The maritime museum's event, scheduled for October instead of May, was cancelled as a hurricane blew up the coast and pushed water up the bay flooding a lot of coastal bay towns like St Michaels. I couldn't make the next Port Expo in 2016, but I tried to be ready for the maritime museum in October. I started making the forward bulwarks. The real ship had sections that folded down on bronze hinges a few of which still exist as she still had her forward bulwarks when she came to Baltimore. They could also be removed. I mad all the section as a single piece and I don't intend to make them functional, just something to snag and need to be repaired. As mentioned, the original winch drums warped and I made new ones with styrene drums instead of wood. These vanished around the time I moved and haven't been found yet, so I got some sheet plastic to take the place of the CDs and made a new pair. I have to say, I'm not happy with these at all. I did add a small block of Delrin to each winch to brace the drums against the pull of the braces/springs. Constellation's board at her entry port were carved. I took a photo of an original at the ship and traced it in PaintShopPro. Scaled it to the model and printed it. I glued this to some bass wood. I have some mahogany I can slice some thing slabs off of, and I may try using a rotary tool to carve a set for real, but till then, these will do. I tried to make the tops'l yard parrels which are iron hoops lined with wood. There's a pin for the yard's yoke to ride on, and the hoop can be opened and hinged to be removed. I wanted all that in case I need to remove a yard at some point without pulling down the whole rig. I tried it with some sheet brass, and again, I wasn't too hgappy with the result. We'll come back to that. So, I fiddled around with cutting combs to make hatch gratings, and actually managed to get something done, which led to making the main hatch cover. I had cut a bit of plywood as a cover, just to keep dust from going below while I was working - I based my hatch cover on this piece, framed the bottom; installed ledged for it to sit on inside the hatch coaming, and made gratings and fake beams on top. It's a bit simplified buy what the ship actually had, but it gets the point across. A couple of smaller gratings also got installed giving the deck a more finished appearance. I wasn't thrilled at bumping the bottom of a pool again, but the maritime museum is on the Miles River. I needed to be able to launch and retrieve the model at a boat-ramp or shore, so I started designing a launch-cart....
Hi Dave I charged the battery earlier or it may have been yesterday....but i'm thinking it is the battery, I have a NiMh on order so may wait until it arrives and then get back to it, sorry if this issue appears unreal, believe me all I want to do is sail my boat(s)....I assumed all you had to do was bind the Tx to the Rx and everything else would fall into place....maybe I should have bought a Futaba Tx/Rx rather than the cheaper versions....the boats I purchased have all been 40Hz so wanted to upgrade to 2.4Mghz.....not a case of plug'nplay as i so readily thought....anyway back to the drawing board and perhaps wait till my new battery arrives....I wish you a good night and thanks for all your help so far Nick
I began laying the deck on April 5th. It had snowed as recently as the week before, but it finally warmed up enough to use glue. The strips were cut to 6-5/8" length, about 20' in 1:36 scale. I used a black marker on two opposite sides to represent the pitch in the seams. The deck was laid in a 5-plank pattern to mix up the butt-joints as much as I could. My research on her decking found she's had various styles and plank widths over her life. The earliest photo showing her deck that I could find, showed it straight planked with 7 or 8" wide boards based on the number of planks between her waterway and the main hatch coaming. Her waterway logs seem to be placed ON the decking, as there's no margin planks or joggling - even today. The planking was set with gel CA. Gorilla sells it in a nice bottle with a metal pin in the cap to keep the spout open. It would up taking 3 of these bottles to complete the deck. The planks are cut at a 45 on the ends along the fore and aft access hatches, to try and hide this seam as much as possible. Once the deck was down, I scraped it. The glue is more resistant than the basswood is, so sanding would have scalloped the wood between seams. Scraping makes everything level. Some lite sanding, more to polish than remove anything, was done last. I had planned to stain the deck a very light grayish tint, but an active naval vessel gets holy-stoned regularly and wouldn't be gray as the ships that sit at a dock today are. In all it took 455 pieces to complete the deck and there wasn't any scrap longer than 1 inch left over. In all I have 3/4" deck beams, 1/4" plywood, a layer of 4oz cloth and resin, and a 3/16" basswood deck - I don't recall why I designed it so heavy, but it certainly doesn't hurt the model at all, and I think the 3/16" square strip will prove to have been easier to set than the 1/16" x 1/4" planks Pride and Macedonian will get. The deck go a coat of water-based satin poly, and I stared working on hatch coamings, cap log, and waterways. The cabin skylight and two hatched forward of it, including the capstan, and all combined into one hatch where the battery is accessed, and which hides the aft ballast rod and main power switch. The cap logs Are 1/2" wide x 1/4" tall basswood that was tren'led, glued, and copper nailed, onto the deck, flush with the outside of the hull covering this seam completely. The the angled wood waterways were installed around the inside of the cap log, and the deck got a coat of oil-based satin poly. This actually leeched in and made the marker seams bleed a little. In hind sight, I think I'll go with paint over marker for seams in the future. The coamings got painted black. I'm not sure why the Navy painted deck fittings black. It was even common to paint to top surfaces of tops black. I wonder how many injuries and losses this cost the navy that white paint would have prevented. Anyway... Constellation didn't have "solid" bulwarks, but rather she had hammock irons bolted to her cap log. These were removed when Baltimore tried to pass her off as a frigate and tossed in the bilge. When the ship was restored as a sloop of war, they found all but one. These irons are designed to have wooden rails at their tops, inboard and out, and have holes so several lines can be run through them. The Navy in it's wisdom though, decided to wainscot them to appear as solid bulwarks, despite the additional splinter hazard that would be in battle. I wasn't making all those metal stanchions just to hide them under wood and tarps, so I made wood blocks sheathed in sheet bass, scribed to look like vertical wainscotting. It was the end of April by now, and the Baltimore Port Expo was in two weeks. I wanted to have hammocks in the bulwarks, as she appears in the portrait, but there was no time to figure this out, so I layered on some balsa and shaped it so it looked like tarps were laid over the hammocks. When I figure out how I'll represent the stowed hammocks, I can pull the balsa off easily enough. The bulwarks on, I made some fittings for the spencer masts; installed the eye bolts at the base of the masts; made some bollards (or whatever name they gave those posts), made and installed the catheads, which are laminated 1/16" basswood. I then started setting up a jury rig and her controls so she could sail at the Port Expo. I set her t'gallants and all three heads'ls this time around. By the night before the Expo, she was ready to go.
Once I was satisfied I had all the fairleads I needed, or might need (I put in some extras, just-in-case), It was time to permanently close up the deck. The luan plywood sub-deck had long ago been cut into 2" strips to allow it to take the deck camber and sheer. I had also painted on it's underside except where the deck framing was, so the paint wouldn't interfere with the epoxy. I got a few very nice days in October (2014) great for dealing with epoxy, and to take on this major step in the model's construction. There's a sinking feeling about this, like you've just locked your keys in the car. First I removed the mechanical decks below, cleaned out the hull, replaced a deck beam whose joint had never set right, and dabbed epoxy onto things I'd never be able to reach again. The mechanical decks were painted white. The turning blocks for the steering were epoxied in place; having been hot-glued in all these years. Now I painted epoxy on the entire underside of each strip to seal it as well as glue it to the deck beams. Working from out-board toward the center-line. I clamped the strips down, but also used copper tacks to hold it down that would be left in. In short order, the sub-deck was epoxied and nailed in place. Now the only access inside was through the hatches. All the cracks and seams on the deck were filled with polyester putty (Bondo), especially around the deck/hull joint. When this set, I sanded it, filled missed places, and sanded some more. Then a layer of 4oz cloth, left over from glassing her hull 5 years before, was laid on the sub-deck. At this point the deck was an integral part of the hull. I ordered 3/16" x 48" square bass strips to plank the spar deck. I was going to cut this from a maple board I hand, but could get what I wanted safely from the saw. I was concerned bass (lime) wouldn't be hard enough, but it's been great. As holidays and cold weather reduced the time I could spend in the shop, I made up the rest of her spars and their hardware; as well as framing up and installing the fore and aft access hatches. I also cut the deck strips to their length. Then winter came and stayed until April. Meanwhile I hemmed the rest of her sails.
This would be the first time I ever put something on public display. Well, some drawings went up in a high school art show, but this was certainly the first model. The Port Expo had set up a pool on the dock next to the N.S. Savannah. It was windy, with the wind whipping around the ship every which way. The pool wasn't deep enough for the model to sail, so she just sat there tied off to one end, or down in the lee corner. Not a big deal, but I got to talk to a few folks about her, and that was fun. One of the other modelers told me about the model expo at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels Maryland, in just two weeks! Last time I had been to that museum I went on a 170 foot barkentine, this time the boat would be a little smaller. There was no way I was going to get much work done on the model in the time I had, but there was something I wanted to try out. From the start I had a sail-arm servo set-up to handle the fore-and-aft sails, but I hadn't worked out how it would work. The heads'ls over-lapped and each had two sheets. When the model come-about, the heads'ls needed to be hauled over the stays to the other side. When sailing a real boat, like my 16 footer 'Lydia,' it's the same thing. When you start to come about, you cast-off the jib sheet. As the boat comes across the wind, the jib luffs and comes across mostly on it own. The the new sheet is hauled in and made fast. I wanted to emulate that on the model. My solution was two loose arms with the servo arm between them. The servo pushes one or the other of the loose arms to sheet the heads'ls - but not both. Center the servo and both jib-sheets are slack. It's incredibly simple and works on a single servo. I cobbled the system together in time for St Michaels. We also got one of those pop-up tents, and a folding table. I was taking the Pride of Baltimore model, and the Macedonian hull as well. I was getting into this public display thing. The Model Expo was great. There were a boat-load of modeler's and model there. The pool was much larger, but it was still too shallow, and Stella ran aground after sailing only a few feet. Only Constellation went in the water, but all three models got a lot of attention and I spent a lot of time talking to folks about them. The jib-sheeter worked great, though the servo only had 90° of travel and the Dx6 isn't programmable that way. When I got home, I went right to work on another control mechanism I wanted to try - the sliding-winch.
The biggest pain in sailing her is the Dx6 transmitter, or any transmitter of that sort. I only wanted self-centering on the rudder, everything else I wanted ratcheted so it would stay where I put it, but the only channel with a ratchet was the throttle. I took off the self-centering springs where I didn't want them, but there's no easy way to ratchet them, and they move if you breathe on them. Spektrum doesn't know for boat, or care for boaters, especially sail boaters. They sent me a contest entry questionnaire and the very first question was; "Do you use your radio for Helicopters, planes, or cars?" None of the above wasn't an option.
The gun deck isn't modeled. I was building a model intended to sail in open water and didn't want to deal with open gun ports, hatches, etc. After glassing the hull, she got beams for the spar deck installed. 3/4" x 3/4", they're probably a bit more than was needed. Tubes were installed for 5/16" stainless threaded rods that would hold her external ballast on. The forward one will be disguised as her galley stovepipe, the aft one is hidden under the cabin skylight. The ballast is a 2" i.d. PVC pipe about 4 feet long, filled with lead bird-shot, and weighing some 42 pounds. With that much done, I took her to the creek to see her float, but I forgot the rods. A few days later I took her out again, remembering the rods, and put her lower masts in her. Now baptized, I applied the moldings and trim on her stern, and built up her enclosed head. Her gunport were molded in resin in the closed position with the guns clamped in the openings and a tampion in the muzzles. These were epoxied into gunports cut from the outer layer of glass and wood battens, leaving the matting in place as a backer. Then she got some paint, mainly because I was getting tired of her looking like a barkless log. The bottom was painted with copper paint, but three rolls of 1/2" wide peel-n-stick tape had just arrived and I started into coppering her bottom right off. Copper plates are nailed on with copper nails with counter-sunk heads through pre-punched holes in the copper sheets. The are FLAT with with a little hollow where they're driven in just beyond flush with the surface. They are NOT round headed nor look like rivets as so many models insist are doing. I pressed an impression of the nails into the face of each plate. Installing them pushes this dent back out and leaves a little circle that looks as it should. It took about a week to do one side, and I took a break to make the tops for the lower masts, then continued onto coppering the other side. It was bright and beautiful when finished, but it wouldn't stay that way. Copper doesn't turn green when submerged, any copper coin will show you it turns brown. I wanted her bottom to brown somewhat, but not too much, and I figured to let that happen naturally. When it got where I wanted it, I'd clear-coat it to lock it in. Two yards of Dupont Supplex cloth was ordered to make her sails. This is the stuff SC&H used on their square-rigger kits and it's great for making sails. Being a nylon, you cut it with a hot-knife, and use a pointed tip in a soldering iron to make grommets. I drew on the panel seams with a .03 marker as even the finest stitching is over scale even at 1:36. Top-cloths, corner reinforces, reef bands, etc, are all cut from the same cloth and glued on with fabric adhesive. The only sewing was of the bolt-ropes. These are done by hand much the way real ones are - I've sewn a few miles of real bolt ropes in my time. There's really no substitute for this if you want a functional scale appearing sail. A machine can't sew it properly, in the right position, or securely.
Hi Colin, very sorry if I upset you 😭 Was not my intention! Must learn not to chat/mail too late at night. 🤔 Understand the problem with dumbphones, often one isn't sure if they've really done what you wanted 😡 Agree with you about drawing, although I learned Tech Drawing the traditional way at college, for decades I've been using Autocad, Designer, Visio and co. Anyone want to buy a box of 3H to 6H pencils?? Best regards Doug 😎
I agree Delboy, 👍👍 I'm also a pensioner since February, but I had the foresight to acquire the tools I wanted to revive my long neglected model building (3D printer, milling machine etc) during the last few years of my working life. Along with various kits, materials, new 2.4Gig RC etc. Miniaturised RC kit for 'Plastic Magic'. Still learning to use all that. 🤔 BUT doesn't make me forget the traditional skills I learned as an impoverished schoolboy then student then junior engineer! I still often reach for the hand tools! Many things are still best done that way, but if I want several identical parts for a project why not print or machine? Simply uses a different skill set, which can also be learned, just like any traditional skill! But Delboy don't forget that many people still make their own hulls, and plans, several current build blogs emphasise this. Also good 😉 Colin; was a tenfold repeat necessary to hammer home your point??? You never know if you can until you try, if you don't try you never will 'can'! Despite all this, Happy modelling everyone and even Happier Sailing.😊 "Immer ein Handbreite Wasser unterm Kiel!" Cheers Doug 😎
When you download an STL file of your choice from let's say Thingiverse.com you need a programme to manipulate it in & export G code from, I use Slic3r (yep spelt right) it's free to download. In that you can flip, rotate, rescale & cut it into sections. I downloaded a Crackerbox hull, it's 21" long co I cut it into manageable pieces & printed it out over a couple of weekends, I'll post some pics later when I get home, I'm currently on with printing out a water jet drive for it. Just about any slicing programme will allow you to resize anything you load into it. I wanted some 1/4 scale hands, I downloaded a STL & printed out one hand to see what the scale was like against my Donald, it looked slightly too big so I reduced the size by 5% & printed out a pair, they look spot on. Don't be afraid of technology, if you can't find the answer to your problem on YouTube ask on here, someone will help you out. Cheers Wayne
As a child, I used to live in Wilmslow, so Lindow common was where I first got the bug for model boats back in the early 60's. In fact I have just got hold of the boat I wanted then, a 46" Fireboat to restore. The last time I went there, the common was badly overgrown and the boating lake seemed full of rubbish, and I almost cried😭 Not been there for about 13 years now, so I would have hoped that with all the money in the town it's been tidied up again. We certainly couldn't afford to live there now. Best wishes, Dave W 😊
I know you said you have a wizard behind the scene's, ( your brother I believe ) but you have drawn up the plans and sent him. Then finished the job how you wanted it. So the idea's have come from you. just fantastic.
One of the distinctive features of the RAF fire boats are the suction hoses in the rear well of the boat, and they were something that I was keen to reproduce with some accuracy. They have been very successfully modelled by others and there are some fine examples of their construction on this site and consequently a wealth of tips and ideas on how to make them and I have shamelessly taken the best of them to make my own. The key elements are, of course, the fitting at the hose ends which probably would have been originally made of cast bronze or brass and machined and jointed to couple together to form the complete hose. To replicate this in anything other than brass would not be doing justice to the model, and as you may be aware, I have a brother who is also a skilled model maker, and he has a lathe and has previously made some excellent brass fitting for me. I started by studying the few photographs of the boat and some drawings supplied to me by Mike Cumming at Vintage Model Works and I made up some engineering drawings, one for each fitting, and emailed them off to my brother. I also ordered some 15mm brass bar to be delivered to him for the fittings and once he had approved my drawings, set about machining the parts. A while later the parts duly arrived in the post and they were excellently made exactly as my drawings and so I then set about adding some more detail to them. I only have one set of these fittings so I can’t afford to make any mistakes and ruin them 😱 The most challenging fitting to be tackled was the suction pickup into which I wanted to inset some stainless steel filter mesh, so I carefully measured and marked off the areas of metal that needed to be removed. With the piece in the drill vice I cut a series of holes which were gradually enlarged, and then the remaining metal removed with files to form the square apertures. The collar of the fitting was then drilled to take some short brass rod ‘handles’ which were soft soldered in place and then filed to length. The stainless steel mesh was cut to fit inside the fitting with the join concealed behind part of the brass. The circular end cap was made by pressing the mesh into a piece of brass tube the same diameter as the inside of the fitting using a piece of brass bar as a mandrel. After thoroughly cleaning the fitting with some wire wool the mesh filter pieces were finally epoxied in place. That’s the most difficult piece out of the way, much to my relief. One down, four to go 😁