In my opinion, one of the more challenging and rewarding aspects of getting a Firelock Games Blood & Plunder ship to the table has to be the rigging. Being such an integral part of the kit it's important to get the rigging as perfect as possible and this can be a little intimidating. Having run demo games of B&P at MOAB I've had a couple of local Aussie enthusiasts ask me about the finer arts of rigging the ships. I'm onto my third ship now and I'm by far an expert, but I've learnt a few tricks along the way that I thought I'd share.
|I'll attempt to show how all this comes together.|
Please note I'm constructing an original version of the Blood & Plunder Brigantine which comes with metal components. A more recently purchased kit or ships from the NPBtL Kickstarter come with wooden components. The wooden components in my opinion are easier to work with and have been made to already accommodate four shrouds instead of the metal's two (see Step 2 below). Regardless the basic concepts of this tutorial will work for either version of ship components you have.
Insured you have all the right parts, give the rigging components a good undercoating. I use black from a spray-can but you could likely undercoat any colour you want your masts to eventually be.
|Identify all the parts by using the guides.|
|Undercoat the rigging components.|
STEP 2: This step is for use ONLY with the metal components and then only if you want four shrouds (the ropes that runs vertically from the masthead to the hull) instead of two- otherwise skip to the next step.
Simply take a pin vice and drill a hole either side of the two provided. I usually drill a small pilot hole and then increase the drill size. Ensure the black elastic will pass through your new holes.
|Use a pin vice to drill the extra holes.|
|The parts should eventually look like this.|
|Insure the black elastic passes through the new holes.|
STEP 3: Using the Rigging Guides arrange the dowels and components into groups according to the masts.
Dry-fitting them will insure you will not have problems later. If any of the dowels are too tight a fit with the components you can hit the dowels with some fine sandpaper to help accommodate them.
|Arrange the parts according to each mast and dry-fit them.|
|Dig out the Sail Cutouts you printed and...|
|...cut out each of the sail pieces.|
|Arrange the sails on the dry-fitted masts.|
STEP 5: Apply glue to the components and mast pieces. Start with the smaller pieces like the spars (poles that hold the sails) and the bowsprit (the mast extending from the prow). Ensure you center the spar dowels squarely on the components.
Next you may glue the masts themselves taking careful NOTE that some spars will need to be slipped onto the masts before the mast is glued, otherwise you will be unable to fit the spars later.
Finally, don't glue any of the spars to the masts at this point, allowing them to slide up and down the mast dowels freely. This will allow you to adjust the height of the sails.
NOTE that I used super glue with the metal components but white glue will be sufficient for the wooden components.
|Glue together the smaller pieces, like the spars and bowsprit...|
|...then glue the masts themselves.|
|NOTE that some spars will need to be fitted onto the mast before the mast itself is glued.|
|Don't glue the spars to the masts - allow them to move freely along the dowels.|
STEP 6: The masts are almost complete - they just need a lick of paint. I painted mine the same colour as the deck and kept the components and the area around them black.
If you do not require your masts to be removable you can glue them permanently into the holes in the deck of the ship at this stage, otherwise leave them loose.
With the masts complete we are well on the way. The next task will be the rigging!
|Give the masts a lick of paint.|
|Starting to look like a ship!|