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Posted by - MODELERDAVE
Post date - 11-05-2007, 09:15 AM
I'm a novice, looking to purchase my first kit. Looking at the BlueJacket catalog the kits seem expensive compared to Model shipways. BlueJacket does not describe the details of the kits (wood types, plans, etc.) so I find it hard to compare. Anyone build kits from both? Is BlueJacket kits worth the add expense? Why?
Posted by - hamdul
Post date - 11-05-2007, 10:50 PM
While I have never had a kit from Bluejacket I have purchased parts from them and as far as I'm concerned the parts are the same as those supplied by Model Shipways.
Next - A while back someone had purchased a kit of (I believe) the Monitor. There was a problem with the hull so he contacted Bluejacket and the response was that the warranty had expired and he would have to purchase a new one. Model Shipways does not operate that way, for instance When they issued there first plank on bulkhead kit (Prince de Neufchatel) I had an order in the mail the day after I received the announcement. That had to be at least 5 to 6 years ago. Since I was working on another ship when it arrived it went on the shelf. About 8 months later I took it down, got the keel and bulkheads off the sprue and lo and behold they were loose as a goose. Back on the shelf while I tried to figure out what to do. Several months later I contacted MS and told them that the Bulkhead slots were very loose and what should I do. About a week later a package showed up with new bulkheads. I was deep into my Newsboy model so they went on the shelf. Well I finished Newsboy and decided to go back on Prince. Released the bulkheads from the sprue and installed them on the keel Now I notice that the keel slots are too wide, But I install them anyway wedging them to the after side of the slot. After installation I sight down the assembly and notice that the shape of some of the bulkheads do not give me a true line. I contact MS again tell them the problem and a week later I get a package with new keel & bulkheads. These fit like a glove. Mind you this has to be 5 to 6 years after the original purchase. No quibble about warranty period. So for my money MS has the best warranty around and unless you want a ship that really turns you on and Bluejacket alone has it that's the only way I'd go to them.
Posted by - MODELERDAVE
Post date - 11-06-2007, 12:44 AM
Thanks, you have confirmed what have found from surveys and feedback from other modelers. DECISION MADE: I'm ordering the "Phantom 1868".
So many questions:
1. How did you paint (air brush)? Yes, I have read practicum and instructions. Limited details as to when to paint. I assume the colors are on the plans which I do not have access to.
2. Rigging OK, I can follow plans and attach line "a" to "b". How do you determine tension. I guess I do not even know what questions to ask. Can you suggest a good book or other reference material? How did you figure it out.
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me. Until my kit arrives I have question about the unknown. When it arrives the questions will really start.
Thanks for your reply.
Posted by - hamdul
Post date - 11-06-2007, 01:03 AM
I paint by brush, Using Floquill paint. Color scheme will be in the Instruction book. Don't forget to download the Chuck Passaro Practicum from the MS site.
Tension is difficult to describe. You want the lines taut but not so that they pull things out of alignment. It's one of those things you quickly get the feel of.
Any question, I or others on the site will be delighted to answer. That's the fun of this hobby
I've got an air brush, I just have never mustered the courage to use it. All the prep and clean up seem like a hassle. Some day I'll bight the bullet tho.
Posted by - Bonac
Post date - 11-06-2007, 07:59 AM
I feel that Fred might have had one bad experience with Bluejacket and not talked to the right people about his problem. Having built 3 kits from them, I've found them to be most helpful and the kit quality is second to none. I've also built Shipways models and fine them to be excellent also but have found that their customer service leaves something to be desired. this may also be from being taken over by Model Expo. Your choose for a first built is excellent and there are many people here who have built it that help is only a question away. Good luck and most of all, Have Fun.
Posted by - hardingb
Post date - 11-06-2007, 08:08 AM
The paint scheme is on the plans...or maybe it's in the instruction booklet, I don't recall off the top of my head, but it IS in there. As a general rule, you'll want to paint parts before you glue them onto the model. That way you're only working with single colors, and not having to mask off tiny parts on the ship. You will have to do some touching up of parts on the ship afterward, but most of the painting can be done off the ship.
I'm sure airbrushing can be a good way of painting (aside from the cleanup) but of course, do it FAR from the ship...no misting onto your model. But it seems like most people brush paint. You'll find that you won't be doing a lot of painting all at one time, usually one small part at a time, unless you plan otherwise.
Your Phantom will come with paint (if you get the money-back package). Be advised, Model Shipways paint is very thick, and will need to be thinned justto brush paint. I don't know if it's acceptable for airbrushing.
One bonus of a copper hulled ship is that you don't have to worry about painting the waterline. As a matter of fact, I don't remember doing any masking at all when I built the Phantom. But I still have nightmares about painting the waterline on my first model.
Regarding rigging...Fred is right that you'll get the hang of it. It will all fall into place when you start doing it. As far as tension goes, Chuck's instructions will talk about what order to do the rigging in so that you're tensioning correctly.
Regarding books, there are plenty of good books about modeling for beginners. Actually, I think you'll get one with your Phantom, though I never got around to reading it. Ship Modeling Simplified by Frank Mastini is a good beginners book.
Posted by - hamdul
Post date - 11-06-2007, 11:08 AM
Just to clear the air. I have never had a problem with Bluejacket and I have never purchased a kit from them. I have purchased part tho. I was talking about another guy on this forum and here is a copy of his query.
I Called BlueJacket about my misaligned hull and they basically told me that because I had purchased the model so long ago (back in 1994) that there wasn't anything that could be done in the way of a replacement part unless I wanted to buy one.
I can't really argue with the fact that it's been way past any kind of normal warranty period, but if it were my company, I don't think I'd disappoint a customer over a $2 (their cost) piece of milled basswood. But they were polilte enough about it and gave me a few suggestions so I guess I'm fine with fixing the one I have.
What I was saying is, I have never had a response like that from Model Expo.
If there was a model made by both companies like the Constitution I'd go with Model Shipways in a heartbeat. I find their plans excellent. the quality of there materials very good. casting run the gamut. and service superb. If the ship I wanted was only made by Bluejacket I would not hesitate to buy it from them. For the most part I think they are both excellent companies
Posted by - jemontgomery
Post date - 11-07-2007, 01:21 AM
As a starter for line tensioning: attach a small alligator clip mid-span, tension so slack is gone (no sag), tie off. If the model will be in temperature controlled area, no problem; if temp's vary then rig in the cold. The lines will slack in the heat and tighten in the cold.
Pre-stretch your lines to cut down on expansion/contraction. Coat with bee's wax to eliminate "fuzz" of fibers. Pre-waxed fly tying thread is ideal for seizing material.
I use CA for gluing lines/seizings (it will darken light colored materials however).
Fish hooks of varying sizes and colors can be used for eye bolts (brass bends easily and can be painted or blackened with "black it").
If you wish to show "sag " in a line, you can position it as desired, then use CA glue along the entire length and it will stay "sagged". You can also use small diameter wire of various diameters as one leg of your line running through blocks to hold a boom/sail in a desired position.
On the subject of sails: wire sewn into the edges of sails can help hold a desired form/position.
Hope this is a help to get you started. You will find that as you progress, you will develop your own methods and techniques. Good luck, and happy modeling.
Posted by - jwils
Post date - 01-10-2008, 06:57 PM
The BlueJacket "Yankee Hero" was the first ship I ever modeled. It was given to me by a friend who designs and sells model railroad kits. He bought the kit because he was so impressed by the clarity of the instructions and I found this to be exactly the case. As a complete beginner I was never confused as to the next step in the build. An excellent company. The instructions that come with Model Shipways, by comparison, are of very poor quality.
Posted by - sailandrail
Post date - 12-16-2011, 11:36 PM
I have built 2 Bluejacket kits Red Baron and Yankee Hero excellent kits looking forward to building another. I have also used there parts for other model kits again, top quality
Posted by - ragove
Post date - 12-21-2011, 09:21 AM
I have built the Monitor and Virginia from Bluejacket. I found that the kits were so poor I should have just built from scratch; which is what I essentially did. I also have an unbuilt Spray kit (formerly from Laughing Whale but now sold by BJ) and a lobster boat from BJ. These kits look a bit better But i don't consider them even close to the quality of Model Shipways.
As to Model Expo's service I have always found them to be outstanding.
Posted by - William
Post date - 07-04-2012, 09:07 PM
I also paint wood ships by brush, and I paint as I go. For example, when I built the Phantom, I shaped the hull, sanded down the thick bulwarks, built the waterways and bulwark stanchions, filled the hull and bulwarks with sanding sealer, then painted the exterior of the hull black and the inboard bulwarks white. I marked the waterline, cut individual copper plates and coppered the hull. I painted the deck furniture and houses before placing the on the decks. Anyway, I hope that you get the idea.
By the way, I like Bluejacket's quality of the kits a little more than Model Shipways, although I like MS as well.
Posted by - gregs1234
Post date - 12-08-2012, 08:34 AM
I know, this thread is 5 years old already. But since it has shown up again... I am currently building my first wooden ship model, the Bluejacket Jefferson Davis. I bought it for $1 at a rummage sale, so I really can't complain about the rice. However, the quality is excellent. The instructions are very good, but you basically scratchbuild everything anyway. I had a few questions that I asked of them through email and they answered each one of them quickly and accurately. I have ordered parts and chemicals from them. In each case, I received an email acknowledgement, anticipated shipping date and a shipping confirmation. I would buy another Bluejacket kit without any second thoughts.
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