Jump to content

Welcome to Model Ship World
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Wood masts for a plastic model... Tips?


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA
I'm looking at replacing the masts, yards, etc. on my next build with wood, trying to keep the rigging tight on my current build was challenging at times, want to avoid that on the next ship... I think having more rigid wooden masts would make things easier...

Obviously I will have the plastic parts for patterns, but was wondering what to use for wood, and if there's any tips or tricks I should know...

I will be looking through wooden build logs when I have time for research... Might check into scratch logs too...
  • tasmanian and Canute like this

#2
Thunder

Thunder
  • Members
  • 87 posts
  • LocationStaffordshire - England

You can buy various dowel rods from craft stores on line beech being good but you can find other wooden rod from other sources, wooden cotton buds, tooth picks or if you go to a ladies beauty salon they have a device called orange sticks for pushing back nail cuticles which is good quality wood. I Have some vary large cotton buds that are sold for cleaning equipment but cannot remember what for now, mine were from a lumonics laser printer. Keep your eye open when out and about, sometimes stirring sticks from well know fast food outlets come in handy!

 

When doing my plastic kits I would rig in the same order as a real ship but add temporary forward stays to prevent rigging the back stays pulling the masts out of true. Just make sure you do not use thread with a tendency to shrink. 


  • mtaylor, thibaultron and Canute like this

#3
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA

Thanks for the tips! I'm not necessarily against "re-purposing" things, but I do want to make sure I'm using the best option available to me. The kit I will be building (Revell Germany's Mayflower) is a birthday gift from my wife, so I plan on doing the best I can so I end up with a model I can appreciate for a long time!


  • tasmanian likes this

#4
thibaultron

thibaultron
  • Members
  • 575 posts
  • LocationWarrenville, SC

I have found wood dowels almost unuseable. For my Pyro skipjack build, I went through my entire collection of kits (good and bad name manuf.), and found maybe 3 straight dowels in the lot!

 

I'm planning to make masts from square stock. I already made the bowsprit. Not your typical job, as the bowsprit on a skipjack curve downward toward the fore end. I made the sprit from a larger dowel that I squared (rectangulared?) up then cut in the curve, and shaped it. This is actually how the real bowsprits were made, the curve was cut into the spar, it was not bent into shape. I used the dowel as it was all I had at the time.

 

For the mast, I have both basswood, and boxwood. I'll practice on the basswood, then make the final one out of boxwood. Unless the basswood mast looks really good, then I'll save the boxwood for another project.


  • mtaylor and Canute like this

#5
overdale

overdale
  • Members
  • 421 posts
  • LocationCentral Virginia

Get yourself a pack of bamboo kebab skewers from the supermarket and a draw plate from Model Expo or Ebay. You can make some very passable small scale wooden masts with those.


  • mtaylor, thibaultron, Canute and 1 other like this

#6
Thunder

Thunder
  • Members
  • 87 posts
  • LocationStaffordshire - England

When I built that particular model I had no trouble with the plastic masts as, unlike Heller's war ships, the masts are reasonably solid. It is still on show after 20 years so will check it for you when I get home to see how it has faired.

 

The top tip I would give you, for building that model, is to get the Noel C L Hackney book for the  Airfix Mayflower. This is a step by step guide to building the model at three different levels of expertise and is brilliant. That Revell kit is very good but this will help you achieve museum standard.

 

If the masts are hollow you can use metal rod glued inside. For the yards you can replace studding sail booms with metal rod to strengthen the yard ( obviously not on your ship).


  • mtaylor, thibaultron, Canute and 1 other like this

#7
Jaager

Jaager
  • Members
  • 492 posts
  • LocationNorfolk VA

If you split out the mast and yard stock from a board of a straight grained species and shape that, it will not want to bend over time.


  • mtaylor, jud, thibaultron and 1 other like this

#8
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA
Thank you so much for the tips! I might try the supplied masts, I could build them and dry fit them into the hull to get a feel for how rigid or flexible they are. My only experience is with Lindberg's Jolly Roger, which has very flimsy masts... Made rigging interesting...
  • thibaultron and Canute like this

#9
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA
I also appreciate the tip on the book. I have looked the kit over and read thru the instructions (waiting for my birthday to start building) and found the instructions to be slightly less than clear for some steps. I'm sure that book would be very helpful...
  • mtaylor and Canute like this

#10
JerseyCity Frankie

JerseyCity Frankie
  • Members
  • 1,239 posts

Bamboo is the way to go, I'm on team bamboo too. But test it yourself: Make yourself a spar from bamboo and then another duplicate form any other wood, make the two of them the same diameter you want on your model. Don't bother tapering them or anything fancy, just get them close to the diameter of your models spars. Then break them in your hand and see for yourself which one is most resilient.


  • mtaylor, Canute and Fright like this

#11
reklein

reklein
  • Members
  • 545 posts
  • LocationLewiston Idaho

I'm a fan of making masts from straight grained square stock. Its the only way you can get a predictable taper. Mark the center of you spar on the end with a dot. Then taper the spar equally on four sides keeping your center dot in the middle. Then carve your tapered square stock into an octagon, again keeping your dot centered. Once you have an Octagon its easy to sand it round,and did I say keep the dot centered. Its pretty toough to taper bamboo although its true that its strong. Id recommend basswood just be sure of the straight grain. As you care the wood ,you can use a knife or a small spoke shave. There will be some grain direction so if the blade wants to dive into the wood revserse the direction of carving.   Good luck anyway, and replacing weak plastic aint a bad idea but proper rigging can strenghthen it just as on a real ship.   Bill


  • mtaylor, thibaultron and Canute like this

Bill, in Idaho

Completed Mamoli Halifax and Billings Viking ship in 2015

Next  Model Shipways Syren


#12
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA
Thanks again to all of you for your input!!! My plan as of now is to go ahead and assemble the plastic masts to see how they feel, if they're solid enough to work for me I will use them. If not, then I will try wood...

I will be starting the build, and the build log, on my birthday, October 9th. Is it October 9th yet??
  • thibaultron and Canute like this

#13
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA

The top tip I would give you, for building that model, is to get the Noel C L Hackney book for the Airfix Mayflower. This is a step by step guide to building the model at three different levels of expertise and is brilliant. That Revell kit is very good but this will help you achieve museum standard.


Thank you! I have just received the book and, at first glance, it appears to contain a wealth of helpful information! Just wanted to make sure I shared my appreciation for your recommendation of this book!
  • mtaylor and Canute like this

#14
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

    Grande Knave of Pizmire

  • Members
  • 967 posts
  • LocationSan Diego area

The answer to your question will depend on what your experience with woodworking is and what equipment you have to work with.  Making a mast and yards from square stock may be the best answer, but may not be practical for you.

 

Another option might be to use something to reinforce the existing mast.  If the mast is hollow, try brass tubing for the inside.


  • mtaylor, thibaultron, Canute and 1 other like this

Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#15
Thunder

Thunder
  • Members
  • 87 posts
  • LocationStaffordshire - England

Hi, checked my kit, it has been on my bedside cabinet for 10 years with plastic masts and is fine.


  • mtaylor and Canute like this

#16
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

    Grande Knave of Pizmire

  • Members
  • 967 posts
  • LocationSan Diego area

Is it constructed or still in the box?


  • mtaylor and Canute like this

Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#17
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA
Chuck- I believe he said it was a finished model.

Thunder- thanks for checking! Since the masts are two halves glued together I might try adding some thin tubing or stiff wire in between the halves...
  • mtaylor and Canute like this

#18
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

    Grande Knave of Pizmire

  • Members
  • 967 posts
  • LocationSan Diego area

Oh yes, so he did...back in post #6.  When he stated that he 'checked his kit' I was envisioning him opening the box that has been on his bedside cabinet for 10 years.  I have some that have been sitting around AT LEAST that long.  Just sayin'.


  • mtaylor and Canute like this

Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#19
dafi

dafi
  • Members
  • 1,845 posts
  • LocationLudwigsburg Germany

Here is a test I did a while ago with Heller Victory┬┤s plastic jib and a replacement wooden one of the same dimensions.

 

800_Victory-jibboom_9557.jpg

 

800_Victory-jibboom_9559.jpg

 

Both having the same weight hanging on, does one have to say more?

Cheers, Daniel


Edited by dafi, 04 November 2016 - 10:22 PM.

  • mtaylor, popeye2sea, Archi and 3 others like this

To victory and beyond! http://modelshipworl...ory-and-beyond/

 

By the Deep 17 http://modelshipworl...-display/page-4

 

SMS Trinkstein http://modelshipworl...navy/#entry3314

 

See also our german forum for Sailing Ship Modeling and History: http://www.segelschiffsmodellbau.com/

 

 

Finest etch parts for HMS Victory 1:100 (Heller Kit) and other useful bits.

http://dafinismus.de/index_en.html

 

Honorary Member of the Tic-Tac-Man-Appreciation-Society


#20
SomethingIsFishy

SomethingIsFishy
  • Members
  • 59 posts
  • LocationSoutheastern Wisconsin, USA
Wow! Thanks for sharing that picture! Big difference, could make rigging much easier for a newbie like me...
  • mtaylor, thibaultron and Canute like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Welcome GUEST to the Model Ship World Community.
Please LOGIN or REGISTER to use all of our feautures.