WWII Battleship rigging
by Eric Jacobsen
First, let me thank you for maintaining the great website. Not only is it very educational, but also quite entertaining...so much to see & read.
Currently I am building Acadamy's 1/350 Admiral Graf Spee. Although I am only about half way thruogh, I am pondering materials & techniques to apply the rigging.
I believe I need to create two illusions; (radio?) wires & guy lines on the masts, & cables for the two cranes. My first instinct says to use black & silver sewing thread because it would be lightweight & easy to apply, however I tend to think it might draw attention to itself as being obviously thread. I also think perhaps guitar string may the way to go, steel or nylon.
Any suggestions regarding these or other materials would be greatly appreciated. I am basicly an "out of the box" modeler, but I would greatly like to make this battleship pop for somebody's mantel.
Thank you for your time & consideration
Eric Jacobsen, Wenatchee WA
SMH Responds--I am planning an article on making scale wire for the August issue of the Scale Modelers Tips and Techniques newsletter (you can get a free subscription at: http://www.scale-modelers-handbook.com/scale-modeling-ezine.html) but I'd like to give you a different direction here.
As I remember battleship models, there are many parts attached to spru that most just throw away. You can use this waste to produce stiff wires of various thicknesses by reforming it with the heat of a candle. The article will get into this in more detail, but it will require a trial and error process to get the thickness you desire without breaking the spru.
Essentially, you hold the spru by both ends two-to-three inches above the heat source. When it begins to soften (it starts to turn shiny), remove it from the heat and gently pull until it reaches the desired thickness and length.
This will require practice and most likely repetition, but it will work. Besides that it is pretty cheap.