Category Archives: Nautical Research Guild

Tablesaw Virtual Workshop, Saturday, December 11, 2021

This coming Saturday, the Nautical Research Guild is hosting an online workshop, covering the use of small hobby table saws, such as that from Byrnes Model Machines and others. The title of the workshop is “Using the Table Saw Safely”, and it will be given by NRG Director Kurt Van Dahm on Saturday, 12/11, at 10am CST.

According to an announcement by the NRG, the presenter will show how to perform rip cuts, cross cuts, lap joints, miters and other common operations in a safe and efficient manner.

Pre-registration is required in order to attending this hour-long virtual workshop, but it is free to Nautical Research Guild members. Non-members may still attend, but there is a $5 fee. For more information or to register, click here. Ω

 

NRG Workshop on Upgrading Your Kit Project

Want to take that ordinary wooden ship model kit and make something extraordinary from it? The Nautical Research Guild has organized a workshop just for you!

On Saturday, August 21st at 10am Central, that’s a bright and early 8am for those of us on the west coast, NRG Chairperson Toni Levine will be giving a workshop “The Ship Modeler’s Ten Step Program or How to Transform Your Kit Model from Out of the Box to Out of this World”

According to the NRG announcement today, this is a web-based workshop that requires advanced registration, which is free to NRG members, and only $10 for non-NRG members. Of course, you’ll need an Internet connected device such as a tablet, smart phone, or computer to attend. And, you’ll need to register, but space is limited. So, register soon!

For more information, including how to register, visit the NRG page here.

The NRG’s 2021 Photographic Ship Model Competition Announced

Just got the news that the Nautical Research Guild will be holding their Photographic Ship Model Competion again this year. I believe this is only the fourth time they’ve done this. It sort of makes up for the fact that there will again be no NRG conference this year.

Steve Wheeler’s award winning model of a whitehall canoe from the 2011 competition. Photo courtesy of the NRG.

All entries are judged and receive a review that can be very helpful for builders who want to know what they could improve on future builds. The cost is $30 per entry, and the deadline for entries is Monday, August 2nd, 2021, according to the NRG’s website, but the actual rules state that the deadline is August 1st.

I entered the contest one time in 2015, which was the last time it was held. In the Journeyman category, I got a bronze medal for my model of the War of 1812 privateer Lively. I also got a blue ribbon for my pilot schooner Mary Taylor.

Private Armed Schooner Lively, my bronze medal model.

My Blue Ribbon Mary Taylor, which I think is actually a better model than my Lively.

For those of us who like to enter such things, a photographic competition is a great way to go, since the model doesn’t have to be transported anywhere to be reviewed, it just needs to be photographed. There are very specific rules about the photos required and such, but it’s all explained in the rules. You can find the detail on the NRG’s website here.

I don’t know if I’ll submit any entries this year. The models I’ve been working on the most are the Japanese watercraft, which for me are really more about the research and the subject matter than any award winning artistry, or as in the case of my recently completed cog model, about exploring the new medium of paper and card. Then again, it’s been 6 years since the last competition, and I must have completed at least one interesting model that’s competition worthy.

Anyway, if this kind of thing is for you, then you should check it out, but you must be an NRG member in good standing. Check out all the previous competition winners at the bottom of the contests page here. Ω

No NRG Conference for 2021

Sad news for fans of the Nautical Research Guild’s annual conferences. The NRG secretary just announced that there will again be no annual NRG conference this year due to continued Covid concerns.

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The conference was to take place in the Fall at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum, the same place as originally planned for the 2020 conference, which was also cancelled.  The next conference will now be in 2022, and the intent is to hold it at the same venue location.

It’s unfortunate that the conference had to be again cancelled, but as the NRG secretary explained, many NRG members are at high risk for Covid exposure, so the board of directors made the difficult call to cancel the event.

It looks as though the annual meeting that usually takes place at the conference will be held virtually via Zoom or some similar videoconferencing service. Further details on this meeting should be forthcoming. Ω

 

NRG Annual Membership Meeting

The Nautical Research Guild’s annual conference for 2020 is cancelled due to COVID issues, but they recently announced that they will be holding their annual membership meeting after all, only it will be a virtual meeting. Members will be able to attend the meeting from the safety and comfort of their own homes. The meeting, normally part of the conference, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 5th, at 11am Central / 9am Pacific.

The NRG is now asking members to RSVP, so they can plan on how much they need to upgrade their video conferencing service. Attending the membership meeting is free to all members, but it sounds like the NRG itself will need to pay for the upgraded service.

I haven’t seen any of this information actually posted on the NRG website yet. So, if you’re a member, please make sure to contact the main office with your response. Watch your email for more information. Ω

NRG Website Revamped

The Nautical Research Guild is a ship modeling society that dates back to the 1940s and today runs the world’s largest ship modeling forum, Model Ship World. The organization is the publisher of what I believe is the last ship modeling magazine in print, the Nautical Research Journal.

They recently revamped their website and it looks great. Very up to date, with improved navigation and organization. Check it out at https://thenrg.org.

If you don’t know about the NRG, but are interested in ship modeling, I strongly urge you to become a member. It’s not a requirement in order to be on the Model Ship World forum, but you’ll get the quarterly Journal subscription, and it’s a great organization to support. I highly recommend it. Just click the “Join” button in the upper right hand corner of their home page. Ω

 

 

 

NRG Conference 2021

While the Nautical Research Guild conference was supposed to take place this Fall. It was canceled some time ago due to the unknowns of the Corona Virus outbreak. But, if things manage to improve over the next year, and let’s hope they actually do, the next NRG conference will then take place October 21 – 23, 2021.

The venue is unchanged, still set to take place at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard, California. No other details have been announced, but the event is more than a year away. Probably, more information will be available about this time next year.

This should give all you ship modelers some time to finish the awesome project you want to display at the event. Since the museum is one of my old haunts, we’ll before they moved anyway, and it’s just a drive down the coast from here, I expect I’ll try to have one of my models on display. Not sure which I would want to display. But, as I said, there should be plenty of time to work on one before then, so I guess I’d better get to work on something awesome.

For more information about the conference and the venue, visit the NRG website here. Ω

 

 

NRG Conference in New Bedford, MA Next Week

It’s time for the annual Nautical Research Guild Conference again. This year it’s in New Bedford, Massachusetts (Ha, I passed the spell check!), at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, October 24-26, 2019.

This should be an ideal place to hold a ship modeling conference. I’ve never been there myself, and have always want to visit. However, since I’ve only really attended the conferences for Ages of Sail, and this event has almost no vendors due to Massachusetts sales tax laws, or so I’m told, I’m not going to be there.

A couple members from the South Bay Model Shipwrights club will be going, so I’ll be looking forward to hearing what they have to say about it at next month’s meeting.

One thing I will be missing out on is their collection of Japanese prints and historical information about Japanese whaling, which could aid me in my research of Japanese traditional boats, which includes the Japanese whaleboats, called Kujirabune. I know that the Japanese whaling museum in Taiji, Japan, has some kind of connection, being that both involve the history of whaling.

In any case, if you’re interested in the Conference, there’s still time. Visit the NRG’s webpage for more details: https://www.thenrg.org/nrg-2019-conference.php

Ω

 

 

NRG’s Planked Half Hull Kit

I don’t know how this got past me – I guess I’ve been a bit pre-occupied with other things these last couple months. But the Nautical Research Guild just posted a notice on ModelShipWorld that their Half Hull Planking Project is now available.

The model project, created by Toni Levine, is intended to teach the practice of spiling techniques, which is the method used to shape and fit the planking on a real, full-sized ship. She points out in one of her posts that the project uses some shortcuts and compromises that work well, making it suitable for novice as well as experienced ship modelers.

The availability of the kit for the project was recently announced, and it can be purchased for $65 for MSW members and $52 for full NRG members. Price does not including shipping, which is $10 in the US, $20 to Canada, and $26 to other international destinations. The kit is on the NRG web site at:

https://thenrg.org/the-nrg-store.php#!/Half-Hull-Planking-Kit/c/41410202/offset=0&sort=normal

You can follow Toni Levine’s build on Model Ship World and learn more about the project here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/21980-half-hull-planking-project/

This sounds like a great way to learn planking techniques without having to deal with all the masting, rigging, and deck details of a full ship model. I could use a course on spiling techniques myself, so I may have to give this project a go myself. Ω

New MSW Scratch Build Project Available – HMS Winchelsea

Chuck Passaro, ship modeler and owner/operator of Syren Model Ship Company, recently announced on Model Ship World his plans to change the operational model of his company somewhat, and will no longer be developing new kits. He will be continuing to focus on producing blocks, rigging line, and his existing kits, but has decided to change course for future developments.

In keeping with the new changes, he has teamed up with Model Ship World to make a new online project available to NRG/MSW members. The project, which he has been developing over the course of several years, is the 32-gun British frigate Winchelsea, 1764.

Interested builders will need to be a member of the Model Ship World online forum, but there is no cost to join. As am MSW member (and MSW members are automatically registered as NRG associate members), you can then pay a $15 access fee, and you will receive details on accessing and downloading the drawings and monograph.

Payment is made through the NRG website here: https://www.thenrg.org/plans-and-projects.php#!/HMS-Winchelsea-Plan-Access-MSW/p/146083138/category=13294033

Or just go to https://www.thenrg.organd click on the Plans & Projects tab, and then the HMS Winchelsea Plan Access button. A message will be sent to you on MSW on how to access and download the drawings necessary for this build.

The project is designed as a plank-on-bulkhead model project for first-time scratch builders. The drawings are specifically for a 1/4″ scale (1:48), unrigged model, with a hull measuring about 38″ long.

While this is designed as a first-time scratch modeler’s project, some laser-cut parts will be available for purchase through Syren Ship Model Company’s Winchelsea page for those who so choose. The first chapter of the monograph is also available to download on that page.

More information about the group project can be found on MSW here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/21441-hms-winchelsea-1764-32-gun-frigate-group-project-info/

There are other group projects available to members as well, including the Medway Longboat (kit’s similar to Model Expo’s 18th Century English Longboat, but much nicer materials and detail), an Introduction to Relief Carving, as well as a 28-gun frigate, HMS Triton, build.

This looks to be a nice new ship modeling project, a great way to delve into scratch building, or to just take on a wonderful looking build-as-you-go project. Ω