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David Lester

NRG Member
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About David Lester

  • Birthday 10/01/1952

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  • Location
    Cobourg, Ontario
  • Interests
    reading, woodworking, architecture

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  1. Hi Derek, Glad to see you're back at your Bluenose. You mentioned that you're not a fan of painting, but you're right that it's pretty much essential for this hull. The white stripe that separates the red from the black is relatively easy to do. I just used 1/16" masking tape and it was straightforward. However the upper yellow stripe is actually quite tricky, but I think it's important to the look of the hull. If I'm not being too forward, I thought I would give you a heads up on it and how I approached the challenge.The problem is the fact that it goes immediately above the scuppers. There's plenty of room for it towards the bow, but towards the stern where the suppers are higher, there is very little room for it, and it can't spill onto the plank above as that plank is recessed. On the real vessel, the yellow stripe is actually a groove and it's very narrow. There just isn't enough room to create a neat and tidy groove especially in basswood, so it really needs to be applied to the surface. I'm currently building my second Bluenose model. I'm not doing a build log for the second one, as it would be a near carbon copy of the first, but I did handle the yellow stripe differently in each case and I think both results are acceptable. The first time around, I didn't have any really narrow masking tape, but I had a lot of Evergreen vinyl strips kicking around, so I painted one yellow and glued it on. It's very narrow and while it actually sits proud of the hull surface, it's so minimal that it's really undetectable. The vinyl strip is .01" x .03" and I think it's pretty close to the right width. This time around, I didn't have any vinyl strips of the right size, but I did find find 1mm Tamiya tape. It's just a bit wider than the .03" vinyl strip, but it seems to be acceptable too. I think anything wider than 1mm is going to be very difficult to fit on that plank and I think it will begin to look too wide relative to the real Bluenose. Overall, I'd say that the masking tape version is the easier one to do and probably the better solution, but at 1mm in width it just barely fits in. The other annoying problem is the colour of the tape which almost perfectly matches the yellow paint. It was hard knowing if I was placing the tape straight or wavy; there was almost no contrast. Anyway, not sure if that's at helpful to you or not, but I hope it's of some value. BTW I found the 1mm tape at Sunward Hobbies. I don't recall seeing it anywhere else. I'm enjoying your build log. David
  2. Tom - sorry, I just came across your posts now. Not sure how I missed them. Thank you so much for your kind words. It seems to me that the blocks are an especially important feature on this model and I think an upgrade to Syren and BlueJacket is well worth it. Be sure to check out Tom Lauria on Youtube; he has some thoughts and tweaking the blocks which are interesting. Even if you don't do everything that Tom Lauria does, the BlueJacket ones will still need a bit of work in some cases. The beckets on the internally stropped blocks sometimes need drilling out, and they usually need a bit of filing, but they look and work great. I've built a number of models now and the CWM was my favourite one to do - it's challenging, but not frustrating because the kit is well designed and it goes together well. The detail is amazing and so far as I can tell, it's very accurate. At least it seems to match the pictures of the real vessel very closely. I'm sure you must be enjoying it too. Jared - thanks very much. I really appreciate it. David
  3. Well, you're doing a lot better than I did. You're finding it simply the hardest kit you've ever built. I found it to be quite literally impossible! It's looking pretty good to me and congratulations on persevering. David
  4. I'm not sure if others have gone through anything like this or not, but for some time now, I've been feeling very dissatisfied with my ship modelling. Although I have quite a few models under my belt, it seems that my skill level has not been improving and it was getting me down.... then I came across Derek's (Delf) build log for his Speedy and I have found just the inspiration I needed. I attribute my recent malaise to two things: the first has been laziness and not really paying attention to what I was doing, especially with rigging and seizing in particular. I was just quickly wrapping the seizing around the line in a haphazard manner, bunching it up against the block and then gluing it with too much glue. Then the block would often not hang naturally. Also, I could never get the thread ends cut close enough, so there were always two tiny tails sticking out from each one. Thanks to Derek, I can now see how with just a bit more care and attention, I can get beautiful seizings. And since, as we all know, the only thing that really separates any of us from true craftsmanship is another tool, I went on a shopping spree. I bought a pair of cuticle nippers, which are easily the very best tool for trimming the threads that I have come across, a Quadhands to replace the little so called "helping hand" (which was anything but) that I was using, some fly tying thread and as a special treat, a Serv-o-matic. I have been practicing tying seizings and am now getting results as good as Derek's. It's so energizing to find an area that I can improve significantly and doing so easily falls within my ability. My Serv-o-matic hasn't arrived yet, but I'm looking forward to using it too. I know I will never be a great hull planker. In fact, my skills in that department are closer to those of a drywaller than a modeller, (although I have never resorted to taping the joints,😄) and I'm just going to have to live with that. The second thing I needed to shake up was my model selections. I am quite fond of Model Shipways kits and have developed a comfort level with them. As a result, I have built them almost exclusively - in fact all of my models with the exception of one Mamoli have been MS. And my bad experience with the Ontario last year also made me more wary of other manufacturers. But I have been in rut. Most of the MS kits are built the same way and despite different subjects, it has felt like the same build over and over again. So, again thanks to Derek, as well as many other enthusiastic reviews, I have bought Vanguard's Speedy which arrived the other day and I am now eager to get going. I have spent some time on the plans and what a treat to have a rigging plan that can be deciphered and for which you don't need second sight to interpret. I have been trying to unload some of my finished models on family members. The only one my daughter would agree to take is my Bluenose, which unfortunately is the model I most want to keep. So I found myself agreeing to build a second one for her, which doesn't exactly address the problem I was trying to solve in the first place. Oh well. So I have it to finish up, then on to my Speedy. I'm very grateful for the inspiration I find at MSW! David
  5. Thank you. Getting the colours close to the real ship was a bit of a challenge.
  6. I didn't make a build log for this project, but here are some pictures of the finished model.
  7. Good Morning, You are not alone in finding this kit to be a real challenge. I'm sure by now you've seen my abortive build log and how I ended up abandoning this project. While I look forward to some challenge in every project, I found the tsunami of problems this one presented to be both perplexing and overwhelming. You've identified a few already. I don't mean to be too discouraging, but there are many more to come. It sounds as though you have some experience, so with any luck you'll be able to overcome the inherent problems. I sincerely wish you every success and I will be following with interest to see how you solve the various issues! All the best, David
  8. Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I have a clear idea of how to proceed now. David
  9. I may be straining the premise that there is no such thing as a stupid question, but here goes anyway. I am thinking about "upping my game" by adding serving to the stays and shrouds on my next, but yet to be determined model. My question relates to seizing the shrouds at the mast top. It has always been my practice to double the shroud line over, place it in my helping hands and tie the seizing somewhere near, but not necessarily at the loop. Then place the loop over the mast top and slide the seizing up snug to the mast. I imagine that it would be all but impossible to slide the seizing over a served line. If I'm wrong on that notion and it is possible to slide the seizing, then I can't foresee an issue. However, if that is in fact the case, what is a good method to locate the seizing in exactly the right spot without sliding it? Would I place the loop over the mast top, perhaps clamp the lines together at a snug point, remove the clamped line from the mast and then add the seizing at the point where I placed the clamp? Or is there some other obvious approach that is staring me in the face and I just can't see it. Many thanks and all thoughts are most welcome. David
  10. I am always leery of wooden belaying pins; in my experience they are almost always too heavy and in one of my models it wouldn't even have been possible to fit them all in, let alone have them look right. I tried some of the wooden pins that come from one of the Russian companies ( I don't recall which one.) They were exquisite - very fine but utterly useless. They were so fine that they couldn't withstand even the gentlest wrapping of the line around them. They just snapped off. So I have committed to using only brass pins. They at least approximate the right proportions and are reliably robust. I have noticed that pins on real ships often have a grayed out colour, so I always paint mine with Tamiya XF55 Deck Tan, which is a terrific beigey-gray colour. As for Cast Your Anchor, I believe they are still in business, but buying from them is not a great experience. You will get an automated response by email when you place the order, but you will never receive any further communication from them. They will charge your visa account the minute they receive the order and not wait until they ship it. You will never know when (or if) the order is shipped. If they do fill the order, it will take many weeks to arrive. I've only used them twice and I did ultimately receive the orders after several weeks, but I have heard of others who have not. If you email them, they will not respond and if you phone they don't answer the phone and you can't leave a message because the voice mailbox is always full. I would like to do business with them, as they seem to have a good inventory, and they're just a short distance away from me, but they're just so frustrating to deal with that I've given up. There are plenty of suppliers out there who are all great to deal with, so there's no need for an unpleasant experience. David
  11. Hi Tom, Thank you very much for your kind words. In my opinion, the CWM is a superb kit and so far as I can tell, the plans are very accurate. It was my favourite kit to build. I'm sure you're going to enjoy it too. If you haven't already done so, be sure to look at www.charleswmorganmodel.com. If I remember right, the builder's name is John and he has shared dozens of pictures of the real CWM which are very helpful for clarifying details. And be sure to look at this article https://thenrg.org/resources/Documents/articles/BuildingGuidefForATryworks.pdf which is really a good one. I think it was the same writer who also had a great tip for building the seven whaling boats. The exteriors are easy to shape, but the interiors can be very difficult to do. The suggestion was to glue up the layers of the boats, then cut them in half lengthwise. It's then much easier to carve the interiors. When you've done that simply glue them back together and carry on shaping the exteriors and adding the finishing details. I love this solution because it is so counter-intuitive but it works like a charm. I have a few models under my belt now, but displaying them is getting to be quite a problem, so I'm trying to find homes for them. The CWM now lives at my son's house and my grandson now has my Rattlesnake displayed in his room along with his Lego collection. My last (completed) model was the Model Shipways Bluenose, which is another great kit and my daughter has expressed an interest in having it. The problem is, it's one that I really don't want to give up, so my next project will be a second one. I have ordered it and will be starting as soon as it arrives. It's a popular kit and is frequently out of stock at Model Expo, but I found one at Cornwall Model Boats. I can't believe that I will be building the same kit for a second time, but that's the way it's turning out. Thanks again, and best of luck with your CWM. David
  12. Sad news - this is my last update for this model. I am afraid that I have abandoned this build. It may be my lack of skill, but I simply cannot make this kit come together. I know that Maris Stella has a good reputation so I don't want to be unfair. Perhaps a more skilled and more patient modeler than me could achieve success, but I have been having so much difficulty that it has ceased to be a pleasure for me. So, I've decided that life is too short and I'm letting it go. I put the guns and carriages together and gave them to my grandson, who is delighted with them - the most expensive set of toy cannons any five year old has ever received! I'm really sorry to post this, but I don't like unfinished build logs and I wanted to bring this one to a conclusion, even though it's not a very happy conclusion. Thanks very much for your 'likes' and interest in this build, and sorry to bring it to a premature end. David
  13. Good Morning Everyone and Happy Friday, 13th! A little update on my Ontario progress - I've been spending a lot of time on the stern and it's coming along quite nicely. I'll have some pictures in the next post. Concurrently, I've been working on some other bits and pieces. I've assembled the cannons and carriages and they have all come together very nicely without problems of any kind. In the past I have sometimes found the carriages a bit tricky, getting the cannon to sit a the right angle, etc, but I've had no trouble with these ones at all. There are two different sizes - 14 larger ones for the gun deck and six smaller ones for the upper deck. I finished off the boat, which I scratch built, basing it on the pinnace from my Constitution build, but detailing the interior for the Ontario. And lastly, I've made all the masts and yards. As you would expect, these were as straightforward as could be. No real need for much explanation. As is often typical, the mast tops and cheeks are provided. I wasn't sure what shade of yellow the stripe on the hull and the masts should be and I know from experience that no matter what shade I settled on myself, I would be convinced that there was another shade out there that would have been better and why the heck didn't I choose it instead. Since this is a British ship, I decided to order the admiralty paints that Caldercraft provides. So the masts and stripe are their "yellow ochre" and the gun carriages are their "red ochre." This way, I won't second guess myself. I wasn't as concerned about the black, but since I was placing an order anyway, I also got their "dull black" which you can also see. Next time, I'll have some pictures of the stern. Thanks again for your interest. David
  14. Paul, I built the bulwarks in sections off the model as well. For some reason it seems to be a good method for this particular model. David
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