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Post 1 early November, the process begins Superb log a 1:24 kit bash This project is intended to celebrate the building of the first Schooner by the Hodgdon family, now in its fifth generation of ship building on the Boothbay Peninsula. There are several firsts that could have been chosen as the builder started in 1816 and then migrated east across the peninsula and then south to the East Boothbay Mill area over these first ten years. Before we make any decisions, we must first thank and give credit to Barbara Rumsey who tirelessly researched, and fortunately for us published her work tracing this history around Boothbay. In the Book Hodgdon Shipbuilding and Mills, A documentary History of the first hundred years, 1816-1916, published in 1995, Barbara tells us the story. To help with this upcoming exhibit, my first thought is to build a diorama depicting the final stages of building this schooner in the late spring of 1816. To do this work I have expanded research into re reading sections from some favorite authors. There are no surviving half hulls and many of the Hodgdon firm’s records were burned in a fire many years ago. I felt that it would be safe to take the plans created by Howard Chapelle. Even better I found that there is a recent kit using Howard’s design for the 1939 version of the pinky that was built and he apparently sailed before WWII. As I begin this project, I am in the process of moving to a new home and needing to rebuild a shop from scratch. That means lots of good news in the opportunity to improve the working environment. but an obvious crunch in time for me to have this done by next May. I bought the Glad Tidings kit with its great set of his plans. At the 1:24 scale it represents 39 feet long deck and 40 +/- top of rails and if I go back to the peak of the stern I can get to 42ft.?. This is one of those rationalization conversations. The first decision is what convention to use for hull length. I will quickly take a leap of faith that these history books and lists use the length of deck from inside the taff rail to the forward most point of deck. That was pretty well confirmed in the schooner books I read while researching earlier builds. But what records did they keep confirming what they meant for the tax records, used in Ms. Rumsey’s research, to determine lengths of vessels. If I want 42 feet, I have some choices: Do I build it as is? If I am wrong, it is only a few percent…so it should be ok. But then a diorama with a schooner roughly 29 inches long including all rigging is tough to do. On the other hand, I do not have time to recreate too much. This is not a build to go to frames unless I want to show something under construction. Do I scan the mold plans and adjust the scale to replicate a 42-foot schooner? I could drop to 3/8 scale = 16 inches +/- on deck or even ¼ scale = 10 inches deck to roughly 15 inches +/- overall which I think in the end is easier to do in a diorama if I want to show the launch. · The second decision is …am I building the first schooner built in Boothbay or by the first builder of Boothbay. Superb was not built in Boothbay but next door by a Boothbay builder… the first schooner he built in Boothbay was Ruby in 1823 maybe or Betsy 1824 surely. Both were pinky shaped and of similar size. So, we have the boat, we just need to settle on the name and town. Diorama option 1: build at 1:24 To build the kit hull through the deck. Then to show construction activities around the schooner. Perhaps rigging a mast and or the rudder. This would use up the kit material and get to a timely delivery. The problem is with the large size there will be little room to have things around. Think of the huge figures etc. Diorama option 2: build the above in 1:48 There are other considerations. If I simply use the plans for this build, what do I do with the kit. I find that Hodgdon built a 59-footer just 13 years later after they had arrived in east Boothbay. The largest Pinkies were built around 1831 at 69 feet. I would say looking at the list however that was an odd ball and not the norm. Also one does not just up the scale, one needs to research what was stretched to add 20-25 feet to a 40 foot schooner. After that large build, the “pinky’ classification stayed around the 39-42-foot version. That all makes sense to me because Howard Chapelle was a lot smarted than me, and he chose this size for his developed plan. Even so to build bigger would extend middle sections of the hull in some way that cannot be my design, so do I use kit parts for my material inventory and trash the molds or go ahead with one at 1:24. Diorama Option 3 only use the plans and raw material. I am considering to build at 1:48 or 1:64 Superb was believed to have been built on Westport Island. That is about three miles west of us. At the time it was part of the town of Edgecomb, which is the northern third of the Boothbay peninsula. Since after the move to East Boothbay in about 1823, the Hodgdon boat works remained there until today. 01 Here we have a modern google image of the east Boothbay harbor with the active Hodgdon boat works. This property was purchased much later than the period we are discussing. It was infact sold again last year to Washburn and Doughty. In the 19th century the Hodgdon boat works included all the land where the marina is now located. That was sold in 1970. Not long after that ventrue it became ocean Point Marina. The adjacent ship builders park is the once owned by the Reeds but changed hands a few times. The famous Adams yard where two four masted schooners were built in 1893 and 1890. was located where today Washburn and Doughty builds large sea going tugs and fire boats for offshore oil rigs. Caleb Hodgdon both the builder of Superb and its owner relocated to start the Hodgdon Mills in what is East Boothbay today. He also maintained ownership of the 42-foot Superb for many years. So perhaps I scale down and scratch build a 1:48 or 1:64 inch water line model resting on a mooring to be Superb and then a partially framed hull in the yard being build and I change the year to 1824 and call it Betsey or Ruby that were built there. I would use the rigging on the moored vessel and have the deck and a few things completed on the model. I might just bread and butter water line up the build up everything I am not building on the new one. If the new one is under construction, I can have incomplete planking and not worry about copper and all the other niceties that I see in the painting I have been studying done by Lane As to the look, I am going to depend on artists views of the mid 19th century and not the new reconstructions of brightly colored Pinkies that sail today. 02 Here we see one of many internet photos of models and that closely follow the paintings on coloring. 03 Here is an internet image of the proper coloring of the era. I say that because there are several contemporary paintings by lane also posted that clearly show the conservative coloring [black] with the copper bottoms and dark green under the wales. It is interesting to see all the bright colors of the later versions. Action for November I am entering a month of moving from one house to another and building a shop. I need to put together the frame from the kit and get going. No mater what option this build ends up with, the kit needs to be built up through the hull basically as intended, so here we go. RC follow up options. This is my overall plan to have scaled details static models at sensible scale and the simple built up RC versions. No more Bluenoses too detailed to sail at 7 feet long Since I may also build a 1:12 radio sail pinky after this diorama, I even suggest three possible builds all on one log. 1 build out the kit to have something to show next spring likely to be built through the deck and men working above deck 2 build the diorama at 1:48 or 1:64 with two boats. With enough time I could draw the fill in frames and have some areas without deck and planking as a better view of the building of a schooner. 3 build the rc. At 1:12 I plan a similar rebuild of Bowdoin as RC but that is another story. Much to think about I think time will be the ultimate factor in this decision. I have no tools now, so thinking and sketching is what I have. This writing as usual helps, me focus and draw conclusions. The plans are even packed in a box, and I have no idea in which one, so I have nothing to scan to play with in cad. I have no idea if this is a kit bash or a scratch diorama within which I use some of the kit. I am not building Glad Tidings as advertised, but will surely give them credit. I spoke about this posting question to colleagues at the New Bedford NRG Conference, and they agreed it is sometimes perplexing but not too important. My conclusion is I am kit bashing of Superb into a diorama as per option 1......we'll see Cheers
Hello all, I’d like to share a project I’ve been working on for the past month. I chose to start with the USS Maine in 1/72 scale but in truth I’m captivated by just about any pre-dreadnaught design especially some of the tumblehome hulls like the USS Brooklyn and the French Massena, Carnot, etc. Most of the work accomplished thus far has been in the cad program (fusion 360) but I’m just about to start printing parts as I move through and complete the design. I am including the torpedo boats that were meant for the Maine, and hope to eventually figure out a way to launch them while underway.
Well after 3 kits I think I am up to the challenge. The Maine was commissioned in 1895. She was sent to Cuba during their revolt against Spain to protect US interests. Despite being out of date when built the Mainh was considered an advance in American naval design. In 1898 the Maine suffered an explosion which killed most of the crew. At the time the explosion was used as an excuse for the US to enter the conflict. Now it is believed that dust from the coal bunkers caused a flash explosion. The first thing I did was look over the plans and the instructions. David B