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    Qustions and Ideas Regarding the Chaperon

    Greetings,

    I am a new on this web board and have read some of the threads have noticed some discussion of the Sternwheeler Chaperon from Model shipways. I have some doubts on and questions regarding the accuracy of the kit. I am going to deepen the hull as I am making this kit a working RC Boat.

    1.
    I feel that the curved or soft chine that the kit is built with is wrong, it should have a hard chine or at least with one or two boards at a 45 degree angle to the bottom of the hull. Is this a correct assumption?

    2.
    The deck should have hatches located at the front to access to the fore peak or bow of the boat. I realize that there would have been others but they would not have been visible being in either the freight room or the engine room.

    3.
    It seems to me that the hull was painted either a dark grey or a black color?

    4.
    The doors should not be and 8 foot door but a 6’8” door with a transom over it for ventilation. In the photos that I have seen the doors do not seem to be red but white along with the rest of the cabin in some of the photos that I have seen.

    5.
    I feel that there should be a bulkhead behind the boilers encloseing the freight room if this is what the space between the engine room and the boilers would be called. To my way of thinking since there was not a whole lot of room below the main deck this would serve as the hold space for the storage of cargo.

    6.
    What type of fuel would she have burnt, wood or coal? If it burnt coal there would need to be same bunkers to hold the fuel and if it was wood she burnt then there would have been racks of some sort to hold the wood.

    7.
    I am inclined to believe that there would have been no windows on the front of the pilot house. I came to this conclusion after reading several books and visiting the Twaintimes web site regarding the pilot house.

    8.
    The turnbuckles provided on the photo etch sheet show a rather modern type of turn buckle but all of the information that I have seen from archeological digs that I have found or bought the books on show a turn buckle with threads only on one end, the other end rotated on the hog chain truss rod. Then again since she was built around the turn of the century she may have had the more modern style of turn buckles.

    9.
    That there should be some brick work around the fire pan and so that when the ashes were dumped there would have been no chance of any of the embers touching the wooden deck or super structure, how extensive would the brick work have been?

    10.
    On the model they show the red / green lights as hanging off of the smoke stack but none of the photos show this, would there have been some place else that they would have been displayed or would they have only been hung when they were lit which might have been the case if they were oil lamps. I question that they would have been oil as the one photo that I have found showing the interior of the cabin shows what looks to be electric lights down the center of the cabin.


    Things that need to be changed or added:

    1.
    The hog timbers need to be extended through the cabin to the main deck by the boilers. The Hog chains need to be made out of wire not string and better turn buckles used.

    2.
    The windlass on the bow needs a gear with a pinion gear and the controls for the steam engine that powered the windlass.

    3.
    Build an interior for the pilot house; build new windows for both the sides and the rear with the side windows being able to open and no window on the front of the pilot house. All of the photos that I have seen of the Chaperon do not show any windows on the front. (See note 7 above)

    4.
    Improve the boilers with better detailing. Build a doctor pump for the boilers.

    5.
    Enclose the front of the freight room. This will be a good place to hide the batteries and other radio gear.

    6.
    Build new paddle wheels out of plastic so the water won’t ruin them. Add the counter weights that were not even mentioned in the instructions. I found out about them from “THE WESTERN RIVERS STEAMBOAT CYCLPOEDIUM” and “THE WESTERN RIVERS ENGINEROOM CYCLPOEDIUM” by Alan Bates, I suspected that there was some sort of counter weight just like steam locomotives but was not sure.

    7.
    Fuel racks or coal bunkers, and what I mean by coal bunkers is more of a three sided box with a removable front to hold the coal. Speaking of coal, how would it have been brought aboard, wheel barrow or with a coal chute?

    8.
    Install new deck planking and new deck hard ware such as accurate kevels and such.

    9.
    Cut a new anchor out of plastic to go between the smoke stacks.

    10.
    Install working rigging on the landing stage so I can swing it either left and right plus up and down and maybe in and out.

    11.
    Improve the running lights lanterns on the stacks and add the spot lights that I see in some of the photos. In regards to running lights did these boats have a stern light?

    There will probably be more things that I will ask as I go along but this is a start.

    Andre Anderson

    #2
    chaperon kit

    Hi!

    I read with great interest your Chaperon critique.

    Have you found any other problems?

    I am looking at getting the chaperon kit.

    Comment


      #3
      Chaperon model

      Andre -

      a like post:

      Steamboat model kit - Message Boards

      Chaperon /Display Case :: Members Photo Gallery :: Ship Modeling Forum

      prb
      Last edited by Pete Baker; 06-30-2010, 07:42 AM. Reason: added photo link

      Comment


        #4
        1. The chine in the dead flat was probably one timber hewed to an arc tangent to side and bottom planks. If you intend to make the hull deeper, why worry?
        2. Yes, there should be a hatch forward of the collision bulkhead.
        3. When it comes to color on B&W pictures your guess is as good as any. Bob Fee, who drew the Chaperon, said he could accurately determine colors. I don't think he could.
        4. Judging by the few pictures I have there were no transoms over the doors. The ceiling height both inside and outside would have been about seven feet. The transoms were beside the doors.
        5. On most packets, especially small ones like the J.C. Kerr-Chaperon, there usually would have been no bulkhead aft of the boilers.
        6. She burned coal. The Green River bisects a huge deposit of coal. There could have been some half-high bunker walls to contain it. The after side of the bunker would have no wall.
        7. The pilothouse front opening had no sash or glass. Closure was by the usual breast-board and brow-board setup.
        8. You are right about the turnbuckles. If you intend to fret about this, I have seen both styles on the same boat! Be sure to get some scale 4-penny nails for attaching trim, etc.
        9. The ashpans I've seen had a fire brick floor over a sheet-steel bottom with the curb being made of 8" high steel sheet, about ten gauge or maybe 1/8". The curb was unprotected. When hauling ashes, clinkers, etc., the ashpan was flooded.
        10. All of the pictures I've seen were made in daylight. The red and green lanterns were hung on lanyards suspended from brackets attached to the stacks on about a 45 degree angle to the boat's centerline. At night the lanterns were lit and hauled up. During the day the lamptender or flunkey cleaned chimneys, trimmed wicks,and filled reservoirs on all lamps and lanterns, therefore they would not show..

        1. through 10. Why not scrap the kit and scratch-build your model?
        1. through 5. No comment.
        6. Balancing the wheel was not important, although it helped. You can truly balance such wheels, whether on boat or locomotive, for one speed. It was a by-guess or by-golly business and the ones in the Cyclopoedium are as good as any.
        7. through 9. No comment.
        10. Why in and out? The stage was rigged on most boats to fit at about the midpoint of the deck curve. The only reason for pulling it in was to make the stage taut whiler under way.
        11. Yes a hooded sternlight was required on the verge.

        You have to remember that every boat started to change the day it left the boatyard and continued to do so until its demise. If you want to model your boat for 10:54 AM, April 22, 1915, you will be obliged to do a lot more research. This was particularly true of colors. Tastes varied with every owner, captain and mate. Often colors depended upon what was already in the paint locker. It is grand to claim exact accuracy and try to achieve it, but you will have more fun if you loosen up.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the link...

          Gleason

          Comment


            #6
            FYI: Building the Chaperon articles

            Seaway's Ships in Scale magazine has published a series of 5 articles on Building the Chaperon. The articles were written by Kurt Van Dahm.

            The first article was published in the Sept./Oct 2009 issue, with the 6th and final article to be published in the July/Aug 2010 issue.

            The articles have excellent building tips along with lots of photos of the build.

            Comment


              #7
              Cincinnati Library Chaperon Collection.

              Chaperon - PLCHC Wiki

              prb

              Comment


                #8
                Having just completed building this model, I am pretty familiar with it. I bought this kit because it is by far and away the most accurate steamboat model I have ever seen. Whoever designed it did their homework. Back in the mid to late 50's, the Journal of the Steamship Historical Society published a set of plans for the CHAPERON, you may want to research them.
                I believe the hull when completed is very accurate. I must confess I have never seen a wooden hull for a sternwheel steamboat. The only large wood hulls I've seen are barges and the showboat MAJESTIC which were both scow bows. That being said I've seen hundreds of picture of wood hulls and this kit's hull has the correct shapes and rakes. The stern rake is dead on according to the pictures I've seen of boats built in that period.
                If I were to fault the model, it does not have enough sheer or crown. The real CHAPERON had much more sheer.
                You ask about the ash pan. For myself I was very surprised that the maker of this model even included an ash pan. But for the boilers to be accurate, you are right, more details need to be added. I seriously doubt that each boiler had a safety valve as shown on the model.
                You mentioned firebrick lining the ash pan. Once again the only real ash pans on steamboats I've seen were on towboats and on the AVALON when she was coal fired, neither of those had fire brick. Last night I watched the 1927 movie "Uncle Toms Cabin" which featured the sidewheel KATE ADAMS which was built in the same era as the CHAPERON. The KATE ADAMS ash pan was steel with no firebrick and as Alan Bates said it was flooded with water.
                Also on the KATE ADAMS her turnbuckles were exactly like the ones supplied in the CHAPERON kit.
                As far as searchlights are concerned, pictures of the boat show she had early on one large one placed in front of the stage mast, but later it was replaced by two smaller ones....probably carbon arc lights....which came into common river usage around the time of WWl.
                The color the hull was painted changed from time to time, but it looks to me like for most of her life the CAHPERONs hull was painted white.
                You are right in thinking that the thread the kit supplies for the hog chains does not work. I went to the hobby shop and bought .0030 music wire and that worked and looked great.
                I changed the pilothouse on my model. I put in a pilotwheel and stove and I put a visor and breastboard in the front. I painted the door frames on mine red only because without painting them a contrasting color you couldn't see them.
                All in all, this is the most accurate steamboat model kit to date. I wish I were talented enough to have made mine operational.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Jim,

                  Any photos?

                  Pete

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Here are the photos and discussion from another section of .org board

                    Originally posted by Pete Baker View Post
                    Jim,

                    Any photos?

                    Pete
                    http://www.steamboats.org/forum/rive...completed.html

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks Judy.

                      I vaguely remember seeing a "completed Chaperon" post. I couldn't recall where.

                      Pete

                      Comment


                        #12
                        At the time the J. C. Kerr was built boiler batteries were required to have two safety valves. Usually only the outer two boilers had them. On a boat with three or more boilers each outboard boiler would have had one safety valve. Normally one was set a few psi higher than the other.

                        Chet Foster, chief on the Belle of Louisville, had worked on sand diggers and towboats with the old-fashioned lever safety valves. He told me that hanging weights on the lever was worse than placing a post on the lever that extended to the overhead because if the added weights rose the boilers could lose their water. A post would prevent the lever to rise. "Anyway," he said, "at such a time the boat uses steam as fast as the boilers can produce it."

                        The last time I spoke with Chet he was still alive!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Today lever safety valves are forbidden. Modern safety valves are almost tamper-proof, and may the Lord help the engineer who diddles with one.

                          Comment

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