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abelson

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  1. Following up the last post, I completed the main lower shrouds. The paper clip deadeye claws worked well to get the initial alignment of the deadeyes. With the claw removed and the lanyard reeved, the deadeyes weren’t aligned the same but are close enough for my liking. Getting ahead of myself here, after studying the rigging plan, I decided to make the lower yard trusses. I thought it would be easier to fit these without the yard aloft. Fig. 39 in the instruction manual illustrates how the trusses and pendants are “married” and reeved. The location of the purchases below the yard is not shown on the rigging plan, so it’s left to the builder to decide where to position the blocks. I decided to position them 3 feet below the yard. Note: Page 35 of the instruction manual states the lower lift purchase blocks should be midway between the deck and the lower mast cap (about 16' at 1/4" scale). You could assume that the lower yard truss pendant purchases should be the same. Using 0.021” line, I made an eye on one end, seized it, and applied some CA to it. I cut the line long enough (14’ @ 1/4” scale) to be wrapped around the yard, seized, and reeved through the opposite truss eye. I duplicated this for the 3 trusses. I fit the trusses to main and fore lower yard. The upper purchase blocks (1/8” double) will be seized to the pendants when the yards are suspended. Moved on to the sheer poles. I made the sheer poles from 1/32" x 3/16" plank from the kit, cut down to 1/32" square and painted them black. I glued a shear pole to each main mast shroud just above the deadeyes and seized it to the shrouds. Touched up the poles with black paint to cover the sheen of the CA glue. Completed the main preventer stay and main stay. Used 0.030” line for the preventer stay and 0.018” line for the lanyard. I set up the preventer stay with a 5.5 mm heart (not furnished with the kit) and eye per Detail M on the rigging plan. Note: Fig. 30C shows the preventer stay setup with a bullseye. I choose to follow Detail M. The main stay is 0.050” line set up with a 5.5 mm heart and 0.020” black line lanyard per Detail C. I had previously fashioned the lower heart with metal strap and eye. Next up, the fore lower shrouds. Seized to the main stay the main stay tackle pendent (0.210” black line), 7” double block for the forestay tackle, and four 7” single blocks for the fore topsail braces. These are positioned as shown on the rigging plan.
  2. Progress update. Fashioned the main and fore mast burton tackle pendants from 0.018" diameter black line. Scaled the length from the rigging plan. Used a toothpick to create the pendant eye. Applied some CA glue to stiffen the eye. Strapped 9" double pendant blocks using 28 gauge wire. Next, I set the fore mast. The fore hole was slightly over-drilled, so I followed the advice of the instruction manual and set a ¾ x 18 brad in the heal of the mast. I drilled a hole in the heal, cut off the brad head, and inserted the brad in the mast hole. I then tapped the mast lightly with a hammer, setting it as plumb and at the proper angle as I could get it - it worked out well. Fabricated the topsail yard parrels as depicted in Fig. 41 of the instruction manual. The parrel ribs were made from 1/32” x 3/32” wood strips (I used some leeway in the shape of them). The parrel trucks are 1/16” glass beads that I had from my Rattlesnake build (the kit doesn’t include these). I painted the ribs burnt umber to match the masts. Fig. 41 says there are 6 ribs per yard. I found only 5 ribs are necessary. I used 0.33 mm (0.012”) hemp to string the ribs and trucks. Note: The ribs and trucks have to be strung on the yard because the line is seized around the yard inside the sling cleats. I created an eye at the end of the parrel as per Fig. 41. The hauling end of the parrel passes through the eye and belayed. This will be done when the yards are rigged aloft. I fit the topsail yard temporarily to see how the parrels aligned. Moved on to fabricating the closed heart and metal strap for the main fore stay. The heart (not provided in the kit) is a laser cut 7/32” boxwood purchased from Syren. The metal strap is 20 gauge (0.032”) wire painted black. Decided to try my hand at making a stay mouse. Cut a length of 0.04” black line for the main stay. Made an eye at one end. Measured the distance of the mouse from the main mast on the rigging plan, multiplied by 2, and allowed for wraparound the mast to get the length from the eye (16 feet at 1/4 scale). Using 0.040” line, tied a knot on the main stay at the 16-foot mark. Using 0.021” line, tied another knot. Using 0.018” line, tied another knot and then wound the line tightly around the knots. Applied CA to secure the line. This made a nice mouse. Unfortunately, and this is where paying close attention to the rigging plan is necessary, the mouse was orientated in the wrong position (see photo). So, I had to start over. Second time’s the charm, as I was able to create the mouse in the correct orientation. I touched up the mouse and eye with black paint. Repeated the process for the main preventer stay and the fore stay (The fore stay is 0.0021” line). Prepared the lower shrouds for rigging. Set up the first-seated, main forward shroud with a deadeye and seized it to a 0.021” line cut over-length to allow for the line to be seated over the mast tackle pendants and to seize a deadeye on the other end. To maintain the plan spacing between deadeyes, I used a deadeye claw made from a paper clip (see photo). I found this simpler than the twisted wire deadeye claw illustrated in Fig. 29B in the instruction manual. I set the first pair of shrouds on the port side instead of starboard side as called for in the instruction manual - oops. Yet, another reason to study the instruction manual. I set up the deadeye lanyards as illustrated in Fig. 29B. I repeated the process for the 2nd pair of shrouds on the starboard side. Still to come, the 3rd pair on the port side, and the 4th pair on the starboard side. Oh, one thing I overlooked, the 9” double block beneath the main top for the gaff throat halyard (Item 58 in the Key to Rigging Plan). This would have been much easier to fit when the main top was not aloft. I just looped it around the mast and tied it off. The gaff throat halyard tackle (Item 48) is not clearly shown on the rigging plan. It’s represented by dashed (broken) lines to illustrate that it’s behind the bulwark as viewed on the plan. It consists of a 7” double block and a 7” single block hooked to an eye bolt in the deck and belayed to a pin in the port side pin rail (see sketch). The gaff peak halyard tackle is not shown on the rigging plan nor identified in the Key to Rigging Plan. It’s set up the same as the gaff throat halyard tackle but is belayed to the starboard pin rail (as noted on the Belaying Pin Plan).
  3. I see you picked up on the peak halyard bridled being black and the peak halyard being tan. This is not obvious from the rigging plan or the key to rigging in the FA manual. I picked up on it from the 16 Gun Fair American Standing and Running Rigging spreadsheet. I plan to follow suit. Keep up the good work.
  4. Received my order of 15mm brass chain plates. They worked out, but I should have ordered more because some were wasted. They’re brittle. Once you bend them there’s no going back. The lesson learned here - order more than you think you'll need. The difficult part was trying to make them the same length. I stepped the masts in order to determine the slant of each chain plate. I marked the position on the black strake with a fine point awl. I found it easier to set the dead eyes in the channel notches without the chain plates in place and then cap the channels with wood strips. I put a dab of CA on each deadeye strap to keep them from falling off while the channels were capped. I sanded and filed the capping strips and painted them hull tallow. I hooked the chain plates into the deadeye strap eye, pinned them to the black strake and painted them black. I didn’t paint the deadeyes. As a matter of note, I noticed in other build logs that the chain plates are attached to the main whale. So, I thought I erred in attaching the chain plates to the black strake. However, the instruction manual and the plans clearly indicate and show the chain plates being attached to the black strake. I assume, therefore, that the black strake is correct. Although, I do like the appearance of the chain plates attached to the main whale. I welcome comments from other builders on this. Spent a considerable amount of time studying the rigging plan, the key to rigging plan, and the belaying pin plan, and cross-referencing them with the 16 Gun Brig Fair American - Standing and Running Rigging (1:48 Scale) spreadsheet. There are a few rigging items in the spreadsheet that do not appear in the key plan, the rigging plan, or the belaying pin plan. To each item in the spreadsheet, I added the corresponding rigging plan key number to the spreadsheet for easy cross-reference. As I matched up the key numbers with the spreadsheet, I highlighted each number on the rigging plan with a yellow marker. I did manage to match up every number on the rigging plan with the spreadsheet. The belaying pin plan and the key to rigging plan use different terminology. Consequently, it’s confusing where some of the lines are belayed. Where I could match them up, I added the rigging plan key numbers to the corresponding belaying pin plan for quick reference. Also, I found it helpful to develop sketches to more clearly illustrate the rigging. I added key numbers, block sizes, and line sizes to the sketch (see example). I feel more confident now with the rigging. Set eyebolts in the port side of the fore and main mast tops for the topgallant tackle and on the P&S sides for the burton tackles. Set eyebolts in the P&S sides of the bulwarks for main and fore lower sail clews. Set eyebolts in the deadeye channels for fore lower yard truss tackles, main and fore tackle runners, fore and main topsail halyard tackles, and fore and main Lower yard tackles. I think it’s time to start the rigging in earnest.
  5. Much progress. Looking good. Taking on a finished appearance.
  6. Decided to strap the 3/16” deadeyes. The kit doesn’t come with the 11/32” diameter MS #439 strops noted in Fig. 26B in the instruction manual. Fortunately, I had some left over from my Rattlesnake build. I found them easier to work with than the 0.032" dia. wire that comes with the kit. I used a toothpick to form the lower eye of the strop. I set them temporarily in the channels just for effect. The chain plates are problematic. Modelshipways no longer provides the #991 chain plates noted in Fig. 26B. I had some brass chain plates (see photo) from my Rattlesnake build that would have been perfect, but I don’t have enough of them, and I’m not sure if they are the same as the #991. I ordered some 15 mm (0.59”) long brass chain plates from MS that I’m hoping I can use. I misplaced the 5/32” dia. deadeyes, so I ordered them as well. [Just a matter note, I have found that MS often overcharges for shipping when you order on-line. Their explanation for this is that they can’t check every order. If you bring it to their attention, they will credit you.] Finished the bowsprit horses. This wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I fashioned the bowsprit horse netting from some vail (netting) leftover from my Rattlesnake build. For the wooden spreaders, I used 1/16”x 3/32” planking battens from the kit, cut to 2 feet (1/4” scale) and then halved (lengthwise). I glued the spreaders to the vail 3 feet apart (scaled from the rigging plan). For the horses, I cut two pieces of 0.021” dia. black line long enough (about 6.5”) to span between the bowsprit cap and the knightheads with enough to seize them to eyebolts and to account for the stirrups rigged to the fore stay. I glued each line to the spreaders with CA. I then applied CA to the vail to secure it along the horse line. Then, I trimmed the vail along the spreaders and the horse line with an X-acto . It’s not perfect, but I Iike it.
  7. Thanks. Sorry to hear the book was confusing. Agree, the FA instructions are a little confusing. I find myself relying more on build logs than the instructions. The FA rigging is lacking in detail. As I mentioned, I've been using the Rattlesnake rigging plans which are similar to FA but more detailed and differentiate the running rigging (red) from standing rigging (black). Due to my lack of sailing ship knowledge, I spend a lot of time cross referencing the Key To Rigging Plan in the instruction manual and the FA rigging plan to become familiar with the tackles, lifts, braces, backstays, etc. I found a spreadsheet on the internet called 16 Gun Brig Fair American - Standing and Running Rigging (1:48 Scale) that is very informative. It lists the various running and rigging lines, line sizes, and block sizes.
  8. Progress Update: Added the foot ropes to the bowsprit. These are not shown on the plans. I made six individual square knots on each rope. I didn’t tighten them so that they could be slid along the rope to the desired spacing (2-feet apart). Once in place, I tightened the knots, added a little CA, and trimmed them. I made a loop in the rope at the end of the bowsprit and seized the lower end of the rope to an eye on the bowsprit cap. One rope is a little longer than the other – no big deal. Next, I fashioned the fore and main mast tackle pendants. I used 0.5 mm black line and 3.5 mm Syren walnut bullseyes for the eye splices. The pendant length was determined by scaling the rigging plan. I fashioned the bridal for the lower yard slings using 1 mm black line and a 5.5 mm Syren heart and set it up for eye splices. As suggested in another builder’s log, I seated the bridal around the mast before the shrouds and stays. With the mast off-ship it was easier to seat the bridal around the mast, but seizing the eye was difficult. Rigged the yard slings as shown in Fig. 38 with 5.5 mm heart. Fitted out the fore and main lower yards. Rigged the footropes and stirrups from 28-gauge wire as recommended in Chuck Passaro’s MS Brig Syren Prototype Build Log. I found wire easier to work with than thread – I like the finished effect. It’s a little frustrating, though, because the wire is so thin it tends to break when twisted. Set the outboard stunsail boom irons in the holes previously drilled in the ends of the yards. These were made from 20-gauge wire. Rigged the Flemish horses with 28-gauge wire. Fitted the yards with tackle pendants. Scaled the length of the pendants from the rigging plan. Seized a 5/32” DB to each pendant. Tied 5/32” single blocks to the main and fore mast yards for the topsail sheet, 1/8” SBs for the clew garnet, and 5/32” SB and 1/8” SB for lifts. Tied 1/8” single blocks to the fore lower yard arm for the leech lines and bunt lines. Note: These are not shown on the rigging plan. Fashioned the main and fore lower yards stunsails from 1/8” dowel. Painted them burnt umber. The inner boom iron was made from 20-gauge wire. Drilled a hole into the yard for the boom iron. Rigged the fore and main topsail yards (including stunsails) and the fore and main topgallant yards. Added pins to the main and fore mast to support the yard arms. I got this idea from rafine’s build log – it took me awhile to figure out what the pins were for – a good idea. Rigged the spritsail yard foot ropes. Fit the spritsail with brace pendants with 5/32” SB. Since I’m following the Rattlesnake rigging plans, I fit the spritsail with a “tye” (See plan). Suspended the spritsail from the jib boom with a truss (Detail H on the FA rigging plan). The ornate detail of the truss is not visible when rigged. Nonetheless, it’s authentic. Note: Be cautious working on the jib boom so as not to dislodge it as I did - no harm, no foul. Added 1/8” SBs to the main top mast trestle tree for the top gallant yard braces. Also, added a pin to the main top mast for the main topsail yard. At this point I'm about six months into the build. What's next? I may concentrate on the strapping the lower deadeyes and fashioning the chain plates.
  9. I tried the clove hitch and found it difficult with the rope off-ship. It might be easier with the ropes on-ship. I used simple double knots.
  10. Thanks for the explanation. The horses, though similar, are not the same as the foot ropes. I have added the bowsprit ropes to my model and knotted them with individual knots spaced 2-ft apart. I plan to do the same at the boom.
  11. Thanks. My issue with foot ropes is how best to evenly knot them. I’m guessing the spacing is about 2 feet apart.
  12. Thanks. The issue is how to knot the ropes so that the knots are evenly spaced on the foot ropes. From other builds, it looks like there are about 6 knots each side on the bowsprit.
  13. Made a little progress in the last few days. Seized the bowsprit shrouds to the deadeyes, lashed them to hooks, and attached them to eyes in the main wale. Seized the bob stay at the upper end to the deadeyes and at the lower end to a hole in the stem knee. Seized the fore tack bumpkin stays to an eye in the stem knee. Added 3/16” SB to each bumpkin for the fore tacks. Note: the fore tacks P&S are not shown on the rigging plan. I looked back at the Rattlesnake rigging plan (my first build) which depicts the fore tack, fore sheet, and clew garnet and the 3-block assembly required for this (see attached). Chuck Passaro’s MS Brig Syren Prototype Build Log has a nice detail of the block assembly. The FA rigging plan does show a single block on the fore lower yard and on the main lower yard which I believe is the for the clew garnet. The fore sheet attaches to an eye on the ship side, passes through the clew block, through a sheave in the bulwark (shown on the rigging plan) and is belayed to a large cleat (shown on plan sheets 1 and 4). I’m getting ahead of myself here but, going forward, I think I’ll use the Rattlesnake rigging plan because it’s much more detailed. I forgot the sheave in the bulwark. If I’m going to add the fore sheets, then I’ll need to fit the sheaves – I need to give more thought to this. Also., the FA rigging plan doesn’t show the bowsprit and boom foot ropes. I’m not sure how to fashion them and haven’t found any discussion on them. Any suggestions fellow builders? Next up? I might tackle (no pun intended) the bowsprit horses and netting.

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