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Pennsylvania by threebs - 1/72 scale

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I live  just outside Tucson, Arizona  USA.  This is my first scratch build.  I built a mantua 1/96 scale Victory about 25 years ago.  When I retired, I moved here from Fargo, North Dakota

So far this ship has really been a learning experience.  I am embarassed to say how many times I had to redo things.  The hull was the hardest by far.  I was manually reducing all the measurements form the 1/48th scale plans I got from the Smithsonian Institute.  I have started the USS Columbus, and had a print shop reduce her 1/48th plans down to 1/72.  that build on the hull is going WAY faster and error free so far.  For now, I build my models in the bulkhead format.  I am going to do the USS United States as a plank on frame though.  I have almost 200 photos of the ship, I will post them a few at a time, at least the better ones.  I  am currently working on the ratlines.  I hate this part.  I had the whole port side done, but was not happy with it, the lines were toclose together.  I am doing the Starboard side and I am much happier with the results.  Two things I will try to remember, make the Shrouds as taut as possible, and do them BEFORE the back stays, they get in the way of my hands.














Edited by threebs
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I thought I should expand on the ratline situation.  I am not sure if there is a hard and fast rule as to their spacing.  The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships makes a note that they are 13 inches apart.  However several photos that I have of the USS Constitution that have Marines clinging to them show they run from the sole of the foot to just under the knee cap.  Of course the guy could be only five feet tall, but I do not think so.  That puts their spacing closer to 16 inches apart.  I cut all of the ratlines off of the starboard side.  I clove hictched to every shroud so that means I had to redo over one thousand knots!!  I was pretty bummed.  However the new spacing looks better visually and more like some of the other finished models I have seen.  The first photo is spacing every "13" inches, or about 4.5 mm, second photo is spacing 5.5mm.  Not much, but over all the whole asswmbly looks so much better.

I have all the yards done, all the tackle made for them, (photos later), and am starting to install the horsses on them.




Edited by threebs
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Here are some photos of the yards, yard tackle, and stirrups.  At 1/72 scale I think this is about as small as I would like to attempt making the stirrups this way.  If you coat the assembly with super glue it makes a nice stiff stirrup that hangs from the yard nicely.  That is my self made serving machine the yard tackle is laying on.







Edited by threebs
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  • 2 months later...

Just a quick update.  I FINALLY finished the rat lines.  OMG what a chore!  I am finising the stirrups and foot ropes on the yards now, then I will put all the relavent blocks and studding booms on them.  I need to study the slings and pendents.  This ship had the pendent strops sized to the cross trees somewhere.  I am somewhat confused by the nautical terms in Lee's book as to exatctly how they were attached. This ship's rigging took place when alot of "improvements" were being used.  I will have to read more closely just where parrels were used and where pendents took there place or not.  I do not know if I have to be quite so accurate in this area, as I am sure that different Captains also had a say in how the ship was rigged?  I am pretty sure the Navy at that time was not the slave to every ship being an exact dupicate of another to make maintenance easier like it is today.


Also, the 1830's version of cross trees on the top mast(?) is a bow shaped thing I I am not certain how the sailors accessed the royal yard to work the sail there with no obvious way to attach shrouds form the bow plat form to the cross trees at the very top of the mast?  There are foot ropes on royal yard, how did the climb to them with no ratlines or shrouds to get there?  Nothing in Lee's book to tell me, and no other books I have deal with this period or situation. 


I am going to start the ship's boats as well.  Have one launch form done. not the best, but, the only plans I really have are from Chappel's book and they do not blow up ver clearly.  I will send a photo of the form I have so you can tell me if I am on the right track with this.  My only experience with ship boats is with the Victory model from Mantua I built over 25 years ago.  NOBODY'S memory is THAT good.

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I need some input on running rigging.  I know it was no where near as heavy as standing rigging of course, but, it must have had some sort of standardized size when given the load it would have to move?  Did the diameter of the lines increase as they moved up the mast from yard to yard?  I imagine the rope needed to lift the main topsail would need to be heavier than that which lifted the topgallent? I am thinking one inch diameter line for the lower yards and down proportionately as the yards get smaller?  Any one help here?

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was showing a relative, (no, not my wife), this post and he/she commented that I never seemed to acknowledge the kind compliments I get from the commentors on on this post. So, I thought a little explanation and an apology is in order.

I was born half deaf, and in the era I was raised, my peers we not very understanding. As a result I pretty much a loner all my life with few friends. I turned to books and model making to fill the void. Also as a result my social skills are not very good. I am sort of bashful and except for my family unused to compliments. So, I do not always know how to respond. If in the future I do not seem very forth coming in my replies, I am sorry and I hope you will understand.
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I have been working on the yards a lot lately.  There is a lot more to do than I remember from my Victory Model 30 years ago.  I am trying to get as many blocks as I can on the yards before installing them.  As this ship will not have sails, I do not need the leech or bunt line blocks, so I will be leaving those off.  Everything attached to the yards needs to be served, and attached primarily with rose lashings (or a close approximation).  I made the slings as you can see, and I am making the trusses now (no photos of those yet).  I am also putting on shrouds at the top gallant to royal yards tressel tree.  I will post photos of how I attached them later.  I also made and sort of installed the spanker and gaff booms.


I apologize for the messy deck, I will vacuum it clean when I finish installing the yards.  Once the yards are done, I think all that is left is the anchor assemblies, the davits, and the ships boats???









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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been working pretty consistently on the ship. Since my last post I have been putting in a minimum of an hour everyday. and closer to two most days.
Serving every block connection that connects to the yards takes a lot of time. Also, lashing thimbles to every block that hooks to an eye bolt also adds time.
I had forgotten how careful you have to be trying to get your paws into the rigging to belay lines and add rope coils. running the lines can be frustrating when you go to tighten up everything and the block twists so you have to re run the whole thing ANGER_Censored_1.gif It has been a long road, and it feels good to finally be putting up the yards!











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I hand  make my own blocks out of boxwood and cherry.  Lots of filing and drilling.  I wonder if I should invest in a mini drill press in stead of using the stand for my dremel tool.  It is hard to line up the bit just right and keep the holes reasonably straight and in line.  The vise made for the dremel tool stand has too much play and it is a chore to get the piece clamped down level. 

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  • 1 month later...

It is rather embarrassing that it seems I forgot to rig the ratlines on one side for the topgallent to royals.  How do you do things like that?  In m defense, I was just itching to get the yards up after so long it slipped my mind.  Now however it will be more difficult on the main and mizzen as I will have to work around the yards and rigging.  You can see from the photos how much easier access is to the fore mast.  At least one of the photos shows parts broken away, I did this to make access to the belaying pin rails easier.








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