Lady Nelson - Amati 1:64 by Tangopapa - First time PoB Project [COMPLETED BUILD]

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It was suggested that I do a build log since I am just starting out, so despite a deep dislike of making public mistakes, I will do so in the spirit suggested. It will make me a better person (more humble anyway).

I started this week on the model after studying the video tutorials recommended by Amati, and which are done by Leon Griffiths (I think I have his last name right) from Modeler's Shipyard in Australia. There are so many different thoughts about the best way to approach a build that I thought I would just accept him as my guru and follow his methods.

The only things I am not doing as he shows so far are: 1. I am not attaching the rudder post until at least after the first planking. I think this will let me taper the stern area of the false keel and the planks, as well as trimming them more easily and without damaging the rudder post and I can't see a down side. Another build log recommended this. The false keel and the rudder post are both 3mm thick and there are two layers of planks, each 1mm thick. So, if I dont make an effort at the stern it will end up poorly faired onto the rudder post to say the least. 2. Also, another build logger here (Glen?) added two extra blocks to the bow either side of the 3mm thick "bow plank terminal patterns" to make a thicker attachment area for the planks to start at. Again, if they turn out to be in the way, I can carve them away easily enough, but they may be helpful.

I assembled the bulkheads onto the false keel, and in dry fitting them I found a few were sitting very slightly low, so I put a square or two of paper under them to elevate them a bit. I was happier with that result. The no. 10 bulkhead, the aftermost one at the transom, sits at quite an angle, so the top of it needs to be faired so that it matches the sheer line of the deck at the stern. In doing this as shown by Leon, I found the mdf material came apart from the filing. This has been covered in a separate post. I will try different methods when I fair the rest of the bulkheads shortly. For one thing, I have little experience using a file versus sanding blocks and dowels, so if I am not happy with the file right away, as demonstrated on the video log, I will try plan B. Someone suggested that I might have been filing in the wrong direction, encouraging the "top skin" of the mdf to tear away. You have no choice since the curve of the deck only lets you approach with a file from the stern going forward. For the remainder of the fairing, I think I can choose my direction. Leon uses a file extensively.

Tonight I glued the false deck on. It was a bit of a wrestling match to get all the pins in place to hold everything down within the time permitted by the glue. I think it worked OK. I will leave it overnight to cure. But I can see no issues other than maybe I should be more generous with the PVA. I want to fill the joint, but avoid overflow, but maybe it is better to err on the other side.

The kit instructions suggest to sand and bevel the remaining bulkheads before gluing them in place, but Leon's method is to do it after they are in place and the false deck on. That makes more sense to me.

Oh, and the kit came with the wrong thickness of beechwood deck planking, variously described as 0.6 and 0.5mm thick. The material provided was a bit over 1mm. I notified Amati and also Cornwall Model Boats of the issue. I heard back from CMB that they will be sending me planking of the correct size. Once again, very happy that I chose to buy from them. They were great to deal with during our Great Lakes Schooner build project, even as Covid made things difficult.

I've been offered 0.5mm thick walnut second layer planks to replace the 1.0m that the kit came with. I don't know... I might later wish that I had the extra thickness to sand, especially on a first attempt. Anyway, that choice is fairly far in the future.

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I'd still love to hear any advice from people with good experience in fairing MDF bulkheads and keels. That is my next step!
 
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Today's job was a key one: fairing the bulkheads. I bought a better, name brand file. It seems all anyone sells in this city is bastard grade but that worked. It worked much better, even though I am pretty sure the version of the model that Leon is working on has plywood instead of mdf. But I think my old file was just poor quality and tried to abrade or rub through the material rather than cut. It still needs a careful approach, but before long I had all bulkheads and stern deadwood area faired. Then stern counter frames were attached. I followed Leon's video meticulously and it worked. To my eye, a plank lies fair all along at all levels. No drama really.

Next, I will attach the stem and keel and bend the bulwarks. The photos don't show the angles well, but here they are...20201002_221433.jpg20201002_221340.jpg
 
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Hello and welcome the the Lady Nelson club, although, there is only two of us! ;) It looks as though your fairing has gone well and if you have tested with a planking strip and it lays flat across all bulkheads you have done well. I used the 1 mm beech planks for the deck and had no problems arise, I think that with such a small deck space the walnut maybe too dark but that will be up to you to see.
It is a fun little kit. Although I have changed many things on mine it will build into a fine ship just using kit parts. Have fun
 
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I will be using beech for the deck . The only issue is 0.5 or 1.0mm thk. The other 0.5mm I referred to was from a donor to use for the second hull plank layer. To be honest, if Amati had come back and said "just use the 1.0" on the deck, I would have done that. I just didn't want to paint myself in to a corner and find out something else doesn't fit because the deck is too thick. Only a half millimetre, I know, but my training makes me think like this. Anyway, the test plank seems to fit the fairing fine. Time will tell.
 
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I wouldn’t worry too much about public mistakes in this forum. But that’s just me. I’ve made plenty and received a lot of help on both the Constitution and the Black Pearl.
 
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I wouldn’t worry too much about public mistakes in this forum. But that’s just me. I’ve made plenty and received a lot of help on both the Constitution and the Black Pearl.
I'm not really too worried. It's my first complete PoB build, so I will make mistakes but look forward to the voices of experience.
 
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Today's installment...
Soaked the bulwark thin plywood strips in hot water for a,couple of hours and oh-so-carefully (those gunport cutouts don't leave much meat behind) formed them around a template of nails. Leave until tomorrow.

Also glued on the stem. I am so impressed how well these laser cut parts fit together. No fitting at all needed on the stem other than sanding or filing off the tiny tabs left from cutting them out of 20201003_124609.jpg20201003_124542.jpgthe parent board.
 
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Hello and welcome the the Lady Nelson club, although, there is only two of us! ;) It looks as though your fairing has gone well and if you have tested with a planking strip and it lays flat across all bulkheads you have done well. I used the 1 mm beech planks for the deck and had no problems arise, I think that with such a small deck space the walnut maybe too dark but that will be up to you to see.
It is a fun little kit. Although I have changed many things on mine it will build into a fine ship just using kit parts. Have fun
Don, the wood on your version is very, very attractive. Nice work! I will have to look up how that style of windlass worked, I am only familiar with the 19th century ones that did depend on a central post and pawl.
 
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Most windlasses do have a post and pawl, and the slots for the pawl are in the centre of the windlass drum. The one in the kit has the holes for the pikes in the centre of the windlass drum, so there is no way a pawl or post will do anything with this windlass. Not a big deal but just another reason I left it off
 
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I hit the first unplanned events this morning. I was test fitting the bulwark pieces, which formed quite nicely in the 18 hours that they dried on the jig. Port side, no problem, except the starboard side outboard stern counter frame "folded over" as I handled the ship lightly. I thought it had ample PVA glue on it. I've tried to reattach with a spot of CA. Let's see. But that was not the big one. The big one was when I dry fitted the starboard bulwark piece, which required truly a very small push outward on the slot in the stem that it fits into. The top of the stem cracked through along the grain from the outside edge to the interior slot. Just a weak spot in dry wood. I've applied a bit of CA into the crack and clamped it. It is the only adhesive that I could get in there without straining the piece even more to open up the gap. I would have liked to have gotten epoxy in there. I have way more experience with and faith in epoxy and wood than CA and wood. Basically, this is my first experience with CA and wood. I have a Plan B in mind should this not work.
 
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Had trouble continue with the top of the stem. After drying for hours, when I stressed the area slightly by fitting a bulwark strip, again I heard that little "snap". So, I tried epoxy and pulled it together with a Spanish windlass using rigging thread and a paintbrush. With that, I was able to fit the bulwarks.

Fitting the bulwarks is quite challenging, trying to get it aligned, not to spread the glue up onto the bulkhead "horns" that need to be removed shortly. Then to use spring clips to hold it in place and, finally, tacking it down along the deckline at each station. The port bulwark seems really tight, I can't see any light between it and the deck edge, unfortunately on the other side there is a small gap between the 2 and 3 bulkhead. Nothing I did, including extra pins and elastic could quite pull it in, but I think it will be adequate.

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Well, I can't plane the planks to a taper in the way that Leon does. I just dont have a suitable, accurate vise. Mine is too sloppy for these tolerances. So I decided to cut them with an x-acto and a steel rule, per the Amati instructions. 5mm down to 3.4 mm and .1mm is only 0.004". I've already consumed 6 out of 40 planks making tiny kindling wood. The 6th actually came out to about the proper taper and I thought "yes!, I'll get one plank on before bed. Then I crimped it on the wrong side -- which I noticed after I applied glue . I wanted to avoid wet bending because of shrinkage, but I find the Amati bending nipped takes a lot of practice so as not to cuth too deeply. Looks like I'm going to need to buy some 1 x 5mm limewood.
 
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Well, I can't plane the planks to a taper in the way that Leon does. I just dont have a suitable, accurate vise. Mine is too sloppy for these tolerances. So I decided to cut them with an x-acto and a steel rule, per the Amati instructions. 5mm down to 3.4 mm and .1mm is only 0.004". I've already consumed 6 out of 40 planks making tiny kindling wood. The 6th actually came out to about the proper taper and I thought "yes!, I'll get one plank on before bed. Then I crimped it on the wrong side -- which I noticed after I applied glue . I wanted to avoid wet bending because of shrinkage, but I find the Amati bending nipped takes a lot of practice so as not to cuth too deeply. Looks like I'm going to need to buy some 1 x 5mm limewood.
Igitt! I mean yuck!
 

Maarten

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Well, I can't plane the planks to a taper in the way that Leon does. I just dont have a suitable, accurate vise. Mine is too sloppy for these tolerances. So I decided to cut them with an x-acto and a steel rule, per the Amati instructions. 5mm down to 3.4 mm and .1mm is only 0.004". I've already consumed 6 out of 40 planks making tiny kindling wood. The 6th actually came out to about the proper taper and I thought "yes!, I'll get one plank on before bed. Then I crimped it on the wrong side -- which I noticed after I applied glue . I wanted to avoid wet bending because of shrinkage, but I find the Amati bending nipped takes a lot of practice so as not to cuth too deeply. Looks like I'm going to need to buy some 1 x 5mm limewood.
If you don t have a planer, roughly cut them followed in sanding the edges to shape longitudinally on a piece of sandpaper glued to a piece of mdf or plywood.
 
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Maarten's advice is correct, just use your knife to carve the rough taper then sand. My kit came with lots of planks, I'm sure enough to do another hull(27 pieces left), so you should be ok. Mine were also 6.5 mm wide rather than 5 mm as per plans.
If you think you need more and are willing to pay postage I can send my extras plus all the walnut planking, I will never use any of this so I'm more than willing to mail it to you.
 
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Thank you. If I need extra I will definitely ask that you send me those. Postage is no problem, and we are both in Canada, so no Customs. I should know later today if I have acquired the knack or not. I am somewhat confident that I can cut planks to adequate tolerances with my x-acto knife. It is as sharp as a razor with a fresh blade. Ask me how I know! LOL.

I am very leery also of using that Amati pliers/bender.

Thanks all for the advice.
 
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Well, I took a different tack and eliminated as many variables as possible. I started making the plank tapers with a steel straight edge and knife, and pre soaked the wood. This is the method Amati suggested in the instructions. I then bent them using a three-roll bender. I abandoned the Amati nipper bender. I had too many accidental clip-throughs in practice and in trials. Speaking of practice, I also went to Michael's and bought a handful of 1/16 x 1/8" basswood strips to practice making taper cuts before I committed to making production planks again. I would recommend that to anyone. That was the closest size they had, inventory is very low. So now I have 2 planks attached on each side. Whew! I hope they are done well enough, but how they are is how they are. Then I just walked away to let everything dry. I am learning not to try to do too much at a single session.

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