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I almost lost my nerves again when trying to tie the knots for ratlines into the shrouds of my latest build. No matter what kind of knot I tried to use, the ratline was either too loose or too tight pulling the shrouds badly.


Until I found from my wife`s dollshouse equipment storage a treasure: A bottle of Tacky Glue from Deluxe materials. This stuff saved my day: How easy it was to put a tiny drop of this stuff to both shrouds where the ratline was supposed to go using a tip of a toothpick, and then attach the ratline there. After drying the joint was strengthened using diluted carpenter`s glue and there it was. No more nerve breaking knot tying, no more loose ratlines.


Of course I hear some purists among you saying that this is not the correct method of fastening the ratlines, they must be tied using correct knots. Ok if you build a museum quality model in a big scale I agree with that, but for my humble first wooden ship project this is more than adequate.


The magical Tacky Glue:





Ratlines glued with Tacky Glue:




Loose ends cut away:









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I like it!  I can't tell you how much time I spent tying knots on Ratlines and these were on 1:100, or less, scale.  At those scales the knots look too large.


I will have to try this.





Bluenose  (Model Shipways 1:100)

Cutty Sark (Mini Mamoli)

Mayflower (Model Shipways)

Queen Anne's Revenge

Ghostbusters Proton Pack



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  • 3 weeks later...

I have secured my ratlines to the shrouds with this technique for years and an extremely sharp surgical knife cuts off the ends nice and clean.  A dab of flat black on the ends finishes off the job.  Working on the same side of the vessel, with pre cut lengths of ratline you can rig these quite quickly actually.


Good job.



Current build:

Build log: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/25382-glory-of-the-seas-medium-clipper-1869-by-rwiederrich-196



Finished build:

Build log: of 1/128th Great Republic: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/13740-great-republic-by-rwiederrich-four-masted-extreme-clipper-1853/#


Current build(On hold):

Build log: 1/96  Donald McKay:http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/4522-donald-mckay-medium-clipper-by-rwiederrich-1855/


Completed build:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/gallery/album/475-196-cutty-sark-plastic/

The LORD said, "See, I have set (them) aside...with skills of all kinds, to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts."

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I use the same technique on my ship models of 1/70 and smaller. A tied ratline knot is hugely over scale on those models. I use a dab of white wood glue on the joints and paint them matt black afterwards. To trim the ends I use a nail clipper which leaves a tiny stub of line which then holds the blob of wood glue perfectly. 




Edited by overdale
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what if after the joints had dried you then added a very tiny bit of cotton to the front of each joint giving the effect of a wrap around tie. Must admit this is a good way if you the model maker has issues with their hands ect. I did see a few pictures the other day of a whaler being made which used the same process you are using, the guy then added a blob of PVA to each supposed joint, let them dry and they looked really good.

Current build: Caldercraft 1:64 HM Brig Supply


Finished builds: HMS Endeavours longboat

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