Done those recently, it's time again for a big ole ship, a great task for the autumn and winter months coming up.

Thanks for looking, comments or questions welcome.

Michael

 

 

Edited by 10thumbs

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Posted

What's the composition of the deck, mahogany-veneered plywood?  Teak?

Very nice work!

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Posted

Hi Roger,  the deck planks are individual strips of wood that are cut to the proper scale length, then glued individually to the construction deck, which is a single sheet of quality plywood supplied with the kit.  You can see a bit the plywood deck at the hole prepared for the foremast.  The wood is similar to teak, yes.

Here a shot of the planking veneer strips, they're generally about  30" long in most cases.  You can see the deck finish is just these strips that have been sanded smooth then a coat or two of clear varnish;

-IMG_1704.thumb.jpg.3dc21a9b63a3ae685b38

Back in the day, the planks of wood used for ships were generally about 30' to 35' long, and were placed in a staggered layout so that the shortest plank would not be less than 5 feet long.  So you use about 4 plank lengths for the entire ship.  Lets say 30', 20', 10' and 5'.  You can see the staggered layout in the pic above, the longest planks return every four layers, or runs, of the planking plan. 

I really appreciate your interest, ships aren't a big deal on this forum, and I'm surprised and pleased.  Thanks for looking.

Michael

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Posted

I'm a fan of any subject where meticulous craftsmanship is apparent -- planes, trains, cars, ships, even dollhouses.  That's some beautiful work there, Michael.  Can't wait to see the finished effort......in a year or two, ha ha!

Rawk on.

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Posted

Ha, in a year or two....I hear that!

Hey, I'm retired now so no more time schedules anymore.  I do like the pace with this one though, it's going well.

Thanks bud.

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Posted (edited)

I've had a half finished Artesania Latina brand San Francisco Galleon for a few years now. maybe you'll inspire me to get back to it.

Excellent break from styrene.

Edited by samdiego
cuz

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Posted

As much as I would like to I could never build a kit like that. Not and have it look like I didn't build it with my feet !

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Posted

@samdiego, Sam, that's a fine model, I hope you can get it back on the bench.  I agree, a wooden ship is a wonderful change from styrene.  As soon as I re-started this model, already the hobby room smelled different.  Wood!  Varnish!  Hey, even the dust is a pita.  But I love it, if you're halfway through, you know well what it's about.  Good luck to you, love to see here someday soon a project about your ship.

Hi Ray, man with your experience you could tackle one of the beauties.  I understand they can be intimidating, but starting off with a single mast ship, with a scale of 1:50 is a great size to get started, this will be a little over 2', and make a great model.  You'll have room to work, lots of detailing will come out, it will have great lines and be fairly easy to handle for starters.  Please, do not get a 3 masted ship for your 1st one, it will whip you.  I pass on these big boys, too tedious and tiring.   I like the 2 masted ships, with a schooner type sail plan, the ships with yard arms get difficult.  the schooners have wonderful lines and look fantastic when finished!  You can handle one easily.

Thanks guys for your interest.

Updated pics coming soon.

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE:

The 2nd and final hull planking is finished,  this is black stained mahogany veneer strips, 5mm wide.  The number of wood strips can be determined before you get started.  You measure at the widest part of the hull, from the keel way up on the deck.  This ship has a little more than 9cm, which rounded off makes 10cm = 20 strips of 5mm wide.  Yep.  Got it.  Up on the bow though, it's smaller.  Here the distance is a little over 6cm.  This means 2/3 of the widest area.  Now we can't make any crummy cuts, and needle ended boards.  But we can cut every single plank to 2/3 size as it moves to the front, or bow.  The boards were never cut to less than half of their width. 

Done that.  It comes out exactly as measured.  20 planks at the fat hull, 20 planks at the bow.  The stern line though is a little bit longer because of the hull design.  3 'cheaters' were need to compensate for the longer area, as well as the rake.  This hull is kind of extreme.  Love it though.  These ships were the sports cars of their genre!  Fast and sleek, they ran away from the opponents of the old days.

These small and aggressive hull designs were the forerunners of the famous Tea Clippers, read Cutty Sark and all of the famous ships from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's.  American made, American design, and truly American history here guys.  Made in Baltimore.  The ships were very low in the water, the masts were tilted radically back and the ships had way more sail than ever shown before on any ship type.  Radical design, and my favorite.

So, moving on now, here a few pics of the new black hull planking.  Raw wood now, it'll be smoothed out next step.  Note the ebony wood on the top railing area.  Great stuff, and makes for a fine and slight contrast;

-IMG_1644.thumb.jpg.bb83e8b119b6ace70b6a

-IMG_1645.thumb.jpg.be12c86e90474e090c36

-IMG_1646.thumb.jpg.30858ed0fc12c559e99c

Next up will be the sanding of the hull, and adding a finishing coat to protect the finish.  This will make the wood darker.  More later.

Michael

 

 

 

Edited by 10thumbs

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Posted

That is awesome work!  About how thick were the hull planks?  What was the glue you used to secure them?

At an IPMS show a year ago May I found an old Bluenose kit and Only paid $10 for it.  But I have a full set of plans that I picked up from Model Shipways.  Looking forward to starting the work.  Planks and bulkhead design.  I may have to ask you some questions on tapering the planking toward the bow and stern!

Although I have built a couple of ship models in the past it's not my forte so there is a learning curve or two on the horizon!

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Posted

Hello Charles!  Thanks for dropping in.  

Guys, if you don't already know, Charles is a fantastic scratch builder, his brass work is breathtaking, I learned a lot just looking at his work.  Check out the Truck Forum, like this one;

The Bluenose is a fantastic schooner, maybe the most famous of all.  The POB  (plank on bulkhead) is a great way for modeling wooden ships, from beginner to advanced, the best way to go unless you want to assemble every single piece of wood as per original plans.  Nothing for me, that's for sure.

Here a look at the two planks used for the hull of a ship model.  The thicker strips shown is a softer wood, you can soak the strips in water to make any really tight bends that might be necessary.  The black strip on top is the veneer strip, regardless of the type of wood, these are generally 5mm wide, and about 0.5 thin.  Here;

-IMG_1719.thumb.jpg.4f42d530aa64031ddb62

The thicker, 1st planks are attached by either pressing small brads through the boards into the bulkheads, or just add a drop of CA while holding the plank in place.  The wood is porous and soft, so it either glues super quick with CA, or a quick drying wood glue, or nail it into place.  Either way works great. 

Also, this 1st wood layer doesn't have to be laid with any great deal of patience or even perfection as it only acts as a solid and firm background for the final planking.  Once the 1st layer is on the hull, then the fun begins.

Get at with coarse sandpaper, and fill in the cracks between the planks and the dents and imperfections with a quick drying wood putty.  I like stuff in a tube, it can just be squeezed out directly onto the hull.  I'll even apply the junk to a big knife and smear it on, then with a wet finger smooth it out more.  I like acrylic based putties for this.  After maybe 10 to 20 minutes, get sanding again till the hull is smooth and without any depressions or cracks.  There are always imperfections to be filled and sanded,  Always!  Not to worry.

Here a look at the hull of this model, you can see the white filler.  I did practice staining already, so this the reason for the blackness. Here;

-IMG_1631.thumb.jpg.767e1baee47b464659d1

For the the final planking, lay a thin bead of wood glue along the veneer strip while holding it in your fingers, then with a finger spread it out along the whole length and width of the strip, then apply to the hull.  Since the glue has a lot of moisture, it will allow the strips to be bent slightly according to the curvature of the hull.  I like using an instrument or such to push the new plank right up against it's neighbor.  Also, keep a slightly moist cloth handy. 

When the plank is pushed up and actually forcefully pressed against the adjoining strip, press the plank down onto the hull with a dull and flat instrument.  Push it on, and press it down.  Glue will bulge out everywhere,  scrape off immediately with a sharper tool (like a dull #11 scalpel).....then rub smooth with the moist rag to rid the wood of excess wood glue.  We want a wood that is free of glue rests, or else the wood will not take kindly to later staining!  Very important!

Every ship involves a learning curve.  The kits for the most part provide an excellent platform, most of the guys get along with everything, most of the guys complain though about the quality of wood in the kits.  Several aftermarket specialists offer really great wood at a fair price.

Charles, also at your modeling skill level, you'll have to acquire some literature concerning rigging, deck furniture and planking techniques. 

I truly believe you'll become absolutely hooked with your new adventure!

Good luck and I'm thrilled to have you around with this build.

Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted

UPDATE:

The racks for the belaying pins have been mounted to the hull and bulwarks, and the hand rail has been attached.  I'll leave the hand rail as is out of the box, I like the contrast to let the wood look like real wood.  Here the progress;

-IMG_1678.thumb.jpg.7bd3db9e4d9d92556a08

-IMG_1679.thumb.jpg.7fce40e39c47cd77aa60

-IMG_1684.thumb.jpg.66cf24c02ad85f64fb2d

Lots of holes needed to be drilled, but that's fun. 

Next up will be attaching the pins to the banks.  This is where the rigging for the sails will be tied off.  The racks on the hull will be for the ratlines later on.

Thanks for looking.

 

-IMG_1677.jpg

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Posted

UPDATE:

Now the hull is planked in black and sanded smooth, a final finish is needed. 

The old ships that had blackened hulls had a shiny appearing finish.  Tar in the paints was the reason.  These surfaces were not smooth though, the stuff was probably more like a goop that was slabbed on with a mop of some sort, and probably appeared to be knobby and very structured.   The blackened hulls were not meant to be some kind of stealth look, but only intentioned to protect the wood from the salt water and elements.

My problem is, after several wooden ship builds, I just can't do it.  Ships with a beautiful walnut veneer planking....and slapping some thick black junk on the wood?  This hurts.

I've chosen a hard oil finish for this hull.  It will shine and be protected (hardened).  Here a few pics of the 1st oiling;

-IMG_1657.thumb.jpg.f2848b7b46695d66fec2

-IMG_1658.thumb.jpg.613239fe390d331294f8

-IMG_1659.thumb.jpg.ab494aed94097992f771

The surface is not quite dry yet, somewhat tacky.  Unfortunately the weather here is warm and very humid.  Not good for curing, this will take a good day or two.

What I like is the degree of blackness, and that the wood grain is clearly visible.

More coming up.

 

 

 

 

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Posted

You better be careful, Michael......you're liable to finish the boat this year!

:lol:

Absolutely gorgeous work.  Very meticulous.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE:

Hi Roger, this is the easy part and goes fairly quick.

The hull needed another coat of oil and after it dried completely out it lost it's shininess, which is good. 

Moving on to the deck, I made a mistake with the belaying pins.  The ones from the kit are brass, and too short, plus there's a seam on both sides that would have to be removed.  So I ordered new ones out of wood, but they're too short too and too thick.  So, I made new pins.  Just the holes in the racks are too big and the new pins would fall through.

I decided to solder on a small collar so the pins won't fall through the holes in the racks.  Then then the pins had to be blackened some how. 

First off a look at the hull, with scuppers added to the bulwarks.  On real ships, these outlets allow the water flooded onto the deck to drain back off.  Here's a look at things;

-IMG_1676.thumb.jpg.db4e947f5e34ecbc0aa9

I like the wood contrast between the ebony and the blackened mahogany.  The ebony will be dulled somewhat by wiping down with 0000 steel wool.

Here the pins from 1mm brass rod, with a collar of 1.4mm brass tube soldered on.  These pins will allowing tying off the sail rigging later on;

-IMG_1692.thumb.jpg.e67b21e663c669b64bab

Here a look at a couple mounted;

-IMG_1685.thumb.jpg.4f0e947df2a9dee775ec

This is the 1st batch.  There at last count 106 pins to be mounted on the deck.  Ugh! 

Here a blackening solution for brass, after about 30 minutes they became dark enough, just the solder was not affected;

-IMG_1697.thumb.jpg.92bce1cda6197cc55962

Done for now, I'll add some metalizer paint to the solder on the collars.  Later on they'll be covered with ropes, so they should be OK;

-IMG_1702.thumb.jpg.b75197148740b74b8f39

Here the pins attached to one rack on the deck, cemented on with Zap-a-Gap;

-IMG_1710.thumb.jpg.268d88bc6dd9a1ea8f8d

This way the pins are long enough to be able to wrap thread around them, and far enough apart to not go crazy doing it.

The fun of a wooden sailing ship has begun, but already some headaches on the horizon.  When the rigging starts,  my nerves have to be in good shape.  106 pins.

Thanks for looking,  more to come.

 

Edited by 10thumbs

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Posted

Lotta work on those belaying pins......

"It's not just a job, it's an adventure!"

:blink:

Anytime I see a sailing vessel or a model of same I recollect the music video that accompanied Jay Ferguson's "Shakedown Cruise".  What a great song.

A tragedy that the wooden pins you ordered didn't work as planned.

Still, it's turning out quite well.

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Posted

@Roger, I hear that.  Wooden ship models are a trip, every single thing needs attention.  Every single part of a unit needs hand's on manipulation.

But you know what, I haven't ever experienced anything as gratifying in our modeling world as when the wooden ship project goes up on the shelf as a finished model.

By the way, thanks for the music link, I have a new music to listen to.

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Posted

Will the sails be rigged or furled?

 

 

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Posted

Watching and learning. I like the craftsmanship on display here. If I ever get the nerve to try one of these I'll go full hog and get a real wooden one like this. 

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Posted

Hi Roger, this is always the biggest decision with a historical sailing ship.  To do or not.  This time around, I'm going with sails, but the best of both worlds.  All sails will be attached, they'll be functional as well.  Just I'll set them up as a 'storm rigging'.  Furled on the tops completely to get them out of the wind.  The two lower main sails will be furled a lot, and the mids fairly full.  This will allow a good view later on too of the rigging and the mast hardware, which will be considerable with this ship.  Good question, thanks for your interest.

Hi Bob, really happy you like it Bob.  These wooden kits are a thrill, and after the initial awe,  I think you'll find they are absolutely 'buildable' for entry level ship modelers.  They're of a new material, and a different type of model.  Good kit companies have excellent entry level models, that definitely do not look like beginners kits when finished.  My 1st wooden ship is a wonderful kit and the gal sits beautifully on the shelf and does not look anything like an easy model.  Do not attempt a large and complicated model your first time around.  The intermediate and advanced kits, for the most part are basically still the same kits as the entry level.  Just the plans are more lacking of information as they suspect you already have a master's degree!

This kit is an intermediate level.  I do miss the better instruction sheets of the entry level models!

Thanks guys for your interest.

 

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Posted

UPDATE:

Further on with the rigging hardware now and a little work on the bow.  The racks on the sides of the bow are holding the 'dead eyes', wooden blocks that will be a major support of the masts to maintain lateral integrity.  These will be the support for the 'ratlines' ladders that let the crew climb up into the masts and yards to attend the sails.

-IMG_1706.thumb.jpg.88a5828e774ff632fe00

-IMG_1707.thumb.jpg.e88e25e753e82a4fd07a

-IMG_1709.thumb.jpg.2d9e7212f219a3939952

Here the beginnings of a little decoration on the bow.  I kind of like black hulls of this period, with white trim.  Like the 'Constitution', that has also white lower masts.  I don't think I'll go this far with the white trim, as this type of ship was not a major player, just a newcomer, a fast merchant vessel, made for speed and profit.

-IMG_1717.thumb.jpg.8423c890dd3e3e696392

-IMG_1716.thumb.jpg.4716e5a6f27b873b0021

The white wood was stained with liquid white shoe polish, about 3 applications and the wood is white as snow.  Dries fast too.

Thanks for looking, comments and/or questions appreciated.

More later on.

Michael

 

 

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Posted

Do not attempt a large and complicated model your first time around.

You ain't lyin' there, Michael.  I've been flogging this plastic pee-tee boat for the last ten years -- I don' t know if I'll ever finish the thing!

DSCN1282AA.JPG

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Posted

Hi Roger,  maybe you've just hit a difficult area, or one that you can't decide which way to go.  Been there.  This current build was started in '09.  I was stumped with a small detail about planking at the front of the bow....the stem.

By the way, the torpedo tubes look like real aluminum.  Lots of potential with that model, looks like you have the worst behind you.  You'll know when the time is right, you just can't force it, won't work.

That's plastic?

Boats and ships are just different than other models, my opinion.  But I'm prejudiced.

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Posted

UDPATE:

Meantime, this is starting to get a working deck, lots done now.

The brass has been blackened /grayed, here a scratch built winch for the anchors and heavy lines of the masts and used also for raising the big yards when the ship was in port.  The yardarms were also lowered when a sailing ship was in port for a longer period.

-IMG_1740.thumb.jpg.7958ee23f863e8c74481

-IMG_1748.thumb.jpg.2281c4f123f2b925a6ee

Another rack for the belaying pins.  I think I have them all now, 106 for the deck alone;

-IMG_1744.thumb.jpg.7ce272fcd0cdedf7058c

-IMG_1746.thumb.jpg.febb0d15379303dc377a

Here the last rack, plus the deckhouse.  Deckhouse has been bashed, it doesn't look like this in the kit.  The white will be yellowed somewhat, it looks too clean and the cabin gets a handrail today;

-IMG_1751.thumb.jpg.8645a1a6234889f36cda

-IMG_1752.thumb.jpg.76b4c32ed94afedb8cb2

-IMG_1753.thumb.jpg.15e99626d4a95f728516

The build is progressing well, I'm happy with it.  Still no plans though for the masts and yards though, they were missing in the kit.  I've contacted Occre in Spain, still no reply.

Plans are not really needed, I have books that describe how the masts were built, just the plans are consolidated and I wouldn't have to look up every single part.  There are lots of parts and individual hardware for the yards!  I want the sails too work on this model.

Thanks for looking.

 

 

 

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Posted

UPDATE:

The deckhouse is finished, just different than the kit.  Dimensions are the same, it's big, but there's nothing I wanted to add to the deck to use the extra space.  Added some ports and a brass handrail and dirtied up the white stained walls;

-IMG_1754.thumb.jpg.b24ba05af16a5238112a

-IMG_1755.thumb.jpg.8e822bf045f7e80913be

-IMG_1761.thumb.jpg.d75f0abb19d8445dfb2d

The ship has a rudder now, I prefer a wheel as they look nice on a model, but this type of ship used a rudder bar.  The cleats and rings have been attached to the deck for the blocks and tackle to handle the steering;

-IMG_1762.thumb.jpg.758e9f9c6e69be72fc88

The rudder has been attached using the kit hardware, brass strips.  These were thinned down to lessen the bulky look, and then chemically blackened.  Not dark enough, so I added some Humbrol black/gray metalizer paint and buffed the parts out.  I'll probably leave the brass brads as they make for a tiny bit of optical contrast.  Not shiny or 'brassy' looking, just a slight break;

-IMG_1764.thumb.jpg.9956050ef0e51849047d

-IMG_1767.thumb.jpg.d4f3bd42bb27af5e254e

Last up for now, the bow is done and ready for the bowsprit and rigging;

-IMG_1763.thumb.jpg.060143116b01bf10d798

I had some construction sheets blown up to 1:1 scale to the model ship, done by a printer shop.  The paper sheets are 28" x 40", I'll attach them to a strong sheet of poster paper and hang them on the wall at the bench.  This way I can hold the individual mast and yardarms directly to the paper to make sure the scale is right.  The rigging starts getting fairly involved and actually, a complete mess of lines and blocks.  This will be a major modeling situation as I'd really like to make this close to the real thing.

Next up are covers for the deck entry to the holds, maybe a dingy mounted as well. 

Michael

 

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