My FIRST ship build: La Couronne Corel/scratch

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Today the mizzenmast futtock shrouds were rigged along with their ratlines. The deadeyes are 3mm deadeyes from Model-Shipyard.com and are actually made from three layers of laser cut cardboard glued together. I hope they are as strong as wood deadeyes. Now it's time to rig the top-ropes, which hoist the topmasts up into position. These ropes are usually rigged temporarily and their blocks and lines are removed once the topmasts are secured in positions aloft. Since EJ put them on his model, I did to. I can leave off the top-ropes for hoisting the topgallants masts and keep things simple. One problem I noticed was that the blocks which are on the deck for each of the top-rope tackles were single blocks. So, I removed them and replaced all three with double blocks. It was tight in there, but they were replaced without any accidents.

The topmasts and caps were glued down into their final positions, and the top-ropes were rigged, starting with tying the line to an eyelet under each cap, running the line through two sheaves in each mast and two blocks hung by hooks on the caps, then running the line down through the top on the port side toward the deck, ending in a single block. A lanyard lashed that block to the double block secured to the deck. After hitching the bitter end of the line above the tackles, the excess line was coiled up on the deck. The pictures below show the work on each top-rope for the foremast, mainmast and then mizzen mast. It's nice to run the very first line of the running rigging, even though the standing rigging is still incomplete higher up.

786 Mizzen Futtock Shrouds.jpg

787 Replace Deck Single Block with Double Block.jpg

788 Replace Deck Single Block with Double Block.jpg

789 Replace Deck Single Block with Double Block.jpg

790 Fore Top-Rope.jpg

791 Fore Top-Rope.jpg

792 Fore Top-Rope.jpg

793 Fore Top-Rope.jpg

794 Rig Main Top-Rope.jpg

795 Rig Main Top-Rope.jpg

796 Main Top-Rope.jpg

797 Main Top-Rope.jpg798 Mizzen Top-Rope.jpg

799 Mizzen Top-Rope.jpg
 
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Today the holes in the fore topmast top were drilled to accept the topgallant futtock shrouds, and the top was glued into position. The shrouds, made of 0.5mm line from Domonoff's Workshop, were made in pairs and seized like before, with the last single set made by tying two lines together in two locations, forming a loop at the center. The knots slip to tighten the loop around the mast. I didn't try splicing the lines like the lower shrouds because they are too small. The first two sets of deadeyes have been lashed.

800 Drill Futtock Shroud Holes in Fore Topmast Top.jpg

801 Rig Fore Topmast Shrouds.jpg

802 Lash Fore Topmast Shroud Deadeyes.jpg

803 Ship in Sunlight.jpg
 
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Joined
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The ratlines for the fore topmast were completed. One side was done first, and the other side was periodically checked using a ruler to make sure the heights of the ratlines match port to starboard. CA glue was used on the end knots for each ratline, and watered down PVA glue was applied to the other knots.

A metal cast decoration, which was originally purchased for the stern decoration but was never used, found some use at last. The angels on each side of a crest were cut apart using a hacksaw, then filed with needle files to final shape. The exposed white metal was painted over with gold metal flake paint, and the angels were added to the stern decoration on each side of the French coat of arms. Twisted brass wire was also glued on as decoration inspired by an interpretation of La Couronne at the Paris Museum of Marine Conservation. It looks better now.

The shrouds for the main topmast were cut, seized in pairs, and placed on the topmast. Then, the topmast top was glued in position on the crosstree. That's all I got done today, and it took about 8 hours.

804 Fore Topmast Shrouds Complete.jpg

805 Rig Ratlines on Fore Topmast.jpg

806 PVA Glue on Knots.jpg

807 Match Ratline Heights Port and Stbd.jpg

808 Fore Topmast Ratlines Complete.jpg

809 Added Angels to Stern Decoration.jpg

810 Stern Decoration.jpg

814 Added Wire Stern Decoration.jpg

811 Drill Futtock Shroud Holes in Main Topmast Top.jpg

812 Rig Main Topmast Shrouds.jpg

813 Glue Main Topmast Top to Crosstree.jpg
 
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The main topmast shrouds are complete. Ratlines are next. You may have noticed that the direction the shroud is wrapped around the deadeye and the lashing lanyard pattern is a mirror opposite for the topmast shrouds when compared to the lower mast shrouds. That is because the shroud lines on the lower masts are right laid, and the topmast shrouds are left laid.

815 Main Topmast Shrouds Complete.jpg

816 Main Topmast Shrouds.jpg
 
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Since the time for rigging the foremast stays is coming up, I needed to make some cleats and attach them to the bowsprit where they will be tied off. I used a band saw to make a column of walnut wood in the shape of a deck cleat and cut sections off that to make 7mm wide cleats. Most of the cleats were finished using a needle file and sandpaper, but some of the cleats at the top of the picture below are rough off the saw. Two cleats were attached to the bowsprit and the rest were saved for later work. Them I went back to ratline rigging, but only got the port main topmast ratlines done.


817 Fabricate Walnut Cleats.jpg

818 Glue Cleats to Bowsprit for Fore Staylines.jpg

819 Complete Stbd Main Topmast Ratlines.jpg
 
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Today the ratlines were completed on the starboard side for the main topmast.

Then, preparations for the fore topmast stay rigging were started by making two euphroes used in the crow's feet for that stay line. A Dremel tool was used to drill a series of holes in a stick of walnut wood, then the outer profile of each euphroe was cut and shaped. To make the line bend properly as if it were bent about a sheave, the edges of the each hole were carved out using the tiny drill bit at a sharply acute angle to the hole. The blocks had their sheave holes properly shaped similarly to the line arcs more sharply in each block.

A 0.5mm stay line was prepared. A loop was and a mouse were fashioned, but the 7mm block that goes on the opposite was not attached. That comes later.

The crow's foot was rigged as follows. The euphroes were lashed to each end of a segment of line, which also passed through a 5mm block. A long length of 0.30mm line was attached to the block, and the other end of it was clamped temporarily to the top of the fore topmast. The length of this line was adjust to place the block and two euphroes at the proper distance from the bowsprit. To make sure that the lines are all equally taut in a Dutch style crow's foot stay, you start work at the bowsprit and work toward the large 7mm block at the end of the stay line. Several short segments of 0.30mm black line were cut for the lines that pass through the euphroes. You start with the line centermost relative to each euphroe, which is the line that passes through the last hole in the euphroe at its bottom end. For each line, you tie the forward end to the bowsprit with a slip knot so it stays tight on the bowsprit. Add a tad of glue to this knot. Then you pass it through the euphroe rearward and secure it to the bowsprit with an overhand bend followed by a half hitch. When the forward most euphroe line is secure by one line, run a similar line through the end of the second euphroe at the rear. Adjust the length of this line so that both euphroes are equidistant from the 5mm block above. The lanyard off the 5mm block must have enough tension to allow you to see the angles of the lines and the placement of the euphroes.

Now rig the lines for through the next hole up in each euphroe. Take care to tension each euphroe line so that the previous line does not go slack from over-tightening the next line. all three lines in each euphroe must have equal tension. This is critical if the end result is to look good. It takes several tiny adjustments making the second knot in each euphroe line and the position of the loops around the bowsprit to get everything even, so don't cinch the knots tight or apply glue until you are sure the tension is right.

When the euphroe lines are done, unclamp the 0.3mm line from the mast, and pass it through the center of a 7mm single block. You can now choose the position of the 7mm block, and lash the end of the 0.5mm stay line to the block. The take the end of the 0.30mm line and pass it through the 5mm block that was lashed to the bowsprit just behind the spritsail topmast top. run the line rearward along the bowsprit and tie it to the cleat on the side of the bowsprit over the bow deck.

So far, this line was the most fun to rig, and it looks great. I was really getting tired of ratlines! :D

820 Main Topmast Ratlines Complete.jpg

821 Fabricate Two Walnut Euphroes.jpg

821 Lashing a Euphroe.jpg

822 Begin Rigging Fore Topmast Stay.jpg

823 Line Held Temporarily With Clip on Fore Topmast.jpg

824 Begin Rigging Fore Topmast Stay Crowsfeet.jpg

825 Apply Diluted PVA Glue.jpg

826 Stay Complete.jpg

827 Fore Topmast Stay Mouse.jpg

828 Fore Topmast Stay Complete.jpg
 
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Location
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Corel shows an attachment of a single block at the center of the channels for the foremast and mainmast, to be used with running tackles that appear to be suspended from pendants attached to the masts, according to the instructions. The point where the pendants attached to the mast is not shown. After consulting Historic Ship Models by Wolfram zu Mondfeld, it seems that Corel intended to rig loading tackles for utility lifting purposes, one on each side of the masts. Usually these are rigged in sets of two on each side of a mast, one forward of the other, with both tackles hooked to an eye on the channel. See the excerpt from Historic Ship Models below for a complete description. The spliced eyes at the top of the pendants are supposed to be below the shrouds, which I have ready rigged, so this posed a problem. I took a needle and passed a double line up along the aftermost shroud, over the trestles, and down the other side to make pendants. At the end of each of these line segments, a block was rigged in accordance with zu Mondfeld's description. A single block for the forward pendants, and fiddle blocks for the aft pendants for each mast.

To complete the loading tackles, blocks will need to be attached with hooks to the eyebolts on the channels. I'm not sure yet whether or not I can squeeze short chainplates under the channels. Sometimes they were left off. I make be able to simulate with wire, similar to the chainplates for the mizzenmast. Adding these loading tackles adds more detail to the model which was only partially present in the incomplete Corel instructions.

836 Loading Tackles Explaination.JPG837 Loading Tackles Diagram.JPG

838 Begin Rigging Foremast Loading Tackles.jpg

839 Begin Rigging Mainmast Loading Tackles.jpg
 
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Am a bit late catching up with your thread Kurt... What a mesmerizing build! I read thru it in one sitting. I guess it's the equivalent of Netflix binge watching. Thanks for sharing. Learned so much in terms of technique, creativity and simple tools of the trade. As a newbie, these are invaluable and I hope you don't mind if I copy some of your ideas when I start my next project.
 
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Am a bit late catching up with your thread Kurt... What a mesmerizing build! I read thru it in one sitting. I guess it's the equivalent of Netflix binge watching. Thanks for sharing. Learned so much in terms of technique, creativity and simple tools of the trade. As a newbie, these are invaluable and I hope you don't mind if I copy some of your ideas when I start my next project.
For me it's like binge building! One of the few positive effects of the Covid-19 societal changes. More time for hobbies. Copy all you want. I borrowed from many diverse build logs and shipbuilding threads, and am a newbie to wooden ship construction also. This is my first ship, and skills in other hand crafts transfer over quite well. There are many small items I would change, but learning with this ship is preparation for the next one, which I think will be easier because La Couronne is a small model in comparison. Some things that went off target include rigging the fiddle blocks on the load tackle upside down, making the forward most towers of the stern side galleries a bit too tall, and using the kit provided oversized kevels instead of making smaller and properly sized ones from scratch. One of the things that makes me proud of this model is how the chainplates are perfectly angled in alignment with the shrouds, and still do not block the bronze cannons. Many models out of the box and many builds seem to forget this important feature. Some models have chainplates at strange and almost random angles to avoid blocking the gun ports, and it throws off the geometry in a noticeable way. Many additional details in ornamentation and the internal lighting make this build better than the kit by itself. All in all, I am very happy with how it's turning out. Patience in planning each next move makes you avoid most of the mistakes and limitations in access to areas of the ship you need to get your fingers into later in the build. Small and slender needle nosed pliers with precision jaws are essential and so helpful, as are tiny alligator clips for rigging. If you have any question why a feature of this ship is chosen to go a certain way, or a comment about how it could be improved, please speak out. I have had so few of the other model builders make suggestions on their own, but those that have were invaluable. This forum is more vocal than others with regard to volunteering tips, and it's truly appreciated.

Tell me what sort of ships peak your interest and why. 17th century royal galleons are my starting point. The rigging is complex and sail design relatively primitive to 18th century ships, but they have a lot more embellishment than later ships.
 
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Messages
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For me it's like binge building! One of the few positive effects of the Covid-19 societal changes. More time for hobbies. Copy all you want. I borrowed from many diverse build logs and shipbuilding threads, and am a newbie to wooden ship construction also. This is my first ship, and skills in other hand crafts transfer over quite well. There are many small items I would change, but learning with this ship is preparation for the next one, which I think will be easier because La Couronne is a small model in comparison. Some things that went off target include rigging the fiddle blocks on the load tackle upside down, making the forward most towers of the stern side galleries a bit too tall, and using the kit provided oversized kevels instead of making smaller and properly sized ones from scratch. One of the things that makes me proud of this model is how the chainplates are perfectly angled in alignment with the shrouds, and still do not block the bronze cannons. Many models out of the box and many builds seem to forget this important feature. Some models have chainplates at strange and almost random angles to avoid blocking the gun ports, and it throws off the geometry in a noticeable way. Many additional details in ornamentation and the internal lighting make this build better than the kit by itself. All in all, I am very happy with how it's turning out. Patience in planning each next move makes you avoid most of the mistakes and limitations in access to areas of the ship you need to get your fingers into later in the build. Small and slender needle nosed pliers with precision jaws are essential and so helpful, as are tiny alligator clips for rigging. If you have any question why a feature of this ship is chosen to go a certain way, or a comment about how it could be improved, please speak out. I have had so few of the other model builders make suggestions on their own, but those that have were invaluable. This forum is more vocal than others with regard to volunteering tips, and it's truly appreciated.

Tell me what sort of ships peak your interest and why. 17th century royal galleons are my starting point. The rigging is complex and sail design relatively primitive to 18th century ships, but they have a lot more embellishment than later ships.
Thanks again. I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my Black Pearl by ZHL. I chose this because, being a newbie, I felt a bit more comfortable that there are a number of builds in this forum of the same model which I can fall back on if I get in trouble. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you.
 
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There was good progress on the rigging in the last couple of days. Pairs of shroud lines were served and set into place on the fore and main topgallant masts and the mizzen topmast. The 3mm deadeyes were rigged on the mizzen topmast. Then, I changed work over to the mizzen topmast stays.

Four euphroes were made from 0.5mm thick walnut. This was done by taking a strip of walnut and drilling three 0.30mm diameter holes 1.5mm apart. The outer shape of each euphroe was cut with a hobby knife and sanded to a long, slender teardrop shape. CA glue was used to anchor 0.25mm tan line on one side of a euphroe to help hold it in place as the line was wrapped around the outside edge and then seized to the standing part. Each hole in the euphroe and in all the blocks was chamfered using a dental pick so the line bends around the turn when passing through more sharply. To get all the euphroe lines of each crow's foot even, small alligator clips were used to prevent the running lines from slipping though the blocks higher up in the stay line assembly. Once both euphroes were tied to the mainmast shroud the starboard mizzen topmast stay, the next two crow's foot lines for each euphroe were carefully rigged with even tension. The port mizzen topmast stay was carefully rigged to match the dimensions of the starboard one as it was rigged.

There was only a small amount of slack in the crow's feet. The lines needed to be taut enough to prevent a radius in the lines at the root of a crow's foot and still not pull the mainmast shrouds out of position. Adding the mizzen topmast running backstays helped tension the topmast stays by drawing the mizzenmast rearward. The mizzenmast runnig backstays were rigged, with their running lines tied off to belaying pins on the rails of the poop deck.

After the first day, I took a look at the model in the dark with the lights on to admire its progress. It will be a relief to finish the last shrouds and ratlines soon.

843 Making Shroud Lines on Fore Topgallant.jpg

844 Serving Shroud Pairs..jpg

845 Fore & Main Topgallant and Mizzen Topmast Shrouds.jpg

846 Night Picture Showing Lighting.jpg

847 Night Picture Showing Lighting.jpg

848 Night Picture Showing Lighting.jpg

849 Rigging Mizzen Topmast Deadeyes.jpg

850 Mizzen Topmast Shrouds Done.jpg

851 Assembling Mizzen Topmast Stay Lines and Crowsfeet.jpg

852 Make Four Euphroes for Mizzen Topmast Stays.jpg

853 Rigging Mizzen Topmast Stays.jpg

854 Start Rigging the Crowsfeet.jpg

855 Starboard Side Mizzen Topmast Stay Done.jpg

856 Mizzen Topmast Stay Detail.jpg

857 Mizzen Topmast Stays.jpg

858 Mizzen Topmast Backstays Spliced to Topmast.jpg

859 Mizzen Topmast Running Backstay Tackles.jpg

860 Progress So Far.jpg
 
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FINALLY the ratlines are DONE. I was starting to see clench knots in my sleep. The fore and main topgallant shrouds were rigged with 3mm deadeyes, and the ratlines were tied using overhand knots only since clench knots appeared to be too large. Time for a break!

864 Fore & Main Topgallant Shrouds Done.jpg

865 Fore & Main Topgallant Ratlines Done.jpg

866 Progress So Far.jpg
 
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It's backstay day! All of the topmast backstays for the fore and main mast were rigged today. Instead of using ordinary blocks, the backstays were rigged in the Dutch fashion as shifting backstays with fiddle blocks. Hooks for the blocks were fashion from the brass eyelets which Corel supplied with the kit. To attach each stay line to the upper block on the falls, a throat and a round seizing was used. The fiddle blocks were lashed around their strops for extra detail.

When making a small whip to act as a seize, alligator clips are used to hold a loop at the top, the bitter end from the loop at the bottom, and at the center, a third clip is used to hold all the wraps every three turns so the turns don't overlap or unravel. Once you get the finger motions memorized for making a whip, it gets much faster.

On the main topmast backstay falls, both had to be belayed on the same kevel, one above the other. Corel instructions only show using one kevel for belaying two backstays.

867 Make Six Backstay Tackles.jpg

867 Stbd Fore Topmast Backstay.jpg

868 Fore Topmast Backstays Complete.jpg

869 Tying Whip for Seizing Main Topmast Stay.jpg

870 Sieze Tied.jpg

871 Main Topmast Backstays.jpg

872 Topmast Backstays Complete.jpg

873 Progress So Far.jpg
 
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