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    Far North Texas

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  1. Eric, Nice job job on the “adjustments”. I don’t want to even get into the number of times I have sat down to a build to get my mind off of life, only to realize that I got my mind off of everything. Including my build. I just look at it this way. More time spent working on a hobby we love. Not to mention it’s good practice. Lord knows I can use all the practice I can get. Watching your build gets me through the withdrawals I am having while my Chaperon sits in a box. -Brian
  2. Eric, Maybe a little on the pucker-factor side, but not worth teeth gnashing. Besides, the protective heat shield on the smokestacks will protect those beams from any fire danger. She's really looking good. -Brian
  3. Eric, I’m not seeing anything out of alignment here. All I see is a fantastic looking boat taking shape. Happy New Year to you as well. -Brian
  4. Eric, Beautiful work on the Arabia, those compound curves on the aft decking look like they were a bit tricky to lay down the wood sheeting. Especially with the delicate structure beneath. She’s really looking good. I love the the idea of milling your own wood, I have 15 acres of cedar trees myself, along with some other hardwoods (pecan, oak, bois d’arc, mesquite, etc.) spattered about, that I would love to use for future builds. What is your process to cut the wood down to these strips? Just curious, I’d like to do the same instead of just burning what I clear out. -Brian
  5. Eric, it’s all good. I’m actually surprised she let me stay put for as long as she did. But, like I said, I have my corner of the barn picked out and just need to get off my tookus and get my room built out. Should only take a couple of months to get done. Future shipyard spot. -Brian
  6. Good evening everyone, I am finally back with an update. The holidays season seems to cut down significantly on the build time. That and unexpected work trips have slowed mine down to a crawl. Unfortunately this may be the last update for a while. The admiral was gracious enough to lend me part of her guest bedroom to use as my shipyard, but now she has put her foot down that I get out, so I have to pack it up and move it to the barn. This is not a bad thing though, I will have my own room (a 10' x 12' corner with heating and air) to spread out and have a little more organization. The only drawback is that the room in the barn isn't built yet. So, my build time over the next couple of months is going to be dedicated to building a shipyard instead of a ship. It'll all be worth it in the end though. So enough of that. Here are some pictures of what I was able to accomplish since the last update. I have all of the sconces installed as well as the boiler deck railing. I just need to get a coat of paint on the sconces. I also decided to add a hand rail to the railing. the PE railing just looked too plain there by itself, and adding the hand rail gave it more definition. Another little detail I added were the downspouts on the pilot house. A little something I noticed in the old pictures on the U of W website. There are also a couple of these I will be adding to the Texas deck as well, once the roof has been installed. These are made from 3/32" polystyrene tubing. I tried heating and bending it first, but I just couldn't get the shape I was looking for. So I ended up inserting some brass wire in the ends of the tubing, heating it, then bending it with needle-nose pliers. This worked out perfectly and the shape held just right. Next I started on the bell. Again I wasn't too please with the Britannia one. To me it seemed a little small. So I grabbed up some spare 1/4" walnut dowel and turned one down on my mini lathe. I think it came out pretty nice. Then I used a piece of 18ga wire to make the holder and used the side braces that came with the kit, along with a couple of supports to modify it slightly. Then I mounted it in place on top of the Hurricane deck roof. I will work on making the board the holds the pulleys for the clapper rope and get that in place later. Not really sure of what this board was called, but I noticed it on the 3D rendering and confirmed from the old photos from the U of W website. I want to also add the antlers to the bell. I had the perfect set, but I couldn't bring myself to scalp my grandson's toy deer. I'm sure I can find another plastic deer at a toy store somewhere. I was also able to complete the bit on the fore-deck and get it installed. Lastly, I started working on the carbon arc searchlights. I formed the housings from 3/8" dowel and used flat 1/16" brass strips for the mounting swivel bracket and the clamps. I then used some heat shrink to wrap it in to give it a smooth look on the outside. I was still in the process of getting these assembled when I got sidetracked on the hand rail. I may keep these out of the boxes and work on them from when I have a spare minute or two while I build my shipyard. I think I have a box somewhere that has a bunch of old plastic car models in it. I'm thinking of using some of the clear headlight lenses from these to make the lenses for the searchlights. Trick is, I have to find the box first. Otherwise, I am going to have to come up with some other way of making them. Anyway, that is all for now. As always, thank you all for the likes and for looking. Until next time, Happy Holidays to all. -Brian
  7. Good afternoon everyone, Thank you all for the likes and information. Blighty, I do plan on lighting the entire model, from the pilot house down to the boilers. I am still working on a way to try and light the red and green navigation lights on the smokestacks. This is definitely proving to be a bit of a challenge without the wiring being seen. I'm sure I can come up with something though. I am also toying with the idea of adding the carbon arc searchlights and somehow lighting those up as well. We'll see how this challenge goes. I managed to get a little accomplished this week. The chicken coop and the capstan. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not a real big fan of the brittania fittings that come with the MS kits, and anywhere I can scratch build the pieces I will. The capstan being one of those pieces. The kit supplied one was poorly cast and was terribly out of round so here is the third a final version of my scratch built one. The chicken coop was a little lacking in details as well, so I added a few little touches to spruce it up. I was looking online for some 1:48th scale chickens to add to it, but couldn't find any. I think this should be good enough though. Maybe my version of the Chaperon is sitting at the docks waiting on a resupply and the chicken coop is empty. That's all for now. I am currently in the process of adding the all the decorative sconces and railing to the boiler deck as well as cutting the smokestack crowns from thin copper sheeting. This is turning out to be a bit of a challenge as well. But I'll figure it out, just need to find the right tools. Thanks again for looking. -Brian
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Eric, Glad to see you back. Excellent work as always. BTW: Your workbench looks a lot like mine. I like it that way -Brian
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Russ, Thank you for the kind words. Glad I could help. -Brian
  15. Russ, By the way I forgot to mention, Your build is really looking sharp! Keep the pictures coming in. -Brian

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