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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Howdy Everyone, It's been a while since I have had any updates. Unfortunately, some of the rough treatment of my body as a youngster has finally caught up with me. I had to have shoulder surgery which has put me out of commission for some time. Kinda hard to work on tedious details with one arm. Any how, I still didn't let me keep me totally out of the shipyard but it did keep the work to a minimum. First thing I need to do is apologize for a couple of errors that I made on my last update. I had accidentally stumbled across the UoW LaCross Steamboat website, but as I read in more detail of Kurt's Chaperon build article, I noticed that he had mentioned this site in this article and I either overlooked it in reading or just read it and completely forgot about it. I just want to make sure that credit goes to where it belongs. Secondly, I had added the fenders to the main deck stationaries from a photo I had found on the above mentioned UoW LaCross website, thinking it was an omission on the kit. After looking more carefully, the fenders are actually included. I really need to pay more attention to details. Now that I have that out of the way, time for some progress updates. I tried picking a few sections that would enable me to work with one had so I did some work on the stage, Hurricane deck and some boiler deck details. The details in the construction of the stage were a little lacking, especially in comparison to the actual boat. The LaCross website had a great photo showing the details of the underside construction of the stage, showing cross braces along with the planking. The model plans call for 20 - 1/16" x 1/8" planks glued together along with the side braces. If I were to construct the ramp according to the plans and add the cross bracing the entire structure would be too thick for the side braces to cover it all and look correct. So I improvised and made my own version making the cross bracing and using thinner planking for the decking. If you look close on the old photo, there look to be two thicknesses of cross braces. The thick ones seem to be bolted through the side brace, with three intermediate braces that seem to be a little thinner. So this is what I came up with. Framing thick cross braces between the side braces and dry fitting them. Pilot holes drilled and brass nails inserted to simulate the bolts. Leftover deck planking used for the decking. Using some silkspan and black paint I created the non-slip walk way. Final underside after painting. Next I did a little detail work on the inside of the Boiler deck staterooms. Using a little lace that I "borrowed" from the Admiral's sewing machine, I created some curtains to decorate things up a bit. Finally, I started work on the Hurricane deck construction and placing the decking on the boiler deck. And this is where she currently sits. A few more LED's added for the eventual deck lighting. As always, thank you for stopping by a looking. -Brian
  5. Tom, I'm in the process of building my Chaperon and love the direction you have taken her. Nothing like reading a good yarn. I'll sit back a keep an eye on your build with extreme interest. -Brian
  6. Eric, Beautiful chest. We are surrounded by cedar trees and have an overabundance of them on our property. I have often though about purchasing a sawmill and harvesting some of the timber for closet lining and other misc projects that the Admiral can come up with, just haven't had the opportunity. Your Arabia, is really starting to take shape. It won't be too long before the winter drives you inside and you can dedicate more time to her. I know I'm looking forward to cooler weather. Nothing like spending a cold day in the shipyard, throwing a football game on the TV and kicking back making sawdust. BTW: Thank you for the great link on the newspapers. All sorts of interesting stories. -Brian
  7. Eric, I have seen the BlueJacket kit. It's a relatively nice kit, unfortunately it is a little small for what I'm looking for. The USS St. Louis build is a beast. I wouldn't have anywhere to put something like, except maybe my pond. Although, building a ship on that large a scale would be an awesome treat. If only I had the time (and funding). I'm looking to build something in the 1/48 size or just a little smaller like this one: http://www.modelshipbuilder.com/e107_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?5406.0 . In reference to the Selma, the photograph that I found is circa 1868. It was in with a group of other pictures that were discovered in France that were taken by Dr. Emeric deNux when he visited Avoyelles Parish, LA in 1868. I would have to agree with you on it being the third one since the other two were either destroyed or dismantled before then. So whatever information you have on this one, please feel free to pass along. I'd love to know more about her. -Brian
  8. Good morning everyone, A little progress has been made on my Chaperon. I was finally able to locate my door knob beads (of course it was in the last box I opened) and got them placed. Now all of the rooms and hallways on the Boiler Deck are accessible. I also completed the bulkheads to help straighten the walls. Seems to have done the job. Not only will this align the walls but it will give me a better base for the Hurricane Deck. I also added railing for the forward staircase coming up from the Main Deck to the Boiler Deck. I modeled it after the plans for the ones on the Hurricane Deck. Nothing too fancy, just thought it needed something besides drop off to the stairs below. I found a very interesting site for the University of Wisconsin. https://uwdc.library.wisc.edu/collections/LaCrosseSteamboat/ They have a complete library of Historic Steamboat Pictures. There are several of the Chaperon that give an excellent view of what she looked like in her hey-day. While looking at the photos of her, I noticed a little detail that I though would add a interesting touch of realism. In the photo below (and several others) I noticed that there are several vertical rub rails placed on the Main Deck stationaries. My assumption is that these were used when docking next to other steamboats to prevent damage to the sides. I fashioned these rub rails from some leftover walnut I had from a previous project and blacked a few brass nails to simulate the attachment bolts. Finally, I completed the aft Boiler Deck staircase. From what I can tell at this point, there will need to be some adjustment made to the inboard wall. It seems to be a little thick. When I dry fit the Hurricane Deck I am not able to get the access hole to line up properly. It looks as though the inboard wall will need to be shave down a tad to get it to look right. I'll work on that. Currently work has begun on the mast, but hasn't been completed. I'll post more pictures of it next time when I'm done with it. On a side note, I have been seriously contemplating doing a scratch build and I have been weighing several options. Ironclad have always been a fascination of mine since I was a kid and visited Vicksburg National Park and saw the USS Cairo. I would love to do a build of the Cairo, but unfortunately there are no large scale wood kits of her only small scale resin models. I've found a few build logs on other sites of 48th scale scratch builds where they mention plans obtained from the National Military Park at Vicksburg but I haven't been able to find a purchasable copy of them. Another option is a side-wheel packet steamer. Every time I view Eric "Catheads" build log of the Arabia, it stirs my interest even more on building a side-wheeler. I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and I ran across an old picture of the side-wheeler Selma. She was primarily used in the Red river of Louisiana and other small tributaries of the Mississippi. With the exception of the picture below and a few other drawings, I have not been able to find a whole lot on her. Either way, I still have plenty of time to decide while I complete my Chaperon. As always, thank you for looking. -Brian
  9. Hello again Everyone, It's nice to be back at it again, albeit at a slow pace, but at least I'm getting something accomplished. The bull rail brackets have been installed on the stationing, I think I am going to leave the bull rails off until I'm just about done. There are still several things that I need to do before installing them and they'll just be in the way. Work then began on the boiler deck walls. Getting the radius formed just right was pretty simple with the braces provided with the kit. Cutting the walls just right to where they would form around the braces without cutting all the way through was the biggest challenge. Then came the tedious part of the build, adding all of the battens. Monotony at its best. I may have dozed off a time or two because I found a few that were not quite on the prescribed lines. Nothing a little paint can't hide though. Besides adding all the battens, I think the toughest part of this build was getting the front wall lined up even and straight. The side walls had a slight bow to them which caused the curved part of the wall to want to lean out. Not a huge problem that a few clamps and rubber bands couldn't solve. All the doors were added as well. I decided to go with red door frames. I was thinking that they just blended into the walls too much and pretty much disappeared with them painted white. I just need to go in and add the door knobs as soon as I can find my small beads that I use for knobs. I hate moving, I can never find anything when I need it. I also started working on the forward stairs. I am contemplating adding hand rails to them as well as railings around the sides on the main deck stairs. Seems to me that it's sort of a hazard to leave them just open on the sides for some unsuspecting passenger (or crew) to inadvertently stumble over the side and down the steps. I know that OSHA wasn't around back then, but it seems that with a boat that carried passengers, some sort of safety features would be in place. Still not sure of how I am going to do them, I see a little more research in the making. Finally, I decided that I was going to go with lighting things up. I did this on my King of the Mississippi build and liked the results, so I figured why not. I have some leftover LED's so I'm going to put them to good use. Only this time I am going to make it battery powered instead of AC. So I placed a few LED's along the main deck in places that would highlight some of the features on the deck. I'm going to start working on the side staircase and making some bulkheads for the cabin walls. The supports that I have on there right now are not taking all of the bow out of the walls like I want them to. I figure about four should get them straight enough. We'll see. Now to go hunting for my door knob beads. Only four boxes to go through. As always, thanks for looking. -Brian
  10. Russ, Glad to see another Chaperon builder on here. I'm smack in the middle of my Chaperon build and what fun it has been. Kurt's CD has been a blessing and has helped tremendously, along with Catheads (Eric) excellent advice and help from several others. Looking forward to watching your build progress. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. -Brian
  11. Eric, Thanks for the link. I can definitely see an extremely big hole in the budget with this site. May have to hide the bank statements from the Admiral on this one. 😁 -Brian
  12. Cog, Thank you for the kind words. I will definitely enjoy the new house. Just need for the weather to cool down a bit so I can get my new shipyard in the barn up and running. The Admiral was kind enough to "loan" me the guest bedroom for the time being, but I'm sure it wont be long before she pulls rank on me and I have to pack it all up again. Eric, Most definitely glad to be back at it. We didn't move far (about 600'). We built a new house and barn on our property, a project which we started early last September, but with all the rain Mother Nature has been gracing us with, put us behind by several months. So I am still in far north Texas, but on the eastern side about two miles from the Texas/Oklahoma border on Lake Texoma. Roughly 80 miles north of Dallas or about as far north as you can go without hitting red dirt. -Brian
  13. Very nice work Eric, she is really starting to take shape! When you say that you use prescribed wood, is this something that you purchase or is it just plain panels that you scribe yourself instead of planking? Just curious. If it is purchased prescribed I'd like to get a hold of some. It would save a lot of time, not to mention come in handy for those "mishaps" that tend to show up from time to time. I'm also with you on the scrap pieces of wood, I throw nothing away. You never know when you are going to need it. I have a tub full of small scrap pieces as well as a box full of the larger ones. Not to mention, I like the idea of using other parts of previous builds on current ones. Kinda like a friendship cake. A little bit of this model goes into the next one and so on. -Brian
  14. Greetings everyone, It has been a while since my last post here, but I am finally back with an update on my Chaperon build. Finally having successfully married my daughter off and moving into our new house, life has settled down a bit where I can get a little build time in. Not much work has been accomplished, and unfortunately since I was so excited to get back to building again I failed to take a lot of pictures of the work being done. But here is what I have so far. The boiler deck has been installed. And as with the main deck, I was not happy with the finger joint on the deck panels. So I did the same as with the main deck and planked over the prescribed lines and detailed the nails. Once the planking was completed, I applied several coats of semi-gloss poly and added the runner boards for the cabin walls. After that I started installing the stationaries. I created me a couple of jigs (as suggested by Kurt in his Chaperon build article), one to help get an even height between decks and the other to get the correct extension height of the stations above the boiler deck. With all of the stations in place I'll work on getting the bull rail brackets in place then start the arduous task of building the cabin walls with all the little battens. Thanks for looking. I hope to be back soon with more updates. This time I will be sure to take more pictures along the way. -Brian

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