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Found 7 results

  1. This is the build of the very famous Great Lakes ore carrier EDMUND FITZGERELD. The 1/700 scale model is made entirely of pressure cast polyurethane resin and brass photo etch. Just in case you don't know of the "Big Fitz," it is the subject of the song by Gordon Lightfoot. The model is one of two of the ship offered by Iron Shipwrights. In addition to this 1/700 scale a 1/350 scale is also available. Just a word here about Iron Shipwrights. They offer the builder ships you not find anywhere else. Okay here we go. The measurements were checked against copies of actual builders plans and found to be accurate However the graceful curve of the Focs'le deck is missing. Ladder ways correctly located but lack step detail. ( I am okay with that as I get to photo etch.) Big problem is a mis-pour at the bow. this happens when the first batch of resin seeps past the mold. If you are not used to resin models you need to take the removal of the excess very slowly and with 400 Grit wet dry paper. Each deck casting is crisp with little flash. Same not so much for the rudder and other detail. The kit comes with a nice book that should help you along with the build. Well here is a look at the kit. Next we will remove the pouring keel, and get the BIG FITZ underway. Chief
  2. Hit on this by mistake. Still don't know why never thought of it before. Spray on Plasti-Dip comes in white. When dried it is a very dull white. To make your sails spray a coat onto a non porous surface such as aluminum. Let it cure for four hours and then gently peel the cured plastic. If you need give it a second coat. If you want something unique, it comes in a number of colors It hangs and sags with no help, and will not discolor, and is easy to cut. It is easy to glue to itself. Not only sails, but flags could be made with the same stuff. Give it a try. Going Deep Chief
  3. I like this ship! It only sailed in one battle. It was miles from salt water. It was not well built, not for lack of desire but due to being built in an ad hoc shipyard by folks who really did not know what they were doing. She was built as fast as possible. She was a weapon in an arms race with British forces in Canada. The crew; brave as they were had no where near the training to even sail the ship, much less take her into battle. There were not enough guns. The guns they did have were varied, and there was precious little powder to train with. All the above is the reason I want to build this ship. Those people embraced the cause of Freedom. Although they knew little of ship building, they did it. The crew with everything against them took her to battle with the most professional navy on Earth at the time. They did not win the battle. LEE was forced ashore and abandoned, however her actions along with other hastily build ships tied up the British long enough for the Americans to gain needed time to prepare and rearm. So those are the main reasons I chose this almost forgotten little cutter. This is my first ever Plank on Bulkhead model, so the learning curve looks more like a corkscrew. I found the plans for the LEE in SHIP MODELING FROM SCRATCH by Leaf. The plans called for a model that would end up at 16 inches. Don't have that much space and the Admiral even has eyes on my shipyard.......Oh no! So I scaled the plans to produce a model at 11.9 inches no counting the bow sprit. Now if I can figure out how to put captions on the pictures I'll get you the 411 on my build. Oh almost forgot. Island Belle is next in line now. I have been assigned a great mentor by the Nautical Research Guild. I was getting to comfortable with solid hulls and I need to step it up! Looks like I am not that bright. I don't know how to put captions on the pictures So after sizing the plans, the first thing I did was build a ladder out of teak. I don't know why. However it did give me the chance to introduce some of you to a great finishing product, that is also great for tools! Renaissance Wax was developed by order of the Queen for the British Museum. This stuff really means it when the say a little goes a long way! It goes on smooth and hardens instantly. then a soft buffing brings out beauty in wood like you never thought possible. On tools it lubricates and protects. I use it not only in my scrimshaw but on my band saw table, Scroll saw table, and sander. Make anything move friction free and protects the surface to boot. With the ladder done and waxed I next traced the false keel and bulkheads on parchment and then laid them out on my 1/8 ply. With the false keel cut I reinforced the area where the Main Deck goes to the Poop. This was done since the weight of the aft end is more and the center of force is higher. That adds up to a snapped part if you are not careful. I also cut the mast step. When the bulkheads were cut and trued I test fitted them. The last Bulkhead tapers way thin near the keel. I cut a channel on each side so the thickness of the bottom of the bulkhead and the thin ply of the keel would work out. First try was close but a little off the mark which I corrected by widening to one size and shimming so the fit would be snug. The model will be left natural wood as a tribute to those who built her. I fashioned the Keel, Stem and Stern Post from walnut. The scarf joints are not correct on purpose, again to indicate the haste the ship was built in. I next cut slots into the Keel and the false keel to receive wooden "Tabs" these assured alignment and gave me a very tight bond and providing my surface area for the glue. Oh Yea!! Those little brass planes you see. I picked those up at Harbor Freight $10 for the three. Let me tell you, these things are just wonderful to work with, and too look at. Once dried I proceeded to try cutting rabbets. I ground down the tip of a #11 blade. I made a line along the keel and a bit at a time removed the wood. Three hours later and with 600 grit paper to smooth it out the rabbets were done. SCORE!!! Next I trued the bulkheads and using my FAIR A FRAME (Which I do not care for in the least,) I glued in my bulkheads. Oh no first timer here... gonna be a disaster! Nope. Everything went in square! How I did that I will never know and most likely will never be able to again. I strengthened the bond with four small piece of bass wood where the bulkhead transverses the false keel. Using such small ply I beefed the whole frame up by using 1/4 basswood. I alternated the how the supports met the bulkheads to spread any stress while planking and what ever time and humidity can do to my little boat. All for now my sisters and my brothers .
  4. I am so very proud and honored that my anchor hoy will be featured in an upcoming issue of the JOURNAL. However although I built it, I could not have done so without the many wonderful, educational post on this site. Thank you to everyone. Chief
  5. I know, I know I am supposed to building the 6 Gun Cutter LEE, and I am! However I saw the plans for this little dream and was interested. When I read her history I knew she was mine! This little build would also give me some plank work of which I have never done. Lap strake to boot. (If you're gonna go, go big!) The entire model will be from raw materials. Total cost about $10, maybe. The Island Belle was one of maybe 50 or so "Block Island Boats." She was mostly open except for a small area planked in to form a small cabin. and her cargo area could be shut. She carried beach rocks for ballast which could be tossed over the side. Interesting huh. She was 23 feet long and drew 5 feet of water. She was two masted with no shrouds or stays. What got me about the Belle was what she was used for. For a number of years she was the only means of communication between Block Island and the mainland. She carried the US Mail, packages, live stock, Grandfather clocks, wood the list goes on. No big deal except for the fact that this little work horse would make that trip in any and all weather! It seemed nothing the sea could throw at her mattered much. It was said that ships would ask the Belle to Go out and see it was safe. That is what hooked me big time. A boat and a crew so dedicated to their job they went and did it. It is rare these days to find that kind of dedication to duty. So in loving tribute and hope she will not be forgotten here is my build of the "ISLAND BELLE." I enjoy building a small model. Of course with 24 years on submarines I had to learn to do everything compact. I chose plank on solid for a few reasons. The model is small, and as this is a first planking attempt I wanted a good surface to practice. I found these plans. The text of the book gave a vague description and no other pictures except by a line drawing and the plans. I did about a week of looking into Block Island Boats. I found next to nothing Belle, however the other items I found helped me at least make some educated guesses. I do not know if I just did not look hard enough, but I could find nothing on how the boats were painted. So in another of my self lessons I will be using fine woods to bring her back to life. I travel some and when I can I find bits of this wood or that wood. I have some walnut from the tree at my Dad's place. Some maple from back home in WVa. I even found some scrap Mahogany from a dumpster outside a cabinet manufacturer. My poplar is plentiful. My wood sits in the garage curing and waiting for whatever I have in my warped little mind. Cherry is my favorite and my oldest son has a few behind the house. I transferred my plans to tracing paper, then using my band saw I cut the top and profile. I made a set of templates from card stock and began carving. Remember when you guys said never trust the plans till you check them? Well seems I forgot about that. The hull was not looking the way I thought it should and the mid section make Belle look like she was expecting. I check the plans and sure enough the stations lines were not in the same scale as the profile. Lucky for me the lines were bigger. I corrected the templates and carved her out. As she was mostly and open boat and I also wanted to show what she looked like inside I hollowed her out. I will fine tune the thickness as the planks move up. The stem, keel and stern post were then made from maple and Tiger wood, to give a hint of contrast. While I was at it I also made the rudder out of scrap bass. Got the pieces all in place and they looked so very nice. Never did a scarf before. However there seemed to be something vital I was forgetting. Hummm maybe it would come to me later. I prepared mahogany planks for the bottom strakes on the band saw. I made a special fence attachment for cutting my planks to.....to....well pretty darn thin. However when I tried to spit them in two the band saw ate them. So I made a simple jib to accurately spit them into 2.5 MM widths. Oh boy......time to plank!! I studied all I could about lap strake planking. I thought this would be a breeze. Why all the fuss about planking? 4 hours later and a small pile of splinters later and not one plank in place the thing If forgot came back to me. RABBETS! Ugg. So with nothing to loose, I chucked up one of my small triangle diamond cutters in the ole moto-tool. Just knowing disaster was looming I took the time to take some sheet aluminum and cut out the profile of the keel, stem and stern piece as one unit. I calculated the angle and using a small bevel gage I filed the angle of the Rabbet. I held the template in place and ever so gently used it to guide the diamond bit. Wow that worked out pretty good. I stated planking and it was going great except for the third plank, which just did not want to play. She he went off to the kindling bucket. So that is where I am now. More Later!! Keep a zero bubble! Going Deep!
  6. I am determined to see this to some sort of completion. I have modeled now for 30 years however this is my first ever wooden ship from scratch. I choose the Anchor Hoy for a few reasons. 1. Looks Strange. 2. Easy to Build, (I hope.) 3. This little ship has more meaning than just being a ship. Think about it. All the Clippers, Men-O-War, Whalers all rely on the unsung small boats that day in and day out did and still do most of the work. 4. I wanted to see if a quality model can be made in small scale. I have seen in kit instructions and other places where something is "too small to be considered do-able." I also wanted this project to show that a nice looking wooden ship model can be produced for under $50. I am using the plans from AMERICAN SHIP MODELS AND HOW TO BUILD THEM. I began by transferring the profile and station lines to tracing paper and the n using transfer paper, I drew the lines for the hull on a 8"X6"X2" basswood block. The station lines were drawn on thick plastic stock and cut using a #11 Blade. With the lines drawn I sawed the profile on my small band saw. Once that was done I remarked the station lines and carved and sanded the hull to shape using the plastic templates I made. Careful if you are building tiny models. One little slip of the file or even sandpaper means lots of "Do it Again." I attempted to add the Keel, Stem and Rudderpost using thin bass wood. Well that was a disaster as the thin weak wood went to pieces if you looked at it wrong. I tried about every wood I had, but it either broke to easy or I could not bring myself to painting fine wood. So, I have used plastic card for the stem, and keel. Not my favorite option, but now I have some strength in this important part. I now used the same thin basswood sheet to make the deck. Boy did I sweat this one! I drew the deck out and then scribed the lines. Holy Cow! That process took forever and by the end I was exhausted. I looked at my work and went "I sure did a great job. Too bad you can't see the lines. So I read through the forums and consulted books on how to make the lines visible and accurate. In a moment of "Oh well what have I got lose," I sprinkled Vallejo Burnt Umber Pigment on the deck and rubbed it in. Hoping against hope I brushed the excess off and then with 0000 steel wool rubbed out the rest. I was very impressed. As this is a working vessel doing work with greasy chains, mud, tar, and whatever else I made the deck used and dirty. I then went over the entire with three light coats of Danish Oil which was then buffed with the same 0000 steel wool. I made hatch covers and coming in basswood and they look 100% US Grade A Terrible. So they had to go and will be replaced by hatches of plastic card. The companion way is made of reclaimed cherry, and still needs a bit of detailing done. The transom and support knees are right from the plans and made of basswood and card. The one thing I most dreaded were the low Bulwarks. I cut my 2mm strips of basswood and boiled those for 5 minutes. I then wrapped them around a can and secured them with rubber bands. When dry I was surprised that they fit perfectly and glued in with not one bit of trouble. I have given the hull a Yellow Ochre coat to find any flaws. Oh and I found a bunch that need some attention. So, onward I march. More later shipmates. Don Author of OF ICE AND STEEL and EPITAPH

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