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Simulating tiny chain


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There is a lot of small-scale chain on the Great Eastern, everything from sail sheets to long stretches of it as forestays near the funnels.  What's a good way to simulate this?  There is book on building plastic ship models (the name escapes me) that shows a way of  weaving tiny wire into  what's called a sinnet that looks good but I'm not sure I have that kind of manual dexterity any more.  Any ideas would be appreciated,

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What scale?

 

Braiding the wire does look very convincing by the way. It isn’t too hard to do.  It might be hard to do well for any kind of length beyond about 3 inches. A thought, if you can’t do it convincingly don’t do it at all. That was by no means to be nasty. It will stick out like a sore thumb is the point. Most professional models leave stuff off, because it isn’t sonething you would be able to physically see in reality.

 

Kurt

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For exactly that reason, that I couldn't find small enough chain, I put off a project for years, because it has stanchions with chains all around at 1:160 (N-scale).

 

What I will be doing probably is to first twist two wires of suitable thickness together, but not too tightly and then twist two strands of those together, but into the opposite direction. This looks quite convincing like a somewhat twisted chain, at least better than any other solution I have come across so far.

 

The thickness of the wire should be the scale-thickness of the wire from which the individual links of the chain in question would have been made. As you can get easily wires down to 0.05 mm diameter, that should cover at lot of needs in small scales.

 

The colour can be a problem, but there are tinned Cu-wires (representing galvanised chain) or black wires at least down to 0.1 mm diameter. I would probably give them a light black wash or some silver dry-brushing to give more plasticity, but be judicious.

 

Leaving details out at HO-scale is not really an option, particularly not chain-stays and the likes.

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I know I had mentioned it but Ed Tosti’s Young America builds, one of which is in 1/96, have chains used in the rigging. I think the time period is very close, and he did a remarkable job of it. In fact there is probably a lot of information that would be useful in your Great Eastern endeavor. Regardless, it’s an enjoyable read and the pics are great.

 

 

Kurt

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I have used several different sizes of chain on my Cutty Sark (1:78), down to about 47 l/in. However, instead of chain for the the sheets, I used bead cord. I obtained this (nylon?) material from my local jewelry store. It comes in diff. colors and sizes and really looks like chain considering the small scale it is to represent. The drawback is that it might twist when its stretched.

Ulrich 

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And here I thought it was little old men with jeweler's loupes.  I'm thinking my 50 l.p.i. chain will be fine for the forestays, topsail sheets and lifeboat rigging; maybe just a tinch large but satisfactory.  Many thanks for all the advice; I'd be lost without this website.  I'll look out for that bead cord, too.

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