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About hollowneck

  • Birthday 06/14/1946

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  • Location
    Stratford, Connecticut
  • Interests
    Music, reading, photography. Oh yeah- ship modeling!

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  1. I already look as ripped as that guy. I don't need no stink'n T-shirt!...*🤪 *But I'll buy one anyway and proudly wear it to the Conference this October. Ron
  2. True. Syren's woods are restricted to only 15" lengths, which can be problematic. However, the restriction won't be a problem for 80% of builds. I've been spoiled in the (recent) past with Hobbymill's 24" lengths which I found ideal for my needs. My takeaway: Chuck's 15" boxwood is better than 24" unavailable boxwood. BTW: Syren will mill strips. Do check out Lumberyard as an alternative. Ron
  3. Unfortunately, Crown Timberyard has become an unreliable source for high-quality milled hardwoods. I recommend going to Syren Ship Models for boxwood; there are other sources but this one has inventory, reasonable prices, decent quality and is owned and operated by someone who is running a real business and not just a weekend gig hobby. Ron
  4. A warm welcome Ab, Thank you for your posts. Your work and your son's is excellent. What is his name? You will experience a very sincere and friendly group here. Like many other members, I look forward to seeing and reading your future contributions. Ron
  5. Rob, Thanks for your compliment, pleased to help. Convincing looking sails in proper scale, are not easy to replicate accurately. Same goes for water! The publication to which I'm referring is not a newsletter but is the "Nautical Research Guild's Journal," which is printed quarterly for members (and now posted online — go to: www.thenrg.org). The NRG is the owner of this forum and I recommend looking into an NRG membership which will give you access to the quarterly. Sail on. Ron
  6. Rob, If you receive the NRG's Journal, I have written a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to create "set" (billowing) sails with silkspan, including techniques and suggestions for painting. This is Part 2 to my article on HMS Swan diorama and will appear in this Winter's issue (I believe the first week of December for fulfillment). David Antscherl's tutorial on making silkspan sails is an excellent reference. Your paper sails look very good. I would only add that silkspan material has a subtle texture that more accurately resembles canvas fabric, since in effect, it is a "fabric." Silkspan is pure white and needs to be painted (and "weathered" should that be appropriate). Here are two pics of my HMS Swan sails showing the results of my silkspan techniques. I hope this info is helpful. Ron
  7. Perhaps you can fix this issue with a check on your mailbox, it could be full... Ron
  8. Your MikeyCasa is looking excellent! Nice work. I like the colors you've chosen. I owe you a photo of my stained decking (now in place on two of the three deck pieces); this will clearly show the maple color I used. I'll post this over the next couple days... The Minwax stains are oil-based (not water), so paint thinner is required for clean-up or thinning. I use Minwax right out of the can. If I want a little more darkness to the hue I wait for first coat to dry then go for a second coat. Ron
  9. Craig, I'm satisfied with the Minwax stains (Home Depot/Lowes) - nothing fancy or expensive; they are consistent but you do need to toss 'em out after about 18-24 months. I also use a wood conditioner (also by Minwax) that helps even out the wood grain before staining. It's an extra step by I think it helps to prevent inconsistencies. The solvent stains dry pretty rapidly so the conditioner only adds a few minutes to the process. I'll take a pic over the next couple days ( I've only put the wood skin down on one deck piece thus far) and post it; you can judge the look and results for yourself. I used a med fine brush and had some Q-tips handy when I did my staining. Don't let the stain stay on long, wipe it off quickly with the cotton tip. Ron
  10. O.C., Thanks! Assuming the rehab/restoration has changed much of the original deck materials over the last 70 years, to me all the decks appear to be teak in various states of weather wear. The bridge shows teak- some pretty worn and another view shows highly polished wood. I'm thinking my choice of stains will be pretty darn close to what I see in the memorial pics. Since there is so much visible wood decking on this ship model, the color decisions are very important I think. Ron
  11. Mike,

    As you've seen, the Pegasus became a Swan. Both can fly, but the Swan took flight first! Thanks for checking out my pics. This was quite a project - not only the build itself, but adding nine set sails and of course, the water of the North Atlantic.

    Interesting how I passed on the Pegasus a couple years ago and then later decided to build it.

    The Swan ships are beautiful; I felt compelled to do this exemplary kit model justice by portraying it in a setting that emphasizes it's grace. I know this might be an odd sentiment to express about a warship that's designed to kill humans. I believe many members on this forum would understand this point of view. 


    1. Landlubber Mike

      Landlubber Mike

      Hey Ron, thanks for the note.  Sorry to not get back to you sooner, I read your note at work and we aren't supposed to post on message boards from our government computers, so figured I would wait until I got home.


      Your Swan is incredible.  The sea is one of the best I've seen, amazing!  You make me want to scrap my Pegasus!  I know that people have differing opinions on adding sails to a build, but to me, sails (plus in your case, the sea) really bring the model to life.


      Amati hit a home run with these kits.  The subject really hits the sweet spot in terms of size, detail, and ornamentation, not to mention the kit components.  And the fact that there are such detailed plans available from the NMM helps with the authenticity factor to the extent people think that is important.  I have the Pegasus plans from the NMM and Amati was consistent in all respects except for a few minor simplifications - I forget the terms of the parts, but on the Pegasus plans the cross bar on one of the rear bitts faces aft, and one set of bitts goes through the gratings (Amati moved the gratings slightly to avoid builders having to do this).


      Completely get your thoughts on it being a "warship" - I'm building the Charles Morgan, and think that the whalers are really interesting subjects with a lot of history and cool detail (plus you don't have to rig cannons with 2mm blocks).  At the same time, I certainly wouldn't condone their purpose.  I would just say that as model builders, we aren't celebrating the use of these ships (whether for war, whaling, carrying slaves, etc.), but just representing subjects that at one time played an important part in history.


      Glad you decided to build the kit!   To me, it's the best model I've seen out there on the Swan class, and that's saying a lot with some of the heavy hitters that have built ships of this class.



    2. hollowneck


      Whoa. Thanks, Mike. I'm glad I decided to build this kit too.


      As I mention in my current NRG Journal article, after spending quite a bit of time looking for one, I couldn't find a historic or contemporary model of the Swan - lots of her sister ships, obviously (including Fly, Atalanta, Vulture, etc. I even checked-in w/David Antscherl on this and he too has concluded the same.


      I've got a 10-page article in the current issue of the NRG Journal, appropriately entitled: "HMS Swan." You can check it out online if you don't get the dead tree Journal as the NRG has just gone digital (online PDFs). I offer some Swan and related era history and a little about my build (there are pics but the ones I've posted here are actually a lot better; larger, higher res than the digital edition.) The NRG needs to revisit this and improve the image resolution. My article is also appearing in the December (Winter) Journal as "Swan, Part 2" and it is a LONG article about how I made my set sails as well as the water - which I wrote bpth taks as step-by-step tutorials; lots o' pics of hands, tools and detailed materials info, etc.


      The NRG has wisely folded-in the now demised Ships In Scale and are focusing on ALL LEVELS of builds and will be mostly dedicated to how-to's now...which is an interesting shift. Much less on nautical research (and history)- which will bum some members out (but not me since my wife and I are both skilled online research animals). Also, the folio is dramatically expanded: this Fall's edition has 100 pages! All color, too. I haven't received my Fall issue magazine - which is mildly ironic...


      I've had a number of queries on how I made my water and I am referring people now to check out my Winter NRG Journal piece. I hope the editor doesn't slash it too much. My current Swan Part 1 piece took quite a hit - even at 10 pages.


      I am a history buff and relish this aspect of our hobby, learning about nautical history. I thought you might understand my sentiments about the aesthetics of these warships we both love to build. I also agree about your point on whaling ships, slavers, etc.


      BTW- A tip: the New Bedford Whaling Museum (in MA) is not to be missed, if you haven't visited already. Combine this with a trip to Mystic! Make it a Road Trip with the family. Seriously. If you'd like I can give you lots of info, good tips on how to make this adventure work (I have lots of children and g'kids who do these road trips).


      After my Dec article, I'm writing another piece for the NRG on votive/nave ship models which will have lots of pics and a kool story about this European history. How did I learn about this arcane subject? I was commissioned to build a votive model for a church in NY! I'll include photos on this aspect as part of this feature story.


      Good to hear from you and thank you again for your kind compliments.


      Take Care,



      PS Pic attached (preview) of my votive model, HMS Godspeed.




  12. Jim, It's a pretty straightforward, but complex process with a selection of ordinary materials from Home Depot and items from an artist's supply store (Like Michael's). I've written a step-by-step, detailed "How To" article about how I created what you see here and it will appear in the NRG Journal in the next couple months (as Part 2 of a piece that has appeared in this Fall's first digital issue; it's entitled, "HMS Swan"). In this same piece, I also describe a step-by-step on making realistic "set" sails. I's like to tell you more, but my "water" tutorial is 2,600 words with 18 photos! Apologies I can't go into more detail here. If you're an NRG member, you'll see it later this year - online and in the magazine. Ron
  13. Craig, That's exactly the conclusion I'm coming to on how to approach this challenging project: the instructions only show HOW parts go together, not in what order - which can be critical, obviously - and especially at the small scales. I've already been writing down some sequences to follow as I look at - repeatedly - both the HobbyBoss booklet and Pontos "sheets". Your last pic posts on your bridge detail is stunning. I've already decided to use three shades of grey on my build. And speaking of colors, I've tested stains on the wood applique/overlays and decided to use a maple color, except on the conning tower's floor which will be stained darker to simulate teak. I haven't seen you color your decking yet; have you chosen any colors or do you intend to retain the lighter, natural wood supplied in the upgrade package? Ron
  14. Thank you. Your excellent work, certainly David's and all the other superb efforts of MSW members were an inspiration for me to tackle this project. I've written a second installment of my current Swan article as a "How-To" piece that will appear in a future NRG Journal. It focuses on how I made my Swan's set sails and also how I created the diorama's water (and base). Ron

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