Ragusian Galley by Don Robinson - MarisStella

Sep 7, 2017

Prince Albert,Saskatchewan, Canada
This will be my build log for the MarisStella Ragusian Galley. This kit has recently gone through some upgrades most notably is the new 83 page book of isometric drawings showing in detail all steps of the build. Also new to the kit is some photo etch and material for spacer blocks for in between the bulkheads,
I will try and make this log a detailed one so that if anyone wanting to build this will have something to follow and guide them limited, of course, to my own skills!;)
I did not receive this kit in a box as such as MarisStella is in the process of having new more colourful boxes made, however, I did steal a picture from their website showing the old box and contents;


This is an example of the illustrations showing completed model

Here is a picture of the old box and contents. The plans in this picture are laying on top of the one billet hiding 2/3 of it. Add to this picture a illustration/instruction book, some 8 mm x 8 mm stock for spacers and a sheet of photo etch and you would have the contents of the new kit.
Throughout the build I will include screenshots of the illustrations and plans for you to better understand the process.

Here we are about to glue together pieces 1, 2, and 3 to form the keel. Be sure to dry fit pieces before gluing and make any adjustments before gluing.

Pieces glued and clamped to a flat surface

Here pieces #4 have been glued to both sides, the pieces of the keel (1,2,3) have the positions of these pieces marked on them

Bulkhead #6 is in place, Take care to have a good square snug fit on all bulkheads. It is important that the top of the bulkheads are flush with the top of the keel. Note the overhang at the bottom, this is what we want do not start fairing and sand this off.

Here is a shot of more bulkheads being installed. You can see how the bottom of each bulkhead is notched and overhang the keel. This will serve later to hold the false keel straight and perfectly centred on the keel, so again do not be alarmed at this and do not sand these off. This is another innovation of MarisStella"s that is going to be of great help later on in the build.

Here is the model with bulkheads and spacer bars installed. The bars are 8 mm square for those without, some 3/8" square stock will work fine. The bars act not only to give strength to the structure but also help to keep things square, as I will show later. If you look close you see part of the false keel is in place, those little overhangs hold it in place without any glue!

The bow

and the stern. Notice the false keel in place and how the bulkheads are fitting to it.

Here you can see a slight gap which is saying that the keel is not perfectly square and is out by almost a mm. I know this is a true reading as I have been squaring and blocking all bulkheads as I have moved along. Slight warping such as this can be expected when working with wood so do not be alarmed as it is repairable.

Now after a spacer block was added it is perfectly square. This process should be done for every bulkhead in order to achieve a straight keel and square bulkheads.

Next up is the stern post, I have it's position highlighted on the plan. Before gluing to the stern take time to do some dry fitting and adjusting if required. Make sure you dry fit to the corresponding piece of the false keel, shown below the highlighted area. You want the stern post to fit flat against the stern and also the bottom piece of false keel to fit tight against the bottom of the keel. There will be a tiny gap at the bend of the keel, this is normal and is actually shown in the plans above, planking will cover this area so do not worry yourself about this.
That is it for today so you can all wake up now and carry on, hopefully it was not too boring for you.
Thanks for dropping in
Jan 9, 2013

Hi Don, and all, I have the old version of this kit I really love it, but my skill level could not do it before, but I am ready to start this build wit Don R my log will not be as intensive as Dons, but I will do it from an INTERMEDIATE MODELERS standpoit, as my health and age(80) I can not drive anymore, my son-in-law takes me out twice a month so in 2 weeks I will be at the printers , and then will start in earnest, will follow Dons build very closely and if he does not mind will ask many questions, thanks to this GREAT FORUM AND ALL THE MEMBERS WHO MAKE UP A SPECIAL BOND. Don Farr
Sep 7, 2017

Prince Albert,Saskatchewan, Canada
Good morning all, thanks for all the comments likes and visits.
Some more progress to show:

This is what is going to be accomplished

Stern post being installed

Pieces 20.1 and 20.2 in place

Filler blocks

Final shaping done on filler blocks, stern are complete

Support brackets for the aft bulkhead

Aft bulkhead planked with 1.5 x 5 mm strips

Fitting the mast step to a dowel

Mast step installed and a trial fit with mast

Bow filler blocks installed and shapedIMG_3769.JPG
The supports and stern bulkhead in place

Planking has begun. The stern at this point required lots of bending to wrap around the transom, also garboard and the next stare are installed. Final sanding still required.
That's it for now and we'll see you soon!
Sep 7, 2017

Prince Albert,Saskatchewan, Canada
Hello everyone, Thanks for visiting, your likes and comments are very much appreciated.
I have finally made it back into the workshop and have made some progress on the Galley. I apologise for the long absence but I am now back in the shipyard and hopefully will continue at a better pace.

At the stern there is considerable bending and shaping required, the plank showing is ready to be installed. The hull is a single layer of 1.5 x 5 mm walnut planks

One of these are required at the bow on each side of hull. You can see this, if you look closely, in the following picture

Planking is completed

Starting the deck planking, MarisStella's system of deck planking is one layer of 1.5 x 5 mm strips followed by another layer of .5 x 3 mm strips.

First layer of planking completed, the dark strip you see is a strip of rosewood which I accidentally installed. I was not impressed with myself!!

Getting ready to start second layer of planking, here I am cutting the strips to length using a paper cutter set at 120 mm. The square is attached to the cutter table using double sided tape.

Second layer completed, the wood used here is beech, planks were installed using wood glue

At the stern there are two 1.5 x 5mm required and they need to be slightly edge bent, for this I use a heat gun and the planks were soaked in water. A hair dryer works just as well but a heat gun is just more of a man tool :);)!!


Here they are installed, notches are required at the ends to accept a laser cut piece

More to come.........
Sep 7, 2017

Prince Albert,Saskatchewan, Canada
Stern is completed and a little paint added

Lots going on here, I did not take many pictures of all of this. The final little piece at the stern has been installed,the laser cut centre boards have been installed and also the waterways(which are also laser cut). Moulding at the top of the bulkhead is completed. The doorway is laser cut, 1.5 mm thick strips are glued to the sides and the roof. The door panel is painted and in this picture very dusty:p. I have also started the stanchions which are cut from 1.5 x 3 mm strips.

Installing the top rails. These are are laser cut walnut pieces, unfortunately the pieces at the bow did not fit so had to make my own. This in no way was any fault of MarisStella, it is just one of those ailments I have learned to live with it's called NLD or No Luck Don. Actually it worked out fine as I used basswood, and with a quick soaking in water then using a curling iron it bent into shape real easy. I have also painted below the waterline.

As you can see here the second piece is also made of basswood, but we won't talk about this!!!

Rail is completed, and if you look close the rubbing strake and wales are installed. Sorry for the double picture, my fingers are stuttering this morning.


Installing a 1.5 x 2 mm strip that will later support the benches. The dental pick is used to clean up excess glue.


The holes you see are for the oarlocks


The hull is now completely painted and oar locks are being installed. Oar locks are made from 1.5 x 3mm strips with a hole drilled and a 1 mm dowel glued in place.

And this is how she looks this morning. Next is to finish the oarlocks then give the hull a few coats of poly to protect the flat paint.
Hope you enjoyed, and again Thanks for stopping by
Dec 3, 2018

Don, fine log so far, have not seen any of your work before but this is a very nice work, good luck for the future, we follow, greeting-
Sep 7, 2017

Prince Albert,Saskatchewan, Canada
Good day to all, Thanks to all of you for stopping by and leaving likes and comments it really is appreciated.
Well the past week I spent many hours on the galley but really did not gain much progress. A decision was made to change the colour scheme which involved many hours and really not that much to show for, at any rate I hope you enjoy the new look:

Here the wale was changed making it much more visible

Getting ready to change the colour on top gallant rail. All ore locks were removed and new ones made. I should mention that a whole new set of thirty were made before I noticed I used 2 mm wide stock instead of 3 mm, so now there have been a total of ninety made for this ship!!ROTF:(

Starting to make the walkway, attaching the laser cut support brackets to 1.5 x 5 mm strips. The instructions show this being made on the ship, however, it seemed easier and less chance of making a mess with glue to do it off ship


The completed walkway

Walkway installed, top gallant rail painted and oar locks installed. Much easier to do the walkway off ship, I gave it a couple of coats of wipe on poly before installing then with a little ca glue it just snapped into place.

Starting work on the masts, this is one of the mast tops


Mainmast, the top mast is not glued into place yet I have it just sitting in the drilled hole. Mast tops are attached to masts with a piece of brass wire, a hole was drilled into the top of the mast and one to the bottom of the mast top, wire inserted then the pieces glued together.

closer picture of the deck and rail


And this is how it looks this morning. Still needs a little touch up painting in some areas, the masts are not sitting at their proper rake in the picture. There is more of a forward rake to them, this will be corrected when they are finally fixed into position.
Thanks again to all of you for stopping in and I hope to see you here again. Have a Good One!!
Jan 9, 2013

Wonderfull work Don, I should be starting mine in a month or so, finishing up some other builds one has about a month remaining, I WISH MINE WOULD COME OUT HALF AS GOOD AS YOURS. Don