Design Details for R/C Square Rigger Operating Systems - Page 7 - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
This thread is privately moderated by DanL, who may elect to delete unwanted replies.
Jan 29, 2010, 04:57 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Design, Build and Operation of a 1/24 18-pounder Gun

Here's a PDF covering the big 18-pounder firing cannon for Trev's Surprise.
It's over 4.5" long!
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Feb 01, 2010, 07:34 PM
Registered User
Scale firing cannons and carronades.
What a coincidence, two approaches to scale firing guns.
The resin cannons supplied with the Surprise kit are cut roughly in half, just at the reinforcing strap. The inner piece s drilled 3/8, and a slot cut in to allow for the wires. The outer piece is replaced with a replica machined from brass. The bore is 5/32, then 3/16 and lastly glow plug tapping drill size. The inner end is tapped for a glow plug.
The assembled cannon is front heavy. A support bar is glued to the front of the carriage to hold the cannon horizontal. The carriage is now front heavy so a 1/4 square piece of brass is glued to the underside of the carriage at the inboard end. Female Deans 2 pin plugs are glued at the bottom of the carriage. Wires lead from the plug, one to a"C" clip that fits the glow plug base, the other to a piece of tubing attached to the center connection.
The end cap of the carronade is cut off and retained. A 1/4 inch piece of 1/2 inch dowel is drilled 1/4 and glued to the end cap. The dowel is then slotted to allow for the wires. A replica of the carronade is machined from brass. It is drilled glow plug tapping size, tapped, and a glow plug inserted. The carronade is front heavy, just like the cannon. A 2-56 S.S. screw is added to the front of the carriage to hold up the barrel. This is one of the electrical connections. A clip that attaches to this connection is soldered to one of the wires.The other wire is soldered to a piece of tubing for the center post, just like the cannon. A 2 pin Deans plug is glued to the bottom of the carriage.
Most of these ideas came from Danl. I may change to his new firing system as soon as it is fully debugged. I will also use Danl's firing system of a slow servo rotating over contacts.
Feb 13, 2010, 09:22 AM
Paratrooper's Avatar
Shipmates: I have installed the bowsprit yard with some help from Jerry and Dan. I am satisfied with the new details on the head of my ship.

We will also be rerigging the main and forecourse sails. I am going to try to get the appearance of what Dan has on his brig.

Thank you Jerry for the help on attachment points of this new rigging and the drawing. This was an immense help. I am not sure about quitting the worry for a while though, this just means that I should be able to sail in even rougher seas. We will see.

I made a new main course sail tonight and the first mate will sew it tomorrow. I am in the process of changing my main and course sails to a similar rig as Dan has on Syren. I really love the way his ship looks out on the water and I think Surprise will look even better--but if sailing is impacted detrimentally I saved my original rig in case my experiment is a failure.
Last edited by Paratrooper; Feb 13, 2010 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Major Rewrite
Feb 15, 2010, 10:23 AM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Scale blocks - sourcing for larger scales

JB MODEL informed me that they now have larger sized block and deadeyes.
They have also added a cheek groove in the blocks for easier rigging.
See their website (shown below) for more info.

Here are some sources of confirmed good looking scale non-working blocks. Many sources are cast metal or really shabby boxwood blobs.
The following are really nice looking.

Warner Woods
No website. Ask for price sheet at
warwoods @ (note the spaces after warwoods and before infowest)

JB Model

Arch Navalis

The largest available from the above are 7-8mm, too small for the larger block sizes neede for 1/24 models. I have communicated with Jarek at Arch Navalis, He may make larger blocks if there is enough demand. Please let me know by a post here if you would be intersted and I'll follow up. He makes up to 8mm now. I'm thinking of asking for 9, 10, 11 and 12mm singles, and 10 and 12mm doubles and triples.

Last edited by DanL; Feb 21, 2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Correction
Feb 15, 2010, 02:49 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

(Semi-) Prototypical Forecourse Rigging and Operation

Here's how the Syren is rigged. Rather than use the heavy rectangular wire frame from the stock kit on the forecourse, I used much lighter, very stiff piano wires, disguised as clew garnets, to shape and stretch the free-footed sail. The forecourse clews then had to be rigged to maintan the proper geometry as the sail was pulled around by the forecourse yard. The sheets and tacks are not operated by a servo - they move passively in relation to each other to keep the sail hauled in and square with the yard above.
Sketches and pictures show the system.
Feb 15, 2010, 03:17 PM
meatbomber's Avatar
awesome DanL what kind of line do you use for normal rigging (running) line ?
Feb 15, 2010, 04:26 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar
Dan: Thanks for the photos, I am in the process of rigging Surprise as you have it shown here.

I finished the forecourse yard today and the sail maker spent the day in the sail loft sewing up the sails. They are all ready to go. I have also rerigged the stuns'l yards on this new yard and I plan to go ahead with a similar installation on the main course yard. I want to retain the removable stuns'ls and yards on the rest of the ship in case the winds are light and I am intending to sail down wind.

I have also rerigged the foretop sail sheets to something similar to what you did on Syren. I have attached the small eye on the back third of the yard and ran the sheet down through the eye on the end of the yard (I someday may invest in blocks but they are not a priority right now) and up to the bolt rope on the foretop sail.

I do not have a lathe so I used a belt sander and a cordless drill to 'turn' the ends of the yards. It is not necessary to chuck the yard in tight but it does have to be snug. Set the end you want to turn down on the belt sander with both the drill and sander running and it turns down the ends nicely. You have to wear gloves because the dowel gets HOT and also to keep from sanding your fingers off plus it is only 10 degrees here today.

I used a router to make the octagon (8 Lands) center area of the new yards. Just set it up with a straight router bit, set the fence to take off the amount that would equal each of the 8 lands, and run it through. Mine turned out equal and a nice touch to an otherwise dull looking tree trunk yard that I made before.
Last edited by Paratrooper; Feb 15, 2010 at 09:07 PM.
Feb 15, 2010, 06:51 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar
Really nice looking sail. Approx 1mm is fine for the spreader piano wire (the fake clew garnets). I don't have the tools you ahve there, so to do the hexagonal yard sections I glued six thin wood strips around the center of the yard, filled the gaps and then sanded the hex profile smooth.

Bomber - the Syren running rigging is homemade ropewalk twisted polyester. Mostly a German polyester thread by Guttermann. Diameters range from about 0.6mm to 1.1mm depending on rigging application.

Ray - I'll repost how I adjust sail tension.
Feb 26, 2010, 09:54 AM
Paratrooper's Avatar

New forecourse sail rigging

After seeing Dan's Syren last summer I became intrigued with the way he had his course sail rigged and I have decided to rig Surprise in a similar fashion. I have followed the rigging posts and some details in "The Frigate Diana" to get what I think is a more detailed model.

I have not had opportunity to try this out on the lake but that will happen next week. It certainly works well in the shop. My only concern is two anchors, a cat head, and some other possible ways and means to entangle all sorts of ropes and stuff. On the other hand, maybe it will work just fine. I will have to try it to KNOW. Here a are a few photos of the completed forecourse sail and rigging.
Feb 26, 2010, 10:07 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Looking good. The 'get her sailing' and add details later' approach seems to be working very well for you and us - there's always something new with Surprise for us to enjoy.

Originally Posted by Paratrooper
I wonder how they kept the sheets from being blown away during a fire operation?
Typically, during action, the courses would be clewed up. If not, they'd have tension on them with the sail set. On one brigantine I worked on, the forecorse sheet would always snag something alongside - we tossed a loop of line around it and tied it to a shroud to hold it out of the way. You could twist some wire to look like a line and do the same. The sheet will slide through the wire acting like a fairlead.
Feb 26, 2010, 04:14 PM
Registered User
Very nice, Great outline for what I will be doing with mine.
Feb 26, 2010, 05:19 PM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Forecourse clews

I'm here! In Cozumel diving. Saw about 12 eagle rays today. Whoa. "Flying in formation".

I can get, but not send e-mail, so Ray and Jerry, I'll copy the email I sent to answer Ray's questions here. Then see additional comments I made after seeing yoour pictures.
The email:
I think the prob may be where the lines enter the bulwarks. The line should be contacting the nylon rod used as a roller inside so that when it is under tension the line is not riding on the sharp forward ege of the slot that you cut.
Other than that, don't worry too much. When you try to move everything manually, all the push /pull isn't working togetehr cuz there is no wind pressure on the sails. Wih wind, everything "stiffens" and moves as a unit. Also, that circular line should not be tight. It should have just a bit of play, both inthe forward loop and the rear loop. With too little play, it can bind istself up under load. Try putting a big fan 45deg behind the sail and tune the tightness of the loops so the sail moves freely. The clews at he foot will always trail a bit, but will come around as the wind squares the sail on the yard.
Play with it and see what happens. Mine doesn't come around freely with zero wind either. Note: once I got the course rigging working, I've never had to adjust it again.

Addtnl comments:
From the pics, all looks clean except for the rear anchor as a possible snag point. But it may clear on it's own every time depending on the angle.
The sheets are way too loose. All lines in the loop need to be snug, but not tight. And definitely not hanging loose.
The crossover at the head looks very good. You really did good work on the angles etc of the boomkins. Make sure teh boomkins are securely rigged - they will be pulled fore and aft and down too.
I can't tellfor sure cuz I only see the lower end of the wires in one pic, but from the relative angle of the two wires, they may not be spred enough at the top where they go into the yard. That spread along with a slightly longer inside wire is what pushes that clew firmly out. If not enough force, the clew will pull inboard vs pulling backward.
Last, there seems to be no forward bow in the belly of the course from the wires behind it. Even in no wind, the wires should be contacting and slightly forming the sails forward. Again, this helps the clew stay in alignment with the yardarm above and makes the geometry of thewhole pullaround work better.
I think a big box fan to fill your sails and some slight rigging adjustment will get your system working.
Jerry - another great idea on the wire guide. When I get home I want to see what it might do on Syren.
Cheers guys - off for a margherita.
Feb 27, 2010, 03:53 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar

New forecourse and maincourse sail rigging

Shipmates: I have completed the new main and fore course sail rigging. Here are a few photos.

Now I just have to wait for some weather to try them out but with the use of the fan in the drydock I think they will work fine.

Trev--if you rig your main course in a similar fashion you need to remember to put some clips in on the end of the sheets so that sail can be struck if necessary. I have never had to strike the forecourse sail so I did not bother with putting clips on those clews.

I have not yet rigged a wire and loop to run the sheets through to keep them from getting blown away when I fire on Syren. The gun fight is just a few months away now. Stay tuned!
Feb 28, 2010, 12:38 AM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Course rigging

From the pics, I don't get how the system you rigged will work. The foremast and mainmast are on separate servos, but you have rigged the courses in tandem (that's what it looks like to me from the pics)
I think you need to separate them per the attached sketch. I don't know for sure, but what I see just doesn't seem right.
The sketch shows what I think will work, but you have the system to actually check it out.
Feb 28, 2010, 07:43 AM
Paratrooper's Avatar
Originally Posted by DanL
From the pics, I don't get how the system you rigged will work. The foremast and mainmast are on separate servos, but you have rigged the courses in tandem (that's what it looks like to me from the pics)
I think you need to separate them per the attached sketch. I don't know for sure, but what I see just doesn't seem right.
The sketch shows what I think will work, but you have the system to actually check it out.
Photos may not reveal all the secrets. I have it rigged just as you show it here, they are separate. The photo of the starboard side does not appear to show separate sheets but they are, they just cross right there making it look as though they are rigged in tandem.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
any good how to books for r/c helis? adam_jorgensen Electric Heli Talk 4 Mar 31, 2002 12:05 PM
Moderators needed for R/C Groups! Andy W Electric Plane Talk 1 Mar 21, 2002 06:44 AM
Pull/Pull System for r/c Patrick in WI Electric Plane Talk 4 Mar 18, 2002 02:18 PM
Rechargeable Alkaline batteries good for R/C packs??? TopGun Power Systems 2 Sep 28, 2001 12:03 AM