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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. Production stills from a 1950’s Soviet historical film. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Ushakov_(film). What fun they must have had, building these miniature fleets and filming them in the tank! CGI has yet to be utilized to create epic sea battles from the era depicted, I wonder if CGI could hope to improve upon large scale models like these? Also I wonder what has become of these huge models? I imagine they’d be recycled and used in other films...... The lever is used to make the large barrel slide up and down on the vertical track it’s mounted on, the water it displaces creates the “rolling sea” effect on the pool’s surface. Low tech wind machine is the engine of an actual aircraft. Look at all those models! I bet the ones farther away are smaller scale, to create a forced perspective.
  2. An idea occurs to me: research the House Flag flown on Flying Fish and make a copy big enough to cover the side of the case facing the window? I haven’t checked myself but I do know House Flags of shipping companies are colorful and interesting and could serve as a screen to block sunlight while at the same time adding something substantive to the display, while at the same time remain removable and not permanently blocking the view into that side if the case.
  3. For clarity, are cutter yards referred to in terms different than other square rig spars? To me a crossjack or crojack yard has always meant exclusively the course yard on a full rigged ship’s mizzenmast alone. In other words the course yards on the fore and main are not cro’jacks. Only the Mizen Course is called crojack. And the other yards are named after their sails, so a Topsail is bent on a Topsail yard, ect. Of course some cutters do have that odd Spreader Yard so maybe the inclusion of this spar throws off the nomenclature a bit?
  4. I say use them all. Unless the ship is in its first weeks at see after being launched, all the rigging will look slightly different as it ages and encounters different circumstances. Rigging is being added and removed from the ship over the course of time but it’s never replaced all at once. If you look at modern ships you will see variation in all the lines.
  5. Here’s a shot I found of this typical mistake. The modeler led the lifts directly in a straight line from the cap to the yardarms. You can see the problems that would manifest when actually sailing: crew have difficulty climbing rigging, chafe occurs Port & Starboard the moment the ship starts to pitch or roll or you brace the yards to any degree. You see models rigged like this all the time, even in good museum collections. In this case we can blame the kit manufacturer for a lot of the problems here. I’m pretty sure this was one of those “cross section” models. The deadeyes on the top are too far forward of the mast.
  6. If you look at the rigging problem from the other direction -running the lifts directly from the cap to the yardarms directly THROUGH the topmast shrouds you will get twice as much chafe since this guarantees chafe port AND Starboard. Plus the lifts would block the movement of the crew trying to climb the topmast shrouds
  7. Acrylic paint. Burnt umber is a good color but most of the other earth tones can work. Acrylic paint is probably the best choice if your interested in archival considerations. Tea or coffee work and give a good color but as mentioned above, the tanic acid in tea strikes fear into the hearts of those who insist on maximum longevity. You DO see deteriorated fabric sails on old decrepit models (and rigging falling to pieces too) but we are unlikely to learn the actual cause of the destruction-was it tea? Was it UV radiation? I’ve used coffe in the past and I fill a five gallon bucket with hot water and into this I put a pot of coffee and white cotton fabric and I let it soak overnight. You get a nice subtle and appropriate tan color. Using acrylic is different: it’s best to test batches in order to get a feel for the ratio of paint to water. But the results are not dependent on how long you soak for, they’re instant. In each case, hang the fabric to dry so the liquid evaporates evenly off the surface.
  8. The leather around the hole in the cap is a very nice touch I never see that bing done on models.
  9. I wouldn’t move the blocks on the cap too much. Cutty Sark is very well documented and the block location is likely very well established?
  10. Lifts always go in front of the topmast shrouds and often there will be chafe. You can minimize the chafe by moving the blocks at the cap as far forward as you can.
  11. I rigged the Main topsail today, it was perfect ship model building weather with sleet and freezing rain. I’d pictured myself getting more than just one sail on today though. And I still haven’t figured out the oddway the modern ship rigged the Spanker clew outhaul, which they run double yet I only see one block under the boom..... At this stage I’m noticing more subtle differences in the kit rig and the real ship’s, there’s disagreement over lead block and pin locations but nothing noteworthy. There’s a lot of areas I don’t have photos of so for those I’m referring to the kit plans and rigging books. The yard is square only because I have not yet run the braces, I fully intend to brace all the yards hard over for a Starboard tack. ALL my Square rigged models are braced up as sharp as I can get them and there’s four reasons why I do this: ONE 99.9999% of all ship models have yards braced square and I think this is due only to the kit plans depicting them that way. In my opinion this configuration is dull as dishwater. TWO I’m depicting the ship underway under sail and it’s highly improbable any square rigged ship actually sailing will have yards square. It’s POSSIBLE but statistically unlikely. THREE the model looks better with yards braced, it’s more dynamic and depicts a vessel in motion, it’s more realistic if sails are set. FOUR the completed model takes up less space and is less likely to snag on something, any case built to fit it will be dramatically smaller than a case built for the same model with yards square. If you live in a place with limited space, as I do, this factor becomes very significant.
  12. Ive got a great idea! Let’s just stick to the topic and refrain from personal nonsense? The greatest aspect of MSW is the openness of the discussions on the many topics pertaining to ship model building.
  13. I’d carefully duplicated the blocks I could see in photos of the real ship and there’s pretty good photographic coverage of the tops as viewed from the deck (hardly ANY shots of the tops as viewed from above) Putting on the Maine course yard I was surprised I’d neglected to put in the jeer blocks under the trestle trees! But then I looked at the photos and noticed Niagara has no jeer blocks! Just the sling and the lifts are holding up the lower yards!
  14. Wouldn’t it be better to attack the points I’ve made rather than make a personal attack on the person making the points? What aspects of my opinions of ship model restoration are wrong, in your opinion?

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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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