BlueJacket blue sailor logo

June 2015
Vol 5, Issue 6


News,Tips and Happenings

Dear Shipmate:

It's the beginning of June and the weather is fantastic! Two weeks ago we held the rigging class.  Although the class was small, everyone learned a lot. Here's a Photo of the happy riggers:

(L-R) Jack (ME), Bud (OR), Sam (ME). Missing is Tim (FL)

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
Wants to start a club in Florida
Tim from the rigging class wants to start a model ship club in the Miami area. Here's how to contact him if you are interested:

Tim Collett
430 Grand Bay Dr, PH1C
Key Biscayne FL 33149
cell 305-794-7977

Nautical terms and origins

Companionway - A ladderway through a hatch, to the next deck below or above.  An earlier definition for companion was a hatch or skylight, also for a covering over a hatch.  The term may have come from the Dutch kampagne, for quarterdeck or poopdeck; or possibly from French and Italian for pantry or storeroom: compagne and compagna. 

Knuckle - An edge or a ridge formed by the change in form of a hull, such as of the flare forward. or the shaping of the upper works of the stern.  It is a shipbuilder's term, and probably came from early Dutch.

Shole - A flat timber or piece of metal placed under the keel or shores when a vessel is drydocked or hauled out; also a shoeplate to protect the rudder.  Also seen as sole, it appears to have the same origin.

Strop - The sailor's word for a strap. The word comes as is from Old English, then meaning a band or thong, and possibly is related to the Greek word strophus, twisted cord. It is recognizable in several Nordic languages.

Information is from the book "Origins of Sea Terms" by John G. Rogers
copyright 1985 Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. and available from BlueJacket. 
Half Hulls for Dummies
These two new "kits" are targeted at our summer Gallery visitors. They are one-piece cast resin hulls and cherry backboards which only need to be finished and mounted. They are even pre-drilled for perfect mounting alignment. Designed to be fun weekend projects, the longest time involved is letting the paint dry.

Lobster boat / Picnic boat. Kit # K1103 sells for $95. You choose which version you want to make, the kit includes parts for both. Two laser-cut pieces join to the resin, then it is painted and mounted. An easy waterline jig is included, along with the nameplate laser etched in basswood.

Here's what's in the kit:

One-Design Atlantic. Kit # K1104 sells for $75.  A classic keel boat designed for club racing and fast sailing. Literally all you need to do is clean and paint the hull, then mount it. As above, nameplate and waterline jig is included.

Again, the kit contents:


Model of the Month - HMS Victory
HMS Victory is a popular model subject, with at least 6* manufacturers providing kits. Our model of the month is from the Mantua kit, but heavily modified.  Dr. Paul G. of CT started this model over 30 years ago. When he started the kit, he realized that it had many shortcomings.  So he bought Longridge's book "The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships" and started reading.

(* - Artesania Latina, ModelSpace, Calderdraft, Mantua, Revell and Corel)

Of course, he then started modifying the kit (it's called kit bashing.) And modifying.  And modifying. And modifying. You get the idea.

As with so many model projects, life got in the way.  Work, family, kids, house, etc. The model mainly stayed tucked away, but came out for little projects and subassemblies here and there. Finally, with the kids grown, Paul could spend more time on the model.  And what a magnificent job he did! The fact that he was an eye surgeon probably helped with the smaller parts (ya think?) Now remember, he had never built a model before, either.

But when it came to the rigging plans, he was bewildered. Too many lines going to too many places with too many strange names. So he asked around to find someone who could do the rigging for him. Actually, I took on the job, but with the proviso that I teach him some of the work. Of course, all blocks, hearts, deadeyes etc. are BlueJacket fittings.

So I did the shrouds and stays, then we got together and I tought Paul how to do ratlines.  He said he was seeing clove hitches in his sleep.  But I think you'll agree, his ratlines are superb, just like the rest of the ship. Then I did the Fore Yard, and then back to Paul to do the Main Yard and CrossJack, since he had an example to go by.  Oh yes, he also did all the footropes and flemish horses on the model.

As you can see from the photos, his finished model can only be described in superlatives, like "breathtaking" and "magnificent."

Well done, Dr. Paul !!
What's on the workbench?

Nic's bench: I'm making good progress on the Portland.  All the decks are complete, so I'm done making paneled walls. The walking beam well is sheathed, edged, and has railings. The stacks are detailed and installed, still need the guy wires. Only the hurricane deck railings remain to be done, along with ventilators, anchors and lifeboats.  Oh, and two masts.

Al's bench: Al is continuing to fine tune the laser parts fit for the USS Kearsarge.
In the photo below are: (top to bottom)
Resin smokestack, hull cutaway
gratings, pivot cannon, and engine companion
mock-up of the chain armor cutaway

Al tells me that the pivot gun parts count is up around 50 pieces!
Something fun

Wife texts husband on a cold winter morning: "windows frozen, won't open".

Husband texts back: "slowly pour lukewarm water over it and gently
tap edges with hammer".

Wife texts back 5 minutes later: "computer really messed up now".

Tip of the Month  -  defining construction
This month it's not so much of a tip as it is a bit of definition. Lately we have had a rash of questions about the difference between Plank on Bulkhead and Plank on Frame. Some people use the terms interchangeably, and others just plain mis-use them. If you know the answer, you can skip this block...........

Plank on Bulkhead - The vast majority of planked kits fall under this category. Bulkheads are solid all the way across, and are spaced from 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.  On kits where they are spaced on the wide side, it is possible that the planks will "dip" in between the bulkheads, creating a wavy surface. Sometimes a second layer of planks is added after sanding to help eliminate this problem. This construction is inexpensive to produce compared to solid hulls. Here's a photo of plank on bulkhead:

Plank on Frame - This method more closely duplicates full scale ship building practice, and is most notably used on Admiralty models. There are relatively few kits that offer this, it is an expensive method. Many scratch builders do this style for the realism.  "Frames" is just another word for "ribs." Frames are not solid across, they are just deep enough to provide strength.  Also, they are spaced much closer together, usually no more than the width of the frame itself and often not even that. The frames can be a single piece, or built from several pieces. Again, here's a photo:

In both cases, the laying of the planks is done the same way. So now you know the true difference between the two methods of construction.
Thanks for your support


My final message in this newsletter will always be the same because it is what BlueJacket has done for 110 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.