Well the gunports ate finished, all 44 of them. It took me a lot of work but I managed two goals: get the gunports correctly placed on the hull and get a good base to glue the planks to. I have seen a lot of models suffering from a wave syndrom on the planking, I mean the planks seems to sink and wave between two bulkheads so I filled the whole hull with blue foam in my "Prince" and Nina and I intend to do the same in this buid, using blue foam on the central part of the hull and balsa on the bow and stern the two places where the planks have to suffer tighter curves.
Doing the gunports the way I did, I already have a good surface of contact to the planking. I had to sand the lightply flush with the bulkheads, but lightply is easy to sand, so it was no big deal after all.
The method that Occre suggests is more prone to error, has a lot of guess work and helps nothing with the subsequent planking. So I discarded it.
If there is something good with a kit is that you can change some things and get a better result.
And this particular kit has a lot that can be changed (and improved)...
Adding the lower row of gunports using two pieces of 3,5mm lightply to give me a width of 7mm. The lower is not planked inside so much easier to adjust in place than the upper row that had to be adjusted internally and externally.
I used the supplied gunports as templates to cut the holes on the ply. Doing so I was sure of getting equal gunports.
Low row holes cut and filed to size...
Sanding the ply flush with the bulkheads.
That sander is an old Stanley sander (more than 20 years old). It is a very good tool, but unfortunately they don't sell it anymore. It has a metal surface much like a file and lasts a long time, is as I do it is mainly used on balsa and soft wood.
Finished. Well, almost, some balsa filled pieces have yet to be reopened
I am very pleased with the final result, it begins to look like a ship. But it still needs a lot of work (and thinking).
Started planking the upper decks. The black ink and PVA is giving good results for the caulking and treenails. I started using a more greyish mixture and I am pleased with the result, it gives a subtle weathered look without being too obtrusive.
I am not following neither the instruction neither the building sequence. Just my feelings.
The work continues on the Nuestra Señora with some obvious and some not so obvious problems. This has been an exercice of imagination and foresight.
I am not sure what to think of this kit. Now that I have all the packs I have a broader idea of the design and the material of the model. I don't know if I can manage to get a decent model out of this kit not only because my lack of experience regarding model boats but also because the kit has flaws. lots.
Maybe I am too perfectionist and I don't like things badly done if I can do them better.
For example, here is what I get as wood. An eneven wood with variable width. OK, I cal live with that, but it would be a lot easier if the wood was of equal quality and dimensions. Maybe I should have replaced this wood buying some good wood, but in that case what is the point of buying a kit? Better build from plans.
This wood is koto, whatever that is. I only know that it is soft and when sanded it does not turn into sawdust, I'd describe it as "sawwool" because it leaves a sort of wool not easy to deal with.
Anyway it is what I have (I have some good wood around but I am stubborn) and that what I am going to use. Period!
The interior planking is done, more and more I think that it was a good idea to have made that support surface to the interior and exterior planking, I have a good and even surface to glue to.
Only a part of the bulwarks needs to be planked (and painted) since the rest is not going to be seen.
I then used a lenght of hard wood, covered in non-stick kitchen film to get a support line for the planking. As I had the care of aligning the gunports, the planking should follow the gunports harmoniously and so it did.
I then began placing the planking and retired the guide.
I used waxed paper to make a small separation between the rows of planks, I want the rows indidualized and I am goint to fill the separation with PVA and black paint and as the hull is to be painted yellow, I expect that the separation can be seen under the paint. This is called pre-shading in plastic modelling.
Hope it works.
The separation could have not been done if the planks were only glued to the bulkheads.
At present I finished one side, the gunports are sanded and corrected where necessary, and when both sides are done I can add the gunport frames in order to add the cannon supports, so that I can add the upper decks, etc etc etc.
The gunport frames are not shown in the instructions but the photos of the completed model shows them so I am going to add them, I think it gives a more accurate look.
Nothing of what I have done is contemplated in the instructions, I am not following them anymore, not worth the trouble of reading that junk.
In the meantime I am preparing to plank the stern (some errors in the photos there too) and filling the bow with balsa in preparation fot the planking.
...this is my friend where the very thin line between kit and scratch build. If you are capable follow the build without kit's provided instructions - you are most-likely ready for your scratch build project. keep those pictures coming, please.