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yacht rigging for 1:12 scale

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Hi all


I'm building a 1:12 yacht model, the actual boat would be 28 foot hull (around 9m) & a 20th century yacht - so the shrouds would be wire perhaps 8 to 10mm diameter actual (or 0.65 to 0.8 or 1mm diameter to scale). The actual rigging would be stainless steel, so it would be nice for it to look like that.


It needs to be straight when tensioned a bit, it won't look any good with kinks. Also, I think that some texture is preferable, to replicate the texture of the SS wire, but I'm open to solid...


I'm be grateful for any suggestions, thanks 




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Do a Google search on stainless steel fishing wire. It's usually 7 strands. It's sold in various test strengths, but the stronger the wire, the thicker it is. Doubtless you can find local shops that sell tackle for salt water fishing in your area.


Cheers -


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thank you John, Art, that's great.


I'm just wondering if there's a way of having the crimps .... look less like crimps & more in scale. I have a picture in my head of them & perhaps they are more sophisticated than I imagine.


Do you ever solder it as a way to join or form an end? I'm wondering about soldering a small U shaped piece of brass to it, & then pin that U to a tang, plate, chain plate etc...



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That may work but since I only use it for RC I would not chance, it however for a static model I don't see why not. I buy all my stuff from Midwest model yachting they may have something that will work for you.

Edited by Osmosis
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Check a jewelry supply website or on eBay.  7, 9, 21 and 49 (7x7 strand, best for rigging) strand cable is used for stringing beads.  Looks just like wire rope but in very small sizes.  Here is a link to an eBay seller.  There are many more.

Edited by grsjax

My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.

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Hello Mark


I use Beadalon multi strand stainless steel beading wire. You can see the effect in the later posts of my Altair build - link below. Rather than using crimps I use small bore tubing with a spot of CA glue.



Current Build:-

Cangarda (Steam Yacht) - Scale 1:24


Previous Builds:-


Schooner Germania (Nova) - Scale 1:36


Schooner Altair by KeithAug - Scale 1:32 - 1931


J Class Endeavour by KeithAug - Amati - Scale 1:35 - 1989 after restoration.



Other Topics

Nautical Adventures




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thanks Keith, that does look good & there's a local supplier as well


The metalwork & rigging on your Altair is beautiful, I love the attention to the scale of the details.



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The photo shows on the right a 0.045" dia. crimp on 1 x 7 SS wire 0.012" dia.  For 1/12 this would be a smaller line, but it's next to impossible to see that it is a crimp and for larger sizes be sure to use the special crimp pliers and you can get the crimp to be smooth except for the seam where the crimp is touching itself and it then appears as a line that is very hard to see any curvature of the piece.  The bit to the left was an illustration to show what not to do.



Kurt Van Dahm






Nautical Research & Model Ship Society of Chicago

Midwest Model Shipwrights

North Shore Deadeyes

The Society of Model Shipwrights

Butch O'Hare - IPMS

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Try SS welding rod used for Tig welding It comes in many diameters and hardnesses A local wedding shop should be able to help

Micro Dies for cutting threads will enable you to make turn buckles etc 

SS work hardens so you have to be careful about the number of times you bend or work it 


Current Build

HM Granado CC

Past builds

 HMS Chatham CC, HM Convulsion CC,  Duke William German Kit, Fair American LSS, The Wright Flyer MS

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thank you for your advice & comments, this has helped a lot


Kurt, I'm guessing on around 8mm diameter actual size shrouds & stays, & that equates to about 0.03", & Beadalon has 0.76mm diameter which equates to about 9mm actual. 


My thought is to do something like the details sketched out below: use a standard silver jewellery crimp end & remove the ring, then solder a piece of solid brass rod into to T shape, & solder or crimp the wire into the crimp end (or glue). This fits into a folded joiner that's pinned to the chain plate eyes - or whatever it's being joined to. An option is to use brass tube instead of the crimp end, & see if I can get it to solder or glue well enough.


see below, I think this will work. 





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  • 3 weeks later...

If it is a modern design the shrouds will be rod, and probably 1/4” or 6mm. Only if it has a really large sail area for its size, think Farr ( old Mumm) 30 might the highest load segment be 8mm. That would probably be V1 for multiple spreaders or D1 if single spreader. You will never see the headstay as it will be covered by either the foil for the jib luff or the roller furler. The backstay can be either rod, wire or both depending on the type of adjuster. All will terminate in some sort of tang to attach to turnbuckles or other adjusters.


Running backstays or checkstays could be wire or now more likely pbo or Amsteel synthetic. These will be lighter and lower stretch than wire.


When in doubt go for the cleaner, lower windage/drag solution.

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Are you building his up as a RC sail or a static display?  For my RC sailboats I am a big fan of "control line" like you would see on tethered airplanes.  Its stainless and looks great.  The warning though is that when made up like "kurtvd19" as posted above is that 3 passes are much better than two through the crimped area.    See "line wrap 195 as posted below if this is a "working" connection.


If you are building static then you might do better with a served end as it kinda almost looks like a turnbuckle like line wrap 183.  If you have the ability to fabricate the chain plate two posts above could you drill through the chain plate and run the wire under deck where it could be secured with a set screw tied in a way to preserve tension on the lines so they never go slack?. 



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sorry for the late reply to your comments - thanks both.


MNL: the design is basically a 1930s design (maybe even old fashioned in the 1930s), but a variant that was tweaked in the 1960s, so the last iteration of an earlier old fashioned (but successful) design. I'm going to replicate SS wire shrouds, & probably rope for the backstays - I'm really not sure if anyone used rope then as backstays but all of the gaffers I know use rope, spectra etc. For a 28' boat it will have a lot of sail area, probably more than a Mumm/Farr 30, short fat heavy boats both need it & can handle it. 


Wallace2: Hi, thanks the model will be static. Since my last post above I've come across woven SS wire for jewellery, to scale at about 0.8mm diameter. Also, I have working turnbuckles that are nicely to scale. This is the progress, similar to the sketches but I integrated the bottom part of the turnbuckle with the rigging. The chain plates have also been done, as you can see.


I'm happy with the result


thanks, Mark









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