JerseyCity Frankie

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It’s a point which weighs against us, and a fact to be deplored – 
That we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

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  1. Are there any documented cases of ship model related poisonings? Or ship model specific injuries? I've never heard of any. Broadening the question, are there any documented cases of model building injuries of any kind? I'm sure there are power tool related accidents, power tools cause a lot of injuries every year. The first time I used an exacto as a kid making a pinewood derby car I cut my hand pretty bad. But is there any data available on health incidents specifically related to ship model building? On a personal level, I worry most about eye injury when using a dremel. Poisoning is not on my radar at all, but then again, as mentioned above, I'm not drinking any of the liquids I'm using, I'm a mature adult. Let's not get hysterical about chemical poisoning if it can't be demonstrated that there is an actual history of ship model related poisonings. A quick google search yielded this data rich website:
  2. You should fix it up yourself! For less than ten dollars you can pick up a copy of Rigging of Ships in the Day of the Spritsal Topmast. which is the perfect Rigging book, well illustrated, for this era.
  3. Don't get discouraged. But there are a lot of specific smaller tasks involved in rigging the mast of a sailing ship. My advice is to break it down one step at a time. Everyone here is delighted to help you but you will have to meet us halfway and ask specific questions. Descriptions of each part you are talking about will be important since there are specific aspects unique to each task. "Eyehole start with knot but don't know where to finish" isn't helpful since you are not being specific enough for us to understand which part you are talking about! Complicating matters at first ( but making it MUCH SIMPLER later) is the fact that everything on a ship has a specific nautical name you must learn. It's daunting having to learn the names of everything but if you can't use the nautical name you have to either give a lengthy deescription that identifies the part OR you have to provide photos with circles and arrows. But keep in mind that everything you see in the instructions has a simple explanation and you are perfectly able to accomplish the tasks you are facing. AND it's fun.
  4. Yah the crew would have to keep the brails quite loose when underway or they would negatively effect the shape of the sail. But it's still going to be better having the brails since without them the furling would be quite tough. But check out this engraving of guys furling a lateen sail:
  5. It's sad how kit manufacturers can't be bothered to work up comprehensive plans. In many cases just a few arrows dotted lines or small inset detail views of a particular aspect of one area or another could remove so much uncertainty. On the photo above you wrote "tied off on the grommet or run back up other side to the yard" and my two cents is that it's the latter. These are brails in my opinion and they are not for adjusting sail shape while sailing, they are for gathering the sailcloth to the spar for furling. So if you want to gather the material a line that goes all the way around the sail and back to the spar will gather the material. If the line only went to the grommets, only the grommets could be drawn to the spar, leaving all of the bunt or center portion of the sail flapping in the breez.
  6. Can we assume everyone has exactos and tweezers? After that I have to say I'm amazed how often I'm drilling stuff with the Pin Vice. Nearly every time I sit down to work I'm using it.
  7. I see people trip themselves up when they chose a "common object" that is NOT a standard size. For instance coffee cups can very in size as much as three inches from one example to another. Good examples of objects exist ( the famous Tic Tac for instance) but you really can't beat a common coin or an actual ruler.
  8. Beginning to bend on sail on my 1/48 scale Yawl Dulcibella. Up till now it's been months of manufacturing sub assemblies and now I can start installing them. Also I'm realizing the Belaying Plan I worked up long ago needs more reconsidering as the realities of placement manifest.
  9. No amount of care is too much care when you are drilling for the masts into a solid hull. I recommend the template mentioned above too but also drill with a much smaller diameter bit first and test your hole with a thinner spar to see if it's correct. You can make corrections if needed as you gradually work up to the diameter you need for the actual mast you will use. I find also that if you place the model so you can stand above it and work down on it helps a lot too.
  10. Given all the terrific detail in Hurley's photos, I'm surprised we don't see more Endurance models. In the photos you can see every detail of the rig including the patent roller reefing topsail gear, which I don't think I've seen in photos anywhere else.
  11. I debated writing this but then thought it couldn't hurt: sandpaper. Use it! I don't want to name and shame anyone, but there is a huge proportion of finished models displayed on MSW on which the detailed photos of deck fittings or mast details show a lack of adequate sanding and surface prep. It looks like a lot of builders punch out the laser cut parts and incorporate them directly into the model without sanding to an adequate degree. I KNOW that close up photography of small parts reveals flaws not visible to the naked eye but some of the model photos I see show that a lot of small wooden parts are going onto models without enough sanding taking place, the surfaces are often covered in irregular globs bumps and spikes. since most kit models are basswood, it helps to recognize that the biggest drawback of basswood is it's fuzzyness. In other respects it's a great material but at the near-microscopic level fibers at the edges are very stringy, they don't break off neatly at the surface of the wood but cling on randomly as fuzz. Paint or varnish going on over this fuzz only serves to make the fuzz bolder and stick out in hardened spikes and that's what I'm looking at in these detail photos I'm seeing. I'm going to make another plug for the use of a Sanding Sealer. Available in any hardwear store, one can should last your entire modeling career. I use a water based Minwax Sanding Sealer. It paints on like thin acrylic paint, completely transparent. When dry it has the effect of darkening the wood just a bit. Is that so bad? The surface you get has hardened and feels shellacked. When you go over it with fine sandpaper those annoying stringy grainy fibers break right off at the surface in a way that reminds you of those old animated cross sectional shaving razor commercials in which each hair is lifted and cut perfectly at its base. You get a smooth surface where the grain is still visible but not in the form of huge peaks and deep valleys, a surface that can withstand the scrutiny of close-up miniature photography.
  12. I find bamboo to be the go-to material for small wooden spars. The long and tough fibers that run along its length behave like rebar in cement. It resists breaking from any angle, unlike most woods that will fail along the grain on one side or another. Unlike most other woods, you can keep on reducing diameter to a very thin, yet still resilient, thickness. I find tapering bamboo spars to be so easy I'm surprised anyone feels it presents any difficulty. I've had success tapering with a small block plane and/or via sandpaper. If you have never tried tapering with your spar chucked into a drill and using sandpaper on it while it spins you have missed some great fun. Wear eye protection. Drawplates I have never had success with, they are expensive so I only ever purchased one from Micro Mark years ago and it was a lemon. Perhaps there are more effective ones out there but I'm not inclined to pay to find out.
  13. The Yankee Whaler by Clifford Ashley is a great primary source for all whaleship and whaleboat information. Ashley sailed on a whaling voyage and was also a very good writer and draftsperson and his whaling book gas everything you need, he describes everything and the book is lavishly I.lustrated with photos drawings and paintings. Also it's not a bad idea to skim Moby-Dick too as Melville also had a real-world sailing background and Moby-Dick contains a lot of whaling facts and poetic meditations on whaleboat equipment and use.
  14. I simple technique is to use ordinary pencil graphite. Test it on something painted with the same black color first. Crush some pencile lead until it's a powder then rub it onto the object. If you don't like the effect it should be very easy to remove.
  15. Rediculouse assumptions and what is with this outrageous "I can see shipwrecks from low earth orbit" nonsense? Science got us pretty far, and the space program represents a milestone in human achievement that shouldn't be sullied by allowing dingbat nonsense to ride its coat tails into something like legitimacy. Shame on anyone promoting this nonsense masquerading as nautical archeology.