Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Pennsylvania USA

Profile Fields

  • Full NRG Member?
    NRG Member
    MSW Member

Recent Profile Visitors

2,831 profile views
  1. Thank you, Greg and Micheal and others for the likes. The centenary curve on models is easily disrupted by irregularities in the small rope as well as the light weight. However, I believe if the rope is fairly uniform and well stretched, then installed taut under humid conditions, the relaxation when it dehydrates will cause it to droop in a smooth curve - at least that is what I am seeing in the slack lines I mentioned. The smaller, lower yard bowlines are nicely curved as well. Some of the very small lines not so much. Thanks again, Micheal for your comments on the small scale. It has its advantages and disadvantages. The latter are felt in the close up photos and while some of the flaws revealed in pictures like the one of the fore top may be correctable, some are just too small too fix - at least for me. The excess ends on the seizings and lashings being the most problematical. Thanks for the comment on the photo, Greg - taken with my iPhone. Most of the the photos for the posts and the books were taken with a Nikon D3100 SLR with aperture priority - stopped down to around F22 to maximize depth of field - no question of handheld for these because of the slow shutter speed. The iPhone pics are very crisp at the focal point in closeup situations but the depth of field is very shallow - sometimes a good thing, but often not. The phone has the virtue of small size so it can be inserted into the model. I have been experimenting with it for photos like the one above and also for deck-level photos. Unfortunately these photos often reveal even more glitches with the work. thanks again for the comments. Ed
  2. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 311 – Main Topgallant Mast It has been an interesting week in the shop. Temperatures in our area dropped below freezing this week, with the usual drop in humidity, causing the long stays on the model to sag somewhat from their taut condition when installed during the warmer, more humid months. The sag on these is not too displeasing and actually mimics the sag in the photos of the ship. I measured this by magnifying the images and drawing straight CAD lines to compare. This could be corrected by hauling up on the backstay lanyards but for now I am not doing this. The topic in this part is the main topgallant mast. This and its crosstrees were made earlier. Before erecting the mast, the iron band for the royal futtock shrouds needed to be installed. This is placed at the smallest mast diameter, just under the octagonal hounds that spread outward to support the crosstrees. For this reason a soldered band cannot be used. The first pictures show the way I made this band. The copper strip was first crimped around the mast in a way that formed two tabs on the aft side. One of these was cut shorter than the other so the longer end could be bent and pressed over the first to form the flange-like tab shown in the next picture. In the picture this has been drilled for the four futtock shroud eyebolts. It was then blackened and the eyebolts glued in with CA. The crosstrees were then fitted and the mast erected. The next picture shows the foot of the installed mast and the turning-in of the two tg shrouds on the starboard side. The mast fid with its shackle may be seen in the picture. The forward, served shroud has its deadeye turned in with three seizings. The second shroud, to the left, is ready for its throat seizing. The deadeye is held in an alligator clamp for this. The next picture shows the tg mast with lanyards threaded on two of the shrouds and other lines hanging loose. The loose ends of the shrouds and seizings will be trimmed off when the glue coating dries. The forward stay has been run, but the upper collar seizing remains untied at this stage. The lower end of the stay is shown in the next picture. The stay is served at this end and passes through a bullseye strapped to the fore lower masthead. It is then seized to an eyebolt through the center crosstree. This picture also shows the fully loaded fairlead planks with just a few spare, unused holes. The next picture shows a closer view of the shrouds as the tg backstay is being prepared. The next picture shows the deadeye and lanyard connection of the backstay to the channel. The stay and shrouds are threaded but will not be hauled tight until their port side counterparts and the forward stay are rigged. The next picture shows the state of the model before rigging the port side lines. The sag of the topmast and lower mast stays may be apparent in this picture. While it is not very pronounced and perhaps realistic, it is counter to the desire for a tight, rigid structure – I guess. Interspersed with the above work, the dreary and eye-straining making and tying of ratlines continues. I estimate there are around 650 of these on the model. Ed
  3. I look forward to seeing your results with the guns, Mark. One additional thought I had about casting: I don't know if you are dusting the mold with talc before pouring, but that will reduce surface tension in the mold and improve the finish of the castings. Just dust it on the mold with a brush. Some people use baby powder, but here is a link to purpose-made stuff: https://contenti.com/jewelry-casting-supplies/mold-making-supplies/mold-release/talc-powder Ed
  4. Hi Mark, I evidently missed your post on the tools question. Attached is a pdf from Sherline on tool grinding. If you have Sherline or other HSS tool bits, this should be helpful. Hardening these should not be necessary and is not mentioned in the instructions. If your are using mild steel for the tools or unhardened tool steel you may use files to shape the cutters. Hardening the shaped area after shaping may then be done easily using a torch, pliers and a soup can half full of olive or canola oil. See Naiad Vol I for more detail on the heat treating. HSS or hardened bits may be shaped them by grinding using diamond grit burs or files, or you may anneal the cutter by heating to cherry red then allowing to air cool. Pass a file over the blank to determine if it soft or if you get the distinctive "ring" from a hardened tool. If you have YA Vol II, there is some information on the CD about making lathe tools that may be helpful. If you do not have this, pm me. Ed grinding.pdf
  5. Paul, I believe this block on the channel would be for a running breast backstay fall or for the fall of a shifting backstay. These are described in James Lees, The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860 (p.55). "Breast Backstays Runn." are also listed for topmasts in Steel's Elements of Mastmaking, etc. (p. 239) with falls and blocks. In both references tackle blocks are double and single, however, not triple (?). In McKay's Victory AOS, the rigging list includes stays of this type with tackles for top and topgallant masts. The topmast tackles are shown on his standing rigging elevation drawings, but those for the tg mast are listed but not shown. Longridhge also describes these and shows the channel blocks in his drawings in Anatomy of Nelson's Ships. I installed these on Victory's fore and main topmasts and that triggered my recollection. Not a definitive answer but may help you track them down. Ed.
  6. I would use 1 to 1 Rapid. It held up for me with many pours and deeply undercut patterns.
  7. More on casting. The mold shown in you photos would be improved with a vent out of the bottom end - at the pommel. This will cause the air to be forced out by that route and will allow the metal to flow through the mold taking some gas with it. I would support Druxey's recommendation of lead-free pewter. I used various blends of metals, from linotype metal to Cerrobend - but most of those cantain lead and I would not use those today - even though my painted figures have - some pure lead - have help up for up to 40 years under their acrylic paint. Allan, I would love to hear and see more on your one-piece mold process. Results look great. Ed
  8. Gaetan, I agree that your method is better for the reason you state - centering of the barrel bore - very difficult after turning the barrel. Your method also allows all the heavy turning to be done with the piece held at the large end - until the final turning of the pommel and parting off. I would definitely recommend your method. My Victory guns were the first turning project on my new Unimat ( in 1978). I would probably cast these today. Casting the guns in say, pewter, in an RTV mold would be easiest and the quality should be equal to turning. The biggest problem I have had with casting in RTV - over 5000 military figures and artillery - is degassing the mold - especially in areas like the gun bores - I eventually resorted to a vacuum chamber and pump to remove bubbles from the molds before curing and a centrifugal caster to de-gas the metal - not something you would want to do for 100 or so casts - but for simple gun barrels careful brushing of the rubber over the pattern should suffice - plus of course, venting - if you go this route. Turning every gun is not the best route - but with all our equipment we can't resist wanting to do it that way. Have fun. Ed
  9. Looking sweet, Maury. Getting those deck clamps in really ties it all together - and soon no more spacers. Ed
  10. Mark, I like the idea of decking under the guns - this will also help with hanging the tackles and breeching realistically. I turned the 100+ guns on my Victory using the Unimate with the headstock rotated slightly for the tapers. I did not have a duplicator - and still do not - but relied on a set of adjustment increments to duplicate each barrel profile with shaped cutters for each end of the barrel. I did each step on all the barrels of one size gun with the business end of the barrel chucked and without a tailstock center - starting with the shaped pommel, then the tapers, then the barrel rings, etc. Drilled the barrels after cutting off the stub. A very manual approach, but worked well. Care is needed to center the barrel bores. Here's a description in one of the Victory posts. ps. I see Gaetan used much the same method I did, but from the other end - probably better that way. But either way the work goes quickly once the process is set. Ed
  11. Thank you all for these comments and likes. Wefalck, as you say, placing a bit of card behind the shrouds is most helpful and I have done that where other rigging permits - another good argument for getting the ratlines on early in the process. When I started on the ratlines, I gritted my teeth and decided to form lashing eyes at each end, recognizing that this would be a major effort - especially at this scale where ratlines are No. 80 cotton (~.007" diam.) thread. I described the method for this in Part 283. Other parts describing stages of the ratline work are also described in Parts 213,228, and 240. Some of the methods evolved as the work progressed but Part 283 describes the lashing of eyes most clearly. To my regret, I could not manage this on the fore topgallant shrouds shown in the last part because other rigging denied access for my finger behind the shrouds. I find this necessary to steady the ratline so the needle can be passed through it to form the eye. Virtually all the other ratlines have eyes at both ends. A lesson on sequencing the work. Michael, thank you. Longridge has always been my hero. I believe he did go this far - at least he describes this level in both his books - the first on his Cutty Sark model built in the early 30's and the second on the Victory model that followed. I cannot recall ever seeing his Cutty Sark, but the book on that model would be an indispensable resource for building that oft-modeled ship - and it was of use to me in designing the Young America rigging. Harold Underhill, a major source for me, seems to have been a major contributor to The Longridge clipper book. He did the drawings and perhaps the diagrams in the text. There is great similarity to his book - and equal level of detail. All I can say about keeping track of all these lines and avoiding a complete tangle is - one at a time wherever possible, and diligent reliance on the (indispensable) rigging list - and oh yes, frequent breaks from the work. Thanks again, everyone. Ed
  12. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 310 – Some Loose Ends In moving the main rigging installation forward, some finishing-up work inevitably got bypassed to be done later. Some of this was for access reasons, some to escape prolonged tedious tasks – for example, the seemingly endless "rattling down." Sometimes this multiplies the work, as in the first picture, where topgallant ratlines are being lashed after surrounding lines were installed. This should have been done earlier, right after the tg crosstrees were installed. In the picture one of the ratline eyes is being lashed to the forward shroud. Two pairs of tweezers are being used. The blur in the picture is due to shaky hands. Use of a paper shield like the one in the next picture, helps avoid lashing down other rigging and helps visualize the work. On these tg shrouds, where the work is obstructed, the second ends were clove-hitched due the difficulty of forming lashed eyes that were used on the lower and topmast ratlines. In addition to the upper ratlines, those on the lanyards and the futtock shrouds below must also being added. Fortunately there were no ratlines on the royal shrouds. The next few pictures show the addition of the jib sheets on the forecastle. Each of the four jibs has a sheet on either side. Each sheet reeves through a double pendant middle and seized to the sail's clew cringle. The standing ends of these sheets are shackled to eyebolts on the rail. After they pass through bullseyes in the pendants they are belayed on cleats on the forecastle breast rail - with the sheet on the weather side taking the strain of the sail and the lee side slack. Lacking sails, the eight sheets are simply coiled on the forecastle as shown in the first picture. Coils for the jib downhaulers were also added to the forecastle rail to the right. These are large coils because the long downhaulers are fully hauled in with no sails. The next picture shows the "off-site" fabrication of the sheet coils. The lines were first spliced to eyebolt shackle assemblies, then wrapped around the plastic rod, then wetted with diluted glue and slipped off to dry. As with most of the rope coils on the model, the lengths approximate requirements of the line. The next picture shows the coils glued to the deck on the starboard side. The two on the right, for the staysail and the inner jib, are 3 1/2" and 3" rope respectively. Those on the left, for the outer and flying jibs, are 2 ½" rope. The next picture shows rope coils for the foremast rigging on the port pin rail. Altogether there are about 60 coils associated with the foremast running rigging – on the port and starboard rails and the fife rails – excluding those for the yard braces and other deferred lines that will be added later. This picture also illustrates the role of the shroud fairleads in organizing the lines. I'm sure these also assisted in line identification. The next picture shows most of the coils on the mizzen spider band, those associated with the rigged lower yards and the spanker. Finally, after completing the belaying between the skid beams, the cutter was retrieved from storage and lashed down as shown below. The other cutter will be hung from the quarter davits on the starboard side - later. I have yet to decide where to place the two lower studdingsail booms lying on the cabin roof in this picture. Also, lanyards on the last three backstays on each side, like the fore course sheets and tacks at the far right of the photo, have yet to be secured. Ed
  13. I don't doubt it, Druxey. I am old enough to remember when construction workers on UK job-sites wore ties. I can specifically recall one cement finisher, some pipefitters, and a few insulators. Cheers. Ed
  14. I am catching up, again, Doris. Thank you for posting these magnificent pictures of your work. The sculpting is beyond any words I could offer. Just amazing. Ed
  15. Neither. You may need to look closer, Rob. They may be seen on the 7th photo in the above post - just barely. The fore downhaulers are described and shown more clearly in Part 274. these lines are shackled to the top yard arm band on the lower topsail yard, pass up through blocks on the upper yard arm, run across to the quarter blocks then down to belay on deck. Ed

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research