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US Brig Syren by rameyke - Model Shipways

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Well, the time has finally come for me to start on my Syren and get a log started.  I have worked on one other ship to date: The Swift by AL.  That one took me a few years of working on it off and on.  I am hopeful that I can make a little more consistent work on this lady. 


Last night I finally opened the box.  The Admiral, bought this kit for me as a birthday present last July and it has patiently sat on the shelf waiting for me to finish the swift.  I have read the manual that Chuck provided many times since I got the kit.


Last night, i performed the standard inventory of parts and came up complete.  Though I honestly did not count out the 320 nails that the kit specified or measure the lengths of rigging line.  But everything else was counted and measured.  I then labled each of the bundles of wood with the dimensions.  I have to say, that 3/64" dowel is TINY and took me a little time to find. 


I would like to figure out a way fo building a simple organizer for the wood so that I dont end up with a big pile of assorted strips.   I am thinking something as simple as a bunch of PVC pipes capped at one end that I can lable and store the various sizes of wood in. 


Thanks to the members of this site, I have a few ideas for a keel holder and just need to get to the store to get some supplies.


Here are some obligitory opening the box pictures:






And a final one of my shipmate, Eva, that "works" with me all day and then hangs out with me when its time to work on my model.  She's an 11 month old pup that we rescued... But I am really wondering who rescued who. 



Thanks for looking in on my Syren Log.  I hope that I can keep at this and provide consistent updates.  The Admiral is working all next week and traveling with her students, so it will be quiet around here for me and Eva to try to get some work done...We'll see how that goes.



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This is wonderful. We are all excited at the prospect of you starting the building of that beautiful kit. We will be following closely. With such a nice dog to help you, it should be a success as long as she does not play with the lines.



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My build is proving to be slow.  While I was hoping to get some work done on the Syren over the weekend, I ultimately decided to help the Admiral (who is a high school teacher) teach her students how to cook.  So I spent most of my weekend grocery shopping and teaching a 2 cooking classes to a bunch of teenagers.  That was fun and they were good students.


Back to the build.


Yesterday afternoon I decided to pull the bulkhead former out and get the rabet started.  According to Chuck's manual, I first did a very light sanding to remove the char marks.  While sanding, I soaked a piece of 3/32 x 1/16 strip of wood.  This was then bent and clamped to the BF to dry.... And thats where I left off.  I had to go teach the same kids from above how to make sushi.  Teens with sharp SHARP knives is a scary thing.

Anyways, what I lack in progress, I tried to make up for in pictures.


After carefully removing the BF from the laser cut wood.  Just inspecting it and taking the requisite picture of my first progress on the ship.



Looking at it and while it was laying on its side, I notice there is an ever so slight curve in the BF.  It is so slight that I think adding the filler blocks between the bulkheads will straighten it.  To give an idea, if I put a metal straight edge against it, the apex of the curve is between 1 and 2 mm away from the edge.  I dont even think this qualifies as a warp.



Just a couple clamps holding the rabet former to the BF til it dries





Tonight, if I have time after work, I will glue this piece on and...well...wait for it to dry again :).  If nothing else, ship modeling teaches patience and the art of watching glue dry.


Thanks for watching




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Hey Ken,

Great to see that you got started! We should have a good weekend for building -- crummy weather predicted in the Pikes Peak region. We're gonna make a big pot of chili at my place and the boss will work on her cross-stitch while I make sawdust in the basement.

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The past weekend did not see any work done on the Syren.  But on the other hand, I am in Japan this week for work (very last minute trip).  Its beautiful over here right now and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.  Unfortunately I am spending most of my time here in an office building.


Hoping next weekend sees some work done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Floyd, thats a really good idea. 


Over the past few nights since I got back from Tokyo, I have managed to carve and sand the rabet strip.  Last night I finally got the stem installed.  I am hoping to install the keel tonight before I head out of town again for a few days of work.  I think I have the most boring build log on the forum at this point....Weeks with no  update, then I update without images.  Maybe I can start some rough fairing on the bulkheads.

At my current rate, I should be done with my Syren sometime around 2020 :)

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Ken - One of the best parts of this hobby is that it adapts to real life. My kits and tools don't complain when I don't visit for weeks. Only she who must be obeyed complains when you leave a mess. Don't worry about speed. Enjoy when you can. If you look at my log I had a real spurt for about 2 months. I got lots done. And now I am at a standstill. We are preparing to move out of our house and packing everything up. So modeling has come to a halt for now. You will get back to it and we will still be here watching.


PS I have learned that we are very critical of our work. I should know, I have 3 models that met a Viking burial before I found others to compare notes and work with. I found I wasn't great but I also wasn't so bad that my models needed the taste of flames. I still get frustrated but now instead of Lighter fluid I turn to resources like this site and work my way thru it, and at a speed that meets my needs.

Edited by Floyd Kershner
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You guys are absolutely right. I just feel a little frustration when i see these great logs and then think of my ship sitting there. I know that the first few steps of the build are not that exciting and its not a race. I am hopeful this weekend will be a bit more productive. Thanks for the support.

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Last night I got to work on the Syren a little.  I checked to make sure the keel and stem were properly glued and dried (enough time has gone by, the glue better be dry by now).


I cut all the bulk heads out and carefully sanded the char marks off.  I then did a rough faring of the bow and stern bulkheads and did a dry fitting of the bulkheads.  That is where I stopped.  I need to get some angle aluminum or some small squares to ensure that my bulkheads are squarely aligned when I glue them in permanently.

Here are some pics.

First bulkhead that I faired



The stern end with bulkheads dry fitted






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I'm happy you got time to work on your gal.  You'll do a lot more fairing once your bulkheads are permanently attached and secure.  Squaring them up is important.


Keep an eye on that slight bend in the bulkhead former as you go.  Once again, the fillers between the bulkheads will eliminate that.


Good work!

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Well i finally made progress that looks like progress. I picked up some wood at home depot and, following the guidance of folks on MSW, i built a build board. It may not sound like much, but wood work does not come naturally to me. After mounting my BF on the board, i dry fitted al the bulkheads and then glued them in, one by one. I know... Witjout pics, it didnt happen :-) so tomorrow i will post some images

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I'm not a natural 1:1 woodworker either.  And here we are building wooden ships.  Sounds strange but now we know there are at least 2 of us in existence.


Look forward to the pics (hope you got one of the new grill).

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Is Eva a Basenji?


The shelter told us that Eva might be boxer/husky.But the vet thinks boxer / cattle dog. She barks to much to be a besenji. Whatever she is, she is 100% sweet. I work at home most of the time, and she lays on my feet allday. For an 11 month old pup, she is very mellow.

I did not get my grill last weekend, but maybe tomorrow.

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I finally got a chance to upload the latest pics of my Syren.  You will notice, she is now on a building board.  I built that out of a scrap piece of oak from home depot and a couple strips of poplar.  I laid the poplar next to a straight edge to make sure they did not have a curve or warp in them before screwing them down.  The strips are just tight enough to hold the keel and still let me pull the whole thing out and replace as needed.


I dry fitted all the bulkheads and finally glued them in.  I am now working on the filler blocks made from some scrap that I had laying around.


overhead of the whole thing




I think everything looks pretty straight.


from this angle too.




Thanks for watching

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I started installing the filler blocks last night.  I am using a caliper to make sure my bulkheads are parallel from port to starboard.  They seem pretty square, but a couple of them were about 1 mm off.  On those, I am using the clamps that are running stem to stern to correct it a little.  I think once these have had a chance to dry, the rest can just be clamped in.  I did make sure that, after correction, the adjacent bulkhead spacing was correct as well.  As I install more filler blocks, I will have to check and double check for square.  I think I read in someone else's log that this was something to keep an eye on... Though it might have also been in Chuck's manual.


Anyways, here is a picture of her current state.



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