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Newbie bashing an old Baltimore Clipper kit


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Having been discouraged by a partial build of a cross section model of Old Ironsides I haven't built anything to completion. I have that hull framed and planked on the exterior, and hopefully will take up the project when I gain some experience.
Having moved to Baltimore 3 years ago I've become interested in Baltimore Clippers and thought I might try a simple, solid hull kit. I'm not feeling ready to tackle a full planked hull. Also, with too many other hobbies and interests vying for my time,I don't want to take on something that would require buying a lot more tools, and take up vast amounts of my time. At least for now.

Via random searching I came across a vintage Scientific kit of Dos Amigos on eBay and put in a bid. At $19 I'm still winning!
I realize the Scientific kit is probably not the best out there. There's a solid hull Harvey that looks great but I don't want to sink that many dineros (as it were) for something I might not follow up on. So, if I win this I'll give it a go. If I lose, there are others just like it available.

Now, the Dos Amigos has square sails on both the fore and main masts while it looks like most Baltimore Clippers have them only on the foremast. I'm thinking that if it's practical, I'd rather build this kit to the more common design. More in line with the Pride Of Baltimore II which I can easily visit for inspiration. I doubt I'd create a real replica of that modern ship but I'd like to try to get closer to that design. Is this a feasible plan for a beginner ship builder? There are plenty of photos available to guide me.
In addition to just omitting the main mast yards and associated lines, are there other things I'll need to consider? Thanks in advance!

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Most research of Baltimore Clipper type Sailing vessel’s was conducted by Naval Architect and Maritime historian.  Chapelle based his research on drawings of American built vessels that he found in the British Admiralty Archives.  The ships had been either captured or purchased by the Royal Navy.  He published the results of his research in a series of books.  Chapelle died in 1975 so his work is “old” but still relevant.


Two books deal extensively with Baltimore Clipper type craft; The Baltimore Clipper, first published in the 1930’s, and The History of American Sailing Ships.  Both are inexpensive and readily available on used book sites.  Both include plans for Dos Amigos.  I suggest that you buy one or both to supplement the kit information.


The heart of any ship model is accurate depiction of hull form.  The current Pride of Baltimore is the second vessel of that name- built to replace the original that sank in the Caribbean.  In designing this replacement vessel Naval Architect Thomas Gilmer changed hull shape below the waterline to improve stability.  While she appears to be a Baltimore Clipper to the visiting public, below the waterline her hull lines are more “yacht like.”  I therefore suggest that you build the model as Dos Amigos.





Edited by Roger Pellett
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The Scientific Dos Amigos was my first wooden ship model.  It was a gift from my parents when I was around twelve and I recall the thrill of opening the box.  The finished model survived in my childhood home until a few years ago when I finally wrote it off.  May be primitive by today’s standard, but with aftermarket fittings and rigging, the kit can surely be built into a beautiful display.


Good luck!



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While it sounds like you have your heart set on the Dos Amigos, you may wish to peak at: 




Those two sets of posts narrowed my scope for kits to start working on. I suggest getting the Dos Amigos model but hunt around for an easy starter model, like one of the Midwest kits or a simple Model Shipways kit; something quick and fun. Also I suggest creating a build log; folks here are friendly and are full of helpful suggestions! 

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