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    Semora, NC

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  1. Finishing up the Head Rails As I mentioned in an earlier post, britannia metal does not stand up to multiple bendings so I used a piece of wire to get the shape of the upper rails set: I then transferred that shape to the britannia, attached the channel plastic to its outside face and put them in position. The support timbers that run vertically between the rails were easy to make out of britannia strip. The final details were the netting and the 4 “seats of ease”:
  2. Catheads The catheads were fabricated out of 1/8” square stock. The inner piece had to be notched to fit over the main rail and the waterway. The top piece has fake sheaves (2 pairs of holes, each pair linked with a “trench” connecting them). Plastic strip was used to make up the exterior sheave that will be used for the cathead stopper cable: The knees under the catheads were made from 1/8” sheet. A piece of card stock was res as a template: With these done I can resume work on the headrails.
  3. Bow Rails half done The kit provides some 1/16” x 1/16” britannia strip metal for the bow rails. It is nice stuff to work with in this type of application. It cuts and sands easily and you can easily bend it into almost any shape with no spring back. The only thing you have to watch out for is that it will not stand up to multiple bendings - if I know it will take me several tries to get the right shape I use a piece of brass rod or wire as a template and then bend the britannia to match it. I was playing around with the britannia when it occurred to me that it would wo
  4. Hi Thunder, thanks for the kind words. I had the same thoughts about the hawse locations, like you I'm used to seeing them closer to the stem and maybe on the deck below. My guess as to why this is setup this way was that ALFRED was built as a merchant ship and converted to a light frigate in a relatively short time. One of the big differences between her and purpose-built warships was that, although the ALFRED had a capstan, it did not go down to the gun deck and was apparently used just to haul the anchor hawser up from the cable tier. To actually raise the anchor a windlass was used (i
  5. Head Grating, Bowsprit and Gammoning I was going to try to fit all the timbers that support the grating befor installing it but it quickly became obvious that the easiest way for me to do it was to put the grating permanently in position and then fit the timbers individually. Here is the grating in place - the aft edge is even with the main deck and it has an “upslope” as it goes to join the stem. The bowsprit has also been pinned and glued in place so that I can rig the gammoning before the rails and timbers make it harder than it has to be:
  6. Finishing the Cheeks and Hawse Bolsters The half of the cheeks that rest on the hull were made of 1/8” thick strip wood the same width as the stem cheeks and the moulding was made from plastic rod. The hawse bolsters were placed at the outboard corners of the head grating: After painting and the addition of the figurehead the stem is pretty well set with the exception of the slot for the gammoning, which as can be seen, I’m still in the process of drilling and filing out: The instructions call for
  7. Starting the Cheeks and Trail Boards The cheeks are large structural assemblies that help strengthen the stem. There are usually 2 parts; one on the stem and one that continues along the bow, on or above the wales. The cheeks on the stem have another layer called the trail boards which usually have some decoration, or at least some moulding. The kit provides a brittania metal piece for the trail boards. It is different than the shape of the tailboards on the plans and from the general shape of my stem area: I traced the trail board from the plan
  8. Bowsprit & Jib boom I finished up the bulwark area around the bowsprit by raising the stem to support it and then penciled in the locations for all the “stuff” that goes on the bowsprit. The height of the bowsprit cap is from the plans but I had to go to AOS Essex for the width, about 40% of the hieght is good: The instructions call for tapering the jib boom, which I did. I recommend skipping that step for 2 reasons; the tapering is not noticable on such a small dowel, and more importantly, the tapered end lost its' rigidity - it would have been a huge
  9. Things start to get complicated I thought my next step would be per the sequence laid out in the instructions, i.e. adding the details along the bulwarks working fore to aft, so I thought I would start with the catheads (the davits that the anchors hang from) but I ran into a problem that will take me in a different direction and hopefully not into a rathole. The problem is that the plans only show the catheads on the outboard profile (the side view of the ship) and since the catheads are located where the bow has it’s very bluff curve I could not figure out where they
  10. Deck Planking Finished The instructions call for making the vertical bulkhead at the aft end of the main deck from the scribed decking material but I thought that would be a hassle trying to get a good fit at the outboard ends so I used planking strips placed vertically and topped with another strip that covered the ends and served as a flush piece for the quarterdeck planks to but up against. The quarterdeck planking went on without any problems and the reveals provide decent visibility down into the gun deck.
  11. Avi, I have not built the Connie but I am building BlueJacket's ALFRED and I seem to recall the same issue with where to set the profile around the stern. I think your blue line might be correct because that is where the bulwarks end but when you get around to adding the transom it will be convex (bending aft) and it's center line will reach the red line. Bottom line - no need to cut to the blue line just now, wait until you hear from some folks with experience on this kit. You can always shorten the bulwarks later but it would be harder to lengthen them.
  12. It's really hard to see any difference in the sponson locations based on the photos - especially with the flight deck on. That means it probably won't be obvious to anyone looking at the finished model. But if it bugs you, you could, as you said, relocate the sponsons but before you do that you might want to verify that the flight deck is parallel to the keel. Be careful - measurements like this are easy to screw up. You would need to make sure the hull is sitting on a flat surface (not a book), that it is level athwartship (i.e. not listing port or starboard) and then check the
  13. Main Deck planking completed The planking for the main deck is completed - I’ll wait until after it’s done on the quarterdeck before I clean all the saw dust out of the gun deck. Next up will be installing the short vertical bulkhead that divides the main deck from the quarterdeck.
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