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About mbp521

  • Birthday 06/16/1968

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    Far North Texas

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  1. Thank you Bob for the kind comments. I am always up up for a good challenge, this build looks to be like it’s going to be just that. I think it’ll be fun though. -Brian
  2. Hello everyone, …and so, it begins. I am finally kicking things off on this build. First thing I did was scale up the Bob Hill plans to fit the 1:48 ratio and print them out. This put the overall length of the model at 43.75” with a beam of 13”. I managed to print out most of the plans to scale that I will be using. I wanted to take them to the local print shop and have them printed out, but unfortunately for me, the print shop wasn’t able to handle them on that large of a scale (drawbacks of living in a rural community). However, I did get them printed on my home printer. I think I came out cheaper, just a box of paper and a black ink cartridge. That, and a lot of tape to stick the pages together. Oh well, I now have scaled plans to work off of. Here are the hull framing plans next to my Chaperon (same 1:48 scale) which is about 36” long. Man this thing is going to be a big build. I am now beginning to wonder what I was thinking going with this scale. Eh, why not, it’ll all be worth it in the end. As stated earlier, I am not going to bother with too many details on the interior of hull and hold of this model, since it is going to be a static display and fully enclosed. For the hull construction I am using the plank on bulkhead design, single planked in basswood. I used ¼” plywood for the bulkheads, cut to shape on my table saw. I notched each one out in three places for the three false keels to interlock with. These bulkheads were spaced about 1.75” apart, or approximately every fifth frame outlined on the plans. Right now, all are the same width, but I will cut them down to follow the taper of the bow and stern, but it was easier to cut them all the same size at first to get all the notches lined up. Of the 22 bulkheads, 14 are the same width. I cut down the three stern and five bow bulkheads to follow the contour and taper of the hull. Here are all of the bulkheads and false keels dry fit. I will go ahead and leave the bulkheads that extend across the paddle-wheel area between the aft pontoons until the hull planking is done. This way I won’t have to worry about keeping the aft end in line and even. Once the hull planking is on it should hold everything in place and I’ll remove the center of the bulkheads and install the cross-braces. Everything seems to be pretty straight. Doesn’t look like I have any warping to contend with on the false keels. There are a few bulkheads that will need some adjusting, but all in all things look good so far. So this is where I am at for now. I did place my order for the basswood planking and hopefully it should be here within the next few days. Right now, I am going to work on squaring up the bulkheads to the false keels and get them glued into place, then set the stringers to hold everything in line. Oh, one last thing. As I do on all my builds, my signature. For no other reason other than I did it on my first build so I keep on doing it. Thank you for looking. -Brian
  3. Welcome aboard everyone. What a great audience. Hopefully I all goes well with the build and I don't disappoint. I am currently working on scaling the rest of the plans and printing them out. Hopefully I will have something picture worthy accomplished here shortly. -Brian
  4. Hello Everyone, Welcome to the beginning of my build log for my first scratch build model. I recently completed work on the 1884 Packet Steamer Chaperon, which was my first attempt at a build log, and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted have another go at it. The comments and suggestions and overall conversation on the build was way more than I had expected. There are so many people out there with so many great ideas that helped along the way. Not to mention the knowledge I gained from the research. For this build I will be taking on the City Class USS Cairo American Civil War Ironclad as she was shortly before her sinking in 1862. I have been in love with this particular ship since my first visit to Vicksburg NMP back in 1984. Something about the mystique of the recovery of a sunken ship and the history of those who lived aboard is just fascinating. And, since there are no large-scale wooden model kits out there for this particular ship, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to scratch build one. My plan is to build this model in 1:48 scale using the Bob Hill plans, the USS Cairo HSR documentation from the Vicksburg NMP, and several other builds, especially the build log for the Civil War Ironclad USS ST. LOUIS by the Gateway Model Shipcrafter's Guild. This is an exceptional build and their extensive research has found many discrepancies with the USS Cairo HSR and I hope to “borrow” some of their research findings to accurately build my representation of the USS Cairo. I won’t be building out a whole lot of interior details, with the exception of what can be see through the gun ports, skylights and deck vents. I will probably build out the tops of the boilers, flue, capstan, and possibly simulate the engines. I haven’t quite determined what material I will use for the iron plate cladding, but for the railroad irons on the forward and aft casements, I plan on using O scale model railroad track to try and make it look as authentic as possible. Without boring you with too much of a detailed history of this ship, here is a little background info on it: The USS Cairo, along with her six sister ships (Carondelet, Cincinnati, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg, and St. Louis) were commissioned by the U.S. Army (later transferred to the U.S. Navy), designed by Samuel M. Pook and built by James B. Eads at the Carondelet and Mound City Shipyards in 1861. USS Cairo was 175’ in length with a 52’ 2” beam and drew only 6’ of water. Not very deep for a 512-ton heavily armored ship. Ironically, she was sunk by a Confederate “torpedo” on December 12, 1862 in the Yazoo river while on a mine clearing mission. The USS Cairo wreckage was located in 1956 and finally raised from the mud in 1964. She sat in neglect at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, MS for several years, until 1977 where she was transported, restored and placed on permanent display at the Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, MS. This will definitely be a learning experience for me, so if you would like to follow along, please pull up a chair and feel free to offer up any suggestions. I am always open to new ideas and constructive criticism. If you see something that I am doing wrong or see a better way to do something, by all means, please let me know. I welcome the input. As she sits today (well, six years ago when I took this picture): -Brian
  5. Yes sir. About time I get my feet wet in the scratch build world. City Class - USS Cairo. Coming soon. Just need to study up a little more on the plans and I'll start the build (and the build log). -Brian
  6. Eric, Thank you for steering me in the right direction. I don't know where my mind was when I said western red cedar. I guess I was thinking Western Rivers and got turned in the wrong direction. My compass may need a calibration. You are also correct about the the Cedar/Juniper trees out here. I would say that about one third of my property is covered with them (I'd say at least a couple thousand of them). One of these days I would like to get a small sawmill and start harvesting some for projects around the the house. Too may other projects right now though. As for the davits, the sockets seemed like a viable design. I figured that when lifting the boats, the deck hands would pull the ropes at an angle away from the bow and stern of the boats. The weight of the boats would be used to counter the angle of the ropes thus keeping the davits pretty well balanced in their sockets. Sounds good on paper anyway. But like you said, "modelers license" was applied in this case.. -Brian
  7. Thank you all for the kind complements. This was definitely one of the more fun builds that I have done. I know that the build is complete, but I wanted to put out a small update on the progress of my display. I haven't gotten around to making the case for it yet, but I have made some headway on the base. I wanted to go with an epoxy resin water base, but I just don't think that my talents are quite there yet. So I went with a base that would somewhat represent her in dry-dock on the ways. Right now the base is in the construction phase, but I'm getting there. Slow progress on it because I've been anxious to get started on my next build. And here she is by the plans for my next build for size comparison (build log coming soon). -Brian
  8. Eric, Beautiful job on the work boats, the rigging is progressing at breakneck speed. Quick question. I ran into the dilemma on my Chaperon build with how the davits were attached at the bottom. I studies numerous photographs of how they were set up, but none were close enough to get a good idea on them. Finally I ended up just rounding the end of the davit and making a block with a concave socket for the rounded davit end to pivot in. In looking at your photograph above, is this what you did? I tried zooming in a bit but still couldn't make out how it was done. By the way, love the base. The western red cedar looks great with the colors of the boat and the darker border adds a nice contrast to it all. -Brian
  9. Great work on the navigation lighting Yves! Good to see you are going to tone them down a bit. Otherwise it makes an easy target for the sub hunters. -Brian
  10. Eric, Very nice job! If mine had come out looking that good I would have put it upside right. Looking forward to the next “lessons learned” version. -Brian
  11. Eric, I feel your pain on these. Several years ago I built these particular “lifeboats” for my Flying Fish. More than once I was ready to launch them into the never while trying to get the ribs formed around the formers. What I ended up doing was taking three strips of thin stock, soaking them in warm water for an hour or so and applying three layers around the former to “laminate” them. This worked perfectly to get the right shape. After making four of these for this build, I swore I wouldn’t make another one. For my Chaperon I built the MS kits that have the stackable layers that you sand to shape. These worked better and with less frustration. The only drawback to these is the seats are thin and susceptible to breaking. That’s why I mounted mine keel up. The overall look is good, the layers give the look of planking. -Brian
  12. Eric, Why not set her up on some barrels. Those would be a nice transition from the ones you have on her cargo. -Brian
  13. Yves, I agree with everyone on this. Truly an amazing piece of artwork, craftsmanship, and model building. You are a treasure to the hobby and an inspiration to us all. -Brian
  14. Eric, Very interesting information. I’m looking at the photos of your last post, they almost confirm my initial thoughts that the grasshopper rigs served a dual purpose. I look at the riggings on the Far West and see that there are one set of blocks and tackle attached to the sparring poles for hopping sandbars and possibly assisting with pushing away from shore. Just down from that there is a second block and tackle rig that looks like it could be used to manipulate cargo as well as set the landing stage stretched across her bow. The Mary McDonald has a similar rig set up on her as well. Again, this is just my limited knowledge speaking. I love to delve into things that fascinate me but I know little about. What would really be interesting is to actually see these rigs in action. I’d love to take a short trip back in time to take a ride up/down river on one of these boats and see how they actually operated (hopping sandbars and all). I’ve ridden on several modern day steamboats (Natchez, Samuel Clemens and Delta Queen), but they are not much different than taking a River cruise in a regular boat with the exception of the thumping of the paddle wheel. Just the smell of the burning coal (or wood depending on the time and location) and the ruggedness of the expanding western frontier. Ahh to be born a hundred years earlier. -Brian
  15. Yves, So true. The build logs have been a wealth of knowledge to help along, as well as all of the input from others. This may have been my first build log but definitely wont be my last. -Brian

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