Wednesday 2 October 2013

Ancient Roman Crane

1/72nd scale (what else? :-) ) from Fredericus-rex, purveyors of very fine 1/72nd scale buildings and machinery (war and civil) Direct link to the crane HERE
A nice looking machine although you do Need a bit of modelling skill (and Patience) to put it together.

A couple of Detail pics.

Now to some tips.
1. The thread that Comes with the kit. It´s a wee bit white so needs colouring a bit.   To do this, I put the string in some hot water, added an old teabag and a teaspoon of ground coffee. Leave for a couple of hours and then dry out. One thing,  there isn´t really enough to cover the whole of the "rigging" especially when tying knots, if  you, like me , use up a couple more cm´s than necessary.
2. The thread does tend to "fray" (can be seen in the pics) This can be reduced with a bit of olive oil on finger and thumb, then pull along the thread.
3. The kit doesn´t come with a base. I´ve made one (9 x 13cm´s)  from an old Cigar box.
4. Use Pins instead of the wire provided to build the pulley blocks for the hook. Make the holes slightly larger by pushing the pin through into a cork. This may seem like a bit more work but it saves a lot of fiddling with bendy wire.
5. The arms on the winding gear. Bin them, they are way too thin. I used  0.8 copper wire.
6. The dowels to attach the wheel and the winding gear have a very tight fit, which means they aren#t likely to turn when fitted. This doesn´t make much difference as I found it  best to wind the thread on when they are in thier final positions. Anyway, if they turned, it would take any tension out of the thread and it would hang down.

Attaching the pulleys with a loop  of thread so they hang down. To do this without loosing your temper and basing the thing off the wall do this, use a thin Paintbrush handle. Lay it along the beam and tie the thread around both it and the beam. A Paintbrush is good, it being tapered makes it easier to remove. The same technique for the pulleys on the stakes.

"Rigging" the hook pulley System. This is shown in the instructions as being done without attaching the main pulley onto the top of the crane or attaching the hook to the small pulley. I considered this but realised it would be way too fiddly to  do this in the order suggested, so I did it in "reverse" order.
There´s enough space to pin (I didn´t use the wire provided) the pulleys to the Piece of Balsa (provided for the Task).
One Suggestion, tape the Piece of Balsa down to stop it sliding about or use a larger "pinnable " surface like a cork mat.
Also after attaching the thread,  and as it dries, keep it under Tension by again taping it down.