Home Forums Air and Sea Naval 1/700th Frigate…

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  • #133806
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Progress shot of my confinement project:

    Now comes the tricky part. I don’t much care for Warlord’s ratlines or sails. I looked at the Meridian options for PE ratlines and sails but they are much too expensive for me–especially since I’m working on 26 ships. I did find pages with a couple of home-made jigs for creating ratlines from thread. I’m going to try that. I’ll make sails out of heavy paper or maybe foil. The Warlord ones are too heavily printed and some of them have too much of a greenish tint to them.

    So… I think the easy part of this first ship is completed. In my head all my ships are sailing around the Caribbean so excuse the oh-so-happy color of the water 😉 . My goal is to have two frigates (mostly) complete so I can start tinkering around with rules. Right now (thanks to Carojon) ‘War by Sail’ is in the running. So is ‘Form Line of Battle’ by David Manley. But I’ve also been reading ‘Enterprize’ by Curs’d Captain on WargameVault. I’m fascinated with the way movement is handled. Not so fascinated the the complexity of it, though. I’m hoping it might be easier in execution than in reading. I’m wondering if I can simplify the sailing process (but keep the results) and replace the movement mechanics of ‘War by Sail’ because I really like the gunfire process in that set. Oh, the endless search for the perfect rules!

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #133808
    Thaddeus BlanchetteThaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Very nice! Maybe I will finish my Constituion now, too!

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #133822
    MattHMattH
    Participant

    Beautiful. I’m tempted by these 1/700 ships, but I hate doing rigging! I think I might one day get into doing the 1812 Great Lakes battles in 1/700.

    #133977
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks, everyone. Jump on in! The water’s fine.

    I wanted to practice rigging before attempting the frigate so here’s a brig all painted  up and ready for stringing. I think…. I’m still kicking over the idea of making my own ratlines and, as is my way, I’ll think and think and think again before attempting it.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134000
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Oh, my goodness… What did I get myself into!?

    The brig’s standing rigging is pretty much complete except for the fore-stays. There were a couple mis-steps but that’s why I wanted to start with one of the numerous brigs, not the more complicated frigate. Even so, I’m not a fan of the thread Warlord has supplied. It’s got no body or stiffness, too easily unravels at the cut end and continually wants to curl back into its bobbin sized curls. I’ll have to source something else. Luckily, I’ll raid my wife’s old sewing basket for some tan thread for the running rigging and see if that works better. I’ve got a roll of monofiliment somewhere around here so I might try that, too. (Not sure how I’d color that for the running rigging, though.)

    But mostly my life as a one-eyed creature (hence no depth perception) really makes this difficult. I’ve gotten so used to it that I didn’t even think about that being an issue. Live and learn again and again!

    This took me about three hours. I think it’s time for booze. No, I KNOW it!

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134035
    Steve BurtSteve Burt
    Participant

    Very nice. I’ve found fine wire (florist’s wire) easier than thread for rigging. The acetate ratlines are OK, but home made ones will be much nicer if you can make them. Has anybody tried 3D printing ratlines?

    #134064
    Don GlewweDon Glewwe
    Participant

    ‘War Artisan’ (  http://warartisan.com/home  ) does cardstock models, and has tips on rigging that might prove helpful?

    https://brawlfactory.net/

    #134094
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks, guys.

    Thing is with florists wire… I don’t have any. And I won’t for the foreseeable future since we’ve gone into full ‘stay-at-home’ mode declared by the governor. Maybe a future attempt.

    Funny thing with War Artisan’s stuff is I’ve got two unfinished models of his sitting on my mantle. I’ve even got lengths of glue stiffened thread sitting right beside them for when I get a round tuit. It didn’t even occur to me to use that technique on the Black Seas models. Doh! Two pieces of tan line drying as I type. His rules look quite interesting, too. Added to my growing collection of age-of-sail rules.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134232
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    A couple more progress shots. I didn’t much care for the provided sails since they didn’t fit well and I think the printing is just too heavy. So I scratched ’em. These shot show the home made sails–TBH, I’m kind of iffy about them. Especially now that I see them close up. The square sails and the spanker turned out OK. But the foresails didn’t turn out well. I used light card for most of the sails but regular 20# paper for the foresails. They’re not strong enough and curled too much as I painted them. I wanted to use paper so I could fold them in half and run the stays along the fold inside. I couldn’t even get them to sit right on the stays! Next time they will be card like the rest of the sails.

    I don’t think I can procrastinate any longer. Have to make a decision regarding the ratlines.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134233
    MattHMattH
    Participant

    I think they look great and the jibs seem fine to me.

    #134307
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    The brig is complete!

    For as much whining as I’ve done about these models, I really like them. Which is good as this is the first of 26 ships. I wanted to complete the brig before going forward with any of the others as a way to suss out techniques that worked for me. What follows is my step by step with pitfalls found.

    While I greatly appreciate the design of the plastic parts, I think the printed sails (and the ratlines) and the rigging thread don’t match the same quality. To me, the sails seem overly large, too thick and too heavily printed. I ended up making my own sails from 65# card stock and painting them. The printed mizzen sail particularly bothered me. In every photo I see of these models there seems to be a gap between the leading edge of the mizzen sail and the mizzenmast. I think that’s just wrong. As far as I know, the mizzen sail was attached directly to the mizzenmast by a series of rings that allowed the sail to be raised and lowered, but kept it in virtual contact with the mast.

    Rigging Notes

    I intensely studied the tutorials provided by JJ (http://jjwargames.blogspot.com/2019/12/all-at-sea-rigging-tutorial.html) and War Artisan (Jeffrey Knudson) (http://www.warartisan.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Rigging_Tutorial.176184616.pdf). The most invaluable tip was from War Artisan (WA) who talks about stiffening up the rigging thread with glue before attempting to rig. Absolutely essential—particularly since the thread provided by Warlord is quite thin and flimsy. (In fact, after my first experience with this thread I’ll pitch it and use regular cotton sewing thread—as I did for the running rigging on the brig.) The two tutorials have two different methodologies. JJ runs his rigging from point to point so a single thread could be used for many different lines. However, WA cuts each run of rigging separately to the exact length needed and glues each end.

    Here’s my process: I ran the standing rigging as JJ does, i.e, tie it at a beginning point then run it up to where it needs to go, loop it around and then to the next point and finally tie it off at the eventual end point. Use a toothpick to apply a dab of glue to all the points where the line contacts the model. For example, all my shrouds for each mast (the lines that attach a mast to the sides of the ship) are a single piece of thread. The initial attachment is made at the lowest point on the mast, run though the hole in the bulwark, up to the higher point, looped around, then down to the other side bulwark and finally back up to the starting point on the mast. Four shroud lines, one piece of thread.

    But when it came to the running rigging the runs become pretty complicated. Plus, by this time I had added the sails and frankly just can’t manipulate the thread with my tweezers and optivisor in that tight space! So I adopted a variation of WA’s technique. My hand-eye coordination and lack of depth perception made it impossible for me to cut individual lengths and fit them in place. So I ended up cutting an overlong length of glue stiffened thread and folding it ot create a ‘V’. The thread is stiff enough to hold that shape. I then put a dab of glue on the mast where the ‘V’ of the line would attach, placed the ‘V’ in the glue and extended the longer legs of the ‘V’ to where they would end up—typically on a yardarm. I let the legs just sit there while the ‘V’ attachment dried. Once it was mostly dried, I’d gently lift each leg at a time, put a dab of glue where it met the spar and gently let the leg back down into the glue. Once this dried, then I could trim off the extra length of the legs with my trusty mini-scissors and optivisor. This method allowed me to avoid having to make precise measurements where a single mis-measured millimeter could make a significant difference. I still had a few individual pieces but not many. The key to this process is patience. Work on one or two lines at a time. Go do something else while the glue dries. Come back to it in ten minutes. Repeat ad nauseum.

    I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue for all the rigging attachments. I squirted a blob out on a ceramic tile I use as a palette and used a toothpick to apply glue directly to the model (actually I switched to using an old dental tool with a more precise point). Aleene’s dries crystal clear and is water soluble. So, if I ended up with an overly large blob of glue on the model I could use a moist paint brush to somewhat dilute the glue, spread it around a bit and lift up any excess. This is also the glue I used to stiffen up the thread before starting the rigging process. Aleene’s maintains some flexibility, it doesn’t get brittle like some PVAs do. I think it’s perfect for this type of job.


    Assembly Sequence/Notes

    1. Clip all the pieces and sort them into a compartmented box. I keep all the brig, frigate and 3rd rate parts in separate compartments. I clean them of mould lines as I use them.

    1. Assemble the hulls including the bow sprit. The plastic pieces fit together with great accuracy. The optional metal pieces (stern plate and figurehead) don’t fit quite as nicely. If you are using them be prepared to trim down the attachment tabs of the stern plate in order to fit it flush against the hull.

    The 3rd rate ships have a lower deck section that glues to the underside of the deck. It is advisable to paint this piece before attaching it as it is almost impossible to paint it after assembly.

    (Note that during the rigging phase there is a stay that extends from the base of the bow sprit to the foremast. You may want to hold off in attaching the bowsprit until the rigging phase as it is very difficult to attach this line after the bowsprit is attached. If you choose to do this remember to attach the rigging line to the base of the bowsprit before gluing the sprit to the hull. Just let the line hang free for now.)

    2. Prime and paint the assembled hulls. I paint the decks first and then the exterior surfaces of the ship.

    3. Glue the hulls to the bases. I paint the bases first but add wakes and bow waves after gluing the hulls on. I have all my bases painted and finished just awaiting the fleet. My bases are 4mm thick cardboard with tin foil waves. They are 40mm wide and overlap the stern and bowsprits of the models by about 1cm. All painted a cheerful Caribbean blue. I’ve added magnetic sheet to the bottom of all the bases. This helps prevent warping in addition to the advantages of having magnetic bases.

    4. Paint and attach the masts from front to back. Remember that line attached to the bowsprit? You may also want to tie on the center-line stays to the foremast at this point. Again, just let them hang free until you’ve attached all the masts. Attach the boom and gaff to the mizzenmast before attaching it to the hull. The boom is the longer of the two pieces and goes on the bottom! (I got these mixed up on the first two models I built. Most people won’t notice but I know it’s wrong! It will also complicate rigging and attaching the sails if you mess this up.)

    5. If you intend to include the running rigging, now is the time to attach the lifts that run from the mast-tops to the yards. (This is the perfect time to practice ‘V’ rigging.) By attaching the lifts to the fronts of the masts and yards the ends will be hidden by the sails. This will also lead to a cleaner look on the back of the masts since so much of the running rigging attaches there.

    6. Gird your loins in preparation for rigging.

    7. Rig the center line standing rigging (e.g., the lines that run from mast to mast). I work from front to back, bottom up. However, for now leave off the forestays that hold the jibs.

    8. Attach the ratlines. While I’m not a fan of the acetate ratlines provided by Warlord, after much experimentation I decided my skills were not up to scratch building ratlines and my budget won’t accommodate photo-etched additions. So… I used the acetate ones. NOTE: The ratlines often cover the holes in the bulwarks of the ships provided for running the shrouds. You’ll either need to trim the ratlines to expose these holes or add holes to the ratlines to allow the shrouds to pass through them.

    9. Attach the shrouds. These are the lines that run from the mast tops to the sides of the ship. Running them through the holes in the bulwarks can be challenging to say the least.

    10. Attach the jibs and mizzen sail. I glue the jibs to lines first, and then run the lines from the bowsprit to the foremast. Ensure that the jibs sit just about on the bowsprit—they should not be halfway up the stay! You may need to trim the mizzen sail to get a good fit. Again, I believe the leading edge of the sail should be right up against the mizzen mast and the top should fit right along the gaff. I think the bottom edge could run free of the boom—I’m not entirely certain it was attached for its full length.

    11. Attach the square sails. I used the provided cardboard sails as templates after cutting them down to what I thought was the appropriate size—except for the mizzen sail which was entirely wrong. So I drew the new sails on light card stock, painted them—front and back—an off-white with some beige shading and let that dry. Some details were added (reefing points and seams) with a sharp pencil. I then cut out three sides of the individual sails but left the bottom margin where I had written the position of the sail. I then moistened the back sides and wrapped them around a large marker to impart the right curvature. I then wrapped string around the sails/marker to hold them in place and let them dry over night. Once dry and unwrapped, then, one by one, the bottom margin was trimmed off and the sail was glued to the appropriate yardarm.

    12. Attach the running rigging. Again, I worked from front to back—foremast to mizzen—bottom to top. Again, ‘V’ rigging worked best for me.

    13. Rig the bowsprit, jib lines and dolphin striker.

    14. Attach ensigns, flags and pennants.

    15. Breathe deeply and relax.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134311
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    Wow Jeff! Awesome tutorial! Very impressive. I have been seeing some great builds of these 1/700 scale Warlord ships, but just haven’t convinced myself to make the jump from 1/1200 yet. You mentioned early on that you found a couple of ratline jigs somewhere, could you share those please? I made one a while back but would be interested in alternative ideas. You also mentioned your paper sails curling too much from the paint. Try painting them with PVA first, then shaping. Once the sails are completely dry, the paint won’t warp them. I really, really like what you have done and look forward to seeing the completed frigate!

    Vol

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #134348
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks.

    I should also mention that I was inspired by Rory’s rigging tutorials. I couldn’t remember where I’d seen them until you posted, Vol. I’m glad to see they are still up on your site.

    Here are the ideas I was looking at when considering making my own ratlines. The third one in particular has some neat ideas. I really liked the idea of using an old plastic lid to create a ‘loom’. I just don’t think I could pull it off.

    https://modelexpo-online.com/MS7201-RATLINER–THE-SHROUD-BUILDING-TOOL–FOR-APPROXIMATE-SCALE-OF-176-TO-190_p_1509.html

    https://www.micromark.com/search?keywords=ratline

    Black Seas Ratlines options for your ships

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134385
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    Oh I really like the ideas on the Warlord site!

    This was mine

    Ratline jig 1

    Ratlines

     

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #134551
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    That looks like a very practical and successful jig, Vol. Looks to be cut out of some sort of … hard board? the finished product appear quite serviceable, too.

    Meanwhile, work continues at the autodidact ship yard. Two more vessels painted and ready for rigging. These things are enjoyable to paint–if you’re into that! This will be a French brig to balance out the earlier British one and of course I couldn’t pass up Pellew’s (Hornblower’s boss) ship the ‘ole Indy. Notice I haven’t attached the masts yet. Looks like the HMS Indefatigable is in the process of being dismasted. I’m intending on stinging the lifts and perhaps a few of the stays before gluing in the masts. Unless something else comes up stringing the brig will start tomorrow after cleaning up the masts a bit.

    BTW, when was it appropriate for a British ship to fly the Union from the foremast peak? I keep seeing paintings of ships flying a small Union there but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some sort of etiquette involved.

     

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134563
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    During the 18th & 19th centuries the union jack was only fown in harbor from a rigged “jackstaff” in the bows

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #134626
    carojoncarojon
    Participant

    Bravo, Jeff, love the work.

    JJ

    http://jjwargames.blogspot.co.uk

    #134691
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    The French brig as been rigged. If it was not for the fact that these things are just so darn cool looking all rigged up it would not be worth the effort!

    I had a better grasp of what I was doing on this one but that didn’t stop me from making quite a few mistakes in the rigging. In fact, I think I’ll name the vessel Lessons Learned. What would that be in French? On the other hand, these vessels existed in a web of ropes, lines and pulleys. This is just a small interpretation to suggest that. Who can really say anything’s wrong? I just chose to represent some lines and not others. Notice I tried to represent non-British rigging with this one.

    It was also an experiment in rigging material. The black standing rigging is cotton thread, coated with PVA. The running rigging is synthetic thread, PVA coated. I experimented with 8lb mono-filament, too, but I didn’t use it on this model (maybe on the next one). Overall, I like working with the synthetic-PVA best. The cotton has too many stray fibres which looks unruly and slovenly. (At least on close inspection under a magnifying visor!) Try as might, I could not get the fibres to lay down–even coating them with PVA. I even tried thinning the glue but all the water simply allowed the thread to stretch and sag. I’m much happier with the synthetic.

    I’m still thinking about going with royal French ensigns rather than Napoleonic. To be honest, my interests are more in the naval actions of the Seven Years War and the American War of Independence. But the named models are clearly geared more for the Napoleonic and I like the extra individual details. Oh, decisions, decisions!

    Anyhow… As I’ve often said, ‘No pictures, it didn’t happen.’ Here are the pictures the prove it happened.

     

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134697
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    Just awesome Jeff! Love the paint schemes.

    The only thing I know to make those pesky cotton fibers lay down is to wax the thread before using it. I use beeswax, but candlewax works too. Just run the thead between your thumb and cake of wax several times quickly. Then once again between your thumb and forefinger to knock off any wax bits. Now it’s ready to go.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #134806
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    Thanks, Vol. Yeah, I tried chapstick (of all things–but it’s mostly beeswax) but it didn’t seem to help much. Tasted good, though.

    YOUZAH! My first day’s work on a frigate. Definately some poor model design issues going on there but I’m too tuckered out to pontificate. Tomorrow’s goals are the lifts and the sails. Maybe some running rigging if it goes smoothly.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134813
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    It is looking good Jeff! The wife just brought home my first fleet pack from the PO. Can’t wait to get into it, but I have to finish the little Langton sloop I started first.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #134888
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    I’ve closed a circle! Started with l’Hermione, then constructed and completed two brigs, then painted another frigate, started rigging l’Hermione, started painting a 3rd rater, finally finished l’Hermione. Today, I finished what I started. Only 23 more ships to go!

    This is probably overkill but what the heck. I think I’ve gone overboard as it is.

    Once I looked at the pictures I noticed I’d knocked the foretopsail off the spar. That’s been fixed.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #134982
    hammurabi70hammurabi70
    Participant

    Most impressive.  I am trying to work out how to do this with 1/4800 models.

    I think it’s time for booze. No, I KNOW it!   

    Sun over the yardarm.

    #135011
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    1/4800! Good luck!

    Awesome turnout Jeff. I like the way the sails look on Hermione. Did you have any difficulty fitting them after you had done the standing rigging? I have always rigged after putting sails on the 1/1200 models.

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #135015
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    @Hammurabi, 1/4800 scale? So a ship is what, half an inch in length? And I thought my rigging thread was a bit too thick for the scale….

    @Vol, the only issue I had was that I had to cut a small notch in the upper edges of the topsails to accommodate the stays.  My sails are about 1/8th inch shorter than the provided Warlord sails and of slightly lighter card. The ratlines and the positioning of the shrouds are the real challenges.

    I’m planning a step-by-step photo tutorial for the next rigging job. Starting it tomorrow.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #135037
    hammurabi70hammurabi70
    Participant

    1/4800 is an experiment.  Never having done Napoleonic naval before I know nothing about painting them, what colours to use and where to start.  In this case a SoL is about 3/4 inch so it seems more like masochism to paint such a small ship … but then micro tanks are not very big either and some people even have 2mm and 3mm figures.

    #135040
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    Biiiiggg magnifying glass!

     

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

    #136974
    Autodidact-O-SaurusAutodidact-O-Saurus
    Participant

    The latest additions to the fleets. I had a lot of problems rigging these. Glad they’re done! I don’t know if I was just getting overconfident and careless? Maybe it was just bad luck. Seems like even the humidity was causing problems. Anyway, 6 down.  4 more frigates, 4 more third raters, 2 first raters and a handful of brigs (some to be converted to schooners) to go. But first I’ve got some Ancients and French and Indian war figures to get off the painting desk.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
    More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/

    #136985
    VolunteerVolunteer
    Participant

    They look great Jeff!

    "Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing"
    Wernher von Braun

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