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David Rice

U.S.Brig Syren by David Rice - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64

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I have made a decision to purchase and build the US Brig Syren.  My goal is to become a better Wood Model Ship Builder. Learn the craft, and improve my work. I started building wood ship models 4 years ago. I started by building from scratch. With any wood and materials I could scrounge up. I completed 2 Commercial Fishing Boats. However, It was a very difficult experience for me. I became disabled, and have problems with spatial interpretations, reading, writing, and hand coordination. Four of my previous attempts to build a model ended up in the wood stove. The finished Fishing Boats are rough, and somewhat resemble folk art.  My next project was a scratch built replica of the Armed 14 Gun 1801 Russian Merchant Neva.  It took me 6 months working all most full time to build the Neva (over 600 hours). The Neva is a little rough, and I made many mistakes. Many of the  parts I built for the Neva were built out of scale. The rigging was my own invention! To my astonishment the Sitka Historical Society took the Neva and will display it in the new Russian America Museum which opens this summer. I have many pictures of building the Neva. But, I did not set up a Build Log. I was afraid that the quality of my work was poor, and worse yet, I was afraid I would abandon my attempt.  After working on the Neva, I felt ready to try a official kit. For the past six months I have been working on the Caldercraft HMS Snake. I must have gotten a older kit that had been bumped around a lot. Some of the wood was in very poor condition. Cracked and chipped. Some of the metal parts had broken pieces. So I tweaked the model a little.  I have been struggling with the HMS Snake. Being disabled, I am finding it hard to read the provided directions. My spatial interpretation problems makes viewing plans very difficult. I still can't rig a canon. That is why I have chosen to build the US Brig Syren.  I am impressed with the directions I downloaded,  and the Build Logs I have read.  I am hoping to become a better builder. The Syren is scheduled to arrive in 10-14 days.  Which really means 14-21 days to Sitka Alaska.   I'll start this log officially, when I start unpacking. At which time, the HMS Snake will be taken out of Dry Dock and put in storage.  Photo's of my past mistakes attached.

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My work area is in a bedroom closet.  The closet has double doors which open very wide and allow me to pin sheets of plans, and other items to the inside and outside of the doors. I installed a table, one chair, lights, ventilation fan, and shelves.  The big advantage is that when I am done working, I just close the doors. No clean-up required. Also, by working in the closet, I am able to keep my projects hidden from grand children, and inquisitive cats.

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Hardy Well David

                             Beautiful collection LOLlllllllllllllllllllllllllllll when I was a young boy I to worked in a double closet it was my first man cave, Obe evening my dad called me down for supper had no idea I had a man cave in the closet.  Came upstairs to fetch me and found to his surprise I was in a closet building models the only reply was that's a great idea.  Thank you for sharing your collectgions they are beautiful

                        Frankie Day

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David

Your snake looking pretty good.  Haven't build this one but viewed online many a time (li like  many of the various Caldercraft models).   Just  started the Syren a few weeks ago and enjoying the build.  Excellent instructions and want to use this build to help me in many areas I need to improve on.     I like the work area you have.    Private and comfortable.

Will follow your build.

 

Blaine

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The Brig Syren has arrived.  Very well packaged. I love the color manual.  At first glance, the planking material in this kit, is of much better quality than the broken and cracked planking material I received in my Caldercraft HMS Snake Kit.  So far so good. 

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I will be happy to follow along with this build I like the look of the instruction manual nice colour pictures I've built a mantua kit in the past not to bad instructions but they did add what must have been revised instruction on very poor photo  copy and I thought there was no excuse for that .

i recently built an artesania latina kit and it provided a cd that was very good however it's not as good as a book right in front of you . All the best with your build I will follow with interest 

 

steve

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This is odd.  The Plans look like they have been used.

The Plans have dog ears on the edges, and creases and folds where there should not be creases and folds.

No rips or stains, but used looking just the same. 

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I am not happy with this.    The frame and bulkheads are made from some very cheap looking 3 ply plywood. I can chip pieces off the ply's with my finger nail!  I have higher quality 3/16 4 Ply Plywood out in my junk pile. Before I jump to too many conclusions,  I'll give it a chance, and start out using it. See what happens. Has anyone ever seen this material before in a Kit?

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Right now model shipways is really backlogged so its possible they are using what ever materials they can find to get kits out the door. Then again I had 3 ply for my Sherbourne from Caldercraft and didn't have any issues.

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I will start with the plywood provided in the Kit.   There are a few burn through marks on one of the laser cut pieces.   Everything appears to be there. No broken castings like I had in the HMS Snake Kit.  I don't like working or  dealing with plastic bags. I tried plastic containers, but I really prefer glass jars for small parts. With glass, I can see what is in them from a distance.

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19 minutes ago, svein erik said:

Hi

I also got the used plywod😧 and I got New plywood from MS 

I told them I did not want this bulkheads, get me New ones ore I have to returnere the kit!

and this is the New ones (photo)

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Interesting.   Why would a established kit manufacture use such poor quality plywood in the first place.?  Surely, there can not be that much difference in price. The other wood in the Kit is very good.  I guess I had better give them a call too. 

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Interesting.   Why would a established kit manufacture use such poor quality plywood in the first place.? 

 

Hahahaha ... scnr .. please request quality replacement! I relly really really hope they start to learn to ship good stuff at the first time not on demand, as they have some nice kits ...

 

Have fun with the Syren :)

 

Dirk

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Did you manage to get to the bottom of why the plans look used ? 

When I was building my victory I had no plans for where to belay the sails so I phoned mantua uk and they where struggling with my question so in the background they where opening a kit off there shelf to check the plans to see what I meant perhaps something like that may be the case 

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1 hour ago, Steve 12345 said:

Did you manage to get to the bottom of why the plans look used ? 

When I was building my victory I had no plans for where to belay the sails so I phoned mantua uk and they where struggling with my question so in the background they where opening a kit off there shelf to check the plans to see what I meant perhaps something like that may be the case 

No idea. They are still usable, so I'll let it go.   I am more worried about the quality of the plywood.

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16 minutes ago, Tigersteve said:

Request new plywood from them and new plans. Ridiculous! That kit is not cheap either. 

Steve

Are they pretty good at getting back to you?     I left a very detailed message on their recorder. 

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David,

For a kit coming from MS, I am very surprised to the low quality.

Makes me wonder if they contracted someone to keep up with the production.

 

For the money spent on Syren I would expect much much better.

Chuck must be furious seeing this.

 

If I were in your shoes, I would have requested a completely new kit.

I also have the Syren waiting, but I have had it in my stock for some time...... but it makes me wonder...

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They have Monday-Friday 9-5 business hours but email them. They are good with taking care of replacements. It would be good if they sent better quality first time around though. Nirvana is right- there shouldn't be that much char on the tops of those sheets. Maybe request an entire kit replacement if most of it is like that. Char on the back of the sheets is normal. See below copied from their website...

 

Our guarantee …

Should you lose a part; accidently break it or just take a wrong turn while building we are here for you.

Just find the part number in the kit’s part list, email it to mmosko@aol.com and we’ll send it out to you as fast as we can.

Please don’t offer us money for postage. Pay us back by finishing your model and think of us next time you buy a kit, tools or accessories. Photos of your finished model are always appreciated.

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5 hours ago, Tigersteve said:

They have Monday-Friday 9-5 business hours but email them. They are good with taking care of replacements. It would be good if they sent better quality first time around though. Nirvana is right- there shouldn't be that much char on the tops of those sheets. Maybe request an entire kit replacement if most of it is like that. Char on the back of the sheets is normal. See below copied from their website...

 

Our guarantee …

Should you lose a part; accidently break it or just take a wrong turn while building we are here for you.

Just find the part number in the kit’s part list, email it to mmosko@aol.com and we’ll send it out to you as fast as we can.

Please don’t offer us money for postage. Pay us back by finishing your model and think of us next time you buy a kit, tools or accessories. Photos of your finished model are always appreciated.

Yesterday, I tried 5 times to email them on their in site web email form. All 5 times I received a error message. I just sent a email to:  mmosko@aol.com      

Thanks!

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Looking at the plywood again, I do not think I can remove the plywood manufactures label.  It would need to be sanded down. Which would severely weaken the wood.   The left edge of the piece looks like it was cut with a chain saw.  Chips easily.  

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