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Memorial U.S. Brig Niagara by Steven Fries - Shipways 3/16th Scale

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My father started this before he passed away. I have never done one but am determined to finish it. I have built many models in my time but is a whole new category.


He completed the hull and I think the deck is next. here are the first of MANY QUESTIONS i'm sure i'll have. 


1. Should i place the hatch, skylights and companionways first and deck around or deck then place them (Does it matter)?


2. I have read about a nibbing stake. do you have to make your own if so how? can I trace the planking layout from the plan?


3. I have also seen where blocks are glued in between bulkheads under rail as a glue point for the decking. Should this be done.


Here are some images of whats been done so far.


Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated.




Edited by sfries119
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The most important question is do you have the rest of the kit including the plans and instructions?

Current Builds - 18th Century Longboat, MS Syren

Completed Builds - MS Bluenose, Panart BatteStation Cross section, Endevour J Boat Half Hull, Windego Half Hull, R/C T37 Breezing Along, R/C Victoria 32, SolCat 18

On the shelf - Panart San Felipe, Euromodel Ajax, C.Mamoli America, 


Its a sailor's Life for me! :10_1_10:

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Welcome to MSW and the un-official Niagara Club.  All of us are sorry for your father's passing.  Here, you will find that all are here to support each other, and not just with our builds, but with all aspects of our lives.  :)  The friendship, support, wisdom, and craftsmanship here is quite possibly the best you will find anywhere- the members here are quite fantastic in all regards!  ;)  


And you are not alone with a build in-memoriam, since I have seen quite a few that are being build in honor of a loved one.  :)  [Perhaps the mods could create a build forum for just that, but nevertheless the support is always here for those in need!]


Now, on to business:  Yes, Floyd is right in asking if you have all of the parts and plans for the kit.  If not, just ask Model Expo (some of their staff are members here) for whatever parts you may be missing.  Check the inventory/bill-of-materials sheets and check off the parts you have (some have already been used in the framing and planking that has been done thus far).


Regarding the deck and gratings, fittings, etc., there are a few ways to do this.  One, you could plank the entire deck (you would need to make the nibbing strake- check out my build for some ideas, and various builds also), with or without tapering the planks (narrow at the stern), or with/without butts.  After planking then you would cutout holes for the gratings and their coamings.


The other way is to assemble the gratings and their coamings first, install them to the deck (make sure they're aligned and square- just use a ruler), and then plank around them.


But with either method, you would first need to make the nibbing strakes- they kind of set the pace for the rest of the deck planking in my opinion.  


After the deck is planked, then you can move onto the eyebolts & blocks on the bulwarks, etc.  But that'll be a little while until then- just take your time and enjoy it!  Have fun- that's what your dad would like to see!  ;)


And as always, if you're unsure of something, just ASK!!!  Look around, follow the builds, ask ask ask!!!  We're all here to help each other!!!  :)


Good luck- we'll be following along with you!

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Hello Steven

Yes, welcome to the Niagara Club :)

Floyd and Rich have given you  a very sound starting point

From your pictures you should be very proud of your fathers workmanship.

So don't hesitate to ask and join in




Edited by kenr

Under construction  US Brig Niagara


Completed  HMB Endeavour - Caldercraft

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Steven, let me add my welcome to the Niagara club. I'm sorry to hear about your father's passing. It looks as though some of the more difficult work has already been completed and it looks great. When I did my decking, I placed a full plank around the inside of the bulwarks and as I added the planks that butted up to the 'nibbing strake' I cut the notches into the full plank. I hope you enjoy finishing this ship model and think that it may spur you on to start your own ship model from the keel up one of these days.

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Thank you all for the welcome and the kind words. This was the third ship my father was building i believe. He left me the first one he ever did. He was always very meticulas in his building. The only thing I didn't like on it was he did use filler in some areas that covered the planking. I believe that no ship has perfect planking so I scraped a lot of it out.


To Floyd yes I have everything, box, plans, instructions parts etc... Although the instructions are there they are not "place part 222 at bulkhead G 1/8" above deck. It seems that they think you know what you are doing. I am not all that familiar with ship & rigging terms. I know bow, stern, port and starboard.


I think I'm going to go with decking the whole deck then cut out for the hatches.


With the nibbing stake how do I make that. The ship seems to match up well with the drawing. Should I trace the plan and transfer it? What thickness is the nibbing stake? Same as the decking? Should I get some flat stock material to make it out of or try and bend material.


I have been going thru the builds and am following a bunch of them. With that said should I paint the bulkward and the planking before I deck for ease of "cutting in later".


The biggest question is should I paint before I start the deck.

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Steven, what I did with the nibbing strake was to take a 5/16 x 1/16 strip and soak it in water for a good half an hour. Once the wood was wet I was able to bend it to shape and let it dry. I then glued it in place on the deck up against the waterway. As I added the rest of the deck's planking I'd cut the prominent notches into the nibbing strake with each plank as it was added. I did this by shaping the end of the plank where it butts into the nibbing strake and then tracing the end of the plank onto the nibbing strake and then cut out the traced portion. The deck plank then fit like a puzzle piece into the nibbing strake. There are many more methods out there though and I'm sure my method is not the best by far. 


You can paint the bulwarks and ceiling planking prior to deck planking or you can do so afterwards. There is not one way that is always the 'go-to' method unfortunately and I think all of our members have had success with one way or the other. I am favoring painting the bulwarks prior to deck planking though.

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I'll agree with Patrick- go ahead and paint the bulwarks first before laying the deck (less chance of getting red/green on the deck).  


And for making the nibbing strake- he's right in that you will need to soak the planks in water and bend.  Due to how much they curve at the bow, use a wide plank (soak, bend, re-soak and bend some more.  File or sand the curve to get it to match up to your waterway.)  How you make the notches/nibs is up to you- you can do them in-place on the ship, or trace them directly from the plans (like I did).  Whichever seems to work for you.


The nibbing strake is the same thickness as the rest of the deck- 1/16" I believe.  Also remember when you add the deck structures and gratings later, if you cut out holes for them, follow the plans for the correct heights.  Otherwise, if you just glue them directly on top of the deck (without cutting holes), remember to trim them down the 1/16" in height.


Which other ships has your father completed?  Do you have any pictures of his work?  So far your Niagara looks very, very good!!  :)

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