Archive for March, 2008

1:16 Fiddlehead – Complete

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

completed modelThe oars were the last Fiddlehead components to complete. I used pattern Harry included in his drawings. They are shown here feathered with right hand control. The ferrule is simulated with brass tubing of telescoping sizes, allowing the oars to be disassembled as intended. Yes, they are a bit long, but we won’t tell anyone.

Most display stands for models are very formal affairs. At the Naval Museum in Venice, I saw many small boats displayed on horses. Much less formal, and appropriate I think for this kind of boat.

The seat back rotates in its blocks. The footrest can be adjusted; bring tweezers. The watertight hatches can be removed and replaced. I’ll probably get dunned for not flemishing the painter.

Many modelers keep very accurate counts of time and materials. I don’t. Tracking time is too much like the working days when I had to document every sliver of time spent on the job. This is enjoyment. The doing is what counts for me, not how long it took to get done.

1:16 Fiddlehead – Seat Back and Painting

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

two slat rotating seat backThere’s a cute little seat back, very light weight. The cross piece pivots in blocks that are screwed into the coamings and carlins. It looks comfortable. Time will tell.

Painting is one of the most difficult jobs for me. I haven’t yet invested in an airbrush. So, I use multiple coats of very thin paint with very sanding in between. The deck and covering boards have 3 coats of Minwax clear Polycrylic. The outside of the hull has 8 coats of green artist acrylic. Since I wanted a bit more gloss, especially for the deck, I then used automotive carnauba wax to complete the job.

The adjustable footrest is completely installed and visible in this picture.

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1:16 Fiddlehead – False Stems

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

false stemsFalse stems provide protection against all the things we’ll bump into. They’re replaceable, like bumpers on a car, but a lot cheaper. They are fussy to fit, but no more so than any other curved part. Did I mention that there are no straight parts or 90 degree angles on most boats. Everything is a curve and everything has at least one beveled edge.

For a “wow factor,” I gave about ummm 7 seconds thought to the idea of carving a fiddlehead in one of the false stems.

BTW, here’s another nice view of the gains.

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1:16 Fiddlehead – Deck Completed

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

decksThe four boards for decking need to fit snug to the coamings and slightly overlap the covering boards. They do. Well yes, there was one incident along the way where a tip was broken off during sanding and a new board had to be cut.

Did I mention that this stuff is really thin?

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1:16 Fiddlehead – Coamings

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

coamings and trim pieceCoamings are boards that extend above the deck and serve to keep water from splashing into the boat. Hey, we could have built a completely open canoe, no decks, no coamings. But, this was more fun. No, I won’t actually go camping where the deck and coaming would be helpful, but I might go paddling on cool days and not want to sit in a puddle of cold water.

My coamings are made of cherry, to provide a little visual contrast when finished bright. Right inside the point where they meet, a trim piece is added for stiffening. It’s a nice exercise in fitting angles.

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1:16 Fiddlehead – Decking

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

a slightly different shapeThere are six parts to the deck. Along each side is a covering board, long and constant width, following the line of the sheer. On the ends, slightly overlapping the covering boards are deck pieces, 2 at each end. Everything meets neatly in the middle.

Here is where we depart from the drawings. Somewhere “back when” I created a curve for the sheer clamp that differs from the drawings enough to make the pattern for the covering boards a misfit.

new plans for covering boardsResolve this by laying a piece of paper over the boat and making a tracing by lightly using the side of a pencil’s lead. (The same as tracing grave stones.)

oooopsMeasure once cut twice. After all the careful pattern making, I made at least one board too short. The penalty, go back to milling.



very easy to snag and breakI’ve mentioned a couple of times that this stuff is really thin, especially when we get to these boards which are 3/16 in thick (1:1). Merrily sanding along with a sanding stick, it’s all to easy to catch the end of the piece. If you’re lucky it gives you a good scare by how it bows and quickly snaps back. If not lucky, … it’s back to the mill.

covering boards completeEventually, the covering boards get completed.

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