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JerseyCity Frankie

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It’s a point which weighs against us, and a fact to be deplored – 
That we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

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  1. I think it’s a case of English practice verses French practice. I HIGHLYdoubt the people behind the Hermione project could get their rigging wrong, everything on that ship is superb. The English practice was to have bothe stays on the Starboard side of the foremast and nearly all the ship modeling reference material available in English is based on British historical practice. I don’t know much about French practice because I’m only reading books in English. But the image from the painting I posted above is from a contemporary French painting.
  2. Here’s some photos and my interpretation of what is going on......as you can see there are four elements visible forward of the mast. Your kit diagram shows only two.
  3. Ratlins are just glued across each row of shrouds using Elmer’s Glue, no actual knots. Maybe it’s possible to draw up each Clove Hitch tight enough AND avoid distorting the shrouds too? But why risk it and using glue alone I’m sure to stay in scale. I glue each ratlins across and nip the ends close later. Surprisingly difficult to nip each loose end tight up to the shroud without leaving a little nub sticking out. The blobs of white glue shrink to invisible transparency so I put on a second and a third glue blob at each juncture,allowing drying between applications, to build up a lump that will represent the non-existent Clove Hitches. Then I paint all the ratlins to match the shrouds. But I note in photos of the actual ship the rat lines are often white and untarred in photos, so mine are lighter than the rest of the standing rig. For positioning I paint tiny dots of light paint on the shrouds where the rat lines will go. Avoiding using a card clipped to the back of the shroud with ruled lines getting in the way. The four fresh globs of glue are the second application going on. White ratlines. This is Niagaras current master. A very capable man. This is after three applications of Elmer’s Glue to each juncture then some acrylic paint, the finished look.
  4. I just can’t get excited about making the props, I’ve been putting it off forever. These are cut from sheet styrene and I will eventually blah blah blah blah....... So boring. Plus supper easy to break off for the rest of the life of the model.
  5. I certainly included the Fore Topmast staysail on my model of Leopard. I too was using the Winfried book.
  6. A lot more rigging is now in place. I snipped off a lot of loose ends and the clean orderly appearance that starts to emerge is welcome after so much chaos. Nothing in this photo was painted pure black, it’s all varieties of grey and dark grey. If these elements were all painted pure black they’d be difficult to distinguish one from the other and also hard to photograph.
  7. I’ve always flirted with the idea of the same thing, but with a coin of the proper year set into the base. Another concept I’ve seen is to put a scrap of wood from the actual ship onto the base, if you can get it.
  8. Ive got the lower shrouds on with lanyards rove on turned-in deadeyes. Next logical step is to get the stays on with some tension so I glued and pinned the Bowsprit in and started rigging bobstays and I’ve even turned in deadeyes on Topmast backstays. This mirrors actual practice, putting on standing rigging that opposes each other to stabilize the spars. My next task will be to bend the futtock shrouds to the lower shrouds because it’ll be harder to get in there when the backstays are rove off.
  9. I’m lucky there’s this publication free on the web, the Brig Niagara Crew Manual. A fascinating read if you’ve never crewed on a sailing vessel, it covers all the basic knowledge and tasks every crewperson must be familiarized with. But it also contains some rigging details like this inclusive Bowsprit rigging drawing. And a good pinrail diagram too. I have not compared the Model Shipways pin diagram with this version, likely they are very close. But I feel the one created for real-world use should be considered definitive. https://brigniagara.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/crew-handbook-complete-final-version-5-8-2013.pdf
  10. Try vacuuming the sails first, while dry-scrubbing with a toothbrush to help loosen whatever’s on there.
  11. Here’s shots of modern Niagara in which her sweeps are visible stacked on a pair of crutches. Frequently the crutch is incorporated into the fife rail as depicted in the drawings. Many ships of all sizes would carry spare topmasts and if the ship was too small to feature a hatch with skid beams large enough to acomodate those spars lying on deck, they were sitting on the crutches. Often the ships boats were in turn lashed onto the spare topmasts. Many ship models can be seen with the spare topmasts but few of them also include the sweeps.
  12. Neither her gunports or her oarports can be shut, they have no covers and can’t be closed. On Niagara those ports are six feet above the waterline, and they’re all slightly higher than the MUCH LARGER gunports anyway so they represent no greater significant way for water to get aboard. Niagara was designed as a lake boat and not optimized for blue water ocean sailing so her low freeboard isn’t necessarily a drawback. This would be an entirely different story were she intended for ocean sailing though and all her ports would likely be closeable and very likely she’d have higher freeboard designed in. In fact I’ve heard talk that the modern day Niagara is financially constrained by her inability to safely transit deeper ocean waters under the stability certification she holds from the US Coast Guard and her owners are considering structural changes-including raising the height of the bulwarks-to make her more seaworthy. This would certainly include portlids. As things stand on Niagara I’ve never seen photos of water coming aboard as she sails healed over. Sailors love the excitement of sailing in intense conditions and there would certainly be photos of Niagara “burying the rail” if it’d ever happened. But instead you can’t even find photos of Niagara healing at all,she appears to be remarkably stiff.

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