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    Minnesota, USA
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    Square rigged ships, Medieval and Roman armor, ancient siege engines, WWII machine guns and German infantry reenactment, adventure motorcycling

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  1. Your said it Catopower! I just finished another 6 hour session of ratline tying, and my head does feel fuzzy. I need to rest my eyes. As for the Corel kits, the instructions are minimal to nonexistent, the plans are pretty good, and the wood is very nice. However, 1:100 scale is small and difficult to put all the details in that you want to. The do have types of ships that other do not.
  2. I began tying ratlines for the very first time today. The first few passes at the bottom had some issues, but the work went faster with practice. The foremast ratlines on the starboard were completed. The ratline spacing jig worked very well keeping the ratlines properly spaced, at the proper horizontal angle, and prevented the shrouds from moving out of position.
  3. The lower stays were rigged today. The upper ends of each stay were eye-spliced, and each mouse was made from wraps of thread. The blocks on the other end of each stay were lashed with lanyards to their lower blocks. A tool for making ratlines was also made. It clamps onto the shrouds and maintained their separation, and keeps the ratlines level as you go. The pieces of wood have 300 grit sandpaper glued to the sides that contact the shrouds so it doesn't slip on the shrouds. Other model builders have used this type of tool with great success. Tiny Eye Splice Mizzenmast Stay. Look at that tiny eye splice! Mizzenmast StayForemast Stay Mainmast Stay Mizzenmast Stay Cool Ratline Tool Progress so far...
  4. I like Janos's and Doris's versions of SotS very much. The features are extraordinary. It would be great to obtain the plans they worked from. I only have the DeAgostini and Amati plans to work from. Amati has some notably incorrect hull features, and the DeAgostini lacks detail in all the carvings and embellishments plus an incorrect stern. Before the DeAgostini kit is started, more information need to be gathered and studied. I like to sweat the details, and like Jaager said, it will prove frustrating as a result. Thanks for your help!
  5. Well, there go my dreams of adequacy in accuracy. Thanks for the dose of realism! So, there will be lot of interpretational features on the model. I'm eager to know the level of information we have on SotS and gather as much information as possible about the early version of the ship, which is my ultimate target. The belfry will be embedded into the forecastle. Doris's belfry is spectacular, but I don't have her skill at shaping the carvings. Many thanks for the advice!
  6. Hello friends, I have noticed several different variations of the belfry on models of HMS Sovereign of the Seas. Some are half recessed into the forecastle, some are an individual standing structure, and the new book cover coming out in a week shows no befry at all. What evidence do we have on the design of the befry for SotS? If there is no information available, what information of the English befry exists to draw a conclusion on and make an interpretation? Examples... Standalone structure behind forecastle. DeAgostini: Standalone structure on forecastle deck. Mantua build by Denis R: Embedded within forecastle. Build by Doris Obručová: Embedded within forecastle. Build by Janos: Standalone structure on forecastle. Mantua build by Pirozzi: Standalone structure on poop deck. Seppings, Greenwich England: No belfry. John McKay's Sovereign of the Seas 1637, A Reconstruction of the Most Powerful Warship of its Day, April 1, 2020:
  7. More progress today. After considering how the spritsail, topmast and topgallant shoud lower deadeyes were going to be located in their respective tops, it occurred to me that there was no room for them on the first rail because the second rail above that would interfere with them. So, a dangerous and careful modification of them was performed with a Dremel tool and diamond burr bit. The inner diameter of each top's upper rail was increased. The mast assemblies above each top were removed, since they are not yet glued down, but the mizzen, main and foremast tops had to be worked on while on the masts. After a couple hours, they were reshaped, and wood fibers were carefully filed away with a hand diamond file. The freshly exposed wood was stained, and I breathed a sigh of relief, having dodged a bullet of potential irreversible damage to the tops. Time for a break.
  8. Preparations for rigging the double top ropes were made according to the illustration in R.C. Anderson's The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1750. Top ropes are typically installed temporarily to allow lowering the topmasts for maintenance in port and raising them into position in the crosstrees. They are usually dismantled, leaving only the eyebolts in place. They are not often found on ship models. Sheaves were cut into the topmasts, and tiny laser etched eyelets were installed in the bottom of the caps. On each cap, one eyebolt and two eyebolts with single blocks hung by hooks were installed. I only had four Model Shipways 4mm blocks that had hooks, so I had to make two more for the mizzenmast using 3.5mm blocks and wire I obtained from the twist tie on the remains of a bag of sliced bread I found in the kitchen. I made toast from the bread and ate it, then went back to work. After stripping the paper off the twist tie, the wire was wrapped around each block, carefully twisted tight, and a hook was formed using round pliers and needle nose pliers. The wire was blued using bluing acid I keep around for bluing guns. A Dremel tool was used to drill tiny holed in the bottom of each block, and large holes to form the sheaves in the topmasts. I used a pencil to darken the wood where the sheaves are to make them look like iron. The eyelets were glued with CA into the holes in the caps, and the blocks hung from the appropriate eyelets. In the Corel instructions, there are rope which are tied to the fore and main yardarms and crojack and lead to a tackle hooked to a deck eyebolt in front of each mast. I can't see any reason for a haul-down line to pull the yardarms down when gravity does such a great job of lowering them when you slack off the ties. So, the blocks which are hooked to the deck for these apparently useless lines will be used instead for the tackles of the top ropes for each mast.
  9. The shrouds for the mizzen mast were completed today. The little deadeye tool is a lifesaver. I had to break one of the port lids in order to install the mizzenmast chainplates on the starboard side, and re-glue it to its hinges once they were finished. Things are getting better with practice. The port side chainplates and deadeyes came out a bit better. All the seizes and lanyard wraps were faithfully replicated on the mizzenmast shrouds as well as the fore and mainmast shrouds, which is very difficult an a ship this small, 1:100 scale.
  10. More work on La Couronne today. The parts to make the chainplates still haven come in from two separate suppliers, so I stopped waiting and scratch built my own from wire and thin brass sheet just to finish the remaining unfinished chainplates on the mainmast on the starboard side. The wire was 0.32mm (20g) blackened copper and the brass sheet which was 0.254mm (0.010") thick and matched pretty closely to the other previously used chainplate parts. The chainplates were painted black and nailed to the wale on the hull. The chainplates for the mizzenmast will be done later. As building progresses, there is more reliance on scratch building and less on kit parts in many areas. More pairs of shrouds for the mainmast were prepared with seizings. The last odd pair will be cutspliced and installed later, just like the last pair on the foremast. Then the rest of the deadeyes will be rigged on the mainmast. I bought some 0.25mm dark brown thread for the ratlines. Since the shrouds are black,the dark brown will offer a bit of contrast in color without standing out too much. A couple more shrouds and deadeye were rigged on the mainmast, starboard side. The pictures below show the progression on how the deadeyes were rigged with a lanyard and the line wrapped and seized. The shrouds are right hand (hawser) laid, so the bitter end of the shroud will always be to the left of the standing part when finished being rigged. The shroud is glued to the deadeye first on one side while under tension, then the rigging tool is disconnected from the lower deadeye and the shroud glued to the other side of the deadeye. The bitter end of the shroud will always cross over the standing part when viewed from outboard. The shroud line is seized at the top of the deadeye before the tool can be reconnected to the lower deadeye, or else the tension will tear the shroud off the upper deadeye on the left side. The next step is to apply two seizings to the shroud above the deadeye, secure them with a small bit of CA glue and trim the ends off. Small alligator clips were used to hold thread above and blow the seize location to allow seizings to be wrapped, and line to be held in place so line wouldn't go slack or seizing wraps to cross over one another. Once you find a pattern for applying the alligator clips to the loop above, the bitter end below, and often directly onto the wraps to prevent them from going slack as you pass the line around the shroud using pliers and fat fingers, it will get easy. Making small seizes will become a practiced art. The upper deadeye is now finished. Now for the lanyard. About 25cm of tan line for the lanyard was prepared by tying a stopper knot on one end. The other end of the lanyard was passed through the right lower hole in the upper deadeye from the rear side, with a bit of CA glue to secure the knot so it can't be pulled through the hole under tension The line was passed through the upper and lower deadeyes in the proper sequence, then passed between the shroud line and the top of the upper deadeye from the rear using a needle. The line was then was passed around to the left and behind the upper deadeye, under the standing part of lanyard to form a bight, then looped aorund the shroud lines, circling upwards, then passing through the shroud lines from the rear, when the excess is trimmed off at the front of the shroud lines. Sometimes a bit of CA glue was added to the wraps to hold them in place. CA was also used sparingly on seizings before trimming the ends. Otherwise, they could unravel if the had to be re-positioned on the shroud. A simple overhand knot of black thread combined with a bit of CA holds the end of the lanyard after it is passed between the shroud passes and trimmed off. The cut end of the lanyard is disguised by coloring it black with a black Sharpy pen.
  11. Some progress was made on rigging the shrouds. The lower foremast shrouds were completed and the lower mainmast shrouds were started.
  12. The rigging goes slow, but anything that's worth it is like that. I'm not going to attach the backstays to the channels, bit rather tie the blocks to eyes attached to the hull. I noted that there is no room behind the masthead for the halyards to travel. Those lines will have to travel outboard of the last shroudlines on their way down to the knightheads. Imagine how difficult added sails and sheet/clew/buntlines will be on this small model. I'm not sure if there are enough belaying pins for all these lines. We're all still healthy here in Minnesota. The virus hasn't reached the levels that it has in California, and everyone out here has been politely following rules of 6' distance between people while in public, and working and remaining at home as much as possible.

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