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February 2014
Vol 4, Issue 2


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:
So it's February now.  Do you have all your Valentine plans made?  We hope you enjoy them, whatever they are.

If you are still thinking about joining our rigging class May 5-9, there are only 2 spots left, so don't delay!

Last month I received a couple of questions about chemical blackening, so here's a follow-up for you.  The procedure is very simple.  Of course, you must still clean the pieces, but then all you do is put them in a container like a plastic cup, and add the blackening agent diluted with 10 parts water.  Stir occasionally, and in 2 to 5 minutes, you have your finished parts.  Rinse them well under running water, and dry them. It helps to put a clear protective paint coating over them.  Here's brass brown acting on eyebolts:

In This Issue
Model of the Month
Something Fun
Tip of the Month
final message
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$1,000 Reward Offered in Case of Stolen Artifact
Here is a story about a stolen ship model.  I'm thinking that perhaps the thief will try to sell it, and who watches ship models on the internet more than BlueJacket customers? The answer is no-one.


With no leads in the case, Naugatuck CT Police hope a reward offered by Ion Bank will help catch the thief and lead to the safe return of a one-of-a-kind model ship.  Since leads have all but dried up in the case of a model ship stolen from the Naugatuck Historical Society, investigators hope a $1,000 reward will help break the case open.

Naugatuck Police announced Tuesday that Ion Bank had offered the reward for information leading to the arrest of the thief and/or the safe return of the artifact.

The item, a wooden model of a Schooner Ship that has great historical and sentimental value to the society and the borough, was stolen from the society's Water Street museum in November.

According to police, the stolen model is a replica of a Schooner type tall ship, used by the Peter Paul Candy Company during World War II. "The tall ships were used to transport supplies during the war because they were safe from German U-Boat attacks," a press release from police states. "No other artifact tells the story of the Peter Paul Candy Company, during the World War II years, like this model." 

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the model is asked to contact Det. Ronald J. Pugliese Jr. at the Naugatuck Police Department, at 203-729-7106.

(story curtesy Naugatuck Patch newspaper)

Model of the Month  -  Fannie A. Gorham
This model is a magnificent example of a Maine coastal merchant schooner.  The model was designed by Pete Demarest, who was a personal friend of mine down in Connecticut.  Pete passed away in 2012.  Many of his models grace museums throughout the USA.  He was a dedicated historian and researcher, as well as a top-notch machinist.
Here's what we say in our catalog about this model:
"Launched in 1881 in Belfast, ME (just 8 miles from BlueJacket's home in Searsport), the GORHAM was built especially for the coastal trade, carrying lumber and other cargo from New England to southern ports. We have built a finished model of the GORHAM for the grandson of her commanding captain when she was 'lost at sea, with all hands.' FANNIE A. GORHAM is a good model for the intermediate builder and, with her off-center main mast, centerboard, and shallow draft, is an unusual and interesting subject for any modeler." 
What do we mean by "off-center main mast?" Well, to have a retractable centerboard, there is no space for a mast in the middle of the ship.  Or, if the mast is centered, then there is no room for the centerboard. As a compromise, the ship overall would handle better with a mast offset a little, rather than the centerboard being offset.  This practice is actually quite common on this type of vessel.  here's a close-up of what that looks like:
BlueJacket's kit is a solid carved hull with our usual fine assortment of Britannia fittings, laser cut parts, brass rods and strip styrene, flags and decals, detailed instruction sheets and hull lines, rigging cord, and even parral beads.  Kit parts shown below:
 According to Wikipedia, The Fannie A. Gorham rescued passengers from the SS Oregon passenger liner in 1886.  Here is the account:


"On what was supposed to be one of her last runs to New York, Oregon sailed from Liverpool on March 6, 1886 with 186 saloon, 66 second class and 395 steerage passengers. At 4:30 AM, just 15 miles from New York, she collided with a schooner, most likely the Charles H. Morse, which disappeared in those waters about the same time. The schooner sank almost immediately with all hands.


The hole in Oregon's side was described as big enough for a horse and carriage. An unsuccessful attempt was made to plug the hole with canvas. Two hours after the collision, the captain ordered Oregon to be abandoned, but the lifeboats and rafts only had room for half of the 852 people on board. Finally, at 8:30 AM, the schooner Fannie A. Gorham and the pilot boat Phantom responded to Oregon's emergency flares and boarded all passengers and crew. At 10:30 AM, SS Fulda of Norddeutscher Lloyd also arrived, and the passengers and crew were transferred again. Eight hours after the collision, Oregon sank bow first in 125 feet of water. Her mast tops remained above water for several tides."

Something fun
Instead of John, I'm going to call my bathroom Jim.  It sounds better to say I went to the Jim first thing in the morning
Tip of the Month - assorted little things
For those of you who use rattle can spray paint, keeping the tips unclogged has always been a problem. Not any more.  When you are done spraying, remove the tip and put it in a small jar with solvent in it. Lacquer thinner works for both lacquer and enamel paints.  Although I do not use acrylics myself, thinners for them include plain water, mineral spirits, alcohol, and even window washer fluid. 

Modelers can never have enough little cups to hold pieces while working.  Party Supply stores sell stacks of small plastic cups that are disposable.  They can also be used to hold melted butter when you cook lobster. (yum)

It is much easier to attach blocks to masts and spars before they are mounted on the ship. The parts are more easy to handle, and less chance of breaking something

Old plastic lids from coffee cans, Pringles, Diamond Nuts, cheese dips, etc. make great disposable trays to put drops of glue and paint to be picked up by toothpicks and applicators.  CA glue, white glue, Titebond and the like do not stick to the plastic, and can be popped off after they dry.  When the tray gets gummed up too bad, just toss it and get a 
new one from your stash of extra lids.
Ever have you of CA glue not want to drain back into the bottle from the tip?  The simple answer is to tap the bottle on your workbench a few times.  The extra shock will make the glue drop into the bottle. Yes that photo is my workbench, and yes it's a bit messy.  The bowsprit is a waterline Coastal Schooner I'm working on (but not the Fannie Gorham.)

And finally this month, How do you keep your tweezer tips mated nicely?  Grab a piece of 220 or 320 sandpaper with the tweezers, and rub the tip across it a few times while squeezing.  Then flip the tweezer grip and do the other inside tip. Now they will match up.

Thanks for your support


My final message in this newsletter will always be the same because it is what BlueJacket has done for 109 years, and we're not about to stop.


We appreciate our customers, we exist for our customers, and we listen to our customers. What we do is fun, just as I will try to make this newsletter. If you have any suggestions or comments, still, as always, please just give us a shout!


There's nothing I'd rather do than work on, or talk about model boats. Have fun!  




Nic Damuck

BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc.