Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 3

After doing all that deck work and planking, the hull work was a nice little change of pace. This kit features an ABS plastic hull that’s been vacuum-formed. It’s a bit different than working with traditional styrene plastic kits. Vacuum-formed parts usually require some trimming, which is true in the case of this kit.

The hull itself is one piece, with the deck and deck houses being part of the second half of the hull assembly. Along the edge where the hull pieces meet, the edge is oversized and needs to be trimmed even. I used a drafting compass to check the evenness of the work, trimming with a knife and finishing with a sanding stick.

As you may notice in the above photo, I’ve already added a piece of wood trim. The trim is a strip of mahogany provided in the kit. It’s very thin, so bending isn’t all that difficult. Soaking is still required to get the proper bend at the stern. I used masking tape to hold the pieces in place while I adjusted the alignment of the trim.

If you have trouble with the wood, strip styrene of appropriate size is available from many hobby outlets, and might actually give a better finished look since it’s supposed to be part of the steel hull.

The next order of business was to paint the hull. This was a bit of a process for me, as I’ve been basically building wooden hulled ship models for many years and haven’t really done anything in plastic or that represented a steel hull.

Initial work was simple, as I just sprayed everything with Tamiya white primer before painting the hull. For the finish painting, I originally tried using Billing Boats paints, but my airbrush skill were pretty bad. So, I basically just ended up using Tamiya spray paints for most everything. I painted the hull white, and then masked off everything except the area of the hull above the wooden trim strip. This area was painted gloss black as indicated in the kit instructions.

The wooden trim strip I simply hand painted using Billing Boats “Emerald Green” paint. Then, I masked off everything except the rail area. I then got my airbrush out and managed to use it to paint the rail the same Billing Boats Emerald Green color.

Now, I describe this in a way that makes it sound simple. But, not having done much spray painting or airbrushing in a long time, I certainly had my share of problems. Everything from runs to orange peeling to accidental overspray due to a poor masking job. However, I seemed to make it through the process, and the hull looks pretty good so far.

As you can see, I have yet to paint the hull below the waterline. The instructions call for that area to be painted black. But, before doing that, I went ahead and added the hawsepipe for the anchor.

The kit includes three little plastic circular eyelet-like parts. Two of these are for portholes in the forward deck house, leaving one for the hawsepipe. This is to be mounted on the starboard side. It’s not really obvious that is only one hawsepipe. I’m accustomed to models of larger ships where there is at least a pair of hawsepipes, one on either side of the bow. So, it took me a while to figure out there’s only one on this model.

The hull has no opening or marking for the location of the hawsepipe, so it just has to be positioned by eye. I drilled a small hole, enlarged it a little with a hobby knife and finished off the opening with files until the hawsepipe fit properly into place. Being molded in black, I didn’t bother painting the part.

Next step will be to mark the waterline and finish painting the hull.



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