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  1. Thanks so much for the "likes" guys! They fortify my determination to finish this thing. It will be some time before the main top is finished, so I thought I would post what I have done so far. As with many items on this model there are many choices to make as to design. One feature that is common to all the designs I looked at is the overlapping of the length and cross deals. I wanted to attempt this, but, as I would like to use the Britannia cast stropped deadeyes, I determined that they would not reach through the top if I did. So, like the Revell model, I decided to have the length and cross deals abutting rather than overlapping. A pity, although, if I had overlapped them, installation of the floor battens would have been a lot more challenging. 1. I decided to glue scribed decking to a backing of 1/64" birch plywood. I used glued up decking for the decks on the model because I decided to leave them natural. The deals, however are to be painted gray, so if the planking detail is to be visible, 3/32" scribed decking is the way to go. Otherwise, you might as well use a solid piece. The plywood backing was cut with the first and third layers of the plywood running athwart ships. I had a problem with the assembly curling upward forward of and abaft the lubber hole. I may cut the fore top backing with the first and third layers running fore and aft and see if that helps. In any case, the assembly needs to be clamped between two flat pieces of wood as the glue dries. 2. Backing and decking assembly. 3. Sling hole cut (a bit more work needed there, now that I see it close up in the pic). 1/32" by 1/32" stock installed around the lubber hole. Rim added, made from 1/32" by 3/32" stock except for the rear batten which is 1/16" by 3/32". As you can guess the holes are for the rail stanchions which will be brass rod. I tried making an 8 sided stanchion out of 1/32" by 1/32" stock and ended up with a little wad of fuzz, so brass it is. Notches are for the metal stropped deadeyes. I am debating whether to use card stock or styrene for the outer rim. I will also have to decide about how to mount the falconets. I have begun work on the floor battens. The plan is to make the from 1/32" by 1/16" stock which is what the kit's plans show, and have them overlap the rim, then taper to 1/32" high at the lubber hole. Wish me luck!
  2. Painted bowsprit and dolphin striker dry fitted to the model. I think I am getting a little better at finishing and painting. You can get a bit closer than you could previously before it looks absolutely horrible. Gammoning cleats to be added when I do the gammoning so that I can be sure they are in exactly the right place. Work is proceeding on the main top. I hope to post some pics of that soon.
  3. I have been grappling with the dolphin striker. Like many aspects of this ship, there are as many different designs as there are sources. I picked elements of each that I thought I could be successful at doing. Here is what I have done so far. 1. Components laid out. I used 5/64" dowels I picked up at Michael's for legs. I did not use the flanges pictured in the plans because I could see no way of constructing them to be strong enough to bear the strain of the martingale guys, and because other designs and the Revell model had the holes in the legs themselves. I did not taper them because I was afraid they would snap when rigged. The Revell model does not show taper. 2. Components glued together. The red lines indicate #20 size pin shafts inserted into the interior which I hope will strengthen the structure for when the rigging is tensioned. 3. Shaping of the elements, and Elmer's filler applied to hide the seams 4. Holes drilled. These will accommodate the martingale plan similar to what the ship now has, or at least had when the pics I collected were taken. There are variations even between these pics. 5. Assembly glued to the bowsprit cap.
  4. I have been working on the bowsprit. I do not have it finished yet, but I thought I would post what I have done so far. 1. The bowsprit is tapered in the same way that I tapered the masts - by fixing the dowel in my drill and holding against sandpaper taped to the table (see above). 2. Creating the appropriate flat spots. I used the disc sander again, but rotated the disc by hand this time. 3. To create the bees, the same layering technique was used as in the catheads and topsail sheet bitts. 4. Using my tilt arbor table saw, I made angled components so as to create angled bees. 5. Top view showing the sheaves in their slots. 6. Outer components also cut to an angle glued on the complete the bees. Elmer's wood filler added to mask the seams as much as possible. 7. Bees glued onto the end of the dowel. 1.-2. Two more views of the bees after being glued to the bowsprit. 3. Bowsprit cap cut to the right angle using the tilt arbor saw. Holes drilled to receive the #20 size pins. Countersinking with 1/16" bit. 1/8" hole drilled with the cap held at the right angle in the vise. 4. Cap glued onto the end of the dowel and pins glued in with contact cement. This should strengthen the joint so that it can stand the pull of the rigging. 5. Countersink holes filled in with Elmer's wood filler. 6. Hoops, forestay cleats, jib boom step, and fairlead added. The red line indicates where I added a pin to strengthen the joint in the same manner as in pic 3 and 4.. A bowsprit fairlead is not provided in the kit, but it does appear in the rigging plans, so I decided to make one. I bought an extra spider ring from Bluejacket, clipped out that part that had no holes, then very carefully opened it up until it would fit the bowsprit. Another possibility is to use the upper boarding pike racks if you want to sacrifice this detail on the main and foremasts. I am now working on the dolphin strikers. In order to know how many holes to drill in the legs, I must decide on whether I want to use Arnot's plan in the instructions, or Marquardt's plan in the AOS book.
  5. The next step was to make up the trestle trees with their bolsters to fit on top of the hounds and bibs, and to make up the spanker mast. The trestle trees were made from 3/32" by 3/8" stock provided in the kit. Two pieces of the right length were glued together and shaped so that they would match. I followed the design in the plans that were associated with the designs for the masts, which I later discovered, were different from those associated with the plans for the tops (see above). I may need to adapt the designs for the tops to fit. These were glued to the tops of the hound/bib units on the mast, with the outboard surfaces flush with those of the hound/bibs. In some cases, the bibs bent slightly inwards because of the method I used to simulate the joints. I probably should have wet the inner surface of these units then pressed them between to boards overnight. I installed chocks both before and abaft of the mast heads to insure stability. Quarter round stock provided in the kit was glued on top of the trestle trees as shown in the plans. There was a gap between some of the bolsters and the mast heads which I filled with wood filler to be sure that they would not fail during rigging. Here is what I ended up with. I was finally able to get my hands on a straight piece of 1/16" dowel to use as the spanker mast. Here is a pic of the model with the mizzen mast and spanker mast dry fitted. The head of the spanker mast is inserted in 1/16" hole in a piece of wood which has been inserted between the aft part of the trestle trees. The foot of the masts rests in a step which can be seen if you look closely at the following pic of the aft quarter deck. The boom jaw rest was subsequently installed. Here is a view of the model with the dry fitted masts with their trestle trees.
  6. A "heads up" for other BJ Connie builders. The design of the trestletrees found in the mast elevations, and those which are found in the plans for the tops do not match. In the plans, the spanker mast is too close to the mizzen mast to allow for the boom jaw rest and spider ring on the mizzen mast. Moving 1/16" aft solves the problem. I moved it a bit more just to be safe.
  7. Thanks so much for the compliment! I have sent you an email with pics which I hope will be helpful. I will continue to post photos. I would like to make the bowsprit, and the remaining masts and tops before I begin rigging. I don't mind telling you that I am thoroughly intimidated by the upper masts with their variety of different shapes (square, round, octagonal, etc.)
  8. I decided to include a bow shot of the dry fitted masts to show the state of alignment. I would have inserted it in my last post, but, as that post is right at the end of page 3, I thought that adding more material might mess things up. As you can see, the mainmast leans slightly to starboard. There is some play here, however, so correcting that when rigging the shrouds should not be too hard, I would think.
  9. Thanks for the compliment and the heads up. I have read in the forums that one should finalize tensions on the lines only when all are in place. I am not sure how to temporarily secure all seizings yet, but hopefully, I will figure it out. In the meantime, you can be sure that I will follow your advice, and carefully check mast alignment as each and every line is secured. Kurt
  10. Bluejacket provides a really excellent brass bell in the Connie kit. Clean as a proverbial whistle. The real bell does not swing free, but this bell is made to do that, and I thought that if it does, vertical alignment will be maintained as the mast rake angle changes into its final position during rigging. Anyway, here is my solution. The brackets are brass rod (.021"). The knob at the top is Titebond III. Here is a pic, of the masts dry fitted in place. I think I am in the ballpark as far as the rake angles go. I'll try to get them exact when rigging. Apologies for the overexposure, but you can get an idea how they will look. I am still trying to find a 1/8" dowel which is not warped for the spanker mast. I may end up using a styrene rod instead. In this photo the foremast does not look like it rakes aft, but it does. I checked it with a square.
  11. The size 20 pins I ordered worked out well. They are thinner than the cast ones, but I saw in a photo in the instruction book that they came in a variety of sizes, and many were quite thin.. I painted the pins with MS bulwarks brown and black after applying primer. I wish I could have got the paint to be more even and neat. I guess I need to further improve my technique. If I watered it down too much the primer would show through. Fortunately, when the model is finished, the observer will not be able to get close enough to see the anomalies evident here. I anchored the lower ends of the pikes with contact cement, then applied CA gel to the underside of the upper rack with a pin. Now to see what I can do with the ship's bell. Wish me luck!
  12. Beautiful work. Neat and clean, which are two attributes for which I constantly strive.
  13. Excellent work all around! It will not be that long before I make gaffs and booms for my Connie. Yours are an inspiration.

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