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Masts and ratlines on 1:96 USS Constitution

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  • Member since
    October 2019
Masts and ratlines on 1:96 USS Constitution
Posted by Liatris2 on Monday, October 7, 2019 10:54 AM

Hello all,

I finished Book 1 of the instructions for the 1:96 Revell USS Constitution.  I thought I did a pretty good job of following the instructions step by step, and the model looks great so far, but am wondering now if I might have made some mistakes that have turned into big "gotchya's".  Its taken me about a year to get the model to this point, and I was ready to start the rigging until I notice some big issues.

1. I turned the yards on the masts at an angle as per the instructions suggested so that I could rig it with sails.  Now I find that the ratlines don't seem to fit properly on the angled side of the fore and main masts--they seem like the only way they will fit properly is if they are jammed into the lower yard.  Has anyone else encountered this problem? Is there a solution?

2. When I insert the masts in the deck, it appears that the mainmast is misaligned--it is slightly tilted to one side.  I am not sure how to correct that other than to get a circular file and enlarge the hole on the lower deck to make it stand straight, but this will make that hole bigger and I assume make it difficult to cement the mast in firmly.  I had a heck of a time when first building the hull to get the lower deck sections to align properly.  I thought I did a pretty good job of it, but perhaps this is why I'm having this problem. Not sure what to do next to correct it.

3. At what depth do the bottoms of the masts insert into the ship?  I would assume they go all the way through the lower deck until the bottom "ring" on the mast is flush with the upper deck, but the instructions do not tell you.  The fore and mizzen masts seem almost impossible to insert them at that depth, and when I test fitted the ratlines I found they fit best when the masts are NOT that deep. Not sure how to proceed. 

I am not a beginning modeler but am certainly not an expert modeler either.  I've been taking my time and patiently wading through each assembly step carefully, and so far she looks pretty nice--then seeing I've got a misaligned mast and problems with the ratlines not fitting into the angled yards took the wind out of my sails--pardon the pun!  

There is little I can find on the internet to answer my questions.  Any advice from someone who has found these same problems or who might know how to fix them would sincerely be appreciated!! Thank you!!

 

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Irmo, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 7:19 PM

Liastris2, welcome to the forum. There is a wealth of information here, but not with me. My Connie is at about he same point of construction as yours. Though I started modeling over 60 years ago; this is my first sailing ship and I don't know what I am doing. I will suggest that you do not enlarge any mast holes until your hear from greater wisdom.

On the Bench:

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 8:07 PM

Welcome! I'm not an expert on that model either- it's been a long time.

I think you are right about the mast misalignment. Can you even get at the hole in the lower deck?

If you can enlarge the lower deck hole, try to make a square of plastic with a correct size hole in it and position it over the enlarged hole so that the mast stands up straight.

Sounds like you have the solid plastic ratlines. 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Lacombe, LA.
Posted by Big Jake on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 11:34 AM

Laitris,

The Revell Connie is a Love/Hate relationship for most modelers, the model can be built into a museum piece when the modeler takes his time as you  have. Having said that I have some dishearting news for you. The plastic shrouds and ratlines are trash and cannot be salvaged. The only way to address the issues you mwntioned is by rigging new threaded shrouds. and hand ties the ratlines. 

I know this will add more time, but the rigging will look great and its only one line at a time - winter is upon us, a good way to spend evenings....... if you send me a PM, I'll send you my email with  some pictures of mine with the rigging.

The mast foots' all have a small square of plastic that fits into a groove in the lower hull through the gundeck to the 'keel'. The plastic shrouds are all screwed up on this.

Also, the colors are stated in the kit are incorrect for most periods.

 

Jake Groby

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:14 AM

Tying ratlines seems to be an issue with many folk.  We need more companies to do PE shroud/ratline assemblies.  There are a couple of not-well-known companies that do them for smaller scale sail, but I don't see why they would not work on larger scale stuff.  They really look great on the small-scale ships I have done.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 10, 2019 11:12 AM

It's also not out of the question to install the shrouds, but not the ratlines.

  • Member since
    February 2016
  • From: Western No. Carolina
Posted by gene1 on Friday, October 11, 2019 9:14 AM

Jake, Why don't you put your pictures on this site. We would love to see them.

                   Gene

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Lacombe, LA.
Posted by Big Jake on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:49 AM

I have my pictures on Photobucket, but I dont think I can share them, do ya'll know how to? I though you have to be a member of photo bucket to post them?

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Spotted Dog on Thursday, October 17, 2019 1:22 PM

I am also working on the rigging of the Revell's Connie. I have finised the foremast and am moving on to the main. A few things I learned the hard way:

1. Throw away the rigging lines supplied. Mine had too much "memory" which made rigging the foot ropes impossible. Also complictated all other rigging. The ever resourceful Mrs. bought me thread from a fabric store and the rest is history.

2. Maybe you could do the shrouds & ratlines after most of the rigging is in place. I didn't & it was very difficult running the line down the mast & securing them the the pins.

3. Speaking of belaying pins. make absolutely sure that the belaying pin rails are firmly attached to the bulwarks. A near suicidal moment occured when one of the last lines was being secured & the pin rail came loose.

Hope this helps. It is a challenge but makes up in to a fine model. Good luck.

 

Spotted Dog
  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Irmo, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Thursday, October 17, 2019 5:49 PM

Spotted Dog

2. Maybe you could do the shrouds & ratlines after most of the rigging is in place. I didn't & it was very difficult running the line down the mast & securing them the the pins. 

I am at the point of assembling the masts of my Connie; and I am considering spotted dog's idea of doing most the rigging before doing the shrouds. Is there any reason why someone would not want to take that approach?

On the Bench:

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, October 17, 2019 8:44 PM

Doing the shrouds first , sets your masts in a stable position , so that the rest of the rigging has something to anchor onto .

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:05 PM

I would do the shrouds early on. That involves a fair amount of fiddling up through the lubber holes, around the mast and back down.

Do the first one starting at the forward end. Around the mast towards the stern back down on the same side to the second deadeye. Then do the same on the other side. Back and forth.

Only if there is an odd number do you go up one side and then down the other.

Keep the kit deadeyes.

Yes having a pintail snap off is horrible. Attach the with pins, in this kit the thing is to drill a hole from the outside and sli in a pin. Clip and paint.

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Friday, October 18, 2019 12:33 AM

GMorrison
I would do the shrouds early on. That involves a fair amount of fiddling up through the lubber holes, around the mast and back down.

I second what GM said. You could leave the ratlines for last, but I would definitely do the shrouds to stabilize the masts.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, October 18, 2019 9:28 AM

steve5

Doing the shrouds first , sets your masts in a stable position , so that the rest of the rigging has something to anchor onto .

 

I agree, do shrouds and for that matter all the standing rigging, before doing the running rigging.  Otherwise I find you may end up having the running rigging changing the course of the running rigging.  Ordinarily the running rigging should not touch standing rigging with any force.  The only area where running should touch standing is when the standing is a starting point for a line.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, October 18, 2019 11:23 AM

This is where plastic sailing ship kits get tricky.Because all of the spars/ masts are pretty flexible, it can be tricky to keep things lined up, and not cause one line to go slack when you tighten another.

Also, esp. in the case where no sails are modeled, the running rigging is pretty minimal, mostly being comprised of the lifts and braces of the yards.

A very presentable model that only has the standing rigging and the lifts and braces on the yards can be done.

I think it was Dr. Tilley who once said that while waiting for an appointment, he had amused himself by calculating the length of cord required to install full running rigging on the 1/130 Revell HMS Bounty.

I do not recall what the exact number was, but it was close to 100 feet.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:49 AM

GMorrison

...

Also, esp. in the case where no sails are modeled, the running rigging is pretty minimal, mostly being comprised of the lifts and braces of the yards.

A very presentable model that only has the standing rigging and the lifts and braces on the yards can be done.

 

 

It used to be a thing that many model ship builders built naval ships with bare yards, but put sails on civil ships.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:31 PM

Shipwreck
I am at the point of assembling the masts of my Connie; and I am considering spotted dog's idea of doing most the rigging before doing the shrouds.

First issue is that not everything ties off to the nmast. so, you'd have an ungainly mess, and all the fore stays would wind u mkaing you crazy.

Now, making up the masts, and rigging those, then rigging up each of the spars as its own thing will have some merit.

Now, for 2¢, I've never actually glued masts to deck, as the rigging winds up being quite sufficient, at least in scales as large as 1/96 and larger.  (Also avoids issues of things drying crooked or twisted, or what have you--which can be an issue with moulded parts this old, too.)

Now, as a point of order, you may find it more convenient to rig the topmast shrouds through the top--but not tieing off, before tackling the lower shrouds.

One way to sort through this is to treat each bit of rigging as a kit unto itself, this can help prevent rushing.  It also can help you keep moving.  As, say you are waiting for the foremast forestay to dry, you could be rigging the maintop's topmast deadeys.

Oh, and Bluejacket sells cast deadeye pairs with lanyards which can be a timesaver at this smaller scale, and can be a lot easier than Revell's two-piece plastic ones.
Maybe.
Perhaps.
Your Mileage May Vary.

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