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Newby question on rigging

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I am doing some basic research on my Victory build and I read that it is recommended to run rigging over bees wax to help preserve the thread and I guess prevent fraying, stray wisps, etc.


But the question then is how do you glue lines together, such as in the ratlines (I think that's the term, the 'ladders' running up each mast). I am also pondering gluing lines to blocks as I am building in 1/180 (the Airfix kit). Wouldn't the wax prevent adherence of the lines?



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14 hours ago, Killingholme said:

Do you need thread at all if you're modelling in 1/180 scale? Other than the really big lines such as the stays, I think monofilament may be the better way to go for such a small scale model?


Interesting point


Main stays would be in the order of 60mm diameter @ 1/180 = 0.33mm


Coming from the other direction smallest thread available 0.15mm @ 1/180 = 27mm in real life i.e. a light line


Will monofiliment bend around a block without putting excessive tension on the line?



I would suggest experimenting first



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  • 8 months later...

Coming in a bit late here, but for small scales tinned copper wire, painted is good. I also use fly tying 'silks' and lacemaking linen. Which comes in very fine thicknesses.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd also recommend the better quality rigging threads as suggested above.  My amati ship came with 0.1mm threads as the finest size and they had no stray hairs or fuzziness. Ratline knots were sealed with CA applied with a pin, but dilute pva applied with a brush works well too. No need for wax.

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Just revisited this area and saw these posts - thank you guys for the added ideas. 


From my (limited) knowledge, I think some rigging (standing?) was tarred (?) so perhaps a run over with black (or very dark grey) paint would also help with any stray fuzz. I like the idea of the diluted PVA too, but does this leave a slightly glossy finish?





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  • 2 months later...

Hi Peter,

For rigging thread, working in 1:150 or thereabouts, I've been using thread bought from sewing sections in variety stores, but I pick through & look for the ones with the least fuzz. Black button & upholstery thread is good for shrouds & stays, shades of tan regular sewing thread for running rigging: more yellow-golden for new "hemp" & grey-ish tans for more weathered rigging. For lines meant to hang slack, like the sheets & tacks of a lower sail hauled up "in it's gear" (how they're often molded in kits), or the weather sheets of jibs, I'll use stretched sprue or painted wire. Footropes (another thing that would normally be tarred) seem to work best on thin black annealed wire, with stretched sprue "stirrups" between footropes & yards. I've been cheating on the ratlines at these scales, super-gluing black stretched sprue to the shrouds.




Even on running rigging, only the lines that actually run through blocks or fairleads are generally not tarred. Pendants for yard braces, jib sheets & such were & are usually tarred. Blocks on this Airfix Endeavour were made by sliding pieces of thick brown stretched sprue up between running parts of lines & CA-ing them against the pendants, then snipping off the excess. With care, only one end of each bit needs trimming:




-Newbie Myself, here

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  • 2 weeks later...

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