Pride of Baltimore II by David Lester - Model Shipways, 1:64 scale

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One other thing I meant to mention in my last post is how great the people at Pride of Baltimore are. The Model Shipways plans are very accurate and comprehensive, but nevertheless a couple of things baffled me (it actually doesn't take much,) so on two occasions I emailed them at POB with my questions and in both cases I received a reply right away and one response even included a photograph with an arrow drawn on it indicating the answer to my question. They couldn't have been more helpful.
 
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I have now essentially finished the rigging. I haven't posted during the rigging phase as it wasn't very interesting and it simply progressed in the usual way.

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I had one minor setback though. I had the same problem on a previous model, but failed to learn the lesson. I managed to break both the aft cross tree on the fore mast and the long spreader on the main mast. In both cases I had quite a bit of rigging already attached. I attempted to repair the breaks, but the result was pretty bad, so I had to undo the rigging and replace both broken pieces. The lesson I failed to learn is to not use the kit supplied basswood for these parts. There's a fair bit of tension on them and when I caught my finger on attached lines, it was enough to snap the parts. The basswood really isn't quite strong enough. It's much better to use some walnut or other hard wood for these parts which is what I did for the replacements. I suppose it would also work to use some very thin sheets and build up the thickness plywood style. I definitely will not forget this next time around.

Three jobs left to do - add the rope coils on the belaying pins - touch up the paint in a couple of places - and add the rope railing that runs along the top rail. It's not included in the kit, but I found some really great stanchions for it at Cornwall Model Boats.

I opted to omit the netting that hangs below the jibboom. I know that I simply couldn't model it in such a way that it would enhance the model, so I just left it off.

This model has two turnbuckles which are placed just aft of the fore mast near the top. I've seen several methods for making them on-line, but I don't really have the metal working skills required and in most cases I think the results tend to look a bit bulky and over scale, so I made dummy ones by sanding down a dowel to a very small diameter and adding a small eyebolt at each end. I think they fit the bill ok and are scaled according to the plan.
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I always struggle a bit with some of the running rigging when not using sails. The plans show the model with sails and there is always a bit of tweaking involved by eliminated some of it and adapting some of it. I'm sure I haven't hit it 100% correct, but oh well.

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So, I'm really in the home stretch now.

Thanks for your comments and likes.

David
 
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My Pride of Baltimore II is now finished. I added the rope coils, the railing and stanchions along the top as well as the running lights.

I meant to mention the baggywrinkles earlier, but forgot. I tried many different ways to make them and nothing would work. In the end, I decided I'd been overthinking it and just used some pieces of wool. I found some wool the right colour and about the right size. I simply cut it into lengths and threading it onto the line and glued it. On close inspection it's obvious what it is, but from a slight distance, it certainly gives the right effect.

On the real ship, the stanchions for the rail are just a dull metal colour. The ones I have were brass, so I blackened them only slightly so that they aren't quite black, but aren't bright shiny brass either.

I always have trouble getting my rope coils to behave. I use Amati hemp from Cornwall Model Boats for the rigging and it's very nice line to use. However I can never get it to coil easily. The coils always want to go too round without appearing to hang. To solve the problem, I switch to crochet/tatting thread for the coils. I found one that matches really well and it's essential to use a very small size. It's Lizbeth thread, size 40, colour - medium mocha brown. This stuff is very soft and I find it much easier to use and it's virtually impossible to notice any difference.

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If anyone is contemplating building this model, I can highly recommend it. It's a really good kit and the plans are very accurate. There are many resources available for confirmation and I found virtually no discrepancies.

Many thanks for your interest, and everyone, please stay well.

David
 

Canoe21

Lawrence
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Hello Dave, Just found your Pride of Baltimore, You have did an excellent job of building her. I have built two schooners over the years, they have always been my favorite of ship. Well Done.
Regards Lawrence
 
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I've been doing a lot of thinking about masting for this one. There is a ton of metal work and I'm not skilled at it, nor for that matter overly interested in it either. Many of the builds I've looked at have some pretty impressive work with brass and soldering etc, but as skillfully done as it often is, I think often it is too bulky and overscaled and actually detracts from rather than improves the model. So the challenge will be finding the balance and I'm pretty sure I'll be leaning more towards how you did it. Sometimes a simple strip of black construction paper with some eyebolts can look a heck of a lot better and more realistic than a big honking brass strip. I will have to find my way as I work through it.
David
 
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Hey David - curious on your opinion of 1:64 scale? One of my many development projects is in this scale and I typically only work on larger stuff (1:48, 1:32). Are you satisfied with the level of detail you can get at 1:64 or do you wish for larger scale? I have always been of the mind that the smaller scales are more difficult to build. Still have my MS Constitution at 1:76 scale on the shelf... have you done yours yet? LOL
 
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Hi Mike, most of the models I've built are 1:64 so it seems quite usual and comfortable to me. Also, I don't think my house could bear a larger scale; it's bursting at the seams as it is. I think my first kit, the Armed Virginia Sloop was 1:48, and is a very small vessel. I don't really notice too much of a difference in difficulty to build.
David
 
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Thanks everyone. You guys are too generous. You all do all exquisite scratch work with amazing woodworking skills and I do standard kit work relying heavily on wood filler and paint! Thank you nevertheless. I'm working at the level that provides me with both challenge and satisfaction, so I guess there's nothing wrong with that.

How is everyone coping with our current dreadful situation? I'm having no problem with the semi-isolation etc, but I do have anxiety about what lies ahead. Since there's nothing I can do about it, I try not to worry too much, but it's in my nature to. We live in a small town and I'm thankful for that. I think things are easier here than in the cities.

Since I'm retired, we live mostly on investments, so that's a bit concerning, but I think we'll be ok in the long run. My wife is still working part time. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada (largest protestant denomination in Canada, compares quite closely to United Church of Christ in US) and is at a tiny rural church. Services are cancelled, but she is still employed, reaching out to the congregation through the internet. My kids are ok for the time being as well, having to make adjustments to how they work, but still have their incomes. They are now working from home, but find their kids to be a bit of a distraction as they are little and need a fair bit of attention.

I'm vice-chairman of our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate and we have had to lay off most of our employees and our current "builds" are on hold for the time being. We will also have to accommodate our existing home owners who may not be able to continue their mortgage payments. I hope we can survive and recover. Some very needy people in our community have been relying on us. So time will tell.

I really feel for the people who are of working age and whose incomes are disrupted. It's all very concerning. The prime minster keeps announcing programs which sound helpful and I believe actually are, but I'm not sure how easy it's going to be for many people to figure out which ones are for them or how to access them. Things generally work well in this country, but sometimes the bureaucracy can be difficult to navigate.

So, please stay healthy everyone and I wish for you all to have the stamina to endure until we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

David
 
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Nice build. This kit will be my next one so your build will be a great resource. I'm still in the process of building my first wooden model, the USS Constitution cross section. I bought the kit ages ago in pre internet days,built the frame and inside and outside planking (easy with all straight pieces!) but put it "in drydock"because I was scared off by shrouds,ratlines,deadeyes, and other rigging.
Fast forward to 3 years ago. We moved from upstate NY to Maryland and I got wind of the Pride Of Baltimore II. One look and I had to build her. Once the plague is over, I plan on visiting the ship, maybe going for a day sail. I pulled Connie off the shelf and took up work,using the ship as a learning project.*
Now there is so much information online that a lot of the fear has gone away. I just rigged a temporary set of shrouds and ratlines using the tan cordage supplied in the kit,planning on replacing it with black cord. Syren's store is not open but I can still build spars while I wait for Syren to open, unless anyone here knows another source of better looking rope.
You mentioned a Bob Hunt practicum on the POB. Where can I find that?
*I've been doing a build log on Model Ship World. Would it be OK to put a link to that on SOS?
How can I follow this build and others to keep up with updates. Thanks all.
 
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Hi Brewerpaul,
Thanks for your posting. I can't recommend the POB highly enough. It's a really well designed kit and based on the many pictures available on line and my visit to it last summer, I would say that the plans are very accurate and well detailed.

While my visit to the POB last summer at one of its Tall Ships Challenge stops was great, it was also a bit disappointing in that the number of people was so large that it was difficult to get decent pictures and it was hard to linger at any one spot to really look at something; you had to keep moving. Hopefully, it's better visiting at its home port which it sounds like you will have the luxury of doing (if we ever get outside again.) The picture below illustrates my experience. Nevertheless I did manage to get some useful pictures of some details.

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Bob Hunt has written a number of practicums for different kits. They're all available at his website, www.lauckstreetshipyard.com. I have all of them and have mixed feelings about them. I found them indispensable for my first couple of models. I really could never have gotten comfortable without them and because of that I am grateful to him. I found them especially good at helping me understand the sequence of the build. I think they're a terrific introduction to the hobby. So, on the one hand, I love them. But there is the other hand. After a couple of builds, you really don't need them anymore and at this point I use them only for occasional reference. Also, while he's pretty good on the hull and the masting, he often skips some details and he really drops the ball when it comes to the rigging. They become quite sketchy at this point and in some of them, it's clear he never actually rigged the model as he uses pictures from different models entirely. His rigging directions for the POB are particularly weak. So if you thought it might be helpful to get his POB practicum, I would say, by all means get it. You will no doubt find it helpful, but just be aware that it's possible to do better on the rigging than the practicum would lead you to believe.

I have never used Syren rope, but it sure looks great. I don't think I could afford it though, as I tend to be very wasteful with it. I really don't like the line that Model Shipways provides so I have found what I think is a good compromise. It's Amati rigging line and I buy it from Cornwall Model Boats. It isn't very expensive and I think it's quite decent. Of course, right now international mail is moving at a crawl, which is a nuisance. Cornwall Model Boats is advising everyone to pay a little extra and opt for courier delivery or at least upgraded mailing with tracking etc. until things return to more or less normal. Since the shipping costs are always a concern, I try to build up a big order of various things, even including things I could get locally, just to make the shipping charges seem relatively affordable.

Best of luck with your future POB and I'm looking forward to following your progress.
David
 
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I'm an avid amateur Irish musician,playing tenor banjo,mandolin and penny whistle. I also make and sell penny whistles from exotic hardwoods. Anyway, I got to wondering if there was a tune called The Pride of Baltimore and it turns out that I couldn't find one in any of the exhaustive databases. Looks like I'm going to have to compose one. For a sailing ship, it'll have to be a hornpipe,of course.
In the course of doing that research, I came across this short video which whets my appetite to build the POB even more. It includes a song with lyrics, but not the type of monophonic tune played at Irish sessions.

 
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That's very cool!

The song accompanying the video reminds me of Stan Rogers. Are you familiar with Stan Rogers? He was an amazing Canadian singer/songwriter who died in 1983 in his early 30s. If he had lived longer I believe he would be internationally know as one of the greatest. As it is, his fame doesn't match up to his talent. Much of his music is about "the sea." Google him, and give him a listen; you're in for a real treat if you're not already familiar with him!
David
 
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How exactly did you do your stern graphic and lettering,also the bowsprit graphic? You mentioned using the computer, which made sense for the bowsprit graphic since it's solid color and could just be printed on paper. On the stern though,there is arched lettering which I guess would have to be a decal. Where did you get the computer images?
I'm still nowhere near starting the kit,but I'm thinking of it constantly .
 
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