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Rattlesnake by Martin W - FINISHED - Mamoli - Kit-Bashed 1:64

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After some discussion with Blue Ensign on his Pegasus log, I thought I would make at least a short update on my own rigging log.  I have to apologize first off for my slackness in keeping this log to date:  what I have learned is that it takes almost as much time to maintain a log as it does to build a model ship! :huh:


To start with here:  Blue Ensign noted that he had the insight to make advance preparations for rigging.  This is an especially valuable lesson for us Rattlesnake builders, since it become virtually impossible to access the ring-bolts and eyebolts that are in the deck around the base of the Main Mast.  This picture should show something of what it's like to try to see down there.




What this picture shows is that I had to belay the Jeers line directly to the mast cleat, since I simply could not access the blocks on the deck to create halyards.  Mea culpa.


Now for some happier activity.  As I've mentioned a few times, I bought a Micro Mill last summer, but have been unable to use it because I don't have a bench for it yet.  Well, here's a shot of the bench nearing completion:




The clamps are holding the layers of plywood that I'm laminating to make a heavy top.  When it's done, this bench will be long enough to hold my mill, my Byrnes saw, and the usual detritus that I tend to surround my work space with.  The window has a nice view of some trees and the lake beyond.  When I've finished the bench, I will be able to say that I have built exactly twice as many ship models (2) as I have workbenches. 


Until that's done, I'm left to fabricating little pieces by hand (which I don't mind at all, except for the times when the most beautiful version of a piece suddenly flies up, up, and away; then I use sailor language).  And here is what I've done out of necessity, since the topsail lifts are belayed on Shroud Cleats.


Following Antscherl's method, more or less (he uses a mill), I glued 4 pieces of 3/64x3/16 boxwood cut to 3/8 inch (in an earlier effort, I cut them to 1/4 inch lengths, and found them much too long).  Then I drew a rough outline on the top piece:




Then I simply cut out the waste with my Dremel tool, soaked the pieces in alcohol to dissolve the glue, and ended up with shroud cleats like this:




Here you can see the groove I cut on the bottom of the cleat so that it can lie flush against the shroud. 





I neglected to take a picture of how I glued 2 pieces of .2 mm white cotton line to each leg of the shroud, so I ask you to turn to the photographic gallery in your mind.  These lines simply enabled the cleat to be lashed to the shroud just above the lanyard -- I chose this height based on no authority whatsoever, but just figured they would need to be within reach of a sailor.


Finally, here is a shot of a shroud in place with some rigging tied on. This picture is a bit unclear because my camera always wants to focus on something other than the cleat itself.





Ok, just one more.  Tomorrow is my dear Bounce's birthday, so I wanted to finish with a shot of that coy little girl.




In her view, this whole enterprise of rigging, planking, poring over plans and books does little more than keep me from serving up her dinner.  There's the bell!












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Your deck detail looks fine in that close up photo Martin, as do the  shroud cleats.


I envy you that work space, going to look impressive with all your hardware set up. I'm effectively limited to 30" x 24" on my desk top.


From one shipyard apprentice to another.




Happy Birthday Bounce, from William and me.



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Thanks for the nice comments guys.  I should remind you, BE, that it ain't the space but the skill in using the space that matters. 


You'll be happy to know that so far Bounce has spent her birthday eating and sleeping, and it looks like that will be the mode all day.  She flatly refused to go for a walk this morning:  Birthday Girls are entitled to say NO! to 15 degrees and crunchy snow.  I went without her.





Edited by Martin W
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I have slowly made my way toward the stern, with the mizzen and booms.  I've taken photos along the way, but have found that rigging gets hard to see in the better photos and looks utterly confusing in the worse photos.  I'm going to have to study the photographic techniques of other riggers so that on my next build I might find a better angle or distance from which to capture the way the different lines move in countless directions.  Suggestions here would be more than welcome.


Here is what I've done.  I finished off the Fore Mast by securing the Braces.  These belay onto various parts of the Main Mast or MainMast rigging.  Here are the Fore Braces that start from the Main Fore Stay then pass to the Pendant Blocks on the Fore Yard.




You can also see the Fore TopMast Stays running in pretty much the same configuration.


And here you can see all the Fore Braces running back to the MainMast rigging.  Never mind the clutter in the background, please.  Since I could only muster up sheets of paper that were white, anything that would conceal my slovenly work habits tended to cancel out the lighter rigging.




I might mention that there is a discrepancy between the Mamoli and Model Shipways rigging plans here.  Mamoli shows the ForeBraces going from the Pendant Blocks back to a block on the Mainstay, while MS shows them passing to blocks under the Main Top.  I chose the latter option, since my Crowsfeet set up an obstacle that I'd already had to work around.


The reason I rigged the Braces of the Foremast is that I was pretty much done with the Midships area, and wouldn't need to reach in any more.  In other words, I completed the rigging for both Fore and Mainmasts (the lifts, clews, etc), and then took care of the braces.  Similarly, I am putting off the braces for the Mainmast until I finish the yards and booms on the Mizzen.


First step on the Mizzen was the Jeers.  Sorry, I don't have a photo for this, and probably because it was too painful an experience.  I had neglected to attach the Jeer Blocks to the eyebolts in the deck (hmm, didn't I go through something similar with the Main Mast?), and so I had to take that back step first.  I used 5mm blocks, since the rigging line for the Jeers is pretty heavy -- .6 mm.


The Mizzen sheets, like the topmast sheets for the Main and Fore, connect to the Clews without any blocks, but with a knot.  I chose to use interlocking bowlines.




One problem I have had is that the tails of a lot of knots & seizings hang in gravity-defying directions.  I've been trying to add glue to them to make them hang down in adherence to the laws of Newton, but  haven't had much luck.  I've also been trying just to wrap them around the main stem in various configurations, just to hide them a bit better.  Again, hints from experience riggers would be invaluable.


The Topsail Halliard Tye is something I couldn't get a decent picture of, since it's a long configuration.  The halliard itself (this is the same for all 3 masts) ends in a single block through which passes a line with a double 4mm seized to each end.  Through each double block there passes the lanyard that begins from the becket on the 4mm block seized to the eyebolt on the channel.  The lanyard goes up to the double block, down to the single, back up to the double and then is belayed on the kevels.


Now back to photographs.


The Boom came first, and also required some blocks on the deck for the Topping Lifts.  In this photo you can see the Jaws of the Boom, and the "Parrels" for which I used some beads from the local hobby store.  I don't care for the shininess of these beads, but after staring at packages of several species for nigh on half an hour, I chose what seemed the darkest and the best size.




You can also see in the above photo those accursed deck blocks.


Halfway to the end of the Boom, the Boom Sheet belays onto a block seized on the Iron Horse.




In this last shot, you'll  see that I've attached the Gaff Boom.




The jaws of the Gaff are a bit lower than I'd like, but that is where they insisted on going as I focused mainly on getting the Peak Halliard as horizontal as possible. 


You can also see the double Horses (the rope breed, not the iron) running out the back end of the boom. And you can see the Vangs coming down from the end of the Gaff -- the rigging of these is very similar to the Topsail Halliard Tyes (which are just barely visible here).


The large coil of rigging line hanging from the Mizzen Top is one of the Braces.  Since I've completed the running rigging for the Mizzen, I'll take care of the Main & Mizzen Braces this week, which should wrap up the rigging.





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Hi Martin, I love the close-up shots of the gaff and the iron horse, and the rigging is coming along very nicely. Those knot tails are a nuisance, have you thought of using the 'false' splice as shown by Gil Middleton in his Victory build? you can trim really closely and you don't get the problem of tails.


Photographing rigging is a pain but you have answered your own question to an extent; avoiding background clutter is always a good idea, and having a plain coloured sheet behind the shot helps.


I use those large coloured boards you get from art shops, a sort of dusky blue colour is my choice, you can see where I've used it in my log for those shots where I've taken the trouble to set it up properly.





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Thanks for checking in, guys. 


Scott, that rudder post represents my discovery of just how easy it can be to carve boxwood, especially while wearing an optivisor.


Thanks for the hint about the false splice, BE -- I'll go hunt down Gil Middleton's build log toute suite.  Since I have only 2 sets of braces left on the Rattlesnake, though, I'll have to make a note of his strategy in my written mnemonic guide so that it will be available in, oh, maybe 4 or 5 years.


That clutter is always a nuisance, and has led my true wyfe to call me the nuisance, since it seems to follow wherever I go.  I've found a black screen that I thought of trying, but it's far too big and awkward for that little workspace (I had a nightmarish vision of the screen falling on the ship, and promptly decided to look for another solution).  I'll be looking to see how your blue background brings out both the tarred and untarred rigging.


When I went hunting for beads, I had hopes of finding tiny wooden ones.  Nothing doing.  Then I lowered my sights to getting beads that weren't shiny.  Seems I struck out there as well.  Once the temperature gets up above 20 here, I might go out and start setting up my micro mill, and try to make some actual Trucks and Parrels.  At this scale, I fear they might be pretty tiny, but that's part of the sport, right?





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Greetings -- In hopes of punctuating my admittedly desultory log with some final pictures, I "borrowed" a blue pillow case to hang behind the rigging.  The effect is far from professional, but maybe some details show up other than the flotsam of my bench.


First off, here's a view primarily of the Mizzen:




And here are the Mizzen & Main:





Main & Fore:



The Foremast really does not slouch like that.  This a photographic distortion that I noticed only on the "big" screen of my computer.  -- And I also notice now that the focus isn't the finest (so much for the Auto feature on my CoolPix).


And then here is a full broadside:




And I would post a Glorious Conclusion Shot of the Rattlesnake on the mounting board, and perhaps even in her final berthing, but two little hiccups happened.


First, as I was trying to affix the mounting screws, I grabbed with a bit too much force and . . .






And then I noticed that the brass pedestals that I had had the foresight to buy at least a year ago are the wrong size. 


So she sits on the bench still, waiting for the delivery of new pedestals, and for a re-attached rudder.


Nonetheless, this does mark the (perhaps inglorious?) conclusion to my Rattlesnake, my second build.  This took me 4 years and 2 months.  Like Jon Gerson, I followed Bob Hunt's practicum, and must say that I learned lots in how to work with wood, how to use tools, and how to believe that in fact I could attend to tiny details.  I also left the practicum behind when it seemed to have more and more errors.  And that time coincided with starting the rigging.


Thanks to all who offered advice and help.


Now off to The Fly -- Woohoo!












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Hi Martin


Congratulations on the finished Rattlesnake. I’m sure; she will be the foundation plank of a great fleet. And I wish you joy with the next project - flying is great.


About the clutter on your workbench and elsewhere: If you allow I would like to quote again my favorite citation of old Albert Einstein


                “Only the simple minded keeps tidiness, the genius masters the chaos.”


Mastering chaos with a pillow case is very philosophical... :)




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Well done Martin, she's an attractive build, and such projects are priceless in the experience and confidence they afford us. I have enjoyed your log and your self deprecating humour, and look forward to the great Fly adventure.


Presumably you've informed Bounce of  new work to be started in the shipyard :)



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