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JerseyCity Frankie

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It’s a point which weighs against us, and a fact to be deplored – 
That we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

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  1. Fore and aft rigging questions

    The tack will likely attach to a ring bolt on top of the boom close in to the jaws of the boom, but it’s possible to find tackle on the tack which allows the tack to be raised to spill wind or allow the helmsman to see ahead-you see this in MANY old paintings. the downhaul on the headsail can run directly attached only at the head of the sail down to the turning block but often there is a “lizard”, a very short bit of line with an eye in it midway down the luff of the sail, through which the downhaul is rove. If it were my vessel ide have two boom topping lifts but there are examples of single topping lifts (Joshua Sloakum’s Spray had only one). A single topping lift will always have a negative effect on sail shape on one tack since the sail will press against it, two topping lifts allows you to slack one to avoid this. Brails I don’t know much about. If it were me I’d want one on each side to help control the canvas but obviously one line would work, it’s just a question of subtleties. Finally, I never let an opportunity pass to warn people about Petersson’s “Fore and aft Craft” book. It’s FULL of nonsense rigging. True he gets much of the basics correct, there are ample problems in the minutiae. Approach with scepticism.
  2. Ageing Decks

    I use thinned acrylic paint.i mix up four parts brown (burnt umber) with one part blue (ultramarine blue) which makes a good very dark brown color suitable for representing tarred rigging at full strength. When thinned with plenty of water it makes a stain that you can paint on with a brush and controls with a rag or q-tip. You can gauge the color as you go and if it’s too dark you can wipe it up or buff off some of it with a moistened rag. You can also lightly sand right through this very thin coat exposing highlights that are pleasing to the eye. Certainly, as with any coating technique, I would try it out on scrap wood first.
  3. Pinrail rope coils

    You could pin the coil in place with a needle until the glue dries? My advice though would be to abandon the literal replication of real-world use. Your coil hanging appears to be correct but as you note, the stiffness of the line itself is out of scale and it won’t drape properly. I’m in favor of simply gluing the pre-formed coil over the belayed line and if you want that short bit of line wrapped once through the top of the coil, that bit could be the tail of the actual line on the pin or it could just be a half-inch long scrap piece not attached to the pin or the coil, if it’s two ends disappear behind the coil nobody will know it’s a cheat.
  4. On a model, just enoughto get the line belayed and then for accuracy’s sake glue on a pre-formed coil afterwords. On an actual ship each line needs enough length for the use of the line. for instance hailyards need to be long enough to account for the fall of the tackle at its extreme length. But there also needs to be enough additional length to allow for the number of men needed to handle the line in any circumstance. so if the strain on the line caused by the weight of the load requires three men to hold it safely, you need enough length for three men to lay on to the line, roughly four feet for each person. How can you tell which line needs more extra length? Broadly the thicker heavier lines will be the ones requiring more people hauling. The hailyards sheets and braces will have much larger coils than other lines since they have longer tackle falls.
  5. Nearing the finish on my Scientific Models Constitution.all that remains are ships boats ground tackle and some braces. Oh , and flags!
  6. Advice on sails

    Conventional wisdom is to use thin fabric in the proper color. Real-world fabric can’t make scale tinny wrinkles so conventional wisdom is to reduce the scale sized depth of the fabric so that when it is compacted into a bundle it will be a smaller size. Then soak the fabric in a water/white glue mixture, form it into the shape you want and allow to dry. When I do this I usually make the bundles of furled sails off the model using simple dowel jigs and bind the wet fabric with cheap thin wire. The wire tends to collect the fabric and concentrate the wrinkles in a way you can work to your advantage if you locate the wire in the spot where the ships rigging would bind the real sail. real woven fabric should be fine on a 1/48 scale model, most people use paper on smaller models.
  7. Rigging for Dummies

    It’s surprising there isn’t a simple but comprehensive book that would cover the basic list of running rigging anyone would be likely to find on any sailing vessel and how each line works. It’s honestly not THAT complex on the surface.
  8. When to attach sails to a model

    It’s certainly easiest to lace the sails onto the gaffs booms and yards before attaching those elements to the masts. On my Consyitution I put all the shrouds on FIRST but not all the stays. I put the stays on as I added the yards from the deck up. If I’d put ALL the stays on first I couldn’t have as easily reached between the masts when I was fixing the yards in place. And I’m only doing the bow rigging now, last because Im sure I’d have snapped off the jibboom if I’d had it on since the start.
  9. OcCre Dos Amigos - foresail

    I’m always surprised when manufacturers drop the ball on stuff that will CERTAINLY come up later when people start assembling their kits. Wouldn’t you assume they’d do their homework and observe existing examples of the rigs they are using? That they would have already had this conversation we are having now? Apparently they don’t count running rigging accuracy among their chief concerns. An odd turn of events since I’m CERTAIN all manufacturers bestow upon themselves words like “museum quality” and “historically accurate “.
  10. OcCre Dos Amigos - foresail

    An existential question raised by these issues is: is she a Topsail schooner or is she a brigantine? If she’s a schooner her forsail will certainly have a gaff. If she’s a brigantine, I’m not sure she’s allowed a Main squarsail. Discuss.
  11. OcCre Dos Amigos - foresail

    I love these ship model rig conundrums! Looks like the logical problems are in your documentation. But loose footed forsails with pairs of mainstays do exist in the real world, notably on the Pride of Baltimore II. When going about, the crew has to slack the leeward stay. Every time they go about! The sail always remains inside the two stays. when I look at photos of Pride, it looks like they sometimes slack both stays leaving only the springstay to support the Main. But only under certain points of sail. Moving on, the braces for the square sail on the Fore attached to the stay are clearly wrong in my opinion. If the stay is being slackened it would be an impossible location for a brace. If it was me I’d lead the braces to the mainmast hounds ABOVE THE HEIGHT OF THE PEAK OF THE FORSAIL, so it can clear. The sheet for the forsail must certainly lead aft from the Clew of the sail, in all circumstances. So the pin is the wrong pin OR the sail diagram is wrong and the foot of the sail is too long? There are certainly issues with the model photograph and how the square mainsail is touching the forsail, these two sails wouldn’t be set at the same time OR the forsail would be smaller to prevent the two sails fouling.
  12. Knights in 17th Century Ships

    I’ve been fascinated with this topic for a while. On the one hand the weather deck must be able to be rendered watertight, all the hatches and openings can be sealed with covers and canvas. But a few bits of running rigging certainly passed through this deck. So I imagine the holes were no larger than necessary while at the same time not so small as to cause chafe.
  13. Let’s just take it as a reminder how much we rely on MSW and be greatfull that 99.99% of the time MSW keeps on being a great ship model resource. Thanks to all of you that keep it running!
  14. Rattlesnake Rigging Question

    A photo of the plan would be helpful.i remember seeing this plan once and remember it was pretty good but all on a single sheet?
  15. Either way. Paint will wear off but it’s not really very visible unless you cast off the line- the portions that the line chafes are always covered by the line. Here are two photos from Pride of Baltimore showing painted AND unpainted cleats on the same vessel.
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