Captain Cavalier Ship

The building of a new ship-based model started at first with me hoping to build an old galleon with a curved shape. Even before I started I knew it was not going to be easy, since using the flexible plates in a curved shape was bound to throw the bolt holes out of alignment — and so it proved. Unfortunately I insisted on persevering until I had completed one whole side of the hull, only to give up, disenchanted with the look it was taking on.

It is always frustrating to feel like you have wasted time, and have to undo all the work done, but though the curved hull galleon would have to wait for another time I decided to continue with creating a new ship-based model, but thought that I ought to be a little more cavalier in design, instead of always keeping it conventional.

I had a few other ideas I wanted to try out, so I built the more straightforward shaped hull and then added the decks and the fittings for three upright masts.

That process took two days, and on the third day when I had got the main centre mast secured in place I set about implementing a rigging system which was not usually part of any of those types of vessels, but I liked the idea anyway.

I used three long axles, spacers and narrow 2½” strips to create a sort of rigid climbing system which I attached to this centre mast. Not only was I pleased with how unusual it looked, but it was also a solid solution to keeping the mast firmly supported. Of course I knew it did not look very authentic, but I was keen to keep it as I had originally thought of, instead of morphing it into something safer and more familiar.

I next set about securing the other two masts in place, but with a shortage of narrow strips I used the more typical stringed rigging on those instead, even though it might be at odds with the rest of the design.

Small orange plastic pulleys were added to be used for the rigging, and I used some white cloth sails from a previous ship model, and some finishing touches include an anchor, some flags and some railings to name but a few.

The ship model was ready after four days work but on the last day I decided to build a supporting platform to sit the ship on. This platform would also be able to mimic the swaying action of being out at sea, though I hadn’t decided whether to implement that action with a slow motor or by a hand-operated handle instead.

If I’m honest, the completed model was not what I originally wanted to build, and perhaps it looks like a hybrid of different ideas and different eras.

In the end I opted to fit a slow-moving motor, with a rotating face plate (part № 109), and a strip attached to the bottom of the hull to create the ship movement as if it was sailing in heavy seas.

Perhaps having built so many Meccano ship models before and combined with having to temporarily abort my curved hull galleon idea, I was a bit cavalier in my latest approach, but I also like that the end result looks like something new and completely different.

Captain Cavalier — not afraid to make waves wherever she sails.

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