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Railings and rigging for beginners?

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I'm planning my first ship build in a very long while and seeing how kits evolved since I last touched one I was wondering how to go about installing/glueing PE railings in place. I was searching for tutorials but there is a surprinsingly low amount of information on that.


I read something about three possible methods:

  • glue on the side of the ship and hide the edges under putty => lots of work and not very realistic?
  • glue on it edge => extremely fragile?
  • use thin wire to reinforce the PE parts from the inside then use tiny holes for fixing to the deck => sounds about the best method so far


Rigging is a similar subject as far as a beginner is involved... How to do that and what materials to use? I've seen a tutorial about rigging biplanes using some Uschi van der Rosten materials. Is that all?


Any source of information you might care to share is greaty appreciated! Thank you!


PS: Are there any good modelling magazines with ship building topics?

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I just glue railings to the deck about 0.5mm from the edge. It's fragile, but the whole detailed model is fragile and can only safely be handled by the hull from below anyway.



For rigging, I use Infini Model lycra rigging line. It's stretchy, but you're not supposed to tension it - only straighten it out. I apply a dot of medium CA to the attachment point at one end, lay on the lycra and let it dry. I then apply a glue dot to the other attachment point and move the reel past that, pull it until straight (not pulled tight!) and let that dry. Once dry, each end is trimmed with a fresh scalpel blade. It's easy :)

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I agree Infini Rigging is really good , or you can use ultra-fine synthetic fishing line ( its strong and you get loads  )

for the railings , use super glue , and also do it in small manageable sections , don't try to do too much at once

Edited by 73north

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I use a small needle with the tip of the eye snipped off for supergluing railings (the gap between the 'prongs' holds a small amount of glue). For extra control push the pointy end into a piece of pencil eraser or cork.

Another good idea is to drill a shallow hole (5mm diameter ish) into a tealight candle (trimmed suitably flat on the top) and squirt your superglue into the hole. It'll stay liquid longer and minimize using the bottle.


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There are differing methods for photo etch railing and rigging.


In my experience, the trick to doing this the easy way is getting the right glue.


I've got white PVA which makes it very easy for all photo etch and rigging. 

It's important to pre-prepare the railing piece to the exact correct bent shape. Then white PVA can be applied with a fine brush and is so easy to brush along the edge of the railing and it grabs on placing on the model, the glue can be thinned with water and thinly painted along the joint of the newly fitted railing to fill and reinforce, and the brush cleaned with water. It is surprisingly strong when set, not at all fragile.


I use Uni Caenis 20 denier line for rigging, excellent line which is fine, even and strong, and to finish it tightens nicely with a heated item held close.


Edited by Rob 1

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An informative thread, hope you don't mind me asking a question.


With respect to railings, when do you paint them? before you fix them of after.

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