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cdrusn89

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About cdrusn89

  • Birthday 10/21/1947

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Rockledge, FL
  • Interests
    Current Build: Charles P. Notman (BlueJacket 1/96)
    Previous Builds: Fannie A. Gorham (BlueJacket 1/96)
    J Class Endeavour (Amati 1/35)
    US Brig Niagara (Model Shipways 1/64)
    Benjamin W. Latham (Model Shipways (1/48)
    Bluenose II (Model Shipways 1/64)
    Pride of Baltimore II (Model Shipways 1/64)
    Smuggler (Bluejackets 1/48)

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  1. It is time to "put it all together". I went from drawing to drawing and page to page in the instructions to get everything where it belongs. Here is the fore deck - per the instructions the forward deck house is not secured yet - need to get Fore Mast in place first. The drawings show what In assume to be two capstan bars secured to the deck (one on each side also my assumption) but no mention of them in the instructions or anywhere else. I will think about adding them - maybe. The fife rails (also per the instructions) are not secured yet either, just sitting in the holes. Speaking of file rails, on the Mizzen and Spanker I ground off the pins on the after supports. It is hard getting all the holes in exactly the right place - if the large holes on the forward end aren't enough to secure them then I will have to live with the consequences. FYI - the things with blue tape on them are the lines attached to the sheet block beckets. Easier to keep them out of the way - sort of. Here is the rest of the main deck and the midships house. I have one rope coil on a pin as a test - I think that will do. Here is the rest of the poop deck forward of the aft house. And here is the aft deck house. I decided to put the yawl on top of the aft house instead of on the davits. I am telling myself that someday I will build a "proper" yawl for this model. I am waiting for a tool to help bend the accommodation ladder - I do not want to attempt that with just pliers. It will be on this side of the aft house, painted dark blue like the hull. Here are two shots of the entire topsides I am going to mount the model on the final display board when the last coat of WOP in dry - tomorrow morning just to be on the safe side (I applied it just before lunch). Next I am going to try and add some of the rigging to the bowsprit/jib boom before I start putting the masts aboard. Instructions say to start with the Mizzen - no explanation of why and I can't find where it says which to do next.
  2. I painted some of the styrene black. The first attempt using Badger acrylic paint did not go too well so for the second try I ran the styrene over some 400 grit sandpaper before painting. Seemed to adhere better with a slightly roughened surface. I added two black steps to see if I needed to change procedure. The problem was it was harder to cut the "V" in the step - black surface and a basically black blade (No 11 but not a genuine Xacto). I will get some chrome blades before I start this in earnest. Procedure is the same. Based on these examples I think a touch-up with black at the ends of the steps is gping to be required. see for yourself. One more procedure change - I will glue the piano wire only to the outboard shrouds - the glue drops on the inboard shrouds getsin the way when I add the steps. It probably wouldn't hurt to paint the piano wire black as well, before gluing it to the shrouds. May need a touch-up on those glue blobs too. I also got the port side chain plates and molding installed. Some paint touch-up is still needed but we are basically ready for the turnbuckles.
  3. Deck access hatches dry fit (more or less the correct locations). Here is the display board after its first coat of Wipe-on-Poly (gloss). It appears this will be at least a 3-coat job, probably more. And now for the "real fun". I decided to build a prototype of the lower shrouds to see what "issues" might arise since using the Beadalon nylon coated wire is somewhat outside what I am familiar with. I did use Beadalon wire once before but it was on a 1/35th scale model without ratlines (or steps). Plus I have never tried to use styrene in the shrouds. So I got a scrap of wood, a 5/16" dowel, the shroud template for the kit and built a mast with small wood screws where the shrouds would tie off. So far so good. I rigged the two sets of shrouds to one side and discovered that I had to get all four shrouds tensioned together rather than doing them one pair at a time. When on the real model I plan to get all four pair (both sides) rigged and tensioned before I squash any of the "beads" that crimp the wire together. It is easy to get one pair tighter than another which causes "droopy" shrouds which is "not good". The next problem occurred when I tried to add the styrene "steps". Initially I thought to use the liquid styrene glue that seemed to work well when adding the styrene to the deck houses. Alas, I do not think there is enough surface (it is only .020" thick) bearing on the shroud to form a good bond. That and it is very easy to distort the shrouds if you try and wedge the step between the shrouds. Shroud distortion lead to my next step. Given that you are going to have to cut the stairs to pretty exact dimensions (generally by trial and error) I thought that having something fairly rigid at every fifth stair as the plans show could help to keep the shrouds aligned. I searched and found some .010" music wire (I think it is really a piano string) that I was able to use. I put a drop of Weldbond (my glue of choice) on each shroud and laid (I had the mast horizontal) a short piece across the shrouds. When the glue dried I had a fairly stiff connection across all four shrouds. For the test I did four sets of wire. Then I tried adding the steps, although I used the styrene without painting it black. This is when I discovered that the styrene cement was not going to work. So I used the Weldbond here as well. I cut a very small "V" in one end of the styrene and then engage that "V" on one shroud while holding the step in tweezers and mark the length. Cut the step and cut a small "V" on that end. Here is a shot of a step ready for a trial fit. Now the tricky part. Engage both "Vs" on the shroud and see where if it fits. When there are several open places if it does not fit where you intended try one of the slots above or below depending on whether it is too long or short. If that does not work, either shorten it a bit or try again. When you have a fit (no shroud distortion) then put a drop of Weldbond on the shroud at each end and carefully engage the step on the shrouds and the glue drops. When the glue has set some I add another drop on the outboard sides of the step/shroud for insurance. Here is my test mast with four wires and ten steps - this took almost two hours to complete so; 240 steps looks like 48 hours of work. Hopefully I will get faster but probably not much. It is really hard to get the measurement right the first time. I do not think I got even one of the ten I did correct on the first attempt, except where I used it somewhere other than where I had measured. I know it does not look level but the template I used (copied from the plans) was attached so the the template shrouds and the mast shrouds lined up which made things off just a bit. Getting the wire on straight would have helped. Using the painted steps will probably require a paint touch up on each end of each step as once you cut the styrene there will be "white showing". I will have to see how much this shows through the glue drop.
  4. More odds and ends. Here are the aft bitts and mooring cleats - test fit; not glued down yet.
  5. As promised here are two better pictures of the "double yellow stripe, here on the port side. Also I got the fore mast chain plates (both sets this time - I forgot the Fool and Cap stay chain plates on the starboard side) mounted but not yet cleaned up (blacken pin heads, touch up the bead molding, etc). I started to put together the davits and blocks for the ship's boat (although I am still on the fence about where the boat will go - in the davits or on top of the after house). The instructions would have me drill a 1/16" hole, 1/16" deep in the bottom of a 1/8" double block. Try as I might I found that close to impossible and still have the block capable of having lines passed through. The lower line holes would be obliterated by the 1/16" hole. My solution was first of all to use 3/16" double blocks (I had more of them that I could afford to destroy) and second to drill a #75 hole (.021") hole as dead center in the block as I could manage. I also cut the eye off the end of the davit (as instructed) and drilled a #75 hole as close to the center of what is barely .050 in diameter. (I would not even attempted this without a miniature drill press and x-y table.) I could not drill in very deep as even with the bit chucked with less than 1/4" exposed, the bit wanted to wander. I used a piece (a really short piece) of .020 brass rod and thin CA to join the block and davit. After that set I used thick CA on the outside where the two pieces join. Here is what one davit looks like after the block/davit was painted (twice). (Still needs some touch-up.) I used a similar technique to join the pieces of the Main fife rail together. I had no luck trying to make a good joint between the bitt post and the pin rails. I used the .020" wire and drilled all the way through the bitts then into the pin rails. I used a piece of thin plywood as a base to hold things while I assembled the pieces - I believe the plywood will come in handy as a template to mark where to drill the holes in the deck when that time comes. I plan on making similar templates for the Mizzen and Spanker pin rails.
  6. I got the chain plates on the starboard side and added the double bead (painted yellow like the sheer strake) between the chain plates so now there are two yellow stripes down the side. The picture does not show this very well but I will work on getting a better picture when I get the chain plates on the other side done. I got an iPhone 11 Pro today so the pictures will HAVE to improve!
  7. Hatches are finished and installed on the hull - the first of the deck furniture. (The steering box is just there for a dry fit.) The instructions call for using pins through the strong backs to assist in holding the hatches down. I think in the future (like for the chain plates) I will lightly sand (I have a 240 grit sanding disk on my Dremel handpiece that I use to clean up the Britannia metal parts) the heads of the pins to make it easier to paint them to match. It took two coats on the hatches - two opportunities to paint somewhere it does not belong.
  8. The steering wheel saga continues. I finally figured out that the wheel I showed in a previous post was NOT the one that came with this kit - it was left over from something else. The wheel on the left below is the one that comes with the kit. The one on the right is the kit wheel with boxwood spindles that were created from boxwood 6mm belaying pins. I used the technique that is included with the Syren ship's wheel kits - using the Dremel hand piece as a mini-lathe to turn the belaying pins down to about .04" - that is still pretty badly out of scale but trying to go much smaller drives up the scrap percentage a good bit. Here is the technique for mounting the new "spindles". I filed kit wheel down to "smooth" metal on the rim and then mounted the new spindles to line up with the existing spindles on the inside of the rim. I repainted the wheel internals a "rust" color and put a coat of flat finish on the spindles. I could have tried to paint the outer spindles on the kit wheel a different color to try of the same effect - it certainly would have been faster - but this seemed a better solution IMHO.
  9. Working on the hatches too. Pretty straightforward all in all. I would have thought they would have mitered corners but not according to the instructions so who am I to add effort that will likely never be noticed. Here is one of the hatches complete except for the strongbacks. I used 3/312" eyebolts (Model Expo I think) and 1/8" split rings for the lift rings. It took most of the afternoon to get 32 of these assemblies put together and blackened. Trying to "unsplit" small split rings takes a good deal of concentration and two pair of needle nose pliers. I finally settled on using a drift pin punch to flatten the split ring and then the pliers to squeeze the joint closed (more or less). Here are the other 24 lift rings drying after being blackened.
  10. I am working several areas in sequence as I get closer to the "real work" of getting the hull ready for the mast installation. I finally got the boiler piping atop the forward deck house. Much easier if you plan ahead for the boiler stack supports rather than trying to do them "as you go" which I did with the stove stack. Here is the forward deck house with the boiler stack installed. I still have to install the fore staysail sheet and lead block. The drawings are not all that clear on the configuration of the fore staysail and jib sheet tackle. I am going to use a double 1/8" block with becket on the booms and a double 1/8" on the deck with a single 1/8" fairlead block to a cleat on top of the forward deck house for the fore staysail - the jib sheet belays on the forward most pin on the starboard side forward pin rail. We will see how easy that turns out to be. I decided to start putting the chain plates on the hull since they are going to be needed shortly. I also decided to put a second row of the double bead molding (painted yellow) at the deck edge. The double bead molding is used as the out layer over the top of the chain plates so I will paint this yellow and continue the yellow molding along the outer edge of the deck. I would assume there would be some kind of rub rail at the extreme hull breadth and this is what I am using for that. Here is forward starboard chain plates - before the pin heads are painted. What is not mentioned in the instructions is that the pins provided in the kit are long enough to punch through the bulwarks above the main deck. It will be really hard to see this as it will be hidden by the forward deck house but it would have been nice to know about this before hand. I will cut the excess off and try and clean up the splinters before the deck bhouse goes in. Because the forward most chain plate is outboard of the splash rail I installed the turnbuckle now as there is not much clearance to do it later and the chain plates are pretty fragile (.010" thick) so it made sense to put this one on now. You can see the continuation of the bead molding aft of the forward chain plate. Some touch up painting is required where the molding and chain plates meet.-
  11. Forward deck house is complete except for the boiler piping and some of the deck pads and cleats. I finally gave up trying to glue the two pieces of the boiler stack together directly and used a piece of 1/32 brass rod drilled into each piece to hold it together (plus Thick CA). That has worked so far. Based on my experience with the cook stove stack on the midships deck house I plan on building a jig to get the three stack supports the same length before they go on the stack. I am hoping it will lead to fewer "cut and fit" sessions and a cleaner looking installation. So here is the hull with all three deck houses in place (more or less) and a shot of the side and rear of the forward deck house. It is easy to see why they had sliding doors on the forward deck house. It looks really tight in there. I am not sure how I am goiing to get the lines secusred on the pin rail. Should be much fun. May have to leave gluing the deck house down until I have gotten the lines around the belaying pins.
  12. Midships deckhouse is done. Should have the forward house done tomorrow so I can start on the hatches and smaller items. I also got the "anti-fouling irons" (I assume that is what they are - keep lines from fouling on the structures on top of the after deckhouse) installed on the after deckhouse. I have not decided about the gangway yet. I am thinking about putting the boat on top of the after deckhouse instead of hanging on the davits. Less work, only have to paint the hull not do anything on the inside. I am telling myself that I will get a "real" ship's boat (one made from wood instead of Britannia metal) to hang on the davits someday. But...
  13. Note to future builders: It is not mentioned in the instructions (at least I do not remember seeing it) but there are two sets of hatch covers for the companionways/skylight. There are there three on the aft deck house and two on the midships one. They are shown on the parts list as LTN71 (2), LTN72, 73 and 74. One set is on the glued up decking sheets and the other on the plain basswood sheets. So you have your choice of using painted hatch covers or ones that match the decking material. Had I noticed this earlier I might have opted for the decking but am not willing to "change horses in midstream". Below is a shoot of both the LTN 71s.
  14. Mike, Thanks - I can afford to spend as much time as my girlfriend will permit (as long as she is working on her quilt(s) I can do pretty much as I wish). We should get together sometime - Mt. Dora is less than 90 mi from Rockledge.
  15. With the spars complete it was time to work on the deck houses. I decided to start with the most complex (at least is has the most structural pieces) - the after house. It went together pretty much per the instructions with one notable exception. Although the drawings do not explicitly show the styrene angle pieces being used on the companionways and skylight structures I used them to cover the joints where the sides come together. That turned out to be a mistake as the Britannia metal windows are too long to fit inside the styrene pieces in the ends of the companionways and all four sides of the skylight. I had to cut about half of the sides off the angle pieces to get enough room so the windows would sit against the wooden side material. It did not turn out too bad in the end but I should have looked more carefully at the drawings. Had I dry fit the windows in every location I might have noticed the limited clearance -but probably not. In any event here is the after deck house sitting in its approximate location on the hull. I have yet to fabricate the rods that connect from the companionways/skylight roofs to the main roof. I am going to work on the other deck houses before I add the "extras" to each one. I wondered what the purpose of these rods might be and finally decided they were probably there to keep lines from getting fouled on the structures sticking up from the main roof.

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