AL’s Independence – Completing the Rigging

I’ve been working on this model for a long time now, and recently, I’ve been trying to focus on finishing her up. I don’t have too much to say about the model at this stage, except that it’s a lot easier to follow someone else’s rigging plan than trying to work it out from scratch, or even modifying someone else’s plan.

Colonial Schooner Independence nearly complete. Apologies for the ad hoc backdrop that needs ironing.

I’ve been generally following the rigging plan shown in Harold Hahn’s book The Colonial Schooner, specifically the rigging plan of the Halifax. But, while the plan shows the run of the lines and their attachment points on the yards and masts, there is no belaying plan, and that’s often an issue for ship modelers. In the case of my colonial schooner, I’m building this for someone and they aren’t paying me to do in-depth research, I have to rely on ship modeling experience, other plans, and some common sense.

I think I mentioned before that I’m using rigging line from Syren Ship Model Company as well as Swiss pear blocks that they produced for a time. Unfortunately, I recently found myself running very low on 5/32″ single sheave blocks. I reached out to ship modeler and company owner Chuck Passaro, who was nice enough to send me what remaining blocks he had on hand. Apparently, I’d just lucked out, as he had planned to give them away at the next local ship model meeting.

Rigging at the foremast top.

I also have to give special credit to the NRG’s Model Ship World online ship modeling forum. I posted a general call for help there and got a couple responses. As a result, I’ll soon have my stocks replenished. But, as it turns out, it looks like I have just enough to finish this project.

I’m down to the rigging of the fore staysail and jib halliards, after which I’ll be adding the swivel guns and rope coils. The timing is good, because I’ve got a meeting of ship modelers in Vallejo, CA, in just under two weeks, and I’d like the finished model to see a meeting before I deliver it to it’s home.

Rigging at the mainmast top.

It’ll be nice to have this one out the door as I’ve got plenty of other work I need to get done. Also, I’ll be taking down my Japanese boats display at the end of this month, and I’m running out of room for all the models at home.

One other thing I need to decide on it the addition of a flag. There are some really interesting flags, but often it seems their use is specific. I particularly like the flag used on the six ships under George Washington’s command – a white flag with a pine tree and the words “An Appeal to Heaven.” Another is the rattlesnake with the words “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Elevated view of the ship. You can see some loose lines yet for the headsail rigging.

If this is a privateer, then I’m not quite sure what would be most appropriate. Of course, I could always go with the circle of stars and red and white stripes, but I think I’d have to print that on my computer rather than painting by hand. We’ll see. This may simply be for show and it won’t matter too much.



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