Build Log: "Norske Løve" by Billings Boats

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Although this in not my first build, it is my first log, so bear with me while I try to figure this out.
This summer I picked up a Artesana Latina's original San Fransisco kit from the bargain bin in a local hobby shop. I did not have a clue of what to expect. Fortunately I found the experience exciting and challenging. Challenging because the kit came with minimal instructions and Exciting because I enjoy solving problems. Having just completed this build i Ordred th Sphinx from England. Given their production delays I cancelled the order and ordered th Norske Løve insted at half the price. As you will see I am still challeged as the written instructions are still only one page long. Fortunately the illustrations are much better (and more numerous). Also I hope to learn a lot from Dean62's excellent build log.

The box containing my new build arrived on Oct 9, 2021.It was raining heavily an the box was soaking wet
.wet box.jpg

The inside box was wet as well.

_2569.jpg

Fortunately the kit was OK
content-1.jpg
Here are some of the parts I have moved int my tool shed:tool bin.jpg
 

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Kurt Konrath

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Please keep posting photos of your build, and ask questions if you get into a spot you can't figure out.

Between others build logs and general knowledge of the grand group of builders here you should get an answer to help you out.

This is definitly a place where "a photo is worth a thousand words" when explaining whats the problem or how you did figure out what next to do.
 
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Although this in not my first build, it is my first log, so bear with me while I try to figure this out.
This summer I picked up a Artesana Latina's original San Fransisco kit from the bargain bin in a local hobby shop. I did not have a clue of what to expect. Fortunately I found the experience exciting and challenging. Challenging because the kit came with minimal instructions and Exciting because I enjoy solving problems. Having just completed this build i Ordred th Sphinx from England. Given their production delays I cancelled the order and ordered th Norske Løve insted at half the price. As you will see I am still challeged as the written instructions are still only one page long. Fortunately the illustrations are much better (and more numerous). Also I hope to learn a lot from Dean62's excellent build log.

The box containing my new build arrived on Oct 9, 2021.It was raining heavily an the box was soaking wet
.View attachment 262521

The inside box was wet as well.

View attachment 262537

Fortunately the kit was OK
View attachment 262534
Here are some of the parts I have moved int my tool shed:View attachment 262535
Looks like you are almost setup to work! Welcome aboard SOS!
 

Uwek

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Ver ygood start of your building log - and I will follow your progress with big interest
 
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Building the keel.

My first task was cut a 3ft by 10 inch board from a piece of scrap plywood. Since my board was highly warped, I attached 1x2 furring strips on each side to keep the board flat. Then I nailed a 5x15 strip of wood down the middle to serve as a support for the keel. The instructions may have indicated two strips. However the kit only included two of these strips, so I saved the other one for the keel.

Keel-1.jpg

Next step was to cut the remaining 5x15 mm strip to the appropriate length. I strongly considered buying a small electric cut-off saw from Amazon ($60 or so), but it is so easy to di it by hand that I decided not to do so. (Any opinion on this?).

IMG_2570.jpg

Now I glued up the keel assembly on a piece of cardboard.

Keel-1-2.jpg




Finally I placed the keel assembly on my board, using square cut-offs of two by fours as guides.
Mopunting the keel.jpg
 

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Joined
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Building the frame

I was dreading this step as I was lead to believe that I would encounter tolerance and alignment difficulties. Fortunately it was not too bad.
The first stem was to position frame #8 and to ensure that it was plumb and at right angle.
one fram.jpg

Then I inserted spacers to ensure that the other boards were properly positioned. I marked two to sticks to ensure that the spacing was correct
three frames.jpg

Finally all frames were installed and (hopefully) properly spaced.

all frames.jpg


Then I struggled to install the lower deck (hatch?). The problem was that the deck (part 24) was 5mm too wide. Easily solved. Unfortunately the top crossbars (part 26) were also 5mm too long. Again easily solved as soon as I diagnosed the problem. (Thought I screwed up).


bad fit.jpg

After having glued in the hatch, I read in Dean62's blog that he had painted the sides and added flooring to the base.Too late for that, but I did paint the walls.

Now for the big challenge: Install the lower deck. The deck has slots on the sides so incorrectly spaced panels will not work. Mine

did not:
Bad alignrnt.jpg

Not to worry. A slight realignment of the boards and the supporting "sticks" did the job.

lower deck fits.jpg

 

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Joined
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Building the frame

I was dreading this step as I was lead to believe that I would encounter tolerance and alignment difficulties. Fortunately it was not too bad.
The first stem was to position frame #8 and to ensure that it was plumb and at right angle.
View attachment 262574

Then I inserted spacers to ensure that the other boards were properly positioned. I marked two to sticks to ensure that the spacing was correct
View attachment 262573

Finally all frames were installed and (hopefully) properly spaced.

View attachment 262570


Then I struggled to install the lower deck (hatch?). The problem was that the deck (part 24) was 5mm too wide. Easily solved. Unfortunately the top crossbars (part 26) were also 5mm too long. Again easily solved as soon as I diagnosed the problem. (Thought I screwed up).


View attachment 262571

After having glued in the hatch, I read in Dean62's blog that he had painted the sides and added flooring to the base.Too late for that, but I did paint the walls.

Now for the big challenge: Install the lower deck. The deck has slots on the sides so incorrectly spaced panels will not work. Mine

did not:
View attachment 262569

Not to worry. A slight realignment of the boards and the supporting "sticks" did the job.

View attachment 262568
I am concerned that you let the deck board notches determine the final alignment of your frames! It is better to install the frames square to the keel, parallel to one another, and properly spaced. Then adjust the notches in the deck if necessary. Otherwise, if you blindly trust the deck notches are always right, then you can end up moving your frames out of square and adversely effect the hull shape. ;)
 
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I am willing to assume that the notches are in te right spot.
You have a nice start and the effect of misplaced notches or frames will show up when you apply battens to test the fair curve of the hull and you can make your finalized decision then how to proceed. I would recommend that you do that test as soon as possible. Just a thought. Rich (PT-2)
 
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I am willing to assume that the notches are in te right spot.
And I respect your decision, as it's your ship. ;)
But keep in mind, those notches were made in the "theoretical" proper locations based on no tolerance. Once the wood is cut to thickness, and parts lazer cut from it, tolerance is a real issue, and tolerance stack up on many parts that come into contact with one another will always yield a different result from model to model. Therefore it is unrealistic to assume no adjustment would ever be necessary. Because that assumption would imply perfect manufacturing with no variance at all. First, that is impossible, and the tighter you hold manufacturing tolerances, the higher the cost of manufacturing. I know, I work in Engineering. So the loose tolerances I am experiencing with my kit, tell me the manufacturer is not willing to put too much cost into holding tight tolerances. Therefore I trust nothing on this kit.
For example, my kit had some frames that were 4mm in thickness, and some that were 4.5 mm thick, and a keel thickness of 4mm, keel board thickness of 5mm, frame notches at 5mm, and so on. And you can see the the variance in size was between .5 -1mm. Everything according to the full scale plans, is supposed to be 5mm! So the variance was a total of 10 - 20 percent. That is very loose!
And finally…out of 14 frames, two keel pieces and 1 keel board, only the keel board was properly sized! All lazer cut plywood was not the correct thickness. That means 1 out of 15 was correct, thus 94 percent of the frame and keel components were out of size by 10-20 percent. How could the notches ever align without adjustments? Those same full scale plans were used to layout the deck sheets and locate the notches and notch widths. So if the parts that make up the frame are out of tolerance, then the you can bet adjustments are ahead! ;)
 
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Still, the bulkheads aren’t going to be that far off, unless you put the wrong bulkhead in out of sequence, even on a terrible kit the deck notches only need to be opened up a fraction of an inch or so. Using a batten to bevel the bulkheads and fair the hull is still going to produce fair lines and a nice flowing form, it may not be accurate compared to a set of plans or some historical drawings of the ship but it will still be close- and pleasing. I can tell by the picture of all the bulkheads in place on the keel that’s it’s close enough for modeling work, or government work ! May have to move a gunport or remove some bulkhead material for one or like you said make some adjustments, but I think with Billings Boats that’s already a given….. :) Just my opinion….
 
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Heinrich

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Hello Arne. Welcome to SOS - it is great that that you have started a build log on the Norske Love. In this case, you have the advantage of one of the most accurate and meticulous builders preceding you and giving advice. That is the great thing about a forum and SOS in particular where people are so willing to help. In my book, I concur with what @Dean62 Dean has advised.

Bad alignrnt.jpg

@Stargazer Lou, I do not see this as a "fractional adjustment" - it is quite a serious one. Revisiting the frames and keel would also be the route that I would follow.
 
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Still, the bulkheads aren’t going to be that far off, unless you put the wrong bulkhead in out of sequence, even on a terrible kit the deck notches only need to be opened up a fraction of an inch or so. Using a batten to bevel the bulkheads and fair the hull is still going to produce fair lines and a nice flowing form, it may not be accurate compared to a set of plans or some historical drawings of the ship but it will still be close- and pleasing. I can tell by the picture of all the bulkheads in place on the keel that’s it’s close enough for modeling work, or government work ! May have to move a gunport or remove some bulkhead material for one or like you said make some adjustments, but I think with Billings Boats that’s already a given….. :) Just my opinion….
Typically that should be true, however the math shows the possibilities. With 14 frames, that vary in thickness by .5-1mm, then you could have notches that are way off! ;)
Plus the real issue doesn’t stop at the frames distances, they need to be square and parallel to one another. The frame work is the most critical part of the ship! It is the foundation for everything that follows…you know this! So if a frame is adjusted at top, it’s angle has been changed! What implications follow could be unpleasant.
 
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Hmmm Heinrich
, that looks like about 1/4” inch to me, the math I learned says that’s a fraction of an inch…. BTW, would you throw that model away because it was off that much? Or would you overcome the problem, make the adjustments and keep building? It is wood after all…. Always a solution…..
 
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Dean, not sure what you are saying about moving frames at angles etc? I agree the frames need to be square and parallel, but if they are fore or aft a fraction (there’s that word again) it’s not that big a deal, you can adapt….
 
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Anyway Arne, I think you’ll be ok… it looks like a good beginning to me, but then I’m not the most meticulous and accurate of builders… but I enjoy the hell out of the hobby! You will learn a lot and your next effort can put to use all the experience you gain from this one…. And so on, a fraction at a time…. :)
 

Heinrich

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Hmmm Heinrich
, that looks like about 1/4” inch to me, the math I learned says that’s a fraction of an inch…. BTW, would you throw that model away because it was off that much? Or would you overcome the problem, make the adjustments and keep building? It is wood after all…. Always a solution…..
Of course I would make the adjustments - but not via the deck notches. As I have said, I would revisit the frames and how and where they were fitted onto the keel.
 
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Dean, not sure what you are saying about moving frames at angles etc? I agree the frames need to be square and parallel, but if they are fore or aft a fraction (there’s that word again) it’s not that big a deal, you can adapt….
What I am saying Lou...is if the frame was only adjusted up top to fit the notches, and the bottom location was left the same, then you have made the frame sit at an angle.
And the fraction you mention, 1/4”, at 1/75 scale becomes 18.75” on the model, which is over a foot and a half at scale. I’d say that’s enough to cause problems. But everyone has a different idea of quality, and their own acceptance level. If you think being off 1/4” on 1/75 scale model is no big deal, then your models will reflect that.
No offense, but that would never be acceptable to me personally.

Ps - I was only trying to give sound advice on building a square frame assembly, by suggesting if your frame was built correctly and is square, then adjusting a square frame to accommodate notches is a bad idea, it should be the other way around. Adjust the notches to fit the square frame assembly. In summary, that is my suggestion. ;)
 
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Thank you for your concern. You were right!
I went to the hardware store. Bought several clamps and try squares. The frame is installed correctly. My assumption that the slots in the deck were correct was wrong. Many were too shallow, and some were shifted to the right or left.

I should be ready for the flooring now. Not sure what wood to use. Cannot find the part number on the drawing.
 
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Thank you for your concern. You were right!
I went to the hardware store. Bought several clamps and try squares. The frame is installed correctly. My assumption that the slots in the deck were correct was wrong. Many were too shallow, and some were shifted to the right or left.

I should be ready for the flooring now. Not sure what wood to use. Cannot find the part number on the drawing.
If you are going to leave the frames as they are in place now, I think that you may purchase a sheet of wood at the correct thickness and then transfer the edge profile and existing frames notches to that new piece and scratch build your own. I know that is a lot of work but if you renotch your deck now to the existing frames positions you will have make dutchmen fillers for the left behind notch opening. Just sling and swath approach that does not address the hull lines created by the present positions of the frames and may affect other following details. You are the captain of your ship and she will follow your decisions. Just some thoughts. Rich (PT-2)
 
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