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  1. Thank you for these recent comments - Nils, Kortes, Svein Erik, Micheal and Clipperfan. Seems like a while since I have been in touch on the forum since the model was completed in May. Spent quite a bit of time on the third volume this summer and I believe it is soon to be out. For those of you who got the Seawatch ad insert in the last NRG journal issue, the book is featured. In addition to the features listed in the ad there are also 13 printed drawings in 1:96 and 1:72 scale. These were not mentioned in the ad. Cheers all, Ed
  2. I have used razor blades like those shown by Allan and also heavier hard metal - like saw blades. I also have 16g SS plate cut-offs that I have used a lot. One additional suggestion: scrape the shape onto the a larger wood blank of the right breadth then rip off the molding on the saw. The larger piece is easier to hold in a vise and the stiffness helps when scraping. The final sawed thickness is then always accurate even if the piece is over-scraped. Ed
  3. Beautiful model, Frank. Wonderful workmanship and attention to detail. Love it. Ed
  4. A somewhat belated thank you for these last comments and likes. They are very much appreciated .
  5. Hi Mark, Oil based stains sound really messy to me for this. Also, I believe Minwax stains have an oil based resin resin binder, but that may not stiffen rope if used diluted. I guess this would make the rope waterproof, making any glue sealing a problem. Add to that the environmental issues with solvents. I would not recommend. I do not use hot water to dye rope. Probably would soften cotton rope fibers. Also, no soaking. Residence time in dye is about 1 second as it is pulled through. I suppose low initial torgue in the rope strands could also be at work. I have had no problem with water softening rope - cotton or linen - thread or made rope. India ink is a suspension of carbon black in water with some shellac binder to make it waterproof. Will not fade. I do not know about sepia ink, but suspect the same. Most ink is not a solution, but a suspension of fine particles (i.e. pigment), in this case in water. Soluble, chemical aniline based dyes were invented over a century ago and largely replaced vegetable dyes that were dominant to that time. Vegetable or natural dyes are fadeproof. It is the reason oriental carpets retain the color over centuries. I believe the problem with aniline is that ultra violet light gradually breaks down the large complex molecules, thus weakening the color over time. Fortunately, our clothes spend most of their life in dark closets. Colorfast usually refers the resistance to washing, not to light. On my Victory model I used diluted acrylic gouache to color both hemp and black rope. This too is a pigment, suspension, and has shown no fading in a sunny window for 10 years. Also, acrylic bunder caused no stiffening of rope. Also no softening. Mostly linen rope on that model. I switched to walnut based on Bernard Frolich's process in his book The Art of ship Modeling. He also uses cotton crochet thread. By concentrating in the crevices between strands, dye highlights the rope turns - an advantage of dyeing rope perhaps. Good luck. I wouldn't work this issue too hard. There are good, easy solutions, sorry, suspensions. Ed
  6. Hi Mark, I am with Gaetan on this one. I use walnut dye/stain as well, in the form of Vandyke crystals dissolved in water. Here is a link, but I am sure there are other sources: https://www.amazon.com/Liberon-Van-Dyck-Crystals-500g/dp/B001GU6GVU/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=van+dyke+crystals&qid=1559390082&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell Natural walnut , as well as other vegetable dyes/stains are non-fading, a key factor. Rit, Tintex or other aniline based dyes will certainly fade, really fade, over time when exposed to light. The dye may be diluted to give the desired shade. It is very close in color to natural hemp. There is no need to dye all the line at once. I dye it in usable lengths of about 6-8 feet on an as-needed basis, by dragging it through a jar of stain as Gaetan suggests. I use a simple wood strip with a wide V-notch to hold the line down when passing through the jar - I use plastic wide-mouth food containers kept covered when not in use. I then wipe the line with paper towel and hang it up between binder clips to dry - about an hour or two is usually enough. I do this with made rope or thread for the small sizes - cotton or linen. Its an easy step. I leave the set up in one corner of the shop. It is somewhat messy. For black, I substitute diluted India Ink. For most of the lines on Young America I then treated the rope by passing it through a diluted emulsion to reduce fuzz and perhaps help with moisture absorption. I used pH neutral pva white glue, but I am sure acrylic emulsion ( matte medium) would work as well. I used one tbsp of glue in a cup of water, but did not test other concentrations. The rope was no stiffened noticeably by this and the fuzz reduction was evident. After all this I pass the line through the flame of an alcohol lamp to burn off any fuzz or fibers lifted by the process - then wrap it on cardboard spools - I should say tubes. Ed
  7. Well. it would be an understatement to say I am overwhelmed by all these most generous comments. It is also nice to hear from those who have been regular but silent followers. I wish I could individually thank everyone for the more than 35 comments and 50+ likes after the last post. Every one of them is well appreciated. Perhaps one more photo would not be amiss. Thanks again, everyone, for all your support throughout the project. Ed
  8. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 323 – Wrapping Up Finally, 99.999% means complete. Since the last post it has been a lot of little chores: snipping rope ends, the last few rope coils, touching up with paint, waxing standing rigging lines, clean up, etc. Some of the "major" chores are described below. The first picture shows the final disposition of the crojack sheets and tacks. These were simply allowed to hang free from the clue garnet blocks with their full lengths coiled on deck. They were tied down to one of the beams under the pile of rope coils to keep them vertical and straight.. The main braces could finally be run, since access was no longer needed to the deck area between the main and mizzen masts. The next picture shows the starboard brace pendant shackled to the outer boomkin eye. The fall of the brace runs from the yard pendant through the lead block on the rail in the center of the picture, then to a deck cleat. The other blocks on the boomkin are the upper and lower main topsail braces. Two missing eyebolts still need to be fitted on the rail. The picture also shows the completion of another chore left over from the volume II work, fitting chains to support the boomkins. The next picture shows both of these. The next picture shows the starboard swinging boom, the lower studding sail boom, being lashed to the fore channel brackets. The alternative would be to store these on the skid beams over the cabin, but this seemed more appropriate, since in port these were often used to moor ships' boats. The next picture shows the model with the dust case removed in the relatively cleaned-up workshop. Finally, launch. Please excuse the amateur artwork. Couldn't resist. Ed
  9. Druxey, I noticed this morning that on my Victory model I located the crojack brace pendants well in from the yardarm - likely based on the rigging notes in Longridge. How soon we forget things. Completely forgotten and the early sources completely overlooked in solving the YA dilemma. Ed
  10. Thanks, Druxey. I do not have that Steel reference and did not think to look in Lever, but there it is. This is how we learn. Rob, you will have to do some research to find a solution to the topsail brace/sail interference. I will be interested in the solution. Apparently crojack sails were not used until the 1840's and then only in certain conditions - like long spells with the wind directly aft. Good luck. Ed
  11. Thanks everyone. Its been great having your comments and support throughout the project and for earlier work as well. Its one of the best parts of this community. Time flies when you are having fun, Greg, but you are right. It goes fast. Druxey, thanks for the input on mizzen braces. Its really so obvious a solution, but like so many good solutions, it needs documentation for authenticity. I never gave this issue a thought until actually running the lines, Then panic, then Underhill to the rescue. May be there in other sources, but haven't found it yet. Ed
  12. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 322 – Running Rigging Home Stretch After almost 6 years living and breathing Young America, I can finally see the end in sight. Another day or two should see the last lines run and, thankfully, the last rope coils hung. From there it is just a matter of tidying up. Rigging the yard braces has been interesting and enjoyable work. The first picture shows the bracing of the lower three yards on the foremast completed. Braces for the double topsail sails and the fore course were added once there was no further need to get my hands in the space over the cabin – at least that is what I thought. Braces were installed working from top to bottom to keep the lower deck area open – the opposite sequence to all other yard rigging. The falls for these braces run through lead blocks on the main rail amidships as shown in the next picture. The lines are then belayed on the main rail. This opening in the main rail, that replaced the original small entryway, was probably added a year or so after launch when the double topsails were adopted. The entryway was moved aft. Aft of the mainmast things begin to get more interesting. The next picture may be a clue. Upper main braces run aft to lead blocks on the mizzen, while all the mizzen braces run forward to the mainmast before descending to the deck. This is a bit of an access nightmare. The next picture shows the area behind the main masthead where the mizzen topsail braces converge, the uppers to pendants shackled to eyebolts in the cap, the lowers to eyebolts and blocks under the top. Unfortunately I had neglected to install the shackled eyebolts in the cap, so the cap and band had to be drilled and the shackled eyebolts inserted between all this rigging. I hate to admit this. The main upper and lower topsail braces presented an interesting problem that took me about a week to resolve. These and the main braces run aft to blocks on the boomkin and thence to the poop deck. This is pretty much standard clipper practice, and quite evident in the two YA photos. These lines each consist of a yard pendant, a running part that runs from the throat of the mizzen topmast stay through the pendant block, the running end of this is seized to a single block. The falls run through this block to lead blocks on the boomkin. This arrangement is fairly straightforward, except that there is major interference between these lines and the lower mizzen braces that run forward from their yardarms to the main mast. These would also interfere with the mizzen lower sail when set – a lesser problem. Various arrangements were tested. I finally settled on the solution Underhill describes in his book, which involves moving the mizzen lower braces inboard on the yard, allowing the main topsail braces to run clear outboard of these. The relocated crojack braces may be seen in the next photo. The main topsail yards are in the upper right corner but the lines are hard to follow in this picture. The next picture may help. The arrows U and L point to the blocks at the end of the brace running parts for the upper and lower yards respectively. The arrow at the yard points to the relocated crojack brace block. The eye for this has to be on top of the yard so the block will be over the jackstay where it will not interfere with the sail. The arrow at the lower left points to the standing end of the lower brace fall where it is seized to #4 chainplate. The upper fall is seized to chainplate #1 to the right. The next picture shows the lead blocks for the two braces at the boomkin and their belaying cleats on deck. The fall of the main brace will run through a third block at the outer end of the boomkin. The next picture shows the falls running to the boomkin blocks on the port side. This solution is consistent with the photos of the ship and has some documentary support, so I am quite comfortable with it. It leaves the issue of interference with a lower mizzen sail, but I suspect that could be tolerated or circumvented when that sail was used. The last picture shows the cutter slung inboard on the davits, finally, after 3 years in a box. The picture shows the next, and perhaps the last remaining rigging riddle: what to do with the crojack, sheets, tacks and lazy tacks. In the picture the latter two are belayed under the boat, awaiting a more acceptable solution for these idled lines. Next time for that – and for the main yard braces that are still left off for access. Then tidying up. Ed

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