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US Brig Syren by Spiderpig - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64, 1803,

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Welcome to another Syren build log!


I couldn't resist the Ebay bargain that I found of this kit on the Model Expo site, so I decided to make it my next project. Here is a sneak preview of how she was packed for shipping to my home city.





I have to say that the overall care was impressive in the way the kit was packaged! Considering that it had to come all the way from the US to my home town in Australia, it arrived nicely.


I have had a glimpse over the contents, and instruction manual/plans. I am very impressed with the level of detail in the instruction manual! The parts are nice and neatly packed, and it even included an apology letter stating that Model Expo was short on the Cannon Balls part. All I had to do was e-mail them and they will be sent free of charge! Great service! You can see why people on this forum have great things to say about Model Expo.


For now I will leave it as a teaser preview of whats to come. I would like to finish my Mare Nostrum before beginning the Syren...although it is calling out to be built. I must hold off on the temptation, and complete my Mare!





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Ok so building has finally begun. First the basics; A few photos of the contents of the kit itself. 






I had a glance over the plans and templates provided by Chuck. The plans are rich in detail! A big compliment to Chuck on the varse detail he has provided in his plans.





Due to the nature of myself being so adapted to the Metric system, I had to go through each length of wood and label them with the Imperial measurements. The Imperial system is like a foreign language to me, so it will be the most challenging part of the whole build trying to convert everything to Metric measurements. Luckily each length of timber is bundled together to make it easier to identify each one.




All the smaller bits and pieces are nicely packed. How ever I kept a component box from a previous build that will come in handy to separate each of the smaller parts. The overall quality of the deadeyes and blocks is great! however they are extremely small compared to the European kits. It will make it hard for threading the lines of rigging later in the build. The cast metal parts will need a bit of cleaning up prior to painting and installation. I would carve my own, but I feel I'm not at that stage in skill level to try that.


Lastly I needed to get a building slip. Seen as I have never used one in the past, I thought it would be a good idea as my False Keel was slightly warped:




I had a look at after market building slips, and considering the cost of freight to get them here it would have been quite expensive. So I built my own using bits and bobs around the house.




The base is actually a spare shelf from a DVD cabinet. Seen as I'm not using it on the cabinet I thought it would be the perfect size for my build slip. It's just a piece of veneered chipboard.




As for the lengths of timber to hold the false keel in place, these are left over planking strips from my HMS Prince build. I just screwed 3 lengths together to the base, whilst holding the false keel in place so the fit is nice and tight.




And the end result works great! Once I start installing the bulk heads, and filler blocks made from Balsa, the keel should become nice and straight.


Thanks for watching






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@ Charley. Thanks for taking the time to look at my build. There are a lot of Syrens on MSW, so help is easy to find.

@ Karl. Welcome back old friend! Thanks for tagging along!


I have begun to carve the bearding line. I have to admit I had no idea what it meant to produce a bearding line before. But thanks to the detailed instructions it is well explained why it is needed, coupled with the rabbet strip.


So to begin it was a matter of curving the rabbet strip around the bow of the bulkhead former. After soaking the strip in water for about 20 minutes, it became like rubber! Basswood is so easy to work with when it comes to curved areas of the build.

I then added the rabbet strip on the base of the bulkhead former. Allowed this dry over night, before removing the rubber bands, clamps etc.





Next step was to start carving the beading line. I think I have created the correct shape, but other builders will be able to tell me otherwise. According to the instructions as long there is a distinct gap between the keel plates and the rabbet strip then it should make planking easier.






I then added the stem knee and keel. Once the stem knee was removed from the plywood frame, I cleaned up most of the laser burn marks. However as it will be covered in copper plates/painted later I didn't make too much of a fuss on removing the burn marks. Next was to carve the top section of the stem knee too allow the figure head to be placed neatly later on. I don't have a photo of this step, but I did make sure the figure head fits nice and snug.






I'm now working on the bulkheads. Firstly removing them from the plywood frames. I did find some were quite brittle and broke at the section where the bulwarks will be placed. Care must be taken when performing the final stages of fairing the hull.


Once they were removed I dry fitted them to the bulk head former. This was a long process as they were all a very tight fit. I did have to remove a lot of the burn marks on each of the bulk heads, and the bulkhead former, in order to make them fit better.





Then I had to make sure the printed lines on each bulk head lined up with the corresponding ones on the bulk head former. Some to create a bit of bulk hanging over at the deck level. But I can remove this at a later stage. It's only about 0.5mm hangover, so it shouldn't create any big issue.




Now I have a question for Chuck, or any other Syren builder. The instructions state to make sure all the bulk heads located at the Bow end of the ship face towards the Bow. They are labelled with "letters". All the bulk heads at the Stern end are "numbered", so need to face towards the bowel. 


However. There is one bulk head that has a strange symbol on it. It sits about mid way up the ship:




The instructions doesn't state which way this bulk head should face. Does anyone know which way it should be installed? Whether it be with the symbol facing towards the stern? or the bow?


Any help would be appreciated


Thanks for watching









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That is the midship frame. That is what that symbol means. I would imagine that since this frame likely has little, if any bevel, you can face it either way.


Before you do anything, read the instruction booklet to make sure you have not missed anything regarding this issue. :)



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As I recall I treated that as a letter, as opposed to a number, and placed it facing the bow.  Worked out fine.  Also, leaving the laser char on the outer edges at this point will actually help when it comes to fairing the bulkheads.

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Thanks for the input guys. Augie I will do the same as you did and face it towards the bowel. I am starting to fair each bulkhead prior to gluing them in the BH former, as per the instructions. I will only taper the ones with indicator lines on them. And leave a little remaining for shaving off once they are glued in place.


Firstly is to find some suitable balsa blocks to use as fillers.





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