Jump to content
mar3kl

Vasa by mar3kl - Billing Boats - scale 1:75

Recommended Posts

Thanks for the compliments.  I've gotten much useful information from you folks, so hopefully I can return the favor with lots of photos.  Installing the rigging is a lot of detective work; the kit instructions are useless except for the most basic information.  Much of the diagrams are missing information, or have incomplete routing, or are just plain wrong.  I've ended up having to use a combination of the kit plans (last resort), existing models (Clayton's is very good for this), input from Fred Hocker at the Vasamuseet, and various treatises on period rigging.  The result is almost certainly not completely correct, but it's as close as my skills can get it.

 

On to the mainmast ratlines.  These were mostly endless clove hitches, looking better as my skills improved.  What's difficult about the mainmast is that the shrouds spread a lot at the base, and the ratlines tend to get wonky the more space there is between shrouds.  Lots of problems maintaining tension.

 

One slightly tricky aspect is that the rake of the mast, the main top, and the channels means that the ratlines look odd if perfectly parallel to the deck (which I assume a sailor would want for practicality).  I ended up compromising, raking them up and aft just enough so they didn't look strange.

 

post-8835-0-10507700-1454087897_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-07303500-1454087901_thumb.jpg

Edited by mar3kl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And on to the mizzen.  The mizzen ratlines were easier than the fore and mainmast ratlines; not only were there much fewer of them, but the shrouds weren't as steeply angled top to bottom as on the other two mainmasts, which made it easier to get uniform tension on everything.  Here's a photo of the ratlines before trimming:

 

post-8835-0-51304100-1454191614_thumb.jpg

 

Some more photos of the main and foremast ratlines

 

post-8835-0-21427800-1454191471_thumb.jpg

post-8835-0-78930800-1454191610_thumb.jpg

 

And finally a picture of all three masts.  Looking at the photo, the ratlines look so innocuous for the huge amount of work that went into tying all those little knots.  I calculated and I think all the remaining topmast ratlines are about the same as both sides of the mainmast.

 

The horizontal spacing is a little less than 6mm, which scales out to about 16 inches; according to the various sources I've looked at, that's in the ballpark.

 

post-8835-0-44447000-1454191618_thumb.jpg

 

Next step - the sprit top, topmast, and backstay...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First step in installing the sprit topmast was installing the top.  It took me a while to figure out a good way to mount the deadeyes.  The original ship seems to have had topmast deadeyes with iron strops, and iron futtock plates below the top, to which the futtock shrouds were attached.  The kit plans were as usual useless, with no information at all.  It looks from the kit photos like their modeler made a combination futtock shroud and deadeye strop from rigging line, but it's hard to tell.

 

I decided to fabricate combination strops and futtock plates from a single length of thin annealed copper wire, finished in black.  I took the wire through the top, then made a small eyelet at one end for the futtock shroud attachment.  Took a few tries to get it to look decent, but I'm happy with the result. 

 

post-8835-0-92390700-1454350178_thumb.jpg

 

Once the top was mounted, I mounted the topmast, which I had built a while back.  Then, on to the shrouds and ratlines.  The deadeyes are quite close together, but there's room to get everything installed.  I used 0.3mm scale rope for these shrouds, and 0.2mm scale rope for the ratlines.  

 

The futtock shrouds are supposed to terminate on ring bolts mounted to the bowsprit.  I thought that looked too clunky, so I just drilled fine holes through the bowsprit and ran a single shroud down, through, and up the other side.

 

And then the backstays.  The book "Rigging of ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast" (a very useful source for me) says that this is where the 17th century rigger really let themselves go wild, and the author is right.  There are three stays, each with an eye in the end, and just like the larger mast stays, looped through the eye and down.  I didn't bother creating a mouse to prevent slippage.  All three end with a single small block.

 

post-8835-0-97993200-1454350701_thumb.jpg

 

Then the crowsfeet, used to distribute the load of the sprit top backstays on the foremast stay.  There are three sets of eight; I ran each set through a 4-hole euphroe tackle that I fabricated.  The ends are seized to the foremast stay with clove hitches.  I needed to be very careful to maintain even tension on them before tying them off.  Here's where it's also important to have put a fair amount of tension on the foremast stay, otherwise it'll pull up when you tension the crowsfeet.

 

post-8835-0-81845200-1454350755_thumb.jpg

 

Almost done.  You can see that one of the euphroes is seized to the end of a running line, and the other two are seized to small single blocks through which the line zigzags, between those blocks and the blocks on the end of the stays.  The far end of the line is seized to the foremast stay.  By carefully adjusting the tension on the running line, you can get the crowsfeet also properly tensioned.

 

post-8835-0-48341800-1454350183_thumb.jpg

 

And the final result.  I over-tensioned the crowsfeet intentionally, then brushed them with very diluted white glue, and then removed the extra tension.  The glue let the lines stay rigid without undue tension on the foremast stay.  All in all I'm pleased with the result.  The kit plans show something similar, but without euphroe tackles, and with fewer crowsfeet.  What I did matches Clayton's model and various period diagrams from l'Art de Batir and the rigging book I mentioned above..

 

post-8835-0-82191500-1454350184_thumb.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

 

Super rigging job.

 

So you decided not to install with tarred standing rigging. I know that this has been discussed a lot among we Vasa builders. Clayton did not. Nor are they installed at the museum in either ship.

 

I'm almost the "Lone Ranger" here. Though from what I have read, tar had not yet been added to the ropes at its first "sailing". Stockholm tarred looking ropes were available at Syren ( a very dark brown [as opposed to black]), so that's how I decided to proceed.

 

I really, actually also, like the look of the non-tarred ropes 

 

Cheers.

 

PS: beautiful work on your crowsfeet !! That has to be a real area of "I'll get through this" bit...

 

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On to the fore top and fore topmast.  First step was cutting a transverse slot in the mast to hold the top rope sheave.  The kit plans are fairly silent on this matter, but the other sources describe top ropes for all three topmasts.

 

post-8835-0-76605800-1454521850_thumb.jpg

 

After that I attached deadeyes to the top in the same manner as for the sprit top, and mounted the top and the topmast to the foremast.  The top rope setup has a ring bolt on one side of the mast cap, and a block seized to a ring bolt on the other side.  The top rope is seized to the ring bolt, travels down to the sheave in the mast, up the other side, through the block, and back down through the top to the deck, where it is passed through the fourth sheave on the knighthead (the other three are for the fore yard halliards).

 

post-8835-0-26409500-1454550565_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-26082300-1454550576_thumb.jpg

 

Here you can see the finished top rope setup.

 

post-8835-0-05335000-1454550561_thumb.jpg

 

 And the futtock shrouds before attaching to the futtock stave.

 

post-8835-0-12218200-1454550569_thumb.jpg

 

And finally a view of the topmast in place.  The ship is getting tall!

 

post-8835-0-52221600-1454550572_thumb.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the compliments.  The rope is from Syren model ships.  I'm very happy with it.  I'm also using his blocks - they are much nicer than the kit supplied ones. 

 

And yes, getting the tension right was difficult.  I found a good approach was to brush the crowsfeet with diluted white glue, tension them up, and let the glue dry.  Then that gave the lines just enough stiffness that they would stay straight as tension was reduced.  If you keep too much tension, the sprit topmast and the forestay both bend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next up, the fore topmast shrouds.  These were straightforward, just more of the same.  I also tied off the futtock shrouds and added ratlines for them

 

post-8835-0-60874300-1454606546_thumb.jpg

 

The remaining topmasts were both more or less the same as the fore topmast.  I did top ropes for both, with the rigging identical to that of the foremast top rope.  The main top rope falls through the main top and then along with the main yard halliards through a cutout in the deck.  On the real ship there was a four-sheave knighthead on the deck below; on the model there's a small false floor and I'll glue a block with four holes to it.

 

The main and mizzen topmast shrouds are angled to follow the angle of the tops.

 

post-8835-0-52011400-1454606550_thumb.jpg

Edited by mar3kl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After installing the tops, topmasts, and shrouds, I needed to do the stays.  The fore topmast and main topmast stays were fairly straightforward, the mizzen topmast stays less so.  All have a small eye in one end so the stay can loop around itself at the mast, with a mouse to keep the loop from riding up.  The kit plans show the fore topmast stay terminating at the bowsprit with a complex crowsfeet arrangement.  After emailing back and forth with Fred Hocker, I learned that it was unlikely that this was the arrangement on Vasa because crowsfeet are used to distribute load over relatively slender attachment points, like rigging lines.  There would be no need for that when attaching to a mast.  Instead, it was likely that a much simpler tackle setup would be used.  So here's what I ended up doing.  The tackle runs aft to a cleat on the bowsprit.

 

post-8835-0-43207500-1454697206_thumb.jpg

 

The main topmast stay runs to the foremast head, where it runs through a block, down through the rear of the fore top, and thence toward the deck.  It terminates with a double block that is then connected via a tackle to a block on the deck.  The tackle is seized to the bottom block with a becket, then to the upper block, back to the lower, back to the upper, and then finally to the lower, where it is seized below the block.  Here's a photo of the lower block prior to installing on the deck, with the becket at the top.

 

post-8835-0-49356800-1454697208_thumb.jpg

 

And then the block and tackle setup.

 

post-8835-0-55465800-1454697209_thumb.jpg

 

The kit plans call for a mizzen topmast stay similar in layout to the main topmast stay, and that seems from other sources to be wrong.  Instead, there should be two stays, each attached with crowsfeet and tackles to the rearmost main shroud.  Crowsfeet are used here to distribute the load on the shroud.  The layout is simpler than the sprit top backstays - there are only two sets of crowsfeet, each with six parts. I fabricated euphroe tackles for the crowsfeet as you can see below:

 

post-8835-0-16958100-1454697211_thumb.jpg

 

Then a bunch of careful tensioning, brushing with diluted white glue to keep the crowsfeet straight, and finally tightening up the line that holds everything together.  It falls to the deck pinrails.  Here you can see the finished result on one side:

 

post-8835-0-69376800-1454697212_thumb.jpg

 

And the other. 

 

post-8835-0-95553200-1454697213_thumb.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the compliments, much appreciated.  Here are some more photos of the topmasts, with the ratlines installed.  These were way easier to deal with than those of the lower masts.  The shrouds don't spread as much so it's easy to keep the ratlines tensioned properly.  Here's the mizzen topmast:

 

post-8835-0-12003400-1454965564_thumb.jpg

 

And the main topmast:

 

post-8835-0-15611300-1454965569_thumb.jpg

 

And the fore topmast:

 

post-8835-0-82894200-1454965576_thumb.jpg

 

And on to the two topgallant masts.  Same technique for mounting the deadeyes to the tops.  As with the mizzen and sprit tops, the deadeyes are pretty close together, so it gets a little fiddly tightening the lanyards down.  I also installed topropes, which route through the top and down to the main and fore tops below, where they are tied off on a lower deadeye.

 

post-8835-0-94636200-1454965588_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-82279600-1454965600_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-30031000-1454965611_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-08483600-1454965621_thumb.jpg

 

Although the kit plans call for ratlines along the topgallant shrouds, I'm not going to do them.  According to Fred Hocker, it was unlikely that they would have been needed, since everything to manage the topgallant masts was accessible from the tops.  And the shrouds are so close together and the rigging so fine that I think it would be difficult to get a good result.

 

Next it's on to the topgallant stays, and then the standing rigging will be Done.

Edited by mar3kl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some photos of the fore topgallant stay.  It's attached at the topgallant mast head with a simple eye and loop, and no mouse.

 

post-8835-0-33011700-1455038280_thumb.jpg

 

It then routes through a block on the sprit topmast cap.   At this point, research diverges on what happens.  The kit plans show the line passing through the top, through a block on the bowsprit, and ending up on a cleat at the base of the bowsprit.  Clayton's model doesn't have topgallants, so there is no stay.  The museum plans tie the stay off at the sprit top trestles, and my books say it could be done either way - tied off at the trestles or routed to the bowsprit.  Decisions, decisions!  I ended up routing the line back to the bowsprit, but if the rest of the running rigging ends up conflicting with that, I'll just tie off at the trestles.

 

post-8835-0-43770500-1455038284_thumb.jpg

 

And here you can see the finished result:

 

post-8835-0-43852800-1455038288_thumb.jpg

 

I didn't bother with backstays.  The kit plans show an elaborate system of tackles and crowsfeet for a fore topgallant backstay, attaching to the main topmast stay.  They also show a similar setup for a main topgallant backstay attaching to a mizzen topmast stay.  Their mizzen topmast stay is wrong, and there isn't a way to attach the topgallant backstay to mizzen topmast stays done the right way.  Fred Hocker says it's unlikely that the the topgallants had them anyway, so I feel fine leaving them off.

 

That reminds me that I didn't do topmast backstays either.  The kit plans have another crowsfeet setup for the fore topmast backstay, attached to the mainstay.  They don't show a main topmast backstay, which doesn't really make sense given the presence of the fore topmast backstay.  Fred says there's no evidence for such rigging on Vasa, although there is recent evidence that there were two fore topmast and main topmast backstays, one per side, terminating at deadeyes on the fore- and main channels respectively.  By the time I learned this, the channels were long since rigged and I didn't want to re-jigger them.

 

So, executive summary: no backstays!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And now the last of the standing rigging: the main topgallant stay.  Just like the fore topgallant stay, it's looped through an eye in the end, with no mouse.

 

post-8835-0-15914200-1455130857_thumb.jpg

 

It runs to a block attached to the fore topmast trestles, then down to the fore top, where it's tied off to one of its trestles.

 

post-8835-0-43260900-1455130861_thumb.jpg

 

Standing rigging finished!  It was a huge amount of work, way more than I thought it would be.  

 

Now on to the running rigging.  This will be a lot of work of a different sort.  The standing rigging was incredibly tedious but laid out in a fairly straightforward manner.  The running rigging will require more work to get right, since the kit plans are various combinations of incomplete, confusing, and incorrect.  Luckily I have books and treatises, Clayton's model, the 1:10 model, the beautiful work of all of the modelers on this forum, and the gracious help of Fred Hocker at the Vasamuseet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first big decision to make was whether to rig sails or not.  I decided not to, for a number of reasons.  First, I have no sewing skills and no access to a sewing machine.  Second, I wasn't sure even if I could get my hands on a machine and learn to sew that I could find sailcloth that would look realistic at scale.  Finally, I thought sails would obscure a lot of the rigging detail which I wanted to be able to display. 

 

Initially I was going to rig ties, halliards, lifts, and braces only.  This initial set of bowsprit yard photos shows those elements.  Later I decided to rig clewlines, sheets, and tacks as well, and I have some photos of how that turned out too.

 

First step was taking the kit-provided dowel stock and tapering it at each end.  I don't have a lathe, so I accomplished this by putting the dowel in a drill and running sandpaper over it while it spun.  I cleaned up the details with some final hand sanding.  

 

The kit rigging plans are missing two details present on the 1:10 model, Clayton's model, and in period literature.  First are standing stays - deadeyes on the bowsprit and yard connected by lanyards.  Second are garnets - additional bracing rigging via fiddle blocks on the forestay and the bowsprit yard.

 

Here is the result, with blocks and brace pendants.  Note there are no clewline blocks yet - I went back and added those later, once the rest of the yard had been rigged.

 

post-8835-0-98873700-1455317440_thumb.jpg

 

Here's a photo of the completed rigging.  The tie and halliard run under the bowsprit and then attach to a cleat near the base of the bowsprit.  The lifts, braces, and garnets all lead back to pin racks on the beakhead.  At this point I just routed them to someplace reasonable.  Once I finished the bowsprit running rigging, I went back, looked at various sources to see where the lines should end up, and made sure nothing was crossing.

 

The kit plans again diverge from all the other sources in the matter of the sprit yard lifts.  The kit plans show separate sprit topsail sheets, where apparently the bowsprit yard lifts actually did double duty as sprit topsail sheets, and were tied off to ring bolts at the tip of the bowsprit when the sprit topsail wasn't deployed. 

 

post-8835-0-08811700-1455317445_thumb.jpg

 

Some detail on the tie and halliard...

 

post-8835-0-37098200-1455317449_thumb.jpg

 

The garnets, braces, and standing stays.

 

post-8835-0-50688800-1455317453_thumb.jpg

 

I ended up changing the routing of the braces when I discovered they were supposed to have leader blocks on the bowsprit.  Those changes, plus the clewlines and sheets, will be in the next post.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!  I appreciate the compliment.  It's quite different from my one other model - much more complex.  Very interesting to see the evolution of rigging from the early 1600s to the early 1800s.  Things got much more streamlined.

 

So here's how the bowsprit rigging after a few more tweaks.  First, I added leader blocks on the bowsprit for the braces.  The kit plans don't show them, but all my other sources do.  They still aren't belayed in their final positions, but it's more or less right.

 

post-8835-0-50281600-1455659601_thumb.jpg

 

Then I added the sprit yard clewlines and sheets.  I left the clewlines extended rather than snugged up against the yard because otherwise the sheet looked a little odd.  Technically the clewline block should have a loop to which the sheet attaches in a complex knot that I had no desire to try reproduce at scale.  Instead, I just wound the sheet around the block.

 

post-8835-0-26313700-1455659600_thumb.jpg

 

The spritsail sheet is a complex affair - it's basically a very long pendant that runs through a ring bolt in the fore channel and is terminated with a block.

 

post-8835-0-07846000-1455659963_thumb.jpg

 

A second line runs from the kevel on the deck, through a sheave in the bulwarks, down to the pendant, and then back to a ring bolt on the hull.

 

post-8835-0-49037600-1455659960_thumb.jpg

 

Getting the lines to hang naturally was an interesting exercise.  I soaked the lines in water until they were heavy enough to hang properly, then I brushed them with diluted white glue and waited.  Invariably the lines didn't dry quite right (they still aren't quite there yet), so repeat and repeat on small sections until finally it looks good enough.

 

Now on to the sprit top yard...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for the sprit topsail yard.  The kit plans have problems here - they show extra lines for the sprit topsail sheets, where as far as I can tell those never existed - the sprit yard lifts did double duty as sprit topsail sheets, and were attached to the bowsprit with ring bolts when the sprit topsail wasn't deployed.  

 

I attached the various blocks to the yard - brace pendants, clew blocks, and lift blocks - and then set up the tie and halliard.  Here you can see the tie from the front.  There are no parrels - it seems the ship had them, but the kit doesn't specify them so I'm going to wait until all the other yards are done to see if there are enough extra beads left over.

 

post-8835-0-94977700-1455685466_thumb.jpg

 

And the tie block from the back.

 

post-8835-0-78701100-1455685462_thumb.jpg

 

Here is the halliard assembly.  I found a couple of ways to do this.  Nothing of the original ship's sprit topmast or topsail yard survives, so there's no way to know how it was rigged.  The kit plans call for a block attached to a ring bolt on the top, and the halliard to run between the tie block and the top block, tied off at the bottom.  The tie block would have been a fiddle block, but you can use a double block.  The kit plans are too vague to see what to do in any detail.  Two other sources show early 17th century Dutch ships with the halliard tied to a ring bolt on the top, then run up through a single block on the tie, back down through the top to a leader block on the bowsprit, and from there to a cleat on the bowsprit.

 

I chose the second approach, mostly because I didn't want to face the complex block rigging on the top with all the deadeyes in the way.

 

post-8835-0-05962300-1455685471_thumb.jpg

 

Now the lifts and braces.  The braces head up to the forestay, then back down through leader blocks on the bowsprit before terminating at the pin rail on the side of the beakhead, next to the spritsail braces.

 

post-8835-0-70228600-1455685474_thumb.jpg

 

 

post-8835-0-57582300-1455685478_thumb.jpg

 

The clewlines are pulled up against the yard since there is no sail deployed and no sheet to attach them to.  They route down to leader blocks, then to the front pin rail on the beakhead, next to the spritsail clewlines.

 

post-8835-0-36402900-1455685490_thumb.jpg

 

A photo showing where some of the lines terminate.

 

post-8835-0-59867400-1455685486_thumb.jpg

 

And the final result.  It's different from the kit plans in a number of small ways, but conforms as best as I can make it to a combination of the 1:10 model, Clayton's model, and my rigging books.

 

post-8835-0-38375000-1455685482_thumb.jpg

Edited by mar3kl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On to the fore course yard.  My kit was missing some of the dowels for the yards, so I needed to head to the hardware store and get a dowel for the yard.  I turned it down with a drill and sandpaper, then added the various blocks and braces.

 

The tie rigging is fairly straightforward - two lines through sheaves in the foremast, then down to a rams head block which has a tackle that connects to the knighthead.

 

You can also see the large laser-cut blocks through which the fore yard lifts will be routed.

 

post-8835-0-22072000-1455740868_thumb.jpg

 

Here's the halliard part.  I had to hand-carve the rams head block from a chunk of wood, but it wasn't too difficult.  The halliard runs through the three rams head sheaves and three of the four knighthead sheaves, with the fourth used by the topmast top rope.

 

You can also see a pin rail attached to the bulwark - the kit specifies this and it turns out the rail isn't supposed to be there, so I'm going to remove it.

 

post-8835-0-34261900-1455740870_thumb.jpg

 

Next up were the parrels.  The actual ship had three rows, but the kit only uses three-row ribs for the main yard.  

 

post-8835-0-87503100-1455740871_thumb.jpg

 

The kit plans are also missing the truss tackle for the parrel.  The end of the parrel rope is supposed to terminate in a double block, with a tackle connecting it to a single block fixed to the deck.  My first attempt used a single block and a simple whip up and back to a ring bolt, but I fixed it later.

 

post-8835-0-35007300-1455740873_thumb.jpg

 

The lifts.  The kit plans were accurate here (!!) so nothing much to add.

 

post-8835-0-91235800-1455740874_thumb.jpg

 

And a final view of the yard with ties, halliards, parrels, and lifts added.

 

post-8835-0-72055700-1455740877_thumb.jpg

Edited by mar3kl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fore course yard clewlines, sheets, and tacks.  Without a sail, the clewline simply hangs down.  I could have pulled it up to the yard, but the sheet and tack would have been way up in the air and visually distracting.

 

post-8835-0-66682200-1456248972_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-69857200-1456248976_thumb.jpg

 

A close-up of the tacks.  Each tack runs from the clew block, down to a fairlead under the beak, and back up the other side, where it terminates at one of the kevel bitts at the front railing.  One tack crosses under the other.  I'm missing a photo of the fore course sheet; I'll try add one later.  It's pretty straightforward - runs from an eyebolt on the hull, up through the clew block, and back to a sheave in the bulwarks, through it, and round the kevel bitt behind the sheave.

 

Getting the tacks and sheet to hang properly was a little tricky.  First I needed to get the lines well soaked so they were heavy enough to hang properly.  Then brush with diluted white glue and wait to dry. 

 

post-8835-0-94117000-1456248973_thumb.jpg

 

More detail on the fore course yard halliard and top rope.  You can also see where the topsail and course lifts terminate, on the rail between the two roman soldier heads.  The sheaves under the heads are where the topsail sheets terminate.

 

post-8835-0-60219600-1456248984_thumb.jpg

 

Here are two photos of the topsail and topgallant yard lifts and clewlines.  The topsail yard lifts are fairly straightforward.  The kit plans are once again incorrect here.  The topsail yard lifts are supposed to do double duty as topgallant sheets, where in the kit plans they are separate.  The routing is straightforward: the lift starts from a ring bolt on the mast cap, then to a block at the end of the yard, then back to a pendant on the trestle, then down to the bitt behind the foremast.

 

Topsail clewlines are similarly straightforward: down from the yard to the clew block at the end of the course yard below, back up to the topsail yard, then down to the pin rail on the bulwark, just behind the termination of the fore course clewline.

 

Topgallant lifts and clewlines are essentially the same, but terminate at lower deadeyes on the fore topmast top.  Again, the kit plans are wrong here.  The lifts are supposed to start from a ring bolt on the topgallant mast cap, out to a block on the end of the yard, back to a pendant, then down to a lower deadeye.

 

post-8835-0-40173900-1456248970_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-23405500-1456248978_thumb.jpg

 

Close-up of the topgallant braces, lifts, clewlines, and parrels.  The parrels are very simple, with no ribs or truss tackle.  You can also see where the lift and clew lines terminate

 

post-8835-0-77630400-1456248982_thumb.jpg

 

Two photos of the topsail and topgallant brace routing, and the topsail and topgallant ties and runners.  The course braces route back to a block on the mainstay, then to the railing.  The topsail braces route back to a block on the main topmast stay, then down to a leader block on the main stay, then to the railing.  The topgallant braces route back to a block on the main topgallant stay, then down to a leader block on the main topmast stay, to a second leader block on the main stay, then to the railing.  So it's all quite consistent.  

 

The topsail and topgallant braces both hit their first blocks about the same distance back on their respective stays.  The fore course brace hits its first block on the main stay a bit farther back than the topsail and topgallant braces.

 

One note - it's crucial to have good tension on the stays before attaching the braces, or the stays will pull up and look odd.

 

Regarding the ties and runners, again the kit plans diverge substantially from everything else, and are very hard to read.  Since they appear to be wrong anyway, I ignored them.  As far as I can tell from all the other sources I have, the topsail and topgallant halliards were a baroque (literally!) arrangement of blocks, tackles, and crowsfeet.  The book "The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast" makes a dry reference to the 17th century Dutch bosun hitting new heights of baffling complexity in this area.

 

Hopefully the pictures make it clear - both yards are done in the same manner, just to different stays.  The yard tie terminates in a block.  A runner travels from a ring bolt by the mast, up through a leader block on the mainstay (main topmast stay for the topgallant runner), the tie block, and then terminates in another block.  Two sets of crowsfeet each end in euphroe tackles; the line connecting them runs through the block at the end of the runner.  It was a lot of work, particularly getting the crowsfeet tensioned without distorting the stays.

 

post-8835-0-66749700-1456248979_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-43449400-1456248975_thumb.jpg

 

A close-up of the ties and runners for the topsail and topgallant.

 

post-8835-0-20573700-1456248981_thumb.jpg

 

And we're done!  The best angle showing the entire foremast rigging is this photo.  There's a little distortion on the stays, but I minimized it as best I could.

 

post-8835-0-05917100-1456253669_thumb.jpg

 

Now it's on to the mainmast.  The mainyard will be the halfway point in terms of the number of yards.  Hard to say whether it's the halfway point in terms of work.
Edited by mar3kl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the compliment.  The rigging on this ship is pretty challenging.  The early 17th century Dutch rigging philosophy seems to have been to put as many blocks as possible on the stays, and never stop at just one pair of crowsfeet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to make it easier for the next modeler.  Even with all the available resources - photos from other modelers, the museum plans, period manuscripts, books, etc, there's a fair amount of detective work and usually a few competing ways to do something.  And the kit plans are pretty useless.  Of course when Fred Hocker's Vasa II comes out all of this will be moot, but in the meantime I hope it'll be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The kit didn't provide a dowel for the main yard so another trip to the hardware store was required.  I tried a different way of tapering this time - using an Xacto knife as a spokeshave of sorts.  Worked much better than sanding, or quicker anyway.  You just have to be careful to not to take off too much material all at once.

 

Attaching blocks was exactly the same as for the fore yard - lift blocks, clew blocks, and sheet blocks, plus a pair of brace pendants.  The pendants are a little heavier thickness than the fore yard - I used 0.45mm, more or less half the shroud diameter.

 

The first step was the tie and halliards.  This part requires some planning because there is no knighthead on the deck for the other end of the halliards.  The actual knighthead was on the deck below, near a capstan.  The kit has a small square hole in the deck with a false floor underneath, to which you can attach a block.  The halliards then run from a rams head block to this block on the false floor.  The main topmast top rope also goes down to this block.  I used a small piece of wood with four holes drilled in it and a ring bolt attached.

 

It's basically impossible to run the halliards through the blocks with the lower block already in place because there's no room to see anything, particularly with all the standing rigging in the way.  Instead, set up the halliards and the top rope first, then put some CA glue on the lower block and drop it down through the deck to the false floor.

 

It is at this point that I realized the top rope needed to be disconnected at the mast cap so it could be properly tensioned later.  

 

Complicating matters is the presence of the mizzen stay.  It runs right through where the halliards should be.  You have to be careful to have put enough length on the stay collar that the deadeye is well away from the mast, otherwise the falls of the halliard will foul on the deadeye.  Even having done that, I needed to set up two falls of the halliard on one side of the stay collar, and the third fall plus the top rope on the other side.

 

Here's the lower block installed on the false floor and the rams head block yet to be hooked to the yard tie.

 

post-8835-0-21945500-1456520068_thumb.jpg

 

The tie in place.  I installed one side with the yard off the mast, then attached the yard, ran the tie through the rams head block, and finished it off on the other side of the yard.  A little fiddly trying to do the seizing with all the standing rigging in the way - the problem is that you are tensioning the halliards at the same time you're trying to seize the tie around the yard.

 

post-8835-0-06142200-1456520071_thumb.jpg

 

And the halliard and main topmast top rope, all nicely tensioned.  You can see how the mizzen stay collar runs through it.

 

post-8835-0-74007200-1456520069_thumb.jpg

 

On to the parrels...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The kit supplies the correct 3-row parrel ribs for the mainmast.  They say you should use nine of them but that was way too many for me - I ended up wrapping over half the mast with six.  There isn't a clear "right" way to rig the parrel, so I just made an eye at one end and looped it around the yard, then went back and forth three times , then a fourth and fifth time in the valleys of each rib.  

 

post-8835-0-29372600-1456620286_thumb.jpg

 

The remainder heads toward the deck and terminates in a double block, forming the head of the truss tackle.  The other side is a single block seized to a ring bolt in front of the center of the main mast.

 

post-8835-0-43580800-1456620282_thumb.jpg

 

The lifts were very straightforward, rigged identically to the fore course yard lifts.  The kit plans are for once correct here.

 

post-8835-0-25217400-1456620290_thumb.jpg

 

The lift lines terminate at the bitt just aft of the mainmast.  Here you can see that, plus the halliards and truss tackle.

 

post-8835-0-99016200-1456620293_thumb.jpg

 

Braces were similarly straightforward, although the kit plans appear to be incorrect in the routing.  The museum plans and the 1:10 model both have the running end of the line traveling through a leader block, then over the railing to the nearest kevel bitt.

 

post-8835-0-72290700-1456620297_thumb.jpg

 

And a view of the entire brace.

 

post-8835-0-67478900-1456620301_thumb.jpg

 

Next will be the clewlines, sheets, and tackles.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically the clewlines should be snugged up to the yard when the sail isn't bent to the yard, but that raises the tacks and sheets up high and makes them visually distracting, so I left the clewlines down and seized them to a railing.

 

post-8835-0-81806300-1456766491_thumb.jpg

 

Here you see the clew block, sheet block, and the sheet.  The sheet travels in a zig-zag path from a ring bolt on the hull, up to the sheet block, back to a block on the mizzen channel, then up to a kevel bitt, where it's tied off.  I soaked the rope and brushed it with diluted white glue to get it to hang naturally.

 

post-8835-0-36064200-1456766493_thumb.jpg

 

The tack starts from the clew block on one end, travels through the decorative sarcophagus-like sculpture (it has a sheave in it), then up, through the bulwarks and around a kevel bitt.  More soaking and glue to get it to hang naturally.

 

post-8835-0-54818700-1456766494_thumb.jpg

 

And the finished main yard rigging.  None of the lines have been given their final tensioning or been trimmed - that'll happen when the topsail and topgallant yards are done.

 

post-8835-0-17917200-1456766496_thumb.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I decided I didn't like the final part of the main sail sheet dropping over the channel, so I tucked it back behind the deadeyes:

 

post-8835-0-55961000-1456946661_thumb.jpg

 

The main topsail yard tie.  It's very simple - a loop around the yard, then back through a sheave in the main topmast and down.

 

post-8835-0-39176300-1456946665_thumb.jpg

 

And the halliard.  The kit plans are as usual confusing here.  They don't show how the halliard is attached to the tie, or where the other end of the halliard falls are located.  Fortunately the museum plans, the 1:10 model, and Clayton's model make it clear.  There's a two-sheave rams head block to which the tie is seized.  The halliard runs between that block and the knighthead forward of the doors to the helm cabin.  Unfortunately I didn't think ahead when I originally attached the knighthead to the deck (the nice clean deck...) and I needed to remove it to attach a ring bolt for the standing end of the halliard.  There was just no way to get a drill through all the rigging and maneuver the ring bolt into place, and seize the halliard to it.

 

post-8835-0-69913000-1456946663_thumb.jpg

 

The parrels.  The kit says to use six parrel ribs, but that's too many to fit snugly around the mast.  I used five.  As with the fore topmast, there's no truss tackle; the parrel ropes are wound back and forth and the end seized back on itself.

 

post-8835-0-92672200-1456946666_thumb.jpg

 

The lifts.  Again the kit plans are wrong here.  As with the fore topsail yard lifts, the main topsail yard lifts also serve as topgallant sheets.  When the topgallant sail isn't deployed, the lifts are made fast to ring bolts under the mast cap.  The lifts run from the ring bolt, out to blocks on the ends of the yards, back through two pendant blocks, and down to the bitt just aft of the mainmast.  The pendant blocks are seized to the trestles and stick out a bit through the futtock shrouds .

 

post-8835-0-23136800-1456946668_thumb.jpg

 

And the braces.  Sounding like a broken record, the kit plans are wrong.  Again.  They don't show where the standing part of the line is attached, and have an odd double block on the mizzen mast through which both braces travel on their way to their belaying points on the bulwarks.

 

It's not clear from any of the other sources exactly where the standing part of the lines are attached is, but a pretty good guess is that they are seized to the front-most mizzen shroud, low enough that the mizzen topsail won't foul on it.  The running end travels through the brace pendants, back to leader blocks attached to the same mizzen shroud, and thence to the bulwarks. 

 

post-8835-0-66788200-1456946670_thumb.jpg

 

post-8835-0-58417100-1456946669_thumb.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×
×
  • Create New...