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Pride in the Pacific 1982 In late 1976 I got a job as a laborer on a construction site in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. At the site they were building a Baltimore Clipper schooner named Pride of Baltimore. Pride under construction in November 1976, just about when I started there. Five years later, on my 21st birthday, I reported on board as Pride's newest crew member. I spent two months aboard the boat in charge of her guns as she took part in the bicentennial reenactment of the battle of Yorktown. Yours truly is at the top right, in the cocked hat. A summary history of the boat is available at my site, as is an album of the few photos taken during my time aboard. In 1982 I acquired a copy of her plans from Thomas Gilmer with the intent to build a sailing model, but I was young, moved around a lot and it just never happened. In November of 2011 I got to seriously thinking about actually building a model of Pride and figuring out what size to make her. The upper limit was as large, overall, as Constellation, but there was a lower limit also. I tried scaling her the same as Constellation (1:36), but looking at what she would need in terms of batteries, winches, servos, etc; I didn't see how I could fit the equipment needed to control so complicated a rig. I decided to make her 1:20 scale, as large as I could and still stuff her into a van or SUV. With her lines scanned and scaled up I printed her stations on paper. There were glued to 3/8" CDX plywood, cut out, sanded, etc, and stood up on the old building board Constellation was built on. A work in progress: every item I draw in scale gets added to this plan. There they stood for nearly a year. On November 19, 2011 I cut out the keel, mounted it on the forms and began planking. I learned my lesson on Constellation and fully planked the hull, but I taped the edges of the forms so the planking wouldn't be glued to them, and they could be removed - leaving me with full access to the very limited space. The hull was planked in pine strips 1/8 thick and 1/4" wide. They were glued to each other, but only pinned to the forms. The pins were akin to half-length straight pins and bent at the slightest look, making planking extremely tedious and hard on the fingers. I wasn't doing the next one that way. I also didn't spiel the planks, but just laid them on from the keel up, and the sheer down, leaving that football shaped hole to fill. The hull being glassed and painted, it wasn't an issue visually, except that it bother's me constantly. I'm not doing that again either. By Halloween, the hull was planked. The hull was filled, sanded, filled, and sanded some more. The aft-most form with the counter and transom forms was given a tap with the handle of a screw-driver and came right out. Soon the other forms followed, leaving the hull open. The inside was sanded and then painted with diluted Tightbond III to get into the nooks and crannies of the planking and glue everything up. It was then given two coats of poly resin. The stern post was too tall, a sign of advanced planning. I cut it down with a rotary tool - you'll see why later. The stern and then the sides were fiberglassed with 4 oz cloth. Pride's plan compared to Macedonian's The concept I restarted the build logs for Constellation and Macedonian that were lost in the crash. There never was a build log for this model on MSW, but, what the heck, there is now.
This is my second ever build so I am a learner. I am busy working hard and have three kids so build progress will also be slow. I chose the Maid because it seemed like a pretty simple cheap kit to cut my teeth on. I am going with a slightly unhistorical colour scheme, inspired by Clayton Osterling's Experiment (See here: http://www.shipmodel.com/models/experiment-full-hull-nav). I would welcome feedback, encouragement and advice. Thanks! But despite being new to this, I am totally hooked.
(Image via Model-Expo, from whom I bought the kit). This kit is meant to represent one of many ships built in the early nineteenth century for the US Revenue Marine (fore-runner of today’s Coast Guard). However, no “Ranger” was ever built for that service during this time period, so the model only approximates a real prototype. The closest real vessels, according to my research, seem to be the two Alabama-class topsail schooners built in 1819 (Alabama and Louisiana). This conclusion is based on several factors: Recommendation of the Coast Guard Modeling website Comparison to plans available from the USCG website Dimensions given by USCG fact sheet for USRC Louisiana My own calculations. The resources above list the Alabama-class cutters as having a 52’ keel and 18’-6” beam, while Wikipedia also lists a length on deck of 56’-10”. The table below shows the kit’s measurements (taken from the plans), the kit’s size at full scale converted to feet, the actual dimensions from the sources above in feet, and the difference between the two scaled back down to kit size, in cm. Deck: kit(cm) 28, kit(feet) 62.6, real (feet) 57.0, diffrence (cm) 2.5 Beam: kit(cm) 9, kit(feet) 20.1, real (feet) 18.5, diffrence (cm) 0.7 Keel: kit(cm) 22.5, kit(feet) 50.2, real (feet) 52.0, diffrence (cm) -0.8 The kit does not perfectly match the Alabama-class cutters, most notably in deck length, but it’s closer to those than the other options (the 56’ Surprise class or the 60’ Search class). At this scale, only a true historian of the Revenue Marine will notice that the model is a few centimeters off; as I intend to build it as a fictional ship rather than as Alabama or Louisiana, this will matter even less. The overall hull shape, sail plan, and deck layout seem reasonably similar, and I will probably use the USCG drawing of Louisiana as a guide when the kit plans are uncertain or I prefer the former’s appearance. For example, the USCG drawing shows two swivel-based carronades of different calibers, which I find intriguing, and overall it’s more crisply drawn than the poor-quality photocopy in the kit. I could only find a few previous build logs for this kit, which are listed here for future reference (if I’ve missed one, please inform me): Ranger by matt s.s.: heavy kit-bash of the model into a glorious pirate ship. Ranger by trippwj: unfinished log, not updated since 2014, progress as far as beginning planking; intended to follow plans for the larger Search class vessels. Ranger by Small Stuff: unfinished log, not updated since 2014, many photos missing, progress as far as bulkheads. Ranger by Woodmiester12: unfinished log, not updated since 2015, progress as far as first hull & deck planking. So it looks like I’ll embarking on a fairly new adventure here, the most challenging model I’ve tackled to date, especially with the rather poor instructions in hideous English translation. Some may ask why I’m attempting this somewhat problematic kit when BlueJacket just released what is, by all accounts, a high quality kit of a similar revenue cutter. The answer is quite simple: I purchased this kit before learning of the BlueJacket release. Both I and Mrs Cathead love the look of topsail schooners, and I thought the challenge of working with a foreign kit would be good for developing my skills. Now that I’ve bought it, I’m going to build it. And for those of you wondering why I’m not tackling another steamboat, there is a twofold answer: one, the previous sentence, and two, it’s going to take me significant time to do the research and design necessary for a new scratchbuild. I’d like to do something that doesn’t have plans, like the Missouri River sidewheeler Arabia, and that’s a long-term project. So I’ll work on this revenue cutter in the meantime to keep my hands busy and my skills developing, and work on my steamboat plans in the background.
I'm struggling with a rigging question for my current built, the Corel Ranger, which is a fictional version of a US Revenue Schooner from around 1820. The plans for the standing rigging show only one normal shroud per mast (per side), with no allowance for ratlines. Then it shows two other lines from the top of the mast, through the crosstrees, down to blocks along the rail and deck, which appear to serve as shrouds but are not listed as such and don't use deadeyes or blackened lines. My confusion is twofold: One, what are these other lines for, as they don't appear to be operational (don't attach to any sails, yards, gaffs, etc) but aren't treated as standing rigging either. Two, with only one shroud per mast and no ratlines, how would sailors reach the crosstrees and the upper yards/gaffs for handling the topsails and any other repairs? One respondent in my build log suggested a bosun's chair, which might make sense for occasional access, but the crew would have to get up there quickly and commonly in normal sailing operations. Below is my attempt to diagram the situation. Most of the contemporary images I can find show these schooners with two or three shrouds per mast (per side) with ratlines, as I would expect. So is the kit just full of guano when it comes to this rigging plan, or is there a reason to do it this way? I would greatly appreciate any advice.