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Amateur building Atlas Editions Vasa Options
Gandale
#21 Posted : 04 June 2018 18:10:53

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Any novice builder who decides to build a plank on frame model ship is asking for problems if they decide not to use the proper tools for the task. How to get the best out of the tools being used also has to be learned in order to achieve optimum results. Improvisation can be good but this tends to be done by the more experienced of ship builders who have already experienced some of the pitfalls. Plank bending and shaping is an art in itself that must be learned and the best way I find is to soak the strips for 20 mins, then use an electric plank bender to achieve the required profile. The instructions also show another method of bending planks using an empty can and a tea light.

The second layer of planking is only 0.5mm thick, therefore any dips or bulges on the hull will show unless the first layer is perfectly smooth and is why the use of filler and sanding is required. Obtaining a smooth hull is essential should you wish to achieve the best overall finish.

Carrying out modifications to a build by any novice is also a recipe for disaster and not to be undertaken lightly, unless the builder is absolutely sure of the steps to take to achieve their aim. There are many builds that have fallen by the wayside simply because modifications were started and turned out to cause further problems down the line.

As for your observation on the stern, there isn’t a kit out there on the market that is 100% accurate in every detail, there will always be discrepancies whether it be due to the manufacturing process or simply for the ease of assembly. Fred Hocker has provided all the current info to date about the ship for our model and I, as the Official builder, have yet to experience any difficulties or problems with the build. In fact, quite the contrary, by following the instructions as set out and adhering to the recommendations provided, the build has been going together quite beautifully. The end result will be the most accurate kit on the market for this ship.

Perhaps it would help you if you were to hold off on your build until the Official build reaches the point in the build you are at. That way you should be able to follow on with the Official build and at the same time avoid some of the pitfalls you may encounter.

Regards

Alan
Per Ca
#22 Posted : 04 June 2018 18:19:58

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Hi Andy and Arek
Yes, looking back maybe I could have saved some frustration using a better tool. But believe it or not, I managed to get to the end! So I know more when I start a new build (if I am not dead before the Vasa is finished).
Anyway, I had some objections to the model and the build. But not real "problems", only the struggle because due to lack of experience. An experience I am sure with many Vasa builders. That is because of how it was sold in Sweden, many buyers believed the "learn as you build" mantra from the advertisements. So I am not the only one.

My complaint about not knowing about the second layer, which is introduced in stage 49, is that it is not super important to make a perfect first layer. Of course it should be smooth and without errrors, but to suggest making your own putty from from sanding dust, as is done in stage 47, is overkill. Any standard putty will do.

My diary will show the thoughts I had during the build. As my headline says: Amateur building Vasa. Amateur!
I do look at the Official Build Diary, the problem is that a pro is doing the job. I doubt he will recognise the difficulties and traps along the way.
PC
Per Ca
#23 Posted : 04 June 2018 18:31:05

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Hi Gandale
I agree with you totally that making major modifications on a model is not for the novice. However, I am not a novice at woodwork, nor I am I unexperienced when it comes to interprete information on drawings and pictures. So I feel my modifications are very minor.

Your suggestion to stop at package 4 (30 to 41) is motivated. But I am working on stage 104....
The diary notes I have published so far come my own build diary. I suddenly had the idea that others may have use for the amateur look on things.
On the positive side: Much more fun now that the hull is finished. Or semi-finished, I will correct errors that I made in the beginning.

PC
Martyn Ingram
#24 Posted : 04 June 2018 18:34:44

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Hi Per Ca I still class myself as an amateur as every ship is different and the construction differs slightly but the basic planking must be as smooth as possible as the thin outer planks will show everything. Plus if this is your first time build any deviation from the instructions is a recipe for disaster. As you say any filler that is ok to use on wood is ok to use.

Martyn
Building Deag Vasa
Completed. Soliei Royal . Sovereign of the Seas . Virginia . Scotland . San Felipe . Corel vasa , Santisima Trinadad X section
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When sailors have good wine, They think themselves in heaven for the time. John Baltharpe
Gandale
#25 Posted : 04 June 2018 18:38:08

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Per Ca wrote:

I do look at the Official Build Diary, the problem is that a pro is doing the job. I doubt he will recognise the difficulties and traps along the way.
PC


Am afraid I have to correct you there Per. I am certainly not a pro, I'm simply a modeller who has some experience of building these kind of ships and am very much aware of the difficulties and traps builders may encounter along the way. Avoiding these difficulties and traps is one of the reasons why Official builds are created, to help all builders achieve high quality builds.

Regards...

Alan
Per Ca
#26 Posted : 04 June 2018 18:55:56

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Some comments about stage 31-40:
Since I am warmed up, so to speak, by the info from more experienced builders, I may as well go on with my thoughts:
As I said before, the first layer on the hull goes on during all the above stages. A struggle, that is true, but also fun to see the ship being more and more easy to recognize. It now looks like the real one surfacing the water in 1961.
Although I found an acceptable method to bend the wood strips, I sometimes wished I had a second ship to improve on.

So what else happened in stage 31-40? Well, there were more figures/sculptures, but as I mentioned before I save them to make the paintwork on a whole bunch. So right now, just primer.
In stage 38 there are some very fragile door arches (73) and also in stage 40 (76). Following the instructions they are fitted on the ship. At least for me it was a great mistake. While handling the model they all got broken. Since they are not really needed before stage 100, you must protect them through 60 stages! Or, which is better, don't fit them until they are needed.
As I said, mine were crushed. I made new ones in solder tin (preferrably without soldering liquid) using the empty spaces in the frets as molds. Worked perfectly.

Otherwise these stages had some decking sheets, no problems there.

Next, stage 41-50 and the "fun" of making over sixty gun ports.
PC
Per Ca
#27 Posted : 04 June 2018 19:12:46

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Hi again Gandale,
Anyone with seven medals is a pro to me :-)
I have read your diary, but as I mentioned these stages were done by me long ago (before I realized that this forum existed. Much good can be said about Editions Atlas but they did not offer build advice.

I hope you can accept that I behave a little odd sometimes. I take advice, but I also have strong opinions so arguments must be good.
I wish I could find better info about i.e. colours. You talk about Fred Hocker, but so far I can't find that he has published anything concrete on the subject. Still looking.

I agree that this is a high quality kit. The parts fits very good, the quality of the lasercut pieces are excellent.

I plan to publish my diary about stage 41-50, and then take a break. I will await your diary for package 5 with great interest, especially what you think about the look of the lower stern (you may have noted that I feel the planking of the rear should be inside the side planking). Or do you build exactly as instructed?

Best regards
Per
Martyn Ingram
#28 Posted : 04 June 2018 19:14:59

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BigGrin Some pictures of your build would be nice so we can see your progress as I would love to see your modifications Cool
Martyn
Building Deag Vasa
Completed. Soliei Royal . Sovereign of the Seas . Virginia . Scotland . San Felipe . Corel vasa , Santisima Trinadad X section
Next Build Drago ?
When sailors have good wine, They think themselves in heaven for the time. John Baltharpe
Per Ca
#29 Posted : 04 June 2018 19:34:56

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Hi Martyn
Photos? Yes, but a couple of problems:
1. I did not take any photos at the beginning of the build. However, I plan to make some pictures of what I got so far. But that takes us to problem 2:
2. I can't make the "attach a file" function work. Have checked the instructions here. I have other files, not pictures of the model, that I wanted to add but no luck. No reaction when clicking the box. Could be that it doesn't work with the Chrome browser, it looks odd even looking at the pictures from others here. Have also tried the Edge browser, but no better result.

Anyway, I will sort it out.

Regards
Per
magpie1832
#30 Posted : 04 June 2018 20:58:24

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When you click the attach files square you then have to click post. It will then ask you which files to upload. Chose your file then click upload. Once you've done that you click back. That's it all posted.

Also if you look at one of your posts in the top right of it, it will say attach. Click that and it will open up a page to upload. Chose your file the click upload. Once done click the back button.

Chris
On the Bench

Tamiya 1/350 King George V with Eduard set and wooden deck.

https://forum.model-space.co.uk/...aspx?g=posts&t=31992
Gandale
#31 Posted : 04 June 2018 22:48:57

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Per Ca wrote:

I plan to publish my diary about stage 41-50, and then take a break. I will await your diary for package 5 with great interest, especially what you think about the look of the lower stern (you may have noted that I feel the planking of the rear should be inside the side planking). Or do you build exactly as instructed?



All Official builds are built as per instructions so no modifications to the stern will be made....

Regards

Alan
Per Ca
#32 Posted : 05 June 2018 09:03:54

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A short reply to Gandale.
Yes, I thought that would be the case, and so it should be. Any modifications should be up to the builder. And I guess you will not point out any errors either.

But you do have made one modification, the gun carriages are black, not red....

With regards
Per
Gandale
#33 Posted : 05 June 2018 09:27:00

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Hi Per, the purpose of the Official build is to build as per the instructions and without modifications to the structure of the build. Neither will it point out differences between the kit and the actual ship. Hence, no modifications will be made to the structure of the build without referral to the manufacturer.

As for the colour of the gun carriages, this item was covered in this topic

https://forum.model-spac...spx?g=posts&t=26233

This information recently came to light and was applied to the Official build. The colour change does not have any effect on the build itself.

Regards

Alan
Per Ca
#34 Posted : 05 June 2018 10:59:37

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Stage 41 to 50:
The first hull layer is now almost finished, only the a little bit of the top front and rear area and the stern area remains. Step 41 have some paper templates for marking the gun ports (portholes). A clever way to do the job, but it need some careful positioning. Anyway, no hard labour.
In stage 42 some parts for the stem and keel are included, as well as 0.5 mm strips for decking. The hull sides are completed and decking is going on. A straightforward job.
When I reach stage 43 it becomes interesting. The cladding of the stern begins. But what the heck? The stips are shown horisontal, not diagonal as I am very aware they should be! This will be corrected by the second hull layer (of which I knew nothing at the time). Anyway, I make some adjustments to the supports for the strips and fit them diagonally. I also make alteration I mentioned earlier, letting the side strips pass the stern strips to make the ends of the side strips visible. It was awkward doing it at this stage, it could have looked better if the stern had been completed before the sides were clad.
In this stage a stern post and some 0.5 strips (for the yet unknown second layer) were included.
Stage 44 comes with another bunch of 0.5 mm strips for the second hull cladding. The build goes on with completing the first layer on the stern. Not very complicated, but a little fiddling is needed.
Stage 45, again with a bunch of 0.5 mm strips for the (still unknown) second hull layer. Except for adjusting the here and there, the main effort was starting to cut out the portholes. It is suggested to make a "gun port tester" to ensure the correct measures of the hole. I wish they had provided a lasercut version intead, there is plenty of room on the frets provided earlier. Anyway, a tester was made. I started cutting out the holes, and found it hard to get the right size since the markings I had made was not as clear as the should be. I had the redo them with a better marker. After the first one, I thought "only 63 to go". It was a tough job, and I can't say that I succeeded in making every hole perfect.
Stage 46, with another bunch of 0.5 strips. Another two portholes plus two round holes at the stern. This stage also deals with fitting the keel combination, after adjusting the slot on the hull for it. Not extremely difficult, but the three parts are connected with very small glueing areas so the thing was a bit delicate. It came apart a little unexpected. After some attempts to fit the whole thing I fitted the keel and stern part (in stage 47) as a unit and then fitted the bow part.
Stage 47 comes with a bunch of 0.5 strips, believi it or not. The main thing here is about sanding the hull to get a smooth and even finish. It also suggests using putty in the gaps. There is a rather odd tip about using sanding dust mixed with white glue to make a putty. No, I didn't go for that, but used ordinary shop bought putty. When I now know about the second hull layer, I think using putty in the smallest of gaps was overkill.
Stage 48 just supplied a cannon C2 with its carriage plus a meta part (crown). But the instruction now reveals the second hull layer, starting at the stern with the diagonal strips. NOW the expaination to the non-diagonal stripes before! But no problems.
Stage 49 and more 0.5 mm strips. The second layer on the stern goes on and finishes. The second layer on the hull starts.
Stage 50, and still more 0.5 mm strips. The second layer on the hull sides goes on from bottom up to the lower gun ports. The strips are easy to work with, especially compared with the 2 mm strips.
Decorations: Some figures and sculptures were of course included in these stages. I will just comment on the crescent frame C28, the crown C29 and the male figure C32. The crescent frame is the one at the top of the stern. Inside it is the male figure (young king) and the crown with one griffon C30 and C31 on each side. I made a dry fit and can't fit them in! Also the crescent has the wrong shape, it should have more upright sides before the round part starts. But I don't know if that have increased the space.
PC
Per Ca
#35 Posted : 05 June 2018 12:34:47

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The above entry will be the last for a while. Or forever, I haven't really decided but my thought was to speak to the beginners. Somehow I doubt they have found this forum. Praying to the choir isn't really my thing.
In a way I would rather discuss my thoughts about the model with Artesania Latina, and hope they would see it as a customer's input, accept some opinions as well as arguing against what they think is wrong.

As I mentioned before, I have done some work on stage 104 but I will take some vacation from the basement workshop to see the sun. Anyway, the instructions about covering the hull will go on for quite a while, And then more than twenty instructions between 50 and 104 are entirely about painting, and many others are partly about painting. So not much building goes on.

Thanks to all that have commented one way or the other.
Regards
Per
Per Ca
#36 Posted : 10 June 2018 14:38:13

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Paint and colours
After a couple of days with +30 degrees C in the shadow, I longed to go back to the coolness of my basement workshop.
I started to look into the painting of the figures/sculptures. The instructions refer to RAL, which is a fairly wellknown, although a little obsolete, colour system. It only contains about 200 colours in the Classic 4-digit system, which makes almost every reference from original to RAL approximate. Another thing is that, although divided in colour ranges, the numbers does not indicate any logical order. For example, RAL 5002 is brighter than RAL 5013 but darker than RAL 5024. That makes it a little difficult to navigate, I think, since you can't expect a "near" number to be "near" in colour.
There are more modern systems, like the Natural Colour System NCS with about ten times available nuances. But one have to stick to what is said, so RAL it is. In my work I used both systems, so I am familiar with the routines.
I am really inta spreadsheets. I register parts, sculptures, where they are in instructions and so on. So naturally I have a spreadsheet for colours used on each item. Up till now I have registered 33 different colours, including RAL, metal and
"flesh", mostly used on 270 metal items.
I notice that nine of these colours are used on only 1-3 items, and hesitate to buy them, since they probably are possible to mix. RAL 1004, 1013, 3005, 3015, 5002, 5011, 5013, 7016 and 9007. Mix or buy, that is the question. There's still a lot of mixing, since many colours are brightened or darkened anyway.
When it comes to paint I tried to find as many Humbrol equivalents as possible, but no great luck. Other brands are not easy to find where I live, so I guess I have to google. Or mix.
A question: have anyone reading this ever used artist's paints (not oil, but maybe acrylic)? In my mind I feel that it would be a better looking on an old ship like this. But will this kind of paint adhere to metal (primed)?
Anyway, all my metal objects are now primed, I have made a first coating of the "flesh" and will continue with colours that are several.
PC

Per Ca
#37 Posted : 12 June 2018 10:59:16

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Even the sun has its spots
This build is made with great precision, all pre-fabricated parts fits perfectly. The strips are almost always correct in size and thickness, and made of very good material.
So apart from some editorial mistakes in the instructions, there is not much to complain about. But there are some irritating mistakes (in my opinion of course, I guess others see things differently. I am open to other views.). Here are some thought so far:
1. The cannons C2 are too short. They are approx. 25 mm long, should have been approx. 44 mm. A difference of more than 40%! However, they seem to have the correct diameter.
(Instruction 2 and more)
Also see comment 9 on "half" cannons C174!
2. The lower stern section should be assembled another way, so that the ends of the hull cladding strips are visible from the rear.
I would suggest that the lower stern section gets its first cladding already at stage 24 when the first hull strips are included, and before stage 25 when the cladding of the hull sides begin. Using the instructions in stage 43, with some adjustments about shaping the outline to fit the hull side cladding which starts in stage 25.
(Instruction 43 and more)
3. Metal part C11 (frame around cherubs) should host the two cherubs C9 and C10 and the C7/C8 shield. A dry fit reveals that C11 is a little too small (or the cherubs too big).
(Instruction 15)
4. The door arches 73 are very fragile, even with very careful removal, and when in place they are very exposed and therefore easy to break. Mine are not there anymore…
So two alternative suggestions:
A) Fit them very much later, when the hull is more complete. Or,
B) make them as metal parts.
This also applies to part 76 (and maybe 78).
(Instruction 38, 40)
5. Part C28 (crescent shaped frame at top of stern) has the wrong shape compared to the original, the "sides" should be more upstraight. A dry fit reveals that this (or maybe the dimension of the griffons) makes it difficult, or impossible, to fit the other C-parts inside it.
(Instruction 47)
6. The instructions say that visible parts of bow keel, stern keel and rudder should be clad with horizontal 0.5 mm strips. These more or less vertical parts are in real life made of vertical timbers or timbers following the curvature. Common sense also says that small vertical timber stubs would not have the necessary strength. So why does the producer suggest the horizontal cladding?
(Instruction 57, 60)
7. The capstan 92 has all "push bars" at the same level, while the original has "push bars" in four levels.
(Instruction 65)
8. About the part 97 (+94, 95,96): The front part of the deck (in front of the parapet) on the model is very different from the original ship. The ship has a straight front aline with the parapet, and in front of that a downwards rounded front wall. The deck area in front of the wall is well visible. In short: straight line at the top, rounded at the bottom.
On the model the deck continues in a crescent curve in front of the parapet, and the front wall is curved to follow the deck. There is almost no deck area in front of the wall. In short: rounded at the top and the bottom.
I am not quite sure how, or if, to make a correction. It is maybe not that visible? But it disturbs me, so I guess that a removal of what I already put there is on the way. I will then replace or re-model the supports and build a new front wall. My main concern is: will the metal door portals fit without too much adjustment?
(Instruction 69 and more)
9. The fifty-two "half" cannons C174 do not seem to have the same caliber (24-pounders) as cannon C2. They are much smaller in diameter, almost like C1.
(Instruction 100 and more)
Maybe these thoughts can be seen as negative, but my only goal is to point at some details that can be fixed if seen as importantant, or left as they are.
I guess Mr. Fred Hocker was not involved in these product decisions, he would hardly have approved....
PC
Tomick
#38 Posted : 12 June 2018 11:23:45
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Per Ca wrote:
I guess Mr. Fred Hocker was not involved in these product decisions, he would hardly have approved....
PC
The model has been designed by Artesania Latina under guidance of the Vasa Museum and 'Frederick Hocker', who since 2004 as Director of Vasa Research, has been responsible for the comprehensive publication of the find. He has provided the most current information of the ship and assisted in the kit design.

Fred has openly commented: "We assisted in the development of this kit, and so it is much more accurate and buildable than the older kits. I can recommend it highly." - approval does not come higher than this!

You are of course entitled to your own observations and opinions which I might add, in many instances are unfounded.

What would be good is that you show your actual build progress, otherwise I am afraid we will have to lock this 'build' diary - we can't accept a build diary without build photos.

Thank you
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