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Brian Falke

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Everything posted by Brian Falke

  1. Thanks Roger. the pelorus' were purchased from shapeways.com. I initially had made two out of wood and was not completely satisfied with them, but they were all that I had. I did stumble upon shapeways when I was looking for the eggbeater antennas. The 35' whips, the eggbeaters, the big eyes and the pelorus' were purchased from them. As for the CPP, I struggled with those. Those were made back in 2009. I looked through all the model ship building websites in an attempt to find a port and starboard CPP and could not. They were pretty much fixed screws, and right hand at that, and w
  2. Tom, DANG! Now I have to take it out of the case....just kidding. That is a great example of planning. I installed the starboard pigs and otters before thinking about the aft steering hatch. Just could not get it in between the two. As the DCA on ENGAGE, aft steering was my space, it was the DC workshop. And with two DCmen that were, well, a little on the large size, I chuckled every time they had to go through the scuttle.
  3. Picking back up on this build after finishing and placing in a display case (finally!) the previous build. As I left off, I went down to my parents house to include my father in on the build. Well, did not go as well as I had envisioned - unfortunately. Guess eventually we all will reach that point. I have a little re-work to do on the gun carriages. Picking back up, as you recall, this is to be somewhat modified. I am going to build the hull as a plank on frame construction in order to open one side of the hull, all decks for viewing. My first was to do a little research in ord
  4. Down to the final details, which I have been trying to figure out how to make since I began the model. The antennas. The MSO has 4 35' HF whip antennas and the 4 Fleet Broadcast antennas (egg beaters). I began sanding a 1/8" dowel in an attempt to achieve the right size for the whip antennas. I would get close, but each time, due to the thinness, it would break setting me back to the beginning. I tried maybe 5 times until I gave up. I did look at using wire as the whips, but it just did not look right. Too thin at the base, no tapper, and very difficult to get the wire straight.
  5. It has been awhile since I have posted, so I might as well get back to it. As I left off last, the mast was next in line for logging. Masts on MSOs are not complex, the most technical piece of equipment on the mast is the surface search radar. However, there are a couple of unique sensors on the top part of the mast. These are the earth's magnetic field sensors used to determine the amount of current for each of the four degaussing loops for the ship to remain "invisible" to magnetic mines. Then there are the two wind measuring birds. These were very difficult to construct. First, the o
  6. Yes, that is correct. Being on the East Coast, it is a little difficult for me to get to the restoration project. However, I am following along through their Facebook page. The team is doing a fantastic job with the restoration. The ENGAGE was build in Stockton - think it is one of 3 Stockton built MSO's. In total, there were 102 laid down. The final MSO was stopped after the keel was laid down. After a few years of enjoying the model, my intention is to donate the model to the USS LUCID Museum.
  7. At this point, all fantail equipment was completed and in place. To complete the fantail I still needed to install the taffrail. I could not find stanchions that would work without some modification. I used the same stanchions I used on the focsle, just cut them off right at the second rail and filed flat for the rail to rest on. Though not 100% accurate, it did come close enough. Now that the fantail was completed, and for the most part, the entire ship's hull and deck equipment, I shifted my efforts to the mast. This I felt was going to be a challenge because I did not have clear pictu
  8. LOL!! I should have included those in my descriptions. The Otters were tough to make. It took months to get it right with all the angles and then to replicate the process three more times so all four were exact copies of each other. The Pigs were just dowels sanded down, but the fins/guides did take some time to make and glue together - but not nearly as difficult as the Otters.
  9. Roger, thanks for the story. It brought back memories of when I was OOD off the coast of Charleston, SC doing MCM Qualifications prior to deploying for Operation Desert Storm. We had a Double "O" sweep out and lost the starboard sweep. The kite snagged on the bottom and the wire parted setting the float and kit adrift. About 6 months later, they were recovered off the coast of Ireland. Was not a good day to say the least. It was about this point in the build I started to fret over a couple of detail items. The mast, four HF whip antennas, and the four egg beaters. My concern
  10. At this point, my pictures jump way ahead in the build. For the most part, everything forward of the aft bulkhead leading to the fantail is complete - just some very detail items to install remain. I shifted my focus to the fantail where on MSO's is the business end. All the sweep gear is back there. The mine sweeping towing winch was built and installed early on in the build as well as the kingpost on the port side. From his point, I build the power crane on the starboard side with the 7 meter RHIB rigged and ready to be deployed over the side. The two noise makers (Mk 6B and Mk 4V). Th
  11. Using the same jig process as I used above, I drilled a hole in the back of the Quoin for the handle for each of the gun carriages. The BlueJacket kit does not come with a handle as the expectation is to not get down to this level of detail on the build (but, I am modifying the kit to some extent) and I felt a Belaying Pin would work perfectly as the handle. The pins in the kit are 1/4", which are a little too long for this purpose. So, I purchased 3/16" Belaying Pins from another supplier and they worked perfectly. The handle part is about 3/32", which to scale is 9". As a prototype, I f
  12. After boring and smoothing the exterior of each cannon, I then focused on the carriages. Being one for details, I noticed the gun tackle loops and breeching ringbolt on each side of the carriage required holes for the small brass eyebolts supplied with the kit. I have scanned a few of the builds here and noticed that these were not included, so I am assuming that the kit does not come with enough eyebolts to do all the carriages and where needed throughout the ship - so I will have to order more. The problem that I faced was now to drill holes in each of the carriages exactly (or dang close
  13. This point the hull and superstructure were complete. Next to dive into the deck details. On the 01 Level I used stanchions from BlueJacket. On the 02, 03, and 04 Levels I constructed the stanchions and rails - I could not find anything online that would suffice. MSO's were an odd bunch of ships. Nothing from a normal ship of the line would fit to scale; meaning deck railings from a 1:96 destroyer would be too tall for a MSO and look out of place. On the 01 Level I used black thin wire as the lifelines. Again, being unique, the life lines on MSO's were made of carbon fiber instead of sta
  14. Hi Tim, great to see another MSO sailor on here! Yes, I was on ENGAGE (MSO-433) out of Mayport from 8/89 - 3/91 (3/91-9/91 on IMPERVIOUS in the Gulf). I too spent some quality time up there in Little Creek (11/90-01/91) going through REFTRA. Was not fun at all. I was the DCA and Engineering was a disaster. We actually had to pause training for a month in order to get the strut bearings replaced. Some how the starboard shaft became misaligned and wore out the bearings unevenly causing excessive vibrations in the engines. All I can remember is the cold nights and the fight with the XO on
  15. Keeping with authenticity of the ship, I sought to use cloth as the overhead on the bridge. I tried a number of methods and material. I just could not get the proper consistency and texture. So, I settled wood. I cut each section to fit from beam to beam, then filled in and sanded along the seams to give it the look of cloth being supported by a beam. With the bridge and pilothouse area completed for the most part, I moved onto the deck gear. Starting with the anchor windlass and AN/SQQ-14 Variable Depth Minehunting Sonar Winch on the focsle. It was also about this time that I disco
  16. I am going to jump ahead in the build, way ahead. But, there is a reason. If you will bear with me for a bit. My reason for building this kit was to include my father in on the build. You see, growing up, my father also built model ships and the one that I will always remember was the paddle boat ROBERT E. LEE. It was absolutely incredible. I was mesmerized by it. It now sits in my sister's house in Mississippi as my dad felt that it should reside as close to the paddle boat region as possible. I will get pictures of it one day and post them to this build. When I first received th
  17. It was about this point in the model that I decided that what is going to set my model apart from those that I have seen online is the details. What I had seen online lacked the detail or was not completely accurate. Additionally, I only saw the pre-modernization MSO models - the ones with the 40mm on the focsle, with the 26' MWB, and significant superstructure missing. And, I feel that as an observer and admirer of ship models (when at the Naval Academy, I would spend hours just looking at the ship models in the museum and around the yard), the detail is what grabs the observers attention.
  18. At this point, I had not discovered any company that manufactured the small pieces and parts - like life rings, firehoses, fire plugs, ladders etc. All the small items (ladders, big eyes, signal/search lights, life rafts, dan bouys (orange things on the smoke stack), ammo boxes - all these were made by hand. And took a lot of time and patience to construct each one. Eventually, I did discover BlueJacket Ship Crafters and Model Expo for a few of these detail parts.
  19. From the picture above, you can see the bridge and the Captain's At-Sea cabin on the 03 Level. When these ships (102 of them) were built, the bridge was open, exposed to the elements. There was the ability for the ship's company to erect a tarpaulin overhead, but no windshields. In the 70's, during the modernization, a more permanent cover was built. The overhead was still a tarpaulin, and that was for a very good reason. If the ship were to hit a mine, those in the bridge would be force through the tarpaulin instead of being smashed into a solid overhead. Because of the ability to look
  20. My next steps were to start on the detail for the pilot house and bridge wings. This consisted of the encapsulated lifeboats and holders, the port & starboard pelarus, running lights on the bridge wings. Inside the pilot house I painted the interior bulkheads the pastel green (this was the color so those sea sick green faces would blend in). I contemplated adding the helm and lee helm consoles in the pilot house but ultimately decided that the only way some one would see them would be through the small port holes with the use of a flashlight and would only be able to see the back of the
  21. Moving to the 02 Level installed the (fwd to aft) pilot house, bridge wings, CIC and stack deck. It was at this point that I realized the most important tool in my kit is my vision. I did not realize until I took the pictures and looked at them that there was a huge gap on the port side above the porthole. My near vision, before I started this project, was perfect. This is about a year into the project now, and it was evident I needed a pair of readers. 🤓 To correct this, instead of removing pilot house and bridge wings, I filled in the gap with wood filler and sanded down smooth. In fut
  22. Hi jfinan, very nice work and I really appreciate the tips along the way. These will greatly help me on my USS CONSTITUTION journey, which has just kicked off!
  23. I purchased this model kit about a year ago while I was finishing up my second model, first scratch (USS ENGAGE). Now that I am done with that model (with the exception of building the display base) I am moving on to something more challenging. However, I am not a fan of the kits solid hull and only having the gun deck and main deck visible. There is a lot more to the CONSTITUTION than those two decks. My plan, therefore is to mix this as a kit and a scratch. The hull is going to be plank on frame. One side of the ship (probably the starboard) will be completely planked and painted; the
  24. Continuing on, I wanted to get the portion of the fantail aft bulkheads and bulwark painted because once I put in the minesweep/towing winch and ladder from the main deck to the 01 level, there would be no way of getting in there. After finishing up the aft bulkhead, complete with QAWTD for the port and starboard passageways, QAWTD to go down to the electrician's shop and shaft alley, I began constructing the minesweep/towing winch. Other than what was on the ship drawings, a few pictures, and my memory, I did not have anything in detail to construct the winch. As you can see in the picture
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