Pic 60:    The bowsprit - a splendid structure and satisfying to make - has been completed and fitted. It fits into the angle between the two turrets, but I wasn't prepared to risk using a large electric drill in such an angle. Instead, I cut the base of the bowsprit at the correct angles and superglued it in place. Suddenly the ship gets very long!

The other masts, fore, main and mizzen, are being assembled and tried in position. I started with the foremast and worked back like a production line, as the parts for each are very similar though of varying sizes. I used a disc sander to taper each mast section, but care is needed if you do it this way. The platforms are a delight to make, but the walnut blocks that join the mast sections together have to be adjusted very carefully to keep the sections in line. The platform for the main mast is being kept flat under those weights. The die-cut 'cheeks' supplied to support the platforms were much smaller than those shown in the plans, so I made larger ones from walnut strip.

There will inevitably be small gaps around the bases at deck level, but they are conveniently covered by the boxwood rings. In fact, gluing the rings to the mast first can act as a depth-stop to stop the mast sliding down too far before the glue has dried.

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