Royal Caroline 1:50 YuanQing/ZHL

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Apr 20, 2020
Messages
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Hello friends. This will be my second build. My first project was the Black Pearl Golden Edition. For those who may want to visit my previous build, here is the link:


I learned a lot from my initial foray into wood modeling. I was very happy with my experience with the ZHL kit, so I chose to buy my 2nd model again from Max at ZHL.

As I was looking at various models, I was tempted to shoot for the moon and dive into one of the more advanced kits like the Royal Caroline 1:30 by ZHL, the San Felipe or the Le Soleil Royale. But, recognizing my limitations, I decided to be patient and hone my skills a bit longer and take on something that I thought I can handle.

So, finally I chose the Royal Caroline scale 1:50 made by YuanQing and sold by ZHL. Not to be confused for the exquisite Royal Caroline 1:30 scale which is bigger and has a lot more bells and whistles. I will have to defer building the RC 1:30 for a later time once I get more proficient.

As I did for my Black Pearl, which I gave to my son as a legacy gift, this next ship will be for my daughter. Hopefully, many many years from now, when I am gone, they will look at these ships and fondly remember me.

I will not show the contents of the kit in this thread because I already did a box opening thread earlier. If you wish to see what's in the box, I invite you to check out my thread at this link:


I hope you enjoy reading my thread and thanks to all our friends in this forum for their support and encouragement.

Reggie

PSX_20201119_190424.jpg
PSX_20201119_190454.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
245
Points
213

I couldn't wait to dive right into it. After taking a quick inventory of the parts, I noticed that some pieces have just a small sticker to identify their part number. As a safety precaution, I took pictures of the different pieces and penciled in the part number in case the sticker falls off.

After I read through the assembly instructions, I cut the specific pieces I need using my Xacto knives.

PSX_20201228_190636.jpg

By the way, I built this simple desk clamp from scrap pieces of wood to hold the keel in place while I worked on it.

PSX_20201228_190706.jpg

Just a minor note, the laser cutting on some of the pieces didn't cut all the way through. Not a big deal, but I must've expected better especially after my great experience with the Black Pearl.

PSX_20201228_190717.jpg
PSX_20201228_190730.jpg
PSX_20201228_162807.jpg

Before gluing anything, I thought it was important to dry fit the bulkheads to the keel. One nice feature of this ship is the lower deck piece which sits on the bulkheads and the deck has notches that fit into the bulkheads. This serves to make sure the bulkheads lay straight and in alignment.

PSX_20201228_162555.jpg
PSX_20201228_162531.jpg
PSX_20201228_162627.jpg

To ensure that the bulkheads remain aligned when I glue them, I drew vertical pencil marks. I also drew horizontal lines on the bulkhead and the keel as a marker to make sure the bulkheads are inserted all the way through.

PSX_20201228_162728.jpg
PSX_20201228_162846.jpg

There is a piece on the bow which I am not sure if I should cut it or not. Decided to leave it alone for now. My guess is, it's probably intended to protect the bow from breaking while working on it.

PSX_20201228_162435.jpg

On the stern, there are 4 pieces (part no. 14) which look like they require some slight trimming. There is another piece that is supposed to slide right into the notch, but it appears the notch needs to be about 2mm deeper so the other piece is flush against them.

PSX_20201228_190900.jpg
PSX_20201228_190752.jpg
 

Jay

Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
280
Points
168

I couldn't wait to dive right into it. After taking a quick inventory of the parts, I noticed that some pieces have just a small sticker to identify their part number. As a safety precaution, I took pictures of the different pieces and penciled in the part number in case the sticker falls off.

After I read through the assembly instructions, I cut the specific pieces I need using my Xacto knives.

View attachment 201739

By the way, I built this simple desk clamp from scrap pieces of wood to hold the keel in place while I worked on it.

View attachment 201740

Just a minor note, the laser cutting on some of the pieces didn't cut all the way through. Not a big deal, but I must've expected better especially after my great experience with the Black Pearl.

View attachment 201741
View attachment 201742
View attachment 201743

Before gluing anything, I thought it was important to dry fit the bulkheads to the keel. One nice feature of this ship is the lower deck piece which sits on the bulkheads and the deck has notches that fit into the bulkheads. This serves to make sure the bulkheads lay straight and in alignment.

View attachment 201744
View attachment 201745
View attachment 201746

To ensure that the bulkheads remain aligned when I glue them, I drew vertical pencil marks. I also drew horizontal lines on the bulkhead and the keel as a marker to make sure the bulkheads are inserted all the way through.

View attachment 201747
View attachment 201748

There is a piece on the bow which I am not sure if I should cut it or not. Decided to leave it alone for now. My guess is, it's probably intended to protect the bow from breaking while working on it.

View attachment 201749

On the stern, there are 4 pieces (part no. 14) which look like they require some slight trimming. There is another piece that is supposed to slide right into the notch, but it appears the notch needs to be about 2mm deeper so the other piece is flush against them.

View attachment 201750
View attachment 201751
Cool Reggie. I will be watching.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
245
Points
213

Moving on to assembling the bulkheads and decks.

After dry fitting the pieces to the keel, and making the appropriate markings, I am now ready to glue the bulkheads. I am using Elmers wood glue(brown). But first, I cleaned off the char on the pieces, or at least some of the char.

PSX_20210108_143236.jpg
PSX_20201228_162931.jpg

I then glued the bulkheads, at the same time dryfitting the lower deck and upper deck pieces to ensure proper alignment of the bulkheads. Also double checked against the pencil lines that I previously marked.

PSX_20210108_143717.jpg
PSX_20210108_143429.jpg

Without waiting for the bulkhead glue to dry, I immediately glued on the lower deck piece to ensure perfect alignment. This really worked like a charm. Nice fit for the pieces without need to stress any part. Kudos to the manufacturer.

PSX_20210108_143747.jpg

Next I glued on the transom piece at the stern. Big mistake, as I will explain later on.
PSX_20210108_143629.jpg
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After the glue dried completely, I glued on the crossbars(Part 2b to 6b) that sit on top of bulkhead 2 to 6. These will support the main deck and gives the deck a slight bend towards the side, purportedly for drainage.

PSX_20210108_144442.jpg

The main instructions did not show where part 1b is supposed to go, but it logically glues against the side of part 1 to provide support for the deck.

PSX_20210108_144534.jpg

Likewise, part 7b is glued to side of bulkhead 7 (y). Also, at this time, I glued the lower deck for the aft quarters (x).

PSX_20210108_164902.jpg


I was ready to glue the main deck, but paused because I thought I would first drill some preparatory holes on the lower deck, in case I decide later on to put LED lights. The kit does not provide for lighting, but I thought it might be kinda cool to have them.
PSX_20210108_144658.jpg
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The main deck is glued on top and is clamped on the side to follow the curved supports.

PSX_20210108_144827.jpg
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Remember earlier on I mentioned that I made a mistake on the transom piece? When I tried to dry fit the deck piece on the aft bulkheads, I realized the notches on the deck do not line up with the bulkheads. This is because the transom piece is angled so that the top of the bulkhead post is farther toward the back.
There is no "give" or flex because the next bulkhead post prevents me from stretching the piece.
The only way that I can think of is to unglue the transom, insert the deck notch to the bulkhead and slide it down a few cm where it sits slightly forward ... only then can I mount the transom.

PSX_20210108_170624.jpg
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Apologies if the above sounds confusing. By the way, I also took the opportunity to drill preparatory holes on the transom, in case I decide to put lights on the lanterns.

Next, I glued the top crossbars for bulkhead 6, 7 and 8. I then started planking the walls and the floor for the quarters. I used the precut 80mm teak strips provided in the kit.

PSX_20210108_144927.jpg
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PSX_20210108_145931.jpg

So far, I am very pleased with this kit. It has been a straightforward build. The pieces generally fit very well. I especially like the lower deck piece that ensures that the bulkheads are square and aligned properly.

Until next time. Thanks for dropping by.
 

Heinrich

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WOW Reggie! That is GOOD progress! :) The rear transom that was glued too early was luckily a happy fix. I really like the deck planking and the wood finish on the walls so far. I think once you have installed the LEDs, you will have great ambience inside these cabins!
 
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Messages
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WOW Reggie! That is GOOD progress! :) The rear transom that was glued too early was luckily a happy fix. I really like the deck planking and the wood finish on the walls so far. I think once you have installed the LEDs, you will have great ambience inside these cabins!

Thank you @Heinrich .... although this RC model doesn't have the beautiful cabin furnishings that its more exquisite cousin has, perhaps lights will give it just enough ambience to add to its appeal. Appreciate the support. Keep safe always.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Nice methodical approach. We are all allowed an "oops" now and then, happily it was a relatively easy fix.

Thanks @DonRobinson ... mistakes are nothing more than opportunities to learn. This episode just reminded me to always look always ahead to future steps of the build. The beauty of working with me wood is that most of the time, mistakes can be rectified. Stay safe.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Reggie you are coming along nicely. Your problem with the transom is precisely why I waited on attaching mine on the Soleil Royal. I am enjoying your build.

@Jay ... you and I must be living in parallel universes... we share so many experiences and lessons in our builds. Thanks for stopping by and keep safe always.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
245
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I finished planking the deck and the walls of the aft galleries using the teak strips provided. I was still undecided whether to use tung oil or poly for the teak deck, so I ran a test to compare. The bare teak strips have a yellowish brown tint. The tung oil darkened them quite a bit and left them a bit walnut/chocolate brown. The poly darkened them a bit also, but not as much, and retained some of the natural yellowish tint of the teak.

I think I will go with the poly.

PSX_20210115_211933.jpg
PSX_20210115_211847.jpg

I then started planking the main deck area. The kit came with pre-cut 80mm teak strips, with consistent thickness and width. In my previous build, I used black acrilyc on the edge of the strips to simulate the caulking. This time, I thought I'd try the easy method and ...I am a bit embarrassed to say....used a Sharpie.

PSX_20210108_145958.jpg

To simulate the treenails, I drilled two small holes and dabbed a black pencil into them.

PSX_20210108_150045.jpg
PSX_20210108_150120.jpg

I used the four-butt method of planking. I left out the sides for now and will finish the planking at a later time once I cut off the bulwarks.

PSX_20210108_151305.jpg
PSX_20210115_213318.jpg

At this time, I was supposed to glue down the upper deck pieces of the aft quarters. But I held off, because I decided that I will put in some LED lights (even though the kit does not provide for them). I just thought that, with all the beautiful windows in the ship, it would be a shame if I left them dark.

I decided to put LEDs in all the galleries, the lanterns, the stern windows, the space under the fore deck, and underneath the gratings.

PSX_20210115_212407.jpg
PSX_20210115_212500.jpg
PSX_20210115_212433.jpg

I opened up the transom and marked where the windows of the resin piece will go, drilled and filed the openings. Tried it out for size. I thought it looked kinda neat.

PSX_20210115_212126.jpg
PSX_20210115_212246.jpg
PSX_20210115_212312.jpg

I also pre-mounted three LEDs for the lanterns for later. Otherwise, it will be hard to do the lights once the decks are glued on.

PSX_20210115_212331.jpg

Now that I have the lights pre-wired, I can close up the upper deck on the aft gallery.

PSX_20210115_212553.jpg
PSX_20210115_212624.jpg

Next, I worked a little bit on the bow section, in preparation for planking. I installed piece no. 57 on the bow.

PSX_20210115_212750.jpg

At this time, I wish to mention that the kit comes with 2 sets of instructions... the first set is on the CD and is comprised of color photos and English instructions. But this is incomplete and you have to sometimes refer to a second set of instructions on the large printed paper which have very detailed drawings but are in Italian.

I say this because I had two pieces, part no. 15 and 16, which were not mentioned in the English CD instructions, but I found on the Italian set.

PSX_20210115_212833.jpg
PSX_20210115_212804.jpg

Now, as far as Part no. 16, it's supposed to go behind bulkhead no. 1, but it doesn't fit because the lower deck piece is on its way. So I had to cut part no.16 as shown.

PSX_20210115_212908.jpg
PSX_20210115_212928.jpg

Finally, following the example of some of our friends here, I added a bow filler to help with planking on the bow. This was a DIY piece made from scrap balsa wood in my stash.

PSX_20210115_213031.jpg
PSX_20210115_213126.jpg

That's it for now. Thanks for visiting. Keep safe everyone.
 

Jay

Joined
Dec 27, 2019
Messages
280
Points
168

I finished planking the deck and the walls of the aft galleries using the teak strips provided. I was still undecided whether to use tung oil or poly for the teak deck, so I ran a test to compare. The bare teak strips have a yellowish brown tint. The tung oil darkened them quite a bit and left them a bit walnut/chocolate brown. The poly darkened them a bit also, but not as much, and retained some of the natural yellowish tint of the teak.

I think I will go with the poly.

View attachment 205778
View attachment 205779

I then started planking the main deck area. The kit came with pre-cut 80mm teak strips, with consistent thickness and width. In my previous build, I used black acrilyc on the edge of the strips to simulate the caulking. This time, I thought I'd try the easy method and ...I am a bit embarrassed to say....used a Sharpie.

View attachment 205785

To simulate the treenails, I drilled two small holes and dabbed a black pencil into them.

View attachment 205788
View attachment 205789

I used the four-butt method of planking. I left out the sides for now and will finish the planking at a later time once I cut off the bulwarks.

View attachment 205790
View attachment 205791

At this time, I was supposed to glue down the upper deck pieces of the aft quarters. But I held off, because I decided that I will put in some LED lights (even though the kit does not provide for them). I just thought that, with all the beautiful windows in the ship, it would be a shame if I left them dark.

I decided to put LEDs in all the galleries, the lanterns, the stern windows, the space under the fore deck, and underneath the gratings.

View attachment 205792
View attachment 205793
View attachment 205794

I opened up the transom and marked where the windows of the resin piece will go, drilled and filed the openings. Tried it out for size. I thought it looked kinda neat.

View attachment 205795
View attachment 205796
View attachment 205797

I also pre-mounted three LEDs for the lanterns for later. Otherwise, it will be hard to do the lights once the decks are glued on.

View attachment 205798

Now that I have the lights pre-wired, I can close up the upper deck on the aft gallery.

View attachment 205799
View attachment 205800

Next, I worked a little bit on the bow section, in preparation for planking. I installed piece no. 57 on the bow.

View attachment 205801

At this time, I wish to mention that the kit comes with 2 sets of instructions... the first set is on the CD and is comprised of color photos and English instructions. But this is incomplete and you have to sometimes refer to a second set of instructions on the large printed paper which have very detailed drawings but are in Italian.

I say this because I had two pieces, part no. 15 and 16, which were not mentioned in the English CD instructions, but I found on the Italian set.

View attachment 205803
View attachment 205802

Now, as far as Part no. 16, it's supposed to go behind bulkhead no. 1, but it doesn't fit because the lower deck piece is on its way. So I had to cut part no.16 as shown.

View attachment 205804
View attachment 205805

Finally, following the example of some of our friends here, I added a bow filler to help with planking on the bow. This was a DIY piece made from scrap balsa wood in my stash.

View attachment 205806
View attachment 205807

That's it for now. Thanks for visiting. Keep safe everyone.

Reggie, you have been a busy dude. I also chose to do my planking with clear poly. Planking sure takes a lot of time to do doesn’t it? Love watching your progress.
 

Heinrich

Staff member
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Messages
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A very busy man indeed! I am sure that the LEDs will add a lot to the final product, so you are right - it is best to do that now.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Reggie, you have been a busy dude. I also chose to do my planking with clear poly. Planking sure takes a lot of time to do doesn’t it? Love watching your progress.

Hi @Jay... yes planking is time consuming, but in some ways I enjoy doing it for it can be almost meditative. It also helped that the kit came with pre-cut deck planking strips which ensures uniformity. Thanks Jay. Am following your excellent build also.
 
Joined
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Messages
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A very busy man indeed! I am sure that the LEDs will add a lot to the final product, so you are right - it is best to do that now.

Ha ha ha...look who's talking @Heinrich ...if I am not mistaken, you are juggling 3 or 4 builds concurrently plus all the coordination work on the Bluenose. Hats off to you my friend. I only wish I had the energy that you have. Keep safe always.
 
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