After 18 years my job decided they didn't want me anymore, so they cut me loose. I knew finding a new job in this economy, in my 50's, and without a degree wouldn't be easy, but I never expected impossible. Over 200 resumes, applications, and just going in and asking over two years, and not so much as an interview. Anyway, the mortgage people like getting paid, and when they weren't they took back their house. Needless to say, the models haven't had priority for a while.
Then I was asked by the director of the real ship if I would display Constellation
at the Baltimore Port Expo back in mid-May (2014). I've never done a model show or public display of my models, but I wasn't busy, so I did it. They had a pool of sorts set up, and four or five modeler's showed up and sailed around in it. It was generally too shallow for Constellation
and in her unfinished and jury-rigged state, I wasn't going to sail her in the open waters of Baltimore harbor with the breeze blowing around 15+, so the model stayed "anchored in the pool and I talked to folks that asked about her. One such person invited me to take her to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's Model Boat Expo two weeks later.
These folks hold this event every year and have a model sailing club on site - so it's run a bit more smoothly and their "pool" is deeper. There were also a lot more visitors to this established museum, then there were to a beat-up old dock out in Baltimore's dying industrial sections.
I took all three models; Constellation
, Pride of Baltimore
, and Macedonian
, though only Constellation
was capable of sailing. A lot of people were very interested and asked a lot of questions, mostly about my construction methods - since Macedonian's
bare hull was there to show it off. It was quite enjoyable, a very nice museum that I hadn't been to since 1979, and only an hour down the road.
Inspired a bit, I went to work on an improved control system for the model's sails. The square sails winch servos would be mounted on slides that would allow springs to move the entire servo to take up the slack in the braces as the yards were adjusted. The arm-type servo got semaphore arms to control the jibs up on the bow, while the arm itself controlled the driver sail back aft. The whole operation was mounted on a single tray that fit better through the model's main hatch and is more easily accessible. Two such trays were built, one for Constellation
, and one for Macedonian
will get a different arrangement. The only problem is the new winch drums I made for Constellation
were packed away, and I haven't been able to find them yet, meaning I may have to make new ones.
Looking at the pictures of Constellation
sailing at St Michaels, I got the notion to make the last portion of her masts. With a lot of my tools still packed away it was a challenge to turn some square sticks into tapered, round spars, but I managed to rig her with her t'gallant poles.
My 12 x 30 shop is history now, but I'm moving into a 14 x 20 garage. That's 80 square feet less space, but stuffing 20 pounds into a 10 pound bag is what my life is about now. Everything is in, but almost nothing is set-up to use, though I just rearranged the place and made room to put Constellation
on her bench where I can work on her. This was prompted by a friend that just built a 14 foot skiff and gave me his left over epoxy which I'm going to use to seal and glue the sub-deck on Constellation
. This is a major milestone in completing the model, as a lot that needs to be done is waiting for the deck to be installed in order to happen.
As always, more pictures and details can be found at the model's Web Site