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I know it's been a while since I have built or started a ship and I know I said on my last blog that it would be the "Thermopylae", but I have been desiring the "Harriet Lane". I have never built a solid hull ship and it does seem intimidating to even start, but sitting in the box collecting dust isn't going to get it done by no means.


I see there are a couple people tackling this project? I wish them luck and desire that they build to completion and it be well done.


Been studying the plans and have decided that I will change a couple of details, even change some of the materials so that it will stand out more. Not sure if I am going to follow the painting detail or not, I really think not as certain stains and varnishes would be more ideal... I believe? This ship will be challenging as to a scratch built ship as there are parts to be made. I will succeed but this isn't a ship that will go by fast.


I haven't any pictures yet as I have only cut my stations out, but when the time comes I will show my progress.


Happy New Year Everyone

Edited by jiljilia
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Glad to see someone tackling the Harriet Lane.  She is a fun build, though at the scale it is a challenge.


Will be following as you go along!


Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.

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Trippwj, thank you for wanting to follow. I have to agree the scale is somewhat small which seems odd as the Harriet Lane is about the same size as the Arrow that I built. I do feel some of the rigging is rather too small. It may be my opinion, but this is not a ship to build as a first timer. There will be challenges as this kit is sparse for pre-built items.


I have sanded the hull down to size as well as carved out the bulwark. I found cutting out the bulwark easier by using a dremel with a cutting disc. I tried using a chisel, but just about cracked the bulwark... didn't want to do that!


I though I would show off another project on the go. Apollo V rocket... it will fly


Also, as you can see from the pictures of the Harriet Lane, the paddle boxes have been cut out. I'm going to draw out the waterline today and get the keel in place. I am waiting on some material I ordered to do the hull with.




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Edwin: Thanks for your comments. The Apollo V rocket isn't finished yet as there are painting details that need to be finished. I'm going to check out your "King of the Mississippi".


I do follow many other projects on these forums and by God some people do have a great skill in craftsmanship that I only wish I could have. I don't recall the name, but a gentleman is building a plastic ship "Constitution" and never did I ever think that one could accomplish, with such ingenuity, minute detailing as that... AWESOME!!!


With the "Harriet Lane", I have ideas constantly going through my head as what to do next with the limited supplies included with the ship. I live in such a small town; it's not like I can run down to the hobby store to get material, I have to use what leftovers I have from the ships that I have completed. I do have some woods that I have ordered in, but still not enough varieties to work with. I will do my best!

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Edwin: It has been a long time since I have been in Port Alberni. I almost moved there 10 years ago. My fondest memories, though not sure if it's still there, is the Clam Bucket. The best seafood my wife and I have ever had. We ordered the "Platter" and it was very huge and to our amazement, we ate it all plus each had a bucket of muscles. Someday hope to get back there again.

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Great progress.  I too am also into rockets but never built the Saturn V. 


In regards to the outer hull planking, what size of strips did you plank the hull with? 


Current Builds:  Revell 1:96 Thermopylae Restoration

                           Revell 1:96 Constitution COMPLETED

                           Aeropiccola HMS Endeavor IN ORDINARY

Planned Builds: Scientific Sea Witch

                            Marine Models USF Essex



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Hey ScottRC: The hull planking that I used on the Harriet Lane hull is 3mm and thankfully there was just enough to do what I did as this planking is leftovers from the previous ship that I built: "The Arrow".


Just thought I would show the rocket that I was working on when I did the "Arrow ship". Still haven't flown it though.


On the Apollo V rocket I changed the engine from a D to a Pro series E-16-4 29mm engine. The D engine would only fly her to 150 ft. With this E engine she should go almost 1000 ft.


Thanks everybody for checking out my progress. Once the hull material comes in I will give the Harriet Lane a coating of semi gloss clear polyurethane, so that the black stands out a bit as well as the balsam in the hull. I will keep posting my progress.


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Here is some progress that I have done: the cap rail and keel hull molding. Still waiting for the material for the bottom half of the hull. The four post attached the paddle houses are for a chain that will tie each paddle house together. So far I am happy with what is done so far. Can't put the paddle wheels on until the hull is finished.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally received the material for doing the rest of the hull on the Harriet Lane. Comes from Cornwall Model Boats, UK. These are fake copper plates on a thin sheet of wood: 3mm x 6mm.


Shipping in Canada is brutal as I think everything from the east is shipped west by canoe. This took just about a month to receive.


I painted the entire hull copper as I was initially going to leave it this way as I was getting impatient for the material. The wait was worth it though, as you can see by what it looks like on the one side of the ship. It's not done all the way to the keel yet, but so far I like it.





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  • 3 weeks later...

I found with this kit that the chain they included was even too small for the smallest eyehook, so I had to find another chain. I will use there chain for the anchors and for the rudder safety chain. '


Paddle wheels in place now along with the brass sponson support rods. Helm building in place and the smoke stack with chains.


The rudder is still needing to be placed in, but am waiting for some very thin strips of brass to use as hinges.


The paddlehouses have their platforms on them,  along with a brass railing that attaches to the floor as the kit did not come with enough fife rail supports.


I do find, for what this kit cost, it was poorly designed and manufactured, but it is a joy to build and will further update you as I carry on. I'm working this year, so time on this kit isn't as much as my previous builds. Thanks for checking out the progress. Ask questions if need to.





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  • 8 months later...

Sorry I haven't been updating, but my summer became really busy and I haven't had time, but fall is now here (yet winter) and I usually get laid off. I did start another ship though... "Sovereign of the Seas" 1/84 scale and have gotten quite into this ship, mainly because of the size, but the looks, when this ship is done is breathtaking.


I going to try to get the Harriet Lane going real soon too!

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  • 5 years later...

I am currently building this exact model (my 1st attempt at a model, save for a childhood failure with the Revel Constitution).  You have done a wonderful job! I decided, after adding my standing rigging to the foremast, that the supplied thread is to thick for the model scale. I have since moved to much thinner thread.

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