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Martin W

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  1. Nice work, Ron. I always admire the clean lines you're able to get on your work. And congratulations on your move: if the only thing you've lost is the one oar, then you should be relieved. Of course you'll never know what you've lost until you can't find it. Cheers, Martin
  2. Hi Spy -- Your response came in right as I was submitting mine. It's great to hear from you. And I can't count the number of times I've bled over some part of the build. I keep a box of band aids at my work bench, and go through them apace. My own eyesight is terrible, and last summer I got an infection in a finger joint which left the whole finger almost unusable so that working on fine details has become even more of a challenge than before. Nonetheless, we endure. Cheers, Martin
  3. Hello Everybody -- Thanks for all the kind comments, they always remind me that ship modellers really do form a community. And thanks to everyone who clicked the Like button. Mike -- Pegasus would be interesting to carve. There's lots of opportunities for working out details, and as I found out making that rocking horse some years back, there are some long-standing conventions that can guide you along the way. Best of luck with it, and I can't wait to see what you come up with. Toni -- As always your advice is really good. I hadn't thought of using a building board, because I'd become fixated on using a mounting board. But your suggestion sounds much more stable and protective. I still worry, though, about the fact that the models will be riding in the seat of an F-250, which has never been known for its smoothness (or quietness). And then there are my other two builds that are rigged -- with those I can only think that I'll have to make cases for them. Peter -- I would absolutely LOVE to spend the rest of my life in the Alps. I'd need to relearn both the German and Italian that I've long since lost, and I'd have to find resources well beyond those of a retired university professor. One reason I'm eager to get to a cooler region is because I miss ice skating terribly. My wife & I have been talking about a trip to Lugano -- which I haven't seen since 1988 -- and that's made me start thinking about the food, which I might miss even more than the skating. Cheers to all, Martin
  4. Hello Everybody, and Happy New Year! Checking the log I keep for myself in the boatyard, I see that it was 3 October that I started work on the Figurehead. I proceeded in a somewhat methodical fashion, but suffered several setbacks that made this little project longer and more involved than I'd expected, even for such a slow worker like me. One setback is that the Coolpix I've had for only about 9 years, and that replaced the old Nikkormat I bought in 1971 stopped working with any reliability. My sister and wife pressured me last summer into buying a smart phone, and I have just this morning figured out how to upload pictures from it to my laptop. Pictures of the steps in carving and the mishaps don't exist, I'm afraid, so I'll rely on verbal narrative. I began by working out a clay model that helped me understand the basic design issues. Setback #1 came when I wanted to study that model for some detail, and found it completely squished under the glue bottle. By that point, I was committed to the carving, so I didn't bother with resurrecting the flattened clay version. I decided to try carving in cherry rather than my usual boxwood (castello), just for a switch. One consequence is that the grain of the cherry is more obvious in the final carving than the boxwood's would have been, and it made the overall piece more fragile. I oriented the grain lengthwise, but still suffered two major breaks. The first was when the entire right arm (on the starboard side) broke at the shoulder. That was early enough that I could glue it back into place, and then follow the Roman technique of supporting the thin piece of the arm through connections with the body, one at the shoulder, of course, and one at the wrist. The second break came with the foot on the same side, because the back-bent angle of the legs meant that the calves and ankles were cross-grained. I left the feet outlined only as "boots" since any more detail would have led to more breaks. And when I glued the foot back on, it broke again almost immediately, so I've left it off until I put the figurehead permanently into place. So here are some views from different angles: The pointing arm on the port side, I carved separately, and then pinned on. It's a bit larger than the right arm, because I had to allow room for the hand and fingers. And here, by way of contrast, is the kit-supplied figurehead: Oddly, this version looks decidedly feminine, in contrast to the masculine Mercury figure of the plans (and in FFM). Her arm -- and the one on the plans -- is raised more vertically than mine. And in the plans (and FFM) Mercury is pointing a single finger upward. That struck me as slightly offensive, so I had my Mercury pointing the way Onward. I'll add a few coats of wipe-on poly, then store it away, with the detached foot, until the whole ship is done. I'm unsure what to do next, since I don't really want to add any fragile details for a while. Mrs W & I plan on pulling up stakes here on the prairie and establishing our retirement home in some cooler region. I have no idea how to move a ship model, and have already begun to dread the damage I'll inflict on this one and my other two. Cheers, Martin
  5. Hi Peter -- Your choices for the paint scheme for Bellerophon seem appropriate, bronze would have been too dull. And that weapon does look odd -- who knows. Maybe it's supposed to be a kind of curved short sword. As for the goat's head over the lion's, my guess is that the goat coming out of the back of the lion looked so ridiculous that Bellerophon cut it off to make the chimaera look more presentable. And I have to envy that heroically narrow waist! Cheers, Martin
  6. Hi Peter -- Nice work on the hardest area! You mention that the rails are cast -- what material are they cast from? They look just like hand-grooved and shaped rails. Cheers, Martin
  7. I'm surprised, Peter, at how much of a difference the lower height makes. It does, and the difference is definitely an improvement. Cheers, Martin
  8. Hi Peter -- I agree that it does look much better with a taffrail. I'm impressed as well that you were able to bend that piece of boxwood so nicely, as it looks pretty thick. How long did you have to soak it? Cheers, Martin
  9. Hi Kenneth -- This is a nice build you have going. If you're still wondering how to do the rope coils, here's the simple trick: you just soak a length of rope in diluted white glue, then make the coil. It should take the shape you want while wet fairly easily (you might use tweezers to keep your fingers clean), and then it'll keep that shape when dry. Cheers, Martin
  10. Hi Brian -- thanks for the kind words. And thanks to everyone for the Likes. Brian, I have actually gone back and added glazing to the various windows, using a product called Micro Kristal Klear. I'm about halfway pleased with it, since it does dry clear and glass like, but as glazing it's uneven. Maybe that's due to my own inexperience with it, or with the size of the individual lights that I had to fill in. Sorry to see that you've put down your tools. My outside shop is also unheated, and un-air-conditioned (which matters more here in Oklahoma). I found a small and supposedly efficient heater last winter, but by the time I installed it, the winter (always brief yet severe here) had passed. I'm hoping this winter it will warm the shop up enough that my tools don't feel like ice-cicles every time I touch them. Cheers, Martin
  11. To make the binnacle, I decided to use some scraps from the cherry I'm building a tool chest out of. I basically followed the design in FFM, but chose to put legs on because they make sense in wet environment. I also put in 2 drawers, because you can never have too many maps on hand: As you can probably guess by looking, when I set it on the Quarter Deck, it proved to be much too big. So I made another, smaller version: Hmm, I didn't realize how bad the focus was, sorry. The reason there's a bit of a lean on the smaller version is that the legs have been adjusted to fit the slope of the deck. Next up, I've decided to work on the figure head. So far I've gotten through the roughest bosting-in stage where I just work out the different levels: Obviously there's a long way to go, and as with every other carving I find that all my tools are too, too big for such fine work. Mrs W has been dragging me off on various "pleasure" trips (the furthest I like going is out to my workshop), but I think there's a brief respite ahead, so I hope to move with some dispatch. Cheers, Martin
  12. Hi Nils -- It's been a while since I checked in, and I have to tell you that I'm mightily impressed with your workmanship, and with the many fascinating details you've added. Those coffee mugs made me laugh with pleasure. Wonderful! Cheers, Martin
  13. Hi Peter -- Judging from the photo, it looks like you've filed off some details from the kit's pieces. Remind me if that was for historical accuracy or because fit. Cheers, Martin
  14. That Captain does indeed seem to be lounging about while the work crew labors hard! And the Main Laborer is doing a fine job. That's a curiously square bow, isn't it? Cheers, Martin

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