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    Beach Park, IL and Eastport, ME
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    Retired from career in construction engineering.
    Returning to ship modeling as vehicle for better understanding shipbuilding technology and history.
    Currently researching clippership Grey Feather built in Eastport, ME in 1850. Current builds include rigging Connie started 48 years ago; kit-bash of Baltimore clipper Dapper Tom; scratch build of US Brig Cabot..

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  1. Gary I used a similar methodology when building my solid hull Niagara, but created a jig for each section. Since my solid hull didn’t have any timbers extending above the deck, I had to create my own structure. I then used the same jig to form the ceiling. The details can be seen in my build log.
  2. Srodbro

    Ship paintings

    Was just catching up with your posts and saw the St Clair with the Aurora Borealis. I’ve seen them, and your painting really captures the ethereal nature of the colorful curtains in the sky.
  3. Darrell Great work on the boat. Will the addition of thwarts and stern seats help pull the gunnels back in?
  4. Thanks to both for your kind comments. I now have a much higher respect for those who frequently work with this type figure. Much more difficult than I anticipated to place limbs where you want them and to hold onto such irregular shapes with a forceps while cementing into place. Used a lot of CA de-bonder on my fingers.
  5. Thought I’d update. Found these guys to modify. And I found this guy to be my Tastego harpooneer from Moby Dick. Turned out ok, I think ... not going in any museum, but my Grandaughter likes it.
  6. Hi, Tom Been following your Niagara build with interest, as I am (more or less) scratch building her sister ship, Lawrence. I’ve found you can depend on the advice of Mikiek and 6ohiocav with confidence. On an aside, several times a year we drive through your neck of the woods (White River Junction ... eat at Thyme restaurant) on our trips between Illinois and Maine. Hard to beat that scenery along the Connecticut River valley. Good luck with your build.
  7. Absolutely outstanding planking and construction technique! That settles it ... my next build is going to be at a large enough scale to be able to show the planking detail, hoping that I can do half as good as yours. Really enjoy following your work.
  8. Mike: Maybe the intent of the “really thick” first layer of planking is to permit radical fine tuning of the shape, sort of as a semi-solid hull below you final planking. Just a thought.
  9. I’ve been troubled by the looks of pump handles on my models, as well, trying to reconcile a stubby handle with the need for leverage. Ive often wondered if longer handles might not be removable, like capstan bars. Though, I’ve never seen that detailed.
  10. I was aboard Constitution a couple days ago and noticed the deck plank joint in the pic. Follow the plank joint starting at the toe of the person in the pic. Right at her toe, and again near the bottom right corner of the pic, there is a short “jog” in the joint, right angle, about 2” long. This is on the berth deck. There are similar joints on the gun deck (near the step, right of the white line, right of the sea chest in pic below) I noticed these joints in many planks, mostly within about 10 ft of ship centerline. A pair of adjacent planks may have several of these joints along their length. Do these “castellated” plank joints have a special function?
  11. Darrell: My Lawrence is essentially scratch built based on the Model Shipways Niagara kit plans that I lofted to build a solid hull. I created a build log (in the scratch build forum, under the title “US Brig Niagara — solid hull experiment” ... sorry, don’t know how to make a link to it) and decided to rename my build Lawrence because there is even less historical information about her than Niagara, so I thought I could take more liberties with my model. The only parts from the kit that I have used so far are the horn timbers and the gun castings. I considered starting a log for Lawrence, but my workmanship is clearly at the lowest end of the spectrum of talent exhibited by most of the scratch-build modelers, and don’t want to diminish the quality of that forum. The helm ... I actually think they had a tiller, even though a wheel was used on larger contemporary ships. There is some real mechanical advantage contributed by all that tiller rigging. Thanks for for your compliment ... far too kind.
  12. Darrell: Sorry for hijacking your topic Mike: Certainly, I cannot say that there were differences between the two ships ... most texts I have read say they were identical (which, by the way, I question, since Lawrence was launched two weeks before Niagara) ... so my differences are between what is most typically modeled, and what I (with at least a little support from other authorities or logic) frankly, like. Here are the differences I am modeling: An extra gunport on each side near the bow The wheel instead of tiller No boat davits No royal yards (this, based on the painting below, which is purported to be Lawrence ... even tho it’s dangerous to base much on artwork ) Colors, obviously. I may find more on my next trip to the Museum in Erie, PA, which has a model of Lawrence. Ok, Darrell. I promise no more hijacking.
  13. Darrell: I am building Niagara’s sister Lawrence, admittedly taking liberties with what is typically done by most modelers of these brigs, and was recently faced with the same dilemma as you regarding the space around the capstan, skylights and companionway. I am taking a different approach, capitalizing on differences among the authorities on what the originals looked like. Chapelle, in his History of the American Sailing Navy, Figure 60, (lower plan) appears to show, not a tiller, but a wheel as the helm, which frees up a lot of space in this area. That certainly doesn’t help you at the stage you are in your build (with your beautifully rigged tiller), but might be an alternative for others to consider. Which is the course I am following, and will be adding the aftermost “skylight” as a grate. (Although this approach begs the question of where the compass would have been mounted!). As I’ll soon be starting my rigging, I appreciate your tip on the braces.
  14. I am currently building the US Brig Lawrence and intend to rig her similar to that shown in this painting In the postings and build logs, I have seen examples of furled sails and full sails, but none of sails aback against the mast. I have had some success on another build, using paper sails, some with brass wire bolt ropes, in modeling full sails, and did okay with furled sails, but am troubled about getting the lines of the outlines of the mast and lifts into the backed sail. Any tips about achieving the desired look?
  15. Tom: Rybka, in his book, the Lake Erie Campaign of 1813, refering to Niagara, lists “species used in construction of the hull as red, black and white oak, as well as cherry, chestnut and poplar, with cedar and pine being used to plank the bulwarks. The need for speed meant that the selection process was the nearest large tree, then the one behind it and then the next beyond that.” And while the species may have been red, black, or white, it was also “green”.

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