Tallsails2

Need a tip on staining or coloring the running rigging

I'm currently building the MS Fair American and am about to start all of the rigging. Does anyone have a tip on how to darken the running rigging?

 

The color that the running rigging line that comes with the MS kit says it's Manila Hemp, but it looks almost white in color and just does not look good to my eye. I've thought of using all black line for both the standing and running rigging although that is not the proper way but it does help in viewing all of the rigging when the model is complete and there is a light colored wall behind the model.

 

Anyone have a suggestion or two on what to use for the running rigging to make it show up better and look a little more brown and aged? Maybe a different product or supplier. I've got a good selection of fly tying line, but it's all too thin.

 

I'm always kit bashing things and changing things for my personal taste and have already done some things different on this build. So you purist don't shoot me for doing something different. 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Eddie 

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Chuck Passaro carries many different sizes and colors of line. This is high quality line. Check out the Syren Model ship advertisement on the website right hand side. 

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I used walnutstain to darken my lines. By wiping it offbefore it was dry, or apply it twice, i did achieve enough colour variation to my liking. Black line is too dark (at least, to my taste)

 

Jan

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i use a couple of methods. In each case you should unspool all the line you will need since whatever preparation you use, it can't penetrate stuff still on the spool and you will only effect the outer layers. I use one of two methods: most often I wet the thread with water ( a lot of water the thread should be dripping almost), stretch it between two points then I rub a small rag with acrylic paint over the thread,running it back and forth. If the color is too dark remove some of the paint by rubbing the line again with a rag soaked liberally with water. You can, if you work quickly, remove most of the paint if that's what it takes. Let it dry stretched so kinks won't form then coming again if you want it darker. It's done and dry within an hour. The other method I use is diluted acrylic in a tin can and I soak the unspooled thread overnight. A pain in the futtocks to untangle and stretch to dry but maybe more consistent color throughout the thread. Also strong coffee will empart color on white thread this way but will never get very dark. The color of acrylic paint I use is Burnt Umber  or Raw Umber. Any brownish earth tone will work but black works too if thinned enough. In all honesty a brown magic marker can work but probably will age weirdly on the model.

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Potassium Permanganate in the crystal form is  a strong oxidizer that the movie industry uses on props to age the look of wood and rope. Use roughly a teaspoon full in about a cup of water and mix WELL. It will be purple but when applied will turn brown. Wear rubber gloves as the stain is very hard to remove from your hands. DO NOT overlap and allow 24 hrs. to dry.

It can be ordered from your pharmacy. If used on wood buff with 0000 steel wool.

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If you brew tea bags for iced tea throw the white rope into a pan add the used tea bags and add warm water.  Tea stains everything else and it does good on white thread.

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There's a problem with tea... it's acidic and over a period of time (varies with strength of tea, dying time, and other factors) the line will disintegrate.  

John Allen likes this

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Never had that problem but I should add that you don't leave the thread in the Weak tea for long and then I rinse it off afterward.

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I knew there were other ways of doing this that I hadn't thought of. Thanks for the tips.

 

Eddie

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A number of years ago, I read about using potassium permanganate to stain curley maple muzzle loading rifle stocks.  I bought some and used it to stain a stock.  At first it worked fine but over time it developed an ugly green tint.  I don't know if rigging line would be affected the same way.

 

Roger

 

 

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Roger, I simply use fabric dye from the grocery store (RIT brand in this case).  Add some salt to it to make it colour fast - there is a mixing guide on the bottle.  I use 2 part black to 1 part dark brown to get the darker colours.  As Frankie advises, do this on lengths of scale rope off the spool.  I put the dyed line in an old teatowel afterwards to absorb a lot of the excess moisture, then allow to dry draped over a rod with a fishing weight (swivel type) clipped to each end.

 

Please note, Riga Hemp, in its true form is a pale greyish colour and was used for the running rigging. It got a little more greyish with exposure to salt etc.  It is only the other natural rope fibres (sisal, manila and coir) that are more tan in colour.

 

cheers

 

Pat

Roger Pellett and mtaylor like this

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