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Carrie Price by thibaultron – Lindberg/Pyro – PLASTIC – 1:64 - Small - Skipjack

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Part 01


This is a build of the Skipjack Carrie Price using the Pyro Chesapeake Skipjack Oyster Boat model kit.

After some research I found out that the Lindberg/Pyro kit is a model of the Carrie Price as recorded by Howard Chapelle. After I started the kit I found the name cast on the transom, but had not noticed it before I started my research. The Carrie Price is one of the projects in “American Ship Models and How to Build Them” by V. R. Grimwood and Howard I. Chapelle. I am using the plans in this book to build and update this kit. I am planning to depict her as build around 1895. I’m not going to make this a museum quality model, but will do my best to make it a good one. According to the Chapelle drawings the model comes as close as I could measure to 1/64th scale, the same as the book drawings.

This will be somewhat of a slow build, as I am also working to expand my shed/shop, and the finished section is a mess, with “stuff” from the unfinished portion (enclosed, but no insulation, electric, etc.) piled into the finished area and my work area. Also I decided to do this build log after I had partially assembled the hull, so I will have to describe some of what I have done so far, without the benefit of before and after photos, in the first parts. I also have the help of cats in writing this build, so have to take frequent “Look, I want attention, so I’m sitting/walking/sleeping on your keyboard.” breaks.

This is my first model in quite some time and my first build log ever, so please bear with me, if you decide to follow this along with me.

I do not know all the correct names for all the various parts of the boat, but will do my best.

Modeling suggestions and corrections to the names I use for the parts welcome!

I will be using information in the Grimwood book, information I found on line, the drawings for the Willie Bennett by Model Shipways, and the book “Model Boat Building: The Skipjack” by Steve Rogers.



Box Cover Art


The kit is fairly close to what is shown in the drawings, but does have several problems. Here is a list of those I have found so far:

  1. Minor, but paint scheme shown on box wrong. The Chesapeake Boatmen were superstitious about painting blue on their boats, the exception being blue in the field of the American flag, or bunting. This was generally used only on the trailboard decoration. Also the decks were painted white, not left natural. Red copper paint was also the standard at the time for the anti-fouling paint. The cabin tops were generally green or a slate gray, from my research, still looking into this.
  2. The trailboards below the bowsprit were ornate, the kit has nothing decal or otherwise for them. I have no information on what the Carrie Price’s trailboards looked like, so I will use a modification of those detailed in the Willie Bennett kit. The Bennett trailboards have features that are common on examples I found of other trailboards. (besides I already redrew the Bennett’s trailboards for my own use). Additionally the drawings indicate a bird figurehead at the end of the trailboards. The Bennett has such a figurehead. I will use the same graphic as on the Bennett drawing on the end of these trailboards. I plan to print one on the end of the trailboard graphic, and then shape the profile of the stem to match. I will not try to crave a 3D figurehead.


Trailboard Ida May



Trailboard for Caleb W. Jones. Note the stem brace that is similar to the Carrie Prices.



Trailboard of the Nathan Dorchester



Port trailboard graphic I will be using for the Carrie Price. It will be about 2 inches long on the model.



Here is a roughly cut print of the port trailboard placed on the model to see what it would look like. The print is cut  too thin at the fore end to fit between the soon to be removed detail. Note also the original railing and knightheads. I have just started to remove the stem detailing at this point.


The numbering for the points below should have started with 4,5, etc. but somehow was reset when I copied the text to this post, and I can't seem to change it. Please bear with me as I learn.

  1. As an interesting side note, if you look at the pictures of the Jones and Dorchester, the bowsprit does not rest on the stem much past the hull, on these two. I’ll have to look closer at the Bennett plans and the Rogers book.
  2. There are some major fit problems in the pieces, nothing that can’t be fixed with some putty, but they must be corrected for a good looking finished model. See the stem keel joint in the cover art picture.
  3. There is no oyster dredging equipment included in the model. This is actually a bonus for me, as she was built before the use of power dredging winches, and thus the deck casting has no marks where the winch parts might be attached. The down side is that I will have to build 2 hand powered winches, for which I have found some photos/drawings, but none with dimensions.
  4. The stem in the trailboard/rail/ bowsprit area is incorrect. I’ll explain when I get to that section. See the heavy detailing on the box top
  5. The railings in the bow and stern do not extend far enough.
  6. Rope coil castings in the deadeye and stern railing areas are terrible and incorrect, I will remove them.
  7. The mast is a little crude, but most importantly badly warped. I will have to make a new one.
  8. The boom is also warped, but I may be able to use it with modification. The casting is fairly straight side to side, but curved vertically fore and aft. The long booms on the real boats sagged, but my boom is curved up rather than down! I have not decided whether to make a new one (with or without sag), or remove the sail attachment detail from the top of the boom, invert it and remake that detail. I’m leaning toward making a new one, with detailing that matches the proportions of the ones on the mast I will have to make.
  9. The furled sails are just wrong! The jib is not too bad, in real life it would have been furled tighter, but this could pass. The main sail on the other hand angles in the opposite direction from the mast rake! The main sail is attached to the mast via mast hoops and thus the leading edge should always be close to the mast, it can’t pull away as shown in the model. I’ll make new sails, I have not decided whether furled or set. I can use the plans from my Willie Bennett kit for rigging, and sail construction.
  10. On the prototype skipjacks the bowsprit has made with a downward curved hog or bow. This was cut into the  shape of the bowsprit, it was not steamed in from a straight spar. On the model the bowsprit is a straight spare. Also, as is not atypical on plastic models, the fittings on this, the mast, and the boom are cast quite massively. The model part also has no round to octagonal to square transition area, as shown in the plans.

The model overall though is accurate in dimension and overall shape, a good starting point.

As a note: The kit includes two ship’s boats, this is correct. The large boxes in interior are also correct. They are engine covers. Maryland law dictates that the skipjack itself may not have an engine, sail driven only. This is a measure to limit oyster harvesting in hopes of preventing overfishing. The auxiliary though is allowed an engine. If the wind is insufficient for dredging the boat, oddly enough called a “Push Boat” is lowered and used to push the skipjack. If the wind is good, the boat is not used. The second boat provided is the one used to get from the shore/dock, to a moored skipjack. The engines on the auxiliaries were generally automobile or similarly sized motors.



Push Boat drawing from Nation Archives. Note the lack of a rudder. The Push Boat direction is controlled by steering lines (see below).



Push Boat in operation. Note the rigging for controlling the direction of thrust, from Nation Archives.



Push Boat “Thrust Pad” on the E. C. Collier, from Nation Archives


I will show some small sections of the plans to illustrate where I will be making some of the modifications. Other than the hull/railing details above , most will be in the rigging area, so I will just show photos of my progress for that.

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Part 02


The first major concession to my skill level, is that I decided to leave the raised deck seams that came on the model. I was afraid I would scar the deck surface too much trying to remove them, and the plank width looks OK.


I assembled the hull, stem, stern post and deck, before looking closely enough at my plans. The detail on the stem area is not correct, and I had to remove it as detailed later, with everything together. If you are going to build this model, do those steps first!


I then filled the gaps at the joints with Tamiya putty, using shaped popsicle sticks to get into the tight spots. This putty sticks to skin well, so use gloves! Most of the filling was where the stem and stern posts meet the keel, as well as along the deck to hull seam.



Filled Gap at the stem keel gap



Filled gap at the stern post keel gap. You can also see where I will have to extend the rails to meet the transom.


I also cleaned up the wheel house and installed it and the cabin sides. These will all be painted white, so I figured why try assembling them after the individual parts were painted, then have to touch up the joints.


I had installed the railings when I discovered the problems in the bow area. Once again correcting them would have been easier before assembly.


The first minor problem is that while mostly correct, the stern railings need to extend further back, I’ll fix that a little later in the build.


Now to the modifications needed at the bow:



Plan Drawing of bow.




Assembly drawing from instructions

  1. The model has the rails end at the, for lack of a better term, the knightheads. The large “H” shaped assembly that goes on either side of the bowsprit (5) butt. In the drawing they extend to the fore end of these (4).
  2. The “knightheads” as shown in the drawing (3), sit inside the hull, over the waterway area. There is a board that attaches between them over the top of the bowsprit butt.  On the model the knightheads are cast even with the outside of the hull, and the rails terminate at their aft edge (4). Additionally the bottom portion of the knightheads are cast on the hull and the tops and the cross piece are a separate casting that is to be glued on top of this (3A & 3B). With the draft necessary for the manufacture of each piece, this leaves them diamond shaped in cross section when done. Not flat. There is not enough “meat” on the parts to be able to shape them to look good, if I was willing to overlook the position error. Also you have to install the bowsprit before the top part can be installed. This makes fairing the two parts difficult, as the hull and bowsprit are different colors, and I plan to paint the hull before the bowsprit is installed. The bowsprit on the real skipjacks was varnished not painted, as simulated with tan paint on the cover art.
  3. The upper brace shown in the drawing (1) is cast poorly on the model. They are oversize, not straight, and one was broken on my model. I’ll have to make new ones. See the photo above of the Caleb Jones.
  4. The drawing, Bennett plans, and photos of other skipjacks show the trailboards as thin flat boards attached to the stem (2), with thin decorative trim along the top and bottom. On the model (2) these are deep ridges top and bottom, more like ribs (2).
  5. There is an additional board above the railings at the top of the knighthead (4), not quite as long as the knighthead.

Below are photos of the bow after I had removed the stem brace and trailboard ribs, but before I had removed the cast knightheads.



Partially modified stem area.



Rails end too far aft, also a better view if the filled gap between the stem and keel



Hull trimmed flush at bow


I added one of the new knightheads, it still has to be trimmed for length and height



New port knighthead



New port knighthead


The kit transom had the name Carrie Price cast in raised letters. I figured that this was unlikely on a workboat. Tacked on wood letters would rot quickly, and as described earlier the Push Boat would probably damage them. The other option would be to have them carved into the transom. These too might be damaged over the life of the skipjack. Also the pictures I found had painted lettering, so I decided to go with decals. I filed and sanded the letters off.



Transom name E. C. Collier. Note the rudder safety chains at the base of the rudder, and the attachment for the steering gear.



Sanded transom


To be continued.

Edited by thibaultron
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Part 03


After some more research I found that the chains attached to the bottom of the rudder are not safety chains to hold the rudder on. They are instead used to prevent the dredging cable from getting between the rudder and rudder post.


Here is more information on the dredging winches and oyster dredge.




From National Archives from archives for Skipjack Kathryn. The original picture was quite large, and a lot of clarity was lost when I reduced it to fit the forum requirements.




Here’s a close up to make the text easier to read




From National Archives from archives for Skipjack Kathryn. The original picture was quite large, and a lot of clarity was lost when I reduced it to fit the forum requirements.








More a close ups to make the text easier to read


I have been busy, and not much has been done on the skipjack, but some more progress will be posted later.

For those interested, I'm posting this build using Firefox. I was unable to post using my normal browser Internet Explorer.

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Part 04

By the way here is what the sails should look when furled. Compare this to the box art in Part 01




Note the forward bow in the mast. This is shown in the drawings. I'll have to check on other skipjacks. My drawing of the Carrie Price shows a straight mast.

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Part 05


I decided to create a different trailboard for the Carrie Price. Rather than use a modified Willie Bennett trailboard, and have the same type of design on two different models.


Here is my new design, it is based on the one shown on the drawings from the National Archives for the Kathryn. The Kathryn had a solid gold colored eagle head, but I chose to use coloring similar to that on the Nathan Dorchester (see photos Part 01).



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Part 06


Before I can continue with the hull and railing corrections, I need to make the new bowsprit, as the railings terminate on the spar.


As mentioned earlier, the kit supplied bowsprit is incorrect in many ways. It is a straight, round spar. On the skipjacks the bowsprit was curved down along its length, and except at the last ¼ or so of its length past the bow, was octagonal. As is typical with a plastic kit, the fittings are cast overly large.




The plans I have for the Carrie Price do not have much detail other than the length and general shape for this part. I used the bowsprit shown in the Willie Bennett plans as a start.




A portion of the Willie Bennett plans showing bowsprit details. Note how far out the octagonal section goes, and the downward curve.


The portion of the Carrie Price plans that show the bowsprit cover two pages in a book. When I scanned them, naturally there was a gap, and some distortion at the book spine area. I couldn’t just combine them using a photo program, because of the distortion. So I loaded both halves into my CAD program. I then drew as much of each side as I could, then superimposed the lines using the jib, and rigging as reference points. Shown below is the CAD of the bowsprit scan and drawing. The bowsprit is shown in green.




Redrawn Carrie Price bowsprit.


I resized the Bennett’s bowsprit and placed it on the drawing, rescaled to the same length (it was 202” the Carrie’s is 224”). Show below, again in green, is the Bennett bowsprit.




Bennett Bowsprit resized to about the same length as the Price’s


Here are the two superimposed. The Carrie’s in green, and the Bennett’s in red




As you can see I didn’t get the Bennett’s bowsprit quite as long as it should be, but I can see some differences, that mean I can’t just use the resized Bennett bowsprit drawing. It is a little too “fat” resized, and the end sits a little high. Note that both are relatively “straight” in overall shape, not with the sharp up angle on the kit part.


Using the Bennett drawing and the information in Roger’s book. I will make a new drawing for the Carrie Price bowsprit.

Edited by thibaultron
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  • 4 weeks later...

For anyone who may be following this thread. I have not given up on the thread. A series of family medical problems, and working to complete the addition to the shop have delayed construction on my model. I'm presently in the process of building the bowsprit, and will detail this in, hopefully, the near future.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Part 07


After a delay due to a series of family medical problems, and work on the 8 X 8 extension for my shop, I have gotten a little work done for the model.

I worked on plans for the hand powered dredge winches. I found some pictures of such winches on the internet, and a drawing from an 1800s government publication.




This photo shows the winches in use. Note that this does not look like a skipjack, as their dredge equipment was amidships, but may be one of the single masted sloops used prior to the development of the skipjacks in the 1890s. These crank/drum axles look to be about waist height. A small photo unfortunately.




Photo from a Chesapeake Bay museum, unfortunately this is also a small photo. This is the main photo that my design is based on.




Drawing showing Oyster Pirates at work, during the night. Note that it looks like the winches have a gear reduction unit used (the offset box and crank handle). The crank handle axle is shown a little below waist height here, but the handles on either side are different lengths.  Also note the opening in the top of the water barrel. The winches should also be aft of the rollers, not forward as shown in the etching.




Drawing from a government treatise on the US fishing industry, published in the 1880s. As detailed below, I think this is for use where the crew are standing in a deck well. The dredge bucket is proportionally much narrower than all the other drawings and photos I’ve found.


I chose to used the two photos as a basis for my model, with some details from the drawings as a help.


Firstly the “The Oyster Industry” drawing looks odd, as the crank handle seems overly long for cranking, and the handle would be quite close to the deck, if the operator was standing. I found that some early skipjacks had a well the crew stood in while dredging. This winch looks like it might be one of these. Its shorter stature, compared to crank length, might be right for a person standing below deck level.


On a side note: I have a Midwest Skipjack kit that has this well arrangement. I’ll keep this in mind for that model. The Midwest kit is a model of the type used by “Oyster Pirates” that dredged illegally in the tonguing beds at night. I found a drawing of the “Messenger” in one of Chappell’s books of this type that matches the Midwest kit, almost exactly. One interesting difference between the rollers used on the “Messenger”  and the Midwest kit is that they are narrow, compared to all the other skipjack info I have found. Similar to the one shown in the government fishibg industries report drawing.




Drawing of the Midwest kit (red lines) superimposed on a drawing of the “Messenger”.


The other drawing is of Oyster Pirates dredging. I don’t expect that the artist was going for great accuracy, but I do note that there seems to be a gear reduction used on the cranks. This is what I think the off center box is. The photo  of just the winch and dredge bucket from the Chesapeake museum shows “something” in a similar position, so I’m going to assume that is what it is. I wish this photo was more detailed, but you can’t win them all.


The only real indication of the size of the winches, is that the crank handle shaft seems to be about waist height in the photo of the men dredging, and the pirate drawing. Based on this I’m assuming a axle height of 36”.


The drawing I made is based mostly on the one photo of the winch dredge combo at the museum.


Using the 36” height I used my CAD program to come up with the following general dimensions to start with:

Shaft Height:  36”

Drum Diameter Outer: 12”

Base Width: 24”

Handle Offset: 16”

Cross Brace Lower Height: 4.5””

Cross Brace Upper Height: 27”

Base Length: 29”

Base Leg Web Width: 2”

Drum Length:16”

Handle Length Extremes: 15”

Bottom Rod Brace Height 4.5”

Leg Pad Width: 3.5”


Starting with this and after some fiddling, here is what I came up with:




The offset cylinder on the right of the drum, is what I am going to use for the gear reduction. The long open area on the right hand part of the crank/drum axle, is for some type of pawl mechanism, that I will have to come up with, later. I will try to make it look somewhat like the one in the photo, with what looks to be a covered pawl, and the vertical hooked release handle shown. As the about 42” total height will make the model winch only about ¾” of an inch tall, I think I can get away will some generalizations.


I really wish I could have found a clear higher resolution photo of one of these winches. While the one drawing is nice and clear, I don’t think I could scratch build that complicated pawl and possibly also gear reduction mechanism in 1/64th scale.


Building this winch in 1/64th will be a challenge. The complex  bracing of the legs will be a real challenge, in this small scale. The cranks and drum not too bad.


There are a few options I am looking at.

  1. Photo-etched brass for the legs, with the flanges then bent up to complete the assembly. I could, with some investment, do this at home, but I don’t know if I would use up the chemicals on future models, before they went bad.
  2. Make the legs out of paper. I could print the designs and then cut them out. Again in this small size, I don’t think my skills are up to this fine a skill. I have trouble cutting the window mullions on my HO paper building kits. Maybe I could talk to one of the vinyl graphics places about this. I’ll check into this. Paper might also be a bit fragile when attached to the model (fat finger damage possible).
  3. Built everything from sheet plastic. Again cutting these small parts and getting both clean results and four matching parts for the two winches needed, will be tough.
  4. Go full throttle, and get a 3D printed model made. There are a few 3D printing houses that cater to modelers. This would be a little pricey, but probably no more than buying the materials needed for photo-etching. Learning one of the solid modeling programs would be interesting, and this might be handy for future modeling both for ships and model railroading. I could also have the others parts (crank handles, and drum) 3D printed at the same time. One problem might be printer resolution at this size.
  5. Laser cut parts. There is at least one person on this forum who offers this service. One problem with laser cutting is that 1/32nd or even 1/64th inch thick wood is way overly thick for the leg webs. Which would likely only be ½” thick maximum. ¼” thick is more likely. Even 1/64th might look bulky at this scale.


I’m leaning toward the 3D printing, or laser cut parts, but it will be a while before I decide. Both these methods would be useful when I have to make bigger winches for the Midwest kit, and the scratch built “Carrie Price” in 1/32nd I plan for the future.

That’s it for this installment. Next time work progresses on the bowsprit.

Edited by thibaultron
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Hi Ron - just found your log, and appreciate all the research you put in.  I also have the Kathryn documentation from HAER, and hope to scratch build her one day.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 08


Next onto the bowsprit


Here is the final drawing of the bowsprit, with the trailboard graphic in place.




Note: My CAD program, DesignCAD has an “Auto Trace Bitmap” tool that will trace a scanned drawing, and create a CAD format drawing. This Trace function does not create a finished drawing, the lines are close but not accurate enough for real life. No available trace program does trace accurately enough for a finished drawing. However what I did was change the traced lines to a light gray, and I use them for drawings like this that detail a part or parts of the final drawing. It gives a much better contrast than the black lines on the scans I’m using to hand trace and make the final drawing. If yours has this same feature, or you have a standalone Tracing program, you might want to do something similar on your drawings.


To contrast with the gray line drawing, here is one using the scanned drawing as a background.




And here is a sample of the best trace I get, as you can see it is not even close enough for a final drawing. The green lines are the generated trace.




I decided to make two bowsprits, a large one (2X) for practice, and a scale one. This will detail the initial work on the large one, as I have to start over (details below). I’m starting from dowels for the material, going to square, sanding the octagonal section, then the round.


I started out by gluing a piece of rectangular stock to the small blank, to make it easier to handle. Then using a friends large oscillating belt sander I sanded one side of the dowels flat. This sander is Nice! It has the belt running horizontally to the table, and in addtion the belt moves up and down verticaly so that you are not just wearing out/clogging, one section of the belt. Then using this flat side down on the table,as a reference, I sanded either side flat and square to the first side. I left one side round, as I need to sand all four sides on the completed bowsprit, so I’ll sand this side while shaping the piece.


I squared the sanding surface to the table uing a 3” machinist square as a guide.


Here is where I made my mistake. I decided to sand the top and bottom curved profiles first. After doing this I then found that the piece rocked too much to do the side taper.


One smart thing I did was leave the blank overlong on the base side, for a handle.


I found another problem while sanding the large blank. The shield on my disk sander extends a little past the disk surface. This interferes with getting into inside corners, like where the square section at the base meets the handle. I used to use the belt portion of the sander for these areas, but at the moment, I don’t have a belt. I’m going to remove the sheild and grind away a portion to solve this problem.




Above is a picture of the sanded large blank, along with the smaller blank, still glued to the rectangular stock.




The downward curve of the bowsprit is shown in the photo above.


I have to make a new large blank, and resand it. I’ll pick up there next time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Work will resume at the beinging of the month. I've done the modification to the disk sander shield (see link below), and progressed far enough on my workshop remodeling, that I can remove the boxes and such from my work bench. I'm going to FL next week, and will start work back on the model the first of Aug.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 08

After messing up the 2X size practice bowsprit, I decided not to make another practice piece. So I went on to sanding the blank for the model bowsprit.




Here is the starboard side of the bowsprit tapered.


Next I sanded the Port side.




I rough sanded on the disk sander, then hand sanded down to the lines.


I then glued a drawing of the bowsprit looking from the side (so I had the top and bottom profiles) to the tapered blank.




Then I again rough and finished sanded to the lines.




To carve the octagonal portion, I used a knife to scrape the 45 degree angled side. This gave me more control than trying to slice or sand this area.




I held the bowsprit at a 45 degree angle and scraped with the blade parallel to the table. In this photo I have the blank just positioned using the knife, I’m not holding the other end, as I had to use my other hand for the camera.


Lastly I sanded the round section at the forward end by spinning the bowsprit inside a piece of folded sandpaper held in my fingers.




Here is the finished bowsprit temporarily placed in position. I’m sorry that the picture is not sharper, the part is small, and my camera is just your average type.




If you look closely where the bow, deck, and bowsprit meet, the bowsprit is sitting well clear of the deck. This is not correct. The stem piece is too high at the forward end. I’ll have to reshape it.


Next time I’ll reshape the stem, fix the divot in the port knighthead, and work on finishing the railings. The railings at the bow extend to attach to the bowsprit. That is why I had to make it before I could continue with the hull.

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Part 10


As it turns out I also messed up my first bowsprit. After looking at it closer in sunlight, I noticed that I had not cut the bevels on the octagonal section evenly. One of the top bevels extended too far into the square base area.




I used a black marker to highlight the flat top of the bowsprit. You can see that I cut the upper bevel in the picture too long. The bevels were also not completely even, but I could have lived with that, but these upper bevels end right where the rails tie into it, so that mistake would be quite visible.


So I decided to start over. I shaped a new blank for the top and side profiles, Then I glued patterns to all four sides. When I cut I can see what is happening on both sides of the bevel. Once again I’ll scrape the bevels.




I mentioned that the bowsprit was sitting at too high of an angle, so I decided to fix this problem before continuing. It is hard to see if the bowsprit is correct, if you can not get it into the proper position.


I made a drawing of the stem, to use as a pattern. I also had to make some mods to the trailboard graphic, to get it to fit better. The main part of the graphic was good, but the eagle's head was too small.


I rescaled the head, and rotated the graphic a little to line up with the molding, after correcting the eagle head.




Here is the old trailboard. The trailboard is too high at the forward end, it should be supporting the bottom of the bowsprit. Also you can see that the eagle head in the drawing is larger than the one on the trailboard.




This is the corrected drawing, with the stem outline. Notice that the trailboard now contacts the bottom of the bowsprit, and that the eagle head is a little larger.




This is the stem outline drawing. I traced the outside of the upper trailboard molding to get the top of the stem.


After placing a cutout  of the stem pattern on the model, I found that the proper lines fell outside the bottom of the plastic at the forward end. Sorry no picture of this, I had both hands occupied with holding the model and pattern. I need to add to the bottom of the stem, to get the right lines.


I cut out two pieces of plastic sheet, one .060” and one .040”. The stem is .090” thick on the model.




Then laminated them together, and shaped it to fit the model stem.






After cutting off part of one side, so that it did not extend so far down the straight part of the stem, I glued the extension in place. I’ll leave it overnight to make sure the glue has dried.




The top of the new stem will be just below the old forward bottom edge. I have to putty and sand, putty and sand, etc. before I start to shape the part.

Edited by thibaultron
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Part 11

I decided to shape the stem before puttying it. It would probably have cracked while I was shaping the piece.


I glued a paper pattern to the stem, and let the white glue dry over night.


I removed the bulk of the excess plastic with wire cutters, and sprue nippers.






Then I cleaned it close to the bottom line with my disk sander. I used a metal block to raise the stem high enough for the hull to clear the table. Unfortunately I glued the pattern to the wrong side, and had to sand it on the side of the disk that cuts upward, and does not have the clearance notch in the shield. Live and learn.




I staged this shot to show how I held the piece off the table. I actually had to sand on the other side of the disk. This made extra work, as I could not get in as tightly to the wheel as I could on the correct side.


I also trimmed the front of the lower stem to match the pattern. The plans show it as being thinner front to back. After shaping this is what I had.






The photo below shows where the old and new meet.




The new portion is below the red line. As you can see most of the forward end is new plastic.




Here is the first bowsprit placed in position to test the fit. It still sits a little high at the front, but I left a little stock on the stem for final fitting, once the final bowsprit is finished.


Next tasks are to putty and sand this, and making the, hopefully, final bowsprit.


I also have to figure out how I am going to built the, very tiny, trailboard moldings that go above and below the trailboard.

Edited by thibaultron
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Ron - I knew this model was pretty small, being at 1:64, but the photo of the skipjack with the tools brings home how tiny it is. I've started the research on the Kathryn. I plan to build as much of the interior fittings as possible, and will use a much larger scale - I'm debating between 1:24 and 1:32. I'll be back east in October and hope to see the Kathryn for real and get some photos and measurements.

Edited by Mahuna
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Part 12


Now on to the new bowsprit.


I glued the pattern of the top of the sprit, and disk and hand sanded one side.




Then repeated this for the other side.




I then glued patterns to the other three sides. The side view pattern is shown below.




I then shaped the top and bottom of the areas.


Next the part was clamped in a small vise, and I beveled the first corner, using a new Xacto blade as a scraper. I watched both sides of the bowsprit to get it even. A little touchup with sandpaper and I was ready for the other corners.




Here is the bowsprit beveled on all corners.  The transitions from the square to octagonal sections are now even, and where they a suppose to be.


The patterns were then sanded off, and using a piece of sandpaper held in my fingers I rounded the end of the part.


Below are two pictures of the bowsprit placed on the boat.






Here is a comparison photo of what the old bowsprit looked like when placed on the boat.




That is just the tip of my finger shown in the photo. The model is small, and this is fiddly work.


Next I printed out draft copies of the trailboard, and glued them to the hull. I glued them on in position, so that I could see if they fit, after all this, and so I can locate the position of the molding that goes above and below the trailboards.




As you can see I still have a little shaping of the stem below the trailboards to do. I did not notice this until I saw this photo. The area where the stem turns to go down the front of the hull is not completely even. The divot on the bottom  at the forward end is the paper of the starboard trailboard. I left the molding border on that one.




It will probably be a couple weeks before the next installment. I have other, non ship building, commitments.


Edited by thibaultron
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Hi Ron:


I think if you wet the glued-on paper pretty well and let it sit for a little while you could probably scrape the paper off using the side of a razor blade, rather than sanding it off.  Less risk to the piece you just made.

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That's what I did for the pattern on the plastic stem, the glue dissolved after a few minutes. Then I washed it with soapy water.


For the wood bowsprit I sanded, it did not take much sanding, I used a very thin coat of white glue. I was worried that soaking it might cause it to warp.


Thank you for the suggestion, though.

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I've learned to use a glue stick (like the kids use in school) to temporarily attach drawings - faster and much less mess, and hardly any drying time.

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A member asked me about where I got my information on dredging operations. I sent him a reply, and thought that the others following this thread would like the links too. This is the message I sent.


Here are some links. I looked them up this morning.


Fishing and Fisheries: http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/rarebooks/fisheries/welcome.html


Kathryn: http://www.loc.gov/item/md1454/


E C Collier: http://www.loc.gov/item/md1454/

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Part 13


I finished the drawings for the mast and boom.


The drawing of the Carrie price’s mast was, I felt, too crude for me to just draft off of it. With the original scans being from a page in a book, the lines were quite thick.


Luckily the Maryland builders generally followed the same proportional rules when building a boat. Knowing this I took the scans from my Willie Bennett kit, which have about 4 times the resolution, and used them. When I rescaled the Bennett mast to match the length of the Price mast, the diameters fell very close to what was given in the book for the Carrie Price. So using the Bennett as a guide I drew the Price’s mast.


To simplify the mast somewhat, I chose to keep it untaperd for part of its length, tapering it at the ends. In real boats the mast was tapered its full length, using a formula that kept it close to the same diameter in the center section, but still tapered. It was not a straight taper, but a curve that increased in taper as you went down the mast. This taper was only fractions of an inch in the center section.


I could not find that general rule, and in 1/64th scale, I think it would not show. I’ll just sand in some additional blending when I've mostly finished the part.




The upper taper starts at around 218” in full scale. The bottom starts were the octagonal section is. This is a straight taper. The upper one is slightly curved. The main section is 12 scale inches in diameter.


I will taper the lower section the full length, even though most of it will not show. This is easier than trying to keep the section below decks a cylinder. I will fit a block in the hull for the lower end to sit in. I will also have to redrill the deck opening. The original plastic mast had a knee at the deck joint and the lower section fit vertically into the hull socket.


The mast is 55’ 6” long above deck.




Here is a close up of the upper section showing the taper.




Here is the lower end.


This is a diagram of the faceted sides of an octagon, and how they would look in a side view.




From the side the flat section would appear .383” wide if the mast was 1” in diameter. The angled side would appear to be .271” wide. For the 12” diameter at a point on the mast each number would be multiplied by 12. Notice that because of the taper I scaled each end and then connected the points.


When I glue patterns to all four sides I can cut down to the lines, and the angled faces will come out the right width, like I did on the bowsprit. Because the bowsprit curved I had to used several points along the length, and connect the points with curved lines.


The book gave dimensions for the boom, and when I used these the curve fell onto the plan lines, so I drew it using the plans.






The deck and profile page did not have the boom shown, so I copied it from the sail plan when I finished.


As you can see, with the long boom and mast, these boats had quite a spread of sail when working.


The plans did not show an overhead drawing of the boom, but the Willie Bennett did. It showed cleats on both sides, so I that is how I drew them for this model.


The sheave on the outboard end of the boom is for the topping lift used to support the boom when the sail is down. It also supports the boom while lowering and raising the main sail. The end is belayed to the starboard rear most cleat. The line runs from the top of the mast, around the sheave, under the boom, and then it is secured to the cleat. When sailing this line is loosened.


In an article I read on the Grand Banks fishing schooner Elsie, the author said that these long booms sagged on the real boats, and that is how he modeled his. I considered it, but decided that the average person would look at a sagging boom as a modeling mistake. Also the curve in the bowsprit was a pain. So a straight boom will be modeled.

Edited by thibaultron
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Ron, thanks for sharing your extensive research.  It helps all who hope to build a skipjack one day.



Every build is a learning experience.


Current build:  SS_ Mariefred


Completed builds:  US Coast Guard Pequot   Friendship-sloop,  Schooner Lettie-G.-Howard,   Spray,   Grand-Banks-dory

                                                a gaff rigged yawl,  HOGA (YT-146),  Int'l Dragon Class II,   Two Edwardian Launches 


In the Gallery:   Catboat,   International-Dragon-Class,   Spray

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I prefer building ships and other models that are based on real ones, except for Sci Fi ones. So I try to do some research on them. Some like the schooner Flying Fish which is a future project, I can find no information on, so I mostly follow the plans.

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Part 14



I worked on the rails, to extend them front and back.  I did the port side upper railing first. Mistake! After I got it on I realized that the gap on the lower rail was too small to work on with the upper rail in place. Also I just trimmed the end of the rail flat and tried to glue the small piece I needed to fill the gap. The long overhang of the model rail from the last stanchion allowed the joint to flex all over the place, making gluing difficult. I finally managed it, but was smarter with both rails on the other side.




Notice the short lighter white section of new rail at the top. On the bottom you can hardly see the new piece.




On the second side I trimmed both the lower and upper rails back close to the stanchion.


I smartly did the lower rail first this time. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of these steps.


It cut a piece off of .040” plastic sheet to about 7 or 8/32” wide and 5” long. This should have been enough, but I ended up making enough scrap that I had to cut another piece. These parts are very small, and it took a few tries on some.


I fit the pieces so that they were even with the inner edge, and the excess width was on the outside. I then sanded the outside to match the existing railing. Lower installed and trimmed, then the upper. With the upper rail trimmed close to the support, this was easier.




 You can see here that the new section meets the old close to the stanchion.


After looking at the plans, I will have to fill in the sides of the transom, it should go all the way to the outer edge of the railings.


Next I turned to the railings in the bow. First I temporarily glued the bowsprit in place with white glue. I decided that trying to trim them to fit the spar after I’d installed them would be harder than fitting them with it in.







Once again I did the lower rails first.




The  lower rails installed, before trimming are shown above. The lower one is not off center it just looks that way in the photo. I removed the bowsprit for the shaping.


Notice that I also had to add a piece of plastic to the top of the stem. The model piece did not quite go all the way to deck level.






Here they are after trimming. After trimming they look better. At this point I’ve reinstalled the bowsprit for the fabrication of the upper rails. When I do the upper rails I’ll again trim them back to the stanchion.


I let the glue dry overnight.


For those of you who wonder how I see all these small parts, here is my “eyes”. Using this is somewhat of a pain, as I’m constantly hitting it with the tool handles, but my Optivisors have too close a focus distance for me to comfortably use them for work directly on the model with it on the bench. My hands are not steady enough to hold the model in the air, most times.




I spent all morning going through the dowels I bought, and a number of my kits looking for the 1/8” and 3/32” stock I needed for the boom and mast. None of the recently purchased dowels (5 in each of the two sizes) were straight for their full length, not even for the 12” I needed. I picked out two of the 1/8” that were warped the least for the boom.


Then I went through my kits looking for a 3/32” dowel. After about five or six kits with 3/32” dowels I finally found one that was straight. I need to find a new source. The kits I can understand, they are almost all three or four decades old. Still disappointing.

Edited by thibaultron
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Hi Ron


I've stopped using dowels for the same reasons you've had trouble finding any that you like.  I now make my spars from square pieces of stock, even the very small upper yards on the Mayflower I'm working on.  Shaping can be done with a chisel, rotary tool, a file, or even a sanding stick.  The key is having a way to make the octagonal shape using the 7-10-7 rule.  The attached PDF is an image that can be used to find the correct marks (using a tic strip).


7-10-7 Sheet.pdf


Also attached is a link to a very nice article on the subject from the MSW database.






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