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Doug McKenzie

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  1. At this point I figured that if I'm going to do the scroll work I better do it now. There was no way I was going to carve the scroll work or paint it so I asked if anyone would be willing to take on a commission of doing the carving for me. What I got instead was great advice from David Antscherl, aka druxey. Instead of carving out the wood, he said, why not build up the filigree with something. He recommended trying string and gesso. I don't have the skill to paint the gesso freehand so I used kite string coated with 4 coats of gesso. The first picture shows the kite string strung between nails. The second pictures shows the kite string coated with 4 coats of gesso. We'll try to reduce the unevenness of the gesso but that comes later. This gesso coated string is then easily bent to follow the curves on the tracing of the scroll work . The end of the string is first tacked to the tracing paper with CA. Then with needle pointed tweezers, the string is bent around the curves of the scroll work tacking it in place with CA when ever necessary to hold the curves. The following pictures show first, the filigree right after gluing the gesso coated string to the pattern. The second picture shows the filigree after it has been cleaned up. The clean up is done with tiny files and consists of 1) removing the tracing paper so that it won't be visible and 2) Rounding off kinks and corners so that the curves are all smooth. The last picture shows the filigree glued onto the .hull. It's pretty rough but at least I was able to do it.
  2. Some miscellaneous items on the deck - First is the spanker sheets. These are a problem because the double block shackled to the deck would be very difficult to install after the wheel box is in place. and even more difficult would be threading the sheet itself through the sheaves of that block. Therefore the whole tackle is assembled and installed. The fife rail and bilge pumps are next. The hand-bars for the bilge pump are included so that the operation of the pump is clear. The anchor operation is shown next. The anchor chain can be seen entering the hause pipe which it passes through to the anchor windlass which can't be seen in this picture. The head of the anchor is seen hanging from the cat-head tackle which has been taken to the warping capstan to provide the power to lift the head of the anchor from hanging below the hause pipe to hanging below the cat-head. Lastly, a large hook at the bottom of the treble block fish tackle engages one of the flukes and the tackle lifts the fluke over the rail. The bill board is the wood plank that prevents the flukes from damaging the planking, the wale and the rail. This is the way the starboard anchor will be displayed in the final model. The port anchor will be stowed.
  3. I need ornamentation for a 1:48 model. Relatively simple as it is for a brigantine built in 1880. I'd be happy to discuss.
  4. Ed, I also was pretty flabbergasted by the difference between Underhill's stem and the true stem. It is really odd since the photo shows the correct profile very clearly. As to 'other details of the plan' the good news is that the 1880 construction sheer plan agrees with the photo. I've read that these construction plans are not always trustworthy and yet, in this case, the stem shape is accurately reproduced.. And we know from previous posts that Underhill's deck layout is pretty close to the layout shown in the 1880 sheer plan so apparently we can be satisfied with the deck paraphernalia. This is a short posting but many hours of thought have gone into the result. I really wanted to modify the model to reflect the true stem. But no matter how many problems I solved more would arise and then I had the idea of 'painting' the true stem onto the model. This is practical because at every elevation the true stem is inboard of the model stem hence nowhere does the true stem project forward of the model stem. My ability to 'paint' the true stem is very marginal (you may remember the lumber hatch) therefore I asked a professional artist, Lisa Brown, to help. She proposed using 1/8" wide tape. She showed me how to ease the tape into position where there are curves. The final result is seen in the photo below.
  5. This posting includes some miscellaneous items as well as the beginning results of comparing the model to the picture. Having purchased all the miniature rope that I'll need from Syren, I realized that I needed to do some organizing. So first, I wound all the different sizes on 2" sections of 2" cardboard roller. Then, I stacked these 'spools' on two poles - one for the 7 sizes of standing rigging and the other for the 4 sizes of running rigging - voila! well organized with a small footprint. The little bucket with little sticks of all sizes and types of wood has also greatly reduced clutter on the bench top - I don't know why I didn't discover this years ago. Next, I've glued up all of the the 4 part spars - each spar has an extra inch at each end. As far as I can tell most ship modelers use a single stick for their spars and they have no problem with twisting or bending. For some reason, I've gotten it into my head that I need to make each spar from four sticks confident that they will then stay straight - I don't know where I got this idea. Comparing the model to the photo for the aft cabin showed that the companionway roof was too steep and that the skylight was too far aft and too high. Before and after photos follow. Unfortunately , I don't have a useful before picture so we make do. And lastly we compare the profile of the stem. We actually have two views of the stem one being from the photo and the other being from the 1880 construction sheer plan. It's encouraging that the photo and the construction sheer plan are basically the same as this means we can probably also trust the below waterline curve that the construction sheer plan shows.. Unfortunately, the model stem is straight and differs significantly from the true stem. It is not at all clear why Underhill did not follow the curve so clearly evident in the photo. Another disappointment is that I do not see how to 'fix' the model to match more closely to the photo. My son, Nate, trained as a naval architect, is not ready to throw in the towel on this. In addition he has software which constructs a 3-D model from a 2-D photo. We hope to extract further quantitative information from the photo. I'll remove some of the mystery of what's coming up by saying that I think I'll be building a third mid-ship deck house based on the photo. The good news is that it needs to be bigger hence making the case for housing the crew even more plausible.
  6. Ed, Great idea to start Leon again after all where are you going to find a more beautiful ship. If you do start her again and if your planning to show the interior then I'll send you the 1880 DNV survey which will tell you the correct number of frames, the correct sided dimension used for all the frames and the correct moulded dimensions of the mid-ship frame (and a LOT more). I had to use my 'curve' method for the moulded dimensions because I didn't find the survey until I was finished most of the planking. And of course be sure to start a log! I totally agree with Longridge. On a completely different topic I just recently came up with the idea of comparing the model with the well known photo of Leon and this is shown in the picture below. This is actually a difficult comparison to make because the photo of the model has to match 3 parameters of the photo of the real ship. 1 - The angles forward of the port beam have to be the same. The model has an angle of about 10 degrees and I believe the real ship's angle is more like 20 degrees 2 - The distances from the ship have to be the same. The distance for the model photo is 770' which might be pretty good. 3- The roll angle of the two photos have to be the same. In this case you can see that the starboard rail on the photo of the real ship is not visible but on the photo of the model it is very visible. In any event we certainly get the impression that the the model's bowsprit is steved a little too high and that both the foremast and the mainmast have too much rake. I have some ideas about how to determine better parameters for the model photo in order to check these impressions. I took the rakes off of a 1880 sheer plan but unfortunately those kinds of plans can be inaccurate. Good luck and many blessings, Doug
  7. Hi Ed, You know, you are correct - I am very satisfied. For the first year or so I bemoaned my limited 'micro carpentry' skills - other builders seemed to have joints that you couldn't see, surfaces that were ultra smooth etc etc. But more recently when I look at her I see something that's almost alive even with her imperfections and I love it! As far as frames go there are two separate issues. The one I think you are asking about is referred to as the moulded dimension i.e. outside to inside. And yes you are correct that this dimension is thickest at the bottom (at the floors) and gets gradually thinner as you approach the upper most deck. The way I quantified this thinning was to look at some ships about the same size as Leon and assigning the positional value of 0 to the moulded thickness of the frame at the bottom (at the keel)- the actual thickness I gave as 100% because I'm expressing all the moulded thicknesses as % of the largest value at the bottom. Then I assigned the positional value of 1 to the moulded thickness at the deck and gave the actual thickness as, lets say, 56%. I think I then marked off positional values at 25%, 50% and 75% and assigned them actual thickness values as percentages of the max thickness. I compared these percentage curves for a few ships and generated a curve just by judgement that I used for Leon. I used the same curve for all the frames that went down to the keel. I don't remember how I adapted the curve for the frames that terminated on the deadwood rather than going all the way down to the keel. Another point, you need to have a diagram that shows both the outer curve of the mid-ship frame and also shows the inner curve. You probably will not find this on a plan but rather in a diagram in a book that shows a cross section of the construction of mid-ships. PS I only generated the curve for the mid-ship frame. I assumed that the same curve could be used for all the other frames. The second issue has to do with the other thickness of the frame - the sided dimension i.e. the fore-aft thickness. Every model I have built (and the vast majority of models that I've seen) have no tapering in this direction BUT in real life this is tapered also. I've seen that the segments (futtocks) that go into a real frame are a little thinner as you go up so the fore and aft surfaces of the frame are not smooth because each time a futtock gets thinner it introduces a little jog in the surface. I don't know if each futtock is also tapered a little. but I'll guess not. I'm attaching 2 drawings one for the moulded tapering and how I analyzed it to compare different ships and one for the sided tapering but remember I know very little about this. Good luck - I hope this is clear and helpful. Doug
  8. The Pin Rails and Taffrail have been added. Both the belaying pins and the taffrail pedestals come from Model Expo. I haven't decided yet whether to paint the pins brown or keep them as raw brass.
  9. The aft house is now completed. It was constructed and trimmed pretty much identically with the mid-ship house so few construction photos are shown. In the following photo, the 4 walls of the aft house are shown tucked into the quarterdeck. Then the completed aft house is shown first facing aft and then facing forward. The planked quarterdeck is next followed by the completed aft house nestled into the quarterdeck. None of the internals of the aft house are being shown whereas some of the internals are shown of the mid-ship house. The reason for this difference is that the mid-ship house played an important role in trying to answer the question, "Did Leon's crew berth in a fo'c'sle or in the mid-ship house." There is no definitive answer but I feel the preponderance of evidence suggests they were in the deck house. It seemed reasonable to show that the deck house could actually serve this function so this is why I show the the 3 double bunks, the cook's "stateroom" and the galley and mess. This was particularly important because the size of the mid-ship house that I modeled was smaller even than Underhill's - 12.5' long compared to Underhill's 15' long. The 12.5' figure comes from an 1880 construction sheer plan.
  10. Et Al - Thanks for your creative contributions. I take this moment to announce that I am going to remove the mast hoops / mast bands / muffler belts / whatmacallit / gronicles from the heels of both the foremast and the main mast. My motivation for this is Bob's comment "I've seen my share of mast heels, a few in larger vessels and I've never seen one with a metal band around them" In addition no one else mentions ever having seen them. Since Leon is unlikely to have had a coaked mast, the rings are now history - they were my second exercise in silver soldering so they still had value. Bob, this is the second time I've followed your lead - the first was with the likely use of a built up mast step for Leon - I just hope that you are not a roboNRGMSWmember giving random answers to questions! Thanks all, Doug
  11. Bob, Your answer has applicability far outside the nautical world. Therefore I would like your permission to quote you in fields far astray. For example, if my wife asks for the potato masher (we have three types of them in the drawer). then I can respond with Do you want the gronicle or one of the other two, And she can respond in kind when I ask her for a wrench. Thanks, Doug PS on a related subject was this iron ring standard issue on ships of all sizes and origins?
  12. Underhill described (in book on Leon) an iron band around the heel of a mast presumably to prevent splitting. So I put these on (see picture below) Then I tried to find out what these iron bands are called. I used my modest ship library and the internet to make a pretty thorough search and came up with nothing. Not only did I not come up with a name, I didn't come up with any references to these iron bands at all. Therefore I am wondering were they used all that frequently. Any info on these bands will be much appreciated. Doug
  13. The Indian Rosewood trim has been added The bunk beds are assembled separately. and then inserted in place The roof beams are installed and a few roof planks are placed. You can also see the flue pipe for the stove. The roofing is completed taking into account the need to see the internals of the deck house
  14. Sailor1234567890, Is it possible that your location, Shubenacadie NS, is the same Shubenacadie that is about 18 miles up river from Maitland NS? My grandfather grew up in Maitland and watched several ships built there. He even used to tell about being in the saw pits. I totally agree with "sweet pretty little thing" I am very pleased so far that her appearance doesn't seem to have suffered much from my modest woodworking skills but rather she has a sort of rustic appearance which I suspect is not too far wrong. Are you working on a build? Regards Doug
  15. Now we tackle the main deck house. Many hours went into researching reasonable internals of the main deck house. The next photo shows the plan that I finally came up with. The beginning of the research was a thread called "Deck House versus Forecastle for Crew Quarters" where a number of folks discussed where the crew on Leon was most likely to have been quartered. I left this discussion leaning towards Deck House. One detail that needed settling was whether Leon had a Donkey Winch. If so, it would most likely have been in the aft portion of the deck house and reduced the living quarters significantly. Jeppe says that in all his research he never found a reference to a donkey winch on Leon. So we assume no winch. Another very important detail is the question of the existence of a companionway which would lead to a forecastle. Underhill shows one but remembering that his only primary source is the well known photo we see that even if there was a companionway it would not be visible in the photo because the bulwark would hide it. Using Crothers as a guide, the plan shown is proposed. It houses 6 crew and a cook. It honors the two very small windows in the forward bulkhead that are seen in the photo. There also appears to be what could be a door on the port bulkhead about one third the way aft. This would have been a very typical location for a door leading into the crew space. Underhill shows 2 doors in the after bulkhead but the plan shows only one because that seems to have been more common. The plan follows Underhill's 4 windows with sliding covers on the port and starboard bulkheads. So with the plan explained we can proceed to the construction. Horizontal planking - 1/16" x 1/8" (3" x 6") - is used for the bulkheads. The planks are edge glued. Following that, the doors and windows are indicated. The four exterior bulkheads are assembled in a steel jig that uses magnets to align surfaces in 90 degrees both in the horizontal plane and also the vertical plane. The four bulkheads joined together. . The two inner bulkheads have been added. The 12" high sill (almost black) can also be seen. This helps prevent sea water entering at the 3 external doors.

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