Week 16  Another deck, some bulkheads, and some more pretty pieces of card.

The bits we received

And what we did with them

Before I did anything with the parts, I checked the top of the frames to see if they were straight.  They weren't !!  Frames 17 & 18 were a bit low.  A strip of card was the right thickness to bring 18 up to the right height, and an off-cut of deck material was about right for frame 17. 

I had a couple of messages asking about how to deal with the section of deck as the instructions weren't very clear.  What I think they mean is that the deck should be tapered from the the front to half way back, and then straight from half way to the rear.  See the sketch below.  The red is the waste.  The sketch is exaggerated - I only trimmed about 1.5mm off each side.  This will leave the deck slightly oversized, but this can be sanded down accurately later.  I also found that the piece was a little bit too long.  It needs to be just long enough to cover half of frame 18.  Put some masking tape over the end before you cut it.  This will help to stop it splitting.  It's also helpful to mark the centre of the rear with a small pencil mark, and this can be lined up with the centre of the keel.


Here you can see the deck in place.  You'll notice that I haven't fitted any of the wooden bulkhead yet.  I'm waiting to see how Fred does with his photo-etched parts.

The remainder of the parts are used to build the rear cabin.  No problems with the wooden parts, but the card parts didn't fit very well as they seemed to be a bit long.  I resorted to cutting them into individual bulkheads and gluing them in piece by piece.  It was a bit fiddly, but came out OK in the end.

The more observant of you will notice that some of the decks have been varnished.  I used a satin finish acrylic (quick drying water based) varnish.

Hot tip of the week

John King sent me a pile of very good tips.  Here they are in one big batch. 
As my old school teacher used to say, "Read and learn."

My favorite modelling tool was and still is a Number 3 scalpel handle and 
size E blades. Both should be available from your local chemist shop. The 
size E blades are very sharp and thin, allowing you to reach odd places and 
make very fine cuts. You will find these invaluable when it comes to doing 
the planking.

The best pins to use by far are professional dressmakers pins. They are 
thinner, harder and longer than standard household pins, plus they have a 
coloured plastic bead on the top to make then easier to push through hard 
timber. These are available at larger supermarkets and sewing shops. One 
packet of  50 is more than enough.

Glue. An excellent glue is available from model aircraft or better hobby 
stores. It's like SupaGlue, but it's designed for wood. There is a gap 
filling and non gap filling variety. This glue is very clean and also very 
easy to use. You just have to be careful to use it very sparingly and keep 
it cold. I put it in the fridge. It also sands well, which makes it great 
for unpainted models

A small pair of decent pliers.

Tube of Wattyl interior wood stop putty.

When it comes to gluing things like the decks, you would use the pins as 
per your instructions to obtain the correct position and roughly the 
correct pressure on curved pieces. Now apply hand pressure on one edge of 
the deck and hull. Apply one drop of glue about one inch from each end of 
the joint. Capillary action will force the glue to run along the joint and 
attach the parts almost instantly. You only need to apply pressure for 
about 30 seconds. If for some reason the joint doesn't hold, just do it 
again. Oddly, the main reason for failed joints is "too much glue". You 
really have to do it sparingly to allow the glue to dry instantly.

You can easily see where the glue hasn't penetrated, so another smaller 
drop there will do the trick. As long as the parts are touching, they will 
bond. Be careful because the glue will run up hill. If it gets onto the 
deck, it can be sanded off. If it gets into the grooves, the E blade can 
probably be used to scrape away the excess. Be warned that scalpels and 
fingers will bond instantly if they touch any wet surface.

I glued the planking  by first fitting and pinning a plank to each frame. 
The pins should not be pushed in too hard. Once the plank is in place, one 
very small drop of glue at each frame will do it. Allow 30 seconds and then 
remove the pins by carefully twisting them by hand or pliers. Once the bond 
has broken, twist and pull to avoid damage. Clean any glue off the pin 
before using again.

Do alternate sides to avoid warping of the hull.

The next plank can be butted next to the first, pinning as you go. Use the 
same amount of glue as before, but notice how it not only glues the frame, 
but also the gap between the two planks.

Do not sand the hull until it's completed. It doesn't take long to sand 
through 2mm.
Attempt to lay each plank so that any part is not higher or lower than the 
previous plank.
Don't be over worried about gaps. These can be filled with the putty.

How many hours does it take to build the model ??

This week :

90 mins

Running total :

14 hrs 10 mins

Take me to week 17