Saturday, January 09, 2010

Snow and ships.

There's been a lot more snow since I took the photo and it's still coming down. It's very pretty but I won't be investigating anything until it's gone.

Just Peachie once asked if weather affected ghostly manifestations. I'm not sure although there have been reports of weather-linked phenomena, usually during, or just before, an electrical storm.

It's certainly true that weather affects the reporting of phenomena - because there are few hardy enough to go out and look for any ghosts in weather like this! It's reaching -20C (-2F) routinely here at night and rarely getting above freezing during the day. Roads are deadly, you can't even walk safely anywhere and there is no way I'm spending a night out in those temperatures.

So I've occupied my time with something else. Over a year ago, someone gave me an old model of a ship. They gave it to me because I build these for fun and it was on the condition that I restore it. Here it is - it's 'The Prince' as it was around 1670, after a rebuild that gave it more guns.

The structure was in decent shape, flagpoles and extremities were broken but easily repairable. The big issue was the rigging. This is an old model, built when houses had coal fires and humidity indoors was higher. What seems to have happened is that modern central heating has dried the thread and shrunk it so the rigging has snapped, or has pulled its moorings away. I can tell where most of it should go and I have some pictures of correctly-rigged models as a guide.

The first problem was the rigging thread. I ran out after re-rigging the bowsprit and foremast and couldn't get a perfect match. I now have a pretty close match that I hope won't be noticeable after it's been waxed. I run the thread through a block of beeswax to waterproof it because if it gets damp it'll stretch and sag, and if it gets too dry it'll shrink and break again.

Then there was the pulley blocks. On this model, the ropes run through wooden blocks representing pulleys and a lot were missing. I couldn't find any for sale and had just about resigned myself to trying to make some when I came across this site. All that time, and when I found them I bought a bag of 50 pulleys for £3.20 (less than five dollars). So I can now finish this and I'm snowed in so might as well get on with it.

The site has a lot of interesting stuff, very cheap. This ship will have a few extra cannons when it's done.

The paintwork needs attention but matching that will be hard. I might leave it alone.


Just Peachie said...

You fascinate me, Romulus Crowe. How do you manage to do so much? Hold a job, write a whole bunch, hunt ghosts, know all the stuff you know (there's got to be some real learning time involved), build model ships, garden, stay informed on all sorts of current events that escape my notice, ect.

What's the secret?

Romulus Crowe said...

I never sleep ;)

Although I must admit to an error. The ship is called the 'Royal Prince' as I discovered when I managed to clean the brass plate on the stand.

Just Peachie said...

That's a good trick. I'm practically Rip Van Winkle. No wonder I can't keep up with the rest of the Achieving Class.

Southern Writer said...

I LOVE model ships. I don't know the first thing about them--to me, they're all "clipper ships"--but the very idea of sailing on one leaves me breathless. Is there anything more romantic than the salt air and rippling masts over high seas? I think not. I actually have had a fantasy of getting my hands on a real one and turning it into a pricey restaurant that would take guests out for a nice sail during dinner.

Could you tell me...what is the secret of building one of those things inside a bottle?

ver: torie
'though it probably isn't, it sounds like it's associated with ships & pirates.

And if you'll allow me: The top picture is one of my all-time favorite illusions.

Southern Writer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southern Writer said...

P.S. I like the paint brushes at the site you linked to, but even under the U.S. section, the prices are listed in £.

ver: rumsidec

RUM. RUM on the side deck. Sheesh.

New ver: proper

I had to make it proper.

Romulus Crowe said...

SW - Tory is the local slang for the conservatives (I think they equate to republicans) and it comes from the Irish word for highwayman (18th-century mugger). So you're close enough.

The rigging on these ships often looks bizarre but it's logical. The ropes must not touch because the ship will be at sea for months and if they rub against each other and wear through, it's a big problem.

The bottle ships are easy-ish. Build it normally with folding masts, put it in the bottle with the masts down and then pull the one loose thread to bring the whole thing upright... okay, there's a little more to it than that but really, not much.

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