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Old Sep 20, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Ship date is tenatively scheduled for 1st week in October. Waiting is hard.
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 04:05 PM
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The Rudder and servo

The rudder with its large clear extension is supported by a brass plate on the keel shown in the first picture. The top of the brass rudder shaft goes into the stern tube, and through a 1/4" hole in the deck. Following the instructions, I located the center of the hole by laying a 9/32" pointed rod against the sternpost with the point against the top of the stern tube. I drilled through the deck with a 12" long 1/8" drill, being careful to keep the drill as parallel to the stern post as possible. From the top I opened the hole up with a sucession of drills, again being careful to keep the drill as parallel to the stern post as possible, and intersecting the hole in the brass plate that carries the rudder shaft. I did the final fitting by filing. At the top of the shaft, the servo is held in a mounting block by a plywood plate that mounts inline with the rudder shaft. The shaft is shortened, and a plastic collar joins the rudder and servo shafts. This whole assembly has to fit under the rear upper deck, a tight squeeze. There is some difference in the position of the main deck from model to model, and mine was too high to allow me to position the servo inline with the shaft and have the upper rear deck fit correctly. I ended up placing it to the side and using horns and a connecting wire as is commonly seen.

Before I could mount the servo, I had to install the framing that supports the rear upper deck on the sides and across the front. The directions specify a 1/4"x1/4" beam across the front, but due to the curve of the deck, I cut mine from 7/16"x1/4, as this gives you a full 1/4" at the ends so that it is flush with the bottom of the inner rail moldings that are glued along each side of the rail above the gun ports. The top edge of the sides of the fiberglass deck should be 3/32" below the top edge of the rail if you fit it before you glue on the deck veneer as I did. With this done I could accurately fit the servo without hitting the upper deck. I used some epoxy putty on the back of the servo mounting block to hold it against the inner transom to get the servo and rudder shafts aligned parallel. I painted the back to waterproof it, and epoxied it to the dried putty. The rest will get painted red when I paint the hull.

The rudder rides up as it is turned, so I filed the top and bottom where it meets the shaft slightly at an angle to prevent this. The shaft bears against the fiberglass decking at the top, and I decided to install a real bushing there. I got a length of 9/32" OD brass tube that fit the 1/4" shaft nicely, opened up the hole in the deck, and epoxied it in. The bushing needs to be cut on the bottom to the angle of the top of the stern tube, or it will interfere with the movement of the rudder. The top edge I cut square, and the lever I made to connect to the servo horn rides on it. I bought the small aluminum Hitec horn for the servo. I will wait until the electronics are installed to drill the holes for the connecting shaft in the lever and make the connecting wire. I am also going to make the rear deck removable, instead of gluing it in, so I can have better access to the steering mechanism.
xhullx xrudderx xelectronicsx xbuildx
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Old Oct 03, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Very interesting detail of your construction modifications. Sure do appreciate your sharing of this information! I will certainly refer to this thread when my ship comes in!
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Old Oct 04, 2006, 08:39 PM
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The Hull - Final Constructions

After the bowsprint is in place, I fitted the fore deck. I used some epoxy putty to fill in the space between the upper rail and the bulwarks so there would be more support for gluing the fore deck frame. I soaked and bent the 1/4x1/8" frames to the curve of the bow, and after they dried I CA glued them in place such that the deck surface was 3/32" below the top surface of the hull rail. I traced the curve of the lower rear fore deck surface on to a 1/2x1/4" cross frame so that there was a full 1/4" at each edge to line up with the inner rail, cut it to shape and beveled the back edge to support the deck, then glued it in. With the supports and bowsprint in place, I cut into the underside of the bow corner of the fiberglass fore deck with a rat tail file until the deck would lay flat on it's supports. The deck veneer could be applied with contact cement at this point, and the fore deck glued in place, but I will leave it off until I have painted the hull.

With the bow and stern deck frames in place, I fitted the 1/16x3/8" inner rail strips, two lengths needed on each side. Again I soaked, bent, and clamped the strips in place. After drying, I fitted them closely at the ends and the middle where the strips butt against the deck frames, and the joint in the middle. I fit them slightly higher than the rail lip on the hull, then CA glued them. I sanded them flush with the rail lip, and rounded the inner edge to match the outer curve of the rail.

Likewise, I fitted and glued in with CA the 3/16x3/16" triangular strips that run from bow to stern where the deck meets the bulwarks forming the waterway. Seven scuppers are made on each side of the deck to provide drainage. 1/4" holes are drilled through the hull midway between the eight inner gunports and lined with fiberglass tubing. I would recommend making the jig shown in the plans, as it helps get the geometry for the drilling right. The only problem I had with the scuppers was that the exit holes on the outside of the hull wanted to come through right at the upper edge of the wale (the slightly raised band along the hull just below the gunports that runs from bow to stern), which I did not like. Luckily, I drilled initially with a 1/8" drill, so I was able to increase the bottom angle of the jig, and get the holes to come out high enough to miss the wale. I hand fitted each fiberglass tube before gluing them in with epoxy so that they lay as flush with the inner and outer surface as possible. This minimized the amount of filing and sanding needed to get a smooth surface. Use plenty of epoxy, as the holes can cut into the hold and could leak if not well sealed.

The knightheads and timberheads are made from 3/8x3/8" and 1/4x1/4" wood stock with the fancy tops like the bits described earlier. Then a 1/8" hole is drilled up from the bottom for a length of dowel to pin them onto the bow rail. I located the correct positions to drill on the rail by scanning the bow portion of the plans on my computer, printing, cutting it out, and taping it over the bow section. I also used this method to locate the gammoning slot in the stem. I marked the positions on masking tape, and drilled right through the tape.

The stemhead is mounted to the stem with a 1/4" piece of dowel. The bowsprint does not rest on the stemhead, there is some space between the two. After fitting the stemhead, a 1/4" hole is drilled in the base, and a 3/8" hole is drilled in the top surface of the stem to take the dowel. This gives some slop to allow the sides of the stemhead and stem to line up when they are glued together with epoxy.

The headrails come in four pieces, two on either side of the bow. These should be sanded, fitted, and clamped in place to locate the hauseholes for the anchor lines. The top headrail on either side is a complex plastic casting with three horizontal rails. The hauseholes should be centered between the two lower rails on the bow. Be sure both headrails are parallel on their back horizontal part. The 1/4" hauseholes should be drilled parallel with the keel, forward and aft, rather than perpendicular to the hull, and I angled them up slightly. While I had the headrails in place, I marked and drilled small holes for the rigging eyes for the bowsprit shrouds that are located just aft of the headrails, as well as the bobstay on the front of the stem. The headrails can be glued on now or after painting the hull. I thought it would be easier to put them on after painting, since the headrails are yellow and the hull is black.

Since the two gunports in the bow and the transom are not cut out, they need to be marked on the outside. I got a piece of heavy plastic from an ID card and cut out a 1 1/8" square, taped it in position over the location where the gunport should be, and etched deep lines outlining the square with a sharp scribe. This will leave a nice indentation in the paint that can be shaded in to make the ports visible. The bow ports are split down the center with hinges on either side, so they need to have a vertical line scribed down their center. As best I can tell from the book on modeling the brig "Irene", the gunports in the transom are lined up horizontally, not following the curve of the stern rail, and 3/8" below a horizontal line drawn across the transom from the bottom of the port and starboard rail.

The next job will be to sand, fill, and paint the hull while the weather is still warm enough to spray outside.
xhullx xtopsidesx xbuildx
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 03:22 PM
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Old Oct 18, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 05:10 PM
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My brig has arrived!! Lotsa stuff in those boxes...
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Old Oct 27, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Great! Hope you get finished for spring sailing!

I have started painting the hull, but the weather has not been cooperating. Too cold and windy. Then everytime I put on a new coat of paint, I find another flaw that has to be filled and sanded. My painting skills are not great either. Hope I can get another coat on today.
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Old Oct 27, 2006, 04:05 PM
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 11:02 AM
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Yea, well we Brits might be slow, but when we're ready, watch out! Long live the Queen!
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Old Nov 04, 2006, 11:59 AM
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The Brig is fully unpacked and scattered throughout the house. The cats have been helpful. The hull is ready for finish sanding, the rudder shaft openings completed and the mast & servo blocks mounted. Not moving too fast - lotsa fall house projects to do. Wanted to ask you, and possibly the skipper of that brazen American Privateer, if you put any sort of finish on the gun barrels. These are polyurethane, which I think is not very conducive to taking finishes. Did you leave them unfinished? I've looked at pix from both of you and they seem to be unfinished.
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Old Nov 04, 2006, 01:54 PM
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These pictures might help:

http://www.modelsailingships.com/kit...detailing.html
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Old Nov 05, 2006, 10:52 AM
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I haven't gotten to the gun barrels yet, but since they have some flashing that will need to be sanded off, I would say that they will have to be painted or polished to get rid of the sanding marks. Anyone have some other ideas?

Fall projects have been keeping me from spending much time on mine too. I think I have gotten as many of the blemishes on the hull filled that I am going to. If I don't stop now, I could be doing them for ever, and not get the painting done. I am going to just take the flat black areas as they are now, and start masking for the yellow ochre stripe through the gun ports today.
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Old Nov 05, 2006, 01:38 PM
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After taking a closer look at the S,C&H website detailing page, Andreas Heilwagen's SURPRISE build pix (Referred to by the SC&H updates page) and Hoghappy's Prince website, I am definitely going to paint them - They certainly did. Boy, it sure is great to have these sites to refer to!! It doesn't make any sense for me to take any finishing shortcuts on this project, anyway, because the Brig will not be launched until Spring thaw. I just get overanxious. I must say that I am still very impressed at the quality of this SC&H kit - My only regret being that I can't have all three of these ships. Yet. Actually, my wife has been eyeing the PRINCE for herself, lately.....
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