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Revel Cutty Sark rigging

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  • Member since
    January 2006
Revel Cutty Sark rigging
Posted by cytorg on Tuesday, August 1, 2006 4:49 PM

I'm working on the Cutty Sark from Revel and my problem is the tackle for the rigging.  The line/string is a larger diameter than the tackle blocks.  I like the heavier line since I'm going for more visual asthetics of the rigging.  My  question is, where can I find larger tackle for this ship.  I believe the scale is 1/100.

Thanks!

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Tuesday, August 1, 2006 5:13 PM

I'm in the middle of rigging the same Revell Cutty Sark.  I use a dremel and drill out the blocks.  It works just fine.  Just use one of the small conical file bits for the dremel.

You can find many sites dealing in the blocks.  Bluejacket is a good one, if you want to go that route.  But I haven't had a single problem with any of the blocks in my kit once I drilled them out. 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Lacombe, LA.
Posted by Big Jake on Wednesday, August 2, 2006 10:25 AM

Hi Cytorg,

You can also purchase a set of reamers. They come in different sizes (6 peice set) for modeling, runs about 20.00.  The blocks are OK for the scale of 1/96th which is what the model is. However the rigging material they give you in the kit is WAY out of scale,  contact Model Expo and order some better rigging material.  If I can help with anything on the Cutty Sark (it's my favorite) let me know. I have modelered the CS and you can see the pictures in my web shots albums.

http://community.webshots.com/user/jbgroby

 

Jake

 

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2006
Posted by armchair sailor on Wednesday, August 2, 2006 11:55 AM
   I also use a sewing needle to thread the rigging thread through the block. This helps alot.........
  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Wednesday, August 2, 2006 1:43 PM

That's a good question....Jake, what size line do you use for the Cutty Sark?

Another burning question I have is about the yards.  Once you tie on all the different lines, it looks rather...odd, with all the lines tied around, especially at the ends of the yards.  How do you do it?  I've talked with other modellers and some have told me that what they do to give a neat appearance is tie a small line around the end of the yard, and then tie off or seize all other lines to that one loop.

How do you do it?  I've looked at a lot of pictures of various models in many different scales, but nobody has taken a real good closeup of how their  various lines are tied off.  I know the many books quoted by JTilley would tell me, but my hobby funds are drained right now (kids getting ready for school can break a person... :(

I'm about halfway through rigging.  I want to say thanks again Jake.  Your reference material and suggestions, as well as JTilley's, and the many modellers who have sent me private messages have really helped me out.  I'm much more confident heading into the Soleil Royal project that looms in front of me....

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Virginia
Posted by Mike F6F on Saturday, August 5, 2006 9:59 AM
It's been 20 plus years since I made my Cutty Sark. Yeah I still have it and it is still intact even after 3-4 moves! Lucky I guess.

As others have said, I'd use lighter thread as you move up the mast on the running rigging. It will look more "in scale" and, in my opinion, have more asthetic, delicate look too.

I've just used lighter gauges of waxed sewing thread as I moved higher. The lighter thread helps somewhat as the mulitple lines tie to the same spots on the masts too.

Mike

Mike

 

"Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Saturday, August 5, 2006 12:01 PM

Looking at my Cutty Sark sitting on my workbench, I can see how some will say that the line is out of scale.  Now, for the running rigging, Revell has included to different sizes of tan thread, using the heavier guage for the lower and the lighter gauge for the upper.  I could see adding a third size in order to make it more "in scale".  But in this case, I think Revell was a) saving money by using only two different sizes of lines, and/or b) wanting to make sure that, when sitting on a display shelf, the builder of the kit would be able to "see" all of the rigging.  Because, as I look at my CS, I actually like that I can see all the intricacy of the rigging, even from a distance.  It looks, and I say this humbly, impressive.

I like using the prewaxed threads also.  Saves having to wax them yourself, and when you need a line to sag a little, the prewaxed threads have a very realistic sag to them.

  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by Kevinmcgarry on Wednesday, August 9, 2006 9:16 PM
I use waxed thead and a threader from a sewing kit to thread the thread through the blocks.  Bees wax is avable anywhere sewing items are and at modeling supply. You will learn that the best rigging tool will be the ones you make youeself.  Model Expo is a great source for rigging supplies they are at www.modelexpo-online.com  they sell all sizes blocks and deadeys the larger ones are the ones you will need they are made of wood and are different colors get walnut for dark colors they come in one two and three holes.  Happy Modeling!!!! Oh you ship is 1/96 scale.
  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Tehachapi, Ca.
Posted by peglegrc on Wednesday, August 9, 2006 10:53 PM

Hi Modelexpo is who you want to see for the larger rigging

              www.modelexpo-online.com    I've been buying from them for a few years and have never had a problem. They have Sailing Ships of all kinds and sizes..  plus tools..Rigging and every kind of rigging and lines for rigging you'll ever want..I'm suprized no one has put their name and address on here for all of you Ship Builders....I think you will be very happy to see what they have to offer.. I'm not a model ship builder, but have bought most of my modeling tools from them......"RC"

PeglegRC "The Meaning of life??? How the Heck should I know? Try Google." "Can You Expand your report about Employee Morale?..I'm Afraid 'Bite Me' doesn't Quite cover it"... "Please excuse any misspelled word's!
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, August 9, 2006 11:15 PM

It seems that the questions and answers in this thread fall into two categories.  Perhaps it would be worthwhile to take a step back and clarify the difference.

The serious, experienced scale ship modeler trying to turn the Revell kit into the most accurate possible replica of the real Cutty Sark almost certainly will want to replace the blocks and deadeyes in the kit with aftermarket parts.  (Most of the blocks, incidentally, will need to be painted white.) 

In such a model the question about oversized-looking knots around the yards will become irrelevant, because none of the rigging will be tied around the yards.  (That sounds like an overly-bold generalization, but I base it on George Campbell's superb plans of the ship.  Every single piece of running rigging is seized or eyespliced to a metal eyebolt in the yard, or to the jackstay on top of the yard.)  And rigging the model to scale will require a wide variety of thread sizes, most of them finer than what comes with the kit.  (I have no idea what sort of thread came with the kits you guys are working on; Revell has changed it a good deal over the years.  Most of the line I've seen in plastic kits, though, has been fuzzy, stiff, and way out of scale.  That's why so many experienced modelers get rig of it.)

Mr. Campbell's plans provide excellent guidance on that score, too.  He tells us (as an arbitrary example) that the main royal brace is made of 2 2/2" hemp line.  Its standing end is seized to the collar of the mizzen topgallant stay.  The line runs through an 8" single block secured to a 2 1/2" wire pendant, which is eyespliced to an eyebolt on the aft side of the band near the end of the yard.  The hauling end runs through another 8" single block on a strap at the mizzen topgallant hounds, then down through holes in the fairlead plank of the mizzen top and the fairlead truck on the mizzen topgallant backstay, to the next-to-the-last belaying pin in the mizzen pinrail.  (The detail on those plans is amazing.  At $15.00 for the set of three sheets, they're one of the biggest bargains in ship modeling.)

Rope is normally described in terms of its circumference, so the 2 1/2" line used for the Cutty Sark's rmain royal braces is about 3/4" in diameter.  On the model scale of 1/96, that's about 0.0075" - pretty small thread.  (That's far from the smallest line in the ship.  My old friend MikeF6F is right:  in a real ship the lines, generally speaking, get thinner as you go up.  Much of the gear associated with the upper sails of the Cutty Sark is 1 1/2" in circumference.  And the rigging of the real ship is made of three different materials:  hemp rope, iron wire, and iron chain.) 

Building a model that incorporated every detail shown on Mr. Campbell's drawings would be a massive undertaking - though the Revell kit certainly is good enough, and big enough, to provide a solid start.  Modelers with less experience, and/or less interest in the real thing, may well decide that a scale replica of the real ship isn't their objective.  I offer that not as a criticism, but as an observation - and an acknowledgment that more than one hobby is being discussed in this thread.  It certainly isn't for me or anybody else to tell any hobbyist that his or her approach is "right" or "wrong" in any sense.  To each his own.

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

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Tehachapi, Ca.
Posted by peglegrc on Wednesday, August 9, 2006 11:42 PM
 cytorg wrote:

I'm working on the Cutty Sark from Revel and my problem is the tackle for the rigging.  The line/string is a larger diameter than the tackle blocks.  I like the heavier line since I'm going for more visual asthetics of the rigging.  My  question is, where can I find larger tackle for this ship.  I believe the scale is 1/100.

Thanks!

.....

     www.modelexpo-online.com 

Your question was: Where can I find tackle for this ship? Heres the answer ....."RC"

PeglegRC "The Meaning of life??? How the Heck should I know? Try Google." "Can You Expand your report about Employee Morale?..I'm Afraid 'Bite Me' doesn't Quite cover it"... "Please excuse any misspelled word's!
  • Member since
    June 2004
Posted by jwareing on Thursday, August 10, 2006 7:15 AM
Could you tell me please, from where are these plans by George Campbell available?  Thanks.
jw
  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Thursday, August 10, 2006 8:13 AM

I recently found the book at my University Library and read with extreme curiosity.  After about an hour or so of reading.....

....I had to have a drink.

As JTilley said, yes, the book is probably the most detailed around concerning the grand old ship.  But since I am not totally knowledgeable on the hundreds of names and terms for parts of a ship and whatnot, I ended up a little more confused than anything else.  The plans are great and are a wonderful guide....just have a stiff drink ready when you read it, especially if you're like me and don't know all the names.....

My Cutty Sark is almost done.  Some final rigging on the Foremast, tighten this, loosen that, touch up here and there and it will be done and occupy a coveted place at the top of my boy's computer desk.  My son looked at the CS yesterday, and was literally wowed by how it looked.  He was all smiles and gave me a hug, saying thank you, calling me, ME....the best modeller around.

That's all I need to know I did the model right....

On this forum you will find a wide assortment of skill levels and opinions.  That's what I love about Finescale.  Everyone comes together.  Those who have questions come here and learn new skills, new techniques, and new ways of building.  Those with years of experience come and debate the finer points of the craft, and (hopefully) get a good feeling inside when they share their knowledge.  In the end, no matter if you build your model to extreme accuracy, or if you build your model for your wide-eyed and smiling children and don't really worry if you tied the line to the right belaying pin or not, we all learn more here, socialize, and make new friends.

That's what it's all about...

Grymm

  • Member since
    July 2006
Posted by Michael D. on Thursday, August 10, 2006 8:26 AM
 Grymm wrote:

 My son looked at the CS yesterday, and was literally wowed by how it looked.  He was all smiles and gave me a hug, saying thank you, calling me, ME....the best modeller around.

That's all I need to know I did the model right....

On this forum you will find a wide assortment of skill levels and opinions.  That's what I love about Finescale.  Everyone comes together.  Those who have questions come here and learn new skills, new techniques, and new ways of building.  Those with years of experience come and debate the finer points of the craft, and (hopefully) get a good feeling inside when they share their knowledge.  In the end, no matter if you build your model to extreme accuracy, or if you build your model for your wide-eyed and smiling children and don't really worry if you tied the line to the right belaying pin or not, we all learn more here, socialize, and make new friends.

That's what it's all about...

Grymm

Very well put Grymm..looking forward to seeing your CS.

 

Michael

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: The green shires of England
Posted by GeorgeW on Thursday, August 10, 2006 8:53 AM

 jwareing wrote:
Could you tell me please, from where are these plans by George Campbell available?  Thanks.

The plans are available from the Official Cutty Sark Web site at www.cuttysark.org.uk

They are excellent plans, cost £7.50 for a set of three and are well worth the money. The site also has very useful pics for the modeller.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Thursday, August 10, 2006 9:03 AM

Looks like GeorgeW was typing while I was surfing around to the webpage with the plans on it.  Here's the link directly to that page:  http://www.cuttysark.org.uk/index.cfm?fa=contentShop.productDetails&productId=40&startrow=1&directoryId=6

These are nice copies - black ink on white paper.  My copies of the plans, which I bought about twenty-five years ago, are blueprints and are showing their age.

I've seen references on another website from several modelers who've ordered the plans from the Cutty Sark gift shop recently.  They report the service was excellent.  Apparently the folks at the shop will roll up the plans and put them in a mailing tube, rather than fold them, at no extra charge if you ask.  That's worth doing.

I'll say it again:  those plans are one of the best bargains available to the ship modeler today.  Some of the tiny lettering will tax middle-aged eyes, but I can't recall ever seeing so much information about a ship crammed into three sheets of paper.  It's hard to think of any crumb of information about the Cutty Sark's appearance that doesn't appear on them.  Well, they don't show all the details of how the iron framework of the hull is put together.  Otherwise, you could just about build another full-sized Cutty Sark on the basis of those three sheets.  They're also quite attractive aesthetically.  Some people buy them for the purpose of framing them.

Grymm - I'm not sure which book you're referring to.  I think I recommended two about the Cutty Sark.  C. Nepean Longridge's The Cutty Sark:  The Ship and the Model describes how he built the beautiful scratchbuilt model currently in the Science Museum of London.  The Log of the Cutty Sark, by Basil Lubbock, is a history of the ship's career.  Both are fine books - but in all honesty I think the modeler working on the Revell kit (or, for that matter, the Imai or Airfix one) will find everything he/she needs on those Campbell plans. 

If you need help with the basic nautical vocabulary, an excellent place to start is Mr. Campbell's little book, The Neophyte Shipmodeler's Jackstay.  (A jackstay is a piece of iron rod on top of a yard, which sailors hang onto.)  You can buy a copy for about $15.00 from Model Expo (www.modelexpoonline.com), or download the whole thing from the web ( http://www.all-model.com).  On the latter page, scroll down a little till you get to "Books," and click on the title.  Anybody who learns all the material in that book will be well on the road to being a knowledgable ship modeler.

The same site has another of Mr. Campbell's books, China Tea Clippers, which contains all sorts of background information about ships like the Cutty Sark.  The version of that one on the All-Model site is slightly abridged, but most of the information that's relevant to modelers is there.

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

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: The green shires of England
Posted by GeorgeW on Thursday, August 10, 2006 9:27 AM

You've got to be pretty quick to get a reply in before Mr TilleyWink [;)]

The Cutty Sark book by C.N. Longridge is an excellent volume- one I picked up on ebay some little time ago (I also have the Revell Cutty Sark waiting in the wings)

The drawings in the book are by Harold A Underhill, and the narrative by Longridge is a very useful supplement to plans.

Not essential, but if you find a copy it is a  very worthwhile purchase for a Cutty Sark model enthusiast.

The equivalent of his 'Anatomy of Nelson's Ships' book about Victory.

  • Member since
    January 2006
Posted by cytorg on Thursday, August 10, 2006 1:10 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for their great replies to my question. I'm going to order some of the books mentioned. There are a number of things I've done to this ship from suggestions from this board which have turned out great. One question I have though is, how have you attached the footrope line to the yards, the drop down lines? Sorry, my terminology is a bit weak. Any pictures anyone has would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again!
  • Member since
    June 2004
Posted by jwareing on Thursday, August 10, 2006 7:03 PM
Thanks for the info about the plans.
Since it has been mentioned, let me expand on the info about the Longridge book. 
It is called The Cutty Sark: The Ship and a Model, by C. Nepean LongridgeIt was originally published in 1933.  It was originally reissued in one volume in 1959 by Edward W. Sweetman Company, New York, and reprinted in 1982 by Mansell (Bookbinders) Ltd., Witham, Essex.  The 1959 edition, at least, has five drawings of the Cutty Sark by Harold A. Underhill which are loose and stored in a pocket in the back of the book.  The book is about how Longridge built a model approximately six feet long which went on display at the Science Museum at South Kensington in October 1933.  Longridge had access to the Cutty Sark--the 12"=1'-0" version--and was able to take measurements and see how the ship actually looked.
To say that this book has a wealth of information and detail is the grossest sort of understatement.
Although it's out of print, I have a 1959 version and an '82 edition both of which I picked up on eBay for around $20 each.
I sort of built a Cutty Sark when I was a kid and another about 25 years ago.  Some day, if and when I truly retire, I plan to built a third Cutty Sark which will be so detailed it will be indistinguishable from the real ship.
Wish me luck.
jw
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Thursday, August 10, 2006 10:59 PM

Regarding footropes - the first step in reproducing them convincingly is, as always, to understand how the real thing worked. If you take a look at any of the yards in the Revell kit, you'll notice a row of tiny pegs running along the top of it.  Those are simplified representations of the jackstay eyebolts.  The jackstay was an iron rod that ran through a series of eyebolts on the top of the yard.  It had three purposes.  The head of the sail was lashed to it, several rigging lines and blocks were fastened to it, and it served as a handhold for men working on the yard.

The instructions in the first issue of the Revell kit, back in 1959, advised the modeler to make the jackstays from fine piano wire glued (with what kind of adhesive they didn't specify) to the pegs representing the eyebolts.  Subsequent versions of the instructions deleted that advice (along with the recommendation to use 36-link brass chain for much of the running rigging).

On the typical yard, the outer end of the footrope was eyespliced into an eyebolt in the iron band near the tip of the yard.  The line then passed through eyesplices in the lower ends of  a number of "stirrups" - shorter lines hanging down behind the yard, with their upper ends eyespliced to the jackstay.  (The lower, lower topsail, and upper topsail yards had three stirrups on each side, the topgallant and fore and main royal yards two, the mizzen royal and main skysail yards one.)  The inner end of the footrope was made fast, with another eyesplice, to the jackstay on the other side of the mast.  The port and starboard footropes crossed over each other, just ahead of the mast.

The lower yards and the upper topsail yards had additional separate, small footropes called "flemish horses."  The outer end of the flemish horse was eyespliced to an eyebolt driven into the very end of the yard; the inner end was eyespliced to the jackstay.  The basic layout of all this should be clear from any set of plans.

So far as I'm aware, no sane modeler tries to eyesplice thread of that size on 1/96 scale.  Lots of modelers make their footropes out of brass or copper wire, so they can be shaped into the appropriate, gently drooping curves.  If you don't want to make the jackstays, a good way to fudge it would be to drill holes in the yards for the wires forming the footropes.    

The Longridge book is a grand old classic.  He was one of the first of the really serious scale ship modelers; in the 1930s no other book on ship modeling came close to his concern for detail and historical accuracy - to say nothing of his craftsmanship.  About the only negative thing that can be said of Longridge's Cutty Sark model is that his model of H.M.S. Victory is even better.

The modern modeler does need to bear a few minor points in mind when working with that book, though.  In the first place, it obviously shows its age.  It was written before the ship underwent her great restoration of the 1950s, which made some big strides toward returning her to her tea clipper configuration.  And many of the techniques Longridge used aren't terribly relevant to today's modeler.  He was limited by the tools and materials that were available in the 1920s.  He describes, for instance, a silver-soldering technique involving something called a blowpipe, which I've never seen and don't especially want to.  And he did simplify some of the details.  (Take a look at how he did the cargo winches aft of the fore and main hatches.  They're considerably cruder than the Revell versions - which aren't exactly masterpieces of miniaturization.)  Harold Underhill was one of the best in the business, and the plans he drew for Longridge's book are excellent.  But they don't contain nearly as much detail as the George Campbell set.  That's partly because Underhill, of course, was relying on the text of the book to augment what he drew.  Campbell was the naval architect in charge of the ship's restoration; he included just about every piece of detail the modeler could possibly use - down to and including the layout of the fixtures in the galley, the clutch mechanism that changed the gear ratios on the cargo winches, and the location of the bookcase in the captain's cabin.  Truly amazing plans. 

The bottom line is that modelers picking the Cutty Sark are extraordinarily well-served.  A mere three sources - the Campbell plans, the Longridge book, and Basil Lubbock's The Log of the Cutty Sark - contain virtually all the information necessary to build a model of any degree of detail the modeler wants.

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

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