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Zvezda Black Swan 1/72

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  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Monday, August 6, 2012 11:08 PM

Thanks for all the encouragement, guys!

I've been practicing clove-hitches on a little rig I made up...it really is an easy knot, once you've tied it 5 or 6 times, it becomes habit...

And I definitely have a *visible* side of the ship in mind for display!  I plan to present the port side when it goes into the case...although, there's nothing wrong with the starboard...I was extra-careful with the hull assembly and painting when I worked on the port side, though, because I knew that's how I wanted to show it...

Been on vacation for several days, but I'm home now....hope to get some work done on it during the week...I got a couple of the stays tied already, and a bunch more rigging blocks tied on.

I was reading a build on the Model Ship World forum, and someone mentioned that they were going to tie on most of their standing rigging terminations to the deck BEFORE putting up the shrouds, and just leave the ends trailing so they could be easily managed/accessed later...makes sense, but it seems like it could get overwhelmingly confusing....plus, my (limited) previous experience tells me that many of the rigging lines are better suited to tying off somewhere else, and then terminating on the deck, when I can keep the correct tension on them...

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  • Member since
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  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Monday, August 6, 2012 11:27 PM

Errol-

I understand that you prefer wooden kits over plastic, but since you mentioned that you liked the look of the Black Swan, I feel compelled to tell you how much I love building it so far!  The quality of the parts is fantastic, and the detail is incredible.  Of course, as also previously mentioned, it has some inauthentic features (due to it's origin as a *movie ship*), but for anyone who doesn't mind those kinds of details, or anyone who is inclined to make modifications to eradicate the "errors", I heartily recommend the kit.  It is my belief that the finished kit will hardly be recognizable as a Black Pearl facsimile, except to the most avid Pirates Film Fan.  It is my third ship build, predecessed (?) by the Revell Bonhomme Richard (which I didn't really like, but it was fine for a first foray attempt), and the newly-released Revell Vasa (which I really did like, but not as much as this one!)....and also, once I finish the Swan, I may set my sights elsewhere, possibly looking into a simple wooden ship kit...

Thanks again for the kind words...a lot of concentration, work, and creativity go into building a kit, as you well know!!  

David

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  • Member since
    June 2012
Posted by Elroy on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 2:18 AM

Actually David, all my kits bar two, are plastic. Until very recently, I preferred 'real' ships and almost anything real in any genre. As long as it was interesting to my eye and 'real', I would build it.  

I was curious to see what you had done and I was hooked when I saw your interpretation of this ship.

It is obviously a quality kit looking at the detail in your closeups.

I am really looking forward to the completion...that is one very nice kit and your enjoyment is contagious. I hope to own one as soon as I can get to my local hobby shop (8 hours away, without stops).

More piccies would be good.

Errol.

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 2:22 AM

David_K

Thanks again for the kind words...a lot of concentration, work, and creativity go into building a kit, as you well know!!  

David

I think that you have the talent and desire to keep building good ship models.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 8:33 AM

8 hours to the nearest Hobby Shop? Wow....that's quite a road trip!  I ordered my Black Swan from Amazon.com...

I'll be sure and get some new pics up soon....right now, I'm in the throes of detail-painting 64 deadeye parts...pretty slow-going for now....

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  • Member since
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  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Thursday, August 9, 2012 7:02 PM

Got the deadeyes painted, washed, and assembled....

 

 

IMG_0342 IMG_0343 Now I just have to decide how I'm going to attach them to the channels...I don't know if wire is the best option; something tells me it'll look funny... One step closer to shroud and ratline rigging!!!

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Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

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  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Sunday, August 12, 2012 2:04 PM

Got the first set of shrouds tied on this morning....guess I'll be making my first attempt at ratlines next...I have a thinner gauge of brown thread for the ratlines, hopefully the scale will look good!!

 

 

 

IMG_0350 IMG_0349 IMG_0348 IMG_0347 IMG_0346

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

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  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Sunday, August 12, 2012 10:42 PM

 You guys should be ashamed of your selves; "making" me read this whole thread; when I don't even build ships Wink

 

 

But your "Black" s are a convincing argument for considering them.  Very nice work and WIP dialog.

looking forward to your next posts

 

 

 

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Monday, August 13, 2012 3:10 PM

Thanks, Duster!  I'll admit, this thread is getting to be a little bigger than I expected, in large part because of my tendency to ramble!!  But also, many people have shown interest in the kit so far...it's exciting!

I'm currently practicing tying ratlines onto a little Shroud Rig I made up...once I feel perfectly comfortable with my clove-hitch tying, I'll start tying some ACTUAL ratlines on the shrouds shown in the previous pics...my next update will likely include views similar to those pics, but with ratlines, too!

BTW, I'm pretty thrilled to have learned that a local Tall Ship, the Hawaiian Chieftain, is going to be in my local harbor on Wednesday!!  I've never seen a real Tall Ship up close, so I'm totally going down there with my camera to check it out....the tickets for an evening sail tour were sold out before I could get some, but I'm on the waiting list in case any cancellations occur....either way, I'll be happy to just check out the dockside tour, get some close-up shots of the rigging, etc.

Here's a link to a Flickr pic of the ship...

http://flic.kr/p/6t69pw

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Monday, August 13, 2012 8:53 PM

Okey-dokey...here's my first few attempts at a practice "shroud", and the ratlines I added to it...you can see the first couple of rows got a little wonky, but as I worked my up, there's a definite improvement...I think they'll look okay. Next up: put some ratlines on the actual ship! IMG_0354

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Monday, August 13, 2012 11:30 PM

So the first 3 rows are "rats nests" of "rat tails" ??? ..................Never mind   I get that way after dark

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    June 2012
Posted by Elroy on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:24 AM

Wow David, she is really coming along nicely. Those ratlines will certainly be the icing on the cake.

Methinks you have created a monster. Well done.

Errol.

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 2:50 AM

Ohhh. I know you think I'm a crust covered grump...but, the Chieftain is a topsail ketch.

Also, the term tall ship is a popular phrase derived from the great poem by John Masefield, but not a technical term. In particular in this case...

Just a hint when you go aboard, as you must, I'd ask the crew about their ketch.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:38 AM

Noted.  :)

"Crust Covered Grump"....I love it!  

Heres a funny (and off-topic) story....me and the Lady were on a ferry to Bremerton, WA last weekend, and we saw some interesting characters...this one older man in particular, who was many days unshaven, wearing a bandanna, and was also very boisterous within his group..and he had apparently been drinking heavily for at least part of the day. he looked every bit to be some kind of sea-faring man.  So my girlfriend says to me, "that man reminds me of a pirate", or something similar, and I replied, "well, I don't think he's an actual pirate, but he certainly looks like a salty son-of-a-b**ch!"....

Anyway, I'd probably like to share my upcoming experience with the Hawaiian Chieftain, posting pics and whatnot, but I'm not sure if Finescale has anywhere appropriate for that kind of thing...and I might be presuming that anyone here would give a care in the first place!

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:03 AM

Dang, thought I was in-cog-neeto...

Yes please do share the Hawaiian Chieftain if you go see her.

Post the shots as reference for modelers.

That stuff is always very useful.

  • Member since
    June 2012
  • From: Kidderminster, U.K.
Posted by Jockster on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:08 PM

Nice shots David, your rigging looks great, post shots of the Chieftan, I for one would like to see them!

Jockster.

On the bench-1/350 Zvezda Varyag, Trumpeter Slava class Varyag and Tamiya CVN65 Enterprise. 1/400 Academy Titanic and 1/96 DeAgostini Victory.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:16 PM

Your shrouds look great!  Nice and clean.  I would suggest a finer thread for the ratlines.  The ratlines shouldn't be the same thickness as the shrouds.   I found a nice fine cotton thread at HobbyLobby.  

And I wouldn't worry about tying clove hitches.  At this scale you can easily get away with plain ole' square knots.  That's what I used on the Black Pearl.  You won't have near the headaches since it will go a lot faster.  Just watch your tension so the ratlines look nice and uniform and don't pull the shrouds together.

Great work.  Looking forward to more.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:18 PM

Thanks, guys!  I will get some pics of the Hawaiian Chieftain tomorrow...I'll make a thread for them, and post some pics for anyone who might be interested...

BTW, it turns out, a clove hitch is a super-simple knot, and works pretty well for ratlines...it's really just two wraps around the shroud, and a little tuck!  

The shroud line is easily twice as thick as what I'm using for the ratlines....maybe it doesn't show so well in the pics....

I may not get much modeling time in this week, but I hope to at least get SOME ratlines tied on...

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 2:23 AM

Nice work. but the foot ropes should be really thin.

And droopy I guess.

It's funny that we are all experts, but in fact foot ropes were not really much of a concern in sailing days, It's hard to think that a captain would have had a complete set cared for when in fact the sea men could go up and down the shrouds pretty quickly in a single line.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 8:46 AM

You know, it seems the popular consensus is that ratlines are really *droopy*, but when I perform a Bing web search for Images of Ship Ratlines, I see ratlines that are not so *droopy*....they may have a smidgeon more slack than what I've imparted into my practice sample, but I think it's arbitrary.

I may go a little looser, but personally, I think they look swell!

Pretty excited to see the Chieftain this afternoon...I'm getting off work at noon to go check it out!

w00t

Dave

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 7:42 PM

It is true that ratlines were not "that" important, especially on the smaller vessels.  But admittedly ratlines add a wonderful amount of detail to a ship model.  And the satisfaction and motivation a modeller gains from completing a set of ratlines makes it even more worth it.

As for the sag in the lines.  Getting it uniform is the key if you're going to add sag.  After all these years I still have trouble getting sag right, so I don't really worry about it.  At this scale it will not be noticable.  For Dave, who appears to be doing this for the first time, making sure the ratlines are not too tight is more important than anything.  Get the ratlines to tight and you not only get a funky look, but you also risk pulling the mast out of alignment.  But I would go with a thinner thread for the ratlines.  And in a nice flat black.  It will make a huge difference and you'll love the result.  

But Dave, you obviously have the skill to do a fine set of shrouds and ratlines, as shown by your skill building this kit.  It's looking simply marvelous and will make a fine display.  I hope you're putting it on a wood base and prominently displaying it.   \

Phil

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 9:56 PM

Phil-

Since I haven't started on the ratlines yet, I'll go ahead and look for an even thinner thread, maybe I'll try it...although, the stuff I got is pretty dang thin!  I believe it was the thinnest stuff they had at Jo-Ann fabrics....and the shroud material I got is a crochet thread that is substantially thicker...

Incidentally, I got dark brown for the ratlines, and black for the shrouds, because I thought the contrast in color would be cool...having seen REAL shrouds and ratlines today, I noticed they were all black...is that pretty much the standard?

Sag....well, I agree that being not TOO tight is important, because I don't want to distort or foul the shrouds, but I don't know how much sag I want my ratlines to have....maybe a little. On the ship I saw today, there were varying degrees of ratline sag, and actually, I liked the non-uniformity...it made them look more, I don't know, real-world....

Anways, I'm hoping to get some model work done tomorrow, if I can find a little "bench-time"....

Meanwhile, I posted a link to a bunch of Hawaiian Chieftain pics I took today....

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   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 9:58 PM

Also, I do have a very nice glass case to display it in, but I was planning to just use the base from the kit....I suppose I could begin thinking of ideas for a base made of actual wood?

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Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:29 PM

David_K

Also, I do have a very nice glass case to display it in, but I was planning to just use the base  from the kit.

...I suppose I could begin thinking of ideas for a base made of actual wood?

 

With the talent you have shown so far ...

Yes!, Yes!, Yes!

uh  sorry   got a bit carried away ....but you should strongly consider a

special base for your special ship.

 

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:14 PM

Walmart has unpainted wooden plaques that are just the right size for the ship.  I saw them today.  And they're pretty inexpensive and take stain really well.  And you said something that really says it all.   You like the ratline contrast because it looks cool.  And that's what it's all about.  If you like the ratlines being a different color than do it.  It's all about what you like.  Ultimately, who cares what anyone else thinks as long as you are happy with it.  And you're not alone.  Check out this pic of the Heller HMS Victory that a friend of mine named Maurice built.  He built it as just a hull display, with no yards.  You'll notice the ratlines are all a real light tan.  It makes the model stand out.

As far as I know period ships had black ratlines, or at least almost black (staining from tar I think), but I think the tan will be fine.  The thread I use for my ratlines is a cotton single strand in a very dull, hazy black.  I try to avoid jet-black, it looks out of scale.

I'm looking forward to some more pics.  Keep 'em coming...

Phil

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Carmel, CA
Posted by bondoman on Friday, August 17, 2012 12:43 AM

Very nice Victory, and if I ever get that far I will be satisfied.

I bought a dozen feet of 1 x 6 oak some years ago on sale. I had it chopped up into about eight pieces in four different lengths and had the edges routered with an inverted quarter round at a sign shop. It didn't cost much, maybe $ 5 a ship.

David you might try building your next model on a base,. I have a piece of 3/4" ply that has a long row of holes down the middle. I mount the model on it during construction. It makes handling the model so much easier and safer. One of the other modelers here has that same set up with a upright at one end so it can be stood on it's nose.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Friday, August 17, 2012 8:40 AM

Yeah, I think I will consider making a base for my next kit...it would definitely be better-looking, plus it seems like it would add a lot of stability.  

My guess is that it's best to plan ahead for that kind of thing; don't you have to make holes in the lower hull and match that all up before hull assembly?

Meanwhile, I've gotten into the habit of keeping my in-progress kits on a shoebox with cutouts to cradle the lower hull...it works well, but if it gets bumped, I could be in trouble.

So I got 10 rows of ratline tied on the lower foremast starboard last night. I just used the thin brown thread I already had, and it looks sweet!  Makes all the difference in a ship, IMO.  It's nice that I can use the kit shrouds as templates!  They're spaced at about .5 CM, so I have a little ruler handy to keep them in line....I did notice as I got higher on the shroud, there is less resistance, and I had to be careful to not tug the shroud.....also, higher up the shrouds are much closer together, I wonder if I'll be able to draw the line around from the inside with my tweezers....may need to switch to the little hook-tool I made.

Anyway, I'm SOOOO glad I decided not to use the plastic shroud/ratlines...real thread makes them look fantastic!  Only 940-some clove hitches to go!  I'll put up some pics once I get both sides of the lower foremast ratlines on.

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   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Friday, August 17, 2012 7:54 PM

Alright...got my first section of ratlines done....you can see that there's room for improvement, it's hard to keep them all consistent!! But, I think it looks pretty darn good! photo

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     _~ )_)_~
     )_))_))_)
     _!__!__!_         
     (_D_P_K_)
   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, August 17, 2012 7:58 PM

A couple of minor points from a certifiable Olde Phogie.

First - I'd really be interested to know where the idea that the clove hitch is a "difficult knot" got started.  As David has found out, it's just as easy to tie as the square (reef) knot - if not easier.  That assertion has nothing to do with experience or stodgy attitudes; it's a simple statement of fact.  I'm prepared to assert that anybody who can tie a square knot can tie a clove hitch.  There just isn't any rational reason to use reef knots instead of clove hitches on ratlines.  If anybody out there genuinely thinks the clove hitch is a difficult knot, I'd be curious to know why.

Second - the subject of how ratlines really look is an interesting one.  First a little vocabulary is in order.  A ratline and a footrope are two very different things.  A footrope is a line that hangs down from a yard, to support the men who are working on the sail.  A ratline is a piece of line that's tied to a set of shrouds (with clove hitches) to form a ladder for men climbing aloft.   To my eye, David's ratlines look about right.

The shrouds are among the heaviest lines in the ship.  They keep the masts from falling over, and transmit the force of the wind in the sails to the hull, thereby pulling the ship through the water.  The ratlines only have to support a man's weight, so they can be much smaller - typically about half an inch in diameter.  On a small-scale model you're unlikely to make the ratlines too fine.

The old master marine painters in the days before photography generally showed some "sag" in their ratlines.  To some extent the slack was desireable; it gave a man a slightly better footing.  Photos of latter-day sailing ships vary in the amount of slack they show; I've seen some that look downright droopy, and others that look as though somebody set them up as taut as he could.  (Beware museum ships, and photos of them.  Their rigging - which is probably made from synthetic line - is often dubious.) 

In the last days of sail ratlines were often made of iron rod, which can be counted upon to be really straight.

There's room for some argument about the color of ratlines - and, for that matter, the rest of a ship's rigging.  Generally speaking, in the days before wire rigging the standing rigging, including the shrouds, was coated with a concoction containing tar and lampblack, which, if it wasn't pure black, must have been close to it.  Some modelers assert that ratlines ought to be natural rope-colored, on the theory that tar would make them stiff and slippery.  Maybe those modelers are right, but I have yet to see a photo or painting that shows ratlines paler than shrouds.  The website of H.M.S. Victory includes a "modeler's page" and a detailed color scheme.  It says the Victory's shrouds are blackened, and the ratlines are "lightly tarred."  That makes sense to me.

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

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Friday, August 17, 2012 9:48 PM

David, those ratlines look great!  And looking at it, I think the dark tan thread looks fine.  I always believe in detail that attracts the eye.  Very, very nice.

Phil

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