Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tackling Period Ships Scale Modeling for the First Time

I have always believed that those who undertake Modern Naval Scale Modeling will always be a cut above the rest. I still do. Its not easy working on ships. They have the most intricate PE sets made available and all those minute parts ... the level of patience they possess must equal that of a Jedi Master.

For general scale modelers worldwide, the epitome of their scale modeling experience is when they finally decide OK, I'm going to build me a ship. Not just a ship but one where rivet counters can be proud of. Yup, extensive detailing with bucko aftermarket parts, weathering ..... and finally, the rigging.

That's why I think I'm crazy. I'm going straight for periodical ships aka Old Sailing Ships. No, not the wooden ones, that'll be really asking for it. Since I placed my order for the Black Pearl from Zvezda at 1/100 scale, I've been obsessed about the tool requirements to build that baby ... and then it hit me, what about the rigging? I know nuts about knots and more knots, let alone sailor or ship jargon. And I do have a long list of projects still pending completion (which I am disciplining myself to complete).

Don't get me wrong. I'm not doing this as a challenge or anything. I really do have a fondness for ships, hence my love for Starships and all things Sci Fi. I have always been meaning to complete a few ships and the only thing I'm staying away from are tanks .... for now.

So I decided if I was going to do this, practise makes perfect, right? Oh boy, why do I feel like I'm taking in more than I can chew. To prepare my .. ahem .... journey into periodical sailing ships, I will be procuring Zvezda's 1/100 scale "Nina" Expedition ship as well as the San Gabriel. Practise will be on the Nina while I think I can modify the San Gabriel to look more like the Flying Dutchman from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Well, the Black Pearl is also from Zvezda, so it kind of make sense to work on other Zvezda kit. Of course this means I'm going to need try to master the art of rigging just so I can (hopefully) achieve the following:

I know it won't be easy. I know its going to be challenging as hell, treading into something many (I hear) had given up on. And I also think I may be crazy. I spoke to a few experienced Periodical Scale Modelers who have 6 - 14 years experience, and when I asked them if I could complete a comprehensive kit with all that rigging within two months, they laughed ......... and they're still laughing ....... and that was like a few hours ago.

OK, OK, I need to be realistic. To get a ship that detailed could take as long as 8 months to 2 years, depending on the time spent on her. According to my plans, I want to finish off my DC10-30 Malaysian Airlines first, then work on my Reimagined BSG Hangar Bay Dio, and I was kinda' hoping I could work on two kits simultaneously - the Hangar Bay, and the Nina's rigging. Well, that's the plan anyway, and my DC10-30 is really coming along painfully slow (I'm reworking the cockpit .... again. Put too much details until the fuselage won't close properly now). So I guess progress report on my scale model ship endeavour may not be forthcoming.

So with some recommendations from friends, I managed to get these two books (that scale military figure conversion is more for my BSG diorama later on). They make for easy reading for now and from my research, "Ship Modeling from Stern to Stern" may not be accurate but they are a great start for a beginner like me.

And yeah, I was told on an actual Sail Ship, there are miles and miles of lines on board with hundreds of knots all over, and they are all replicated faithfully - hence the need for this book - Rigging Period Ship

Other books currently under consideration. Well, I don't plan to me a Naval Maverick, just need to know enough to get me started.

Interesting development there, and I am hoping things don't get too difficult later on. I had always loved challenges, and well, if this project takes me 3 years, then 3 years it shall be.

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