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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. Hi Frankie,

     You've obviously been studying this subject assiduously (good word Eh? - Had to look it up to make sure I'd spelt it right). Fly, being small single masted, I imagine would possibly use the pendants as running backstays when not needed for the purposes of lifting shrouds ect. Chuck Pessaro's description of Cheerful's rigging has them over the top of the shrouds at the top of the mainmast. Fly was built 40 odd years before Cheerful but I've cheated and though the hull is Fly's the rigging is mostly Cheerful's. That's a major advantage of proper scratch building since I've made all the parts except the parral beads. The attention to the very smallest detail carried out by you major builders is very intimidating to a minnow like me.

    Seasons Greetings, Peter

    1. JerseyCity Frankie

      JerseyCity Frankie

      Your model looks terrific by the way! 

    2. bagpiperuler


      I've been trying to get the rigging tensions in all the lines to the point where everything is square. Chuck Pessaro is right when he says in his description of Cheerful that it takes some time to get it right. You too make a good point that the masts are crowded though I look at the bigger square riggers and the complexity of their arrangements and quake. Fly is relatively simple in comparison. I'm finding one of the most difficult tasks right here at the end of the build, namely that of making and fitting the coils on top of the belaying pins and cleats. I've tried to attach a couple of photos to show what I mean. There's 11 lines going to the end of that bowsprit (the way I've rigged it anyway). Chuck's description of his build of Cheerful was of such a great help to a beginer scratch builder like me. At 75 I'm hoping to last long enough to become intermediate!

      I've seen one or two contemporary paintings showing cutters going to windward with their main yard lowered to what must be no more than fifteen feet off the the deck. I suppose that would reduce the top hamper weight and also windage. But where on earth did they stow all the stunsail yards and cordage.



  2. Ive got a great idea! Let’s just stick to the topic and refrain from personal nonsense? The greatest aspect of MSW is the openness of the discussions on the many topics pertaining to ship model building.
  3. Wouldn’t it be better to attack the points I’ve made rather than make a personal attack on the person making the points? What aspects of my opinions of ship model restoration are wrong, in your opinion?
  4. I think it’s a case of English practice verses French practice. I HIGHLYdoubt the people behind the Hermione project could get their rigging wrong, everything on that ship is superb. The English practice was to have bothe stays on the Starboard side of the foremast and nearly all the ship modeling reference material available in English is based on British historical practice. I don’t know much about French practice because I’m only reading books in English. But the image from the painting I posted above is from a contemporary French painting.
  5. Here’s some photos and my interpretation of what is going on......as you can see there are four elements visible forward of the mast. Your kit diagram shows only two.
  6. Here’s shots of modern Niagara in which her sweeps are visible stacked on a pair of crutches. Frequently the crutch is incorporated into the fife rail as depicted in the drawings. Many ships of all sizes would carry spare topmasts and if the ship was too small to feature a hatch with skid beams large enough to acomodate those spars lying on deck, they were sitting on the crutches. Often the ships boats were in turn lashed onto the spare topmasts. Many ship models can be seen with the spare topmasts but few of them also include the sweeps.
  7. Neither her gunports or her oarports can be shut, they have no covers and can’t be closed. On Niagara those ports are six feet above the waterline, and they’re all slightly higher than the MUCH LARGER gunports anyway so they represent no greater significant way for water to get aboard. Niagara was designed as a lake boat and not optimized for blue water ocean sailing so her low freeboard isn’t necessarily a drawback. This would be an entirely different story were she intended for ocean sailing though and all her ports would likely be closeable and very likely she’d have higher freeboard designed in. In fact I’ve heard talk that the modern day Niagara is financially constrained by her inability to safely transit deeper ocean waters under the stability certification she holds from the US Coast Guard and her owners are considering structural changes-including raising the height of the bulwarks-to make her more seaworthy. This would certainly include portlids. As things stand on Niagara I’ve never seen photos of water coming aboard as she sails healed over. Sailors love the excitement of sailing in intense conditions and there would certainly be photos of Niagara “burying the rail” if it’d ever happened. But instead you can’t even find photos of Niagara healing at all,she appears to be remarkably stiff.
  8. Here’s a photo of some pine tar out of a can. It’s very thick as can be seen and opaque. But the opacity is lessened when it’s painted onto a porous surface. It’s very sticky and very thick and viscous but it thins easily with turpentine. Painted onto some rope, it behaves enough like paint as to be brushablewith a brush or you can wipe it on with a rag. Asingle aplication to fiber rope will not render the rope black but successive coats eventually will. The successive coats eventually stop soaking into the rope and a crust is then formed and at that point it becomes opaque and nearly (but not 100%) black in color. The gloss only lasts until it dries after which point it loses it’s shine and can appear almost chalky after prolonged UV exposure. Here’s a shot taken on Niagara. Under the crew’s arm is a stay that’s been served with twine then given many coats of pine tar. The stay’s location low down on the Bowsprit means it’s often getting chafed by the sails and it’s a constant handhold for the crew. As a result it’s surface is scuffed and worn and it can not be said to be 100% Black in color, it’s a very dark brown or grayish-brown. It would only have appeared “very black” for a few weeks after its last aplication of tar. Aplying tar would happen fairly regularly as a daily chore on a sailing ship, but the tarring would be piecemeal not comprehensive. So most of the standing rig wouldn’t be black it would be this dark color.
  9. Bright white should be avoided. Not only does it look “too clean” it doesn’t resemble actual natural fiber rope at all. It’s possible to find modern sailing ships with rigging that is very white, but these are all manmade fiber ropes made of Dacron or nylon, materials unavailable before WWII.
  10. I’m a “paint everything” person there’s very little wood with the grain showing on my models. But I can appreciate the “only wood “ guys since they can’t use fillers and the craftsmanship thing is often amazing. But I DO have a problem when plywood is left unpainted this just takes me right out of the illusion and I feel a little sad that all that work went into the making of it but there’s the plywood’s edge ruining the effect.
  11. I found shaping the tagalants very trying. I forget how many I made but more than two! I’d either make them wrong or break them while trying to taper them. It’s one of those things where I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier doing it full scale. Particularly at the very top of the mast, shaving it thinner and thinner and saying to myself “this is where it will break one day if it’s too thin”.
  12. Brady’s Kedge-Anchor has details about rigging footropes on the jibboom: https://books.google.com/books?id=YihFAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=kedge-anchor&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQpvHC27jkAhWIiOAKHZ9IBw0Q6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=kedge-anchor&f=false
  13. This magic trick allows you to tie a series of evenly spaced overhand knots on a line. But you can do it the old fashioned way by just hand-tying individual knots. Headrig footropes are simply pairs of lines hanging down at such a height that a crewperson standing on them has the spar at navel hight. The two ends are hitched over the spar or tied to an eyebolt. They do need to be in pairs though, Port and Starboard. A single rope won’t sufice.
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