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1st Pinky in Boothbay by Jond - Diorama with Model Shipways Glad Tidings kit

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Post 19

My search goes on for paint. 


 both these models above, and the 5 cropped paintings I include below show lots of green in the Gloucester fleet.   Reading what I can find about early paint a find a few things of issue regarding availability of green.

  • I just read that  paint was heavy [ I guess it still is], and therefore was not centrally manufactured and shipped.  it tended to be more local.  perhaps in this case Bath about ten miles by water away.  
  • reading about the green pigments of the time I learned they were very toxic.  The sequences of inventions of green was tedious.  Scheele's green late 18th century was full of Copper arsinate which reportedly killed many. it was followed by Paris Green and then emerald green.   the pigments later were used for poison. So was that readily available in Bath Maine in 1816.
  • since those green pigments shades were , at least looking on line today, brighter or even yellow green, they did not look like the common dark green of new England we know so well.  maybe since yellow and blue were such common colors the locals mixed them, and got the green we see.    it would be good to learn about that before the final commitment.  a simpler answer is to leave off some paint or use all black.   I think the models will look better with the dark painted hull contrasting with an unpainted deck and finishing.  

here are a few online cropped painting that show a consistency of look.  Perhaps this is not too complicated and if the two models chose almost the same color scheme i should stop worrying and  just move on

  • 874641930_sup148lanepinky5.jpg.b03f9f532864b2b42c67b441bf650c30.jpg148 this image was cropped from about 1860 painting....see the green below
  • 934356113_sup149pinkymainemmm.jpg.dfe5105a08c49d8ff183bd17b0ad2dd4.jpg149  not sure of date...different artist but again...green
  • 1453522876_sup150pinkymainemmmcropcopperbottom.jpg.c184ae95786e9b6c9c3425b7b8088dac.jpg150 here i crop it and can see the copper bottom
  • 1670358370_sup151pinkylanewashingtongalery.jpg.efcfbd9721b36b71f0994402a13d2de1.jpg151 mid 1850  and again black above and gray of green in the shadow below
  • 1463906720_sup152lanepinkyimage4.jpg.269b5cef9c631cf0522282762ee28625.jpg152 here we see some of the deck color and again green around the inside of the bulkhead
  • 1554985568_sup153lanepinkyinglouster2.jpg.8e44eae91e6f54283630971c1263d392.jpg153 this cropped image looks all black
  • 692857867_sup154lanepinkypaintinginclouster1841.jpg.40682ce5e414a78629bf2034db93762a.jpg154 same again inside and out
  • 224272058_sup155CCC_2991.jpg.8c831b66f8a5dc35d50f007a36df9e7e.jpg155 here is the working study.  I printed out the images and taped them to use as reference as i build up the bulkhead to reflect the right design. The more I study the Essex image above , the more similar details I can see on the drawings....scuppers by example.



I did put on some shellac today, so we will see how that went tomorrow. and perhaps we paint the combing of the hatches.  they would have been installed before the decking.   I scratched in and darkened some deck plank butt joints and now have to think about adding nails all across. it would be much easier to do before the bulkheads. But i find can be a distraction.  




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On 1/26/2020 at 5:22 PM, Jond said:

we are always learning something.

I'm impressed by the research!  I need to work on that (among many other things..) I wish you full steam ahead!

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Thank You Eric.  the research and learning and visiting related sites makes these projects a joy.   My Library grows too.



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Post 20


So what is this seaweed all about?.....or where is it?


We just had a January thaw, so it is time to reflect on what the diorama will look like.  The following study are first of details of rock, dirt and seaweed taken from my dock area which is within two miles, as the crow flies, from where this schooner was built on the Sheepscot river.  


  • 2040015053_sup156.jpg.51686bc67a1219194973f8793bc50ef6.jpg156 here our shop dog is helping study the color and texture at the waters edge. This is done at the same time as the diorama, about 3 feet below the highest tides and two feet below normal high tide.
  • 1781350033_sup157CCC_2996.jpg.b3499a5c3776ddbcd4bc76d85f8537a5.jpg157 see the bright green in the top one-foot zone then the granite is covered with barnacles and growth making it gray. Then in the wet zone, seaweed is brown with yellowing tubes that are full of seawater.
  • 280351135_sup158CCC_2999.jpg.12b4557db8af25c83e55c7633cde162b.jpg158 Here looking about 100 yards away one can see the town landing. It shows the angle of slope typically chosen for this type work.  That actual ramp is hidden just past the white granite ledge.
  • 1388591431_sup159CCC_3001.jpg.41fc0c677a6b3f2249271df8d800dd38.jpg159 here looking down above the water we see the gravel/sand that is a good solid base for the slip way
  • 1692425181_sup160CCC_3002.jpg.be1ff48dcc4318b61c70dec7c60a6b81.jpg160 here along the edge of ledges one sees trees are right there at the water’s edge. The brown grass in the foreground would have been eel grass just 20 years ago, but those little green crabs that came here as part of warming , burrow in the mud over winter eating all the roots to the demise of the former shore land grass lands.


Now let’s look at what it might have been years ago. For that I combine a few shots from both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Wonderful places for anyone to visit


  • 535826456_sup161AAA_1420.jpg.85fcb93636547f8240876854f09caacd.jpg161 Here at the end of Campobello Island one sees darker rocks that get more submersion thus more growth and seaweed.   Walking down there, one finds the gravel is larger sized, not so sandy as ours.  
  • 1925805047_sup162AAA_1421.jpg.f424fdd15364e139b540c2d219b38c45.jpg162 Here we see to the east that gravel area developed into a rocky beach.   We have them here too.  One might think the beach to be more conducive to a boat works but evidence shows other wise


  • 1783777469_sup163.jpg.f075f5e17210e0abbacb30ae16b4407f.jpg163 here driving the cost of Newfoundland we see what I suspect the east side of Sheepscot river, where our schooner was built, might have looked like.  The eel grass along the banks holding soil.  Here in the foreground after years of soil migration, more permanent dry land and wildflowers take over. Once we lose the ell grass the water invades and removed more of our shoreline.  
  • 2136753811_sup164DSC_0332.jpg.318be88afd74de3ef973be79ae9adafa.jpg164 here we are near Peggy Cove Nova Scotia.  if we think about all of the timber that was taken from land adjacent to the Maine rivers, much of the coast line looks like this area.  this area is not forested but a glacial moraine leading into the sea.  

Anyway as we see the coast today and need to remember the treeless landscape of the mid 19th century we have many options.   Fortunately for me the diorama only includes a tiny area right on the water's edge.  If I can not figure out seaweed, the edge might look more like this one.  then some smart viewers will likely ask....where is the seaweed?

So now with all those visuals in mind, I need to take everything off the diorama and finalize the shape of the plaster and start painting.  I still have no idea what may work to show seaweed.  I may bring in some granite pieces, but the scale may not look right. 




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Post 21


Building bulwarks


To move upward into bulwarks usually means colors should be all decided. I think this is better because I like to pre-paint parts at this point to give sharper edges and things.  We shall have one of three strakes white and the other two black and three different thickness also make this easier.   I hope at least


  • 930296010_sup165CCC_3003.jpg.bf75c3609bed15ec7e86cc8b8cc45a6b.jpg165 here we are with two coats of shellac and some steel wool rubbing and vacuum to clean up.   No more stalling, I have chose to copy much of the color scheme from the Essex display.  My thoughts are that carbon black going into linseed oil was easy and a cheaper alternative to how ever they made green.  I will still do green above the waterline but assume the less expensive paint would be there before copper, below water.   For the inside rail’s bulwark, waterways etc. I will use the gray as shown on Essex.   Again, a simple mixing to achieve and not more imported pigments for this schooner built in a remote site.  I am guessing of course


  • 2070795596_sup166DSC_0408.jpg.84cd771fb435d437cc945cb91ad4b1be.jpg166 here I looked at four color samples for the pads… wipe on poly, plane, shellac and cherry stain [for some reason is upside down in this photo].  No worries it was awful and I am going with the top one, wipe on poly.


To build the bulwark, I will also follow much of Essex. There are three strakes involved.   The main deck will get a 1/16 to better have scuppers square cut/ filed.   The second strake is 1/32 white out and gray in.  this detail hopefully will give a sharp edge between colors.  For the top strake, I will use the kit supplied 3/64 strake.  Again, it will create a crisper edge of black over white on the outside.   I assume I will be trimming this as it is a good 1/16+ too wide.   I will dry fit and decide when to sand.


  • 19799274_sup167CCC_3004.jpg.f0424fa49f5c8579a7fb3c5b87ca2228.jpg167 here I have dry fit things to be sure I am on the right track



  • 677892585_sup168CCC_3005.jpg.a73d4d1eccdf7e1241addcbcd6e5ec5d.jpg168 here on the painting bench I have the three colors involved.  Black outside and gray inside for top and bottom. The big kit pieces started to warp with paint, so I place lead and plate over them as they dried.  They will need to be scored too as they are the size of two planks for convenience. The little stanchions are waiting their turn to become gray.


  • 164921767_sup169CCC_3006.jpg.f91d7e834321933153a943b090602755.jpg169 here we go with the first one.  I am a little nervous as the aft build out of the tombstone will need to be fit in.  I think this will be easier than making a frame and trying to get the planks to meet up.  We’ll see later if I am right


  • 748051958_sup170DSC_0414.jpg.7e61709a7475c55cc7b4a65f3ba52e90.jpg170 inspecting the fit after gluing and clamping, I found the strake came up a bit creating a gap.   I must fix it!


  • 2001795932_sup171CCC_3007.jpg.9c1288809b4141d10c56c3a0fb3a6e98.jpg171 Turning her around and elevating the whole stand to clamp both sides down might work.


  • 981902387_sup172DSC_0416.jpg.78b06c74bc439aa903172bbb4b4635d3.jpg172 the gap went away, a little glue came out, but we should be ok


  • 1124156992_sup173DSC_0412.jpg.352ba0f341f6f548b05c2345fc38ec37.jpg173 just a detail as we make up the rudder fittings.  I increased the size of the band just to satisfy me.


  • 1924555960_sup174.jpg.994d4016ab28b955f915c354437c02ad.jpg174 here you can see the other side with the pins in place.  Now I need to dig through more boxes and see if I can rescue my blackening kit.  I found one little piece of solder and it may be enough to finish.



All for now

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Jon you have said bulkhead several times, when I think you are talking  about the bulwarks. Bulkheads are inside the vessel and perpendicular to its length. 


Sorry I dont mean to be picky, but it seems confusing.



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On 1/29/2020 at 2:21 PM, Jond said:

I still have no idea what may work to show seaweed.

Jon, have a look in your local craft store for dried moss.  It may be in the floral arrangement section and/or with materials for model train terrain.  I have used it in the past for a diorama, and it may work as seaweed.


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good to see a neighbor on line.  Thanks for pointing out my spelling. it has never been a strength but as you see it does not slow me down.  there was another silly mistake in that post....I called the maple strips I was color checking before adding in making up the "pads" planking.  that too was not only wrong but mis leading as the planking was shellac. 


happy to have you checking up on me



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thank you for the suggestion.  more though for your selected piece.  I went on line to woodland scenic and was so overwhelmed.  what you selected to show is very close in scale to what with a little brown color might work.  Yesterday i was in the woods and along the driveway picking up rocks, and more sticks to try to cut down spars.  I got caught using the admiral's colander and mixing bowl   oops


so now I can google moss and see where it takes me.  I will let you all know before i glue it in



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Post 22


Get the first bulwark strake on and set up for strake 2


I guess if a plank goes full length it is a strake.  I will need to come back and add a few joists after, but since they go all the way I am calling them strakes.  I knew this was to be a hard part of the build.   planks are to bend in more than one direction, and we want crisp colors as we go.   One step forward, find we need to paint something. Paint something and find more defects…a few repetitions are in the cards, so here goes the bouncing ball.


  • 24902609_sup175CCC_3008.jpg.03f38187b392eb271998cafc89140d21.jpg175 here we are once bit twice warned adding the hold down clamps as we add the lower bulwark stake to the starboard side.
  • 1411605691_sup176DSC_0418.jpg.8bd62769e845855efcb9e4e92580fada.jpg176 now looking at the next strake we see that the deck thickness of 1/16 needs to be accounted for.   I had assumed that to be the case and planned to add a 1/16 square piece.
  • 911771471_sup177DSC_0419.jpg.a249fb2d2e53b3bf9870fc31f57370c8.jpg177 dry fitting the piece we are reminded of the difficulty in the aft section.  If we keep building up, we shall exceed the height of the long knee just to the right of the clamp. I also think these strakes are sloping up too fast, and will re-glue and hold down the bottom strake before moving on. I believe looking closely at Essex that the bulwarks are on deck to the last station and then flare out.  
  • 718701666_sup178DSC_0420.jpg.c79d9b1fb0750feb2a589ff304d1f0e3.jpg178 here in a better view; we see the need to spile this strake all along to lover the height to half the remaining knee height. We also see across the deck that gap is a little too high.
  • 1057327704_sup179DSC_0421.jpg.d226e1910a545dc18d9aa1c07f4a9790.jpg179 The same issue took place on the foredeck and some spiling of this plank is in order. The other issue here is that the raised deck strake and shear planks need to be painted black before this white strake is added.
  • 1462089872_sup180DSC_0423.jpg.cc0a6c9b0fe21d18ddba7be856384232.jpg180 while painting the forward section it seamed foolish not to go ahead and mask off that top line and paint it out.  I can see if it is indeed what I want to show, if I want to add a molding etc.  also treating it like a primer I will likely need to sand it out and repaint later.
  • 1284427455_sup181CCC_3009.jpg.90d7375f187df7ac38c8268d4b394283.jpg181 here is the port side painted. I do not love the dip in the line, but it is the line of the third strake. 
  • 51385388_sup182DSC_0424.jpg.739de562587cb11cc6a1baac8cfd70be.jpg182 here I am re-gluing to lower strakes overnight. I have added the block to train the plank to reverse their curve to meet the tombstone aft. 
  • 1460161397_sup183dsc_042.jpg.98977b7b2c142277e085f2c2e95034c3.jpg183 here I have painted the starboard side. I much prefer the line of the curve than port side. I can also go and fix this all up before moving to fast forward




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Post 23


Diorama planning and materials


The work on the Bulwarks continues, and I can see it will for some time.  As each step requires a respite for paint or glue drying, I am now laying out and getting into the diorama.  This is all experiment or trial and error so let’s see what we get.


First up is to gather material.  I think I have enough to begin,


  • 184 1271163956_sup184CCC_3010.jpg.7eefd98304806c7b99e8fdd2d0c24346.jpghere is where we begin. The slipway rails.  I went through this zone with another layer of joint compound and set the pieces where they go.  I figure this is the basic unit and everything goes around it


  • 1851374026865_sup185CCC_3011.jpg.f86927931ccc595da2fb71e3ea5a90f6.jpg I have cleared other projects and leave the layout tabl3 for this phase of the project.


  • 186 898715409_sup186CCC_3012.jpg.10a52fd7f7dfe86d962622ba736f58a4.jpgat this end we have three boxes. One has clean sawdust the next dirty sawdust, from cutting the woods sticks and the large box has strips of bark and cuttings from the band saw work on those sticks.  The far pile of extra logs is for ???  We have of course the people, various milled limber and the thinner sticks for use in building a scaffold and ladder


  • 1871514627918_sup187CCC_3013.jpg.df0931da4a4421af06bcf0f90d9c394c.jpg here we find two diorama products, to jars of paste dirt and paste rock from Vallejo. The ways ready are for more top cutting and installation as well as scaffold sticks and a few practice stones


  • 188 148855314_sup188CCC_3014.jpg.b8e2077bd7dd98a5109cabd478ed68fa.jpghere we have a Vallejo would affects kit and the wagon to experiment with, the drill and tools to toothpick timbers together. We have collected the first batch of stones and some more sticks to try and make up spar blanks that look more realistic than the perfect dowels that came in the kit



In the works or on order we have some diorama moss…brown and fall color lichen I believe and a need for a few more colored paints.   I also need to rough mill a few planks as the wood used for a scaffold would not likely have been perfect.  I also need to think if I should show some type of lifting rig , I believe the heavier items like the bowsprit, rudder and the like may have been rigged with a gin pole of sorts.   That may have to wait for another smaller scale build where there is room for these things.



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Post 24


A little more Bulwark


The bulwarks are going to be a bit tough.  This phase is to get the white planks in and that was not too difficult.  The stern is going to be a challenge that I will explain later. 


  • 189964967312_sup189CCC_3016.jpg.4c9dabfbc63995b3766fd1f630407ba1.jpg here we are dry fitting the port side white 1/32 plank that I cut down to 3/16 wide.
  • 190687615490_sup190CCC_3023.jpg.5655c520d2ca7c056e17f0f867286406.jpg after gluing the starboard side. I dry fit the top planks again from the kit and it quickly became obvious the white plank was too wide.  I went to the picture of the model of the Essex and found yes, their white plank was narrower than all the others, and definitely was narrower than the top plank.  
  • 1911773516097_sup191CCC_3024.jpg.2e4620284099eba84fcd3c025afabe18.jpg so off the 3/16 wide planks came, and we made up new planks at 1/8 and they look much better in proportion
  • 1921912507813_sup192DSC_0425.jpg.edab27065ef9a6ffe8c534c4de3a0262.jpg the transition between the raised foredeck and the main bulwark looks a little forced as the 1/16th strip makes up the height.  I did not want to force a 5/16-inch plank to avoid that joint as that would have been an unrealistic 15-inch-wide plank.  Thinking in inches of full scale, perhaps I should have used 3/16 plus 1/8th instead.   on the other hand the 1/16" strip lines up with the raised shear plank so it becomes a continuous line.  the option I chose.   Oh well lesson learned is more planning on the full build up next time.


The next step is to figure out how to set the tombstone.  I made up a gig that would clamp to the stern post and hold the tombstone in place.


  • 19346083258_sup193DSC_0433.jpg.1333913b5a967ee8d811946cc2277f45.jpg Looking at the Essex plan I see the tombstone is parallel to the stern post with ½ “space.  Also, it is a little smaller than the kit size.  To correct the size, I will take it off the top after all it is together. 
  • 1942027704126_sup194CCC_3027.jpg.328206f9ef8a676ab9d9a6893f6bfb65.jpg here the jig is in place
  • 195331505535_sup195DSC_0434.jpg.e29be97660fecfd9b88f109239756523.jpg I am sure now as I fiddled with these dimensions and having the gig in place, that there was more trimming and spiling to these planks to sit tightly together
  • 1961895598831_sup196DSC_0438.jpg.4a79cc2b2976f71f5340a3acc6248be8.jpg I figured out by looking again at the Essex plan and model photo what to do with the stern post.  The red drop of paint shows what must be ground off.  Too bad I didn’t figure that out earlier
  • 1972099022055_sup197DSC_0439.jpg.51c6df7cebded3d6d6c8c234eb2c61a3.jpg here the double twist on the starboard size cause trouble and needed extra clamping.  This joint fell apart more than once.  I like to blame gravity. This joint fell apart several times, so I need to get it together and then clean up extra glue etc. with some filing
  • 1981075719466_sup198DSC_0440.jpg.dfa93307526bce781f5deb7a51b156a3.jpg here we go with the little white plank trying to hold the recess with the lower black plank back to the tombstone
  • 1991733508960_sup199DSC_0441.jpg.259a5e790ed117a93382ea07f7abb91e.jpg oops the starboard side that causes all the trouble ended up too high.  I had to cut it off and figure out a shim to pull it up and re-glue it
  • 200396877767_sup200CCC_3025.jpg.31144aa0dd3c0f9d8aa85ce48bf27af0.jpg I think we are getting there
  • 2011718471952_sup201CCC_3026.jpg.ebed611b5f47619567792d8c61547d61.jpg here we are gluing the top plank that is just thicker at 3/64” than the 1/16white plank to help with the edge.  It is the kit supplied piece


On deck…Now for another oops.


  • 2021383189427_sup202DSC_0426.jpg.76ddb8cb747b029c08fecf12787a0d33.jpg I made up the pintles for the rudders in 1/8 size just because I thought they looked better. The pin was 1/16”.  I went to the Essex plan and sure enough that was way too big.   So back to square one and you can see the 3/32” band about to be installed
  • 203803447169_sup203DSC_0429.jpg.43aeeba5b5b18945f905955550540173.jpg the tiny pin 1/32” in the upper pintle broke the solder joint and fell out during peening the little brass pins….oops
  • 2041179942710_sup204DSC_0430.jpg.0466ca6a5d7e67e5c16d1b44179eb5a3.jpg taking it out caused damage to the rudder. Here is a little dutchman going back in and the new pintle was made up.   Thank goodness the rudder will be painted.








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Post 25


Diorama let’s get going


There are times in life when more study is good. There are also times like now when one needs to just go for it.  


205375021338_sup205CCC_3017.jpg.1431bc3eb2d4ed05424771c9de19e18e.jpg first up we need to mill up a collection of rough-cut timber to make scaffold, ladder and maybe a gin poll.


206 336669914_sup206CCC_3018.jpg.59089ee81cef406b9477638532b93fb8.jpglet’s set the base, the slipway ties and rails.   You can see toothpicks painted black to represent iron rods hammered down into the sand/gravel and marine clay mixture between ledge rock where this would have to have been sited. There is also glue and toothpicks driven rough the rails into the ties. The rail is going down into the water at the edge, so unless I change my mind and use more milled timbers I can go ahead with those cross timbers.   The gray and tan paint was an experiment.  The brown is the paste earth. 


207   1874932969_sup207CCC_3022.jpg.ac5c97512ae8ff1e7015fb68c1242c94.jpgI needed more material, so we have added:

·         Rough milled lumber

·         Hemp rope in different sizes.  I normally use this for bolt rope in old canvas sails but think hemp would have been the line of the time.  It does not coil well, but I can use it for lashing and things.

·         The ½ in copper tape to try some bottom work. 

·         Tan color lichen / moss to try to make seaweed



208 1072434995_sup208CCC_3021.jpg.a4a8de08d6101c9e0ac9a1885c36e155.jpgso here is the first attempt.  I have used two steps in the ageing for the wagon and used most of the brown paste dirt over the plaster.  The wagon is made from plywood so there is no grain to play with.  Oh well 7 of the nine bottles in the ageing kit remain unopened.  I have used spray adhesive and broadcasting of sand gravel over the lower zone and started to glue and place rocks.  After drying I will tilt and spill loose material and go again. it takes several times to get enough material to stay in place, so we can transport this stand and not worry too much.


209 1851273159_sup209CCC_3028.jpg.ce09b66e545a53bf928e702b51b7ff0f.jpgHow to build an erector set. I made up the two sides of the main scaffold by lashing local cut spruce logs and pinning a cross member on the outside of the frame.   I then made up the top platform to set in place.  I am not sure I like this. I need the schooner there to figure it out.


210909729476_sup210CCC_3031.jpg.9afb98803d9d1434c63d56afbd0d1750.jpg I needed to add 1 by 2 trim boards around the bottom of the plywood to thicken and complete the base.  I smoothed up the edges and painted out the edge.   I am not sure I will be adding the cost of a glass box for this diorama, as it will not necessarily last that long.  


2111581410147_sup211CCC_3032.jpg.5529c758b381797695fefae7dcf8eb89.jpg here comes the first application of Spanish moss to replicate the seaweed.   Wow I have a lot to learn here.  I keep cutting it up into smaller pieces, but is won’t sit down.  Maybe I wet it.   The little pile of gravel is what fell of this time when I tilted.  Not bad









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Post 26


Complete the bulwarks, paint and copper the bottom


It is time to complete the bulwarks and exterior finishes.  I have always planned to have some copper going on the bottom as part of the diorama.  So lets get ready.


2121800211599_sup212DSC_0442.jpg.74b1187c01348a2350469376589cdcd4.jpg I took the kit provided cap rail to see if it fit.  Well almost.  You can see where I cut and then added in a new piece to fix the higher bow and wrap the hawse timbers.  I need to come back and drill that hole too


2132125128583_sup213CCC_3029.jpg.ff6ffc6dc6501bcefee678571b85a715.jpg here the cap rail is all on.  I plan to leave this unfinished, as if it was just installed.


It is time to make the pumps.  I had two options in mind.  One is to make a small octagon plug and clad it with eight beveled sides.    The right way.  Or a short cut.   I took a 5/16" square  p[piece and made an octagon to the outside limits.  I rough drilled it out and will now file it to shape.  There is one at each end.  We’ll hope this works and yes, it is a short cut.


214 1446990675_sup214DSC_0432.jpg.79402fb129cf71e58703bb21ee5d616d.jpghere we are part way through the filing to shape.  I will have a smaller dowel extend below through the pad and deck, so it is solidly attached.  I need to find a few more examples to see how to build the handle and plunger. 




Now for the bottom.  I need to paint under the copper so that wherever it ends,  the black paint is already there.   I also chose the dark green.  I went to the art supplies to get the paint.   I am a

paint brush person.   


215 625677886_sup215CCC_3030.jpg.0ea7001866679cdebbf4afd80e340728.jpg I have stayed so far with the lamp black flat paint.  I read in the clipper ship books that in the 1850 they added a shine.  That might mean that that before then there was less shine.  I would love to learn more about what paint colors were on New England schooners.  Most documents paint centers on Navy craft.


2161672008077_sup216CCC_3033.jpg.70c9f451a05dca9b9d9a8d32ae17693f.jpg here is the copper tape jig altered for ½ inch tape.  Unfortunately, I only have a ¼ “ponce wheel. Anyone is welcome to complain if they chose.


2171721380009_sup217CCC_3036.jpg.56e359af90efc8515e5201476d1b016c.jpg here is enough for one side.  I plan to have one of the crew painting in the diorama.  My thought is to assume they would have wrapped the keel first all the way down and around.  


2181424250784_sup218CCC_3035.jpg.16190705a113ee8387f09e5b40d56075.jpg I just got some new yellowish lichen that looks a lot more like seaweed.....cool!

Next time I plan to set up the diorama to see what the story is to be and then focus on that work alternating with completing work on deck.   I also have to figure out what to have for spars. 








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Post 27


Mid-point on the diorama


It’s time to look at what we have now and see want we want to develop and what might be better removed. I start off with what now is my favorite view. Naturally it is not one of the four views I use for study, but a low angle from a corner


2191456552055_sup219CCC_3038.jpg.5456cb44d6194f9d62a85e3c2e56eef1.jpg looking in from an angle, we see seaweed coming along and all the colors of the schooner. the rudder is missing and i assume would not have been installed.  I plan to have it sitting ready to go in.  I would have coopered before installing gudgeons over some tar separating the copper.  I never thought about it before.  Since i am using tape I would hardly notice.  but since only one falls into the copper as completed , I need to decide.  more to come on that one.


220 1678045966_sup220CCC_3039.jpg.4e67228c818e8b684595b8dfbfd8d6de.jpghere we back away and see the new supply of seaweed.  I plan to experiment with a brownish wash and dab with a sponge.  I want some yellow to survive as that is the fresh air-filled pods that float in the sun.   the browner Spanish moss did not work, and I will use some of it to make up bushes.  I wonder how to make eel grass? Also, at the moment one end of the main mast in the rough is looking at you. there is so little room i am not sure yet what to do to stage the work going on right there.


Now the four side views with presumed directions/


221 2065984252_sup221CCC_3041.jpg.b9b72cfbe63625432cc89d25dd85a512.jpgnorth: the wagon is delivering things that would not be floated.  Who is it to say that everything may have come by boat and there was a dock nearby?  Now I believe they were on a remote site on Westport Island with the slipway falling south west.  I plan to go see Barbara , our town historian to see if she can help me more in this area. I believe they were about 5 miles out of town.


222 773475773_sup222CCC_3044.jpg.fe005040a535884471160060d6d1b94c.jpgwest: here is the best view of the swooping lines exaggerated with the raised stern. I have lots of bark and saw dust and stuff to make the brown area more like a work shop. 

223 2007848085_sup223CCC_3046.jpg.626397ae2d16ccfe94c4ec4fec7ada7e.jpgsouth:   the water side view.  Here I must think more of the scaffold.  What is it doing and why is it there? I also need to treat the slipway that gets wet twice a day.  all such structures today have treated wood, these would have been simple logs.   they would we wet covered in seaweed and maybe barnacles. 

224 1134947457_sup224CCC_3045.jpg.6174d1f668e6c6da62703d32d897d071.jpgeast: to confirm this means east side looking west. the spars are the point here.   what to do? I think I want some spars done and even with fittings. They must have been working in parallel.  The question might be if they were built somewhere else.  For now, I assume they did it all here.   Also what to do at the front of the slipway?  These large frames would have had an A frame or gin pole to swing the keel,  frames and any other large timbers.  It would likely have come down once the need was over.  I plan to start building one but stop as if the large components had been removed.


Now for the story. What are we going to talk about, and what are the workmen doing?  


225 586593906_sup225DSC_0443.jpg.0885b9188ad77f8a48c54d66760a7596.jpgon deck they would be further along than we are now. I am making the windless, pumps large horse and other parts and will have most of them at least set in place.  I am now not happy with the size of the hatch planks and will remove and replace them with larger planks each with its own ring to lift out.    More to come on the deck


226 1816184619_sup226DSC_0445.jpg.7991c39ab03a304dd2c7a49651ba8954.jpghere we have someone painting the bottom. This approach leaves enough planking visible for the audience to see. I left some on both sides and the top rail for now


227  t1621655175_sup227DSC_0446.jpg.6ead56d8b8cc9dfc38e7d4a89c120d8c.jpghe adding of copper I think is fun to see. I have doubled up copper tape with its backing to have a ready supply of plates and will have then around the site and a pile near the work.  I am not sure how they cut it back then, I assume with a chisel.  


Next week more on deck, and yes these pictures, as always, help us see imperfection in the painting that need to be addressed.


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Thank you Yves


I am getting into a tricky area now of making the detail parts.  The clock is still ticking too, as I need to be able to display this diorama in late May, and that is really just around the corner.  Any time I drop a piece on the floor, the shop dog checks it out.  Today the windlass supports bit the dust.   I then added the bracing for the raised stern and found the rudder no longer fits.  It is talking two tries for most steps forward, but that approach is normal for me.






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Thank you Richard and David.


I am off to our monthly guild meeting to get more advice on things like .how much should i do with the spars  and how do i put a paint brush and bucket in the hands of a figure


...my next posting shows all the deck work almost complete and I am ready for preliminary rigging work.



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Post 28


Complete deck work...basic furniture



First off, I took the Essex plans and model photo and studied the bow area.  I’ve much to do here


  • 228621237654_sup228esseexsectionknightheaddetail.jpg.efb6fc9354fb46873d660ebbffb84c72.jpg in this section we pick up the size and positioning of the Sampson post and windlass.  Note the wooden chimney that was removable.  I will need to make the covered hatch for that and maybe the large water barrel that goes on the other side.
  • 2292046970212_sup229esseskknightheadelevationdetail.jpg.6b5c7f775077454cb692c0c1a9430d5f.jpg in this elevation, we see a confusing depiction of the knight head above the rail. How long is that curve?  Also, a good detail on the cat head.
  • 2302005245073_sup230essexbowplan.jpg.7a256adb47997513195b735941716b45.jpg in the plan view we again get the relationships of things.
  • 2311688221075_sup231essexmodeldeckforward.jpg.c9a8a587ab6f9009b46879cf3b68c9e7.jpg in this blown up and cropped photo of the Cape Anne museum model Essex, we find an expert’s rendition of what all this bow area should look like.  Note the forward companionway is a simple hatch with, I assume, a ships ladder. Note the knight heads are effectively bow bitts.  My rendition has the curved top and sliding hatch that others showed and wrong knight heads. also the size of the hatch planks and their bright rings 


Now let’s go to my build and fix what we can to make a 1937 slim hull look like a fatter and rounded 1821 bow.


  • 2321187636751_sup232DSC_0449.jpg.d69e5e236f349ad07930a440c0b65569.jpg First, we see the lashing lines that I put on for the bowsprit are much too big.  Second, we see I followed my first hunch and raised the hawse timbers to meet the knight head in a long curve. Then I had a brain cramp and did not think to bring the rail over the bowsprit
  • 233391309558_sup233DSC_0450.jpg.330da7edd0b9d61264b1ba4b1151258c.jpg inserting the bow sprit, I now have shaped the internal octagon section…..much better. I need a big wooden cleat on top for the jib down haul.
  • 234657920061_sup234.jpg.af7b5b31c3f75394cb861dd63e2402e8.jpg here is the second card template…[ the shop dog ate the first one] I transferred this to 1/16 plywood to cut and trim and fit.  It will be painted, so the plywood short cut should be ok
  • 235731613676_sup235DSC_0453.jpg.bcd2598ba09ee7002a459e163d13417c.jpg now for the hatch rings.  I removed all the planks and milled new ones.  I need two tries to get even numbers of 6 and 8 planks, and they are roughly 13 inches in scale.   The Cape Anne model left them bright.  I assume they were iron rings in those days.  I made them up and put them on a scrap piece for blackening.   I must admit that after looking for 30 minutes I simply can not find my blackening jars…lost in the move.  So, I cheated here and used lamp black paint.   Not great but only experts will know. I need to find that stuff !
  • 236811015857_sup236DSC_0455.jpg.f4152192073de99ef8efbc2aba30b7ff.jpg building the windlass was fun.  It is basically carved out of maple, my hard wood of choice.   Here one sees the crew painting the green, so I need a tiny paint bucket and brush.
  • 2371256358802_sup237DSC_0456.jpg.b5de1db7f7f1a638cc69a84cb4d69461.jpg here are the pumps. I copied the model photo as best as I could and again used maple filed to an octagon.  The handles are from scrap pear, so they are strong. The binnacle is also pegged down and the two horses are in. the aft horse is interesting and will show up better in other photos.
  • 238642334596_sup238.jpg.90af59ab65c24055d8a50a2a1afcd364.jpg here is the basic furniture on the main deck.  I plan to have the tiller and other small spars on deck as they are completed and ready for future installation.


So, what does this look like?


  • 239418669568_sup239CCC_3048.jpg.480e995e6f11460e332c23f9f0169251.jpg here we are resting on the slipway.  For now, I have removed the large primitive scaffold as it was just that, too large.  I need a ladder or something to get the guys on board.  I also have chosen a smaller spar to be under way and set the rudder down.  It will get some copper too.  The bowsprit is in and I will do some rigging for next time along with the cat heads.  Maybe install some or all the chain plates and have coiled lines ready. 


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Post 29


A little progress on deck


I am nearing the end and now find I need to go back a few steps.  The kit provided cap rail was nice and it saved lots of time.  Unfortunately, it is set up to ride only on the stanchions that under perfect study were likely tapered a bit like all other schooners.  Considering the added full bulwark, and the need for pins inboard and chain plates out board, I decided to widen the cap rail.  This means I will need to paint it out to. Looking over the model photos of the early schooner, i feel this is the right decision. So, as I worked on this process, I did what I could to bring along the other elements to their final detail.

  • 2402131549432_sup240DSC_0457.jpg.dd2d6f964c3a296f20e118f4d8d179c3.jpg here I am partially covering the rudder with copper.
  • 241205757540_sup241DSC_0458.jpg.4dbf843822d292afa92cb1d700c2c2be.jpg here I am adding the thinner 1/32" section to the outside of the cap rail near the bow.
  • 242 743910070_sup242CCC_3049.jpg.9f8dcd69ce63311cef65dc4c8ad429df.jpghere is the whole thing getting another 1/16-inch strip. 
  • 2431935587758_sup243CCC_3052.jpg.96095815a794a6bb61273b0b874836cb.jpg Here I need to fill and sand the joint that I know otherwise would open on me.


Now we need to think about the show. What to rig and what to have being worked on.  Much has been planned, but there are a few more things to decide for what to show as this schooner nears completion.


  • 2441760382425_sup244CCC_3055blur.jpg.1b9d6a84f3a7872cb25c4b8a87aced82.jpg I have gone and added the rigging to the bowsprit. The head stay is made up with a large splice, coiled and lashed. The photo is my first attempt of blurring the unwanted surroundings just for fun.
  • 2451028318272_sup245.jpg.1ba0f200f121f6dee1e2e547ebc04715.jpg In this photo, we see several items.  The chain plates are sticking up through the wider cap rail.  The cat head is made up from maple.  As in the Essex photo a monkey paw holds the line that drops down and returns over the sheave in the slot. I tied a big granny knot and added a drop of glue, sorry.  This picture gave me an idea for what to show our kneeling workman doing.     The windlass is all in and the head stay is lashed to the jib down-haul cleat on the freshly painted bow sprit.
  • 246641108265_sup246CCC_3053.jpg.e47c1bc3c11169b5f0c2ed95818c7a8b.jpg looking forward we see the main horse set up, black tape as place holders for hardware on the binnacle and tie down rings I need to lash.  I also completed all the little nails, using a hard pencil in the shellac finish. I felt it important at this large scale to show the nails and joints of the deck planking
  • 2471246968864_sup247.jpg.365f1bb3523a098130ad5cfe57eb9715.jpg here we see the foresail horse, the mast holes are up to size, the tie down rings for the hatch tarps, temporary hinges and main chain plates are now all in place.
  • 248 127487112_sup248CCC_3050.jpg.aa7c3748e06f9a6a84089c82b7628f8d.jpg I have taken the dirty sawdust and broadcast on spray adhesive over all the land area.  I then glued down many, but need more, shavings as the fore mast is being made on the left.  A new ladder is also on site as the scaffold is gone


Next time we make decisions on what is the final show and what is the remaining work. 


All for now

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Post 30


The final plan for the diorama


There are six more steps as I see this project.  First today is to complete the plan on what needs to be done before moving to the show. Second do all those little things on the schooner to call it a wrap. Third complete the diorama seaweed attempt and other staging items. Forth decide what if any case or protection measures.  Glass box or acrylic.  Fifth Complete the write up for perhaps 3 of four explanation sheets of what the display is about.  Sixth take the model to the museum, set it up and fix what ever happens on the way.  That is in May


Today is a start on step one.


  • 249230090828_sup249DSC_0460.jpg.76f7e47780b29620c9a6b2faa390c526.jpg our on-deck workman is completing the port side cat head. I need to think about the cleating of the starboard one and set the removable chimney hatch that I will set to starboard.


  • 250  1398327413_sup250DSC_0461.jpg.76892264e6cd2be69883a32299939c97.jpg I need a bucket of paint and brush for our painter. I also want to mention the Swiss pear 1/16” by 1/16”  strip that is simply covered with tung oil and follows the third strake. It looks a lot like the feature on the Essex and I think helps. Not sure if the red shirt guy remains or what to go into the wagon.  The loose hemp should be replaced with nicer line and maybe a few fittings. the chain plates are still loose.


  • 2512084585236_sup251.jpg.6af1d20f681a6ba9fcd3e3e4956f8255.jpg here the rudder is laid out with some more pieces of copper waiting to be installed.  I wonder what the tools would have been like.  Would there be a table to prepare each panel??


  • 252851457889_sup252DSC_0463.jpg.d37684dc8d336041cfc62407db9f8083.jpg I need more going on in this aft section, maybe more spars and stuff stored.


  • 253 1745602709_sup253DSC_0466.jpg.6e617113e3bfd367475bf077f0989439.jpghere I have a workman using an adze [ to be added] on the new foremast.   The completed mainmast lies next to it.  If I add the trim to the main mast does it help to be here or not. 


  • 254 1135292600_sup254DSC_0467.jpg.4ac458c111877027f02547e302dff987.jpg if I set the main boom in place and maybe lash it , it helps explain the look and the transom doubling as the boom crutch, but is it realistic?  The other spars laying on deck I like so I need to trim them out.


  • 255 806720585_sup255DSC_0468.jpg.a3ab5b657b0305accea43e540e1dd90d.jpg I have moved one of our copper men to the ladder. I think is makes much more sense. I need to figure out the propping and set it up to it is solid so it stays in place with or without the schooner in place for transport. Also, the swiss pear accent strip really helped out


  • 256 105407683_sup256CCC_3056fixed1.jpg.2cf0be2869cb953a56f2d341b95fc19f.jpg  here we are now. A new workman has joined the copper gang.  The seaweed needs help.  I think amateur Photoshop blurring the perimeter in the photo really helps in viewing, though even in the museum there will be distractions.    What about a case.



Next week we need to get through all this step if we can. Spring and diversions are coming fast.  



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Seeing your progress I am sure you will meet your deadline. I really like the scene.

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Thank you Chris and G.L.   

I really am enjoying the idea of diorama and scene.  not to say a model on a stand is not beautiful, I get to put more of the results of my research to work.  this is my second attempt and the fun is encouraging me for more to come.  I learn so much each time.  It also gets folks talking about the scene.  I have thank Lunenberg NS museum who showed me how much more there is to a schooner display than her lines. They have several set on undulating Acrylic ocean with active fishing, a sandy bottom and even fish to catch your eye.  You come away understanding what these great schooners were doing.




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Post 31


History where is the diorama


I will be putting together a few display story-boards to help folks tell the story.  I also need a power point to tell the more detailed story.  Part of the story is to explain where the diorama is sited. All the data I have used comes directly from Barbara Rumsey’s book, Hodgdon Shipbuilding and Mills.  Below I have included the first 6 rough draft slides describing the location of the 1816 build.


  • 257443311574_sup257Slide2.JPG.0eb64e3fd2fb1a7996dd3c9c73308291.JPG    This 1772 map is a great resource.  The next definitive maps are about 1857.  These maps show little black dots to represent structures.  There are no roads shown in 1772. There were likely trails that were improved for horse back and step by step for farm wagons. As this compound had been in the family for three generations there were most likely wagons and tracks to move grain and other products to the mill.  In this first view we see Caleb Hodgdon’ s uncle Thomas, a land speculator of sorts, obtained a large holding on Jerrymiisquam island.  The island was part of Edgecomb at the time, which is the north half of the Boothbay Peninsula.  The land  holding drawn on the map is derived from 1815 records of Hodgdon deeds.   Caleb and his brother Benjamin bought land in Boothbay. Caleb still recorded his residence to be Edgecomb   He would most likely have traveled by boat on the Sheepscot river.  The town of Wiscasset was about 5 miles north on the river.
  • 258804018534_sup258Slide3.JPG.a88a94d8e31c306fd613be62ee1b45b0.JPG     In today’s google regional map we see the island is now called Westport.   We also see the largeer Damariscotta river on the east side of Boothbay.  This 10-mile tidal river attracted Caleb over the following years.
  • 259 692555785_sup259Slide4.JPG.d38c740636bded05ee2d9f5629091a2d.JPG 
  • In this cropped Google map we see the location of Building Superb on the Westport Island and the East Boothbay location of the Hodgdon mill.  By 1826 he was established there and started building a legacy of ship building that is still active today.
  • 260 882414040_sup260Slide5.JPG.27104ea8cbfb1bde1b245ef2e7fbf6ea.JPGhere in a blow up of the 1772 map we see a small dot representing structure. It is likely the mill that had been established there for many years.
  • 261 1532075590_sup261Slide6.JPG.95c93473357dc22d8dad07a0b54f94cb.JPGhere I cropped the google image to cover the Hodgdon property. It is highly likely that as the family generations spread out the shore road extends to join the properties. 
  • 262 972097855_sup262Slide7.JPG.21e87569b34b0c456e5ca710e746ddb8.JPGhere is where I had to make a choice.  The records are not clear as to the product of this mill.  It was a long-established mill but quite rural.  Regardless they would have had dockage for transporting grain or wood and other support for the venture of young Caleb.  I selected the best and closest possible site to the mill as the site for the diorama



More to come on the history side

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Post 32

The deck is done


One of the hardest things to do with a model is say I am done. That is with any stage of worse with the whole thing.  I still have work to do on all the models where I have started logs and a few where I didn’t start a log.    One can always go back and fix something or add something.  This is especially true for those of us that are still learning. We always find something.  My first example


  • 263 768789496_sup263DSC_0469.jpg.d5176aa567a131430bbae98862d73983.jpgIn my past logs, one will see I have a horrible time soldering.  It is a skill I am trying to learn years after retirement, and I do struggle.   Here I finally succeeded, I think , in making a simple band to go on the forward end of the foremast to hold the boom tackle block.  Well I was successful getting it on.  What worries me is when I get back to Aphrodite, my “first Ship” built in Boothbay ,I need dozens of them even smaller bands for the yards.   Back to my point though, do I go back and redo those that are not quite so round.   One issue I have is to drill holes through them tends to crush them or worse open the seam, Anyway the joy is finding these tough tasks and figuring a way through. I just ordered dental bands on eBay to see if that works for me.


  • 264216855939_sup264DSC_0471.jpg.9ba2f4449f3549fda514b2b5beb1c7b0.jpg How much detail is enough.  The write up in Chapelle’s book talked about the removable wooden chimney to starboard in the early boats and the lashed water barrel to port. So, in honor of those references I felt the barrel was needed.  The cap is on the hatch ready for the chimney to Starboard. The barrel is further consideration that the family mill is very close, and all these things would be provided from the family supplies.    I have stored the completed spars on the deck. I even installed the throat halyard blocks on the gaffs.   I need the little flapper blocks inside the yokes…or do I?


  • 2651002461912_sup265DSC_0472.jpg.a5db5c0725344b2ac9cd96d0edf2ee15.jpg here I decided to lash the rigged boom in place on a temporary post.  Note the after-boom tackle and sheet blocks are lashed over the boom with tarred line through a wooden stop.  The forward iron band is holding the hooked block [ as it is stored when not in use] for which there needs to be eye or staple on the rail just aft of the chain plates.  I did add the privy seat and lash down the binnacle.


  • 2661229804806_sup266DSC_0473.jpg.0a695c63cd22292339c99cba3f0d3e08.jpg here the other spars are just lying on the deck.  Considering they have not yet painted the deck furnishings I am debating if I add more stuff. 


  • 267 1642680287_sup267DSC_0474.jpg.2a3e06a5bd99f8b5c84f6f4f84c63e3f.jpgnow below and around:  I have stained some seaweed and broken it up into little pieces and started gluing it in place. I also made up four support posts with glued chocks.  If or better when I get them to work, I will add more glue and sand at the bottom.  I may wait until transporting to the museum store



Now for the overall display


I was just taught how to take a photo of something and then loop around it in photo shop.  Then inverse the selection, go to Filter blur gallery and voila’   one can up the blur of the background and then say OK.    One then crops and what follows for fun is a walk around the diorama for views that will later be impeded by a case and other thing as it is set within other exhibits. I only have photoshop because it comes free when one subscribes to Lightroom a great program for managing photos.


I reduce all photos to thumbnails for posting here and including in text version of this log One reason I have all these numbers is so when I go to make a slide show, I can go back and get the full photo.


268 – 275 random views











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This is such a magical trip you are taking us on as your build advances. Absolutely love it! Adding figures and creating the environment adds so much viewing interest. Two years ago we had a member of the Rochester Museum and Science Center in to give a talk on his work on a diorama restoration of early Rochester NY down by the falls (which was the city epicenter for a time). He related they wanted as accurate a depiction of the population represented so they went back to historical records and gleaned enough information to include people of color in the new display. Kudos to you Jond for your similar work!


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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

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Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
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