Gaeta Falcata (Gajeta Falkusa) by jack.aubrey - Marisstella - 1:20 Scale

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 - Introduction

During the end of last week I issued on the internet an order for a kit of a new ship model. Yesterday I regularly received the package from the manufacturer and now I am going to open a new shipyard that I believe will keep me happily busy for the next months. Knowing myself I think I'll need, excluding unforeseen situations, a whole year to finish it, but this is just a raw idea.

My thinking is that the model I chose was greatly illustrated with a plethora of images in the topic "Italian boats (and not) in the Adriatic Sea". Goto here to review it http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/14414-italian-boats-of-the-adriatic-sea/ . I'm referring to the "Gaeta Falcata" or "Gajeta Falkusa". As widely explained in the topic mentioned above it is a boat originating from island of Vis and used in the past by fishermen of Comiso, a village of that island.

The kit is produced by a Croatian company, MARISSTELLA from Split, established in 2008. I discovered this company on ModelShipWorld forum where it has, in the home page, a ad banner. MARISSTELLA has a very interesting catalog, especially focused on boats of the Adriatic Sea. The first impression is positive: the material inside contained is quite valid, the timber is of good quality and the two paper sheets of building plans are very well made. The wood pieces are laser pre-cut, using both plywood and solid wood.

For now, in my opinion, the major weakness consists in the building instructions: they are written in Croatian language and English.

Well, you may say, you know English quite well and so, where is the problem? The problem is that that English is a lot to be desired and definitely looks like a translation made with Google Translator, most probably a version of a few years ago, and it is therefore hard to understand the concepts to be followed for the building. Luckily there are plenty of photographs of the various build stages, which help me a lot, but, although abundant for some steps, they are totally missing for others and I find several problems in understanding the whole process in a consistent and methodic way.

For now I'm spending a bit of time to read them, interpret them, understand them, and given that I'm studying them, rewrite them in a better English with the objective to propose this translation as a gift to the kit manufacturer when all the steps will be checked (this just to avoid me too to write wrong things).

Finally, again in terms of weaknesses, I would expect that at least all the frames of this model, in the classical three-pieces structure, were already laser pre-cut. Instead the kit provides many walnut and lime 3x3mm strips that must be soaked and bent before being applied inside the hull. This operation, anyway possible, stretches and increases the overall processing time. Being it a kit, it seems a pretty serious lack. I'll experience in practice how much more time it will need.

We will analyze more in detail later all the steps that will lead to the building of the hull inside and outside. Now it isn't the right moment.

Here, instead, I would like to propose some of the kit images and the material contained inside.

First, a bit of data:
  1. 1:20 scale
  2. total length (with boom) 70.4 cm
  3. packaging dimensions 65 x 21.5 cm
Now we can start looking at our kit box before opening it:


y4mvSsJZBnGSdRg7ALBxNX8-txdmF7SbP9Sn_ozl

01 - 20161021_163657.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 - The plans

Plans are grouped into two (quite large) sheets, scale 1:1

y4mdcRzNeQoS45BtHQOArrYa8ZeBMLQC_WG4ZuUJ

01 - 20161021_163929.jpg

The first sheet, whole image . .
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02 - Falkusa1.jpg

. . and here the second sheet, more useful than the first one to see and plan how to proceed in building the hull
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03 - Falkusa2.jpg
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Some detailed images of the plans, they are clear and well done and every component is correctly numbered.
A image from sheet #1 . .
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And a couple of images from sheet #2 . .
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06 - 20161021_164052

A final clarification: the construction of this model will take place while I'm staying at my daughter's house in Calci (Pisa). As I explained when I was working on the Viking ship, considering the limited equipment I have in Tuscany, I opted to purchase a kit rather than planning a scratch build; this in hope of having less need of the materials and the tools I keep in my workshop in Cinisello (Milan). On the other side, when I'm living in Milan, I will be mainly working on the Brick HMS Guadelupe.
Cheers, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 - Inside the box #1

Let's start by opening the box and analyze its contents. In the background of this first image the printed material, ie the building plans, the assembly instructions, and other; in the foreground the timber and accessories . .

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01 20161021_163757.jpg

Below: on the right the booklet of the building instructions, in English and Croatian language, with a good number of photographs in black and white; on the left side, some color images of the finished model and a small catalog of the models produced by MARISTELLA.

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02 - 20161021_163850.jpg

The part relating to the timber and accessories: plywood pre-cut laser elements, solid wood elements always laser cut, strips for planking and other details, as the pre-sewn sails, rope reels of various diameters and accessories usually on board this boat.

y4m5LVBQjbGmOGpvurNN_dNcchyRnVgCwasEbMOc

03 - 20161021_164119.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, October 22, 2016 - Inside the box #2

The laser pre-cut material in poplar plywood: it contains the elements to setup the mounting structure for the hull and the pedestal;


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01 - 20161021_164317.jpg

The pre-cut material in solid wood . . on top the elements constituting the keel and rudder;


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02 - 20161021_164247.jpg

strips of wood, walnut and lime, for planking and other model's elements such as oars, masts, rods etc. The pre-sewn sails, ropes for rigging and the anchor . . only the dish with anchovies which I have proposed in the other thread about the Adriatic Sea boats is missing.


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03 - 20161021_164206.jpg

With this post I have finished the presentation of the kit, it is now time to get down to work. In the dead time I'm trying to understand the instructions, thing a little complicated, and I'm writing my English revision of the installation instructions. After I think I could make even the Italian version as a gift for the kit manufacturer, provided that MarisStella can find it useful . .
 

jack.aubrey

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Monday October 24, 2016

I'm starting with the most classic and intuitive boat component: the assembly of the various elements that together make up the keel.
There are here three main pieces, of which the first two are the most structured: the stern . .


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01 - 20161024_164802.jpg

the bow . .


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02 - 20161024_164808.jpg

and the central body that connects the two ends.

The material used for the keel is made from a walnut tablet 4mm thick.
The pieces fit together perfectly and so there were no significant adjustments to make.
The only activity necessary by now was the removal of the "burnt" of laser cutting. In fact, I noticed that this burned surface, if not previously removed, was making the PVA glue working badly.


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03 - 20161024_164756.jpg

In short, a few minutes homework . . Regards, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Monday, October 24, 2016

While I was assembling together the elements of the keel I started also to prepare a first building slip that, for this model, I believe is even of greater importance than in my previous experiences, perhaps excluding the Viking ship. In fact this model was thought by MarisStella as a mean for planking the hull with the bulkheads facing downwards.

This building slip is made with a plywood board of 2cm on which I wrote the position of the bulkheads and the central element that aligns them. To keep in the correct position this element I applied some wood guides positioned properly.

Here two images of the building slip, as it is now. I do not exclude some modifications and/or additions later.

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01 - 20161025_090412.jpg

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02 - 20161025_090418.jpg

Here below, three later images of the slip with some pre-cut laser elements of the kit already positioned. Thay make up the hull skeleton.

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03 - 20161024_164728.jpg

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04 - 20161024_164720.jpg

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05 - 20161024_164658.jpg

That's all for today, to the next issue . . Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

A small step forward. .

Today I proceeded to glue together all the three main elements of the keel. To insure their correct positioning, I proceeded to glue under them a photocopy of the drawings where the keel is visible. This because the keel is not perfectly straight but is slightly curved and only the plan give the right way. Now it remains to apply a strip 5 x 1.5mm which will form the false keel to complete. At this point the keel can be positioned on the hull skeleton. All joints are refined and tested.

A couple of views of the keel, with all its elements: the keel, fore foot, stem, apron of the stem, stern and stern knee.

01 - 20161027_155255.jpg
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02 - 20161027_155334.jpg
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Meanwhile the hull structure has been enriched by new elements that hold the complex together and stiffen it.

It is necessary to emphasize here that this entire structure, except for reinforcements 16.1, 16.2, 16.3 and 16.4 which are glued together, stays together not thanks to glue but for all its joints. The keel also, once positioned, will not be glued but only stuck.

It is therefore essential that all the joints are perfect, neither too wide, otherwise they would not hold all together, neither too tight, otherwise there is the risk of possible deformations. The planking must also be done in a way that it's carried mainly between a strake and its adjacent, using the bulkheads only as a support but possibly avoiding glue. An alternative method is to apply on the thickness of the bulkheads a plastic tape. This is because, once the planking is over, you should be able to easily detach the shell (planking plus keel) from the skeleton shown below.

03 - 20161027_155152.jpgy4mEAWXGE_Z3ZDdEalYHnEUKMP2TmCDsryU4QPzw

04 - 20161027_155210.jpgy4ml6ubeXaUF8_rDLvgtusAcdc0sK5uUs5lYwdvj


See you tomorrow . . Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

The approaching steps for the task of planking are continuing . .

I have completed the keel, applying the walnut 1,5x5 strip which constitutes the false keel. Then, after cleaning the whole by sanding, I tested the dry mounting of this piece: perfect.

A due tribute to the laser cutting technology and the kit manufacturer . .

Then I run some additional changes to the building slip to allow to hold the hull structure, which I remember, is not glued together but stays only thanks to the many joints.

With these slight changes, in due course, I will fix everything in a stable and robust way to the building slip and I hope to avoid many worries. At the end of planking, I'll need just a scissor to detach eveything without efforts.

01 - 20161029_165055.jpgy4mkEnyc-OIUjkKCpPxEho19lk5ICS3b4aoBgsEh

02 - 20161029_165048.jpgy4mm57RqcZzZdqHVopGDh701u7xwygCq1u2ZaX1_

03 - 20161029_165252.jpgy4mHwdmDJvYNZM1yxN2IkO44-Wcxyjng9o8slunB

04 - 20161029_165109.jpgy4mqOVpftQXL5DMRLj33CPhxnRK55LcLZ4W97QO_

Detail of the metal rings and pins, all elements glued to the slip with cyan-acrylate to insure strenght; they will serve to firmly hold the bulkheads to the building slip.

05 - 20161029_201736.jpgy4mqfeJkXeLjtkX7Cga_g-P8j-1CLRl2Bqgqqm4Q

See you next time . . Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Although visibly there are few things new, in fact, since my last message, I had a heavy working session, in particular:

1) shaping of many bulkheads to obtain the correct camber; unlike my previous experiences, here I could just remove the bulkhead away and work on it comfortably on the table; this fact simplified tasks in some ways but complicated for others, i.e. having to remove and reposition the bulkheads each time I had to run a check;

2) application on the thikness of the bulkhead, on which the planking will rest, of a adhesive tape to make sure that the bulkheads bonding becomes strongly weakened in order to facilitate the detachment of the hull shell at the end of the planking task; in the past I used the technique to rub the wax of a candle on the bulkhead thickness, but it worked partially well; I think this system should work better.

The result of this work is shown in the two pictures that follow.

01 - 20161101_165109.jpgy4mrNnjC1tTXiat3Wt9RK4eMiPzUkUIkp7vRtEJv

02 - 20161101_165100.jpgy4mA9cNMWZSAUyWvln5PdfUb3dzG3V7gDBqO2GoJ

3) Fixing the bulkheads (and consequently the whole hull structure) to the building slip with cotton wire using the pins and rings, previously installed on the building slip and on the bulkhead. A drop of cyano-acrylate on the wire ensures that knots last forever.

03 - 20161102_155732.jpgy4mi5P-lpnT9lQXBxbGD05PFzt2lMOExGhtnGFaX

04 - 20161102_155750.jpgy4mf4CBpHXI55lPBEUG4ORkU601LquXUO_t0KXVR


05 - 20161102_155743.jpgy4mane1YC9ROIe8xgRsUqdN3bhu1OBKr2V139Qub

Now the "march" towards the beginning of the planking task is almost complete. Only two small details at the bow and two at the stern are missing; I am beginning working on them.

See you soon, Jack.Aubrey.
 

jack.aubrey

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Now all the preparatory tasks for the planking are completed . . .

The missing elements were the four bow and stern components, properly shaped, where underlie the strips of the planking; without them it would be difficult to glue the planks to the keel.

These components are laser pre-cut in the kit with the same material of the other keel elements, ie walnut. But a approx 45° bevel is to be made and I found serious difficulties to achieve this job due to the pieces of wood quite small, made in addition with a hard wood such as walnut. So I redid them using good birch plywood of the same thickness, but working before on the part to be beveled and only later by cutting out the inside of the piece. . it was another way of life !!

Only inconvenient was the need to subsequently dye with mordant these redone pieces, of different color.

Below a quite abundant overview showing these four elements definitely glued to the keel.

Now everything is ready to begin the installation of the planks: walnut strips 5 x 1.5mm. Please wish me good luck, thank you.

01 - 20161104_165225.jpg
y4mowo6HPXkdtlkl9BPIA3hSC19aegtwREs5b6M2


02 - 20161104_165215.jpg
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03 - 20161104_165159.jpg
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04 - 20161104_165132.jpg
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Aft, figures 5 and 7, I slightly changed the shape of these original elements. This because it was not possible to get the bevel, more than 45°, on the original form . . after checking on the plans I decided for this change as these items will not be visible. Infact there is a small deck that will hide them from viewing.

05 - 20161104_165505.jpg
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06 - 20161104_165252.jpg
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07 - 20161104_165241.jpg
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08 - 20161104_165453.jpg
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To the next issue, Jack.
 

Uwek

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Very interesting way of installation and also the jig - looks like a real good kit - I am in the meantime convinced, that Marisstella knows very well how to develop a kit.
And it seems, that the Falkusa is a very good kit :cool:
 

jack.aubrey

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Since I do not foresee the use of nails during the planking of this model, I thought about alternative solutions that do not require stinging somehow the walnut strips, which are known to break down in an attempt to push through tacks or pins without drilling the strip in advance.

I decided to use the method below that will be using clips for paper, suitably modified.

Below some of these clamps ready for use, even if their use at some point will have to be supplemented with something else at the moment I do not know . .

01 - 20161104_171325.jpgy4m8MYsJnyUaQvgo1indc-qH7A6K4Tmeq17QYp92

Below is an example that clarifies how you must use these clamps to hold the planks in position while the glue is drying.

02 - 20161104_171332.jpgy4mpSL6NgQNpu098IpstN83mMHG_c1DC7KLhCTjF

See you next time, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Friday, November 11, 2016

I finally started to apply the planking . . I say finally because, as I was ready a week ago, due to adverse weather conditions and other unforeseen commitments, I could just start yesterday.

From the first, although limited, experience, the matter seems to appear long enough, as I expected. Due to the impossibility to use nails to hold the strakes, I can install a strip per side a day; then I have to stop and wait for the glue to completely dry. So it will be a work of great patience, a exercise of self-control at a high level.

According to my expectations, after applying these two first courses, it's still needed to install 13 strakes to reach the keel. So if I install one strake per day I'll need at least 13 sessions (but let's call them "days") to finish.

In each session, the sequence of operations is:

1) cut the two strips to the correct length with high precision;
2) taper a strip according to a scale table that I'm going to prepare on my pc;
3) apply the tapered plank of step 2 on one side of the hull; the bonding is with the bulkheads but especially with the other adjacent plank;

. . . . . then, while the glue in the meantime dries a little, giving me the possibility to operate on the other side . .

4) taper the second strip as in step 2;
5) apply the tapered plank of step 4 on the other side of the hull;
6) end of the session, bring the dog to **** hoping it's not raining.

Special tricks for the bending of the planks weren't necessary, and I believe will be the same also for the future, .

Now, some photos of the result of two days of work. . Regards, Jack.

01 - 20161111_155313.jpg
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02 - 20161111_155318.jpg
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03 - 20161111_155322.jpg
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04 - 20161111_155329.jpg
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jack.aubrey

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

The planking task is going on . . slowly

As I anticipated in a previous message this activity, for this particular model, is proving more boring (in terms of time) than difficult.
Since I can't use nails and similar to hold the strakes, I need to work using exclusively clamps, so I have to wait for the glue to dry before going on further.
In this way, as I dedicate to my hobby a (part of a) day, usually the afternoon, I proceed at a speed of a strake per side per day.
Today I applied the sixth plank, so then, to complete the hull planking, I need to install other 8 strips: almost two weeks from tomorrow.

Here below a picture of the model taken this morning, before installing the sixth strake.

01 - 20161117_104955.jpg
y4mayy47ZsKMkO0uvS63Z7gktFK9DJSvmwBkDrVG


In the next image, in the foreground, two clamps specially made to hold the tips of the planks at bow and stern. They are proving invaluable in their function. The sandpaper applied at their tips is thought to avoid sliding on the keel; the pressure is exerted on the other hand via a common clamp as shown below in image 03.

02 - 20161117_105027.jpg
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In this picture a "catalog" of all the clamps I have to use during this task, here waiting for the glue makes its duty.

03 - 20161117_160938.jpgy4mcwbzf0WS2sLMRaEbwmxWtxqktXljTkhzle4dM

See you next time, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Friday, November 25, 2016

The task of installing the planks is proceeding but slowly . . . Now there are only four strips missing.

Tomorrow I'll install another one but then I need to stop for a while because this Sunday I have to come back in Milan, where I'll stay for about a week before returning to Tuscany.

01 - 20161125_160736.jpg
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02 - 20161125_160743.jpg
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03 - 20161125_160727.jpg
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04 - 20161125_160708.jpg
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05 - 20161125_160701.jpg
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Cheers, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Monday, December 19, 2016

It's been a while since my last post. It seemed me that little work was missing to complete the planking but other commitments prevented me from proceeding faster. Also what I am going to show today dates back almost a week ago but, due to various commitments, I find only today the time to post it.

The cause of these delay in the work are many, from a one week break due to my return to Milan to vote yes/no at a referendum to some problems associated with setting up and how go further with the next tasks once planking will be over. We will discuss in detail later.

Below two images of the completed planking (not yet finished). The whole is still firmly attached to the assembly building slip that I prepared, demonstrating really helpful so far. The fifth strake on the foreground side in the two photos seems broken and jointed but it is not right: by a strange nasty surprise of the wood grain, and also due to an oversight from me in the choice of the wood strip, it seems to be interrupted.

01 - 20161219_113801.jpg
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02 - 20161219_113805.jpg
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I then proceeded to detach the hull and its internal structure from the building base. The next two images show better than words. In both pictures, but especially in the latter you can see a minor problem I had in the assembly of a strip aft: while bending the strip it splintered and then I had to stop it before reaching the end. Now the junction shows a moderate difference in height that I need to fill. This will take place later, during the refining of the shell. So finishing is the next field activity.

03 - 20161219_121654.jpg
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04 - 20161219_121707.jpg
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Finally now I could capsize the boat and give a look to the inside!

Also in the inner size of the hull there will be quite a cleanup job to run, even though I expected to face a worse situation.

The sequence here below shows how the various pieces that make up the internal skeleton are just stuck and not glued.

05 - 20161219_121717.jpg
y4m4K2-z5-qpudVj27SY72IeOo3LvQPGvbvuLnQ-


06 - 20161219_121741.jpg
y4muBt3HfhbSGvm_NIu1JYaGT6qOYHmUNoWY0vc8


07 - 20161219_121824.jpg
y4maRnnw2XPFyRscjboPZAlomYzgIOIabgspR95x


Even the bulkheads are glued to the shell in a weak way. In fact, between the wooden planks and the bulkheads there is a plastic tape film, which should allow me to remove the bulkheads without special efforts.

08 - 20161219_121835.jpg
y4merO7t309VPtcOP1p1eJYgI1-ARsJ43Nfy-_DD


09 - 20161219_121829.jpg
y4mPwLS0K8fSX3a-y09287dULh-fY1g9IuLCAg3B


But now I must achieve the complete refinement of the outside hull.

Until next time, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Location
Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), Calci (Pisa)
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Today I do not feel to make wood dust for finishing the hull, so I did other.

I recovered the material of the first building slip, which is no longer usable, and I prepared the second building slip, which I hope will be really useful in a few days, when I'll start working inside the hull.
Making these components is always pretty fun, and this is still true for this one . . .
With this slip the model stays in its normal position.

The images that follow show the slip with an overall view and two detailed views.

01 - 20161220_174625.jpg
y4m10PMVc8AP3ZHwTWKhkp6Zo35dUbLioQuj4-5p


02 - 20161220_174647.jpg
y4my6sbJUl81lJltEa_TwveP9T6W07532DGOsUhE


03 - 20161220_174634.jpg
y4m2QB-0Z8yDBVIrB1p58ca0YeYfb0kNX2eXeKRi


More images with the model lying at the basement, although the not yet removed skeleton severely limits the internal view of the hull.

04 - 20161220_174604.jpg
y4mgC1Z5PL_i9kz3yWrCtihfYx4ZrpUlD7Swo46C


05 - 20161220_174540.jpg
y4m5i69-bfO7r2ZXn8g4UfgoKMWzUMt59X8CHssE


06 - 20161220_174547.jpg
y4mpOZcSj1iSfuygDNtvSyEMuIEori0eLR6d7zCx


Best wishes to all of you and Merry Christmas, Happy 2017 and happy holidays, Jack.
 
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