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US Brig Syren by Peter Bloemendaal - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1:64

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Just sharing some more photos of the fun I'm having with the deck fittings.

I've finished the capstan and the binnacle (no handles yet..). I'm pleased with the binnacle which turned out pretty good (but I'm biased... I made it....).

The ladder for the companionway is in and the companionway itself is in progress. The doors need to clear the cannon balls so I will need to make my mind up choosing the smaller or bigger ones. I'm leaning towards the bigger ones. They are in the mail today so I'll make up a strip soon. I also dry fitted the ships wheel. So far so good.


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Thanks Al and Christos and also thanks for the likes.

A few more photos with some progress.

The first photo's are a mix with the kit supplied 1.2mm cannon balls and the 2mm balls I purchased. Surprisingly the smaller ones have won out (so far). The larger balls just look way too big compared to the carronades. They are not glued in yet so I can still change my mind.

To say that the top fife rails are fragile is giving them too much credit. I broke both the top and bottom by gently trying to take the char off. I salvaged them because they broke at different places so I could still glue them together. The pump is also in progress.

I had a bugger of a time deciding on the paint for the ships wheel. I just couldn't find the right wood colour. In the end I listened to the Admiral (again....sigh) and painted it with a metallic gold enamel paint, black acrylic to paint the iron rings and matt oil based varnish over the lot.  I can already see some paint experts shaking their heads in disbelief but hey, I think it did the trick...lol

Here are the photo's


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, ready for the next set of photo's. Chapter 13 is almost finished. The bowsprit bits isn't glued in yet, but I guess it's ok for the photo's while it's in it's position drying. My main problems have been in getting a consistent finished timber look. I have been using a sanding sealer prior to applying a wood stain with a clear matt varnish over the top. The effects on the wood strips, the dowels and the laser cut sheets have been quite different and a challenge to say the least.

In the end I just capitulated and will be (hopefully) ending up with a nice looking weathered ship rather than a new one....lol

Still enjoying the journey though. Here are the photo's, starting with my use of a poor mans lathe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks again for all the likes 🙂

A bit more progress, this time on the cap rail details. I have added the stern davits, timber heads, inboard stairs and hammock cranes. The netting will be next.

I was so programmed to grabbing the model using the cap rail that it took 3 bend hammock cranes before this old brain switched on and figured out a new way of handling the model....lol

I let the photo's do the talking again.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I said the netting will be next. The plan was to make a start on the long boat while doing the netting. As mentioned before I suck at multitasking. So once I started the longboat, the netting had no chance and will have to wait.....lol.

I think I spent a good 8 hours sanding the inside and out before I got cold feet and didn't go any thinner. I'm sure I probably could go thinner but when I felt it starting to flex and crack a bit while sanding, I was happy to stop. I applied some creative ways to bend the frames prior to gluing them in.

It's a fun little project but takes just as much care as the big ship. Can't let your guard down or rush it....

I also forgot to dry fit the laser cut keel prior to sanding the hull so had to make a new one once I realised to do that and found out it didn't fit...

Here are some photo's (not everything is glued on yet).



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Really, really nice build, thanks for sharing your progress and techniques.  I did note one very minor issue that you may or may not want to address before you start masting and rigging.  Double check your rigging of the steering tackle, I think the lines should run from the top of the steering drum instead of the bottom.  Seems the way the lines run now, when the helm is put over in one direction, the tiller will also be pulled in that direction, which will cause the rudder (and vessel) to move in the opposite direction.  Again, a very minor issue that few (if any) would ever notice (and I bring it to your attention with some hesitation).





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Thanks Jim,

Great pick up Keith,

I remember being so concentrated on the ropes meeting in the middle under the drum so I can glue them there that I must have automatically assumed they start under the drum as well...DOH.

Never hesitate pointing out any mistakes, I'm here to learn as well as having fun and as you said it also gives me an opportunity to fix before it gets harder. My first reaction was, nah.. nobody will notice. But the more I thought about it, it changed to " But I will notice every time I look at it". So I will give it a try fixing it.

I'll finish the long boat first though, it's that multitasking thing again.....lol


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Thanks for all the likes again.

Just a bit of progress on the long boat (I used some black heat shrink for the Gudgeons).

Still have to add the knees on the Thwarts and figure out how to make the iron step on the bowsprit. I am also not 100% happy with the windlass yet and may give that one another go. But in general I'm pretty happy how she looks...

The two last photo's were made after dark in the shed so the colour is a bit all over the place.

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Thanks Steve, Jess & Alan and thanks for all the likes.

I managed to fix the steering so the lines now runs around the top of the drum. And the long boat is now completed as well.

I started placing the netting and spent 30 minutes patiently trying to thread a line through below the rigging line and pull it back out (through the netting!!) above the rigging line. After some choice words I went back to the instructions and found out the netting needs to be trimmed prior to lashing it....DOH. It looks like securing the netting is going to take me a while....lol... Very fiddly.

Anyhow, here are a few photo's.

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Thanks Messis, and also thanks for the likes.

A small update this time. I lashed the long boat and the sweeps down on the gallow bits. I haven't glued them yet. I have a feeling that during the rigging stage it may be handy to temporarily take the long boat off the ship to create some needed space for my hands.

I also added the rudder pendants and added a few rope coils. And the netting is done. The netting was tricky as at one stage I pulled a eye bolt out of the boarding panel (with half the netting in place) and with another section I had to re glue the boarding panel all together. In the end it didn't end up being perfect but I'm happy with the result. I also had a bit of a play placing the anchor ropes.

This completes the hull so it looks like I will make a start on the bowsprit next.

Just a few photo's this time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Peter,


I am currently in the process of trying to produce the rope coils for my Syren model as well and was wondering if you had a good technique for producing them.  I have found that the line provided with the kit tends to stubbornly want to de-coil.  Did you use some sort of jig?  What kind of glue did you use to get them to hold their shape?





P.S.  Beautiful job on this build!  The work is superb!


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Hi Josh,

I'm not sure if my technique is a good one but it worked for me in the end. For a start I didn't use the rope out of the kit. I replaced most of my rope with rope from the Syren Ship Model Company (Chuck) which is a lot easier to work with.

This is the way I did it:

1. I put around 3-4 turns around a pencil ensuring I went over the start of the rope so that that bit ends up on the inside of the coil.

2. After cutting the end and holding the rope around the pencil I soaked it with diluted GORILLA PVA glue. (around 50-50 from memory)

3. After wiping off the excess and holding it for around 30-60 seconds, enough to hold it's shape, not too long to get stuck on the pencil, I carefully wedged it off the pencil edge.

4. I left the coil to dry for about an hour, next I flattened it with my finger. This is where most of my rejects came from as you want to look for a naturally coiled looking rope. Some of them bend down with sharp corners and just don't look natural. The more you do the less you reject as you start to get a feel for it.

5. Next I put a batch under a flat surface like a steel ruler, put some weight on it and left it overnight.

6. The next day I pulled the inside end off a bit and cut the end so it is nicely tucked under the coil. The outside end was cut so it looked as natural as possible. Finally I glued it on top of the cut end of the gun rigging.

I hope this helps.



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Thanks so much for the valuable feedback.  I agree the line included with the kit is difficult to work with.  I thought it was just me, but now that I know it is not, I don't feel bad using something else.  What is the Gorilla PVA glue you are referring to?  I haven't heard of it and moreover, when I went to the hardware store, I wasn't able to find anything in the Gorilla branded glues that referred to PVA.   Thanks!  --Josh

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Hi Josh,

It's the Gorilla Wood Glue. I have included a photo.

Thinking back on the steps I used to create them I may have been slightly wrong on step 5. I started using weights but I think they came out too flat the next day. I did put them under a steel ruler overnight so they kept their shape but can't remember if and by how much I weighted them down. Just a bit of trail and error I suppose, just like all the other steps....lol.

Here is the photo.


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Well, its been a while so I better post another update on the build. I finished the Bowsprit assembly up until the rigging.

It hasn't been without its challenges. I made the bowsprit twice because I wasn't happy with the 1/4" dowel size, I thought it a bit too small compared to the size on the plan. The saddle looked to be the simplest part (and probably is ) but took me 4 attempts. And the Dolphin Striker broke off as I was working on the Gammoning. Luckily it broke on a glued connection so after cleaning I could glue it straight back on and didn't have to re-do it.

The bowsprit collars were seriously fiddly and I am starting to struggle to understand how and/or where some of the rigging lines start and end, resulting in some results that don't match the instructions. So far I have managed to hide them but I need to do some research in this area.

Anyway, enough dribble, here are some photo's.

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