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US Brig Niagara by Tom E - Model Shipways - 1:64 Scale

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It's finally Friday, work week is behind me, first snow storm coming in for tomorrow night, the cupboards are stocked.....

I see a lot of modelling in my future!

Small update for tonight.


The rope coils are done!

The cannon/carronade are finally done!

There are still the Quoins, but to be truthful I kinda like the look of the carronade without them. I don't know, I'm still chewing on that.




The coils may not be perfect, but not too bad for my very first time making them. 

I did want a used, just coiled up look. I feel I did get that, but there a little wonky looking!

Oh well, I'll apply what I learned here to my next project. 




The Tiller is all rigged up.

The rope isn't as bright as it looks in the pic. It's tan rope from Syren. 

This took a bit to wrangle together, but CA glue is a wonderful thing!!!




She's getting there.




Mask up and be good!


Tom E 





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Well, this was unforeseen, may have a bit of time on my hands for building.

Was not feeling well, work sent me to get a covid test, and cant go back to work until I get the results.


Oh well........lets keep building. 


The Bowsprit, Catheads and rear Davits are all permanently installed. 




She's looking good now!

The model has expanded in length and need to be mindful so not to snap off a Bowsprit!

Its amazing how installing one piece changes the dynamic of working on and around this ship. 

Hopefully there will be many of these moments as she comes together. 




We can safely say I left a little piece of me on this ship.

While holding the Bowsprit, letting the glue set, I must have put my thumb in some glue and quickly became attached!

Took a fair amount of skin when I pulled!




The boarding ladder has been installed as well. 

Fit nicely among the carronade block and tackle.




A few holes were pre drilled in the Bowsprit for the cleats.

These, and the foot treads, couldn't be installed until after the Bowsprit was installed. 




Mask up!


Tom E 





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Thanks Gentlemen!


So far, feels like a flu.

Aches, cough, sniffles, fatigue, no appetite. 

Lots of chicken soup and fluids. 


Being in healthcare they kinda freak out these days when you say you don't feel well.

I was kinda "escorted" to the front door, and told to get a test and stay away until I get the results.

Which sounds like 2-5 days right now.


Tom E  

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Well, still waiting on my test results. Until then, have to isolate.

That clears up a lot of time for building!

Feeling much better from the initial illness that drove me to get tested. Felt like a really bad hangover. 


Anywho.....marching on....


Starting to bring together the ships bell.

I left the two outside pieces purposely longer, and will adjust the length once ready to be installed.  




You can see where I'm going with this. 




The Bowsprit bits are in. 

For some odd reason, I roughed these out back when I was initially building the Bowsprit. 

That was almost two years ago, and I was actually able to find them!

Cleaned them up, paint, and in they went. 




With the Bowsprit area coming together, time to start working backwards.

The forward Fife rail and Forecastle hatch will be next to install. 

Nothing glued in just yet.




The Galley grating and stack, as well as the Fore hatch, are close behind.

The forward mast wedge has been shaped. Not sure if I'll go red or black with the wedge.

The deck is stained, and i feel that if I stain it it will just get "lost" on deck. 

I'm leaning towards red as all the coamings for the hatches are red, yet black would break that up a bit, hmmmmmm....




She's coming together. 

Still more work to be done to the Bowsprit area.

The Bow pin rail needs to be made. I'd like to get this done before attaching the ships bell. 




Be good!


Tom E 




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Well, still waiting on covid testing from Monday, I've lost a week of work just because of a back log of tests.

Sheeeesh, what a year!   :champagne-2:


When you don't have much else to do while in quarantine, to the Shipyard I go!


The Gammoning is on.




A little tricky.

Have to be especially diligent when bringing the rope up from the bottom while wrapping it around.

If you didn't hold it in place long enough where I had laid some glue, it had a tendency to roll out of place. 

Luckily I saw what was happening early. 




The ships bell and bow pinrail have been installed. 




With belaying pins. 

The Bow area is starting to fill in. 




Tension rods have been added to the Catheads. 

A little wonky looking in the pic, but much nicer in person.  




Now to start working backwards with the rest of the deck furniture. 




Forecastle hatch, forward Fife rail, galley grating and stack, then Fore hatch.

All in good order.

Nothing glued in just yet.




Wash your hands!


Tom E 




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  • 3 weeks later...


Been a while since I updated Niagara.

Since my covid test finally came back negative, it's been back to work for me!

Did have a nice break at Christmas, and with no family plans this year, I had a lot of time to build. 


The deck furniture continues. 




Everything from the Main hatch forward has been installed. 

It was when I was fiddling around with the Main Fife rail, I realized there are a few eyebolts in the deck that needed to be installed.




Both pinrails now have eyebolts.

They may be a bit big, but I'm hoping that will make rigging these a bit easier....we'll see. 




Once the eyebolts were in, the rest of the furniture, up to the Companionway, were fixed in place.




The Capstan will be last to be glued in.

I need to make the doubler slats for the deck.

The plans say to use 1/32x1/16 strips, then I'll stain similar to the deck. I should have pics soon. 




Happy New Year!......hopefully a better year for everyone!!!:cheers:


Tom E 




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  • 2 weeks later...

Happy new year Tom. You made a magnificent cannon rigging! Its to be taught in shipmodel universities lol.


I read about your covid testing experience.... horrible! Just unspeakable. How old are you Tom?



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Hello Christos, 

Thank you for the kind words!

I am currently 49, with no underlying conditions, so it was more frustrating than anything. I missed a week of work....did I really "miss" work?

Well, maybe financially, but, I'm a saver when it comes to finances. Save it for a rainy day.

To be honest, I did spend a fair amount of time working on Niagara. :ph34r:


Speaking of, Niagara needs an update. 

I've started to wrap my mind around the Hammock rails. 

Using kit supplied brass strip, I essentially pre formed the stanchions. 




Using a square piece of scrap stock, I found a piece that was an appropriate size to wrap the brass strip around to form the basic shape. 

Then used pliers to square off the bends, make them look presentable.

I'll use Birchwood-Casey Brass Black to finish them off. 




I think most of us know the ritual. 

I tend to keep them in the brass black around 2-3 minutes, then rinse in water. 

This stuff reminds me of the "dip" they use to kill cartoon characters in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"!!!!!🐇




I do like the look after the "dip".

But it sure does rub off easily. Does that mean I'm not leaving them in long enough?




All of the deck furniture has been permanently installed. 

There are a few bits on either side of the Tiller that need to be made. 

I really need to start thinking about rigging, it's staring me square in the face!




I know some builders tinker with the deck houses, grates and the like. I'm just following the plans.




I left the doubler slats under the Capstan the same stain as the deck.




Be good, 


Tom E 




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  • 2 weeks later...


Hope everyone is well.

It's a quiet night in New Hampshire, it's snowing outside, watching the Boston Bruins play the Pittsburgh Penguins, comfy on the couch.....

Niagara needs an update.


I'll start with a minor overlook.


As I was planning the lay out for the hammock rails I discovered there are in fact two boarding ladders!! One for each side......duh!<_<

Nothing fancy, took care of business. 




Well, feeling saucy (and intimidated) I took a small leap into rigging this ship.

I really just wanted to get a feel for using rope. How stiff is it, does it curl, does it unwind.......etc, etc....

I made a simple little rig to start tying some shrouds for the Fore Mast.




Keeping the rope tight was my main objective with this rig.

I don't have any special serving machines, and will have to be done by hand.....and a little patience.

Literally learning how to rig as I move forward. 




I used three different sized dowels in anticipation of different sized masts.

I'll be using black Syren rope for all the standing rigging. 

When I first bought this kit, I slowly started to replace the kit supplied rope with Syren rope.

When Chuck announced they wont be making the black rope anymore, I bought a few extra packs before they were gone.

Should have plenty.......should...




Being the first shroud on the Starboard side, I made a Burton pendant per the plans. 

Not too shabby. I'll get better. 




It's official. Niagara has her first piece of rigging!!!!!  

Nothing is permanently installed, everything is removable, and as much as possible will be done off model. 




Mask up!


Tom E




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On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, Tom E said:




I do like the look after the "dip".

But it sure does rub off easily. Does that mean I'm not leaving them in long enough?



Actually, too long Tom.  Being a chemist I know a bit about the technical side of this.  The selenium in the blackening agent etches tiny pits in the brass and black selenium is deposited there.  If you continue another layer deposits on top of this and this rubs off easily.  There is a kind of happy medium between incomplete blackening and too much flakey stuff.  The exact time depends on how much you dilute the reagent.  Incidentally, watch out for this flakey stuff.  It is selenium and is toxic.  Wear gloves and wash you hands well afterwards if any gets on your fingers.



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Hope everyone is well.

Hot cup of tea in hand, comfy on the couch....Niagara needs an update. 



That's some great insight as to how blackening works, I did not know, I'll adjust the way I work with it. Thanks!

Luckily, I work in health care and I tend to come home loaded with gloves and alcohol pads I keep stashed in my pockets.

I have a healthy supply!!!! 


I continued on with the Fore mast shrouds. Port and Starboard leading shrouds are done.




My servings are somewhat primitive compared to others.

I'm still learning this craft, should get better!

Maybe somewhere in the future I can make an investment on a serving machine. 




The jig I made for these is proving invaluable.

It's the tension that makes wrapping these "easy". 

I think at one point, I tried to wrap them so they would look like a "French braid". Didn't work so well!!




Once the leading shrouds were done, I kinda got the hang of working with rope.

Just kept on going and the rest of the lower shrouds for the Fore mast were made.

There's some Tamiya masking tape holding them down.

Fore and Main stays and preventer stays will probably be made next.

Then, work my way up the masts.




Looks like I should have good clearance for the Hammock rails under the shrouds. 

Should have more on these soon. I'm trying an approach where I fabricate these off boat and should just drop into place......should. 




Ready for baseball season!!!!!! 

Stay warm,


Tom E 





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Quiet night, ready for a Friday and the weekend.

Gonna be so cold out this weekend, I'll just have to stay warm and toasty in the Shipyard. Take one for the team kinda thing.;)

Well, that's the initial plan.


Thanks VT for the compliment, much appreciated. 


Niagara now has full sets of lower shrouds. Once I got a hang of things on the Fore mast, the Main mast shrouds kinda fell into place. 

I'm not saying they were easy, but once you get a "feel" for the rope and how to work with it, I just felt like pressing on.




Nothing is permanently installed, so the rope may look loose. 

Attaching these to deadeyes is a bit down the road right now. 




Simple strips of Tamiya masking tape lock things down for now. 

I could probably get away with regular tape, but don't wanna take that risk with the paint job.

So far, taking it on and off, no paint pulled off at all. 




Always keeping the Hammocks rail in mind.

Looks like there should be good clearance for them under both sets of shrouds. 




It's absolutely amazing how busy the ship gets just with a few ropes.

Never did I think I would get this far. 




Stay warm


Tom E 







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  • 2 weeks later...



Fantastic progress since I last checked in. 


The hammock rails are a challenge. You are free to check out my build log to see how I handled mine. Not necessarily the best way, but it worked ok. You are very smart to do it now. I waited until after I rigged the ship and found that task incredibly difficult with all of the rigging in the way.


....and yes, the deck is about to get very busy. Just wait. But you are going to love the way it looks. It is going start to look like a real ship.

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Hammocks are a tough call. I agree with Darrell in one sense. However, I can't tell you how many times I knocked part of them off while rigging.


There are a lot of different styles as well. This is something you definitely want to design on some scrap before you 'go live'. In my log there was even some conversation as to whether they even had the rails (and hammocks) on the original. There was really not much room to hang them below deck.

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