Jump to content
josh44

Sloop-of-War USS Alaska by josh44 - BOTTLE - 1/1000

Recommended Posts

I am choosing this as a gift for my friend, Brynn, who is from Alaska.  Couldn't find too many ships named Brynn, and i kind of like what is going on with this particular ship.

 

Apparently, a sloop-of-war is not a sloop that I think of in the civilian or recreational sense (eg a single gaff-masted cutter); rather a sloop-of-war I believe could be any unrated (ie under 20 guns?) two- or three-masted ship.  The two-masted sloops-of-war were typically configured often as either main-mizzen-ketch or fore-main-snauw.

 

This USS Alaska is a three-masted square-rigged ship, was the first of four US Navy ships named after the territory / state, and was launched in 1868.  

 

As far as pictures, i  found these two dreary ones, and i suspect that they only hint at the splendor she would carry when at full sail:

 

Image result for uss alaska sloop of war

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Alaska_(1868)

USS ALASKA (1868-1883)

https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-63000/NH-63526.html

 

 

If anyone can refer me to any other photos or pictures of any kind, then i would be grateful.  

Otherwise, i will do what SIB builders do, which is to blend two shots reverence with one shot imagination.  

(Fair warning  - if someone produces authentic picture with hideous colors, or all gray, then i might balk and choose my own). 

 

With three masts, four yards each, gaffs on each mast, and a bunch of lifeboats, this will be fun!

 

Will probably look for a thinner sail material than i had with the Annie.

 

Thanks for reading!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds neat. Is it just me, or the angle, or are the masts on that ship not straight? It looks like they rake well aft on the mast and topmast but the topgallants and royals look like they're almost vertical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, vossiewulf said:

Sounds neat. Is it just me, or the angle, or are the masts on that ship not straight? It looks like they rake well aft on the mast and topmast but the topgallants and royals look like they're almost vertical.

Not sure, but I do see what you mean.

 

I found a couple other pictures, none terribly helpful with the model, but still:

image.png.76149eb17b5882113325a48120d2a885.pngCool commemoratove stamp, and

image.png.83fe3ea06418ff58337519b106a29272.png

the original crew! I presume thats Cmdr. Homer Blake in the middle.  

https://www.naval-history.net/OW-US/Alaska/USS_Alaska2-Officers-1880.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Josh

 

I’m in.

 

I’m not quite sure, (or should I say, totally bamboozled), how the devil you’re going to hinge and raise those masts once the boat’s in the bottle, but, I’m sure as hell going to stick around to find out!

 

Cheers. 

 

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Omega1234 said:

Hi Josh

 

I’m in.

 

I’m not quite sure, (or should I say, totally bamboozled), how the devil you’re going to hinge and raise those masts once the boat’s in the bottle, but, I’m sure as hell going to stick around to find out!

 

Cheers. 

 

Patrick

Thanks Patrick! I am really excited about this one.  Been giving all the gaff and yard hinges a lot of thought: I have a few new ideas, and something is  bound to do the job better than tying all those wobbly knots.  Viewing the other posts on this site has really inspired me to elevate my process.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hull blank and general outline

 

Not much out there to guide me on the details of USS Alaska, other than pictured above.  So I looked at similar sloops-of-war from that era, including built from the same shipyard. These included the USS Austin, Eerie, Constellation and Portsmouth.

 

After about 2 days research - life is cheap with SIB! - I cut out the hull blanks from bass.  

 

thumbnail_IMG_6640.jpg.641cdae550ee5cb95b77975d30cd86f4.jpgthumbnail_IMG_6641.jpg.afb70a80a999ecfec91561631a8b78a2.jpgthumbnail_IMG_6646.jpg.cb0a0e8472ec68eaf77414524be72bbd.jpg

For the square gun holes   / port holes - what are these called? - I was inspired to to cut them out instead of just painting them black; to do this I make saggital slices of the hull. I wich I had done that from the start. Mine became a clunky hybrid of hull blank + saggital slices.  

 

After tons of sanding and redos and repainting, I settled with this look.

thumbnail_IMG_6656.jpg.30c3c7d5fff01d4a187fe829be504ac7.jpg

I made the hull deeper and more square on purpise - this time ia m going to try the silicone sea as was perfected by IgorSky - I need a big broad hull for purchase of the rubber and silicone glue.

thumbnail_IMG_6658.jpg.d88bef8147cf37c4cdc34a7ec62983b3.jpgthe Foremast

thumbnail_IMG_6660.jpg.f0b9a4336fdc36e4ad65e349ead93fad.jpgHow I make the mast hinges - cord ends for bead works, straightened and clipped.

 

thumbnail_IMG_6661.jpg.e32b554dc47b94a11e2f7e4b82d50f2d.jpgtill you get this.

A solid, smooth mast hinge is critical to my piece of mind with these little guys and gals.  

 

I added some mahogany strips for bulwarks, and a scratched painted faux deck.  A real strip deck was just not in the cards for this one. 

thumbnail_IMG_6666.jpg.e04b02ae87bc5c8f6ff45ec8e4c94a07.jpgThe Bulwark cleans her up nice enough.

 

 

 

I been going crazytrying to figure out how to better attach square rigged yards to the masts.  I founf some tiny chain link in the beading store, cut two links and...

thumbnail_IMG_6667.jpg.d497016e20904d380797713a586e4fff.jpg

secured with a little CAthumbnail_IMG_6668.jpg.834751d30c43e0be075759af317a07fc.jpg

But how does she lay down?

thumbnail_IMG_6669.jpg.13bf93de4ef0388b6abbd48cdf1ec3d9.jpgVery easily!

thumbnail_IMG_6670.jpg.d123331fc3f547526cee7f8442fc6222.jpgand again.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Josh 

 

That’s a pretty nifty mast-hinge idea you’ve got going on there.  All in all, it looks like you’re going full steam ahead.

 

Nicely done.

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm excited about this post because it gives a sample of the error and fixes that can occur with SIB.

 

After the formast and sails were installed, I put on the shroud rigging.  Fortunately, the real Alaska has what looks like large belaying rack external to the ship. I prefer these over drilling holes in the sides of the ship.  I usually do three runs per side.

 thumbnail_IMG_6671.jpg.92c6f90c249c1b8c5ffad606f6053075.jpg

 

then I moved on the the main mast and sails..

thumbnail_IMG_6679.jpg.89fb9056b2bf1e00cd712aa0ecbe4285.jpgI tried a new technique for the main sail, drawing patterns on the muslin, and coating the entire sail in CA. So here was my dilemma: The Main sail looks so much better than my  completed - but sad, shaggy, and too narrow quite frankly! -  foremast and sails.

A good problem I suppose, one that required denuding the foremast of its sails

thumbnail_IMG_6680.jpg.115206bd8d6bfb15fed4b0909b237176.jpg and then completing the main sails

thumbnail_IMG_6681.jpg.27bba7fc9ecdb8051ca0470db068b2a2.jpg 

thumbnail_IMG_6682.jpg.2077152cc63f9d832a410b6e8145c049.jpgtill it looks much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Redoing the Foremast and all four sails with the shrouds and gaff in place was no small headache, but the end results were worth all the eye straining.

For the  Main mast, the gaff was added, plus her shroud lines and belaying racks.thumbnail_IMG_6692.jpg.29c269d515ab7763decf1b9064241f6c.jpg

But each of my SIB posts would not be complete without some form of break or malfunction; The starboard mainsail belaying rack pulls off after the shrouds are set:

thumbnail_IMG_6693-1.thumb.jpg.dafe079ccacfe0bc12d7e87ed7d4bbb9.jpg

No worries. I have a new toy: Bondic - a liquid plastic welding product. Squirt some of the liquid pre-plastic

and then expose to its UV light pen for about 5 seconds,

 

thumbnail_IMG_6694.jpg.bca1ea37afec59dd59c2446fe3251104.jpgand it instantly sets into plastic without mess.  Much easier than CA in some instances.

thumbnail_IMG_6695.jpg.022366b4527d75354cb64c060781b062.jpgAfter the bondic! (no, I dont work for them).

Has anyone used this type of product yet? So far, its very cool and works well.  

 

Fore and main masts are set;  the bow is prepared with a pin vise hand drill and so the bowsprit is glued in.  Some of the running rigging is brought through: I decide to start it from the gaffs.  

thumbnail_IMG_6700.jpg.f3f79d907de03d018ee7d8e43985f76d.jpgthumbnail_IMG_6699.jpg.008c72493165d1443d117bcece258001.jpgThe Main gaff needs a little anchor by way of a flattened cord end. 

Next stop: Mizzen mast, spanker, and tacks.  

 

 

thumbnail_IMG_6700.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, IgorSky said:

WOW, Josh!
One more new project!
I look forward to continuing!

Best Regards!
Igor.

 Thank you, Igor.  I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I review your posts as inspiration to take my projects to a higher level! I have many new ideas and am excited to share them.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, josh44 said:

 Thank you, Igor.  I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I review your posts as inspiration to take my projects to a higher level! I have many new ideas and am excited to share them.   

 

Thank you, Josh!
I think the most important thing is not to be afraid to try to do something new!
Good luck and my best wishes!

Igor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×