Monday, June 22, 2015

Splice the mainbrace! Building a pirate ship Part 2

Before making the masts I had to decide on the rigging. Googling around I found this brigantine that looked perrect for my ship. 

I dug around for bits and pieces and found enough dowel and chopsticks to fashion me some masts and yardarms. I even had a steeringwheel that I had bought for the Barsoom ships (ssshhh. don't tell anyone).

Lazy bugger that I am I fastened the mast parts with ductape. If it works for the Myth Busters, it certainly works for me!

Here the stays will be fastened. Being a wargaming ship model, the rigging must be severely simplified to enable the players to reach the deck at all.  I also added decorative ridges on the hull to suggest the lines of the planking. These were made of wood from wickerwork diner placemats. I have no idea what kind of wood it is, but it is soft and very flexible.

Some fitting of the masts.

Here the ductape is covered with cable made from a couple of shoelaces. The problem with modelling on a Sunday is that all the shops are closed and you have to make do with what you have at hand....

An old plastic zombie provided the figurehead. And the ship's name: Reaper.

Fitting yardarms. Since I measure as little as possible most parts are made "on the eye" and have to be fitted before assembly.

Long long ago my father made these two brass gun barrels for me in 20 mm scale. In the scale of this ship they make excellent swivel guns! I fitted them on pintels made from plasticard and tube.

All the parts together before painting. I decided to paint the parts first before rigging the ship, as you can't easily reach some things anymore as soon as the ship is assembled completely.

And here she is with her coat on!

A learning moment: fitting the figurehead before painting was not smart. This part still needs some work.

So on to the third and last part: making the rigging and the sails.

Missed the first part? You'll find it here. Part 3 is here.


  1. She's looking decidedly in English in her yellow and black scheme....a former Royal Navy Brig perhaps? :P

  2. Ah well. The story about how she came to be a "free ship" will probably make a nice game someday :)