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gil middleton

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    Kirkland, Washington, USA
  • Interests
    Children, Grandchildren and Great grandchildren. Boating (Three years off shore, 1999-2002), Pickleball (racquet sport), Ship modelling. Retired surgeon, 1996. Age 80

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  1. Hi Gil,
    I'm also building the Victory of Caldecraft and I'm not ashamed to say that I take a lot of ideas from your post on the Model Ship World forum. Yours is a spectacular job, the best in my opinion.
    I have come to have to color the hull in its characteristic yellow and black bands.
    I wanted to ask you what paints you used and if you can tell me the brand
    Thank you
  2. Hey Gill 

         I have another question would you know if the door entry on the model is a tad smaller then the 

     gun ports width wise, reason I ask is in the instructions on my Victory kit which is a model space 

     parts build kit the entry way width wise is the same width as a gun port that can't right  what you  think even if yours and mind are different scale the accuracy would be wrong, I getting close to that part of the build is why I'm asking now 

  3. Spider, So very nice to hear from you. Your "Victory" is coming along beautifully, getting better at each step. You are rather unusual. Most ship modelers love the work on the hull but are indifferent towards the rigging. You and I seem to think that the rigging is the best part. However, based on your knot/rope board, you could teach me a lot about marlinspike. Good luck with your build. I hope my model helps or inspires you to come up with a better rigging plan. Warm regards, Gil Kevin, Hearing from old modelling friends makes my day. I'll go back and get caught up on the "Victorys" in progress. Jerry, Glad to hear that you're alive and still kicking. Hard to keep those old geezers down. Floyd, I've missed the PSSM meetings. It's been a year of recovery following surgery in the neck to repair a nerve injury, with loss of strength in the left arm (left handed). Now back to about 80%. You are always so kind in your observations. I haven't started another major project because I'd probably miss seeing the end result Perhaps more small sailboats, skiffs or racing shells are in order. I'll think about it while cruising the Gulf Islands this summer. Cheers, Gil
  4. Many thanks Art, but you're way ahead of me. I built my first model at age 70 and have been learning ever since. You're day sailor is a gem. As you have already discovered, there is endless encouragement and friendly advice on this forum for any ship build. Another benefit is I've made many friends whom I've never met. And perhaps the most important advice, enjoy the ride. Cheers, Gil
  5. John and Per, Thanks for your comments. I think we all agree that Dragons are a special breed. Popeye, Thanks, and my apologies for not photographing from above the mast. At my age, one isn't supposed to climb ladders. The next project? One that doesn't require ladders. Kevin, I looked at your Bismark and ended up reading the entire log. Beautiful work. To take on a project that large, we'd have to remodel our condo, which would make for a very expensive model. Cheers, Gil
  6. Thus ends a fun little project. Just as enjoyable as a much larger build and good therapy during recovery. As in real boating, there is as much satisfaction in harbor hopping in a small boat as an ocean passage. It keeps the dreams alive anticipating the next voyage or the next model. In my mind, the Dragon is still one of the most beautiful boats ever designed, and now I've had the pleasure of working on one. Cheers, Gil
  7. Just a few more photos of the details. The base for the jam cleat on the main traveler. Main sheet traveler. Jam c;eats. Jam cleats close up. Boom vang (to hold the boom down and shape the main sail when on a reach or down wind) Main outhaul Jib sheets and halyard. Self tailing winch with jib sheet and close up
  8. Thanks Kevin and Popeye. Kevin, I'm not sure what is on the horizon. I may wait a bit to see what recovery occurs. Glad I hadn't started another "Victory" size project, which you would understand better than most. Popeye, I am no expert on rod rigging, but apparently there is slightly less wind drag compared to multi-strand wire. The rod is held by a "rod head" (a cap on the rod to prevent it from pulling out of a fitting) or a dimple from the fitting into the rod. The top end is fixed to the mast while to bottom end passes through the deck to a turnbuckle below deck for adjustment. Above the spreaders, a turnbuckle is exposed. Needless to say, rod rigging requires significant specialized equipment including a press. A bit different than when we used to splice our own wire rigging. On the model, I used 24g "German" wire, a soft flexible wire. Below deck, the wire was simply attached to a beam, while at the mast I tried soldering. The soldering didn't hold so I drilled through the mast and twisted the wire to create a button, adding C/A glue, or took a turn around a fitting. On the aft deck where there was no access, I rigged the wire to pass through the hole and then flair out to prevent it from pulling back. Again, more than one wants to know. Overall I think it was worth the bother since other models of Dragons I've seen were either hull only or rigged with thread which didn't look authentic. Details, details. Cheers, Gil
  9.   Previous builds: Cutty Sark,  USS Constitution, HMS Victory

  10. Floyd and Per, It was an exceptional meeting. How many model clubs have a launching party with a concert violinist as the main attraction? Shelley was amazing and greatly appreciated. The current mini-project is down to the final details. It is hoped that the reader will be tolerant of the rough finish. A neck injury has rendered the left arm (left handed) as nearly useless. In time I may be able to upgrade the details. Frank, I enjoyed looking at your build and was amazed at the metal finish you achieved using aluminum scraps, 1000 grit sandpaper (or emory paper) and polish. Who knew an old hard drive could have a second life as a cleat or fairlead? It was a teaching moment for me and raised the bar. A few more details: Rigging the jib sheets. Making blocks. Very rough because of the difficulty holding the pieces with a bum arm. Rod rigging Cheek block aft deck Back stay (center) Adjustable back stays port and starboard. Shrouds, adjustment below deck. Self tailing winch. Jib sheet track and block
  11. Thanks Dave, After following your "Bluenose" I have high expectations for the Skippercraft. It reminds me of the Flatties (Geary 18's) we sailed as kids. Many were home built using plywood sheets. Gil
  12. Per, You are more of a Dragon (Drakbat) expert than I. I've sailed in several racing dinghies, 27' keel boat, Soling, and Cal 40 but only admired Dragons. Like you, life got in the way. When I started my practice, I couldn't afford anything larger than a dinghy, and when I could, it had to handle several kids. Popeye. I think that colored lines have perhaps become rather standard in small sail boats. When you go to a boat chandlery, one sees dacron lines and newer high tech lines such as Spectra and Dyneema in red, green blue, purple, white black and gray. When I raced our Lightning and Cal 40, our lines were color coded. Not for training, but for instant recognition. Of course my oldest son was red/green color blind. "Nice brown lines Dad." The following photos are from Etchells 22 boats, a 30' boat very similar to Dragons. Not only do they show colored lines, but also how different and customized the rigging can be. Cheers, Gil
  13. Per, The Dragon has been around for almost 90 years, but I still think of it as a "modern" classic. Does that mean that I'm getting old? Popeye, Why did I think that you would pick up on the random coloring of the lines? A good observer. Actually, the control lines are not port and starboard and not mainly for the jib. I didn't list them for fear of offering more information than the reader wanted. BUT SINCE YOU PICKED UP ON IT................... The control lines would be: 1. Main halyard 2. Main outhaul 3. Main downhaul 4. Boom vang 5. Jib halyard 6. Roller furling jib stay 7. Spinnaker halyard 8. Spinnaker chute open 9. Spinnaker chute close 10. Spinnaker cage to douse the spinnaker The main sheet goes to the traveler. Jib sheets go to the block on the jib track and then to the winch. Spinnaker sheets go to the aft cheek blocks and then to the cockpit. I may be a bit too detail oriented, but it's still fun. Cheers, Gil
  14. Details: Main traveler,base for winch, leads for control lines and digital repeater for GPS, wind speed and direction, etc. Base for traveler. Winch made from styrene tube and sheet. Running control lines. Rigging traveler. Control lines with jam cleats. Self tailing winch. Spinnaker sheet cheek blocks Wire (rod) rigging. Adjustment below deck. Used 24 G soft wire requiring practicing my soldering technique. Also, I threw out the mast and boom supplied with the kit (square with the slot off center) replacing them with dowels, tapered and using styrene 1/4 round for the sail slot. Spinnaker sheets and launching chute. Also, base for self furling jib with roller control below deck. Tiller with hiking extension arm.
  15. To be fair, my billings kit is old, given to me many years ago. However, it is a generic kit with little detail. None of the deck or cockpit details were included. Fittings were grossly out of scale and plans oversimplified. The result is a number of models on websites where the main sheet is attached alongside the tiller, rendering the tiller inoperable. Newer plans on Billings' web site appear improved but I have not seen a newer kit. I think one should be prepared to scratch build everything beyond the planking. But then again I never planned to follow the instructions. Preparing the cabin, cockpit rails,deck and seat supports. Deck and interior lining under cabin. Gluing cabin and combing. Fitting Starboard side (not glued) Floor and seats to be installed before gluing. Cockpit deck and seat supports plus central pedestal for main sheet traveler. Completing gluing. From this point on, almost no reference was made to the kit.

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