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

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On ‎7‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 4:23 PM, TOM G said:

Did you get your weathering skill's from doing model railroad rolling stock & structures ?

Hello Tom,


Thanks for looking in on my build and for the fine compliment. 


I’m not a model railroader per se as I’ve never owned trains or had a layout, but I have built a number of HO scale industrial structures/scenes over the years that I sold or gave away.  I have learned a lot about modeling and especially weathering/distressing from the model RR folks and the military diorama crowd.  There are so many diverse and extraordinary modelers out there working at a level I will never achieve, but I keep trying to learn from whoever is willing to share their know-how.


This fishing dragger is the first boat that I’ve weathered.  It is a learning experience and a good deal of fun.


Thanks again.



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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 8:18 PM, TOM G said:

i do weathering too.  this is a o scale tanker i sold on ebay

Nice rust streaking Tom.  The tanker looks absolutely real - nice work!  I did know of the Weather Shop site and there is some amazing work to be found there. Thanks

On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 7:58 AM, ccoyle said:

I love all the little scratch-built bits

I enjoy experimenting with little things like that, which is good that I do because my trash can is filled with them.  Thanks for the comment Chris.

On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 11:26 AM, Sea Hoss said:

your work is the best I've ever seen

Wow.  Thank you so much for the comment and for stopping by.  I appreciate it.


And thanks to all for looking in and the likes.



Pilothouse Window Sashes


This short update describes the building and placing of the wheelhouse window sashes.  It’s one of those grinds in modeling where a lot of time is spent with little to show for your efforts.


There are six window sashes to be made.  They are approximately 3/8" wide by 7/16" tall.  I already have drawings for these sashes but I check the individual window openings with calipers and adjust the drawing to the “as built” dimensions.  With the corrected dimensions, I create templates for the sashes. 




Each sash will be a sandwich consisting of a pane of glass between outer frames.  So two frames will be required for each window sash. 


Basswood that scales to ¾” x 2" is cut and arranged on the template.



A drop of medium viscosity CA is placed at each joint where it seeps down into the joint through capillary action.  The frames are removed, trimmed and sanded. 



A piece of glass is cut and glued between the two frames.



I use real glass instead of plastic film or acetate for a couple of reasons.  First, it is perfectly flat and when you catch a reflection off of it, you can see that it’s flat.  Acetate and other films can buckle or display waviness that the eye is quick at picking out.  Second, you can scrape paint or adhesive off with the tip of a scalpel without scratching or deforming it.  And some adhesives can cloud clear plastics in the surrounding area.   


A pane of glass for a shed window is typically 1/8” thick.  I am guessing that glass for a wheelhouse window is thicker than that – say 1/4".  The glass I'm using here is manufactured as microscope slide coverslips.  It is .13 mm or .0051” thick, which is very close to 1/4” in 1:48.  These coverslips are available in 18mm x 18mm squares or 24mm x 50mm rectangles.  They are easy to find on-line and inexpensive - less than 10 dollars US for a pack of 100 pieces.  I bought mine here  with free shipping.



Eye protection is crucial when working with this glass.  A tiny fragment can chip off and fly – anywhere.


The glass is cut by lightly scoring it with a diamond point scribe and then breaking it over an edge just as you would with full size glass.  The scribe must be held vertically, perpendicular to the glass, and only a single score along the glass is required.  A gentle touch and light downward pressure is needed.  After breaking a few pieces, the process becomes easy. 


As far as the diamond scribe is concerned, a craft/hobby level tool is adequate.  Most craft type scribes have an included tip angle of 90 degrees.  More expensive and sharper scribes have tip angles of 60 and 30 degrees, but they are fragile and the tips easily broken.  I know this first-hand.  And straight-shafted ones are easier to use than the bent ergonomic handle models.




And then some punk pitched a rock through the window.  When working with glass, there is an irresistible urge to model the “broken window.”  It is somewhat cliché, but I can't help myself.  This poor little boat is taking a beating anyway, so what’s one more indignity?



The process of breaking a window is a hit or miss affair (no pun intended).  Sometimes it works  - sometimes not.  At this scale it is necessary to build a perfectly good sash first then break it and hope the results turn out believable.  To tilt the odds toward an acceptable result, I score the surface where I would like the glass to crack then tap the point of my round needle file into the desired center of impact.  If this were a larger scale, say 1:24, I would piece broken fragments together.


Have I mentioned eye safety?



This photo shows the partially open window.  Photos of these draggers show window sashes that slide inside channeled pockets or dados with no surface stops visible.  So I cut a slot in the jambs above the lowered sash to represent this detail.




Next, the roof goes on along with the siding and outer window casings.  Thanks for stopping by.






Edited by FriedClams
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That's all we need: a hooligan modeler hurling scale rocks at windows! Seriously, that looks excellent, Gary. In my experience, all my microscope cover glass pieces looked like that when I tried to cut them to size. Must have been a cheap scriber, I guess. Your results are far better than mine.

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Tom, Mark, John and Jean-Paul - Thank you for stopping by and for the nice comments.  I appreciate it.


And thanks to all for the likes and for taking a look.


21 hours ago, jgodsey said:

what CAD software do you use

Hi Jim,


Thanks for compliment and I’m glad you're finding something useful in my build log.


I use DesignCAD 3D MAX 2016 by IMSI Design.  This is the same company that produces TurboCAD.  IMSI markets DesignCAD as being great for beginners and TurboCAD as their premium product.  I used AutoCad for years in the workplace and as everyone familiar with AutoDesk knows, it is complex, extremely powerful and astronomically expensive.  DesignCAD is not AutoCad by a long shot, but for what I do, I find it capable, easy to use and very affordable.  IMSI offers free 15 day trials for both DesignCAD and TurboCAD at https://www.turbocad.com/content/free-trials      Thanks again.



19 hours ago, druxey said:

In my experience, all my microscope cover glass pieces looked like that when I tried to cut them to size. Must have been a cheap scriber, I guess.


18 hours ago, dvm27 said:

my experience with cutting cover slips neatly was virtually non-existent.

Hello Druxey and Greg


Thank you both for visiting my log and for your comments.


Hmmm – this surprises me.  I suspect that the problem could indeed be with the scribes you were using.  This is the scribe that I use.  I bought it several years ago and perhaps it is better quality than I realized.


I purchased it at tedpella.com.  Their shopping cart doesn't calculate shipping – email them and ask for a quote first - trust me.


They also have a wafer/glass breaking tool for $40 US that I don’t have and have never needed.


I only need to cut glass maybe once a year, and I have no special skill or technique, but this is what I’ve learned.

  •  The scribe tip must be absolutely perpendicular to the glass.
  •  If there is a scratching/tearing sound as I draw the scribe, I‘m applying too much pressure and only destroying the scribe.
  •  Making more than one pass with the scribe is almost a guarantee for a broken jagged edge.
  •  Applying mineral oil to the glass can create a smoother cut, but I confess that I don’t do it.
  •  If I am not careful lining up the score line over a sharp edge for snapping off the piece, it will usually bust off a small chunk at the end of the score.
  •  When I have the piece over the sharp edge for breaking, I have found just tapping the piece breaks it more cleanly than grabbing and snapping.
  •  Trying to remove a thin slice of glass off the edge is next to impossible.

If you ever decide to give it another try, I hope this helps. Thanks again.




Edited by FriedClams
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you Alexander, Dan and Patrick for your kind comments and support - I really appreciate it.  And thanks to all for stopping by and smashing down on the like button.



Pilothouse Siding

It’s time to install the roof and siding on the pilothouse and glue it to the boat.


First, I thread the wires for the various lights down the interior of the walls and then glue on the roof.  I glue it down in a way that I can crack it back off if I ever need to.


I then determine the size and quantity of wood needed for the siding and stick it down with double sided tape to a piece of waxed paper.  The wood scales to 1 x 4".  The basswood is stained with regular hardware store furniture stain.


Once dry, I paint the strips with an off-white craft type acrylic.


After about fifteen minutes, I pull some of the paint off with cellophane tape.


The siding strips are fitted and glued on as shown in the detail below.  More weathering still needs to be done to reduce the uniform look of the siding, but this is a good starting point.


The two aft pointing floodlights are made up next.  I used a pair of 1:48 truck taillight housings that I found in my junk box and attached them to brackets I made up from styrene.  I soldered up and inserted  #0603 warm white LEDs into the housings and used clear Gallery Glass for lenses.  The escutcheon plates are punched from .008” tin.


The wires are run down the walls between the interior and exterior siding and the floodlights are glued into place.


Exterior window casings, shoe base and eave trim are added.  Because the windows slide down into pockets, scuppers are needed to drain the pockets in storms and rough weather.  The scuppers are cut from .032" O.D. tubing.  The window facing forward requires two scuppers, one in each corner of the pocket.  The P/S windows have only one scupper each, which are located at the lower aft corner of the pockets.  Only one is needed on these side windows because the pilothouse has a 4-degree pitch to the rear.  Oddly, old photos of these boats do not show drain scuppers on every boat, which makes me wonder where the water goes when a window is left partially open and water is sheeting down into the pocket.  They must have drained to the bilge or out the side somehow.


The photo below shows the additional weathering applied to the siding.  Weathered vertical surfaces typically display less damage at the top than at the bottom.  Eaves and other protrusions provide some physical protection from the elements at the top of the wall, so paint survives there longer.  But it is water that does the most damage.  The bottom of the wall is the last to dry out as water runs down from above and keeps it wet longer.  And the lower wall gets splash off the ground or in this case, the deck.  Once water finds its way behind the paint, the wood begins to rot and the paint to peel.


To simulate this wear, I brush on additional paint at the top of the wall and in the somewhat protected areas up high between the windows.  I darken the lower walls with a mixture of India ink and alcohol – about one part ink to three of alcohol.  I also added some short subtle diagonal markings that run from the right downward to the lower left.  I did this to suggest sleet/hail damage and a possible reason for the broken window. 


This pilothouse is looking pretty beat especially when viewed against a clean white background.  When viewed away from the background in an area where there is visual clutter surrounding it, it doesn't look quite so bad.  So as I work on weathering, I keep checking it against a clean background to get a better sense of the level of damage I’m inflicting on it.  It is easy to get carried away and it’s difficult to turn back.


Finally it is glued on to the boat.  Some weathering of the deck will be required to make the pilothouse look like it belongs there - but that’s another time.  And before the pilothouse is complete, I still need to add life rings, a roof top dory, a water spigot and hose for washing down the deck and maybe a grab rail or two.




Thanks for stopping by.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you Nils, Druxey and Tom - I appreciate your fine comments and support.  And thanks to all for stopping by and hitting the like button.  


A few forward deck details.


The intake vent cowl for the galley/berth is made from 5/32” styrene tube and is put together from segments.  The image below shows the geometry and the cut styrene segments.  Extra segments were cut to increase the chances that I could piece together a couple that would work.


I used this simple chopper in cutting the segments.  I’ve owned the cutter for many years and don’t use it that often, but sometimes it’s just the ticket.  I bought this one, but I don’t believe it would take an hour to build one.


The pieces are glued together.  Note that the first 22.5 degree segment is part of the main duct.


The bow bitt is made from a piece of basswood that was cut to a scale 10" x 10”.  It was colored with ink/alcohol and there’s a piece of blackened brass rod going through it.  It will be glued to the deck and eventually have rope wrapped around it, so where the bitt meets the deck will not be visible.


The engine exhaust stack is a scale 4.5” diameter and the muffler is 10.5” diameter.  They are made from 3/32” and 7/32” brass tubing.  5/16” styrene tubing is also being used for spacers.


It goes together as shown below.  Two 1/8” long pieces are cut from the styrene tubing and are used to center the main stack in the muffler.


Prior to assembly, the center of the muffler was heated with a mini torch to produce a bluish color.  Then both the stack and muffler were blackened.  I rubbed and buffed the center of the muffler to reveal the “bluing" but the effect was not as dramatic as I had hoped for - but I’m OK with it.  I then put it all together with epoxy.  The flanges are wrapped paper.


The rusting/weathering is done with pigment powders and more will be added once the stack is placed on the boat.


A bracket is made for the exhaust stack.  It is made from the foil that is wrapped around a bottle of corked wine.  It kind of feels like lead, but is actually two layers of foil with a plastic core.  A couple of styrene HO scale nut/washers are glued on.


A brass ring is used for the deck isolation collar and the stack is fitted to the model.  Additional weathering is applied.


And then the vent cowl and bitt are added.  More work will be done to visually set the vent cowl into place - next time.


Thanks for taking a look.



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  • 2 weeks later...


On ‎8‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 5:43 PM, jgodsey said:

This is such a joy to follow.

Thank you for the comment Jim and I'm glad you’re enjoying the log.


On ‎8‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 7:40 PM, druxey said:

I can almost hear the rust nibbling away at the metal.

Yes, those foggy, soggy salt air mornings are tough on iron and steel.  Thanks for your support Druxey.


On ‎8‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 8:23 PM, dvm27 said:

That's one crappy looking boat Gary! And I hope you'll take that as the highest compliment.

I do take that as a compliment Greg, thank you so much.


But it reminds me of an incident from many years ago.  I was displaying an HO scale diorama at a modeling show that depicted the surface structures of a hard rock mine – headframe, ore bin, hoist, boiler, etc.  The structures were weathered and there was a good deal of rusty machinery and assorted debris strewn about.  A guy who had been studying the model for about 5 minutes or so came up to me and flatly stated the reason I “junked it up" was because I didn’t have the skill to do it right.  I said  - well, OK then.


I understand this type of modeling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s just a different style of modeling and it has been fun applying it to this fishing boat.  Thanks again.


On ‎8‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 9:53 PM, Keith Black said:

Bad skipper, looks like he's spending the boat's share of the catch at the pub.

Oh come on – give the guy a break.  He’s just trying to make a living in a difficult climate of rising fuel costs, diminishing fish stocks and increasing regulation.  But I agree, he should fix the window and change the oil.  Thanks for stopping by Keith - I appreciate your support.


On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 12:00 AM, mtaylor said:

To be honest, I thought the last two pictures were the real, full-sized boat.  Take that as a compliment please.

Thanks Mark - that's the best outcome I could hope for.


On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 9:44 AM, KORTES said:

Dear Gary, I'm always amazed by the level of Your work. Astonishing realism.

Thank you Alexander – I appreciate your fine compliment and support.


On ‎8‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 11:28 AM, TOM G said:

you realy hit the nail on the head, with that tone of rust that is around the stack & bracket. that's the color you would see do to engine vibrations.

Thanks for the complement Tom – sometimes you just get lucky.


And thanks to all for stopping in and hitting the "thumbs up".



Here’s a small update on the galley stove stack and deck wash down hose.


First the stove stack.  It is made from brass and styrene tubing that scales to about 5 inches in diameter – more or less.


The pieces are cut and glued together with epoxy, then primed and finally brush painted with black enamel.  The goal here was to mimic black iron pipe.  So before the enamel completely dried, I rubbed it down with a paper towel that had the slightest amount of paint thinner on it.  I then added a bit of rust coloration to the underside of the “T" joint.


When I first looked at the close-up photo above, I noticed that the wall thickness of the styrene tubing is too thick and out of scale.  I wear my OptiVisors the whole time I’m modeling and yet I didn't see this.  The brutal honesty of macro photography can make you see things you really didn’t want to see - but it often shames me into going back and doing a better job.  So I use a tapered round needle file and ream the ends of the tubing to a wall thickness that’s a little closer to scale.


And a bracket for the stove stack made from .005" brass shim stock and a couple of styrene bolt heads.



Next is the water shut-off valve for the deck wash down hose.  It is meant to represent a 1” bronze globe valve, which is physically larger and can pass a greater volume of water than the typical residential style garden hose shut-off.  It scales to just over 6” long and its larger size is advantageous in a couple of ways.  First and most obvious is that it makes it somewhat easier to model even though its actual size is still just a tad over 1/8".  Secondly, it will help in keeping it from getting visually lost as other details are placed near and around it, such as an overhanging rooftop dory, a life ring mounted above it, shrouds with wooden ratlines and so on.  


The valve body was fashioned from a piece of scrap white metal.  The bonnet and gland flanges are stacked bits of styrene and the hand knob is an injection molded 1:160 freight car brake wheel from Tichy Train Group.  It was primed and then colored with pigment powders.


The hose is a piece of electronic silver solder.  At .032” in diameter, it scales to about 1.5" in 1:48.  It was pulled through steel wool a number of times, cleaned with alcohol and then blackened with Jax Pewter Black.  The plus for using solder is that I could make it lay flat, look natural and it would stay put as I worked at forming it.  The end of the “hose" was stuffed under a coil so I didn’t need to make a nozzle.


The valve and hose were then glued into place.  From the early planning stages of this model, I had stuck in my head the idea of using a truck tire rim mounted to the pilothouse as a hose holder.  But I have never seen any such thing in any period photo of these boats where a reel or holder was used.  So, no tire rim – and it really is much easier for the crew to just toss the hose into a pile out of the way. 



Thanks for looking in.




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