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ing Tips & Tools Monthly, Issue #70--Changing-seasons
October 15, 2012
October 15, 2012

A Change In The Weather

If you don't like the weather, wait a minute, it will change. Everybody says it but not everyone means it as much as scale modelers in New England.

This happens to be my favorite part of the year, and the beginning of the most fruitful for modelers. Not only is the foliage great in New Hampshire but the coming of snow season tends to keep me pretty much indoors. There isn't much percentage in heading out into the snow (either on the ground or falling) with a three wheel mobility scooter. That means much more time to work on scale model kits or scratch building projects that come to mind. 

It also gives me more time for writing and I am planning some new modeling books, even a novel which I will be publishing not only here on Scale Modelers, but at reduced prices on Smashwords. Please bookmark this page, it will keep you growing and it will save you money.

Whatever you model, keep it clean

It is a good thing for a scale modeler to be married. There are so many things my wife helps me with, she has a different sense of direction, let alone a peculiar (for a modeler) knowledge set.

She furnished me with a couple of used  big make-up brushes that you can buy from a drug store or beauty shop. To save yourself the embarrassment of contacting you local Avon lady.

You can use a variety of cleaning methods including various brushes and compressed air. If you have stubborn spots you can clean them with moist cue q-tips. It is surprising how well they work.

I was surprised how well that worked,  I thought they would leave a bunch of fibers, but did not.

Researching 19th Century Warships By DVD

Researching 19th century Royal Navy ships themselves and life onboard over two centuries ago can take a lot of work and Internet surfing or alternatively be somewhat eased by playing and replaying historically accurate DVDs.

As I sit here watching one of the four-DVD set of the Hornblower Series, I realize what a wonderful tool this is for scratch builders, kit bashers and scale model ship builders alike.

Volume four entitled The Wrong War depicts many such details. Fo instance you Get a good look at one of the ship's guns on its carriage. You can easily make out the details of the carriage so you can construct them yourself using scrape wood stock. But the real gem on this DVD is a feature called "England's Royal Warships" hosted by Edward Windsor. Both the main program and the features are capable of instant searches which makes going back for a review of the details a lot easier.

Windsor's hosting takes place aboard the HMS Victory and brings to life some amazing details of England's favorite flagship with her  three decks and 104 cannon.

In the beginning of the  19th century, the  British Navy was the largest industry in the world with dockyards in several cities including Portsmouth where the HMS Victory is now birthed.

It took oak timber from 100 acres at roughly 60 trees per acre to build this giant of her times. A good half-acre went into the furniture for Admiral Nelson's furniture.

Did you knowNelson had a leather office chair where his assistant would deposit papers needing the Admiral's attention in a pouch on the right arm and when Nelson had finished them they went into a pouch on the left arm. The beauty of this system--no room for a pending pouch.

One of the British treasured finds was the Victory's main fore topsail from the Battle of Trafalger where Lord Nelson was killed. It contained 90 shot holes and lay buried in the sil locker until it was found 150 years later.

Towed furniture behind ships in boats, grntlrmen's agreement do all damage can to ship, but leave furniture alone.

The crew numbered 450 men mostly the on gun decks standing in bilge water, smelly and overcrowded.

You forget things like men were shorter in those days so the between deck height didn't have to be over six feet. For instance, judging the size of a gun powder cask in relationship to the height of a man is difficult from something like Wikepedia (if it is even covered), but seeing men handling these barrels makes you aware they were about the height of the span from a man's fingertips to his shoulder. In the middle they were twice the diameter of a man's waist.

they got three square meals a day in square dish complete with bugs (maggots). The smarter would leave them undisturbed and eat at night when eyes saw not.

They would wash it all down with burnt ship's biscuit crumbled in boiling water stir till thickened, add sugar quick Scotch coffee.

300 men on board just to heva rops an lines it took  240 men just to man a single  capstan to raise the anchor cable 24 inches in circumference and weighed 20 tons.

Free eBooks for ship modelers

Nautical modelers can pick up a lot of knowledge about ships and ship lore at Projekt Gutenberg...for free.

At the "Projekt Gutenberg" I found some interesting e-books for download 

These e-books are "Not copyrighted in the United States.  If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook."  Before you start to download a book you should read the general rules of this Projekt Gutenberg,  in order not to break some laws or the regulations of this e-book provider! 

The interesting books which I found are (I am sure there are others which I did not list, but which could be also interesting) 

Here is a listing: 1) The Old Merchant Marine; A chronicle of American ships and sailors  by Paine, Ralph Delahaye, 1871-1925  Chronicles of America series; v. 36 

2) The Fight for a Free Sea: A Chronicle of the War of 1812  The Chronicles of America Series, Volume 17  by Paine, Ralph Delahaye 

3) Manual of Ship Subsidies  by Bacon, Edwin M. 

4) American Merchant Ships and Sailors  by Abbot, Willis J., 1863-1934 

and very interesting with hundrets of shown knots in nice sketches  5) Knots, Splices and Rope Work, A Practical Treatise  by Verrill, A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt), 1871-1954 

5) The Migrations of an American Boat Type, Howard I Chapelle  It deals with Sharpies 

6)Fulton's "Steam Battery": Blockship and Catamaran 

7) The Pioneer Steamship Savannah: A Study for a Scale Model  United States National Museum Bulletin 228, 1961, pages 61-80 

I downloaded a few of the books from there, and did an advanced search using Bligh as the author. There are 2 books there, apparently generated by Cptn. Bligh himself . I found it is good to download the html version if available , which then includes illistrations rather than plain text only.

Below are the 2 Bounty books listed at Gutenburgs site. 

Bligh, William, 1754-1817 

Title A Voyage to the South Sea  For The Purpose Of Conveying The Bread-Fruit Tree To The West Indies,  Including An Account Of The Mutiny On Board The Ship.

Bligh, William, 1754-1817 

Title A Narrative Of The Mutiny, On Board His Majesty's Ship Bounty; And The Subsequent Voyage Of Part Of The Crew, In The Ship's Boat

Give Your Modeling A Kick Start

I often find, specially now that I am beyond 70, my motivation to get going needs a good kick start to turn on the flow of my modeling juices. Here are seven steps I turn to:

1. Develop your own plan in outline form so you go through the same steps with each model you begin. Do it on your computer or PDA so changes and updates are easily executed. 2. Don’t model in silence. Provide your modeling area with music, a good source is the Cable TV music channel.

3. Movies, Photographs, Drawings -- What the eye takes in can be a stimulus to your motivation to pick up the knife, the brush or the tweezers. In addition they bring to life the detail you are trying to emulate. Do not get bogged down in research but knowing the history of your subject helps in its recreation. Google Images and model railroading forums are valuable resources I couldn’t be without.

4. Talk to get motivated. I know once I tell my wife about a phase of the layout I am going to build, I feel a sense of commitment to carry it out.

5. Seeing the finished project stimulates my desire. I imagine it finished. Here again, pictures of layouts I am emulating provide an inducement to get to work. Also, of the project will bring in money, it will take precedence.

6. How do you eat an elephant—One bite at a time. You will get more done more quickly by breaking your modeling project into modules. Then take any small step; you’ll want another.

7. Find your niche. You will be much more motivated if what you are modeling is something in which you have a sincere interest.

If you really get bogged down and it has happened to me more than once, take it to God. There is no depression, no "blue funk" or no dreariness or no feeling of melancholy that prayer and reading the Bible can't cure.

God can get you charged up about your next model build. He can show you how to use it to meet new friends and get back in touch with old ones.

Take your Blue Funk and make pink lemonade.

Using Prime leg space for Paper

I can't tell you how many times I have used that roll of paper towels I put into that plastic paper roll holder under my workbench. It's the best Dollar Store investment I have made.

Now a paper towel is there when I spill liquids like glue or paint. Some have been even worse but there was a towel for a quick pick-up.

They make a quick paint pallet and alternate as a brush cleaner.

If I am working with super glue that I don't really want to touch and accidently apply too much, a piece of paper towel (fiber edge) will wick the excess away from the joint.

Wet or dry, towel sheets can be skrunched into piles that serve as a mountain or hill base.

Take A Regular Laugh Break

Scale modeling can get intense when the hour starts getting late and mistakes start creeping into the knife work, gluing, painting or weathering. It doesn’t take much, I know, it happens to me a lot and what was initially planned as a very relaxing interlude becomes stress-packed.

I was bouncing through the channels the other night after a workout with the paint brush and stumbled across a PMS presentation at the Kennedy Center, The 20th Mark Twain Comedy Award presented to Bill Cosby who is a couple years closer to 75then I am, but his comic timing hasn’t lost a thing. I soon found myself laughing so hard tears were blurting from my eyes.

The show’s producers ran in a number of Cosby’s skits that kept me in stitches, they brought back memories of when I first heard them and all of a sudden, they paint splotches lost heavily, their importance. I got to thinking about how great it would be if I could save some of these to perk up my down days.

Recently my local TV station set up a secondary channel (non HD) to air some of the oldies but goodies, in other words TV shows closer to my early days of TV.

You're right, Bill Cosby was there, and so was space on the DVR. Now I can get a quick fix whenever I need it

That's how the Laughter Mixer was born. Need a laugh, give it a spin.

The Road Ahead

I am looking at a lot of exciting changes this coming summer. It promises to be one of my favorites as I look back over seven decades. This reminds me of the utter foolishness of teen suicide.

My wife and I are moving into our own Condo after a decade of renting (I know, the rent alone would have paid for it). We're excited by the prospect (a garage in snow country is a big deal).

I have launched my new website all about my  experiences with mobility scooters. You can bet it is another SiteBuildIt site Check it out:

Your Help and Ideas Needed
To Expand SMH Idea Base

Making daily decisions involving for the past 62 months has led to the creation of over 425 pages of articles on the various facets of scale modeling, this monthly e-zine and a host of modeling questions answered.

As we get ready to embark on our fifth year, I am hoping to open the site up to input from other scale modelers. You may have noticed the Navigation Bar has been sub-divided into the major hobbies covered.

Each of these sections now has one or two pages that invite participation with questions, tips and pictures regarding your various modeling endeavors.

We want to hear from you as do the other 25,000 modelers who log onto this site monthly.

As I get ready to roll into my 74th year, I can’t believe how much I have learned about hobby activities In the past two years. I have heard from other modelers with similar experiences.

To help me develop and maintain my website your comments on its content are essential. You can send me your comments by visiting the “Voice Your Opinion” feature at the top of the Navigation stack in the left column on each page.

It was never my intention to make this website a one way street as my knowledge is no where deep enough for me to be termed an “Authority”. I hunger for your feedback, comments, ideas, tutorials, plans, pictures and even your negative comments if considered constructive.

The Internet and that includes work best when they are interactive and that is collaboration only you can provide. It has been a pleasure serving as your guide for these past two years and by no means am I throwing in the towel, for I honestly believe the building and maintaining of this website are instrumental in keeping my mind active.

I want to open up this site in the fast lane. That is your part of the two-way street.

Its In Your Best Interest

If you have been giving some thought to launching your own home business in 2010, it is worth your time to take a look at what I found:

Steps To Success

Until Next Month

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