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Building the clipper Donald McKay by rwiederrich

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Well, as is my custom, I began my build of my new clipper Donald McKay from using a 1/96 scale Revell Cutty Sark hull as a start point..then I began to build up the bulwarks and modify the hull accordingly.


Here I began the build up using maple strips I cut to the proper dimensions.

This, as all my models finds its beginning as a plastic hull that I heavily modify..then build up in wood for the desired effect and design.


Here is a first images of the transformation.


I strained the deck to see the individual planks.





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Unlike many..here on these pages...I begin by first re-engineering an existing 1/96 hull, then add all the appropriate rework and detail...out of wood. I find this form of modeling most exciting and since the general hull is preformed...I have a great foundation to begin the scratch building from.


Like most of McKay's builds he preferred composite masts to straight single *stick* masts....so I too devised a means to cut and band my composite masts in similar fashion. First I made a jig for my table saw to cut out the notches to form the 4 outer portions of the mast framing. See here the cuts.


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One thing that can be difficult, when scratch building is the figurehead. I undertook this task with great enthusiasm, since the Donald McKay had a clansman from the McKay clan dressed in traditional garb and saber.


As with many McKay clippers, the figurehead is all that remains and as is this example....a great model to sculpt from.


My figurehead is less then an inch long and required many hours to carve.


Here is an image of the original.


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Hello Greg.....Not as of yet. I am currently moving and have not set up my shop area...though I am close(Well).(I'm exhausted).


I keep getting ideas for new builds and getting side tracked. I will soon pick up the Glory of the Seas and begin her yards...I did finish the yards for the foremast for the Ferriera(The only ones she carried).


My fleet will also consist of the 1/96 Sea Witch and the 1/96 Webb built Swordfish. But I digress......


The fabrication of the hulls and major characteristics of each ship, and their locations is fast and easy for me.......so I build many...then I sit down and get to the real task of getting to the meat of the masts/yards, and rigging of each.


Thanks for asking and thanks for noticing.



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Thanks everyone for their fine comments and likes.......As I do..I prefer to place my ships in dioramas...to emphasise their history and enhance the action they were involved in.  I think this makes the viewing experience more exciting.




Moving along.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I appreciate it very much........very much.


The Great Republic is still in design stage and I won't begin her till the Glory and McKay are finished......I'm still moving..so that will be later this summer. Still getting my model shop organized and put together...I have a ton of WW2 tank models to get rid of to make some room as well.......


I've dedicated my future builds to only clipper ships...so all other modeling will have to go. I love clippers and so now that I have a nice large (NEW) house to display them in.....I'm dedicated full bore to it(Along with my wife's concurrence)


Again...thanks for remembering me and my desire to model the GR.



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