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USRC Harriet Lane by SkerryAmp - Model Shipways 1:128

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Okay - so, was a little nervous about doing this.  I recognize I need help :(  but something about building these models is so enthralling to me it is hard to describe.   With each of my other builds in varoius stages of stalled or slow going  (Mayflower - waiting for me to be able to get some planking mats,  Willie - spending some time learning how to solder and do metal work, Blue Shadow - planking going ever so slow) and the HL sitting in the closet calling to me and my resisting for MONTHS - I finally caved.


Especially seeing Sarah's (slagoons) and Waynes (trippwj) wonderful work; I just had to crack it open.  I know there is always the thoughts of orphaned kits along the way, but that isn't the case.  Each will be done to completion. Mainly because I have the Syren and a couple others on my list but the Admiral has put the foot down and no new kits till the ones I have are cut down a bit :o .


So, without further ado.   I now toss my attempt at Model Shipways 1:128 scale USRC Harriet Lane into the mix.  I only hope I can do close to as good as job as the others here.  I definatel have inspiration.


So,  thank you to any and all who take interest,  I am sure I am going to enjoy it and hopefully I can make it enjoyable along the way :10_1_10:


ON we go!!!

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So, we begin with the customary unboxing.


(I do apologize for the pictures.  It wasn't until I was done tonights set that I realized why they were coming out "foggy".   I somehow (no idea how) got something on the lens of my phone. So I will have to figure out how to clean that up).


The box is pretty hefty compared to the other kits I have build by Model Shipways, gives the illusion there is a "ton o stuff" in there, but fear not - it really isn't much differen than any other solid hull kit.





Pretty standard paper work.  Mats list, templates and what seem to be pretty good plans.  The instruction book is thin which surprised me, but they seem to really pack information into each page.




We have the wooden bits. 


For the most part I will be using what comes with the kit.  I will be scratcbuilding the details on the cabin rather than using the decal/paper art that comes with it so will be using something like box or pear depending on what i have kicking around.


Some of the details seems a little shallow, not sure I have the patience to carve them down like Sarah did but may see what if anything can be done with them.




And finally the metal and "fiddly" bits.


I already know I will be swapping out the rigging and blocks and using the ones from Syren Ship Modeling Company.


I picked some up for the Mayflower and his stuff is just to darn good!


I am not sure about the figure head yet, but will worry about that when I get to it!





And that is about it for the boxing.....

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So, once it was all unboxed and the instructions gone over and the mats inventoried i threw in some re-runs of "Frasier" and started at it.  The first step was very reminiscant of the Phantom.  


First was to mark the station lines, I used the 1:1 plan to get an accurate marking and the rails, then carefully extended the lines a bit down the hull side. 




After checking those a couple of times it was time to find the center line of the hull/keel.   That wasn't too bad actually. I was impressed that at least the roughed hull I was in pretty good shape.  I just measured, remeasured, cross checked and remeasured again using a digital caliper and sketched in the center line.




From there, it was sanding central.  If you have never done a solid hull let me tell you - there is a lot of sanding.  As I type this I am surrounded by the fruits of the sanding and trying to figure out how to vaccuum all of this up at 1:30 in the A.M without waking the Admiral.  Of course, if she walked into the office and saw this first thing in the mornign I am not sure I will fair much different :o .


Anyway,  I sanded.  Sanded and measured, and remeasured and sanded  Sanded some more, and then a little more.. until finally  - she took shape.


(I was going to take pics of each station but thought that wuld be a bit much since there are 15 of them)







So, the base is done. It is now sized, shaped and sanded.  Ready to be put aside and onto the next step tomorrow.



Until later folks!

Enjoy!! :dancetl6:

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Thanks all for stopping in!


@Richard: Thank you sir - hopefully this goes smoothly :D


@Augie: Oh, trust me I will be referencing Wayne and Sarah's work QUITE a bit!  I don't really have much of an excuse for too many mistakes with that kind of reference at my fingertips ^_^


@Mark: LOVE IT, I will have to try that next time - I ended up down on the floor with a dustpan. Next time I will try the termite angle! =)

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Thank you Wayne!  I can honestly say seeing your pics resurface with the water shots etc help a bit pushing it over the edge and onto the table - just fell right out of the closet again and fell open.   I couldn't just let it sit there!


And Thanks for the heads up on the parts listing, I was not aware of that but will check it out!

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So the next step will be thinning the bulwarks as well as laying the keel stem and stern.   I remember thinning and shaping the bulwarks on the Phantom being a bit of a nusaince because  but mustered through it - well, things may be a bit different for this one.


Happens to be the Admiral's and my 9th year anniversery this week.  For that, she let me order the Proxxon Pen Sander.   I had seen a couple people rave about pen sanders, and I had been looking at it for some time but kept bouncing between it being a gimmick tool or not... well;  the unit is really kind of neat.   Although she said something else is coming but she won't tell me what.


Anyway, the proxxon pen sander =)




Comes with some nice "bits" for the sandpaper, various shapes and angles for all kinds of small area sanding, and strange positions.

The sandpaper is "okay".  Not the best but you can use any self adhesive sand paper and just cut it to shape.




Quite neat - just played with it on some scrap wood to see how it did and was impressive for a small unit like this.  Can't wait to thin them bulwarks now!!


Just thought I would share for tonight!







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Thank you gentlemen!    The new toy is wonderful - so much control, it really is nice.   May have an update tonight,  taking the Admiral out to dinner - her choice, so not sure where we are going but am sure it will be grand!

Edited by SkerryAmp
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congrats on starting the HL :) and the  9 years of not ticking someone off TOO much! I'm so glad to see the HL moved out of your shelf list...Anything you need to know just ask. There are lots of instructions but not all of them are useful, but I'm sure you'll do great! I'll check in later!

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YAY Sarah!   Havn't seen ya in a bit, good to see you again, and thank you!   Yeah - you and Wayne are bad influences.  Watching the logs you two put together had me wanting to, then with the stall in progress on the other ships topped by Waynes wonderful ocean side pics - just was far too much to resist.


And yes  9 years of not ticking someone off too much! (She got a kick out of that and agreed btw :D ). Although.. I THINK I probobly should finish one of these 4 before starting another or that record may end :o:D .


Thanks for stopping in - I have plenty of inspiration and shoes to fill with this one!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is not deja - vu,  putting some of the same update across all my projects so much of this is a copy of what I updated the others with.


So, I figured I would try to get around here a bit more and get back into the swing of things.  As I mentioned in the willie log our family was dealt another blow, my Mother in law passed away very suddenly a couple of weeks ago.   We have now been to 6 wakes/funerals since last summer.  4 on the admirals side of the family and 2 related to close friends of ours.


On top of that I have decided to go back to school to finish up my degree.  1 year left for the bachelors and then another year to get my masters.


So have been once again sidelined by life.


However - the admiral and I decided this weekend we needed to get back to some sense of normal so have been back on the site at least and getting up to get back to the bench.



The HL has been rough sanded into shape.  The outer hull is nice, right where I want it and now the inner bulwarks are sanded down to the proper thickness. I need to clean up the stern and bow a bit and then attach the keel, sternpost and stem.   Will get pictures soon.

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Hello, Adam - so sorry to hear about the family losses - please accept my sincere condolences!  Congratulations on going back to school - what degree are you pursuing?


Nice to see you back at the HL - it is a fun build and as you know from Sarah's log there is a lot you can do to improve on her.  Take your time and have fun!

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Thank you guys - much appreciated


@Wayne - Between you and Sarah I have quite the list of things I want to try with this build.   Excited to give it a go!  As for school; I decided to finish up my software engineering degree.  I have been in the industry for about 20 years or so (give or take) and decided it was time to finish it up.  


@Mark - Thank you sir,  yes - doing things "normal" is definitely a good way to get the coping going.  Has helped us out quite a bit - Yet another reason I have found to love this hobby and this site and you great folks on it - normalcy!

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So, really wanted to get to something tonight, wasn't sure which project would get a little TLC and after much back and forth on each build I decided some aggressive sanding was just the thing I needed!


So, I examined my HL Hull and realized while it was sanded down it really needed a bit more to get the right thickness and shape all around, so armed myself with my sanding gear and went to town on the hull.   Really got it to where I am truly happy with it,  nicely shaped I think and smooth - ready to go!


For those who may be interested my aggressive sanding gear is the following.


Dremel Tool w/Flex Shaft and rough Sanding drums (great for stripping material to basic shape and lines)

Proxxon Pen Sander (Moderate to fine sanding and to get in those corners)

Finished off with 500 grit sand paper all around.



So next up will be the keel, sternpost and stem and then sealing and priming!


For now - the hull as she stands today.


Am happy with the thickness and shape,  am oddly enough looking forward to getting to the copper plating on this one.  The hull already is in much better shape than the phantom when I did that one.







Uht oh - missed a spot!  :blush:



Aww damnit - need to sand out the bow to accept the sternpost better.




Okay - so, it isn't QUITE 100% as I thought,   I would say 95%... will hit those trouble areas tomorrow before moving forward.



Thanks all for stopping in and for the support!   Highly appreciated!


Until later----  ENJOY!!!





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Associated Press reports huge cloud of sawdust over New Hampshire !


Glad to see you bit the bullet and brought in the big guns to get HL moving.  Solid hulls can be a LOT of work at the outset.  Always best to do heavy sanding in two goes........ one to finish and the second to FINISH!



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So, after getting it all sanded the way I wanted it is where I want for a starting point.   I learned a lot from the phantom and so far those lessons have come in quite handy.  This one is in a much better starting point than the phantom was - lessons are good things!!


So, the next bit was to get the keel, stem and stern post hooked up.   I used stock piece of lumber for those and used a small piece of scrap ply for the bend connecting the keel and stem.


Interestingly enough it would seem I have the same contour gauge Sarah has - it is my Dad's and quite old but does the trick!! So used that to make the joiner for the keel and stem.







It was then a pretty straightforward task of assembling the parts.  






And then it was Filler Time!!


There are two things I really like to use as filler depending on the task at hand.   Either Joint Compound (Sheet Rock Mud) for large areas because of how easy it is to spread due to it's consistency.   For smaller things I really like Hobbico's Balsa Colored FIller - HobbyLite.  REALLY great stuff in my opinion.  Out of the jar it is a workable consistency and spreads quite easy and thick enough to work into small gaps.   Sanding is a breeze!!  If you haven't used it - I strongly recommend it!




So, applied the hobby lite, let it dry and sanded it all out.




I will be adding the figure head and details shortly..... 



Until later - ENJOY!!!




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  • 10 months later...

Hi Adam.

                I too have Harriet Lane waiting in my stock, i have been watching a number of posts.

                I remember reading some where that with solid hull models they were cutting the bulwarks

                off so you are left with just the hull up to deck level then you go round the hull and cut into

                the side of hull down from the deck and about a quarter of an inch so you are left with a ledge

                the thickness of the bulwark side, stern wise you could plank with the wood vertical. You could

                then put dummy formers across the deck the width of were you cut away the bulwarks you could

                plank  the bulwarks using the dummy formers to keep the shape, obviously you need to wax on

                the edge of the dummy formers. I would like to know anyones thoughts of this method.


                                      Janet B

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  • 2 years later...

(Returning Preamble)

Whew.  Hey all.


I am not sure what protocol or etiquette is for continuing a build log after a very long hiatus.  I feel the need to explain my absence though, so whether necessary or not here goes.


It has been one heck of a year.  Shortly before my last updates here I was beginning to venture into a new career as well as getting involved in Muay Thai Kickboxing.  The first, for security the second for health reasons.   That, very quickly, became my life for the last year.   If the admiral and I were not going to the gym or sparring I was dug deep into code projects and work related things.  It pretty much consumed my world and thus my time.  Combine that with a bit of frustration and a disheartening event with the mayflower and well - a building hiatus ensued.

My career seems to be going well at the moment (hopefully I did not just jinx myself) and I have evened out on the learning curve. The Kickboxing has hit a nice groove with a nice schedule that we have fallen into.  This has, luckily for me, freed up some time and let me return to my other loves - writing, playing guitar and building these wonderful wooden vessels.

I popped back on shortly before Christmas to get caught up.  Am amazed, as always, at the progress of several projects and all the new ventures I saw.  As I searched for updates on some of you guys I sadly came across the news of Augie.  That took me back a bit - so sorry to hear that (even though I am late to the news).

Well, after re-evaluating my process and goals with building ships I am getting back to it.  I sort of have a very high bar set for myself which did lend itself to frustrations with my various builds.  I have decided to put that to the side.  After all, I am far from an expert - heck barely out of novice really - so my ships will be as good as I can do them with the skills i have.  Each ship will get better and my skills will grow - and that will do just fine =)

So - if there my seat at the table is still around here some place - I think I will get back to building =)

Good to see you all again!

(Since I have many build logs going, this will be CnP'd to the my first post across all of them - sorry for the repetition).


I was torn with which build to start continuing efforts on and the Harriet was high on the list.  Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced some of the parts, so decided to move forward with the Santa Maria for the time being.  Will try to focus on one for longer and not hop QUITE so much - will see how that works.


(Fear not though, after working on the Santa a bit, and then picking up the shop and re-acquainting myself with my "stuff" I found the parts ;) ).

Again, glad to see you all again - missed ya'll quite a bit and am glad to be able to return and look forward to a nice solid year of modeling!



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