In this blog I will describe the restoration of a much loved model of the CUTTY SARK. This particular model arrived in need of some TLC, as with most restorations the rigging was in need of some serious work along with the ship in general needing a deep clean and touch up. My first job was to study the model in depth before removing any damaged or broken rigging thread whilst at the same time trying to save a lot of the original rigging where possible. With the rigging removed the next job was to refit 6 of the yards back into position with new collars followed by replacing the rigging thread like for like whilst making every effort to match colour and fixing methods. The rigging thread its self as you can imagine is very complex and in order to preserve the original rigging great care was taken throughout the fitting process to avoid any further damage taking place.
Now that the rigging process is complete the next task was to very carefully clean the deck area of the ship followed by the ships boats, this was done with great care with a very mild soap solution and warm water and specialized cleaning tools. The whole cleaning process took several days to complete and in the end it had certainly achieved the result required, once the cleaning was finished the next job was to re-varnish all the wood areas to enhance the end result. With the varnishing completed the next task was to clean all the yards this was a very slow process so no further damaged occurred to the new and old rigging thread so patience was a must in order to complete the task safely.
The next job was to touch up any paint work required once the correct mix for the white paint was achieved; this took some time but was an important thing to achieve in order to blend in with areas that required no painting once they had been cleaned. Once the painting had been completed the next job was to very carefully clean the Shrouds and Rat Lines which was certainly a very fiddly job but well worth the effort to enhance all the other rigging on this very impressive model. The one remaining job was to carefully check over the entire model to make sure everything was O.K.
Overall this model ship restoration certainly offered up some interesting challenges but as with all restorations patience is key and the art of blending in new with old is paramount in order to achieve the perfect end result. All that remains to be done is to build its display case so the model can be admired for years to come.