Well predictably I still haven’t decided on the final finish of the cockpit components. The various parts are in a mixture of styles at the moment. I’ll have to get off the fence soon though as the assembly of the cockpit will soon be delaying the overall build.
Instead I’ve concentrated on finishing the decks off so that the sanding dust doesn’t contaminate the finished cockpit sections. I’ve also been developing a few new techniques to create items for the model that I simply haven’t been able to find for sale either at all, or at reasonable prices.
This model isn’t being built as an exact replica of the Miss Severn racer. Rather, that is being used as the basis of a notional boat which captures the style of the era, but also incorporates other features and finishes. One of the key ones concerns the deck.
Miss Severn has an all wood deck, but without any contrasting caulking. This model is being built with caulking. The method used is the same as that used for the Chris Craft model covered elsewhere on this blog. However, the mahogany has again been replaced with pear wood because of the superior grain.
Construction started with installing the covering boards at the outer edges followed by the central king plank.
Here’s a picture of them and the first lines of caulking. The sketched lines on the balsa show how the planking and caulking will be laid out.
Because of the acute angle that the outboard caulking lines meet the covering boards it was critical that the spacings either side of the king plank were even. A small deviation between one side and the other laterally would’ve moved the intersection fore of aft considerably and resulted in an uneven pattern on the boat.
So it was fit-measure-test and repeat, until port and starboard matched.
Incidentally, I also decided to make new engine hatches out of pear wood as I felt the kit’s balsa was a bit unrefined for a static display model. In the picture the frames have been covered with pear veneer so that when complete the caulking pattern is invisible from beneath.
Almost completed. I was left with a plank and a half gap at the outer edge.
I wasn’t sure whether to fill it in one or 1 and a half piece. In the end I went with the latter which looks right. I also covered the kit’s engine bay frames with pear veneer and constructed some stops for the hatches from pear sheet.
The rear of the boat was finished in a similar manner to the fore deck.
Then commenced the sanding phase…
I dislike the sanding intensely to be honest. I’m unable to use power tools because of the noise, and even then the operation is too loud really, for my delicate ears. The whole operation doesn’t do me any good, but we got there in the end.
The transom is the only part of the hull which needs to be covered. I’ve steam bent the piece and just need to get on with gluing it on place. Incidentally, our Dualit Classic kettle is just the right diameter for the forming operation, and when filled with boiling water makes an excellent heated former. Surprise your significant other with one as a present.
Next up: making the engine hatch hinges.