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February 2016
Vol 6, Issue 2


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

We have been blessed with a warmer than normal winter (finally!) and, if we are to believe the groundhog, an early spring!

We are working on a new section of our website, "What's in a Bluejacket Kit" and it should be up and running in a day or two. The first two videos are the Mary Taylor from last month, and our small Yacht America kit. My goal is to add a new video every other week, so keep on the lookout for them.

BlueJacket is a proud sponsor of:

Model Ship World is an on-line forum of ship modelers. Topics range from kits to scratch builds, in-process continuing stories, tips, manufacturer information, technical topics.  Too many to list here. Go take a look!
In This Issue
Nautical Terms
Model of the month
Something Fun
Tip of the Month
final message
Quick Links
Classes for 2016

We will be holding two classes this year, rigging and planking. Classes run Monday thru Friday, and the tuition includes all the materials and tools you need. If you use those visor magnifiers, you should bring your own, but everything else is given to you. All classes start with a full tour of BlueJacket's gallery and manufacturing operations, a pizza party Monday lunch, 10% off purchases all week long, and the shipping of your project back to your home.

Classes are at the Fireside Inn of Belfast, and you will get a BlueJacket corporate rate if you stay there. Significant others are welcome to drop by the classes and observe.

RIGGING - May 16th thru May 20th. $400 tuition

You will learn all the different methods of attaching blocks, deadeyes, learn how to string lines, rig hearts, vangs, shrouds, stays, ratlines and all the knots you will need. Here's a photo of the demo model:

PLANKING - October 3rd thru October 7th, $475

You will learn spiling techniques, measuring, use of battens and stealer planks. You will go home with an entire kit so you can finish it. Here's a photo from a previous class:

Nautical terms and origins

Interesting to note this month is that all of the following terms have multiple meanings.

Bill - (1) A general term for a document or notice, such as a waybill, bill of lading, or watch bill.  The word comes from the Late Latin billa, of the same meaning. (2) The name for the tip of an anchor-fluke.The origin in this sense is uncertain, but it could be Middle English (bile) for a bird's beak. 

Cast - (1) An old term, rarely heard today, for turning a vessel.  It came, via Middle English, from Old Norse, kasta, warp. (2) To throw, as a line (never, in spite of poets, the anchor). In this sense the origin is Middle English, casten, to throw.

Junk - (1) Old rope. The term comes from jonke, a Middle English word of the same meaning. (2) Any of several types of Chinese vessels, usually sail. The term is believed to come from a Portugese-Mindinao word, junce - their name for this type of vessel. Other sources were Javenese, djong, ship; and Malay, adjong, boat. (3) Salted beef served in the forecastle.  The origin in this sense no doubt relates to junk (1).

Run - (1) A point of sailing, that of being before the wind. (2) The shape of the after end of the hull underwater. (3) A passage of a vessel from one point to another or in a period of time. The term in all senses appears to come from Old English, rinnan and from Old Fresian, rinna.

Information is from the book "Origins of Sea Terms" by John G. Rogers
copyright 1985 Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. and available from BlueJacket. 
Model of the Month - USS Constitution co-incidence?

This month we have an interesting tale about the course of history repeating itself. Don S. of PA shared his story with me:

On December 29th 1812 the USS Constitution, cruising off Brazil, was engaged in a naval battle with the HMS Java, a British frigate.  For details of that engagement see Naval History and Heritage Command"Defeat of HMS Java, 1812."

The HMS Java was defeated and boarded but was so damaged that she had to be scuttled, burned, and sunk. In a report to the British Admiralty W (H) D Chads, 1st Lieutenant of his Majesty's late ship noted, in part "The Constitution has also suffered severely, both in her rigging and men having her Fore and Mizzen masts, main topmast, both main topsail yards, Spanker boom, Gaff & trysail mast badly shot, and the greatest part of the standing rigging very much damaged and ten men killed.  The Commodore, 5 Lieuts and 46 men wounded four of whom are since dead."

The damage required the USS Constitution to return to Boston for repairs and refitting.

On December 29th, 2015 exactly 203 years later, a mechanical water line broke and a light fixture filled with water fell on the nearly completed model of Don's ship.  The damage was almost exactly the same as noted in Lieutenant Chad's report.  Happily there were no casualties.

December 23, 2015 USS Constitution nearly complete.

December 29, 2015 Ship damaged in the same manner as the original, 203 years later

What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench: This month my workbench is in the tip of the month section.

Al's bench: The 1942-1945 Nantucket is coming along nicely. It had no lighthouse lights, and carried an old WW I 3" gun, and 2 50-caliber machine guns which Al will add.

 Something Fun

Tip of the Month  -  Making a clean boottop

Many modelers fuss over masking off the boottop on Naval and commercial vessels.  Al has given me a very good tip on how to do it the easy way. Rather than do it last, he does it first, and in a clever way. I'll describe the process as I did it to my USS Kidd model:

First, I hit the upper bow with Haze Gray and masked it off. Then I sprayed flat black all around the sides of the hull, not worrying about neatness or overspray..

Then, using 1/8" vinyl tape, I masked off the boottop.

Next step is to spray the hull bottom.  Notice I sprayed right over the boottop, and even onto the upper hull section.

Once that paint has dried, I put the model on a workboard, and masked off the lower hull.

The upper hull is sprayed with Navy blue.

Now the fun part - taking the masking tape off. Minimal masking, maximum results!

Blatant Publicity

Thanks for your support


My final message in this newsletter will always be the same because it is what BlueJacket has done for 111 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.