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Patrick Matthews

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    Temecula- Wine Country, California

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  1. But don't look at it too closely, that's NOT Pilar. Another boat converted to loosely resemble Pilar, but wrong in major ways. Also don't look too closely at Wes Wheeler's modern interpretation of Pilar, it too is different in many ways, not at all a replica. Also don't look too closely at the thing in the BassPro shop in Florida, it is neither Pilar nor even a Wheeler.
  2. A while back I did a repair job on an Ingram towboat model, and noticed that it seemed to have a thick build of hard paint, which I assume was epoxy or automotive 2k. I imagine that a nice self-leveling epoxy could be an expedient way to achieve a smooth surface on a wood model of a steel boat. Does anyone know if this is a typical trick of the commercial trade? . Some of the damage, but the paint could take a beating! All better now
  3. It's becoming Winter, a time when I'd retreat to my well heated basement shop where I could only get a little glimpse of the slate gray skies through the little casement window yet could hear the sound of the howling wind resonating down the furnace flue.
  4. ...but here's the mid November view out my shop "window" in southern California I'll spare you the photo of me in shorts .
  5. Thanks. Cabin is cherry with Minwax Gunstock and spray can semigloss lacquer. Hull is fiberglass over basswood, primed and semigloss Rustoleum black, wet sanded and waxed (!)
  6. Any varnish could be used, builder's choice. But note that many details in this kit are completely wrong, including the finish shown on the box art. Hull should be black with a red bottom; transom MAY be varnished mahogany. I haven't confirmed what the cabin was... one source says mahogany (quite possible), and it may have been unstained early, and a darker stain later... the wood would be frequently refinished over the years. The kit represents the boat as it sat at Finca Vigia before its latest restoration, including later gaudy modifications that Hemingway likely never saw, and loss of cr
  7. The cabin walls, be sheeted in basswood, are subject to splitting over time due to humidity changes. So they receive the same fiberglass treatment as the hull. It's easy to deal with here, as the large surfaces are flat or simple convex. Windows are cut after walls are installed to ensure correct location. A simple template aids in marking out, and holes are opened and finished by Dremel, files, and sanding sticks. The aluminum sliding window frames will be installed later, likely made by printing. A sheet of 1/16" plywood covers the lower house... it seems big enough to double as a
  8. Main cabin is built up from frames and stringers, and sheeted in 1/16" basswood. The tricky corners are "planked" or covered with steam-bent sheet, depending on the radius. Traditional ship models are built from wood, often in a fashion that follows the prototype build method. If I wanted to keep that link to the prototype, I'd be rolling sheet metal skins here. It is possible- many modelers have built ships from soldered tinplate in the past. Today, modern ship modelers in Europe make use of thin phosphor bronze sheet. It's stronger than regular brass, allowing very thin gauges to
  9. Prop shaft tubes and motors in place. While it's a cheat on my part to run the tubes out to the struts/nozzles, instead of the headache of aligning an exposed shaft, I do have a couple photos of real boats that had enclosed tubes like this. Motors are MFA-Como from the UK, with 6:1 gear heads mounted conveniently on 500-sized brushed motors. They'll spin the 2" props at the correct model speed. Couplings connecting the 6mm motor shaft to the 5mm prop shaft, and the modified prop tube parts, are from Raboesch.
  10. The frames are designed with tabs reaching "up" (down?) to the build board datum surface. The board is marked out, and the frames are simply hot-glued in place. The hull has a "model bow", as opposed to the simpler scow bow used on many towboats. Looks nice, but it's debatable if it's of any use behind a raft of deeply loaded barges. Hull is sheeted in 1/16" basswood. The real boats weren't planked, and there's no reason to use planking on a model. 3d-printed nozzle set attached to the frames and sheeting blended in.
  11. My original CAD model only represented the "skin", enough to show lines and detail placement. More recently I drew up model frames and a 3d-printed Kort nozzle set. On towboats like this, the nozzles are flat bottomed, and the tops are blended into the curvy tunnel portion of the hull. It was just easier and more precise to print this as an assembly to splice into the wood hull model.
  12. Using information provided by John Fryant, I was able to create a set of plans for the 115' towboats from Hillman Barge Co., five sisters built between 1949 and 1959. More discussion of all that in the Plans area: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/10027-diesel-towboats-from-hillman-barge-construction/ I'm attracted to these boats because of the unusually graceful styling. Several still operate today, and rivermen still acknowledge their attractiveness. The design, I suspect, results from the pent-up yearnings of a 1940's designer, Elmer Easter, who still recalled the "streamline
  13. See above- done not by me, but someone with alien powers over the metal.
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