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  1. John Thanks for looking in and providing another source of information. Of course it turns out that I do not have Hahn's 'Ships of the American Revolution'. I have, in fact I am presently reading, his 'Colonial Schooner 1763-1175 and I have his plans for the Rattlesnake. That means I am unable to read your reference and make any comment on Hahn's description of the Lexington. I also would prefer not to discount to much on the research of people far more versed on ships of this time than I am unless I was able to obtain some very convincing undisclosed information. I do not think I was questioning length and number of guns in dismissing the Lexington as a possible subject of this model. What I have done is take a kit that at best is kind of a representation of an early 1700s brigantine rigged ship with both a raised beaks head style forecastle and a fairly large great cabin and quarter deck. I think that the kit was designed that way so that they would not have to provide as many guns per kit because of the broken deck both fore and aft. All guns under the quarter deck and the forecastle are hidden. To me a small ship like a brigantine of less than 100' in the late 1700s would not have had an enclosed fore castle, merchant or purpose built warship. I know that there are ships that are an exception to this but I think they are uncommon. So I did not build the forecastle at all and shortened the quarter deck to what I thought was more proper for the time and type. I also extended the shear rail and enclosed the bow. By doing these things it turned out that the looks of the ship are considerably altered. I started looking to see if the new looks could lead to a real ship that would be close enough to use as a pattern. I ran across the the above described book by Davis who used the 'Lexington' as a basis for his model. The pictures in the book looked very close to what I was building so for a short time I kind of ran with it so to speak. I had some doubts on the model in the book but who am I to question someone who writes a book about his 'scale' model? Looking elsewhere though it became almost instantly clear that whatever ship Davis had built, it was not the Lexington, in my opinion for what it is worth possibly not even the right war! The Davis model is a fully open spar/gun deck ship with no quarterdeck or any cabin structure on the deck anywhere. It has more of the looks of a Cruzer class of Brigantine of the turn of the century as well as the brigantine Niagara of the war of 1812. Unfortunately this was not the period I wanted to do. I wanted the American Revolution, and I wanted to retain a ship with at least a quarterdeck. So for this reason I resigned myself to having to build somewhat of a fantasy ship that I have started to call the 'No Such'. Hopefully I am able to carry it off and it will at least look like a believable America brigantine of that period. I will now have to get Hahn's book and read your references! I think I am doing as much, possibly more reading than I am building. This whole thing started as #1, I already own it. #2 my wife bought it for me something like twenty years ago, so I probably should build it. And #3 I thought I would give it to a friend of mine as a birthday present later this year. He likes ships but is not a modeler so I was pretty sure he would not pick it apart to badly and be able to enjoy it. As it is, it has turned into a full kit bash where the only wood from the kit that I have used is the carved hull, and that's been heavily modified! I need to quit changing and get on with the build! {:^) I still would like to do it right though. Lou
  2. Joel I do have the book on the Irene, along with the plans that were included in some of the editions. And yes I also could see that Davis's Lexington looked more related to that class of brigantine and others built for the Barbary war, 1812 war, and Napoleonic wars. That was why I changed my mind as to why my 'kit' could not be done as the Lexington just by leaving the forecastle but keeping the quarterdeck. I would need to remove the quarterdeck as well and do a few more hull alterations to make the bash believable as a Cruzer or similar era vessel but it would be possible. But I was looking for a Colonial Brigantine not a turn of the century ship. So the search continued and after the elimination of the Feldman Lexington I decided that this kit at least would have to be more generic and to try to be fair to the time period rather than a particular ship. Lou
  3. Hello Joel Doesn't take all that long to type up a short conversation here. Back when I was a gainfully employed contributor to society, I spent more time commuting to work! Now that I am retarded, my commute consists of getting up, showering and dressing taking the dog for her walk and then the rest of the day is mine, subject to the whims of the Admiral and resident crew. I suppose one could say that all modeling attempts are a product of material on the real vessel available to the builder at the time of the attempted model build, combined with the interpretation of that material and how much you want to believe the interpretation of other researchers who provides the material in the first place. This seems to be especially true of the vessels we are choosing to build from this time period. It seems that for every person who states that the material presented is a true representation of the vessel in question, someone else says that there is something wrong with the research. I think I may agree with you on Davis's Lexington, that his model was 'close enough' in his eyes to be represented as the Lexington. Heck, if he had been right I may have done the same thing and used his rendition as a basis for my rendition and of course added my own misconceptions and short comings in ability and kit limitations to the build. If I wrote a book or was famous as a reliable source in some other way then my kit could also assist in passing along the 'look' of this type of Brigantine as being the Lexington and others would possibly accept it. I this case the Davis model seems to have been overthrown in favor of the Feldman model seems to be primarily based on a painting, (Which of course is another interpretation by yet another artist who obtained his information either personally from a hurriedly produced sketch that was taken back to a studio and rendered into a more completely detailed detailed painting or drawing. Or the painting could have been based on a sketch or description provided by a third party! Don't get me wrong I personally believe that the Feldman model is by far the more accurate or believable of the two, and will be the standard for years to come, if not indefinitely. But who is to say that sometime down the road some other material may show up, or someone researching the Lexington will present a better argument and the look will change yet again. You can be pretty sure it will not be me! I am within limits perfectly willing to let people who have better training, better access to sources, and more time do the research for me and all I need to do is agree with them that their take on the resources if correct, or that they are full of it. Or it could be like in many cases somewhere in the middle. I have only done primary research on a couple of vessels, and only one of them was to the detail we are discussing. I have been researching the schooner Lanikai off and on for probably twenty years and while I have enough to build her now in probably could be considered a stand off scale, (Standing WAY off) I would not be happy or proud of the results enough to say that what I built was 'the Lanikai'. Hope that makes some sense to you. In any case the information has been so scarce and the need for interpretation so great on a twenty first century vessel that I have both narrative and pictures of, I can only guess how hard it is for people dealing with small vessels from almost two hundred and fifty years ago. I do not envy them, especially when there are people like me lined up twenty deep looking to see just how accurate their work is based on how they, (The viewer) feel! Here I go again rambling on and on! trippwj While in essence I agree with you, I am not so sure that it is quite so black and white. Merchant ships were built to a different purpose true, and this influenced many things like the shape of the hull, rigging design, and deck layout, but were they so much different? It seems like time and time again ships of almost any given size short of a ship-of-the-line were purchased from civilian use and weaponized so to speak. I cannot say that I can find many discrepancies in the one or two masted smaller vessels of the time being better or worse armed depending on the vessels original use. It seems like how much the owners were willing to spend and what gunnery was available was far more an issue than construction. In fact I think that there were cases where after capturing an American converted Privateer the British cut down on the number of guns, size of guns, or both, and it is clear that their resources were far greater than the original owners and they could do pretty much as they desired. It is obvious that I am nowhere near as well read as yourself and I could be completely full of it, but I can not help but think of ships like the Lexington who were able to hold their own against their naval built counterparts even though if possible in most cases they preferred to avoid personal damage by evasion. This can be seen even almost two hundred years later with the Graff Spee who's job was raiding merchant shipping of the enemy in 1939. When she engaged three British cruisers that on paper could have at least held their own. The Graf Spee almost sank the HMS Exeter and severally damaged the Ajax in a battle that lasted about an hour!. Most historical accounts I have read say that the Graf Spee handled with a different frame of mind would have had little trouble finishing off all three ships. There is some controversy about the few shells that did hit the Graf Spee and what possible damage they caused, but the result was the same in that the Captain decided he could no longer escape the British with the inevitable result of the loss of the ship. Didn't the Bon Homme Richard get pierced for something like forty two or forty four guns on three decks? And she was worn out by the time John Paul Jones commanded her. Thanks for the list of references. If possible I will be looking into at least some of them. It is always interesting what books other modelers find usefull. Lou
  4. Hello vossiewulf When you first posted the size/spacing formula, I read it as minimums allowable for a given vessel and gun combination. So if you had a designed length of 'X' and under ideal conditions had to make no concessions for rigging or other factors, you would have the ability to pierce the hull for 'y' number of guns of a given size and still give them the required field of fire and operational area. If the hull was slightly longer but not long enough to accommodate another piercing/gun then you could either add additional spacing between ports and keep the same number of guns, or go to a smaller cannon and carry more guns. I would have to assume that hull design and displacement ability would also be a factor on gun size but I am trying to keep this just about port size and spacing not getting an engineering degree in ship building. A good thing as I am still struggling with the fact that design formulas say that the port is wider than its height and they still look square in all the pictures and plans I look at! Time for either new glasses or brain! Joel I did not say it before, but your build of the Lexington has been one of the guidelines I used when I started modifying this kit. I looked at the lines published by Davis for the Lexington and at first thought that his Lexington was close enough to use as the ship for this model and I would be able to build a 'real' ship with a history rather than a representation of a type. But then I saw your build and it is obvious that the two Lexington s don't have much in common other than they are both models. Unfortunately for me, the lines and documentation I have are for the Davis hull and it has been proven to not be accurate, your version is, or at least is according to more resent research. In addition the shape of the kit I am bashing has a closer resemblance to the Davis build. I do intend to continue using your build as reference though whenever possible, just because it is so well rendered and I know you will make every effort to insure it is 'right' historically and dimensionally. Also a little off subject but in relation to your comment about recoil, I have a little experience in this area it so happens. In my younger somewhat misspent years I tended to hang out with a few slightly deranged individuals, (We were all police officers if you must know). One of them, along with several machine guns and other rather odd pastimes had managed to acquire what I remember as a three pound cannon barrel dated in the mid late 1800s, sometime after the Civil War. I could be wrong about the shot size but i do remember that it had the same bore as a beer can! This fact and the emptying of many said same and the navel bent of all concerned led to what I suppose was to be expected from those involved. it was decided that my friend, being single, needed to have the cannon displayed in his front room for all to admire and that this would require the building of a proper navel carriage, even though none of us had any idea if it was a navel barrel or field piece. Heck, for all we knew it was just a starting cannon for racing or something. Little matter, ignorance is bliss. We did build the carriage and it turned out fine, especially considering our state of soberness during much of the research, design, and construction. I do not know when it happened, or for that matter who brought the idea up, but somehow the bright idea to actually fire the silly thing was presented and no one was sober enough to counter the idea. The rest of the story is pretty much history as we proceeded make cannon 'balls' out of a surplus supply of beer cans partly filled with Plaster-Of-Paris. The purchase of lethal amounts of black powder, (I think we stayed a little more sober about this time) some configuring of lines we thought 'should' hold against the recoil that we had no inkling of how to anticipate and we were ready to mount the gun in my friend's pickup facing out over the tailgate 'gun port', that I am now almost certain was not within the guidelines we have established in this posting.We then headed out to a relatively safe place we used often when my friends went to shoot their machine guns. Safe being relative as being safe for others, was not quite the same as safe for us should anything go wrong. After all don't you want to be 45 minutes from help in the middle of nowhere when a cannon blows up in your face? So the 'gun port door' was lowered and the gestimated amount of required powder, based on possibly faulty research, was tamped into place and the required deadly projectile inserted. The recoil line was set to stop the travel of the gun before it went through the rear of the truck cab bulkhead. We had no idea how violent the recoil would be. A fuse in the touch hole and a mad scramble to get as far away as possible in as short a time as possible resulted in a GREAT cloud of smoke and flame and a considerably smaller puff of dust in the backstop down range. After all that we wondered what we would see when the smoke cleared but much to our surprise the cannon only traveled a little over half the length of the truck bed and stopped on its own! From that point on we were able to play with the charge a bit and even tried our best at aiming somewhat until we were at last able to hit a single poor tree. The results were impressive. While it did not knock the tree down it did blow all the bark and part of the wood as well from an area of about a foot and a half! Pretty impressive for Plaster-Of-Paris! Lou
  5. Hello Joel Thank you for the additional information. I still have not located my copy of the Davis book but I know I own it so it is only a matter of time before I locate the box that it has been stored in all these years! With three stories, a basement and six bedrooms it has to be somewhere, the house is only so big after all! One of these days I have to kick the last of the kids out and take over a space that is only for ME and be able to have access to all the books, models and just plain stuff that the Admiral claims do not match the decor of the remainder of the house. I am trying to convince her that what would fit the decor of a 120 year old house better than a lot of books and a few period ships? Anyway back to the subject at hand. I am trying to replicate or create if you will a realistically believable late 1700s American brigantine, possibly a privateer not originally constructed as a warship. Much like your model of the Lexington. In some ways I know that what I end up with will not truly fit this requirement as the hull is too fair for most merchant ships and other similar factors arising from the fact that it started life as a model kit that was designed to be more of a toy than anything else. All that aside I am a little impressed that the hull is even now taking on some believable lines and I would like to improve on that if possible. So the numbers I would be looking for would be for guns that are more in the line of four, six, or possibly nine pounders that I am almost certain could be placed, in fact would have to be placed, much closer together than 10 feet apart. On the other hand I will jump at the idea that the guns can be placed in conjunction with the masts with little fear of problems. The guns that came with the kit are a scale six foot barrel. I have spent much of the day looking at as many drawings and pictures as I could to see if this was a closely adhered to rule, or if it was a suggestion in ship design that was desired when building a warship from the ground up. I found as many cases of guns lining up with the masts as I did cases where the back stays and chain plates had to be moved to accommodate the gun port. So with no true numbers to plug in at this point I am leaning toward gun ports that are small enough to at least protect the crew from being completely exposed. With a sill that combined with the overall size, prevents the cannon from popping out the side when the ship does a hard roll, while still being large enough to allow the useful elevation, depression, and angling of the gun and carriage combination. If I use that kind of layman's formula it appears oddly enough that the kit plans supplied with the model are surprisingly not far off at all. Their height and width are the same though which at the scale I have decided to use would make them 24" to the side with each port being spaced eight feet apart. It looks like the ports could be slightly smaller and closer spaced but even at this size if I put two guns inside the great cabin just inside the forward bulkhead, I would have a broadside of seven guns! Reasonably respectable for a Brigantine with an eighty four foot hull length, even though two fewer guns than the Lexington. I am thinking though that twelve guns for this size ship would possibly be more balanced, especially if they were six or nine pounders. HMMMMMMMMMMM decisions decisions. Kind of having fun though with a less than desirable kit. Since I cannot dream of the "Whatever Name" being recreated to give honer to the original I can never the less give considerable thought to the bits and pieces that made ships like 'Whatever Name' what they were. Hopefully it will also be tolerable to look at at ranges of less than across the room. That is the hope anyway! Lou
  6. I know that this is a relatively old posting, but why not locate the LED or multiple LEDs deep in the hold and let them run fairly bright? Connect fiber optic cables as needed, routed to the locations where they are needed. That way you are able to simplify the amperage draw by using fewer LEDs and still get light where you want it. Lou
  7. Thank you Jaager and vossiewulf I was also thinking that the use of the horizontal winch VS the capstan was a matter of number of crew available to both handle the rigging while at the same time hoisting the anchor. American ships of the Revolutionary War period carried very large crews for the size of the vessel but that was for prize crews and battle matters and I did not think the ship would be designed around the excess crews available when being used as a warship. By the same thought I was wondering if the capstan was primarily a navel device not often found on civilian vessels or was installed as you say primarily on larger vessels due to the weight of the gear but I could find no evidence to support this as I can find plenty of small ships in the schooner and brigantine size ranges with either winch method installed. I may just continue with a capstan as I have already made the alterations to the rest of the ship design to accommodate it and as the capstan head is already provided with the kit I will at least be able to use SOMETHING that comes out of the kit box! As for the gun ports, I will have to see if I can understand better reading the formula and plugging in the numbers that match this hull. I decided that this ship will be 1/96 scale rather than the 1/100 that Constructo uses because it is a more common scale and after all what does it matter what scale they call it when it has no resemblance to anything that ever floated if built stock out of the box. I have a copy of Davis's Built up Ship Model somewhere in my stuff from years ago, before my last move. I am just now trying to get back into model building after about twenty years and am still looking for everything! I am surprised that the ports are not completely square with equal height and width. They have always looked that way to me in pictures and on plans I have studied, and I thought the height would be determined by the gun carriage and that the cannon barrel would be centered when at a neutral elevation. On this model as I am building it I will be able to carry up to 12 guns, (All I have of this size on hand! I wonder how many real ships were outfitted in this manner? More of a all I can get rather that all i can carry!) Not having the guns line up with the masts may also be an issue if I want to maintain equal spacing while still avoiding the back stays. I may have to work on this for a while, and as I already said find my book and do some reading. Thanks again Lou
  8. Hello Hopefully this is where this question belongs. I am in the process of kit bashing a Constructro Sentinel Brigantine into something that would possibly been used in the late American Colonial period. I have come to the determination that the deck layout on this kit was established only for the fantasy of the kit makers so that they would not have to supply as many parts to make something more realistic. So far I have reshaped the hull, altered the bulwarks to meet at the bow, not installed the raised forecastle, shortened the quarterdeck and raised the cabin slightly. I have also changed the angle and curve of the transom to what I think is a more realistic shape and angle. After I figure out how I want to develop some camber in the spar deck, I will be planking it instead of using the Mahogany printed deck supplied in the kit and then start building the required deck furniture. This is where some of my questions arise. First off I want to place a ships boat over the cargo hatch between the masts instead of hanging two boats from davits each side of the quarter deck as depicted in the kit design. This in its self is not really a huge problem as there is enough distance between the masts to allow this style of carry. The problem arises in the fact that the kit uses a capstan located just aft of the cargo hatch and forward of the main mast. This was in my opinion a poor location for a capstan in my opinion so at first I decided to relocate it behind the mainmast and shortened the quarterdeck to free up the space required. This also allows me to place the ships boat at deck level instead of on elevated cradles that would allow access below the boat. After some thought, (and already making the alterations of course) I now wonder if using a horizontal winch located just behind the bowsprit forward of the foremast would be a more proper design for a vessel of this size and design rather than having a capstan installed at all? At this point I could go either way without too much trouble. Secondly, trying to think ahead a little better this time, is a question of the gun ports. Is there a formula for the size of the ports and the distance between ports depending on the size of the cannon carried or were they a kind of one size fits all? I was thinking that I would establish the initial distance and location of the cannon based on the location of the back stays and chain plates so that the cannons have a clear field of fire. From that point it looks like the gun ports are about equal to the width of the gun carriage and squared shape and that the distance between guns is about twice the distance as the gun port size, if that makes any sense. Does that seem about right? I do not want to cut the gun ports or finalized the top rail design until I figure out these issues. Looking forward to see what others more knowledgeable than I come up with. Lou
  9. Hello helmsman. Anja, and Eddie Thank you for the welcome. Eddie I kind of feel like you, can I finish all that sits in my horde before i die! I would add the list to my profile like yours but I have not figured out how yet. In some things I am a little dense. Lou
  10. David Yes a couple of the plastic ships that I have in my horde fall into that category. Ships like the USS Oregon, (Glenco) that with the documentation I have would have to almost be completely redesigned to make it right. I would never be able to live with myself if I was to build it straight out of the box and try and call it the Oregon. Ignorance can be nice sometimes. On the other hand the old Revell Olympia with only slight embellishments and modifications could hold up OK to being representative of its namesake. Some of the others land somewhere in between the two extremes as well. With some of the newer kits and all of the photo etch options it truly is almost a new world for the plastic modeler. I do not own any of these newer ship kits but in the past I found that I reached my limit when it came to painting and weathering. I have very little artistic skill and have problems "Envisioning" how to reproduce the final desired result. I suspect that I will have the same problems when it comes to period ships and their colors. Hello mtaylor Thank you for the welcome It will take me a while to gather much of my Lanikai stuff together as some of it is from here and other stuff is from there. In some cases the information I have would have to be hand copied as it is from non internet sources or protected files. (You don't happen to have a copy of Pacific Marine Review volume 13 1914 do you?) {:^) But if I can put a comprehensive understandable presentation together in some manner that can be presented in a online environment I certainly will. I am afraid that I am a bit of a fossil and do not have many of the digital means that some people here possess and use so well. You are right The Lanikai was obtained from civilian ownership in both wars, although I do not think "buying " would be a fitting term for either time. She was originally built as the Hermes in 1914 at the W.F. Stone Shipyard in Oakland CA. for a German company. Here is a somewhat condensed history; Patrol Yacht: YX-12 Built in 1914 by the W. F. Stone and Co., Oakland, CA Taken over by the Navy on Executive order, (1917) and commissioned USS Hermes 1 April 1918 Decommissioned 16 January 1919 and turned over to the Hawaiian territorial government (Where it appears she spent some time dealing with rum runners and such). Turned over to the Pacific Air Detachment Struck from the Navy list 1 July 1926 Sold 21 October 1926 to the Lanikai Fish Co. of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii and renamed Lanikai Sold in 1929 to the Hawaiian Sea Products Co. Laid up in 1931 Sold in 1933 to Northrup Castle of Honolulu Sold in 1936 to Harry W. Crosby of Seattle, WA Sold in 1937 to Metro-Goldwin-Mayer for the making of the movie "Hurricane" Sold in 1939 to E. M. Grimm of the Philippines for the Luzon Stevedoring Co. Chartered by the Navy 5 December 1941 and commissioned USS Lanikai Transferred 22 August 1942 to the Australian Navy Commissioned HMAS Lanikai 9 December 1942 Returned to U.S. custody 22 August 1945 Sunk in 1947 off Nabasan wharf during typhoon at Subic Bay, Philippines. Hermes Specifications: Displacement 340 t. Length 89' 4" Beam 25.4' Draft 7' 6" Complement 26 Armament: Two 3-pounders Propulsion: Steam, one shaft. Lanikai Specifications: Displacement 150 t. Length 87' 3" Beam 25.4' Draft 9' Speed 7 kts. Complement 19 Armament: One 3-pounder and two .30 cal. machine guns Propulsion: One diesel engine, one shaft. One of my sources lists her as wooden hauled and copper sheathed. Another says that she had stainless steel sheathing. In both cases it appears that she was painted with anti fouling paint below the waterline. Lou
  11. Hello Robert and David I do not know if I am done with plastic ships yet, I still have a bunch of them in the hording stash as well! After all I have to retain at least a few vices in my old age, most of the others have been taken away and are no longer available or I have been told they are not good for me! David Thanks for the welcome home. It's kind of funny, I never even heard of that phrase until I had been home for over twenty years. But then I kind of kept it a secret that i had even been gone for most of that time. Not something you spread around to loud back in the 70s and 80s, at least not where I was living. I spent most of my time in Hueys so got more of a birds eye view most of the time and tried to never be too late for the chow line. {:^) As for the Lanikai, even though it officially carried USN numbers on paper in two wars there is virtually no documentation useful for building in the Navy data base. All I was able to find there was a picture, class identification and hull number. Also some hull measurements from both wars that don't match! Sometimes the US Navy does not care much about some of the ships that have served the cause so well. I personally think the escape of the Lanikai and her crew should have been plastered all over the newspapers of the time as a moral booster for people at home who were not getting to much in the way of good news. Welcome home to you also. Lou
  12. Hello all Well I suppose it is time I came out of the closet and announce my presence to what appears to be a very talented cliental of ship modelers. I have been lurking for a while and trying to decide if I wanted to continue safely lurking, or risk embarrassment by jumping into the water so to speak. While I am not truly new to modeling, I have not really done anything for the last fifteen or twenty years or more. I started out as young kid building cars, then plastic aircraft, and eventually settling down to plastic ships. I continued with ships, primarily twentieth century warships, but also did a number of sailing ships over the years, all of them plastic kits. I then took a break to go on an extended vacation to southeast Asia for Uncle in the late 60s-early 70s and when I came back became involved in putting my life back together with a few more jumps and starts than I care to admit, so it was a few more years before I found myself in a position to take up modeling again. I started with plastic models again but soon migrated to RC vessels and became involved with a number of others and even started a local club, (That is still very active after more than 30 years). At this time I built for myself, for others, or in a few cases with others, a number of ships, all RC. Some were kits, others kit conversions, a few scratch from plans, and even a few modified plastic kits to make them usable for RC. Some of these ships were HMS Storm King from plans, USS Panay from Navel plans and Plans from Underhill, (I believe), a few tugs, fishing boats and other assorted vessels like ice breakers and even one submarine. In other words whatever struck my attention and could be built for RC. I had no discipline and used whatever was available for construction. The Storm King as an example was made from plywood that had been part of an old doghouse, Styrofoam from various sources, covered in spackle, sanded to shape, fiber glassed and then used gasoline to dissolve the Styrofoam! Some more doghouse and some scrounged plastic realtor signs and even s section of drainpipe that happened to be the same diameter as the funnel in the plans and much to my surprise it started looking like the ocean going tug on the plans. Even though I built this ship for a friend I still have it as he died not long after and I kind of inherited it and the trophy that it won two years in a row as it had always been kept at my house and I would transport and maintain it for him. The same kind of thing kind of happened with the Panay. Basically a few boards with everything that did not look like a gunboat cut away and a few plastic houses stacked on top, (Made from the same realtor signs). Anyway you get the idea, unlike the people here who dedicate themselves to masterpieces of exotic wood and adhere to time honored construction techniques, I have for the most part been involved in unsupervised modeling for most of my life. A few years back my life again took some unexpected turns and not only again took me away from modeling but also made some things physically difficult or even impossible. I also started another family, (Adopted two grandsons as babies) and am just now looking at getting back to possibly building ships again. At first I thought of restoring some of the ships from the old days, but after years of storage, a couple of moves, and in one case the shelf where several of them were stored in the basement collapsed from five feet off the floor and sent all of them everywhere! Most of them survived better than you might suspect. I guess being built for the rigors’ of RC use they were tougher than I suspected, but restoration was not really what I was looking for. So that brings me to where I am now. Third family is now getting to the point that they do not need constant supervision. I am now retarded and no longer have a viable carrier that needs daily attention, but thanks to some planning that did go OK; I do have a retirement that keeps things together enough that I don’t really mind not being gainfully employed. While a few surgeries and other issues somewhat keep me from being the person I once was, I am still capable of pursuing a slightly less demanding version of my old hobby. It is my hope to start building some of the kits of sailing vessels I have accumulated over the years. I have several vessels supposedly from the late 18th century that I have on hand that were either given to me, were a great buy at the time, or struck me as nice in a hording kind of way. My primary interest falls in the US colonial/revolutionary period. Mostly smaller vessels like Brigantines, Brigs, and Schooners that would have been used by the American Colonials against the British or even a little later in the Barbary wars. After reading around here and of course doing some research as well, it turns out that ALL of the kits I own are either not really American, not accurate representations of the vessel they claim to be, or just poor kits that have little building value from what I read here. While I am not totally against building from scratch I also have not found “THE” ship that I want to build that fits my interests. Also I am not completely certain where my skill levels lie and I want to try a “something” that is a little less challenging but still in my interest area to see if I have what it takes to become a disciplined ship modeler. Following that guideline I have already started a Constructo Brig Sentinel that I hope will turn out good enough to give to a friend for his next birthday. Why they call these “beginners” kits is beyond me, everything in them is below par and in order to make anything even a beginner could be proud of requires considerable effort. Fairly soon I also intend to start one of my Brigantine kits, at this time I am leaning toward the Mamoli Blue Shadow only because it is the most generic brigantine with a quarterdeck that I own and therefore should lend itself to bashing into something more refined and recognizable as possibly a colonial privateer. I also have restarted my research on another vessel that I will build fairly soon. A number of years ago I read a book called “The Cruise Of The Lanikai”. This book was an offshoot of my research on the Panay and Yangtze river gunboats and captured my attention. In the opening days of WWII a young Lieutenant was given command of an antique schooner in the Philippines and told to prepare her for war! Instead the Japanese invaded and his original mission became redundant. He was then able to get permission to set sail and do his best to avoid capture by the advancing Japanese army, navy, and air force! He and his crew managed to run at night and hide during the day and stay just ahead of capture for over 3000 miles through the South Pacific all of the way to Australia! Ever since reading this book I wanted to do a model of the Lanikai but of course there is virtually no information on this ship even though it turns out it served in the US Navy in both WWi and II, was featured in a movie in 1937. And spent the remaining part of WWII after her voyage in the Australian Navy! So, after deciding that the only way to build this ship would be to work backwards from the few photographs available and try to come up with hull lines that would work. With my limited abilities I am almost there and I think I have generated almost all I need to build the Lanikai and be able to call it scale instead of scaly. If I do indeed get there soon then this will become another build I will be doing. So that is about all there is that is even remotely interesting about me and hopefully I will be making progress on the above stuff and with some if the input I have picked up here and hope to in the future as well, be able to produce a few credible models that will not be a total personal embarrassment in the years I may have left. Lou Magnabosco