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About rlb

  • Birthday 05/17/1960

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    Troy, New York

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  1. Looking good, Matus! I would do both decks the same, that is, if you show caulking on one, show it also on the other. Sweep ports were for oars, which were called sweeps. Ron
  2. I'm calling this done. Sometimes you get to a point where you're afraid of going just too far, and messing up what you've done to that point. The beak never really materialized, there's no feather texture on the neck and body, and the wing feathers could be better (well, everything could be better), but I'm happy with this, and I'm going to stop before I slip and make an irretrievable mistake-- Isopropyl alcohol is repeatedly swabbed over and around the eagle to loosen it-- And after a while, the eagle is released-- This afternoon, from my porch, I surprisingly saw this guy (or gal) hanging out in a tree across the street-- It stayed put long enough for me to run inside, grab my camera and move a little closer for a couple of shots-- Now, that's what the beak should look like! Still, I took it as an good omen that I was done. Ron
  3. Thanks Phil! So many things to learn in this hobby. I'm enjoying the carving, though I can't imagine doing a ship with a lot more. It's very slow going at this point. Continuing to work on the overall relief areas-- At this point, I began thinking that the thickness of this piece from the "ground plane" of the flattened area was about right, and I needed to get rid of that "ground" and to reduce the overall height. Rather than shave everything down from the top, I unglued this from the base, and rubbed it on sandpaper until that "ground" was paper thin and translucent (guessing I removed about 3/128ths of an inch!). Then I glued it back, and trimmed what was left of the "ground" away. Now I am continuing to work on developing the relief-- If you compare this to the last photo of the previous post, I think I improved the shape of the shield (the curve of the right side and top, which were too flattened before), but I may have somehow reduced the width of the eagle's neck too much. Ron
  4. Working VERY slowly on the eagle. At this rate it will take me a good week to finish it. As I've worked, I've discovered details I missed at first (one important one being the talon gripping the shield), and I've sanded down the surface of my carving to be able to recapture those details. My model image is very low resolution, and if I look at it too enlarged, the details (like the talon) blur too much to be apparent. I have to look at it small, to see more! The outline is basically there now, and I am working on developing the basic relief areas-- I am realizing that the beak is critical to this piece, and I am holding off on its definition. It's what will distinguish this from being an eagle, seagull, donkey, or an aardvark. Ron
  5. Congrats on the new home, Martin! You're moving to my general area of the country! When do you leave? Ron
  6. Thanks, Martin. I am using a small piece of Castello Boxwood, temporarily glued to a hunk of wood. Here is a photo with some scale context-- The eagle itself will be 13/16ths of an inch across. My birthday was last month, and I treated myself to a very nice set of micro carving tools. It was that or the Byrnes saw, and these won (and they were less expensive). I feel a bit foolish, as they are for folks way beyond my talent level, but the carving is something I want to get better at. Here is my model for the eagle-- Ron
  7. Thanks for the tip Dan. I bought some of the JB epoxy and used it. Anchors and chain plate link assemblies blackened-- Yes, I am short one preventer plate. It could be anywhere! I'll have to make a new one. Ron
  8. Now that the anchors have been cast, I still have to figure out how to deal with the iron stock. I'm not going to attempt soldering near the casting, and I would like to be able to use the stock I already made. I thought of hammering the "foot" end narrow enough to pass through the hole in the anchor, and then hammering it flat again, but I have doubts about that working well. I decided to saw the stock in half, with the thought of epoxying it together after blackening (I'm not sure how epoxy would hold up to the blackening process--has anyone tried that?)-- While sawing I had the thought of drilling a hole in both ends, and soldering a small bit of wire as a pin, to make a more secure joint-- Here is the pin soldered in-- My hole was drilled a bit off center (I'm a terrible machinist!), but so is the hole in the other half of the stock, so as long as I get them rotated correctly, the halves should line up well-- This is dry fit-- I admit I am tempted to try soldering the halves together, using heat sinks and wet paper towels. Maybe I'll do some experiments with an extra anchor. But most likely I'll epoxy them. The shank will be lashed down with the anchor; there should be minimal stress on the joint. Ron
  9. Thank you so much, Dowmer, Steve, Dave, Dan, and Martin for you words of condolence and encouragement. Martin, you are so right. These failures are a big part of model building, and I must remember they will never end! Best of luck on your workshop drawers, you will get it right! Dave and Dan, if I had thought about a heat sink (as I should have), it might have helped, though the tin alloy has a melting point MUCH lower than the silver. A little surprising to me (and maybe a result of your encouragement), I am back at it today. I decided to go back and correct the mold (thanks again Dowmer) before casting another anchor. Here is the mold in question-- \ On the right half, you can see flaps of silicone at the bottom tip of the anchor that cause trouble with the casting. As I mentioned before, the depth might also be suspect. I took the left half, built a new mold box around it, placed the anchor, made a pour head, and cut new wires to fit in the air vents. These were particularly difficult to match up with the mold, getting them to settle in correctly with all their irregular curvatures-- Here is more detailed description of the mold material mixing and pouring. I use disposable cups because after my first trial, I discovered that the two parts before mixing are messy and not easy to clean. Easier to just throw away the containers. The center cup though, can be reused, since once cured, the remnants of mixed, cured material, can easily be removed. Here I have poured the two halves, estimating the amount I need-- Now the 5 minute timer begins as I combine the halves-- I use a regular kitchen teaspoon to clean out each cup, not wanting to waste any of the material-- Using the same spoon, it is mixed in the cup-- And finally, poured into the mold-- My estimate was just a bit over, I didn't mean to fill right to the top. But better a little too much than too little-- After an hour or so of curing, the mold can be separated. First, peeling away the cardboard box-- Then peeling apart the mold. This looks a little ugly here, past instances have been cleaner-- But it's not so bad. There is a little bit of "overage" on the lower part of the anchor, but I think I can clean that up-- Here are the halves, cleaned up and powdered, ready to assemble and pour. I'm not worried about the extra flaps of silicone on the air vents, that doesn't seem to affect things-- The result of the pour-- This looks fantastic, actually. Much better than the old mold. However, there was some funky stuff going on at the head of the anchor, with the pour cap, that made this unusable in the end. But the basic mold was good, and I set about pouring some more, in this size, as well as the other sizes-- Though I never got another one of that third size without any flash at the bottom (as in the previous photo), I now have a complete supply of good anchors; and unless I have another disaster, these should do me well--
  10. In between gluing the channels to the hull in preparation for test fitting the chain plate assemblies, I worked on the second iron-stock anchor. In the first anchor, I made the right angle bend and spread the end after soldering the stopper flange in place. It was not easy to make the bend and detail the end after it was part of the anchor, so I decided to do it the other way round, and make the bend and flatten the end first, while I had better access-- Then, I can slip the anchor on, and then fashion and solder the flange ring-- Instead of simple wire, this time I drilled a hole in a piece of brass bar stock, cut it out, and filed the flange round-- It test fit nicely on the iron stock, and I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing-- Here it is ready to solder-- I held the torch to the ring, and waited for it to glow and the solder to run. It never happened, but what did happen is this-- After it was cool enough to touch, I discovered that the ring had been soldered. Maybe before the anchor melted, I don't know. I'm not used to soldering larger pieces of brass like this. First the deadeye burning, then melting the anchor. Both through mistakes that could have easily been avoided. It's easy enough to cast another anchor. The stock is more work. This one can't be used because it can't be fit with both the flange soldered and the flattened end already done! Additionally, this was one of the anchors that would benefit from a better mold, so do I take it back that far and redo the mold? My battery of mental energy is depleted. I may take a few days to recharge. Ron
  11. Hi Mark, You always have the most interesting questions! I'm not sure this is any help, again photos from Victory--not your ship--but the first photo shows the access door to the roundhouse as a small vestibule with a door at the deck level. You can just see the ladder steps (look under the hammocks that are in the way), and that horizontal gleam just below eye level inside is the "seat". Here is the interior of the roundhouse (looking from deck level)-- And finally from a little farther back showing the vestibule and door on the left, and on the right edge the steps leading up to the bow platform-- Ron PS. If you would rather not have these photos cluttering your excellent log, let me know, I'll delete them.

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