Building the Peregrine Galley: Lessons Learned
Prior to this model, I normally built the usual run of battleships (though with a preference for dreadnoughts and pre-dreadnoughts rather than World War II) and modern warships. Sailing ships are a whole different kettle of fish. As the Peregrine Galley was my first fully-rigged ship, she also served as a testbed for a number of ideas I had for replicating wood construction techniques in paper, with varying degrees of success. Here are some lessons learned.
- While interior cabin details are tremendously cool, they are also tremendously invisible. Not much need to bother except for that secret satisfaction of knowing it is there
- Draw up the complete belaying plan and rigging diagrams before the masts and tops go up. Attaching blocks to the underside of the crosstrees after all the standing rigging was up was not wise in hindsight.
- Doing ratlines can easily alter the tension in the shrouds. This is most apparent in the topmast shrouds, where you can see that they are not perfectly taut as they have been pulled out by the ratlines. In the future, attach the ratlines first and then retension all the shrouds.
- Making blocks out of paper is awful work and should not be done unless you are building the model "paper purist" like I usually do. I am not satisfied with how they usually turned out; drilling vanishingly tiny holes through CA-stiffened card is inaccurate at best and yields messy results. A good fraction of the tiny blocks were mangled by the pin vise while drilling out the sheave hole and had to be tossed.
- Sails are easier than you think. Don't be afraid to include sails. They do add a lot of extra lines, though; without sails, your model really only needs the standing rigging plus halyards, lifts, and braces. The rest of the running rigging would be taken down or bundled up nearly on the yard.