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Old 10-15-2013, 09:55 AM
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6pkrunner (Mike) 6pkrunner is offline
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim
I was sent a pic of the Morgan, looking back towards the galley, and inside the door you can clearly see stacked on a barrel a box of biscuits from around 1900. I think the pic is clear enough, if I can get my printer to print a good replica that small, I may glue the label to a scaled down box for my galley.


ROFL!!! - There, see one simply cannot get enough detail. I remember as a kid making the car and airplane models. For the cars all the primary ignition, wiring harnesses, brake lines had to be installed and for the planes all the cockpit was detailed. I remember other kids asking why I did it and when it was together 90% of it vanished. But I knew and that's all that mattered.

Same as a flaw. No one else notices but to the one who built the subject matter, it glares like a sore thumb. I gave away 3 early Bluenoses I built over the years and two of them are in good friends houses. I go to those places and the mistakes are like icicles in the eye.

That makes something like the Flying Fish a leap of faith for me. No matter how much material I have on her - there are no photographs to prove what is correct and what isn't. Colours also. Her channels, waterways and deck trim are described in three newspapers from the era as light blue. There are a thousand shades of light blue. There are 9 paintings of her. 8 of those were painted by artists who were born 50-70 years after she was sunk. So how valuable are those? They are all different to each other in many ways. Artists paint from the gut and cold hard facts don't get in the way of the brush strokes.

I have two Model Shipways instructions and plan sheets and those are both different. The newer one (plank on bulkhead) is supposed to be updated by the finding of the Buttersworth painting, but there are still major differences between the new kit and his painting. He was commissioned by Sampson and Tappan to paint her to hang in their office. Also basic dimensions are suspect. Is she 202, 215 or 220 feet in length? I have articles citing each length as the correct one. Beam, deadrise, furniture location and style - all contradicting in the articles. Usually one can look at the majority of other vessels the shipbuilder produced over his life and get a feel for how he did things and his preference. However Flying Fish was spec'ed out by Sampson and Tappan so they would have influence of the design and style. Not that Donald MacKay would have done things his way anyway, but they would still have a heavy hand in colours, style and such. So it's a plug the nose, hold on and jump.

 
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

I totally get where your coming from!!! I'm still not sure all these treenails are even going to show up under the paint job. And the one mistake I did make already is really bugging me, but there's no way to fix it now. Oh well. FYI, mistake is tree nailing bulkhead A... If she were a plank on frame model, bulkhead A wouldn't exist, and the frames would have rounded around from Bulkhead B towards the front, instead of running parallel, like my treenails. It's a small thing, and most people won't know about unless they're also model builders. But it bugs me I didn't think of it before I did Bulkhead A.

As for plans and blueprints, I'm very fortunate because of the Morgan restoration program going on right now. I have a ton of pics online to use, plus another member of this forum lives nearby and has been sending me pictures of specific areas I had questions about (thanks again L). This has made it SO much easier trying to figure out what she's supposed to look like.

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Old 10-15-2013, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim

As for plans and blueprints, I'm very fortunate because of the Morgan restoration program going on right now. I have a ton of pics online to use, plus another member of this forum lives nearby and has been sending me pictures of specific areas I had questions about (thanks again L). This has made it SO much easier trying to figure out what she's supposed to look like.




[Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen Skit]"Luxury."[/Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen Skit]

So nice when the real deal still exists.

 
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
[Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen Skit]"Luxury."[/Monty Python's Four Yorkshiremen Skit]

So nice when the real deal still exists.


Yeah it is!!!

Automerged Post:
So the lower hull is treenailed up to the wales, and I glued in between the wales and planksheer today.

 
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I also did up the transom. Don't think I'm gonna screw around with the name-plank, except maybe the outside edges. I don't want to chance marring the trim, and besides, the inside treenails would most likely be hidden under the name.

 
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I've also done a lot of cleaning up and sanding.. mostly wet sanding with a 220 sandpaper, and only lightly. Just enough to get the toothpicks level with the planks, and to remove any excess glue. They still need some final work, but I won't do that until right before she's ready to be painted.
Still, for now, here's what they are starting to look like, with a ruler to show the actual size.

 
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Next are the bulwarks... yikes! They're gonna be even tighter, and I have to be super careful of the depth, so I don't break thru the stanchions on the inside. And because there are more stanchions than bulkheads, this time I'm guessing I'll need somewhere around 400 or more per side...
But after that the hull treenailing is finished!!! Woohoo!!!

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Old 04-09-2014, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

I'm back!!! Did y'all miss me? lol...
I had to take some time off my model to work on another project that took a lot longer than I expected. And to be honest, I needed a break after all the work on the treenails.

So I started back up a couple days ago, buckled down, and finished up the treenails on the bulwarks.

 
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At this point all the treenails are done except the decking. But the deck will come later after the outer hull is painted, so I'm done for now. The bulwarks were exceptionally tricky, and I was amazed I didn't break thru any of the stanchions. Even using a drill bit sticking out less than 1/8th inch from my pin vice, I got really lucky, and I would not recommend anyone attempt treenails on the bulwarks on this particular model except the very experienced... and brave!

So now I'm working on locating and gluing in the various cleats and chocks on the bulwarks, and generally prepping everything to be painted.

 
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There's a few more things I need to add, including some of the pin rails, and a couple spots that still need some fine sanding, but for the most part the hull is shaping up really nice, and it should be only a couple weeks before I can start spraying some paint around!!! hehehe

Automerged Post:
Oh.... A quick note about those last couple pictures.... you may notice the chocks and cleats are not centered... this is done on purpose... they're situated to fit in between the different sized housings that will be build onto the stern later.

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Old 04-13-2014, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

This has been a good weekend.. I drilled and glued in the mooring chocks and finished the head timbers.

Actually the first thing I did was add knees to the transom railings. I'm not sure if these will show thru the housing windows, but they were fairly easy, so why not:

 
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Then I did the mooring chocks and such.... have to admit, I was a little freaked out drilling holes in my bulwarks after going to all that work making them. But in the end everything came out OK.

 
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I also added the freeing ports, which match the planking exactly in every pic I found, so I simply cut in the shape and added a small fake hinge.

 
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I had a hard time making the cavils with basswood, so instead I used some hard maple, and they came out great.

 
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Then I tackled the head timbers. I have to admit, the instructions and blueprints are not the most detailed, but using pics from the restoration, and some a fellow member sent me (thanks Lester...) I was able to figure it out OK.

 
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And this is the a great shot of the real Charles W. Morgan during her restoration along side my model. I used this pic a lot trying to nail down the timber placement... and I'm all sorts of happy I got it this close.

 
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Not sure what's next... I think there's a few more small items that go on the bulwarks, and then I can start painting. Have to sit down with the blueprints tomorrow and figure what comes next....

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Old 04-14-2014, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

So today I spent the day carefully drilling what seemed like a bazillion tiny holes... lol. Seriously, I did the side pin rails, and there are only something like 124... I think... but that was enough. They weren't terribly hard, but it's very precise. I had to do a couple over because the holes just weren't in line straight enough. In the end I used 2 bits, a 1/64" starting hole enlarged to a 3/64". 3/64" is fine for the pins to slide down nice and snug without getting stuck. And the pins are not glued in yet... I only put them in to check the hole alignment and take a couple pictures. They won't go back in until everything is painted and finished and such.

 
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It's interesting, I'm starting to really see a difference in the port and starboard sides of the ship. I wasn't really expecting this, but once I thought about it a little it makes sense. Warships are fairly symmetrical in their layouts, simply because you can attack, or get attacked, from either side of the ship. So it stands to reason you want the same number of guns and what-not on both port and starboard sides.

But a whaler is much different; quite simply because you can only process one whale at a time, and while I'm not sure if this is true for all whalers, on the Charles W. Morgan everything is done on the starboard side. That's why the extra mooring chocks and cavils and such on the starboard side, to secure the whale to that side of the ship while it was being processed. There is also a large scaffolding that I'll be building later that goes with the opening in the bulwarks on the starboard side. This was for the men to stand on when they were processing a whale... most likely to keep the men high enough from sharks who were also trying to process the whale shark style, so to speak.
So the starboard is where all the action is, and I'll definitely be displaying her from that side if and when I finish her.

I'm off to bed... not sure what's left to do before painting.... I think I'm just about there. I'll go over the blueprints again tomorrow and see what's left to do.

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Old 04-19-2014, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

Hi y'all...
I think I'm done with all my pre-painting stuff. This week I added anchor pads and the cutting stage.... funny story about that, I'll get to in a bit.
The anchor pads have to be fitted around the main and top rail, so they took a little time. I still need to fine sand them a bit, but this is more or less how they'll look:

 
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Oh, and on the inside of the bulwark, just under the anchor pad, is a small rail called the head sail sheet board:

 
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So.... about the cutting stage. This is the area around the big opening in the bulwark on the starboard side, and where some of the men stood and worked while they were processing a whale. There are two big heavy reinforced rails on either side of the opening, and 8 heavy sheathing boards side by side under the opening and extending the deck a couple feet further out from the ship:

 
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So I worked yesterday on the sheathing boards; gluing all 8 pieces together and then shaping and gluing the block of 8 in place, and quit for the night. This morning I got up, made coffee, and decided to check pictures of the actual C. W. Morgan to see exactly how the heavy side pieces of the cutting stage fit into the bulwarks.... and discovered the heavy sheathing boards I glued in last night apparently don't exist anymore! In every recent pic I found only the heavy side boards are there. But then I found some very old pictures of her back in the day, and it looks like the sheathing boards and extended deck are there.
So what I think happened is she stopped whaling sometime right after the turn of the century, but remained a commercial vessel for a while after. My guess is they removed some of the cutting stage then simply because there were no more whales to be cut up, and to make loading and unloading standard cargo a little easier. I honestly don't know, but it kind of makes sense.

I'm a little upset at myself I missed it before I glued the sheathing blocks in, but I decided there is no way I'm going to try and remove them. The carpenters glue is too strong, and I would most likely rip out the planking as well. No... this is right dead center on the display side of the ship, I'm not gonna chance it. I can live with it.

The last thing I did was to add the sea steps:

 
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At this point I think I'm going to stop and paint the hull. I'm not going to add the big whaleboat davits until later after I build the deck furniture. They're pretty big, and I don't want them in my way when I do the decking.

Oh, one thing I need to stress again.... I know a few people are following what I'm doing, and a couple are also building models... and while I'm really honored, I also have to warn you all again, I am NOT following the directions the came with the kit anymore! Not really. I'm only using it as a guideline. For instance, in the directions, some of the things I've already completed on the bulwarks: the chocks and cavils and such, aren't supposed to be added until long after the hull is painted. But this makes no sense to me, and adds the problem of sanding and gluing a painted area, which could show. So I'm building all of this first; all the stuff on the bulwarks and hull that is covered in the same paint, and won't interfere with the decking later. I'm trying to approach this from a shipbuilder POV.... going from the blueprints and a massive library of pictures and several books on shipbuilding and plain common sense.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention this again, because if anyone else is building this same kit, then you've probably already discovered I'm not matching up with the directions at all. I'm the step-son and also grandson of two brilliant IBM engineers... lol.... and I have too much of both of them in me. I have to do this my own way.

Oh, last note: I can't pick up a compressor for a couple weeks ($$$), so I think it's time to build a stand. My kit didn't come with one, which is fine. I have some absolutely amazing ancient birds-eye maple I stashed away for just this. Because I'll probably build a full size case later, I'm not going do a huge pedestal stand, instead I'm going for a smaller, fancier 4-leg stand, similar to some museum models. I'll need to have this finished when the hull is painted and keel copper plated.

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Old 04-23-2014, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

No pics, sorry... just a quick note for tonight.

At the last minute I decided against airbrushing her.... actually I decided after looking at a lot of pictures of the real C. W. Morgan. Airbrushing her would give her a somewhat pristine look... which is not what I'm after. I'm looking for an old 150+ year old ship with a fresh coat of paint over many old layers, which is what close up pictures of the real ship look like.

So I'm doing something a little different... I'm hand painting her with airbrush paint. Watered down airbrush paint, to be exact. Very thin, almost the consistency of India ink. I've been using this paint for literally decades, and when I spotted it at Hobby Lobby, I knew it was what I wanted.

Thinned out, it's soaking deep into the wood, instead of piling up on top of the wood, so to speak. And the grain, as well as the treenails, are still showing beautifully! Plus this paint has only a slight semi-gloss to it, which also matches the real ship's paint nicely.

I didn't take any pictures yet because she kinda looks like crap... hehehe. I did the first coat today, and besides for finding a lot of tiny spots I missed and have to get tomorrow, this first coat also helped show a couple spots of glue I need to sand down a little further. No big deal, I expected this... in fact I'm really happy there are only a couple spots that need some attention.

Tomorrow I'll fine sand her where it's needed and do a second coat... and if she looks OK I'll take a couple pictures.

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Old 04-24-2014, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: My Charles W Morgan project

OK, I've done 2 coats on the port side, and I'm about to do the 2nd on the starboard, and so far other than being a bit too glossy, I'm loving the is look! Not sanding out all the little imperfections in the planking is now making her look really old under the paint, which is exactly what I was after!

Here's a couple pics of her so far. Just please bear in mind I still have a lot more painting to go, including the deep red under the water line, and all the white striping.

This is the starboard side after the first coat and then fine sanded to remove any shiny glue spots.

 
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And this is the port side after the second coat. I went a little heavier on this coat, and I'm debating whether she'll need a third or not. There are a couple faint shiny spots... I'll have to remove those at least.

 
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She's a bit glossier than I want, and I'm debating whether do something to tone it down a notch, or just leave it. I know this paint will mellow a bit in time. Other than that I am loving the look so far. She is really beginning to look like a very old ship, with a fresh coat of paint, which is exactly what I am after!

I am going to go brew some jasmine green tea and paint the starboard side. Have a good weekend y'all!

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