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About Cathead

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  • Birthday 09/08/1979

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  • Location
    Missouri, USA
  • Interests
    Ecology, history, science, cooking, baseball, soccer, travel

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  1. Welcome! I'm currently building the 1:35 Dusek longship (see link in signature), another case where no log exists for the large-scale version, only the 1:72 version. I've found the kit to be rather problematic and you may well benefit from reading through my frustrations, mistakes, and solutions, even if you proceed differently, as I wouldn't be surprised to find many issues mirrored between the two kits. I hope you'll stick with it; mine is finally starting to look like something and I think will turn out well. Good luck and I look forward to seeing what you do with this interesting vessel.
  2. I feel that he's generally good about the broad context but has gotten ever-sloppier with the details as the series goes on. For Pillars, my understanding is that he plunged into the details of period cathedral building and it comes through in the narrative. In the later books, he takes less time to understand what he's talking about and just writes the same story with the same characters with a few details changed to hint at a different era. But never once do you get the sense that he dove as deeply in the context of the others as he did for Pillars. Pillars is also the only one where there's
  3. Pillars is by far the best, an excellent book that stands up to repeated rereads (at least four for me). I'll never read the others again. As with many authors, he got it right once, then started cashing in on the formula with predictable results in terms of quality. I mean, I've read them all, he obviously writes stories that draw readers in. But each successive book felt less compelling. E&M, for example, might work ok if you hadn't read any of the others, but by that point he's following some pretty deep narrative ruts and all the characters are recognizable as reflections o
  4. Honestly, though Follett can spin a good yarn, if you know much about the periods he's describing the books go rapidly off the rails. Don't read The Evening and the Morning (the new prequel to that series) if you know anything about the Anglo-Saxon/Viking period, your eyes will roll out of your head. There are far more accurate historical writers out there who can still spin a yarn (such as Bernard Cornwell).
  5. Thanks very much, folks. My FIL and I were not only close, but ludicrously similar (both Northerners who ended up as freelance editors on rural Southern homesteads with large gardens, both deeply interested in the full spread of natural science and human history, both married to strong, intelligent women who love the outdoors, etc.). We even shared some of the same faults, which he certainly had but which I won't go into here (nor the differences). But it was enough for a strong affinity, especially as I lost my own father in high school. Brian, right now I like the hull as it is,
  6. One more update from a productive weekend. I got started laying the decking. On the real thing, this seemed to consist of cross-wise beams separating sets of short removable slats (to reach the ballast, for example); at least, that's what the reproduction does. You can see this here (can't embed as it's a stock photo with copyright). The kit includes a really crappy paper-like insert with the decking scribed onto it. I knew from the beginning that I wasn't going to use it and planned to lay my own decking piece by piece. To do this, I used my Byrnes table saw to rip an old piece of
  7. Looks wonderful, so crisp and even on the framing. Nice fix using the toothpicks to strengthen those joins. The guns look nice to me, though I'm hardly an expert.
  8. I spent Saturday morning making further progress. I settled on a simple red-yellow paint scheme for the upper strakes, following others' guidance that these were common and cheap colors in this era. I painted the whole upper part yellow first, then overlaid it with red. I then did several rounds of touching-up where my brush slipped. Once that was done, I used fine sandpaper to smooth and distress the hull, as I wanted a rougher texture than pure brown. The plywood used for the planking doesn't create a very realistic surface, so I wanted to at least imply the rough grain of weath
  9. OK, you almost gave ME a heart attack with that incident; I have a new something to be thankful for. The base and final display match the rest of this peerless model. So glad you shared it with us. As a geologist and former model railroader, I was often fairly critical of peoples' presentation of rocks, soil, and landforms as rarely did modelers put as much effort into getting these right as they did their actual models. I'm happy to say that your base looks excellent!
  10. I think I've finished upgrading my hull. Both sides now have drilled and sanded oar ports: There was more tearout than I expected when drilling, even using a backing plank, but it's mostly cosmetic and I don't think it will be visible when painted. I didn't like the abrupt way the upper strake terminated against the stem and stern, so added something to blend them together. This matches the reconstruction, though for the life of me I can't find the photo I used for reference. These give the hull's lines a more pleasing flow in
  11. Although my log doesn't document it (shame on me), I think I did my frames one at a time, using metal squares clamped to the keel and hull. That ensured they were correct, and didn't take that long as wood glue sets fairly quickly in a tight joint. Definitely use wood glue for all wood-wood joints. As for the deck, I can't see any benefit to cutting the deck in half, it takes the curve just fine. However, if you haven't read ahead in my log yet, check how I did it, because I'm not a fan of how the instructions tell you to do it and worked out a different way that's a lot more relia
  12. You've definitely chosen a challenge, but I'm so glad you joined MSW and started a build log. We'll do our best to help you along the way and are looking forward to seeing how you make this kit your own. Poor instructions are just one of many pitfalls Corel will place before you, but you're doing the right thing by looking at what others have done, taking your time, and not taking yourself too seriously! After all, the core point is to have fun. I don't have my instructions to hand, but there may be a parts list in the back of the booklet that you can use to compare with your kit c
  13. Do what you like, but for the record I'm not planning to leave any cats in my model cases...
  14. I'm out of words to describe this, but am so grateful I got to follow along. The fly seems poetic given your username.
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