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New England Stonington Dragger by FriedClams - 1: 48 POB - A 1920s Western-Rig

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Thank you Keith A and Keith B.


16 hours ago, KenW said:

When you use these dry transfers, do you cut out each letter in order to place it properly?

Your transfers look so perfect.

Hi Ken, thanks for the nice words.


No I don't cut them out as the carrier is helpful in locating the character.  The horizontal rows of letters can be used as a reference for level against letters already placed or against the edge of a plank, etc.  Holding the carrier by its edges allows for easy orientation vertically, horizontally and even in rotation.  For example, after determining character spacing for the boat name displayed in an arc, I position a letter so its bottom center rests on the arc equidistant within its allotted space.  I then place the point of a dressmakers' pin at that bottom center point (not really penetrating – just holding the placement.)  This is now used as a pivot point and I rotate the carrier film until the letter orientation pleases my eye.  I then place a finger somewhere on the film to keep it from shifting, let go of the pin and rub the letter down.  After a few minutes messing around with these transfers, you'll have it down.  I've seen people rub transfers on like they were using a pencil eraser, fast and unexacting.  I've learned slow firm pressure, moving deliberately over the entire surface of the character produces the crispest results.


Hope that helps.


15 hours ago, mtaylor said:

thanks for pointing out the dry transfers as I haven't seen or used them in years.

Hi Mark,  Yes they are rather old school, but often - they're just the ticket.  I understand that a few companies will now print custom color transfers of any text or software generated artwork.  But last I checked, it is crazy prohibitively expensive. Thanks for stopping by.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks to all for your wonderful comments.  And thanks for the likes and to those watching quietly.



Time seems to be just flying by, but I do like this time of year.  The heat of summer is gone, the nights are getting cold and the woods have changed to orange and red.  A trip to the local hardware store is like walking into a plaid shirt convention and everyone seems to be buying the same things – hunting supplies, wood stove pellets and chainsaw bar oil.  Sometimes I feel like I'm living at the Possum Lodge as there is always the sound of chainsaws coming from somewhere in the background. (You remember the Red Green show – I know our Canadian members do.)





Some Final Odds and Ends


These boats almost universally used a 3 or 5 blade right-handed propeller in the 26” to 30” range. The prop I'm using scales to about 26” and is from Bluejacket Shipcrafters.  I had intended to scratch my own, but I found this prop in my stash box and my inner lazy-slug voice talked me into using it.  So I cleaned it up with file and sand paper.





And then added some evidence of use.




My understanding of prop walk is that the dynamics of a right handed propeller will hook the vessel to port as it moves forward.  The effect is more pronounced in reverse but still evident going forward.  So I have this question that I have found no definitive answer to.  Is this prop walk the reason all these boats drag off the starboard side - to counter this hook to port?  At least it's not adding further to the tendency to pull to port as it surely would if they were dragging off the port side.  Or is this prop walk insignificant compared to the other forces involved here?  What do you think?




After looking at a couple of dozen rudders, I drew up this one.



Prepared some bits and pieces.





Then assembled. Acrylic paint and pigments are applied.





Glued to the boat.





I then prepared parts and pieces to assemble a coal scuttle.  The scuttle diameter is approximately 5/16” or 15 scale inches.





The lid is painted and held captive within the brass ring with a dab of epoxy.  Holes for the bolts and lifting ring are drilled and the bits glued on.





Scale 4” fuel fill deck plates are punched from brass shim stock and painted.  The paint is mottled to suggest detail that isn't there.





A engine cooling water discharge pipe is cut from brass tube and the end is reamed to reduce the pipe wall thickness.





In the image below, all three of these items are shown; the scuttle, one of the fuel fill plates and the cooling water discharge.  There also would have been a fresh water fill plate, generator cooling discharge and other items, but  . . .





Some time ago back on page #9 of this log, I built the Otter Boards for the boat.





So it is time to hang them off winch chains. They are lightly glued to maintain their position.





The hull is painted with acrylic Tamiya Hull Red (XF-9).  I don't have a lot of Tamiya paint so I forget how nicely this paint lays down, how well it covers and how smoothly it brushes on.  It's like painting with thin mayonnaise.  The surface of the hull was then scraped and India ink/alcohol was washed on top. I then added a water line stain with thinned white acrylic.  And then some sanding.  I played around with simulating barnacles, but I was never really happy with my results to where I thought it added in a positive way to the model.  So I'm leaving the hull in this pre-paint prep state where the marine crud has been mostly removed.  I think this will work as the model will be displayed in dry dock in the process of getting new bottom paint.





Here on the starboard side the bottom painting has begun.





Old tires were often used as fenders on these boats and still are on modern F/Vs as well.  I found some vinyl 1:48 tires on ebay that have hollow interiors and raised lettering.  I put these tires in my portable drill and stripped off all the tread with a needle file.  These tires were already black, but they were too black and shiny, so I re-painted them with my own dull charcoal mixture that looks more to scale.  I then gave them a white acrylic wash.  Because they are hollow, I was able to place a piece of blackened copper wire inside to form them into a slight out-of-round shape.





The ropes wrap around a cleat and hang over the rail.  A subtle rubber abrasion against the hull is added with pigment.  I haven't decided yet how many of these tires to place on the model.  Just a couple maybe – after all, it's not a tugboat.  I guess I should add some rope abrasion to the rail as well.







I've begun working on the diorama base, so in a couple of weeks I'll have one more posting to share with you.


Thanks for taking a look. Be safe and stay well.





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I'll answer your prop walk question, or confuse you.


I crew a 1902 steam tug named Waratah, she has a right hand prop and the tow hook wasn't generally used because they had been deemed dangerous so a line was made off to the port towing bollard and the wear from the towlines is very evident.


The reason the port bollard (which is mounted directly behind the cream coloured superstructure and about 1mtr off centre) was used is because the prop walk wanted to turn the boat to stbd and the tow line to port helped correct it.


When coming into our berth if the master orders the engine go astern the stern starts walking out to port straight away. 


This all seems somewhat contradictory because you'd expect her to turn one way going ahead and the opposite going astern and to confuse you further, when going ahead without towing she tends to want to go to port and she needs about 3 degress of stbd rudder but that may just be because the indicator isn't calibrated properly.


I wonder if when dragging the net they steer the boat to stbd to run a large sweeping circle? 




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On 10/17/2020 at 5:05 PM, kurtvd19 said:

A tip for the tires.  There are usually some holes drilled in the bottom of the tire to let water drain out.  About 1-inch diameter.


That's something I hadn't even considered, but it's a nice easy detail to add as the tires are not glued down. In fact I won't even need to untie them. Thanks Kurt.


23 hours ago, wefalck said:

.. but I was wondering what a coal-scuttle was doing on such a boat ?


21 hours ago, Keith Black said:

A coal fired galley stove would be my guess. 

5 hours ago, Keith Black said:

Because of coal's jagged edges it can easily hang up if a scuttle is too small. Hauling out the coal ash would be a tight dirty job. 


Hello Wefalck.  Hello Keith.  Thank you both for your comments.  Yes the coal is for the galley stove as Keith has stated.  The stove provides not only the means of cooking, but obviously it provides heat for the crew, the berths and also the wheelhouse.  And New England winters can be quite cold, especially 100 years ago.  The size of my scuttle is about 15” diameter (dictated by the tubing it was cut from) and is slightly larger than the 14” diameter of the Thomas Laughlin Co. coal scuttle that I used as a size reference.  Of course that is the outside diameter of the deck flange and the actual usable opening would be smaller.  I don't know how the coal was delivered – shoveled out of a cart, sacks?  But the size of the scuttle doesn't strike me as being overly generous considering the material.  The alternative would be through the wheelhouse and down what can only be considered a glorified ladder.  It is interesting to think through how ordinary tasks were accomplished in a much different time.  Thank you both again.



18 hours ago, Bedford said:

I'll answer your prop walk question, or confuse you.


Hello Bedford.  Thanks for the very interesting reply.  I am surprised that the tug pulls to port with no tow and to starboard with a tow.  I would not have guessed that and it convinces me that even things that seem simply on the surface usually are not.  It could very well be that the boats trawl in an arc or as you say a sweeping circle (actually, that vaguely rings a bell.)  And boy that has to be fun to crew on a 1902 steam tug!



Druxey, John, Bob, Paul, Richard and Allen - Thanks for the nice comments.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I found this log this evening and have read the entire post, much better than watching election returns. 

The model is great and I very much enjoyed reading about it. I learned several techniques I want to try.


I suggest the dory is not a life boat, but rather part of the fishing gear. It can be used to come alongside the net and help its hauling out.  I don't know any class of fishing boats that carry lifeboats, beyond inflatable liferafts.





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  • 2 weeks later...

I can chime in on the coal port question as well, given my work on Waratah. She has a main coal hatch on the deck forward of the wheelhouse which is about 3 x 6 feet but also has side bunkers which have round hatches of approx 20 inch diameter at a guess. These hatches have surrounds of about 4 inches in width so the overall diameter is in the order of 28 inches. I'd imagine that's about the right size for dumping a bag of coal into.

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