Jump to content
Bottled Ship Builder

Blocks for a larger sized model ship/boat

John Fox III

Recommended Posts


I have been experimenting with various construction items for a 1:96 scale model of a sandbagger yacht for the past year or so. The model is nearly finished, but because I was experimenting I hadn't photographed any of the work as it progressed. I've been asked to make a presentation at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum this coming May, so have been repeating some of the work that turned out well. Thought I would share it with our members.

The first items I am describing are the blocks for the model. First photo shows the steps used to make single and two kinds of double blocks. I started out with strips of .01" thick brass sheet, cut into strips 1/32" wide, length is determined by the block type being made. I drilled two holes with a #80 drill bit, for single blocks the holes were 3-1/2 to 4 32nd inches apart. The strips were then cut off near the holes on each end, the ends were rounded and the width thinned down in the center portion of the strip. The strip was then bent around a #77 drill bit at the center of the strip. I used some 1/32" diameter electrical wire insulation for the sheaves of the block, obtained by taking apart a cheap set of ear buds. The wire was removed from the insulation, and the center drilled out with the #80 drill bit. The insulation was then cut into 1/64" long pieces. The sheaves were placed in the gap of the brass piece, and a length of 38 gauge brass wire was cut and glued through the holes in the brass and through the sheave, a dab of cyanoacrylate glue was then applied to the wire ends to lock the block together.

The double blocks were of two types, difference being side by side sheaves or one above the other sheave setups. For the side by side sheaves I simply drilled the holes in the brass strip 5/32" apart, I also cut and sanded a 1/32" circle from the brass strip with a #80 drilled hole in the center. Two sheaves were used, and all assembled similar to the single block, with the brass circle between the sheaves. The second type of double block was made by drilling the same sized holes near one end of the brass strip 2/32" apart, then drilled the second set of holes the same distance apart as the single block. Two wires were used to hold the two sheaves to the block one above the other.

The other photos show the blocks as added to the model. Some one above the other blocks were longer, and some single blocks were longer so that a rigging line could be added to the block end. This was done by drilling the same sized hole 1/16" from the outside block hole on each end of the strip. The blocks were assembled as the others above, with just a piece of wire glued into the last holes. Most of the blocks were installed by making wire hoops from the 38 gauge wire, wrapping it around a drill bit of the appropriate size, then cutting rings from the wire. Others were installed by drawing down the wire to a smaller diameter, centering a piece of thinned with in the opening at the center of the finished block, then using a tweezers to twist the wire twice, then wrapping the wire ends around the spar.

The name of my model sandbagger is Whistle Blower II. So named as it is a model of a modern built sandbagger named Tattler II. It's an interesting vessel as it is a remake of an older sandbagger, Tattler, that won many races on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. The modern remake though was designed especially designed to be easier to sail, so there are some very interesting rigging that was used. Unfortunately, when I contacted the yachts builder I was informed that due to contractural requirements with the owner, they were not allowed to share any information with me about it's construction or rigging. So, my model was built from plans I developed from just 12 photographs I found online, some of them taken during early shakedown cruises before the yacht was painted and rigging finished.

Hope you find some of this useful.

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Whistle Blower II 004.jpg

Whistle Blower II 005.jpg

Whistle Blower II 007.jpg

Whistle Blower II 008.jpg

Whistle Blower II 009.jpg

Whistle Blower II 010.jpg

Whistle Blower II 012.jpg

Whistle Blower II 013.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...