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Mounting Stand to the Hull

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I guess this can fit into this forum. I'm about finished with Niagara. This is the first kit that did not come with a stand. So I bought a slab of walnut and a couple of those brass, I think they call them pedestals from Model Expo. Notched on one end so the keel will fit in, which it does - snugly. Then there's a screw that goes up thru the walnut, thru the pedestal and into the keel. The screw is almost as wide as the keel and I have concerns the keel might split when I tighten up the screw.


I'll definitely be drilling starter holes in the keel but they can't be too big or the screw won't get enough bite and the boat won't sit steady. Any DO's or DON'Ts when working with these pieces? Am I worrying about nothing?

Edited by mikiek
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Just because some "stout" screws came with the pedestals doesn't mean you have to use them.  I don't know what screws you have, but O have found that dry wall screws work well.  They come in various sizes including some quite thin ones.  The main thing of interest here is that they don't taper and have aggressive threads.  You can drill  a pilot hole almost the full size of the screw shank and the screw will still hold.


The screws don't have to be a snug fit in the pedestals, only in the base and the hull



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Good point Richard - I'll need to look around for some place I can get the masts horizontal to drill.


Chazz - They are drywall screws, but as you suggest I may go look for some a little thinner. With the ones I have I'd have to drill starter holes just about as wide as the keel. Don't like that.


Of course ME has probably sold thousands of these fittings with the screw. I'm sure we would have heard by now if they had problems.

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Hi Mike, 

I've shown a few pictures of how I mounted my Royal William, I think that they are self explanatory. Like yourself the stand was a very late addition. The Royal William is a very heavy model and this stand has proved to be very strong and stable, it is also quite easy to lift off.





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10 hours ago, kscadman said:

Very nice work Mike!!. She looks great and no damage!


Did you make enough hammocks for the full compliment of crew?




Hello Richard and thank you. Honestly, I was short by quite a bit. I have about 140 on the rail. Full crew would have been about 170 although they were at 135 if memory serves.  And then each sailor was supposed to have 2.


We have found that protocol for sailing the lakes was different than for ocean voyages. Given there was only 2 decks where did they sleep? Hammocks are usually hung on the beams under the decks. It's possible there was not enough room on Niagara for the usual sleeping shifts. In many cases gun crews on the ocean slept by their gun, their hammock hanging from the beams above it. If Niagara's gun crews slept by their gun, they'd be out on the main deck.


So the bottom line is, I measured off some space on the hand rails and filled that space with hammocks. I will say the hammocks are to scale - 6'x3'. Rolling those suckers was a real chore.

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Hi Mike, thanks for the heads up on 2 hammocks per crew member, I hadn't read about that yet. My Syren had a crew of 120. I wonder who's crew were short. The two ships are comparable in size and armament. From what I've researched, its my understanding that the hammocks would help in defense when under attack.

Either way, I'll be following your lead and adding the hammocks as well.



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Hey Richard - Niagara had a short crew. Partly from the area, just not a lot to pick from, draft, borrow, etc. Commodore Perry was fortunate to be loaned quite a few men from the army although they were not familiar with many of the tasks required onboard a ship. Real seamen were not interested in crewing because the opportunity for prizes on a lake was almost nil. And then there was the competition with Chauncey on Lake Ontario who had a fleet of his own he needed to man.


It was thought that a rolled hammock might slow down a musket ball - I have my doubts except maybe at long range. They were also supposed to absorb splinters as the boats took hits. I suspect it was also the fact that a doubled over hammock added about 3' in height to the rails. This might help conceal the gunners from marine snipers on the enemy boats. It could also keep a gun crew from seeing over the rail and realizing the situation - reducing distraction.


You know there are several ways hammocks were stashed on the rails. I honestly don't know if my representation is legit. Most of the time they are shown with a canvas cover wrapped around them. Most likely this is how they were kept on ocean going vessels to keep them dry. This method is also easier to model. You don't have to roll all the hammocks. Just roll your canvas cover into a tube with some cotton or other stuffing inside and put the tube on the rail. I tried a few prototypes like that but they didn't do a lot for me. I ended up going individual because I thought it looked better and again because lake sailing was different than ocean sailing (and not well documented) I figured I could get away with it.


Good luck

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