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  • I'm up in the rigging of the 4 foot plank on plank model "VICTORY" .Do I tie the ratlines on the ship or off and add them later? I posted this question before but was told I was on the aircraft question forum,I hope I'm on the ship forum this time. I'ts my first time writing here so I get to make mistakes-right?
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  • O.K. well if you're throught with the major constuction, you should have read something in the instruction on creating Deadeyes and for the shrouds and ratlines? Does the kit have a shroud maker or inst. to make one? You need to tie them on the model because at that scale you need a fair amount o tention and you will need to work them through the mast tops.

    You need to add them first as you Build-Up the mast for the ship. Here is what I do on large scale ships.

    1. Step each mast, only using the lower mast at first.
    2. Tie off and properly tention each forstay.
    3. Using the deadeyes you've created, start rigging the shrouds
    ( this is the verticle part of the ratlines)
    4. Repeat step 3 until you have all the shroud inplace and then start rigging the ratlines.
    5. Once you have both sides complete, THEN start tiying the first backstay.

    Look for a book from Airfix on building the HMS Victory it had a very detailed drawings of the top .

    Email me off bb and I'l shoot you a few pictures of what it will look like.




  • I always found it best to rig the ratlines on the ship. Do the shrouds first and then use thinner thread to do the ratlines. It takes a bit more time, but is more realistic, not only in the way they look, but in the way the real ones were applied to the real ship. The best way to rig the shrouds is to take the line and tie it on the deadeye on one side, run it through the doubling and top and then down to the other side where you tie it off to the deadeye on the other side. I do it that way for smaller scale ships so you shouldn't have any trouble on a larger scale model like yours. Hope this is helpful to you. Mike
  • Do to the number of deadeyes being sometimes ODD. You need to do the following Start with the #1 deadeye tie off, run the shroud uo through the top, lop around the stump of the top mast and come back down through the limber hole the tie off at the #2 deadeye.

    NEXT Start with the #1 deadeye on the other side tie off, run the shroud uo through the top, lop around the stump of the top mast and come back down through the limber hole the tie off at the #2 deadeye.

    This way you have the correct tention and a balanced correct set of shrouds.



  • Flashcul:
    Big Jake is correct in the procedure where each shroud goes up around and back down the same side. Start Port side first and alternate port & starboard. The only time you go up over and down the other side is if you have an odd number of shrouds, and then only if tackles were not fitted to the running end of the shroud. (Tackles are blocks that were rigged into the odd ends of shrouds and used for miscellaneous lifting as well as replacing broken topmasts).

    About the only thing I would do differently is set up all the shrouds and stays before rigging the ratlines.

    What I do is make a bunch of metal wire clips that go between the middle holes of the upper and lower deadeyes. Then I can tension and tie off each shroud without worrying about keeping the deadeyes even; the clips keep them lined up nice and straight.

    Then I add the lanyards (the lines between the upper and lower deadeyes). The metal clips are discarded as each lanyard is tied in. I find this ensures a nice even run of the deadeyes without screwing up the shroud tension.

    I do the same with the back stays, then rattle down the shrouds last. Refer to your instructions as not all shrouds got ratlines (like those on the Royal masts for example). Use a lighter colour of thinner line, the ratlines were not tarred to prevent sailors from making footprints on the decks. The ratlines should be slack, not taut.

    Good luck, and welcome to our little shop of horrors!
  • I expounded on this subject at ridiculous length in a post a couple of months ago. If anybody's interested, it's on p. 6 (as of this moment) in this forum, under "Rigging question for Big Jake."

    Bottom line: ship model kit manufacturers have devoted a great deal of energy to inventing gadgets and tricks for rigging ratlines. None of them works well, and all of them have served to divert the modeling community from a Basic Truth: rigging ratlines to scale is easy. It's rather time consuming, but not as much so as many people seem to think. Quite a few people seem to get discouraged because there's a rather steep "learning curve" in rigging ratlines: the first one may take ten or fifteen minutes, but by the time you're done you'll be doing them at a rate of at least one per minute. Give it a try. Good luck.

    Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • I hand tie mine if possible, right now I just finished 1256 overhand knots on a 1/96th. Cutty Sark, nothing looks as good as the hand ties ones!, It's the only way to get the "sag" on the rat lines.



  • flashcul,

    Welcome to the forums! I too have always wondered about rat lines for the few rigged ships I made, which I can honestly count on one hand.
    What I'd like to see is one of you guys do an article for FSM so we can all see how to do this... ! I'm sure many armor modelers, like myself, enjoy the look of a ship and wouldn't mind trying to rig one the right way. Ratlines are something that have always steered me away from the projects and you've got me thinking 'wooden ship model' again.

  • Hope it's not too late to add my $.02 worth.

    I think Bruce is incorrect in the order of rigging the shrouds. The first starboard pair is always rigged first, then the first port pair is laid on top, and so on until all of the shrouds are in place. In the event there are an odd number of shrouds, one long line would run from the aft most starboard deadeye, over the existing shrouds and down to the last port side deadeye. An eye would be formed using a short length of line where the shroud passes over the masthead.

    When rigging the deadeye lanyards, the knot will be on the inside face of the upper deadeye and in the left most hole when looking outboard. So the lanyard starts with the forward hole on the starboard side and the aft hole on the port side. The lanyard should also be a lighter line. It was not tarred because the tension had to be adjustable as conditions changed.

    I agree with the group, always rig the ratlines on the ship. I don't think any store-bought or home-made jig will do a proper job. To be most realistic, learn to tie clove hitches. It's an easy knot and that's what the real riggers used. Just be careful that you don't pull the shrouds in toward each other as you tighten the knots.

    If you don't already have it, you should look for a copy of the book "The Anatomy of Nelson's Ships" by C. Nepean Longridge. It chronicles the authors construction of a model of HMS Victory, has lots of photos of the actual ship and is an excellent modeler's resource.

    Long Island Ship Model Society
    Member, NRG

  • I humbly stand corrected on the lay of the shroud pairs ... Starboard does in fact come first and I can offer no excuse for making that lubberly error ... rest assured my shrouds are rigged correctly. Mind you I'm also the guy who glued some hull plates onto the wrong side of my corvette recently, so there you go!

    As to the last shroud when there are an odd number, they could be fitted singly with an eye splice, as I indicated, or P & S were seized or spliced together to form an eye, as Ed indicated. This depended on the ship, so check your references!

    Zu Mondfeld and Mastini (my two main references) both indicate that the lanyard starts in the right most hole when inboard facing out ... which is opposite to the way I read your post ... was Victory rigged the other way or did I get dyslexic again when I read your comments?

  • Big Smile [:D] Thanks for the advice on the ratlines. I was putting off doing them because of the size and number to do. I did not want to do them wrong & have to start over again. But now It's just DO IT.
  • even I got the "Don't tie the knot blues" from time to time, but I know it must be done, so I break it down as follows if I get the "DTTNB"

    Each week pick one day to tie the knots on just one set of shrouds, then leave the model alone for a weeek, do other models, clean the garage/model shop, say hi to the wife! what ever, but just tackle the job likeyou're storming the hobby store!




  • Yikes!, Bruce, you got me running to the workshop to check my references again! Eight Ball [8]

    According to the construction booklets by Jim Roberts for the Frigate Essex and Ben Lankford for the clipper Flying Fish, the lanyards are rigged as I described. Looking further, Longridge shows the lanyard starting at the right as you describe. James Lees goes one better in "The Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860". He states that for cable laid rope (left-hand twist), the knot is at the upper right looking outboard and for shroud laid rope (right-hand twist) the knot is at the upper left. I think I have come across this in other references as well, but don't remember where.

    Bottom line - - check contemporary references for the ship and/or period that you are modelling.

    Long Island Ship Model Society
    Member, NRG
  • Ed:
    It makes sense that when the shrouds were laid up in the opposite hand, so would be the lanyards on ships rigged that way.

    My square rigged experience has been with British or Canadian ships, so (I am speculating) perhaps the lanyard rigging as you described was an American practice in some yards?

    Just another example of the value of references; and if a serious modeler is making an educated guess, then I think it is good practice to note such in a diary for future reference.

  • I hope I'm not to late in answering your question but there is a good web site you might want to look at. They are repairing the Constituion from the fighting mastop from beginning to end, to include all the rigging. The site is, http:/www.history.navy.mil/constitution/work4.htm. Hope this helps.