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About rlb

  • Birthday 05/17/1960

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    Niskayuna, New York

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  1. Bob, There are three versions of Oneida in the completed ship gallery. Elia's is the truest to the kit, and Clay's (cfn1803) is started from the kit, with substantial alterations. There is also a scratchbuilt Oneida, by shipmodel, at a smaller scale), and I have my version in the kit build log forum (the link is in my signature). I don't know why the search doesn't work well in the gallery. The two Lumberyard Oneidas are on page 16 of the kit built gallery (alphabetical as "US Brig Oneida"), and shipmodel's scratch Oneida is on page 4 of the scratch gallery. Good luck, and I'll be happy to help any way I can, just send me a PM, or better yet start a build log and you'll get all the help you need! Regards, Ron
  2. Michael, you've come to the right place. Check out the other Niagara build logs on this site. There are quite a few. Start a build log, post pictures, and ask specific questions. There is a learning curve, depending on your previous experience, but there are a lot of folks here that can help. Ron
  3. Elia, it's amazing you have done without one so far. When I got mine last year it was like I could see for the first time. Your detail work will be even better than it was (which was pretty good!). Ron
  4. Great to hear from you, Colin. I've missed you! Pandora looks great. Ron
  5. I've always loved ships, I'm not sure why. They're just beautiful to me. When I was young (13-16) I used to draw clipper ships. I tried to build a plastic model of the Cutty Sark, and I may have also had the Constitution, but they were complete failures, unfinished. I drew better than I built. (The car and airplane models were much easier!) I wanted to join the US Coast Guard, only because they trained on the tall-ship "Eagle". I even persuaded my parents to take me on a visit to the Coast Guard Academy, where we got a tour of that ship. Fast forward to about 5 years ago when I spied a co-worker's canoe model at his cubicle, and asked him about it. I suddenly wanted to try a wooden model. My interest is in building something off the beaten path. I have no desire to build a Victory or Constitution, though they be great ships. My first model was definitely just to get my feet wet, and my current build I still consider a learning experience and stepping stone--but to what I'm not sure. Ron
  6. Melvyn, I think you have a great point about figures being absent on a ship that looks like it's sailing. It must be, as you and others stated, that modelers find them too difficult to make at a comparable standard to the ship itself--this is unfortunate. It's completely logical to me that a model of a ship that is shown under sail, on a realistic, foaming sea, is incomplete if it doesn't show the human element, too. Ron
  7. Thanks, Nigel. I am sometimes guilty of making generalizations without knowing all the details. This very imperfect analogy came to me when I woke up this morning--again, gross oversimplification-- If many scratch builders are classical musicians (because they are following a "score"), And many kit builders are pop/rock musicians (because they are building on a "formula"), Then Michael is a jazzman of model boats. (because they have to know music inside and out, and also create on the fly) Ron
  8. Hmm.. So many ways to come at this question. I think it's very interesting and I hope I don't come across the wrong way. Regarding modern design and the 10,000 hours: You mention "innovations that are being developed" in recreational sailing craft, and I can imagine that being a more homespun, experimental kind of work. In the commercial realm, I would think professional boat and ship designers are using computers and modeling software to design with rather than (or prior to) a physical model, as are the designers in every design field I can think of. Those fancy, expensive architectural models come after the design is finished, though before the building is built. (Michael, you wrote that you once built architectural models. I'm not speaking of a rough, study model--which is still done, though ever more rarely, during the design phase.) Regarding Nigel's observation: While it's true that the Navy Board modeled ships may not have been built prior to the model, I've gotten the impression that most of those museum models were built by craftsmen, not designers, after a design was formulated--perhaps they worked from a cruder model, and/or drawings. (This is mostly an intuitive guess--I don't really know.) Those models do seem to me to be the equivalent of architectural presentation models. I think that for most recreational model builders (and I include myself), building a model of a ship, is not for the purpose of designing a ship, though we might "design'' a color scheme, or a building jig, or a part we don't have good information about. Speaking for myself, the model has more to do with a recognition of beauty, both in the aesthetic quality and the technical working, even it's place in larger history, of a type of ship, or a specific ship. Actually building a model is a way of understanding it, of becoming closer to it, not to mention capturing some of that beauty, for one's own home, and experiencing the satisfaction of one's own handiwork. Michael, to go back to what Bob wrote, that resonated with you, "why can't a modeler also be a designer?", they can, and you are. Your interest goes in a different direction (or an additional direction), and I wouldn't expect that many have the same desire or ability to do what you are doing. How many 1/8th scale models are on MSW? But that just brings me to what Popeye wrote, which I can't say any better! Ron
  9. I think Hal is unbeatable in this category, but I offer: The wayward space probe "Nomad" from the original Star Trek series (I know--not a movie!) Ron
  10. Hi Stan, I have nearly identical strengths and weaknesses to yours. Except I have no real experience in plastic, and my woodworking skills have developed from none to "making good progress". I would say what you will hear from many others as well--start even smaller than Chapelle's revenue cutter (which I think would make a great model by the way). Make something that you can finish in a few months. You will get (relatively) immediate gratification, but more importantly, it will tell you whether you have the interest to tackle something more involved and time consuming. Even though the revenue cutter is relatively small and not a great deal of rigging, it will still be complex to build. Especially for a first timer. That said, I don't have any of Boudriot's books, but I gather that they are exceptionally accurate and complete, and this might be enough to get you through the scratch building learning curve. But whichever route you go, definitely start making sawdust! Ron
  11. Great question, Michael! For me you are speaking of the difference between an artist and a craftsman. I think we can broaden the word artist to include designer, which is the word you used—maybe then it becomes the difference between creativity and craftsmanship. Of course there is an overlap between the two. A great artist (or designer) might also be a great craftsman and vice versa. I think this is often the case. But, the inverse can be true, too. A great craftsman may be a poor designer, or a great designer or artist, be a poor craftsman. In the case of a model ship, a pure craftsman would take the best historical information available, and build a model that to the best of his/her ability matches the documentation. He knows before beginning what it should be in the end. Any deviation from the plans is a mark of lesser quality (or to be less harsh sounding, a necessary compromise). A designer, or artist, almost by definition, doesn’t know what the finished result will be beforehand, though they may have “something in mind”. They are open to the twists and turns of the process, and the revisions, re-doing, and dead-ends, until the spark of something new, or “right” happens, that lines up with their intent. There are models exhibiting both of these extremes here on MSW, but most are a blend. (Even if one is more of a craftsman, sometime in a model, if there is insufficient information to make sure you're making something accurate, you must don the designer hat.) No one type is best, and they are just the result of an individual’s strengths and interests. Ron
  12. How long does it take to build a model? Oh, my gosh. About the same amount of time that it takes to learn to play the guitar. Ron
  13. There is also The Lumberyard, though they are somewhere between kits and timbering sets. There's a link to their site at the same area of the forum home page, a few banners up from your Database link--you can check out their kit offerings there. Ron
  14. Perfect, Wayne. Thanks. Yes, no doubt there are some differences. I just don't have much info on what they might be! Ron
  15. I have a question regarding the taper of the main mast (and fore mast as well) for my Oneida. In Lees book The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860, he gives a chart (page 2 chapter 1) showing the amount of taper relative to the partners (which would be the point of widest diameter) at 6 points along the mast: Heel, First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter, Hounds, and Head. However, I haven't found a diagram of a mast that shows those points. Please excuse this crude drawing, but this shows where I've interpreted (guessed) the measuring points to be, with the lower end of the hounds marking the end of the segment that is divided into quarters. My question is: should I use the bottom of the hounds (as I have shown), or the mid-point, or the upper end where the top would sit, as the measuring point for the Hounds? And a bigger question, is my assumption that the quarters consist of the portion of mast between the partners and the hounds correct? It's not going to make much difference which point on the hounds I use, but I'm just curious now. (However, If the quarters should be different--such as the quarter points between the head and heel--that would really change things.) Thanks for any help, Ron