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Chaperon 1884 Steamer by mbp521 - Model Shipways - Scale 1:48 - First Build Log

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Cool! I'm not familiar with that tubing, is there any chance of it degrading over time like the rubber bands? That was my worry when I used tape for this on the Bertrand, but it's held up great so far.

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Eric,

 

I have been using heat shrink for years and it holds up well in all types of weather. I use it on the wiring of my trailers that sit in the sun/rain/snow year round and haven't had a single connection rot away. The only issue that I had with doing the bands this way was I had to secure them in place with a touch of CA because they tended to slip on the wooden dowel. There are some heat shrinks that have a heat activated glue on the inside of them that helps seal the connection and would probably work a little better in this type of application, I just used what I had on hand.

 

-Brian

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Hello everyone,

 

I wanted to pose a question about rudders. I was doing some research on the internet on the Chaperon to find out what style of lifeboat she carried with her. The kit contains the standard britannia ones that bare pointed on the bow and stern, but in many of the old photographs I came across show ones with a flat transom on them. 

 

Anyway, while researching this I found there were several pictures of steamboats in “dry-dock” where they show them with three rudders instead of just two. I’ve seen the additional “monkey rudders” mounted aft of the paddle wheel, but this third rudder was mounted to the hull in line with the other two. 

 

I’m sure the timeline would dictate the evolution of the boats, but my curiosity got the better of me so I went down the rabbit hole and started looking into rudders (again). I really couldn’t find a whole lot of info on when they started putting three rudders on steam boats or if there were just a few one-offs where the shipbuilders were experimenting with maneuverability of the boats. Then I stumbled across a site of a gentleman from Germany who put together beautiful high-res drawings as well as a 3D virtual tour of the Chaperon. That’s when I saw that he had also included three rudders on his drawings. So being the novice in the world of steamboats, I figured I’d pose this question to the experts. Personally I think it’s pretty cool looking to have three rudders, but I would till like to keep my build as historically accurate as possible. 

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

BTW: here is the link to the site I was referring to. I’m not real sure of it’s accuracy, but it does resemble the MS kit. 

 

https://www.jensmittelbach.de/steamboats/chaperon/index.html

 

-Brian 

 

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Sounds like a good question for Kurt. I stepped in it deep last time I tried to advise you on rudders! Two certainly seems like the standard that I've seen, but take that with a salt mine.

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That computer generated Chaperon is neat.  The guy seems to have used a lot of sources to put it together but I think there are a lot of presumptions - especially the interior.  The interior looks just way too elegant to be accurate from the history I was able to find on the Chaperon.  I could be wrong about this and I would sure be interested in seeing more of the documentation he used.  I will try to find out more. 

 

As to the life boat I have attached two photos from my files that clearly shows it tied off alongside.  Other photos I have seem to support this being the same boat are small and unable to be enlarged enough to confirm it's the same boat.  There were changes to most steamboats over time and the aft boiler deck cabin structure is different than the kit.  I have photos of the Chaperon that show the aft end that agrees with the kit.  But there is documentation of several rebuilds of the Chaperon over time and none of the photos have been dated.  The photos were taken from various sources - obviously none are copyrighted.

 

As to rudders, I have not sen any photographs that show the rudders and I wouldn't say if it had two or three forward rudders.  I have never seen any evidence of monkey rudders behind the wheel.  If you like the look of three rudders go for it - there isn't anything that I have seen that would say it had two or three but three was very common.

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2 hours ago, Cathead said:

Sounds like a good question for Kurt. I stepped in it deep last time I tried to advise you on rudders! Two certainly seems like the standard that I've seen, but take that with a salt mine.

Aww come on Eric, I can't suck you back into my rudder conversations again? :)

 

 

Kurt,

 

Thanks for the input. I agree, the website is really neat and has inspired many new ideas and subtle touches to add to my build. 

 

I have seen these photos on the UofW website, but since they were labeled as the Chaperon Towboat, built in 1904, I wasn't sure as to the accuracy of the lifeboat style on this one. I looked at some of the other photos of the 1884 Chaperon and zoomed way in on them and can somewhat make out that a couple of them show flat transom lifeboats, but they are a bit grainy.

 

As for the configuration changes of the 1884 Chaperon, there are some subtle differences that I have noticed through the photos, like the addition of searchlights, the front wall of the main deck by the stair case (open as opposed to being enclosed), the smokestack "crown" (or what ever the decorative top piece is called) has seen several changes, different color schemes on the trim (hard to tell with black and white photos) but it is definitely noticeable on the doors and the "Anchor and Arrow" between the smokestacks, but I haven't seen too may photos that drastically change the look of the boat structure itself. 

 

As for the third rudder, I am seriously contemplating adding it.  No monkey rudders though. I can't find any evidence that the Chaperon ever had these.

 

 

-Brian

 

 

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I will have to check my files - I didn't have the photos I posted, noted as being from a later build.  I will check the UofW library.  Ralph would have had the right boat noted in their files.

The photos in my collection that I am sure are of the correct Chaperon seem to show the same type of boat as in the photos I posted.

Kurt

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Good afternoon everyone,

 

Thank you all for the likes and information.

 

Blighty, I do plan on lighting the entire model, from the pilot house down to the boilers. I am still working on a way to try and light the red and green navigation lights on the smokestacks. This is definitely proving to be a bit of a challenge without the wiring being seen. I'm sure I can come up with something though. I am also toying with the idea of adding the carbon arc searchlights and somehow lighting those up as well. We'll see how this challenge goes.

 

I managed to get a little accomplished this week. The chicken coop and the capstan.

 

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not a real big fan of the brittania fittings that come with the MS kits, and anywhere I can scratch build the pieces I will. The capstan  being one of those pieces. The kit supplied one was poorly cast and was terribly out of round so here is the third a final version of my scratch built one.

 

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The chicken coop was a little lacking in details as well, so I added a few little touches to spruce it up. I was looking online for some 1:48th scale chickens to add to it, but couldn't find any. I think this should be good enough though. Maybe my version of the Chaperon is sitting at the docks waiting on a resupply and the chicken coop is empty.

 

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That's all for now. I am currently in the process of adding the all the decorative sconces and railing to the boiler deck as well as cutting the smokestack crowns from thin copper sheeting. This is turning out to be a bit of a challenge as well. But I'll figure it out, just need to find the right tools.

 

Thanks again for looking.

 

-Brian

 

 

 

Edited by mbp521

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Good evening everyone,

 

I am finally back with an update. The holidays season seems to cut down significantly on the build time. That and unexpected work trips have slowed mine down to a crawl. Unfortunately this may be the last update for a while. The admiral was gracious enough to lend me part of her guest bedroom to use as my shipyard, but now she has put her foot down that I get out, so I have to pack it up and move it to the barn. This is not a bad thing though, I will have my own room (a 10' x 12' corner with heating and air) to spread out and have a little more organization. The only drawback is that the room in the barn isn't built yet. So, my build time over the next couple of months is going to be dedicated to building a shipyard instead of a ship. It'll all be worth it in the end though.

 

So enough of that. Here are some pictures of what I was able to accomplish since the last update.

 

I have all of the sconces installed as well as the boiler deck railing. I just need to get a coat of paint on the sconces. I also decided to add a hand rail to the railing. the PE railing just looked too plain there by itself, and adding the hand rail gave it more definition.

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Another little detail I added were the downspouts on the pilot house. A little something I noticed in the old pictures on the U of W website. There are also a couple of these I will be adding to the Texas deck as well, once the roof has been installed. These are made from 3/32" polystyrene tubing. I tried heating and bending it first, but I just couldn't get the shape I was looking for. So I ended up inserting some brass wire in the ends of the tubing, heating it, then bending it with needle-nose pliers. This worked out perfectly and the shape held just right.IMG_3637.thumb.JPG.5acc1ad3511babf21e51a86d164278f1.JPG

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Next I started on the bell. Again I wasn't too please with the Britannia one. To me it seemed a little small. So I grabbed up some spare 1/4" walnut dowel and turned one down on my mini lathe. I think it came out pretty nice. Then I used a piece of 18ga wire to make the holder and used the side braces that came with the kit, along with a couple of supports to modify it slightly. Then I mounted it in place on top of the Hurricane deck roof. I will work on making the board the holds the pulleys for the clapper rope and get that in place later. Not really sure of what this board was called, but I noticed it on the 3D rendering and confirmed from the old photos from the U of W website. I want to also add the antlers to the bell. I had the perfect set, but I couldn't bring myself to scalp my grandson's toy deer. I'm sure I can find another plastic deer at a toy store somewhere.

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I was also able to complete the bit on the fore-deck and get it installed.

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Lastly, I started working on the carbon arc searchlights. I formed the housings from 3/8" dowel and used flat 1/16" brass strips for the mounting swivel bracket and the clamps. I then used some heat shrink to wrap it in to give it a smooth look on the outside. I was still in the process of getting these assembled when I got sidetracked on the hand rail. I may keep these out of the boxes and work on them from when I have a spare minute or two while I build my shipyard. I think I have a box somewhere that has a bunch of old plastic car models in it. I'm thinking of using some of the clear headlight lenses from these to make the lenses for the searchlights. Trick is, I have to find the box first. Otherwise, I am going to have to come up with some other way of making them.

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Anyway, that is all for now. As always, thank you all for the likes and for looking. Until next time, Happy Holidays to all.

 

-Brian

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Eric,

 

it’s all good. I’m actually surprised she let me stay put for as long as she did. But, like I said, I have my corner of the barn picked out and just need to get off my tookus and get my room built out. Should only take a couple of months to get done. 

 

 

Future shipyard spot. 

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-Brian

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