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US Brig Syren by Gahm - Model Shipways

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Dirk, thowen, B.E., Thank you for your kind comments! With these head rails I follow Chuck's advice in the instruction booklet and take each step as a little project on its own. That makes for slow progress, but eventually I may be getting there  :)

 

Thomas

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Really nice job on the cheeks, Thomas. I've gone the lamination route on my last few builds and like it a lot. You can save some effort by sanding the edges of the pieces to form the moldings before gluing them together, rather than carving them in.

 

Bob

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Thank you, Bob and Richard!

 

Bob, you are right , sanding the edges before gluing the parts together helps quite a bit to get a "decent" guide for the lines. I mainly used the carving knife to open up the lines to the same width and depth which the upper cheek parts had so that the transition looked a bit smoother.

 

Richard, yes, I intend to do all parts of the headrails out of pear wood - and any other "fine detail" work on my model as well. A denser wood has just a lot of advantages when it comes to detailed work. And I was lucky, when I built the quarter badges I ordered me some Swiss pear wood, which turned out to NOT have the typical reddish look but was more of a yellowish to greenish color. Initially I was a bit disappointed and did not like it too much until I discovered that it perfectly blends in with the bass wood I am using on my model! 

 

Thomas

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A little progress - I finished the hawse pipes. The anchor cables which are shown in the pictures are not my final choice. But I still have some time to get me the “right” ones.  :)

 

 

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Yes, I liked your idea of showing the lead as an additional detail of the hawse pipes. Makes them look a bit more interesting than having just for black holes there  ;)

 

Thomas

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What a clean, well done job!  Great work!

 

 Forgive me if I missed this in the log, but what sort of stock did you use for the hawse lining, and where did you get it?

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Thank you, Jason! For the lead lining I used aluminum tubing of the right diameter (you can get that in any hobby shop at very low cost), reduced the wall thickness of the tube to scale with a file, glued it in the hawse hole, and removed the protruding parts on both sides of the hole with a rotary tool equipped with a diamond bur. Finally I opened both sides of the tube up with a conical piece of metal - actually I used an old chisel from my fossil hunting days and gave it a conical tip using a file. Finally to give the aluminum a more "lead-like" look (otherwise it is too bright and shiny to simulate lead) I painted it with Testor's steel paint. Once that was dry I moved my chisel tip a little bit in the opening to produce a few scratches. Both together along with the tube shape give a pretty realistic lead impression.

 

On the outside you are supposed to create the "fancy border" out of 2 layers of wood. Of course you do everything I described with only one layer of wood in place. This gives you the opportunity to cover up any mess you made with the second layer  ;)

 

 

Thomas

Edited by Gahm

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Thank you, Chuck! I fully agree, the cables shown in the pictures clearly won't make it to the "finals".

 

Thomas

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Thank you, Bob. As you know the catheads are just a "stepping stone" to the real tricky stuff, the head rails.  Let's see how that goes  :)

 

Thomas

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A little update on the head rails: I started with the middle rails as they seem to be the most challenging parts and I wanted to get them out of the way before Christmas. Like the cheeks I made them out of pear wood. Image 1 shows the assembled starboard rail including the hanging knee. To get the right shape I fitted the 3 pieces of the middle rail together as they were temporarily mounted on the hull, but I removed the piece as a whole for the final finishing. Images 2, 3, and 4 show the permanently mounted middle rails from different angles. Image 5 shows a prototype of the upper rail. The final candidate will have the upper end of the molding ending a bit further down to be better in sync with the middle rails.

 

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Image 1: Starboard middle rail 

 

 

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Image 2: Starboard middle rail

 

 

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Image 3: Mounted middle rails

 

 

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Image 4: Mounted middle rails

 

 

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Image 5: Prototype of upper rail

 

 

Edited by Gahm

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Thomas, your fears about the head rails are totally unfounded. They're going to look great, based on what you've done so far.

 

Bob

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Thank you Bob! Your feedback - especially as you have already done these head rails yourself - is highly appreciated!

 

Thomas

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Dirk, unfortunately my plans for the timbers are that I can get to them at the earliest in January. Too many other commitments for the rest of the year! However, looking at the plans and Chuck's description I still have the "illusion" that they should be relatively straight forward - perpendicular to the keel and connecting the two rails. Of course I have no experience so far with them and probably will go through several rounds of prototyping (other people call it construction and deconstruction ;) ) before I may get anything useful! 

 

Thomas

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The position is relativly clear yet but how to achive it in a way that looks "good" and symmetrically is still a challenge imo. The pieces are damn small with a lot of different angles. I for myself will try to make them in one piece lying "behind" the rails like historical done. At least I'll try :D So I suggest at least not glueing the rails before you found a way for yourself to do the timbers ;)

 

Dirk

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After several weeks of interruption due to traveling I finally resumed work on the head rail of my Syren model.  Upper rails and middle rails are finished, and I started with the head timbers. I am using the method described by Chuck in the instruction book. Building those head timbers is a bit tricky and clearly not my favorite occupation! :)

Below are different views of the current state of the head rail.

 

Thomas

 

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Backboard view

 

 

 

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Top view

 

 

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Front view

 

 

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Starboard view

Edited by Gahm

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After not posting anything for several weeks here is a brief update about my head rail efforts:

First I ended up not really liking the middle rails shown in the last images, so I finally tore them down. The major reason for that was that the part which was mounted directly on the wall of the ship turned out to be too short and as a consequence the shape of the head timbers would go from concave to convex.  Then I tried to figure out which method of building the head timbers would lead to some decent looking results. I tried the method mentioned by Chuck in the head rail design of the Confederacy as there the head timbers do not consist out of 2 parts each but just one continuous piece. However, the Syren plans do not show any head timber profiles, so that method ended up with too many “degrees of freedom”.  I finally went with the method described in the Syren instructions. With this method one of the challenges consists in generating the perception that each head timber, although constructed out of 2 parts, looks like it is made out of one continuous piece of wood. As I was not quite sure whether I ultimately would get acceptable results I finished middle rail and head timbers just on one side. So the good news is I have finished half of the head timbers. The bad news is I still have to do the other half.  :)

 

 

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Thank you, Russ! I am still not quite sure whether they look like they should. I guess I need a little distance to that topic  :)

 

Thomas

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