ZHL Black Pearl Golden 2021 - 1:64 - JeffT

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I just started building the ZHL Black Pearl Golden Version 2021. This was inspired by the build logs of Reggie (WarrLight) and Vic (Vfordyce). My daughter who has degrees in film and education just moved her first home and I am building the BP her and her husband as a house warming gift. She was totally enamored with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series when she was younger, so this seemed like the perfect model. Her house warming gift is likely to be somewhat late to actually be a house warming gift, but I am sticking with that a reason to build the BP. I selected the Golden version of the BP due mainly to the lower price, size, and shorter assembly time.

So I will forego the box inventory. The 2021 version seems to be identical to the 2019 version built by Reggie. As far as I can tell the main difference is the stern decoration which is made of metal as opposed to carved on the stern bulkhead. I inventoried all the parts and found everything to be in the boxes. I started on 26-Dec and will catch up the build log over the next few days.

I started with assembly of the false keel. I was impressed that the keel had no warp. The assembly required gluing the two halves together along with the reenforcing pieces. The supports for the planks at the bow was shaped and glued into position. I am using my old Workmate extensively for this build as it is still very flat and clamps the BP keel well. I used the supplied base board as an additional support.
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I dry fit the bulkheads and decks to the keel. Everything fit well. I glued the bulkheads in place using some pine blocks to keep everything perpendicular. The keel went together well.

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Great to see you starting on your BP @Jeff T ....very excited to follow your build. I am so happy I get to be the first to comment. Even happier that I get to choose the best seat in the house.
 
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I painted the bulkheads and keel black where I plan to add LEDs for lighting and where a viewer could look down a grating or through a window. I purchased smaller LEDs in a yellow/white color to replace the larger supplier LEDs. I drilled holes in the bulkheads to pass wiring for the LEDs.
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I think that there is not enough support for the masts so I added some blocks to the sides of the keel where the masts are inserted. This should keep the base of the masts in place once inserted.
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As I was dry fitting the main deck, I noted that the tabs on the front of the deck caused too much strain on the deck to get it in place without severely bending the deck and potentially breaking something. Instead, I cut off the tabs and added some support as seen in one of the pictures. Due to the curvature on the deck, I couldn't make them any longer than the pre-cut slots.
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I inserted the LEDs in the paces that I wanted them. Specifically, under each grating opening and in the forward part of the cabin. I will have to add additional LEDs through the sides of the planking for the outer portions of the stern cabin at a later time. The ones under the most forward grating are seen in the photos. Once the planking is done, the lights will not show through the deck. I set the LEDs to the sides of the openings so that light is diffused/reflected through the holes instead of passing directly through.
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Jay

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Looking forward to your build. Always nice to see another Black Pearl.
 
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Thanks, Jay, for the confidence building comment. I have been following your comments in various other BP build logs and I hope you will do the same in mine.
 
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The front to the officer's quarters is a laser cut piece of walnut. It is nicely made with windows and doors. I put some plastic behind the windows to simulate glass and added door knobs. This piece needs to be placed prior to laying the false deck above it.
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The tabs on the rear of the false upper deck required some shaping due to the angle of the rearmost piece of the false keel assembly. Otherwise stress would be introduced where the tabs go into their slots.
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I built the backings for the gun ports below decks and painted the insides black. I decided to add "covers" to the top of those in an area where there is a LED. The purpose is to keep the light from the LED spilling out through gun port. With the partial gun installed in these ports, I don't want the light to go through there. If a full gun and carriage was in place, it would be nice to have some light spill out, but no so much in this case.
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I started with planking the deck. I will finish after the bulwarks are placed and the bulkhead ribs are cut out. With all of the false decks in place I spent some time working on the LEDs for under the gratings. This is turning out to be a bigger job than I had initially imagined as you have to work between the bulkheads.
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Hey Jeff, at this rate you'll be done in a few weeks. Nice work so far. Did the wiring for the LEDs come with the kit? I know you replaced the LEDs with small ones but the wiring looks quite heavy for LEDs. I use a very small gauge wire for connecting all my lights, makes running and connecting a bit easier. The wire inside of an old network cable works very well for LED lighting. I'm going to try the flickering yellow LEDs in my next build. Happy New Year and I wish you great success in your current build voyage. I'm sure your daughter will love this once you're done.
 
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Thanks, Chris. Moving fast right now, but back to work tomorrow, so progress will slow. Based on my first full planking I am sure it will take me a lot of time. Besides, I won't be able to due a big sanding job on the first planking until I can get outside. Being from Ontario, I pretty sure you get the reason. You guys up North are always sending your Canadian Clippers across the lake to upstate NY this time of year.

The wiring is likely somewhat large (24 gauge), but it works and I had it available. I salvaged some smaller gauge wiring from an old composite video/audio cable for the stern lights. I thought about the flickering lights, but forgot when it came time to order them.
 
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Nicely done, BTW love the use of a B&D workmate! :)
Thanks for the comment. The use of the Workmate is based on the old saying: "Necessity is the mother of invention". I needed something to hold the keel and the WM was sitting there. The main trick is to not over tighten. Also, I am using some replacement WM clamp pegs that when reversed give a bit more vertical support.
 

Jay

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Thanks for the comment. The use of the Workmate is based on the old saying: "Necessity is the mother of invention". I needed something to hold the keel and the WM was sitting there. The main trick is to not over tighten. Also, I am using some replacement WM clamp pegs that when reversed give a bit more vertical support.
Coming along nicely Jeff. Workmates are handy. I used to use one for my reloading press when I only did 357 magnum. Unfortunately the movers lost the WM when I moved to my current location. I had it for almost 40 years.
 
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The front to the officer's quarters is a laser cut piece of walnut. It is nicely made with windows and doors. I put some plastic behind the windows to simulate glass and added door knobs. This piece needs to be placed prior to laying the false deck above it.
View attachment 203166

The tabs on the rear of the false upper deck required some shaping due to the angle of the rearmost piece of the false keel assembly. Otherwise stress would be introduced where the tabs go into their slots.
View attachment 203165

I built the backings for the gun ports below decks and painted the insides black. I decided to add "covers" to the top of those in an area where there is a LED. The purpose is to keep the light from the LED spilling out through gun port. With the partial gun installed in these ports, I don't want the light to go through there. If a full gun and carriage was in place, it would be nice to have some light spill out, but no so much in this case.
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I started with planking the deck. I will finish after the bulwarks are placed and the bulkhead ribs are cut out. With all of the false decks in place I spent some time working on the LEDs for under the gratings. This is turning out to be a bigger job than I had initially imagined as you have to work between the bulkheads.
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Jeff, welcome aboard the Black Pearl fleet! I'm enjoying your build. It doesn't look as cumbersome as the all-version. But it looks fun. How did you do the planking for the deck?
 
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Thanks, Chris. Moving fast right now, but back to work tomorrow, so progress will slow. Based on my first full planking I am sure it will take me a lot of time. Besides, I won't be able to due a big sanding job on the first planking until I can get outside. Being from Ontario, I pretty sure you get the reason. You guys up North are always sending your Canadian Clippers across the lake to upstate NY this time of year.

The wiring is likely somewhat large (24 gauge), but it works and I had it available. I salvaged some smaller gauge wiring from an old composite video/audio cable for the stern lights. I thought about the flickering lights, but forgot when it came time to order them.
Where did you get your lights?
 
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You're sure making great progress @Jeff T .... Am thoroughly enjoying your build. It's interesting to see how you approach the same issues that I was faced with in my BP build. Am liking how you solved the issue with the tabs on the deck by cutting them off the and simply reinforcing the deck from underneath. I took the riskier path and just tried to bend the deck, force it into the notch and prayed that it doesn't break. There certainly are more than one way to skin a cow. Your build gives me a chance to review my own build, and find new and better ways of doing things. Keep safe.
 
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You're sure making great progress @Jeff T .... Am thoroughly enjoying your build. It's interesting to see how you approach the same issues that I was faced with in my BP build. Am liking how you solved the issue with the tabs on the deck by cutting them off the and simply reinforcing the deck from underneath. I took the riskier path and just tried to bend the deck, force it into the notch and prayed that it doesn't break. There certainly are more than one way to skin a cow. Your build gives me a chance to review my own build, and find new and better ways of doing things. Keep safe.
Reggie, I need to thank you for the difficulties that you encountered and found solutions to in your build. Your comments about bending the deck and hoping for the best (my words that sound somewhat more risky than the actual facts) got my attention. When I tried dry fitting the deck the first time I immediately saw what you ran into and looked for a simple solution. My approach was to state the problem: "I could break the deck if I bend it enough to get the tabs into place" and the ask the question: "What are the tabs used for?" Answer: "Alignment and Support". Question: "Do I need both"? Answer: "I need support, but not necessarily alignment as the bulkhead ribs was managing the alignment well". Question: "How can I support the front of the deck without the tabs"? Answer: "Supports under the deck". New problem: "The deck has a slope from the middle to the edges". Question: "How can I manage the supports under the deck and the slope within my modeling abilities"? Answer: "The original tabs do not have a slope so if I keep the supports short and near the bulkhead I should be OK". When you write the approach to how and why you do something it always sounds complex, but in reality it is often just a couple of minutes of working the problem in your head. Maybe its just the scientist in me that approaches problems like this with a state the problem, ask a question, formulate an answer technique, but I think we all do this to some extent.
 
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Jeff, welcome aboard the Black Pearl fleet! I'm enjoying your build. It doesn't look as cumbersome as the all-version. But it looks fun. How did you do the planking for the deck?
I was not so happy with my San Francisco Cross Section decking. On that one I planked the length of the deck in one piece and used a #11 blade to score the decking in order to simulate individual planks. I just could not do a job that I was pleased with using that technique although I did improve from the lower to the upper deck.

For the BP, I decided to use individual planks. I first decided on the staggering pattern. I find I like a 3 plank repeat so that is what I went with. I did some approximations on scale and actual length of planking a a full sized ship and used that as a base for the length of planks. I adjusted for considerations of spacing on the model. In the end I used 56mm planks on the fore and aft deck and 73mm planks on the main deck. The false deck was lined and marked so that I could see the pattern as I was laying down the planking. I only made one error around the gratings on the main deck, but I caught it before the glue has fully set and made the correction.

One thing I learned was to ensure I had enough glue around the edges of gratings and the overhanging ends of a deck. I have some splintered areas to fix from cutting off the excess planking in those areas.

I have not made up my mind about adding simulated nails to the ends of the planks. I did a worse job on those on my last build than I did with the scoring, so I may just forego doing it on the BP.
 
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I completed the bow filler pieces per the instructions. As I understand it the fillers are one of the improvements over the original version of the model. A word of caution to future builder of the BP. There are two sets of filler pieces, one set each for port and starboard. They look and are numbered exactly the same. I built and glued the first one and squared it up using the corner a rigid plastic parts box from my last build. No problem. I then build the second one following exactly the same process. As I was squaring it up, I realized that I was using the same corner as I used for the previous piece. A little light in the back of my head went on saying "Wait a minute, that doesn't seem right!" Luckily I noticed before the glue have begun to set that I built the two pieces so that both fit the port side of the ship. I was able to disassemble the part and reglue it in the correct orientation for the starboard side.
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I glued the small deck on top of the bow fillers and keel.
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Before adding the bulwarks, I added small wiring for the stern lights using the same technique Reggie used for his BP build. I created a slot for the wiring using filler pieces that will be covered later in the build.
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I glued the lower bulwarks together and added the gunport backings. A bit of care is needed here as a couple of the backings fit tight to the bulkheads when you add them to the model. I did some dry fitting and it looks like everything will go together OK.
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