Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Profile Information

  • Location
    Far North Texas
  1. Carl, Thank you. I am quite pleased with it as well. Eric, I'm going to leave it as is (natural with a couple of coats of poly). All of the builds on MSW have the typical Red or Brown decks so I thought I'd change things up a bit. Besides, if I paint it now it will hide all of my nail heads that I worked so hard to put in. -Brian
  2. Greetings everyone, It's been a little bit since my last post. Life and work have been in the way this week. We've been in the process of building a barn and the prep work is taking up some of my shipbuilding time. It'll all be worth it in the end as the barn will eventually house my new shipyard. Anyway, I finally received my planking material after a month of waiting and was finally able to get the main deck planked. Thanks to Kurt's assistance in letting me know that steamboat decks were nailed in place and not trenailed. I did a little digging on the Arabia website and found that they have a deck section setup with the boats capstan and anchor displayed. I noticed that on this display that you can actually see the nails that hold the deck planks in place. Since I love the look of a nice trenailed deck, I figured I could do something similar to trenailing with the deck nails. In the picture of the Arabia display you can clearly see the nails lined up in a neat row, so I figured I could simulate the same with a fine point Sharpie pen and a ruler. After I had started planking the deck as I do all of my builds, I run a Sharpie pen down the edge of each plank to simulate caulking. It wasn't until I had several rows laid down before I realized that I hadn't done my research or asked the question of, were steamboat decks caulked? Well, a little too late to ask the question now so pressed on with the way I was going. My thoughts after the fact were that steamboat usually carried cargo in their holds below deck so they were probably caulked to prevent damage to the goods stored there. Whether they were or were not caulked, mine will be. Any way, enough of my ramblings. For my deck planks, I cut each strip into 6" lengths to get the effect of the scaled 25' to 30' boards used on the real boats. The strips I purchased were 1/8" x 1/32" basswood which matched up to the laser cut plank widths on the deck panels, so keeping them lined up was pretty easy. I also used the empty space behind the machine room walls to create a little jig where I could line up the deck planks on edge to sand them smooth and blacken them with a Sharpie. Worked out pretty well. The planking definitely looks better than the simulated laser cut planks on the deck panels. Especially at the finger joint. I'm truly glad I decided to go this route. When it came to the area around the boiler I took a couple of 1/8" 1/16" strips of basswood to line each side as waterways to keep rainwater from flowing under the boiler. Maybe not truly authentic but it added another nice little touch. After a little sanding and a couple of coats of semi-gloss poly the finished product looks pretty nice. The stair case, boiler and machine room walls were temp installed to give me an idea how everything was going to look with natural wood deck. I'm liking it. My next task is to scratch build a capstan. I really don't care for the one included with the kit. We'll see how this one goes. So that's all for now. Thanks again for looking. -Brian
  3. Kurt, Thanks so so much for the info. Kind of what I figured. I guess I just like having confirmation from the experts. -Brian
  4. Thank you everyone for the compliments and likes. I am rather pleased with the way they turned out. So as I was working on the main deck planking, another thought occurred to me. How were the deck planks fastened to the substructure? Given that many of the packet steamers were built on a shoestring budget and time was not a virtue, was the time taken to trenail each board in or were they simply just nailed down? I did some looking at some of the other build logs but couldn’t come up with a definitive answer. The ships of sail side of me wants to trenail them in (mostly because I love the look), but the steamboat side of me wants to keep my build as close as possible to the original (even though I have strayed a little from authenticity). I know that it’s my build and I should do as I please, but I am always open to others opinions. Please feel free to chime in on what direction I should take. -Brian
  5. Ken/Griphos, Thank you very much for the links and input. They very much helped me along the way and here is what I finally came up with. As I have said before, I am no metal-smith and after several failed attempts at trying to solder the brass pieces, here is what I finally came up with for my whistle. Below are some of the ideas I used for my design. At first I was just going to use the kit supplied whistle base and mount my scratch built brass ones to it, but after looking at it, I thought it looked a little cheesy. So, using two different sizes of brass tubing, some small aluminum tubing and small brass rod, I set out on my whistle adventure. The two whistles are made with 1/8" brass tubing, the mounts and steam pipe are made from 3/32" brass tubing. Since I was not able to successfully solder the pieces together, I took a small piece of 1/16" aluminum tubing and drilled through the whistle mounts and CA'd them all together. Conveniently, all three pieces of tubing stacked nicely into each other. Since the tubing sizes fit so neatly together it was a lot easier to get the style I was looking for. I used a small 1/32" brass rod for the steam lever and hammered out the end to make the loop for the pull rope. Next I pieced it all together. Then finally I had what I was looking for. I was going to use a blacken-it for the lower portion of the whistle, but with the residual solder and CA still on the tubing, it just wouldn't do right. So I just painted it all black. Here is the end result installed on the pilot house with the pull rope attached. I think I am happy with the results. Now on to planking the main deck. Thank you for looking. -Brian
  6. Ken, Welcome aboard and thanks for the praise. (And thanks to Cathead for the endorsement. His detailed work on the Bertrand and Arabia inspires me). The scratch whistles I made were from brass tubing and I turned a couple of caps for them from a 1/4" walnut dowel, but I was not happy with the result. I have been rethinking how I want to cap them off. I would love to make the caps out of brass as well, but my metalworking skills are pretty limited. I'm sure I'll come up with something. However, I definitely plan to have them brass/gold in color with whatever idea I come up with. Carl, Glad to have you on board as well. Thank you for the kind words on my build. I felt that I would not do this kit any justice just leaving the pilot house the way it was. On a model of this quality it deserved something better, and with all of the input on this forum there is an abundance of great ideas to help add to the detail. As I go along, I'll try not to disappoint. Thanks again for looking. -Brian
  7. Cathead. Thanks for the kudos, it is very much appreciated. While my talents aren’t quite up to your level, I think she’s coming along nicely. While can see Mrs. Cathead’s point, unfinished models do have a certain intrigue to them, (like your Bertrand) the beauty of the finished product is also worth the work. Besides, you always have the build log to go back and look at to see all of the internal details. - Brian
  8. Thanks everyone for the likes! Cathead: please feel free. That’s what I love about this forum, lots of good ideas to share. Roger: now there’s an excellent idea I hadn’t thought of. -Brian
  9. Another detail missing from the model was the ships wheel. Rather than try and find a scale wheel that look proper for the Chaperon, I decided to scratch build my own. For this I took 14 toothpicks and arranged them in a circular pattern and cut them to fit inside the pilot house. Using leftover wood from the kit I pieced together the bell stand and turned down the rope spool for the tiller rope. Next, I slotted out the floor for the wheel to drop down through then installed the tiller rope. Other details that I decided to add were the bridle, foot brakes, steering levers, whistle pedals, speaking tube wood pile and a few other handles and levers. I wasn’t really keen on the way the boat whistle was cast. To me it seemed a little flat and not real detailed. Actually, I not a big fan of many of the Britannia pieces in the MS kits, and any chance I get I try to replace them with brass or wood whenever possible. For the whistle I took a couple of pieces of brass tubing, filed a sound slot in them then turned a conical cap for both of them. I also installed the steam tube from the floor up to the whistles just for that added touch of realism. How else does the steam get to the whistles? Using another touch from Kurt’s build guide I used silk-span and flat black paint to simulate the tar-paper roof of the pilot house. I used a small piece of plumbing solder for the stove pipe and turned down the smokestack cap on my mini lathe from a ¼” dowel. Painted the whole smokestack assembly black then installed the brass roof decorations. One minor adjustment that I’ve seen on many of the Chaperon build logs is that the roof hatch and smokestack holes were not properly aligned. Easily fixed by giving the roof a 90 degree turn and everything lines up perfectly. Now that I finally received my planking, I should be able to make some progress on the main deck and get it planked and finally get this project going vertical. That’s all for now. Thanks for looking. -Brian
  10. Greetings everyone, So I managed to get a little work done this week on the Chaperon pilot house. Using Kurt’s build guide I went with the more traditional construction of the pilot house with the open front window and breast boards. I also decided to go with three sliding windows on the ports and starboard sides as well. Next, I incorporated the adjustable rain visor for the forward window. Construction and installation of the tie-down straps. A little detailing of the floor and walls of the pilot house to break up some of the white. Since the model didn’t provide much in the way of details for the pilot house, added my own personal touches. First, to keep the riverboat pilot warm on those cold nights up north, a nice potbelly stove. This I constructed from a leftover barrel from a previous build, a few fancy toothpicks for the legs and capped it off with a round piece of basswood and some wood putty to give the top a contour, then finally added a door and handle. For the name plates I used the same method I did for the Chaperon lettering on the mechanical room sides. I scanned and printed the name then cut out and glued the paper name to the wood name plaques.
  11. Cathead, I learned from my past builds that any little piece that can be snagged and easily torn off will. Just on my Endeavor build alone I bet I replaced the jack-staff three times while rigging her before I finally waited until I was almost done to install it a fourth time. I guess I'm a slow learner.
  12. Hello all, Got to spend a little time working on the Chaperon this weekend and finally finished up on the rudders. I also decided to go with the protective wedges that sit on the hull just forward of the rudders. I thought it added a nice little bit of detail. Please forgive the sanded areas just above where the rudders sit. This was where I was toying with the idea of installing a split rudder, much like the Bertrand. This idea was scrapped once Kurt & Cathead set me down the correct path with the balanced rudder. A little sanding and paint and it's almost as if it was never there. Placement of the first two wedges on the starboard rudder. All 12 wedges in place. First coat of paint. I noticed that I didn't get the mount post of the split rudder sanded down good enough. Amazing what a coat of white paint will reveal. Final coat of paint and the rudders temp installed. I think I'll wait until I'm almost done to install them permanently, just in case i get clumsy and knock one off. I really don't want to have to rebuild them. ...and just for learning purposes, some pics of my attempt at making the split rudder. That's all for now. While I still wait for Amazon to get my order straight on my deck planks, I'll start work on the pilot house. Looks like a nice little project to bide my time. Thanks for looking, -Brian
  13. Good evening everyone. Not a whole lot going on this week in the shipyard. Did a little travelling over the Easter weekend so I wasn't able to get much accomplished. However, thanks to Kurt and his library of useful steamboat information I was finally able to solve my rudder dilemma. For my build, I incorporated some of the older build techniques with some of the more modern ones to complete my rudders for the Chaperon. I went with the balanced rudder that used stacked timbers, held in place with through bolts from top to bottom. I also simulated the wood sheathing that wrapped the entire rudder for added strength and protection. I wasn't able to find any other information on how the tiller was attached to the rudder itself so I did the best I could with what information I was able to find. My thoughts were that the rudder was drilled out where the tiller was attached. The joint was a mortise and tenon with an iron yoke attached at the top and running down the sides of the rudder. Holes were then drilled though the yoke and tiller and then bolted together. All of this I simulated with some scrap pieces of wood I had laying around. I figure with a few coats of paint everything should look right. It may not be entirely accurate, but it adds a little extra detail to an otherwise plain looking rudder. Now to make the second one, paint them up, then get them mounted. While I am doing that I will contemplate whether or not to add the protective wedges to the hull. Thanks again for looking. -Brian
  14. Kurt, Thank you so much for the references, this definitely clears up my rudder dilemma. I am by no means a physics expert, but the simplicity of tucking the rudder up above the bottom of the hull line make perfect sense. The Western Rivers Steamboat Cylcopedium, is this a publication that is available for purchase? If so, this is surely something that I would like to get my hands on. Cathead, No apology needed. it happens some times. No harm was done. If I had a dollar for every time I got ahead of myself I could hire someone to build the models for me. Fortunately I don't have that kind of money and get to enjoy doing the building myself. Still your input is greatly appreciated and I learned something today, not to mention I got a little more practice at my scratch building. So as I was working on mocking up a rudder similar to the Bertrand I started pondering how to attach the tiller and the gudgeons and still have a functioning rudder when I stumped myself. My scratch built hinged rudder. So I came back to the build log to take another look at Cathead's Bertrand example when I saw that Kurt and Cathead had given me more helpful information. So now that I know that the Chaperon had a balanced rudder, this posed another question. How was the tiller attached to the to the rudder itself. I keep going back to my example in post #15 where the tiller is connected to what looks like a U-bracket and bolted through the rudder timbers. This looks to be a feasible design, however I'm not sure the Chaperon had an iron tiller. My second thought was maybe the rudder timbers were drilled out from the top and a wooden tiller was inserted down the hole then cross drilled and bolted through the timbers and the tiller. I know this is probably more detail that will be seen, I would just like to get it right. Like many people have said in their builds on this forum, "Its not about the accuracy, it about how much you enjoy the build. It's your model, build it like you want". Typical balanced rudder. Another question that Kurt's information poses, did the Chaperon have the wedges installed in front of the rudder? I think they would add a nice touch to the detail. I may think a little on this one. Maybe even mock some up and see what they look like. Again, Kurt & Cathead your information in greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking -Brian
  15. Cathead, More pictures are always a plus, they would definitely help with my rudder dilemma so please feel free to post away. I also could not agree with you more that the style of rudder that the Chaperon kit comes with would be very susceptible to damage. In one of my earlier posts I had found a similar style of rudder on an more modern era sternwheeler (I say that, given that the picture shows a steel transom not wooden) and with my limited knowledge of riverboats never thought that the design could possibly just be a cheat. I'm inclined to say that the Chaperon lies somewhere in the middle of the Bertrand and the example below. I also based some of my research on the rudder design off of my KotM model which has a similar rudder style as Chaperon, even though this particular model is not designed from a real steamboat. That being said, I have been to the Bertrand museum in Missouri Valley and have several pictures of the model they have on display there. The display setup they have there is just amazing as are all of the artifacts recovered from the wreck site. I do like the design of the rudder and believe that it is a much more sturdy setup. One of the only things that stands in my way of incorporating this into my Chaperon is that the sheer of the Bertrand looks to be a lot steeper than the Chaperon. But, this poses a unique challenge, and I do like a good challenge. So I may try to work the Bertrand design into my build. Thank you for all of the input and information. -Brian

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
  • Create New...