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Everything posted by schooner

  1. Hey Patrick, That's some motivation you've got starting another build so quickly - I'm usually useless for another build for at least 6 months after finishing one. This is going to be great to watch. I've always wanted to do the MS Connie, in just the way you plan to, but lack of space is an issue. At least this way I'll get the pleasure of watching it come together without having to do any of the work. Kind of like having a personal shopper. Those are some really neat toys you have, wish I had a few. It sounds like you've got all the info you need regarding cannon but since yo
  2. ODDS AND ENDS The instructions call for drilling some locating holes for the 5” gun mounts, davits and some of the superstructure overhang supports. The plans clearly show 7 supports on the starboard side but those are not the ones that need to be addressed now. The ones that the instructions refer to are another set of 7 further forward. They are shown on the plans but are not labeled. The set on the port side will be a mirror image. Unlike the supports further aft these will rest 1/8” inboard of the deck edge, far enough in so that the lifelines will run outboard of them. They are not ev
  3. Anchor Hawses The first topside job is to fit the anchor hawse pipes. The hawses consist of 2 pieces pf Britannia cast metal; the hawse lips, which are the portion on the outside of the hull, and the hawse pipes, which are on the main deck. Don’t get too aggressive when filing off flash from the hawse pipes – the upright pin on them should remain, it’s called the bolster or bitt. The hawse lips are oblong and one end is thicker than the other. The thicker end is placed on the bottom and, although the plans don’t show it very clearly, the lips are glued on at a 45-degree angle, which ma
  4. Don, thanks for the pix!! That is a gorgeous build, way beyond what I could do. I was particularly impressed with you sheet brass work, your scratch inclined ladders and your radar antennas. Your album virtuosity is also clever, I really enjoyed just sitting back and watching the slide show of the build pix Thanks again
  5. Sonar Dome This is an easy part – adding the sonar dome. The Basilone carried an SQS-23 sonar which was a big improvement for its time. It was the first sonar with a rubber window in the dome and was supposed to be able to bounce active transmissions off the ocean bottom, although conditions for that to be able to work were very rare. When I served on ships with later, more powerful sonars we called to the SQS-23 the “Helen Keller sonar” although to be honest, compared to submarine sonars ours wasn’t much better. The dome comes in 3 laser cut parts, the hollow piece goes against t
  6. Thanks Patrick and Scott for the kind words. Patrick – if you like that poster there are a million more at www.despair.com Having spent too much time in offices and conference rooms where those “motivational” posters abound, finding that website helped me suppress the gag reflex everytime I saw one.
  7. Hi Patrick, I wouldn't call it a practicum but if it helps anyone, even to avoid my mistakes, then it's worth it
  8. PROPS AND STRUTS The prop blades are made up of PE brass, the hubs, collars struts and shaft bosses are cast Britannia. The instructions call for making the props quite a ways further down the road but I’m doing them now to prevent a potential problem that I will explain in a bit. The prop parts fit together well. Twisting the blades to provide a right and left hand prop is easy enough but giving the blades the proper pitch (curl) is a little more tricky. Fortunately I have a set of four metal forming pliers that I got from Micro-Mark, one of which made this step easy. After marking
  9. ADDING THE BILGE KEELS The bilge keels’ location is marked on the hull and a 1/16” wide by 1/16” deep slot is carved using a hobby knife and a file. The keels themselves are fabricated from stripwood, tapered at each end and sanded to a knifedge on the outer edge. After a lot of adjustments the keels fit into their slots. The bilge keels’ function is to help reduce rolling in a beam sea and provide stability during turns. Next up will be fitting the struts and, temporarily, the props
  10. Took a break earlier this week to go out to the National Archives facility in College Park, MD in order to look at the plans for the Basilone. It was well worth the trip because the Basilone had several differences from the Gearing and the plans at the NA are more detailed than what I got from the Floating Drydock. Anyone who is thinking of building a model of a post-1880 USN ship and lives within comfortable driving distance of Washington DC may want to think about taking a trip out there. They do have more rules and procedures than the TSA but they are all laid out on their website – as
  11. SHAPING THE HULL Shaping the hull using mainly sandpaper and occasionally files, and very occasionally a Dremel is for me the most tedious part of the build. Having removed the machining plugs on the bow and stern and marked the hull with the template stations, the hull is now ready for shaping. I started out by bring the bow into its proper profile, as viewed from the side, mainly using files, and verified by a laser-cut template provide in the kit. The gap at the bottom of the template is not a problem, the same gap appears when the template is layed on the plans so the height of
  12. Thanks Bob, hopefully this one won't take me near as long to build as the Olympia did, but then again, that one was before I took up fly fishing so it could be even longer.
  13. Thanks Patrick, glad to have you aboard. Congratulations on your Niagara, she is the best I've seen. You did a spectacular job on the woodwork, painting and rigging - first class all around! The Niagara kit is one I've been mulling over for a long time, seeing what you have done with it may push me over the edge. If you haven't already, you might enjoy looking up the history of what O.H. Perry had to do to build the Niagara and the rest of his squadron. It's amazing what they were able to accomplish in such a short time, given that every nail, rope, cannon (and flag) had to be dragged
  14. PREPARING THE HULL FOR SANDING AND SHAPING The instruction books starts off with a cautionary note that due to varying manufacturing and environmental conditions the plans may differ in size from the Mylar masters they were made from. Several reference measurements from the bow to key items like the gun mounts and the front of the superstructure are provided in case there is some discrepancy. The length of the hull on the plans should be 24 7/16”. My plans measured out only 1/32” over. Since that is well within my personal margin of error resulting from clumsy fingers, aging eyes and poor
  15. Nick and S.os, Thanks for the replies. I thought this would be a good subject for a build log since there are few "metal" ships included or solid - hull kits. The main reason I'm doing the log is to help keep myself on task since it will be very easy to be distracted as the trout streams around here start to warm up. Tim
  16. OK, here’s a quick look at what comes in the big box from Bluejacket: Building Manual: The manual is about 70 pages long, has plenty of line illustrations and some photos to help explain the steps laid out in the text. This is probably a good place to discuss the model’s complexity. Bluejacket has a 9-level grading system to help potential customers figure out if a particular kit is within their skills. They rate this kit as an 8 out of 9 and, as they state in their catalog, “This kit is recommended for very experienced model builders.” Having built two of their previous kits
  17. You really nailed those flags Patrick - I'm glad that technique worked for you. For those folks who want to try this themselves I forgot to mention the type of glue to use. Rubber cement or one of those kid's glue sticks from the school supply section of the supermarket work best. Avoid CA - that just turns the flag into a stiff board that can't be furled. White glue has a lot of water in it and can soak thru the paper causing the ink to blur or run.
  18. Well here goes … my first build log, hopefully it won’t be sunk by my non-existent photography skills. I’ll be building a model of the USS Basilone (DD-824) as she appeared in the early 1960’s, just after her Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) upgrade. I’ll be using the USS Gearing (DD-710) FRAM 1 kit from Bluejacket Ship Crafters. I plan to add some details to the kit and possibly replace a few components with some scratch building. I selected this ship/kit for several reasons: The “FRAMs” formed the backbone of the US Navy’s destroyer fleet for most of the cold war. Wh
  19. Hi Patrick, There is a neat trick for making paper flags look a little more realistic. After you print them out, but before folding them, cut out a piece of aluminum foil whose dimensions are slightly less than one side of the unfolded flag. Glue the foil to one half of the back of the flag and then fold it and glue it together. The foil will help hold the curves and folds that will make it look like it is "in the wind." The next step is from Chuck's Syren practicum (if it is available online at the Model Shipways site then refer to that because he explains it better than I can), get seve
  20. Hi Ger, I've built a couple of BJ's solid hull kits (but not the Connie, maybe someday when I have the room). Carving a solid hull to shape is not easy but with your previous woodworking experience and some patience it should not be a problem. You may want to Google for some videos showing how to do it. I generally use a Dremel tool with a flap sander to get close to the right dimensions then shift to rasps and files to get even closer and finally use flexible sanding sticks to get the curves right and bring it to the final dimensions. That's just my way of doing it, others use carvin
  21. Here's another option for the tiller rope problem. The attached photo is of the Syren model at the US Naval Academy Museum. I seem to recall that Chuck mentioned this model as weighing in his decision to select the Syren to develop his own model. Anyway, in case this photo doesn't post clear enough to see, it shows the tiller as LONGER but not necessarily higher, giving the aft guns sufficient recoil room, although it pushes the end of the tiller very close to the steering wheel. It also uses 3 blocks on each side - one on the end of the tiller, one on the upper bulwark aft of the end of the
  22. As far as your carronades sitting too high in the ports - I remember that problem with the Bluejacket carronades from an earlier Syren build log, it was on pg 9 of Rafine's build log (I made a note in my practicum at the time). I ran across it again yesterday on Google, I think under images for "24lb carronade" but damned if I can't find it now. Anyway, Rafine fixed the problem by modifying the lug on the bottom of the barrel to lower it closer to the sled. Looking at the pix of your completed carronade it looks like you have a lot of room to lower the barrel, probably enough to put the trucks
  23. This is a repost. Photos are of USS Olympia kit from Bluejacket. Build is about 85% out of the box. MoRope used to replace all rigging.
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