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Steamboat Arabia 1856 by Cathead - FINISHED - Scale 1:64 - sidewheel riverboat from the Missouri River, USA


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Eric,

 

All I can say is absolutely beautiful. It's been a pleasure watching the progression of this build along the way. Really looking forward to seeing the final photos, especially the ones along the Missouri River. Those should really prove to be stunning. You've also got my curiosity piqued on the reveal of your next build.

 

Are you planning a display case to go along with it? I need to get my rear in gear on my Chaperon case, otherwise I may have to sacrifice some of my build time dusting it.

 

-Brian

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Roger, thanks so much. That means a lot coming from you. You've been such a help and inspiration as I learn more about steamboats over the years and you've helped me hold myself to a higher standard (though I still have a ways to go).

 

Brian, I was thinking (hoping?) that I could get an inexpensive plexiglass case made that would fit over the model and inside the raised lip around the wooden base. I was thinking of contacting a few sign-making shops that seem to do various such work. Anyone have a smarter idea?

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20 hours ago, Cathead said:

John, that sounds really cool and I'd love to follow along. When you get started, feel free to drop a note in here so we can all be in on it from the beginning.

Eric,

I will certainly let you know. I’ll need a lot advice on that build. However, it may be a while. Still working on my skill level with the Charles W Morgan and the Whaleboat projects. I’ll get there before you know it. One thing I have learned in this hobby/profession is patients and looking at the long term effect. There is no rush around here, just lots of inspiration. Thanks again for the ride, again it has been truly inspirational. 
 

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got an updated (larger) stencil from the neighbor teen and relettered the wheel housing. I like this much better:

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Compare with the earlier, too-small version:

 

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And with that, she's done. Next post will feature some final shots. Wow. I'm having a hard time adjusting to this, after 2 years and 8 months, the longest I've worked on any model project.

 

I can't emphasize enough how important all of you have been, through likes, comments, suggestions, criticisms, and support. Even when I didn't take your advice, I listened to it and learned from it. You've helped me create something pretty special to me, and maybe to others if I ever get to display it somewhere other than my quarantined rural farmstead.

 

Thank you.

 

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I took advantage of a cloudy afternoon to take a break from regular work and do a quick photo shoot on my porch, using my phone with a few rumpled sheets as backdrops. May try to do a nicer job someday but the model's not going anywhere and this let me feel a sense of closure. It was pretty windy and you'll see the flag changing positions!

 

First, a few overhead shots:

 

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Stern views:

 

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Bow views:

 

IMG_0918.jpg.93ad523e037fe2afc600c8ae734cdd64.jpg

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Side views:

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Overall views:

 

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Painting for comparison with the last view:

Arabia_painting.jpg.72b1276110b2ad42ebf04e23b8cc6456.jpg

Thanks for everything.

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Magnificent results Eric. She came out looking stunning! 

 

I'm sorry to see you have finished her because that means an end to this wonderful build log. I've picked up so much knowledge of the steam era as a result. I am now chomping at the bit to see what your next project is.

 

Don't keep us waiting too long.

 

-Brian

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Huhg improvement on the lettering, Eric. It really changes it from nice to wonderful. You out did yourself again. A pitty the next build will not be a river boat ... I have enjoyed the journey tremendously and will certainly take the route again. So much to see, read, and learn

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Two last shots of Arabia in her display location in my model/nautical corner of the house. We might move her somewhere else once I get a full case figured out, but this is good for now. I like that the bookcase opens on both sides so it's easy to view the open and closed sides of the model. Out of shot on a lower shelf is my model of Bertrand, another open/closed sided steamboat, so the two go well together here. Note that the Arabia and the revenue cutter behind her are the same scale (1:64); I think it's a fun visual comparison.

 

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Some of you asked about my next project. Having bought a Byrnes table saw over the winter, I had been planning to shift to scratch-building full-time using wood harvested on my farm. I have billets of maple, cherry, and various fruitwoods that have been drying for up to two years and will provide all the modelling wood I could possibly use. My goal was for the cost of the saw to replace the cost of kits and wood in our budget, which it should. There are a variety of interesting Missouri River craft on the agenda, including the boats used by the Lewis & Clark expedition and some smaller steamboats used on tributaries of the Missouri River.

 

However, the last few months have been extremely stressful for reasons from personal to global, and my brain is a bit fried with trying to keep track of this complicated build. Moreoever, the libraries and historical societies I might otherwise visit to do primary research in Missouri craft are closed or restricted. So I bought one last kit as a simpler relaxation project: the Dusek Viking longship in 1:35 scale (note that the scale of my builds keeps going up, from 1:87 Bertrand to 1:64 Arabia to 1:35 Viking ship; this could be a problem down the road). I am of Norse descent (my beloved grandfather was extremely proud of his heritage), my father-in-law was a scholar of Old English and the Saxon period, and I'm a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell's long "Saxon Tales" series of historical novels (better known as "The Last Kingdom" once a TV show based on it was launched). So this will have some meaning for me while at least letting me follow someone else's instructions. I do plan to make some modifications for authenticity/uniqueness and to replace some of the kit wood with my own home-cut-and-milled; I may also use the plans to build several versions using my own wood.

 

I'll launch a build log eventually, but will likely be dormant for a while. The next few weeks will involve helping my elderly in-laws move closer to us, which would be a massive enough undertaking if there wasn't an ongoing pandemic, so I don't think I'll have a lot of free time until sometime in July. I'll post a build log link here once I start it, for anyone who wants to follow along. Thanks once more for your support and interest.

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Eric,

 

She looks great sitting there in her place front and center in the room. Great place for her. I’d love to see a picture of her sitting next to the Bertrand. Even though they are different scales, it’d be a neat photograph. 

 

Here’s hoping your stress levels go down in the next few weeks. Best of luck on your in-laws move.  Really looking forward to your Longship build. 

 

-Brian

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Good idea. Here's a few quick shots on the floor (too hot and sunny to go outside). They were similarly sized:

Arabia: Length 171', beam 29' (hull; with guards, around 48'), tonnage 222

Bertrand: Length 161', beam 32' (hull; with guards, around 40'), tonnage 251

 

I also made a mistake in the last post (now corrected); Bertrand was built at 1:87, not 1:72.

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Wonderful to see the final pictures Eric, you must be satisfied with the results. A beautiful looking ship. Good luck with the move of your in laws not a good time as you say with all the restrictions in place.  

Stay safe and enjoy your next model and the prepping of the lumber from your own farm. It is a great feeling to take the time to take the raw material and see the change from tree to model lumber. and the wood will not have been cooked during the drying process so the natural oils in the wood are still there and it makes a difference to the colour and texture of the finished wood.

 

Michael

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  • 2 weeks later...

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