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    Semora, NC

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  1. Amazing job Greg! I've always shied away from trying to weather my models because I've seen so many otherwise great builds ruined by a heavy hand but you have an excellent sense of what will work - your models are the most realistic I've seen. You ought to see if the film industry is hiring for special effects model making! It was a pleasure to watch this take shape. Tim
  2. Jumbo Boom Blocks One of the details I had to finish up before starting the rigging was the 30 and 50-ton “Jumbo” booms. Unlike the 5-ton booms which got their lifting power straight off of the winch, the booms used for lifting heavy loads like tanks and planes needed the extra lifting power provided by large pulleys, 5-sheave for 50-ton, and 4-sheave for the 30-ton. They were some big honkers - almost 6 feet high including the cargo hook: Fortunately Bluejacket sells some 1/4 inch blocks that are exactly what I needed for shape, height and length: The only problem is that they are triple blocks so I needed to modify them to get them right for this build. I started by sanding off the stropping on one side for the 4-holers and both sides for the 5-holers. Then I used my punch set to make sheave discs from sheet plastic of the right thickness: After gluing on the discs I covered them with oversized sheet plastic: The plastic was then trimmed and sanded to match the original shape. The 4-holers needed to have the lifting eye cut off and new ones added to the “new” centerline, all of them had new stropping to replace what was removed, and half of them had beckets added (the starting point for rigging a set of blocks): After painting these should do the trick:
  3. Thanks for all the info Lou, especially for the 50 cal photos - I wish I had found those. I suspected the #3 photo was on a 4-piper but the Royal Navy cap on the sailor threw me until I recalled the destroyers for bases deal in 1940 or 41. This photo must have been taken when the RN crew was taking one of the ships out for shakedown right after the transfer because the RN heavily modified those ships as soon as they could to better suit them as convoy escorts and I'm sure the 50 cals were craned off right after the 4 torpedo tubes mounts!
  4. Jim, your note about the hanging shot racks got me thinking so I did some looking around online. The Connie as currently fitted out in Boston does not have any shot racks evident on the gun deck, maybe they thought they would be trip hazards for the tourists. The full scale mockup of Connie's gun deck at the US Navy Museum in the Washington Navy Yard likewise lacks shot racks. Soooo . . . I googled "USS Constitution shot racks" and the first thing to pop-up was a discussion thread from here at good old MSW titled "Cannon Shot Stowage on Deck" from Mar of 2015, if you look at the last post in the discussion someone put in a link to another discussion thread from someone who was building the Revell kit and had similar questions to yours and what he found out about them. hope this helps
  5. Thanks Lou. That is an interesting photo of the 50 cal in action. Now that you point that out, that must have been a tough location to work. When researching photos I tend to focus on what I'm after (in this case .50-cal info) and miss some of the other interesting stuff in the same frame!
  6. .50 Cal Machine Guns Once the Liberty production line got into full swing by late 1942 their light anti-aircraft weapon suite consisted of 6-8 of the excellent 20mm Oerlikon guns: The kit provides very nice cast Oerlikons: Like everything else weapon-related, the Stephen Hopkins was built too early in 1942 to get the good stuff, her light AA guns were water-cooled .50 cal machine guns from the USN which had plenty laying around since they were rapidly abandoning them in favor of the Oerlikons. When I saw the kit’s 20mm guns I thought it would be easy to convert them to .50 cals by thickening the barrel to represent the water jacket, replacing the cylindrical ammo magazine with the “tombstone” one which was unique to the .50 cals and changing the shoulder rests to the 50 cal grips that looked like bicycle handlebars. The only problem was that I was unable to find any photo evidence that shipboard .50 cals were ever mounted with a shield (unlike today where virtually every USN ship has multiple .50 cals with shields). All of the .50 cal mounts in early 1942 were variations of the “Tora Tora Tora” mounts that were on the battleships during the Pearl Harbor attack, they looked like this: So I needed to scratch build them. I made the pedestals and “C” shaped mounts from strip and rod: The details like the cooling water hoses, water tank, magazine, elevation crank were wire, wood and plastic, the gunsights are Northstar PE valve hand wheels: And the finished product after painting ( I decided to paint the mounts Navy Gray since that is how they would have been shipped and, like any shipyard, they would not have been repainted if it wasn't spelled out in the contract):
  7. Congrats on reaching the end, it took you about the same amount of time as it did to build the real ship!
  8. Wonderful work. You have got me thinking about this kit - I don't have the room for a fully rigged and cased sailing ship of this size but the hull is so nice it could look great on it's own with just stub masts, sort of like Model shipway's Confederacy kit. Please keep the posts coming....
  9. Amazing metal and sail work and your ice sheathing passes the dreaded close-up shot with flying colors!
  10. Incredible work, and par for the course for you...
  11. Very nice build Reed. Before moving to NC my wife and I had many great weekends on the Eastern Shore over 20 years, and like you, I became interested in the skipjacks. I'm currently about 80% done with the Willie l. Bennett kit from Model Shipways, probably the best kit I've found for any build, wonderful directions and plans - learned a lot. I remember reading somewhere that the skipjack design was so successful because it could be built by house carpenters -- not needing any experience with the complex curves associated with most hulls. Not sure if that is true but it sounds good. Great job on the winding machine
  12. Deck Details Although I have been spending a fair amount of time on the build lately there isn’t much to show for it since it has all been detail work with small strip plastic and wire. Anyway, the steam and fireman piping/shielding is all in, the fire stations installed (most are on the port side), and about 80 pad eyes are almost all in along the hatches and in the waterways. The pad eyes will be important when rigging the booms but since I'm not sure which ones I will be using at this point they are all pinned to the deck for additional strength. The fireplugs and hose racks are from BlueJacket’s catalog, the fireplug hand wheels are from Northstar and the rest is scratch. I’ll probably fabricate the 50-cal machine guns next.
  13. Steam Piping As I said in my first post for this log, one of the techniques used in the design of the Liberty ships to reduce costs and simplify building was to run piping outside the skin of the ship, mainly steam and fireman lines. The steam lines ran along the stbd side of the ship and the fireman lines along the port. Because any exposed piping on the main deck would be a high risk of getting squashed by a load of cargo, they were protected either by “fencing” along side the cargo hatches, or by overhead shielding in other areas such as between the hatches and the pipe runs to the winches and windlasses: I used small strip plastic to imitate both types-here the hatch on the left has the fencing: And here both types are done: I’ve still have a little more of the steam piping to go and then I’ll tackle the fireman - which will look the same except there will also be fire plugs and hose racks.
  14. Hey Jack, nice to see another Lib build underway, I've got a build log here for BlueJackets 1/192 scale Liberty. If you are interested in some onboard photos of the Brown this site has been a big help for me in detailing: http://www.geoghegan.us/brown/JWB-walkaround.htm best of luck

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