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Snug Harbor Johnny

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    Southeastern Pennsylvania
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    history, craft projects

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  1. Budgie, 'Forgot to mention that we have three cockatoos ... and they are like budgies ON STEROIDS. Bigger beaks, bigger bites (on occasion if they get emotional over something), LOUDER screams and cries, more dander and mess ... but we just love them (they are generally manageable, and often affectionate) and they have long lives. One we've had 42 years, another 29, and our 'rescue bird' (this year his owner passed away) is merely 21. This year we used all our 'stimulus money' to get a hot tub installed next to our deck on a pre-existing concrete pad. Late afternoon or evening dips are great muscle relaxers, and not having any formal swimwear - I go in in my boxer briefs. However, the Admiral would like to see me in a 'budgie smuggler' - as they say in Australia. G'day mate! Johnny
  2. I nearly have a plan to complete (to appear similar to the original ship now on display having just the first mast sections in place - as if still under construction) the 'old' (original late 1960s) Billings 1:100 Wasa - warts and all. The lines are wrong (with a lot of other things), and some major ripping/rebuilding has to be done to get a semblance of how it ought to be. Still, the hull size is 'not too big' and there ARE a lot of things I like about it. So it will be half compromise and half improvise (like many marriages) ... then I'll be able to go on to something else having learned a lot on the process. The idea is to please yourself and enjoy the projects you work on. Like old advice says, 'Do not compare yourself to others, for there will always be those greater or lesser than yourself.' Fair sailing ... Johnny
  3. 'Looks to me like you could just apply filler where needed (and a couple applications in the 'deepest' voids would be needed if the material shrinks). Then just 'sand away' until the desired shape is had.
  4. 'Found the finest chain I've ever seen by chance at a local craft store (already made into a multi-strand long necklace, but long enough that cut strands are useable for sheet chain in 1:96 scale), then bought what they had. They are silver finish, but can be airbrushed dark with care. I've also scrounged blocks and fittings from incomplete or partially built kits occasionally found at flea markets, train shows and the like ... if the price is right these kits can be a good source of planking wood, etc. The idea is to always be on the lookout, never knowing when or where you might come across something usable. Now there's an idea ... if an old beat-up (perhaps broken) model has OK chainplate, stropped blocks, etc. and can be had at a low enough price - instead of trying to do a 'restoration', it could be 'mined' for usable parts.
  5. Lead (or more likely tin/lead) fittings will be soft and bendable. If primed on all surfaces (not sure which primer works best for tin/lead - but what is sold for cast military figures and 'flats' is obviously suitable), then painted with enamel (not acrylic) - they can last a long time without oxidation, since oxygen won't go through the coatings. I found a painted CW tin/lead soldier I cast as a boy over 50 years ago, and it is in perfect condition. Antique figures can be so found, as long as the coatings don't get scratched or chipped. Any lead in these figures has been banned for some time, so tin based 'pewters' have been used. 95/5 tin/antimony is "out" these days because of the antimony. Something like 2% copper is alloyed with tin ( to make Britannia metal), since pure tin degrades under freezing temperatures. (Napoleon's soldiers buttons fell apart on the road back from Moscow.) One can see 'Britannia metal' (tin-copper) plate wear over 200 years old on display in museums in excellent condition, whereas the cheaper stuff with lead go dark grey and can oxidize in high humidity. Conclusion ... Britannia metal is fine without painting for centuries - now I'm not talking about buried in soil, which will ruin anything other than gold (or platinum). Some kits have zinc metal castings, since anything with lead these days is a no-no. Zinc can likely take the same primer, although zinc chromate is the best. Some early zinc cast toy locomotives had zinc with contaminants and suffered from an internal degradation that caused them to crumble from the inside in spite of coatings. I'm talking about stuff from the 1920s and 30s. Since then, there are no reports of 'bad' zinc. Johnny
  6. When hull fairing is achieved (or that of other surfaces), have you considered using a scraper? Cabinetry scrapers are too large for most model making, but fashioning mini scrapers using short pieces of (de-toothed) hack saw blade can be used to have a finish largely free of 'fuzzines' (unless the wood is too soft on its own).
  7. Vladimir, Have you thought of selling through eBay (auction)? The owner of HisModels (Czechoslovakia) sells some of his stock that way (although with a 'buy now' fixed price), and the rest of his shop is direct. For an eBay auction, your starting price would be the lowest you'd find acceptable - then it goes up from there when there are bidders. The money is handled by eBay. You have put in much work on the 1:72 model, and I think you should get what the international market will bring. Of course shipping is something major to consider, given the size of the hull. (Are the mast stub removable?) It would have to be completely bubble-wrapped and in one sturdy (reinforced) box, then that box is bubble wrapped and put into a larger shipping carton. Cost to ship overseas will be costly, so figure that in your minimum price. I was a clerk in a telescope store (a side line to supplement meager earnings as a Pharmacy technician) for 10 years, and we shipped fragile astronomy gear all over. The makers in China or Mexico put them in pre-formed styrofoam shells inside cartons, but loose items from out store (eyepieces, finders, binoculars) were packed by us using the two carton method. For a large, oblong box that the Glory would need, surrounding the inner box with plywood might be needed to prevent torquing, bending or crushing - the outer box can take some beating as there would be plenty of bubble wrap between the cartons. You have done an outstanding job, and an excellent collaborator with Rob and his 1:96 version. I wish you all the best! Johnny
  8. 'Totally missed the show. I'm scheduled WAY in advance, so need to find out about things like this also way in advance, and (having re-entered this hobby of late) am not sure how to 'get in the loop'. Maybe adding something to your site on upcoming events (or a link to something similar) would be worth considering.
  9. Rob, were there scuppers on extreme clippers? Also, did the 'doors' that resemble 'gun ports' along the bulwark simply open outward to discharge water from heavy seas that might spill over on the deck?
  10. I'm a believer in needle files - and for greater flexibility set some that come 'curved', known as riffler files. The curved files enable you to work on parts of flat surfaces and hard-to-get places with just the end of the file (the curved part). I've done low-relief longrifle decorations with both minitaure carving tools AND a set of curved-end (and bent-end) files. Snug
  11. My Dad was a retired dentist who modeled 1930s biplanes or WWI aircraft, and used an old-school dental rig like the one pictured. When he passed, my brother got dibs on the drill to work on his fossils ... so I ended up getting the HF flex shaft tool with foot control. It does leave some to be desired - but was cheap and locally available, and has proven adequate so far. But the right-angle head on the dentist's drill was clearly more useful overall.
  12. I'm a big shellac fan, and Zinsser's is a convenience with a couple CAVEATS. Look at the date on the can! Pre-mixed shellac is good for 1 - 2 years, so if the date is OVER 2 years - look for another can. The issue is having it dry completely. If you dissolve your own shellac flakes, do not use "Everclear" or 'clear grain alcohol' sold in liquor stores because it is only 190 'proof' - meaning 5% water. I had trouble trying to use such a product and it 'clouded' the shellac. You need either 'Baker analyzed' pure chemists' ethanol (very expensive and not widely available), but you can use 'denatured' alcohol (methanol) sold in pure form in hardware stores. The flakes dissolve nearly as well as with ethanol, but because of the fumes - good ventilation is necessary is using a LOT of product (like for furniture 'French' polishing, or covering any large area). BTW, methanol is used in Zinsser's. Applying a little here and there (like for securing rigging) is generally not a problem. But inhaling too much methanol can be toxic. If you dissolve your own amber flakes, after a good bit of swirling until most of the flakes are dissolved, let the mixture sit undisturbed in a stoppered Erlenmeyer flask for at least a week. I got some flasks from Edmunds's Scientific Company some years ago - but 'science stores' may have some. The second choice is something tall - like a graduated cylinder, or even a tall glass flower vase. The top portion will be lighter in color and this can be taken off with a pipette, ling dropper (or even a glass turkey baster). This lighter color shellac is the best to use either on the wood or to fix knots, etc. If using Zinsser's, don't shake the can, handle it gently and let it sit for a couple of weeks after purchase to 'settle out'. Then draw off the top 'clearer' portion to use. Fair sailing ... Johnny
  13. Rob, I'm with you on the light blue color choice for waterways and trim. From a recent book: The American Clipper Ship 1845 - 1920: A comprehensive History with a Listing go Builders and their Ships (p.54) "Aboard ship, most clipper deck houses were painted white, as were cabin interiors and bulwarks, while waterways were painted a variety of colors, including pearl, lead, light blue or buff color." I'm not a paint expert, but in the 19th century oil-based (linseed) were the best exterior paints, while interior work was often done with 'distemper' paint (water based) containing varying amounts of casein or hide glue. To get color, super-fine ground pigment had to be added. Less expensive pigments like carbon, red ochre and yellow ochre could be had - but blue (there were several types) cost a lot more, and it took a lot of added pigment to get a 'darker' paint of any color. Hence there prevalence of 'lighter' to mid-range blue paints used for architecture. I'm not talking artists colors for fine art, which had intense colors, but in much smaller quantities. These charts post date many mid-19th c. clipper builds, but you get the picture. Binghamton #17 or Coverall 'deep blue' might be the darkest shades when new, and would fade some with strong UV exposure. Bing. #32, #28, Coverall ocean blue or sky blue are more likely candidates based on the shades cited in the aforementioned book. I wondered what "lead" colored paint looked like, and you can see it on the Coverall chart as well as pearl (gray). Fair sailing ... Johnny
  14. Chuck makes excellent blocks sold through Syren Ships - check for current pricing. The scale rope is now done by another fellow trained by Chuck ... there's got to be a link somewhere, and that is properly laid rope done with a small scale rope-walk. Syren sells a product called the 'rope rocket' that you hook a drill to and can make your own scale rope - you should check it out. There is also a rope server for someone who wants to go that route.
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