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Norwegian Sailing Pram by lraymo - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1:12

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This has been quite a learning experience.  I'm getting close to finishing, and I want to say thanks for everyone's help and encouragement along the way.  I still have a bit more to do, but its getting there.

I'm thinking about what to do next.  When I started this adventure, I was "inspired" after seeing a model of the "Cutty Sark".  I love the look of the 3-masted schooner and its lines are beautiful.  But after these two beginner models, I realize I am no where near the skill level it would take to make one of those schooners.  The kit alone costs over $500!  Yikes! I can barely manage these $49 kits!  So I'm wondering if I have the patience and commitment to this hobby to continue what looks like it will take years of practice and many more models of increasing complexity before I can attempt the schooner.

Any thoughts appreciated.  I'm just in a pensive mood today, and again, thanks.  This is an incredible forum!



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Lynn, you are making good progress on your Pram.  For your next model, you could build the Model Shipways Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, which is the third kit in the series of progressive builds.  Another option would be the Fifie ‘Lady Eleanor’ or the Zulu ‘Lady Isabella’ kits from Vanguard Models.  Here is a link to the Vanguard site: https://vanguardmodels.co.uk/product-category/vanguard-model-kits/


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I have to agree with Ryland’s recommendation. Model Shipways Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack. It looks like you will get some needed planking practice on this model and you have many different finishing options later in the project. It’s fairly inexpensive and will take quite a bit of time to complete, which is the way it should be. 

You will know when you are ready for a more complex project. No need to spend hundreds on a kit especially at this moment. Hope this helps. 

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Thanks for the suggestions...  and yes, I am having fun at this!  One question. The Muscongus Bay recommends getting the "Fair-A-Frame".  I don't know what that is, and when I read about it, it seems its more for "plank-on-bulkhead".  But the Muscongus is plank-on-frame, so I'm wondering how it would work, and if I really need it.  I'm just not sure how I would use it.  Thoughts?

And i looked at the Vanguard models.  They look interesting too. I might have to do one of those after the Muscongus Bay!

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1 hour ago, lraymo said:

The Muscongus Bay recommends getting the "Fair-A-Frame

Lynn, don't waste your money.  I bought it long time ago.  It's not easy to assemble and get everything aligned right, once assembled It's difficult and cumbersome to use.  Go to Lowes or Home Depot and pickup a small Carpenter's square. It's a triangular shaped tool . Lee Valley Tools also offers a Carpenter's square that is a mere 1 inch in length. It looks like a toy but is perfect for small models (look under Miniature Tools).  You can also build your own keel clamp. I used the Fair-a-Frame once and set it aside. It's gathering dust somewhere. 


Some ideas :


Lee Valley Clamping Squares


Carpenter's square aka Rafter Square


Lee Valley miniature Carpenter's square 


Small try square



Edited by Jack12477
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On 8/26/2021 at 6:40 PM, Keith Black said:

I don't know who's having more fun, us watching you progress or you watching yourself.


Well, I'm not having fun today!  but you all may be laughing at my current troubles!  I tried to put the whole thing together, excited that I was almost done with this.   But in looking at the picture below, the discerning eye will notice that the Halyard line is completely disconnected and serving no useful purpose!  Mostly because the mast is not vertical, which throws everything off. When I tried to raise the sail the bottom left was dragging the boat bottom, and the sail was skewed.  Using a little bit of CA, I glued the gaff to the mast (completely wrong!) just to see if I could place the sail in the correct position to get an idea of what is was supposed to look like, and to try to somehow salvage what I've already done.

However, after realizing there are still multiple problems (for instance, there's not enough room between the boom and the traveler line), I believe I'm going to have to take the rigging apart, re-do the mast to be vertical, and try again.  Ugh.  But I have enough rigging line to do it over, so I will forge ahead.


I am happy with how the ropes around the front and back stays turned out, and I like how the block turned out.

But I will need to re-do all the rigging.  Trying again is fun, right?

Things I like:  Back stay, Front stay, Block

828304015_backstay1_1000.jpg.ae2bf540305cb699ae32cf5edfca4b76.jpg  213174773_frontstay2_1000.jpg.f5a75e29a32bc4eca01547404ffb6780.jpg 




Full view of Troubled Pram!  (hopefully will be fixed when I re-do the mast!)



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First, I’m a beginner too and you’re doing great on this build. What’s the old saying, “we learn from our mistakes.”

Instead of the Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack by Model Shipways look at the Model Shipways 18th Century Long Boat.

I built the Dory and Pram like you did, and then I built the Long Boat since the Lobster Smack wasn’t available.

I learned a lot from the Long Boat and the instructions were SO much better than the Lobster Smack or the Pram.  The Long Boat has a great schematic that showed great details.

The planking on the Long Boat was better for a beginner than the Lobster Smack.  The Lobster Smack planking has a tricky aft end due to the complex curves and bends.

So far my two favorite builds are the Long Boat and Dory.  I’m finishing up the Lobster Smack now and it’s my least favorite of the four. I’ve learned a lot and some past learning was reinforced by the Lobster Smack.

Take a look at the Model Shipways Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack build logs that exist on this Web site before you choose your next build.

Edited by SkiBee
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I've considered both the Longboat and the Muscongus Bay.  I really like the "look" of a ship with rigging and masts but no sails.  What do you guys think of the "US Revenue Cutter, BlueJacket wooden model ship K1106A"   US Revenue Cutter, BlueJacket wooden model ship K1106A (agesofsail.com)


Is this too complex for me?  I like the "look" of it, but I have no idea how complex this kit is, or if I have the needed skillset to accomplish this build.

Your thoughts?

(Of course, I'm jumping way ahead of myself.  I'm still struggling with trying to get ONE mast installed vertically on the Pram!)

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Lynn, it does not look too complex for you but it seems expensive for what you are getting in that kit. Looks like a solid hull also, which comes with its own challenges. 

Looking for cost effective options for you. Another option is the Model Shipways Pilot Boat. Chuck Passaro has written a great practicum to supplement the instructions. https://modelexpo-online.com/Model-Shipways-PHANTOM-NY-PILOT-BOAT-196-SCALE_p_1017.html

Edited by Tigersteve
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Posted (edited)

Keith, I think I will have LOTS of sweet fruit after all the work on this Pram!  Teehee!


Steve, I really like the "look" of the Pilot Boat, and its a much better price!  But where can I find the practicum?  I searched this site, but couldn't find anything from him on the Pilot Boat, although I found numerous other postings/writings/blogs of his.  (Admittedly, I am not very adept at finding things online!)


(Update - I just realized the "practicum" pdf's are included with the Instructions in the kit!)


Starting over with the mast.   Vertical is better now!


Edited by lraymo
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It's DONE!  After a little flurry of work to re-do the rigging, it's all come together, and its done!  Wheeeee!  Happy that it's finished, but a little sad too, as i've enjoyed doing it and communicating with you all as I've gone thru this process.

Thanks to everyone for the likes, comments, and the encouragement.  You kept me going!

Special thanks and a shout-out to:  @Keith Black - your kind words and humor were a highlight!  @druxey - thanks for all the encouragement! @Tigersteve - thanks for the recommendation -  the Model Shipways Phantom is on its way and will be my next build!  @Cathead appreciated your words of wisdom regarding finishes and other build advice!  

And thanks to many others who have commented and watched my progress.  It has been very much appreciated!


I've learned so much, and I can see all the flaws in this build, but I am happy with it, and will take what I've learned into the next project!  (and the dog has been helping me out too :) )












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Congratulations Lynn on finishing your Pram.  It is a great looking model and you should be proud of the work you have done.  It is really nice to watch you improve your skills with the two boats you have completed.  I am looking forward to seeing your build of the Phantom.  I have seen some really nice builds of this kit using Chuck's practicum.

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 Lynn, the little Pram turned out neat as a pin. I look forward to your Phantom build.


 One tool you need to start saving your money for is a cordless drill if you don't already have one. Not so much for drilling holes but to use as a poor man's lathe. As you ratchet up the degree of model difficulty, having a drill/lathe will become essential. It would be nice for you to get one fairly soon so you could start practicing and learning what you can and can not do with one.


 I have a Craftsman that has served me well though I've just about worn out the bearings. I'm sure you can get many brand recommendations from our fellow members. 

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  • Ryland Craze changed the title to Norwegian Sailing Pram by lraymo - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1:12

 Lynn, I don't think a would work for turning masts and spars. It might work for turning small items but I'm not sure how robust the bearings are in a Dremel verses a variable speed cordless drill. When turning masts and spars one applies a fair amount of pressure with either sandpaper or a jewelers file. 


 Steve, the collet on my Dremel is pretty small, am I missing something? 

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