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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. JerseyCity Frankie

    Putting a loop on block ends

    Here’s some photos illustrating wire stropping used to mimic rope stropping. In the lower left of one shot are two thread stropped blocks, which took a considerably longer time to produce but would be considered more “literally” “authentic”, meaning they’re more of a true miniaturization of a real rope stropped block since their strops are made of fiber line. But the wire stropped blocks look very good in comparison despite “faking” the material used in a strop. The other photo illustrates how rediculously easy it is to form a loop in wire. I’m guessing you can turn out three or four wire stropped blocks in the time it takes to strop one fiber line stropped block.
  2. JerseyCity Frankie

    Hello from New york!

    You can use the search feature. Also you can post bottled ships to the scratchbuilt section using the suffix “bottle”.
  3. JerseyCity Frankie

    Running Pendants for MS's Constitution

    I’ve never understood the necessity for these. As mentioned above, they come in handy for providing a purchase for setting up the lanyards. But they’re always depicted as being of the same diameter of the shrouds themselves- which I tend to think would be overkill for tightening the lanyards. It’s true they’d be handy for many other temporary jobs aboard, a nearly unbreakable purchase. But whichever tasks would require that kind of security could be handled by temporarily rigging a line around the masthead. This would have exactly the same lead as the Burten Pendants. The topmast pendants are even more perplexing to me, for all the same reasons just higher up the rig. if it was me, I wouldn’t put blocks and tackle on them but rather tie them to a handy shroud. I don’t see any reason the ship would need the temporary tackle to remain in place doing nothing for weeks on end at sea. Heres two photos of the Pendants on Niagara, during an uprig and at sea.
  4. JerseyCity Frankie

    Hello from New york!

    I’m in Jersey City across the river, I build ships in bottles too.
  5. JerseyCity Frankie

    Putting a loop on block ends

    On smaller models, those with very small blocks, my advice is to use wire to Strop the blocks, not thread. Forming an eye in wire by twisting is very easy in comparison to trying to tie loop knots in thread and few will be able to notice it is wire not thread. Black Bead Stringing Wire can be purchased online or at craft stores.
  6. I just returned from the Mystic Seaport Museum and they’ve got a great Franklin Expedition exhibit that’s full of artifacts and this nice model.
  7. Incidentally I’m trying to identify these two odd double blocks and why are they so peculiarly attached? Any guesses? >UPDATE< it’s the truss Pendants according to social media sailor types. Still no word on it’s odd method of attachment. The big black nippered coils hanging above are topsail yard lifts and are not relate.
  8. In trying to replicate the gear as it appeared in photos AND stay in scale rather than attempting to do it “the right way” I’ve taken a different approach to block stropping and seizing and lashing. I’m using black wire bent around the blocks and then crimped where the seizing would go on a real block. At this juncture I smear on a tiny amount of modeling paste, which later gets painted to look like a marlin seizing. The two legs of the wire are then glued directly into holes borred in the model, and that’s it. No scale thread, no “real” seizing. It’s possible to make real seizings but very hard to do it and not wind up with a bulky and out of scale excrescences on the neck of the block. This method looks good and is also super easy, at this scale.
  9. I always build all the subassemblies and set them aside in plastic trays until needed. Now I’m ready to step the masts so I’m gluing on the fiferails and will likely glue all the deck details in the coming days since once the shrouds are on I won’t have clear and easy access to the deck. I decided to put the topsmast deadeyes onto the tops first and then decided to attach the futtock shrouds now rather than later to make it easier. I’m not using actual hooks but the wire for the deadeye irons has a loop in the bottoms to take the futtock shroud eyes in one neat package. Even if I had the beautiful photo etched hooks that Chuck made available, I’m not convinced I could get them into this small space with eyes small enough to match the scale. As it is I’m using a magnifying visor and can barely manage the twisted wire representation you see here. also note the color of the futtock shrouds and their eyes: I’m painting all the standing rigging using acrylic. In photos of the actual rig the standing rigging has a lot of color variation ranging from dark grey to a light brown or olive color. I’m painting lengths of standing rigging before and after application on the model.
  10. This is a good time to take stock and look at how things are. I still agree with and am sticking with my decision to make this a “modern” 21st century Niagara, a model of how she looks today. But I have learned a few things that would have surprised me to know last year. I had assumed that I had adequate photo documentation to work with and that having photos of every detail would make my job easier. Not so. I DONT have photos of every part of the ship and I CANT always go and find new photos on the web of the areas I need. It’s true new photos appear all the time, but I’m finding that many parts of the ship never atract the casual photographer visiting the ship. But certainly I have a tremendous amount of documentation nonetheless. But this too adds to the difficulty. Because now instead of being blissfully unaware of how certain aspects appear, now I know exactly how it appears and building the parts to match the photos takes a lot more time than if I just had to build a plausible part that looks like generic period-correct ship equipment. Early in this build I was voicing my annoyance at the kit manufacturer and this has continued straight on through. I’m not using very many of the laser cut parts since they so often disappoint and fall short of reasonable expectation. This isn’t due to the time period I’m working in, this is due to poor scale size and shape. I acknowledge though that this is an older kit and hopefully the manufacturer has improved. I know nothing about ship kit manufacturing economics so maybe it would be prohibitively expensive? But I know this kit could be greatly improved if the instruction book was completely overhauled and the patterns for the laser cut parts were redrawn. But on the other hand maybe they ran off ten thousand kits and stoppped production a decade ago and now just draw on the inventory they laid in back in the early 90’s? looking at the future I’m really pleased and optimistic about being able to look at the rigging and be done with deck details. I still intend to make wind-filled sails and a realistic point of sail with every bit of rigging represented.
  11. It’s now of this writing January 13th. In three months it will be an entire year on this build, how far will I get this winter? Winter is the best ship model building season, no question. And now we’ve got the holidays behind us and can focus. Here’s photos of my Niagara taken this morning.
  12. Yah I had a build log for the 74 Ramalies. I put it in the bottle then tuned it up but I’ve still not snipped off the lose ends even though it’s been MONTHS.
  13. Here is the link to the news article I saw on social media: https://www.boothbayregister.com/article/boothbay-s-shipbuilding-history-may-sail-present-day/112045.
  14. JerseyCity Frankie

    Another way to make shackles

    Solder is an alternative material. It’s so soft you can crimp the ends with pliers. The downside is it’s not strong and can easily be distorted. On the plus side it’s color is a near match for a galvanized shackle.
  15. JerseyCity Frankie

    Footropes on Spritsail Yard

    Two adjacent footropes on a tiny spar? Maybe not for a narrow Jibboom on a small vessel. But here’s a shot I just saw today on social media, taken on Bluenose II, that illustrates the need for port and Starboard footropes in most circumstances on headrigs. Note where the crewpersons feet are located then imagine someone on the opposite side trying to use the footrope she’s using. Possible maybe but extreamly uncomfortable.

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