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Bluenose by genericDave - FINISHED - Model Shipways - 1:64 Scale

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Nirvana - Sure, I can send over the SKB files, as long as you promise not to judge me on the quality of the models :)  You can get the model here.  Note that the scale of individual parts (and the pieces that make up those parts) is not at all accurate.  I was primarily just trying to figure out how the parts go together.  There's also a lot of places where the model is 'hacked', with lines in wrong places, incomplete shapes, etc.

 

Dave B - I never thought I'd use the mill as much as I do, especially since I have a small one that can stay set up all the time.  Just did the tenons for the masts with it - they came out perfect and only took a minute or two!

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Masts

 

I've made some progress on the masts.  After spending a week or two going through all the plans for the masts, the various parts, and all the rigging that touches the masts, I finally felt confident that I understood everything.  I decided to work on the fore mast and main mast at the same time since they are nearly identical.  

 

I started by cutting the masts to length, cutting the tennons to fit the holes in the deck, and doing all the tapering.  The tapering was pretty easy - the lower masts are straight on one side and tapered on the other three sides.  I only tapered them from the trestle trees and up since the taper on the rest was very, very slight.  I also cut and tapered the top masts.  The top masts were tapered on all sides, so I stuck them in the lathe and used sandpaper to shape them.

 

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These got a good sanding, then I stained them.  The plans call for it being 'natural', but I used a light stain on the deck and I want these to match.  So they got a good coat of stain and were placed in a little stand I made to dry.

 

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For the mast fittings, I decided to work from the bottom up.  For this first part, I'm going to build out everything up to where the first mast hoops go, then I'll stop and work on mast hoops for a while.

 

Pin Saddle and Boom Rest

 

So, the first things to make are the pin saddle and boom rest.  These are nearly identical.  They only differ in the chock placements and the use of belaying pins on the fore mast.  The kit provides some laser cut pieces for this.  However, I really wanted to add the 'recessed metal band' detail indicated on the plans, and I didn't think I'd be able to pull that off using the kit's parts.  I decided to go a completely different way.

 

I started with a dowel rod that had the same diameter as the pin saddle and boom rest.  The masts at this spot are 5/16", so I used a 5/16" drill bit and my drill press to put a hole straight through the dowel rod.

 

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Next I drilled the holes for the belaying pins on the pin saddle.  This is easiest to do now before I start making the cut for the recessed band.

 

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Once that was done, I stuck the dowel into the rotary vice on my Proxxon mill.  I used the mill to carve away a recessed area for the metal band. 

 

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Then I cut the end free with a razor saw.  I repeated this process for the boom rest (but without the holes for the pins) and did a quick test fit on the mast.

 

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Then I cut and shaped the 8 chocks (4 for the fore mast, 4 for the main mast) and glued everything in place.  I masked off everything higher up on the masts, and give these areas a good airbrushing with white.

 

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I used some 1/64" thick brass strip to form the metal bands.  The strips were bent around the recessed area, then secured with a short brass rod that runs through holes in the band.  I also installed the belaying pins on the pin saddle.

 

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Gooseneck

 

Next up was the gooseneck.  For this, I made two metal bands by folding over some brass strip and drilling a hole through them.  I ran some brass rod through the holes to form the joint on the back of the band, then shaped the rest to form the parts that go around to hold the rest of the gooseneck assembly.

 

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The gooseneck has a uniquely shaped ringed piece held between the two bands.  It has one horizontal ring that attaches to the gooseneck, and two vertical rings (one for the fore boom, and one for a tack line).  I wanted this piece to be pretty strong since it will hold the fore boom.  I decided to make it out of some thicker brass I had laying around.  I started by drilling a couple holes in the brass.

 

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Then I stuck it in the mill and 'eyeballed it' to mill it into the general shape.  I left a thin 'stem' coming off the back that I bent around to form the ring that connects to the gooseneck.

 

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All the parts for the gooseneck were ready...

 

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The bands were glued in place, then brass rods were added to hold the connector, which holds the oddly shaped ring piece.  That piece moves freely, which I think is the point of the assembly.

 

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Metal Sheet

 

As a final step, I added the metal sheet to the main mast.  I'm leaving all the metal work on the ship as brass (since paint comes off brass too easily, and I'm horrible at blackening), so I really wanted that metal sheet to be brass.  However, I didn't have any suitable brass for that on hand, so I used some copper tape I had lying around.  I'll probably check my local hobby store for some brass that I can swap out for this metal sheet (I'm not happy with this one spot of copper on the ship).

 

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And now I'm done with the lowest parts of the mast.  Next I'll work on making the mast hoops so I can drop the required number in place before adding the trestle trees.

 

 

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Mast Hoops

 

Finally finished all the mast hoops.  These things are tiny and fragile.  I managed to only break one in the process.

 

The kit provides 2 sizes of mast hoops as laser cut parts.  I only did the larger size for now, since those are what I need to continue working on the lower masts.  I sanded the top/bottom faces before I removed them from the sheet. Then I cut them loose, but left the inner circles attached.  This made them a little more sturdy while I sanded the outside edge.  To make sanding the outside easier, I clamped a bunch together and went at the whole set with a foam sanding stick.

 

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Then I cut the inner parts free and started sanding the inner edge.  This won't be very visible, but I'm concerned that if I don't get rid of the laser char it will leave marks on the mast.  I did these in groups of 3-5, holding them up on my bench while I sanded the inside edge with a foam sanding stick.

 

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Once I had all 37 sanded (20 for the main mast, 17 for the fore mast), I dipped them in some stain.  I'm staining them a medium brown to match the roofs and trim on the deck structures.  That should also make them stand out a little from the masts, which are stained a very light brown.

 

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I was also able to run by the hobby store this week and get some thin brass sheet material.  This stuff is 0.003" thick, so it can be easily cut and bent.  I used this to replace the metal sheet at the bottom of the main mast that I had previously made with copper tape.  I wasn't happy with that bit of copper since everything else on the ship is brass.  I think it looks much better.  I simulated the bolts/nails by just punching tiny holes, then rolling the holes flat again.  I think these would have been too small to try and glue in wire.

 

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With luck I'll be able to dive in into the more exciting parts of the lower masts this weekend...bands, cranes, caps and trestle trees.  

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I remember those mast hoops being fidgety things.  In order to allow for sails and anticipating some breakage, I put a few extra on each mast before installing the cheeks and trestle trees, to hopefully ensure I could survive losing a few while lacing the sails on.  Nice job on the boom rest and pin saddle, they are very crisp assemblies.

 

Bob

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Lower Masts

 

Moving on to the upper portion of the lower masts....

 

I added the band for the futtock shrouds on the main mast.  I simplified it a bit because my 4 attempts to do it "correctly" failed miserably.  After several hours, I decided to simplify it to just a band with some wire.

 

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Trestle Trees and Spreaders

 

Next I moved on to the mastheads/trestle trees/etc.  I've spent a good amount of time over the last few weeks drawing these in 3D (first in SketchUp, then as a way to learn TurboCad), so I had a pretty good understanding of their construction.  Despite that, I managed to build them without the cross blocks.   Oh well...

 

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I built out the trestle trees and spreaders for both masts, then painted them white.

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With the basic assembly complete, I moved on to all the metal work.  I started with the iron gates that hold the heel of the top masts in place.  I made these from brass strips, but soldered on some brass rod to simulate the connection points (which I imagine to be very similar to how the two parts of a door hinge are pinned together).

 

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Next up were the clips at the ends of the long spreaders.  These were also made from brass strip, with a couple holes drilled in each side to simulate bolts.  As I've done in other places, brass rod will be glued into the holes to form the actual bolts.

 

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The spreader bars were made from brass wire.  I didn't bother trying to simulate the bolts on these...I just crunched the wire in a pair of pliers to flatten out the ends and glued them on.

 

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Moving on...the main mast has a couple 'shackles' that attach to the trestle trees, where the quarter lifts connect. I made these from brass strip, bent into a 'U' shape.  I drilled holes for simulating bolts, and used my mill to make the strips a little more narrow where the quarter lifts will attach.

 

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Various eye bolts were installed per the plans.  I ended up using eyebolts in place of the fairleads dictated by the plans.  I wasn't confident that I could model anything remotely resembling a fairlead at this scale (at least nothing that would look better than an eyebolt).

 

That pretty much completed the trestle trees, so I moved on to the bands.

 

Mast Bands

 

I made all the bands in one sitting, each one sized to exactly where it needed to go.

 

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Holes were drilled in each band using my little drill press (I'm getting really good at drilling precise holes in brass).  The bands were then installed on the masts.  No glue was necessary since the bands fit nice and snug.  

 

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I drilled through the holes into the masts, and glued in the assorted eyebolts.  Gluing those eyebolts in place should give me the little extra bit of stability.  

 

Spring Stay Bail

 

The spring stay bail was added, made from some brass strip and eye bolts.

 

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All that's left on the masts is the mast caps.  But I'll take a short break (this post is getting long), then I'll post again with the mast caps!

 

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It has been a relatively slow week of ship building, but I did manage to get the rest of the main and fore masts finished.

 

Mast Caps

 

The mast caps were made from brass strip.  I shaped the inner bands around the appropriate masts, then soldered them into a larger outside band.  I made the bails and long links from brass strip as well.  (They really should have been brass wire, but I went with strips so I could better control the 'hole' that would hold them in place.  The process for the fore and main mast caps was the same, but with slightly different pieces.  The fore mast cap gets the two long links, while the main mast cap skips those but adds an eyebolt.

 

The parts for the fore mast cap...

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And the fore mast cap installed, using more of the small brass bolts I acquired for my shackles.

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The main mast cap...

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Top Masts

 

With those complete, I moved on to finishing up the top masts.  I had previously shaped the top masts back when I first started on the masts, so now I just need to add the details.

 

I started by replicating the mast tackle sheaves.  From the plans, it doesn't look like I actually need to use these for anything, but the plans call for them, so I added them.  I made them by drilling two holes, then using my mill to shape the curved inner part.  Since I'm staining my masts a light natural color, I stained the inner part of the sheaves a little darker so they look like they are made from something else.

 

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The shoulder bands at the top were straight forward - just a couple brass bands with eyebolts glued into the masts through some holes.  Those really should have been pieces of looped brass wire soldered on, but I wanted them to be a little sturdier.  Plus, gluing them into the mast through holes in the bands helps keep the bands in place.

 

The gilt ball and truck gave me a lot of trouble.  I probably tried making these 4-5 different ways.  The ball is pretty simple, but the truck is problematic because it needs holes to act as the sheave for the flag halliards.  I've seen some builds omit these, and I was very, very tempted to skip them after several hours of failures.  What ended up working for me was to trace the round shape of the truck onto some 1/32" birch plywood sheet (basswood just fell apart when tried).  I then drilled a hole in the center to match the size of the top mast's tip.  Then I drilled two small holes on either side to form the sheave.  The holes are just big enough to get some thread through for the flag halliards.  I carefully cut it out and sanded it down.

 

Here's the truck installed without the gilt ball...

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The gilt ball itself was carved from a dowel rod.  I drilled a shallow hole in the bottom that covered the little bit of top mast that poked through the truck, and glued it all together.

 

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It is a little bigger than it should be, but I think once all the lines are rigged up it will look fine.  For the record, attempts that failed: carving the whole thing as part of the mast (destroyed two top masts that way), carving it all on a separate dowel to be glued on, making the truck from a slice of dowel, making the truck from brass, and making the truck from a basswood sheet.

 

The last piece to the top masts were the iron fid bars to hold them in place.  For these I just drilled a hole in the bottom of each top mast and used a piece of brass rod as the fid.

 

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For now the fids are not glued in.  I'm going to wait to permanently install the top masts until I get the rigging lines installed.

 

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Then I made a bunch of even smaller mast hoops, which was easy but annoying.  Those got installed on the top masts.

 

Mast Coats

 

Finally, I made the mast coats.  The kit provides some laser cut pieces for these, but I decided to go a different route.  When working on the lower masts, I used some larger dowel rods to make the pin saddle.  I had drilled a hole through that dowel rod that fits the lower mast exactly.  Naturally, it took several tries to get that hole centered, and I kept a few of the rejects.  I made my mast coats from one of those rejects.

 

I started with a dowel that had a hole drilled through it for the mast.  The hole is off center, but that's OK.  I think the mast coat was canvas or leather, so it probably wouldn't have been uniform all the way around.

 

I used my mill to thin out a bit around the top, then rounded things off below that.

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The piece was then cut free.

 

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The unpainted mast coat temporarily fitted to the main mast...

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Once painted and temporarily installed (again, not permanently installing anything yet), I'm happy with how it turned out.

 

The final, painted mast coat on the fore mast...

 

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And now I'm done with the fore mast and main mast!  I'm going to start in on the main boom next, followed by the other booms and gaffs.  Once all those are done, I'll prep as much of the rigging as I can before anything gets installed.

 

After 432 days of building, seeing the masts up on the ship is a great motivation.  Even though I've probably got 2-4 months left, I feel like the end is in sight!

 

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Very nice detail Dave.  I handled the mast sheaves in a similar way with pretty much the same result.  While studying the plan, I decided they were used to lift the topmasts into place.  Whether that is true or not, I can't say.  As you say, they are not used anywhere in the plans.

 

A question on the fids - I installed them above the trestle tree and I think the plan shows that as well.  I assumed their purpose was to keep the topmast from dropping through the hole, not to keep them locked in, as yours appear to function.  Again my assumption was that the standing rigging would keep the topmast from lifting out of the hole.

 

Bob

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Per - Thanks!  I've been keeping an eye on your build over the last few days and you're making some great progress!  I keep hoping that I'll log in one morning and see that you've passed me up and I can start referring to your build for rigging :)

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Bob - I think you're totally right.  I hadn't really looked at exactly how the fid interacted with the trestle trees.  I just noted the location and assumed it went below the trestle trees.  This seems like an easy fix.  I'll drill new holes for the fids in the correct place and fill the old holes in with some wood filler.

 

Thanks for catching that!

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Surprisingly, I was able make all three booms and both gaffs over the weekend.  I really expected these to take longer.

 

Main Boom

 

I started with the main boom.  The kit provides laser-cut jaws that were cut loose and cleaned up.  The boom itself was made from a tapered dowel.

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All the various holes were drilled after the jaws were glued in, and brass wire was used to simulate bolts on the sides.  Everything was stained to match the masts and deck.

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On the masts I used eyebolts to simulate fairleads, but here I decided to try and make them from scratch.  The main boom has a couple fairleads secured with rope.  I made them from brass tube that had a groove cut into the outside edge for the rope.  Unfortunately I had to use a little CA glue here to keep everything together, and I realized after I was done that I had put the knot on the top.  Oh well.  Once I get everything rigged it probably won't be noticable.

 

The assorted bands were also made as indicated on the plans, using brass strip, wire, and eye bolts.

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The eyes for the lazy jack line were made from some rigging rope with eye splices, stapled into the sides of the boom.

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The other end of the boom got a couple sheaves, done the same way I did the ones for the top mast.

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Fore Boom

 

The fore boom was a bit simpler, as it doesn't have jaws or sheaves, and has fewer parts.  Instead of the jaws, it appears to have a 'cap' on the end with some hardware to attach to the gooseneck on the fore mast.  I made this by gluing on some 'U' shaped brass strip (drilled with holes), then using some brass tape around the end of the boom to finish out the 'cap'.

 

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The other end just had a few typical brass bands.

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Jumbo Jib Boom

 

The jumbo jib boom was also very simple, but does require another special end to be made.  This one connects to the traveller on the bowsprit.  From the plans, this appears to be a wide band with two  wires on the bottom, both bent into a squared-off 'U' shape.  I made the band from the thin brass sheeting that I acquired for the metal sheet on the mast.  Then I drilled four holes in the bottom and glued in wire.

 

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Fore Gaff

 

Next I moved on to the two gaffs.  I started with the fore gaff.  By this point, it was getting pretty routine.

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Main Gaff

 

Then on to the main gaff.  This one has a number of stops that need to be added.  These were made by gluing on 1/32" pieces of wood, then sanding them down to the right shape.

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Then suddenly I realized I was done.  

 

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Just for fun, I made some temporary rigging lines (just some thread with hooks on either end) and hung all the booms and gaffs.  I just wanted to see what everything looks like on the ship.

 

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With these completed, I'm basically done with construction and ready to start rigging.  I really didn't expect to be ready to rig for a few more weeks, so I haven't done as much planning/prep as I need. I'm going to start by pulling the masts/booms/gaffs back off the ship (nothing was permanently installed).  Then I'm going to do a pass over the whole ship and look for anything that I want to correct or clean up.  I think this will be much easier before I get rigging in place.  I know I need to adjust the top mast iron fids as Bob pointed out, stain and tie down my barrels, glue the dories oars in place (they are loose right now), and remake the connector between the gooseneck and fore boom (with the boom attached, it doesn't sit right).  I'm sure I'll find other things to clean up while I'm at it.

 

During all that, I'll start researching the rigging that I haven't figured out yet.  I plan to do as much rigging as I can with the masts off the ship - at least the standing rigging.  I took a lot of shortcuts while rigging my first build (I just tied knots everywhere), so I'm looking forward to trying to do this one correctly.  We'll see if I'm able to use the right method of attaching lines/hooks/eyes to blocks in the right places :)

 

 

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Over the last couple of weeks, I've cleaned up some details and started in on rigging.

 

Barrels

 

I finally got around to staining and installing the wooden barrels on the deck.  I ordered some in different sizes from a few different places, and finally found some that I liked.  I stained them to match my color scheme and tied them down.

 

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Shackle Pins

 

I also went back and replaced all of the temporary pins I had placed on the bowsprit with actual nuts and bolts.  These nuts and bolts are from Model Motorcars.  I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to screw the nuts onto the bolts since these things are tiny, but it wasn't too bad.

 

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I'm really happy with how these bolts turned out.  They look better than I could do with brass wire or rod, and since they are actual, working bolts, no glue is required.  This means I can unscrew the nut at any time to adjust the rigging.

 

I also fixed the placement of the iron fids on the top mast as Bob pointed out :)

 

That left me with no excuses left...it was time to start rigging.

 

Rigging Prep

 

I'm trying to do all the rigging prep I can before the masts are installed on the ship.  So, I made labels for all the lines and a spreadsheet listing out every rigging line.  I started with the fore mast, then moved on to the main mast.  I've got all the standing rigging ready, and I've prepped lines for some of the lifts as well.  I'm also installing all the blocks on the masts for the running rigging while I'm at it.  I have the running blocks in place for the fore mast, and I hope to have the main mast's blocks installed this weekend.

 

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Right now it seems like a horrible mess of lines, but I'm hoping this makes things easier once I get the masts installed.  (On my first build, I did all the rigging after the masts were mounted, and frequently struggled to work in tight spaces as more lines were installed.)

 

All the rigging lines are done with rope from Syren Ship Model Company (I'm replacing all the lines provided with the kit).  The blocks are also from Syren.  I've been very happy with the quality, and I'm very comforted by the fact that if I make mistakes and run out of line/blocks, I can always order more.

 

I've tried a few different methods for stroping the blocks, and haven't yet settled on one that I like.  Tomorrow I'm going to try a couple different methods I've read about.

 

Overall, rigging is going very quickly.  I think I can get all the remaining prep work done this weekend.  Next weekend will be a long weekend (I take a couple extra days off around the 4th of July for a little 'staycation' each year).  If I'm really lucky, and don't run into problems, I might have everything rigged in the next week and half.  Then I get to decide on sails...

 

It's both sad and exciting to think that I might be done with this build in the next month or two.

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100+ days later...

 

Back in June, I finished 'construction,' leaving just the rigging.  I had all the rigging prepped on the main and fore masts, and I thought I'd be able to finish the build fairly soon.  When I sat down to start attaching shrouds, I just didn't feel like working on it that day.  I took the day off from the build.  I ended up taking all of July to install some home automation gear.  I took all of August off from modeling to focus on work.  All of September was spent helping my wife prepare for the opening of her first retail store.  But finally, after 3 months, I was ready to dive back in.

 

Over the last week I've got the first few pieces of standing rigging installed.

 

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All the shrouds for the lower masts have been installed.  I used the 'wire jig' method that's described everywhere to keep the deadeyes even.  The Bluenose has 16 lower shrouds and 4 top mast shrouds.  So far I've only installed the lower masts, so those 4 top mast shrouds will get run a bit latter when top masts get installed.  The shrouds use tiny heart-shaped deadeyes at the top of the lanyard, and I found the ones in the kit to be a little fragile.  They are laser cut, and I had several simply fall apart.  I ended up making several of my own from some strip wood.

 

I also installed the spring stay, jib stay, and the fore mast spreader lifts.

 

Excited to back on the build!

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Dave

 

I just caught up and wow you really did a great job on fittings and rigging. i chuckled to see .... yes 100 days off....good for you. summer is over and it's great to be back in the shop.

 

cheers 

 

jon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nirvana,

 

I used some 3/32" thick basswood I had laying around.  I think the kit parts were basswood too.  I think the problem with the kit parts came from cutting them free (they were laser cut).  I didn't get a clean cut when I freed them, so as I was cleaning them up, the wood broke up.

 

My replacements weren't perfect, but once they got sanded, stained, and tied off they look fine.  I made several, even though I only needed two so that I could replace an entire set (and avoid having mis-matched ones next to each other).

 

Someday I'll start collecting some higher quality wood for making parts like this.  I can get basswood locally at my hobby shop, but I'd have to order anything fancier.

 

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Jon, 

 

Thanks!  Rigging is probably my weakest skill right now.  It's completely specific to ship modeling, and this is just my second build.  I'm *trying* to take my time and do the best I can, which was part of the reason for the 3 month delay - I didn't want to force myself to work on it and end up rushing things.

 

 I was just looking at your recent posts earlier today - very jealous of your trip to the Bluenose II!

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Dave

Sometimes the trip also confuses.  I love your choice of more heart like upper "dead eyes."  Bluenose ll has them.  I also like the fact you made them.  

 

I chose to use the Walnut premade ones for strength. They are round. I keep looking at the old photo and can't tell for sure if they were round. The bn ll folks also seized the whole wrap and painted it white.  I am going to an exodic wood dealer in northern Maine for other projects in the next month and try to get some walnut blanks. I may try. It is an item on the list I may get too. 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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To finish up the standing rigging on the lower masts, I installed the spring stay, jib stay, and jumbo jib stay.  As with all my rigging, I've replaced the kit's rigging line with some from Syren Ship Model Company.

 

The spring stay is pretty straight forward.  It runs from the main mast cap to the fore mast cap with eye splices at either end.

 

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The jib stay is also pretty simple.  It is attached to the fore mast cap using a shackle, and run to the bowsprit where it is seized onto one of the bands.

 

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The jumbo jib stay required a bit more work.  It seems to have two parts to the line.  The first part is served and wraps around the fore mast right above the trestle tree, with eye splices in both ends.  Those are shackled to the second line, which runs down to the jumbo jib stay bail.  The bail is a custom piece that attaches to the deck and wraps over the bowsprit.

 

I started by getting the top of the line installed on the mast.

 

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The jumbo jib stay bail was made from brass, in keeping with how all the other metal parts on my build have been done.  It is basically a large shackle, so I made it similarly to how I made the shackles.  Since it was larger, I fashioned the 'feet' that will hold the bolts separately instead of making it all one piece.  I'm also using a brass rod to form the top, which appears to be rounded on the plans.  I'll secure it to the deck using a couple small bolts running though some eyebolts.

 

The entire thing was prepped, soldered, and cleaned up.

 

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The bail was installed on the deck over the bowsprit, and the jumbo jib stay was seized to it.

 

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I *think* that finishes up the standing rigging for the lower masts.  I'll wait to do the ratlines until later (not really looking forward to those).  Next step will be to seat the top masts and get their standing rigging lines installed.

 

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Rigging continues.  I've realized that posting updates about the details of rigging is a little tedious...rigging is kind of repetitive and most of the details aren't that interesting.  (Once you've done one block, the rest are basically identical).  So, I'll just kind of 'sum things up' and get my build log up to date.

 

(If any Bluenose builders out there are really looking for details on every line I'm running, I'm putting all the boring details on my blog...link in signature...but not adding them here as they'd be a little redundant given the amount of great rigging tips/advice available here).

 

Anyway...the update...

 

I've installed the top masts, and run the spreader lifts, main top mast shrouds, pullback stay, main top mast stay, and balloon jib stay.  These were all pretty typical.  Lots of eye splices and a few lanyards.

 

I've also run the port and starboard flying backstays.  These were fun, as they required some blocks and such.

 

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I still need to run the shrouds that go from the top masts, through the spreaders, and down to the deadeyes.  But I think once these are installed, it will be harder to tie all the ratlines.  So, I've gone ahead and added the sheer poles and started in on the ratlines.

 

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This is my first time doing ratlines (my first build, the Phantom, didn't have any).  I've quickly become very familiar with clove hitches, or at least a fast way of tying clove hitches for these ratlines.  The plans indicate that the ratlines sometimes cover all four shrouds, but often only cover three.  I've gone with three shrouds simply because it means fewer knots to tie.

 

I'm about 60% done with one lower set, so I have a long way to go.

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Ratlines, top mast shrouds, and running lights are done.

 

The ratlines went faster and easier than I was expecting.  I ended up making jig out of some strip wood to help keep the shrouds apart and the ratlines at the right intervals.  It is made of a couple strips that are glued together on one end then clamped over the shrouds.  A vertical piece has tick marks to help with ratline spacing.

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I did my best to tie them all with clove hitches, or at least something resembling clove hitches.  Even though I tied 488 of them, I probably still couldn't tie a proper clove hitch under normal circumstances.  But tying a clove hitch-like knot for ratlines using tweezers?  No problem!

 

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Once the ratlines were done on the lower masts and upper masts, I ran the top mast shrouds.  I had held off on these since they would be in the way while doing the ratlines.  These were run from the top of the top masts, through the spreader bars, and down to the chain plates.

 

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The running lights were made with some strip wood and the cast metal pieces from the kit.   I wasn't a huge fan of the kit's castings, and considered trying to replace them, but decided it would take too much work and likely not look any better.

 

They were painted red and green.  I decided to paint the backs and the edges black - no idea if that is accurate or not - but I felt like it made the colored areas pop out a little more.

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So, 590 days into the build, and I'm finished with all the rigging on the masts themselves.  Next I'll be starting to install the booms and gaffs.

 

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Rigging is progressing nicely.  I've got the main boom, fore boom, jumbo jib boom, main gaff and fore gaff all rigged.

 

I'm not 100% sure if I'll end up adding sails or not.  I want to try, but I've never done sails before so I'm not sure they will turn out well.  So, I decided to go ahead and rig the booms and gaffs.  None of the lines were glued - they were all tied off, allowing me to remove the various runs as I tackle the sails.

 

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Over the next week or so I hope to try making a sail.  If that turns out OK, I'll de-rig the appropriate runs and install the sail.  If I fail miserably, I'll probably just continue on with the running rigging and get this thing finished up.

 

Even without the sails, the ship just hit the 'impresses the in-laws' point.  With the booms and gaffs installed, it looks 'done enough' that non-modelers who see the ship are impressed.  For a second build, I consider that a success.  We'll see how sewing sails goes...

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