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US Brig Niagara by jct - Model Shipways - 1/64th

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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















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Hello again,


  Well as I said in my first entry this log will contain the good, bad and the ugly...having all but completed the outside shaping of the ships boats I turned my attention to the inside.  To speed things up I decided to us a ball mill in my drumel...which worked very well till I got a little to aggressive and blew right through the side in two spots.  After calling myself endless expletives I pondered what to do...Model shipways has an excellent customer service so I could get a new launch...I could display the finished ship with only two boats...I could beat up the rest of the model and claim battle damage...or I could fix the holes!

   Fix the holes it is...some of you that have modeled in plastic are probably familiar with Squadron green and white putties, they are solvent based and have a very fine texture and work on just about anything.  They say white stuff is a bit finer but other then the color I've never seen a difference, both dry fast and sand very well and are easy to obtain a feather edge, you can also thin them with acetone. 


That's the product I choose to make the repair .  I first backed the hole with green tape and then layered in the putty, once dry the inside got the same treatment.  24 hours to dry and then the sanding began again.  Pics follow










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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Another Niagara update...I decided to move back to the main hull by completing the bearding line and mounting the bulkheads. I'll be jumping back and forth between the main build and the ships launches.

I began the bearding line by laying the plans over the false keel and marking the line with the sharp point of a compass. The head scratching began with the port side line, as the plans only show the stbd side...so using a pair of clamping tweezers I transferred the marks from the stbd side to the port...then just connected the dots, worked pretty well.

The bearding in was then carved and sanded to the correct taper.

The bulkheads in my kit all seemed to have a defined cant to them so to square things as they were glued I'm using a couple Lego's and clamps on each one. Pics follow.








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