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US Brig Syren by rafine - FINISHED - Model Shipways


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This is a reposting of my build a couple of years ago of Syren. As I'm sure that all who have done the model would agree, it is a beautifully designed kit with great plans and practicum by Chuck. I did choose, however, to make some changes. The principal change was to substitute boxwood for the kit wood for the upper hull, bulwarks and deck furniture and holly for the kit wood for the deck planking. Construction generally followed standard procedures and Chuck's instructions.

 

The reposting will be in a number of installments. I have my photos, but the original text is all gone. Brief summaries of each section of work will be added to the photos.

 

Framing, hull and bulwark planking, deck planking and coppering:   Framing was straight forward and followed the kit procedures, with the exception that, as I always do, I added extra bracing to the bulkhead-- center keel attachment for additional strength and stability. For the lower hull planking, I used the kit basswood, since it would all be covered by the coppering of the lower hull. For the same reason, I did not spend any effort on reproducing an exact reproduction of a correct planking pattern, but concentrated on getting a fair and smooth surface for the copper. Caulking of the upper hull and deck planks was simulated by using a pencil on one edge and one end of each plank. Treenailing of the upper hull and decking was simulated using the method shown by Chuck of filling drilled holes with golden oak filler. The unpainted boxwood was finished with Wipe-on poly and the painted portions were done with Pollyscale paints. The coppering was done using the kit supplied copper tape. 

 

Bob

 

 

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Thank you for reposting your build log! I followed it closely before and the excellent quality of your model was one of the reasons why I changed my original intention of building a Caldercraft model and switched to the Syren.  And by the way, I never regretted it. I have a lot of fun with the project, I am just always short of time!

 

Thomas

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Bob,

 

Glad to see your Syren build is being reposted, thanks. The build is so well done and clean as a whistle. I really appreciate the use of lots of photos to tell the story of a build. Look forward to more as you move along.

 

BFN

 

 

Cheers,

 

Hopeful aka David

 

 

“there is wisdom in many voices”

 

 

Completed: Sharpie Schooner (Midwest) Posted on kit build log.

 

Current: Sultana (MSW) Updating the build log and continuing on with the build

 

 

Next: Lady Nelson (Amati Victory)

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Hull and bulwark fittings and deck furniture and fittings:   This installment covers a variety of work done on the hull, the bulwarks and the deck. It includes the channels, steps, gunport lids, oarport lids, fenders, chesstrees, rudder and chains, quarter badges and stern on the hull, the pin rails, cleats and eyebolts on the bulwarks and the guns and gun rigging, the steering gear, hatches, bitts, rails, ladders, capstan, pumps, eyebolts and ringbolts on the deck.

 

The wooden kit parts and strip wood for this work were replaced by boxwood. I did use the kit castings for the wheel, the stern carving and the quarter badges. The carronade castings were replaced by castings from Bluejacket. After now seeing Thomas Gahm's work, I wish that I had made new quarter badges.

 

Bob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Bob,

 

Somehow I missed your Syren build on the old MSW -- either it was in the separate Syren builder's forum, or I was just too mesmerized by your gorgeous Fair American :D

 

As per your usual, she is beautifully crafted!  And great choices on wood replacements once again.

 

Cheers,

Robert

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This installment will finish up work on the hull, including the head, the hammock frames and netting, the lower deadeyes and chains and the boat:   Work on the head involved doing the catheads, the timberheads, the cheeks, the head rails and head timbers, the boomkins and the figurehead. All of this was done pretty much as set out in the practicum, with the exception that the timberheads were filed to shape from boxwood. My only second thought was that I would do the head timbers in one piece, rather than two, if I were to do them again. The figurehead was painted to try to match the boxwood of the planking. I also added eyebolts, as required for the rigging.

 

The instructions were followed for the hammock frames and netting with one exception. I used  #28 black wire, rather than rigging line, as the top line between the frames. I found it easier and more stable to work with. The deadeye chains were bent from wire, using a simple two nail jig and were relatively easy, but tedious. 

 

The boat was done "by the book" and was a fun project.

 

Bob

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Thanks, Robert. I built Syren about seven months before starting Fair American. I finished the rigging on my Kingfisher build in between ( I will repost that build after this repost). Fair American took me about a year to build. One of the great things about retirement is the time available for model building.

 

Bob

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Bowsprit, masts and standing rigging:   With the completion of work on the hull, it was time to move on to construction and installation of the bowsprit and masts and then to the standing rigging. As is my usual preference, I began with the bowsprit and it's gammoning, bobstays and shrouds. The splash guard was also added at this point. I then did the lower main mast and it's pendants, shrouds and stays. This was followed by the fore lower mast and it's pendants, shrouds and stays. I choose this order to maintain maximum access. I then did the catharpins and lower ratlines. The topmasts and their pendants, shrouds, stays, backstays and ratlines were then done, also from aft to fore, and then the topgallants and royals and their rigging in similar fashion. The jibboom and flying jibboom were added as the topmasts and topgallant masts were installed.

 

Construction of the masting was done in accordance with Chuck's plans and instructions. The kit deadeyes were used, but I made all of the hearts from cherry. Brass pins were installed on the masts for the mounting of the yards. 

 

Bob

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Yards, running rigging, anchors and finished model:    Like the masts, the yards were made from dowels with the octagonal sections built up from strip wood. Unlike the standing rigging, which I do from aft to fore, the yards and running rigging are done from fore to aft. The reasoning, however, is the same -- ease of access. All of the yards are mounted on the brass pins that were previously added to the masts. 

 

Running rigging always involves choices as to what to include or exclude. On this build, I included all of the yard control lines ( Slings, trusses, parrels,lifts, ties, halyards and braces)  and many, but not all of the sail control lines ( clews, sheets, tacks, but not buntlines, leechlines or reef rigging for the square yards; halyards and downhauls for the headsails, but not for the other staysails ).

 

The anchors are from the kit. The stocks were made from boxwood. The buoys were made from tapered dowel.

 

Bob

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Thanks, Robert. Yes, Syren is safely in a case in my house.

 

I use a very simple method for the coils: a length of line has glue applied to it and is wrapped around an appropriately sized piece of styrene tubing (to which it does not stick). After allowing a couple of minutes for the glue to stick the wrapped line to itself, the coil is removed from the tube and stretched to shape with my fingers Nothing very high tech.

 

Bob

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  • 3 months later...

Wow, beautiful workmanship throughout. I too am in the middle of building the Syren by MS, just starting to rig my cannons. Unhappily it doesn't compare very favorably with your build. I changed quite a few things from the kit, some worked out well, some didn't. I re-cast the stern scroll work, badges, and figure head in resin, the cannons in metal. But can any Syren builder tell me where the bars for capstan are stowed ??? My helm is missing 3 hand grips, going to see if MS will send me a replacement - don't know I can repair it.

racouch444

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