Phantom NY Pilot Boat

Phantom NY Pilot Boat – Model Shipways

October 13, 2015

First ship build, first build log, first post…here it goes.

All of my experience has been with static plane models like the Sopwith Camel from Model Airways, and I absolutely prefer working with wood models over plastic.  Given the relatively small number of plane model kits out there, I thought I’d take the dive into ships.  It seems like there are enough ship models out there to keep me busy for years.

Since I have no experience with rigging or planking, I thought I’d start with a kit generally regarded as good for beginners.  My Model Shipways Phantom kit arrive last Friday.  The days leading up to the arrival were spent getting my workspace back in shape (it has been a year since my last plane build), getting some additional tools, etc.

Photo Oct 09, 6 21 20 PM

I’m generally following Chuck Passaro’s excellent practicum, and referring to the kit instructions only as necessary.

The first day was spent checking kit contents, labeling the wood, bagging and tagging all the metal bits (I like to have everything really organized before I start).

Photo Oct 09, 6 22 22 PM

On Saturday I started shaping the bow and stern, with an extended pause for some college football.

Sunday I moved on to shaping the rest of the hull.  All the hull shaping was done with sanding, since I have limited experience carving and was worried I’d take off too much material too fast.  The results were very close to the templates, but not perfect.  The evening was spent installing the sternpost, stem, and keel.  I left some extra length by the rudder – will trim and shape when I get to installing the rudder.

Photo Oct 09, 6 20 25 PM

There’s a little more sanding to do, but I think I’m getting close.


Monday evening was spent working on the deck’s step and cleaning up the stern.  This required some actual carving, which got considerably easier once I realized I had more than just a standard #11 blade in my toolkit.  (Turns out using the right tool makes a huge difference.)  But, more work is needed to clean these areas up before I can move on.

Impressions so far:

So far I’ve got about 7-8 hours in this.  Next steps are to finish cleaning up the deck, the start in on the ‘step’ around the top.