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Jeff T

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Posts posted by Jeff T

  1. Here is how the bowsprit and masts look with the cleats attached (from left to right:  mizzenmast, bowsprit, mainmast, foremast):






    The square areas of exposed plastic within the reddish putty on the bowsprit in the photograph in my second post from November 14th were made to allow the solvent cement to make strong bonds with the polystyrene cleats.


    Eventually, after the topmasts are made and attached and after the spars are made, I will spray them all brown and then "weather" them.


    For rigging, my plan will be to belay the spritsail lifts (port and starboard) to the fore cleats on the bowsprit, and the spritsail braces will be belayed to the aft cleats, like this:



    (On the port side, the orange arrow points to the fore cleat, which would correspond to my model's fore cleat and you can see that the spritsail lift is belayed there.  The green arrow points to the aft cleat, to which the spritsail brace is belayed.  There are other cleats on the bowsprit of this replica galleon in the above photograph, but I will not place them on my model -- the rigging may differ a little, and I may instead use the pinrails in the beakhead.)



    On the same replica galleon, the cleats on the mainmast appear in the photographs below (port view):






    On my model's masts (mainmast and foremast), I have placed corresponding cleats port and starboard, and these will be used to belay buntlines, which is described in Peter Kirsch's book The Galleon:  The Great Ships of the Armada Era  (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1990), p. 151.



    (Starboard view, left to right:  mainmast, foremast.  Cleats are higher up on the foremast because of the forecastle will be right below them, and the mast will go down through the forecastle to the main deck.)

  2. I made some cleats to mount on the foremast, mainmast and bowsprit.  These will eventually be used to belay certain rigging lines.  Since the kit is plastic, I used polystyrene strips to make the cleats, since there would be a good, strong bond between the cleat and the mast, which could handle some tension.




    I first filed down a strip with a round file so that the undersurface of the cleats would be concave.  This helps it conform to the "roundness" of the mast or bowsprit:IMG_7468.thumb.jpg.0426d63243040bde47cb28148c0a75ce.jpg


    Here is how the undersurface appears after filing:




    Then I made measurements on the strip for the cleats, marking with a pencil:




    I wrapped a piece of 150 grit sandpaper, with double-sided tape on the back of it, around a remnant aluminum rod piece:




    Using the markings on the strip as a guide, I sanded the strip against the sandpapered rod to make "arches" in between the attachment points of the soon-to-be cleats:









    With each arch held over the aluminum rod for support, I separated the cleats with a knife:





    Below is a sample of a cleat.  Each cleat is small -- only 6 mm long, 2 mm wide, and less than 2 mm high:





    I know that these cleats do not have a stylized appearance with tapered "horns" as you may see on sailing ships, but to try doing that by carving these tiny plastic parts may cause them to look less symmetric and/or consistent.  It would also be rather difficult to hold them in place to carve them -- they move easily when whittled, even when grasped with tweezers.  Despite the shape, my version will be very functional for belaying rigging.




  3. There is a glue called Craftics Thickened Cement #33 that I have used for gluing small pieces of polycarbonate to styrene on my plastic model, and since it is not too thin, I think maybe one could mask the edges of the polycarbonate being joined to protect the surfaces from overflow and “spider web” strings from extruding glue, without the glue creeping under the tape.  The surfaces would probably need to be masked on the inside and the outside of the seams.  Here is a link:




    Craftics makes thin glues too that can be used on polycarbonate.  I do not know if any of these are available outside of the United States, however.

  4. In addition to the problem where the seams did not line up correctly, there were a lot of variations in the contour or "roundness" of the masts and bowsprit (although they really are not completely round anyway -- more like "oval").  I wanted to make them as consistent as possible, so this required a lot of work.  I used a steel-filled epoxy (J-B Weld) and also Bondo Glazing & Spot Putty to smooth things out:




    The brass rods that you see protruding from them (glued in place with steel-filled epoxy) will later be shortened and used to hold the spars up to the masts and bowsprit so that it will be easier to do the rigging.  The two squares on the bowsprit (far left) are to expose styrene under the putty in order to attach a couple of styrene pieces with solvent glue (more on that later).

  5. I decided to take a break from painting for a while, and looked ahead to the masts and spars. 


    The plastic in this kit is a bit pliable, with an almost "waxy" texture to it when handled.  (I remember styrene in kits that I built in my youth being more rigid, and maybe even brittle at times).  Since this plastic bends, the spars and upper masts may be a little difficult to manage when rigging is applied with a little tension.  Even the lower masts and bowsprit are thin and may bend.  Other members on this forum have used wood on the inside to strengthen them.  What I decided to do is make my own spars and upper masts from walnut dowels (I will do this later on in the build).   I will use the plastic lower masts (foremast, mainmast, mizzenmast) and bowsprit that were supplied with the kit, and I have already worked with them quite a bit to strengthen them and try to eliminate the seams as much as I could.  I could have also made these from wood, but I want a good styrene-to-styrene bond at the partners, and I want them to have the intended rake, which is already there in the plastic masts.


    Here is how they looked on the sprues -- the halves have fairly thin walls:





    I also am using interior supports, but I decided to go with aluminum rather than wood:




    I sanded the aluminum rods down so that they fit in the masts and bowsprit, but also had to sand out any plastic fitting pins within them:




    I used 30 minute epoxy to set the supports into the masts and bowsprit (the white stuff in the foremast is epoxy putty where I had made the rod too short):




    I set the free halve over the ones with the rods with epoxy and later glued the seams with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement:




    Unfortunately, the seams did not match up very well, because the walls are of varying thickness on the same mast, and the inner rods would not let me slide the masts halves slightly across each other to line them up (you can see where the seams mismatch below):




    By the way, I also removed the "rings" around the masts and bowsprit that I think were supposed to be wooldings.  I want to make my own wooldings out of rigging line.  Also notice above that the cheeks on the mizzenmast (third from the left) are gone.  I removed them, because I do not want a "top" on my mizzenmast.  Rather, it will be something like this, without a topmast (although I may put a flagstaff on top):







  6. The bit of rigging on the bowsprit to which you are pointing in the last picture is called gammoning.  Here is a link that has some information on how to do it:



    I am not sure of the reason, but all of the other pictures that you placed in your post are not visible to me (they are just blank).  What technique did you use to place them in the post (e.g. drag and drop, or copy and paste)?  Maybe some of the other people viewing the post can see them?

  7. On 10/18/2020 at 4:32 AM, bosco72 said:

    Thank you for you thoughts on this, and I agree on not using the silver. 


    Here is another thought for the windows, if you would like:  You can repaint them black first, and let them thoroughly dry.  Then, mix a VERY small amount of white acrylic into a bit of your clear polyurethane varnish, so that when you paint that mixture over the black, you will get a very slightly hazy gloss — this can simulate a slightly dirty glass window outside the dark cabin.

  8. When following Backer's log on his scratch-built Golden Hind 1/45 scale,


    I wondered how I would also solve the problem of the mainstay coming down to the beakhead, because the rigging instructions by Revell do not do it that way, and I wanted to follow a plan more like that outlined by Peter Kirsch in his Galleon book, referenced previously in this log.  So I did a crude preliminary test, but keep in mind, doing anything concrete with the rigging will still be a long way off for me:








    Fortunately, it looks like I will likely be able to run the mainstay under the railing at the front of the forecastle and loop it around the the bowsprit at the stempost.  And, rather than making it go to one side or the other of the foremast, I will most likely have two limbs of the mainstay loop around either side of it. 

  9. Robert,


    The topics linked by Ryland Craze have some good recommendations.  I am afraid that my own pair of magnifiers is not as fancy as what is discussed in those links.  I have plastic lenses, not glass, but so far, they have lasted over three years.  This is what I have:




    I cannot remember the brand name.  For the lighting, I use an LED penlight that takes a single AAA battery (I use rechargeable, which last over 2 hours at a time).  The LED penlight is mounted on the frame of the magnifier by means of velcro so that I can remove it to change the battery.  The white “cradle” for the penlight that allows a flat connection for the velcro of the penlight to the velcro of the frame was made of epoxy putty.

  10. 11 hours ago, Backer said:

    Perhaps the Vasa model is a good example of this setup.


    I think If the fore mast is far enough back then the bowsprit can be placed in the center and therefore also rest on the stempost





    Yes, I think this would work.  Thanks!

  11. image.jpeg.19e017bf75008837b8c96fdb4841f239.jpeg


    Going under the railing is definitely a way to do it.  On a replica here in San Diego of a galleon ship that sailed in 1542, the mainstay also travels under the railing:




    An interesting thing is how after the fore part of the mainstay is stropped around a deadeye, the two limbs are first “seized” together, then they separate to go around the foremast as a “loop” rather than sit together to one side of it or the other.  Here is how it looks from the forecastle:




    It still attaches to the beakhead rather than the foremast.  But what appears to be the protruding stempost in this replica is to the port side of the bowsprit here, with the bowsprit not “dead center” in the beakhead.


    What could be done if the bowsprit rested on the stempost?  (I am struggling with the idea of eventually using this mainstay “loop” technique on my own galleon (a plastic kit), because the bowsprit does indeed rest on the stempost in that kit, but I think maybe the separation of the mainstay that goes around the foremast can stay separated around the bowsprit and then travel through a tunnel drilled transversely through the protruding stempost beneath the bowsprit, thereby completing the “loop”?)

  12. Masking tape residue may be removed with mineral spirits.  Using odorless mineral spirits, gently applied with a soft brush and then blotted off with a very soft cloth, may work.  Brush bristles and cloths can potentially scratch the clear plastic, so you have to be very careful, however it may take a little light brushing with the odorless mineral spirits to loosen the sticky residue, and you may need to do it more than once to get it all off.  It’s important not to use the mineral spirits in standard paint thinner because it may be mixed with another chemical that may harm plastic.  Since the gold is acrylic paint and not enamel, the odorless mineral spirits would likely not affect it.  If the globes came with clear plastic sprue, and if you have any left, you could do a test on the sprue by first sticking some of the same type of masking tape on it, applying Future to the edge just as on the model, and then applying the gold acrylic.  Let it sit, unmask it, and if there is residue, try out the odorless mineral spirits.  I hope this helps, and good luck with your project.  (BTW — I am also a fan of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea — nice choice of kit!)

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