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Found 12 results

  1. The fictional vessel Dulcibella is the vessel the protagonists use in the sailing spy novel The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service written in 1903 by Erskine Childers (born1870, executed1922). here is the wikipedia page for the novel: A brief synopsis of the novel is that Charles Caruthers is summoned by his old school friend Arthur Davies to accompany him on a sailing excursion to the Frisien Islands in the North Sea just off the coast of Germany near Wilhelmshaven- the German North Sea naval base. Skulduggery ensues. Caruthers is played by Michal York in the film version and that tells you all you need to know about his charachter- kind of a white glove rich guy who brings too much luggage and is more suited to larger fancy yachts. Davies is more salt of the earth and is an enthusiastic self reliant practical seaman, not the yachty type at all. Childers was an enthusiastic yachtsman and owned a vessel called the Vixen, which was a converted lifeboat. At the time it was not an uncommon practice to acquire and then convert a surplus lifeboat by adding a transom and decking over the otherwise simple laminated plywood open boat hull. Fortunately, photographs exist of the Vixen on the hard at the end of her career. Erskine fictionalized the Vixen and made her the Dulcibella of the novel. We learn in the novel that Davies has recently converted Dulcibella from a Sloop to a Yawl by adding a mizzen, and all the action in the novel takes place in the very shallow waters of the many small, sandy, hard to navigete Frisian Islands. Sailors have always loved the novel because it is clearly written in their language, Childers loved sailing and his comprehension of the subject brings authentic detail and atmosphere to the novel. Dulcibella becomes a character in the book and by the end of the novel you have a very good feel for what she is and how she handles.To this day its hard to find a fictional craft that comes across so clearly to the reader. So I decided to try to build a model of her.
  2. Here's to a new log! I am starting the Kate Cory now, a solid hull 1:64 scale model from Model Shipways. The hull came in excellent shape with only minor re-shaping to get down to the final measure. The hardest part was the bulwark thinning, which they recommend a chisel to carve down. I used a Dremel Tool.... Wear a mask if you try this, as basswood in the lungs is a bit unhealthy ;-) The sterm of the ship needed the most wood removal and reshaping. That also prompted me to use a Dremel sanding drum, which worked swiftly. With some hand sanding afterwards, the whole thing is coming along nicely. I used a smaller chisel to square off the deck levels and trim the bulwarks closer to the deck. Next I am going to work on the deck bevel and do some fine sanding to the exterior. I want to add a shiny coat of varnish or something to make the coppered portion stick better... raw wood is a no-go for self adhesive copper tapes it turns out, as a simple experiment shows that smooth wood just lets the tape peel off. Testing is good. ~johnb
  3. I believe this is an Alabama class Revenue Cutter circa 1819. Blue jacket was pretty vague on the origin. I was first concerned about the hull since it seemed to have very little room to shape. As I began working it, though, it is coming along nicely. The kit has well-drawn plans that accompany a nice instruction manual. I have never attempted a wooden ship model and have already emailed Nic at Blue jacket a couple of dumb questions. He has been great about responding and has sent photos for clarity.
  4. I was asked to clean and restore this interesting old model. Clearly long neglected but also clearly a pretty old model worth saving. She had a solid hull and a few cast metal fittings. No blocks or deadeyes and everything else hand made. I single diameter of rigging throughout with repairs in cotton cord and copper wire. The name on the bow was obscured but probably "Dragon". There was an odd, fairly large, brass disc nailed to the Starboard Bow with a number on it.
  5. Hi everyone, I have done a couple of Revell plastic model kits and I am DONE with all the flashing and poor fittings. I just purchased the new Revenue Cutter from Bluejacket, which seemed like a nice beginner's solid hull kit. Any tips about hull shaping would be appreciated, if there are any specific sanding tools or techniques that help. The hull forms look pretty good, and are well drawn. Also the model is 1:48th scale. I think this kit is too new for a builders' forum or a blog yet, but any advice along these lines would be great. I will be actively checking in as I go along and I am looking forward to the build. So far, the plans seem very well done and it comes with a pretty concise and easy to understand instruction book. Finally, anyone who can steer me toward any good books on the early American Revenue service would be greatly appreciated. I think this is an 1815 model, like the "Dallas". Eric
  6. Started my 1st ship kit this weekend. The Sultana in 1:64 scale by Model Shipways. This a solid hull kit, so I had some sanding and carving to do so that the supplied templates fit properly. The carving was required on both the inside and outside of the bulwarks to achieve the correct scale thickness. At an early stage, my "carving" turned into something more akin to gouging, so I turned to my xacto knife with a #11 blade and actually found it easier than using my chisels, which I couldn't seem to get a sharp edge on, even after minutes on the honing stone. Note the repaired area in the front (sorry- still don't know my nautical terms)...I had already sanded the outside of the hull up to my stopping point that I had marked, THEN I started carving the inside of the bulwarks to the required thickness. That is when I cracked the thin basswood in a couple of places. At least the breaks were clean, so I salvaged the pieced, used thin super glue, and carefully and quickly put them back in place. I dared not try sanding the area yet, but it will be my next step now that the glue has had a day to dry. Hopefully, my damage control will not show up later, as this hull will be painted.
  7. I have a small scale Sterling kit (about 1/80th, rather than the large RC kit) of the Emma C Berry, that I got so I can display this 2 masted version with the MS 1/32nd single masted one. She was built with the single mast, and several years later, converted to a 2 masted schooner. She sailed in this configuration, until donated to the Mystic Seaport museum, who restored her back to the as build setup. My question is how to reinforce the soft balsa solid hull. I know that such hulls dent and crack easily, and want to add some type of "substance" to toughen the surface. I'm looking for something tougher than regular paint.
  8. Greetings, one and all. We have visitors here for the summer, including my grand daughter Cricket (aka Kimber, but Cricket will suffice). Some of you may remember her from a couple of years back assisting with my Harriet Lane build (see the post here for a "then" view Well, after landing here in Maine late last night, then driving the 2.5 hours to our home, she asked if she could help build a ship model. Well, since none of the ones I am working on are at a stage where she could dig in, I offered her the opportunity to build her own ship model. She accepted, and has begun work on a Phantom that has already had the hull shaped by her uncle. Rechristened the Elsa, she is now underway! So, here is where we are as of just now: Hull faired, she has sanded it thoroughly and just applying the primer. I am hoping to keep her interested and moving along on this build - we have 6 weeks to get some good progress done!
  9. I am a beginner at ship modeling but an experienced model builder of trains and structures used on model railroads. I work in O Scale (1:48) in model railroading. I have an old kit from Model Shipways I purchased many many years ago. It is solid hull. I have the complete kit and the optional hardward that was sold separately from the basic model. I know this is an advanced model but it is the only kit I have. The rest of the ship models I want to build will be all scratch built. I figured I should get me feet wet on the Flying Fish. In future ships I build will not be solid hull. I was looking for but can't seem to find on the internet any tutorials focused towards solid hulls. I do have a number of books on ship modeling and there is not too much on that type of hull. I also downloaded the Model Shipways tutorial but it deals with the newer kits which are not solid hull. Any advice, other than don''t do it, would be appreciated. Jay Beckham
  10. This build log is kind of a late start on the building. I currently have the hull in pretty good shape and about to plank the deck. I'll post a few pictures of the early stages, but it is well underway at this point. Chuck's practicum on it is what drew me to this kit. This is the farthest I've gotten on a sailing ship build to date and intend on actually completing it. I got the kit on sale, as Model Expo prices fluctuate wildly. I'm cheap, so if I find something I want, I'll follow the prices and purchase at what I think is a fair price. It seems like a good kit to work on building skills. Hopefully, others can avoid the mistakes I've made along the way. In the beginning ...
  11. I am curious if anyone have carved or created a solid hull ship out of a block of wood? This would be similar to what you find in some of the MS kits like the Phantom or Sultana. What are the best power tools and steps to be able to accomplish this? Thanks JB
  12. This is not only my first wood model sailboat I’ve built, it is also my first build log so bear with me. I had always been fascinated with models and built numerous plastic ones as earlier as ten years of age. In fact my very first model, a B-36 “Peacemaker” was built by my father and given to me when I was just 7 or 8 years old. I think that was his first and only model he ever made. I suppose that’s when the bug bit. I always chose the more complicated ones so I ended up making WWII military ships. The cars and planes seem to me to be too simple. I usually never looked at the instructions and was able to put them together without too much of a problem. I think all I had was a pair of tweezers for tools. My models neat and clean but weren’t painted. I let the color of the plastic provide all the realisim. As I got older I started to paint. As I look back on it they probably weren’t great models but I had fun. Most if not all ended up being blow up with firecrackers. Hey, I was a kid! I graduated to the Guillows scale balsa and tissue paper planes and built them as static models. They were fragile and over the years they too met their demise. All this is leading up to my very first adult build, the Model Airways Albatross D.Va, a WWI German fighter; a “museum quality model.” It’s the plane that the Red Baron got most of his kills in. I chose that kit because it had the most number of parts for the fighter plane kits being offered. To build the kit, I started to accumulating materials, tools, etc., and a lot of what I purchased I bought from Model Expo. During one of those buying sprees, Model Expo had a deal whereby if you spent X amount of dollars they gave you a free model kit. I received the Mini Mamoli schooner Evergreen. According to the box cover this is a circa 1920’s British racing yacht. This particular kit was offered to customers by Model Expo for around $30 in 2006-7, but I haven’t seen it since nor have I been able to find anything about the actual boat on the Web. After completing the Albatross, I was a novice when it came to knowing the ins and outs of a sailing craft. I didn’t know the nomenclature, nautical terms, the mechanics of how a sail boat operates, etc., but I jumped into the water so to speak and started the kit January 2008. This would be my training wheels project for I had spied my next project even before I started this one. I wanted to build the Mamoli Rattlesnake. The Evergreen kit had the bear minimum of instruction and in some cases the picture on the box did not match what was in the box. Even some of the instruction illustrations contradicted each other. The final product as shown on the box cover left something to be desired which I shall explain in the build log.