Ships rails: how are they done?

Discussion in 'Zealot Archives' started by jyduchene, Feb 15, 2004.

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  1. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    I have been studying the posts at Modelarstwo Kartonowe and have admired the fine detail of the Polish modelers. This has led me to purchase the Radomka, a Polish Trawler from Pro Model.

    Attached are two links showing very exacting modeling, One of the trawler Regulus by FLY and the second of the Trawler Padomka

    My question is how does one build such fine rail. There a clues in the discussion of the Regelus however I cannot tell what holds the wire together.

    I speculate on epoxy. Unfortunatley I do not speak Polish and the translator programs do not do well in this area.

    Could some experienced ship builder give me some tips on rail construction as well as installation.

    Thanks, John
  2. Ron

    Ron Member

  3. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member


    Thanks for the link. I will give this a try. If anyone out there is has more tips,
    I would welcome them.

  4. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    David Hathaway at Paper Shipwright has a template and instructions for making ship railings.

    Peter Crow and David Okamura both use this method and the results are very good. You need to use rigging thread it has does not have all the little hairs sticking out.
  5. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    Just wanted to say thanks for the references. I will be testing these techniques. Thanks again

  6. Bernhard

    Bernhard Member

    The railings on the Polish model look as if they were made from copper wire. Epoxy glue is a possibility to connect the wire pieces but in my hands superglue (CA) works better - faster and cleaner.

    For my 1/250 scale ships I also use copper wire but I solder the railings rather than glueing them. I cut the insulation off some old flexible electrical cord and then untwist the many fine copper strands. To take the kinks and curls out of the strands I gently stretch them - one at a time - between two pairs of pliers.
    Make a copy of the printed railings and use it as a soldering template. The wires are layed out on top of the template lines with lots of overhang. The overhanging wire ends are glued to the paper so that the whole arrangement cannot move.
    Then, the intersections are soldered together with a small soldering iron and electronics grade solder. Grip the railing with tweezers between the point where you are soldering right now and the nearest-by solder connection. The tweezers conduct the heat away from the old connection preventing it from melting.
    When all the connections are made the railing is cut free from the template with scissors, bent into proper shape, and painted.

    Copper strands from flexible cable are very thin and soft. Thus the railings are very delicate. Sturdier railings can be soldered from thin brass wire sold in the railroad department of hobby shops. This kind of brass is quite expensive however it still beats the price of photoeched parts.

    Happy modeling

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