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Hello fellow shipbuilders I’ve been a member of MSW for awhile, but while I have gleaned considerable mounts of techniques and information, I haven’t “given back” by contributing a build thread. So I figured I’ll dip the proverbial “toe” into the lake of knowledge and wade gently into the wash of expertise here in MSW. Although the initial build of the hull is finished, I will be rigging the model and will continue to post my progress. I have modeled for years and my passion has waned from ships to giant scale RC aircraft and now back to ships. I will admit that my ship modeling has increased my scale fidelity in aircraft considerably, but my first love is the sea so the ships call again. So hear I am. Jumping back into the ship realm after 15 years of dormancy and to be honest, it feels like coming home after an extended trip. I will try my best to make an acceptable model but doubt that it will ever touch the level of perfection seen by many on this site. The subject is the 18th century longboat designed by Chuck Passaro in 1/4 scale (1:48). However, it will be a blank canvas to serve as inspiration for the true subject, an 18 century merchant longboat used in the Pacific Northwest fur trade circa 1790. I never build kits per plans. I like subjects that are unique and that include some research. So the kit will provide a starting point for departure. My main interest per my signature line below are the historical and exploration vessels of the PNW coast. As such, I figured it would be interesting to build a longboat that could theoretically be used from a frigate like Columbia Redidiva (name sake of the Columbia river in Oregon). Some planning assumptions: The larger ships that the boats came from were small, so the longboats, cutters, yawls and jolly boats that accompanied them were small as well to fit between the masts or on deck. Reviewing their logbooks, these small boats 16-24 feet were constantly employed shifting and setting the anchors for warping or mooring in the treacherous tidal and unknown waters. Typically the boats were armed with swivel guns and muskets. Sailing rig seems to be either a gaff or lug sail rig that was preferred. The boats needed to be very sea worthy due to the unpredictable weather, tides and heavy usage lightering water casks, wood, furs and supplies to and from shore. Due to unknown shoal water throughout the area, these boats were typically employed trading for furs with the natives in shallow water while the larger ship stood off the lee shore in deeper water. This offered the boats the opportunity to explore and operate independently for a considerable time. Terrifying if you think about how small they were in a hostile land halfway around the world will little supplies or support if stranded. As far as paint or preservation, merchant ships were typically cheap and paint as a luxury and was used sparingly for preservation. Paint was expensive and cut into profit. Reviewing logbooks showed that the typical paint carried was lampblack, Spanish brown, and varnish. Enough of my blathering........ I built the basic hull earlier before I decided to do a build thread. Sorry, no build picks. But I assure you that the construction was the same as all of the other 18th century longboat kits on this site. No real revelations or deviations from the basic construction. I used only the basswood parts provided in the kit. If I had it to do over, I’d probably mill my own yellow cedar and boxwood for the planking and parts. The basswood is soft and a pain to work with and the grain is too fuzzy. One of my least favorite woods. Here’s the hull built. I’ll point out some of the unique features. Paint was lamp black, hull white and satin poly-c. I added a bit more sheer than the plans called for simply because I like the look and some of the plans from NMM had the amount I was looking for, so I figured it could be justified. Instead of thole pins supplied in the kit for the oars, I used another option that is typical of the time period instead of a washboard. I’m not sure what you call it. Why did I use this style, I don’t know, I like the look 😃. There was quite a bit of discussion on some other threads about placement of the horse. I chose the option of above the tiller. There are plans circa 1800 that show this so it fits and seems logical. You can also see the tree nails used in the planking. Holes drilled and filled with hobby putty as shown by Chuck in his builds. I typically like to use actual treenails but at this small of a scale with it being so fragile I decided to give Chucks method a try. It worked well. Below you can see that I added a post for a swivel forward of the second thwart, let into the raised deck into the keelson and secured and notched into the supported thwart. The swivel gun itself was purchased from Chuck at Syren Shipmodels. The handle, was 24 gage wire bent around the pommel and blackened. The metal supporting bands on the post and swivel support carriage were made out of paper and painted black. You can also see that I added a roller to the bow like BobF did with his boat. Very functional considering the heavy work that the boat would be doing moving anchors etc. The grapnel anchor rests on the floorboards. The chainplates have eyes for hooks instead of strapped into the deadeyes. This allows the rigging to be set up and taken down quicker. The NMM model is set up like this. Finally, I added a block onto the stem for the outhaul for the jib. If you look at the NMM model it has this feature but isn’t rigged. If you look closely there is some damage to the bowsprit so I assume the rigging was probably repaired at some point and perhaps not rigged. There are contemporary paintings and plans showing this out haul rigged through a block such as this. I’m assuming that it helped hold the bowsprit when the jib was rigged in brisk winds, acting like a bobstay. A few more pics So with the hull complete its time for the rigging. The next installment will start where I’m currently at. We are now all caught up. I hope you have enjoyed it so far.
Got my AVS today from the Halloween Sale with complimentary paints (except the paints didn't arrive). - Maybe been held up in customs or something. I'm not sure if MS would of placed them in the box or not, but the box had clearly been tampered with when I opened the big package. Here is another one of my babies, singing to me. Now the dilemma to start one or both!
I just took advantage if the Treats13 code on model expo to get the Armed Virginia Sloop and free 8 MS paint set for $160. This is becoming very addictive. I've now got 3 kits and haven't even started one yet. Cheers Rowan