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Model Shipways "Sultana" Group Build 2006

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  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • From: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posted by Russ39 on Friday, July 21, 2006 12:57 AM

Dan:

That box art is from the older kit. They just kept using the old box art even when they brought the kit back. For those with the more recent kits, note that the box art has the model with the carriage mounted cannons on deck, but in the updated instruction booklet, they use a more recent photo in which she is without cannons.

Over the years, research has been done on the Sultana and her history has been polished up a bit so that we now know much more about her than in the old days. Sultana did not have any carriage guns. Swivels, yes, but no cannons on carriages.

Russ

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, July 21, 2006 11:14 AM

Russ is correct,  there were no cannons on the Sultana.  There were only the 8 swivel guns mounted on the stocks.  I want to mention someting else.  I recall that some of you are building the older variations of this kit.  The plans for them have changed a lot since then.  The rigging plan is completely different.  The masts and spars are much more simplified now.  This is based on new information.  For example.  The trestle trees and mast heads have a completely different configuration now as well as the main stay and main topmast stays.  If anyone has questions about these differences please let me know.  It will probably be some time before that need arrives though.  The hull and fittings details remain unchanged.

Chuck

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, July 21, 2006 11:34 AM
Sounds good, Dan. I'm really looking forward to seeing your photos since I was considering the Tallow lower hull too, which I believe is more historically accurate, although I like the purity of white, especially as I am going to paint my upper hull yellow. Did you plank your upper hull like others are doing, or just paint it tan?

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Madison, Mississippi
Posted by Donnie on Saturday, July 22, 2006 8:51 PM






I plan to do my decking and then lay my inside bulwarks. Again, I stripped my own decking. from a sheet of basswood 1/32" thick. Width is about 5/64 " for each deck strip.

Not at all finished with the upper planking, but got my own reasons / desires to start some on the deck.

Donnie

In Progress: OcCre's Santisima Trindad Finished Builds: Linbergs "Jolly Roger" aka La Flore Mantua's Cannone Da Costa Americano linberg's "Cptn Kidd" aka Wappen Von Hamburg Model Shipways 1767 Sultana Midwest Boothbay Lobsterboat (R/C)

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 23, 2006 1:14 AM
Looks great Donnie! That's coming along really nicely.
I've been installing my stem, keel, sternpost, here's a (fuzzy) pic of the stem.


I've also been working on the jolly boat which is a real PITA... I keep breaking it it's so small.

I ran into a snafu with my rudder. The photo below explains it all. Umm..... no deck for the rudder to go through!!
I figure the solution is 2-fold and your advice is greatly appreciated...
1. I think the angle of my sternpost & hence rudder is too acute and needs to be closer to vertical. This will bring the upper rudder post further forward. This means building a shim for the sternpost to bring it closer to vertical and reshaping the hull accordingly.
2. I think I need to build an extender to the stern.. pad it out with wood and reshape the whole thing again. This would add another half inch to the deck.

Ah well... we learn from mistakes and this is a big one. :)

Sorry about the fuzzy and really large photos. My desktop went belly up and I have no software on this laptop to shrink the images.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Madison, Mississippi
Posted by Donnie on Sunday, July 23, 2006 8:24 AM
Fippy,
of course yours is shaping up very nicely. You are way ahead of me. Let me say that I probably needed to start on stern, rudder section before I started teh deck on mine.
I would not do any thing drastic by adding or taking away hull right now. I think that I would study the plans again and hopfully there is an answer to your situation in the plans.
Your angle on the stern looks right - looks like mine too. Do you still have your template of the profile of the hull. I think that I would reach for that again. I am sure that you
have your hull ok. It might be that the Rudder is required to be shorter than you have it. You have done alot of work on your hull and I say cut your rudder to fit - leave the hull alone.
This is only my humble 2 cents worth Fippy.

Donnie

In Progress: OcCre's Santisima Trindad Finished Builds: Linbergs "Jolly Roger" aka La Flore Mantua's Cannone Da Costa Americano linberg's "Cptn Kidd" aka Wappen Von Hamburg Model Shipways 1767 Sultana Midwest Boothbay Lobsterboat (R/C)

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: arizona
Posted by cthulhu77 on Sunday, July 23, 2006 8:25 AM

Wow, everyone's progress is looking good!  If you need a good simple photo editing program,  I can highly recommend this freeware:

http://www.irfanview.com/index.htm

http://www.ewaldbros.com
  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: arizona
Posted by cthulhu77 on Monday, July 24, 2006 7:47 AM

Well, I finally found the ship to build using the Sultana as a base, it is under the "Copperhead" title in the "ships" thread.

    Please post some more pics, everyone, us novices need the information!

              greg

http://www.ewaldbros.com
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 24, 2006 9:00 PM

Fippy,

The great thing about wood is that there is usually a way to work around just about any problem with some pieces, glue and filler.  Thanks to you and Donnie to be getting ahead of the rest of us and finding out the difficult parts.

Rather than just being a problem with the angle of the stern post, from the photo it looks as if the angle of the transom may be more vertical than it could be.  It is hard to tell from the angle of the photo but if that is the case, one fix may be to add a piece on to the transom and shape the correct angle.  That would give more deck length to put the rudder post through.  If the angle is in fact correct and the deck the right length then this may not help much.

Bruce

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 24, 2006 9:41 PM

Fippy,

You are moving along at a good pace.  I hope you dont mind me making a suggestion.  It looks as though the stern post could be thinned down somewhat giving you more room on the counter to create the hole for the rudder.  In combination with adding an 1/8" thick back to your stern as shown below.  I hope you dont take offense to my doctoring of your photo.  I am only trying to help and I think for your first wooden build you are doing a great job. 

Chuck Passaro

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:16 AM
Thanks everyone and particularly Chuck for taking the time to doctor my photo to explain his point. Chuck, absolutely I do not mind at all. I am thrilled that everyone in this group is so helpful, and particularly patient with newbies like me. :) Constructive criticism is always welcome, after all how am I going to learn if I don't listen very carefully to you experts. I only hope that when I have a few ships under my belt I can pass on such knowledge to other newbies. I'm loving this hobby so far.

I actually just finished tacking on a chunk of wood to my stern but to be honest it is too thick and I don't like it. I think I'm going to chisel it off again and follow your suggestion. Thanks! BCS, you are also correct - my transom is too vertical. I shall rectify that too.

Thanks everyone, especially for the encouragement.
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:04 PM

Here are a couple of pictures I just took a few minutes ago.  I am about to start rugging the ratlines next.  I am working hard to finish up the next chapter before I go away on vacation.  I want to get the ratlines finished and the anchors in place.  With a little luck I will also get the stays rigged as well.

I want to tell all of you that I am enjoying your company while we work together on this project.  It is a lot better than going it alone.

Chuck

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Madison, Mississippi
Posted by Donnie on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:48 PM

Very neat - Very clean lines !  This is an awesome build Chuck and thanks again for your timely help.

Donnie

In Progress: OcCre's Santisima Trindad Finished Builds: Linbergs "Jolly Roger" aka La Flore Mantua's Cannone Da Costa Americano linberg's "Cptn Kidd" aka Wappen Von Hamburg Model Shipways 1767 Sultana Midwest Boothbay Lobsterboat (R/C)

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:15 PM
Chuck, that looks absolutely gorgeous. Are your masts glued in yet? I read somewhere that all the rigging should be done with the masts off the vessel and then the masts stepped and the hanging lines secured to the hull. that sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

I have a question about glues while I am here. Up to now I have been using white carpenters glue as my glue of choice when I can clamp, or pin parts (like the sternpost), and then super glue for fiddly little pieces - basically parts of the jolly boat so far. I also have some 5-minute epoxy. How does everyone in the group choose their glue? For example... how do you glue the transom on? It doesn't look like there is any way to clamp it, and the contact areas are small, so I was going to use superglue. Or should I use the 5-min epoxy? I don't want to pin it because the transom is stained and so I can't disguise the holes by filling and painting.

Thanks,
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 12:50 PM

Yes the masts are glued into position.  I attach any blocks or eyebolts while they are off the model and do all of my rigging after the masts are stepped.  Everyone has their own comfort zone for rigging.  I use super glue (CA) for most of my models while alternating with carpenter's glue.  It depend on the feature I am working on.  I used CA to fasten the transom to hull.  You are correct in saying there isnt much to glue to, but I held it in position and it went pretty smooth.  If you are going to create the transom in two layers as I did, the first layer can be pinned to the hull while it dries.  The second layer will cover up those holes and have a large surface to glue to.

 

Thanks Fippy

Whats going to be our next project?  Just kidding.

 

Chuck

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 11:40 PM

Chuck,

More outstanding photos.  Hard to believe it was once something like the somewhat misshapened block of basswood that I am now torturing.  Much to look forward to!

Bruce

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 29, 2006 4:59 PM
My jolly boat is almost completed now, I think the 5th coat of paint should do it. I'm trying a different experiment with the transom windows too - I'll post full details if it turns out. :)

However, my stern is still causing me grief. I've rebuilt and reshaped it (not completely done yet), but am finding that my transom is too wide for the rear of the vessel.







See how it overlaps the sides? Hmmm... I can't really trim the transom without losing windows and I think it would be wrong to pad the ship's sides to make the stern wider? Suggestions are very welcome, thank you.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 30, 2006 11:44 AM

Fippy,

I am sure you will be able to get some better information from the others who have finished this part but one thing that may help a bit is the shaping of the rear deck.  From the plans, it looks as if the deck should have a curve to it, rather than being straight.  That will give some added distance for the transom to fit over.  A slight proportionate reduction in the sizes of all of the windows in addition to putting in the curve may solve the problem.

Bruce

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 30, 2006 7:39 PM
Thanks BCS. Actually I think I am just being dumb. I stared at the plans and the transom does indeed overlap at the sides and it clearly shows that the curved fashion piece tapers to bridge the gap between the transom and the thinner wale. I hadn't noticed that before. I clearly am not studying the plans carefully enough.

I think I am going to be ok. My whole stern/transom isn't going to be a masterpiece but I think it will come together ok.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Madison, Mississippi
Posted by Donnie on Monday, July 31, 2006 10:04 PM

Decided to go ahead and layout the decking using my 1/32" x 5/64" basswood that I stripped myself - wasn't fun doing it that way, but I am happy with it.

I then could not rest on the stain as I looked and found something I liked but could not find it locally. I settled on using some Danish Oil that I had laying around. I guess I am not too picky huh !
I used a dremel to drill out the nail holes in the deck. I can subdue then simply by sanding over them. I chose a random point kinda - not choosy on the selection of the deck nails (faux)

Now, I can move on to laying the "inside" bulwarks.






In Progress: OcCre's Santisima Trindad Finished Builds: Linbergs "Jolly Roger" aka La Flore Mantua's Cannone Da Costa Americano linberg's "Cptn Kidd" aka Wappen Von Hamburg Model Shipways 1767 Sultana Midwest Boothbay Lobsterboat (R/C)

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: arizona
Posted by cthulhu77 on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 7:27 AM

Outstanding work, Donnie. It is fun to watch your vessel come together!

               greg

http://www.ewaldbros.com
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 8:28 AM

She is looking great Donnie.  I have stopped work for the time being.  I am headed down the shore with the family and they insist on having a model-free week with me.  I must comply but admit that I am experiencing some itchiness already.  I am however, bringing plenty of research for my next project.  I will also be "internet-free" and wont be able to keep tabs on the ongoing work.  I will have a lot of catching up to do when I return.

 

Chuck

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 11:24 AM
Nice Donnie! Wow you have a lot of patience drilling all those holes! I can't wait to see your hull when it is stained and painted, your planking looks great.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Madison, Mississippi
Posted by Donnie on Tuesday, August 01, 2006 11:55 AM

Well, actually, I don't have too much patience as it took me about 15 min or so to drill out the holes (steady hand I must say that I have vs. patience) I have already lightly sanded the deck which has subdued the holes on the deck planking so that it just doesn't blare out at you.

Donnie

thanks for the comments ! Smile [:)]

In Progress: OcCre's Santisima Trindad Finished Builds: Linbergs "Jolly Roger" aka La Flore Mantua's Cannone Da Costa Americano linberg's "Cptn Kidd" aka Wappen Von Hamburg Model Shipways 1767 Sultana Midwest Boothbay Lobsterboat (R/C)

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 8:44 AM

Maybe I shouldn't bring this up...but....

Deck planks aren't just fastened down at their ends.  They're fastened down to all the deck beams they cross.

I don't know whether the plans included in the current Sultana kit show all the deck beams, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out where most of them were located.  There probably (though not invariably) would be one beam at each end of every hatch and other major opening in the deck.  Once you've plotted out those beams, the intervening ones can be located pretty easily.  A beam spacing of four feet or thereabouts would be reasonable.

In those days long boards were much easier to come by than they are now.  Deck planks typically were as long as 24 feet - or even longer.  If I remember correctly, the layout of the Sultana's weather decks is such that each plank could span the entire length of its section of the deck.  So you don't need to worry about the disposition of butt joints, which is another subject.

In a small ship of the eighteenth century the deck planks might well have been held to the beams by treenails, or trunnels - wooden pegs pounded into pre-drilled holes, perhaps with wedges in slots in their tops to keep them tight.  When the shipwrights were done laying the deck the ends of the trunnels would be adzed or planed off, leaving a flush surface.  The deck planks of later and larger ships usually were held to the beams by iron spikes, driven into counterbored holes so their heads were below the surface of the planking.  After the spikes were in place, the counterbores would be filled by wood plugs held in place by oakum.  In high-quality work, the plugs were cut out of the face grain of a board of the same wood as the deck planks.  The only evidence of the fastening on the finished ship would be a hollow circle formed by the caulking around the plug.

As Donnie says, marking the fastenings on a model actually doesn't take long.  A good, simple trick is to lay a piece of thick tape (electrical tape, perhaps) across the deck at the location of each deck beam in turn, and use the tape as a guide for your drill (or pencil point, or whatever).  You can probably do all the deck fastenings on the Sultana in an hour or two - and you don't need to do all of them at one sitting.

This line of thinking, unfortunately, can open a can of worms.  If you're going to indicate the locations of the deck fastenings, how about those on the exterior of the hull?  There are a lot more of them, because each plank was fastened to each hull frame - and the frames were spaced much closer than the deck beams.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Madison, Mississippi
Posted by Donnie on Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:08 AM
Mr. Tilley
thank you for your "timely" advice. I will look into this for the decking. I guess you probably croaked when you looked at my deck, but all in all, I like your advice. Now, I will say in honestly, I was wondering about the true spacing of all of the fastenings. Ignorance of decking is obvious here on my ship, but, I am happy to note that you chimed in so that I can investigate.
No, it doesn't take long at all to do this on the deck. Now, that I have thought about it right now, I am wondering if I should have taken a pencil and instead of making a hole, make a simulated plug using the pencil tip to make (not a hole)  but a "dot" to represent the plug. However, I have found with a little extra sanding, the holes are filling up leaving or revealing a mocked up "plug" !

I will say that my models so far, I guess I strive for balance. The balance that I strive for is this formula:

Accuracy & precision
_________________
 
Time devoted to the project          =        my own enjoyment (satisfaction)

I guess I look at things like this to keep myself from going "nuts" over a project becuase I am just as perfectionist as the next modeler. I have come to the conclusion that:
1) who all will be looking at my model.
2) will they know enough about the ship to make critical comments about it.
3) am I satisfied with the work enough to realize the mistakes and the "I should have done this to it syndrome" and still be overall pleased with the final result.
I have found that coupled with this and the all of the great people on this forum to help, then I am VERY pleased with it all.

Again, thanks Mr. Tilley for you most timely help and advice. I assure you that it is welcomed and I most all the time take advantage of your advice and put it into practice !!! Why, so that I will become a better modeler rasing the bar to make better ships.

Donnie
 

In Progress: OcCre's Santisima Trindad Finished Builds: Linbergs "Jolly Roger" aka La Flore Mantua's Cannone Da Costa Americano linberg's "Cptn Kidd" aka Wappen Von Hamburg Model Shipways 1767 Sultana Midwest Boothbay Lobsterboat (R/C)

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 05, 2006 1:21 AM
I've been working away on bits and pieces like my rudder and finishing the transom. My hull is also ready to paint so I positioned the wale.
It looks very high up to me and I am worried that when the cables (?) and other planksheers are on it will be very cramped. The top of my wale is the same measurements below deck level as on the plans - I measured several times, but Chuck's wales look lower. I can't take mine any lower anyway or else I run into the curve of the stern. What does everyone think of my wale positions?





Thanks!
  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 05, 2006 8:09 AM

Fip,

 

The wales look fine.  Dont try and judge from my photographs.  There are a lot of optical illusions.  As long as you take the measurements from the plans you will be accurate.  It looks really good.  You are doing a great job.

 

Chuck

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, August 05, 2006 11:10 PM

Donnie - I most definitely did not croak when I saw your pictures.  Your model obviously is going to be a fine one.

You might want to do a little experimenting with different ways to represent fastenings.  My guess is that if you started using pencil dots now, the difference between them and the holes you drilled earlier probably wouldn't be significant.

Here's another, even easier - and, at least in the case of some ships, more realistic - trick for doing the job.  Get hold of a mechanical pencil with 0.5 mm lead.  Be sure to pick one with a metal tip.  (Some have plastic tips.)  Lay your deck planks, sand and scrape them smooth, and get them ready in all respects for their final finish.  Then figure out the locations for the fastenings and, with the pencil lead retracted, gently press the hollow tip of the pencil into the surface of the wood where each plug is supposed to be. The result will be a hollow circle.  Then treat the deck with whatever stain or other finish you want to use.  (I like Olympic Paints "Driftwood" color solvent-based stain, followed by a coat of very dillute white shellac.)  The stain will collect in the countersunk rings.  The observer's eye probably won't notice the "fastenings" at all initially, but on close examination the rings will look remarkably like the caulking around the face-grain plugs that covered the iron bolts on the real ship. 

I'm not at all sure that method would be appropriate for the Sultana.  I suspect she was held together with wood trunnels.

One other option - a more time-consuming one - would be to continue drilling holes for all the additional fastenings.  Then go to the grocery and get a big box of round toothpicks.  Sort through them; you'll find that some have much shaper points than others.  Collect the ones that are really sharp.  Dip the end of a toothpick in Elmer's glue, jam it into one of the holes, and snip it off with a pair of flush-cut wire cutters.  When the glue's dry, sand the deck smooth.  My guess is that, on a small ship like the Sultana, adding your own genuine trunnels that way wouldn't add more than an hour or two to the project.  (There are several more sophisticated ways to make trunnels; you can buy a steel drawplate, or there's a company that makes a gadget called a "Tree-Nailer" that chucks into a Dremel tool.  But the toothpick method works remarkably well.)

Good luck.  It's going to be a beautiful model.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 11:34 AM
It's been quiet for a few days. I guess everyone is slaving away at their vessels. :)
A quick progress report from me: I finally got my stern reshaped and attached the assembled and painted transom.Tonight I plan to start painting the hull. The wales are already painted and ready to go on after that. I'll post photos when the painting is done.

How's everyone else doing?

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