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Larry Van Es

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Everything posted by Larry Van Es

  1. Before and after. If I remember correctly there is a laser burned line on each bulkhead that shows the approximate amount to bevel each bulkhead. I removed most of that with a knife and then after installing all the bulkheads, I sanded the rest while constantly checking across three bulkheads with a plank. Make sure you get all the bulkheads facing the right way. I used soft pine for the filler blocks. I do most everything with a digital calipers and made each of my filler blocks within a few thousandths of an inch of the ideal space between each bulkhead by sawing with a good table saw and then sanding to fit. I didn't have a table saw at the time so I asked a friend to saw them for me making twice as many of each size just in case. I had to buy a 6' piece of wood anyway. Each of the filler blocks was a press fit between the bulkheads. When all were in place, it was as if all of the bulkheads were glued in place. However if a couple of the filler blocks were tapped out, a bulkhead could be removed. This arrangement straightened out the warp in my former and assured each bulkhead was perpendicular to the former. I taught geometry at one time so I had faith in this method. At the time I hadn't discovered the idea of a building table to assure a straight keel and perpendicular bulkheads. See the problems that Shaz had with a warped former and bulkheads that were off. http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/4239-us-brig-syren-by-shaz-model-shipways/page-7 Other Syren build sites show the building table method. It's important that this is done right since everything that follows will depend on it.
  2. There's a stuff called "Weather It" which is used to give wood a weathered look. It can be used in conjunction with other stains. I got mine at a model train shop. I tested it with basswood and liked the look but then switched to holly when I made the deck. Holly makes a real nice deck but it is real white and doesn't take stain well. The rest of the model had a "lived in look" shall we say from all the mistakes that I had to try to cover up. I tried to use stain and Weather It to get the same look with the holly with limited success. At least it doesn't look pristine and out of place.
  3. Like I said I applied it after everything was done with the exception of perhaps the quarter badges and head rails. I'm not even sure about those. It's not like I intended to do it like that. I just didn't know any better. After I heard about wipe-on poly, I thought that I would just do the deck. That worked so nice that I did the insides of the bulwarks, spilled some on the cap rail, and it just kept going from there. Like I said, when it dried it was unnoticeable but left a hard surface. If I had it to do over, I would do it just like that.
  4. I put it over the MS black paint and everything else. t he only thing that hadn't been installed were the head rails and the quarter badges. The flat poly just seemed to disappear when dry but leaves a hard surface. When looking at it afterward I really couldn't tell that it had been applied other than it flattened out some of the shine from glue residue etc.
  5. I finally found some time to take some pictures of my longboat. The longboat was the first thing in the kit that I tried to build. I figured that I would build the little boat first and then I would surely know how to build the big one. Boy was I stupid. I numbered each of the layers as I removed them. Then when they were all removed, I brushed them off the work bench onto the floor. That's when I realized that I had placed the numbers on the wood that I had cut them from and not the parts themselves. I tried to stack them in the proper order but it was evident later after gluing and carving them out that it was wrong. Not only was there was a big hole on one side but the keel was off center. I filled the hole with wood filler, but it was going to look like crap. I put it aside and started on the big one. Later after planking the hull of he big one I came back to it and decided to try to fix it. By that time I had learned that MS would probably send me a new one free of charge if I just explained what had happened. I wasn't ready at that time to admit to anybody how dumb I was. The keel was off center so I decided to saw a grove half way thru and glue in a new keel where it should go. That led to more sawing bow and stern for the head and stern post. Ok – It was starting to look a little better. I figure what the heck why don't I just plank it like I did the big one. I went to the model train shop and bought some scale lumber that looked about the right size. It said that it was basswood but it seemed to be much better stuff than what came with the kit. Now it looked like a real boat from the outside so I took the dremel and ground out almost everything that wasn't planking or keel on the inside. I used the same train stuff for the ribs. By now I had received some boxwood from a club member and used that for the rest of the boat. It came out looking pretty good but it would have been easier if I had scratch built it from the start.
  6. We recently returned from Europe where I took a lot of pictures of ship models. ( I've posted some of the ones from Greenwich in the Gallery of Contemporary Models from Museums section ) We went to see the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and the Musee National de la Marine in Paris. We had a lot of catching up to do with all the kids and grand kids so I haven't gotten much done. Paris was the last stop. I was busy taking thousands of pictures again when my wife came up and said something. I was so involved I just said “yeah, yeah, whatever”. I figured that she said something like “I'm going to the bathroom.” The next thing that I knew the place was closing. When I went up front to turn in my headphones I told the guy at the counter that I hadn't even used them because I was so busy taking pictures of the great models. He said that there was a woman there hours ago who said that her husband was busy taking pictures so she was going to go spend all of his money. Can't wait to get that American Express bill.
  7. Wait till you're all done is what I would recommend. While working on the sweeps covers, port lids, etc., you can and probably will scratch the planks at some time. It's a lot easier to sand and touch up without the wipe on poly. I must have sanded and touched up a half dozen times. Once was a major gouge that required a lot of sanding over a wide area to smooth it out. When I was all finished I wiped on the poly over everything hinges and all.
  8. I wish I'd have thought of this before I made my waterline again and again before getting one that was half right. A couple of day ago I was hanging a tapestry that we had bought in Paris and it was going to be hard to get it straight where it was located . Then I remembered a level with a laser that my kids had gotten me years ago. As it turns out I had a good waterline marker in my garage the whole time.
  9. I found one picture, but it's not the one of which I was thinking. The ship is the Constitution which was a sister ship of the Syren at the siege of Tripoli. Although it's not real visible in the picture, the ladder has a brass hook and eye at the back to attach it to the hatch coaming. The brass plate kept the ladder from popping up off the hooks. The ladder had to be pulled out at the bottom and then lifted off the hooks. Other pictures show nothing at the bottom. I can't believe that other modelers much more experienced than me have not chimed in at this point. Maybe Sunday is a slow day. You know, everybody at church and all.
  10. Knowing now that you are more of a perfectionist than me (I didn't think it was possible), I'm not sure of the brackets at the base of the ladders. While touring either the Constitution or the Victory, I noticed that ladders between decks had a hook at the top that allowed the huge ladders to be lifted up and removed in an instant. I don't mean to ruin your day (although you've ruined plenty of mine), but I know that you'll regret it later. I wish that I could find the picture that I took, but I literally have thousands to look thru. It would help if I could remember which ship I was on at the time. I know that others have commented on your work, but I'm not sure that any appreciate it quite as much as me. I have tried unsuccessfully to do just what you have been able to do and I seem to have better tools. It also looks to me that you plan on making functioning hinges on your gun ports. I hope so. That's what I wanted to do but gave up on. I wanted to be able to display one side of the ship with the ports open and guns run out and the other side with the ports closed and the guns stowed. The first time that I presented my model to the Ship Modelers Association, there was another ship model in a smaller scale. When I commented on how great looking the tiny hinges on the ports were, he stuck his finger inside and pushed it open. Another day ruined.
  11. Cherry is nice to work with and is also good for deck furniture. Ebony is hard to work with (very hard) and what works well for the wales is something else pre-stained with India ink. I had already painted my wales when I learned of this, but I used this method on the catheads and stern davits. Touch up is easy and transparent also.
  12. Yes. It is flexible and bends nicely around the bulkheads. I found it at a office supply. It is made to insert into a Day Runner® Planner Page Marker/Ruler. I just cut out the part that I wanted. http://www.dayrunner.com/dayrunnerstore/mwv/cat/Planner-Notes-Accessories/cat220009?pageName=catPage&rootCatId=Planner_Refills_9&isSubCategory=true&catId=cat220009&isEqual=true&parentId=cat220009
  13. I agree with Augie. I considered this first model to be training for the next, so I ended up with planking that I could have left un-coppered. But since I wanted to try the copper also, I went ahead and coppered the hull. I'm glad that I did. I didn't have much success with making tic marks on the bulkhead so I came up with a transparent planking guide which allowed me to make small adjustments on each plank as I went along. it worked good for me.
  14. Dirk, I don't feel sorry for you at all. When I saw what you had done with your carronades, I stopped everything and started over. It's hell being a perfectionist. I never noticed how bad the quarter badges were either and now I'm looking at those and trying to remember what I used to glue them on so that I can get them off. When I get home tonight I will not even look at the bow of my ship. I promise!
  15. Model Train shops are a good source for all kinds of things. That's where I bought mine.
  16. See - How can you fail to build a great model with the designer of the model helping you. I'm a very religious man but I don't get this good of response to my prayers.
  17. A little history for those building the Syren. The Syren was built specifically for the siege on Tripoli according to Naval History Vol. 1 by James Fenimore Cooper. Chapter XX. “The government soon became aware of the necessity of possessing some light cruisers, which to a marine, are what the eyes and ears are to man. Without vessels of this character, a commander could never conduct a vigorous blockade, like that required before Tripoli, in particular; an a law passed February, 1803 authorizing the construction of two brigs and two schooners. In the course of the spring of that year, these vessels were built, and the navy received an addition to its list, of the Argus 16, Siren16, Nautilus 12, and Vixen 12. The two former were beautiful and very efficient brigs, mounting 16 twenty-four-pound carronades, and 2 long twelves; and latter were schooners, carrying 12 eighteen-pound carronades, and 2 light long guns, each. They were all finely modeled and serviceable vessels of their size, and now intimately associated with the early traditions of the navy.” The Syren commanded by Lieutenant Commander Stewart played an important role in the siege on Tripoli.
  18. Welcome aboard. It's going to be a real challenge working on a the Syren with a 3 yr old about with the limited space that you have. I have 7 grandsons. But then again they're all hyper-active like me. Think about finding a place way up high where it can be stored when you're not working on it. One of my favorite parts of my log that has been lost on MSW 1.0 was when one of my grandsons “helped me” while spending the night. I put him to work sawing some scrap wood to keep him busy. I was planking the deck at the time. I glued several pieces of his wood to “shore up the bulkheads” under my planking. It can't be seen now but he and I know that it's under there. He refers to it as our model now.
  19. That's the way it comes in the kit. I don't know if Chuck is married or not. But if he's married and he wasn't smoking something when he sculpted that I'd like to see a picture of his wife. I had to file mine down a lot before it would pass my wife's inspection. Our club displayed some models at a library a while back and one model with a mermaid not near as busty as this was rejected by the library.
  20. Rowan - Welcome to the Syren fleet. You'll enjoy building the Syren. It's one of the best models out there. Post lots of photos of your ship and ask as many questions as you want. You'll find lots of help and encouragement by the members.
  21. My build log from from MSW1.0 is lost but when I did this I made my glue blocks to where they were within a few thousandths of an inch of ideal. I'm really anal - I do everything with a digital caliper. But by doing this my glue blocks when placed in position would stay without any glue. This press-fit of all the glue blocks not only took the warp out of my bulkhead former, but allowed me to take out and then replace any bulkheads that needed extra fairing. I did this because I was new to ship model building and didn't know any better, but on the next model I'm sure I'll do it this way again. The little time that I spent in making the glue blocks more than made up for the time spent in straightening and fairing
  22. Roger, I received my Syren kit just before going on vacation with my wife to Hawaii. While there I found this website. I ended up researching all the 1.0 Syren builds along with many others in the 8 hrs a day that I spent waiting for her to get ready. Yours was one of the ones that inspired me to really get involved in this hobby. I am so glad to see you repost your photos. Your build will inspire a bunch more guys I'm sure.
  23. Augie - had a lot of fun in my time off watching your build. I only hope that mine ends 1/2 as nice as yours.
  24. I finally was able to retreive my old pictures from my old computer, so I can now re-post my Syren build. This is my first ship model and I've made a ton of mistakes, but I learned a lot. Especially on how to cover up mistakes. When I got to this point I was contacted by a member of the Ship Modelers Association (SMA) in Southern California. http://www.shipmodelersassociation.org He invited me to a meeting. He said that he had built 54 ship models and was also starting to build the Syren. I attended the meeting and was amazed by the number of people just as crazy as me. He invited me to his house and I accepted . I told my wife that he was either a genius or more full of crap than anyone I had ever met. Life's not long enough to build that may ship models. Well I counted them. Yep 54. I agreed to join the club and present my Syren at the next meeting. Darned if he didn't present his and he had done in 2 months what it had taken me a year to do. I decided that covering up mistakes was more time consuming than not making them in the first place. So I took a step back and bought some equipment and started experimenting with different techniques. Bought some books and studied them and visited the Constitution, CW Morgan, Annapolis Maritime Museum, Victory and the Greenwich Maritime Museum. I'm starting to work on my Syren again so I'll be posting some more photos in a few days.

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