More Musings on the Amati “Arrow” Gunboat

I made some progress over the past few days on the Amati American gunboat kit, but it doesn’t really show very well. Here are photos from my last post and then from today.

It may not look much different, but there are some 116 parts that have been added since last time! That comes out to be 56 cleats and 60 ringbolts. The ringbolts had to be assembled from provided eyebolts and split rings. The cleats are cast metal and I’d already painted them months ago.

Last time, if you recall, I said there were a lot of extra cleats and eyebolts. Turns out I was absolutely wrong. I went over the plans and instructions thoroughly, and I discovered that just about every one of these cleats and ringbolts has a line attached to it, so there is a LOT more rigging on this model than it first appears in the kit photos. Don’t be fooled.

I didn’t realize quite how many ringbolts are needed for this build, so twice I had to make more to finish the job. In fact, I still have to make another 8-10 ringbolts to finally finish up with those.

Now, on the thole pins that are actually belaying pins. If you look at the two photos above, you might be able to tell that these items are now brown. They’re kind of hard to see, so here are a couple  close-ups…

Basically, I just ended up using the brass blackening solution I have, soaking the belaying pins in it in very dilute form. Once it was noticeably darker, I stopped the blackening process. They still have a little bit of sheen, and I could have turned them a little darker, but the lighter color does stand out pretty well, making the detail clearer. Anyway, after I get all the ringbolts in place, I’ll spray the whole thing with a coat of matte lacquer.

Oh, one other thing that got done with the construction of the… well, actually, I don’t know what it’s called. It’s a structure at the base of each mast. It includes a couple round pieces that might actually be small windlasses for handling the lateen yards. However, I think they’re just round bitts that the halliard passes around before before being tied off to a cleats.



One of the next things I really need to start thinking about now are the sails. According to Amati, this is a 1/55-scale kit. Given that scale, the bands of cloth in the sails are way too narrow. According to Wolfram zu Mondfeld’s book Historic Ship Models, the sail cloths at this time should be between 18 to 24 inches. Even the narrowest size is much larger than shown in the printed kit sails. So, I’m figuring I should just sew my own sails. There are, after all, only two of them. And, a nicely sewn set of sails can actually look very nice on a good model.

I’ll give it a little thought as I deal with the rigging of the cannons and finishing up the last of these darned ringbolts. But, stay tuned. I don’t expect it to be too long before my next post on this project.


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