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A Connecticut Yankee in California


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Hello everyone,

 

My name is James and I am not just new to this community but I am COMPLETELY brand new to the world of model ship building. I grew up on the coast of CT and have lived in a number of other coastal cities so I have always been drawn to boats and the history of shipbuilding, though I have spend only a small time on the water myself.

 

In my youth I built a few plastic models here and there. More often than not I ended up with my fingers glued to the plane/car I was building, uneven paint and crooked decals. All of the above generally a result of rushing into things. I am hoping that with a number of additional years under my belt I can learn to take it slow, enjoy the process and improve the quality of my work. Especially detail work- this is the area where my projects fall apart.

 

This is ironic, because I have a very critical eye for detail. I am a mechanical engineer who works in the world of product design. In my profession I lead teams that design consumer electronics products that at times work in micron and sub-micron accuracy. This model ship building endeavor will require an interesting balance between my instinct to grab the calipers and measure down to 0.01mm and the use of CAD, CNC and automation to achieve shape and symmetry and the need to find a solution with hand tools and technique.

 

I am looking forward to share my project with you all (and to receive some help along the way). My first boat is the “Red Baron” by Bluejacket. It might take me quite a while as I balance the time demands of life and work with the need to go slow and learn new things on the way. I am on page 2 of the instructions and I already find myself in a state where I am doing more strategizing and thinking than doing- which for right now is fine by me.

 

I will be starting a build log soon. See you all there.

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Welcome aboard! I am a California native transplanted to the East Coast, so I guess the two of us balance things out. Sounds like you must work in Silicon Valley somewhere -- I last hung my California hat in Mariposa.

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Hi James and welcome to Model Ship World.  The Red Baron is an excellent kit for someone that is new to the wooden ship modeling hobby.  This kit has a detailed instruction manual with plenty of color pictures that will help you during your build.  With your professional experience and critical eye for details, I have no doubt that you will create a highly crafted Maine lobster boat.  I look forward to seeing your build log once you post it.

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Hi James and Welcome to the great world of ship modeling, MSW!

The Red Baron is a great choice to get started. Many of us (me included), starts with something that looks great but provides more challenges than one can coup with.

Looking forward to your build log.

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Hi James, and welcome to MSW! The Red Baron looks like a good kit to start off with. not too difficult, but with a few challenges to keep youfrom getting bored.

 

12 hours ago, CTYankee said:

take it slow, enjoy the process and improve the quality of my work.

Exactly. I know (to my cost - see my latest post on my own build log) what comes of hurrying too much. I'm afraid I share your problem with rushing into things- but not as bad as it was. I do find ship modelling develops forces you into being more patient. Follow your own advice, take it at your own pace, and enjoy the ride. After (not too long) a while you'll find yourself with a beautiful model that you can be proud of.

 

Make sure you start a build log - it's the best way to get encouragement, help and advice. You'll find the people here are very friendly and helpful. And don't be afraid to ask questions - there's no such thing as a stupid one.

 

12 hours ago, CTYankee said:

I am on page 2 of the instructions and I already find myself in a state where I am doing more strategizing and thinking than doing

A very good strategy. It'll pay off in the long run.

 

And have fun with it! That's what it's all about.

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Thanks to all of you for the warm welcome!  I’ll be starting a build log very soon Glad to hear I picked a good boat

 

@Chris- yes, Silicon Valley it is. I’ve been here 10 years, with two years in San Diego before that. Speaking of SD, The Star of India is a very cool iron hulled sailing ship that has been turned into a museum. That boat, along with the Mayflower II, are really what peaked my interest in old sailing ships.

 

@Tom- I hope you are not leaving because of the cold! I am considering moving back and the though of winter frightens me. I guess I’d have plenty of time to dedicate to my new hobby.

 

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