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About mikiek

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  1. The jig for the guns is extremely helpful. Can be painful too. I lost a lot of sleep fretting over the size of ropes, blocks, etc. I thought the size ropes speced in the plans looked a little wimpy. Almost every nite rebuilding the jig with various combinations of pieces. Took me almost a month to decide. Whatever you do with the breech ropes just remember those were big, heavy ropes. However they were hanging they would have drooped anywhere they could. This is another place where using some lacquer or Elmers to help the ropes hold shape will add a lot to the final look. The eye notices stuff like that.
  2. If you think back 75 years ago and farther, modelers didn't have all the brass strips & sheets we have today. They took wire and beat the heck out it - just like you. That is a very good skill to have some knowledge of and experience with. I guarantee ya it won't be the last time you have to do that. As for the holes, using a center punch (or even a nail in this case) to start the depression for the hole really helps. Stay with it.
  3. Exciting isn't it? I remember the thrill of seeing the first guns permanently on board. I have 2 suggestions for consideration. Complete the breech rope - hooks, eyebolts and all - off ship. It'll be a lot easier to seize the ends (read save you lots of time) and all you have to do to install is stick the eyebolt in the hole in the bulwark. The 2nd thought is debatable but I think your breech ropes should be a little longer. Remember guys had to ram long sticks down the barrel. When the end of the barrel is just a few inches inboard, it would have been pretty tough to get the tools in the barrel.
  4. I'm proud of ya man! Just saw the gallery pix. Can you give me some pointers on taking photos? 😃 I thought they were of a real boat at first.
  5. Yo Darrell - man I thought you had finished Niagara already. Well it's good to see you are making progress. The ships boats look fantastic. Love the clinker style hull. I painted mine inside & out but I like your staining much better. Stay with it.
  6. Solder is funny stuff. Make sure the 2 surfaces you are trying to solder are touching. It's damned near impossible to fill in a gap. Even a tiny one. Are you using an iron or a torch?
  7. This may already be in your playbook but get your deck completely finished before you start stepping masts or hanging yards on them. You start losing elbowroom exponentially as you start that phase so be sure you are happy with the guns, furniture, etc first. One other suggestion, and this comes after my build has been sitting in a display case for 2 years. The footropes now look worse than anything else on the build. I guess maybe they have shrunk slightly in places and don't have the consistent shape that they once did. Some of the stirrups also don't extend straight downwards any more. They are totally enclosed in the case so whatever happened was something natural. Back then I used some acrylic lacquer on them in an effort to stiffen them up after I shaped them. I remember doing maybe 2 applications, painting the lacquer on with a brush. Guess I should have done a few more applications. My point is you could do some of that now while the yards are easily accessible. If you have something like the 3rd hand tool, clip a yard in that then use additional alligator clips at strategic spots like the end of the stirrups to keep them straight and hanging down while you apply. I think if I had it to do over again, I would experiment with some watered down Elmers and see how that works.
  8. Something I learned on Niagara and it's true for all builds - the bigger it gets the easier it is to break something off. You might try putting 2 finishing nails in a board and wrapping your wire around those. Use some long nose pliers to keep a tight hold on the wire. Then pull tight as you wrap it. Copper wire is malleable and can be shaped so after you make the loop try some light hammering to flatten out the wire a little bit.
  9. Have been caught in one of those Catch 22 situations. I'm down to the last sail but I wanted to shoot some pix before I put it in. Been trying for almost 3 weeks to get some shots but everything came out really crappy. So tonite I went back to the point & shoot and below is the results. Still pretty crappy. Anyway, here's the story. I had to disagree with the manual on installing the sails. Don't know what common wisdom has to say, but the instructions wanted me to start with the lower sails and work up. This didn't make a lot of sense to me as all the ropes from the sails go down and many fasten to the pin rails on the masts. If the lower sails were there - with all their ropes installed - it would have made the upper sails a real bitch to do. Trying to take all those ropes down, working in between the lower ropes and sails. It made no sense to me. So I started at the tops and worked down. The main mast is all fore/aft sails so those went fairly easy. The fore mast has both fore/aft & square rigged. I am left with the main sail to do there. I'm planning on completing all sail rigging beforehand while there is still room to reach in. You may see from the pix a lot of loose ropes and rope ends still around. I did not glue any of the masts in place, so I decided to leave all the seizings loose until the very end so that I could adjust the masts & spars and tighten/loosen ropes as needed to keep everything straight. I like this approach and it paid off as masts & yards moved around quite a bit while putting up the sails. As I have mentioned before, there is a minimal amount of paint on this build. While the color of materials do not give a realistic representation of a sailing ship, I found them to be very attractive so I'm going with not much more that lacquer on most surfaces. So here's a few - well more than a few - pix of Enterprise before I put in the last sail. I hate coiled up rope on the deck. Just looks too contrived for my taste. I worked on making neat piles of extra rope instead. Looks better in person. These brass rings were a bitch to put into the sail and then close them around the stays. So I opened them up, stuffed them thru a small hole in the sail leaving the open ends pointing up. Then I put a dot of CA on the rings to hold them in place on the sail edge. It was then very easy to put each ring over the stay and close it up. Now I can get on with finishing this thing up.........
  10. Your deadeyes will be fine when you get that strip glued to the channel edge. Don't do that until you get the deadeye straps fastened to the hull. fyi - I used Syrens deadeyes and have to say those may be the one product from them that I don't care for. You have to assemble them which was not too difficult, but you are then supposed to put them in a block sander to rough up and wear down the edges a little. Many of them broke in that process. On the flip side, all the holes are perfectly drilled and each piece is very consistent.
  11. Hello Elijah - it is an interesting game, but I have found (just as I always knew) the internet can bring out the worst in some people. Hiding behind their monitor with no accountability. No wonder it sometimes seems like the whole world is headed south. As to your problem, sometimes you do need to walk away for a while. I have confidence that you will work things out. Thanks for checking in.
  12. Hello Tom - it's been a long time since I checked in with you. Wow - moving the shipyard, I can't imagine. What a headache. Glad it seems to be working out and falling into place. Will try to keep closer tabs with you and your Niagara.
  13. Geez - can't believe it's been this long since a post. For those following I apologize. On a side note - don't know how many of you play online computer games. I allowed myself to get sucked into one called Naval Action. First online game I have ever played. I was attracted from several angles. The fact that it related to ships we build didn't help. But I went way overboard in my involvement. Many things got pushed back in my priority line including finishing this build. It was almost an addiction that I could not resist. People and things that should have been first in my life got relegated to lesser importance. Again, I went way overboard in my involvement. Finally realizing this mess I am attempting to put the games aside and get back to business. And while this build doesn't take #1 in priorities I am returning focus to it as my "passtime". So much for the personal note. Looking at the last post, I was surprised. Coulda sworn i had some more recent pix. And I recall that was my last endeavor, working on some real images of the build instead of "boaties" from a cell phone. Will recheck my photo folders to see if there is something more current. If not will produce some soon. The build progresses. Most of the sails are hung and I have learned some tricks along the way. Hope to pass them on soon. Hang in there guys, Enterprise will be completed. Honestly it may be sooner than I think. Although there are a few more sails to hang, that's about the last of it.
  14. Fantastic information! Thanks JFC! - was wondering how a tack would be handled regardless of whether the sail tack was run thru some tackle or just straight down to the deck. Kinda clumsy either way. Your pix were great! Spelled it all out perfectly.
  15. This should be easy. Working USS Enterprise 1797 and beginning to put in some sails. My first time with gaff rigged. There is a top gaff sail above the main - its 4 sided not 3 sided. Most of it is in place except what I believe is called the tack. The lowermost corner. I can't see from the instructions or plans how this is supposed to be rigged. The rigging plan just shows the sail foot running to the mast and then it disappears. I would expect some sort of tackle and eventually a downhaul of some sort but thats just a guess..

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