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Charles W Morgan by Brucealanevans - FINISHED - Model Shipways

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Here's one boat with the finished thwarts in place. I decided to go for stain over paint both to give some sense of weathering and to highlight rather than hide the construction of each thwart. The details just draw the eyes. I find myself grabbing it and just gazing when walking by the shipyard.

Now to bring the other four up to this level, and then add a bit of inside detail hardware to each - pull for the centerboard in the up position, and some approximation of the brass support/hinge for the mast support. That will likely be painted paper with small rod taking the place of the hinge.

These really are little projects in and of themselves, but they are so visible on the finished ship that to shortchange the detail and/or put oars and spars/sail in that are clearly out of scale in thickness would really detract from the model. Since I've spent so long on the ship itself, putting some extra time into these is worthwhile.

Probably 4-5 hours to construct and finish the thwarts for one boat including interval drying time.

Boats Thwarts-1.jpg

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I've finished the interiors of all five of the whaleboats. After completing the detailed thwarts, I added the "metalwork" for the mast support and "hinge". These were cut out of cardstock and painted. Rivets were simulated with pinpricks from the reverse side prior to painting. The hinge pieces on the thwart were wrapped around a small piece of metal wire prior to painting. A long small eyelet was used to simulate the centerboard pull.

Overall I'm quite happy with how these look. The detail work after the thwarts were stained and glued in place took about 6 hours.


Next up are the lion's tongues and the loggerheads. Once I got past the carving of the hulls this became fun again.


Boats Interior Done-1.jpg

Boats Interior Done-2.jpg

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Thanks for the comments and likes.

I'm having a lot of fun now with these whaleboats. Just how much detail can I cram in? Referring frequently to the plans for the MS New Bedford Whaleboat, with occasional simplification in deference to the scale.

Painted the boats. Added (25) oarlock supports, and made 25 oarlocks out of 28 gauge black covered copper wire by twisting it around a small drill, adding a drop of CA to keep it from unraveling, and clipping off the top of the loop, and trimming the stem. Added them to the oarlock supports in pre-drilled holes. They look good and in scale. A touch of black paint to hide the copper where clipped.

Now I'm adding the steering oar support, which is actually a bit complicated as the rope goes thru the stem (which I had to build up to be big enough for a transverse hole) and has a small closed loop at the end. The loop is attached to a lanyard which ties off on a cleat on the lion's tongue aft of the loggerhead to allow the loop around the oar to be tightened. Will post more pictures when that is done.

Next up will be the (suspended in storage position) rudders, which also require either one or two (depending on how compulsive I feel) lines. I have cut and painted the rudders, but not added gudgens and pintels yet.

Approaching the end of the boats themselves - probably another week. Only additional detail will be a steering oar rest on the port rail of each boat.

Then I start making oars and sails wrapped around spars.

After review of the literature, and some opinions from experts here, I will not be adding the stuff that wasn't put in the boats until they were getting ready to launch them, including line tubs, implements, casks, etc.

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The whaleboats are now done except for the rudders. Today finished the rigging of the steering oar braces, added the steering oar rests, two cleats inside rail aft, and did some touch-up.

I'm not sure if I'll give the boats a coat of white (below the rubbing strips) since I kind of like the weathered and beaten look of the primer coat.

Tomorrow, detailing the rudders and deciding on the rigging of the 2 lines that suspend them in the stored position.


Boats Except Rudders-1.jpg

Boats Except Rudders-2.jpg

Boats Except Rudders-3.jpg

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Whaleboats are done. I've had to stop myself from adding a few more details that don't really add anything to the visual impact of these, and I'm declaring victory!

I've put the boats aside to begin working on oars, probably paddle sets, and the spars/sail bundles. I haven't put the eyes for hanging on yet, as I want to make certain the lines hang straight down from the davits, so will customize them for each specific boat's place. It looks like there may be a few mm variability.

Final boat photos below (25 cent piece for scale)



Boats Complete-1.jpg

Boats Complete-2.jpg

Boats Complete-3.jpg

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There is a heck of a lot of scratch work involved in the Morgan build. 

I've learned a lot in the 3+ years I've been working on it. 

The best decision was to fabricate the rendering furnace from individual "bricks". There's a PDF around the site somewhere with useful instructions. 

Took a while but the appearance is really worth it. Working on oars now - drawing 1/32 square boxwood strips through Modelworks drawplate down to scale width. Works a treat. I can even create the handle on these little tiny dowels by carefully working the end for 1/8 inch into 4-5 smaller yet drawplate holes. 

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Bruce, what you have done is amazing! There have been so many things going on since my wife and I moved that I haven't started back in on the Morgan. The hobby room is all set up and waiting for me though. When I start in again I will definitely reference your posts. You are very talented. Good job! 

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Big moment.

The whaleboats are finished with the content they will have when mounted - oars, spars/sail wrap, and paddles.

Next is to retrieve the Morgan from her case in the living room and mount the boats, hopefully without snapping a davit for the umpteenth time.

So close to done now I can taste it, but will have to wait as we have a week in Napa coming up.

Thanks to all for the comments and likes on the boats. The effort to have the details match the work on the mother ship was really worth it, and was quite fun once the hull carving was completed.

My advice to all Morgan builders - use work on the whaleboats as a break from the main construction so that only the fun stuff remains at the end.





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  • 2 weeks later...

I finished the Morgan today!

Put up the last two whaleboats, added some rope coils to the cleated lift lines, and did a small bit of touch up painting. It really is a very busy model, and especially so with any added detailing.

I'll take comprehensive pictures once I set up some good lighting and a backdrop and post them in the gallery.


Now I need to decide on the next project, with the following on my shelf: Confederacy, Gunboat Philadelphia, Mortar Vessel Granado, Echo X-section, and English Pinnace (oof - how did I collect this much stuff while building the Morgan?)

I have an empty full size case since I gave away a Victory model I bought but did not build into which the Morgan will go so the case I got for the Morgan is empty. Which argues for the Granado or Philadelphia, but the x-section is muttering to me from its shelf.


I'll just bask in finishedness for a bit and decide later.






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Hi Bruce.   MAGNIFICENT.  I've not forgotten about you, Diane has had a number of strokes over the last few months and I've been dealing with that, she is currently in the hospital.  It is such a rewarding experience finishing this model.  Congratulations on one of the few Morgan's ever finished.  Bask in the glory my friend, it is well deserved.  I still marvel over mine in the fact that I actually built it and was able to bring the whole thing to fruition.  The boats actually turned out to be one of most fun parts of the build for me and as with you it started after the initial hulls were made.  I couldn't hardly stop myself with the details.  Well done and keep in touch.  MAGNIFICENT is my best way to describe her.  I'm currently building the Niagara as it is another ship that I have been aboard a few times.  Enjoy your next build and let us know what it will be.

Take care my friend, and may your next one be as great as this one.


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Build log tagged as finished, and some photos of the model uploaded to the gallery.

Thanks to all.

I'm going to build the gunboat Philadelphia next for a change of pace, expecting NOT to take anywhere near as long as the Morgan did. Replacement rope and blocks ordered.

While doing that I'm going to spend some time practicing wood/mill skills for the Echo x-section.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi Bruce - fantastic build log - I am about to start coppering the hull - have been kit bashing and making some parts from scratch, buying others - what did you use for pins?  they doing look at all like the supplied and not very attractive Britannia pins. Thanks much

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