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David Lester

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About David Lester

  • Birthday 10/01/1952

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  • Location
    Cobourg, Ontario
  • Interests
    reading, woodworking, architecture

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327 profile views
  1. Damaged Model

    Hi Dave, I'm really looking forward to working on this project. Its history means quite a bit to me. It was made by the father of one of my best friends and he used to show and explain his many ship models to me when I visited their house as a kid. It's really what got me interested in the first place, although the bug lay dormant in me for many years. My friend tells me that this particular model was his dad's first model and he remembered that it "came in a box" whereas all of his subsequent models were scratch built. This one has to be over 50 years old. I think it's important to limit repairs to only those necessary and not make gratuitous changes or "improvements" which will detract from the integrity of the model. The challenge will be to identify the fine line separating the two and stay on the right side of it. Again, thanks all for input and advice. David
  2. Damaged Model

    Thanks for all the input everyone. Russ, I think that your suggestion that this is an American topsail schooner is dead-on. I've since searched American topsail schooners and all the pictures I could find, especially of the specific rigging, confirm it. Your suggestion about Marine Model Co and AJ Fisher. was also quite helpful. I now believe that what I have is Marine Model's 'Virginia Privateer' kit #1083. There's very little information about Marine Models out there, but I did find where someone is offering on ebay a partially built vintage Virginia privateer and it is almost certainly the same model as I have. So, I'm very happy to now be armed with this information and know that I will be able to find the resources I need to restore the rigging more-or-less correctly. Thanks again, David
  3. Damaged Model

    Thanks for the input guys! I'll do some more checking out on-line with your comments in mind. I notice that the bowsprit is square - is that an indication of anything? I cleaned some of the dust from the deck and took a good look at it. It isn't planked; it's a solid surface and he's very nicely painted or drawn the caulking lines on. I think it's going to look great. There are no ratlines - do you thing that's intentional, or simply unfinished? Thanks again, David
  4. Damaged Model

    Hi All, In my Rattlesnake Revisited post I referred to a model that I was given on the weekend that is in a sorry state of repair. I don't know what ship this is, or even if it's a specific ship or just a generic representation. This model would be about 50-60 years old and appears to me to be scratch built. It has a sold hull. My limited knowledge would suggest to me that it's a brigantine and perhaps an American privateer, but I may be wrong. It has either 14 guns or 16 if you count the two stern ports. Does anyone have any thoughts on what this might be. Some pictures below, dust and all. Many thanks in advance for any input.
  5. Rattlesnake Revisited

    Thanks Mark, That sounds quite plausible to me. David
  6. Rattlesnake Revisited

    Good Morning All, My first exposure to model ships came when I was a kid, maybe 10 years old. My best friend's father built them and I was mesmerized by them whenever I went to his house. They lived in a large old mansion with a fireplace in every room and a ship model on every mantelpiece. His dad knew I was interested in models (plastic cars and planes,) so he would show me his work space and tools and supplies. I know he told me the names of all of the ships he had modeled, but I didn't remember any of them except one - the Rattlesnake - because what kid could forget an intriguing ship's name like that. Decades later when I started modeling ships myself, I decided I had to build the Rattlesnake as a kind of tribute, which I am currently doing. This past weekend I had the opportunity to re-connect with my old friend who has just returned to Canada after many years of living and working abroad. He had retrieved his belongings out of storage, set up his new house and when I visited, I could hardly believe my eyes. He still has his long-deceased dad's Rattlesnake (and one other model which I'll talk about in a separate post.) I always imagined all the models to be long gone, but apparently all of them have survived; his siblings have the others. Here are some pictures of it. The quality of the pictures isn't very good, as the room was quite dark, I only had my cell phone with me and I had trouble with glare on the glass case, but I think you can see it well enough. The last time I saw this model was over 50 years ago. I was pretty excited to see it again. I know he built many of his models from scratch but I'm not sure about this one. Many of the details are very similar to my Mamoli version. While his stern painting isn’t as fine as it might be, the rest of the workmanship looks pretty good to me, especially the rigging. I was interested in the flag he placed on it, which I believe to be the British White Ensign or St. George's Ensign. I understand that the Rattlesnake was an American privateer, was captured by the British and introduced into their fleet as the Cormorant. It seems a bit odd to me that he's showing it with a British flag and still bearing the name Rattlesnake. I don't know enough about naval history to know how these things transpired. That ensign would never have been flown by an American ship, would it? Was it the practice for an opposing navy to immediately raise their flag on a captured ship? Is this a legitimate way to have modeled this ship? or was he just taking artistic license? I'm kind of curious about that. I'm also curious about the blue colour of the bulwarks. I have never seen them painted blue before. Again, is there some legitimacy to this or is it more likely that he just happened to have some blue paint kicking around? Does anyone have any thoughts? Anyway, that's my Rattlesnake story. My friend gave me the other model that he had. Unlike the Rattlesnake, this one is in very poor condition and he's hoping I can restore it and it's mine to keep! Neither of us knows what ship it is. I'll post pictures of it separately to try to get some input from some of you, but I'd like to do a little research on my own first, to see if I can narrow it down a bit. In any case I'm pretty pleased to own it regardless of what it is or what condition it's in. David
  7. Seen any strange signs lately?

    An artist had some fun with these one-way traffic signs I saw in Florence
  8. Split Brass Ring Frustrations

    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, and so quickly! I've ordered a pair of those "jumpring pliers" from Fire Mountain that you suggested Kurt. I have ordered copper foil from them in the past and was going to need more for my next project anyway, so killed two birds with one stone and ordered both. So, now we'll see how I make out with the soldering. Thanks again, David
  9. I'm looking ahead on my rigging plans for my Rattlesnake and notice quite a few instances where lines are attached to small brass rings. In the past, I've always had a difficult time with these rings. It seems that no matter how hard I try to close the ring, the line always manages to find the gap and the ring comes free. Is soldering an option for these small rings when there's a line running through it? Are there specialty pliers that will crimp them tighter than ordinary pliers? What do others do keep these pesky things in their place? Thanks, David
  10. Visit to UK and resulting question

    Thank you!
  11. Visit to UK and resulting question

    Just noticed a mistake in my previous post. First picture is Victory, second picture is Golden Hind. D
  12. Hello All, My wife Nancy and I have just returned home to Canada from a trip to the UK. It was a wonderful trip and it's a bit overwhelming that there are so many spectacular things to see and do. Nevertheless I did manage to sneak in a few ship visits. In Edinburgh we toured the Royal Yacht Britannia, in London the Golden Hind replica and the Cutty Sark and we had a quick day trip to Portsmouth to see the Victory. I would love to have seen much more of the historic dockyards, but our time was quite limited so in addition to the Victory we only saw through the Mary Rose museum. Apart from the amazing things that it contains, I have to mention that this is one of the most beautiful museums I have ever seen and the skill with which the artifacts are displayed is nothing short of amazing. I was aware of the new colours for the Victory and was interested in seeing them. I knew most of the discussion concerned the new sort of peachy yellow which is drastically different from the previous clear bold yellow and the new red which is considerably bolder and more orange than the previous red, so these colours didn't surprise me. But what did surprise me was the new black. It really isn't black at all. The guide told me that they call it charcoal, but to my eye it's more of a very dark brown. The entire hull as well as many of the details on the deck are painted this colour. The third picture down shows it fairly well. So here's a what is probably a dumb question. On the Golden Hind replica I saw a fixture on the deck that I have not come across yet in my limited experience. I've included a picture of it - first picture below. It's the V-shaped fixture attached to the bulwarks. There was a costumed "guide" on the ship who couldn't answer my question. While I'm sure that this replica is reasonably accurate, it does tend to feel more like a novelty than a serious display in the same way that the others are. Then when I was on board the Victory I saw something similar on its bulwarks - 2nd picture below and am wondering if it is a more modern version of the fixture on the Golden Hind, and how they would have been used. Many thanks in advance for any input. David