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  1. Looks like you are having a lot of the same challenges I did, and you are overcoming them as well. That stern piece and the recessed timberheads toward the stern really needed a lot of work. I know I went back and reshaped that stern piece several times, even after I had attached it.
  2. Hey, another Bluejacket America build! I'll follow along. Mine is about 80% complete but has been languishing all year as other things have gotten in the way. But I keep saying I will get back to it soon. Maybe this will help inspire me. I made that same mistake you did, of cutting the notches in the keel based on the lines instead of based on the actual thickness of the frames. Makes me feel better now, thanks. Otherwise I like your approach. I also took a lot of material off the frames, maybe even more than you. I can also say there were about 3 or 4 different times I thought I was done adjusting the frames, then went back for more, and probably still did not quite have them as fair as they could have been. Feel free to check out my build log (in the signature), my hope was that it would help someone. Or if you wish to ask questions....that is fine too. I am far from expert, but I have been where you are going.
  3. I am also catching up on this build. All of the detail and weathering is great as everyone else has said, but that tiny water valve is just jaw-dropping.
  4. At least the larger one is. I've lost momentum working on mine, though see my build log (in the signature) for a look at it.
  5. By "barrel back" I assume you mean this one. I think this was the second wooden model I completed, quite a few years ago, long before MSW. It is just a static model and not used for RC. It is also 40+ inches long. I remember debating between this one and the Typhoon but ended up with this one. Ok, sorry for the minor hijack....I'll follow along with interest.
  6. More Deck Details I created some brackets for the removable davits for the anchors and the boats. I've installed the two for the anchors. The brackets are just little shaped pieces of mahogany with a short piece of blackened brass tube inserted in a hole in the middle of the bracket, then glued to the edge of the cap rail. I have also been working on and off on building a couple of boats. The plans indicate that America had two, either hung from davits, or lashed to the deck, or removed for races. The kit does not have any provision for creating the boats but I thought it might be a nice added detail. I have created, or at least started on, probably a half dozen of these little guys. Each one is a little better than the prior one but still flawed. I've been trying to create a small lapstrake boat of no particular design, about the right size. My latest attempt is shown below in the position where it would be lashed to the deck. I feel it is still a bit too large (and it is a bit bigger than what is shown on the plans) and this one has a bit of a skewed stem. If I were to finish it, I would likely paint it white. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions? I am tempted to just give up on this detail and leave them off, leaving America in "race configuration" with no boats. Or maybe I'll try again, make it a bit smaller and narrower and make sure the stem is not allowed to flex while building the boat.
  7. Dave....I know I have seen references out here to Vanda-Lay in the past. If you punch "Vanda-Lay" into the search box at the top you will get three pages of threads that refer to them. Many of them refer to other products but at least a few mention the drill press. You might start by looking at those threads if you have not already done so.
  8. I followed the link that Nic always puts in the Bluejacket Shipcrafters monthly email.
  9. A Little Progress Apologies for the glacial pace of this build of late. Every once in a while I find some time to work on the America. Of late, I have been working on finishing out the deck fittings. I used the pad eyes from the kit and placed them on the deck as shown in the plans. I tried to blacken them, but they turned more of a strange pinkish brown so I then painted them as well. I also scratch made some cleats instead of using the metal ones supplied in the kit, and scattered those around the deck. And I did the hawse pipe openings for the anchor chain. Finally, the biggest change to the appearance is that I completed the cap rails. I used quarter inch wide strip wood for most of the cap rails, with some other pieces cut from 2 inch wide stock on the stem and stern. All the wood was mahogany, though it was quite different in color and grain. I used some stain to try to even it out a bit, with some success though it is far from a perfect match. I have just a few other little bits of deck detail to do, then on to masts and rigging. I have the masts and gaffs and booms all shaped though none of that is stained or painted. I guess I will use the metal blocks from the kit and also use the rigging line from the kit though I will attempt to dye the white rigging line more of a brown/tan color. Here are a couple pictures of the current state.
  10. Congratulations on a beautiful build! I don't think there is anyone who does not like this old mahogany boats.
  11. Thanks, that is still a mystery. I kind of lost steam on this project, as the beginning of the year is busiest for me at work. I expect to have some free time coming up so hoping to get back into it soon.
  12. Are you sure about the location of the upper planks? From the second and third picture above it appears to me that they are higher on the starboard side, especially toward the stern. There appears to be less of the frames and edge of transom showing above the top plank on the starboard side. Great progress, and well done to notice the possible issue and take a step back to figure out a plan. We've all been there and those of us who rush ahead anyway (like me sometimes) regret it in the end.
  13. Shows that it is all about jigs and clamps regardless of scale! Beautiful result.
  14. One more try with the trailboards I could not resist. I made another pair of trailboards, my last I swear. I made them a little thinner, with the outer edge thinner, and made them less of a semi-circle and a little more of a Nike "swoosh" shape, for lack of a better term. They look better in real life...this is definitely a case of the close up photography not being my friend.
  15. Back to the Trailboards Progress has been very slow of late. I took a little hiatus for another project, and otherwise have been quite busy. Some time in the last week or 10 days was the 2 year anniversary of starting on this project. I resumed working on the trail boards. Not sure why but I have some obsession about not using the cast parts even though they look decent and even though the painting of the cast eagle worked out well. So I went through a couple more iterations of doing some carving and painting. I think I have some now that I'll use, though who knows I might look at them next week and decide I can do better. 1. Here is the blank that I started with (Pear wood). I used a paper pattern that I fit over the model rather than the exact shape of the cast parts. I think my hawse pipe was a little farther aft than intended so my trail board is a little longer. 2. I started with a cut around the inside edge, to form a lip around the trailboard. 3. I then used various chisels to remove some wood from the inner section to form the lip, and sanded that down. I then used a v-shaped gouge to create a main "stem". 4. And then I used a small rounded gouge to create "leaves" along the stem. And then repeated the process for the other side. 5. Here is an alternate design I did earlier, with some more simple scroll work instead of the stem/leaves. You can see one of those broke during production. 6. And here they are painted black and gold. I'll likely use the ones on the left. Seems no one is sure of the actual original design but they seem to be a little closer to most (but not all) of the contemporary paintings. I do wish that the lip around the outer edge was a bit thinner, and for these I was carving the design into the wood, where my previous attempt carved away the background so that the design stood out instead of being indented into the wood. Doing the latter is more difficult especially if trying to leave a lip around the outer edge. You can see on the "alternate" design, I attempted to glue a very thin strip of wood around the outside to form the lip but that presented its own problems. Sounds like I am convincing myself to try again. I did pretty much all of this carving by hand, though I also experimented some using a rotary tool.

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