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David Lester

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About David Lester

  • Birthday 10/01/1952

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

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  1. Good Morning, I've been working away at this and that. There are so many details to be added to this hull, that it's almost paralyzing figuring out what to do next. I've been playing around with some of the deck structures. The "houses" at the stern end and the "head" have to be let into the bulwarks and rail and this is a bit tricky. I knew I had to use templates, but even creating them seemed problematic, so I built the templates up from components with a new piece at each point where the profile changed and taped them together. I then made a decent one piece template. Then I fine tuned the one-piece template. And finally, the piece itself. I used a piece of 1/32" sheet material for the back and then faced it with 1/32" x 1/16" strips. (The blocks in the picture held in place by the clips are just spacers to help me locate the rail.) Here's the powder room ☺️ fitted to the bulwarks (just placed temporarily at this point. Many thanks for looking in, likes etc. David
  2. Hi Yuriy, I bought my styrene strips online from Great Hobbies (www.greathobbies.com). It's a Canadian company based in Prince Edward Island. They have a huge inventory and provide very good service. The glue you need is "liquid cement for plastics." I'm pretty sure the bottle I have is Testors, but other companies make it too. I know there is one from Tamiya for example that will be a good product. I think you want the liquid version rather than the gel. If you want to see the product before you order it, many hobby shops carry the Evergreen line. I'm not familiar with such stores in Toronto although there have to be several, but if you are in the east end, you could always come out to Whitby, to Dailey Hobbies (www.daileyhobbies.com) which has a good selection of Evergreen products and they'll have the cement as well. They don't have online sales, just the retail store, but it's quite a good one. If you are in the west end, it might be easier to go to the Great Hobbies retail store in Mississauga or another option is Credit Valley Railway Company (www.cvrco.ca) which is also located in Mississauga. They have both a retail store and online shopping. They have a large inventory including the Evergreen line and I've had good online service from them too. A fourth option is Hobby and Toy Central (www.hobbyandtoycentral.com) also located in Mississauga. They have a retail store and online shopping and they carry the Evergreen line. I hope that's of some help. David
  3. Good Morning, If you are not opposed to introducing styrene into your model, one way to make the windows is using styrene strips from Evergreen Scale Models which are readily available on-line or in many hobby shops. The strips come in very small sizes, just be sure to buy them small enough. The correct size will be smaller than you guess it to be. I imagine you'd be wanting something in the area of .015" thick by maybe .06" wide for the frames and .03" wide for the mullions. The technique is to draw the window on a piece of paper or card stock and then cover it with double sided tape. Cut the strips to length and place them on the tape. There will be two layers. The first layer would look like this: Coat each joint with the special glue for styrene and let dry thoroughly and don't try to remove it from the tape. Then glue a second layer of styrene stips directly over top of the existing ones, only this time run the lengths in the opposite direction, overlapping the joints so that it looks like this: Let the whole thing dry thoroughly and then carefully lift it from the tape with a knife or razor blade. You will be surprised at how rigid the structure is. You can then paint it whatever colour it needs to be. This only works, of course, if you don't mind using some styrene on your model. I know some people are opposed to it and I have to admit that I really didn't want to use it on my Constitution but decided that for me the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. The styrene gives a very clean result. It's not as nice as working with wood, but for a limited application such as these windows it's not a bad option. That's one thought anyway. David
  4. Richvee - Thanks, I think it's going to work just fine. A question though - what colour does everyone think the rods (thread) should be? The plans say all ochre. On the ship as it stands today, the rods on the base are painted ochre, but the ones on the roof panels are black. I'm tending to leaving all of it black as the contrast makes it stand out a little more, but I think I'll pick up some ochre coloured thread tomorrow and do a test run with it before deciding. Thanks again for comments and likes. David
  5. Hi Gary, Thanks for your comments. I am familiar with John's build log and photos, which I am referring to frequently. I think using the thread for the rods on the skylight is going to work just fine for me. It's not too difficult getting the lines to run even and parallel and I believe the scale is just about right if the plans are correct in suggesting the diameter should be .1mm. It is a bit frustrating knowing that the piece will be largely hidden, but that's often the case with much of the work on these models. Thanks again, David
  6. I've been working a bit on the deck furniture. Here's where I'm at so far. Here are the two companionways, two hatches, cabin and a start on the skylight. Still some painting, touchup and small details to do. Sanding basswood is always most successful when done between coats of paint. The skylight presents quite a challenge. It's very difficult to include all of the detail at this scale. I've made several prototypes, trying different means of making the rods on the windows, including different sizes of brass rod or wire. My biggest problem was getting the holes for the wire or rod to all line up evenly and even the smallest wire seems too big. The plans indicate that the diameter of the rods is just .1 mm which is very small. In the end I think I'm going to go with thread. What I'm showing in the picture is just sewing thread hardened with CA glue. I can glue it in place on top of the framework and then add a 1/32" piece of wood on top. When I apply it to the actual skylight, I think I will use one thread for each of the five rods and wrap it around the entire framework. I'll do something similar for the "roof" pieces, but I just haven't worked out yet how to construct the framework. Each of the three windows on each side should also have a small window frame around it, but I'm undecided as to whether to include it or not. The overall effect might be better if that tiny detail is omitted. I'm not sure yet. Again, thanks for comments and likes. David
  7. Gary - thank you for that advice, it's very welcome. I have been a little worried about this aspect of the build, taking note of how many different details there are to be added to this hull. With the planking finished I've been debating what to do next. Now I think I'll plot out the details on the sides of the hull and as you suggest use the davits as a starting point. Many thanks for other comments and likes, David
  8. Good Morning, I have now finished planking the hull. I hesitated to include this picture, because it looks so bad, but here it is nevertheless. I'm not a very good hull planker and I'm always glad to have that part of the build behind me. This hull is single planked, and there is supposed to be a sharp line along the top edge of the wale, with the planking below the line thicker than the planking above the line. I could not seem to maintain a consistent lip along its length and it completely disappeared at the stem. To solve the problem, I first sanded the area of the wales flush with the upper planking and then applied a second layer of 3/64" walnut that I had left over from a previous kit. I planked down only as far as the point where the copper plating begins (which is quite high on this ship.) I feathered it out and applied filler. It is now well sanded and sealed with some poly. I know it looks awful at this point, but it's actually a smooth, solid and reasonably symmetrical hull with a very nice crisp line along the wales. I think it will look just fine once some black paint and copper plates are added. I know my planking skills would never allow me to build a model with an all natural finish where every plank is on full display like so many of you can do so well, but as long as I stick to paint and/or copper finishes I should be ok. So now, for me, the hard part is over and the fun part begins. David
  9. Good Morning - Just back home after a week away for a family wedding in British Columbia and we even managed to avoid all the smoke! We were in the famous Okanagan Valley which is stunningly beautiful, but I understand that even there the air quality had been poor due to smoke for much of the summer. Nothing but clear sunny skies for us though. Here is an update of my progress just before I left last week. I had been working on the bulwarks. The waterway is fairly easy to bevel and install, but it has an unusual profile at the bow where it meets the ceiling planks. It's not completely clear from the plans how this is achieved, but I think I interpreted it correctly as the ceiling planks ended up blending in just fine. The start of the bow framing. Here is the bow framing complete. It's a bit tricky as it spays outward, but actually easier than I have found on some other models because the laser cut parts fit very well. The bulwarks is planked only at the bow on this ship and this requires spiling which is something I have never done before. You can see the cardboard template I've made. The only way I could manage this was through trial and error until I finally got one that fit the space more or less correctly. The planks up to the top of the template are thicker than the ones above it. The plans indicate to use 3/64" stock for the lower planks and 1/32" stock for the upper planks. I don't have 3/64", so I applied two layers of 1/32" for the bottom and a single layer of 1/32" for the upper planks. I opted to apply each section as one piece and then I will indicate individual planks by scribing them. Here's the template for the upper set. The lower planking blends into the waterway pretty much as I think it's supposed to. The port side framing is in place and you can see where I've quickly drawn on planks at the bow just to get the idea of how it will look. In actuality very little of this shows as the anchor deck covers much of it. I was nevertheless happy to have the opportunity to try my hand at spiling and the fact that it will not be front and centre on the finished model is a bonus! Here the framing is finished and ready for planking. One little area that caused my more trouble than I thought it ought to was the upper rail as it rises at the bow. It takes a very steep rise at about the point where the planking ends. I had a lot trouble making this a smooth transition; I did it over a couple of times because I kept getting a sharp angle at the transition point, but finally I managed it. The next piece that goes on is called the log rail and that plank lays on its edge. As soon as I was able to lay it on the rail without a gap at the transition point I was satisfied. I've just started some upper planking and one little problem has become apparent. The plans call for a certain size stock for the top rail and the kit provided stock was either just under or just over that size (I can't remember the actual dimensions just at the moment.) I opted for the undersized one but should have chosen the oversized one. I spaced the rail carefully on the inside, but as you can see the rail is flush with the outer planning with no lip. Rather than pull the rail off, I've decided to sand it smooth with the planking and then add a 1/32" strip along its outside edge. I think that will work just fine and will make it easy to get a consistent depth of lip. Already I can see that I am going to have a bit of similar trouble with the planksheer, which also protrudes and I expect that I will be sanding it smooth and adding a small strip to it as well. I noticed in John's build log (charleswmorganmodel.com) that he had this problem with the planksheer as well and used that fix. So that's where I'm at right now. I'm spending the day recovering from the effects of air travel (I hate it) and will be soon back in my shop. David
  10. Thanks Chuck, So it is a matter of spiling just as if it was on the outside of the hull. It's something I haven't tried in the past, but I've been working on it this afternoon with some good results. I'll post some pictures soon in my build log. Thanks again for your help. David
  11. Good Morning - I have a question concerning the bulwarks planking on my Charles W. Morgan. The bulwarks are planked only at the bow and it's a blunt end which means a significant curve is needed. That's not problematic in and of itself, but the issue for me is the fact that at the same time the bulwarks slope outwards. I can't seem to get the plank to bend in the required two planes at the same time. If the plank is flush to the deck or the plank below, it won't lay flat against the framing. If it's flat against the framing, it won't rest flush on the one below. I suspect there a technique for this, but I'm not sure what it might be. Is there a kind of "reverse spiling" or something of that nature? Does using the narrowest possible planks help? I know it's actually not too important for this model as most of this planking is hidden beneath the anchor deck, but I'm now really curious to learn if there is a technique that I don't know about that's better than my default setting of using half a bottle of CA glue and then sanding the heck out of it. Any suggestions or input would be much appreciated. Many thanks, David
  12. I just hope that when I'm finished it doesn't resemble William H. Macy as he appears in "Shameless!" Thanks for checking in everyone. While it's still early days, I have to say that I'm very impressed with this kit so far. It's presenting plenty of challenge. I'm working on the planksheer, rails and stanchions and they're quite tricky, but at the same time the design of the kit is so good that it doesn't work against you. It's very satisfying and fun. Also, I can see that the kit provides lots of room for enhancement or upgrading which I hope to do to a certain degree. With so much reference material readily available that shouldn't prove to be a frustrating exercise. David
  13. Hi Mike, Thanks. With that counter I'd make one curved cut first then find I didn't have a straight reference point for the next curve, so I'd redo it, forgetting about yet another curve in another plane. I swear this thing is from the fourth dimension. I've had that protractor for years, but I don't actually use it all that often. I don't think it's especially accurate, (it was quite cheap) but it seems to be just fine for this application. I've been over John's build log many times as well as his photos which are a valuable resource. There are some very minor differences between the photos and the plans, so I'll have to make some decisions when I get a little further along. Thanks for your offer. I may have to call on you to clarify something that is just out of camera range in John's pictures. David
  14. Hello All, Thank you all very much for checking in, comments, likes etc. I have a bit of progress to report. The keel is assembled, bulkheads added, mast slots readied and bow blocks and counter installed. In the past I've been a bit negligent about preparing the slots for the masts at this early stage, but this time I've looked after it and I think it will pay off. I added shims to the slots to hold the masts more or less at the proper angles. It's a lot easier now than trying to measure the angle when the deck is filled with furniture etc. which is my usual m.o. The bow blocks were easy enough to do, but for some reason I had a hard time with the counter. I normally have no trouble reading and understanding the plans when they are showing in two dimensions how something will look in three dimensions, but some reason I couldn't wrap my head around how this one was supposed to look. It took a couple of tries, but I think I now have an acceptable result. The stern blocks are almost finished and ready to add. David
  15. I am now launched on my latest project - the Charles W. Morgan. I though long and hard about what model I would like to build this time and for several reasons settled on this one. I was ready again for a fairly involved build which I think this is going to be, as well as a change of pace. Being a commercial vessel rather than a naval vessel it presents a vastly different set of features, particularly the deck details, and there are no cannons to rig! In addition there are plenty of resources readily available including excellent build logs and many photos on line, and of course it's always possible to visit the actual ship. So, the Charles W. Morgan it is. At the outset, for some reason, my wife could never seem to remember the name of this ship and at one point said, "So, have you settled on the William H. Macy, or whatever the heck it's called?" So, we now tend to refer to it as the William H. Macy! Last night I assembled the keel pieces and today have been dry fitting the bulkheads and I am quite impressed at how well they line up with the rabbet - very little adjustment will be needed. So far, so good. I'll post some pictures as soon as it starts to get a little more interesting. David

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