Constructo Prince de Neufchâtel - My first POB ship

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#1
I bought this kit a long time ago on a sale at ToysRus. At that time I built mainly gliders and Radio Control sail boats. I think it was so cheap that I couldn't resist it

I had only a vague and platonic interest in model ships, so the box remained unopend for a long long time.

I must say that I don't like kits very much. My experience with wooden plane kits is mainly bad. Or the wood is bad, or the parts are badly cut, or they don't fit the plans, it was very rare indeed to use all the parts of a kit. It happened more that once that I almost used the plans and scratch built all the rest.

I know it is my problem because I have always been perfectionist and I am not sure if it is a good thing to be.

At some point I turned my attention to this kit and tried to begin it. My experience was even worst than it is today and I knew absolutely nothing about plank on frame. I studied a little, read some material and then begun joining some pieces.

The kit is no longer available what is not a bad thing since it is not that wonder of a kit (as I said before I don’t like kits very much... my problem). But this one is really not that good. The plywood if thin and very flexible to begin with and I had my share of problems trying to keep the frame rigid.

I tried to use balsa (I still have a lot of balsa) to reinforce the false keel , tried to use plywood triangles to keep the frames at 90 degrees with the keel, etc.

Then I put the whole thing aside and just forgot it. For a long time.

Then one day I turned my attention to ships since I had my share of R/C gliders and I began building another kit I had, namely a Viking ship. But that story is for another build log. Anyway I got a big interest in model ships and I discovered the half-built skeleton of the Prince.

I must say that it is nowhere mentioned that this is a 2 plankings kit. Only one is mentioned, no reference is made to the 2nd planking and only much later did I discover that there are some 0.5mm planks that are mentioned nowhere and must be for the second planking.

Pathfinder65 had exactly the same problem with his Constructo Enterprise, so I think it is a Constructo practise.

In the ignorance of that 2nd planking I saw myself in the perspective of dealing with a one planking only ship, so I had to build it as perfectly as I could with my little experience in the matter.

To make it short, I filled the model with blue foam in the attempt a) of getting the structure firm and b) having a good support for the (only planking).
Now I know that there is a possible second planking, but the wood for the two layers is exactly the same so I am trying to get the first one as good as I can and avoid the second. We shall see.



DSC05834.JPG




DSC00010.JPG



DSC00017.JPG



DSC08963.JPG



DSC08967.JPG


I have no pretension of turning this "thing" into a passable scale model. I have no reference of this ship, it is very hard (at least for me) to discover references th the real boat and I know that there are plans somewhere in the USA but the kit is not worth the trouble.

I look at it as a way of gaining experience and making "hand" for other possible flights.

So, apart from trying to make some parts better that provided in the box, I don't intend to worry very much about its accuracy


Regards

JL
 

Donnie

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#2
Hi JL,

It is difficult to take onto a project like this. It can be very frustrating. I think you are doing extremely well with this kit. I agree not all kits are good, and it is unfortunate that it seems some kit manufactures (brands) do not want to invest more time into producing a good kit. My inspection proves that you are going to produce a ship that you should be proud of. It is not easy to choose a kit that has some parts missing, instructions that are not written well and try to attempt such a feat. Even with the best ship kits, there can be some discouragements.
I think you are doing well and I hope that you will continue as this is encouraging to others to see this ship being built. This particular kit is what I call a "POB" which stands for "Plank on Bulkhead". A "POF" or "Plank on Frame" is an Admiralty Style frame and can be an extreme challenge to anyone to try. In a POF model, all of the frame members, supports, is all exposed to show how a REAL ship is made exactly. The POF models (before we call them that) were actually made by craftsman and engineers at that time in the 17 - 18th century to show the King how the ships structure would be made and for craftsman to have a demo to go by. The POB is a type of model that is a simple frame (or skeleton) that is just enough "ribs" to hold the planking. Most all kits (perhaps 90%) of them are all POB as they are simpler to mass produce and easier to design and build. There are more kits coming out on the market today that are special POF kits and are well worth the money and yes, they do cost a lot, but they are worth every penny.
Some models have single planking and some have double planking - both of which have advantage and disadvantage. I have done both. I prefer the Single planking as you only have to plank one time and it is done.
I know what you mean about being perfectionist. However, I have to strike a balance. As "wood" is such an "imperfect" medium. You have two of the SAME ship kits to two people and both will somehow express the builders personality.
As I always say " there is a huge difference in putting parts together as opposed to building parts.
 

zoly99sask

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#3
Hello JL,I am really happy that you started a build log,I whatch it with great interest,I think the Pob or Pof comes down to a misunderstandings or translation .
 

Uwek

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#5
I bought this kit a long time ago on a sale at ToysRus. At that time I built mainly gliders and Radio Control sail boats. I think it was so cheap that I couldn't resist it

I had only a vague and platonic interest in model ships, so the box remained unopend for a long long time.

I must say that I don't like kits very much. My experience with wooden plane kits is mainly bad. Or the wood is bad, or the parts are badly cut, or they don't fit the plans, it was very rare indeed to use all the parts of a kit. It happened more that once that I almost used the plans and scratch built all the rest.

I know it is my problem because I have always been perfectionist and I am not sure if it is a good thing to be.

At some point I turned my attention to this kit and tried to begin it. My experience was even worst than it is today and I knew absolutely nothing about plank on frame. I studied a little, read some material and then begun joining some pieces.

The kit is no longer available what is not a bad thing since it is not that wonder of a kit (as I said before I don’t like kits very much... my problem). But this one is really not that good. The plywood if thin and very flexible to begin with and I had my share of problems trying to keep the frame rigid.

I tried to use balsa (I still have a lot of balsa) to reinforce the false keel , tried to use plywood triangles to keep the frames at 90 degrees with the keel, etc.

Then I put the whole thing aside and just forgot it. For a long time.

Then one day I turned my attention to ships since I had my share of R/C gliders and I began building another kit I had, namely a Viking ship. But that story is for another build log. Anyway I got a big interest in model ships and I discovered the half-built skeleton of the Prince.

I must say that it is nowhere mentioned that this is a 2 plankings kit. Only one is mentioned, no reference is made to the 2nd planking and only much later did I discover that there are some 0.5mm planks that are mentioned nowhere and must be for the second planking.

Pathfinder65 had exactly the same problem with his Constructo Enterprise, so I think it is a Constructo practise.

In the ignorance of that 2nd planking I saw myself in the perspective of dealing with a one planking only ship, so I had to build it as perfectly as I could with my little experience in the matter.

To make it short, I filled the model with blue foam in the attempt a) of getting the structure firm and b) having a good support for the (only planking).
Now I know that there is a possible second planking, but the wood for the two layers is exactly the same so I am trying to get the first one as good as I can and avoid the second. We shall see

I have no pretension of turning this "thing" into a passable scale model. I have no reference of this ship, it is very hard (at least for me) to discover references th the real boat and I know that there are plans somewhere in the USA but the kit is not worth the trouble.

I look at it as a way of gaining experience and making "hand" for other possible flights.

So, apart from trying to make some parts better that provided in the box, I don't intend to worry very much about its accuracy


Regards

JL
It is a very good step to start a building log of this model, so if you need and want, here are a lot of very experienced modelers around, which are happy to help, assist and comment, like friends visiting you at your working place.......So whenever you think show us your work and ask questions......
A very good way is the use of this kind of foam to get a proper from of the hull for the planking, this is also very often used in card-board models, but also for wooden POB kits very useful. You will see, it will be also helpfull for a second planking kit, although not definitely necessary......very good start.
See this kit as a pure learning experience, so you can train the different working steps and methods and you will se with your second model everything will go much easier and quality-vise much better......
I will follow your log with big interest.

@Donnie ,
we like your "long stories" very much, so do not change it......
 
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#6
Hi JL,


I think you are doing well and I hope that you will continue as this is encouraging to others to see this ship being built. This particular kit is what I call a "POB" which stands for "Plank on Bulkhead". A "POF" or "Plank on Frame" is an Admiralty Style frame and can be an extreme challenge to anyone to try. In a POF model, all of the frame members, supports, is all exposed to show how a REAL ship is made exactly. The POF models (before we call them that) were actually made by craftsman and engineers at that time in the 17 - 18th century to show the King how the ships structure would be made and for craftsman to have a demo to go by. The POB is a type of model that is a simple frame (or skeleton) that is just enough "ribs" to hold the planking. Most all kits (perhaps 90%) of them are all POB as they are simpler to mass produce and easier to design and build. There are more kits coming out on the market today that are special POF kits and are well worth the money and yes, they do cost a lot, but they are worth every penny.
Thanks for the correction, I was not aware of the difference between frames and bulkheads they were the same thing for me. Different languages, different concepts

As I always say " there is a huge difference in putting parts together as opposed to building parts.
Agree. And getting the better of the parts or making them better than supplied.

It is my idea to build a plank on Frame ship. I have Boudriot's monographie of "La Belle" (1/24) and I am scaling the drawings down to 1/32. But for now I have the Prince and my Drakkar. After these we shaal see.

Regards

JL
 
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#7
Hello JL,I am really happy that you started a build log,I whatch it with great interest,I think the Pob or Pof comes down to a misunderstandings or translation .

No. I didn't use any translator, any errors are my own responsability.. :)

And I have another building log to start, maybe this weekend, this time regarding a Viking Drakkar.

Regards

JL
 
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#8
It is a very good step to start a building log of this model, so if you need and want, here are a lot of very experienced modelers around, which are happy to help, assist and comment, like friends visiting you at your working place.......So whenever you think show us your work and ask questions......
OK, thanks, I count on that!

A very good way is the use of this kind of foam to get a proper from of the hull for the planking, this is also very often used in card-board models, but also for wooden POB kits very useful. You will see, it will be also helpfull for a second planking kit, although not definitely necessary......very good start.
There is a problem with foam, though. You must be very carefull when sanding and giving shape to the hull, otherwise you'll end with "waves" between the bulkheads. Easy does it.
I'm glad that it is an used method I thought I had invented it :) :) . There is nothing new under the sun really :) :)

we like your "long stories" very much, so do not change it......
OK, I'll keep that in mind ;)

Regards

JL
 
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#9
Well, it was time to attack the deck. A simple job, the false deck is made from light-ply an old acquaintance from my aeromodelling times. No surprises here, just white glue and some nails.

DSC08968.JPG



Than I had to make a flange around the whole hull to receive the bulwarks. That was made with a simple tool, just a bit of sandpaper glued to a jig. I am happy with the final result and the ply bulwarks were a nice fit.


DSC08971.JPG


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Regards

JL
 
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#10
Time for the deck planking.

I made some experiments on my own to test methods of simulating the caulking, some worked well, some didn't. I used the method that I found gave the best results in my opinion, but I'd like to hear about your favorite methods.

I planked the deck using the wood suplied in the kit, fair quality, thin (about 0.5mm) and with only slight variation on colour. It goes easily witt PVA, does not curl (much) with the glue and of constant width (this one I think it is very important, unless you want to trim every plank's width).

I used the "every 3" pattern, don't know why, I ignore if such a small vessel like the Prince had this pattern (or any other else, by the way). But somehow it looked OK to me and this particular model is a test bed, so I can live with that even if it is inaccurate.


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I left a tiny space between the planks, at first I used a sheet of paper for measure but soon found that I could get them evenly spaced without any help, so the work proceeded slowly but surely.


DSC08980.JPG DSC08983.JPG


When the whole thing was planked I made the first mistake. Instead of making a metal jig to mark the treenails I decided to make the holes by hand using a .7mm drill.

Of course it went wrong and if it not very noticeable now, they are there and I have no way of correcting it unless by planking the hull again. I had not the wood nor the patience to do it, so the bad work is there to be seen. At a distance it is not very bad...

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It was time to make some "black glue", PVA with black acrilic paint

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and smear the whole deck witl the mix, using a spatula...


Frightening... :):):)

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Well, I guess it takes some courage (or craziness) to do that.

But, after sanding and sanding and sanding with fine sandpaper it didn't come so bad after all. At least I am pleased with the result.

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Deck planking, time to plan the next step.

As the fellow who jumped from the 32nd floor was hear saying at every floor he passed by: "so far so good".

The final result remains to be seen :)

Regards

JL
 
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lauckstreet

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#12
Nice job JL. It's the first time I've seen someone put black paint in PVA and coat a deck with it. I would have used just the black paint but the end results are what count and your deck's end results look excellent. Good job and nice innovation with the deck technique. I like it.

Bob
 

Uwek

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#13
I understand you completely that you were Frightened ..... did you try this before on a "trial-field". If not, you are brave guy!
I also never saw this way, but the result you are showing us is looking realy good. Until now I did something like this, but only to close the "faked" treenails.
It is good, that the timber was not soaking the black colour, otherwise it could get problematic, if the planks thickness is not enough...
Great Job
 
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#14
Nice job JL. It's the first time I've seen someone put black paint in PVA and coat a deck with it. I would have used just the black paint but the end results are what count and your deck's end results look excellent. Good job and nice innovation with the deck technique. I like it.

Bob
I don't think that just the paint would do. I didn't try it, but it seems to me that the acrilic paint, being somewhat thin would embeb the planks and make a mess. PVA made the mixture thick and so less able to fill the wood grain.

But I'll give it a try eventually, just to see what happens.

JL
 
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#15
I understand you completely that you were Frightened ..... did you try this before on a "trial-field". If not, you are brave guy!
I'm not that brave. I tried in a small sample, and it did work, but to see the whole deck completelly painted in black is freghtning... If it didn't work in that big surface would mean a ruined deck.
Now I am most assured for a possible future work.

It is good, that the timber was not soaking the black colour, otherwise it could get problematic, if the planks thickness is not enough...
Great Job
That's the role of the PVA. To thicken the mixture and avoid the soaking.

JL
 
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#16
Well, next step was to fix the bulwarks. Being made of liteply they were easily bent with a soldering iron.

Now I prefer to soak the wood in cold water and bend it with an hot air gun (gloves are a must that thing is regulated for 250ºC).

I found that thin CA was the best glue to fix the bulwarks to the hull and the best tool to apply the cyano in my experience are the pipettes shown. Reusable, very cheap and you can apply the glue exactly where you want it and in the exact amount.

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I almost forgot to post a photo of the box. It is an old kit, no longer available as far as I know (maybe in Ebay, but it isn't worth the trouble).



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The instructions are rubbish, just a couple of photos (most of them blurred) witl little utility. Each picture has a number refering to written instructions in another manual. These instructions are vague and unprecise, with little detail. In the whole not very helpfull. The plans are good and well detailed.

The union part between the bulwarks in the stem for example had to be a work of guessing and measuring because with the photos I'd never get to it's shape


DSC04773.JPG DSC04774.JPG

But I eventually got the idea and it is in place and well secured.

Happily I can read plans easily and I have got my share of bad instructions, what gave me a sixth sense to guess... :)



Regards

JL
 

dj56

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#17
Bon dia Dicas, a question that blue stuff that you use to seal the hull of your ship is this Polistereen foam, and what is the advantage of using it? maybe a strange question but I have not been in this world of shipmodeling for so long, so every new way of working is something for me to learn, I keep following your construction with great interest
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dj56 (willy)
 
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#18
Bon dia Dicas, a question that blue stuff that you use to seal the hull of your ship is this Polistereen foam, and what is the advantage of using it? maybe a strange question but I have not been in this world of shipmodeling for so long, so every new way of working is something for me to learn, I keep following your construction with great interest
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dj56 (willy)

Olá Willy.

Thanks for following. Yours is a pertinent question and I thank you for asking. It is blue foam and yes, I think it was a good idea.

Apart from a Drakkar, this is my fisrt ship building and although I have some experience in model airplanes, ships are a different matter and I had no experience at all. Some reading, some browsing in the net and some thinking, that was all

This particular Constructo kit had the keel and bulkheads made of thin ply and it kept twisting even after gluing the all skeleton together. I tried to give it some rigidity using balsa. Even so it was not that rigid.

Besides, I thought the ship had only one plankig. Instructions did not mention the second plankig, neither the pictures nor the written instructions. Only latter did I discover the wood for that second planking, but than it was too late. It would be a very difficult task planking the hull with hard wood if it was not very firm.

So I was put before the problem of having to make a good job of the only (or so I thought) planking. Having no experience at all, I thought that filling the skeleton with foam solved the lack of rigidity (it does!) and on the other hand I could get a fully formed hull over wich it would be easier to place the planking and it really is.

In hindsight I think I could have have passed without the first planking and gone directly to the final one. Maybe I would be cheating but it could have been done.

I think that it is far easier to glue the planks over an already formed surface than just over the bulkheads. Besides each plank goes against the top one over its whole lenght and it doesn't create "steps", hard to sand, I think.

You need to be cautions when giving shape to the hull. Sanding must be lightly done or you can end with rigdes and waves since the foam sands more easily that the plywood of the bullkeads.

I do not think that I invented something special, really, but it suits me and if I build another ship, I think that I'll fill it with foam, at least the bow and stren sections.
Maybe when I'll have more experience I can look at planking over the bulkeads with more ease.

After all it is the concept that is behing the kits that have the hull already formed in balsa or other wood. You get a perfect form over wich it is easier to plank than just the small surface of the bulkeads. Foam gives you that.

Besides I like trying new things and techniques, I like challenges, it gives me pleasure to solve them. Problem of having passed my active life as ia computer engineer. :) :)

I hope to have answered your question.

Cumprimentos

JL
 
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#19
Next step, plank the inside opf the bulwarks. I was following what it seemed to me to be a logical sequence and not that shown in the instructions. I tried to plan ahead and see what should be done instead of follow a recipe.

The wood for the interior plankig is referred as being ayous, never had heard of. It looks libe samba (french) or obeche, I ignore if it is the same thing. It is easy to work with and sands well.


DSC09011.JPG

After the bottom plank was fixed, it was time to open the gun ports, I prefer to have the ports cut before gluing the planks that were going to cover them, it seemed easier to open the ports in the strakes if it was already cut in the ply. The small ports (for oars??) had to be cut too and they were a little misaligned and had to be corrected. Eleven of each, 44 in total. Tedious work, but had to be done.

DSC09013.JPG DSC09015.JPG DSC09016.JPG


Time to add the other strakes and open the ports. I left a small gap between the strakes because I wanted it to look like separeted planks and not as a continuous wooden wall.
It is very subtle and I am pleased with the result.


DSC09017.JPG DSC09019.JPG


Well it is all for now.

Regards

JL
 
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