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Bowdoin diorama by Jond - Bluejacket - 1:48

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Post 16



More deck work….


Let’s add some bulkhead fittings  and let’s try to make metal casting look like varnished wood.


  • 30540447_bdn-130BBB_2498.jpg.d886e5a8ec4977ffc533b27be8f4cf55.jpgHere we see the nicely finished wheel that is varnished. We want to get closer to that look.  Also we see the inside of the aft hawser pipe that is framed to take load off the planking and a large line cleat on the two stanchions. Please note the deck ring.  I assume this takes a snatch block to direct a dock line back to the large wooden cleat.


  • 2042119271_bdn-131BBB_2499.jpg.33b2839e9dd7d77b6a222c7d05e3f5be.jpgHere we see a large ring and cleat to take the main peak halyard whip line. It is just aft of the stays and overlaps the safety rail.  I adjusted the first rail stanchion allow fitting it all in.


  • 1358923780_bdn-132BBB_2500.jpg.8362f5daa16dc619569563a4b500ed8d.jpgHere we see the midship hawser pipe reinforcing and large wooden cleat.  There is also a diagonal cleat directly above the hawser pipe.  I need to confirm its purpose.


  • 698292234_bdn-0133BBB_2501.jpg.e030e72c3417994ef8b63301518cb4d7.jpgHere we look way forward and confirm the anchor lashing set up.


Now how did we do????


  • 1100974111_bdn-0134DSC_0041.jpg.dfc99b7b2586da16040272a632d50934.jpgFirst, we have the mid ship hawser pipe bracing and large cleat.  This is just under the peak halyard cleat.  
  • 803919_bdn-0135DSC_0042.jpg.ab536a89807ced7ec0e1f23066248d28.jpgSecond, we see the Peak Halyard whip line set up near the main shrouds. The throat whip cleat is to starboard.


  • 371359426_bdn-0136DSC_0056.jpg.4665e915e674e7d8ddf0f09b2e64386b.jpgHere on a sunny morning we see the aft hawser pipe set up.


  • bdn-137.jpg.ab0003188a2b608eefb198f3e1fb7c7e.jpgHere is a top view at the port main shrouds of the whip cleat. Our crew member is inspecting.


  • 967166280_bdn-0138DSC_0058.jpg.0727730807ab6d0f5d94562fb4695e55.jpgHere is fore mast cleat and hawser pipe. Our crew has become a ghost. The shrouds have also now been lashed


So, what happened to the wheel?

  • 2040814418_bdn-139DSC_0030.jpg.bad51501b3a9edb0e06784d0e920564d.jpgHere I tried a rich brown paint as an undercoat


  • 1013187917_bdn-140DSC_0055.jpg.4c1e4718a6a5610f30adb47ed93f03f3.jpgFinally, here I used a cue tip with hand poly to see if I could get it to shine.  The morning sun is helping.

I could see lots of minute touch painting i need to do in these photos. Some of it will compete with the aging, but still needs to be done.



All for now,  I am still working on the sail rebuilds

Edited by Jond

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I finally read through this log while in the early stages of my much less ambitious Bowdoin build.  You've really gone to great lengths to find and incorporate these details.  There is a wealth of information in here and I hope to use a few of your modifications as I go along.  (And I enjoyed the ghostly figures on the deck in this most recent post.  Took me a while to figure out that they were unpainted figures and not shades of MacMillan and crew.)

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thank you Andrew.  I was down at the real boat yard this morning and went all through her.   There could definitely be some hidden ghostly crew members.  i am thrilled to have been able to jump onto this build as the real Bowdoin is i mile from my shop getting a new bottom.   We all have lots to learn.





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Post 17


Visit on Bowdoin with Captain Will Mclean


I was thrilled to have the chance to revisit Bowdoin with her captain this morning to discuss how some things are rigged today, and to share his sense of what might have been different in 1924.   I thought as I ran home to write up these notes that they may be of value to logging this build.  I share them here and focus this review to completing the deck.



  • 2058448857_bdn-141BBB_2558.jpg.5a80df89d1267e442dfb77774adc1c1d.jpgTo start off Will knows these are the original pumps and hey are galvanized.   The fire line is new and the stand is for the radar.


  • 717466314_bdn-142BBB_2559.jpg.00d03dc455fb4b99014fc5da85132197.jpgHere on the starboard side of the cabin we need to make and store a handle.


  • 76958001_bdn-143BBB_2560.jpg.8c41267079a08afb4eb0ddae0931061f.jpgHere for the port side pump, the handle goes on the front of the cabin.


  • 1950205550_bdn-145BBB_2562.jpg.6b61d2f561fcb7ef1e8695d0e22aae25.jpgAt the port side main deadeyes, we confirm this is the main peak whip line large ring and cleat.  Looking forward on the rail we learned that the main throat halyard is belayed.  The forward hole if for a pin used for dory lines or other temp rigging.


  • 819615175_bdn-144BBB_2561.jpg.de4d68145a9d2be562ec4b2ac5c7ff97.jpgLooking at the recently replaced deck we see a renewal of the lashing technique.  Small rings we used to lash deck boxes today and both deck boxes and barrels in the past.


  • 437417321_bdn-143BBB_2563.jpg.c643b409d0ee71f2ae19608efc78d6fa.jpgMoving to the foremast rail, we find two more pin holes.  If I can remember correctly, the jib halyard to port and jumbo halyard to starboard, just before the shroud and the peak and throat halyards for the foresail between mid and aft deadeye.  Will told me they do not currently use this large ring as there are no whip lines on the foresail.  They do however use it to connect the main boom tackle it they are going way down wind,  


  • 276858503_bdn-146BBB_2564.jpg.b5937cdf654212eded56a29c43c4431e.jpgMoving forward, we see the fittings to receive eye-bolts to lash down boats   There are also a few deck prism to send light below.


  • 832915068_bdn-147BBB_2566.jpg.3d0ede7f78f0817c567f0a05d2346fbf.jpgAs we turn around and look forward, we find a thumb cleat.  Will said this is rarely used.  The main sail and foresail are actually raised directly by about 4 crew.  If one was alone and wanted to pull the line forward to the winch this cleat might be used.  My guess that it could have been used to bring the sheet for the jib aft, making it off the the angle cleat when weather was bad. There are several comments to the sailing with just the Jumbo and foresail when in the ice.  We’ll talk more next summer when she is rigged again.


  • 1661171139_bdn-148BBB_2568.jpg.4f9ec2598b3f635e67ff052b36df4aad.jpgHere we see rings for the forward sheet blocks.   There are two pin holes above that are for cleating but also two cleats.  I have sent back to will two old photos show variation of sheeting for further discussion.


  • 810113040_bdn-149BBB_2569.jpg.cc31d7dd5da1a8d3649ab468fc594330.jpgHere we are at the anchor rigging. A few things to discuss.  The tackle to raise the anchor out of the sea is lashed around the mast above the spreaders.  It serves both sides. That solved a mystery to me as the three blocks are visible in old photos , but I was not sure which was which.  It is lashed and in the center and goes to the port side pin rail. Another point was the purpose of the wooden cleat for the lashing.  When preparing to drop anchor the heavy line is made around the anchor and cleated. The smoothness of the wood cleat makes is safer to let go.


  • 1871147756_bdn-150BBB_2517.jpg.60307e374cf129b7140b58bb1a7ec8fc.jpgFrom my previous visit, here is the anchor and better view if the sodden cleat.  The anchors were rescued from the navy yard in 1946 and there is no record of a loss. Thus, we believe these are the original ones. The chock for the fluke is quite large compared with old photos.


  • 701845035_bdn-151BBB_2571.jpg.0498dde32a73f7dc2683b42ddef157da.jpgLooking below into the peak….forward lazarette..., we see through the turnbuckle into the chain locker.  Will confirmed there are three shots of chain for each anchor and the locker is full.   Thus, the book talking about 240 fathoms was a little off.  Perhaps they meant 240 feet. Also please note these are new hull planks. last time I was here this was a hole.


  • 1326441146_bdn-152BBB_2572.jpg.16c9a6916d97a4d19d3562d2ebc6a76c.jpgAbove the deck we see the end of the turnbuckle.  Two flat plates with spacers capture that fitting and provide for a shackle at the top for the jumbo stay.   There is a gudgeon like fitting to receive a pin from the jumbo boom gooseneck.   Looking at this lazarette hatch and the various angles, I am no longer sure this stay has been moved aft.  We shall check sail dimensions later.


  • 27429890_bdn-154BBB_2573.jpg.1725d7fa08a28910fa1e9ccba31f6806.jpgThe bitts hold a secret.   See the fitting forward for the see saw arms. Oh yes, indeed, in the after lazarette, they keep the pump handles in case the hydraulics fail and they need to manually use the winch. 


  • 1847852970_bdn-155BBB_2515.jpg.0a6eb67a62958c3d48a5244849204067.jpgHere is a detail of the prisms. Will believes they would have been there in the original deck to light up the hold and aft part of the foc'sle.


  • 591921990_bdn-156BBB_2540.jpg.c410d3c748573604b502bba2b702c8a6.jpgFinally we solved my boot mystery. Will confirmed that the canvas boots are painted white and they sit inside this wooden ring. 

We also solved the rigging of the pin rails.  The large rings that I thought were for snatch blocks, they do not use now.    the two aft pins are for lazy jacks, and the two forward  pins are for topping lift and boat tackle.   The front two pins are for sheets...I had incorrectly assume use of the Bitt as on the Bluenose II.  He said no they used either port or starboard pin.   It looks like something to see next summer.   


So lots of data.  I hope I got most of the right.  Visiting the real ship is always a blast.  As to the work, I saw about 5 guys working away at the planks and all looks good so far to be done by next summer.  I have pictures from below that may come into a later posting.  We checked out the hydraulic system among other things


All for now…back to the sails

Edited by Jond

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Post 18


Back to sails. a new jumbo


I have been plugging away with the new technique to replaces sails.  Wow a real step back as a few things don’t mind and many others do. 



  • 738588603_bdn-157DSC_0044.jpg.fadb7ad726596687f4bd9649ead8b4a6.jpgHere we see the new truncated jumbo.  The angle of the luff is more square to allow better folding and less stress on the stay.  The bolt rope is going on as well


  • bdn-158.jpg.d3e9a2b9d40c5530188382c074fc1e00.jpgHere we lay out the new sail to be sure that after folding we shall be the right length. 


  • 2000330122_bdn-159DSC_0047.jpg.d168ac5307d971e107df95ca1a7cf866.jpgHere after fold and iron we check again.  Better to redo at this stage than any more. now we sew on all thos little chain links to make the hanks.  we then need a new stay to run through them.


  • 1718274073_bdn-160DSC_0049.jpg.0cb634e913d07240fbc477961d310c39.jpgNow to the downside. Each time I remake this sail, I need to build and replace the stay.  It is served line spliced in place.  Here you see the completed splice.


  • 1744145487_bdn-161BBB_2547.jpg.9ef9b78cae843c539903d46c47e63a17.jpgHere is the set up for higher elevation splicing.  Each model, I get a little better at figuring this out.  Bluenose is keeping an eye on us.    There three new and two replacement sails still waiting for her and she wants to know when it is her turn again.  Not this year I fear.


OK now we need to replace the foresail

  • 194831209_bdn-162DSC_0050.jpg.7f2a35adaffe5906d810ee15d9ec676b.jpgI have gone through the familiar steps and before trying to replace the sail are sure what we have will fit and be an improvement.


  • bdn-163.jpg.75762822b407a8b388fc45930d08b9cb.jpgFor this sail I chose to accept whatever consequence and remove the boom and gaff……yes an oops is coming


  • bdn-164.jpg.e10169e3c8f675fd3008466fe415b53d.jpgHere we are all in place and many painful repairs and tweaks made.   The oops was simple. The bridles are rigged to the peak halyards and remain rigged to the mast.  The lashing of the gaff should not have been done off the schooner….oops lessons are only learned by trying.


all for now



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Thanks for continued encouragement.     Just to make this more difficult, I went out in the woods for my daily romp with our new 4 month old lab puppy.   It has been cold with little snow and ice has formed up under the leaves.  oops...I went down and tore up my left knee.   I am hobbling around now and need to stay with the crutches until we get sewn back up or what ever they plan to do.    


at least this one is only a few feet long.  The good news is that it will make me think more about the placement of tools.  I am forever getting up to get something. I suppose the alternate is to get two of everything. I have 6 tweezers now but one is continuously just out of reach





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Post 19



Trips to the guild


I wanted to share some input that I have gotten from trips to the Downeast Shipmodelers guild in Bath Maine.  We meet monthly and yes lunch out is an option.   I took Bowdoin with me early last fall and again this month.


  • 1662286248_bdn-165aIMG_20181108_130800936.jpg.2cdf5fbe6530b0a206a249cbbf9884f4.jpgIn the fall view one sees I was way early. the dialogue at that time was to gain ideas about how to make a diorama using acrylic.  The model was still in its basic kit form and I had just started the detailing. This was the session where I learned not to depend on bass wood if I was going to begin getting into finer wood details.   Also, seeing both the schooner Bowdoin and the seatug Seguin at a Maine modeler’s session should  not be a surprise.


  • 391196205_bdn-165cIMG_20190110_125714649.jpg.81b312656f49026fbe6616198801285a.jpgWhen I returned a few weeks back I had the acrylic resolved and wanted to learn about making ice and snow as well as small figures. 
  • ·         The gentleman speaking on the left is an expert in 3d cad and 3d printing. He is developing a working marine ship crane…just amazing. 
  • ·         It was the gentleman on the right how sent me links to YouTube on exactly what I would need to make ice if I were to do the whole thing myself…..wow a whole new hobby. I need to be careful.  Here is the link he sent to me. link https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yWKuKOd7Npw


  • 211917628_bdn-165dIMG_20190110_125724843.jpg.3725b48eb618fa6745915b3127cdc579.jpgHere I have small pieces of Styrofoam to float around on the acrylic…..no one was impressed.  Much to do here in this photo the new jib is in place and the other sails are not yet changed. Also the ventilators are still on the main cabin.....

so notwithstanding my lack of mobility for the next month, i need to figure out how or what to build to complete the scene.   






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Hi Jon from another mainer building the Bowdion. Hope the knee mends in a hurry. This winter has been very bad for ice.

I have been following your progress and am impressed with your build. Good luck.

                                                                                                                     Bob Porter

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Thanks Bob


With the 100 year birthday coming up, I hope we can uncover a fleet of  Bowdoin  models.



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Post 20


Time to make the final mainsail


Once down a slippery slope we need to go all the way.  I was not happy with the old method of bias tape edges at this scale.


  • 982213349_bdn-166aDSC_0053.jpg.97dd2010c1b276b7ae7a80258e48a0bc.jpgAs a reminder here is the detail of the main luff.  Kind of bulky but could be ok for my current level.  Also notice here after a bit of research the consensus is the ventilators were clearly not on board in 1924.   Here I have removed them. the small heat vent will likely go ...I am still thinking about that one.


  • 1154004201_bdn-166bDSC_0054.jpg.fb0d40e89d97eb5f7c8e1e7f87698ad4.jpgLooking at the overall sail however I am no longer happy with this and she must come off.  A few lessons learned say do not remove the spars


  • bdn-166c.jpg.67b47cd906c512e24cf031290be8cbd3.jpgHere we have taken the finer grade muslin, added the fray stop and pencil lined it before adding the bolt rope.  I then  made several folds and ironed them.


  • 957504418_bdn-167DSC_0061.jpg.ba1178a94fc9fabf7ce660d89c9a542b.jpgNow we need to sew on the bolt rope and a temporary gaff so the remaining flakes will be realistic


  • bdn-168.jpg.d962c69a533a9eef9fcfdfb6198543cb.jpgHere we compare the new sail with the old.  I am much happier. Now can I sew it on without much damage.


  • 3722511_bdn-169DSC_0064.jpg.5d70ba84a6befb38ef15f596a6dd17c1.jpgSewing to the boom is no big deal……no worries oops is coming. if you look hard you can see here what did not see at this point.



I don’t have intermediate photos of sewing the gaff but it was a bit tricky as I needed to place the bridles, and try to maintain the folds as I went.


next time we will put it together and trey to complete the sail stage.






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Post 21


Let’s put together more images for the record of our inspections to date of the real Bowdoin

Below decks

  • 1188708543_bdn-170BBB_2509.jpg.4a2d9fa73e412fd686ca8d4a3e0488ce.jpgHere we descend to the focsle. This was the emergency hatch. I am trying to figure out is this was included under the igloo for even more ventilation option in the 1922-23 photos.


  • 298725265_bdn-171BBB_2513.jpg.f96a89022923458ba9564c29a078317c.jpgBelow looking aft we see where they all lived through the winters. Note the water tight bulkhead


  • bdn-172.jpg.2dc9b5beee039489833d8426bafb5e6a.jpgBelow looking forward we see this watertight bulkhead just aft of the chain locker


  • 1878306504_bdn-173BBB_2575.jpg.531165252e30e9becfe7443c83566403.jpgInside the engine room we see the electrical plant on the starboard side. The water tanks are below. Those fire lines are all new. Forward is another watertight bulkhead. the electrical plant had to operate through the winter over.


  • 521772405_bdn-174BBB_2574.jpg.9e2b8abdc6236cf4a4e5da28c4237d35.jpgHere we see the 1984 replacement Cummings engine. It was selected partly because it fit seats with the previous 1946 Cummings 100 horse power Cummings. The Hydraulic unit is on the front.  These hoses run the winch.


  • 1033062220_bdn-175BBB_2576.jpg.f92bcc3df0ad31fb12e7e49dfaec48fd.jpgHere we see an old heater in the captain cabin. Will thought it had been added perhaps after WWII.  His reading suggests no one stayed in the captain cabin over the winter in the 1920's.  They did build an igloo to keep access to the electrical plant that ran all winter.   


  • 486163684_bdn-176BBB_2577.jpg.dfe1b834aeae0b0e1e548d3723c36f6e.jpgWill said the chart desk is original


  • bdn-177.jpg.3593ea0927062e8ab3bd062900a0dcf4.jpgHere the apparent watertight bulkhead separating the engine room with the captain cabin.I say apparent as they had to close the hatch!!!


  • 182217351_bdn-178BBB_2579.jpg.ae2c6646f5f20b2cb5d6e02063cc6754.jpgIn this view we see the final water tight bulkhead separating a large aft lazarette from the captain cabin.  Lots of ships stores are in here.


A few final hull details


  • 2127388381_bdn-179aBBB_2480.jpg.5ff0d687af4dc6f8808ac48e6f355df7.jpgWe showed this before in another view.  This bracket is an interesting piece.  It makes sense to significantly strengthen this joint considering the schooner would ride up on ice.   There is no way to date it, so for now i will not add it.


  • 874210778_bdn179bBBB_2482.jpg.d55e36bf17e48a37c8bfcc0f43a85741.jpgHere we see obvious water-cooling openings that the really detailed modeler might want to show. You can see above the planking replacement that is going on.  maybe just a little hole?


  • 1770518130_bdn-179cBBB_2484.jpg.06e24934fa357d27384cd9b22c047a87.jpgThis steel shoe opens an interesting subject. It was presumable completed as part of the 1984 rebuild.   But what was there first?


  • 1998422315_bdn-179dschooner-bowdoin-penobscot-marine-museum-600x475.jpg.b84f317aadc2f77a26add5fa848b4787.jpgIn this photo from 1969 I believe Jim Sharp is removing the sheathing.  Note it is metal sheeting over wood. Will believe that was not original.  In the John Allen Book documenting MacMillan's life, they talk about the heart wood sheathing that was original.  See the white paint is covering an obvious layer of plank over plank.  Will said that went from as shown in photo about one foot above the waterline to a few feet below.  If that is the case, I may need to go all the way back and add a layer of sheathing……     My first reaction is no way at this point, but I need to address it, somehow.   Anyway, Will said in 1984 they realized that the over layer of heartwood may have helped with ice protection, but it promoted plank rot that led to rebuild in 1946, 1969 and 1984. Today the outer sheathing is no longer there as there is no intent on wintering in the arctic.


Next up the mainsail


Edited by Jond

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Post 22


One  more point before we look at the sails


Captain Will believes, and I would concur, that the several details we see aboard today most likely were not on the first launched Bowdoin.  She was an economical build and in Will's words would have been bare bones.   No heat in the captain cabin etc.  So, for a few details as we move to wrap up the hull work.


1955074820_bdn-179fBBB_2487.jpg.833a906c81fb600db8fdca386b404a8f.jpgHere the nice bronze lips on the hawse pipe would likely just been a harder wood painted out white.

1817425323_bdn-179gBBB_2488.jpg.11ca35bb7f85e66c1a67f7d43e4b62f2.jpgThis photo simply confirms that the last re-planking  in1984 did not include the sheathing



Almost completed the sails



992039296_bdn-180DSC_0065.jpg.e8967590dadf2a4c2afa2c38faa3421e.jpgHere we are all set with the main sail.  A few oops though; there are always a few.  

The aft bridle broke, and with my new fully casted leg I decided to just tuck it in. It looks fine but a few of us will know.   More important is the gap ahead of the flaked luff and the hoops.  These hoops are so delicate. I am glad I had a few extra in place.   It will take some tweaking to get that right.


bdn-181.jpg.191a0d1564624c2b7ae46dec1905f16b.jpgHere we move forward and see the foresail.  It is ok but the gaff jaws are too low. They need to ride on the shoe above the hoops.


bdn-182.jpg.b62b9c75bc7982e00c66e6d64c750a7c.jpgI am really happy with the improved jumbo and jib.  In several photos the jib rides as shown draped to the port bulkhead.  It was the starboard anchor that was active.


1860591502_bdn-182aarctic-schooner-bowdoin-maine-maritime-academy-AR1YC6.jpg.6ed9a69c0d6f4260f5001c815a7ec102.jpgIn this internet photo they show the modern application of stowing the jib.  I choose not to use this method although it is clearly better than on deck.   During the winter the jib was removed and stored below in the photos , but we found in more older photos a sail cover was made for it.   I will be showing the schooner after winter and preliminary ice break up Repulse bay 1924.  Thus the covers are off and we are getting ready to leave.  This is just before the famous session on the rocks.  It’s a story I will share in a posting that I hope we can display at the museum.


bdn-183.jpg.a61d18bdf4d4f7744870c14a3c95776d.jpgHere we have some nice back lighting on the foredeck.  I am always amazed at how lighting can significantly change the whole experience of viewing a model.


bdn-184.jpg.3792b439e9139bfe5ad579d997f0ae3e.jpgOne final shot is  a teaser.  I moved the model into the sun to play with light. I need to study lighting for the display.  I see no reason not to use our nice Maine morning sun to try a few angles out.  I will work on this and probably have a few postings on the results and my quest to create  scene.

Here is a back lit photo …….sunrise maybe??


Now that we have these sails figured out, although a few more hours of tucks and repairs, we need to address one factor.   The bowsprit……yes the bowsprit.


 Donald McMillan, a true seaman rigged a bowsprit on his early voyages .Perhaps to improve the weather helm, perhaps because the deck was so covered with storage that he needed the stretched out his profile.  In Allen’s book he talks about this [ not the technical side] and how every time the ice destroyed it.  


I do not plan to model this bow sprit but feet it is important to share


All for now



Edited by Jond

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post 23


correction on bow sprit


I had to fix this error quickly.  I write it off to hobbling on my full leg cast with oxi pills and a 4 month old puppy I am to watch as I try to study.  just another oops.  The photo in the previous post I have taken out.  It was mislabeled.  After looking over it more closely, it is not  the Bowdoin.


798094251_bdn-185c3000.3_281.thumb.jpg.6064a2c8b5933ccba933e4acd45a4746.jpgHere we see one of two photos of Bowdoin from BRHS archives in Refuge bay winter 1924, I am pretty sure.  See the mountains behind. I will be studying this issue more as I plan to tell the amazing story of the recue on the rocks at ice out.   Here you see the small rigged bow sprit that took the jib forward perhaps 6 of more feet.  In the Book it said this spar was ruined by the ice but apparently helped in sailing north.


1972561629_bdn-185aIMG_6325.thumb.JPG.9df2653fbcc8dbbfc194b4117a990e33.JPGIn this photo, clearly part of the Refuge Bay saga, there is another image of the bowsprit. So yes it did exist and if it turns out to have been in place at ice out in 1924, I may need to add it.  


The mislabeled photo I posted too quickly clearly is a different schooner headed north.  I will study more to try to determine if it were Gertrude Thebaud that MacMillam had to use one year when Bowdoin could not sail.


Sorry for oops but I am also glad I figured it out



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Post 24


Use of lighting for diorama …first experiment


Following up on visual variation I found placing Bowdoin in the morning sunlight, I played around a little bit.  Here are few images that temp us to try many more variations.


  • 2023341582_bdn-186BBB_2582.jpg.931e7ce746fe97befaa752dda8c1bfd8.jpgHere we have normal daylight in a shop or museum.  Little extra fill in overhead light.  Fun to see Bluenose in the back ground, but otherwise not inspiring. Please assume the plywood is either white ice or the acrylic sea.......
  • 1973669595_bdn-187BBB_2583.jpg.dca945bd4405c5b857a682ada3764cdb.jpgHere still in normal light we rotate down taking advantage of the water 1/8 plywood sheet. One viewer suggestion is to cover it in spackle like ice. What’s fun is we see the bottom under the water/ ice
  • 2015821089_bdn-188BBB_2586.jpg.80473f3866c849179aaa3c4d786a3f7b.jpgNow here we start some fun. Sunlight pouring into the port side low like morning.  The starboard side is in full shadow.  I love the rigging side lighted and the light pouring through the scuppers.
  • 699402457_bdn-189BBB_2587.jpg.586a1c6cb32f882883c752648be94bda.jpgUnder the same lighting, the guest would move up and have this interesting view of the side lighted deck. I need to try this with white on wood for ice and the blue acrylic sheet.
  • 1592160185_bdn-190BBB_2589.jpg.272efa61ab5aad982ad9e62897a1087b.jpgI am not sure what is different here other than angle of the camera. the look is startling.  I think I am on to something.  I need LED Day light from the back of the display. So the challenge is to re create this view back in my work shop area using light fixtures. on the other hand the reflection in the window is a nice touch.  maybe a window box one way glass behind with the display against a wall.

I’m definitely going above my pay grade here. one thing I can do is make sure all the scuppers are open...


I am caught up now as this series of photos was before the operation on my knee.  I hobbled to the computer this morning to post this. I will be hen pecking at clean up and completing things like lazy jacks and everything inside before finishing with the ratlines.   I hope afrer this next month I will be up and around and back into the diorama.  dead lines are a bummer but we need to get this done.







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Your build shows very elegantly how the kit can be improved upon.  Congratulations on such fine work.  Sorry to hear about your knee, but there is light at the end of the cast.  I was run over  by a toboggan years ago (its a long story) and I know all about hobbling in a cast and brace while a knee heals.  But in the end the aggravation was well worth it - 34 years later the knee still works.



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You prove once again that a model kit is just a rough canvas for the imagination of the modeler. When you're done, I will definitely be asking you for photos and comments to make it a "model of the month" in my newsletter.



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Inspirational.  You've done some fantastic work re-envisioning this model.  It's great to have such full access to the prototype when doing the kind of detailing you are doing.  


The Bowdoin was always my favorite ship to look at when she was at Mystic for a while.  Her lines are just so appealing to me, and her unique history.  



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Thank you everyone who is following along and encouraging this effort.  My new one leg condition has slowed me down but this month I want to visit Castine and see the John Allen model of the ice and igloo scene.  You will see in my next post i think i am settling in on what the " diorama" is about. 


Nic I will definitely visit you when the leg is better and i am getting to and from Castine. I still love using your parts and things.  



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Post 25


Working on things


We never get done fussing. I share here a few things going on.

  • 522679205_bdn-191DSC_0073.jpg.b3fa624942cdc66d30809061d7b83787.jpgTime fix up the cabin roof minus ventilators for the age


  • 1700671154_bdn-192DSC_0074.jpg.a888a106912ba1e314de8c49db288992.jpgTime to try to patch the deck where I removed the kit box that was not evident in the photos. The little eyes in the deck are for the oil drums that go there instead.   The started eyes in the cap rail were a mistake as I found the barrels were just lashed.


I find the exhaust pipe interesting.  I have a photo in a book that shows no exhaust pipe even at the bit in 1928. I can not in=mage not having the loop on deck to keep following seas from flooding the engine. The 1089 phot shows the exhaust further forward than to day.  Thus, this pipe have moved several times I suspect.  I am glad that the piece in the kit is as short as it is because just like other fishing schooners of the era this is quite realistic in size.  


  • Y88356027_bdn-193DSC_0075.jpg.975de35370bd5b15c79c3735b0da2cca.jpgou may recall the foresail gaff jaws are too low and into the rings.


  • 2008973118_bdn-194DSC_0077.jpg.469e72b4b4047c6dc05438ca62a36f30.jpgHere we have fixed the alignment bringing the shoe [ flapper not sure the proper name] into contact with the mast.


  • 1863968235_bdn-195image91.jpg.cf3ca884f47551d372c7ed3357a36c23.jpgHere we have my next area.  The shroud lashing lines are clearly hemp and tar in this internet photo.  Will McLean told me that even to date the ratlines are all tarred too.  I will get out my favorite ebony stain and do some damage here.


  • 2136425302_bdn-196th.jpg.91567165add059bec128936edc2ee596.jpgNow the quandary.  Those that followed me on Charles Notman may remember my failures to sew 1:48 scale baggywrinkles.   So here one the images that comes up …. perhaps some sponge and then paint it????   Any ideas would be appreciated.


All for now



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Post 26




These little guys have not yet been solved on my watch. I am determined to figure something out.


First of all, where do they go.


After some time researching I have pulled together 4 views and put them on a sheet at approximately the same size. Sorry for the pencil, its not very dark , but here are the results. Comments are for each photo top to bottom.

  • 2030605141_bdn-196scanworksheetbaggywrinkleloccations.thumb.jpg.9f4d3c4b61fc7baee4a0eb071fde53c4.jpgPhoto 1 from BRHS archive 1923 on Foxe Basin I believe.  The projections are two inches and the marks are either 3/8’ spaces or 1/8”baggywrinkles.
  • Photo 2 my photo of Bowdoin sialing in windjammer parade a few years back.  Here we see the same pattern and get a good feel for the color
  • Photo 4 from BRHS sometime in 1930 [ I need to go back and try to see if better dated] set up for rigging refit. Looks like only one is left
  • Photo 4 from BRHS named Bowdoin sailing out of Boothbay mid 1930’s  the pattern respects what is more clear in forst two photos

So, in conclusion, the topping lift is about 15” long.  Therefor the 1/8” is about 7/8”. That sets up the spacing for three single and one double about 7/8’ long


Now How to make


Some one told me that pipe cleaners would work, but I have no idea where to buy and then how to remove material and keep intact. 


  • bdn-197DSC_0079.jpg.e64a72ab6b3471cc92ec11d518f43d13.jpgSo here I have a bubble wrap disk. I set it on the acrylic for a better view. Our crew is curious too…and he walks on water?
  • 1054900959_bdn-198DSC_0080.jpg.d05a746c325a0195058c01b223db1ba1.jpgHere I cut and split and put in place to see concept. they are 3/4 long which i feel is close enough as they are likely baggier than scale.  tough to match perfectly.
  • bdn-199.jpg.0c179d563fb97ac2c1520b6ea34d1191.jpgHere we look form behind. Perhaps just a  little post trimming maybe and we can get there, but first to get the color.
  • 980220875_bdn-200DSC_0091.jpg.5bab38a1aa864634e7f7932c36fc7c99.jpgI took a dark yellow undercoat and while still wet painted on a brown
  • 1887963547_bdn-200aDSC_0092.jpg.56e02c1ec89c9abae225b4378b2fbc14.jpgNot bad?....well perhaps good enough
  • 1433783380_bdn-201DSC_0089.jpg.7ed46934b98dd135311967b9dbbd6f97.jpgHere I have set one in place using “ super fabric glue” before making them all.
  • 2113955506_bdn-202DSC_0099.jpg.372b8f9a372801dd5aed825ad59d168e.jpgHere we have the bottom two on, dry trimmed, and touched up. the lazy jacks are in place now and add a lot to the rigging look.  i have some trimming and making off of lines to complete the image.
  • 5451996_bdn-203DSC_0102.jpg.4ea363346844caa386da65eed21a92f4.jpgHere the top double may need another effort to trim and touch to round the edges.
  • 895136255_bdn204BBB_2601.jpg.eaa59e53c86ca80a5f805041e8718469.jpgAll in all I think we have baggy wrinkles.  I am still interested in learning more methods. An advantage of this bubble wrap type material is it added so little weight to the topping lift there is no sag.


All for now cheers

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Post 27


Lighting for diorama display


I came down the other day in the morning to use our friendly winter sun to try to figure out what to do for the museum display.  The following process is hardly scientific, but it helped me figure out where I may be going.


I started off with the plywood base, as one option remains [ but unlikely] to do Bowdoin in solid ice. To me there are a few lighting options. I think I want to depict morning light. The question then comes to angle.


  • 682540788_bdn205BBB_2590.jpg.bf93ebe722f25ad1154e97872472fc8a.jpgFirst up is straight into the sun. There are indeed shadows on deck, but it is very regular. Rigging looks fine.


  • 184356583_bdn206BBB_2591.jpg.f2feaa93e5c7402e4c04bc9afad3e245.jpgBending down for the onside look to pick up the hull below water, we have an oops.  The sun is hitting the hull.  I would have to diffuse that somehow.


  • bdn-207.jpg.c07c3b3fcc5e8e90d25babfff3a97e5f.jpgTurning roughly 45 degrees, meaning the light to be at the back corner of the display box, we have interesting shadows.  More shadow over the water and I believe more striking on deck focused on one side.


  • 480601736_bdn-208BBB_2593.jpg.8a2940a541a19f318da885575a7de762.jpgBending down there is no sun on the hull on this side

Now let’s try the acrylic.


  • 46085578_bdn-209BBB_2594.jpg.fcc0b71be30dbf0d01a6eba15bb6c3c8.jpgLooking with the bow headed into the sunrise, i think  it looks ok from this angle


  • 1689632748_bdn-210BBB_2595.jpg.789a177907447b73a80ffe2dbdad9913.jpgBending down I find the soft light interesting. 
  • 1884713197_bdn-211BBB_2596.jpg.49f9411cddbe21d4a14d239a22efffdf.jpgTurning 45 degrees again I prefer the shadow on deck.
  • bdn-212.jpg.498143e73957c84ccfe7a89dd41cb69b.jpgBending down we see how much fun this acrylic sheet can be to see both above the water and the hull below. Maybe we add a seal!!! The side light is not quite as interesting as above.
  • 2060668221_bdn-213BBB_2599.jpg.ed14bcdc34064b0401b3f1253242a7a8.jpgNow going forward as if approaching the exhibit, we are looking a bit down sun.  The water is alive but flat. i can sort of see through it.   That is OK because as one walks by the exhibit the water changes.
  • 1204429138_bdn-214BBB_2600.jpg.f8ba1ae8859f5b831356526b7c9ac51e.jpgGoing past the stern we are looking into the sun and wow the sparkle is just exciting.  I also like the back lighting in the rigging. In the earlier post the added rigging of lazy jacks and baggywrinkles, and they  all picked up more light.


So yes, I am over my head but onward we go.  I think somewhere between dead on sun and 45 degrees off line sun will work. I need to sort out the box and the fixture to achieve this.  I must say in simple research I was taken back to learn the cost of a display box for all this.  wow.   I am not sure I am ready to build my own but $400 including shipping is a bit much for just one model. I found a local glazier who is building me a box in clear glass for about $100 and I just orders a small sun... LED exhibit spot light that is.


now I need dories.


All for now


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Post 28


Working deck rigging and starting the diorama parts


Here are a few more things getting done as we move along trying to get to a completion list.  I see three more areas, the deck including dories, completing all rigging and the non-schooner diorama. 



Remember the barrels….


  • 185459626_bdn-21554699croppedbarrelstorage.jpg.645ff55cfdd169eb0b7890626f1339b6.jpgHere we see a cropped BRHS photo showing the lashing goes over the barrel, then over the cap rail and logic says back through the scuppers to the ring on the deck.  There is another photo from the side where with a magnifying glass, one sees little vertical lines going from the rail to the scupper. Therefor  this way I believe is the right way. It makes sense because it was easy to do and the barrels came off and on regularly.  They were all stored ashore over the winter. The barrels were counted as ten on the first voyage and here they line up right to the shroud.
  • 1715518126_bdn-216aowdoinoldfotoof3doriesportside54915.jpg.8ecd53e2f3ac32487623781a24476474.jpgIn this cropped BRHS photo we see two barrels turned up. More important we create the mystery. I have 1947 photo of white dories.  This non sunlit photo makes it unclear they were white. The gunnel is clearly dark
  • 681046829_bdn-217detailmainsailanetc3000_33.5123_web_web-800x618croppedwhitedoryu.jpg.939ab21ae1f08f751d96dde327aaed52.jpgIn this cropped BRHS photo the mystery is solved. The sun lit dories are clearly white
  • 542814418_bdn-218detailshopwsyawlboattostarboard1994.5.1167_web_web-563x800.jpg.14e50db65edf0b972bcece2365a456ae.jpgIn this cropped BRHS photo we see small manila line on the barrels. We also see the yawl / whitehall type launch.  This is taken in 1930’s.  Confuring with Capt Will, we both agree the early fit out was bare bones , so I will only do three dories
  • 340572879_bdn-219DSC_0085.jpg.1414e809c7af12b7bf9210fa965a7114.jpgSo here on starboard I have three barrels lashed.
  • 240283926_bdn-220DSC_0101.jpg.5cc9e9500cc88013b3c110aa2fb4ca07.jpgHere on port we see I have four barrels installed and lashed.  A question might be ..did they take all barrels round trip?.  I only made seven. I am, thinking after all else is done I may make three more, along with some boxes. Lube oil and other materials were on deck, but the hold storage would have been much reduced so either way I am OK I believe.  i also do not want to block hawse pipes.


As to the dories, let’s say I am working on them. I will tell that story another day




remember the need to tar the dead eye lashing and ratlines.


  • 1877611228_bdn-221DSC_0106.jpg.4ec181ca20669d0e9b0092f8590a8719.jpgHere I put up a dummy lashed dead eye with the same cotton line and dabbled the ebony stain that I like for its oily look.  It seemed OK so I went ahead and did the ones in place
  • 738490885_bdn-222DSC_0109.jpg.89bc38710147415351fb2c3d71a7a9cb.jpgHere we see them on one side with the started ratlines.  They are always tedious and tough on the back while sitting so still on a stool.  If I do two all around each day that is roughly two weeks…we’ll see . I have 100 more to do on Charles Notman as soon as i finish Bowdoin..



Now the diorama


Just a teaser…for me to as I am making this up as I go.


  • 1560311085_bdn223bowdoininrefugebaycroppedforexplanation.thumb.jpg.4e8afa84b9f00806d58674d599ddf22d.jpgHere we see in a cropped internet photo of July 1924 in refuge bay.  I bought this image on line.   I will be showing a view from the side. In other photos we shall explaining the winter set up, the shore was perhaps 50 yard off the bow.  It would be too complicated for me at this stage to try to replicate the camp…….maybe in the future.  We shall have several photos around explain the camps in Baffin island 1922 and here in Greenland 1924.  The point is ice is melting and the crew  are thinking about going home
  • 1728828620_bdn-224BBB_2602.jpg.6150b03c7b21bba281416e65524b831e.jpgFirst up we need to remove the schooner and start cutting and carving Styrofoam to look like ice. See the brand new just out of the amazon box portable LED light giving us morning sun.  too much back ground light to see now.  You can see a friend 1:48 scale Flying Cloud behind.it is great to get more people into this wonderful hobby.  His grand father built a normal 1:96 and started this model years ago.   
  • 51359841_bdn-225BBB_2603.jpg.d07961a38904579be83b07d26f277950.jpgHere is general lay out.  I pulled the acrylic to the fore ground and have about 5 inches of flat ice beyond. You can see my first dory sitting on the ice. To prime it i had fun and chose yellow. I will do gray like the inside and then lightly paint the white over so it looks a little more used. I assume one dory aboard one on ice and the third???
  • bdn-226.jpg.c19b9a69d32649d997e3c2f9549282df.jpgIn this view, I have built up the bottom. It is a fraction under 24" by 21" deep and the ice is 5 inches up. that means about 20 feet of water. so the bottom will be painted as water.  My practice collage of practice cropped photos tries to show the remaining frozen harbor running to the shore line. This is my place holder

I ordered and received a LED portable spot light and ordered a glass box that is ready to pick up tomorrow. Not sure how to manage with my cast….  Next, I need to paint out the wood stand to look like water.


Much to do


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Post 29


Dories part 1


I do this in two parts because it is a story.  The first part is everything up to date on building dories for Bowdoin.  The next chapter shall include whatever I do to either rebuild or rehab and complete the dories. 


I have struggled with mini dories and yawl boats since I started some 6 years ago to build them. When I solve it, I shall have several rebuilds to do.  The two key issues for me are first with a 3 to 5-inch build, unlike a 12-inch-long and up build, the wood at 1/32” is the same strength.  Therefore, bending twisting and more importantly clamping becomes a real problem, at least for me.   Secondly its exacerbated with my continued difficulties with the magic touch of CA instant glues.  They just don’t work for me in wood.


So, forgetting previous builds I approached this one with an open mind.   I even read the instructions and tried to follow them.   



  • 1943354097_bdn-227dsc_0451_01.jpg.4c2958d12c0fb76c25d2c581dab071c3.jpgHere I was on the way.  The crew is setting up the assembly of  bottom, stem and transom.
  • 1387175060_bdn-228DSC_0452_01.jpg.922f51117d10a2f451db8adaf08e348f.jpgHere after several unsuccessful attempt to use the full side 1/32” by about ¾”sheets……I even soaked them and pre-bent them to no avail.
  • So, for attempt two, I figured why not make them with three ¼” wide planks, the way they really were built, and see if the bending and clamping is easier with narrower pieces.
  • 290083029_bdn-229DSC_0453_01.jpg.72d448a4e58231063557d54ddb1d1992.jpgHere I recovered the bottoms etc. and set them up again.
  • bdn-230.jpg.cce18c20d6aae69d687e2520359b4fff.jpgHere we go with the first plank…so far so good
  • 1887015628_bdn-231DSC_0456_01.jpg.791c2e801957d9ca8128e39f01886dc6.jpgHere goes plank two.  As this is a trial run there is no attempt to spile the planks. Also, patience is needed as I used wood glue and waited an hour or more for each step.
  • 170152255_bdn-232DSC_0459.jpg.f3046798fab6fa1e4ec5100128f720a2.jpgHere we bend it around. The force is almost reduced to where masking tape can hold it.  There is struggle here to clamp, but we eventually get it. 
  • 671442133_bdn-233DSC_0096.jpg.79b8b5ac9d5bb1ba19e181708ae27193.jpgHere we got the 3rd plank on. T’was a bit messy, so let’s see if we can use it.
  • 1986995478_bdn-235DSC_0097.jpg.2b9cca4d3516258d31f0944ebc216038.jpgOops…not enough masking tape on the mold so we must cut it out.  Not good for shop efficiency if we want to reuse the jig and make more dories.
  • 499832606_bdn-236DSC_0098.jpg.3a1969d0c4919e603e5f2199c4b9fca4.jpgI was encouraged enough to make up the material and make the other two. 
  • 774959059_bdn-238DSC_0105.jpg.fde6cf3a083a28511afaf4ac3fbc09dc.jpgWell let’s get the gunnels on. Here the inner gunnel is glued as hull planking for dory 2 and 3 trial runs are coming along.
  • 2074409428_bdn-239BBB_2607.jpg.2d7545921bd4c143c945113a8de1ec3b.jpgHere we see with masking tape the molds came right out for dory 2 and 3.  The first dory has seats and grey priming.  I will paint it out white with dark gunnel and make up some oars. The dories will be afloat, so they will all get finished.
  • 1538206612_bdn-240DSC_0117.jpg.1125074f5421e6283300096d5a155783.jpgFinally, we see for the diorama, one dory will be transferring the last supplies on board before leaving Refuge Bay northern Greenland in late July 1924.


Thoughts about a part 2


This is part one because I need to decide.  I have a dead line so I will finish these to have them ready.  I need to do two things in part 2.   Learn to create spline lines for these or other dories so the planks are more proportional.  Second reconsider the lapstrake method I chose because it was so prevalent in the 1920’s and easy to build.  Dories obviously came and went. In the 1930's photo I have shown for other details in a recent post, including the white color, they were not lapstrake but butt jointed.  So, what to do.   As of now I plan to use lapstrake because they we so prevalent in the early days of Maine and other New England fishing schooners. These dories though were only 16 feet long so maybe.  I suspect they bought them from one of the many shops around Boothbay.  All the more to study


We’ll see what comes with an attempt to do both types, butt or lapped.  To do the butt [ i already tried and failed] I believe I will need two more molds


All for now



bdn-238 DSC_0105.jpg

Edited by Jond
wrong photo

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