Thursday, August 10, 2017

What Is My Time Worth, Part 2: Fitting and Filing

Before doing any painting, I think it's necessary to fit everything together and see if it works, or more likely, does not.  Mast holes in the hull might need to be drilled out ever so slightly, or the masts might need to have the bottom trimmed so that they will fit securely and the fighting tops will be in the right positions to each other.
The fighting tops on this diagram of Constitution are circled in black.  Note that they are at different
heights to each other.
Along with drilling out the mast holes ever so slightly, I decided to grind a little of the hull down at the waterline.  For whatever reason, this model has the gunports sitting about 12 feet above the water, which is just too tall.Fortunately, some coarse grain sandpaper followed by some finer grain took off the small amount I needed quickly enough.  Cleaning and grinding the hull,along with fitting the masts to the hull took 1 hour and 2 minutes total.

I don't normally glue sails to the masts at this point, preferring to wait until after the hull is painted.  For this model though, I had to drill a hole for the bowsprit which meant that I needed to make sure that the headsails on the bowsprit would fit correctly against the sails on the foremast.  The best way to do that was to glue the sails to the foremast.  Well, with that done we may as well assemble the whole sail set.  It took about 22 minutes to assemble the masts and sails.  While doing that, I managed to break the headsails off of the bowsprit.  I have figured out how to fix this using a piece of wire, so I will make sure and show some pictures of that at the appropriate time.

So, where are we now?  I've spent 1 hour and 24 minutes on this frigate, and not a single lick of paint has been applied.  The next entry in this series will cover painting the hull.  As a reminder, to buy this frigate already assembled, painted and rigged would cost about $86.00.


  1. It's very easy to forget how much time each of these ships takes to prepare.

  2. I was surprised about this, myself . I would have guessed about half the time it actually took. Grinding the waterline down some only took about 12 minutes according to my notes, whereas I would have thought it would take much longer.

  3. Langtons are too massive thick to grind. They all set too high in the water. I usually make the water on my bases deeper for Langtons, and build up the hulls of the other brands to pick the up a bit to match. Funny Brian, I always intentionally separate the head sails from the bowsprit.

  4. My solution was decidedly old-school in this instance. I took a sheet of 60 or 80 grit sandpaper, laid it on the workbench and went to town on the underside of the hull. That way, at least the hull stays level while I'm grinding away the excess. As to the headsails, I don't intentionally mean to separate them, but it sure seems to work out that way a lot of the time.