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Hello from Alabama, US


JamesBhm
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Hi All,

 

My name is James and I'm coming to MSW from the "Steel City" of Birmingham, Alabama in the US. After lurking for a while and reading some really great posts, I decided to join and step out into the daylight. I usually cringe at hobby-related forums because there can be a little too much eye rolling and WAY too much use of the word "noob." I'm very impressed with the constructive and supportive tone here. Good membership, but I think the moderators set a good "top down" tone also. 

 

My background is a pretty common story: modeling experience in other areas (plastic models, dioramas, couple of model railroads when I was younger, etc). I also have a story of "the one that got away" (from me). I was given a Artisania Latina (I think) Swift kit when I was about 13 or 14 years old. Had a great time building the hull and deck, but had very little money, underdeveloped skills, and very few suitable tools for wood ship building. I never considered it a failure, just had to stop when I realized I'd hit my limit and dream about building another one someday. 30+ years later, I think I'm ready to take another shot as a good Fall/Winter project. 

 

As for a build, I've been doing a lot of research. I decided on something along the lines of a naval cutter to work on a decent range of basic skills (single mast, gaff rig plus a couple of square yards, reasonable hull shape). I'm pretty sure I've settled on the MH Cutter Mermaid kit by Modeller's Shipyard. I like all the historical information available about it (including ship's logs, letters, drawings, etc), and there are a couple of good build logs for reference. The clincher was going through all the sketchbook drawings and paintings by P. P. King (thanks to the New South Wales State Library digital collection). I'm a pen & ink artist who has kept a field sketchbook at times, so that spoke to me. I'm also learning a little bit of Australian history and geography, so there's that!

 

For now, I'm getting a modest little workspace together and stocking up on a few basic tools. I'll be ordering the kit soon and hope to muster the courage to start a build log.  

 

 

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Welcome, James, from SC (drove through Alabama on my way here -- lovely country).

 

Every eye-rolling non-noob started out as a noob. Remembering that helps all of us to keep things in perspective. Cutters make very good entry-level projects -- not too many masts, not too many guns, but everything in doable quantities.

 

Good luck with your project!

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2 minutes ago, John Allen said:

We welcome another red-neck, Roll Tide or Tigers. I'm still a noob but this is a great site.

Being originally from California myself, I have no dog in the Tigers/Gamecocks debate that so clearly divides South Carolina. But I did wonder quite a bit, upon first arrival, why there were so many USC fans in this state. (People who don't see the point here just need to think about it a little bit -- it will dawn on you sooner or later.)

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Welcome aboard James. Being a born and bred LSU Tiger fan I won’t comment on the Crimson Tide, always thought that was a form of fish killing algae. 😂🤣😂.

 

The members of this site are a great bunch, always helpful never denigrating. Very, very rare in today’s world. We even love guys from Alabama.

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1 hour ago, Jim Rogers said:

Welcome aboard James. Being a born and bred LSU Tiger fan I won’t comment on the Crimson Tide, always thought that was a form of fish killing algae. 😂🤣😂.

 

The members of this site are a great bunch, always helpful never denigrating. Very, very rare in today’s world. We even love guys from Alabama.

No problem Jim. I'm a Louisiana native so I'm with you! When it comes to the Crimson Tide, I just smile and nod (for my own physical safety). Looking forward to benefitting from the experience of this group.

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6 hours ago, ccoyle said:

Welcome, James, from SC (drove through Alabama on my way here -- lovely country).

 

Every eye-rolling non-noob started out as a noob. Remembering that helps all of us to keep things in perspective. Cutters make very good entry-level projects -- not too many masts, not too many guns, but everything in doable quantities.

 

Good luck with your project!

Chris, thank you for the welcome. Speaking of "everything in do-able quantities," is copper plating (i.e., the "deluxe" Mermaid kit) usually feasible for relatively new builders or is that kind of thing best left for a future build?

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Dunno -- never tried it myself. If you choose to build your kit in bare wood, then coppering is not essential. If you choose to paint it, then it won't be period-correct without the copper. But -- coppering on a small model like that one shouldn't be terribly difficult to do. At least, no more difficult than all of the other myriad tasks to learn. 🙂

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Copper plating is no big deal really.  You just start at the bottom by the rudder work forward and up. Over lap each course by half. I do a finish band about a quarter down the final course to make things look more finished. Others may have other techniques this is mine.

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Welcome aboard  James from down-under in Sydney.  

 

My first serious build about 2 years ago was the  Cutter Mermaid by Modellers Shipyard. I did not go for the deluxe kit as I didn't have the experience of copper plating and I also preferred an all wood finish.  The model is now in my grandsons room and hopefully one day he will appreciate it (he is after all only 6 months old !).

As a newbie I found the plans for the kit easy to read and follow with plenty of photos to help you along the way. As it was my first kit I also bought the DVD on how to build it.........also very very useful. 

 

Enjoy whatever you decide to build as its a great hobby to have and you will get a lot of ideas and help from all of the members. 

 

Cheers...............Fernando :cheers:

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29 minutes ago, Fernando E said:

Welcome aboard  James from down-under in Sydney.  

 

My first serious build about 2 years ago was the  Cutter Mermaid by Modellers Shipyard. I did not go for the deluxe kit as I didn't have the experience of copper plating and I also preferred an all wood finish.  The model is now in my grandsons room and hopefully one day he will appreciate it (he is after all only 6 months old !).

As a newbie I found the plans for the kit easy to read and follow with plenty of photos to help you along the way. As it was my first kit I also bought the DVD on how to build it.........also very very useful. 

 

Enjoy whatever you decide to build as its a great hobby to have and you will get a lot of ideas and help from all of the members. 

 

Cheers...............Fernando :cheers:

Fernando, thanks for the welcome and good to hear the kit was manageable. I placed my order last night. The deluxe kit was only a few dollars more, so I went ahead and ordered it partially out of curiosity, and to have the option on the copper. My love for a nice wood finish will have to battle it out with my love of historical detail, but for now I just need to worry about the basics and not get ahead of myself. It's a bit like worrying what kind of cherry you're going to put on top of your cake when you've never baked one and you have yet to crack an egg. If my planking ends up being a disaster, I may need all the copper, duct tape, chewing gum, hot glue, and pine cones I can get my hands on. 

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13 hours ago, Jim Rogers said:

Copper plating is no big deal really.  You just start at the bottom by the rudder work forward and up. Over lap each course by half. I do a finish band about a quarter down the final course to make things look more finished. Others may have other techniques this is mine.

Beautiful work (and inspiring), Jim. I like how the paint and copper haven't drowned out the wood. It still very much "reads" as a wooden ship.

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