Sunday, June 3, 2018

A Quick Explanation

There were not a lot of posts in May, and I want to take a moment and explain to my visitors here why that is so.

May is traditionally the month when my wife and I go and do volunteer work out of state.  Generally, when the work is done we take a little vacation as well.  On top of that, I've been trying to get more exercise like my doctor requested (well, ordered actually).  So, this May we've been busier than normal.

There are a lot of pictures to be taken over the next month.  I've just put up a new page on another area of gaming interests, and I still haven't shown you my unrated sailing ships (brigs, sloops, schooners and etc.) yet.  Hopefully, we should be back on a regular schedule soon.

As an aside, one of the things that normally happens on our vacation is that my long-suffering spouse gets dragged to a museum that I want to visit.  They're not always serious; for example, this year I wanted to go to the SPAM Museum.  We didn't have time to do that, but it turned out that we got to do something just as much fun:

We're gonna make it after all....
Yes, it's the Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  If you're too young to know who she is, then you will just have to Google it

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Seeking Some Opinions From My Readers

From the very beginning, this blog has focused on my 1/1200 Napoleonic sailing ships.  Clearly, given the blog title, that's not much of a surprise.  Now though, I'm thinking about starting to look at some of the other periods I game in.  These other periods don't bear any relation to my sailing ships, although one of them can have a naval component.

The blog subtitle does say "and other game things that attract my attention."  My question here then, is: Should I just put new pages entitled "Other Gaming Items: XXX" on this blog, or should I start another blog that focuses on these other periods, and link to it/them from here?

There are two sides to this idea:
YES:  It is my hobby blog, and I have other periods of miniatures that I play, so why not?

NO
:  The blog focuses on 1/1200 scale sailing ships, and that is clear from the title, URL and general subject matter.  Why muddy it by including other things that don't relate to its main focus?

I can kind of see both sides of the argument here, and so am seeking some input from the readers.  Would you like to see other genres start to make an appearance here, or would the blog be better if it stayed focused on sailing ships, with other periods on their own site(s) that are linked to each other?  I've added a poll to the side of the page so you don't even have to leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Some Real Ship Photos

My family and I went on a cruise from Saturday March 31 to Saturday April 7, and I took some very nice photos.  BEFORE YOU HIT THE BACK ARROW, HEAR ME OUT!  

Please be reassured that the photos below are not of me, or the family, or of any other "typical cruise" stuff.  Instead, they are pictures of sailing ships.  When we arrived back in Galveston, TX on April 7, the city was hosting the Tall Ships Challenge 2018 Race.  This meant that there were 4 tall ships moored in the harbor.  I got up early, and made sure that I got some pictures to post here on the blog (and also for myself, to be sure).  So, without any further ado, let's look at some pictures of real sailing ships for a change.

A bit nicer view than what we normally have coming into Galveston
In the interest of full disclosure, none of the pictures I took as we came into the port came out, so this picture of all the ships together were taken after we passed by.  The ship in the far left of this photo is the Oliver Hazard Perry.  She's actually a modern ship built to be a sail training vessel, and is 200 feet long and 13 1/2 stories tall.  There's 14,000 square feet of sail, a crew of 17 along with 32 overnight student berths and her home port is in Rhode Island.  A better photo of her is below.

Modern, but still pretty.  My wife's comment was, "She looks like one of your models."
Next up is the Picton Castle.  She was originally built as  a motorized fishing trawler in 1928, and served in WWII as a minesweeper.  In 1996 she was taken to Canada and converted into a three-masted barque.  She's 179 feet long, about 10 stories tall and has 12,500 square feet of sail.  She is also a sail training vessel, based out of Nova Scotia but registered in the Cook Islands.

Look close, and you can see traces of her past.
Next up is the Elissa.  Built in 1877, she is an iron-hulled barque.  Unlike the previous two ships, she is a survivor from the Age of Sail.  In 1975, she was sitting in a Greek scrapyard when she was rescued by the Galveston Historical Foundation.  They wanted a sailing ship to memorialize Galveston's days as the major port on the Texas coast.  She was brought to Galveston in 1979, and her restoration was finished by 1982.  Since then she has served as a museum ship that sails regularly.  According to her website, that makes her one of only three ships of her type in the world.  She's 205 feet long, 99 feet 9 inches tall, and carries 12,000 square feet of sail.  I can't find an online photo of her as she looked pre-restoration, so there's more than one photo here.  As she's my favorite, I make no apologies for giving her a bit more space.

This beauty is ported an hour or less from my front door.

Amazing how the nautical equivalent of a cardboard box
 can be such a thing of beauty.

Last up on the list is the Dutch schooner Oosterschelde.  Built in 1918 as a freight carrier, her rigging was cut back after diesel engines were installed in 1930.  She survived the Second World War, and was converted to a modern coastal trading vessel in 1950.  In 1988 she was returned to the Netherlands and from 1988-1992 restored to her sailing appearance.  She is 160 feet long, and carries 9,950 square feet of sail.


No way to take a photo of her without a little of Elissa in the picture.

According to the Galveston Historical Foundation website, there were two other ships there, but they weren't in the harbor at the time.  They were the Lynx: http://tallshiplynx.com/  a replica built in 2001 of an American privateer from the War of 1812, and the When and If.  Built in 1939, the When and If  https://sailwhenandif.com/ was commissioned by George S. Patton so that he could sail around the world with his wife after the war was over.

Anyway, there you have it.  A nice little break from my usual contents, but still well within the theme of the blog, I think.  The ships pictured above also have websites.  They are:

Oliver Hazard Perry:  https://www.ohpri.org/ship/




Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Brief Interlude 5: A Sneak Peek at an Upcoming Project

Like the title says, here's a sneak peek at a major project I'm starting this year.  I'm pretty sure it will be a LONG time before this one is completed.  Keep in mind that in this photo, the pieces aren't even glued down yet but the layout you see below is set.


The plan is to fill in the space between the rear of the dock and the edge of the sheet metal with wood of the same thickness.  That's where the warehouses and other dockside structures will be.  Other city blocks will go behind those, but will be modular so they can be swapped in and out.  How, you ask?  Not totally sure yet.