The masts are incomplete with the materials provided in the kit so to add the missing details we fabricated the following from spare parts or scratchbuilding from scraps.

Parts required:

Forward Mast

No. Req. Part
Pulled sprue C-rings - small (vent clamps)
Plastic stock pulled sprue 2mm diameter x 54mm long (derrick)
Pulled sprue C-rings - large (derrick clamps)
Pulled sprue microdots (derrick pulley mounts/stay mounts)
Clear pulled sprue 2mm long x 1.5mm wide (mast light)
2mm diameter microdots (mast lamp base/cap)
GMM brass rails (crow's nest poles)
Pulled sprue 5mm long x 0.5mm diameter (crow's nest supports)
Spare thin GMM brass ladder 23mm long, (mast lamp access)
Oval shaped sheet plastic 4mm long (crow's nest hatch door)
Thin sprue 5mm long (bell brackets)
Flared pulled sprue tips (bells)
Pulled sprue C-rings - varied (mast stay clamps)

Main (aft) Mast

No. Req. Part
1mm diameter x 2mm long clear pulled sprue (docking lamps)
pulled sprue C-rings - varied (mast stay clamps)
48mm long, GMM brass ladder (docking lamp access)


Step 1 (improving the crow's nest).

We planned on adding the GMM passengers and crew to the ship so we needed to have a more three dimensional crow's nest to place a crew member in there.

First draw an outline of the crow's nest inner diameter onto the top of the existing crow's nest.

To hollow out the crow's nest take a cordless drill with a small bit and drill a few holes about 3mm deep inside the pencil marking. Do not get too close to the outside edge or you will ruin the crow's nest.

Drill about 4 holes then scrape out the plastic between the holes with a hobby knife, cleaning up to the pencil line. Smooth out the interior with the tip of the flat file to give the crow's nest depth. Next glue the nest to the mast.

Cut three lengths of thinly pulled sprue (0.5mm diameter x 5mm length). Glue these underneath the crow's nest from its bottom's outer edge angled towards the mast. One in the center and one either side of the nest, all terminating on the front of the mast.

To make the crew's access hatch behind the crow's nest cut a piece of sheet plastic 4mm in length and round off the top corners. Glue to the mast behind the crow's nest.

Paint the crow's nest flat white.

When dry we glued a GMM crew member inside the crow's nest with CA glue.

The crow's nest had four upright poles similar to those on the compass tower.

Take some scrap GMM railing (from the leftover Lusitania half of the brass tree) and cut up a railing panel into its individual posts and rails. Take two rails and cut them in half so each section was roughly about 2mm in length. Glue one of these to each back corner of the crow's nest. Glue the front two about 2mm along the rim from the back two.

When set, paint them flat white to match the crow's nest.

Step 2 (improving the derrick).

Though the model's derrick is usable as is it's rather `clunky' in appearance. We opted to change ours.

The first order of business is to remove the original one from the mast.

With a sharp hobby knife cut the top four connection points as close to the mast as possible but make a horizontal cut at the base of the derrick to leave the pivot mount in place. This will give the new derrick a base. Set the old derrick aside for use elsewhere on the model.

File down the remnants of the block marks on the rear of the mast and then sand smooth with fine sandpaper and finally steel wool.

Construct a new derrick by pulling sprue to 54mm long x 2mm diameter. Once complete sand one end on the sanding block to make a rounded end. Leave the base end flat. To the rounded end of this derrick glue two small microdots about 1mm from the tip one to port and one to starboard.

Next you need to make the brackets that held the derrick in place. Curl pulled sprue by running it over the back of a semi-sharp edge like a ruler or credit card. This causes the sprue to try and make a loop. Then cut two 5mm lengths, place these on the derrick and bend them around to look a clip. These were then glued to the backside of the mast at the following heights:


Clip 1: 30mm up the mast from the forecastle deck.
Clip 2: 58mm up the mast from the forecastle deck.

Paint the mast and derrick Model Master Wood and the C-clips, pivot bracket, and microdot pulley brackets dark gray.

When all is dry, glue the new derrick to the rear pivot mount glued and the two C-clamps with tiny beads of glue.

Step 3 (making the mast lamp).

On the top forward side of the mast, centered, sitting at 90mm above the forecastle planking a mast lamp needs to be added.

Cut a section of pulled clear sprue 2mm in length x 1.5mm in diameter. Glue it on the mast so its top is 89.5mm above the forecastle deck, use a tiny bead of regular model glue, NOT CA glue! Cut two pulled sprue microdots 2mm diameter x 0.5mm thick and glue to both the top and bottom of the clear lens. Paint these microdots with Testors brass paint.

Step 4 (adding the mast light ladder).

Above the top of the starboard ratline was a ladder running up the starboard side of the mast to just above the mast light.

See LADDERS section for information on this ladder.

Step 5 (making the small clips for the crew galley vent).

On the port side of the mast sat the vent/chimney for the crew galley. See the VENTS section on how to scratch build this.

This vent was held to the mast by clips. Make these in a similar way to the derrick C-clamps, only cut them to about 3mm long and wrap them tightly around the vent and glue to the mast.

Set the clamps at approx. 7mm and 16mm above the forecastle deck. Paint dark gray.

Step 6 (making the bells and bell mounts).

There were two bells on the mast. One just above the crow's nest (molded onto the mast) and the other on the aft side of the base (not supplied). We didn't like the bell molded onto the mast so we removed it and made a new one.

To make the supports cut two 5mm lengths of 0.5mm diameter pulled sprue. Next, place pencil dots on the mast at the two locations where the bells will sit. Drill a small diameter hole at each mark about 1/3 the way into the mast. Then glue these sections into the holes sticking straight out. When dry, bend them gently downward with tweezers.

To make the bells use pulled sprue and flared the tip as discussed in the WHISTLES section. Trim off the flares and glued to the ends of the curled sprue sticking out of the mast.

Paint the bell mounts dark gray. and the bells with Testors brass.

Step 7 (mast stay clips).

Rigging to Forecastle Deck (pre rigging):
Another set of clips were made for the port and starboard mast cables. These connected to the mast just above the crow's nest on either side.

Cut two small pips from a cross section of 1mm diameter pulled sprue and glue them between the crow's nest bell and crow's nest, one to port and one to starboard. The cable can then be attached to these and run down to the aft corners of the forecastle deck. Paint them Model Master Wood to match the mast and then paint a small black dot at the point where the cable attaches.

Main Rigging (post rigging):
After all rigging has been attached to the masts construct three mast stay clips to collar around the thread giving the finished masts an overall neater appearance. Fashion the collars like the derrick's C-clamps making sure they are sized to fit the reducing taper of the mast's circumference.

At the base of these cables, where they attach to the deck, was a turnbuckle like structure. Make these using scraps of plastic stock, or pulled sprue sanded somewhat flat, cut to a length of around 3mm each and then glue on to the line where it passes through (or to) the deck planking. While the cabling is gray. paint these 'turnbuckles' flat black.


Step 1 (adding the docking lamps).

Make these out of 2mm lengths of clear pulled sprue at 1mm in diameter. Glue one to each side of the aft mast facing port and starboard 47mm above the A-deck planking. Paint the 1mm closest to the mast Model Master Wood leaving the outer 1mm clear to represent the lens.

Step 2 (adding the ladder).

See LADDERS section on how to make this ladder.

Step 3 (mast stay clips).

See Step 7 under the Forward Mast section above.


This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000