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About GaryKap

  • Birthday 09/11/1946

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
  • Interests
    completed MS Newsboy, Sultana, Rattlesnake
    and MS Fair American

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  1. Hi Doris - Yes, the SYREN model is at a scale of 1:64. The hull is approximately 19 inches long and 5 inches wide. Here is a link: I have also built Model Shipways Sultana, Rattlesnake, Fair American, Newsboy, and Benjamin W. Latham. I had more enjoyment building SYREN than any of these, and the finished model looks better too. I also learned many useful techniques from the instructions that I can use on future models. <<Gary>>
  2. Hi Doris - You might check out the USS SYREN by Model Shipways. She has a great history, and was launched in 1803 to fight against terrorists in the Mediterranean. The kit is very well designed with excellent instructions printed in color and bound as a book. I just completed her and feel that the kit is suited to builders with a range of skills. There are several very good build logs on this site, as well as a number of hobbyists to assist you. You can download the instruction manual from Model Expo as a series of Adobe pdf documents. Those plus the build logs should give you a good indication of what is involved. And at the end, if you do even a half way decent job building her, you will have a beautiful model. Good luck in your search for a model. <<Gary>>
  3. Hi Bill - I am nearly finished with my SYREN build, and can wholeheartedly recommend it to you. She is my sixth ship model and I have derived far more pleasure from building her than any previous model. Chuck Passaro's very complete and detailed instruction manual were an enormous help, as were the clever construction innovations included in the kit. One of the more befuddling aspects of model ship building is the rigging. Chuck's step by step instructions and plans are wonderful. And you don't HAVE to include all of the fine details that may be beyond your current skills to still produce a good looking final product. Most important, building her will provide many pleasurable hours. I am 70 years old and have been working on my SYREN kit for a year and a half. I hope this helps, and as others have suggested, I hope you start a build log on this web site. You will discover many friends who will give you support and helpful suggestions along the way. Good luck in your decision. <<Gary>>
  4. Hello Igor - Yes, I was able to visit the Central Naval Museum and had a wonderful time admiring the ship models and learning Russian naval history. I was surprised to learn that Tsar Alexander II sent two naval squadrons to the United States in 1863 to support the Union side in our Civil War - one to New York and the other to San Francisco. And of course the quality of the ship models is superb...truly "museum quality"...and then some. My wife and I enjoyed our stay in Saint Petersburg during the national holiday of Russia Day. Thanks again for your post making me aware of the Central Naval Museum. <<Gary>>
  5. Here is the way hammocks are depicted on a (large) ship model in the Central Naval Museum in Saint Petersburg Russia: <<Gary>>
  6. IgorSky - Thank you for posting all of these photos from the Central Naval Museum. Because of your information, I will be visiting the museum on June 12. I am very much looking forward to seeing in person all of the ship models and naval artifacts. Peter the Great certainly left a legacy for many generations of Russians. <<Gary>>
  7. Hi Mtdoramike - Thanks for the information. I am sure the display cases are exquisite, but at $1000 they are also out of my price range. Also, I would be very concerned about shipping a fully assembled glass display case after FedEx delivered my flat screen TV with a hole punched through the cardboard box and a big crack in the screen... For me,with the hobby of model ship building, my enjoyment is derived from the many hours spent building a ship model. For the price of a display case, I could purchase one or maybe two top shelf model kits. However, there are certainly some folks on this web site who build better than museum quality models that deserve the protection offered by a glass display case and this is a nice source for anyone who can afford it. <<Gary>>
  8. Hi Overdale = Thank you for making us aware of this source of display cases. I visited the web site but could not find any indication of cost for the case and cost to ship. How much money are we talking about here? Is the total cost a couple hundred dollars or several hundred? What has been your experience? A case would certainly be nice to keep off the dust and protect a ship model from little fingers and paws... Thanks again <<Gary>>
  9. Hi Richard - When I did this same thing on my SYREN build, I pre-drilled a hole for the eye bolt. Then I inserted it to make sure it fit OK. Then I pulled it out part way, put a tiny dot of super glue on the end of a T-pin, touched the T-pin to the shaft of the eye bolt, and pushed the eye bolt into the wood. After the glue dried, I tested the eye bolt by tugging gently on it with tweezers to make sure it was secure. Finally, I made sure the super glue did not close the eye of the eye bolt by taking my hand drill (can't think of the proper name) with a #70 drill bit and made sure it would go through the eye in the eye bolt. Better to do this now than when you are rigging the carronades. As to the split rings, my plan is to just crimp them shut, or maybe apply the small dot of super glue. Then again, I am certain that I would just make a bigger mess if I tried to solder them. Hope this helps. <<Gary>>
  10. HI bigcreekdad - I also use Coats and Clark upholstery thread for "fine" rigging. I find it very easy to work with and prefer it to the stuff that comes in kits. I buy black (color 2) and tan (color 543) in 150 yard spools from good ol' Walmart. <<Gary>>
  11. Hi Richard - No, I did not start a build log for SYREN. I am a retired guy who enjoys building model ships to pass the time during cold winter days and hot summer days. I would grade myself as a C+ modeler...lacking the skill and patience shown on many other build logs, and am reluctant to display my work in closeup photos online. Plus, when I did build logs for FAIR AMERICAN and BENJAMIN W. LATHAM I discovered that it takes a lot of effort to do a good one that is useful to others. So instead, I prefer to contribute stuff where I think I can be useful, as I did in the original post here. There are several excellent SYREN build logs on this site, notably by Dubz, SalD, JesseLee, and Gahm. By the way, in my SYREN build I have the hull mostly completed and am working on the carronade sleds right now. I still have not glued the quarter badges on and am trying to decide whether or not to do it. <<Gary>>
  12. Modelers building the MS SYREN have an option with the quarter badges. According to Chapelle (The History of the American Sailing Navy, p. 186) “The quarter badges were removed from the Syren before 1812, apparently – if indeed they were ever placed on her.” So, for those builders who think she looks better without the quarter badges, if they are dissatisfied with their paint job, or if they are unhappy with the quality of the metal casting, there is the historically accurate option of leaving them off altogether. I'm not offering an opinion here; nor am I showing a preference. I am simply passing information along to other SYREN modelers who might find it useful. Honestly, I have not attached the quarter badges to my build yet, and am conflicted as to what to do. But hopefully this small bit of information might be of assistance to somebody. <<Gary>>
  13. Michael - Thank you for posting the link to a very detailed old photo of a ship's copper bottom. I am currently building the Model Shipways SYREN and will soon be at the coppering stage. The photo will be a help to me in putting the copper plates on correctly. <<Gary>>
  14. I used the MinWax Wipe On Poly Satin and was disappointed in the shiny result. I did not follow up with 0000 steel wool for fear of making things worse. For blackening wood, I have found that a good quality paint like Winsor & Newton Galeria can be greatly thinned with water and still give good color and penetration without being thick or "goopy". <<Gary>>
  15. I am in the process of building Model Shipways SYREN and am finding it to be MUCH more enjoyable than recent builds of Benjamin W. Latham, Fair American, or Rattlesnake ( old solid hull kit). I am taking my time and everything is going very smoothly. I have just completed framing the gun ports and sweep ports (Chapter 3 of the practicum) with no problems thus far - no busted stanchions. I think it is because the kit is so well designed and the instruction manual and plans are so clear. The 132 page color instruction manual is GREAT! Plus I have all of those excellent build logs to glean information from. The kit has some laser markings for key part alignments that are a real help. Chuck Passaro deserves a lot of credit for his excellent work putting this kit together. It is simply a pleasure to build. <<Gary>>