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General Ship Modeling
Discuss modeling techniques, experiences, and ship modeling in general.
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Questions on sailing ship modeling
Wolf-Leader
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New Hampshire, United States
Joined: June 06, 2002
KitMaker: 1,146 posts
Model Shipwrights: 23 posts
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 03:44 AM UTC
Hi,
Well I just wanted to tell everyone that knows me,that I will be going to the very dark side.
I received a model of a sailing ship,mainly the "Charles W. Morgan" whaler ship by Revel.
It was first produced in 1968.This is my very first sailing rigged ship and I would really like your help with a few questions I have.
Since I have no idea on what the terminology of each item on a ship,of this type it is as if someone was trying to tell a very novice modeler what lug nuts are on a car.
So with this in mind I have some question on the subject;

1.I would really like to know who makes aftermarket items for this ship model?

2.With all the rigging involved,are there special string needed to do the rigging or do you use stretched sprue?

3.I was on the USS Constitution here in Boston and I noticed that the ladders that go up the masts are made of rope,how does someone make them?

4.Do they come in a kit made for sailing ships?

5.Are there super detailed sets for these type of sailing ships?

Like I said,I have NEVER built a sailing ship before but would love to know how to.If you tell me what I need,please tell me as if I was a 3rd grader so I will understand.I'm not stupid,I just don't know anything on this subject,but would really like to learn.I have built military ships in 1/700th scale but never a rigged sailing ship.
So I would and need all of your help,please!
Thank you.
GrantGoodale
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: April 26, 2015
KitMaker: 88 posts
Model Shipwrights: 88 posts
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 04:13 AM UTC
1.I would really like to know who makes aftermarket items for this ship model?

Not very likely

2.With all the rigging involved,are there special string needed to do the rigging or do you use stretched sprue?

Usually use sewing thread and rub some beeswax on it to eliminate the fuzz. You can buy special rigging thread.

3.I was on the USS Constitution here in Boston and I noticed that the ladders that go up the masts are made of rope,how does someone make them?

One line at a time

4.Do they come in a kit made for sailing ships?

Not that I know of.

5.Are there super detailed sets for these type of sailing ships?

I have never seen any.

HTH

YellowHammer
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Alabama, United States
Joined: March 28, 2006
KitMaker: 467 posts
Model Shipwrights: 165 posts
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 05:17 AM UTC
I'm new to sailing ship building. I'm working on my second kit. Both are small scale. I don't know what scale you will be working with, but generally, the larger the scale, the more details are needed. I'll try to help you with my limited experience.


1.I would really like to know who makes aftermarket items for this ship model?

I don't know of any aftermarket for this kit but you may want to look at aftermarket items for wooden ship kits in similar scale. There's all kind of stuff out there for rigging and detailing.

2.With all the rigging involved, are there special string needed to do the rigging or do you use stretched sprue?

Depending on the scale of your ship and the detail you build her to you may use several yards of thread doing the rigging. Stretched sprue is impractical. I build models on a tight budget so I typically use sewing thread run through beeswax to control fuzzing. You can get beeswax cakes at any craft store selling sewing supplies as its also used to lubricate needles when hand sewing. Just run the thread along the edge of the cake before attaching. Many illustrations I've seen use as very dark brown or black thread for the standing rigging (the ropes holding the masts and spars in place) and natural tan for the running rigging (ropes manipulated to adjust the sails). The black/brown color is due to the ropes being tarred once in place to reduce rot.

3.I was on the USS Constitution here in Boston and I noticed that the ladders that go up the masts are made of rope, how does someone make them?

If I remember correctly, the rope ladders are called ratlines. I purchased some generic PE ratlines in 1/250 scale off ebay. I'm sorry I don't remember the brand name. Its been a few years. The only other option I know of is individually doing the knots. I've seen some tutorials on Model Shipwrights in blogs. I have never attempted tying my own. Most tutorials I've seen recommend creating ratline patterns for each elevation of each mast, pinning the vertical treads in place on the pattern and either tying or gluing the horizontal foot ropes in place. The spacing of the horizontals will depend on the scale of the ship. Spacing should be 18-24 inches in scale. If it's a large scale ships you may want to include a little sag between each vertical. Be sure to leave sufficient length in each vertical to secure it top and bottom. The bottoms typically have two sets of blocks for adjusting the tension.

4.Do they come in a kit made for sailing ships?

See 3.

5.Are there super detailed sets for these type of sailing ships?

I've never seen detail sets, just the individual items. However I have not done a lot of shopping at wooden ship kits.

HTH
John






TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
Joined: May 03, 2006
KitMaker: 1,723 posts
Model Shipwrights: 1,290 posts
Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 07:18 AM UTC
Hi Jody!

It's great to hear from someone newly starting out with sailing ship models! Grant and John are both on target with their advice above, and your 1/700 experience should serve you well... but may I make a suggestion?

I had the opportunity to visit the real Charles W. Morgan at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut a few years ago, and believe me, a model of that ship would be one of the most intricate, complex rigging jobs imaginable! Maybe a slower start might be more enjoyable until you gain some experience before taking on the Morgan. For example, John and I both did Viking ships for the Ancient Sailing Ships Campaign here on Model Shipwrights a couple of years ago. Viking ships look good but are simple, build easily, and are MUCH easier to rig, especially as first sailing ship model. One of Columbus’ ships or an ancient Greek or Roman ship could serve as a good starter subject too.

Still, if you decide to go ahead with the Morgan, there are some great folks here on Model Warships willing to help you make the build a success – so good luck either way!

TUGA
#034
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Setubal, Portugal
Joined: April 26, 2002
KitMaker: 1,699 posts
Model Shipwrights: 25 posts
Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 11:39 PM UTC
Hi,

For making the 'ladders' you can get a jig, that eases the process to made both sides identical.

If you search for 'rigging tools' on 'Toys & Hobbies' on eBay you will find some.

HTH
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 2,252 posts
Model Shipwrights: 102 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 12:20 AM UTC
Firstly, there are a number of hard print books and tutorial guides for building model sailing ships, and for constructing rigging for them. With all your questions, I'd recommend starting there. Forums like this a great for specific questions, but they really can't do everything for a modeler starting out with a square rigged sailing ship. There are also numerous manufacturers out there with aftermarket sets and parts, such as Model Shipways, and suppliers like Model Expo and Micro-Mark. Typically, there are few mainstream photo-etch sets for these early ships, but there are a few out there. Heller made an outstanding jig for constructing "ladders" also known as ratlines-- and there are several jigs available at Model Expo and Micro-Mark. The mention above of Beeswax is important. You can buy ready made thread spools from the two suppliers I mentioned, at increased cost, or you can just go to your local fabric store and select thread in any size you want, any color you want, and make your own. Silk thread is expensive, but typically it doesn't fray a lot, cotton thread requires a beeswax coating to keep it from fraying. Finally, you can make a lot of your own tools. Two mainstays for rigging (no pun intended) for me are a needle threader imbedded in a long skinny wooden handle (medical swabs make good handles) and a pair of bent "alligator" grip forceps, Available from Micro-Mark. I also find beading wire guides to be helpful (available at Michael's or Hobby Lobby in the beading section). But, your first stop should be in the bookstore for a book on building model sailing ships.
VR, Russ
timmyp
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Virginia, United States
Joined: May 18, 2008
KitMaker: 305 posts
Model Shipwrights: 249 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 03:52 PM UTC
Jody,

Congrats on going in a new direction in your shipbuilding! Myself, I really like building sailing ships, as I find all the intricacy really challenging. Also, I'm not one to go far afield looking for aftermarket products - I'm pretty much a straight out-of-the-box builder. Hence, I can't comment on any aftermarket products/companies that might be out there.

So with all that said, here's a comment on your item #3:

"3.I was on the USS Constitution here in Boston and I noticed that the ladders that go up the masts are made of rope,how does someone make them?"

Many years ago, I built a wooden model of the Constitution (I think it was produced by Scientific American, or something similar). In that kit, to make the ratlines, (I'm using that word to mean both the vertical shroud lines, and the horizontal ratlines), there was a pattern in the instructions. So I put a sheet of kitchen wax paper over the pattern, pushed straight pins through the wax paper, the pattern, and into the desktop (!), then ran the appropriate threads up and down (the shrouds) and then did the horizontal ratlines. I used clear nail polish at each intersection of horizontal and vertical thread. The wax paper was there to prevent the whole thing from sticking to the instruction sheet.

I've also used super glue to secure the ratline/shroud intersections.

You might also want to look at the 2 blogs in this forum, for building HMS Victory (OK, yes, one of those blogs is mine), and the one for building Revell's Thermopalaye. You might be able to pick up some tidbits to help you along.

As for what to use for the rigging, sewing thread (cotton) is a good bet. I have some commercial grade nylon sewing thread, but I don't think it has the same "bendability" that the cotton thread has.

HTH, and looking forward to more of your postings on this build.

Tim