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February 22: Fore rigging has been started. The bowsprit has been rigged and anchors have been slung from the catheads. Some blocks have been slung from the jib boom. Additional lines have been tied to the bits. These will become lifts for the yards. Eight lines have been tied to each bit.

Close up aft, showing deck detail, and lines tied to the main bits. The ship will take on a somewhat "hairy" look for a while.

Close up of the bow, showing details on the catheads, anchors, bits, etc. The paint has already suffered considerable wear by this point!

A further view along the port side

Work done on the masts... pairs of blocks have been hung, one block for each lift. Further blocks have been tied to the mast to handle other rigging. For blocks I use Blue Moon 11/0 (2mm) beads. They come in black, and sell for about $2.50 for a thousand. They may be a smidge oversized, but they work well enough to look good.

Close up of the stern, showing the quarter galleries and cabins.

Next steps include priming and painting the yards, folding and glueing the brass sails, and further hull painting.

4/10. After several business trips, an illness, and a diversion painting goblins, I'm back at it.

The foremast has been stepped, and the forecourse lashed to the lower mast. The lifts for the course have been fed up through the fighting top into blocks and out to the ends of the yards. The ship's boat has also been mounted and tied down.

I inked the yards with GW brown ink, painted the sail with a light brown and then dry-brushed a dirty white color on top of that.

For the forecourse I drilled two centered pinholes between the yard and sail, about 5mm apart. I use these holes to pass a thread through and around the mast to add extra strength.

Close up of the fighting top, showing the lifts running through the blocks.

Note that I tied all these blocks to the mast PRIOR to stepping it.

Sails and yards in production.

On the sails, I carefully cut them from the photo-etched sprues using manicure scissors. Then using a metal ruler edge, I bend the sails in half (for those that need it). Using thick paint brush ends and other tools, I then bend the sails into shape. I do the same for the jibsails. For those that are two thicknesses, I then use a straight edge to crease the bend.

Once shaped, I use super glue to glue them together, being sure to seal any open edges. I then sand any burrs, and gently wash the sails, as the brass picks up a lot of oils.

Once dry, I spray them with simple Wal-Mart flat white paint. When dry, I give them a wash of dirty white or beige, with touches of light brown or tan along the top and in the corners, being sure to keep any streaks running top to bottom rather than left to right.

When dry, I take a fine brush and paint the reef-points with a darker brown. Last step is to drill out any of the pre-marked holes with a fine drill bit in a pin vise. I always drill from the front of the sail to the back, so that any matter that the bit pokes out shows less.

Next steps include attaching the sails to the yards, and hanging the jibsails and foresails. I will then do some of the fore rigging, including all lifts and shrowds, but not the ratlines for the foremast. I always work bow-to stern on rigging... finishing most of the rigging on the foremast before starting the main, etc. That way the main is out of the way while I am working.

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