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Fair American by jimvanlan99 - Model Shipways - 1:48

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And the work goes on:

 -- both main deck and quarter deck planked with holly wood;  finished with three coats of Wipe On Poly.  I was pleased with how the poly brought out the trunnels.

 -- Also completed both hatches and glued them in place.



 -- cabin front built using boxwood.  Raised the door to accommodate crew members taller than 3 1/2 feet tall.   The sliding hatch cover for the door is of boxwood, and the tracks are of pear (all finished in Wipe on Poly).  I have yet to put "glass" in the door, and I have to paint the edge of the QD visible through the door's window black to hide it.

-- did not realize that I had quite as large a gap on the starboard side of the cabin panel.  Guess I will consider it to be an advanced method of ventilation.




Edited by jimvanlan99
Removal of duplicate pictures

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My thinking about the Fair American took somewhat of a drastic U-turn this week, as I contemplated, and then decided to go with, the

paint scheme provided in MS' Fair American instruction booklet.  So I completed planking the transom and the counter and also put the 

initial planks on the outer bulwarks down to and including the plank that runs along under the main cap rail (all planks were 1/32" thick, 

4/32" wide - all of boxwood).  Then I got out my paints and started to work.  I was able to airbrush all the black, only using a brush to paint the red interior of the transom.  The results are below.  


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This afternoon I completed the planking of the outer upper bulwarks.  Planking is boxwood, 1/8" wide by 1/32" thick.

Tomorrow I hope to add the transom cap which is already painted and gilted (see last picture in this series).  Then it

 is on to the black wales and strake that separate the upper hull planking from the lower, main hull.


Thanks to those of you who have "liked" the progress.  I appreciate the support.P1010411.thumb.jpg.9647dfd7f4f79fc4f2ebc5882bbf2509.jpgP1010413.thumb.jpg.61cb70219f7a0e11f4f865466f3c8f54.jpgP1010415.thumb.jpg.aed38ba6656f3b4b0d7ae0c44cd0f798.jpgP1010416.thumb.jpg.0c26a0eb1e430c53e1a7f40e26498d0b.jpgP1010414.thumb.jpg.cfe4078b805d89021b28f7775340c371.jpgP1010410.thumb.jpg.883833034440340b0e7c362b88b16800.jpg


Edited by jimvanlan99
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After a lot and a lot of spiling, I finally completed planking the bottom hull of Fair American.  The wood is holly, and I am leaving it natural with three coats of wipe on polyurethane.  I originally predicted that the planking would take until the end of the year, but the spiling went faster than I had thought.  I used Chuck Passaro's recommended technique of using wide cellophane tape to get the curves I needed for planks.  It worked for me.


Now I have to go back and re-paint the wales, transom and stem which got marred during the planking process.  Two steps forward, one step backward makes for steady, if somewhat, slow progress.P1010438.thumb.jpg.31659e952d04aeb6486970da0f15798f.jpgP1010439.thumb.jpg.6843da4e71d65f22f9f0475565ab6db8.jpgP1010440.thumb.jpg.ef87598a5c21030643466bfffb2d7ea6.jpgP1010441.thumb.jpg.ff357ca10c3c375257e1777f711e1ad6.jpg

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OK, a little more progress.  Installed the windows in the stern transom and added the decorative trim.  Also added some trim to hide

where the ends of the planks meet the transom.  Given that this is the first time that I have fully planked a hull (without covering it with paint, as I did the Bluenose), I am pretty pleased with the results.  Always room to improve, no doubt, but what the heck.  It is what it is.




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Thank you for your comment.  And Farragut's attitude is pretty much the way I feel about modeling, although I do attempt to moderate the full speed ahead with some attention to detail - as best I can.


Cheers - and Happy Holidays, 


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While waiting for some lumber from Crown Timberyard to make the rails for my Fair American, I installed the cabin front panel and the sliding hatch over the door.  Also worked on some of the deck furniture that will be needed as I move along.  Not a lot of progress - it is amazing how much time small pieces like a capstan or the fore gallows can take to complete.  All was done with boxwood, with just an accent of pear on the capstan head.


Happy Holidays and happy modeling in 2019 to all!








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Nice work. The gallows and the capstan came out really well. It pays to use a close grained wood like box and/or pear. Makes for much crisper details. Well done. 





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Posted (edited)

As I continue to wait for my order from Crown to arrive (not Crown's fault - I ordered right in the middle of the Holiday rush),

I dcided to  work on other pieces of the model.  Specifically, the gun carriages.  I read a lot about carriages and how to make

them and then I dove in.  The following pictures show my prototype.  Carriage and cannon are courtesy of The Lumberyard for

Model Shipwrights.  The quoin is made of boxwood with a hand-turned mahogany handle.  I was not sure at first if the quoin is

necessary, but found that when I put the cannon in place on deck at the gunport, I needed the quoin to reduce the height of the

end of the gun barrel.  I pre-drilled the holes for the eyelets needed for rigging the cannon to the bulwark, but that is another

task in itself and not one I am yet ready to take on.  Besides I have 13 more carriages to make before I move elsewhere.


Last picture is of the completed capstan with "bolts" in place.


Happy 2019 to everyone!












Edited by jimvanlan99
Re-arrange pictures in correct order

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Today marked a minor milestone passed - completion of the fourteen cannon carriages for the Fair American.  Somehow in the process of moving from mountains of NC to our vacation home in (mostly) sunny GA, I managed to misplace/lose one cannon barrel.  I have ordered a replacement plus a spare.  The quoins still need to be finished with wipe on poly, which I will do when I apply finish to a number of other parts that eventually get attached to the outside of the hull (channels, fairleads, steps).  Progress continues - if ever so slowly.


For the eagle eyed among you, the yellow at the stem is the figurehead's blond tresses.  The figurehead is about half done.







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Hey Jim, Tom C. here. I haven't gone away, just not much time to build. Still framing and need to know the finished height of bulwark stanctions from deck height to bottom of toprail. I remember having to add 3/32" but what height should they finish at? Also, did you use the walnut for outboard bulwark planking.  Why walnut if it ends up yellow? I have been following your build and your progress is impressive. I am at a snail's pace but yet to give up. With your help and other log references, I will get there eventually. Keep up the good work.

Edited by TomC

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This is a pretty easy question for me to answer (I think) since I do not yet have the wood from which I will fabricate the top rail.

First of all, let me say that I increased the size of the gunports, as many other builders have done.  My gunports are 3/8"

square (this is the size of the actual ports, the openings in the outer planking are bigger because you leave part of the

gunport framing showing (this would be where the port's "lid" would sit when closed, if Fair American had such "lids."  Anyway,

that said, the top of the bulwark is 22/32" higher than the main fore deck; at the rear of the main deck where the main rail

steps up, the bulwark is 30/32" above the main deck.  When you get to the quarter deck, my bulwark is only

2/32"  above the quarter deck, which is why the ship has railings there, I guess.  


I hope by "bulwark stanchions" you mean the actual bulwarks.


As for planking, no, I did not use the walnut, and I only did one layer of planking.  The planking of the bulwark (both inboard and

outboard) is boxwood, finished with a wipe-on polyurethane finish.  The wales are pear wood painted flat black.  And all of the

planking below the walls is made of holly wood, finished, again, with a wipe-on polyurethane finish.  The only parts of the 

hull that are painted are the wales, the upper part of the stem, and the transom and counter at the stern.  The small strips

of trim around the transom windows and above and below the windows are boxwood, finished with polyurethane.


The holly wood is a nice,  very light colored wood, that works well (I found bending it with a curling iron to be very easy

even for the acute bends at the stern).  And as you can see in the pictures, the polyurethane finish brings out the color

of the holly very nicely.


I appreciate you kinds words about my progress on the Fair American.  There are days when it seems I accomplish nothing

and other days when I can actually see and appreciate the progress, however slow.




I am no expert on modeling - there are others who are true craftsmen on this blog - but I will be happy to answer any

questions I can for you.




Hope this helps.

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I got mine at Amazon.  I think mine are the Westcott Ship Curve, set of 6 for $17.57.  I have found them 

extremely useful especially when I was working on spiling the planks for the hull.



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I received my order of Castello boxwood on Friday, so have been working on cutting and fitting the main rails.  They are done finally.  

The edge of the main rail, including its extension along the hull to the stern I have left with gray primer.  I intend this to be gilted with 

faux gold leaf, but I will not be able to do this until the ABSOLUTELY last step of model making.  I tried to put gold leaf on the edge of 

the quarter piece/taffrail earlier.  While the gold leaf looked good, I quickly found that it comes off very easily if one so much as comes

close to touching it.  So that will be the last step.



While waiting for the boxwood to arrive I worked on other pieces of the deck furniture.  Here is a composite of the log pumps, the ship's

wheel, the fore bitts and the bowsprit bitts.  



Here are a couple of close ups of a pump and the ship's wheel.  The ship's wheel is courtesy of Siren.  It is the smaller of the

two the company offers.  It is a small bit larger than the wheel that came with the kit and I questioned using it.  However,

after making several attempts at making a wheel from scratch, I decided that a wheel in hand was better than two in . . .



Finally, I completed the figurehead.  Below is a closeup of her in her red, white and blue outfit, kneeling in some grass (or I guess that

is the intention of the designer).



Cheers to all,  Jim 

Edited by jimvanlan99
Corrected spelling.

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I started installing deck furniture and furnishings this week, starting from the stern.  All of the furniture is of boxwood.  I left everything its natural finish except for the pinrails and the bulwark cleats, which I painted red to match the inner bulwarks.  Also got the quarter badges installed as well as the steps on both port and starboard sides of the ship.

On the quarter badges, I initially attempted to make window frames out of wood, but every attempt resulted in pieces that just looked too large.  So I ultimately went to paper strips glued to clear plastic to simulate the glass panes.  I painted the quarter badges gold.  Now that I look at them and rather like what I see, I am thinking maybe I should just go with the gold paint wherever the plans calls for gilt or gold leaf.  Painting is certainly a lot easier and a lot more forgiving.


Anyway, here are pictures of the progress for the week:



Cheers to all.  Jim 

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