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US Brig Syren by Gahm - Model Shipways

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Don, Bob, CaptainSteve, JP, Richard: Thank you for your great comments! They are always highly appreciated! And thank you for all the likes!

Bob, you are absolutely right, this year life seems to get in the way far more and far longer than in other years  :(. And I get quite envious watching you zipping through one complex build after the other with outstanding quality and in record time  :)

 

Thomas

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I tried my luck with the steering wheel. As Chuck is now offering such a nice kit I could not resist. Image 1 shows the parts which come with the kit. The building instructions can be downloaded at Chuck’s SYREN Ship Model Company webpage. Following the instructions I cleaned and aligned the little wheel parts in the provided jig (image 2a). Then I deviated a little from the instructions. Instead of aligning and gluing the 3 circle parts on top of the little wheel pieces in the jig I first built me another jig (image 2b and 2c) which allowed me to assemble and glue together the 3 parts to one relatively precise, complete circle. Aligning this circle on the pieces in the wheel jig (i.e. 2 concentric circles on top of each other) was much easier for me than doing it with 3 separate circle parts. The result is shown in images 2d and 2e. Turning the wheel spokes was an act of patience. I chose a spoke pattern which seems to be pretty common and widely spread (image 3). In order to precisely align the spokes in the wheel I built me another circular jig covered with a sheet of paper (glued to the jig) and with a central hole.  For ease of handling I mounted this jig in a table 3-jaw-jug. The central jig hole allowed holding a drill piece with the same diameter as the hole provided in Chuck’s jig. So it was pretty easy to align the kit’s wheel jig upside down with the wheel assembly in place on my new jig and lightly glue the wheel assembly to the paper. After removing the (wheel) jig the wheel assembly was perfectly centered on my new jig. The wheel star center piece was also aligned on my jig using the drill (image 4). After this preparation it was fairly easy to glue the spokes in their place (image 4), adding the 2nd circle as well as the central circular cover as described before, and sand it down to the required thickness (image 5). The sheet of paper allowed for easy removal of the wheel from the jig (image 6) using an Exacto knife. All that remained to be done was mounting the wheel with the other side up on the jig using the drill to keep it in place and sand it down to the required thickness. The result is presented in image 7. 

Thomas

 

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Image 1

 

 

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Image 5

 

 

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Image 6

 

 

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Image 7

 

 

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Excellent as usual.  I'll also be getting the wheel kit when the time comes.  There's no point in using inferior castings that detracts from a model built with so much care.

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I must be the last person on this forum  to stumble onto your log but your model is outstanding! Your wood and metal skills are first rate and I very much enjoyed the hour I spent viewing your log.

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Thank you for all your generous comments and all the likes!

Chuck's wheel kit is well designed and a pleasure to work with. It leaves enough "modeling freedom" so you can give it your own mark, but as the major parts of the wheel are laser precut it ensures that the dimensions of the wheel turn out correctly - which is not an easy thing at that scale!

 

Thomas

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I finished the steering wheel. The drum and the axis covers were turned out of pear wood which was specifically selected for its light color to match the boxwood of the wheel. The 2 frames are the original bass wood parts provided in the Syren kit. The whole assembly was stained repeatedly with Golden Oak wood stain (MinWax).

 

Thomas

 

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Edited by Gahm

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That looks so impressive Thomas.

 

What was the tiller arrangement  on Syren, there doesn't seem to be much room between the rudder head and wheel to allow for an external  tiller rope system, were the ropes taken below decks for attachment?

 

B.E.

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Thank you Dirk and B.E.! And thanks for all the likes!

 

B.E, yes, the Syren has an external tiller rope system. And you are right, there really is not a lot of room for this, especially in light of operating the cannons in a battle. But then it must have been a pretty uncomfortable place for the helmsman in a battle anyway  :)

 

Thomas

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Thanks Dirk, it's a similar arrangement to Pegasus, but with serious impediments for working the guns.

 

The tiller ropes effectively make the adjacent gun ports unusable, and there seems very little recoil room for those stern chasers. Must have had them on quite short breechings.

 

Both you and Thomas have surely done Syren proud

 

B.E.

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Thank you Dirk, B.E., and Frank for your comments, and thank you Frank for all those likes! If I am lucky the deck of my Syren model at some time will look as nice as Dirk's model, but the "soon" is clearly a bit on the optimistic side  ;)

 

Thomas

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This week I worked on the galley stack. It is built out of a 1/8” brass tube cut at a 50˚ angle, the 2 handles made out of 28 gauge black anodized wire, and the chimney foot, which together with a metal ring in the deck, through which the smoke pipe comes up from the kitchen range, prevents water from leaking through the deck to the kitchen (Charles Davis, “The Built-Up Ship Model”). With the exception of the deck ring all galley stack parts are shown in image 1b. Positioning the handles in the correct locations proofed to be a bit more challenging than I initially thought. After messing up my first attempt I used masking tape, marked the correct handle positions ¼ circumference to the left and right of a central mark and aligned the masking tape with the center of the brass tube of the chimney (image 1a). This led to satisfactory results. The finished galley stack is shown in images 2 – 4.  

 

Thomas

 

 

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Image 1

 

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Image 3

 

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Image 4

 

 

Edited by Gahm

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Thank you, Dirk and Mike! And thanks for all the likes!

 

Mike, I turned the chimney foot on my (Taig) lathe out of a small piece of solid brass rod. After the practice I just recently had with the tiny steering wheel spokes this piece was relatively straight forward  :)

 

Thomas

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After the galley stack the binnacle was the next deck furniture in line. I chose a simpler design than what Chuck shows on his Syren plans. It only consists of the basic binnacle elements: the usual box design with 2 compartments for the petroleum lamps on the left and right side and the compass in the middle. For indirect illumination of the compass the light chambers have little windows towards the compass. Sliding doors allow closing off the compass. 2 outside doors give access to the petroleum lamps. The ship’s bell is mounted on top of the binnacle.

 

Image 1 shows the construction of the binnacle box (using a combination of bass- and boxwood) and various components of the binnacle design such as the middle compartment walls with the windows, and the rail for the sliding doors out of boxwood. The windows were made using ‘Testors Clear Part Cement and Window Maker’. The compass (image 2) was built out of a piece of brass tube with the wall thickness turned down to scale proportions and a pear wood kernel turned to appropriate size so that it fit into the brass tube. I selected a compass rose image in the internet, used MS PowerPoint to scale it down to a suitable size, printed it with a Laser printer on white paper, and glued the printed picture on top of the wood kernel in the ‘compass’.  The whole design was finished off with a layer of high gloss clear lacquer to simulate the glass on top of the compass. The finished compass is seen in image 2c. The pixilation of the compass rose is only visible in the macro images shown in the build log; otherwise the overall effect is acceptable. In image 3 different assembly steps of the binnacle can be seen. In image 4 the front molding is mounted and one petroleum lamp is displayed on the binnacle (image 4a) and in its final place in the light compartment (images 4b – d). The kit-provided ship’s bell seemed a bit on the large side. So I made a bell out of brass more in line with Chuck’s plans (image 5). Images 6 and 7 show the assembled bell mounted on the binnacle and the side doors in place. At that scale some of the details look a bit ‘oversized’ in those macro images, but the overall effect of the binnacle in its final place on the Syren deck seems to be fine (images 8 – 10).

 

Thomas

 

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Image 8

 

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Image 9

 

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Image 10

 

 

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