Albatross, The Model

I think of scale models as "three dimensional blueprints".


In Feburary of '99 my partner and I were unloading a truckful of steel beams. Somehow, we dropped one on my foot, breaking my big toe into three pieces. I spent the next 6 weeks in a cast, more or less, on my ass. I used this unexpected time off to turn the plans into this model.


Albatross, 1/12th scale

I've built all sorts of models. Building this one helped me see how the 'big' boat would eventually come together. Albatross has followed the same sequence.

For "Mini-Tross", I began by copying the Lines drawing and fiddling with the enlarge/reduce factor on my copier until the scale came out right. Then I made enough copies for all the frames. These I rubber cemented to Luaun plywood scraps and cut with a band-saw. (I used Luaun to conserve my precious 1/16th" birch plywood.) The rough frames were edge-sanded with a DELTA 1" belt/disc sander. When that was done, I peeled off the paper copies. Later I would mark the frame outlines, the floors, the countertops and berthtops, and cut them out with a coping saw.

The frame interiors were saw out, and notched for the deck beams. The deck beams were glued in. The frames were all square and the keel was straight. It was time to plank.
The planks were ripped on my band saw to (scale) 3"s. I tried narrower strips but found that they were too flimsy to make it all the way through the band saw. The shearclamp was 3 strips, laminated one layer at a time. The planks were glued on with Titebond®II waterproof glue and held in place with model railroad track nails until the glue dried.

The keel plug was formed from Styrofoam® and painted with epoxy.

Somehow, I forgot about the deadwood, so the plug ended up being "a tad too long" relative to the plans.

I met Seaman Scale outside a bar, here in Kensington. He was lying in the gutter, passed out and filthy. I brought him home and got him cleaned up. He'd spent some considerable time in Tsingtao China, which I suppose, might explain the circumstances of our first meeting. I wanted to ask about his exotic costume. Was he a Mandarin? Had he passed through Hollywood during his travels? "Ya buildin' a boat, eh Cap'n?" In view of his enthusiasm regarding the project, I kept my curiosity about his ecclectic attire to myself.
Scale is "6 feet" tall. Because of his robust musculature, his principle activity has been to demonstrate the ample volume below deck. Unless otherwise occupied, he whiles away the hours performing isometric triceps excercises and airing out his armpits.


For the model's purposes, I decided to proceed without altering the plug for the deadwood. I sliced the plug along the center, inserted the seperator and cast a Hydrocal® mold.

Seaman Scale demonstrates why the full size casting will weigh almost two and a half tons. Despite this "error of almost a thousand pounds", but probably because of the different weight of the wood used in the model; after fiberglassing the hull, it floated (in the bathtub) on her lines.

I started detailing the interior. But, because I had to go back to work, and because the "big" boat was calling, this as far as Minitross ever got. I cast a fiberglass deck, but haven't installed it.

Around the holidays I started thinking about how I would deal with the cockpit/enclosure problem. This what I came up with.

Back to the Graving Dock for the rest of the saga. [990605garage120x90.jpg]

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Copyright © 1999 Alan "Maddog!" MacBride
Most recent revision 02/11/01