Ratlines are the ladder type constructions made from rope that allow the sailors to climb the masts of ships in the age of sail.
This device is derived from similar items included with Heller sailing ship kits of the 1:200 – 1:150 scale.
It is designed to be able to create simple, yet authentic looking ratlines for ships in the `1:700 scale range. Especially for 3d printed ships where the ratlines are not supplied in any other form.
This tool will need to be scaled to fit the size of masts that the model is fitted with. Printing it directly as it is will be ok for the very largest of ships at 1:700 but will be too big for 3rd rates and frigates.
When scaling the tool, the holes for the initial knots for each of the ratlines will need to be drilled out with an appropriate sized drill bit in a pin vice.
The way it is used is by:
- First winding some fine thread around the frame from top to bottom and from the single notch on the top of the frame to each of the notches on the bottom of the frame. This forms a fan shape of thread.
- Winding the thread around the frame from left to right from each notch on the left of the frame to each notch on the right of the frame being careful to ensure that the thread only occupies each notch once.
- Using a diluted white-glue solution and painting the threads where they cross to glue them all together and letting it dry completely.
- Cutting the finished ratlines off the frame being careful to leave enough thread at the top and bottom of the ratlines to glue to the model.
Some trial and error may be needed to get the right fit for each model. It isn’t possible to suggest the right scale to print the frame at for every model out there as they are all slightly different.