First of all, congratulations on your excellent model! It is indeed a piece worthy of displaying in a museum. I am so glad I came across your thread where you unselfishly shared your skill and knowledge. I am working on my USS Olympia and I have been reading and re-reading this wonderful thread of yours. The ship masts that came with my kit is horribly skewed. I would like to replace it with brass tubes the way you did yours. My question is, how did you drill the hole to support the mast? This will be my first attempt at working with brass tubes and have zero knowledge on how to go about it. Thanks very much in advance!
Thank you Joseph, for your kind words!
Not precisely sure what you mean by "drill the hole to support the mast" - I assume you are referring to the holes in the masts into which the angled gaffs were fitted? If so... I made each of these by first lightly notching the brass mast tube with the corner of a jeweler’s file, then using the notch as a guide for a very small drill bit mounted in my X-Acto knife handle. I slowly hand turned the bit until a small hole punched through, then switched to a slightly larger bit until I could fit the gaff into the mast. Then I secured the gaff in place with cyanoacrylate. It was very fiddly, difficult procedure and I had to do it for both gaffs, but I couldn't think of a better way to get them to attach to the masts with sufficient strength.
Maybe if I were to do it again I would solder them in place!