After 49 hours work (timed on a stopwatch), spread over 32 days, the hull is now complete, and all ready for the masting and rigging. The hardest part is now over, as rigging these miniatures is far easier than making the hull and deck details. The ship will be shown in a sea, under full sail. I have already assembled the display case, but not veneered the edges yet. The sea and sea base have also been made, but not finalised yet. This model has followed the usual path as far as interest by fellow ship modellers is concerned. Namely, a small number who are interested, to begin with, but trailing off as the build progresses. Merchants ships (so I am often told), do not possess the appeal of warships, and therefore, we do not often see many models of them!
I have now begun the masting and rigging, starting with the shrouds and ratlines on the fore lower mast, topmast and t'gallant mast, plus the forestay and cap stays. The next task will be to set up similar rigging on the main and mizzen. Then with the three masts firmly stayed, I will move on to setting and rigging the fore and aft sails before completing the standing rigging. Sometimes, I wonder if any other fellow model shipbuilders build, or even like, this type of ship, as I haven't seen any others around in ages!
For anyone interested in this type of model ship construction, various details with illustrations are given in the 30-page practicum : Scratchbuilding Merchant Sailing Ships, A Dying Art. This is one of the first practicums that I made, and although it has no plans in it, it gives a lot of basic modelling hints and tips, including making the seas with the polystyrene foam method, namely, the steel barque Marjory Glen, shown here . The practicum is 30 pages in length. Click this link, and scroll down to read the synopsis. Then, if you wish to purchase a download, a Paypal button is provided for £2.49. http://payhip.com/b/RnMf
I have now completed the remainder of the shrouds and ratlines, but not yet fitted them. They are made from tinned copper wire, soldered together. The silver ones show a pair of them before spraying with black paint. This is not a difficult, or even time-consuming process. Unfortunately, however, most ship modellers decide that it is too difficult, and return to the time-honoured methods of setting up each shroud separately, and then settling down to tie hundreds of tiny knots to put the ratlines on. I am very grateful that I do not possess the patience and dedication to even contemplate that sort of thing!
I have now completed all 16 sets of shrouds and backstays, plus the capstays on each mast. The bowsprit stays have also been fitted. The next task is quite a boring one, set and rig 13 jibs and staysails.
Monday, 21st May, 2018
I have now set and rigged seven of the 13 jibs and staysails - quite a tedious task. I am now 39 days into the build, having worked a total of 65 hours on it so far. Interest in this build by fellow ship-modellers has remained at the consistent low level that I have become accustomed to over the years. Nevertheless, I am very pleased with how it is going. It has an unusual number of jibs and staysails, and I will be glad when they are complete, and I can move on to completing the standing rigging, and setting and rigging the twelve square sails, spanker and gaff topsail. Bob