Theresa Marie Model Ship Project
Week 8: Installing the deck (Oct 15-21, 2012)
Up periscope. Rabbits live under our backyard deck, much to our dog Boomer's consternation (he's killed three so far). So I figured now was a good time to buy a super nifty Alex Undercover Spy Scope ($11.99 plus shipping) for future bunny viewing. The lens rotates 360 degrees and the tube expands from 10 to 14 inches, so I'm assuming it may help in seeing underneath the Theresa Marie's deck to work on the hull seam and check for leaks.
Hull scribing. So while I wait for my eBay order to arrive, time to simulate wooden plank lines on the fiberglass hull. I found a twelve year old pack of caramel apple sticks which just happened to be 10mm wide. I pushed this up against the outside lip of the hull and scratched back and forth with a scribing tool from stem to stern. Then I taped another stick next to it and drew the second plank line 20mm down, and so on, for five 10mm lines. Worked pretty well, minus a few rogue scratches and thicker lines here and there.
Bulwark prep. I did some more detailing on the bulwarks, drilling eyebolt holes for the future gun tackle. I'm thinking of being a bit different in the Theresa Marie's painting scheme and paint the inside bulwarks white. I'll probably add an inside gun port lid, white with a black rhombus, for the guns to snug up on (assuming they aren't lashed lengthwise to save deck space). To add a bit more color I painted the inside lining of the gun ports a dark red (Tapestry Wine).I also cut eight sticks of wood to act as bulwark height markers for gluing down the deck, marked off at their different gun port heights. The bulwarks tapper down a bit nearer to the stern so I figure that's a good way to double check without having to put the bulwarks back in place.
Installing the deck. With my periscope newly arrived, the big day came to glue the deck to the hull. I've been waiting for this for a looong time.
Ready, set, go! Marine epoxy applied to the deck support blocks. Deck squeezed in. Masts and keel rods inserted to make sure everything lined up. Tape pulled tight across the tops of the hull. Deck pressed down to the support blocks. Bulwark height markers put in place. More tape pulled tight. Run to bathroom to get drying epoxy off the back of my hand and wedding ring. Arg. Back to wipe off excess epoxy along hull. Check everything. Double check everything. Approving nod. Deck installed.
Everything seemed to line up pretty well except at the stern. Even after pushing the sides in as tight as I dared, there was still (as I expected) a little gap on either side for the last six inches or so. I seem to recall at least one of the other builders mention having the same issue. So some extra epoxy (or something) will be needed to fill in the gap.
Forecastle and poop plans. I'm discovering a big (and fun) part of these builds is spending time planning out what type of modification to do. Since I worked on my Beagle for so long I seem to want to incorporate several of her features into the Theresa Marie, including a more substantial forecastle and poop deck.
After doing some research to ponder the plausibility of having a pair of bow chasers I found a nifty model of the colonial privateer the Oliver Cromwell (http://www.guzmanshipmodels.com/page3.html) which features FOUR bow guns. So I think the plan will be to extend the forecastle deck out to seven inches with a 3/4 inch closed outer rail.
I think the plan for the poop deck will be to also extend it to seven or nine inches (with an overhang) to just in front of the wheel, and actually raise the deck height by 3/4 inch. Having stern windows for a cabin with a four and half foot ceiling seemed a bit daft, so we'll make the Captain's quarters a more comfortable six feet high (but still a stoop for some of the taller 1:20 scale Theresa Maries).
And yes I realize in my first build update I said "The plan is to follow the SC&H specs and not attempt all the modifications that pop into my head." I'm not adding a mizzen mast so there will be at least ONE mod I won't try... must... ignore...mizzen... siren... song...