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Found 31 results

  1. Hello Model Ship World! I am starting my build log for the Model Shipways Niagara. Although not new to model ship building, this will be my 2nd foray into wood. I recently finished the 18th Century Long Boat and learned so much, that I feel confident in moving to a larger ship. I am very slow and methodical when it comes to building. I'll let stuff dry for a week before touching it! I'm including the shots of the box and contents as it will probably be the last time it looks so neat and organized I cant thank other folks from the "Niagara Club" such as 6ohiocav and Mikiek (among others) for their build logs, your logs have been a wealth of information. Time to start counting sticks and get a keel laid down! Updates to follow! Tom E
  2. After building a couple of ships I decided to actually create a build log. I have built and learned a lot building the Phantom and the Pride of Baltimore both from Model Shipways. The Admiral bought me the Brig Niagara, also from Model Shipways for Christmas. I went down to the workshop this morning and started to open the box and did and inventory of the parts, all there. I then repackaged all the small parts. From history I ended up either loosing the parts or droping them to never be seen again. I am re-purposing some old medication bottles to store the parts. It normally takes a while for me to complete a ship so it may be a while before I have an update. The Pride of Baltimore took me over two years to complete. I enjoy the build so I take my time.
  3. I sheepishly reenter the water with my fellow Niagara shipwrights. I have been "lost at sea" for the last three years after my Niagara build (and as I later found my build log) took a raking broadside in a work bench accident causing damage to its stern and keel. More on that later, But I start with a short introduction. I am an amateur woodworker in Northeastern Ohio with a keen interest in military history. I am a true landsman, with no sailing experience. I built styrene models as a kid, including Revel's Cutty Sark, and gained an interest in building ship models, albeit in plastic. In the late 80's after graduating from college, and with a misguided motion that I would have plenty of free time, I purchased a POB kit, the La Toulonnaise. My unsuccessful efforts to negotiate the poorly translated, and nearly non-existent instruction manual, coupled with my lack of proper tools and modeling skills, doomed the project from the start. I kept that unfinished kit (I hit a road block at the construction of the stern fillers) for many years. I now regret that I must have thrown that kit away during one of my many moves and life changes. I sure wish I had it today. In 2011, I rediscovered my interest in wooden ship building after a visit to a tall ships event on Lake Erie where I toured the Niagara. That fall, Model Shipway put the kit on sale, and alas. I found myself back at it. There was one big difference however, While surfing the Model Shipway site, I came upon the link to this Forum. This was a real game changer. I found build logs from expert modelers like Bahama Diver and others that were building the Niagara. While the Model Shipways Niagara has a pretty good instruction manual, the color pictures on this site and the ability to ask stupid questions gave me the confidence to forge ahead. I started my build and the build log in January 2012. I completed the framing and bulwarks (and got past the dreaded stern fillers) by May of 2012. Then disaster! My bench table, an antique drafting table with a swivel top, somehow gave way, and my Niagara in its stern vice, and all of the material, tools and everything you can imagine we carry on our benches, was dumped onto the concrete floor. The fall crushed the stern fillers (of course) and broke off half of the keel. Surprisingly, there was no other damage, but the mess was extreme. I had just enough energy to clean up the mess, but not enough to continue the build. Fast forward to today. I was in Boston in December and had the privilege to see the Constitution in dry dock. What an experience. The inspiration of witnessing such a beauty gave me the initiative to take my Niagara out of ordinary and get it back to the shipyard. Of course, I attempted to access my build log, and discovered my ship was not the only thing that took a raking broadside. It was gone by way of the big crash (the administrators need to use live oak to build their hard drives). Since all of my photos were on an old computer that is long gone, I thought the log was a lost cause. I have been hard at work since January. I fixed the damage, finished the bulwarks, planked the hull and the deck, built the guns and most of the deck furniture, and just about finished the masts and yards. Here are some photos (forgive the poor quality) of where I am. Nothing is glued down, and is set in place just for the photos. I wasn’t going to post a log, but guilt and finally some luck pushed me otherwise. Over the holiday, I got my camera out for a family picnic and lo and behold, the shots of my build log were still on the camera disc. Since I spend so much time getting tips and help from others logs, I felt compelled to give back. Over the next several weeks, I will be adding the old pictures and recreating the narrative (that is truly gone). And as I go forward, will humbly place myself along side my fellow Niagara builders for the end run.
  4. And so my next build begins. Here the instructions tell us to put wood dowels through the keel and into that center wood piece. I used a small carbide drill (right) to put in a pilot hole and then followed up with the appropriately sized drill bit (left) for my wood dowels. Commander, the keel has been laid. Lets see how much I learned from building the Rattlesnake, my first wood ship build of this skill level.
  5. While this is not my first model ship it is my first attempt at a build log. My previous kits were all fore and aft rigged fishing schooners so this is my first real attempt with square rigged sails and all the yards, rigging etc. that comes alone. I have scrolled through many build logs and will follow what I have seen numerous times by starting with a picture of the kit box sitting on my workbench. I plan on working the ship's boats first as I am waiting for my new Byrnes disk sander to arrive and the ship's boats look like they will be a challenge while I wait.
  6. I have debated starting a build log for some time. Mainly because I fear I won’t keep it up. Also, there seems to be a rash of Niagara builders out there right now – many with great detailed logs. I’ve been at it for about 6 weeks so I’m also wondering why start a log now? Add to all that, I’m terrible with pics in posts. Goodness knows I could use the help. I haven’t assembled a model in 45 years. I’ve never tried a wooden one or one this detailed. I also have no real woodworking experience. It was just a wild hair that got me started. I saw a few models on display and decided I wanted to try. So why Niagara and not something a little more simple? After browsing model kits for several weeks I realized that all the ones that caught my attention were the 2 masted Brig/Schooner kits. They had enough complexity but still had a simple, clean look about them. They just seemed to grab me. Research seemed to indicate that Model Shipways instructions/plans were better than most so that seemed like a plus. In hindsight I am debating that fact now. Sooo, I began this ordeal on 10/05/15. I’ve assembled the hull & bulkhead frames – got them reinforced, squared & faired. Sadly, I did not take any pics during that process. I added the filler blocks and really struggled with the stern ones for a couple of weeks. The plans were absolutely no help. I came across a website that actually had a practicum for Niagara (for $$$). This builder took a different approach that seemed to make sense (1 piece per side rather than inner and corner fillers), but I felt like I was still missing something. Getting tired of fretting over it, I went that route. But it turns out I missed some of his details - there was a bit of a language barrier. Then, I went back to the 2 piece approach. I actually had a nicely shaped inner block(s) but couldn’t figure out the corner block. What I was gleaning from the plans just made no sense. Of course that was probably my ineptitude. Then I found this site and was excited to see several Niagara build logs, however the first few I came across on this site seemed to gloss over the topic. Then I came across lb0190’s (Larry) log - http://www.modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/313-niagara-by-lb0190-model-shipways-wood-pob-164th-lb0190/ - and that got the wheels turning (posts 7-12). Finally – the corner block shape should take on the profile of the outer horn timber. That was the missing link for me – easy enough to carve out, but weeks wasted getting to that point. Like Larry admits, I busted up the horn timbers more times than I will admit (bulwark timberheads as well). Also, I did not realize the notches in the horn timbers for the Arch Board were at different offsets so I ended up with the outer horns on the inside. I further mangled those up by chipping them out, so I ended up cutting an entire new set. My new scroll saw proved invaluable (and fun) there. I have a question about those notches which I’ll ask at the end of my speech. About the same time, I began my indecision with placement of the stern Quarter Stanchions. I came across lots of pics but most all had the stanchions partially covered with other parts, so there was no clear view. The plans could/should have given some measurement of the spacing from the outer horn timber – no help again. I have seen some pics where the bottom edge ran parallel to the stern and others where the edge was parallel to the side of the ship. I finally came across a statement saying that the external bulwark planking was supposed to lay on the outside edge of the stanchion and terminate at the stern edge. So clamping some planks to the outer side of the timberheads and seeing where they ended up (at the stern) gave me the clue I needed to place the stanchions. That was another week long inquisition. Still not sure if I got that right, but it seems to make sense. So that’s about where I am right now. The transom is framed but not yet planked. It was truly a relief to have that part of the assembly behind me! I apologize for the length of this post. I will attempt to be less verbose as things progress. I do have a few general observations: 1. I finally found a use for a Dremel tool. I have owned one for 15 years but never used it for anything other than grinding/sharpening my lawn mower blade. In a lot of cases I now find myself using the Dremel to cut (grind) pieces and also to do a lot of the rough filing. I do have to wonder if this is sacrilege to the long time modeler/woodworker. 2. I had hoped this was going to be a relaxing thing to do. To the contrary, I have found myself really stressing over many aspects of the build so far. There was a real sense of relief when I finished the transom framing last week! 3. I have a much steadier hand than I thought I would working with small detailed parts. Questions: 1. The notches for the Arch Board on the underside of the horn timbers are in different places. The inner 4 all line up the same but the 2 outer horns have the notch slightly closer to the stern. What is the point with this? Is the Arch Board supposed to arc (arch) a little to fit in all the notches? I can say a straight piece will not fit in all the notches. I did go ahead and spile a slight arch into the arch board so it fits the notches. But it also causes some grief – see question 2. 2. Still at the stern, the exterior transom planks look like they are stacked up on top of the Arch Board. Most pics also show them and the arch board slightly arcedupwards. My arch board did not do this. I ended up cutting a "filler" plank very thin, arching the top and glueing that to the top of the arch board. When I go to add the rest of the transom planks, they will follow the arc - at least that's the plan. 3. In placing the Planksheer pieces, I have noticed the notches that fit around the timberheads are way off in some places. A few by as much as ¼” - 3/8” off. I realize this can be adjusted, but is this much deviation normal? I cam across a few statements saying not to make adjustments to the planksheer. Instead do it all to the timberheads - even if that means they come out very thin. 4. I need to get the chocks for the mast feet glued to the keel before I forget. The plans show an octagonal foot although most pics I see the foot is rectangular. Any thoughts there? How in the world do you cut a cylindrical shape (the mast) into an octagonal one? 5. During the gun port framing process (my next step) several of you have stated do not add the upper & lower strip to the framing as suggested by the plans. Instead run a 3/32 square strip along the top of the timberheads. I'm headed down that path but I'm wondering where the square starts and terminates. At the stern does it go all the way to the transom - I saw 1 log where it stopped at bulkhead Q. At the bow, does it start at bulkhead A or all the way at the timberhead we added into the bow filler block? This site has really been a blessing so far. I wonder how many total years of modeling knowledge we have at our fingertips. I look forward to hearing from you and even getting to a point where I can contribute. Sail on….
  7. Another Niagara build log.... I'm Dave, from Columbia, Missouri. This is my fourth ship model project. My first, the Marseille by Mamoli, I built about 30 years ago and it turned out well for my first kit. Then I started the USS Constitution kit by Mamoli when I was in my 20's and got frustrated and put it away (it's still in my closet). I didn't build any more ship kits until I bought this Niagara kit 13 years ago. After planking the hull and deck I again got sidetracked as our children were born and I put it away. In the past few years I have completed two kits, both with the help of Bob Hunt's practicums, his Halifax kit and also the Kammerlander Duke William kit and I think these both turned out nicely. Of course, there were step by step instructions so it was easy to just follow along and produce a good result. So a couple months ago I decided to try a bigger challenge and complete my Niagara kit. I have been trying to get some good photos and I'm having some trouble getting them to look as good as I want but here are a few, showing where I'm at currently. I have benefitted from all the other Niagara build logs here, so thanks everyone for your assistance. Patrick suggested I do a build log so here goes. My main issue at this time is that the instructions don't really provide a lot of guidance as to the order to do the various steps in the masting and rigging. I'm hoping I have done everything I should before starting on them. I have done the rough shaping of all the masts and yards and I think I will continue to refine these and try to make them look like the plans show with all the various little parts attached to them. So that's what I'm working on now. I happily welcome any comments and suggestions! Dave B
  8. After doing a fair bit of research on MSW and thinking critically about my abilities, I've settled on the USS Niagara as my first wooden model ship. My experience with wooden models has been limited to RC planes and the tissue covered balsa variety. I must say, laster cut parts are significantly better than the stamped balsa variety! I began by constructing a building board out of 3/4" MDF. To hold the keel perpendicular to the board I designed a frame and clamping system out of Makerbeam (a small extruded aluminum t-slot profile with 4 faces) and attached it to the board via countersunk holes through the back of the board.
  9. The US Brig Niagara is my second build. Just the possibility of completing a build of this level is due to the sharing of experience and advice from the many talented people on MSW!
  10. This will be my first build log, and I wasn't sure if I should have it here, in the Kits forums, or in the Scratch build forums, since I am diverging so much from the normal, plank-on-bulkhead technique. I decided on the Kit forum, since nearly everything I'm doing is, well, based on the Model Shipways kit and drawings. All of my previous builds (Yankee Hero, Fannie Gorham, We're Here, Dapper Tom, and a recent 1/2-hull - 1/2- model of six masted schooner Wyoming) have been solid hull projects. I found dealing with my builds of New Bedford Whaleboat (PoF) and Grand Banks Dory (PoB) to be tedious due to the light weight construction. When I decided to build Niagara, I thought I'd try to construct a solid hull upon which to later apply the planking, and then complete the model per kit instructions. I have made some some progress on this effort, and thought I'd share the experiences of this experiment. A couple of thoughts to begin. My old microbiology professor preached "Hinkley's Law", which said "Most experiments are failures." I expect that may turn out to be true for this one, as well. During this build I have found the build logs of 6ohiocav and mikiek very informative; the website Niagaramodel.com is invaluable. The responses to my earlier post on planking a solid hull by BACKER and Pete Jaquith were helpful. I chose to ignor the advice in wefalck's response (sorry). So, here we go. Hold fast! My first task was to create a set of waterline drawings from the drawings in the kit. Let me say up front that creating these was fraught with the opportunity for error. Every time a point is transferred from one drawing to another, or from paper to wood, error can occur. I calculated that given the number of sections, the number of points on each section, the number of transfers, I had a 1 in 960 chance of matching the kit drawings. At best. I first drew onto the kit sections of the bulkheads the outline of my wood layers. From these I measured from centerline to the intersection of each layer with the section curve of the bulkhead. This distance I transferred to an overlay of the kit plan. Then, on another overlay, I connected the points for each layer by faring with a wood strip pinned to the drawing. This gave me a pattern to glue to my wood layers for cutout. Next: attacking the wood.
  11. Starting over with correct title. I started the yawl first to learn the basis of ship building. I layered the parts and carved the basic shape per instructions and then primed and sanded to develop the final surface. Here is a view of the inside. It got very thin in places and I also noticed while carving the end tabs and center line did not exactly line up. I then looked at adding the side layers; from my airplane building stock I found that Midwest item #8003 .0208" x .0625 scale lumber was what I needed to use; soaked in water and started at the bottom keel and worked my way up doing both sides at the same time to match. Please bear with me since this is my first attempt at ship lapping. Here is a rear view. Here is an overall view with rub boards added. This shows tracing the top board to match left and right and were then carefully trimmed to to the inside ribs. Next I will start adding the inside details. Also need to learn how to add the text below the pictures.
  12. Well, it appears to be that time. I have cracked the box and going to try and make some thing that appears like a ship. I gained a little bit of experience building the New Bedford Whaleboat but this is a whole different animal. Checking off the items now and looks like a whole lot of laser burn removal in my future. Made a build board for this part but I am wondering if I should buy a keel clamp or make something similar. Anyone have any thoughts on what is best to build and plank? I know a lot of people have completed or in the process of building a Niagara so I will have plenty of questions. Will continue to update as I go. Thanks for everyone's help. p.s. I did a search for adding completed builds to login and could not find it. Any help would be appreciated.
  13. First build. I chose this model because it was described as intermediate AND we are from Michigan. I.E. the great lakes where she was afloat. Also fond of any time we kicked British butt! Since I'd built untold plastic models from cars, to submarines, beginning at the age of 10, I thought I could handle an intermediate. I do believe I was wrong. But, I'm having fun and amazed at how much I've already learned. What not to do that is... So, take a back seat and see what else I do wrong. Learn from my mistakes. Do not as I say, nor as I do.
  14. So with the rebirth of the site I have a new motivation to post my build log instead of just stalking everyone else's. I moved on to wood ships after branching out from plastic ones and got hooked. Since then Ive build the Phantom and the MS Mayflower. The Mayflower as well as Chuck's amazing practicum helped me learn a lot of techniques. And that brings us to...the Niagara! Im mostly done the prerigging stuff and am looking forward to making all the masts. I decided to make the cannon/carronades run out but ropes stored. I also decided to spend half a millennium making all the tackle for the guns. Another coat of paint is needed to touch up the oops and things but I'll be saving that for last as smudges and things will undoubtedly happen. And enough words...on to the pictures! My amazing ship holding device.... And heres where I am now, making all the parts for the chainplates. And in other news im still terrible at soldering. Blacken-it is my new best friend I feel like im not uploading these images correctly...any tips of how to make them smaller until you click to expand them would be appreciated.
  15. Hello, everyone; I'm new to posting on MSW but have been working on my Niagara build for a few weeks now; I hope I get the "posting learning curve" correct (thank you, moderators) and become a productive member of this great community! I'm sure I'll get more out than I put in, as I am a relative beginner, but I'll try my best First question: how do I resize my photos so they fit? Thanks for your help. Bob
  16. I'm just posting what I have of my Niagara log. Well, mainly it's going to be just pictures at first. I am getting close to an actual update point though.
  17. Hello everyone, This will be my third build log here on MSW...the US Brig Niagara, a Model Shipways kit. I acquired the kit awhile back and had it in the queue. I was waiting until I could visit the real vessel in Erie and do some research and get some photos. As in my other logs I plan to post all here the good and the bad, the successes and failures, highs and lows. So without further adieu, welcome to my Niagara build. I started by laying out the rabbit on the false keel by measuring it off the plans with a small compass and transferring the 1/16in dimension to the f-keel. As the plywood supplied was relatively soft instead carving the rabbit I decided to use files and sanders and sand it in. This went very quickly and worked well. Next came sanding and fitting the bulkheads until they fit the f-keel without being forced, once completed they were fitted taking note of which ones will need extended into the rabbit, glad I tested these, there are a few that will need to be fine tuned. At this point I started looking at the sheets that contained all the parts for the ships boats, they are to be built up in lifts using the 'bread and butter' technique, Having never built in this manner before I decided to set the main hull aside and work on the little boats. The parts separated from their carrier frames nicely and the glue up was uneventful, what followed was a lot of sanding, filling, sanding, filling, priming filling and more sanding. If I were doing it again I'd leave the bottom off as i think it would make shaping the insides easier. Still a ways to go on these little guys. Well that's all for now, sorry for being so long winded, pics follow THX J
  18. A little background on this build. This is the first wooden ship I have ever built that has a chance of actually being completed. I bought it just after it was released, back in Dec. 1998. I paid $169.99 for it (I still have the invoice). Previous to this, I bought & eventually threw away Billings Vasa (in the '70s) & the Mantua/Sergal Victory (in the early '80s) that I still have. It is started but will never be completed by me since I have now bought the Caldercraft Victory. I would even be willing to give the Mantua Victory away for the price of shipping. I know all of the fittings & plans are there but not all of the wood or line. I also have a Heller plastic Victory that is complete but started. I would make the same deal. When I bought this ship, digital cameras were just becoming popular. I believe most of the pictures were shot digitally. Keep in mind, this is my first actual build. I did not have internet available to answer questions so I guessed on a lot of this (& not always correctly). Since reading this forum, I can see many errors & better ways of doing things that would have made this so much easier. These are the first pictures I took of construction.
  19. November 17, 2014: The adventure begins! (well, kind of.) My Niagara kit and tools arrived today. I can't get started on it yet though. First I need to finish putting together my workbench and organizing my work area. I'm also still waiting for my Fair-A-Frame from Model Expo. Definitely going to be taking my time with this build!
  20. Hello to all. I am a long time reader but first time posting a build log. My first wooden ship model was from Scientific America and was built back in 1978 for my father in-laws new office. Since that time I continued building ships every couple of years until the hobby shop I used closed its doors. In 2002 I found Model-Expo and started building again. Like most builders I started with solid hulls then progressed to POF and POB models. Then I started doing kit bashing and small from scratch models. Until the Niagara I had never built a ship with a hull bigger than 16”. Anyway I hope I can do justice to this forum and build.
  21. Finally starting my build log. I have spent a good hour or so going through the kit and counting out the parts. Not too much missing, a few double blocks and 1 casting of a carronade roller assembly. Not too major but surprising. Being that it is a small part I will just try and carve one out of scrap wood when I get to it.
  22. OK, joining the 'Niagra' build club. Bought the kit about 7 years ago after building a couple of simple ones (Constitution cross section, etc.), but after reading the instructions, I knew I was in over my head. So, I built a couple of kits based on Bob Hunt's practicums, learned a lot, bought some needed tools, etc. And now, I believe I can do a fairly decent job on my own (thank you, Bob). Started with an inventory of the ME kit components, and I found several items were shorted, including over 50 blocks. But, even though I bought the kit in the last decade, ME was very responsive, and I had my missing parts within two weeks. I have progressed to attaching bulkheads to keel (level and square, this time - see, I'm learning from my earlier mistakes), drilled holes in keel for base attachment, shaped bow and stern filler blocks, and generally completed the stern. I did have one problem with the kit - the horn stanchions did not exactly match the inner and outer stanchions, so I will need to do a bit of surgery after the fact, to make for a smooth transom after planking. I am hoping the planks themselves will correct the problem, and time will tell. By the way, I do plan to replace some of the bass wood with Holly deck planks and the bulwarks/ceiling probably with either pear or boxwood - for a smoother finish. Haven't decided yet about the rigging lines or blocks. Comments, suggestions - please send me all you have. I will likely only post once a month, and my build rate is pretty slow as I probably don't spend more than 10 hours a week on the ship.
  23. Greeting everyone! Yes, I'm back with the Niagara-anonymous Club (we should prob have our own forum for this, but everyone is welcome in this house of solitude). Since I did not save a copy of my old log, I'll basically start with a brief intro/summary of my build, then jump into where I am now. As before, I apologize in advance if I don't make frequent updates on my progress, but I will reply to questions/comments as they come up. This is still my very first wooden/POB build (I'm not counting my 60+ plastic fleet that's it's own navy), so needless to say I felt like an orphaned deer in headlights when the Great Crash of '13 happened. I would not be anywhere near where I am nor confident in my abilities without the help and support of the passionate craftsmen and women of MSW!!! So I salute all of you!!!! To summarize: Began the kit in March 2009 (got her for $145, which is a steal) Purchased some small tools (probably less than $200 in tools to work with- doing this "on the cheap") Framing of hull completed in summer, 2009 Inner bulwarks planking complete in Dec 2009 Hull planking completed in May 2012, shortly after joining MSW 1.0 (took 2.5 years due to my hectic work schedule and a year's hiatus from the build) Deck planking completed in Sept 2012 (unstained as of yet) Completed deck gratings and their coamings Where am I?: Began work on the carronades (batch of 6 at the moment) Just received my Ropewalk from ME (after being backordered for 3 months)- tried my 1st attempt to get a feel for the thing last night Anxious (scared?) to use the Blacken-it I received from ME (halfway considering stripping the guns that are painted and blackening them for more even color) What's my ever-evolving plan?: Finish sanding and staining deck & install hatches only Complete all carronades and long guns & their tackle Build all deck structures and misc deck fittings (fife rails, pin rails, install all deadeyes & rings, etc.) Bowsprit, lower masts (wood fabrication and some standing rigging) Tops & topgallants, followed by yards Finish standing rigging Running rigging Ship's boats and cutters I'll also try to work on my photography skills so I can show my work and oopsies. Thank you all who visit and I'm glad to be sharing my experience with you, and vice versa! -Rich
  24. My current project and my first POB model. Previous builds include Sea Witch by Scientific, built in 1975 and recently restored. Also Constitution by Revell (plastic), built c. 1965, which ended its life as a wreck at the bottom of a fish tank. Also Yacht America, Plastic by Monogram?, which sat on our mantle for 20 years before being replaced, tentatively, by Sea Witch. Other things I have built include 7 clavichords, 3 harpsichords, a rebec, a mountain dulcimer, three treehouses, a bunch of kinetic sculptures, flying model gliders, static plastic models of many descriptions. Also mobile robots and a robot arm capable of feeding paralyzed people. So I am not new to design or building but am very new to POB wooden ship models. I became very frustrated while restoring Sea Witch that I could not do scale details. [i calculate the scale to be 1:76 but it seems much smaller than that]. I am looking forward to comparing photos of the actual ship with my model. I know I may come to regret that anticipation. But I have seen such beautiful results from members of the Niagara Club that I think I have some hope of building a nice scale model. The Build Begins

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