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Everything posted by tlevine

  1. "Advancing Ship Modeling Through Research" That is the motto of the Guild and it is the primary purpose for MSW's existence. Every one of us started in this hobby for various reasons. Personally speaking, although I had made a few small Scientific models in high school, I had started doing more "girlie" things in college. After about ten years I was walking past a hobby shop and saw the large Revell Constitution on sale. Something in me snapped and I have never looked past. I knew absolutely nothing about ships. It was only by doing research that my modeling knowledge and skills advanced. And with every project I do more research to expand my knowledge base and hopefully improve my technical skills. Should we paint? It does not matter. What matters is that, through research the modeler knows whether paint would have been applied and what colors would have been historically correct. It is the same argument that we see regarding Hahn-style construction. It is not prototypical...but it sure looks pretty. And as long as the modeler knows that she/he is building a simplified exposed-frame model, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
  2. Thanks, guys. It is nice when people who were not members at the beginning of this journey get to follow me through the build. This is the beauty of having a community of model ship builders.
  3. Griphos, I have never tried using more than four strands when laying up rope. For very large ropes I will take three or four smaller made-up ropes and put them in the ropewalk. I prefer to use ecru as this has not been bleached. I have tried many different things to dye the rope, including Minwax, Rit fabric dye, shoe dye and India ink. They all color the thread. It becomes a matter of personal preference as to the appearance one is after. You simply have to experiment on small batches of heavier thread (don't waste rope for this) to see what works for you. Currently I am using Minwax Jacobean (two dips a day apart) for the standing rigging and Minwax Fruitwood (one quick dip) or gray diluted artist acrylic for the running.
  4. I did, Griphos. My post suffered from auto-correct. That is a wide range of scales. For 1/8 scale (1:96) I use size 60 for 4" rope and size 50 for 5"rope. The larger sizes are made up from three or four strands of size 60 to 100. Keep in mind that everyone lays rope a little differently. In fact, I can use the same thread on both of my rope walks and get different sizes of rope.
  5. I use resharpened carbide bits with a 1/8" shank for all my fine drilling. https://drillcity.stores.yahoo.net/restool.html The Foredom has an optional 1/8" collet so that would work out for me. Thanks for bringing to my attention. I still have to figure out an excuse to buy another expensive tool.
  6. As I am in between projects, I was encouraged to rig my 1:96 Mantua Victory that I abandoned 10+ years ago. Thus the concern about rigging supplies. I only have the lower and topmast standing rigging completed, so there is still a long way to go.
  7. Thanks for the bad news, Chuck. This will be another reason to avoid rigging any more ships.
  8. Thank you for the information. Those Foredoms with the battery packs are very tempting.
  9. I use DMC crochet cotton to make up my rope. I just tried to reorder it and discovered that it is no longer being sold by the company except in the large diameters (10-30). All my usual sources either have stopped carrying it or mark it as out of stock. I was able to find the sizes needed on Ebay and bought enough to last a few years. So if you use this product to make your rope, stock up while there is still some available.
  10. When you talk about micro-motors, what product are you actually referring to?
  11. The History of Navigation written by Dag Pike traces the history of navigation from pre-history to the present. Mr. Pike is a lifelong mariner, having first gone to sea at age 16, has written many books and is a contributor to various marine magazines. Instead of dividing his chapters by historical time frames, he divides them by technique, starting with line of sight navigation and moving on through direction, speed, position, etc. He finishes with a discussion of the human element in navigation. Although there is no new information presented, this is a well-written, easy-to-read summary of naval navigation throughout the ages. There are many charts and photographs reproduced throughout the book but sources are only cited for a few of them. In the same way, none of the information is referenced, making it difficult for the reader to obtain further information without additional research. The book was published in 2018 by Pen & Sword Maritime. It is available in both hardbound and digital editions at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk.
  12. Bob is correct in his comments. Yes, there are many of us who insist on individual copper plates treenails everywhere, etc. Are we goofy? To a certain extent we are. Remember that you are building a 3/16 scale ship. These things would be barely evident. What would look really jazzy, in my opinion, would be to make the copper paint look like the real thing by subtly weathering it rather than having it all the same color.
  13. What made it worse was that the builder removed the evidence (the rags) but forgot to cut out the subflooring they burned through. Oops!
  14. When my house was under construction 30-ish years ago, the painters used tung oil as the finish on my windows. The rags were left in a pile and spontaneously combusted, burning a large hole in my bedroom floor. I was lucky the whole place didn't go up in smoke.
  15. I feel like a computer neophyte compared with some of you guys. (PC XT with a 10Mb hard drive . I splurged on a color monitor.) But going back to 1972, I remember my physics teacher going nuts over his new purchase: the original HP scientific calculator for a measly $750. Considering he probably made no more than 10-15k annually, that was quite a chunk of change.
  16. May I recommend either of the links below. The first link is to purchase CD's and flash drives of the Nautical Research Journal going back all the way to the beginning. The second link provides access to purchasing individual articles from the Journal for the last 10 years. Prior to that the Journal was not digitized, making purchase of individual articles difficult to provide. Roger Coles' articles predate this. https://www.thenrg.org/the-nrg-store.php#!/The-Nautical-Research-Journal-in-Digital-Format/c/2719574/offset=0&sort=normal https://www.thenrg.org/the-nrg-store.php#!/Buy-and-download-articles-from-past-issues-of-the-Nautical-Research-Journal/c/8560300/offset=0&sort=normal
  17. At this scale (3/16) the seams between the planks would naturally be almost invisible. It is the rare builder who is entirely happy with their first true planking attempt. Although uneducated observers (aka friends and family) will probably barely notice the problem, it will stare at you like a black eye forever. I would recommend getting a perfect finish on that hull with the use of filler and sanding sealer and then paint the hull, either with an airbrush or conventionally. You will end up happier in the long run and observers will be impressed by the painted hull, probably even more so than if you simply left it natural.
  18. I doubt it. It is in pre-production. However, simply visualize what a live center looks like. Now instead of a point sticking out, there is a tapering concavity pointing into the tool which freely turns.
  19. Not true Chuck. I am no machinist but my understanding is that it will fit any #0 Morse taper spindle.
  20. Pam from Sherline had a great mast and spar turning demonstration. Take a peek at the photos above and you will see a soon-to-be-available accessory for the lathe: an internal live center. Put a bevel on the wood blank, insert that end into the live center, secure it to the headstock by whatever means is appropriate (she is showing the use of a lathe dog for a tapered cut in the photo) and away you go. Very nice. Thank you, Pam.
  21. I had the pleasure of drooling over the book at the NRG Conference. My order has been placed. I will simply have to call it an early birthday present. At least I will get something I want!
  22. If you ever make it to Chicago I would be honored to have you visit her.  It was the encouragement you gave me at your cutter class in Buffalo that instilled in me the confidence to proceed on this journey.  I can never thank you enough.

    1. druxey


      Dear Toni,


      I apologize for the delay in responding. We are a tad disorganized: we moved this past week and weekend. Thank you so much for your kind note. I'm delighted that you decided to embark on the multi-year journey to build your Swan. And I'm even more delighted that you were successful in completing her! It's amazing how many varied skills one needs in order to complete such a complex model. I'm sure you are very proud of your achievement, and rightly so.


      Were we to be in Chicago, I'd love to have the opportunity of seeing Atalanta in person.  Models always give such a different impression than in photographs. Thank you so much for the invitation. 


      So, the big question: what is next?


      Cheers and thanks,




    2. tlevine


      I am working on a project for the the Guild which will take most of my time for the next several months.  When I attended the lofting program I brought RMG plans for a clinker-built cutter named Swallow.  I am trying to teach myself some rudimentary CAD and will be developing plans for her.  Because the planking is the beauty of the model, I will build her POB.  That should same me about 2 years.

    3. druxey


      Ha! Swallow of 1745, 1795, or 1812? BTW, were you to fully frame her, I found that my second and subsequent models went much faster than the first one. Experience counts! 

      Please feel free to use my regular e-address to communicate.




  23. Thank you everyone. She made the trip to Las Vegas without any damage. The meeting is over and hopefully she will make it back home safely.

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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.

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