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  1. Wardee-Jay sold replicas of circus wagons from late 1940s and early 50s. They contained one page construction drawings with notes. Wood, wire, pins, stamped parts and soft metal castings (mostly wheels) were provided. Decals were included but by this time they crumbled when touched. So decorations were handed painted. A few liberties were taken with the giraffe wagon by addding a sliding roof panel so the toy giraffes could be seen. In general they follow the plans which reflect Ringling Bros equipment.
  2. Restoration of a model offered by Popular Mechanic magazine in 1926. Built in 1936 by Walt Hoffman, it was in disrepair and suffering from age
  3. Too kind, Mike. This was a really different experience.. the builder did his own thing in many cases including a dolphin striker! I'm bringing it up on Sat. anyway, thanks
  4. RiggedNow review of plans vs product. Fragile elements will be installed, like headboard, dolphin striker and gallery. I pickup the case today so I plan on delivering the ship this weekend.
  5. Your dad took good care of that battle wagon. Not many plastic models withstand time so well. Gonna fix it up and case it?. So how's the carving coming? We're anxious to see samples. Maybe Saturday...if you're off
  6. I previously mentioned that attaching the sails to the yards was easier before the yards were hung on the masts. Now I have attached the yards and added some of the running rigging. I have also glued down the masts and run the stays and shroudlines. In opting to preserve some of the original rigging, I accepted their "flaws."the hull mounted dead eyes are very crowded and misaligned. Their mates on the shrouds are anything but aligned. This situation is in keeping with reality but it messes with my sense of order!
  7. Sails painted, bent to yards and masts set in the hull. Rigging next.
  8. Got the first top done. I wanted to keep the shrouds and ratlines.......the lines fell apart! The least pressure pops the lines. Just moving the masts around on the worktop broke them. I'll restring them. They are not authentically installed. The instructions run them up through one lubber hole and down the other one. Orrrr the shrouds are run through the mast under the tops. Whatever the builder did, I'll copy.
  9. Now, the masts, yards, sails and rigging. The masts already have the tops built including card stock railings. Due to the condition of the original shrouds, I opted to preserve them so they are still attached. This includes the tops shrouds. The instructions directed a simplistic, inauthentic method for attaching the shrouds to the tops. It serves the purpose though. The deadeyes for the shrouds are of different conditions. Some are serviceable but others crumble when you look at them. I'll use the instructions to manufacture any required replacements. First I'll restring the tops shrouds. Then step the masts and bend the shrouds. I'm considering attaching the sails to the yards before hanging the yards.
  10. pAs I work I have to ask myself about the next steps. Should I unglue, cut, strip, paint, remake, fill, replace, do it the right way, leave how it was made, use a modern part....? I examined different approaches and found that they are easily defined as narrow rules. Which one is used is largely a factor of the desired outcome. Clean refurbish restore rebuild Four similar but distinct words. Clean means get the dirt off. No repair even if needed. Minimal disturbance of the model. Refurbish means clean and only repair broken lines, cracks, splits, etc. to maintain the current age of the item. No repaint or new material except that related to repair. Restore means to clean and refurbish. It means to examine the condition of the entire item to assess what might need to be changed to bring it back to a previous condition....like when it was new. No updating or improving parts for the sake of it. Use as much original item as possible. Only resort to new material when the original is not usable. Rebuild means all the above using modern materials as desired, plans and information in an effort to improve the veracity of the item. I talked to the Nuestra's owner about what she wanted. She wanted to restore the ship to "new" condition. Comparing this list -- fix dirt, cracks, broken pieces, snapped lines, stained worn sails, and limit to original build -- aligned with the restore option. So far that has been the guide. For example, When the gun wreaths were cracked, torn, dull, and warped I straightened and repainted many of them. I remade torn gun wreaths and aged them to match the originals. One of these is new... This was an important part of my planning and progress for the project. Thought I'd share this aspect
  11. Done with all on the structure except gun wreaths. Will reinstall them and start the rigging
  12. Removing ladders is tricky. Having assembled them yourselves, you know the wrong pressure will collapse them. Proceed with patience. Normally they are attached with glue at the deck and the ladder top. My process starts with softening the glue with Water and vinegar or Goof Off. The former is safer but slower. The latter is faster but can affect adjacent parts and eat finish. Neither completely does the trick. Check the ends of the uprights for weakness or cracks before trying to remove the ladders. There are soooo many variables and conditions we encounter that approaches should be prudently selected. I'd caution against using a knife or other cutting instrument. It's more likely connected surfaces will be damaged by slips or pressure than cutting between parts.  To get the ladder off I begin at the top. The objective is to apply pressure equally to both uprights. I use scrap wood that fits under the ladder and leaves enough room for upward leverage. The wood should be hard enough not to compress under force later. It must touch the uprights at the same place on both sides (don't use the steps to measure). Choose a lever that will fit BEHIND the ladder and afford enough movement to provide measured force. Applying pressure from below with a wooden lever slowly push until the glue seal separates. Keep pressure even across the uprights. Don't press against the steps. When the ladder separates,push it over to pop the bottom seals loose.  To clean excess glue from the separation points, lay the part on a flat surface that opposes the direction of your cleaning action If the ladder loosens in the process attempt to gently reglue and put it aside until its integrity is restored. If it breaks take care to note where each piece belongs, clean them all and reassemble.
  13. I am completing work on the structure of the ship. To recap the actual steps: careful cleaning with soap was followed by clearing the old lines and loose parts. A plastic scraper, a child toothbrush, cotton swabs and 0000 steel wool worked for loosening dirt, layers of old sealer, and excess glue. Cutting a piece off the steel wool pad and grasping it with tweezers is more effective and less destructive than just attacking with the whole pad. Cannon were sanded and painted. Gallery, ladders, capstans, and headboard were removed to avoid damage and provide more access for prep. Cracks were filled and sanded, splits were mended. The deck, bulwarks and walls were scrubbed enough to see wood grain again. But not down to bare wood. This brought out nice details and preserved a patina. Enamel paint was used to brighten ornamentation where it had dulled. Glass beads used in the rails and were chipped or peeling. Swishing them in thinner cleaned them. Then paint and reassembling completed them. Gun wreaths had warped, cracked, and torn. They, with all the loose, removed items are replaced. A clear, satin polyurethane sealer is applied per instructions.

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