Welcome to "Adventures in Lead", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming. The figures and terrain on this site are mainly for a campaign set in exotic "Indostan", a distant land bearing remarkable similarities to 18th century India during the Seven Years War. Bits and pieces from other projects may pop up here as well from time to time, including colonials, gladiators, pirates, dinosaur-hunting and even some RPG'ing.
The actual campaign journal and after action reports for the Indostan campaign can be found on their own blog - "Indostan: The Jewel in the Crown", the link to which is found by clicking the small image below-left.
If you do find anything remotely interesting on this blog please leave a comment, it's what keeps these sites going and their authors motivated - Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Blood & Plunder: Mast, Rigging and Sail Tutorial - Part 1

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.

First off, Firelock Games have provided fairly comprehensive guides for each of their vessels on their website. Navigate to the downloads section and find the Rigging Guide and Sail Cutout sheets for your vessel. These sheets will be invaluable in completing the rigging. Be aware there are different guides dependent on whether you have an older ship with metal components or a newer ship with wooden components. 

Once you have the appropriate sheets downloaded, print them out at 100% size - NO scaling. This is important as the Sail sheet and Dowel guide need to be true to scale.


STEP 1: Using the Rigging Parts and Dowel guide, identify each of the components and the dowel lengths.
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.
The original components unfortunately only allow for two shrouds and I personally think four shrouds look much more convincing and require only a little extra effort.
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.
STEP 4: Cut out the sails for your particular ship from the Sail Cutout sheet you printed. Arrange the sails on the dry-fitted masts. This will allow you to judge the proportions of where to fix the components permanently to the masts, insuring that each sail spar will hang properly and at an appropriate level above the deck. When you are satisfied with the arrangements it's time to get out the glue.
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!

1 comment:

Conrad Kinch said...

God bless your patience squire. I'm sure I'd have despaired after five minutes.