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  • Location
    Vancouver, BC
  • Interests
    Boats, history, social work, antique rifles and on it goes.

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  1. It was a conscious choice. There's a specific photo of the schooner that I've been drawing from and its flag arrangement is very similar. Thank you for the kind words; the signal flags were quite a bit of work but I feel will be worth it once the model is finished.
  2. I'm still chipping away at the rigging. I've spoken with other builders in the past that find this the most tedious part of the model, but I find that so long as I give myself other things to do to take a break, it's not so bad (though I rather suspect I would change my tune at a great rate of knots if I was doing anything with a full ship rig). I've found the Model Shipways plans to be a bit confusing by times and this has guided me to make a couple of mistakes that required going back into the model and fixing earlier oopsies, but I am glad that I did. This has taught me once again to slow down a bit and draw out how a piece of rigging works so as to confirm understanding before seeking to recreate it (one of these days, the lesson might even take!) In addition to this, the kit came with what is quite possibly the ugliest version of the Maple Leaf that I have ever seen and between this and the fact that the Bluenose never flew it, I opted for some after market bunting to toss aloft. Modern photos of the Bluenose II show her flying the national flag off the main gaff with a much smaller Nova Scotia flag flown at the top of the main mast. I've seen at least a couple of photos of the original with the national flag at the top of of the main mast and have sought to replicate this. The Nova Scotia flag could be viewed as somewhat oversized, but I like to believe that if the original crew had access to a flag that big they'd have flown it as we're all proud Nova Scotians. Through this process I have been getting increasingly good at tying some basic knots with tweezers, chiefly the reef knot and bowline. It really amazes me how each additional line seems to add something new and seemingly important to the model-- it really feels to me like each part brings this project tangibly closer to completion.
  3. I've been doing a lot of work on the Bluenose over the course of the past few months. Before getting started on the rigging, I decided to install the masts, but because of how I went about preparing the sockets that they would sit in, this turned into a substantially more challenging task than originally intended. If I was smarter, or at least more experienced, I would have cut the bottom of the masts into square pegs to slot into a square hole and then carefully shaped and tapered the rest of the mast before installing the spreader bars and other hardware. This I did not do so as to make it easier to assemble the masts... but what this accomplished was to simply delay a present difficulty to a later date and so I spent a lot of time agonizing over how I was going to get the masts into the correct positions and square to the deck. Eventually, I realized that I only really had to do make sure one mast was aligned both fore and aft and port and starboard-- and then use that as a reference point for installing the other one. I installed the foremast first and used a jig to help align it: At this stage I went about starting the rigging with what was included in the kit. It really didn't look very good so I took the suggestions of a couple of other builders and purchased some replacement rope from Syren, and my goodness I am glad that I did. It is so very much better. I also went about creating some signal flags to run on the foremast flag halyard: These were painted by hand onto tissue paper and then cut out with a scalpel and metal straight edge. These can also be purchased in sets, but as I wanted to spell a message out and am also extremely cheap, I did not want to spend a pile of money on three sets of signal flags, most of which I would only use once. Once painted, I added string to create a loop at the top of the flag and a tail at the bottom to allow me to chain them together to spell a message. These were then secured to one another by means of a series of tiny reef knots, tied with tweezers. I have found that the extremely fine tweezers used for soldering computer components are invaluable in this kind of work. To get a sense of what the flags would look like on the model, I attached them with a temporary loop: And most recently I have gone about working on the main gaff before packing up the model for a move to our new home. And that is where things stand at the moment. I still have plenty to do, but it is nice to see the rigging under way. My plan overall is to do the rigging starting from the centerline and then radiate outwards so as to not drive myself insane trying to set up rigging with other bits of rigging in the way.
  4. Model Shipways has a great starting kit, the 18th Century Longboat (designed by our own Mr. Chuck Passaro). I got skunked by a larger kit years ago, then came back to something smaller and easier like that kit. It contains some wonderful instructions on how to plank, and makes the process far less arcane. And forgive yourself your mistakes when you make them. Each one of them represents a learning experience, and nobody is going to judge you for learning here.
  5. Planking can be really intimidating, but on Bluenose it's comparatively easy due to how gradual most of her curves are. Thank you for your kind words and there will be more forthcoming as the rigging is completed!
  6. Double post! The caprails widen in places around the chain plates. This was added later on after the cap rails were installed. So an edit, with some content:
  7. On mine I planked up to the top of the stanchions and then used the curve created by the top plank to create one side of a template for the cap rail. Next, I went down that line and marked out the desired thickness, then cut out the template and used that on the appropriate wood from the kit (I remember noticing too that this was not properly marked) to create my new rail. This was repeated four times, then the rails were sanded down to the desired width.
  8. One can never have too much of a vessel that looks like she's going fast when she's sitting still. Beautiful work on your Endeavour, you'll clearly do Bluenose justice.
  9. Thank you for the kind words. I took most of the summer off, because it's the summer. I started rigging this weekend, but stopped myself after a little while as I had had too much coffee previously and was shaking like a leaf... and that is no foundation for progress.
  10. Welcome to MSW, there are quite a few of us in BC (and even several who are also working on Bluenose)!
  11. She's so well preserved that there is talk of trying to recover documents from the captain's cabin. Imagine if some of Crozier's logs could be recovered?
  12. Very glad to see you back to it, and I hope above all else that you are feeling better and that your recovery is as smooth as possible. My Dad recently had a heart attack and is undergoing tests to determine if a bypass is necessary-- it's a pretty scary time and it is good to see that you are moving past it. The Red Jacket is looking beautiful!
  13. Holy smokes. This is incredible work! Miniaturized steam power plants are utterly fascinating to me. No idea why, but seeing such a thing put to use in a model like this is captivating.
  14. With regards to the filler blocks: I installed mine flush with the bulkheads in the stern so I could plank over top of them without issue, and after I had otherwise mostly faired the bulkheads. The general angles created by the fairing was then used as a guide for a rotary tool to bring the filler blocks down to something approaching the right size, then the final fairing pass was completed by hand with regular sand paper on a sanding block. I think I did the fairing with 120 grit sandpaper and experienced no issues with tearing out the wood. Specifically, I used my wife's Foredom tool with an abrasive drum on it for shaping the filler blocks-- I now have my own Proxxon tool that meets my needs. There are tons of cheap and cheerful rotary tool options out there, and I do recommend picking up a razor saw, ideally with a miter box, as it will be handy for this build. You can see it here. The transom was also added at this point, with the contour shaped in large part by using a couple of what I referred to as "bunny ears" that were installed into notches on the top of the filler blocks and then planked over. This has helped me get pretty close to what I feel is the correct oval shape of the transom, with a gentle curve on the main and monkey rails: I've also gotten a lot of mileage out of emery boards that my wife keeps around for doing her nails. They can make for splendid sanding tools and for the kind of job we are doing here, even one or two will last quite a while.
  15. I loved living in that state, and the cruiser herself has always had a special place in my heart too. Her and her sister were just so elegant.

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