Jump to content

New England Stonington Dragger by FriedClams - FINISHED - 1:48 POB

Recommended Posts

Hello and thanks to everyone for the kind words on the build.  I really appreciate it.


As to the concern for my whereabouts and well-being, I don’t quite know what to say except simply “thank you” for that concern.  You are a wonderful and thoughtful group of people here at MSW.


I've been busy doing mostly outdoor activities – hikes in the woods, bicycling, fishing, landscape photography and yes the dreaded yard work.  But after being cooped up in the house for a few months, even yard work has a newfound appeal – well, sort of.


I look forward to catching up on all your builds over the coming week or so and getting back to my own model.


We are living in uncertain times with this on-going virus and I hope you are all well and doing what you can to protect yourself and those around you.


Thanks again.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read this build all the way through and as a retired mechanical engineer and user of AutCAD for many years I am very impressed by your ingenuity and skill in designing, sourcing components, making and aging the myriad of fittings on the boat that makes this boat look truly authentic. Great job.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary, I have only scratched the surface of your build log. But what an awesome adventure! Your weathering details are extraordinary. I have become interested in working with styrene after seeing some of your constructions, and I'll be checking back in for a much closer look. Thanks for the detailed log.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somehow, I missed the last instalment. Playing around with paints of different sheen is a good idea. I've played with gloss, semi-gloss and flat acrylic varnish. Some people prefer their models flat all-over, but I think even at relatively small scales the different sheen of of different materials is noticeable and brings a model to life  👍


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello and thanks to all for the kind comments.  And thank you for the likes.


On 6/12/2020 at 2:28 PM, Hubac's Historian said:

My guess as to the low rail, above the sorting pens Is that this rail has something to do with helping to break, or open the net into the pens.

Hello HH and thanks for your interest in my build.  You could well be correct about that rail as I think that is a reasonable theory.  I sure as heck don't know.



Life Rings


I’ve been dragging my feet on this build lately and the urge is building to get moving and start knocking this model out. I'm not going to rush because it's the process of modeling that I enjoy. But it isn't getting done by just thinking about it.


Life rings are pretty straightforward to make. But sometimes the simplest objects can be the most difficult to believably model.


Going through all the images and drawings I have of New England fishing boats, it seems the most common size ring in this era is 30”. I don't know when bright orange/red became the dominant color for life rings, but they weren't that common 100 years ago, at least anecdotally. So I'm going with off-white rings for this boat.


I begin by gluing two layers of basswood together that produce the thickness needed for the rings. The grain is oriented like plywood at 90 degrees to each other for greater stability.





A compass defines the discs and they are roughly cut out leaving plenty of extra material around the perimeter. The centers are drilled to fit a Dremel saw arbor and placed into the chuck of a portable drill and shaped with diamond grit files. Obviously, I don't have a lath and if you don't either and want to try this, know that your portable drill must be kept immovable and the file held firmly in order to shape the part into something close to a circle. If you allow the file to wobble, you are making a lobe for a camshaft and not a ring.





Once removed from the arbor, I hand twist a tapered machinists' file into the center to open it up. Then some 600 grit paper followed by white acrylic.





Miniature rope that scales to 1.25” is glued on at the 4 quadrants. Strips of paper representing the grab line retention beckets are colored with ink and alcohol and glued to the rear of the rings.





The beckets are cut, wrapped around the ring and glued.





As they were wrapped, a touch of CA was placed on the rope and the paper was pinched tightly around it.








Dry transfer lettering is applied. The small letters are 1/32” and the larger is 3/64”. Ink and alcohol is applied to the rope to gray it down a bit and then a touch of pigment powder is scrubbed on overall to pull everything together.





Brackets are made up from blackened brass and styrene. Epoxy holds them together.





A throw/retrieve line will be added to one of the life rings. This throw line is a smaller diameter than the grab line on the ring and is intentionally being modeled to look dissimilar and therefore separate from the ring itself. I place a length of string that scales to 3/4” diameter into a mixture of wet-water, acrylic paint and PVA glue. I've used this process before on this model and additional information can be found at post #137 on page #5.





A mock-up of the available space on the model is made and the string is wrapped around a toothpick which serves as a place holder for a bracket. There's a lot of PVA in this mix so waxed paper is needed to keep the string from adhering to the cardboard. Once I'm happy with the look of the thing, more solution is liberally applied. This will dry hard as a rock.





A sliver of tin is fashioned into a throw rope holder. Injection molded nut/washers are glued on and color applied.





And everything is glued to the wheelhouse.







Thanks for stopping by.  Stay well.





Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/2/2020 at 1:51 PM, FriedClams said:

After finishing the trawl winch, I tired of working on the model and dropped it like a dirty sock.  Now after several weeks away from all modeling, it’s calling me back.  

Gary this seem to affect all of us at some time or another. The model is looking superb.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Jean-Paul, Keith B, Ekis, Wefalck, Keith A, John and Michael for your wonderful comments and generous appraisal of my work.  I truly appreciate it.  And thanks to all for hitting the like button and to those following along quietly.



Ratlines and Other Stuff


The stays and shrouds on the real fishing boats were made-up of wire rope – 1/2” and 3/4” stainless cable mostly. So I wanted to reproduce this in scale using 7 strand stainless fishing leader, but the wire thwarted my every attempt. To be honest, it chewed me up and spit me out like a piece of gristle. I had satisfactory results putting the shrouds together, but I just couldn't tension the cables properly on the boat. I've used beading wire in the past on larger scale models (1:24) for boiler stack guy wires and the like, but never on a mast at 1:48. Many years ago I heard about a modeler who used a below deck spring mechanism that somehow connected to selected cables and kept the rigging taut even with changes in humidity. Clever solution, urban legend or straight-up nonsense? I don't know, but I'm always amazed how creative people can be.


In the end, I used miniature rope soaked in gray paint and a little PVA to keep it from frizzing.


These boats typically had a single ratline on the port side, so I began by drawing up a construction template.




Basswood rungs that scale to 1” x 2” are stuck to the template with double-sided tape. A razor saw is used in cutting notches to receive the “cable”.




A second set of wood rungs are cut in the same way. These are glued to the first set making a two-piece rung with the cables sandwiched between them. Holes for carriage bolts are drilled and the injection-molded bolts are glued in with the rounded heads face outward.




The nut/washers go on the backside.







The turnbuckles are made from .035” stainless tubing sleeved over brass wire. The scale length of the buckles are about 1'9”.




The chainplates with connected chain are made from two different sizes of chain and narrow strips of aluminum can sidewall. The larger chain shown in the image below is 21 LPI and used only for the rings that connect chain to plate. Once the individual links are separated, they are squeezed into a “D” shape and the straight section of the ring is split open. A length of 27 LPI chain is worked onto the ring and the aluminum strip is slipped through, folded in half and epoxied together. The split in the ring is hidden under the aluminum fold. It's more difficult to explain than to actually do.




Injection-molded bolt/washers are added along with some paint and pigment.




Chain and plates are attached to the lower end of the ratline assembly. A lower rung has been added and it clamps across the turnbuckles. I have seen instances where this lowest rung is nothing more that a piece of rebar worked through links in the chain or eyes on the turnbuckles.




The stays and shrouds are made up. The center bolt/washer on the chainplate shown below is missing. The bolts have an 1/8” long shank and I've decided to pin the center of each chainplate to the hull. This will add a little extra shear strength beyond the glue alone.




The port ratline and center stay chainplates are attached to the hull and pinned.




And then the starboard side.




All the “cables” were then tied off to eye bolts on the mast. This took considerable time and involved some shameful mumbling. The center stay cables run through eye bolts on the ends of the spreader.










Thanks so much for swinging through. Stay safe.






Link to post
Share on other sites

I have spent hours dockside in New England taking in the fishing fleet work craft. I have a special reverence for them.There isn't a one that doesn't show the ravages of toil, sea and weather. You have captured those effects perfectly and I might add your modeling talent is to be admired. Your model tells a story.  Extremely well done!


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing detail as always, and as Wefalck says, that last picture with your hand reminds all of the scale of this model.  Those close up pictures of the chain plates look like they could be from a full sized boat.  You must be getting close to done?  I've thought that before and you keep adding more incredible details.   I am anxious to see the weathering on the hull....it always makes me smile a bit to see the weathered topsides and the almost pristine hull.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...