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April 2016
Vol 6, Issue 4


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

Let's talk about the advantages of moving outside of your modeling "comfort zone." 

While I was working on the Kidd this month, I realized that I'm enjoying the experience, and get a lot of satisfaction from learning something new.  The Kidd kit is really made for someone who is into Steel Navy, which I'm not. Not only are there a bunch of new terms to master ("Al, what's a Pelorus?") but just the way these ships work and are laid out is all new.

My passion in modeling is sailing ships and airplanes. I know them inside and out, and have confidence that I know almost everything I need to know to get a model built. That's my comfort zone.

This project, however, has stretched my abilities, knowledge, and skills into different areas.  Will I change, as Al sez, to the dark side?  Probably not.  But maybe there's another gray model in my future.

On your next project, I challenge you to do the same and try something new.  Who knows, you may actually like it.
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In This Issue
Nautical Terms
Model of the month
Something Fun
Tip of the Month
final message
Quick Links
Nautical terms and origins - back to the real stuff

Afterguard - is an ever changing word in meaning.  In the XVII and XVIII centuries, it referred to a ship's officers, who always worked and lived in the after area of a vessel (and referred to by one writer as "poop people"). In the late XIX and early XX centuries it denoted the owner's party on yachts, most of which had at least some paid crews.  In this sense it has come to mean the crew leaders in larger racing yachts, such as the America's Cup contenders.

Craft - is a very general word.  In the nautical sense it refers to virtually all ships and boats, large or small. It comes from Old English, craeft, which is believed to refer not only to boats and ships but to the skills required to build them.

Hounds - Earlier, protrusions on a wooden mast to support the trestletreees and the upper collars of some stays.  On modern craft the same term applies to wooden and metal fittings by which the shrouds are secured.  The term was used in Middle English, hun, and in Icelandic, hunn, then meaning the knob at the masthead.

Spirketting - Various strengthening timbers of old wooden ships, on the bows, under the decks, and between the floors.  The term may have come from the Old English spirce, scatter, implying perhaps to spread the strain or stress.

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 - Gloucester fishing schooner.
Phil T. of Maine, a regular visitor to our gallery, has finished his restoration project of an older model in bad disrepair. It was filthy dirty, the fore deck was cracked and some of the masting was gone. He did such a nice job that I asked him to share his thoughts and photos with us. Here's his story:

"I received this model hull from my brother.   It originally came from  an old collection from Chebeague Island, Maine.  Exact age could not  be determined, however, it could easily have been constructed in the  early 1900's according to  facts I was able to gather. 

Here's a photo after Phil started to clean it up.

My investigation suggested it was Gloucester  fishing schooner, circa 1870-1880. After cleaning many layers of paint and dirt,
I decided to salvage as many of the original parts as possible ie wooden blocks,  rails, upper and lower masts, etc.  Some parts were so old they fell apart in my  hands. Some parts were purchased, some I manufactured with helpful  suggestions from Al Ross and Nic Damuck at Bluejacket. I had to manufacture  a completely new bow sprit and jib boom and splice the assembly on to the hull.

I discovered upon stripping the hull that it was planked and had a  lead keel, thus classifying it as a "Pond Yacht"  The result was  beautiful display model, even though I could not identify it exactly,  even through Howard I. Chappell's  book on American Fishing Schooners. This was a labor of love as I truly enjoy  restoring antique models."

What an interesting story, Phil. And a darn good repair job, too. Here's a couple of more shots Phil sent.  one on a table, and the next of the finished model displayed. 

What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench:
 I've started to populate the deck of the Kidd with all the little pieces I've made and painted.  It's starting to look like something. The splinter shield around the guns is a single piece of brass strip bent to shape.  I tried one in styrene (you may remember seeing a strip of it being painted in an earlier issue) but I didn't like the way it came out. Now I'll start on the 02 deck level.

I didn't forget the bow, either.

Al's bench: Work on the J-24 is coming along nicely. The laser work is almost finished, and the plans are started. not shown are the 18 photo-etched parts ready to be laid out for production. The mast is an aluminum airfoil, just like the real thing.  We have decided to pre-cut the mast for the spreader bar and the gooseneck fittings. Al has also developed a jig to bend the pulpit and stern railings to the proper angles and bends. This is going to be a nice kit! We will also be offering a tool/paint/glue accessory package as a separate item.

 Something Fun

Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.  

Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests: 

I decide to water my garden. 
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. 

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that 
I brought up from the mail box earlier. 

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. 

I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, 
And notice that the can is full. 

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first... 

But then I think,
Since I'm going to be near the mailbox 
When I take out the garbage anyway, 
I may as well pay the bills first. 

I take my check book off the table,
And see that there is only one check left. 
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
So I go inside the house to my desk where 
I find the can of Pepsi I'd been drinking

I'm going to look for my checks, 
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside 
So that I don't accidentally knock it over. 

The Pepsi is getting warm, 
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. 

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi
A vase of flowers on the counter 
Catches my eye--they need water. 

I put the Pepsi on the counter and 
Discover my reading glasses that 
I've been searching for all morning. 
I decide I better put them back on my desk, 
But first I'm going to water the flowers. 

I set the glasses back down on the counter ,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. 
Someone left it on the kitchen table. 

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,

I'll be looking for the remote, 
But I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, 
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, 
But first I'll water the flowers. 

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor. 

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill. 

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
The car isn't washed,
The bills aren't paid, 
There is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter, 
The flowers don't have enough water, 
There is still only 1 check in my check book, 
I can't find the remote, 
I can't find my glasses, 
And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day, 
And I'm really tired. 

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.... 

Tip of the Month  -  Drybrushing

Some of you may have heard of this term, it is a common practice among the plastic model and railroad hobbyists. it is used to highlight ridges and edges of parts, giving them more visual depth.  You would use a light paint on a dark area, and a darker paint on a light area.

In working on the USS Kidd, I thought the monochromatic Haze gray sides of the deckhouses looked uninteresting.  There is a lot of detail there, but it gets lost because its all the same color. Drybrushing changed that, now you can see the details.

To drybrush, you take and old brush and cut the bristles short.  Then dip the brush in paint, then wipe almost all of the paint off. Lightly use the brush like a duster, wiping or swishing it quickly over the area you wish to highlight.  It will take many passes, but the final effect is really nice, just a hint of color on the edges. Here's a video of the technique:

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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.