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Elder Jim

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    Eastern Shore, MD, USA
  • Interests
    Sailing & cruising, Ship modeling, Photography

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  1. Elder Jim

    Frigate L'Hermione by A/L 1:89

    Messis, Looks great and very nearly done ! She was sailing around the Eastern Shore of Maryland last summer; were you able to see her at any of her Ports of Call? I was in Annapolis when she happened to be there so stopped to have a look, but the crowds were so thick that I opted not to go aboard. The thing that struck me the most was the myriad of colors
  2. Elder Jim

    Victorian Garden Pond Models

    Years ago, and long before R/C, I remember seeing Pond Models being sailed on weekends in local ponds; I was just a kid at the time and living in the outskirts of New York City. There used to be a group in Marblehead, MA that had frequent regattas/demonstrations, but no longer living in the New England area, I don't know if the club still exists. I suspect there are still a few around, but those hobbyists would be pretty ancient by now and the old boats either converted to R/C or become home decorations. The new guys have mostly converted to Radio Control. In today's society and the younger people being often vandelizing stuff just for the heck of it, I can't imagine someone putting in years of toil making the model and leaving it out, unprotected at night.
  3. Philo426 Sorry for my delay in answering, but I have had a problem (now fixed) signing into the MSW site. I am not an expert on the Constitution, but have been aboard her several times. The attached photos may help answer your question. The older(first) photo of USS Constitution is from a postcard with a date of 1931 taken at the Boston Navy Yard; I do not know if the 1931 date is the date the card was purchased or printed. Compared to the later (third) photo my wife took in July 1997 from our boat off Marblehead, MA when she sailed under her own power not tethered to another ship as she generally is for the 'semi-annual "turnaround" in Boston Harbor. That voyage was the first time she had "free sailed' in 100 years. You will notice the big difference in the length of the bowsprit; some newer repair must have shortened it. I believe there have been at least three; I believe the first was done in the 1920's. There was also a very extensive restoration completed in the 1990's and there was some additional work done a few years ago. The second photo is an official Dept. of the Navy photo taken that same day. photo my wife took in July 1997 from our boat off Marblehead, MA when she sailed under her own power not tethered to another ship as she generally is for the 'semi-annual "turnaround" in Boston Harbor. That voyage was the first time she had "free sailed' in 100 years. You will notice the big difference in the length of the bowsprit; some newer repair must have shortened it. I believe there have been at least three; I believe the first was done in the 1920's. There was also a very extensive restoration completed in the 1990's and there was some additional work done a few years ago. The second photo is an official Dept. of the Navy photo taken that same day. If you are still unsure if your painting is a true copy, allowing of course for "artist's license", you might consider sending a photocopy of it to the Naval Museum at the Academy and ask for their opinion. I have found them to be quite helpful when I have had some obscure question that I couldn't find an answer. Elder Jim .
  4. Elder Jim


    The Bluenose society or association has a website promoting its memory, but I don't remember the url. Try googling "Bluenose fishing schooner".
  5. 1. Definitely build a model of something that interests you. 2. Larger is easier to build than smaller, especially for a beginner, and small tools suitable for modeling are not common items in the typical home tool box. 3. If you don't have any sailboat experience, complex rigs are going to be confusing and most model plans are not very helpful with explanations. I'm not familiar with either model, but gunboats and their rigs are relatively simple so either one should be ok. 4. This one is a tip. Don't use super glue for planking; it sets too fast and is too difficult to remove a plank if it sets wrong. I'd suggest something like Elmer's or even better Tightbond's Carpenters glue--the yellowish stuff. Now read #2 again! 5. Don't rush the build; it won't get done much faster and it leads to errors which have to be undone and done over. See if you can find a similar model to what you picked in Model Shipways' offerings; their kits seem to have the best plans and instructions and the plans are in English; that's not always true with foreign models. If you get stuck or don't understand the how or why while building, post your question here. There are a lot of really expert modelers here who will be more than willing to help--just ask. Welcome to ship modeling and good luck with your first
  6. Vintageone,   I saw your request for info on a boat model by the Ferris Model Boat Co posted a couple of days ago, but was traveling and couldn't get back to you then; when I tried to respond the message had apparently been moved or removed.


    Anyway, I can't help with the Ferris Model Co, but my father had a boat very similar to what you described from the early 30's through about 1946.  The boat was called a "Rumson Bay Knockabout"; she was a gaff rigged centerboard sloop, about 22'- 24' long, and rather wide for her length, but she was fast and won his Yacht Club's annual trophy several times.  I was very young at the time so my detail memory is lacking, but if you decide to  build the model, I have several photos of it that I could scan and send to you should you want them.


    Elder Jim




    1. vintageone


      Hi Jim,That is so neat,I would love to see pics. Thanks,Dave

  7. Elder Jim

    how many of you are a..

    Thanks Dave! I was driving myself crazy (short trip these days) trying to think what those four names had in common with any line--Bearing line, Line of position, Course line, Breeches line, Life line, etc. I think the Equator should properly have been called that or at least 0 deg Latitude as it's not really a line but a reference point for a distance from or to. The closest I've ever been to it is probably Curaco in the southern Caribbean.
  8. Elder Jim

    how many of you are a..

    Maybe I'm obtuse, but the question doesn't make sense to me. "Been there" (visited, seen,built the model, etc?), "crossed (what) lines"?
  9. It sure confused me and took some study to identify the bow and stern. Maybe if PT-109 had been painted like this, the commander of the destroyer would have thought twice about running her down.
  10. Elder Jim

    Spotted in a window

    On this side of the pond we think in US$ and according to my rough calculations, 250 Lbs is about US$320; that sounds a bit steep especially with the damage that only a good modeler (and knot tier) would have the knowledge to accomplish. If the shop owner wanted to get it fixed up it would cost him several hours of skilled labor which I guessing would cost him another $2-300 so he's "in the hole" unless he gets really lucky with somebody that walks in the door. It looks like a nice well done model and assuming you have the time and skills to do the work and a place to exhibit it when done, I'd probably offer about 40 lbs, and point out the work needed to repair; you might even embellish it. If he says no, start to walk out. He might just take the offer if he thinks a "live one" is walking away, but don't let yourself get into an auction or you will end up overpaying. Remember you have a time and material project ahead of you it even if, for ourselves, "we work cheap". Good Luck!
  11. Elder Jim

    America's Cup 35!

    I have been following the America's Cup races since the early '50's when, with my father on one of his boats, we I watched the Weatherly practicing in western Long Island Sound near the Stepping Stones Light (now shutdown). I had continued to follow the boats and series until Dennis Conner wrecked the series with his "I know better than anyone else' attitude and defied the intent of the Deed of Gift when he raced the cat against the large Kiwi sloop and claimed it was a "fair" contest. From that point the cats took over, and most sailors of traditional sailboats (monohulls) lost interest. The cat type boats have no relationship to what they have always sailed. The judge presiding over the later lawsuit seems to have decided the case on the basis of what was good for San Diego, not the intent of the Deed of Gift or it's traditions. It was Dennis and his syndicate's "win at any cost &to hell with sportsmanship" attitude that started the Cup Races on their down hill spiral. I will admit that they needed a better racing boat than the 12 meters, and the AC class actually would have provided that had the marine architects not gone looking for all the loopholes and designed a boat too flimsy to survive ocean racing and broke in half-- fortunately not killing any sailors. Progress like that the Sport of sailboat racing didn't need. Neither did it need the ridiculous costs where the boom costs somewhat north of $500,000 and the resultant crass commercialism to pay the bills! As one who has been sailing for 60 plus years and loves the sport and activity--racing, cruising or day-sailing, and I've done them all, I have no intention of following this most recent series. The race, all of you who are old enough will remember, used to be a National Sport and the hulls, equipment, and sailors all had to come from the challenging country. Unfortunately that has passed too, further lessening the interest. If they go back to monohulls and I live long enough, I may rekindle my interest in the Cup Series; until then I'll enjoy mono-hulls with the rest of my brethren sailing traditional boats with no regrets what-so-ever!
  12. Elder Jim

    Great Video

    I enjoyed reading the book and the movie; it's been years since I read the book, and as I recall it wasn't really an easy read; O'Brian tried to mimic a lot of the terms and speech by sailors of the day, and I some understanding got lost. Back in the day a stern chase became known as an almost helpless effort if you were chasing a similar ship, unless the chased vessel had a more fouled bottom or a fluky wind becalmed them. They certainly would have used a full sail plan to chase down another vessel, but when they got withing 'bow chaser range' they would reduce sail to the battle rig which varied somewhat with wind conditions. Remember, especially back then maneuverability in battle was a plus, and square rigged ships aren't very maneuverable under even good conditions. They weren't lobbing shells from ten plus miles away, and a full sail plan required too many men aloft for changes and took too long. Take a close look at the rig on the Constitution and you will notice that there is very little support of the masts from forestays. As a result they seldom tacked across a strong wind for fear of losing a mast--not a good think to have happen in battle; they had to jibe around. That was a big advantage to the Privateers in the War of 1812 because many of them were fast fore-and aft sloop or schooner rigs that only flew a square fore topsail when running on a broad reach or downwind.
  13. I too enjoy planking the hull, but I haven't stirred up enough nerve to try a Lapstrake ("clinker built"--old NJ term). Tying the ratlines is probably my least favorite part--too monotonous, but once they are finished, I enjoy seeing them done and hearing people ask "did you really tie all those knots?" . A now deceased friend and ship modeler also did a Bluenose years age, and I commented to him how neat his ratlines were. He told me to use very light gauge copper wire and just take one wrap around the middle stays, and ay the outside stays just make a tight 180 degree turn then cut the wire with just enough extra length to make a tight pinch on the stay--neat, fast and not nearly as frustrating.
  14. Elder Jim

    Great Video

    Interesting video to watch, but those who have an interest in the ships in period will notice several problems with it's accuracy. Master and Commander was a great movie, but they didn't worry themselves with historical realityy. The ship they used was the HMS Surprise but reworked for the film, and neither ship would be have that much canvas up in a battle, it's just too much to work. Typically they would shorten sail to what was called a battle rig--usually about five lower sails total, including a couple of staysails, the spanker and perhaps two lower lower top square sails. The top masts would also be taken down to (hopefully) save them for damage, and the risk to the crew on deck from falling spars. This is a Navy photo of the USS Constitution in "battle rig" when she sailed off Marblehead, MA on July 21, 1997, but the top masts have not been lowered; she wasn't in danger of any incoming shot. We were one of those sailboats off her starboard side; there were literally thousands of smaller boats out watching her that day--the first time she had sailed under her own power, with no assist lines from a tug, in 100 years.
  15. My builds are mostly worked when our full size cruising sailboat is "on the hard" for the winter season. When I just completed a model, my first feeling is "whew, that's finally done!". The finish is generally late in the afternoon because I have probably left just a few finish-ups for the next day, so my next step is to box up all the modeling tools and clean up the work table that has probably looked like the after effects of a flash bang grenade, and show my enduring wife of 54 years the finished project, get and appreciate "that looks really nice" from her, and place the model in it's predetermined space. Step two is to sit down with an afternoon's ration (maybe two) of rum and think of the the build, it's problems but more of the hard and dangerous life the real sailors of the vessel had 100+ years ago. The thoughts of the next one won't start until our "real" sail boat gets hauled for the next winter.

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