Making masts

I've been musing for a while now about making my own masts for Black Seas. A friend of mine printed out some 1/700 scale ships minus the masts for our Let's Play Black Seas review for the game.

The printed ships (which were re-scaled 1/1000 ships by epengr on Thingiverse) admittedly aren't as nice as the Warlord models. Nevertheless, they are different and as I have them printed, I might as well do something with them to add to my existing fleets. The only issue is they were printed without masts!

I did dabble with the idea of using brass rods, but after a little experimentation, I found that soldering masts was going to be a lot of work - and while they'd look amazing, it would be easier to buy metal masts from Meridian's 1/700 range. So I had a think, what else could I use? Plastic rod... but from where? How about all the surplus plastic spears I had in my bits box...

How come I only spotted it was wonky after I took the photo?

Using the Warlord plastic ship mast sprues as a guideline, I managed to recreate each of the masts in some detail. I simply used thicker spears for the main mast sections and the thinner spears for the yards (the bits the sails hang off!),

Spears into spars.

The process did not take too long, probably only about ten minutes per main mast. I was careful to stagger the mast sections forward (ok, technically the bottom part is the main mast, the next two sections are the top mast and gallant mast), so they look like real masts. Further detail could be added, such as tops and the rope banding around the main mast.

The 3D printed ship, with a few plastic additions.

I've added some details to the 3D ship and used spare parts from a plastic frigate for the stern decoration. I'll probably borrow and anchor or two as well. Meridian also sell masts, anchors and ship's boats, so I shall be giving them serious consideration as well.

Yes the foremast is on backwards!

The finished ship looks fine. I'm sure there's more detail I could add and I'll need some more sails too. This will make an adequate 5th or 6th rate for our games. So if you are having issues with your ships' masts, why not repair them or make your own, in plastic?



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