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Sultana Colonial Schooner Build Log

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June 23, 2006

Well, this is as far as I have gotten. For those that notice, no, at this time, I do not have provisions for my upper planking-on-hull "yet". I want to be fully satisfied of how the templates work as per out-of-the-box. When I am happy with the hull shaping, then I can turn my full attention to how I want to complete the sanding process to "allow" for the upper planking above the wales. I still have some areas on the overall hull that still need some shaping. I am looking for the correct hull-keel- to the top-of-deck relationship to be correct. At this point, I am entertaining the thought of using 1/64¨ basswood to do the upper planking. I have some 1/64¨ and 1/32¨ birch that I will look into for the deck. It is interesting as I mentioned in an earlier post that the birch color looks so close to the actual deck color that I am after. The discoloration that you see (one is gray and the other is dark patching), is a grey primer and wood filler. I know that the wood filler is not the same color, but this was replaced by a trip to the lowes to get a matched filler. The gray areas that you see is a simple deal of painting the transom gray so that I can actually see how smooth the transom will look and the second reason, I wanted to remark with a pencil a nice clean scribes to see where I am with the sanding process. By painting this area gray and letting it dry, I was able to see imperfections in my work. No problem about the primer as it sanded away anyway while I was removing those rough areas. The primer really helps in advertising those areas that are lackluster in shaping.

Shaping the Solid Hull 01

Shaping the Solid Hull 01


Shaping the Solid Hull 02

Shaping the Solid Hull 02


Shaping the Solid Hull 03

Shaping the Solid Hull 03


Shaping the Solid Hull 04

Shaping the Solid Hull 04


Shaping the Solid Hull 05

Shaping the Solid Hull 05


Shaping the Solid Hull 06

Shaping the Solid Hull 06







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June 24, 2006

I am having problems with Station #5 alignment. I need to know what TD= _______.

It does not matter if it is in mm or inches. I think I have a measurement of 5/32¨ or about 4 mm. Something is wrong here. This is the only station that I am having problems with the Top of Deck (TD). I wish I had more time to describe what is wrong folks, but maybe later. I have included a picture below.

Template Station 5

Station 5







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June 25, 2006

Station 5 is exactly in line with where the volute will be positioned. There is a small step up from the waste. I would measure the distance to the underside of the cap rail just before the volute starts to curve around. The measurement I have there is 6mm. That is from the top of the deck to the underside of the cap rail. To be safe I would calculate and use 7 or 8 mm so you have some room to adjust that height after you finish building the bulwarks. It is a lot easier to sand away excess wood than add it later.

Courtesy of Chuck Passaro






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July 9, 2006

Ok, all can laugh at this one, but it works for me. I ran my plank under hot water for about 15 seconds, and slowly bent the wood a little at a time, and a little more hot water for about 10 seconds enough then to wrap around this small can. After about 30 minutes or so I remove the wood strip and apply to boat. The reason that it looks that way is that I form the arch to cup around the bow of ship.

Bending Wood for the Bow 01

Bending Wood for the Bow 01







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July 12, 2006

Some progress - had to do some major carving sanding again after I started laying the planks down. The planks don´t lie - gotta have a trued hull.

Upper Planking 01

Upper Planking 01


Upper Planking 02

Upper Planking 02


Upper Planking 03

Upper Planking 03


Upper Planking 04

Upper Planking 04







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July 22, 2006

I plan to do my decking and then lay my inside bulwarks. Again, I stripped my own decking. from a sheet of basswood 1/32¨ thick. Width is about 5/64¨ for each deck strip. Not at all finished with the upper planking, but got my own reasons / desires to start some on the deck.

Deck Planking 01

Deck Planking 01


Deck Planking 02

Deck Planking 02


Deck Planking 03

Deck Planking 03







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July 31, 2006

Decided to go ahead and layout the decking using my 1/32¨ x 5/64¨ basswood that I stripped myself - wasn´t fun doing it that way, but I am happy with it. I then could not rest on the stain as I looked and found something I liked but could not find it locally. I settled on using some Danish Oil that I had laying around. I guess I am not too picky huh !
I used a dremel to drill out the nail holes in the deck. I can subdue then simply by sanding over them. I chose a random point kinda - not choosy on the selection of the deck nails (faux)
Now, I can move on to laying the "inside" bulwarks.

Deck Planking 04

Deck Planking 04


Deck Planking 05

Deck Planking 05


Deck Planking 06

Deck Planking 06







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July 22, 2006

Now, I will say in honestly, I was wondering about the true spacing of all of the fastenings. Ignorance of decking is obvious here on my ship, but, I am happy to note that you chimed in so that I can investigate. No, it doesn´t take long at all to do this on the deck. Now, that I have thought about it right now, I am wondering if I should have taken a pencil and instead of making a hole, make a simulated plug using the pencil tip to make (not a hole) but a "dot" to represent the plug. However, I have found with a little extra sanding, the holes are filling up leaving or revealing a mocked up "plug" !
I will say that my models so far, I guess I strive for balance. The balance that I strive for is this formula:

Accuracy & precision vs. Time devoted to the project = my own enjoyment (satisfaction)

I guess I look at things like this to keep myself from going "nuts" over a project because I am just as perfectionist as the next modeler.

I have come to the conclusion that:

1) Who all will be looking at my model.
2) Will they know enough about the ship to make critical comments about it.
3) Am I satisfied with the work enough to realize the mistakes and the "I should have done this to it syndrome" and still be overall pleased with the final result.
4) I have found that coupled with this and the all of the great people on this forum to help, then I am VERY pleased with it all. Why, so that I will become a better modeler raising the bar to make better ships.






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November 2, 2006

Ok, here are some pics of the latest. I am ready to start on the brass pieces for the Rudder and start building the Transom today. I want to say that if you see some marks and some dings that is just due to accidentally breaking something or whatever that I plan to go back and touch up more as I go along. I wanted to show the detail of the rudder opening area. I got that off of a website and I will be glad to share that site, but I need to go back and look it up.

Overall Hull View 01

Overall Hull View 01


Overall Hull View 02

Overall Hull View 02


Overall Hull View 03

Overall Hull View 03


Overall Hull View 04

Overall Hull View 04







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November 7, 2006

I was thinking today how fantastic it is to share our interest with each other. I was also thinking "why do I post the pictures of my ship anyway?" I guess it is a sense of "accomplishments" and to give and receive a sense that I am not the only one that is building these ships. I don´t feel like I am the only one out there racking my head over a set of manufactures plans and directions that do not seem to make much sense and that I am not alone. So when I post my pictures, it is more like, "this is what I have done and my accomplishments" not so much that I have anything to boast about. All along in building this Sultana, I have had a sense of "I am lost as to what to do"
In a way, I am almost disenchanted with the instructions and plans that came with the model. If it were not for people here and also Chucks practicum to "go by" and I use the term go by, becuase I am not out to make a model based on exact things that he did. I want my ship to personify Donnie. I also want to reemphasize that I turn to Chucks practicum when I get stuck.
It almost seems that Model Expo over sold the Sultana and saying how easy it is to build. I guess it must be me, but I guess I am used to the plastic versions that the pieces have already been molded and there is really not too much that can go wrong. However, with the Wooden ships, there is infinite amounts of decisions about what to do. How much to sand, how much to paint, what shade of paint, where do I place the plankshear, and other items and the list goes on and on.
I don´t mean to complain about model expo, but somehow, they need to come up with a model for beginners that has more TRUE hull already formed. They need to have more LASER cut parts so as to eliminate the guesswork. You know why I base this information is because several months ago, I bought the Midwest Lobster Boat for R/C control. Well, upon opening the box, I was first greeted with a instruction booklet as thick as a magazine with hundreds of steps. The steps were so elementary that it left NO guesswork what-so-ever. What to glue, where to glue and how to glue. What part goes exactly were and for what purpose. I know that the Lobster Boat cost like 3 times the other, but good greif, you know, after thinking about it, it seems that the Sultana is not for beginners. I am sorry for going on like this and it is not my purpose to discourage anyone, but you know, someone else out there might be just as much discouraged and I am here to tell you that if I can do it , you can to, and THIS is why I post my images. To let others know that even though in my opinion that this kit is ok, it can be done. I am thinking about that first modeler that has no clue about ships, how do you think they would deal with this kit? I have some experience with ship building and I am having difficulty with this model, so would someone feel that has never tackled on of these before. Well, the answer I guess lies here in this website to help and people like me having a difficult time can relate to those others that are having a difficult time as well. As a matter of fact, I am wondering right now how many of you that finally got the hull sanded down ever thought that you could muddle thru the rest of it like the thought that I had. I thought to myself "Thank goodness I made it that far even though I am not 100% for sure that I did it right." I am sending out this message to those to take heart even though you might be having problems, I know that I am, but I am trying not to get discouraged.
Pick up the ship again with a renewed interest and think that there is no one to impress but just yourself. If you are happy with your ship, then that is all that matters. I am trying to get happy with my build.

What is a fantastic model? the one that YOU are proud of !

Dont´ give up





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