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About patmaquette

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  1. @Black Knight & @mdesaxe very many thanks for your insights and information. It's really good to have your contributions and I much appreciate it. I'll study the information on flags. Having completed work on the rigging, I've moved on to detailing the hull. The cannon castings had been painted a bronze colour - a lighter shade on top and darker beneath - and drilled out at the breach end to take a short length of wire that was glued in place. This in turn located into a hole already in place in each gun mount to hold the cannon in place. A rectangle of plastic card was notched at its corners to provide a further support for the cannon whilst the glue set. 9-pdr demi-culverin for example..... The lids for the gun ports were also castings. The plastic ones in the kit were given some extra detail for the hinges. A larger one was also needed for the big guns along the gun deck, so the master for these was made by adding some plastic strip around the sides. These two sizes on lid were cast from a one-piece mould..... The detail on the outboard face of the lids was captured okay, but the inboard side had lots of air pockets, so I scratched my head for a while to think about what to do. I saw from my own searches that the port doors had a raised inner "lining" that was made from a softer wood, so I recreated this with rectangles of 0.3 mm plastic card glued over the pock-holed surface & painted with a wood colour mixed from Humbrol 103 Deck Tan and 84 Sand. Individual planks were added in a vertical direction with various tones on acrylic paint and plank edges marked by pencil. I now had doors with interesting detail on both faces that I did not want to hide, so - despite the fine advice above (apologies @Black Knight!) - decided to attach them at an angle so both sides could be viewed. A short length of wire was added from the outboard side of each lid to the hull to represent the rope that was hauled on to swing them open. I think for the larger ports I really should have put two ropes on, attached to the ends of the hinge plates. I reckoned to myself that having the doors in this position would shield the gunners inside from small bore fire coming from the upperworks of the enemy - who knows! Some shading and highlighting was applied by brush. I found it useful to rest my hand on a wood block when doing the detail work.... The hinges in the white area of the rudder were outlined with Citadel Nuln oil dituted in Vallejo thinner medium. The shaded areas were given a heavier application. Joints between the planks (which had been cut in using an Olfa-P cutter) were shaded with The Army Painter Soft Tone Ink, once again diluted with Vallejo Thinner Medium. I had noticed that some rudders had chains to the transom. I found some photoetched ones in my spares box. I played around with a piece of copper wire to get the shape I wanted for the chains and, once decided, then worked the photo etch to shape. Some excess length was left on to hold the chain for painting and washing. This was then assembled to the transom. A plastic card spacer was placed between the rudder and post to set the gap between the two as the glue set. Next step: anchors. Many thanks for reading and any comments gratefully received! Cheers for now, Pat
  2. @Black Knight - you are a gold mine of information - many thanks for your help! Here are the flags supplied in the kit..... From the box art, it looks as though the green striped flag would be the one flown from the Gaff Staff...... Ideally for the museum, the flag would bear the colours of Sir Walter Rayleigh...... (Image courtesy Wikimedia commons) However, according to Wiki the ship was procured from Sir Walter by the crown in January 1587 and that was the same year as her launch, so it looks to me like she never sailed under Sir Walter's colours nor as Ark Rayleigh. I'll have some discussions with the museum to see if they have a viewpoint. A thousand thanks once again for your help, Black Knight. Pat
  3. Thank you @Murdo, I'm delighted you find something here of interest . Enormous thanks, @Black Knight for watching over my progress and coming to my aid on many occasions. @beefy66 this model is a complete departure from my usual choice of subject and it really has been enjoyable and interesting. I've learnt a lot about the old ships. I was interested to see how the old Airfix kits would come out using modern materials, such as Vallejo paints and elastic rigging thread, and have to say they "scrub up nicely". The second mizzen mast is often referred to as the bonaventure, or "good luck" mast. The reasoning behind this is not known, but it is thought to be either due the precarious position of it over the stern combined with having to climb the lighter standing rigging, or because the sail was only deployed in fair weather conditions. Preparation was much the same as for the mizzen mast: a crows foot was attached to the peak of the lateen yard and rigging secured at deck level. An "outlicker" or "bumpkin" was added to the poop deck which passes through the transom just below the taff rail. As before, a template was drawn of the crows foot for the yard lift...... And some wire bent to shape and glued in place.... The elastic threads for the mast shroud & back stay were tensioned in the right direction before glue was applied at deck level (where the poop deck has been widened as part of the conversion of Revenge to Ark Royal). The glue tends to track a short way along the thread and so if you don't have them in the right direction the line can end up looking crooked. Here is the poop deck with the outlicker and flag pole (is that the right name for it?). A block has been glued at the far end to line up with the corner (clew) of the sail. The mast was now glued and supported in place. It was checked to be vertical and in line with the other masts in one direction and to have the desired backwards rake (greater than the mizzen mast) when looked at from the side..... The rigging for the bowlines and tacks at the fore end (nock) of the yard were a real pain to install. They seemed to take hours and my patience was about gone when I was finished, so I left the model for the day rather than press on. Rigging for the yard hoist, yard lift, shroud and back stay were easily and quickly connected to the mast top. The mast was given two fore stays at it was not possible in this case to run a single stay to the mast in front as it would interfere with shifting the mizzen sail when tacking. References say the stays should connect to the mizzen mast shrouds, but I took them down to the mizzen mast chainwale (where the deadeyes are for the mizzen shrouds). The upper half of the forestay is a length of wire folded at the middle to make a port and starboard line and terminated with blocks made from discs punched from plastic card. It was glued to the mast and left to set solid. The same size of disc was also glued to the chainwale and elastic thread connected between the discs to represent the halyard for tensioning the stays. The yard lift was run in a similar fashion to that of the mizzen, with a standing "pendant" line attached to the mizzen mast top and a "whip" running from the crows foot via the pendant to the top of the bonaventure mast. Installing the lifts highlighted a problem mentioned in one of my references that the pendants interfere with the masts when the yards are shifted from one side of the mast to the other. The reference says that maybe the yard lifts were left slack and the yard position was set at deck level using the bowlines only. The other thing I observed was that the length of the yard from the nock to mast connection (parrel) needs to be less than the height from the deck to the parrel so the yard can be brought to the vertical and swung around the mast when tacking from side to side. The Airfix kit fails this test but I still think Airfix's research for the model & box art was otherwise really impressive. Before completing the mast work (or "tophamper") by adding the bowsprit, I'll finish work on the hull first of all. Nevertheless, completing the upright masts is a major milestone for me that I've been waiting to get to for an age, so time for me to have a little celebration I think! Some details coming up shortly have me a little puzzled.... What to do with the ships' boat. I read that it was normally towed along rather than hoisted onto the (crowded) main deck (and stored upside down or the right way up)? How best to paint a realistic lantern on the stern? The small guns. From what I have read, the "Port piece" and "Fowler" guns that Ark Royal was said to carry are actually very big breech loading wrought iron guns. I do not know what they look like, but they don't sound to be small guns that sit on the bulwarks or tops. I may forget about them but just install the small guns Airfix supply in their kit. Any thoughts? Airfix supply a printed set of flags/pennants (I'll post a photo tomorrow). I'm not sure I can make them look realistic or if they have the correct design. Thanks again everyone for your interest and comments, Cheers for now, Pat
  4. Thank you for your comment, Steve , but I must admit to getting more and more nervous working on the model as it is so delicate. It is difficult working on the rigging without nudging something or another on it and breaking a glued joint. I found a spider weaving a web in it this afternoon and was tricky to remove the web even though the spider was only a small one. The elastic rigging line has been super and I use it where I can, but it is actually rectangular in section rather than circular, so doesn't look perfect. Now onto rigging the mizzen mast. I have made replacement shrouds from tinned copper wire as described previously. The only difference was that the shrouds for this mast are smaller than the main mast. I used 0.2 mm wire (but 0.15 mm would be the correct size) compared to 0.3 mm for the main shrouds. The wire was also somewhat softer and so after having cleaned off the oxide by pulling it through some abrasive paper, I pulled it straight between two pairs of pliers, giving it some extra stretch to work harden the copper. Here you can just about make out the clear plastic template in position on the model for marking out. The bottom edge has already been cut at an angle so the sides of the template are vertical. This is helpful for marking the position of the ratlines square to the edge.... The top of the template will be cut to the height the shrouds need to have to fit against the mast top. The template was placed on the modelling board and bordered by strips of plastic card. These have a layer of double sided tape to hold the ends of the wire in position. Glue was applied where each wire crosses: it was more tricky to avoid getting surplus glue onto the template owing to the wire being thinner this time. Once the adhesive had cured, the wire was cut through with a scalpel and the shroud assembly complete with template lifted clear on the modeling board.... With the assembly placed template side up and held down to try and keep everything flat, a long scalpel blade was then run along the shrouds to remove the template..... Excess lengths of ratline are now trimmed back to the shrouds. A nib of extra wire is left to represent the knots and to avoid cutting into the glued joint..... After some flattening, the shrouds were airbrushed dark brown-grey enamel, followed by dry brushing with a mid grey and picking out where the knots should be with a dot of light grey paint: I used an oil paint mix for that because it was quite a long job and the paint stays workable on the palette throughout. The shrouds were then set aside to dry until needed (which was well beyond after the oil paint had dried). I will use some nautical terminology here and there as I find it quite interesting once you get over being baffled by it. Rigging started at the "nock" (fore end) of the lateen yard. Here there are two tack lines to run from the bottom forward corner of the sail to the fairleads fixed to the deck mentioned in the post above. According to one of my references, the lateen sail is the purely triangular part of the sail. The rectangular strip that runs across the bottom is known as a "bonnet" and the combination of the two is called a "settee". There are pairs of lines that run from the nock itself to belaying pin rails on the bulwarks. These are known as bowlines. Strangely and confusingly, there are bowlines on the square sails as well (they are the complicated arrangements down the sides of the sails), but their function and point of attachment is completely different. All of these were made from fishing line that I coated in matt varnish and hung to dry straight before cutting to length and gluing in place. Blocks made from punched discs of plastic card were glued in places to represent the tackle according to the references. (My punch and die set has been an essential tool for this model). The ropes already glued to the post (knight} in the deck in front of the mast were glued to the pulley for the yard hoist and the yard lift. Four ropes on the belaying rail behind the mast were taken to the mizzen lower top for the brails (foot brail at the bottom of the sail and peak brail for the aft side) that were used for hauling in the sail. The yard lift runs from the top end (the "peak") of the mizzen yard. I had already made a wire frame to represent the "crows foot" (see post above) and now I connected a "whip" line from this to a "pendant" line attached to the lower main mast top and from there down to a block on the lower mast top. A pair of braces were added for the main top and main top gallant yards. They are quite complicated affairs made easier to model by using elastic thread. Rigging for the mizzen was completed by sheet lines from the corner (clew) of the sail to the poop deck rail. There was no belaying rail for these so I needed to add something looking like a coil of rope. After trying and failing to make something realistic, I settled on using wire as follows: I cut a rectangle of plastic card and put this between the points of some clamping tweezers.... Fine soft wire was wrapped around this to create the rope coil..... The clamp was then released on the tweezers and the plastic card removed..... A second pair of pointy tweezers was used to squeeze in the waist of the coil..... Some thread was tied around the waist..... The coils were airbrushed dark sand all over, followed by a light sand colour from the direction of light..... Installed in position..... ....and at the foot of the bowsprit..... That completes the mizzen mast - now onto the second mizzen "bonaventure" mast. Thank you for reading and any comments would be most welcome, Cheers, Pat
  5. Continuing now with the masts....... The mizzen and bonaventure yards were glued to their masts, making sure they were angled correctly to follow the decks. A piece of foam was needed to push the bonaventure sail outwards whilst the glue set. Once glued solid, the mizzens were removed for further detailing. The mizzen mast has a complicated rope arrangement at its peak (known as a crows foot I believe) which I presume is intended to spread the load along the yard. After toying around with different ways of making this, I settled on using wire. The first task was to sketch the arrangement onto some paper held against the model.... Four blocks punched from plastic card were attached to the paper using Liquitape at the connection points. Wire was bent to shape and trimmed to size to lay onto the blocks. The wire was glued to the blocks in stages as everything wanted to wander around. The completed frame was then glued to the mizzen yard and then painted up. Some further sheave blocks were attached to the mast for the rigging to be run later.... A pair of blocks were made from plasticard and wire in the same way as mentioned previously for the main and fore stays. This was glued into a hole drilled in the mast having first checked that it was set at the correct angle..... A small fairlead was made up from plastic strip and rod, painted dark grey and attached to the deck. This was later used to secure the tack lines for the mizzen sail. The mizzen stay is elastic thread. It was trimmed to the right length so it would be under light tension with the mizzen mast in place. The trimmed end was dipped in some superglue and pulled to a point without gluing my fingers together. The thread was then inserted into a hole already in the blocks and glued in place. A prop was needed to keep the thread in line whilst the glue set. The mizzen mast was then glued into place, taking great care to check it was aligned correctly and supported in place whilst the glued joint set solid. I've started rigging the mast and hopefully will be done tomorrow. Thanks again for looking! Pat
  6. Hi everyone. Before gluing the mizzen mast in place, I need to install the four 6-pdr saker guns on the half deck. Much the same process as done for the 18-pdr culverin, some wire was bent to shape to represent the gun tackle, painted and glued to the carriages. Plastic card discs represented rope blocks. This was then shaded and highlighted: using dots of Vallejo Pale Sand along the wire gave a convincing representation of twisted rope. Another two sets of gun tools was also made up from wire, again in the same way as those for the culverins, but a smidgen shorter and the mops and rams smaller in diameter. The individual tools were laid into a holder formed from wire and held in place with a coat of Vallejo varnish. Once dry, the reverse (hidden) side was coated with superglue. Painting was Humbrol Brown Bess all over, followed by Humbrol 94 Sand on the exposed surface followed by Humbrol 103 Deck Tan with a spot of H94 added. Mop heads and the ends of each rod were picked out with Vallejo Off White. The ram heads were painted Vallejo Green Ochre and the holders dark grey. The tool racks were attached first. A hair clip held them in place and, once any adjustments had been made, a spot of superglue at each end fixed them in place. The guns were then superglued in place to complete the job.... Many thanks for looking! Cheers, Pat
  7. Hi everyone, I hope you are well. I've now moved on to building the two mizzen masts. The kit part for the forward mizzen yard didn't look too good, so I made a replacement from a wooden skewer, much as I did for the main sail yard, although being a lateen yard that runs in a fore-aft direction it is not symmetrical about its mid-point, unlike the yards for the square sails. Fortunately my references give diameters at points along the yard and so after a few sums I was ready to go. I also decided to make a replacement for the second mizzen mast (also known as the bonaventure mizzen) so both could be finished identically. They came out okay - slightly better than the plastic ones they replace - but far from perfect..... Holes were drilled for pinning the yards to the masts. Finishing was simply a coat of The Army Painter Soft Tone ink applied with a Microbrush followed by Strong Tone ink applied along the shaded underside of the yard. The sails were trimmed to fit their yards and superglued in place. This had to be done in stages as the sail mouldings had some kinks and curves.... The join was reinforced by supergluing some plastic rod along its length, which also acted to close off the gaps so you cannot see daylight between the sail and yard.... The "robands" that hold the sail to the yard were added from 0.2mm lead wire in the same way as mentioned previously (page 8)...... There were various arrangements of ropes used for furling the sail. Those moulded into the mizzen sails by Airfix correspond to my references in some respects, but not others. The ropes running to the foot of the lateen sail (which are known as "brails") look to be correct for the period. However, the single rope to the aft edge of the sail was probably from a slightly later period and should be the rather complicated "martnet" arrangement that can be seen on the fore and main sails. I laid thread over the moulded detail on both sides of the sail using the varnish method also mentioned on page 8...... The next step will be to add some blocks. References show that the leads from the brails run to blocks on the main mast shrouds before going down to belaying pins at deck level. That makes absolutely no sense to me (no, I don't mean the nautical terminology as I am "getting into" that!) but because everything would need to be dismantled each time the mizzen yard was moved from one side of the mast to the other (which would be the case when tacking so as to place the sail and yard on the leeward side of the mast so the sail would fill completely) and the sail could not be held furled during the manoeuvre. I am aware that it was quite a palaver to move the yard and sometimes they didn't bother, but kept the yard on the windward side and the sail blown against the mast. This was known as a "bad tack", but was deemed acceptable to sail like that at times. For my model, I shall run the leads to a belaying rail at the foot of the mast as I reckon you could then shift the yard from one side to the other without dismantling the brails. It may not be in accordance with my references, but I have my doubts about their perceived wisdom of the period. It's interesting what you come across when you make a model! Many thanks for reading and I would be interested to hear your thoughts, Cheers, Pat
  8. Hi everyone. A small progress update, but for me a milestone achieved. I've gone as far as I intend with the rigging between the fore and main masts. This comprises the main mast stays, braces for the fore yards and bowlines for the main sails. The latter divide into a number of "bridles" and are quite time consuming to make. I have added blocks from punched discs of plastic card but shan't paint them until the entire ship has been rigged. I will now move on to work on another part of the model. Here are some photos.... I'm building the model in a cabin in my garden. I'm a bit worried that a spider or two might take up residence in the rigging. It may be difficult to remove a spiders web without damaging the rigging - assuming I'll be able to tell the difference between one and the other! Thanks for looking & any thoughts would be welcomed! Pat
  9. @bismarck builder I'm glad you like it, Gary. I had similar problems with warped plastic parts and also breaks of the brittle plastic. I epoxied the deck to a wooden former to keep it straight and also found it helpful to add some deck supports onto the inside of the hull halves. This made a big difference to getting the hull assembled together all in line. Take a look at the first page or two of the blog if you are interested in what I did. Despite these problems and the age of the kit, it turns out well and is a fun project. Thank you once again @Black Knight. I like the look of the raked foremast and was pleased to see the diagram in the Baker Manuscript that I have been using a lot for reference happens to show this. My references say that in general the foremast usually leaned slightly forward although instances of it being vertical are known. The mainmast was said to lean backwards by as much as 1/25 of its length (works out at 2.3 degrees) or was sometimes vertical. I've gone for vertical. The mizzen masts always sloped backwards by an angle greater than the main mast. The Airfix kit has a definite angle on the location pin that will do this, but I'm leaving the mizzens until I have made more progress amidships. @Fat Albertmany thanks, I'm glad you like it. Yes, I have some crew for the ship. I would have ideally liked to have them ready to fit, but unfortunately are taking a lot of time to make and paint so I'm going to leave them until the ship is built. I'll post some photos of them later on. Now for the Main Mast..... The mainstay is elastic thread with a 0.6mm diameter black woven outer that looks realistic without any further treatment. It connects to the top of the lower main mast by means of a loop which has to pass over the shrouds. This was done by fraying the thread and dividing it into two strands that were passed through the gap under the mast cap before knotting together, gluing the knot and then trimming off the loose ends. It was trimmed to length and the free end glued to a wire loop that runs around the foremast and down to the ships' beak. It includes a set of deadeyes made in the same way as shown earlier for the fore-stay, but 10% bigger...... The rope areas of the mainstay loop were painted black/grey and given a rope effect by applying diagonal lines of mid grey paint...... With the mainstay firmly attached so that it was stretched taught when the main mast was placed into the deck socket, the main mast was clamped in position whilst the glue set in very much the same way as I did for the foremast...... I fitted the shrouds much earlier than I did for the foremast. This was because it was more difficult to find routes for the rigging lines that would not interfere with putting the shrouds on later. Some photos of work in progress.... The rigging of the mainmast is largely done and I am now working on the rigging that runs between the foremast and mainmast. This has been slow going today and it is all too easy to clout the model with my clumsy hands, but fortunately nothing has broken so far. Here are some photos of where I have got to: I do like how the model is looking. It is very atmospheric. A most enjoyable experience and I look forward to working on it each day. Thank you for reading and your interest, Cheers, Pat
  10. After all this time, the moment has come to add the masts - some major visible progress at last! My plan is to fit and rig the foremast, then the main mast, then the rigging between them. So here we go with the foremast... I first checked that the hull was sitting vertically in my building jig (easy enough by using a square against the transom). I had already worked on the mast to deck fit at an early stage of the build and had glued some bits of plastic strip to the base of the mast to get a snug fit. I rigged up a support to hold the top of the mast in the required position (with a slight rake forward). Once happy that everything was ready to go, I lifted the mast out, committed glue and put everything together, checking once again the mast was correctly placed (including looking downwards to make sure the yards were square) and leaving it overnight to set solid. Rigging started from the centre and worked outward so there was less chance of damaging earlier work. The fishing line was far more difficult to install than the elastic thread. The fishing line was first brushed with matt varnish by means of a Microbrush and then held taught and straight for it to dry. It was then threaded into place and cut to length. A dot of Micro Industries Liquitape held the line in place before applying superglue to fix it. A little help with some tweezers to hold the line taught whilst the glue set was sometimes needed. In comparison, all I did with the elastic thread was to hold it taught with the weight of a hair clip and fix it in place with a spot of superglue, often doing two or three at once. I found it easier to fit the shrouds (the single wire forms made earlier) to one side and complete the rigging on that side before fitting the shrouds and completing the rigging on the other. The mast had some flex before the shrouds were glued to it, so I checked the mast was where it should be before applying the glue. The next step is to repeat the process on the main mast. I'll post photos of that tomorrow. Many thanks for viewing, Pat
  11. Hi again everyone. I hope you are all keeping well. Work is progressing okay with this build. I have glued the sails to the masts, starting with the fore sail as the yard had a positive fit which set the angle that all the sails would then need to sit at to look right. Each sail was glued at three points: where the yard attaches to the mast (known as the parrel) and at each bottom corner (clew) where it was fixed to a brass wire "sheet" bent as necessary to hold the sail secure in the right position. This was a very fiddly and lengthy job to do as each point had to be glued and left to set one at a time. When done, each mast assembly was then pre-rigged as far as possible. Various sizes and colours of fishing line were used for this with a length taken from the spool and drawn through a pool of acrylic matt varnish before being suspended on a weight for the varnish to dry and maintain the line straight. The line was then cut to the requisite length using a pair of dividers to gauge the length and attached in position by dipping each end into superglue and then popping into place using tweezers. Here are the completed mast assemblies. The foremast: The main mast: The bowsprit was done some time ago. All I have done since is to add a couple of rope coils at the root formed from wire and painted: I decided that I would attach the rigging to the hull before putting the masts in place. It took a long time to produce a rigging plan so I could know what size of line went where. I started from the bow and worked towards the stern, although I haven't done anything for the two mizzen masts as yet. Magic Markers were used to colour the elastic thread where used (there being four thicknesses of this). I think the various rope colours and thickness look quite attractive and I have not been as disciplined as I should of having the standing rigging coloured black/brown, but prefer the way the colours stand out..... It looks a bit messy in the photos, but was much neater after I combed it! That's it for now, more to follow before long. Thanks for looking, Pat
  12. I don't know about that Brian! It was one of those rare occasions where a quick play turned out to have worked - there were many things that could have gone wrong but thankfully didn't. I have now made sets for the fore and main lower masts also without problem....... Since taking the above photos, I airbrushed them with a dark brown grey followed by dry brushing the ratlines in medium grey and highlighting the knots with dots of light grey. So far, so good. I've nearly completed assembling the sails and rigging to the masts and am close to gluing them into place and will post some photos when done. Thanks for reading and your interest, Pat
  13. I thought the set of tweezers that Crisp uses to get his results included a magic wand as well. My set arrived today, but disappointed to find it doesn't have one... They look really good and will help a lot with rigging the ship model on my bench at the moment. Pat
  14. @Black Knight @Murdo @mdesaxe Thank you for coming to my rescue! That is one of the great things about the friendly and helpful Britmodeller community. Having discovered the problem I couldn't concentrate on anything else yesterday, so I had a "quick and dirty" go at making a set of shrouds from wire just to see if it would turn out looking any good and what problems would come my way. I first made a new template from a strip of clear plastic. I trimmed its bottom edge so its side was vertical when placed onto the chainwale: all my ratlines were then run square to this side edge. It was then trimmed to the required height and the location of each deadeye marked against the model, as was the opening for the mast top and the position of the lowest ratline. The six shrouds were drawn onto the plastic. The ratlines were then drawn on at a pitch of 3mm, which corresponds to 17 inches at full scale, close enough to the 16" given in my references. The shrouds for the lower foremast should have a scale diameter of 0.27 mm. The closest wire size I have is 0.31 mm (which happens to be spot-on thickness for the main mast shrouds) so I thought I would give this a try and see how it looks. I used 0.20 mm wire for the ratlines. The wire was straightened by stretching it between two pairs of pliers before cutting to length. I taped the template down onto a board and then stuck down some strips of plastic card along each side.... The strips at the top and bottom were the same thickness as the template. Those down the side were the same as the template plus the shrouds. The strips were attached using double-sided tape and more tape was placed on top of the strips to hold the wire. The shrouds were placed first, aligning them with the lines on the template and then holding them in position by pressing their ends into the sticky tape. With all shrouds in place, some single sided sticky tape was added on top to make sure they stayed put...... The same process was followed with the ratlines....... Superglue was placed where each wire touched. I chose a thin glue and applied it using a white Microbrush, which I think is the smallest they do. I tend to overdo gluing, but this time I had to restrain myself to avoid putting on too much and end up gluing the shrouds to the template. I found I could do a pair of shrouds at a time. Steel rules were placed each side and any corrections in position could be made with tweezers and kept in place with some pressure applied to the rulers. The Superglue I use is of the "foam safe" type as I have developed a sensitivity to the usual cyanoacrylates. The stuff takes somewhat longer to cure and so I had to hold the rules pressed in place for a few minutes to make sure the joints didn't spring undone before the glue had set. With everything glued and set, I removed the assembly from the board. This meant snipping the lower end of the shrouds flush with the template and cutting through each ratline where it rested on the plastic card strip. With a bit of easing, teasing and leveraging, the part came free but with the template stuck on here and there. This could be eased off with the use of a long scalpel blade and any glue residues left on the shrouds carefully scraped away. The assembly was placed ratlines-down and each ratline trimmed to length, leaving a small nib of line protruding to represent the knot in the rope and to avoid cutting through the adhesive. I nevertheless placed a further spot of glue onto each just to be sure. Here it is loosely in position. I don't think it looks too bad and it is quite strong, so should help a great deal with supporting the masts..... I think they look better than the Airfix ones even if the Airfix ones fitted correctly. Ideally, it would have been nice to have put a little sag into each ratline, but doing so would put too much strain onto the glued joints. I may be able to make them look a little more natural using paint. Anyway, what do you think? Are any of you saying "yuk - I don't like the look of it"? Thanks once again for your helpful guidance, Cheers, Pat
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