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  1. Naval novels like O'Brian conjure up dramatic images of these times, but nothing like actual documents from the time to make this period very real! Mark
  2. Gaetan, beautiful craftsmanship with all of those precise dovetails and mortises on the beams. An inspiration! Mark
  3. Hi Grant, I had a chance to look at your Da Vinci Flying machine and the Chris Craft Runabout. Very impressive craftsmanship, and use of formers and jigs. A lot to learn from you in those posts! Mark
  4. Michael, I just caught up on your latest progress. Astonishing what you can do with metal. A masterpiece! Mark
  5. Alas, life gets in the way of the shipyard. Not much progress to date, due to other things going on. But I did take the good advice from Grant, and I made cauls for the planks at the bow. These needed tiny 4" spacers at the bottom of the caul, to hold the jaws parallel when clamped onto the 4" plank. I made two set of cauls, one for the foremost part of the bow where the planks hit the stem, and then one a little further aft. These are two different curves. I just choose the one that fits the plank at hand best. The planks are springy enough to accommodate to the caul, even if the curve is not exactly right. I don't know why I did not do this when I first started planking, it works so well to hold the planks firmly for fine shaping. A classic woodworking concept; hold the piece firmly on the bench so your hands are free to manage the tool. No more filed finger ends, or tired hand muscles holding onto the planks. A joy to use. Thanks so much, Grant, for the idea! Mark
  6. Thanks so much Mike and druxey. I confess, when I started I thought this was going to be fairly straightforward, made complex only by having to bevel the edges for tight joints. Maybe I got that idea from Longridge's book on the Victory, or maybe from reading about modelers cutting long strips to a set dimension. But you both knew better, and now do I! This is much more complex, requiring spiled edges and precise fitting. The planks are not even the same width at the stern as they are at the bow, even though the lines of planking on the sheer drawing are parallel segments of circles. I believe it is the varying degree of tumblehome that stretches and contracts the space between the parallel segments in the third dimension, making the planks between vary their widths. And I thought I was about to start sprinting on this project!😊 Mike, I decided not to highlight the seams between the planks, partly because I could not obtain consistent results in my tests, and mainly because I like the look of the 18th century models like the second Bellona model, where the seams are not highlighted but variations in wood color hint at the planks. I think this is what a viewer would see standing far enough from a real ship to be the same as looking at the entire model in our cone of vision. Of course, this also means that my painstaking craftsmanship doesn't show up except in extremely close observation! Mark
  7. A little slow in the shop this week. Here is the complex plank installed. This required a great deal of finding high spots by holding artist transfer paper between the joints at various places, then filing down with a very fine flat Swiss file, then checking again. When I felt my patience disappearing, I would leave it and go do something else. So it took me a while. Mark
  8. Astonishing detail and craftsmanship. You set the highest standard! Mark
  9. Michael, you are a master of metal--as well as wood, of course! Beautiful engine, exquisitely detailed and crafted. Mark
  10. Gary, very clever way to make the hawse liner. I never thought of that. I was struggling with how to carve it in relief. Thanks so much for the idea, I continue to learn from you! I was kind of guessing at how thick the liner should be, looking at photos from different directions. Did you ever find a specification regarding the thickness? Best wishes, Mark

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

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