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Galway Hooker by Gbmodeler - FINISHED - 1:48 scale - a small Irish fishing boat from the late 1800s


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Been busy adding lots of details and painting....  Here's a description of the work done, as identified on the photo:

 

1.  Determined the water line and painted a drab green below it.

2.  Painted the trim an emerald green. (It is an Irish boat!)

3.  Installed guides for bowsprit rigging (as seen on these boats).  Made from basswood.

4. Carved and installed a tabernacle (is that what you call it?) for the bowsprit.

5.  Added rigging/rope guides.  These are half circle loops made from wood, kind of like a cleat.  (Don' t know if they have an official name.)  Photos show them used to guide the rope from the foot of the foresail, which is then tied-off somewhere else.

6.  Deadeyes (walnut product) and chainplates (card stock) added.

7.  Tiller arm (basswood strips:  bent, layered, and carved).

8.  Rudder fashioned from basswood sheet with construction paper hinges and copper wire rivets.  The rudder is attached to the hull with thin piano wire "posts" drilled into both the rudder and the sternpost at the hinge points.  No, the rudder does not turn...it's fixed.

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14 hours ago, wefalck said:

Somehow, the boat looks, as if mixes 19th and 18th century features, the bow looks still quite 18th century in shape.

Yes, but not as much of a mix as one might think. The hookers have been relatively unchanged for as long as anyone can remember, going back at least as far as the mid-1700's. A recent archaeological find turned up a well-preserved Basque fishing boat of the mid- 1600's which exhibits construction details identical to and previously unknown other than in Irish hookers and these similarities add support to the theory that the Irish hookers may have been derived from Iberian vessels. The west coast of Ireland was, until relatively recent times, very isolated. The very few roads inland were passable only in decent weather and only with horse and donkey-drawn carts until the 20th Century. The land was poor for farming and subsistence fishing was a primary protein source. They were dependent upon seaweed as a soil supplement for subsistence farming. The absence of trees caused peat to be used as fuel and the peat had to be shipped out to the offshore islands, along with everything else, giving the hookers one of their primary reasons for existence which continued commercially until the early 1970's. There still is no rail service. The area was as rural as rural could be and it was one of the few gaeltacht (predominantly "Irish speaking") areas in Ireland when the Republic was formed and remains so, but is dwindling with projections that Irish will cease to be a daily-spoken language anywhere within another ten years or so. It was this isolation, poverty, and "backwardness" that preserved the Irish hookers in a "time warp."

 

Many of the existing "pre-revival" hookers are over a hundred years old, some even 150 years old, having been rebuilt many times over. In the mid-1800's, one hooker building family, the Reneys, seem to have slightly sharpened the forefoot entry, while retaining the rounded "apple bows" higher up. One Reney emigrated to Boston where he eventually opened a boatyard and built Galway hookers in the "Raney style" for the Irish fishermen settling there. (Chapelle calls these "Boston hookers" and claims they were a modified evolution of the Irish hookers, but there is no indication in the history known now that would indicate there was any change in the Boston hookers from the Irish originals built by the same boatbuilder, nor any reason under the sun why there would need to be.) 

Edited by Bob Cleek
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Thanks for the comments everyone!  Lots of good discussion and information provided, too.  Can't ask for more than that!

 

Today was decal day.  Decided to name the boat "Roisin Dubh (pronounced "Ro-sheen Dove").  It means "black rose" and was the title of an Irish political song from the 16th century, according to Wikipedia.

 

After spraying a gloss coat all over the boat (in part to protect the paint but mostly to prepare the surface for decals), I used individual-letter decals from "Microscale."  These letters are made for model railroads, and the font is called "Ornate."  The gloss coat was "Pledge Acrylic Floor Wax" sprayed on with an airbrush and allowed to dry overnight.

 

You will also notice the rivets on the chainplates.  This is also a decal product for modelers from "Archer Fine Transfers" (http://www.archertransfers.com).  They are little drops of resin on clear decal sheet.  Three dimensional decals!  They can be cut out in strips and applied quickly, or you can muddle along with individual rivets.  I used the strip method.  Usually, I apply them before painting, but these are not yet painted.  I'll do that after they set, really well.

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Great job on such a relatively small scale model!

 

One point which is worthy of mention is that you will likely find it necessary to shorten the length of your tiller. Characteristically, hookers have short tillers (which aren't helped by their notorious weather helm to which they owe their great weatherliness.) Tillers must be short to clear the mainsheet tackle which is attached to the middle, rather than the end of the boom with blocks secured to eyebolts secured to the sole framing. Commander Horner's lines published by Dixon Kemp and the earliest drawn lines I'm aware are extant, being done sometime in the late 1800's, show the characteristic bobbed tiller, although his single mainsheet tackle is not seen on many extant hookers, which predominantly extend the mainsheet purchase through separate blocks spread out on the boom and sole.

 

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You may also wish to note another characteristic detail: the headstay is not fastened to an eyebolt in the stemhead, but, rather, the stemhead is drilled with a number of holes to serve as fairleads for a lanyard and set up with a bullseye or deadeye on the stay, depending on the size of the boat. Similarly, the smaller boats frequently do not employ deadeyes on their shrouds, instead using a simple lashing. Usually, a hooker with single shrouds will use a simple lashing, while those with two shrouds will opt for deadeyes and lanyards.

 

Galway Hooker Photographs | Fine Art America

 

 

Headstay deadeye with frapped lanyards, as is common. Note the Dyneema / AmSteel / Spectra-type HMWPE rope used for the headstay. Some of the present-day hookers are using this super-strength rope for standing rigging.)

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Edited by Bob Cleek
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Thanks for the info, Bob Cleek!  I don't think shortening the tiller will be a problem, and had not considered it fouling with the rigging, but can see where that might be a problem...

 

I did see a couple of photos of smaller boats with eyebolts on the stempost, but most photos show the drilled holes you related.  I think I can make the change, and plan to examine it closer.  It looks like a good (and fun) challenge in this scale!

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gbmodeler said:

I did see a couple of photos of smaller boats with eyebolts on the stempost, but most photos show the drilled holes you related.

 

If so, they'r'e taking a big chance, since the headstay is the most important, and most highly stressed, piece of standing rigging on the boat. The last place you want to screw in an eyebolt is the end-grain of the stem! It's a real invitation to rot in the fastener hole and the threads have little holding power in end-grain. One of the interesting features of these rather primitive, or should we say "basic," boats is how simply they are built and rigged. Their owners didn't have much to work with, but they found ways to do what needed to be done with simple elegance. 

Edited by Bob Cleek
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Working on the sails:

 

I started building the sails by cutting 15mm wide strips from graphic marker paper.  The strips were taped down with a 1.5mm overlap to simulate seams.  That way I could make sure all the overlaps looked fairly even and uniform before gluing.

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Diluted white glue was painted along the seams with a small brush.  Slop-over glue was dabbed (not rubbed) with cotton swabs.  Rubbing can damage the wet paper and ruin the surface.  The result is a sheet of "sail-cloth."

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I used regular paper to make sail templates, using trial and error to make sure the templates fit the masts.  Once satisfied, I cut out the same shape from the sail-cloth I made previously

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Next, wire and/or thread was put along the edges under trim.  Wire was used only on the sail edges I plan to "bend" in the wind.  Thread was for rigging later.

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Sail construction finished, now on to painting...

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Wanting to simulate the colored sails of yesteryear, I painted the paper with an airbrush using mixed Tamiya acrylic paints...   The rigging lines and pulleys were masked with tape, which also held the sail in place when the air hit it.

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The painted sails....

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Next I applied yellow ochre powdered paint pigment to "fade" the sails and bring out the highlights.  The pigment was applied with a brush along seam lines, then rubbed in with a makeup brush.  You have to be careful not to accidentally bend or crimp the paper while rubbing.  That will leave a crease you can never get out!

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Un-pigmented sail (left), and pigmented sail (right).

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Finished sails....

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Edited by Gbmodeler
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, druxey said:

Nice result. I'm surprised that the paper didn't buckle and wrinkle more when you painted the sails.

The paint did not appear to have any affect on the paper, probably because it was applied with an airbrush.  The white glue, diluted with water had some affect.  Even so, I thought the texture of the sails looked too flat and paper-like.  Therefore, prior to painting, I "forced" some puckering texture by placing the sails between two sheets of paper towels and ironing them with a steam iron for clothes. 

Edited by Gbmodeler
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Very nice effect of the pigment. Should have done this on my botter sails too, they were kind of rather delicate.

 

If you spray acrylics in thin layers on paper, so that the paint dries immediately, there is little risk to disturb the paper. I have done this on several occasions.

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I plan to present the model in a "heeled over" position, as if driven by the wind.  Only one mounting point will be used, but that point will be a heavy-gauge piece of steel piano wire (about 1.5mm diameter).  The wire passes through the keel and extends up through the center of the mast, for about an inch.  The exposed end, shown here, will go into a pedestal attached to the base, which is a plaque...

 

 

 

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  • ccoyle changed the title to Galway Hooker by Gbmodeler - FINISHED - 1:48 scale - a small Irish fishing boat from the late 1800s

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