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Hi Mates,


Continuing work on the upper main mast, putting all of the bits together, time consuming work that seems as if nothing is really moving forward. But enjoying this part of the build.


I found a photo (can’t seen to locate it now) but on this model the fid had a rope attached to it and was then attached to a shroud at the platform. Hmm made sense.


So, decided to follow that idea and did the same for the main upper mast.





The sheaves that I added near the tops of each mast were very out of scale. It looks as if I took too much “meat” out of each mast when adding the sheaves. So decided (incorrectly) to add side reinforcement bits on the sides.





Same problem with upper foremast – but too late for a “fix”




Thought that I would also do minor reshaping of the blocks, I have seen models that actually have blocks that appear narrower on the upper and lower sides.




FYI’s bought a new lamp. Excellent. It has three levels of brightness. LED, of course, and 6000k daylight. Very light repeated taps on that circle at the outer top adjusts the light; from Amazon.



As always thanks for dropping by, the likes and your kind posts.


PS: Really enjoying the last season of Black Sails……



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Hi Mates,


Glad that you thought, as I did, that the lamp is excellent for our purposes. I also posted it on "What have you received today?"

" (:-) Seems to be a good idea there as well. I've had it for  a week or so Really liking the extra outdoor light that it projects.

PS: Not so sure about all of the new white everywhere at MSW so far. Poor tired old eyes. Where's the Night Shift option?? ha ha 



Edited by md1400cs
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Mates,


Well this update, for me is actually mostly satisfying.


Built two more platforms, and caps

Installed all of the topmasts

Started some ratlines

Made another mouse for the mainmast stay.

Served the mainmast stay, and the block rope on the foremast

Re-worked a Corel triple, and double block

Many new blocks tweaked and attached.

Attached the double pulley at the base of the foremast for the mainmast stay, and attached the triple block.




A few Grrrrrrs, of course, main topmast sheave cutout should have been angled inward, lack of foresight.


Main cap doesn’t quite “sit” right

Mizenmast cap is too close to its platform

Mouse should be, as you know, a woven affair.


What I made is obviously incorrect. I saw how to do it correctly on another’s build log. Hmm my skill set not there.


Always nice of you to drop by, and thanks for the encouraging notes – much appreciated.



























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Great build Michael, following with great interest and pleasure .


I am not sure, but I thought I have seen a message stating that you do not use glue but use nails instead.

Is that the case ?

What ever your answer is, it is still a very remarkable and outstanding model.





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Karl, thank for that – needed. As always thanks so much for following along.


Peter, I meant to add a comment to my post regarding this. All of the plans that I use (Billings, 1981 Museum sheets, Corel, and the 1/10th all tie that rope to the foremast. Only the Museum’s original ties it to the bowsprit. I also “think” that the new monthly DeAgostini, that uses the 1/10th as a base, will also tie that rope to the foremast – So I decided to do that as well.

Yes, many of us have been waiting for Vasa II as “the” rigging bible for this ship, but as you note it’s buried in Swedish bureaucracy.  So in the meantime ------it is what it is.


Koen, thanks for your very kind words, and thank you for following along. No I do not, principally use nails, but glue for the majority of this build.

The only structural uses of nails were for the first planking as do the vast majority of builders.


Frank, as always thanks – Happy that you liked the lamp. I have, in fact, purchased a second one. This one is floor standing and also has five-Kelvin temperatures all dimmable. Moved an old incandescent with this one.




MATES I have nothing to do with Amazon or Tron – just really appreciate these two current technology products.


As always thanks for all of the nice comments, likes, and for just dropping by.



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Hi Mates,


So need to work backwards again. Finishing up the mizenmast crow’s feet, now thinking of how to attach the needed futtock stave, and then the light came on.


Futtock plate connectors all wrong; need to remove those (what was I thinking) and replace them with small rigging hooks. This will need to be done for all three lower platforms.


I did not initially see rigging hooks on Vasa, but certainly what I have is worse because then I can’t continue the crow’s feet to the platforms. Still learning.


Topmast platforms will all be OK as is.







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Thanks for your comments always noted.

EJ, I laughed so hard you made my year, and we are only in March. That last photo is actually of the original in the museum. I was, trying to show how mine should actually look like, So perfect - thanks ! 


PS: thanks for your alway super nice thoughts!



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That is awesome! :D

I try not to think of it as being immature but instead maintaining childlike happiness and wonder at the world around me.... 😂😀 


Of course I am currently rolling around on the floor with my puppy and trying to type this on my phone so maybe the Admirals are on to something.... 😜


Im glad I could bring laughter into your build. It is always a good relief as I know I sometimes find myself stressing a little too much when building. Good to relax! 

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Hi Mates,


Continuing with the mizenmast shroud rigging as a “test start”. This area is all new to me. Ratlines look ok – but will get better. Yes - as has been SO noted very repetitive indeed. And I’ve barely started. So;

 Removed those totally wrong futtock plates and added hooks (to be painted flat black).

 But the following bit is confusing; need to think this bit out.

 Installed the first futtock stave. Should be tarred, but left it as is just to highlight details. But here is where is gets more involved.  I believe that my futtock shrouds are too large. Should have used a smaller diameter rope. Attaching these three shrouds to the stave will make for too “thick” a look (after spooling/tying these to the shrouds).

I think that I will remove a strand from each at the point of attachment; then wrap them over the staves. Also note the 1/10th photo (during its construction) it appears that these shrouds should also be split and attached in two places. Noted that this photo is for the main mast. Hmmm. I will do that for the center of the three shrouds that I am presently working on. 

 Then again, I may (since I have to remove all of those lower cap plates just re-rope these first three and start again. Just sharing my frustrations (J)))





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Hi Mates,


Thanks for the nice comments and "likes" - Dave here are some poss. answers for your question;


Why VASA Capsized

In the treatise by Curt Borgenstam, Anders Sandstroem "Why VASA Capsized" (AB Grafisk Press, Stockholm 1995, ISBN 91-85268-60-7) the reasons are outlined, after a careful investigation of the wreckage and the historic archives. They concluded:
1. Too many design changes during building were made. The VASA was probably laid down as a "small" ship and completed as a "large" ship, with two gun decks instead of only one as originally planned.
2. The shipbuilding master Henrik Hybertsson became serously ill and died a year before the ship was completed. During his illness he had to delegate the supervision of the project to his assistant Hein Jacobsson. As a result the leadership on the shipbuilding side was very weak. Jacobsson had not even been informed that a stability test carried out in Admiral Fleming’s presence had indicated that the VASA was unstable.
3. By far too little ballast (only about half of the weight needed, as turned out when investigating the wreckage) had been put into the ship. That was ordered by Admiral Klas Fleming, who resented more ballast, as this would have brought the lower line of gun ports too close to the water, and the military usability of the ship would have been hampered.


THEN ( my addition - paraphrasing from other sources) based on the above there were also gusty winds that day, the ship badly caught such a gust and listed to one side. This allowed the lower gun deck (with open doors) to ingest too much water. 

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More FYI


Also the very cold, blackish, very low levels of damaging ultraviolet light, and low salt content of the waters of the Baltic Sea within Stockholm Harbor minimized the amounts of sea life that would normally consume the ship.

Over the centuries the silt kept rising around and protectively covering the ship as well. And the heavily polluted 17th century water also prevented an infestation of wood-eating “shipworm” parasites.


Ironically enough the Vasa is today facing a potential “second death”. It is very slowly decaying inside the museum.




In 2000, signs of deterioration sprang up on the ship’s surface. A new study published July 6 in Biomacromolecules shows that the ship’s wooden hull has significantly weakened, due to decay of the wood’s structural fibers. The Vasa wood is about 40 percent weaker than regular oak wood, and has become very acidic.

“We found a very clear connection between low pH, high degradation, and a large decrease in mechanical strength,” said study co-author Ingela Bjurhager, a mechanical engineer at Sweden’s University of Uppsala.


More copied/pasted:


In 2004, the museum upgraded its climate-control system to keep the relative humidity stable, as fluctuating humidity could lead to changes in the shape and weight of the ship. Efforts are also underway to replace the corroding steel bolts that were inserted in the ship during the 1960s with improved stainless steel ones.

The Vasa does not have an immediate risk of structural failure, the researchers concluded. Still, the ship deforms a few millimeters every year. Given the extent of the wood atrophy, “It’s sort of a little bit too late to do anything,” said Bjurhager, who is focusing instead on preventing further deformation. Her team is currently working on a computer model of the ship so they can design a new support structure.





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Hi mates,


Anton T, and costeo - You are so kind –thanks so much for your thoughts


 Almost back-to-back updates, this one is small but there was a lot of needed learning. This small bit took almost four hours to figure out and execute. Hmmmm.

 Decided, rather than removing the already attached Futtock shrouds (used Chuck’s .018s his .012s would have been too thin.


 So did the following

 1-2) unspooled the center futtock shroud at the stave. Wrapped it around the stave separating the three “threads, then re spooled them between the shroud to add a bit of glue at the joint.



3) removed the third ply from the shroud and attached one to each side of the shroud at the ratline.



4-5-6) did the same for the other two end shrouds also removing one strand. After wrapping around the shroud scale “looked” ok.



7-8-9) secured the mizzen backstay.



10-11) Now onto the lower mainmast shrouds, BUT the dilemma starts. Looked at the 1/1 for guidance, for the mizzen shrouds, then noticed the 1/10th where the work looked much neater then “finally saw” the difference. Hmmm?



12-13) went back to my picture bible (what I have been modeling so far. Then read/looked at Anderson – either way it seems is “ok”.




Certainly the 1/10th method would be so much less work, but having already done all the topmasts, the bowsprit area, and the mizzen on one side the Peterson way – I will probably need to continue with the extra work for all of the lower shrouds.


PS: I’m not even totally comfortable with the work that I have done tying off the ropes around the shrouds - so dilemma indeed. I assume that ALL “finishing off” as Anderson calls it should be the same for the entire ship?


PS: Part of the problem is that I used lines that are probably too large for this area. Though the museum 1/1 seems to use a “thick” rope. Again hmmm


As always thanks for your kind thoughts and visits,




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I would think that in practice there would be discrepancies in exactly how ropes were tied off from crew to crew based on the instructions from the bosun. I would think though that while differences would be found between ships, that the same practice would be used throughout the same ship. So I would say, stick with the way you have started so they all look the same the same. Unless your bosun was killed in action and replaced midway through by another who wanted to change the existing practices... :P

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