Jump to content

US Brig Niagara by xken - FINISHED - Model Shipways - Scale 1/64

Recommended Posts

I decided to start the rigging process with the bowsprit to learn how to since this is my first attempt. For now I am using the kit supplied lines. I quickly learned that using extra line attached to the yard help hold the tension and keep the deadline in alignment really made things easier to seize. Of course my wife made sure my clove hitches were correct; she taught knotting skills to girl scouts and cub scouts for years when living in Ohio. Here is a picture of the extra line attached to the yard. I also learned to check my hook attachments; the CA had not completely set and started to unravel; It was repaired and I may have to go back to using brass instead of copper wire and allow the CA to set on the dead-eyes.



This shows the dead-eyes at the cathead.



Here is an in-progress image. I will do as much rigging as I can before adding the masts.



The kit supplied lines are a challenge to work with and I will be ordering some more from Chuck as soon as I can figure out the sizes and footage required. I have learned quite a bit is just this short exercise of rigging and I am glad I started here and the "boss" will keep me in line with clove hitches. I achieved Queen Scout in Canada (U.S. Eagle Scout equivalent) an all the knot and lashing memories came back. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have finished rigging the bowsprit as much as I can until the masts are added. Rigging the hearts for the preventer stays was a bit of a challenge working with the stiff kit supplied lines but here is a close up of the first one in place.




Then the second. The challenge with these was seizing the loop and then seizing the end of the line to itself with black thread rather than the .008" line supplied.




This shows the area of the bowsprit rigging with the hearts in place. While most of these are standing lines, I also added two of the brown running lines that are tied off at the bow lines with belaying pins.




Here is an in progress of the bowsprit rigging to this point. The rest of the rigging will need the masts in place.




Next I will address the anchors and tiller set up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Checked on the anchors setup and the plans showed a couple of details with the anchor loop being suspended from a hook. Checked for the hooks and none supplied. So I made my own using 1/32" brass rod. Here are the steps in fabrication for the benefit of others. Keep in mind this process can be used for any size of hook.

First I formed a half loop with ring pliers. The rod is being cold formed (not annealed).



Then I used looping pliers to form a small half loop in the opposite direction.



Next I used a 1/4" drift punch to form a taper down the hock loop. This requires holding the punch at a very slight angle down around the loop. The punch shoulder at the transition was cleaned up with a file. After satisfied with the hook the excess rod was cut off and the small top loop was finished by closing with the looping pliers. 



Here is a comparison of the two hooks to each other and a penny for size reference.



Here is the anchor rigged to the bow with the cathead rigged to the block with the hook in place. The hook was attached to the block using the .020" black beading wire. I added the haul in rope that is seized to the anchor shaft based upon a reference photo that still allowed the forward gun to still be fired.




This shows the double bowline that attaches the anchor line to the loop.



Now on to the rigging of the second anchor on the  starboard side. Does anyone have an image or drawing of what happens to the anchor rope once inside the bulwark? There should be a big coil for the two anchor lines.



Link to post
Share on other sites

David, thanks for your reassuring comment about the anchors. 

Now I am in the process of fabricating the chainplates, the large ones are completed and I am moving onto the smaller ones. Here are the fixtures used to form the various parts. All the pins are removable to allow forming of adjacent parts as needed. Again slow tedious fabricating of the smaller parts. These will then be added to the hull once all the sizes are made.



I have placed a large rope order with Chuck and am waiting for it to arrive; hopefully Monday or Tuesday.

In the meantime I will finish up the rest of the chainplates and affix them to the hull and decide which way is easier to rig the climbing lines.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure you'll like Chuck's rope Ken, as I've heard really good things about it. I'll be looking forward to what method you come up with for those ratlines. I've yet to find a build where the builder doesn't dread doing them, probably because of the monotonous nature of them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

George, thanks and yes I am leaning to doing them in place with the masts in place as well. I am also thinking of soaking the main vertical lines once rigged to the mast with 50/50 white glue and water to stiffen them and hopefully hold them straight. 


More feedback on how to do these would be appreciated or a link to others efforts on how they did them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I located a couple links you can reference Ken, in the "Masting and Rigging" section on the main page. Hope these help. http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10904-help-with-ratlines/#entry330604  and  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/9400-rat-lines-revisited-a-different-approach/#entry277539

Link to post
Share on other sites

Installed the first set of chainplates on the forward starboard side and thought I would share a picture of them before adjusting and painting them. The carriage bolt heads are #8 pins, some of which came with the kit but not near enough for all positions needed. Fortunately I have a package of 500 from previous model builds. I thought it interesting that some were angled to avoid gun interference. 




I will be working on the rest until my rope order arrives.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Chuck's rope order came in the mail today. We spent the weekend dog sitting our daughter's dogs at her house which gave me a chance to think about the ratlines and how to approach them. First I added two outboard guidelines using kit supplied rope rather than Chuck's rope. These were clove hitched to the bottom of the two outboard blocks making sure the holes in the blocks were clear; they were then tied off high on the mast touching the bolster to provide clearance for the ratlines to be tied. I also added a line to the port side as a counter tension line to keep the mast straight. I then lashed a wood strip to the guidelines the height of the tackle blocks needed so I had a reference point when rigging them.

Here are a couple of pictures of what I did.





This shows the first set in place. The three stays on the left with the smaller blacks will be rigged later.




Next to add the lines. Look close and you can see the difference between the kit supplied lines and Chuck's.



Link to post
Share on other sites

All the chain plates are in place and now adding the strops. I have managed to work around the davits without incident. Once all are in place I think I will add the mast stays before adding the ratlines. In checking around I have seen builds with the tackle lines brown; but the replica ship has grayed to charcoal lines which I am guessing were once black and have weathered so I elected to do them in black.


Chuck's rope is a pleasure to work with compared to the kit supplied rope. I did run across a couple of references that stated to soak the kit ropes in hot water; which I may try sometime.


Here is an in progress of the aft lines.




Now to continue on with the rest.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did my tackle in brown & I'll give you my rationale. Typically, lines are black because they have been tarred & are permanently attached. I couldn't imagine belaying a tarred line to a pin so I went brown. I assumed that a line on a pin was meant to be adjusted/moved on occasion. Perhaps the replica ship used black rope. I could be all wrong on this, but I had to make an educated guess & this made sense to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the pictures I used for reference and I am guessing they were black to start with and faded shades of gray. I thought if they were brown they would have faded to a lighter tan color. Like you I struggled and even purchased brown line to do them then found these photos. If gray was available I would have ordered it to replace the brown. This was my reasoning.


I only assume the replica may have done it correctly. Perhaps those with more knowledge could advise what the practice of the time period was.




Link to post
Share on other sites



The lanyards between the deadeyes were not tarred, as they had to be adjusted constantly, and would normally be tan.  The shrouds above the deadeyes would have been tarred.  Tarred lines are often represented with black thread, but dark brown is also valid.  Depending on the source and mixture of the tar (and age), it probably appeared in many different shades on different ships.


I think what you are seeing in those photo's is just regular rope (the lanyards) that's just darker than normal, either from aging or from wearing against the black blocks, who knows.  The second picture the lanyards are much lighter than they appear in the first, so it could also be simply a lighting/photo issue.


I used black line for the standing rigging on the Carmen, but plan to use dark brown on the current model just to be different.  Either is a perfectly good I think.

The one place that many people (including myself on the Carmen) use black for where it should probably be brown is the ratlines, as it seems that they were commonly not tarred.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Those lanyards might have been coated with a thinned out version of a tar solution protecting them from sea-spray and the like, but still leaving them "workable". I actually think they would have been belayed to themselves, or the shroud, just above the upper dead-eye though. Don't know for sure, but if I'm wrong, some will correct me I hope. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian, George thanks for the feedback. They are in fact belayed to the shroud which is the way I did it. I am moving onto the mast stays and here is a picture of where they attach at the mast. What is interesting is the variety of line colors from tan, brown, dark brown and again the darker faded gray in the blocks of in the top of the photo. Again, these kind of look like what George has described. I imagine these lines once rigged do not move much but are only tightened after stretching; hence the treatment described by George. 

It looks like the mast stay is fed back through a loop in the end with a stop in the line and then on down to the bowsprit in the case of the foremast. If anyone has a better picture or drawing of this detail it would be appreciated.

Again thanks for the feedback and lessons learned. For now they will stay black.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I can't over-recommend this - Rigging Period Ship Models by Lennarth Peterson - http://www.amazon.com/Rigging-Period-Models-Step---Step/dp/1557509700/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439520903&sr=8-1&keywords=lennarth+peterson


It has very detailed drawings of each line on a typical square rigged ship.


His other book, Rigging Perioid Fore-and-Aft Craft - http://www.amazon.com/Rigging-Period-Fore---Aft-Craft/dp/1591147212/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1439520903&sr=8-3&keywords=lennarth+peterson


Goes over the lines on three different Fore-and-Aft rigged vessels.  Both books are superbly illustrated (actually, that's all they are, books full of illustrations and detail drawings for rigging) and just fantastic reference for how the lines are rigged and belayed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on whether you want the rigging for a fore-and-aft rig, or square!  For the Connie, the square rig seems like the obvious choice, and a lot of the various features (dead-eyes at shroud ends, various types of belaying) will work for both.

The Square rig book is the first listed (the one that doesn't have 'fore-and-aft' in the title).  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...