Tag Archives: Colonial Schooner

AL’s Independence – New Transom, Part 2

Finishing up the transom work for now…

Once dry, the pear wood strip I shaped for the transom held its shape mostly, but I had to do a lot of cutting and shaping to fit the other curve, the curvature across the face of the transom, and by the time I was into that, the piece had started to lose some of the bending I had done. I ended up cutting into three separate pieces: A top piece and two side pieces. I attached the top piece first and then it was a bit easier to add the side pieces after. It was all still a bit of a struggle to deal with all the curves and trying to clamp the wood into place while the glue dried.


The other addition was a pair of knees I made and installed against the transom. I don’t remember if there is a particular term for these. They just are what they are…


Unlike the rest of the bulwarks, since the inner side planking of the transom kind of continues around to the sides of the hull, I had used pear wood. The rest of the bulwarks inner planking is cherry, which is redder. I didn’t really want the knees to contrast greatly with the transom, so I ended up making them from pear also. The color difference between pear and cherry is less noticeable once the wood is sealed, but here it’s still raw wood and looks pretty different from cherry. I don’t think it will be okay in the end.


AL’s Independence – A New Transom

Probably the one feature I like the least about this kit is the all-in-one cast metal transom. It’s certainly an easy way to deal with the transom and there is absolutely nothing wrong with building the kit using it if you want a decorative style model, which the AL kits are best for. But, in my case, this kit wasn’t my choice and I prefer a more authentic look, so I’m forced to scratch build the transom.

A lot of kits and plans really dress up this feature, but for a basic merchantman, I can’t help but think they the are sometimes overdone. Harold Hahn’s reconstruction of the colonial schooner Hannah has a very simple transom and so do most reconstructions of the schooner Sultana. I’m planning to keep the transom relatively plain, though I have added gallery windows similar to those on the cast metal transom. I’ve also added a few moldings and such, but I probably won’t go so far as adding carvings – I think I have enough work cut out for me on this feature.


I started by drawing up a design on a piece of 1/32″ plywood saving the wooden backing piece included in the kit, just using it as a pattern. The most time consuming part so far has been the construction of the gallery windows. I just drew up a basic design and cut out openings in the plywood piece I cut. I then planked the piece, using a single wide piece of pear wood for the band across the window area. I will later add some boxwood decoration of some kind, which will form some contrast to the pear.

Bordering the pear wood sheet, I added boxwood moldings above and below. The molding shape was formed by using a scraper that I made from an old single-edged razor blade.

Cutting the scraper was a LOT easier than I thought it would be. I’ve read about making these, but never actually tried it. In my case, I simply took a Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel and ground a  sort of a “B” shape into the edge of the razor blade and that’s all it took. Works beautifully and so easy to make. I’ll write up something more about this later.

For the window frames, I decided to use some very thin strips of white holly and built them right into the transom. This doesn’t allow me to add “glass,” but I’ve seen windows done without glass before and they looked fine, so I did the same with mine.

A added an edging piece along the bottom and started working on a cap around the top and sides. I experimented with different ways of making/bending the cap and finally settled on using a former made from scrap wood. Using the metal transom piece from the kit, I traced the shape on the block of wood, sanded it to shape and glued it to a base.


After that had dried, a piece of pear wood I prepared was soaked and carefully bent around the former and clamped in place to let dry. Later, I removed the wood and it had a nice bend that fit my transom.

More later…

AL’s Independence – Finish Planking

The hardest part of building a ship model can be the planking of the hull. I say “can” be because it really depends on the kind of ship you are modeling and the method you choose for planking.

In this case, the easiest method is to follow the kit’s design. The basic goal is to simply get the hull covered with a nice smooth layer of attractive finish planking without worrying about whether or not it’s accurate to the way ships were actually planked. Using this method, which is generally prescribed in the instructions of most European kits, lay them down starting at the top of the hull and work down towards the keel. The planks will need to be tapered slightly at the ends and may require soaking and a little heat applied using a hair dryer, curling iron or electric plank bending tool.

I have yet to find a book that fully describes this kind of planking of the hull. Frank Mastini’s Ship Modeling Simplified, does the best job I’ve seen, but follows the building of Artesania Latina’s Bluenose II kit, which is a pretty easy hull to plank. He doesn’t talk about planking the apple bowed hulls of 18th century ships, which are much more difficult to plank.

With that said, there is also another way to finish the hull that’s at the other end of the difficulty spectrum, and that is to plank the hull using methods similar to the way the real ships were actually planked. This involves techniques of spiling to get the initial shape of the plank, measuring the hull to determine the width of the plank at various places along its length, cutting it to shape, measuring and re-measuring. heat bending the planks and so on. This can be very time consuming and can result in a model looking just so-so if the planking is not done properly, or it can result in a beautiful hull that’s accurate to actual practices. For most of us, the true results fall somewhere in between.

A good book that illustrates authentic hull planking is Ben Lankford’s How to Build First-Rate Ship Models from Kits, put out by Model Expo, Inc.  It doesn’t spend a lot of time on the subject, but gives a good description and illustrations of the process.

It’s really up to you and the style of model you like to build. If you want to use this latter style, make sure to get some practice in if you can. If you’re accustomed to doing a lot of very fine measurement work and a lot of careful, accurate shaping, then you might be able to tackle this at first try. Otherwise, simple, cheaper models can be very useful for developing your planking skills. Or, you can also carve a simple hull to practice on. You’ll have to decide what’s best for you.

If your model is to be painted, even if just below the waterline, then the method of planking you choose is not so critical and the planking detail is not as so noticeable. If your model is to be copper sheathed below the waterline, then the lower planking work with be completely hidden and that allows you to make all sorts of planking mistakes that no one will ever see. Of course, it opens the door to copper sheathing mistakes, but that’s another matter. In any case, this model should not be coppered as it’s the wrong period for it.

For this model, I’ve decided to attempt a more authentic look, with a continuous run of planking from bow to stern. I expect it will take a few stealers and drop planks, but that’s generally to be expected. It’s been a while since I’ve done a full plank-on-bulkhead model, particularly with all the planking visible. My focus has been on later period ships with coppered hulls and most of those I have been building up as plank-on-solid-hull.

I decided to plank the hull using pear wood. It’s a nice color, bends well and seems to be pretty easy to work with so far. I was convinced after seeing model in the Parsons Collection at the San Mateo Museum. The models were all scratch-built and it looked like the modeler used pear and the color looked really nice.

I bought my supply in the form of rough milled boards that I bought from The Lumberyard. These need to be sanded down to the final dimensions and the edges of the boards are not straight, so they need a little work, but those are all things I can handle now. If I didn’t have a thickness sander and two good table saws, I’d end up buying milled strips and that would be expensive, particularly for pear. If that were the case, I would have just gone with cherry wood, which is readily available from a number of sources. It’s grainier though and tends to splinter when bending if you’re not careful, whereas pear wood has a fine grain and bends easily when wet.

Most of my planking stock is 3/16″ below the wales and I used 1/8″ strips above the wales. For the band between the black strakes, I chose to use wide boxwood strips. The width was determined by the distance between the black strakes. I figured on 2 boxwood strakes because 3 strakes would have made each visually too narrow to my eye. Note that the coloring is a departure from the kit’s coloring. I went back and forth between several coloring configurations and settled on this one which is all pear wood with the light colored stripe of boxwood between the two narrow black strakes. The vertical timbers for the railing and swivel gun supports will probably be black, but I haven’t decided that for sure yet.

To convince myself of the coloring configuration, I did some very crude color mock-ups on the computer. This isn’t the final image, but I don’t think I saved any of the final images as they were only temporary to help me decide on a color scheme. But, you get the idea. Scan 13

The image was just one of the illustrations in the kit plans, which I scanned, cleaned up and did some simple color fill. It doesn’t have to be a work of art – it can be a bit messy and still get the job done. In fact, if you don’t have a paint program or aren’t comfortable with the computer or applications, you can just photocopy and do it the old fashioned way with markers or colored pencils.

Actual planks from the lower black strake up to the bulwarks are simple straight planks. Below, planks are tapered based on the shape of the hull and the area that the plank must cover.



Rather than confusing you with my explanations of how this is done, it’s best for you to just read some good tutorials. The current issue of Ships in Scale magazine that just arrived in my mail yesterday has part 2 of a guide to hull planking written by Bob Hunt, who has his own practicums that you can purchase on his web site for Lauck Street Shipyard.

There is also a pretty complete Primer written by David Antscherl and posted on his Admiralty Models site. It’s a downloadable pdf that you can get from this direct link: A Primer on Planking.


In any case, the final hull planking came out looking pretty good, color-wise. I need to work on my technique on these apple bow hulls, which improved as I went. I think if I were to do it all over again, it would look much nicer, I think. I’ll try to apply that practice to the next model.




AL’s Independence – New Stem, Sternpost and Keel

After the initial planking went on, it was sanded down carefully where it will meet the keel, stem and sternpost. The kit calls for adding the second or finish layer of planking next. This is a common practice with the AL kits and it works very well. The planking strips that are provided are very thin and flexible and with the keel, stem and sternpost out of the way, it’s quite easy to glue the planks down where you want them. Once this is done, the keel and such are added. To get a good fit, you may have to trim a little of the planking and sand the inner edges of the stem and other pieces until you have a perfect fit with no gaps. But, this is where I am deviating from the standard instructions.

I decided I’d add these pieces before planking and I would create a rabbet into which my finish planks would fit. It may actually be harder to build the model this way, but it feels more authentic. For most people, particularly beginning modelers, I recommend simply following the kit instructions. The method is pretty easy and it works very well and I think you’ll be very happy with the results. This is a feature that I think makes AL kits easier to construct than others.

I had decided from the start to replace the finish planking in the kit with either cherry or pear wood. I’ve done other hulls in cherry and used cherry quite extensively, but I’d never done anything using pear. I have some pear that I bought from The Lumberyard and I thought it would look nice and the model. I’ll also be doing deck furniture on the model in cherry, so I thought a different wood for the hull would be better. So, I went with pear for the hull.


The kit drawings were then photocopied to get the shape for the stem and sternpost and then outline the stem for the individual parts that make it up. Speaking of making it up, I really don’t know much about stem design, so I dug through some of my references and just came up with something that seemed to look correct.

The drawing was then cut up and glued to a pear sheet that I’d milled down to 3/16″ thick. The pieces were cut apart with a scroll saw and then worked to shape using the bench sander. Final shaping was done by hand until the pieces fit nicely together. I used a little black acrylic along the edges of the joints to get the seams to stand out and then glued the pieces together using thick CA.


After gluing up the pieces, the holes were drilled in it for the gammoning rope and the bobstay. The stem was then sanded to a nice gradual taper, and then I went over the seams with a scribing tool to enhance them a little.

Fitting the pieces into place required a bit of work. For the planking to lay flush against the sternpost and keel means that the hull has to be sanded down so that it is thinner than the these parts where they meet, allowing room for the planks. Also, it means that the parts have to be perfectly centered when they’re attached, so extra care is required there.


For the stem, I glued on a narrow strip of wood so that a rabbet is formed where it meets the hull. Still, the hull planking has to be trimmed so that the stem fits properly and so the planks will run nicely into it.


From a distance it looks really nice and you can’t see the scars and the filler used on the inner hull planking. All of this will be covered by the hull planking anyway.





AL’s Independence – First Planking of the Hull

Here’s is where the fun begins and the ship starts to actually look like a ship.

Artesania Latina kits are a bit different from most others in that the stem, keel and stern posts are added after the hull is planked. This has the advantage of keeping these parts out of the way as you plank, giving you a little more breathing room. Additionally, it keeps these parts out of harms way.


Most kit manufacturers make these parts part of the inner keel or keelson as some call it. For those who like to add a rabbet, this is a bit of a pain as you must figure this out before you even begin constructing the model, and you generally have to figure out its location on your own. Some manufacturers, like Model Shipways, make the keel pieces separate and give you an idea where the rabbet line is. The separate pieces make the cutting process easier.

In the case of AL kits, you really don’t even have to worry about cutting a rabbet. The inner keel piece is thinner than the keel itself, and with the separate keel pieces, all that matters is that your planking at the keel edge isn’t thicker than the keel itself. Something you don’t have to worry about much until later in the build.

In any case, planking the inner hull begins with the bulwarks formers. This has been a common Artesania Latina feature for as long as I can remember. The trick in adding this piece is to get the pieces lined up evenly on both sides. The photo book that comes with the kit is a big help in seeing how the piece lines up with the deck at the bow and stern.

I used the scuppers as a guide since they need to be at deck level, or more precisely at the level of the waterways. Since the plans don’t show a raised waterways piece, I just lined up the holes at deck level. The stern was easy enough to line up so that the bulwarks pieces formed a very low lip at the deck’s edge. The bow required the most care. The plans call for an opening at the bow, 5mm wide for the bowsprit. So, I just made sure to take a lot of time to get this lined up nicely.

Rather than gluing the formers into place right away, I used brass nails included in the kit to hold them into place. I’ve generally liked using the Amati Nailer for this kind of work. The nails allow me to make adjustments to the position of the bulwarks former if necessary. I recommend measuring the height of the bulwarks from the deck on either side of the ship to make sure everything is even. Once I was happy with the position, I then used some thick CA glue applied from inside the hull around the deck edges and the bulkheads.

The planking strips in the kit work well. They are 2mm by 5mm strips of Ramin wood, which is a little fibrous and splintery when dry, but bends well when wet, at least at this thickness. There’s more than enough included in the kit to do the job. When I was done, I had about a good 16 strips left over, so lots of room for error.

Planking began right under the bulwarks former. The first three strips I added without tapering. The planks do require a little soaking in water, and then I used a heating tool to bend them. You might be tempted to bend the planks across the bulkheads right on the model, but doing that usually introduces a lot of flat spots that will take a lot of time and filler to fix later. So, bend first to get the curvature right before putting them on the model.

I used yellow carpenter’s glue for the planks with push pins holding them in place. Where necessary, I also use binder clips and small plastic clamps in strategic locations. Planks are glued to the bulkheads as well as to each other. I didn’t worry about making a mess here as the inner hull will get sanded later and will all be hidden in the end anyway. Of course, some care had to be taken to keep the deck nice.

After those first few planks, I dropped down about four plank widths below the last plank and laid a plank down naturally so that there was no need for edge bending. This plank was tapered as were all subsequent planks. Planks above this were then laid in and cut to fit in the band. Since I measure the space in terms of plank widths, all planks were full width at the midships frame. I repeated this process dropping down 4 or 5 plank widths and filling the opening.

IMG_0191Finally, I started at the keel with what was technically the garboard strake and worked upwards from there. The last plank had to be specially cut to fit the last opening. I kind of lucked out and found that a full width plank would fit with just a tiny gap remaining, which I’d take care of with a little filler later. The whole process went pretty quickly and did require the use of a couple stealers on each side.

The last bit planking was at the counter at the stern of the ship. The hull planking had to first be correctly trimmed first. Then, I added the last two pieces that make up the stern framing and planked the counter.

After all the planking was done, I carefully trimmed any plank edges that were sticking up, then sanded the whole thing down with some 60 grit sand paper. When it was mostly smoothed down, I used some Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler to deal with any gaps and sanded some more using 150 grit sand paper.

DSC01625 DSC01626 DSC01631

Finally, I gave it a once over, looking for bumps and checking that the joint with the bulwarks former was even. All is well!

AL’s Independence – Planking the Deck, Part 2

At the edges of the deck, I cut some 1/32″ thick boxwood sheet and create a margin plan that the deck planks would be joggled into. The round shape of the Forecastle deck required me to make that margin plank from several pieces. I’ve always had a problem trying to figure out how to make scarf joints so that they don’t interfere with the joggling of the planks. I did my best, but I obviously still need to work on my technique there.


I’m not positive on this, but the Joggling or nibbing of planks may not have been necessary. Some reference I’ve read suggested that it was not done on small ships and that it’s not clear just when the practice began. It was regularly seen on ships of the 19th century, but not so much information prior to that. Model Shipway’s instructions for their Fair American kit says that the ship was too early for nibbing, and that was writting by master ship modeler Erik A.R. Ronnberg, Jr.  That was written in 1978. Have we learned something more since then? I don’t know. I just followed the examples of other ship modelers who have nibbed planks on their models of the same era. If you want to keep things simple and skip it, there’s certainly good precedent for doing so.



One thing I’ve always enjoyed doing on my ship models is to add treenails to the deck, either actual or simulated. I like the process and I like the detail. Real treenails don’t stand out on deck planking, so I try to keep mine subdued. I’ve never liked light colored wood models speckled with dark treenails that make them look like they have a bad case of the measles. Also, treenails should be to scale. A 1″ diameter treenail, at 1/48 scale, should be about .021″. That’s a #75 drill bit, which is what I chose to use here.

As mentioned in my previous post, lines were drawn on the decks to represent the locations of deck beams. This served as a guide for laying down the butts of the planks. This also serves as a guide for locating the treenails. The pattern of treenails came from an illustration in the book Historic Ship Models by Wolfram zu Mondfeld. There are a couple patterns as shown in his book. I’m hesitant to post published materials, but I haven’t had a chance to create my own illustration for this and I’m only showing a piece of one of his illustrations (yes, I’m making excuses), so I’m showing it here.

Scan 3

From Mondfeld

The pattern on the top is the one I used. I’ve noted that Don Dressel’s book Planking Techniques for Model Ship Builders only shows the lower pattern. I don’t know if that one is more common or not, but certainly the pattern I chose is simpler.

I decided not to make actual treenails, something I’ve done many times in the past, but to simulate them by filling the holes with sawdust and glue mixture. Afterwards, the deck was lightly sanded and wiped down with a very light coat of Watco Natural color Danish Wood Oil.

Once the deck was planked, I went ahead and added the planking for the exposed portions of the bulkheads at the breaks of the decks. I used 3/16″ cherry for this, laid vertically, and edged the planks with pencil. The bulwarks interior will be done with cherry also.

Finally, the boards that edge the deck were laid and I went on to the planking of the hull.

AL’s Independence – Planking the Deck, Part 1

After completing the hull framing, Artesania Latina instructions typically have you plank the deck next, before planking the hull. This has the advantage of making it easier to access the deck for planking details. I followed the steps, but didn’t use the kit included wood which is Ramin. Instead I had some boards of Castello Boxwood on hand, so I used that instead.

I mill most of my own wood these days and had purchased the boxwood from the ship model wood supplier called The Lumberyard. I’d gotten much better. Even so, for the deck planking it looked pretty natural, so I went with it.

To cut planking, I first cut and thickness sanded some boards down to 1/8″, which is the width I chose for the deck planks. At 1/48 scale, that’s 6″ planking. If I had gone with the kits 1/35 scale, the 5mm or 3/16″ width of the included Ramin would have been more appropriate, coming out to about 6-1/2″ at full size. 1/32″ thick slices were then cut from the edge of the boards to make the planks.

Caulking was simulated by clamping a group of planks together and then painting one edge with black acrylic paint. Some people prefer to use pencil, marker, paper, or other kinds of paint, but I like the thickness and easy cleanup of the acrylic paint. One method used widely among one of the ship modeling groups I belong to work for those who rip their own planking stock. That is to spray paint one side of the board with flat black enamel before slicing off the planking strips. They will then come out “pre-caulked”. Because this is done before the strips are cut, they don’t require any kind of cleanup.


The method I use is something of a carryover from when I buy the planking strips pre-cut. But, using acrylic paint requires only a light scraping of the planks after painting.


Before laying down the planking, I looked over some of the drawings from Harold Hahn’s book The Colonial Schooner to get a sense of the locations of the deck beams. I then pencilled in the center lines for the deck beams on the Independence. This is where the butts of the planking will fall. This is also where the boards would be nailed down.


I started laying the deck from the centerline outwards beginning with the main deck. I ran the first pieces full length of the deck. Even though it’s a bit of a waste of wood if you’re opening up the main hatch, laying the full strakes helps to keep the rest of the planking straight.

Once I planked out to the width of the main hatch, it was necessary to start considering reasonable plank lengths and the pattern of the locations of the plank butts. A reasonable plank length is about 20 feet, or about 5″ on the model. Now, the main deck at 1/48 scale is about 6″ long, and it might be reasonable to say it was close enough so that it could be planked with long continuous pieces. That’s particularly true if keeping to the original scale. But, for this model, it’s more visually interesting to use shorter planks and butt them together. On the forecastle and the poop deck, I went ahead and used full length pieces to plank them. For the quarter deck, even though it’s about 5″ long, I just thought it looked more consistent to butt the planks together like with the main deck.


Where there are breaks in the deck, I stopped short to allow room for edging pieces to fit across the deck. I didn’t add the actual final edge pieces though until a later stage to allow me room to easily plank the visible portions of the bulkheads. Instead, temporary pieces were pinned into place to be later removed and new pieces would be added later.

For no particular reason, I just used what might be referred to as a 2 butt shift planking pattern. That is, as you look across a single beam, there are two planks between the butts of planks. This really isn’t authentic, but works visually for this model. What would be correct is a 3 or 4 butt shift. Or, as I mentioned earlier, due to the short deck sections, actual planks might have been  full length.


AL’s Independence – Starting the Build

First off, a correction about something I stated in a previous post that I thought the kit was really just a version of the colonial schooner Hallifax. I take it back. AL produced a model of the colonial schooner Hannah at one time and I would now say this is something of a cross between that and the Hallifax. Still it’s basically a generic model of small merchant schooner of that period.

So, about the middle of last month, July, I started the work on this project, beginning at the beginning with the framing.

The framing went together quite nicely. As I mentioned before, the slots fit together perfectly. Things lined up well and I didn’t have to file any of the slots and there was absolutely no play in their fit. Because of the thinness of the bulkheads, I felt it necessary to add some support pieces in between them to stiffen them up. Also fitting the decks into place also serves to stiffen them, but I felt it better to be safe.


While the glue was still setting between the bulkheads and inner keel, I temporarily fitted the deck pieces into place using the included brass nails. Using an Amati nail driver was a little tricky due to the thinness of the bulkheads, but I got them in. The process too a little while as the inner keel piece had a slight warp in it and it took a lot of little adjustments to get it straight and to make sure that the frame was free of twists. It’s very easy to introduce a little twist into the frame and impossible to remove it later on, so spending extra time on getting the hull perfect at this stage is worth the extra effort.


This step actually took me quite a while as I kept finding the results not quite right and  had to adjust and readjust everything multiple times. But, finally, I had something I was happy with.


After this, the stern frames were added along with bow and stern pieces to support the planking, and then the bulwarks were beveled to adapt to the curvature of the hull planking. The beveling was actually quite easy on this model as the bulkheads are thin. The first two bulkheads at the bow required the most time.


Something to note is that there are no filler blocks, unlike with so many ship model kits. There are some small support pieces at the bow and stern, but these appear to be only for providing a good surface to secure the ends of the first planking layer. Time will tell if this is a good thing or not, but it certainly keeps down the amount of time spent on sanding.

New Project for 2013 – Artesania Latina’s schooner Independence

As if I didn’t have enough projects in progress, I took on yet another. This one is a commissioned project from the same person that asked me to rigged the Mantua San Felipe model. This one is the schooner Independence, 1775, a kit manufactured by Artesania Latina of Spain.


As this is a commissioned project, I tried to convince the buyer to let me build something from scratch and tried to find a subject he was really interested in. But, I didn’t have much luck. I went ahead and accepted the project, but it’s almost impossible for me to build a kit without changing the heck out of it – “kit bashing” as it’s called. So, at least I did manage to convince him to allow me to make modifications.

It didn’t take a whole lot of research to find that the model does not resemble any known vessel called Independence from the period of the American War of Independence. My first look at the kit was to note that it seems to be based on the colonial schooner Halifax, but with some modifications to make it seem like a different ship. But, it was clearly based on the Halifax.

The scale of the kit is purported to be 1/35th scale. This is so close to a more convenient 1/32nd scale that I figured I’d just treat it as such. But, I looked at some measurements of known colonial schooners of the period, Hannah (though a reconstruction), Sultana, Halifax, and Sir Edward Hawk. If the Independence were 1/32 scale the actual ship would have been smaller than the Sultana, a ship described in Harold Hahn’s book The Colonial Schooner as “the smallest of them all”. Yet, this model was to carry the same armament as the Halifax: Six carriage guns and 8 swivels. This just didn’t seem right.

So, I decided to reset the scale and built the Independence as if it were at 1/48 scale, or 1/4″ = 1′. At that scale, it would fit in nicely with the other colonial schooners. Intending to replace everything on the model anyway, this actually seems to make things easier, as parts for a 1/4″ scale model are easier to locate.

Looking at the kit itself, I would say that aside from the scale accuracy issue and the historical question, it’s a great kit for the beginning ship modeler. I started test fitting the bulkheads and was really surprised at how perfectly the parts fit together. And they were nicely snug, not too tight, requiring almost no sanding at all. The only problem I ran into was the slight warp in the keel – something I’ll need to deal with during the build.

So, I’ve got about a year to finish the kit, which should give me plenty of time to work on my other projects. I’ve decided to plank the decks with Boxwood, replace the keel pieces with ones cut from Cherry and the plank the bulk of the hull with Cherry veneer. Above the whales, I will probably use some Pau Marfim strips I bought a long time ago and never had occasion to use or maybe I’ll just use more Boxwood.

The cannons in the kit are made from turned brass, but are badly designed. Instead of these, I will purchase some 4-pdr cast pewter cannon barrels and swivel guns, both of which The Lumberyard carries in 1/4″ scale.

Those interested in purchasing the kit may have to search around. The main sites I purchase from don’t seem to have this kit. I’ve sent an email to Ages of Sail to find out if the kit may be out of production. Of course, there is always ebay.