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

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I really like the anchor on the deck.  As far as the weight, seamen of old were experts at using blocks to rig temporary leads.  Could the anchor cable have been led to the trawl winch heads?  Another thought, the anchor gets its holding power from hooking into the bottom, not from its weight.  A lighter weight anchor with 6-10 ft of chain shackled to it might be more appropriate.


Instead of making a new anchor just “skinny up” the one that you already have.


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Gary, i think what you have on your hand's is artist block...... i read about this. i have the same problems weathering freight car's.   their's something missing but you can't put your finger on it.   remendy : cover up the project and don't look at it for a few day's.  then when you view it you will see what's needed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Roger:  Thanks for the comment and your suggestions on the anchor.  I believe they would have used the winch heads if the anchors were in fact heavy enough to justify it.  After all, it's right there.  I've already made some changes to the anchor that I describe in this post, so I'm going to let that settle before deciding on any other action. 


Tom:  I hope it's artist block and not blockhead.  But I agree, sometimes you just need to stay away for a time.  Thanks for the reassurance Tom. 


And thanks to all for the likes.



Anchor re-do and Blocks


In my last post I stated I wasn't happy with the way the anchor looked on the deck and couldn't put my finger on why. I received a number of excellent ideas on how the overall look might be improved and I thank everyone for their valued input. I'm going to start with what I think is the most glaring problem first. Druxey rightly pointed out that the ball on the end of the stock was too large and only needed to be large enough to keep from slipping through the shank. Agreeing with that assessment, I reduced the ball size and also replaced the original stock with one that is tapered from its greatest diameter at the midpoint and reducing down towards both ends. The anchor is now more delicate looking (if such a phrase can be used to describe an iron anchor) and the overall look is improved albeit subtle – good spot Druxey.





In addition, I also replaced the pipe anchor chocks with lower profile wooden ones. This positions the anchor down closer to the deck and the painted wood chocks ease the transition from black anchor to gray deck. I may return to the other suggestions made after I let the current changes simmer for awhile.





An interesting detail that I've seen on a number of these draggers is the use of diamond shaped blocks to hoist the heavy cod-end of the net. Diamond blocks were designed for use with wire rope and have a larger radius pulley. They are being used here with textile rope presumably to take advantage of that larger radius. These blocks are smaller than the beefy tow blocks that were suspended from the boom/mast on boats that didn't use a gallows frame. Here is a drawing of how they are constructed.





Styrene bits are cut.





And two blocks are made.






There are three hoisting locations and for the other two I'm using smaller blocks that I purchased from Bluejacket Shipcrafters. These blocks scale to about 8” tall and at just under 3/16” these blocks are nicer than I can make or have the inclination to try. So I cleaned up the parting lines and added injection molded bolt heads for the pulley shafts.





Next I made up some hooks from .02” phosphor bronze wire. The bronze wire is pretty tough stuff and holds up to my bending and re-bending. Flattening the lower arc of the hook mimics the cast-in gusset of the real thing.





Everything gets black enamel, pigments and graphite.





I threaded the blocks with miniature rope - about 5/8” for the smaller blocks and 1” for the diamond blocks. The diamond blocks are arranged in “luff tackle”, the smaller double blocks in “two fold purchase” and the single blocks in “gun tackle”.





I don't know and won't pretend to know how the fisherman went about the business of fishing and how they used these hoists. The boats didn't have identical hoisting and rigging arrangements and so I decided to place on my model merely examples of the many types of hoisting gear that I've see in old photos whether their location on the model is practical or not. But it seems the third hoisting location down from the end of the boom always carried the heaviest gear and it was from this gear that the heavy cod-end of the net was hoisted. This makes sense to me because structurally this is the strongest point on the boom. And I have seen in photos where the gear at the end of the boom is being used to swing containers of catch onto the dock.





The rope tails of each hoist are coiled and placed on the deck. Actually, each coil is a separate piece that was wound on the workbench, glued together and then placed on the model to look as though they are the tail ends of the hoist rope. I did this because the rope is rather stiff and naturally wants to straighten, so the coils constantly spring open. But that really is a moot point because there isn't enough finger room to coil them in situ anyway. In this image, you can see two of the traveling blocks hooked to eye bolts positioned along the short rail. I also added several industrial looking cleats that I soldered up from brass wire.





As I'm posting this, I notice in the photo above that the rope at the winch head is wound in the wrong direction. I may go in and change that if it starts to annoy me, but I've already snapped and tore off stays, eyes and chainplates with my thick fingered Shrek-like hands – so probably not. I take my hat off to you builders of multi-masted ships with all those delicate spars and endless rigging. I find even this small amount of string work to be challenging.


A couple more photos.






Thanks for looking in.








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We tend to be too 'bookie' about how things were done on the boats or how they should be done. Much of that probably is due to navy traditions that are perpetrated also by yachts people. If one looks over photographs of working craft, one quickly realises that not everything is 'ship-shape and Bristol-fashion' and done by the book. Rigging and other things are arranged to the convenience or fancy of the seaman or the skipper. There is a lot of clutter around too. I think there is room for a lot artistic licence, as long as it makes practical sense ...


In this sense, you really capture the spirit of this vessel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am obviously very late to the game, but I spent a few hours on your build log yesterday as we were rained in.  The praise you have received from so many of our artists out there is well deserved.  Wish I could think of new words to add to the list of compliments.   Learned some new tricks from your build so I got an added bonus!!   Thanks for sharing your work!!  


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Thanks to all for the wonderful comments and taking the time to make them.  And thanks for the likes. 



Some Hull Paint


Weeks have flown by and yet I have little progress to report. But here is a brief update on the model.


Many of these boats were painted dark green above the water line and so my model will also be green. I began with a emerald green to which I incrementally added tiny amounts of real black until I had a sort of hunter/forest green. (I am always amazed how the slightest amount of black can totally overwhelm any color). I didn't want a green that leaned yellow, so I added a drop or three of purple because the color wheel tells me that it is the opposite of yellow. This gave me the base color I had in mind. The paint I'm using is inexpensive craft store acrylic and it has a sheen to it which will be gone by the end. The image below is over-exposed to better show the color.





After the paint thoroughly dried, I scrapped the surface with the edge of a razor blade. Also, I drilled a series of shallow holes into the strapping that protects the hull from the otter boards. This is meant to represent the flat head screws that hold the strapping in place.





Continuing with the weathering process, I went back and added brush swipes (here and there) of a darker value of the same green. I then washed the entire painted surface with a India ink/alcohol solution which visually softened the scrapped areas, lessened the contrast and dulled everything down. The alcohol in this wash makes this step a “one and done” application. It quickly softens the acrylic and any lingering or second brush strokes risks re-liquifying the paint and returning the surface back to a uniform color. Finally, I scrubbed it with brown pigment powder and then finger rubbed the entire surface. I also gave the hull strapping area some preliminary color, but more work needs to be done there once the otter boards get hung.





The name and home port was placed on the boat. I made up a locating template in CAD to assist in placing the letters.





Dry transfer lettering is applied. The stern looks like it could use a bit more wear.





This final image was taken with direct lighting pointing at the hull from a low angle in attempt to show what the weathering looks like. In normal viewing the effect is less pronounced.





Thanks for stopping by.  Stay well.





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Very nice paint and weathering job again. It slowly comes together - or perhaps I should say falls apart prototype-fahion ;)


I found that very dilute acrylic washes, build up in multiple layers, give nice weathering and toning-down effects. As long as the paint is still humid, if can be washed off easily with a lot of water, if one doesn't like the effect. Once dry, of course, it is permanent. Unlike some inks and (fresh) oils, these washes are not attacked by subsequent washes.

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That stern view photo is a great shot, the light source high from starboard side creates a perfect effect. I would love to see the entire model from that angle with the same lighting. If you didn't know better you'd swear it's a real full-size boat. Gary, you've added so much detail into the Last Dollar that it appears to be a much larger model than it actually is. 

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Hi, Gary. We had a discussion about craft store points in another thread, where I pointed out that they don't provide very smooth finishes. But since working boats like this one very often have rough finishes (lots of wear and tear covered by multiple paint jobs), this type of paint is perfect (as is your model).



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On 9/17/2020 at 11:54 AM, wefalck said:


I found that very dilute acrylic washes, build up in multiple layers, give nice weathering and toning-down effects

Yes I agree, multiple dilute washes can produce some very nice results and often gives the surface added depth as well.  For me, weathering is always a trial and error exercise and adds much time to a build – but the process is fun. Thanks Wefalck.


On 9/17/2020 at 12:35 PM, Keith Black said:

That stern view photo is a great shot, the light source high from starboard side creates a perfect effect. I would love to see the entire model from that angle with the same lighting.

Hello Keith.  Thanks for the nice comment.  Here is a photo in the same light and similar angle that shows the whole boat. The stern is overexposed but otherwise not a bad image though a little noisy. It is a crop and I did compress the file for uploading, but there is a little zoom left in it. Thanks again Keith.





On 9/17/2020 at 7:17 PM, allanyed said:

Hi Gary,  Are the dry transfer letters peel and stick type decals?  Any issues with it peeling off or do you give a clear top coat or some such to avoid any peeling down the road? 

Hi Allen – nice to have you looking in.


The lettering is not peel and stick, but rather it transfers to the surface by rubbing them on.  The transfers have a pressure activated adhesive and are attached to a carrier film that is peeled off once the letter is transferred.  You simply position the film so the letter lands where you want it and then firmly rub the back side of the film over that letter.  I use the convex side of a small spoon shaped dental tool to rub them on.  In the photo below, I transferred the letter “B” to the copy paper background and as you can see that letter is now missing from the film.  The letters are not a solid piece but rather a kind of toner, so only the portion of the letter that is rubbed gets transferred leaving behind the area that wasn't rubbed.  Dry transfers adhere better to flat surfaces than to gloss surfaces, so a clear coat is needed when used on gloss.  On my stern lettering, I can briskly rub the pad of my finger over the transfer and nothing happens. If I scrape it with my finger nail, it will remove that portion of the lettering.  Before I am done I will likely cover the lettering with a thin flat coat and then soda blast it to remove any remaining sheen.  My only experience with dry transfers is with those from Clover House but I assume transfers from other companies have the same basic characteristics.  Also be aware that some clear coats can attack and dissolve dry transfers so experimentation is needed.  A quick web search will reveal many sources of dry transfers in all sizes and colors.  You might even be able to find some at a local craft store to try them out.


I'm not a big fan of water slide decals as they stand proud of the surface and the edges can be difficult to disguise. I have seen modelers use decals very effectively, but whenever I have used them, I can always find some angle of light that betrays them. That is not an issue with dry transfers.


Sorry about the wordy answer.




On 9/17/2020 at 9:30 PM, ccoyle said:

Hi, Gary. We had a discussion about craft store points in another thread, where I pointed out that they don't provide very smooth finishes. But since working boats like this one very often have rough finishes (lots of wear and tear covered by multiple paint jobs), this type of paint is perfect

Hello Chris.  Yes I agree craft store paints due have limitations, but as you mentioned they worked out OK in this application.  I saw a model once where a heavy layer of this craft paint was laid down and the modeler then chipped and scrapped chunks of it off here and there and then painted over that.  So all the underlying damage telegraphed through the fresh new top coat in 3-D fashion.  Very cool.  Thanks for stopping by.


On 9/18/2020 at 8:24 AM, NovaStorm said:

I've just found your fantastic build, thank you for sharing your weathering techniques I really appreciate seeing how they are done

Hi Mr. Storm.  I'm glad you found my build and hope you find something useful here.


13 hours ago, Retired guy said:

very crisp and highly detailed scratch work and then to boot all the fantastic weathering boy does that bring out the model 👍 my bad for not looking around more.

Hello Richard.  Thanks for stopping in to check out my build and for the kind words.  Weathering is fun and often unpredictable, but I enjoy it.  


On 9/17/2020 at 1:32 PM, CTYankee said:

Your screen name made me hungry and miss new England.

Hello James, glad you stopped in.  I can eat my weight in fried clams.



Druxey, Ekis, Paul, John and Jean-Paul - Thank you so much for your fine comments.  I always appreciate them.   And thanks to all for the likes and for looking in.




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