Though some of it may seem a bit subtle, I’ve made a lot of progress on Raven and want to share.
For one some more bracing was added below deck when weak points were discovered as I replaced her old all black deck with gray. I know gray is not a favored color for decking around here, but I much prefer it to black and find that only new or well kept decks appear tan or brown. Since Raven isn’t likely to be a very “spit and polish” kind of ship, let’s just say her decks could use a good holystoning.
The stern has also been completely redone. The old transom hung on hinges to give its characteristic lean out over the water, but this method left an unsightly gap on the sides. The hinges also took up space where I wanted to run a rudder till through in order to string it to the wheel. The new transom fits a lot better without the gap and is wedged in place. The till now runs through the hull and should operate just like the real thing save that the string I used is to slick and won’t grab on the spindle. I’ll revisit this in the future, but for now the ship’s wheel just spins without pulling on the till.
I abandoned the old technic peg concept for the chain plate and went with what you see now. I’m not as fond of the look, but the old concept just wouldn’t work. As the rigging on this vessel is intended to function as the real thing would, the chains are important. More than that, these chains hold down more than just the shrouds. If the chains were not in place the sides where the shrouds are connected to the channels would collapse inwards with tension on the shrouds.
The gray and red masts are gone and I’ve opted for white. I was very impressed with Constellation when I visited. I very much liked how clean the white paint on her masts made everything look and because of the contrast of black rigging on the white I was able to see a lot of detail in the rigging plan. I actually learned a lot from my photos of her, that was previously unclear form drafts, drawings and models.
The standing rigging for the lower masts is about complete.
Connecting the shrouds to the chains are functional dead eyes made from car wheels. They are a little tedious to string but the end result is fantastic. First as Hawk and now as Raven, this project was started as an experiment to solve a lot of the problem I ran into on Snake, such as tension and counter tension in the rigging. Using these car wheel dead eyes has proven to work remarkable well. Using a pair of tweezers I was able to snug up the shrouds without any trouble.
I also used small technic gears like bull’s eyes or blocks where I didn’t have room for more dead eyes.
The shrouds do not run around the lower mast, as they should. I did have a plan in place to install them in such a manner, but for the sake of scale and simplicity I decided to pass them through a gap in the lower mast above the cross trees. To have done it right I would have needed to simulate the gap that tends to occur between joined masts on real ships. For future vessels I’ll likely revisit this, but on raven this method works well and looks very clean.
She’s not even half way done, and there is a lot more to figure out once I complete her standing rigging, but I’m still rather proud. I hope to post an update with all her standing and running rigging complete very soon. As always more images on my Photobucket
Edit: You may note that there are some rather unconventional methods put to use on this build. For one the car wheel dead eyes are, as far as I know, my own innovation, and though anyone should feel free to adopt them I would appreciate due credit. The lower masts are in fact wrapped in tape as are a portion of the bow sprit and the transom. On the masts this is simply compensation for a lacking of bricks in any one color as to accomplish the construction with the proper effect. The tape is a temporary measure until I can acquire enough white cylinders to replace the rainbow hidden underneath. On the transom, I found that I would need a brick made with two different colors to accomplish what I wanted to do there. The windows on the stern although of Lego origins are not attached according to that system, but rather are simply adhered to the side of the bricks. I tried many different configurations but found no other way to have windows that don’t look ridiculous and fill the gaps on the sides at the same time. As a policy I refuse to reject non-Lego solutions to problems where the system fails. There were no windows that fit properly, so I went a different route. Note that I do not make these decisions lightly; I’ll only take such measures once I feel all other options at my disposal have been exhausted. If you mean to comment on the project, I’ll thank you to look past these elements.
Edited by kurigan, 08 July 2012 - 09:05 AM.