“Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bow-Legged Women”

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  • Last reply 2 weeks, 3 days ago
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  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:

    Appropriately for Father’s Day, here’s me and Indi (no, she definitely wasn’t named after a US Portland class heavy cruiser that sank tragically on 30th July, 1945, and was imortalised in the best speech ever in a movie by Quint in ‘Jaws’) working together on the Orca.

    Quite unbelievably we finished the pulpit rails (I would have been happy to be at this stage after a long fight at the end of the weekend), which I thought would be a complete nightmare…

    Made with 3/64 wire and bent into shape and soldered on.

    I’m quite pleased at the result, especially so as the rails will eventually be wrapped in ‘rope’ – the key here was alignment and symmetry.

    So, that leaves us with very little infrastructure left and the overall look of the boat is not bad stacked up against the ‘real’ Orca. The cabin seems a little short but I’m not sure that is not just a function of Spielberg’s trademark early 2:35.1 camera ratio; sounds like a good excuse.

  • Matt Minnichsoffer said 4 months ago:

    Just fantastic my friend. Don’t ya just love it when things come together easier than you hoped.

  • Stephen W Towle said 4 months ago:

    What a contrast between the suave and sophisticated male model and the morning after when he becomes, the super hero known as “Dad”. Or guy who models. The Orca is coming along swimmingly and is worthy of two thumbs up.

  • Robert Royes said 4 months ago:

    Amazing work. David.

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:

    Hey, Matt. In my experience if you are dreading a specific subassembly during a build, it’ll almost always be WORSE than you think it’ll be. So to tick this box is a huge plus. I was originally going to use styrene rod for the rails but this worked out far better.

    Hope you and the family (canines and felines included) are well –



  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:

    What can I say, it was a rough morning. Hay fever, up early, ran out of coffee, no hot water, limited neural capacity. Thanks for the feedback – much appreciated, Stephen.


  • Paul Barber said 4 months ago:

    I’m a serial lurker here DLS – I quite simply have no point of reference other than ‘it looks right’!

    But I think this may be a watershed. I always know when building something if it is really going to work out. I always thought that this was going to be phenomenal – the photo with one above the other has me absolutely certain now!

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:

    We’ll return to the modeling in a second, bear with me for a second.

    People can be peculiar regarding the things we fear. We tend to think it’s the big changes in life that will undo us, when in fact a great deal of research shows we cope much better with crises than we predict. Across all cultures and ethnicity, the figures equate to something like 75% of the things we fear most (apart from death and taxes) in the short to medium term will never happen, and when they do, we Marshall our resources and get on with it.

    There’s a woman in Philadelphia, US who shot her husband (the marriage having went to arbitration because of his “obsessive” reading) after she found him ignoring her on a last ditch trip away to save their relationship. He was reading the contents label on a marmalade jar.

    My point is that it’s the small things that’ll drive you nuts. Like making louvre/Louvre doors for a model boat.

    I’m sure I’m not the only modeler that has experienced a sense of detachment/dissociation that comes with (usually photo etch, and usually on ship models) working on tiny parts over an extended period of time. It’s like an attentional equivalent of an ‘infinity mirror’. Reality fades away and we end up in a place where a 1/350 scale paravane has 13 PE parts to it, drawing the modeler into a weird, quantum experience that bends the very fabric of time and space.

    So, this is how, on a Sunday morning, I found myself looking at these tiny doors, thinking, “I can do better than this…if I made the shutters thinner, it’d be much more effective and realistic”.

    Enter my daughter, “dad, it’s just a model boat. I’m bored. Let’s do something”.

    She is, of course, 100% correct. But…

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:


  • James B Robinson said 4 months ago:

    Happy Father’s Day David. Here’s a little something to remind your daughter how important you are!

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:

    Ha, her ‘boyfriend’ just rocked up to the house 30 minutes ago. Time to modify the shed with some…’equipment’…plus, she had three older brothers. Job done.

    So, here’s this afternoon’s efforts – some harpoons, gaffs, and hooks.

    And the bracket to secure some of them to the cabin exterior.

  • Erik Gjørup said 4 months ago:

    Comin’ along nicely – you got us all hooked on this build (sorry..)

  • david leigh-smith said 4 months ago:

    And the ‘Worst pun of the Day’ prize goes to Mr. Gjorup.

    No worries, chum…

  • Gary Wiley said 4 months ago:

    Ah David, you are so right about getting lost/detached in the small details. And after we’re done we show it to someone (who is not a modeler), telling them about the 13 pieces of PE in the paravane, and the look in their eyes confirms their unspoken assessment of us. We’re nuts. But… we can’t help ourselves.
    Can we? Because if we can… I.need.help. 🙂

  • Greg Kittinger said 3 months, 4 weeks ago:

    It’s a funny thing about those tedious elements. It seems like the first one or two (like opening up the slots in the airbrakes on an old Airfix Pe-2) are kinda of interesting – trying to figure out best process, tools, etc. Then, mind goes numb and almost on autopilot while working through the bulk. Then as I get down near the end, I can get short-timer’s syndrome! If I’m not really careful to slow down and bring my focus/awareness back, it’s usually the last couple of elements where I’ll break something, or the knife will slip! If I navigate from the red zone into the end zone successfully, there’s a huge sigh of relief, and a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done – whether anyone else ever notices it or now!

    Gotta love modeling!

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