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City of Pekin by Papa - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1:96 - Yellow Box kit


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I started this kit a while ago and have postponed starting a build log for no particular reason. I am a professional procrastinator.

This is a very old kit with minimal parts.  A machine carved hull; some blocks of wood for the deck cabins, some strip wood; and various white metal castings. There are 2 sheets of plans. One for the original tow barge and a second set showing the conversion to steam power.

When I took the contents photo I had already started to lay out some reference lines on the deck.

Some observations:

1. I discovered that the blocks for the deck houses were sized totally different from the plans.  I planned to scratch build these anyway

2. The strip wood were of sizes that were way off scale for their required application.

3. The bow shape did not agree with the plans; hence all the plastic wood.

As in all solid hull kits I've seen, the bulwarks are oversized by design and have to be shaved down to the proper thickness.

The kit included scribed sheetwood for the decking but i decided to lay individual planks with 1/32x1/32 stripwood. Initially I varnished the deck and then later decided to paint it deck grey.

After installing the decking one has to cut a bazillion little notches in the bulwarks.

Most recently I test fit her on a walnut base.

At this stage I installed the rudder.  This was a bit of an issue.  The casting included had no resemblance to the rudder in the plans.  Also, the drawing was too small to really understand what the rudder actually looked like.  Thanks to Google, I found an archeology study of some sunken barges of the same period as the CoP that had a good drawing of a typical rudder.  I scratch built a reasonable copy for my CoP.  I also had to scratch build 2 props as these were not provided in the kit. The result is passable, but they are not very visible anyway.

Next step is to start making the deck houses.

Final note: I am building the CoP at the same time as I am planking my Charles W. Morgan.  I need to do something as the glue dries or the planks soak. LOL

 

Box Contents 1.jpg

wood filler to reshape bow.jpg

Pekin with decking.jpg

plans for steam version.jpg

cutting bulkhead openings.jpg

CoP on base.jpg

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On 9/18/2019 at 11:10 PM, Javlin said:

Interesting project off the beaten path;) Kevin

Yes, I agree.  I haven't seen a build log for it before.  It is a model I've wanted to build for a long time; mainly because when I first discovered Model Shipways around 1966 or so, the City of Pekin was about the only kit I could afford. Never did purchase it though since I was lusting after the Young America kit. My new wife got me the YA as a wedding present!  I found the current CoP on eBay a couple years ago and it has in my stash daring me to start it.

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Building these old Model Shipways kits can be a real education. You really had to bring some skill to the table to build a ship model in the days before laser-cut parts and internet advice forums. Once they had a couple of these old kits under their belts, the old timers were all "scratch-builders." These days, kit models are assembled, not built! 

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10 minutes ago, Bob Cleek said:

Building these old Model Shipways kits can be a real education. You really had to bring some skill to the table to build a ship model in the days before laser-cut parts and internet advice forums. Once they had a couple of these old kits under their belts, the old timers were all "scratch-builders." These days, kit models are assembled, not built! 

When I started my Caldercraft Granado several years back I had the same impression.  This is just a plastic kit made of wood instead of plastic. I built the Young America, Newsboy, and Essex from yellow box kits. Much more satisfying than today’s laser cut kits, though I’ve done my share of those! The instructions in the yellow box kits were like: take the pieces of wood and turn them into a ship. Refer to the plans for hints. Also be prepared to purchase 1000s more blocks as we don’t give you nearly enough.

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1 hour ago, ragove said:

The instructions in the yellow box kits were like: take the pieces of wood and turn them into a ship. Refer to the plans for hints. Also be prepared to purchase 1000s more blocks as we don’t give you nearly enough.

And those "yellow box" kits were some of the best available back in those days! As for coming up short on blocks, there wasn't any internet or email or overnight shipping to even begin to buy more blocks. We had to make them ourselves! 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

For an idea of what they had to work from when the boat was surveyed in 1937 to draw up the plans that Model Shipways later used to develop the kit, the attached photo is from the 1937 HAMMS survey.  The aft 40 ft. of the hull had been removed to use the steam engine on another boat.  There were other derelict boats in the area that were documented for details of the stern to come up with a "representative" stern. 

Kurt 

city of pekin 1937.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Progress photo. Working on the pilot house. I am considering putting a wheel in there like I did on my Chaperon. 
I’ve also added some hinges. I drew them in SketchUp, made multiple copies and then shrunk the image until it looked about right. Then I cut them from the paper and attached with a dab of white glue.

34978702-336D-4B44-9364-57F6B0C21EFF.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Doing the finishing touches now. Touching up the paint etc. I still need to make some “City of Pekin” sign boards and to construct a windlass. The kit provided two Britannia metal capstans with which to make a windlass, but the drawing is very small and only has a top view. I’ll muddle through some how.

782DED10-C35B-4E56-B858-15E7D51EBE5F.jpeg

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