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  1. Hi Marc - All those FdL pieces came out almost identically. Quite an achievement. Your perseverance is inspiring. For the scrolls, have you considered laser cutting like I used for the Michelangelo boat davits? I know Syren Models does it. You can specify the thickness you want and the material to be used. The scrollwork could be laser etched. Since you will be painting them the char from the process shouldn't be a problem. I understand that 3-D services can also do it, but I don't know the process. Always good to watch your progress. Dan
  2. Hi Don - This looks like it will be a fascinating project, and I will be following along with interest. The barrels in particular are quite nice. However, before you go much further, I wonder where your carriage design comes from. It has always been my understanding that there were significant differences between British 17th C. carriages and those of the French/Dutch/Continental practice. The most significant ones are that the Continental ones have solid base plates, while the British ones have open bottoms, and because of that the breaching ropes for the Continental cannon went through holes in the carriage itself, while the British ones are secured to the gun's cascabel. Here is a combination illustration of the two designs and how I converted a commercially available cannon kit from British style to French style. I made up a base plate and a bumper at the rear of the carriage, then drilled a hole through the carriage for the breaching rope. And here is how it looks fully rigged and at its battle station. On the other hand, you seem to have a solid base plate in the Continental style, yet your breaching rope goes to the cascabel in the British style. It leaves me unsure of which one you intended. I do not mean to make you go back to the beginning, and there is certainly no need to be hyper-concerned with historic accuracy, but such a discrepancy may impact the popularity of your project. Whatever you decide, you have my best wishes for success. Dan
  3. Michael - I never even considered that solution. Brilliant! Unfortunately, I have already laid up the hull lifts, so I am committed (or should be) at this point. Mark - Who told you my secret? 😉 Dan
  4. Hi guys - Thanks for all the likes and compliments. Yes, Druxey, building an ocean liner is an exercise in repetition. The first few were fun. The recent ones more of a chore. I have developed some techniques and have been the beneficiary of some wonderful gifts from friends in the community. But still a chore. Fortunately I get some commissions to build or restore sailing ships so I can keep those skills sharp. Michael, I suggested that I build two half models and mount them on front-surface mirrors, but this was rejected in favor of the bizarre bi-polar model. Well, it's their dime, so they get to make the decision. Be well Dan
  5. Hi again to all. Many thanks for the likes and compliments, as always. It has been a while since my last post on this build log. Summer means more outdoor activities with family and many more outdoor chores, so less modeling. Someone should do something about that. 😋 This build has also been hijacked by another project. I have been hired by the US Merchant Marine Academy museum to build 7 models in the next 4 years, and I have been doing the research and laying the groundwork for them. I will, of course, be writing and posting build logs as I go along. The first of these will be quite an unusual model. It will be of the USS/SS Leviathan (1914), which in her day was the largest ship in the world. She was a troop ship during WW I and an ocean liner afterwards. The troop ship was painted in a wild ‘dazzle’ camouflage, while the liner was dressed in the red-white-and blue livery of the US Lines. The unique thing about the model is that I am directed to build the port side as the troop ship, with its guns, military style boats and dozens of life rafts, etc. The starboard side will be done as the ocean liner with the guns removed and civilian style boats. Down the centerline, where there were added lookout posts, rangefinder platforms and other structures, I am to cut them in half, make them hollow and paint the edges red to show the differences. The scale is 1/16”=1’, so the model of this 950 foot ship will be just under 5 feet long. Oh, and I only have 9 months to complete it. Wish me luck. I did get some work done though. I ended the last installment of the log with the construction of the bow cargo cranes. Next I turned to the lifeboats. With the Michelangelo, as with all ocean liners, the boats are an important visual element. In this illustration you can see how their bright orange interiors contrast with the general white colors of the ship. There are several types of boats shown, including a motor launch, although I cannot decide if this is a grainy photograph or a painting that may differ somewhat from the actual ship. In this next photo there is no launch, although the first boat is smaller and the second has an enclosed cabin at the bow. The boats hang from fairly simple one arm davits of a design that I have not seen before. From overhead I can see that the davits are joined to each other with a shaft that ends in large fittings which are probably the winches for the boat falls. Toward the aft end of the boats there is a white blocky element which must be either the engine or the control station for the boat. The boats started life as appropriately sized pewter castings from Bluejacket. With some refining they made excellent fittings. First the sides were smoothed to remove the bumps which are meant to be safety lines, I guess. The sternpost was straightened and concave hollows ground to let the water reach the propeller cavity. A plastic rudder was roughly cut and secured with CA, then refined in place. The insides of each boat was ground thinner, as was the cast thwart insert. After gluing it in, the whole boat was primed and painted white. Then the thwart piece was painted a bright safety orange. A short piece of plastic rectangular rod was set in for the engine. Lift blocks were made from Bluejacket 2mm castings. Their becket ends were cut off and their eyes were drilled out at the other end. A wire was looped through the eye and secured in each hole at the ends of the boat. This photo shows the danger of macro lenses. I had to go back to straighten the engine block and touch up the paint. The speckled look is not a mistake, though. Well, not much of a mistake. The original orange was much too bright, even though it was the correct color. For model purposes the intensity had to be tamed. I opted for a light mist of spray paint from a distance. The speckles are not individually visible without magnification unless your nose is an inch or two from the model, so the result is acceptable. Nonetheless, the next time I would probably choose a thin wash of translucent white or grey. The davits turned into a problem. Here is my best photo of their shape. They have a curved vertical arm with two flat pulley at the top. About halfway down there is a support arm that holds the keel and has a padded block for the boat to rest against. None of the commercial houses had anything close, and I needed 40 of them, all identical. Making so many identical fittings proved to be beyond my skills, so once again I turned for help to my friends who do laser cutting. Charlie Zardoz and Chuck Passaro are two of the most generous members of our community and they have my sincere thanks. I first marked out and cut a master davit from plastic. It turned out to be 22mm tall, about 7/8". I took that photo with a macro lens and exported it into CorelDraw, where I drew the outline of the shape. I sent this out and had laser cut copies created in both wood and plastic. The wooden ones were just the right thickness, but unfortunately there was a weak point at the base of the support arm where the grain runs vertically. Even strengthening the wood with hardener only helped a bit. The plastic ones were strong enough, but were too thin. In the end two of the plastic davits were glued together, with two punched discs to represent the pulleys. The davits were secured against the deck house on the Boat deck 25mm from their partner. They were joined by a .020” brass bar seated in two small blocks mounted to the inner faces of the davits. Each boat was hung with .003" fly tying line that began in each block, ran up and over the inner pulley, through the lift block on the boat, up and over the outer pulley, and then through a hole in the bulwark that led behind the rail. Small clips held tension on the lines until the height was adjusted, then everything was secured with CA and the excess line cut off invisibly behind the railing. Here are the forward three boats on the port side. The forward boat is slightly smaller and hangs just a bit lower than the rest. PVA glue holds the boats to their support arms and everything is really quite secure. And for scale, here is FDR about to board the middle boat. Here is the entire port side run of boats. I wish I had more depth of field for a better photo, but you get the idea. And here is the starboard side. I think it matches up pretty well to the illustration of the ship at the beginning of this post. Only a few final details and it will be ready for launching. I will report in again soon. Till then, Be well Dan
  6. Michael - A pleasure to see your excellent work once again. Dan
  7. Hi - You certainly have a large challenge in front of you. Whenever I am approached to restore a hobby-built kit model, I always ask "How much do you love the model and the modeler?" In your case your love for your grandfather and his work is quite evident. That settled, there is a huge amount of work to be done, but it is not hopeless at all. Taking it one step at a time is the way to go, just like building the kit in the first place. If you do go forward, I recommend that you get "Ship Modelers' Shop Notes, vol. II" from the NRG shop. I included a specific section on restorations. Rob Napier and others give a good introduction to the skills and methods used. Rob has a longer article in the Journal which you can get, and he has written a book on his restoration of an antique museum model. I am always happy to help out with general questions or specific problems. Don't worry about my time. Second only to building ship models I love talking about them. Contact me through this website or my email at shipmodel@aol.com Best of success Dan
  8. Beautiful work, Michael - Comparing the current photos with the first ones, the amount of work, and its quality, are stunningly apparent. Congratulations. Dan
  9. Beautiful work, Ken - Love how she is coming out. Dan
  10. Hi Michael - Just stumbled on this while surfing MSW. You are doing amazing work, given the pictures of what you started with. Actually, I know this model. I did some pre-sale restorations on the Seamans' Church Institute collection when they moved from lower Manhattan to Port Newark in New Jersey. Some of the models were then sold through Bonham's at that auction in 2011. I did not work on the Albertic. It was one of the gems of the group, but it had been in a case so it did not need repairs. I was at the auction, but did not bid on this lot, needless to say. Quite a bit above my price range, and much too large for my NY apartment. I am so glad that the restoration is in your capable hands. I will continue to follow until you are done. Be well Dan
  11. Beautiful work, JD - I especially like how the flags and pennants came out, especially the Maryland one. Dan
  12. Hi Eric - Just got back from vacation and saw this interesting discussion. I do see your issue, which is a planking question and not one of internal structure. Since I have limited experience with river steamboats, but trying to think as a shipwright of the period and location, I would want to know a bit more about the building of the Arabia. Was she built for luxury travel, or was she more of a rivergoing 'truck.' If so, she would have been built as quickly and as cheaply as possible. This points me more towards A, which has the simplest, most economical use of medium length straight planks and wider tapered off-cuts. A more high-end ship might have had a more decorative planking for the guests to stroll along. Also really enjoyed reading your research and planning blog. Dan
  13. Hi Marc - Beautiful carving work, and a very closely matching pair. But if you only used the best master, and doubled the number of castings, wouldn't they all be identical? One of the pair is just rotated 180 degrees. Dan
  14. Hi Marc - Progressing nicely. Congratulations. I understand that there are 'odorless' cyano glues out there. They are said to be much less irritating. Maybe worth tracking some down. Dan
  15. Really nice work. I can already see her gliding across the frozen Hudson. Dan

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