The Standing rigging is now complete. The main challenge was the rat lines (the netting the sailors used to climb up the mast). Following are six images showing the technique I used to get the effect I was after. As I have seen many examples of well-made models that have been let down only by hairy unnatural rigging poking in all directions, one of my main concerns was to get the ratlines to loop down in a natural way.
Once the main lines (made from 0.8mm thread) had been fitted to the mast and deadeyes, I drew up spacing lines on a card where the ratlines were to be placed.
Using a thick needle and ratlines made of 0.25mm thread, I held the thick down line with tweezers pushed the needle through each large thread in turn. Using the back cardboard spacer, I repeated the process until all the vertical ratlines were in place, as per Image C.
Image D shows how, using another piece of thread, I tied a knot at the right end of each vertical line. A drop of superglue was then carefully placed on each knot. Not only does this hold all in palace, but it makes it much easier to cut the ends of the knot cleanly with fine wire nippers.
Image E shows the tweezers holding thread down whilst I superglued the next intersection of the lines. The glue dries almost immediately, and the line retains its downward loop. One has to be careful not to use too much however, as it distorts the effect. I decided that I would not add a knot to all of the downward lines, just the ends, as at this scale it would be ‘over the top’.
Image F shows the finished effect.
This section of the rigging took me three days to complete, and I have had a neck ache for the whole of the weekend…model-makers beware!! Running rigging is to be completed next.
Contributed by model-maker Mike Bass.