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About tlevine

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  1. Jan, thanks for the reference. You are right, the head looks much more like the model, although the model had a figurehead instead of a fiddle head. Zephyr shares the same capstan location as seen on the plans for Swallow (neither of which agree with the model) and there are no gun ports on the transom. I struggled with the whole issue of accuracy for several months before deciding to forge ahead with the project. I guess at this point you could say that I am modeling the plan with the addition of a ladderway (and possibly a companion) and only twelve swivel guns but using the model as inspiration.
  2. Jaager, I hope I do not need too much luck but I am happy to accept good fortune. Seriously, I have not looked at Le Cerf. At one point I toyed with the idea of opening up the midships on one side and installing "real" frames rather than bulkheads, showing the frame notches. I am still thinking about it but do not have to make a final decision for a while since I plan on completing the lower deck before starting planking.
  3. I agree, Greg. That cradle adds a lot to the model. I am using 1/4" basswood plywood for the backbone and bulkheads. The thickness will result in a stronger structure and will give a better gluing surface for the planking. The backbone is made from three pieces and the joints are supported with a strip of scrap. You can see the section between stations F and 16 that will have the lower deck completed. To make cutting the rabbet easier, the upper part was sanded into the backbone before the keel/stem assembly was added. At station O, the angle of the rabbet gradually increases from 45 degrees to 90 degrees and the width therefore becomes more narrow. Just below station FP, where the angle is 90 degrees, the entire width of the rabbet is on the stem. The keel, stem and sternpost are made from costello boxwood. The false keel is pear. The width of the keel is 10.5" based on the RMG plan. This is narrower than the 12.5" dictated in the Establishments but this difference most likely is because Swallow was designed as a merchant cutter, not a military sloop. I do not have any pictures showing the construction sequence, but it is straight forward. The keel was made from three pieces, scarfed together and secured with six bolts. Black paper was inserted into the joints to simulate felt. A 45 degree bevel was cut into the keel from station 14 going forward for the rabbet. Aft of station 14, the deadwood starts and the angle changes. The plan does not show structural details for the stem and I was unable to determine the structure from the model. Based on other ships of this size and era I came up what I feel is a reasonable guess. The width of the stem is 12" at the head, diminishing to 8" at the keel. These joints also have black paper to represent felt. Brass wire was inserted through the inner part of the stem to secure the pieces together. The pictures show the stem before the rabbet was cut. The bottom of the keel is curved fore and aft. In order to keep the hull stable on the building board, I added scrap basswood to the bottom of the false keel. The photo shows a test fit between the backbone and the keel/stem assembly. Although this picture is taken out of sequence, it shows how the keel and stem were bolted together.
  4. Agree with you 100% Dan. I plan on adding fillers in the bow and stern areas to facilitate planking.
  5. Thank you druxey. I only have Winfield. If you notice anything else, let me know.
  6. A few years ago, I was looking at some of the models posted on the RMG website and came across Swallow 1779. I instantly was attracted to her overall appearance and the fact that she was clinker-planked. The model is listed as SLR0540 and the plans are ZAZ4719. Swallow did not have a long career. According to Rif Winfield, in his book “British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714-1792”, she was purchased on the stocks in 1779 and was originally designed to be a cutter. On the sheer plan one can see where the original mast (located at the dead flat) was erased from the plan. She was registered as a sloop and originally carried fourteen 4pdr guns. The following year, four 18pdr carronades were added. There is no mention of swivel guns, although the plan shows mountings for twenty-two of them. With Lively, Swallow captured the US privateer Black Prince in 1779. She was coppered in 1780 and on August 26, 1781,, Swallow was run ashore and burnt to avoid capture by US privateers off Long Island. The first order of business was to develop a set of plans. Comparing the plans with the model revealed several inconsistencies. Starting at the bow, the model has a much larger stem with cheeks, rails, a false rail and a figurehead. The bowsprit come out of the hull in the midline. The plans show a simple stem and the bowsprit exits the hull to the port side of the stem. The model shows the capstan at midships but the plan has it aft of the main mast. The locations of the various hatch covers also differ between the model and the plan. There is a difference in the deadeye configurations and the swivel guns are not modeled. Finally, although the gold detailing is stunning, this little boat certainly would have never been decorated in other but the simplest schema. To make things even more confusing, in small print on the plan is the following..."a copy of this was given to Mr. Ladd for finishing two cutters the Board bought of him when half built 9 Feb? 1779". And, yes, the question mark was in the sentence as written. So the plan is actually the proposal for finishing and not as-finished. I had to decide whether I was going to model a model or model a ship. Because the model is most likely a presentation piece, I decided to use the plans layout rather than the model's. This still left me with concerns. The biggest one was whether to model the swivels. Since the model does not show them and Winfield does not mention them, I decided to leave them off. There is also no "proper" access to the lower deck on the plan but a companionway is visible on the model. I have added a ladder and companionway. If any of you have additional information or insights to the contrary, please let me know. Things are easy to change at this point. This was going to be a plank on bulkhead model. My reason for this construction style was that the beauty of this ship will be in the clinker planking; therefore, both sides of the hull will be completely planked. I will be installing the lower deck and its associated fittings in the mid-ships area as I plan on making the hatch covers removable. Plans were developed using the tutorial written by Wayne Kempson which is found in the Modeler’s Database. http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/plans_and_research/DraftingShipPlansInCADwayne.pdf TurboCAD 18 was my CAD program. Once the plans were developed I made a half hull in 1:96 scale to make sure that I did not have any glaring errors in my rendering.
  7. You said it yourself..."all the no-no's everybody is writing about".
  8. Looks great. Only the first run of kits have the bulkhead issue. Please remember that I have never designed anything before and what looks correct on paper (or CAD) does not always translate perfectly when dealing with a laser cutter and different versions of the same software. As soon as there are five builds started we will set up the group build.
  9. The Board discussed your request again last night, Christian and Ed. We will not be offering the kit in a plans and manual only version. There were several issues raised but the most critical is the fact that this is aimed at the novice model builder. They would not be expected to have the necessary equipment and skill to be able to accurately cut out the components.
  10. Christian and Ed, the NRG Board has discussed your situation and we had decided not to make the plan and instructions available as a stand-alone without the kit components. We can talk about it again.
  11. Mark, I developed the kit with the idea of turning it into a group project. As soon as a few people start build logs we will get things started.
  12. Model Railroad Magazine did a feature article on the layout in 2007.
  13. Maury, with the softness of the basswood I find the surface visually smooth but when I rub my hand along it there is still some roughness. With hardwoods I usually stop at 400. It only takes a few minutes to sand it further because I am only sanding the lower hull, not the wale or bulwark planking.

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