Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog


Building a Ship

As if I don't have enough to do, I decided to build a ship. Realizing that my time is limited, I decided not to build a full size ship and build a model instead. So I got this one.
boat-box.jpg It looked easy enough until I opened the box. Now, when I think model kit, I think of a few sheets of plastic parts that you twist out of the frames and glue together with plastic cement before painting. Total time, a couple of hours.

It took me a couple of hours to read through the manual for this puppy.

My first clue that I'd gotten in too deep (yet again) was looking at the box filled not with parts but strips of woods, bundles of cloth, and several sheets of drawings. There are no parts, folks. As I read through the manual, and saw that I had to build virtually everything, I began to wish I'd stuck with a Revell monster truck kit.

But life is nothing if not a series of challenges, so I spread everything out and got started.

Now guys, here is where being divorced comes in handy. NO longer is the kitchen table reserved forpedestrian duties like eating. It can be used as nature intended, for projects, games and incredibly complex models.

The first step was to cut out the frame pieces and assemble them. Since they go together very similarly to the glass pack moving boxes, and I've moved many times, I felt comfortable with this step.


Next, I had to install the main deck, which is that oval shaped piece of wood shown above. Note carefully the hole in the deck, which are for the masts. They become very important later.

As pretty as the deck is, it isn't realistic enough for this model, so the next step is to apply thin strips of wood to simulate a planked deck.


Notice anything missing? I didn't.

Next, I put on the upper deck and the bulkhead joining it to the main deck.


And the fo'c'sle.


It was about this point that I realized that the mast holes had somehow fallen off the model, and after looking around the floor for the holes, I decided I had to cut some new ones into the carefully laid and sanded strips.

It was painful plunging that sharp knife into the deck (Actually, I kinda enjoyed it, but don't tell anybody) but I did it, and I now have three well placed mast holes.

And two not so well placed.


And that's where the model stands today. The next step is to plank the hull, and then the really tricky detailed work begins.

I have a feeling that I'm going to be giving up caffeine for the next 6 months or so.
Posted by Rich
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That's great, Rich - I remember when I was a kid I bought a Mayflower model that, once I got it out of the box and saw all the rigging and boards I immediately stuck it right back in and stored it in my attic. It may still be there.

I also remember, before I knew anything about the Cutty Sark or the alcohol it's associated with, being adamant that they intended to spell it Cutty SHark, and all the billboards and magazine ads were wrong. I mean, Shark...ocean...duh!!!

Can't wait to see your finished product!

Have you ever tried the big 3-D puzzles?
Posted by Barry  on  01/05  at  09:08 AM

Hey Barry, Yes, I've done a couple of them, one the USS Nimitz, and the other of the London Bridge. I also have a couple of large (5000 and 9000) piece jigsaws to work on, whenever I clear up the tanle space.

I'm just a wild man...
Posted by rich  on  01/05  at  08:45 PM

where did you buy this Kit.I would like to build a model of cutty sark or flying cloud whic is the american version of a clippership
Posted by wayne  on  12/11  at  08:50 PM

The kit is made by Constructo, and I bought it at a Hobby shop in West Knoxville.
Posted by rich  on  12/11  at  11:29 PM

have spent the last 2 months on the constucto kit... am now ready to install the masts and start the rigging process.... amazing process... keep the faith and pictures coming......
Posted by steve t  on  03/04  at  11:15 PM

Since it's been a year and a half, how is the Cutty Sark project going? I've been working on mine for about ten years. I hate it, but MY MOTHER asked me to complete it (her husband died after starting it) for her, for her mantle.
Posted by squeakycyclist  on  07/25  at  09:55 PM

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