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  1. Aww come on Eric, I can't suck you back into my rudder conversations again? Kurt, Thanks for the input. I agree, the website is really neat and has inspired many new ideas and subtle touches to add to my build. I have seen these photos on the UofW website, but since they were labeled as the Chaperon Towboat, built in 1904, I wasn't sure as to the accuracy of the lifeboat style on this one. I looked at some of the other photos of the 1884 Chaperon and zoomed way in on them and can somewhat make out that a couple of them show flat transom lifeboats, but they are a bit grainy. As for the configuration changes of the 1884 Chaperon, there are some subtle differences that I have noticed through the photos, like the addition of searchlights, the front wall of the main deck by the stair case (open as opposed to being enclosed), the smokestack "crown" (or what ever the decorative top piece is called) has seen several changes, different color schemes on the trim (hard to tell with black and white photos) but it is definitely noticeable on the doors and the "Anchor and Arrow" between the smokestacks, but I haven't seen too may photos that drastically change the look of the boat structure itself. As for the third rudder, I am seriously contemplating adding it. No monkey rudders though. I can't find any evidence that the Chaperon ever had these. -Brian
  2. Hello everyone, I wanted to pose a question about rudders. I was doing some research on the internet on the Chaperon to find out what style of lifeboat she carried with her. The kit contains the standard britannia ones that bare pointed on the bow and stern, but in many of the old photographs I came across show ones with a flat transom on them. Anyway, while researching this I found there were several pictures of steamboats in “dry-dock” where they show them with three rudders instead of just two. I’ve seen the additional “monkey rudders” mounted aft of the paddle wheel, but this third rudder was mounted to the hull in line with the other two. I’m sure the timeline would dictate the evolution of the boats, but my curiosity got the better of me so I went down the rabbit hole and started looking into rudders (again). I really couldn’t find a whole lot of info on when they started putting three rudders on steam boats or if there were just a few one-offs where the shipbuilders were experimenting with maneuverability of the boats. Then I stumbled across a site of a gentleman from Germany who put together beautiful high-res drawings as well as a 3D virtual tour of the Chaperon. That’s when I saw that he had also included three rudders on his drawings. So being the novice in the world of steamboats, I figured I’d pose this question to the experts. Personally I think it’s pretty cool looking to have three rudders, but I would till like to keep my build as historically accurate as possible. Any thoughts on this? BTW: here is the link to the site I was referring to. I’m not real sure of it’s accuracy, but it does resemble the MS kit. https://www.jensmittelbach.de/steamboats/chaperon/index.html -Brian
  3. Eric, Glad to see you back. Excellent work as always. BTW: Your workbench looks a lot like mine. I like it that way -Brian
  4. Beautiful work on such tiny pieces. One slip of the tweezers and those parts can be lost in the void. She’s coming along nicely. - Brian
  5. Eric, I have been using heat shrink for years and it holds up well in all types of weather. I use it on the wiring of my trailers that sit in the sun/rain/snow year round and haven't had a single connection rot away. The only issue that I had with doing the bands this way was I had to secure them in place with a touch of CA because they tended to slip on the wooden dowel. There are some heat shrinks that have a heat activated glue on the inside of them that helps seal the connection and would probably work a little better in this type of application, I just used what I had on hand. -Brian
  6. Greetings everyone, It has been a while since my last update. Unfortunately, end of year work travels and work on the ranch has taken a considerable toll on my ship building time. However, winter is fast approaching which means colder weather to stay indoors and in the shipyard. I was able to accomplish a few tasks on my build, but not a whole lot. I figured I'd go ahead post what I have so far. Work was completed on construction of the Texas deck. All those little battens to glue into place. A monotonous task to say the least, but I got it done. I still need to hang the curtains and secure it to the top of the Hurricane deck, but I need to get the LED wiring dressed up and run the main power wire from the bottom. I was going to go with a battery powered solution, but I couldn't come up with a way to house the batteries that I liked. So I decided to just run an external power source. (more pictures on that later) Next I fastened the Hurricane deck to the top of the Boiler deck and pulled the wiring through. I used thin tissue paper to cover the windows to hide the LED's that are glued to the top. The tissue paper should provide a nice glow with the yellow LED's. Lastly, I started work on the smokestacks. I tried several methods to simulate the joint between sections. First I tired using some leftover pin-striping I had, but I couldn't get the tape line up all the way around. Next I tried small rubber bands (leftover from the kids braces). Unfortunately, the kids have been out of braces for several years now and most of the ones I had left were dry rotted and didn't have enough good ones to complete the job. So I finally came up with the idea of using heat shrink tubing. I was outside repairing the wiring on my trailer when the idea occurred to me that this would be a perfect solution. So I gave it a whirl. I am actually pleased with the result. All I have left to do is paint them and see how they look. The smokestack caps I made from a sheet of thin copper, in which I pasted the pattern on and cut out with small snips. I am going to use the same method and material for the decorative tops. That all for now. Hopefully I will be able to get more done with all of the travelling done for the year. Thanks for looking (and Happy Veterans Day to all those who served) -Brian
  7. Russ, Thank you for the kind words. Glad I could help. -Brian
  8. Russ, By the way I forgot to mention, Your build is really looking sharp! Keep the pictures coming in. -Brian
  9. Russ, Looks like we are about at the same place in our builds. I almost ran into the same situation when I was "tar papering" the Boiler deck roof when I realized I was covering up the reference lines. Fortunately I caught it on my first run over the lines and ended up being a quick fix. This is one of the things I love about this forum, plenty of modelers out there willing to help when you get in a bind. Here are a few photos with a ruler for reference to help you out. On the Boiler deck roof, the reference line for the Hurricane deck is 105mm from the front edge. On the hurricane deck the reference line for the Texas deck is about 60mm from the front edge, this is including the trim. The chicken coop line is 20mm to 34mm from the aft edge of the Boiler deck roof. And for the pilot house lines on the Texas deck roof the reference lines are 88mm from the front edge. Sure hope this helps. -Brian
  10. Greetings all, I figured it was time for another update. Things have been going at a snails pace lately due to being down an arm, but therapy has started and the road to getting back to normal is close. In the meantime, here is what I have been able to accomplish. On my last update I was working on finishing the boiler deck. I finished installing the stanchions and the hog truss posts. I went the extra step and installed the forward Hog Truss all the way from the top of the boiler deck to the main deck. This omission has been mentioned in several build logs and I made it a point that I wasn't leaving it out. The toughest part of this was getting it lined up and matching the angle. But somehow I managed. When installing the stanchions, I first set the bottoms in place and glued them down. After they were all set I cut several pieces of scrap wood to length that matched the height of the boiler deck walls. Then one by one I either clamped them down or spread them apart to get the stanchions all set to the right height. With all of that completed, I decided to tackle the paddle wheel. This task in itself is another fine, time consuming build. First thing I had to to do was to remove the char from the tiny little crevices between all the wheel spokes. Of all the pieces of the model, I believe this part had the most char on it. Cleaned and ready for building. Installation of the outer braces. One of the more challenging parts was getting the spokes between wheels aligned and the wheels equally spaced. But with several clamps and some scrap wood, it all came together. Once the wheels were aligned and spaced, then came the paddle boards. I went with the three thinner boards as suggested in the instructions because I liked the look of them and I wanted to add the extra detail of the u-bolt brackets and support boards to them. The came the tedious part of the paddle wheel build. Cutting and installing the 108 tiny u-bolts. For these I used black plastic coated 20ga wire. I wrapped the wire around a small scrap of wood leftover from the paddle wheels. This gave me the correct width to fit snugly against each spoke. I then took each u-bolt and with another scrap of wood sanded to the correct thickness of the spokes, trimmed each one to length. ....then the tediousness began. I don't know what it is about this angle, or if it is a trick of the camera, but the paddle boards look way out of whack. I promise you though they are all in line with the central shaft. They say the camera adds ten pounds, well in this case it skews things all wonky. Then again, you can't expect much from a phone camera and I have never claimed to be a professional photographer. Several days later, I finally had the finished product. I went ahead and simulated the bolt heads on the paddle board side with a fine point sharpie. Nothing I had on hand seemed to work for these to give it a more three dimensional effect, so I just went the easiest route. I think it came out looking pretty good. With the stanchions in place, the boiler deck roof "tar papered", this is where she sits as of today. For now I am going to wait until later to install the paddle wheel. Just one more thing to get in the way. I need focus more on getting the Hurricane deck (or as the instructions call it, the skylight) painted, windows installed and LED's in place, then start on the Texas deck. I'm having a hard time trying to decide which task was more monotonous, the u-bolts or the battens on the boiler deck. I'll let you know what I decide once I've completed the Texas deck. I think I have a few hundred more battens that need to be installed there. Anyway, I appreciate all the "Likes" and kind comments, and as always, thank you for looking. -Brian
  11. Eric, She's really becoming a beautiful model. I am by no means an expert on steamboats. Most of what I know I have learned from you, Kurt and many others in the discussions on this forum. However, during my reading of some of these builds, just about all of which you have contributed to in some sort of fashion, there have been many a discussion on the paddle wheel box size. All of which bring up great arguments for the differences in the sizes of the paddle boxes. In Greg's build of the Heroine around post #544 there is an in depth discussion of the size of her paddle boxes in relation to the size of her paddle wheel. One of your comments in this build was the possibility the extra room was to allow for any debris picked up by the paddle wheel to pass through without causing too much destruction to the housings or as Bob said earlier (post # 342), the extra room could have been built in for ease of river maintenance. All good reasons for the over sizing of the paddle box. On the other hand, as Bob also stated, would the owners have gone though the added expense to make them over sized and would they have built them so wide as to block passage from fore to aft as you stated. I know these were not luxury liners, but accommodations could have been made for the ease of paying customers to walk the length of the boat without having to go between decks to get there. Even after studying the excavation pictures above there is truly no definitive answer other than the superstructure supporting the paddle wheels could have been used for the upper decks support as well as the support for the top of the paddle boxes. For what it's worth, my two cents is that I tend to believe that the paddle boxes on Arabia would have not been too much wider than the paddle wheels. Their inboard walls would have fell in line with the superstructure supports of the paddle wheels and that room would have been provided for passengers and crew to pass between the walls of the paddle box and the boiler deck walls. I know this isn't much help with your conundrum, but either way you decide to build her I'm sure she will come out looking outstanding. -Brian
  12. Mtaylor, Truly interesting story. I would have never guessed that’s how it got it’s name. By those same facts, I guess if they run out of names for the larger cabin decks in the future, the Alaska deck is next in line.😀 Eric, I’ve read stories on the Heroine and have wanted to visit the wreck site since it’s only about an hour drive from me. Just haven’t had the time lately, but it is on my to do list. In all actuality, I’m only two miles from the Red River although where I’m at it is currently a channel under Lake Texoma. The Dennison Dam about 25 miles east of me is pretty much the beginning of any real navigable part of the river these days (no navigation locks to get past it t) Most parts west of the lake are wide, shallow, muddy streams. Not much a shallow draft steamboat couldn’t handle back then though. -Brian
  13. I agree. Just one of those head scratchers that pops into my thoughts while toiling away in the shipyard. I get the main deck name, since it is the main point of entry to the boat. The boiler deck sits above the boilers (in most cases) so I can see that one to. Just the hurricane one one struck me as funny. ...and don’t get me started on my thoughts of how they came up with the Texas deck. I don’t think there is a river big enough in this state to support a steamboat. At least one that was around during this era. Just random thoughts. -Brian
  14. Eric, I'm loving your Pilot House and Hurricane deck build. She's just about topped out. The pilot house was one of my favorite parts of my Chaperon build. The model kit left me with a blank slate to do with as I please so I took full advantage of it. I often wonder why they call it a hurricane deck though. As on the Chaperon, it's not really much of a deck but rather a nice source of natural lighting for the boiler deck. ...and I definitely wouldn't want to be on board a steamboat in a Hurricane. JS -Brian

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