Following our meeting in October, it was clear it was time to finish up the Swedish Gunboat build. We’re down to three active builders of this model from the five that started, which isn’t too bad. One of our builders decided to finish his up as a gift for someone, and the other is a beginning ship modeler who is anxious to get to his next project. I’m also ready to have a project actually reach completion.
Rigging and Sails
I shaped the masts and the two lugsail yards some time back. I originally added a ball to the tops of the masts as shown on the kit plans, but replaced them with a thinner pole after looking at the photos of the museum model. The presence of the pole creates a shoulder at the top of the mast, that helps secure the shrouds and stays. While modifying the masts, I also added a pair of cleats at the bottom end of each mast, again based on the photos of the museum model (see earlier posts).
Next, I drilled out holes for securing the lower deadeyes. This is more a feature of the kit – Amati’s interpretation of the way the shrouds are secured. The museum model doesn’t show the use of deadeyes, but rather shows small bullseyes and lanyards. But, I’m happy enough with the way the kit does it.
I’m working on the stays and shrouds now. But, in the meantime, there were still some question about how to secure the lower deadeyes. At our gathering in early October, we discussed this a bit, noting that the plans were not very clear on the matter. So, I think we’re all interpreting the plans a little differently, and if you look at the photos of the model in my previous post, you might be able to see another ship modeler’s interpretation.
I think I’m going to take a simple, familiar route, and just wire-strop the deadeyes, and run the wire straight down along the hull. I still have to decide how they will be secured. I’m picturing something similar to the way the deadeyes are stropped and secured on a rigged longboat.
While I’m thinking on this, I went ahead and worked on some of the other things I’ll need in order to finish the model. The anchors are an item worth mentioning. I’m not sure why it is, but these small anchors made by Amati, are a terrible design. The metal anchor itself is fine, but the wooden stock provided is cut cross-grained, and as soon as you try to work on it, you’re almost guaranteed to snap it in half. There is a hole pre-drilled in the stock so it will fit over the anchor shank, but it needs a little working in order to fit. Both of my anchor stocks for this model broke, which I expected, having dealt with this fitting in other models. I used epoxy to repair them and had no further problems.
The kit includes brass pieces for the iron bands of the anchor stock. These look too bulky, and given the fragile nature of the stocks, I didn’t want to risk further damage to them. So, I used black construction paper instead. In the end, the Amati anchors look great, I think.
For the rigging line, anchor rope and such, I’m using Syren Ship Model Company’s tan colored model rope. The stuff is a cotton/linen blend and is pre-waxed, so it’s very clean looking and slightly stiff, which always makes it a pleasure to work with. I’m using .025″ rope for the anchor cables and .018″ rope for the shrouds and stays. I haven’t decided what to use for the halliards or the sail handling lines yet, probably .012″ rope.
At our meeting, I brought up the issue of sails and the different ways to make them. I originally sewed a piece of cloth for the sails, but I’ve had second thoughts. I’ve only ever used cloth sails on my models, and I’ve been wanted to work on making sails from silkspan or tissue paper. I happen to have a large sheet of silkspan I bought a few years ago, so I think I’m going to give that a shot and furl the sails and show the model with the oars deployed. At least it will be something different for me.
Here are patterns I copied from the plans and cut out. One thing to note is that the vertical lines representing the sections of sail cloth are too close together for the scale. These would be fine if the model were at 1/96 scale, but it’s closer to 1/48, so they should be twice as far apart. That’s about 1/2″ for this model.
Now, as I said, I’d originally sewn some cloth, so I thought I’d show that here. It’s been a couple years since I’ve done any sewing. I had to relearn how to use the sewing machine, but it didn’t take that long. I drew up lines on the cloth, which I had already washed, ironed, and treated with a product called Fray Stop, which stiffens the cloth and helps prevent and threads from unravelling.
I had a harder time keeping the stitches on the drawn lines, but it wasn’t too bad. Afterwards, I used an eraser and then washed the cloth carefully to hide the pencil line evidence.
I was planning on cutting this for both sails. I was also going to cut strips of the stiffened cloth and glue them into place using dilute Elmers white glue for the reef bands, and tablings. But, I decided to go with furled sails using silkspan cloth instead. More on that next time.