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How do you protect ship rigging?

4 replies
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  • Member since
    September, 2018
How do you protect ship rigging?
Posted by GlennS_TX on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 3:12 PM

I recently replaced the rigging on an old USS Constitution model I repaired. I want to know how you're supposed to protect the rigging? Besides dust, the old rigging had dried and frayed. Should I spray it with a clear coat for paint? I wondered if hair spray would work?


  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, October 11, 2018 7:44 AM

Hi ;

 Being as how she's already rigged it's not easy to keep her clean . Use a make-up Blush Brush and this should help . Usually  , I run the rigging thread through Bee's Wax Before using it on the ship .

 This seals the thread and prevents fuzzies . The Only way you'll keep it dust free though, is a case .

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:32 AM

I use my airbrush to clean rigging. I leave the bottle off (I use suction feed), and run the brush through the airbrush for several seconds making sure there is no thinner or paint in the airbrush.  Then I start blowing the rigging.  I use a small natural hair brush to gently touch any dust that doesn't come off with just the air.  I direct the air to the area I am brushing.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, October 12, 2018 8:55 PM

A glass case is actually your friend, if only for limiting how much dust can collect.

Until you get the case, I heartily second Tanker's suggestion of a "blusher" brush.  Cheap at the drugstore or supermarket.  Nice and fluffy, too, so no danger of knocking things loos (if used carefully).  A teeny, tiny, miniscule quantity of Electronic component dust spray (think spray with one hand, and barely touch brush to spray for this; or spray on a paper plate and use a drybrush technique) can be your friend.

Too late now, but running all your lines trhoug a beeswax cake before installing them will help prevent future fraying.  Sometimes you can use a lit incense stick to gently (very gently, extremely gently, supremely gently) to "tease" the frays. 

Use extreme caution, it's extremely easy to burn a gap in the rigging.  So, heat/flame/ember is a last, last, last resort.

A case is significantly simpler.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:22 PM

A Note on Cases ;

 I remember this from Scale Auto . A gentleman had put his model in the case .Some time later he noticed a sag and also a dulling of paint  , and loss of clarity on the windows of said model . Guess what ? he forgot something very important .Oil Based paints may " Gas - Out " for a month or two . Truly !

 So your case must breathe ! How do you acomplish this ? Well there are two ways . I have used them both with good luck . For ready made cases I drill a few holes under where the model is going to go .The holes drilled for hold downs help here .

  Now for a ship on a water base or natural wood ( even stained and varnished ) I will cut small slots about an inch apart into the plastic cover that will let air in and gasses out .  Even the cases of glass in Museums are vented in some manner .


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