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Baltimore Clipper 1825...Ratlines 1.

43 posts in this topic

Posted

Really fantastic work.  I have a wooden ship kit in my stash, but I've been to intimidated to start it.  Very well done.

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Posted

James....Hey, great a real trucker drops by, you guys do great models over on the Truck Forum, sad you don't get more recognition from other modelers here.

Man I understand the intimidation.  Wooden ships are a brand new ball game.

"Get a level 1 kit for the 1st model"!  

Again, entry level wooden ships are a must for the 1st timers.   Fantastic models, so called 'entry level' out there.  The 'level' is basically the degree of instruction in the kit.  A good beginner kit, from a good company, is completely do-able for styrene guys.  No problem.  Problems occur when the ship is intermediate, or even a beginner level kit that has weak construction plans.  Talk with your dealer, do not be afraid to say 'I'm a beginner' with wooden ships.  Big ships will kick your butt.  Big time.

Big old ships look great, but no one can do these as a beginner.  No one should even try these, my opinion.  Sure, a dude will come up and say this and that. 

I build 1:25 fuel altered cars all in metal, the motors have more than 200 parts.  A 359 Peterbilt truck all in metal, scratch built, the cab in resin though.  I refuse a 3 masted big wooden ship.  These things are insane.

Guys, these models will follow you through your entire life.  My 1st was back in 1975, still there and looking fine.

Wooden sailing ships, my opinion, are the greatest of models.

Michael

 

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Posted

This is the kit I have:

Model-Shipways-Phantom-Pilot-Boat-1-96-S

It's the Model Shipways New York Pilot Boat Phantom.  It's a solid hull kit, but I still cannot figure out how to proceed.  My biggest fear is putting a ton of time into it, but having it only be worthy of kindling.

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Posted

Hi Jim, that's a nice clean model kit, Model Shipways is a good company, I have no personal experience though with their kits.

Solid hulls will still need prep work, most kits want you to define the keel and on up to the stem, right up to just underneath the bowsprit.  This would entail, generally speaking, just kind of either manually chiseling out a small wedge along the keel, or using a hand machine and a variety of rotating bits to work the wood to gain an outline of what the keel would be.  This is probably the way these kits start off. 

I've seen pics of the finished model and they look great.  Planking is involved on the deck, and rigging, everything is there.  Just a word though about the copper plating for the hull.  First off, to me it doesn't really coincide with the general outlay of this kit. Why a solid hull with no 2nd planking, then go to the ordeal of adding hundreds of small plates?  That is, if this is the way the copper bottom is applied.  I'd go with a not too shiny dark finish for the whole hull and it will be a nice looking wooden ship. 

My thoughts are that this would be a good one to see if you like wooden ships, and it will turn out nicely, not to worry.

What do the directions say as to starting this project?

 

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Posted

UPDATE, new pics:

Today I started the rigging.  There are lots of blocks to do, a hundred or more, here are just a few.  I completely forgot how to do these silly things, it's been years.  The 1st four, back at the rudder, took me hours.  Not good.  A way had to be found to do this on more of an 'assembly line' method.

The few shown here are a little sloppy, up at the bow, at the anchors are a little better.  These are weak, the lines going through the blocks are too rounded, they should show more tension, and the knots are shoddy looking.  This procedure is called "stropping the blocks".  The blocks are single wood pieces, but already have holes and the groove in/on them.  Usually in a kit like this there'll be single and double blocks, and a couple of triples for the masts and the real heavy gear.  Here a peek at some singles;

-IMG_1781.thumb.jpg.9d1b6648ef3004223a4b

-IMG_1782.thumb.jpg.366701402ea5b9e72a88

Glad the beginning is over, it took hours and I had the shakes.  A small jig to be used as a third hand was made, and things went smoother.  Still room for improvement though.  The bow is kind of a busy place, so the blocks for the anchors will not really stand out.  Here the anchors lashed;

-IMG_1775.thumb.jpg.39cebd190867ed4a4442

-IMG_1776.thumb.jpg.1cb702349efe67c61ee9

-IMG_1777.thumb.jpg.51e7d865f5376fed52b2

-IMG_1778.thumb.jpg.5b22bc04659183b55855

-IMG_1783.thumb.jpg.6c6339336820c52b5346

The bowsprit is also done.  The various brass round eyes are different than what the kit calls for, they suggest just drilling holes through the wood and run a heavy thread through there from one side to the other.  That sucks, so I made brass eyes, no rigging lines running through the wood without any hardware support.  A few pics;

-IMG_1768.thumb.jpg.098549c0763398b7d6d3

-IMG_1771.thumb.jpg.9fa6247a962a685dc3ce

Here is where the kit says to just run the rigging lines through a hole.  So I made a hole, but bent some brass wire to make two eyes for the heavy lines and chains later on;

-IMG_1773.thumb.jpg.3a13e62b6d5e6c15b7e8

Same here for the "dolphin striker",

-IMG_1784.thumb.jpg.00574a40b0fd258495b5

As far as I can tell, next up are the masts and the further rigging.  Still haven't decided 100% on the color scheme, probably just like the bowsprit.

Some big steps coming up soon.

Thanks for looking.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted

Bowsprit finished;

The rigging up front is done for now.  Later on there'll be more when the masts are mounted, then the sails.

This is the standing rigging for the bowsprit;

-IMG_1785.thumb.jpg.01d81903893222fb0cc4

-IMG_1786.thumb.jpg.e2429bb6162cc11a3178

-IMG_1787.thumb.jpg.be12cc03854f5121ca6d

-IMG_1788.thumb.jpg.b11d77e9f82cecaf054c

....on to the masts now.

 

 

 

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Posted

Coming along quite nicely. This is the part that intimidates a great deal of model builders. That confounded rigging.

 

Yours looks great. Lines that have weight to them are especially important to the overall feel. Nailed it...

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Posted

Thanks Bob!  Yep, the rigging is indeed intimidating.  I've been out of this for a while so lots of research involved again.  Question is, how much rigging to do?  This can get insanely detailed, and I won't go this route, not necessary.

The goal is to have sails that can be actually be raised, they can't be lowered as there is no weight to let gravity work.  The sails will have to be pulled back down with tweezers.  To have working sails though will entail lots of rigging.  Plenty enough for a model, my opinion.  Anyways, I won't be tugging around on the silly things at all.  Just maybe nice to have them work as a special event.

The masts are cut and tapered today, and the yards will be finished up tomorrow. 

More pics soon, thanks for looking.

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Posted

Update,new pics;

The masts are cut and tapered, stained and sealed.  Here a few pics of the front mast, lower section, preliminary rigging. 

The masts back in the day were built up using at least 4 lengths of sawed and formed wood for the core,  they were not 'telephone poles' per se.  Either the separate lengths were then held together with iron hoops, or tightly taught and sealed heavy lines.  I've chosen the latter for this boat.

Here a slick way to make a circular holder using thread, without tying the ends with a knot. 

Here the tools needed, tweezers, thread, measuring medium, scissors;

-IMG_1790.thumb.jpg.fbe14bf67ec3a2968205

Here the lower mast section, already with a few thread rings;

-IMG_1791.thumb.jpg.03598643fa798649f502

I've chosen about an inch of space between the rings, more space than scale, but I think this is enough without letting it look cluttered up and busy;

-IMG_1792.thumb.jpg.b6d1d94ffed06257926b

Here a thread cut to length, a decent amount to make working a comfortable experience;

-IMG_1794.thumb.jpg.c40a551fcd7b1a43dd08

The thread is laid right along the 3cm line marked with a pencil;

-IMG_1795.thumb.jpg.a2f4628d6d2ac131fa60

With a small piece of tape, one end of the thread is held in place at the marked line;

-IMG_1796.thumb.jpg.357de3cd6c7aa94b75e8

Make a loop far enough away from the beginning point to allow for some working room;

-IMG_1798.thumb.jpg.af6ef5d79d66a7ff1052

Right index finger (somewhat dirty from wood staining, sorry) placed directly on the loop, then the thread wrapped around 5 times with the left hand;

-IMG_1800.thumb.jpg.1c549b23ccf81da1a16b

5 times, then the end is fed through the loop;

-IMG_1801.thumb.jpg.afc210bfeb4ad6c3de8b

Tape is off.  Thread is loose, not for long....;

-IMG_1802.thumb.jpg.edc2784abebe239df6d2

Left index finger on the single, long thread to the right.  Then with tweezers, pull the left single thread away.  This tightens things up and makes for a nice loop;

-IMG_1803.thumb.jpg.9abd01fca57f140098b6

Trim up a bit to make room for the next loop.  Then either with CA or diluted wood glue painted on, the ends can be snipped off;

-IMG_1804.thumb.jpg.001793d5edbc06a2a2fb

-IMG_1805.thumb.jpg.cb7464e9674aeccedfb9

-IMG_1806.thumb.jpg.74ce7bb930e291ad84f2

A skinny wood strip will be cut and then placed over these hoops, top to bottom, to allow the yard arm to be lowered and raised over the hoops, also protecting the mast from friction from the heavy yard arm.

 

 

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Posted

....and here with the 'bumper' mounted to the front of the mast;

-IMG_1807.thumb.jpg.8b91eac442dfacd95306

-IMG_1808.thumb.jpg.3a805d8ad22411d755bc

Moving on, a series of blocks will be mounted, then further up to the upper sections.

 

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Posted

NEW.

I found about the best pic of an old ship I've ever seen.  Amazing.  Here what appears to be the lower main yard arm of a large ship.  This is a major piece:

-0000.thumb.jpg.2ec535889876ac780551567b

I estimate the yard style to be similar to ships of maybe the 1850's.  It's from a big ship for sure.

Notice the way the yard arms, and masts as well, were built.  This piece has at least 8 different wooden lengths overall in it's cross section.  The rough looking iron hoops were the major factor in keeping the sandwiched construction style held together.  Probably later on, the rope loops were added as the outer rounded cap was starting to separate from the mass. 

The metal rod running along the top is the 'jackstay'.  This was a major breakthrough for the working crew at sea, appearing around 1820 or so.   The top edge of the sail was lashed directly to this iron bar, instead of being lashed around the whole wooden yard.  The 'old style', when the sail was wrapped around the complete yard, hung directly underneath the yard.  Very intense and dangerous work while at sea and wind and waves!  Sails are heavy....one hand for the ship, one for your life.  Hold fast.

This newer method allowed a somewhat safer stand for the crew, and was quicker and easier dealt with.  Plus, the sail was flush with the yard as it was now lashed on top of the yard, which also heightened wind efficiency.

My guess, this is a yard arm from a clipper ship, early 'Cutty Sark' type.  The chocks holding the newly introduced jackstay were in the early stages an iron eye bolt that was drilled into the yard arm.  This piece here shows wooden chocks with a metal band, meaning my opinion, a somewhat later technique.

I'm thrilled in finding this photo, it tells stories.  I like the colors too!  Just, I have a wooden ship with this color, and the current project is different.

That is a heavy piece!

 

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Posted

Here the lower yard of the fore mast, 13"  long.

-IMG_1809.thumb.jpg.45da7c4851d732d62f23

-IMG_1810.thumb.jpg.336d252fe8105dbad50d

-IMG_1811.thumb.jpg.cb49791d5ba452d4f2a7

-IMG_1812.thumb.jpg.7f4faedce33d1eb45b85

-IMG_1813.thumb.jpg.385ccd04323eb847c3e9

Even though bare brass was not visible on real boats, I'll let it be, maybe later blackened if the brass parts stick out.  No problem now though.

 

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Posted

That yard looks fantastic.  Very nice job on the mast & bowsprit, too.  Ships really require a whole different level of "attention to detail".

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Posted

Thanks James, I hear that!

Yesterday was not a good day for detailing attention, the small blocks whooped me good.  Irritating too, better I'd used a smaller scale thread for the wrapping, see above pic.

The junk really becomes visible with closeup pics.

Still pressing on.

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Posted

I can hear your friends now..." he really was a nice guy, then he went nuts building a model ship with more details than the original ship!"

Ho-lee smoke! The only thing missing is the rats.

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Posted

Thanks Rusty!   :D

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Posted

UPDATE:  Feared ratlines have begun.

I've been busy the last days practicing knots and lines.  How detailed do I wanna go?  Past experience tells me it's the overall view, and the overall model that pleases.  Not necessarily getting ridiculous with details.  This is not a museum model.  Just more detailing than the OTB model would show, still in the comfort range, sometimes though, some stages go a little further.  It's not a must do thing.  These models are large, and no one goes up to study detailing.  Me either once the ship is on the shelf.

The infamous ratlines have been started.  First off, the shrouds on the foremast, lower section.  A little later on the horizontal 'steps' to make the ladders will be tied on, just not yet.

Here a peek at the 'deadeyes'.  These allowed for tightening the major lines that held the masts in position.  Note, the deadeyes on top do not have to be level with each other as the tension was adjusted from time to time, allowing for an apparant misalignment.  They're OK when not level;

-IMG_1820.thumb.jpg.3729453b62b1fc88b3ac

-IMG_1821.thumb.jpg.9d14809274aa0af8deee

The tan lines are not glued, just tied off.  Later on some adjustments may be necessary to keep the masts straight.  These lines can be untied and pulled tighter or loosened.  The finished line will be wound up nicely along the black, whipped heavier line to which it's now attached.  They will not be glued, just tied.

Here the shrouds as they wrap around the mast top.  They're done pairwise, to each side.  First one pair to one side of the ship, the next pair to the other, and so forth;

-IMG_1822.thumb.jpg.e7df5c2359f15877d17a

Anchor chains attached, and running around the spill and below deck;

-IMG_1823.thumb.jpg.4fa4f65d81dd608a3822

Next up a clear ship modelers breach of procedure.  But the yards are a real pita to mount the 'real way';

-IMG_1825.thumb.jpg.1eb6401323f9e4168e91

So, to make the initial mounting easier for me, a hole was drilled into the mast, then a brass tube inserted, the yard got the same treatment.  Now the yard just slides in to the brass tube on the mast.  This was, the yard is held in a position that can easily let the rigging do the rest.  Position is basically secured with this 'cheat'.  I like;

-IMG_1826.thumb.jpg.81a8002a2dcfc1845307

The yards for the main mast have been cut and trimmed.  Next up will be attaching blocks to all of the remaining yards.  This will take a couple of days.

Thanks for looking.

Michael

 

 

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Posted

Great project Michael.

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