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I-58. The tale of the persistent rigger.

December 1, 2014 in Ships

Once upon a time, at the Imperial Japanese Shipyard in Kure, there was a young ambitious and promising rigger. One day the Port Admiral approached him, and asked, if he was willing tog try the challenging task of building the cage antenna for the navy’s new submarine.
The ambitious young rigger didn’t hesitate for a moment, accepted the challenge and immediately set about making copper rings for the antenna.
He then stretched an antenna wire between two large blocks of wood and began fastening the rings to it.
Once all the rings were in place, he added further antenna wires parallel to the first one. To form the ends of the cage, he crossed the antenna wires, glued them together at their meeting point and then cut away the excess.

The proud rigger now hung his antenna up between the mast and the bridge of the submarine.
-Woe and betide! Not only had he failed to stretch the wires equally, so that some of them were slack, while others were tight like fiddlestrings. In trying to stretch the antenna to make it look better, he had also bent the mainmast!

At this moment the port admiral happened to be passing by. Upon seeing the antenna his brow furrowed and he started breathing quickly and heavily, while his face assumed the colour of anti fouling paint.
He opened his mouth and uttered a number of those words that are not suited for the tender ears of children, whereupon he explained to the rigger that such an antenna was unworthy of the Imperial Japanese Navy in general and of the Naval Shipyard in Kure in particular.
He then went on to say that if a better looking antenna was not set up tomorrow he would contact the Naval staff and then muttered something about the salt mines in Manchuria.

No ambitious young rigger lets himself be put back by a minor admonition like that.
He drilled holes in two large pieces of plastic, that he clamped to two pieces of wood, set up at a suitable distance from one another.
He then threaded four antenna wires through the holes and tried to stretch them equally. New rings were then fitted between the wires.

When he loosened the new cage antenna he saw that it was only slightly less uneven than the first one.
“Brute force and violence will solve most problems”, he said to himself and proceeded to make a new mainmast from steel.
The new antenna was then stretched between the bridge and the new mainmast, using the biggest crane of the shipyard. (The crane looks a bit like the table lamps some modellers use, but this is of course a mere coincidence.)

When the Port Admiral saw the new antenna, he said that it looked alright at a distance on a foggy day, and then went on to talk about his gout.

Nobody had received such high praise from the Port Admiral, since he remarried twelve years ago.
The young rigger became the local hero, married the prettiest girl in town and lived happily ever after.

Edit: This is Afv Club’s kit in 1:350. A very nice kit. Apart from the rigging the kit is built straight from the box.

20 additional images. Click to enlarge

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26 responses to I-58. The tale of the persistent rigger.

  1. That young rigger of which you speak,that was you wasn’t it……:)

    • Of course it wasn’t me. The mere thought!…..
      This is an old japanese children’s tale. You know, like HC Andersen or the Grimm brothers.
      Very edifying it is too. Teaches you persistence….;-)

  2. I think you are saying making the antenna was a b***h. Turned out great though. That’s one fine boat.

  3. Darn incredible!

  4. Exquisite craftsmanship, Ulf…stellar work indeed.

  5. what a paint job…as all ways

  6. Fantastic build Ulf and a great story to go with.
    Thanks for posting.

  7. Some fine skills here, and persistence.

  8. Ulf, I not sure which took more imagination and skill, rigging the antenna or coming you with the “Tale of the Young Rigger”, but both are outstanding.
    BTW the rest of the boat looks ok to. 😉

  9. Amazing again mate, I love your articles! Stunning hull effects, As Al says, it looks like a reflection of the water!

  10. That young rigger did a damn fine job!

  11. Not only does Ulf-San scratchbuild and paint well, he is a very imaginative storyteller…..

  12. Funny story and great model. As others have said the finish on the hull does look like the reflection of rippling water. Interesting to see how the one part of the antenna was really a kit to itself.

  13. Great story and impressive work ! Your mastery of rigging is clearly seen here, as well the neat build and the perfect weathering.
    Thanks for sharing, Ulf is the scale 1/350 ?

  14. Top marks Ulf; for both modelling & story telling. Imagination, skill & persistence. Great weathering too.

  15. Prettiest girl in town?
    A model possibly? 😉

  16. Nice model and great effort on the radio antenna “spreaders”. On the lightship we had such a four wire arrangement for our radio beacon antenna, most folk think each wire is exactley perfect. There is a certain amount of unequal “sag” in the wires between the ring spreaders, but is not as noticeable when viewed from afar. Great effort on an unusual model.

  17. Ulf, What a great looking model. Fantastic work all around-especially the weathering.

  18. WHOA. Really-right-rigging. AWESOME, Ulf, you of the patience of Job.

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