About catopower

Ship modeling since 1993.

My Newest Book – The Greenwich Hospital Barge of 1832

Here’s a nice looking book on a small subject, including information on building ship’s boats.

The Ship Modeler

I’m something of a collector of ship modeling books – Well, of kits and tools and supplies too, for that matter. But, the books provide the most inspiration and learning, so they’re particularly important. Plus, they’re a nice distraction from time to time. And, you never know, maybe I’ll actually build the subject matter of the book at some point.

Today, my copy of David Antscherl’s book, The Greenwich Hospital barge of 1832, and methods of building open boats, arrived in the mail.

Many of us are familiar with David Antscherl’s other works on the excellent Swan-class sloop series and his book on the Fireship Comet and others, all published by Seawatch Books. He’s so prolific that I can’t keep up with his publications. But, this book was, frankly, the least expensive, and of a very different kind of subject, so I thought I’d go ahead and get it.

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North West Short Line to Close

Of course, there will still be the leading hobby tool company selling their own versions of the tool designs they ripped-off from NWSL and others. So, you may not be able to buy a Chopper, but you will still be able to buy a Chop-It…

The Ship Modeler

Those of you who have been building models long enough should recognize this company. While they’re primarily in the railroad model aftermarket business, they make a few products that many ship modelers have used including the well-known ‘Chopper’ products. The owner recently announced that for personal reasons, the company will cease operations on August 30, 2019.

There is always the chance that someone out there will buy the company. But with the kind of products including gear pullers, arbor press, detail sander, brass bending press, and specialty tools for railroad models, it would take someone with skill and knowhow to keep the product line going.

Of course, we’ll see second hand products on Ebay and at our local ship modeling clubs for quite some time. But, it is always sad to see a hobby industry fixture like NWSL go.

For now, the company is still in operation, so if you are…

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New Bedford Whaleboat by Tom Shea

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member Tom Shea brought in his completed New Bedford Whaleboat model at our meeting last month. Tom completed the model last year, but realized he hadn’t brought it in to a meeting in its completed form.

There were some 60,000 of these boats built by for the American whaling industry. They were sturdy boats, but put to very hard use and had life spans of not much more than three years. Today, maybe two dozen survive in maritime museums.

Tom’s is a 1/16 scale model based on a kit from Model Shipways. The kit is an excellent one, featuring plans and instruction book developed by Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr. Tom constructed a special stand that the boat sits upon and displays the all the boats oars, which are each sized differently depending on the rower’s position in the boat.

One of the most difficult parts of this kit, according to Tom, was all the small details of all the hardware carried by these boats, including harpoons, lances, compass, rope tubs, and more. In the last photo shown below, there’s even a knife in its sheath sitting on the stern platform.

Tom chose to give his model a dark, weathered finish, which really gives a feel of an old well used whaleboat – a beautifully done model. We’re all hoping it will end up on display in our ship model display cabinet outside our workshop on the Eureka. Ω

Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 7: Painting and Preparation

HSPMS member Clare Hess continues his build of the Billing Boats fishing boat Dana kit.

The Ship Modeler

Preparing the Blocks

At some point, we’re going to need to deal with one of the small details, namely the blocks. Billing Boats commonly includes pre-molded plastic block in many of their kits. I think they may use small wooden blocks for some things, but the blocks on this 1:60-scale kit come in plastic.

Now, you may not like plastic blocks and may want to substitute some 3rd party fittings instead.  The blocks in the kit are 3/16″ or 5mm single-sheave blocks. Amati makes 5mm single blocks in Walnut and you can find them at Ages of Sail here, at $2 for a pack of 20. Unfortunately, shipping far outweighs the cost of the blocks themselves. Not a problem if you’re already planning to order other things. But, personally, even though I have many choices of blocks on-hand, I just decided to try out the ones in the kit.

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HSPMS Meeting Saturday

It’s that time again! The Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights are scheduled to meet on Saturday, February 16th at 9:30am aboard the ferry boat Eureka.

The pier is looking happier now, with the Balclutha back home. But, of course. there’s always the possibility that government will shut down again. That happened once this year and that affected our last meeting. So, check the news before heading over to the pier on Saturday morning. If there’s no shutdown, the meeting is on.

 

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights Meeting

9:30am

Model Shop aboard the Ferry Boat Eureka

 

Guests are always welcome! Members, remember to pay dues, $20, to Paul Reck this month.

 

Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 5: Hull Details

The Danish fishing ketch build continues with the $69 Billing Boats beginner’s kit Dana.

The Ship Modeler

The Prop

After painting the hull and adding the prop, I went ahead and decided that I didn’t like the position of the prop. Now, you may not care enough about it to want to change anything, but it was bugging me. Now, I may be wrong, but I’m glad I made the changes.

The prop points downward. On a real boat, this would drive the bow downwards, which may be the whole point. The boat may be more stable, operating with the bow not riding up above the water. But, the images of the completed model don’t seem to have the prop pointing down quite so much.

The main issue here is really that the shape of the rudder assembly prevents you from mounting the prop in a “nicer” fashion – the top of the prop hits the wooden frame. Really, all you need to do here is shave…

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Building Woody Joe’s 1/72-scale Kitamaebune Kit – Part 1

Construction begins on another Woody Joe kit. This time, of a Japanese Edo period northern port coastal transport called a Kitamaebune (key-ta-mah-e-boo-nay) in 1/72 scale.

Wasen Modeler

In the last year or so, I’ve been working a lot on some wasen model scratch builds. There are the Hozugawa Ayubune, the Urayasu Bekabune, and others. In the meantime, my pile of Woody Joe kits keeps growing. So, I decided it’s time to get another one of these kits done. Luckily, Woody Joe kits are relatively quick builds.

The Kitamaebune or Kitamaesen kit is listed by Woody Joe as taking about 70 hours to build. Compare that to their more complex Higakikaisen kit, which takes about 50% longer to build. I spent about 3 months on that kit.

The Kitamaebune seems like it will take considerably less time to build the basic kit. But, this is the first bezaisen I’ve built since visiting Japan in 2016. There are a lot of details I managed to see up close on the Hakusan Maru, the bezaisen replica on Sado Island. So…

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