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  1. Post 28 Complete deck work...basic furniture First off, I took the Essex plans and model photo and studied the bow area. I’ve much to do here 228 in this section we pick up the size and positioning of the Sampson post and windlass. Note the wooden chimney that was removable. I will need to make the covered hatch for that and maybe the large water barrel that goes on the other side. 229 in this elevation, we see a confusing depiction of the knight head above the rail. How long is that curve? Also, a good detail on the cat head. 230 in the plan view we again get the relationships of things. 231 in this blown up and cropped photo of the Cape Anne museum model Essex, we find an expert’s rendition of what all this bow area should look like. Note the forward companionway is a simple hatch with, I assume, a ships ladder. Note the knight heads are effectively bow bitts. My rendition has the curved top and sliding hatch that others showed and wrong knight heads. also the size of the hatch planks and their bright rings Now let’s go to my build and fix what we can to make a 1937 slim hull look like a fatter and rounded 1821 bow. 232 First, we see the lashing lines that I put on for the bowsprit are much too big. Second, we see I followed my first hunch and raised the hawse timbers to meet the knight head in a long curve. Then I had a brain cramp and did not think to bring the rail over the bowsprit 233 inserting the bow sprit, I now have shaped the internal octagon section…..much better. I need a big wooden cleat on top for the jib down haul. 234 here is the second card template…[ the shop dog ate the first one] I transferred this to 1/16 plywood to cut and trim and fit. It will be painted, so the plywood short cut should be ok 235 now for the hatch rings. I removed all the planks and milled new ones. I need two tries to get even numbers of 6 and 8 planks, and they are roughly 13 inches in scale. The Cape Anne model left them bright. I assume they were iron rings in those days. I made them up and put them on a scrap piece for blackening. I must admit that after looking for 30 minutes I simply can not find my blackening jars…lost in the move. So, I cheated here and used lamp black paint. Not great but only experts will know. I need to find that stuff ! 236 building the windlass was fun. It is basically carved out of maple, my hard wood of choice. Here one sees the crew painting the green, so I need a tiny paint bucket and brush. 237 here are the pumps. I copied the model photo as best as I could and again used maple filed to an octagon. The handles are from scrap pear, so they are strong. The binnacle is also pegged down and the two horses are in. the aft horse is interesting and will show up better in other photos. 238 here is the basic furniture on the main deck. I plan to have the tiller and other small spars on deck as they are completed and ready for future installation. So, what does this look like? 239 here we are resting on the slipway. For now, I have removed the large primitive scaffold as it was just that, too large. I need a ladder or something to get the guys on board. I also have chosen a smaller spar to be under way and set the rudder down. It will get some copper too. The bowsprit is in and I will do some rigging for next time along with the cat heads. Maybe install some or all the chain plates and have coiled lines ready. Cheers
  2. Thank you Richard and David. I am off to our monthly guild meeting to get more advice on things like .how much should i do with the spars and how do i put a paint brush and bucket in the hands of a figure ...my next posting shows all the deck work almost complete and I am ready for preliminary rigging work. cheers
  3. Thank you Yves I am getting into a tricky area now of making the detail parts. The clock is still ticking too, as I need to be able to display this diorama in late May, and that is really just around the corner. Any time I drop a piece on the floor, the shop dog checks it out. Today the windlass supports bit the dust. I then added the bracing for the raised stern and found the rudder no longer fits. It is talking two tries for most steps forward, but that approach is normal for me. cheers
  4. Post 27 Mid-point on the diorama It’s time to look at what we have now and see want we want to develop and what might be better removed. I start off with what now is my favorite view. Naturally it is not one of the four views I use for study, but a low angle from a corner 219 looking in from an angle, we see seaweed coming along and all the colors of the schooner. the rudder is missing and i assume would not have been installed. I plan to have it sitting ready to go in. I would have coopered before installing gudgeons over some tar separating the copper. I never thought about it before. Since i am using tape I would hardly notice. but since only one falls into the copper as completed , I need to decide. more to come on that one. 220 here we back away and see the new supply of seaweed. I plan to experiment with a brownish wash and dab with a sponge. I want some yellow to survive as that is the fresh air-filled pods that float in the sun. the browner Spanish moss did not work, and I will use some of it to make up bushes. I wonder how to make eel grass? Also, at the moment one end of the main mast in the rough is looking at you. there is so little room i am not sure yet what to do to stage the work going on right there. Now the four side views with presumed directions/ 221 north: the wagon is delivering things that would not be floated. Who is it to say that everything may have come by boat and there was a dock nearby? Now I believe they were on a remote site on Westport Island with the slipway falling south west. I plan to go see Barbara , our town historian to see if she can help me more in this area. I believe they were about 5 miles out of town. 222 west: here is the best view of the swooping lines exaggerated with the raised stern. I have lots of bark and saw dust and stuff to make the brown area more like a work shop. 223 south: the water side view. Here I must think more of the scaffold. What is it doing and why is it there? I also need to treat the slipway that gets wet twice a day. all such structures today have treated wood, these would have been simple logs. they would we wet covered in seaweed and maybe barnacles. 224 east: to confirm this means east side looking west. the spars are the point here. what to do? I think I want some spars done and even with fittings. They must have been working in parallel. The question might be if they were built somewhere else. For now, I assume they did it all here. Also what to do at the front of the slipway? These large frames would have had an A frame or gin pole to swing the keel, frames and any other large timbers. It would likely have come down once the need was over. I plan to start building one but stop as if the large components had been removed. Now for the story. What are we going to talk about, and what are the workmen doing? 225 on deck they would be further along than we are now. I am making the windless, pumps large horse and other parts and will have most of them at least set in place. I am now not happy with the size of the hatch planks and will remove and replace them with larger planks each with its own ring to lift out. More to come on the deck 226 here we have someone painting the bottom. This approach leaves enough planking visible for the audience to see. I left some on both sides and the top rail for now 227 the adding of copper I think is fun to see. I have doubled up copper tape with its backing to have a ready supply of plates and will have then around the site and a pile near the work. I am not sure how they cut it back then, I assume with a chisel. Next week more on deck, and yes these pictures, as always, help us see imperfection in the painting that need to be addressed.
  5. Post 26 Complete the bulwarks, paint and copper the bottom It is time to complete the bulwarks and exterior finishes. I have always planned to have some copper going on the bottom as part of the diorama. So lets get ready. 212 I took the kit provided cap rail to see if it fit. Well almost. You can see where I cut and then added in a new piece to fix the higher bow and wrap the hawse timbers. I need to come back and drill that hole too 213 here the cap rail is all on. I plan to leave this unfinished, as if it was just installed. It is time to make the pumps. I had two options in mind. One is to make a small octagon plug and clad it with eight beveled sides. The right way. Or a short cut. I took a 5/16" square p[piece and made an octagon to the outside limits. I rough drilled it out and will now file it to shape. There is one at each end. We’ll hope this works and yes, it is a short cut. 214 here we are part way through the filing to shape. I will have a smaller dowel extend below through the pad and deck, so it is solidly attached. I need to find a few more examples to see how to build the handle and plunger. Now for the bottom. I need to paint under the copper so that wherever it ends, the black paint is already there. I also chose the dark green. I went to the art supplies to get the paint. I am a paint brush person. 215 I have stayed so far with the lamp black flat paint. I read in the clipper ship books that in the 1850 they added a shine. That might mean that that before then there was less shine. I would love to learn more about what paint colors were on New England schooners. Most documents paint centers on Navy craft. 216 here is the copper tape jig altered for ½ inch tape. Unfortunately, I only have a ¼ “ponce wheel. Anyone is welcome to complain if they chose. 217 here is enough for one side. I plan to have one of the crew painting in the diorama. My thought is to assume they would have wrapped the keel first all the way down and around. 218 I just got some new yellowish lichen that looks a lot more like seaweed.....cool! Next time I plan to set up the diorama to see what the story is to be and then focus on that work alternating with completing work on deck. I also have to figure out what to have for spars. Cheers
  6. Richard I just enjoyed reading your blog all the way through. I appreciate all the little things I learned along the way. It is wonderful when folks with your skill show us trick.......your set up for soldering such little pieces. It is so much about how does one hold things in place. After building my Bluenose at 1:24 ,where one can actually hold onto things, it is a marvel that you keep andeven expand on the detail at this small scale congrats on a great build and thank you for sharing. jon
  7. Post 25 Diorama let’s get going There are times in life when more study is good. There are also times like now when one needs to just go for it. 205 first up we need to mill up a collection of rough-cut timber to make scaffold, ladder and maybe a gin poll. 206 let’s set the base, the slipway ties and rails. You can see toothpicks painted black to represent iron rods hammered down into the sand/gravel and marine clay mixture between ledge rock where this would have to have been sited. There is also glue and toothpicks driven rough the rails into the ties. The rail is going down into the water at the edge, so unless I change my mind and use more milled timbers I can go ahead with those cross timbers. The gray and tan paint was an experiment. The brown is the paste earth. 207 I needed more material, so we have added: · Rough milled lumber · Hemp rope in different sizes. I normally use this for bolt rope in old canvas sails but think hemp would have been the line of the time. It does not coil well, but I can use it for lashing and things. · The ½ in copper tape to try some bottom work. · Tan color lichen / moss to try to make seaweed 208 so here is the first attempt. I have used two steps in the ageing for the wagon and used most of the brown paste dirt over the plaster. The wagon is made from plywood so there is no grain to play with. Oh well 7 of the nine bottles in the ageing kit remain unopened. I have used spray adhesive and broadcasting of sand gravel over the lower zone and started to glue and place rocks. After drying I will tilt and spill loose material and go again. it takes several times to get enough material to stay in place, so we can transport this stand and not worry too much. 209 How to build an erector set. I made up the two sides of the main scaffold by lashing local cut spruce logs and pinning a cross member on the outside of the frame. I then made up the top platform to set in place. I am not sure I like this. I need the schooner there to figure it out. 210 I needed to add 1 by 2 trim boards around the bottom of the plywood to thicken and complete the base. I smoothed up the edges and painted out the edge. I am not sure I will be adding the cost of a glass box for this diorama, as it will not necessarily last that long. 211 here comes the first application of Spanish moss to replicate the seaweed. Wow I have a lot to learn here. I keep cutting it up into smaller pieces, but is won’t sit down. Maybe I wet it. The little pile of gravel is what fell of this time when I tilted. Not bad Cheers
  8. Post 24 A little more Bulwark The bulwarks are going to be a bit tough. This phase is to get the white planks in and that was not too difficult. The stern is going to be a challenge that I will explain later. 189 here we are dry fitting the port side white 1/32 plank that I cut down to 3/16 wide. 190 after gluing the starboard side. I dry fit the top planks again from the kit and it quickly became obvious the white plank was too wide. I went to the picture of the model of the Essex and found yes, their white plank was narrower than all the others, and definitely was narrower than the top plank. 191 so off the 3/16 wide planks came, and we made up new planks at 1/8 and they look much better in proportion 192 the transition between the raised foredeck and the main bulwark looks a little forced as the 1/16th strip makes up the height. I did not want to force a 5/16-inch plank to avoid that joint as that would have been an unrealistic 15-inch-wide plank. Thinking in inches of full scale, perhaps I should have used 3/16 plus 1/8th instead. on the other hand the 1/16" strip lines up with the raised shear plank so it becomes a continuous line. the option I chose. Oh well lesson learned is more planning on the full build up next time. The next step is to figure out how to set the tombstone. I made up a gig that would clamp to the stern post and hold the tombstone in place. 193 Looking at the Essex plan I see the tombstone is parallel to the stern post with ½ “space. Also, it is a little smaller than the kit size. To correct the size, I will take it off the top after all it is together. 194 here the jig is in place 195 I am sure now as I fiddled with these dimensions and having the gig in place, that there was more trimming and spiling to these planks to sit tightly together 196 I figured out by looking again at the Essex plan and model photo what to do with the stern post. The red drop of paint shows what must be ground off. Too bad I didn’t figure that out earlier 197 here the double twist on the starboard size cause trouble and needed extra clamping. This joint fell apart more than once. I like to blame gravity. This joint fell apart several times, so I need to get it together and then clean up extra glue etc. with some filing 198 here we go with the little white plank trying to hold the recess with the lower black plank back to the tombstone 199 oops the starboard side that causes all the trouble ended up too high. I had to cut it off and figure out a shim to pull it up and re-glue it 200 I think we are getting there 201 here we are gluing the top plank that is just thicker at 3/64” than the 1/16” white plank to help with the edge. It is the kit supplied piece On deck…Now for another oops. 202 I made up the pintles for the rudders in 1/8 size just because I thought they looked better. The pin was 1/16”. I went to the Essex plan and sure enough that was way too big. So back to square one and you can see the 3/32” band about to be installed 203 the tiny pin 1/32” in the upper pintle broke the solder joint and fell out during peening the little brass pins….oops 204 taking it out caused damage to the rudder. Here is a little dutchman going back in and the new pintle was made up. Thank goodness the rudder will be painted. Cheers
  9. Post 23 Diorama planning and materials The work on the Bulwarks continues, and I can see it will for some time. As each step requires a respite for paint or glue drying, I am now laying out and getting into the diorama. This is all experiment or trial and error so let’s see what we get. First up is to gather material. I think I have enough to begin, 184 here is where we begin. The slipway rails. I went through this zone with another layer of joint compound and set the pieces where they go. I figure this is the basic unit and everything goes around it 185 I have cleared other projects and leave the layout tabl3 for this phase of the project. 186 at this end we have three boxes. One has clean sawdust the next dirty sawdust, from cutting the woods sticks and the large box has strips of bark and cuttings from the band saw work on those sticks. The far pile of extra logs is for ??? We have of course the people, various milled limber and the thinner sticks for use in building a scaffold and ladder 187 here we find two diorama products, to jars of paste dirt and paste rock from Vallejo. The ways ready are for more top cutting and installation as well as scaffold sticks and a few practice stones 188 here we have a Vallejo would affects kit and the wagon to experiment with, the drill and tools to toothpick timbers together. We have collected the first batch of stones and some more sticks to try and make up spar blanks that look more realistic than the perfect dowels that came in the kit In the works or on order we have some diorama moss…brown and fall color lichen I believe and a need for a few more colored paints. I also need to rough mill a few planks as the wood used for a scaffold would not likely have been perfect. I also need to think if I should show some type of lifting rig , I believe the heavier items like the bowsprit, rudder and the like may have been rigged with a gin pole of sorts. That may have to wait for another smaller scale build where there is room for these things. cheers
  10. Post 22 Get the first bulwark strake on and set up for strake 2 I guess if a plank goes full length it is a strake. I will need to come back and add a few joists after, but since they go all the way I am calling them strakes. I knew this was to be a hard part of the build. planks are to bend in more than one direction, and we want crisp colors as we go. One step forward, find we need to paint something. Paint something and find more defects…a few repetitions are in the cards, so here goes the bouncing ball. 175 here we are once bit twice warned adding the hold down clamps as we add the lower bulwark stake to the starboard side. 176 now looking at the next strake we see that the deck thickness of 1/16 needs to be accounted for. I had assumed that to be the case and planned to add a 1/16 square piece. 177 dry fitting the piece we are reminded of the difficulty in the aft section. If we keep building up, we shall exceed the height of the long knee just to the right of the clamp. I also think these strakes are sloping up too fast, and will re-glue and hold down the bottom strake before moving on. I believe looking closely at Essex that the bulwarks are on deck to the last station and then flare out. 178 here in a better view; we see the need to spile this strake all along to lover the height to half the remaining knee height. We also see across the deck that gap is a little too high. 179 The same issue took place on the foredeck and some spiling of this plank is in order. The other issue here is that the raised deck strake and shear planks need to be painted black before this white strake is added. 180 while painting the forward section it seamed foolish not to go ahead and mask off that top line and paint it out. I can see if it is indeed what I want to show, if I want to add a molding etc. also treating it like a primer I will likely need to sand it out and repaint later. 181 here is the port side painted. I do not love the dip in the line, but it is the line of the third strake. 182 here I am re-gluing to lower strakes overnight. I have added the block to train the plank to reverse their curve to meet the tombstone aft. 183 here I have painted the starboard side. I much prefer the line of the curve than port side. I can also go and fix this all up before moving to fast forward Cheers
  11. Peter thank you for the suggestion. more though for your selected piece. I went on line to woodland scenic and was so overwhelmed. what you selected to show is very close in scale to what with a little brown color might work. Yesterday i was in the woods and along the driveway picking up rocks, and more sticks to try to cut down spars. I got caught using the admiral's colander and mixing bowl oops so now I can google moss and see where it takes me. I will let you all know before i glue it in cheers
  12. Ron good to see a neighbor on line. Thanks for pointing out my spelling. it has never been a strength but as you see it does not slow me down. there was another silly mistake in that post....I called the maple strips I was color checking before adding in making up the "pads" planking. that too was not only wrong but mis leading as the planking was shellac. happy to have you checking up on me cheers
  13. Post 21 Building bulwarks To move upward into bulwarks usually means colors should be all decided. I think this is better because I like to pre-paint parts at this point to give sharper edges and things. We shall have one of three strakes white and the other two black and three different thickness also make this easier. I hope at least 165 here we are with two coats of shellac and some steel wool rubbing and vacuum to clean up. No more stalling, I have chose to copy much of the color scheme from the Essex display. My thoughts are that carbon black going into linseed oil was easy and a cheaper alternative to how ever they made green. I will still do green above the waterline but assume the less expensive paint would be there before copper, below water. For the inside rail’s bulwark, waterways etc. I will use the gray as shown on Essex. Again, a simple mixing to achieve and not more imported pigments for this schooner built in a remote site. I am guessing of course 166 here I looked at four color samples for the pads… wipe on poly, plane, shellac and cherry stain [for some reason is upside down in this photo]. No worries it was awful and I am going with the top one, wipe on poly. To build the bulwark, I will also follow much of Essex. There are three strakes involved. The main deck will get a 1/16 to better have scuppers square cut/ filed. The second strake is 1/32 white out and gray in. this detail hopefully will give a sharp edge between colors. For the top strake, I will use the kit supplied 3/64 strake. Again, it will create a crisper edge of black over white on the outside. I assume I will be trimming this as it is a good 1/16+ too wide. I will dry fit and decide when to sand. 167 here I have dry fit things to be sure I am on the right track 168 here on the painting bench I have the three colors involved. Black outside and gray inside for top and bottom. The big kit pieces started to warp with paint, so I place lead and plate over them as they dried. They will need to be scored too as they are the size of two planks for convenience. The little stanchions are waiting their turn to become gray. 169 here we go with the first one. I am a little nervous as the aft build out of the tombstone will need to be fit in. I think this will be easier than making a frame and trying to get the planks to meet up. We’ll see later if I am right 170 inspecting the fit after gluing and clamping, I found the strake came up a bit creating a gap. I must fix it! 171 Turning her around and elevating the whole stand to clamp both sides down might work. 172 the gap went away, a little glue came out, but we should be ok 173 just a detail as we make up the rudder fittings. I increased the size of the band just to satisfy me. 174 here you can see the other side with the pins in place. Now I need to dig through more boxes and see if I can rescue my blackening kit. I found one little piece of solder and it may be enough to finish. All for now
  14. Post 20 So what is this seaweed all about?.....or where is it? We just had a January thaw, so it is time to reflect on what the diorama will look like. The following study are first of details of rock, dirt and seaweed taken from my dock area which is within two miles, as the crow flies, from where this schooner was built on the Sheepscot river. 156 here our shop dog is helping study the color and texture at the waters edge. This is done at the same time as the diorama, about 3 feet below the highest tides and two feet below normal high tide. 157 see the bright green in the top one-foot zone then the granite is covered with barnacles and growth making it gray. Then in the wet zone, seaweed is brown with yellowing tubes that are full of seawater. 158 Here looking about 100 yards away one can see the town landing. It shows the angle of slope typically chosen for this type work. That actual ramp is hidden just past the white granite ledge. 159 here looking down above the water we see the gravel/sand that is a good solid base for the slip way 160 here along the edge of ledges one sees trees are right there at the water’s edge. The brown grass in the foreground would have been eel grass just 20 years ago, but those little green crabs that came here as part of warming , burrow in the mud over winter eating all the roots to the demise of the former shore land grass lands. Now let’s look at what it might have been years ago. For that I combine a few shots from both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Wonderful places for anyone to visit 161 Here at the end of Campobello Island one sees darker rocks that get more submersion thus more growth and seaweed. Walking down there, one finds the gravel is larger sized, not so sandy as ours. 162 Here we see to the east that gravel area developed into a rocky beach. We have them here too. One might think the beach to be more conducive to a boat works but evidence shows other wise 163 here driving the cost of Newfoundland we see what I suspect the east side of Sheepscot river, where our schooner was built, might have looked like. The eel grass along the banks holding soil. Here in the foreground after years of soil migration, more permanent dry land and wildflowers take over. Once we lose the ell grass the water invades and removed more of our shoreline. 164 here we are near Peggy Cove Nova Scotia. if we think about all of the timber that was taken from land adjacent to the Maine rivers, much of the coast line looks like this area. this area is not forested but a glacial moraine leading into the sea. Anyway as we see the coast today and need to remember the treeless landscape of the mid 19th century we have many options. Fortunately for me the diorama only includes a tiny area right on the water's edge. If I can not figure out seaweed, the edge might look more like this one. then some smart viewers will likely ask....where is the seaweed? So now with all those visuals in mind, I need to take everything off the diorama and finalize the shape of the plaster and start painting. I still have no idea what may work to show seaweed. I may bring in some granite pieces, but the scale may not look right. Cheers
  15. Thank You Eric. the research and learning and visiting related sites makes these projects a joy. My Library grows too. jon

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