San Salvador

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Apr 25, 2021
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Juan Cabrillo’s ship when he explored the coast of southern California. As mentioned in a previous (albeit unfinished) build log, this is a model that I downloaded from the San Diego Maritime Museum’s site. It’s been residing in my file folder for several years, and I thought I’d give it a try. Since I’m also about to start building my first wood ship model, I’m seeing that there are certain similarities in how these things are assembled. I’ve never built a ship before, but I have built scores of paper buildings (as well as a modified Clyde Puffer) for my perpetually unfinished N-scale railroad layout. I’m not real consistent with regular posts, but I’ll do my best to keep this thing going. And I have a question. I notice that many of you have several projects going simultaneously. How do you keep track of each individual project? I have several hobby tables, but my builds seem to spill over into each other….particularly the train stuff.

Anchors Aweigh!
 
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So here we go. I prefer to cut out pieces as I need them. The instructions sort of imply that all pieces should be cut out before assembling. In any event, progress so far is below. The instructions say I should be using cyanoacrylate, but so far Art Glitter glue is working just fine. We'll see where that ends up. To laminate the large pieces I use Elmers Rubber Cement, for the smaller ones, a glue stick.

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Made a lot of progress over the last several days. While everything fits fairly well, small errors in cutting out the pieces can lead to small imperfections. It's possible that using a Cricut to cut out some of the parts might add some precision, but I like the hands on, Xacto knife approach, and I haven't cut myself yet.

First two pictures are of the upper hull with the main deck and foc'sle installed. It'll be interesting to see how that all fits when I start adding the bulwarks. I've added some of the hatches, and modified the main hatch by gluing some strip basswood over the edges of the open hatch. Even after carefully cutting out and folding the coaming, I wasn't happy with it._DSC2866.jpg_DSC2867.jpg
 
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And one post today...I've set it aside for the glue to dry before I start "planking". All of the upper decks are complete, and the upper and lower hulls have been joined. Fitting required a bit of trimming, but nothing excessive. I'll give it a day to set up, and then continue.

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A bit more progress over the past several days. The weekend was a blur of soccer and baseball.

Got the port and starboard upper bulkheads on, as well as the stern. Next up I’ll be installing the planking.

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I’ve started installing what the instructions call “Connecting Strips”. These are glued to the frames to provide support for the vertical hull plating. Other than a lot of cutting, it’s going well.

Thinking ahead to the rigging, I think I’m going to eschew the paper ratlines and rig actual stays and ratlines with wooden deadeyes, etc. The same will apply to the running rigging.

The ship could very well be a simple model to build, but I know I won’t be satisfied with anything less than (at least) semi-accurate rigging, because that’s what makes the ship the ship.
 
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Starboard side connecting strips attached, and the first three hull plating panels are on.

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Bow piece, keel, and lower wales attached on the starboard side. I've since also attached the lower port side wales. The upper wales are much thinner. I just ordered a Wondercutter from Amazon that should arrive next week. Hopefully cutting those thin pieces of laminated paper will be much easier. I'll keep you posted.

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Oct 9, 2021
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I downloaded the plans myself the other day, have some thoughts on this model.

Namely that there are missing components that the creators simply overlooked, namely a "hutch" for the steersman to look out through.. In the museums big poster of designing it, they have a nice cutaway drawing of the ship, and it shows several windows at deck height for him to look out of and see the main sail.. In the model their is no windows or hutch to look out from.

And As i was contemplating to use the card model as a prototype build, to build a simple wood model from. I noticed other things that were off. How would one go about creating bits, belaying pin racks, etc.
 
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