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Which company has the best rigging ropes?

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I am at the stage of my build of starting to rig my San Francisco II. I started with the forward mast stay. It went better than I thought it would but in the end, after waxing and even flaming over a candle to fry off the frizz, they still have frizz... less but more than i wanted or expected. Lets just say from 10 feet away it looks great... upon close inspection it needs a shave -_-


I'm using AL supplied threads. I bought some needle point thread from Hobby Lobby and it has less frizz mostly since it's a cotton blend but some fuzz still exists.

Is there something better? Is one company the go-to for thread/ropes? On websites pictures they all look good... :unsure:

So, what am I doing wrong or what am I not buying?

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Google for 'morope'

This has been the most renowned name as far as scale rigging lines is concerned although also, the most expensive.

Edited by Ulises Victoria

There aren't but two options: do it FAST, or do it RIGHT.


Current Project Build Log: Soleil Royal in 1/72. Kit by Artesania Latina.

Last finished projectsRoyal Ship Vasa 1628; French Vessel Royal Louis 1780. 1/90 Scale by Mamoli. 120 Cannons


Future projects already in my stash: Panart: San Felipe 1/75; OcCre: Santísima Trinidad 1/90;

Wish List: 1/64 Amati Victory, HMS Enterprise in 1/48 by CAF models.


So much to build, so little time!



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might be cheaper to make your own Randy, I am sure you can build a simple rope walk :D


If you risk nothing, you risk everything!


Current builds

Syren (Model Shipways) version 2.0

AL San Francisco II

Mordaunt (Euro Model)

Completed Builds

18th Century Longboat designed by Chuck Passaro

In the closet

Battle Station

Al Charles Morgan (1980s version)


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Good suggestion Dee Dee... I like what I saw from a quickie google search... looked a lot better than the supplied kit stuff. I know whats going to happen... I'll become the twine king... $35 from this place, $43 from that... ooohhh, a different color or size... I'll have 'em all... but choice is a good thing eh? ;)


You mentioned a brick and mortar store... I was in Joanns Fabric the other day and the lady looked at me like I asked for a oil change on my car... who carries this???

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I have been using Egyptian cotton and it works wondefully. It does not have hardly any fuzz. I make my own lengths of scale rope with it and it lays up nicely. You can get it online or in a fabric store.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I was not real happy with the AL thread so I ordered some from Morope in Chicago. Took about a week to send a check and get a delivery. That's pretty fast.

The rope... wow... when it is .25mm and the quantity is 5 meters it really is not much at all but that's just a visual impression; it says nothing of the quality.

So far, so good. it is nice rope and it is so soft especially compared to the cotton hemp/twine that AL supplied. Very little fuzz and it just feels ... more solid I guess. It also looks like rope rather than thread.


Having said that tho... I think I'm beginning to see the longterm value of a ropewalk... :huh:


One final initial thought... when AL lists a thread as 0.25mm, it really is a suggestion of a ballpark somewhere in the neighborhood of + or - 100%. Either that or Morope is wrong.... hmmm, which one would be most likely to be accurate I wonder...?? that's a stumper especially based on the almost sort-of-like precision of AL ;)

Edited by lamarvalley
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As a mid-level replacement to AL... Amati makes some nice line.  Not as good as Morope.   Given the state of product that the manufacturers are dumping, I'm guessing that more and more of us will be either buying or building ropewalks.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

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                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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I'm onside with Russ, Brian & Mark, if you plan on ship modelling being a long term pastime, you might as well build or purchase a ropewalk. Anything you produce will be far superior to the commercially available rope.




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Thanks for the replies. Yes, I'm starting to see the light... the morope is good, I mean, it's the 'nicest' thread or rope I've ever bought but the sizes I bought I may never use and the ones i need more of i didn't quite get enough... or so it seems when I look at that little package. Don't get me wrong, it's good and the cost wasn't bad but... yep... there's that light again.. :blink:


So very much to learn... :P

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I have found that using Wipe-on Poly (from Minwax)  instead of regular wax gives a good no-frizz result.  Its a little tedious for long lengths of thread but good for shorter lengths like a yard or so.

 Dip the thread in the poly, run it through your fingers to remove the excess and let it dry for five or ten minutes.  When it's tacky, take it and work it with your fingers, rubbing lengthwise and also twirling it around to stick down the fuzz...easier done than said once you get the knack. It will dry to a usable state within an hour or so.

I've had some thread treated this way around for a long time (years).  It gets nicely stiff but remains flexible enough to tie knots after that time.

Stain the thread before treatment.



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I've bought rigging line from Keith Jewell of Modelling Timbers (UK), but when I just now check out his website to give you the link, I read that he just recently collapsed, was rushed to the hospital and will be incapacitated for some time.  Keith has always given me good service, and I hope he pulls through.


I've also bought some linen line from Lloyd Warner, who has an advertisement at the bottom of the MSW home page:  Warner Woods West. 


And I bought a kit for a small hand-cranking rope walk that I found VERY easy to use.  I can't say that my results are as stunning as Alex's (thanks for that link, Robert), but they did look more like Rope than just thread.





Current Build:  HMS FLY 1776


Previous Builds:  Rattlesnake 1781

                        Prince de Neufchatel

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  • 3 weeks later...

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