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Bob Cleek

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  1. Wow! What a gold mine. That one went right into my "favorites" file. A lot of good reading there. Thanks!
  2. Bob Cleek


    Has anybody ever tried tumbling wooden cleats in a "block tumbler?" If so, how did the turn out?
  3. I'm glad you did! This level of discussion is what makes MSW forum as good as it is. It's how we learn from one another. Thanks much!
  4. On large ships, the capstan shaft, running below the weather deck, often had sets of bars on each deck such that with eight or ten men to a bar, many tons of weight could be hauled with two or close to even three hundred men on the bars at one time on a large warship. On capstans, a continuous-loop messenger line would be turned round the capstan and fastened ("nipped") to the cable with ties, called "nips" or "nippers," as the cable came aboard. The ties would be continuously tied, "leap-frog" fashion, by ship's boys (hence the term, "the little nippers") tying the messenger along the cable as it was hauled so that the capstan could be turned continuously by the seamen to haul up the cable. Turns around the capstan with the lighter messenger line made wrapping it around the capstan a lot easier than wrestling with the heavy and less flexible anchor cable. See: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/model/report2/ This article pretty much answers the questions raised in this thread. Texas A&M University's Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation ("CMAC") is a great resource for modelers. See: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/cmac/ In any sort of a swell, the bow will rise and fall with the swells. The bow's buoyancy adds tremendous lifting forces to a cable with a load on it. This makes it possible to also take advantage of those lifting forces to "horse up" on a cable and anchor, and to initially break out an anchor when weighing it, much as one would reel in a large fish on a rod and reel when deep sea fishing. (Of course, when fishing, the movement of the fish adds a further dimension to the excitement of it all!)
  5. Bob Cleek

    Advise on first ship kit

    They are very similar vessels, but, as I understand it, two different British Admiralty longboats. Each is an exact replica of two different contemporary longboat models in the British National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. The Model Shipways "Armed Longboat" is a 1:24 scale kit and the finished model is 24" long. It carries a cannon at the bow. This kit was, I believe, designed by Chuck Passaro for Model Shipways. The "Medway Longboat (1742)" does not have a cannon, but is equipped with a anchor windlass and sailing rig. It is also 1:24 scale (1/2" = 1') and is probably about the same size as the "Armed Longboat." The Medway longboat is sold by Chuck's own company, Syren Ship Models. See: https://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/medway-longboat-1742.php You buy it directly from Chuck. He has a rebate/discount price deal if you sign up to participate in the group build of it on this forum. (See: I am sure that if you send Chuck a PM, he can answer your questions with more detail and perhaps help you choose between the two. I've not built either of them (as yet,) and Chuck could certainly let you know which was the better fit for your needs. I believe that with the deal on the Medway Longboat through the forum, the prices are roughly equivalent.
  6. Bob Cleek

    Advise on first ship kit

    You might consider setting the small scale build you've been working on aside and building Glad Tidings first. You'll probably enjoy Glad Tidings a lot more at this stage of the game. After that, you'll have more experience and confidence and can go back to finishing the "big boat." There's no rule that "you have to eat your peas before you can have desert!"
  7. Bob Cleek

    Advise on first ship kit

    Given your previous modeling experience, I would urge you to build on that. You'll be fine. Your steepest learning curve will be in dealing with the nautical terminology and learning how wooden vessels are built. I'd strongly encourage you to start with one of Chuck Passaro's longboat models marketed by Model Shipways. You can follow his build log and group build posts in this forum and see what building one entails, as well has have access to advice from others building the model and its designer himself. Chuck's instructions are excellent and his kits are "finestkind." You won't have to worry about missing parts, junk wood, and indecipherable instructions. When you are done, you'll have mastered hanging real plank on real frames and mastered the basics of anything you'll later encounter building ship models and you'll have a very interesting, high quality, work of art of which you can be proud. Once you've got a longboat under your belt, you can move on to his larger and much more complex Syren. Avoid the temptation offered by many kit manufacturers to undertake a hugely complex and challenging model, and too often a low quality kit, right out of the gate. See: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/forum/76-medway-longboat-1742-plank-on-frame-group-project/ You can download PDFs of Chuck's instructions here:
  8. Bob Cleek

    2mm block threading

    This is true. working over a piece of paper or tinfoil will catch the drips. CA is great for some things, but I agree, it is somewhat nasty and messy to work with. While it doesn't set up quite as stiff as CA, I sometimes use clear nail polish. (The color really doesn't matter, since the end will eventually be cut off.) The acetone thinner evaporates very quickly, especially if you blow on it for a few seconds. It's really just a matter of getting something on the thread that will stiffen it enough to get it started through the hole. Nail polish comes with a brush in the cap and isn't messy at all. Cheaper than CA and with a longer shelf life, too.
  9. I'm enjoying this post, such as it is now in its infancy. Long ago, I built an an old MS "yellow box" Despatch #9, kit-bashed to an SF Bay Crowley Red Stack tug (they had a sister ship) and a Bluejacket Mary Taylor. I've got an old Marine Models Morgan still mint-in-the-box, beckoning from the shelf, simultaneously seducing and guilt-tripping me for the last 45 years. All these are solid hull models. Thinking back, it's refreshing my memory to watch the process of getting out one of these rough-cut solid hulls. Kurt, "I feel your pain!" Once upon a time, these solid hull model kits were "state of the art." Sad to say, "Many were sold, but few were finished." as the fantasy of a fine ship model was dashed on the rocks of reality when the inexperienced immediately found themselves against the lee shore of "thinning the bulwarks." The double-planked, plank-on-bulkhead models coming into the marketplace were advertised as "easier to build" and "more like building a real ship." After that, people turned their noses up at the solid hull models, considering them "second class." After all, they didn't even have "real planks" and "real copper plated bottoms," notwithstanding that their prominent topside plank seams and nail-studded copper plates were way out of scale. Over time, it seems a lot of people have forgotten (and a lot of the ones that used to remember have croaked!) how challenging a solid hull is to do well. There's a big difference between "making a model" and "assembling a model." Some recommended back then that the best approach with solid hulls was to determine the sheer at the deck and simply cut off all of the wood above that from which the instructions said you were to carve the bulwarks. Thereafter, one cut a rabet the depth of the bulwarks' thickness and proceeded to lay the covering boards and deck planking. The bulwarks being out of the way eliminated the tedious carving and made easier work of shaping the deck camber, striking a good deck centerline, and fitting covering boards and deck planking to the outboard edge. (One might say that there wasn't "the devil to pay.") After that, a strip of wood or metal the thickness of the bulwarks which rose to the correct height above the deck sheer was fastened against the face of the rabet and the seam filled and faired. I didn't do that on my two prior carved hull models, but I would seriously consider it if I ever I get around to my Marine Models Morgan. Gerald Wingrove did this on his Coriolanus model written up in his book, Techniques of Ship Modeling, but then Wingrove is a wizard at modeling anything and I can't presume that what he makes look easy I might accomplish even poorly! With respect to old kits, I add that "lead bloom" is an odd sort of thing. It seems to have it's own mind, sometimes being a problem and other times not. I've read the conservation literature on it and it seems to be a function of the ambient acidity in the environment of cased models. I've apparently been successful in "curing" it in one instance by providing for ventilation within a case and sealing the oxidizing parts with thinned epoxy sealer. (It was more likely the ventilation than the sealing that did the trick, I suspect.) In other instances, where it hasn't been apparent on old models, I've noted that the alloys used to make the small parts of some of the older kits did vary to some extent, probably in the ratio of antimony and/or tin added for hardness. Few were ever pure lead in the first place. Some seem to oxidize more than others, but I can't say in a given instance if this is due to environment or alloy. Suffice it to say, if the "lead" parts in an old kit don't evidence deterioration after years of age sitting in the box, they are probably going to be alright if used when the model is finally built. If, on the other hand, they have any signifiicant coating of white lead oxide dust on them, they are best used with suspicion, if not reservation. If all else fails, they can usually be used for patterns to cast replacements of less perishable alloys or otherwise scratch-built. There's a lot of bargains to be had in old kits that go begging because of the curse of "lead parts." ... Just sayin'.
  10. Install the blade you want to match the zero-clearance insert. Crank the blade all the way down. Install the blank plate in the table top and screw it down. Turn on the saw and slowly raise the running blade as far up as it will go, so that it cuts its way through the aluminum or wood insert as it's being raised. That's all there is to it.
  11. Not to drive you crazy or anything, but be aware that the Lee Valley "miniature" line of planes, etc., while they are, I am sure, quality tools that "work just like the full-sized ones," are basically intended as collector's items more than practical working tools. (Hence the fancy "jeweler's" cases in which they come.) While they work like the big ones, they aren't ergonomically designed, due to their small size. IMHO, "cute" as they are, if one is looking for a "user," they'd be better off with a good "modeler's" or "gents" (as they used to be called) plane. No doubt the Lie Nielsen "squirrel tail" model is "finestkind," and I'd say "go for it" if one can stomach the price, but, frankly, good as they are, one pays a big premium for the label alone on many of L-N's products. Their irons are great, but a top quality iron, in this case, even an L-N iron, can be put in other planes and provide much the same effect for a lot less damage to the pocketbook. Besides, their modeler's plane body is cast iron, not the bronze bodies for which they are famous. Kunz (German) is the last company I know of that's making a copy of the old Stanley (and Record) #100 Modelmaker's Plane with the squirrel-tail handle. (The handle. which rests against the palm with an index finger on the finger pad ahead of the blade, makes this small plane much easier to use well than the simply "miniaturized" smaller planes.) It doesn't offer the bragging rights of an L-N or even a Lee Valley/Veritas, but for $20 bucks and a bit of honing after first taking it out of the box, it is a subtle way to make the statement that you have more brains than money.
  12. Bob Cleek

    The resurrection of the Flying Fish.

    Nice model and I expect it outlasted the cat in the end, didn't it?
  13. Bob,


    Thank you very much for offering a new approach to finding the reason for the model I showed (HP Howland) in my introduction. Your sources will be extremely helpful since we seem to have exhausted every net source we could think of.  The research department at the museum also ran out of ideas so a new path is welcome to them also.



  14. I've had my full-sized Workmate for about as long. I use it all the time. It's one of the most versatile benches of its kind. I've never seen the miniature "Hobbycrafter" model. I googled it. Apparently, they don't make them anymore. There were a couple on eBay for big bucks and the shipping was sixty bucks or so, too. I was dumbfounded by the prices they are asking for old big Workmates, too. If the Hobbycrafter is half the tool the big one is, I'd definitely be looking for one, but not at eBay prices!

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