I attached the masts to the ship and it's insane what a world of difference it makes. The one thing I'm not happy about is the paint that I used. It's way too dark brown, and it doesn't look pretty on the front and aft masts.
I did find a way to make them look half-decent though, but letting the paint dry a little on the brush first before applying it. I applied it with very soft strokes and now the several of the masts look a little rougher and more natural.
To attach the horizontal beams onto the main vertical masts, I didn't want to use glue. The wire makes it look more natural, but I didn't know what would work so I just tried some things. Eventually, this way it looks pretty well - though I still use a little too much wire sometimes. I mean, look at that!
Next up is attaching the sails, which was actually quite easy. Or at least, attaching them to the horizontal beams was. It's just basic back-and-forth with a needle, so that was hardly a challenge. What is, though, is securing the sails to the rest of the boat. Mainly, attaching a wire to the bottom corner of a sail is difficult because if you put too much pressure on the wire, the sail rips.
The instructions vaguely mention using the little needles with the eyes, but then don't mention how to actually attach them so here I am. That'll be the next step, I'lh have to figure something out for that.
I'm also not too happy about the painting of the sails. I used a color pencil like a boor but I was too lazy to actually walk to store and spend money on paint for cloth which I might never use again. I figured: 'how bad could look?'.
Pretty bad, actually.
One challenge I have is with the sail and the mast on the front of the ship. I mentioned before how I fucked up with the glue on the bulwarks, so the stern of the ship doesn't really 'close'. But since the front mast relies on that closing, I had a problem - which I managed to solve pretty creatively I think. I couldn't attach the mast to anything to get the correct angle. Either the mast would lie almost 90 degrees, or it would stand almost upright. There was nowhere to attach it securely to have it in a middle 45 degrees.
Earlier, I broke one of the two tiny stairs onto the aft deck in two by applying too much pressure. Turns out, the three little steps of that tiny staircase fit perfectly on that heightened part of the stern to form a 45 degree angle. Plus, now I have enough floorspace to glue the mast to it!
The result is, all things considered, pretty good.
I'm still not too happy about the hull. I tried painting it in the same way I painted the masts, but it turned out way darker than I had hoped. I'm debating whether to use a different paint (if that's even possible), or let it stay like this.
One more thing. Seriously, these instructions. Fuck them with a passion. For instance, take a look at this part. There's all kinds of letters there. Nowhere does it explain what these letters are. Seriously, absolutely nowhere.
Also, I have a LOT of wood left, including planks I never even used. I have a mast with 8 mm in diameter but it's not used anywhere, I can't find it looking at the photo on the box, it's mentioned nowhere in the instructions except in the contents. So the maker/writer does admit you need it, but doesn't proceed to tell you where.
It's absolutely fucking useless and it frustrates me to no end so I'm just going to go on based on what looks and feels good.
For the most part though, the ship's almost finished. There's just some details to go over now, but I either lack the tools or the knowledge to do so (like putting pins into the deck and the side of the ship for which I need a tiny 0,7 mm drill...). Now that I'm looking at it, the two main sails really do look like shit, like some kid drew on it. I might just go for that paint after all. For now though, pretty happy about the result!