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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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    MSW Member

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  1. 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
  2. Thank you Don. I have no problem doing another MS kit. They generally have excellent plans and I'm finding the Charles W. Morgan to be no exception. I think the PdeN was an anomaly and not typical. It was discontinued for a reason. David
  3. Again, thanks for comments and likes. Jim, it's going to be the Charles W Morgan. I'll outline my thought process in choosing this kit when I start its build log. David
  4. I had to hold myself back from jumping in with both feet on the Constitution which is a big build. I built one "learning kit" which was the Model Shipways Armed Virginia Sloop, and found it was enough to give me the confidence to tackle the Constitution. I believe the CWM is a pretty big build too, so your idea of getting some experience under your belt first is probably a good one. The Kate Cory should be a good choice to give you the type of experience you need to take on the CWM. David
  5. Thank you everyone for your comments and "likes." They're very much appreciated. I'm now getting my workshop re-organized and ready to go for the next one. Thanks again, David
  6. Hi Dan, Is this where I notify you of my completed build log? I'm a bit out of date. My Rattlesnake, Prince de Neufchatel and Virginia Privateer are all now finished. Many thanks for your help. David
  7. Well, I'm calling this model finished today. The last remaining items were rope coils and paint touch-up. I'm never really very happy with my rope coils, but I'm not sure I can get them any better than this. As I mentioned before, I tried the Tom Lauria method, and while it worked well enough, I found I was more comfortable if I reverted back to the similar, but slightly different method outlined by J Brent in his YouTube video. So, I have some thoughts on this model. I believe that the Prince de Neufchatel was an extraordinarily beautiful ship, and that was largely the reason I wanted to build this model. I was also in the mood for relatively simply and not too taxing a build, which I though this would be. I'm happy enough with the result, but I found it to be a very frustrating model to build and not my favourite by a long shot. The design flaws of the kit and really very poor plans presented some challenges that I didn't anticipate and took some of the pleasure away for me. I'm used to sketchy MS instructions, but they usually have excellent detailed plans, which makes it easy enough to figure out what to do. But not in this case and I had to resort to a lot of (sometimes unsuccessful) guesswork. Not helping the situation was the lack of consistent reference material for this ship. I managed to locate pictures of three different versions, apart from the MS version, but they all differed so greatly that they might as well have been of different ships. I know some other builders are concerned about the inaccurate gun carriages on this model, and I agree that the kit supplied ones seem too big, but I chose to go with them anyway as my motivation on this one was waning. I'm now getting ready to start my next build which will be the Charles W. Morgan and I'm hoping for a much more satisfying experience. It looks like a challenge, but the plans appear to be excellent and there is plenty of reference material available. Many thanks for comments, likes, etc. David
  8. Almost finished! Over the weekend, I completed the running rigging. Now I have three more things to do - the anchors, the rope coils for the belaying pins and finally my "punch list" which is a number of minor repairs, paint touch-ups and other little tweaks. I've trying different ways to make the rope coils, but this time around I'm going to follow the method outlined by Tom Lauria in his Youtube video. Of course, success really just comes down to getting the coil's length and the length of the loop at the top right and that's dependent on me regardless of the method I use to make them, so I'm sure I'll find this as frustrating an exercise this time as I have in the past. But Tom's method looks promising, so I'll looking forward to giving it a go. Thanks for the "reactions." David
  9. Hi Mysticfr, The whale boats are mini kits in themselves. While I haven't started my CWM yet, I did make four similar boats for my Constitution. Shaping the exteriors is relatively easy, but it's very hard shaping the interiors; it's difficult to get even the smallest tool into the corners at the bow and stern. I have since read of two techniques that might be helpful and I'm planning to try this time. The first is to leave the bottom piece off until after you've shaped the interiors. The allows much easier access from both top and bottom. And the second idea that I'm interested in trying is a little more drastic. It also involves leaving the bottom off at first, but then running the boat through a band saw lengthwise which would allow very easy access to the interior of each separate side. Once each interior side is shaped, glue the two halves back together, then add the bottom. Once all that is done, then shape the exterior. I'm not sure yet how helpful these techniques will be, but with seven boats to do, there's plenty of room for experimentation! David
  10. Good Morning Mysticfr, The CWM is going to be my next project; I have one waiting on the shelf. While I think it will be a challenging build, there are plenty of good resources available. There are some build logs on this site and one builder has created his own website about his build, which offers lots of good advice and many good photos of the real ship. It's at www.charleswmorganmodel.com. Another builder has developed a mini practicum on how to build the tryworks, which is worth taking a look at. It's available under the resources section of the NRG website. And, of course, the actual ship itself is always available for first hand reference! I'll be starting mine this fall, so I'll be looking forward to following your progress at the same time. David
  11. Hello All, Hope you're all enjoying the summer weather. We are having a very hot and humid spell - my basement is a welcome cool retreat. I've been working away at the rigging although I've been quite negligent about my build log. So here are a couple of update photos. It all looks quite a mess at this stage, as there is a number of unfinished lines, still left long, but I have learned from experience not to cut them off too soon. I have always found the footropes very difficult to do, and I've spent a fair bit of time on them for this model. My first attempt was not very good, so I experimented with using wire. I have some 26g annealed wire and I made a couple of sets with it. While it has some advantages, I still found it very hard to get it to lie smoothly without tiny twists and turns. In the end I went back to using line, but this time I used much more glue on it than I have in the past. I attached a large paper clip to the low point of each loop and applied a lot of glue. When it was dry, I removed the clips, which left sharp low points at the centre of each loop. I used a pair of tweezers and quite firmly grasped the line and ran them back and forth along the length of each loop. That seemed to work the low point out quite well and removed excess glue which showed up in a couple of spots. There are still a couple of tiny spots that look shiny, so I'll touch them up with a dab of flat black paint. The result isn't perfect, but it's the best I've been able to achieve so far. The last photo is of my new Dr. Slick scissors, which are now among my favourite things. I have gone through a couple of sets of cheap scissors from a sewing store and wanted something a little better. I found a discussion on this forum about scissors and based on the opinion of several others, I opted for these and I can't recommend them highly enough. They are very sharp and you can cut very close to the knot, but the chief advantage in my opinion is that they cut equally well at their very tip as they do along the length of the blade. which increases control and lessens the chance of cutting the wrong thing. David
  12. Good Morning All - Some progress to report. I've been working on several different fronts simultaneously. The main one has been the boat. It's a tricky little project and I didn't particularly enjoy it, however the result is satisfactory enough. It involves making a build board and in typical PdeN fashion, the instructions are not only vague, they are actually incorrect. I'm thankful to a couple of others' comments, who learned the hard way. The resulting boat is a pretty flimsy structure, with 1/32" planking over 1/16" square "frames." I chose to double plank the hull, which was a good thing to do and improved the result considerably. The second thing I've been doing is adding the jackstays and studding sail booms to the yards. On my Constitution build, I used plastic strips to simulate the iron bands. I found it difficult to do and I wasn't particularly pleased with the result. This time, I soldered brass strips and I'm quite happy with the outcome. And I've started work on the standing rigging. I have the bowsprit in place and the lower fore and main masts and have just started on the lower shrouds. That's going to be it for a little while. On the weekend we're heading to the UK for two weeks. Sadly, there are no ships on the itinerary this time, but last time we toured five, so I guess I can't complain. Again, thank you for comments and "likes." David
  13. David Lester

    Constitution by jfinan - BlueJacket

    Hi Jim, I'm really pleased you're doing a build log for this model and I'll be following along with great interest. David
  14. Thanks Jim, I like the green too. I used the model at the Smithsonian as inspiration. Here's a picture of it. I would have loved to put in that second narrow stripe of yellow, but I knew that getting such a narrow stripe dead straight and even would be for me a "that way madness lies" scenario, so I left it out. David
  15. Good Morning All, Some progress to report - I've been finishing up details on the hull and deck. I've finished rigging the gun carriages and added most of the deck furniture and bowsprit. I've attached the rudder. Some of the chainplates are finished. So far I've only attached the ones that secure the lower shrouds. I placed the lower masts on the model and ran a line from the mast tops to the deadeyes in an effort to get the chainplates to line up accordingly. There are a few deadeyes that attach to stays which originate from a higher points on the masts, so I'm going to leave those ones until I have the masts in place. I'm in the process of adding the gunport lids. I'm running a line from the lid, through a hole in the hull and then attaching it to a cleat in the bulwarks. I saw this detail in the Reed book on modeling this ship. I believe only the anchors are left before beginning on the masts and spars. Oh, I almost forgot - the boat. It looks like a real challenge to get a good result. If I'm happy with my result, I'll add the boat, but if I'm not able to do a decent job on it, I'll just leave it off. Thanks again for comments and likes. David

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