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  1. Hey guys ... I'm new here and wanted to try my hand at a wooden ship model. I cannot hope to complete anything as remarkable as the build logs I've seen but I want to try anyway and you've gotta start somewhere. I chose the Syren because I like her lines without regard for difficulty. I belonged to a yahoo group about model ship building around 20 years ago although I have no real experience building a wooden model. I did build a cross section of the USS Constitution back then but I can't say I knew what I was doing although I did learn a lot. I have started several other kits but got to hull planking and abandoned them. That was before forums (I even remember B&W TV) so I will rely on you guys for assistance in explaining things to me. I do have a fully equipped woodworking shop and experience mostly building small projects like boxes and chessboards although I have done a little furniture. I have also done some wood carving. I should apologize for the photos I will post. I lost my left leg so I am wheelchair bound now and unable to get better angles but I will do the best I can. I am retired now so time is available as long as I am not seeing that endless string of doctors. I got started by gluing the rabbet strip to the bulkhead former and then the stem. From there I cut out the rabbet. I have never done that before so I hope I did it correctly. I used my scalpel to thin the deadwood area which actually was easier for me than the smaller cuts along the bottom of the bulkhead former. Then I sanded as best I could making the transition as smooth as possible. That discoloration is a result of that sanding. I am now beginning to attach the bulkheads. With a background in engineering I know that the foundation is critical for the entire project so I was careful to get things square. I started with the center area because the bulkheads are larger there so it is a little easier to get the square in place. I have some leftover basswood blocks for carving that I intend to use for fillers. Cutting them on the tablesaw is next. I didn't see any indication of where the masts will go so I marked one side of the BF from the plans as I will undoubtedly have to drill holes somewhere along the line. I am also undecided as to the platform for the ship when completed. I have a decent pair of brass pedestals. If I use those I will have to prepare the BF for the nuts and bolt holes along with reinforcement. That is a lot more work, of course, so I don't quite know what I want to do. Any suggestions? Ken
  2. I decide to build the Syren after reading Chuck Passaro's instructions and Gahm, dubz and augie's build logs. The work done on these build is truly amazing and I'll be using them to guide me with my build. It has taken me a year to get up the nerve to enter a build log, so here goes please bear with me. 😁 on June 28th I received the kit so as seems to be a convention here's a photo of the box.
  3. I am going to attempt to create a build log that is somewhat different. It is intended to follow my first ship construction including both the good and bad that occurs. I have built and flown RC Aircraft for about 18 years now, and have some experience with wood construction. However, I know that what I am starting is quite different. I have to stop building planes since some are now so big, they barely fit in my pickup bed. That being said, I will gladly take advice and comments as I go along. Since there are numerous build logs by experienced builders here, I will try to stay with a photo log and keep the writing to a minimum. It will be mostly from a newbie point of view any way, and I am not sure what tips and skills will convert from planes to ships. So here we go.... First, I needed to add some items to my tool box/bench. Not much need for a 9mm wrench, hex wrenches, or other larger tools. So I bought some diamond files, spring clamps in different sizes, and built my own building board that can be seen in the pictures. I used scrap wood I had laying around, added a lazy susan to be able to turn the model 360 degrees if needed. I built clamp devices that will allow me to turn over the build when I begin planking. To keep the table from spinning, I put in two blind nuts and a butterfly screw on each side. This will allow me to clamp it from either side so it will stay put. Today, I was able to begin the first step..... Hoist Anchor and get under way. 😃
  4. I recently completed the Fair American, which is my second build. It followed my first build– a solid hull Model Shipways Rattlesnake-that I completed 45 years ago. Looking back on the years, I had no prior ship model experience prior to the Rattlesnake. I had seen some ship models in a hobby shop, and I decided to try my hand at the Rattlesnake. IMO, the build turned out good. The 45-year hiatus was due to raising a family and making a career in civil engineering. Then, came retirement and an opportunity to try my hand at ship building again. I’m glad that I did. The experience was so gratifying that I decided to embark on a third build – the US Brig Syren. I ordered the ship from ModelExpo shortly before it temporarily closed its operations due to the Coronavirus outbreak. While awaiting delivery, I studied Chuck Passaro’s fine instructions on-line at the ModelExpo website. As I progressed through the instructions, I compared them to some Syren build logs on the Nautical Research Guild site – it helps to read other build logs and to learn from their experiences. From what I have read, I suspect this build is going to be very challenging. It’s going to test my resolve. Anyway, this is the first post on my Syren build. It starts with the obligatory photo of the ship model box. I checked the parts list against the contents and found everything to be in order. I labeled the size of the various bundled wood strips for quick reference. The numbered and lettered bulkheads (BH) were tested in their proper slots in the bulkhead former (BF). They fit nicely – no sanding necessary. The BHs will be beveled later. I soaked the 3/32” x 1/16” rabbet strip in water for about 20 minutes and then attached it to the BF, held in place with rubber bands and clips as per the instructions. After it dried, I permanently glued it to the BF, taking care to be sure that it is centered. I also glued a rabbet strip to the stern. I let the rabbet dry overnight. While the glue was drying on the rabbet, I began beveling the BHs, both outboard (first) and inboard (second). I decided to complete all the beveling before returning to the rabbet. Returning to the rabbet, I traced the laser cut bearding line and perforated holes to establish the bearding line and then carved the taper from the bearding line towards the rabbet edge. I tapered the bearding line toward the keel with a chisel and sandpaper. I completed one side when I discovered that I used the wrong size rabbet strip – Duh. So, I removed it. I decided to taper the bearding line on the opposite side of the BF before replacing the rabbet with the correct size strip. This worked out well, and it made me wonder why the tapering of the bearding line couldn’t be done before fitting the rabbet strip. For me, it was easier. You just need to taper each side evenly so as to leave a wide even plane on the bottom of the BF to glue the rabbet strip. With the taper from the bearding line to the rabbet complete, I repeated the process of installing the rabbet. I let the rabbet strip dry overnight. I turned my attention to the stem knee. I tapered the stem knee to fit the figurehead. I filed the figure to lessen the amount of taper and for her fit better. I took care not to taper the stem knee beyond the bob stay holes. I laid the BF, the stem knee, and the 3/16” x 3/16” basswood strip for the keel flat on the work bench and checked that the rabbet depth was about the same on both sides of the stem and the keel strip. I had to sand the rabbet one side to deepen the depth of the rabbet. The keel strip was fine. I glued the stem knee, secured it with clamps, and let it dry sufficiently before gluing the keel strip. While waiting for the glue to dry, I tapered the two laser cut bow fillers. I attached the false keel with blue masking tape to protect the keel. At this point, I decided to drill some pilot holes (1/8") in the BF for the masts as some other builders had done. I superimposed the BF onto the plan sheet and marked the angle of the masts on the BF using a straight edge aligned with the center line of the masts. Inserted the BHs into their respective slots, making sure that the scribed sides of each lettered BH face towards the bow and that all sides of each numbered BH face the stern. I faired the BF as per the instructions, checking the fair with a 1/8” x 1/16” planking strip. Rather than glue all the BHs permanently and then cut and glue the filler blocks, I glued each BH and cut and glued the filler blocks as I went along. I started with BHs P, N, and L, jumped to BH 26 and 24, and then completed the process from BH D through BH24. The filler blocks were cut from 1” x 2” pine stock left over from a home improvements project. With BHs and filler blocks in-place permanently, I did more fairing, outboard and inboard. Cut 1/16” x 1/8” basswood strips for the platform between BHs 16 and 20. Ran a pencil across the edge of each plank to simulate the caulking between them, and each one in-place. Opted not to add tree nails since they won’t be visible. The planks will be cleaned up and stained with MinWax Golden Oak later. Moving on to Chapter 3, I taped the framing template to the bulkheads. As can be seen in the photos, the BHs align closely with the template, except for the bow. This did not surprise me because I had read in other build logs that the templates are way off – they don’t align with BHs P and N. To check the squaring of the BHs, I cut out the overhead view template and placed it on the deck. The BHs align closely with the overhead view template. Also, as a check on my mast pilot holes, I superimposed the overhead view template on the plan sheet an marked the locations of the masts – the pilot holes are spot on. As I interpret the template, the bottom of the template represents the bottom of the 3/16” wide gun port frame. The top of the bottom yellow line would be the gun port sill. I pinned a batten at the bottom of the template on the starboard and port side of the hull. I removed the template to find that the batten doesn’t completely align with the bottom reference line etched onto each bulkhead. Considering that they aren’t that far off, and that the instructions say the bulkheads may not be sitting in their respective slots at precisely the same level, I decided to use the batten as a guide. I marked each bulkhead edge with a pencil along the top of the batten and removed the batten. The batten also serves to check the fairing. The fairing looks good as the run is fairly (no pun intended) smooth with no humps or dips. Based on the plans, the gun port sills are 3/16” above the top of the BHs (1/16” for the plank. 1/16” for the waterway, and 1/16” for the swivel bracket). So, rather than use the batten, I opted to use a 3/16” strip as a guide in locating the gun port sills. I placed the 3/16” strip on the top of the BH as a guide to align the top of the gun port frames. I think this approach should pretty much assure that the gun ports will be probably aligned with the carronades – time will tell. While waiting for Amazon to ship my Dremel 8220 cordless rotary tool, I started measuring, cutting, and fitting the gun port sill frames from the ¼” x 3/16” wood strips. I used a mini miter box for cutting the strips. Starting on the port side, I glued the frames in place (from stern and bow), taking care that the top (sill) of the frame was set flush with the 3/16” guide strip. While the glue was drying, I cut and fit the starboard side gun port frames. The ¼” wide strips require a lot of sanding – I had planned to use the Dremel. To alleviate the amount of inboard sanding, I set the frames such that they protrude just beyond the BH. The consequence of this is that it increases the amount of outboard sanding. To lessen the outboard sanding, I trimmed the frames before sanding. I sanded and filed the port side gun port frames inboard and outboard - wish I had my Dremel. Then, I glued the starboard side gun port frames, allowed the glue to dry, trimmed the frames, and sanded and filed them inboard and outboard. For the placement of the gun port lintels, I used a block cut to 15/32” to position the lintels. The process for installing the gun port lintels is the same as the gun port sills. I set the 15/32” block on each gun port sill and the lintel on top of the block and glued the lintel in-place. Whence the glued dried, I sanded and filed the lintels by hand to fair them with the hull. At this point, some the lintels are a little less than 1/8”, so I want to be careful not to over sand them. Next up, the green frames. I set up the template as per the instructions and I marked the locations for each vertical green frame on the gun port sills and lintels. I measured and cut the frames from 3/16” x ¼” stock. I glued the green frames in place using the 15/32” block as a guide. As with the sill and lintel frames, I trimmed the green frames to lessen the sanding. I sanded the outboard frames to match the BH stanchion profile. Using a 1/8” wood strip as a guide, I placed it on the port sills and marked the position of the red (horizontal) frames. I measured and cut the frames from the 3/16” x 1/14” wood strips. The frames were glued in place with the 1/4” side facing outboard – no trimming required here. I held off on sanding the red frames until after the blue frames are installed. I made a 1/8” x 1/8” block to square the sweep ports. Measured, cut, and glued sweep port frames (blue) in place. I did some final outboard sanding. The hull fairing looks good. Only one glitch so far - While sanding the lintels, BH 4 broke off. I glued it back on but didn’t get it perfectly aligned. As a result, in the last photo you’ll notice the port side of the hull has a hump at BH 4. This may not be noticeable after the bulwarks is planked and the cap rail is installed. I’m satisfied with the progress, however. Next up, Chapter 4 – Stern Framing. Stay tuned.
  5. I hope there is room for yet another Syren build log. I don't own any power tools apart from a dremel and a drill, so I'm curious to see how I progress on this build. I also hope I can keep up with the great builds I have seen on this forum. This is my second kit and first build log. First was an Artesania Latina's Virginia 1819 which I completed a few months ago. I'm sure everyone here has seen it but here are some photos of the Syren kit (please let me know if have not selected the right resolution, I took these on my phone and uploaded them here without any size modifications): I started organizing the parts by checking the parts list and labeling everything: I already have a few questions before starting the build 😅: 1) I got wood belaying pins instead of brass due to shipment issues from China. What's the general consensus on which is the better material? 2) Are the number of parts in the part list more than what is required in the build? The reason I ask is because I am missing a few 3/32” Single Blocks out of the 310 total which is mentioned on the list.
  6. Hi, my name is Thomas Gahm. My build log disappeared as so many others during the recent crash, and I just try to reconstruct as much as I can. Bulkheads and filler blocks are being glued in place. Gun ports are framed and the fairing of bulkheads is finished. Planking of the upper part of the hull with bass wood strips. The strips were selected for homogeneous color and texture. Treenailing using the wood filler based method described by Chuck in the instruction book. During my last ship model build (Anfora kit Ictineo II) the combination of the applied wood stain and the slight fuzziness of the treenail hole edges led to a larger treenail appearance than initially intended. To avoid this effect I drilled holes which were slightly smaller than the intended treenail size of 0.5mm and I opened them up with a needle of a slightly larger diameter (0.53mm). This led to well defined, round holes with sharp edges, which once filled with wood filler gave me the intended treenailing effect. Planking of the lower hull with bass wood strips. As this part of the hull will be covered later by copper sheaths I did not particularly select the wood strips for texture or color. Finished hull planking. Lower part of hull planking. Two brass pipes were buried in the keel to allow for the possibility to mount the model later via two brass carriers inserted in these pipes. If these mounts should not be needed the holes can be covered up via the false keel. Stern view of the Syren. Mounting the Syren name turned out to be a bit tricky due to the small size of the photo etched letters. The following method worked for me: I painted the letters (white) while they were still attached to the photo etch grid. After separating them from the brass grid I arranged them to form the name “SYREN” on a sticky tape mounted on a flat piece of wood with the sticky side up. Once I was satisfied with the arrangement of the letters I covered them with a second piece of transparent tape with the sticky side towards the letters. After turning the whole arrangement upside down so that the first tape was on top and the second tape underneath the letters I removed the first tape while carefully making sure that the letters did not come loose from the second tape. Now all that remained to do was to apply some superglue to the uncovered letter backs and transfer the name as a whole in its final arrangement to its destination on the stern. The use of a transparent tape allowed for precise positioning. Once the letters were glued to the hull the tape could be removed. Building of the stern transom. To form the stern transom I modeled it first with a piece of paper which I then used to cut out the wooden (bass wood) counterpart. This was then soaked in hot water and bent to its final shape in a jig. The formed transom is glued in place. Finished transom. Front view of the Syren. The planks are stained with a mixture of 1 part Minwax Golden Oak and 2 parts Minwax Natural wood stain. Stern view of the Syren. Planking of the deck using selected basswood strips. The planks were tapered towards the stern. Finished deck planking with waterways. I painted the locations of the future gratings black to prevent the possibility of the deck planking to be seen through the openings of the gratings. The deck was stained with Minwax Natural wood stain. Stern view of the deck with treenailing. Plank nibbing. Deck view.
  7. I'm going to do a build log even though my model is nearing completion. If nothing else, it will remind me of what I've done, both good and bad. There are certainly a lot of areas I can improve on in the next build, which is yet to be determined. So here's the beginning with the frame, bulkheads, and spacing blocks. Spacing blocks were cut on table saw from scrap wood and make alignment super easy.
  8. Hi All! Well, as promised, I decided to start my next ship after a brief hiatus following the launch of my HMS Sultana. But...I decided to follow other folks who jumped into the USS Syren! It really seemed like the best choice for a number of reasons. - The Sultana gave me a good base for my skill set, but the Syren will expand on it in a step wise manner (Gaff rigged schooner to a more complex Brig) - The Syren and Sultana are built at the same scale, giving me a bit more confidence in applying what I learned building the Sultana - The Syren will be my first plank on bulkhead (POB), and represents a new skillset I have yet to really develop - namely planking - There are a lot fo great completed build logs on the Syren here...so lots of immediate knowledge from other modelers just a click away - The practicum written Chuck Passaro for the USS Syren is priceless! I work a lot, and during my Sultana build the various 'breathers' I took did not slow me down, since the practicum gave me a mental placeholder and seamless way to pick up where I left off without breaking stride. (In other words, the practicum I think really aids those modelers who often need to step away for weeks or months occasionally!) So...it's from here that I will start my new Syren build. Moving on...
  9. Hi everyone. Long time modeler but first time wooden ship builder here. I have waited patiently to finish two projects - IJN Yamato and USS New Jersey, both in 1/350 scale - before starting this kit. Now they are done it is time to start on Syren. I can't hope to match the beautiful renditions of Syren created by others here, but I do hope to learn from them. By way of background, I have been making plastic models from kits for the past 10-12 years. I started with 1/35 scale armor, dabbled in 1/48 scale aircraft, and then gravitated to 1/350 scale ships. Along the way I acquired a huge assortment of tools and paints, and developed an almost masochistic degree of patience. IJN Yamato and USS New Jersey both took me two years or more to complete - and I suspect Syren will take longer - so patience will be a requirement. I'm sure many of you are thinking, "Oh no, another first time builder who has bitten off more than he can chew." Possibly - we'll see - but there zero chance I will walk away from this build or the hobby in general. True to form, I will work slowly, watch carefully what better builders have done, and ask a lot of questions. At the end of the day, I'm not afraid to screw this up and that relieves any sense of pressure. There WILL be a ship that comes of out all my efforts ... the only question is whether it resembles the real thing. 😝 As true "negatives," I have no experience working with wood, and I wouldn't consider myself handy in a real world sense. I'm not the guy who whips together a treehouse for the kids in a weekend. And scratch building is something I have avoided in the past. Finally, I suspect I will be diverted initially gathering tools and supplies ... things like rubber bands, binder clips, clamps, balsa wood blocks, etc. that I haven't needed in the past. At any rate, here I go. Since I don't have much to share at this point, I added some pictures below of my workspace, my first steps, and my previous projects.
  10. Started on building the brig syren, and the first photo so fare am planing to get some lights on, so its know time to plan this before I start going to fast forward
  11. I decided to jump into the deep end. Wish me luck. Ive spent countless hours reading through logs of this build, staring at my own kit and going through bits and working out a plan and knowing that it would be a long, likely arduous project. I had intended on procrastinating further with other projects, but given the continued COVID related time at home I decided to go ahead. I had planned that Medway Longboat would be my next build log, and it may yet become one of two ongoing projects but until I can get my hands on one of those I really only have this sitting around and a long abandoned Bounty Launch build to focus on. So, with being fully aware that I might come and go from this over time I decided I might as well get started. My kit came like all the rest - in the ubiquitous blue box, filled with random bits and sticks. I was a little disappointed as others have been, that some of the castings and other parts are not nearly as nice as the design, planning and instructions that were created for it. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I have none of the warping in the plywood parts that others have observed. Everything appears flat and ready to go. The manual is hearty, but not made from the best paper so I'll likely transition that to a three-ring binder as it will never survive intact in my workspace over the time it will take to finish this build. I do a lot of highlighting and marking up, which means it goes with me to work (2.5 hour commute by boat and train, each way) and will need something a little more conducive to travel. I don't know about you guys, but with these manuals, I don't really fully grasp what Im reading until the third time through - so to say it gets used would be an understatement. Today I started in on Chapter 1. The only issues I noted were that none of the various keel and bulkhead former (BF) parts were the same dimensions, though they were definitely intended to be. Everything seemed off by a 1/64" between the BF, stem knee and keel. Finally, the timber provided for the false-keel is also off by 1/64". No big deal. In order for the stem knee to properly transition into the keel, I had to run the 3/16" x 3/16" timber through the thickness sander to take it down to match the thickness of the pairing end of the stem knee and provide a flush and completely flat surface with which to mate the false keel which also happens to be a hair shy. I tried all 10 provided sticks and found they were all shy. That is to say, the 3/16" was taken as a suggestion in the production of my kit and not a rule. Forming, gluing and carving the rabbet. I found the design and construction process of this rabbet far more pleasurable than past projects. The bearding line was a little confusing, but I think will work in the end. The laser bearding line cuts right through the center of the much heavier bearding guide holes so I followed as well as I could despite the fact that I wasn't sure If the guide holes should have been better accommodated in the carving. Assembling the stem knee and keel went by easily enough. After determining where I needed to intervene to correct the dimensional issues everything came together very nicely. Next Ill probably go ahead and notch out the BF for masts as was originally suggested by Novastorm here whose also got an ingenious sanding violin bow (post #3) thing I intend to experiment with, and whose mast alteration step was seconded by Walrusguy here. Both of whom Ive been following closely. Ive also been following Patricks build here, whose hand skills are evident in his careful and clean construction. I hope to learn much during this build from them, and the rest of various SYREN builds in the archives.
  12. Hi everyone. This is my first build though I’ve been making architecture models for years from basswood and chipboard. I’m excited to dive into the ultimate model making arena! As a newbie, the amazing instructions and photos for the Syren kit made the decision easy for me. Also the great build logs here are a fantastic reference for learning, and I’ll try and do a few details differently on my Syren to keep things interesting. The kit arrived on Feb. 24 and here’s progress so far: I carved the rabbet with a 1/4” chisel, sanded down, and glued the keel to the bulkhead former (had to sand this down to align with the lasercut stem piece at the bow). I carved the edges of the bulkheads where needed with a #11 blade close held close to the thumb (similar to cutting a small piece of fruit) For assembling the bulkheads I’m going to try something different. I don’t have any power tools for filler blocks but I feel good about this method- using a blade to score 4 sides and snap extra 1/4” basswood I glued 4 corner braces at the same time as the bulkhead itself (increasing 4 surfaces of glue to 12). Pressing with both hands it locked in quick enough that clamps were not needed. All the kit pieces were already flat and square so this allowed me to save some time. I faired the hull with angled foam sanding blocks and used extra basswood strips to define the sill of the gun ports. I used mini clothespin clamps on every other bulkhead, and then added a tiny dab of clue at the others - enough to hold it in to mark and then twist off. I found the micron marker to be very precise for the edges. I also made a base stand with using a wood angle piece from Home Depot. This photo also shows the makeshift jack using my computer mouse and an artists kneaded eraser. It’s surprisingly stable and i coming in handy as I start gluing the gun port framing and need a different angle quickly to check alignment.
  13. I feel fortunate that I am able to be the first to show off this beautiful little kit from Chuck and the Syren Ship Model Company I know quite a few Winchelsea builders already have this, because I had to stand in line for a couple of weeks to get mine. Here is the no frills packaging ( I ordered one each of the cherry and Alaskan yellow cedar versions ) next to the comprehensive assembly instructions, available for download at Syren. Winnie Capstan Instructions Here is the cherry version spread out. The wood is as high quality as I have ever seen. It reminds me of pear, in that there is very little noticeable grain. However, having worked with a lot of cherry lately, I look forward to the color I know will pop out with a very light finish. Chuck has provided five different thicknesses of material, from 1/32" to 1/4". The attention to detail is what you have come to expect from Chuck and Syren, with the included black monofilament to simulate bolts and the black laser board ring detail. There is just nothing else out there, kit or molded, to compare to the realistic look of this kit. Sure, we might see a 3D printed one any day now, if they are not already out there, but they will not be wood, and we will know it.. I can't imagine how Chuck found the time to design this and bring it to production. He never sleeps. At $23.00 it is a steal.. It will be a great addition to any 1:48 project, and in an historically accurate way. The design and look of these things did not change much over a 100+ year period. I don't have any plans to build the Winchelsea, but I have a couple of projects in mind where this kit will fit right in. The quality and completeness of the kit is fairly self explanatory, so I don't know what else I can say at this time. Please hit me with any questions you have. I plan on putting it together in the next few days and will create a build log to document the experience. I hope I can get close to the bar Chuck has raised.
  14. Well, since going back to school a couple of years ago, I've had to put my modeling on hold. I have been lurking on the site from time to time however, which has been a nice respite from my studies. Now that school is starting to wind down, I'm able to lurk a little more, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've decided to re-build my log from the pre-crash era, even though I won't be able to perform any solid modeling for a while yet; just having the log back up will be immensely satisfying. I'm going to try and post relevant pics in a sequential order, and any pics which seem like they might be of help to others. Enjoy, and feel free to leave any comments or suggestions. I am going to be very rusty once I start her again, and will probably need guidance in order to make sure I don't mistakenly wander down the wrong path! Alan
  15. Since I started this build back mid October the first post will be rather long as I try to bring you up to date... This will be my second build following MS Bluenose I which I really enjoyed putting together and finished last year. When the box arrived and I got around to opening it a couple of weeks later I was surprised to find the bulkheads and the bulkhead former were extremely warped. An email was dispatched to MS and a short time later new material arrived. This seems to be a rather prevalent problem with this kit. Sad really when you think about all the work that went into it's creation and how popular it has been. That aside I am really looking forward to slightly bashing the kit with the use of swiss pear for the decking and some other elements. Plus I will be replacing the badly cast kit cannon's and carronades, ships wheel and a few other features including the cast decorations which to me look unusable. Here are the MS cast cannons and carronades against the plans, I will be using brass cannons from Caldercraft part# 85180A and part# 85818A for the carronades. The little mermaid is actually not to bad cleaned up! The galley castings P&S are different sizes, I am going to attempt to make my own. The transom decor is probably pretty hard to cast at this size so I will attempt to make my own. This will be my first time carving so your guess is as good as mine... we will see! t So lets begin with a bit of Syren History btw it appears the mermaid figurehead was added by the British USS Syren (1803) Courtesy Wikipedia, Published under creative commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ History: United States Name: USS Syren Builder: Nathaniel Hutton Cost: $32,522 Laid down: 1803 Launched: 6 August 1803 Commissioned: 1 September 1803 Renamed: Siren, 1809 Fate: Captured at sea, 12 July 1814 RN EnsignUnited Kingdom Name: Siren Acquired: 12 July 1814 by capture Commissioned: Not commissioned Fate: Not listed after 1815 General characteristics Type: Brig Displacement: 240 long tons (244 t) Tons burthen: 298 (bm) Length: 94 ft 3 1⁄2 in (28.7 m) (overall); c,75 ft 0 in (22.9 m) Beam: 27 ft 0 in (8.23 m) Depth of hold: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) Propulsion: Sail Complement: 120 officers and enlisted Armament: 16 × 24-pounder carronades USS Syren (later Siren) was a brig of the United States Navy built at Philadelphia in 1803. She served during the First Barbary War and the War of 1812 until the Royal Navy captured her in 1814. The British never commissioned her but apparently used her for a year or so as a lazaretto, or a prison vessel. She then disappears from records. Description Syren was designed by Benjamin Hutton, Jr. of Philadelphia and built for the Navy in 1803 at Philadelphia by shipwright Nathaniel Hutton and launched on 6 August 1803. She was commissioned in September and Lieutenant Charles Stewart was appointed in command. She was sharper, but smaller than USS Argus (1803), yet carried the same armament. Both vessels were built the same year for the First Barbary War. Service history in US Navy: First Barbary War Syren departed Philadelphia on 27 August 1803 and reached Gibraltar on 1 October. A fortnight later she sailed via Livorno to Algiers carrying presents and money to the Dey of Algiers. She then sailed to Syracuse, Sicily, where she arrived early in January 1804. The first action Syren was involved in was an attack aimed at destroying USS Philadelphia, a frigate that had run aground the previous autumn and that Tripolitan gunboats had then captured. To prevent Philadelphia from opposing his planned operations against Tripoli, the commander of the American squadron in the Mediterranean, Commodore Edward Preble, decided to destroy her. To achieve this, Syren and ketch Intrepid sailed from Syracuse on 3 February 1804 and proceeded to Tripoli, which they reached on 7 February. However, before the American ships could launch their attack, they were driven off by a violent gale and did not get back off Tripoli until 16 February. Before the attack Syren tied up alongside Intrepid to transfer some of her crew for the assault on Philadelphia. Aboard Intrepid, under the command of Stephen Decatur, sailors from both Intrepid and Syren succeeded in burning Philadelphia. Also present during the assault was Thomas Macdonough of Syren. Bombardment of Tripoli, 1804 Syren returned to Syracuse on the morning of 19 February. On 9 March, she and Nautilus sailed for Tripoli. Soon after their arrival, on 21 March 1804, she captured the armed brig Transfer belonging to the Pasha. Stewart took Transfer into US service and renamed her USS Scourge.[5] She then served in the American squadron. The very next day Syren captured a polacca named Madona Catapolcana and sent her to Malta. Operations in the Mediterranean during the spring and summer of 1804 and participated in the attacks on Tripoli in August and September 1804. The ship continued to support the squadron's operation against Tripoli which forced the Pasha to accede to American demands. After a peace treaty with Tripoli was signed on 10 June 1805, the brig remained in the Mediterranean commanded by Master Commandant John Smith for almost a year helping to establish and maintain satisfactory relations with other Barbary states. The ship returned to America in May 1806 and reached the Washington Navy Yard in August. She was laid up in ordinary there until recommissioned in 1807 and subsequently carried dispatches to France in 1809. In 1809, her sailing master at the Norfolk Navy Yard was Captain John "Mad Jack" Percival. The following year, her name was changed to Siren. War of 1812 Little record has been found of the brig's service during the War of 1812, however small news items appeared in the Salem Gazette and the Boston Gazette. In May 1813 it was reported that within the space of two days a merchant vessel, Pilgrim, was boarded, first by HMS Herald which was searching for Syren, and then by Syren, which was searching for Herald. Syren was now commanded by Lieutenant Joseph Bainbridge. The following month Syren left Belize and proceeded to Cuba where after three weeks searching for a Royal Navy sloop, probably Herald, she sailed for the coast of Florida putting in at New Orleans before departing on 9 May 1813. No prizes were taken during this voyage and the ship needed repairs. By January 1814 Syren was in Massachusetts and was now commanded by Lieutenant Parker, In February she sailed along with a privateer, Grand Turk. Not long after sailing Parker died and command transferred to Lieutenant N.J. Nicholson. Syren captured at least three merchant ships off the coast of Africa. On 28 May she captured and burnt Barton, Hassler, master, which had been sailing from Africa to Liverpool. Then on 1 June Syren captured Adventure, which too was from Africa to Liverpool. She took-off their cargoes of ivory and sank them. Lastly, at some point Syren captured Catherine. On 12 July 1814 Syren while cruising off the West African coast encountered the British ship HMS Medway a 74-gun third rate ship of the line under the command of Captain Augustus Brine. Heavily outgunned, Syren attempted to run. After an 11-hour chase Medway captured her despite Syren having lightened her load by throwing overboard her guns, anchors and boats. During her last voyage she had captured or sunk several British merchantmen. Among the prisoners was Samuel Leech, who later wrote an account of his experiences. According to Samuel Leech, after being captured the crew of Syren were taken to the Cape of Good Hope, and after landing at Simonstown, marched to a jail in Cape Town. Here they were held until transferred to England when the war was over. On arriving at Simonstown, other American prisoners were seen to be leaving the jail and being shipped off to Dartmoor. The Syren crew met these again in England while waiting for transfer to the United States. Some had been present at 'The Massacre'. British service history: After the capture by Royal Navy she had a figurehead of mermaid installed. The Royal Navy used her as a lazaretto. She is no longer listed after 1815. So lets start things rolling, Below: gluing what will become the rabbet strip between the keel and the bearding line. After cutting and sanding the bearding line into the bulkhead former the stem knee is sanded (tapered) in order to facilitate the mermaid figure head. Then the stem knee is glued into position on the rabbet strip. Next the keel is glued on. The slight step where the stem knee meets the keel is where the false keel will go running to the stern. Seems to be a little controversy as to weather the false keel is copper plated or left natural wood. As it is designed to come off if the ship should run aground I plan on the un-coppered look which is what it calls for in chucks instructions. Now I test fitted the bulkheads onto the BF (Bulkhead Former) after sanding out the char. Followed this by ruffing out the bulkhead bevels. Nice to now get a first look at the form of the ship One area in the instructions that made me cringe (sorry Chuck) is in Chapter 12. for setting the masts. They want you to take a electric drill and drill out the mast holes down through your deck and into the plywood. By this point the ship is half done including the copper plating etc. The main mast has quite a rake to it and the fore mast is almost perpendicular. This step has given people nightmares lol. So I wondered why they didn't just notch out the plywood with the laser like on the bluenose. I searched for a reason and couldn't find one so I went ahead and did it myself. It is so easy to do. Using Sheet#1 of the plans, lay out your BF with the stem knee and keel glued on but nothing else Line it up on the sheet and you can draw the mast lines and angles right onto the BF. Now you just cut out your notch and glue two sandwich boards one each side to make a mortise. When it comes time to set the masts all I've got to do is file two side of the mast base to form a tenon that will fit right in and have my mast all set at the approximate degree required. Doing it this way I should be able to get away with not gluing the masts in also. In the instructions they glue the masts in. Here's hoping anyway! Pick showing what I did: Now with the mast notches cut. I cut plywood to make the sandwich. Before gluing any of this together I faired up the bulkheads a bit better using a guide plank and glued them in using a square to keep everything in line. A few pics below: Next, I've blocked in the BH's and BF to stiffen every thing. Don't laugh at my blocking I had it nice and neat then realized I had no room for sanding and filing in the later work along the bulwarks. So I grabbed the axe and knocked it all back Then came the exciting part as I got to use some pear to fill in the platform (decking) that will be just visible through the galley door. I pulled out and used the least nicest pear ends for this since it will barely be visible. Followed with a coat of Lee Valley tung oil. I also painted the background black to mask it. Then I installed the bow filler and began checking the inner fairing on the bulwarks. A few pics... Thats all for tonight folks, will add more sooon, be safe out there! Regards, Robin aka Nova ~~~
  16. I ordered the kit from Model Expo, got a great deal with the Father's Day sale. Unfortunately she's back-ordered for a few weeks, but I hope to be unpacking soon! I'll be using the Syren Model Company blocks and rope, so it should be a good upgrade from my last build where I used cheap square blocks, but that'll be a ways down the road.
  17. All, Back to ships! With so many excellent builds of the Syren here on the site, I have decided to put my skills to the test and give her a whirl. I'll need all the help I can get, as this will be my first plank on bulkhead build. Looking through the other logs, I can tell there will be more scratch work than I have done to date, too. I am really looking forward to the journey! All parts have been accounted for. Plucking out the keel board, the very first order of business is to straighten it out. There is a slight curve to it, so I gave it a quick soak in water and have clamped it flat. We'll see how it looks in a couple of days when dry. The curve is slight, so filler blocks would very likely be able to set it right, but I like to make things a little easier on myself. Making those filler blocks is something I am not quite sure that I am looking forward to doing. Well, I can say this: my woodworking skills are going to get a workout! Onward! ~john
  18. I will in a few days post photos of my progress since I just opened the box a few days ago.
  19. Hello all I can’t believe how much I have learned from all the other great build logs here on MSW so I thought it was about time to get going on my own. I actually started my Syren about a month ago and have been working on it as time allows. I am thoroughly enjoying it so far even though there have been some challenges. My background like many others has been primarily plastic and RC. I can build a plane out of balsa or foam anytime but I have very little experience with this kind of woodworking. I mostly fly electrics now but I also like heli’s, cars and nitro trucks. So, without further fanfare, I present my interpretation of the US Brig Syren. Just for orientation here are a few pictures of my shipbuilding environment.
  20. So just before wrapping up my first build the 18th Century Longboat, I decided to purchase this kit because of the excellent instructions. I also have a couple others on my shelf waiting to be built, the HMS Endevour's Longboat by Artesania Latina and the HMS Granado by Caldercraft. I intended on building the AL longboat first, but found the instructions very lacking in any sort of detail. So I picked up the 18 Century Longboat and worked on it for a little bit, before planking felt daunting and it sat for about 6 months before I finally decided to give it a go. Finished planking, then found I wasn't ready to try shaping and cutting out the cap rails, floorboards, or decks, so it sat again, and little over a year later, last month, I dug it out and finished it, my build log is below in my signature. I had intended on doing the Granado after that one, it's directions look pretty good, but I think the Syren's directions are a bit better and I was able to get it on a good sale a couple weeks ago. So here I am starting my second build, I will move on to the Granado after I finish this one and one day I'll get around to AL's HMS Endevour. I won't have nearly as much time as I have had these past 2 weeks, where I've finished the longboat, it's back to work for me. I am a high school CAD drafting and wood shop teacher, so my summer officially ended Sunday. Back to work for me yesterday, students return Monday. I plan to work on it a little each night and will try to remember to take photos and journal what I have done here on a regular basis. First off here is my complete workstation. I have enough wall space to hang the large plans on the wall to the left of area. The smaller plans for the Syren I folded up the white space around the edges and taped them up on the back side, they are small enough to fit in my work area when I need them. Next up is the required unboxing. Looks like I got the good sheets of wood and not the pink plywood I've heard about. My plans and templates also came the correct size and scale. I saw someone here do this to their manual and I thought it was an excellent idea. So when I finished my 18 Century Longboat I put it into a folder and protective sleeves just like this. I was just barely able to fit all the pages in with just enough length on the metal tabs to fold them over and contain all the pages securely. One of the plans, with the empty white space folded up and taped in the back. I took a complete inventory of all the parts, although admittedly I didn't count each and every block, deadeye, nail, eyelet, etc. I tapes and labeled the sizes of the various wood stock. And placed all the small items in a small plastic case with dividers.
  21. Hi all. This is my second ship build and also new to the forum. I’m almost done with my first, a Blue Jacket Ship Crafters Red Baron. I am down to painting which is a process so I decided to start on the Syren. At first I was not going to post my ship build because I am a newbie to this hobby. After reading all the supportive comments and suggestions in other builds I decided I was being an idiot. With that said I have started and here are my initial pictures. I look forward to comments and suggestions.
  22. Hi all, As my Rattlesnake will likely take a while, I decided to work on a kit at the same time. I was recently given a already started Syren. Sweet gift 😊!! Some much beautiful models on this forum, I will try to do it justice. Here is the current state.
  23. I have recently started to work on the US Brig Syren from Model Shipways. I just say these instructions by Chuck Passaro are too notch. I am currently working on the rabbit as seen in the photos.
  24. This is my first posting here. I am about to start my second wooden ship build. I believe the first model was the Dumas Kuala Lumpur kit, I built over 30 years ago. I picked this kit, due to the fact of the detailed instructions included. There also seems to an abundant wealth of info here on this site about that kit. I have built RC planes both from kit and scratch before. There will not be much progress on this until next month, I have a rocketry project that needs to get off the work bench first as you can see in the last photo.
  25. Hello This is my build log for the US Brig Syren. New member and per my introduction a few weeks ago, I mentioned starting the kit in the fall of this year. Changed my plans a little, so hoping over the next few weeks to get to chapter 2 before summer arrives. Where model ship building is a winter time project for me, over the summer may look at taking my time and fairing the hull while sitting on the balcony. One problem is that I have a bend in the bulkhead former. I understand chapter 2 stating fair the hull with the bulkheads temporarily in place (and properly aligned) and using a plank to check my work. Once satisfied, then glue the bulkheads in place. Then create the filler blocks. Reading up on dealing with this bend issue and plan to proceed as per another member in this form. Due to the bend in the BF, think I will look at creating the filler blocks before gluing the bulkheads in place. Then proceed with fairing the hull. This will allow me to remove the bulkheads to fine tune the bevel individually and confirm that the bend has be removed before any glue applied. Any advise on this? For now, once the wood strip dries over night, will be gluing this basswood strip to create the rabbet over the next day or so. This is going to be a fun build. Blaine
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