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Everything posted by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

  1. The lower deadeyes for the spritsail topmast and the topmasts for fore, main and mizzen were prepared with blackened brass pins. Loops will be formed at the bottom of these deadeyes to accept hooks of the futtock shrouds. The round deadeyes were replaced with triangular ones, which fit the age of the ship better. The lower deadeyes were completed for the spritsail topmast and installed in the rail of the top.
  2. I had to eyeball only the few rows near the top and at the bottom where the spacing tool interfered with the hull or a top. I found that when tightening each clove hitch, you pull the thread away from the shroud straight toward you with a light tug while holding the shroud with needle pliers just above the knot, with the spacing tool just below the knot, then tug the line in a direction parallel with the ratline, in the direction you are working. The knot is small and tight. I tighten each knot as I go, and then slide them up or down on the shroud if they need straightening. The spacing tool makes sure that the row is mostly in the correct angle, but properly spaced between rows, so few adjustments are necessary. Every three rows, I check the height and location of the ratline to the channel, and compare that measurement to the ratline on the opposite side of the ship, so they line up. Use of the spacing tool made these measurements usually come within 1mm from port to starboard, so adjustments are quite small to match the ratlines. It's good to apply the thinned PVA glue to each row before making the next one, so none of your finished knots get loose. It took me about 200 knots to get a system down. The last rows of ratlines I did look a lot better than the first ones. Here is the improved ratline spacing tool, with metal clips made from a large paperclip. Make the thickness of the tool the distance you want between the ratlines. In this case, the tool is 5.68mm tall. There are strips of 300 grit sandpaper glued to the inside surfaces of the wood to grip the shrouds.
  3. Ratlines for the lower masts are finished. A mixture of PVA and water was applied to the knots to help hold them in place. CA glue was applied to the first and last knot on each ratline. Some brass 0.062mm diameter pins were purchased and are starting to be formed around the 5mm lower deadeyes for the spritsail topmast. The brass will be blackened. At the bottom of the deadeyes will be hooks. Futtocks will be hooked to the bottom of the deadeye assemblies and the lower ends bolted to the sides of the bowsprit. Brass to simulate these will be formed form wire and blackened to appear as iron. There are plenty of directions to go in building the model from here. The upper stays and shrouds for the topmasts and topgallants are probably next after the shrouds on the spritsail topmast are done. The upper masts and spritsail topmast are still not yer glued together, and that will be done before more shrouds and stays are rigged.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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:
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Some progress was made on rigging the shrouds. The lower foremast shrouds were completed and the lower mainmast shrouds were started.
  15. 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.
  16. Well, I decided to push ahead using the right hand laid cables that Alexey provided. Maybe I'll make left hand laid shroud lines on the next ship. A lot of work has been done recently getting the shroud rigging off to a start. I made a deadeye spacing tool for later use from a couple paperclips and two deadeyes. Shroud lines were cut and formed into pairs. A piece of wood held in a bench vise made tying the seizes easier. The shrouds are 1.0mm right hand laid cable provided by Alexey at Dominoff's Workshop. The shroud pairs and seizes were placed on the masthead and the seizing lines cinched tight, starting on the starboard side and alternating from one side to the other, forward-most shroud pair to to after-most shroud pair. Room was left beneath the first pair of shrouds to allow the top to be glued into place. The last single pair of shrouds were actually spliced together using small pliers, needles, and very steady hands. The needle made a good miniature marlin spike. No one else will ever see this tiny splicing, but I know it is there. After studying how to lash deadeyes, work began. The shroud is glued to one side of the upper deadeye to make tying easier. A seize of the overlapping shroud line is made at the top of the deadeye, the seizes are added farther up. All the seizes that hold the shroud line above the deadeye were tied with whip knots. Small individual alligator clips are used to hold the line in various places for each seize. After some practice, you learn a method for doing them without fumbling around too much. Tan colored 0.25mm line was used to make the lashings. Now the spacer tool is removed. Starting with a stopper knot at the end, the line is fed through the deadeyes. After the deadeyes, it is half hitched, then wrapped four turns around the shroud standing part and bitter end. I passed the end of line between the shroud cords with a needle to prevent if from unwinding as the final seize was made at near the end of the lashing at the top of the rig. After a long day, four pairs of shrouds were completed.
  17. I had a panic session when I confused "cable laid (left hand laid)" and "hawser laid (right hand laid)" with the terms "cable" and "rope". Alexey at Donimoff's Workshop was kind enough to educate me. I thought his bit of wisdom was worth passing on to others: In few words: rope is made from yarns, cable is made from ropes. Ropes are always opposite lay to source yarns. Cables are always opposite lay to source ropes. I use fabric yarns which is already right lay. So my ropes are left lay. Then I put these ropes to another machine and make cables. So my cables are always right lay. In meanwhile it doesn’t matter which lay to use on a model. This is a model. In a real world they may produce as right lay ropes and as left making then left or right cables. Alexey He provided rope and cables to me for La Couronne. His cables are right hand laid and his ropes are left hand laid, all originating from the yarns he uses which are right hand laid. This created a bit of confusion for me when referencing the illustration in RC Anderson, in which showed the difference between cable laid and hawser laid ropes. Thanks Alexey !
  18. Installation of many blocks in preparation for rigging was done in various parts of the ship. Blocks which are part of the tackles which haul the main course yards in a downward direction were attached to the deck on front of each mast. For all blocks, the eyelets were attached to the stropping of each block. The ends of the stropping line for each block was held to the block by using black thread to seize the ends, one end of which passed through the eyelet first. The seizing was secured with CA glue. The shanks of the eyelets were then glued into holes the deck. Blocks and eyelets which secure the port and starboard hoist tackles when they are stored were installed in the waist of the upper deck. Cleats were attached to the forecastle deck directly behind the catheads. These will be used to secure the line which the cathead uses to hoist the anchors, port and starboard. Since I plan of storing two anchors on each side of the ship on the forward channels, two timberheads were added aft of the forecastle. for tying off the lines for the tackles used to maneuver the anchors into the rear positions. This arrangement will be more evident later when the anchors are installed. Eyelets with blocks having hooks attached were installed on the forward channels for anchor handling tackles for the anchors. stored in the forward positions. The fiddle blocks for the tackles of the fore topmast backstay and the two main topmast forestays on each side were prepared. The bitter ends of the stropping line were glued together with a small amount of CA glue. Then an elongated hole was drilled onto the top of the block. The ends of the stropping line are inserted and glued into this hole, such that the stropping line forms a loose loop above the block. The loop is then inverted, being folded over the block and the line is glued to the sides of the block. The excess loop, now at the bottom of the block, will be used to form and eye. Each lower fiddle block had an eye formed in the stropping line, formed with a seize at the bottom of the block. To this eye, a wire hook is attached, using needle nosed pliers to close the loop at the top of the hook. The hooks were made from blackened wire using a round nosed pliers and regular flat jawed needle nosed pliers. The upper fiddle blocks for the backstay tackles will be rigged later when the backstays are installed.
  19. Here's a cost update. The attached spreadsheet shows all model related expenses, including tools, research books, custom parts, and materials. The total cost so far is $2595.31 US. La Couronne Model Constructon Expenses.xlsx
  20. A correction was made. I installed 9 chainplates on each side for the foremast, when there should be 8. So, I removed the rearmost ones and patched the holes in the chainwales. Oops....

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