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Bowdoin diorama by Jond - Bluejacket - 1:48

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Bowdoin in ice display build


post 1


This build will be my first attempt at a diorama


I wanted to start this log to record both the research and the effort to replicate an expedition scene.  It is going to more about studying the ship from 1924-to say 1930,  its expeditions and the making of the overall display rather than only the model itself.  I know I am going to need help.


More than 15 years ago, I either bought or was given the Bluejacket model of the Bowdoin. When I stared modeling schooners in about 2012, my first thought was to use the 1:48 kit information as a study and then to build a 1:24 sailing model. [ that is the scale of my Bluenose and it is fun!]   I still may do that,  I just have too many possible projects.


I want to use this opportunity to explore more of a diorama display of a type of ship to better learn how it was used.  The Kate Cory build that is now on hold will come back, and I will try to have a whale on the side being treated.    For the Bowdoin I am not sure, but think I want to show her in the ice or afloat next to the ice set up for winter in the arctic. I hope to have this display ready for next summer as a local family store owner wants to make Boothbay Built schooners a feature of their new venue.   I have offered this model up as a backup, as other Bowdoin models may come available. My thought is an icy diorama with the model in it.


As I have tried on my other models, I am more about trying to find out how things worked and what they were like in old photos and then try to adjust the model in that direction.  I hope I can carry that off. This log is also for the purpose of documenting those items. The local historical society has tons of visuals to review, and the Donald Macmillan material is all available at Bowdoin College that is only 45 minutes away.  [ in the winter light traffic anyway].  My love of this boat started in 1962.  I was a junior sailing instructor in a summer program in Massachusetts and Donald Macmillan came to talk to us and sell his book. I fortuitously bought an autographed copy that is still in my library. I have read it both years ago and then again more recently as part of my extensive reading about the arctic.


So many items will fill in as we go, but to start off …where are we with the actual build? There are just a few old photos that show that in 2012 ish, as I was starting to play with 1:48 scale builds, so I could down size my scale experience to be able build the four masted Schooner Charles Notman.  All I did at that time was to rough out the hull and set up the deck.  I noted that the kit did not require nor include any line drawings.   A few years later as I was researching the Boothbay Harbor One Design at the Boothbay Region Historical society, I found they have a copy of the William Hand design of Bowdoin….I got a copy of the section lines so in the future I could rough out a scaled hull in RC friendly larger scale .    I am told the original drawings of all of Hand’s work is in the Hart Museum at MIT.  In a casual search of their site, I was unable to find them in their data base. If anyone seriously wants them that is a place to go.


So to the build…these photos are about about 5  years ago... .

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Here I was using the famous bondo glazing putty to smooth out the hull.  Looking at the results 6 years later, I would likely send it back for another few coats. Three days more maybe then would have been great…..oh well.

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Here we got some base coats painted and deck stained.

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Here we added the bulkhead strips

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Here we have the cap rails on and I notice more putty fixing the sides. It seems that for some of us, we can only see those defects after the first base coats of paint.  That is why I stared the filler prime process. …. just spilled milk as they say

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Finally, here is furniture partially built or as supplied in the kit in place and we are resting waiting for any action. This roughly represents the amount of deck detail I would include for an RC model.  I have taken what I can find of the unused kit material. Obviously after this much time, it is scattered, so I am sure I will make or reorder what I need. The bell by example is nowhere to be found.


What big new thing do I want to learn?


……The most urgent modeling method study for this build is to find out where to buy and how to work with textured and tinted Acrylic sheets.  I want to cut out a hole for the boat and maybe a dory.  Then one looks from the side and sees the underwater hull, maybe a fish or two, or even the anchor.    There are several of these in Lunenburg museum and they are stunning.   So far, I only found one source and they need about $50 for one sheet about the right size.  That’s fine if it is right, but I need to practice.   I looked all over MSW and was unsuccessful finding any articles or logs  that jumped out at me.   Anyway that study and experiments will be part of this build…..also how to make ice?  then if i get brave or find some help make people and dogs.  all in time.





Edited by Jond
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Jon.....I have purchased a variety of acrylic sheets (for non-modelling projects) from https://www.inventables.com/.   You might check them out and see if they have something useful for you.  They seem to have a limited range of sizes....I thought in the past they had more variety listed.  Other sizes might be available if you ask.




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Gary and Jim


thanks for feedback


I read a recent article about the resin pour.  That is a great solution for waterline display, and I need to keep that as a possibility.   I was blown away a few years back with the technique of taking translucent acrylic and displaying it either flat or heat bent for a rolling sea, then setting the model so you see both below and above the water. For a whaler one could have fun trying to place a whale next to the boat.   Here I will try an arctic scene, and at this stage am open to experimenting.  


It seems that the vendors want to sell either textured clear or colored sheets.  I have four little sample pieces coming of clear textured and a few colors to experiment with making layers. I will then try some amateur coatings.  There may be a peel and stick film that could go on the bottom of the textured sheets too.   These two experiments might be like the clear resin over painted back ground.  I also found a site that offers a 16 inch by 24 inch piece of sea blue textured that might work.  I am just ready to plunge. I want more practice.   I have already cut two attempts of holes through scrap 1/8" plywood. A little trial and error as I stated there are no line drawings included in the kit.   I will share in future post when I get more progress on making the right size hole.  



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Jond if you do a resin pour you can dye it to the exact color you want. Pour it in layers and you can stack shades. You need to put a protective tape coating on your hull to keep the resin from sticking or use a sacrifice substitute with a tape coating. Go on line and watch Resin Pour River table videos for ideas and how-twos.  I am glad you are attempting  this as I am looking at the possibility also and will be following your success.


https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/Water go to this website, look at their product and watch their videos. I use these products in my Dioramas.


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I have similar plans for my current build of Amati's Revenge - a 3 or 4 mm thick sheet of plexiglass with the waterline cut out that the ship will sit in.  While I have not yet purchased the plexiglass sheet, I found this website that has a variety of thicknesses and will cut to size:




Also, I used some large cardboard boxes to get the pattern of the waterline (using a contour gauge) that will eventually be transferred to the plexiglas for cutting.  A photo of the template can be seen in my build log and I will soon have some pics of the ship sitting in the template. 

Took about 4 or 5 tries to get the waterline cutout correct.  not sure about what I will use to simulate the water but that is way in the future



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thanks for the tip on the supplier. I will definitely check it out.  I have some templates too that I made in 1/8 plywood so I can play with other options like clear resin over paint and more likely ice.  that would be resin over white paint, maybe some salt...???  


I will look into your log too...see you there



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start to rebuild the kit


post 2


I need to first get started with the rework on the model. It has sat on a shelf for years and though an occasional once over with a light vacuum, it is shall we say dusty.

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First up is cleaning of the deck.  I believe I used a satin poly on this.  In my preliminary research I am finding a beat-up deck followed by painted decks.   I need to think more about the final decision as to what era I shall try to replicate.  I think this might be water base poly, very hard to remove for staining.

  My guess is the first voyage was just oiled deck as was practice of the day.  In some reading they advised that good old Charlie Hodgdon... [ his history well known around here as the family still operates one of Maine's great Boat building facility]...  took over the line drawings from William Hand and completed the planning of the build that was specific to the needs of the arctic.  I doubt in 1921 a painted deck was on the original launched boat, though by the end of the 1920’s it was clearly gray and white paint.   More on this later in the build.

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Next up are the spars.  They were not finished; just roughly shaped and varnished.   First step is to remove all finish to allow staining for the lower masts and shaping for rings etc.

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Now to the bottom and the shape needed to install the rudder and propeller.  Lines check out to be ok, but more shaping is needed to get the rudder installed. also i think the bottom paint is a little loud.....will do again I am sure.



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Now my first attempt to build three small dories.   I plan to follow the kit instructions and see how I do.   I know from Bluenose these little guys are very hard to do. base wood just does not like to bend and I have never been able to get fast glue to dry fast.   I have yet to make a dory I like, but must solve that issue.   I first experimented with scan and print and found I got copies the same size, and  for production printed out three sets to make shaping parts easy, especially with eh spindle sander, my new favorite tool.  There are clearly 3 dories on the early trips. They were stacked to port side.  more on e that later.



Ok off to the diorama stuff.  

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I had some scrap 1/8 plywood with teak veneer for my pond yachts that I will never use.   I have no line drawings, so to trace a drawing of the waterline in plan is not available for a starting point.  I used trial and error and the first hole was too big by up to 3/8 in the middle to ok at the ends.   So, I measured the offsets as best as possible and cut out the second one.   If I were going to set the hull in and make wake water or something for a model under sail, or ice for hull in ice, this is OK.   I shall experiment with this version being a sheet of ice. At the same time, I continue to search out the translucent acrylic product.


Next up is to collate several visuals I found at the Boothbay Region Historical society.  They are extremely helpful to see how the Bowdoin was rigged in the early days.....stay tuned.  many changes coming......tweaks that is .


All for now

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It's great to hear from you.  I recall that while attending your wonderful rigging class about 5 years ago held up in Searsport,   you were kind enough to replace my missing instruction book for the Bowdoin Model I had acquired years earlier.  It was shortly after that class that I completed the Bowdoin hull before moving onto other similar scale schooners and the large Charles Notman.  I'll be ordering a few more pieces to help add on to the detail to reflect an ongoing 1925 ish winter over experience. 


I believe your suggestion of Spackle  is a good one, especially  if I want to show the hull totally in ice.   I have two cut out thin plywood sheets and the one with a hole too big might be the trick for my first experiment.  I'll post the results.







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Time for an update

we just got a new puppy so time is tough......


study the standing rigging and spars


post 3


It has gone slow here as I am focused on learning as much as I can about the original Bowdoin fit out and arctic ventures. I don’t want to build and remove too many things, though I am sure they are coming.   I have spent three sessions at the Boothbay region Historical Society[ BRHS in credits]  and reviewed many visuals, clippings and most importantly a copy of the William Hand drawings.  I will share few cropped details from the research to make some points, but want the archive of the museum to stay where it belongs. 


Last Saturday I took the Bluejacket plan with me to do a comparison and see what I could learn.  An example of issues is the following

  • ·        1505759445_bdn-011ajumbostaymovedaftDSCF1335.thumb.jpg.65f59ec6c6ccb1ae1346fbdea2413db5.jpg
  • In this photo I took a few years back in the harbor, one sees on the new Bowdoin rig that the forestay attaches to a pipe just inches forward of the Bitts.   On the Bluejacket plan the attachment of the forestay is about three feet forward.   So……..


Looking at the original Sail plan at the BRHS museum, I found the Bluejacket plan to be right on for what must have been the original layout.  It is nice to see that many years ago, the Bluejacket team used the real deal to make the kit.    The fore stay drops to the deck some three feet forward of the bitts on both Bluejacket and original plans.  That makes it easy for me to model but raises a question.  In which one of the re-rigging jobs of the Bowdoin did they move the windlass and bitts forward or fore stay aft??????    


At a yacht club function last week with some real blue water sailors, and no less than the current generation of the  of family that built of Bowdoin I could not resist asking for an opinion.    The consensus was the heavy winds took that big jumbo and made it hard to manage.  Some years ago the must have brought the stay a bit aft to reduce the sail.  It is unlikely that the winch or bitts were ever moved.   Hopefully the Bowdoin will be around in June and sail in here as part of Windjammers days , so we can find the crew and ask them to measure this point.   I had fun doing that with Bluenose in Lunenburg, and yes there are a few differences on Bluenose too.


One great benefit on Saturday was I was able to copy the original 1920 notes on the rigging design giving specifications of all standing and running rigging.   I was curious if the spreaders were wood or painted steel.   Well originally at least they were dark and made of Oak.    More importantly I learned all the shrouds and fore stays were galvanized. The forestay is also a little larger than the others


  • 659172896_bdn-011b2018bowdoinlogdraftsphotogalvstays.thumb.jpg.23c799764499324b4e6fd74007357155.jpg
  • Here is a cropping from a photo take after a re rigging I found at BHHS.   Note the shiny galvanized shrouds……..so it's time to get the rigging and spars moving, and I need to consider options for galvanized.   Unlike the larger Pond yachts, we don’t have enough strength to stretch real cable, so we need thread.  Again, to get the right sizes we are beyond the Joann stock pile.  Minor adjustments using the original circumference allowed using the Bluejacket sizing in cotton. There is no spinning like the larger lines, but the cotton might take paint.   I used their 020 for the shrouds and 025 for the head stays.

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Here I took both the original drawing and developed all the bands.  There is another anomaly.  On the original plan they suggest a becket style bridle in galvanized wire hangs from above the spreader to hold the throat blocks.    There is too much photographic evidence showing the two bands needed for a forged crane to hold the throat halyard block and this is what I am modeling.    Another oops is coming however….

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Here I have used aluminum paint to replicate old galvanized as I did on the Charles Notman. 

I have been experimenting…..and looking at others builds.    I don’t see much galvanized and again one must think of the look after a few winters in the arctic…….I am thinking more gray than shiny

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First of all let’s make the shrouds.  I am using a serving machine and completing each loop and started hanging them.   Here is my oops.   If I install the crane, it goes over the loops.   Therefore, it must somehow let the shrouds come off.  For now, I will simply remake them after…. So, we have another question for the crew.

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Here is low light view one of galvanized against aluminum, medium and light gray painted thread.   Painting the cotton is hard to get cover and even.  If I get the color right I am still looking for colored threads. here I hate the black shoping through.  after more coats it reduces an I like just a little.  It shows dirt soot what ever it just was like that.

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Here is the same view in more light

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Here we turn things and have lower light

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Here we turn up the light

I am going slow as I have ordered two different metallec silver embroidery threads to try.   But I say in this comparison, the aluminum on the left is out.   I am somewhere between the other two.   I am also not sure it should be too monochromatic [ if that is a word].

I put some in place and now have some silver metallic line to play with.

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Here we see two fore stays, one in silver and one in grey painted cotton in low light

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Here we see both in higher light.   Looks like tinsel to me

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Here we see a bridle made up using the metallic embroidery line, When I cut it, it unspins.  It does not receive the serving well and I will have to touch that up with black paint.   like this view though

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Here we have lots of day light.  It really shines...i think too much shine....maybe I think too much

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Here we see both masts.  One head stay and the two-port side main shrouds are silver and the rest are motley painted cotton. 


Fortunately, I have a little while to decide. I have another metallic line coming. Maybe it will be more robust and workable.  If not, I am getting there in color.   I am also looking for gray large thread, but  I alternated the light and medium gray paint to get a more aged motley color on the lines. The paint also stiffens them up a bit. 


working on other things right now and will get back to this one soon.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Post 4


I have made some progress working in a few different areas.


1 Research…I have  completed rereading the first part of the recent biography on Bowdoin … I am concentrating on the early years.  I am also about a third way through rereading MacMillan’s autobiography.   The most exciting items is I just bought a copy if the 1925 National Geographic on eBay, which featured both Donald MacMillan and Lt Com Richard Byrd telling their stories about the summer adventures.   They flew flying boats from the top of Greenland for a month…quite exciting and wonderful photos.


I am thinking about focusing the display be that summer. To pull it off,  I need help making models of Leonign Amphibian planes.   My son is on the hunt for what might be close enough kits to bash.  I will search too.  that would mean not a winter in scene but summer arctic scene.  


2 Completing the build out of the deck. Some comedy here as I did a few things twice. 

  • ·        332209921_bdn-022bdn-30123333DSC_0450_01.jpg.15d192d452a19cfa4a813fef9f43ef4d.jpg Here I saw on the model plans and new photos a rail to build around the binnacle.   so, I started soldering little eyes onto 1/16 tube

·        bdn-023.thumb.jpg.4f5b1b30ec7611e41a793aca8aaa877b.jpg Looking at the is image found at BRHS archives there are a few details that caught my I.   this is 1928 as I recall.  

o   There is no rail around the binnacle....I will use the parts somewhere i am sure.

o  The deck is gray and white aft of the wheel. I believe this photo is after refit so the paint is new.

o   There is no big box to port of the wheel like on the model kit plan…..other photos confirm this point too.

o   The front of the wheel box is open and the shaft and emergency tiller bracket etc are visible.  

·         These are some of the things I like to pick up and add to the build

·         501521672_bdn-024DSC_0445_01.jpg.53e9fe400e30be085de68286c81b8177.jpgNext up is the skylight hatch cover over the hold.  I had built it a few years back with pins

·        1352096986_bdn-024bscan0005cropofskylight.thumb.jpg.b6d1cb043f8fd2043a08959e72441252.jpg Here in a photo from the BRHS archive from the 30’s we see crew standing on it. Thus, it was lower and had more bars.

·        bdn-025.jpg.5973df803e9ec0d9acba53a7482173ec.jpg I found this thread method a challenge. I thought I would try what I learned reading a recent blog on one of the Charles Morgan builds…..use thread for the rails.  It was very hard the first time.

·         bdn-026DSC_0449_01.jpg.7e84ea9f3748ae8316a36da087f02810.jpgHere are the first results side by side.  I took this problem to our guild meeting and was advised to stop using bass wood for this type of detailing.   So, I am moving toward learning to mill some pear or other harder wood.  Someday I may remake this with better wood and learn a better method to stretch and hold the threads.

·        1277595294_bdn-027DSC_0457.jpg.b43537e59805a48c199389c5030ff4e2.jpg Also, just to carry on, I decided to rebuild the rudder box to include an open front and visible shaft.



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Post 5


I want to update progress on the diorama and a few other items.



  • 2022557045_bdn-028BBB_2465.jpg.61a9aaf49bda82acbfd40dd767cc288c.jpgHere is a view of Bowdoin on the second cut plywood 9 inches wide over a potential stand of a 9 inch maple veneered sheet. This as for the idea of just using acrylic and no diorama, but just making a stand.     To me it's still a viable option.   One can notice the deck at this point is still natural. That color is like the Bowdoin today, but not apparently like the old deck.
  • 1438046685_bdn-029BBB_2466.jpg.982430cc3e8baf67cb7b07cbb362258f.jpgHere I have used a 24 inch by 20-inch sheet of plywood for the first possible size of the diorama.  In this view one of the masts is visible. The other spars are roughed out. I did not take lots of pictures as they will show up enough later.  In this view I have painted out part of the deck.  The light application of medium gray paint lets wood color come through.  This is my first attempt at scuff marks etc.

·         1755129911_bdn-029ascan0004.thumb.jpg.92fb7f3705ae09ef0c73b3934bbb2484.jpgHere we see in a BRHS archive print where there are several items to consider

·         the beat-up deck in winter conditions. Looks like mud on paint, perhaps scuffing.   I will try to get some of this affect through aging…..all new to me. Perhaps light washes  of mud color over higher traffic areas.   

·         The rigging of the mainsail and boom

·         Notice the aft anchor

·         Confirmation no big box.. a steel barrel seems to be in the edge of photo.   they carried lots of fuel.

  • 1694648396_bdn-030BBB_2469.jpg.3cfde4331ee20fce4e7a3114d327c766.jpgHere we have received a sea blue green  sheet of textured acrylic.  Wow it looks good.  Now I must cut out the hole.   A big oops is coming on this one as I start prepping.


I am making a few more fittings each day and dressing out the spars.  I have learned to make as much of the spars and rigging off the boat that I can.   It is also fun to look up each item and to find it on the old photos and try to adjust.  I will share some of those in the next few posts

·         946406445_bdn-031DSC_0463.jpg.d885be745b06fabe5e8f9d1cba459bac.jpgHere is the main sheet bail and topping lift bands.

·         1047643147_bdn-031aDSC_0479.jpg.b564cf48ebd6ce86b6298422db0d6f72.jpgHere I have gone to Joann’s and bought gray thread.  Honestly it looks the most like galvanized and the twists are visible. I will use this for the standing rigging and bridles.




Time to figure out attachments for the two head stays.

  • bdn-032.jpg.954606b6a053d3d6c2f40a05d8a8f263.jpgHere is an old photo from BRHS confirming the stem cap with a shackle for the head stay. The photo clearly shows the anchor chain to be galvanized.   Also, I found in the photo there are two white painted vertical planks added over the stem. I assume these are sacrificial to hit ice.   In the books so far there were apparently steel plates discussed but no description given.  I am still studying that point.  I may try to add these planks. The issue is the double curve to ride down the stems to below the waterline....see next photos
  • 1544172055_bdn-033DSC_0477.jpg.13327381767ec18635cd2eb73c975996.jpgHere I have cut into the old kit build stem to add a stem dutchman to extend above the deck.  Also in this photo one can see I needed to fill in three scuppers.  They were not in the old photos although there are changes in this detail, and I have seen them on newer rebuilds.  
  • 1373555332_bdn-034DSC_0489.jpg.456c636db8f0f755966fe18ad6834466.jpgHere I made up and attached a stem cap. It is ready for a shackle..You can also see the difficulty in the double bend here if i added the two planks mentioned above.   I have a few soaking and will try to shape them and then decide.


  • 1320278578_bdn-035DSC_0485.jpg.13dcb8c798fde6e4b6d33ddb4562e6a6.jpg Finally, in this view I have placed the rod to receive the forestay in accordance with the original drawing, some 3 feet forward of the Bitts. If modeling the modern boat this would move aft. I also added the braces for the anchor crane.   I need to make the eyes look more like blocks. i could not solder blocks so I used the eyes.  I may use a wood block with a pin and glue it in place...we'll see.  Ialso need to decide how to make the brass anchor chain look like galvanized


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Post 6


A little more progress and some fun. For this posting I will focus on getting the mainsail done;    Well  sort of done anyway…… after roughing out the spars it was time to lay out sails.



·        962968157_bdn-036BBB_2467.jpg.37de7cc5a086010d877af959a8dec10d.jpg Here I have foreshortened them on a trial and error approach to furling in scale.   On Bluenose I did it 1:24 scale without fore shortening and it was almost Ok.  I later undid the furl.  Here I plan to cut about 50% out and use the same muslin that is left over.  All the color photos and even today the color is right….so here we go

·        2098139347_bdn-037BBB_2468.jpg.a431e0ba309d6d1932b8b073c6355413.jpg Here the foresail I roughly folded to make the test..seems ok. I iron them when for real after adding bias tape to the edges.  I will add rope only to exposed edge.

·        1509597341_bdn-038BBB_2470.jpg.7f0c59e624d3789d6f5b3b4c0d0cddfe.jpg The next step is to lash the sail to the two spars……right?    no, I’m wrong.  I’ll get to that oops. I just wanted to do less work and see if it works for the furl, so less rework If I need to recut it.


Now to the loops. In large scale or if raised sails I feel comfortable to lash the rings.  They are very light and weak lazer cut so………let’s look

·        771914788_bdn-039AR1YC1croppedyokebales.thumb.jpg.17366f69dc6c1755c1720205139400f9.jpg Here is a fun internet photo.  The rings are tight in the furled condition. The lashed are not prominent... I only see one.

·         bdn-040.jpg.8b44000e8f27391fd41c622d5b7801b9.jpgLooking at this photo, I chose not to lash and see if the look is ok after furling. At least I won’t break the rings

·         1083557274_bdn-041BBB_2471.jpg.28bd78ff66b0eaaa3a4a7d8f7b0b1534.jpgNow the first test….just to look.   The white Styrofoam is my first attempt to consider a large iceberg in the diorama. I started reading about carving it….not sure I can do it justice…we’ll see.

Now to the oops…..I should have completed the trim out of the spars.   Examples are both the yoke parrells, bales and hardware and then the gaff bridles.   Oops I had to remove have the lashing on the gaff, install the bridles and relash.

·         1862768903_bdn-042scan0005croppedparrals.jpg.7479cb218604fc24a428911e755d58c4.jpgHere is a brhs cropped image of the hardware for the bales. The gaff and boom are different

·         1916094770_bdn-043scan0007croppedparrells.thumb.jpg.4bf97e1854cdc03066d05d56608831e6.jpgHe is another detail that shows how to rig the fore boom and gaff as well as how to make the bales for the parrells.

·        1863661703_bdn-044DSC_0482.jpg.1a9afa9f8bfdb041465ff97686692b43.jpg So, I made repairs, added bolt rope only to the roach as it is visible, completed the hardware for the bales and installed the boom and gaff.

1948050836_bdn-045DSC_0487.jpg.b2a981e8ffd33e0223a88eea22d75bfd.jpghere we see the rings...I am ok with it.......this is just sitting loose and we'll see how it ends up. I think i will tie the luff up a bit, maybe around the mast and then  one or two lashes to rings.  it can not stay like this......

·       1767940114_bdn-046DSC_0488.jpg.fcd2e7c58050c76eef88353d42aacd1c.jpg  Here is the front view… 



Now the fore sail and the diorama….next posting



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Post 7


Launch boat and set her into an acrylic sea


It’s time to get the diorama figured out.  Now that I have the acrylic sheet, it is time to cut out the hole.   An old saying of measure twice and cut once came into play.   The waterline was set up about 6 years ago when I built the hull.   The more I looked at it and the photos, the more I thought there is something wrong.   Well measuring again, I found it to be about 3/8 too low.   Not good by any measure…..

·         bdn-047.jpg.25985fd8c58650c57861c5d7934c9f48.jpgHere we are in the rework stage again.   In the end it took first 4 coats of red to get the color matched.  Then sand and glazing putty and more sanding. Finally two more coats of read.    Oh well…

·         1471929127_bdn-048BBB_2474.jpg.422ecc361db95681b9a2b02c212df9c0.jpgNow I marked the plywood template and cut more on the jig saw to fit the higher waterline.  After about three times I switched to Dremel sander to get it right.  In this photo I have a sacrificial cardboard sheet under the template to be marked to transfer the lines to the acrylic…….note the brown side up.

·         1101032470_bdn-049BBB_2475.jpg.46cb06b959ba40efa5ffcbe63ec5ca96.jpgHere I tested the fit and found it ok ...I hope


1243421304_bdn-050BBB_2476.jpg.d901220ef53feef7589f04b2a2442a24.jpgHere I started cutting out the acrylic sheet on the jigsaw. I pulled the saw out to get more clearance for the big sheet.   I panicked just before this photo, because in a senior moment I feared I had flipped the lines and the water would be smooth side up….phew...the brown side up lined up and we continued cutting.

·        1495207124_bdn-052BBB_2477.jpg.515410f387c11536dca2e83b3d73437a.jpg Here we are launched……wow cool etc.  I set the large Styrofoam up to be the iceberg…….

·         1185941839_bdn-053BBB_2478.jpg.1e513725c6404b06be162334732450aa.jpgHere we see the crew is still working.  The masts are just set in and the lines are a mess

·         1440454088_bdn-054DSC_0492.jpg.706f92f7c113fdf5cc147f732c5ec7eb.jpgHere we see again the affect of the furled sail hopefully compressed enough to look realistic. see charlie noble as updated.....next few comments

·         168019063_bdn-055DSC_0493.jpg.9ce87778b0da8ee2af698afde6f9f28f.jpgHere a workman is dreaming about skippering.  I think it is time to have a little dram...Before we go however, a few details


bdn-055b.jpg.cc970e6425b169d6b2c876958cccbeb1.jpgIn this photo of the first lashing of the mainsail we note new turf for me.  The blocks are often 1/8 with three lines connecting.  I am using smaller drills and those little sewing wires to get thread through.   Unfortunately, the beckets sometimes break, and we have to start all over.


1132881604_bdn-055cDSC_0494.jpg.380e6c697b5c0243166f646679c4736c.jpgHere we have the bridles.  They are typically two fittings, a block above for the peak halyard and a simplified block with a center bar, not a sheave for the bridle. [ I am sure they have a proper name] I used the small block under the larger.   the 1920 plans said the blocks were 7 inch and 6 inch. In the photographs it is obvious the sheet and halyard blocks are larger So in available sizes I am using 1/8 for 6" and 3/16 for the halyard and sheet blocks which equates to 9"


 Charlie noble upgrade......  


51916833_bdn-056DSC_0486.jpg.5cd6dfa826660face81dde30cec270f1.jpgas per kit, they are simple and straight forward.  They had a large wood stove in the focsle. 

84021078_bdn-057scan0005croppedcharlienoble.jpg.ee5f85bad580c570b1de43d9ce67ba20.jpgHere is a 1920’s photo from BRHS where we see stove pie reduce and then has the typical spinning ball with a bar around it to keep line away.

741323778_bdn-058DSC_0490.jpg.3b10f2805292b57ec19ad6dccf4be3ef.jpgHere in the view you can see I upgraded them to be like the photo


Finally I had to take her back to a dry dock, to continue work on the boat separate from the diorama stage.



All for now



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Thank you every one for dropping in. It is always encouraging hear from you.  

as to animals in the diorama.  I am hoping to get some other folks with artisic talents to participate.  example the iceberg

881119708_bdn-0603000_33_4534.jpg.2e724e32403170f5e34c495c8f675d9f.jpghere is a favorite image of Bowdoin sailing before a berg that comes from the BRHS archives.  To carve that is over my pay grade.  I think a big photo possible, but not preferred. I will try plaster.   what ever will go below water too.


Other classic views show dog sleds on the ice and I think that is incredible but a whole new area.  I am still looking for ideas and a solution




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Post 8


Visit the Bowdoin

We are extremely lucky to be in Boothbay Harbor this winter.  The Boothbay Harbor Shipyard is quite the place. They maintain the marine rail that launched a four masted schooner 100 years ago and still works today.  In the recent past they hauled for bottom work many large yachts and working boats, helped the Movie ship Bounty etc.  Once called Samples, they won the contract to rebuild the  Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey , a 100 foot Gloucester Schooner owned by the State of Massachusetts.   This fall they won the contract to take Bowdoin and redo underwater planking and if necessary, frames.

The leadership of the Boothbay Harbor Windjammers days including Mark Gimbel, the business owner that is sponsoring the new store and schooner museum, arranged for us to visit.   Eric Graves the yard President was happy to show us around.   The local paper was on the tour and I was introduced as ‘ the modeler’  OMG!!!     I am getting in deep…. I hope I can live up to it ….   This raised involvement will force me to work even harder as the diorama I am building is intended for the schooner museum store this spring.  Now the Bowdoin is here, and if the repairs stay simple, she may be launched and join in as part of the harbor celebration in late June.   Let’s hope she doesn’t need too much work.

So where to begin…so much to share and to think about. In this post I will share a sample of the many photos I took. Most of my photos were for detailing and will come out in posts as I get to the further upgrading of the build.  What is more important is I will be going back and meet up with the captain to discuss rigging that may have changed and operations of the original engine and electric plant.  That type review is interesting to us old engineers in passing but also to record how the windlass works I think is important.   The first radio came about in 1924 I believe; I’ll have more on that later


So, let’s take a look at the real Bowdoin


  • 678002822_bdn-061BBB_2479.jpg.9d50f881934dedba24e8a1eee58c9e44.jpgHere we see the propeller and the hinge bracket to hold the rudder.  Notice the anode [ zinc]
  • 18833540_bdn-062BBB_2481.jpg.3907b15af1642ce98447e8defee311ff.jpgHere on the port side you can see they have already started removing many of the bottom planks.
  • 1878577206_bdn-063BBB_2483.jpg.4498b019e37e45bcd24845b0075a30b9.jpgHere we finally see the famous steel planking discussed in the books.   We all believe it is original because the 1980 rebuild was done with few people and very few if any frames were upgraded at that time.  Notice the anode [zic]. The bottom plate goes all the way up well above the waterline.
  • 487328872_bdn-064BBB_2485.jpg.8cbda4a7025ad792be5244852a841deb.jpgHere we see we have the right schooner.   I was told today in a research session at the historical society not to call a schooner a boat or a ship.   I must have slipped tee-hee
  • 123697204_bdn-065BBB_2489.jpg.4cba4f4410778acdd2f9b616030d7b91.jpgHere on the starboard stern we see the small dock line [ hawser] holes are trimmed with bronze.  looks like a little paint and glued on hammered wire to me
  • 765217991_bdn-066BBB_2520.jpg.0947f3d3fd0e63dedb4141262c05ba09.jpgUp on deck all is open and airing out.  She will be comfortable this winter inside, I think.  I cataloged the cleats and things and it is very much like the plans. I look forward to discussing with the sailors.
  • 962939152_bdn-067BBB_2490.jpg.c9efebd1de6032cb773ca37ec4c45a41.jpgHere we have a new question.  This exhaust pipe coming up on deck and out through the transom makes sense to me.  Other fishing schooners of the period had the same detail. The plans and old photos never seem to show this, and the earliest picture I have with someone seated here is in the 1950’s after a major rebuild. I must think about it more before adding.
  • 1892076391_bdn-068BBB_2514.jpg.ff2c6b85a4bfde600313a30217675dcd.jpgI went below as I was trying to confirm the anchor chain locker and sail storage.  This bulkhead is secure with no access forward, and lines up just aft of the chain [ as seen on deck].
  • 884404878_bdn-069BBB_2504.jpg.d0a166adbfe0154b4b09f62247b304cf.jpgHere we see what I am sure is the original winch.  The anchor chain goes below with a collar up about one inch.  A copper cap [ could be zinc] almost closes the hole.  Seems reasonable but some water surely would get in in heavy weather. Note the hydraulic piston…..this also makes sense. The bigger schooners had donkey engines, and we know Bowdoin had an electrical plant…..more to learn… I will add the piston.  Also finally settles highlight in B&W photos are misleading…all is black
  • bdn-070BBB_2511.jpg.5ad64174b8ad19863470b748b2d02d28.jpgCompleting this investigation, we looked down into the forward lazarette.   Nothing there!!!!   There must be another bulkhead housing the chain……something to ask the skipper


Ernestina Morrissey  100 foot schooner being rebuilt in the same yard

  • I must share just a few photos of the 100 schooner they are building from the keel up


1821791073_bdn-071BBB_2521.jpg.369b998e33d47f67efad1df1882a4900.jpgHere we see beautiful European oak planking around the propeller

  • 1158888158_bdn-073BBB_2525.jpg.1384755ef4faa5c574cd68a8232d9be4.jpgHere the transom…3-inch-thick oak planks on solid frame
  • 1578857392_bdn-075BBB_2532.jpg.811c3574dbfeaf976d135130a5489f5d.jpgUp on deck….it is all douglas fir from Vancouver island...long straight and clear.     Live Oak and old yellow pine where needed...... just amazing to tour
  • 1908106447_bdn-076BBB_2538.jpg.2b72ff39167083404735dcc979f4e40b.jpgHow is this for a bow!  amazing workmanship



All for now

Edited by Jond
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Post 9


Making oil drums for the arctic


This update is celebrating a new first for me.  I have my late brother’s Sherline lathe and mill combo.  I had used the mini lathe a few years ago to make 100+ stations for the Charles Notman Schooner.   Since then a rare turn has been seen.  I set up the mill over a year ago thinking it would help make store bought RC turnbuckles more realistic.  I bought a few parts, got an expert to show me a few things,  but never got to that task. I need to build up some confidence.


Over the recent weeks of reading about all the fuel they had to take north to last through long periods I got to understand all the white oil drums that show up in so many photos.  So how to make 1:48 scale oil drums. And ultimately lash them on deck.  Being a wood buthcher and not a tinsmith, i chose wood.


·         1476547108_bdn-077DSC_0496.jpg.e200d1f399929e103035f47956999eff.jpgStep one I confirmed the measurements on line to be 23.5 inches diameter and 34.5 inches long.  That means just under ½ inch diameter and just under ¾ length.  I took a ½ dowel and marked off 7 each 1-inch marks. Then within those marks, I drew 3  lines at ¼ for the four rings one sees on a three foot long barrel.  Using my midi lathe and files I got the basic shape for the bunch and precut with a razor saw.

·         951936352_bdn-078DSC_0497.jpg.230f863fbbfa340770b7dd08cc5d95a2.jpgHere I have my new shop toy, a smaller bench sized band saw to replace my old large 12 inch floor model that just takes up too much room for what I do.

·         bdn-079DSC_0499.jpg.b25d1174437d4777b8deef6fef7b18a5.jpgNow for the celebration. This barrel is the first thing I have ever milled.

·         1013689465_bdn-080DSC_0500.jpg.524cc71bf2d2080a7792f0fa69bde7c8.jpgHere we see the obvious reason a mill is so important for making so many things. I have recessed the ends and will add either pin heads or something for the filling points.

·         1484871524_bdn-081DSC_0502.jpg.ff174b6d5c83cd954d2dbc7b8258c43b.jpgHere I have put on a quick coat of white on and yes, the lines pick up the light well. i hope to get better at this as I go. Perhaps a little wireless dremel clean up on the inside roundness of the end rim.


Next is boxes and details I picked up from the real Bowdoin.   Then I need to finally decide on the shroud material and when I finally install the masts.   Then back to sails, then diorama and then the little boats.  So much to do


all for now

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Post 10


Meeting John Gardner


Several weeks ago, while researching Bowdoin at the Boothbay Region Historical Society, I came across this great news article. It described the Model of Bowdoin built by John Gardner that rests today at the Maine Maritime Academy Admin building. 


967208491_bdn-082IMG_20181110_111350115.jpg.c3232d1cf2d4c7d33975740cd6efe709.jpgIn this view of the model, one is surprised to see a scene of winter in Greenland.   It was on the first cruise on 1922 that they learned this technique.  An igloo entrance was built over both gangways and the focsle sky light.   The skylights were then opened to ventilate out the humidity into the igloo then out the little vent hole.  This process vacated the moisture that would freeze and makes ship board a miserable place in winter.   By drying up the air, the crew was snug in their winter quarters and avoided chipping ice off the deck


1141172212_bdn-083newsarticlejohnGardner.thumb.jpg.c95eca826572fd36fc3fe9edc6df7a32.jpgIn this article one sees John Standing by his work and then a closeup of the igloo built over the Focsle hatch.   The article goes on to briefly discuss the process used to depict the ice both above and below the water in the model.  I can’t wait to get up there to Castine and see this model first hand.


While I was visiting the Bowdoin a week or so ago, John Gardner came to visit too.  I was thrilled to meet him.  I was actually humbled in fact…. There is no way I am anywhere near ready to try to do this much of a winter scene.  I will have the water and a few ice flows…  


 I wanted to share reference to the great model of Bowdoin that rests at the Academy. I will have many pictures one day to add to this posting


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post 11



I have looked at several photos and climbed aboard to see what is set up today.   I also just reread the chapter in Donald’s MacMillan’s book that describes the winter of 1923 where the anchors came into play.  I am zeroing in on either the first or this second trip to depict.  Anyway, let’s get to the anchors.


I hope to meet up with Will McClain the current captain to confirm what I can, but this is what I have now. The two forward 600-pound anchors sure look like they are quite old if not original. 

·         1155307867_bdn-084BBB_2502.jpg.b5f8cf72efb3fa8d6a0fbd230a7ac8c7.jpgHere they are in 2018 riding on the rail.  The rail protection is now four strips and the crane is only about 2 feet long.

So before modeling that arrangement let’s look back

·        1241974582_bdn-085bowdoinoldfotoof3doriesportsidecropprdanchor54915.jpg.3b11defdb1ba30be21905e2e8cde744e.jpg In this cropped photo from BRHS the anchor is set up ready to set and riding the rail. 

·         2092514419_bdn-086detailanchorlassheddownundersailcropoed4054fb29dfa8f852ed152cd6e26015ca.jpg.42df0fc95cec214d71fdb867bf36d034.jpgIn this cropped photo from BHRS of the same era the anchor is secured for sailing. The rail protection looks like a sheet metal sheet with two cleats holding it down. So, in the winter I will follow other photo and starboard anchor is set and the other stowed away on the rail.


Also, of interest, what was in the stern.  Due to changing currents and winds they often needed to set a stern anchor to keep from swinging once they set up. 

·        1234230240_bdn-087scan0004.thumb.jpg.054708fe7f6762b94721bbfee3d4afda.jpg In this cropped Photo from BHRS one sees an anchor riding on the transom.  It looks to have a rode about double the main sheet in thickness. The flukes are clearly smaller.  I also read in note about selecting the larger anchor while in Repulse bay.  This means they had smaller ones….This would likely have been in place a ice break up.



·         897111600_bdn-089BBB_2505.jpg.ec45d75c0ed3697d56c5478b09c9aeb7.jpgHere we are on board and see the two chains.  They are clearly galvanized. Note the starboard chain is much more used than the port anchor.  Signs of wear and aging rust….a little more paint needed I think.

·        1874156326_bdn-089aBBB_2506.jpg.e380c212ad510146885000ab065ab2b4.jpg Here is bow detail.  the inside edge is further forward on the restored boat than shown in the plan.   I have not yet found a similar view in old photo.  This change makes sense to me, and I think it is a fix to reduce the rail to be forward of the hawse pipes.

·         256672460_bdn-090BBB_2510.jpg.5595f20934e7988d30cbe3d9a0df2158.jpgHere in another view and confirmed by looking under the fan into the lazarette we find the large turnbuckle that is attached to the stem and penetrates the deck for the forestay.  I need to ask the crew as I believe the jumbo boom is pinned to a pipe that is like a sheath around the stay.

·        2109166907_bdn-091DSC_0002.jpg.f0e466d1b7cffe919d46e188348c8a32.jpg Here is my first attempt to age the galvanize chain…more to do.




·       2125071230_bdn-092BBB_2503.jpg.a069fef18dc19a4643b979214980bd3b.jpg  Here we have a view of the winch and chain going through the deck.  I have drilled holes and will feed the chain there.  The winch sure looks original if I compare it to the Zwicker in Lunenburg and other 1920 schooners that are still with us.

·          1809485716_bdn-093BBB_2516.jpg.f67fc7c51449e9a496daeb4d26427a10.jpgAssuming the winch is original, I need to add a hydraulic piston. Not sure if the hose is doable but worth a try. 


Now the work

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Post 12


End of year last chance to do it right


Sometimes we all get to a point where we need to stop, go back and do it again.  As I run up to the end of the year, I am there……so sad.


682195129_bdn-094BBB_2545.jpg.2d541cae2c9e404f49938d1269d85bf8.jpgHere we are set up to work on the shrouds.   I worked through the foremast and was getting the peak and throat halyards for the main partially installed when I realized that if I go much farther , I must accept whatever I have.  In the mean time I am reflecting on more photos and more examples where if I want to do it as 1924, I need to go back. 


The next series don’t show all but many examples of what I mean. In the first posting I showed a photo with a boat crib across the main cabin roof. 

157483398_bdn-095aBBB_2542.jpg.5d10a6e75eb2d993de77be927dc361a4.jpgHere we see the new boat has a crib and lashing for a small craft, likely a kayak running fore and aft.  

342562836_bdn-096BBB_2518.jpg.c779901624ec659f48850e970420491b.jpgThis one is easy.  Having gone below I can verify this is the original or at least very old stove pipe in the skipper’s cabin.

706074653_bdn-097BBB_2519.jpg.e3cce5459a3398cc4dfa364fad21f0ed.jpgNow another ‘what to do’…looking forward we see the small brass air vents.  Those in the kit are quite large.  But…


2025235770_bdn-097detailmainsailanetc3000_33.5123_web_web-800x618.jpg.329f5f86a3b76efef97a25a860055fa8.jpgHere in a BRHS photo we not only see a better view of the forward focsle Charlie nobles that I talked about before, but I see no ventilators at all on the main cabin. the crew is standing right there.   Do I remove them?   The Cummings diesel engine was not installed until 1946. It was a gift to Donald MacMillan.    I wonder if that was the addition of the vents???  Also, there is no second small stack as included in the kit design.   Do I remove it ???  Looking below it makes no sense as to what it would have been for.     It would be easy to remove, so I shall wait for more information

1390080133_bdn-098DSC_0004.jpg.21feab40acf8fa4456882e5edbbdb503.jpgHere is the fix I made for the small stacks.  

Now to the final coloring. 


1035445467_bdn-09976976.jpg.0dc632a3095e4cc9529f752c5661c794.jpgIn this old photo from BRHS, one of the few colored versions, we see a few interesting details.  The painted deck is clearly warm tan. Also, the boot for the masts are white and stuffed into a ring. Hard to do now without removing the mast


745523351_bdn-100BBB_2544.jpg.836bc41f248b21ef50335544837fa889.jpgHere is the ring today and it is wood.  Clearly the original detail. also note that the large galvanized rings through the rail.  I will confirm but I believe these would have held the temporary blocks for the peak and through halyards to go forward tot he winch.  there are no deck rings as on a fishing schooner and the line looks right.


411833988_bdn-101BBB_2546.jpg.27036eba88fff8630ccdbb3b9d6dcbc2.jpgSo here I am as I complete the year.  I pulled out lines and unstepped the masts.   I have the deck colored and have removed all the pin rails to rebuild and the winch to rebuild.   Next time we get much of that back together, but it is time to party


All for now   happy new year

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Post 13


I want to share a few more images from research and then start to show some attempts to adjust the build.


  • · 672648359_bdn-102BBB_2495.jpg.8bfc7f03e3ef03a83e3e3af32ad87ee1.jpg       Here on the new Bowdoin deck we see a few rigging details.  The ring will take the main sheet and feed it to the aft port bit. The bronze hub on the starboard side must be to take up dock lines aft anchors and the like.  I need to verify before I add it.


  • ·     2021560720_bdn-103BBB_2497.jpg.739042755eb34e81db2d358d457b082e.jpg    The wheel is nicely finished and polished.  In the history Donald M discusses finding the wheel when it was removed in 1946.   I see no other evidence that it is updated. I need to change coloring to simulate the wood finish


  • ·       2006983529_bdn-104BBB_2541.jpg.2acdd97a15a9f484dc0272c2eeb6eb44.jpg  Here on the focsle vent we see piano hinges. It did not lift off. 


  • ·        34530879_bdn-105scan0003cropforcrutchandblock.thumb.jpg.9b18f132ae43aa2d87704c15d14f9d94.jpg This one is fun.  In the early days there are several pictures showing the main boom supported by a traditional Crutch.  It is show in two different locations.   I plan to use this detail from a BRHS photo. i also see the turnbuckle and chain supporting the boom.  I am debating about adding that detail before i settle on what is happening in the diorama. 


  • ·        1072497030_bdn-106BBB_2494.jpg.7eafbe166e996565be8c294c323342f3.jpg Here we have the new cover over the hot exhaust as recently rebuilt.   I have yet to find any old photos of this cover.  it makes so much sense and was probably a nice seat in the cold north. For those late watches.


Now let’s start some upgrades


First of all, the winch.   In 1946 Donald M tells of the rescuing the original winch at the Boston Navy yard. There is no talk in the 19 78-84 rebuilds of touching it, so for now I assume it is original.  Also the key is the hydraulic piston to run it.  I hope to learn more about that.


  • ·        1696024175_bdn-107DSC_0005.jpg.05e203a415f91d16c08088626e33dcd1.jpg First up is to build the piston driver for the winch


  • ·       bdn-108.jpg.b7160469dbc50ef1b6f75f7920dc6b96.jpg  Here the winch is removed, and the piston is in place ready for paint. I will add the hydraulic hoses after paint. I chose styrene because I have 4 hosed to glue into it


  • ·        804697674_bdn-109DSC_0007.jpg.6d5753dd8f3600421b02439786b85324.jpg With the winch off I can clean up the deck and smooth out the two added anchor chain holes.  I learned from one reading that there were 240 fathoms of anchor chain on board.


  • ·        936198195_bdn-110DSC_0008.jpg.0c85c6d6333e3c0c0c5894fa32ae3e51.jpg Here like the rest of the deck there is an under wash of mid gray to affect a reverse attempt to muddy scuffed surfaces. This got the warm tan [ peach actually] wash over.


  • ·       878900253_bdn-111DSC_0011.jpg.c89ad10762fc26f4dc4fdde356b9ca60.jpg  In order to add the rings on the pin rails I would it best just to remove and rebuild them.   For the rebuild, I used harder wood and plywood since sanding and painting would cover them and they would be stronger.


  • ·        bdn-112DSC_0012.jpg.a612d6664d7044f760c7576c2acb172b.jpg Here we are back together


  • ·        bdn-113DSC_0013.jpg.416701754ad60996e96ac472b746a75f.jpg Here is close up of the winch in place and anchor chain secured and the hydraulic hoses in place.. i added the hand brakes by the casting does not exactly copy the winch.  I chose not to attempt the band brakes that on the real one are inboard for the anchor chains.  There are also stops on the bitts to figure out.


  • ·         Here is detail for the main mast. Note1137388419_bdn-114DSC_0014.jpg.32c57b0ad4d55c95fd2662352bdc9ddd.jpg the stuffing [ boot] that I could no add as part of this fix.


  • ·         here is the fore 807663097_bdn-115DSC_0015.jpg.381cd9346d78085847fb7d19965e5926.jpgmast back in place. the large galvanized rings I am pretty sure take the snatch block for the halyards to feed forward to the winch.


  • ·        1810637997_bdn-116DSC_0017.jpg.cc452147e96f279ed3b12969e5d2454b.jpg Finally, here is my version of the exhaust pipe cover.  The main sheet block is in place and the aft anchor in place.  



More next time



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What a wonderful build. I am learning so much!

Your use of historical photos, actual photos of Bowdoin, and your current build is spot on.

That pic of the stained wheel is beautiful. That's a work of art in itself. 


She will make a handsome display!


Thanks for sharing, 


Tom E 


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Thanks for the encouragement.  I have seen some common ground in your build. I have gone through it a few times as I have the same kit.  My plan will be to bash it to a merchantman but that is down the line.   I just learned I will be out in Buffalo area next spring.   I am thinking on trying to drum up interest for a day trip to Erie. I am not sure if Niagara sails then but hopefully she will be in port.   one learns so much by visiting replicas. 


cheers and thanks or following along.  I have some new  figures coming so that might be an interesting way for me to get in more trouble.



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Post 14


Time to work again on the sails


I have used the same method from my earlier builds that include a muslin cotton to replicate the duck cloth canvas sails of the era.  I like the spots on the natural unfinished muslin but suffer from the looser weave. I went back to Joann’s and got some help.  I came home with the finest weave muslin and some edge fray preventing glue in an applicator.


First let’s look at the jumbo. It is in place but not really up to snuff


  • 1065900663_bdn-117DSC_0022.jpg.9e5d4bc82746f2e5bf8645136ac8deaf.jpgLooking from the forward end the twist in the stay could be fixed but these is just a lot of mass along the boom.  I tied off the hanks with gray cloth just to see the color as was trying to figure out how to make small enough rings
  • bdn-118.jpg.f3cec69267d7d2ac1b74edc0684a3bc1.jpgLooking forward one clearly sees the flakes are just too big and the bias a bit thick. the good news though is the anchor is properly lashed.


  • 1236552939_bdn-119DSC_0018.jpg.9723a08f5b74b576cb57ec0125078682.jpgIn this photo you see the first attempt to build up the jib on the left. I used the regular muslin and added the bias tape sewn to the perimeter.  It just does not fold right and the edges just look wrong for this small tightly flaked sail.  On the right I have cut out a piece of finer weave muslin [ $6 per yard instead of $4 per yard with the word premium on the label] cloth much more rectangular than before, as an experiment.  I assumed that the flaking would stack better and not twist the stay like the jumbo.


  • See this old photo from BRHS of the perfect flaked jib.  If I were a genius, I might get close to this image.


  • So here I found a solution to make the hanks.   I took left over anchor chain, about 15 links to the inch and cut every other link.  This gave a great size and shape.  Before attaching the sail, it rides right down to the stem cap and shackle.   I also made up the double spliced lashing for the sail tack.


  • 1841859584_bdn-0120aDSCF1337croppedforjibtack.jpg.d0fbe8d88158bfbe76d365fb79878de8.jpgHere is the proper rigging of the tack om the current Bowdoin.


  • 1397558187_bdn-122DSC_0023.jpg.555c59d807d81165ac6cafcdd50ff009.jpgHere I am sewing on the hanks. I made 13 to be realistic in the number, but they are close together.  I was sewing through the anti-fray glue and it worked great.  All the lines are pencil. the strong lashing is clear here too.


  • 1814631895_bdn-0123DSC_0031.jpg.92cde1636bb4d56fbf16038060b8ef85.jpgFinally, here I have first installed the jib to see if it will work.   I need to work carefully and tease the hanks down over the slice now the thread is filling the gap inside the ring.  Also, the lashing with double splice is too stiff.  I may need to fake that more with the soft pliable line. In this picture it is distorting the whole stay.   


Also, just for fun, I got ten new ‘Shapeway’ 1/48 scale figures.   I found this resource when building Bluenose and like the non-painted look for some applications.   We’ll see if I get brave and paint them out. They may need heavier coats and hats made of sculpy.


All for now

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Post 15


Update on experimental sails


I do not feel too bad because I premised my earlier posting with the concept I was experimenting to make furled sails at this scale.   Now that all four sails were made either 1, 2 or in one case three times, I think I am ready to try to make the sails.   Let’s follow recent progress.


  • 1776978938_bdn-124DSC_0032.jpg.1cd2f6c8eca319d4e484e620aa6438c3.jpgHere I have taken the jib and tweaked it a bit to tease the rings down over the splice.  I have opted to lay the sail to the port side as shown in several photos, as I am zeroing in on the scene to be getting ready to sail as the ice has just melted, or we have just anchored and are getting ready to put things away for the long winter.  


  • 1963447761_bdn-125DSC_0033.jpg.326ce28249a6bf802939d907573fc838.jpgHere is a detail of my third attempt to make the jumbo.  I have reduced the cloth a little bit, upgraded the weave and applied the fray stop glue. 


  • 878525397_bdn-126DSC_0035.jpg.9d688fc8fa94aad06c6714732020a86a.jpgHere I went a bit too far and too fast.  I added the bolt rope to see how that effects the folding and then folder up the sail and gave a touch of steam iron to hold it


  • 583565914_bdn-127DSC_0036.jpg.1b62ef574a7bccc121dd27704bd539e8.jpgHere I should have seen the two problems.  The tack is folded back into the sail and the foot has become too short. also with the newer finer weave of the muslin, I think the camel color to replicate hemp on the bolt rope is a bit dark.  I will look at more photos and see if i should use a lighted color thread.  the .05 mm hemp is just too thick and stiff so i found the Gutterman thread work well.  I have only found the larger sizes in polyester, but use cotton for splice serving as it take white glue so well..


  • 1081270751_bdn-128DSC_0037.jpg.a7f4a8ecc111123490b5fea0e2a27318.jpgHere I went ahead to install the jumbo to see how it would come together.  i had to rerun the stay and that is now quite difficult to fit to the mast.    I like the tighter folding on the sail, but the short length does not work for me.  For those really watching, you will also notice the bolt rope is to port…oops.   Anyway, this is a one-day job to do as the steps become more routine


  • 940813149_bdn-129DSC_0038.jpg.7e2a4c8716812c8a2c6f4471d6a4b475.jpgLooking aft to the foresail, we now see  how this will be improved if I can take the time to rebuild.  The Bias tape goes away at this scale.

So in conclusion:  to make sails furled on a new scale model, one must expect to make all sails twice and some three times.   Each time hopefully gets easier...we'll see.


all for now

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