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    Model Railroading, Colorado History, Bicycling, Travel.

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  1. It has been slightly over two years since I started this kit and believe it or not, about a year since I finished it. I am finally posting pictures of the completed boat in order to wrap this project up. I have just seen several new KoM building projects on this site and they all look like good builds. I encourage everybody to finish your project and feel the reward of satisfaction of a successful build. The reason for the late posting is a classic story (...used by students not turning in their homework...) is my computer crashed last year. Believe you me, getting digital things back in order is a royal headache. All I can say is back up your work. Unfortunately, I did not document the last steps of my build from where I left off last year. You will see details in the pictures and feel free to send me questions about what how I did things. There are many new details borrowed from HO scale model railroading including the figures which I painted myself, the sitting benches, heavy black chain, and several light fixtures. The rigging I used a heavy tan thread, music wire for the hog chain, and very thin wire from the kit for guy wires. I remade the gang way about twice as long for the front of the boat to better match historic steamboat photos. The bottom photo is how I display model and the way I see it every day. You can see and hear the paddle wheel and lights if you click on this link. Thanks for your comments and good luck with all of your builds. Rick
  2. I have some pictures that I took some time ago. They should be posted before moving on to where my build is at this current date. Getting the railings organized was essential. I had a little difficulty in knowing which curved pieces went were until I laid them out on the full size plan. Locating the obvious one first narrowed down the choices for the ones that looked similar. Also, realizing the curved pieces were very similar in curvature and length between the second and third deck helped. The railings on the shorter inner deck didn't seem to have any laser cut pieces that would fit so I replaced them with HO scale porch railing made by Grandt Line. They are very realistic and surprisingly close to the size and dimensions of the AL railing. I knew I had to make a pair of long, easy curved railings for changes I had planned for the front of the second deck and I include a photo of how I spliced pieces side by side and then sanded to shape. This was way easier that soaking, boiling, and try to bend a straight piece of African walnut. (Ask me how I know). By not using brass etching on the short inner deck I had just enough to finishing the added front railing on the second deck. I located the railing posts directly above the vertical pillars according to the full size plan which were carefully measured and marked on the edge of the decks. This was a mistake, either in my reading the scale or AL drawing the plan as there were several millimeter differences. In hindsight, it is obvious that they should be the same and that length is exactly the length of the brass etchings. A few of the worst ones were relocated and others, if you look closely, some pillars and posts are misaligned. a few curved railings had to have a butt splice to close in the gaps. I was going to build the railing separately, off the boat and I built a jig to make everything uniform. But I got to thinking it wouldn't work for the second deck (pillars) and seemed to me to be too fragile on the third deck. But here is a picture of it if anybody else wants to try it. So, instead of the jig, I used a scrap piece of 2x2 millimeter to get uniform spacing off the deck for the bottom rail and glued on the etching and top rail so they are snug. There was a lot of fussing to trim the etching to length, which I said before was a mistake. I used other small pieces of scrap as a spacer to help align the etching front and back (setback) centered on the posts and railings. I prepared the etching weeks ago by using a spray can of primer to coat the brass. Then I brushed on two to three coats of what is called 'Reefer White' by Floquil paints. I understand that this paint is no longer being made. I think a good coat of spray can white on top of the primer would have worked OK. The triangular decoration went on quite rapidly using thick glue, rather than CA (superglue). The strength is from the fillet formed to capture the thin etching to the wood. Another trick I learned from Adrieke is to turn over the boat and put the triangles on up side down. And an item from the previous post is how I changed the stairways to the pilot house. The landing behind the pilot house is full width and the railing is made from the 2x2 millimeter walnut. I had seen a photo of real Mississippi steamboat with the stairway continuing down the center of the boat towards the stern. It made sense to me. I have noticed that the Polyurethane Clear Satin doesn't change the appearances of most types of wood, however it darkens and shines a little on the african walnut. It gives the boat a classy look. I wonder if I should apply it to the painted parts of the paddle wheel? It may give it a nice wet look or it may change the color, too dark? Rick
  3. Several of the builders of the KoM on the Model Ship World site reported problems with the laser cut slots on the decks. Check the build logs of John46 and Adriecke and Dragzz. Dry fitting the rooms together and then dry fit them to the main deck shows them to be about a half of slot off. Test fit the second deck onto this assemble to be sure which slot is off. I ran into another set of slots that did not fit on the third deck. The test for that is if the smoke stacks did not line up right as well as forming a vertical line between the decks on the rear of the boat. Good luck with the rest of your build. Rick
  4. Cutting off the heads of the brass nails to use on the hull is a good idea. I clipped the heads off before installing them. I did drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the nail shaft and filed the cut end flat before driving them in flush. I actually save the nail heads and glued them on the back side of the paddlewheel castings. After painting they look like nuts to the bolt heads that are molding on the other side. A little extra detail on the signature assembly of this kit. Rick
  5. Kpnuts - welcome to this log, I am interested in your comments. Thanks Adrieke - always glad to see you checking in. Hello Casey - Thanks for your comment. Are you be building a steamboat? I figured it was time for an update on this buildlog. My KoM is starting to take on it's own unique character. This kit has a huge number of details, some I like, and others I wanted to improve. In the first photo below, looking straight on the front of the boat, the spiral stairs that I changed around doesn't look too bad. Other details I've changed are the decorative beads on the railing posts. I found some in a bead shop that sort of match the color of my paddlewheel. The lights (LEDs) are very visible in this view. The forward one will be made into a search light, common on steamboats in the 1880's. I am hoping that the ceiling light will light up the staircase detail, usually a very dark place on model boats. The second photo shows a dramatic improvement of the smokestack decoration. When simplifying the pilot house decoration I had an extra casting or two. Wonder what to do with it, I suddenly thought it might be able to go between the stacks, but it was too small to fit by itself. With very little filing I was able to shape the base to fit on the stack decoration/bracing and I am pleased how it looks. My intent for pilot house decoration was to lighten it up a bit closer to what I've seen on historic photos.I saw some classic shapes (fleur-de-lis) in the casting that seem to fit on a boat that is often called King of the Mississippi. Although I haven't found an actual historical picture of any boat with this name. The side view photo of the boat shows the wooden railing along the main deck. Instead of using the provided dark wood as per the instructions I wanted light colored railing as seen on some of the other kit steamboats. With plenty of decking planks left over, I decided to use it, but it was too wide and seemed very thin (21 inches wide in HO scale). I devised a cutting jig to slice the strip into two equal pieces getting a very reasonable 10 inch boards. Cutting these to fit between the pillars took extra time but it shows nicely in close up photography. Heavy chain from Builders in Scale ( 12 links to an inch) looks better to me than the brass ring chain provided in the kit. The last photo is the traditional view we all like. The short stairs I made from metal castings from Scale Structures Ltd. The bell is O scale (1:48) locomotive bell from Precision Scale. It sill needs its pull rope. I'd be interested in any of your thoughts about all of the changes I'm making to this kit. Rick
  6. It looks real good what you've done so far. There will be a few more adjustments needed to your KoM kit. Read ahead what other build logs say about how to solve many of the problems you might encounter. I too, am having problems with posting photos within the text. In my last few posts they have ended up as attachments. I am currently using Internet Explorer ver. 11 which may be the problem. Older versions I think work better. Keep up the good work and great postings. Rick
  7. Finishing the pilot house really helps the appearances of the boat. Several things about this part of the kit I decided to change after much deliberation. Would it look sort of clunky? Will the change make it look worse than the instruction photos? Well, I went ahead with the modifications and all I can say it is my boat and I am enjoying this build. The first photo (from the bottom) shows the wiring and the second decoder inside the Texas deck. This decoder controls four lights with independent control, one forward in the curved State Room, one in the rear State Room, one in the pilot room and two connected together in the central State Room. The next photo up shows the Texas and the Boiler decks to relate their different size. The inside of the Boiler Deck has the first, more powerful decoder, which controls the paddlewheel, the sound effects and 10 different lights, I was able to find some old scribed basswood for the flooring to cover the nest of wiring in this area. The flooring is removable even when the third deck is glued down. Here is a photo getting an advance view of the smoke stacks. They don't get glued down until later. And finally, (at the top) the pilot house with the modified roof trim and the rear landing for the stairway. Another stairway will continue down from this deck to the read of the boat. Rick
  8. Dragzz, Good to see that your boat has recovered from being a chew toy. Your last pictures show it being in good "ship shape". Rick
  9. Hello John, Thanks for looking at my build log. As you can see I did not follow the instructions exactly as Artesania Latina (AL) wrote them. I used a cut-off iron nail that was the same size as the hole in the crank (98) and the rod (99) to make a new pin to connect the rod and crank without binding. The nail had a flat head and I fitted a ring cut from a styrene tube that fit snugly on the stub end of the nail. A very small amount of super glue keeps the ring in place. The thickness of the head had to be small in order to clear the support block of the paddle wheel shaft. Looking at some my photos shows the white ring holding the shortened nail in place when looking sideways at my paddle wheel. The AL directions say to use a very short piece of the thicker brass wire as a fastener of the crank and rod but they don't say how. If I were using the wire I would try to mash one end to form sort of a flat head nail, cut it very short to fit through the crank and the rod and then carefully mash the other end flat enough not to slip back through the hole. If that doesn't work try bending the very end of the wire and cut a small piece off a little longer than the thickness of the crank and rod and then bend the other end to keep it from falling out. It would work more like a cotter pin doing it this way. Hope you find a way to make it work. Rick
  10. Barry, You have a very good start on your project. The stairs, I think are the hardest part to get right and any creative solution may be the best thing to do. Several "King of the Mississippi" build logs are on the Model Ship World site. They are all worth while looking into to see how others have tackled various problems. Adrieke, Dragzz, John46, Robert1965, Rick, and others have done an excellent job in documenting their builds. I speak for the others in welcoming you as you share your work as you have already done so above, Rick
  11. The main stairs for this boat are unique and seem to be a challenge for most people to build. It took me several iterations and a lot of looking at other KoM builder's logs, which helped considerably in deciding what to do. I came up with new problems not encounter during their builds. The first photo show the step assemble using methods from John 46 and Adrieke. Unfortunately, that is when I stop taking pictures until I was confident of finishing the whole assembly. Something about AL's King of the Mississippi appearance from the front that I didn't like. Missing the second deck rail around the forecastle seemed to appear to me like a cleft pallet. I saw that the stairways could be swapped right and left and essentially still function as spiral staircases - just climb the steps leaning in the other direction. Plus, it shows off the step detail to the front of the boat and makes them more visible to viewers. I figure I would need to do the following changes:1) Build new railing and deck across the front, 2) the railing at the top of the stairs must be modified slightly, 3) the column near the base of the stairs must be moved over slightly 4) the arch over the passageway needs to be changed, 5) the notch in the second deck for the center pole need a slight adjustment. When test fitting, both in the way the instructions say and trying my new idea, the steps would come up significantly short. The height between the surface of the main and second decks on my boat is 43 mm. Each step from the kit is 3 mm tall and 13 steps in all add up to 39 mm. I decided adding another step would help the fit between the deck and fitting extra step to the railings and the balusters would take careful placement to hide the difference. I ended up making an extra baluster out the fret material for each of the straight balusters and fabricating longer railings for that side of the stairs. Getting the balusters and handrails to curl proved to be the hardest part for me. Wetting, soaking, forming slowly the spiral curve went very slowly. Not finding good ways to clamp the pieces into the new shape was difficult. I would use a cylinder the diameter of the staircase and elastic bands but this wouldn't work on the critical top and bottom edges of the balusters. The railings were harder to shape trying form twists and bends and straight sections. I ended up breaking one baluster seven times, the other one did OK. Bending a weakened piece smoothly is near impossible so it got glued back together rather warped. Towards the end I sanded off the worse bumps and re-broke several balusters to even up the spacing. I am amazed the finished photos don't look as bad as they really are.
  12. Dragzz, Sad to hear about building project. Glad to know that you want to continue building. Rick
  13. Here are some initial photos testing the new lights. The red flicker from the boiler room door is nice. I think I want to have them a little brighter which means changing out a resistor. Getting independent control of the lights is tougher than I thought due to programing issues. Remapping function keys is not easy to do. Rick
  14. You know Adrieke, that I have had a lot of experience with model railroads. This part come easy. Now with ship building it is a different story. It definitely is a new challenge for me. I had trouble with the bow and Dagzz had good suggestions. I have just finishing the main stairs and as everyone says it probably the hardest part of the build. I appreciate your observations and encouragement. I am learning a lot with this project and hope other get new ideas from it. Rick

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