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Planking Tips For Building a Model Ship
Stability of ship models hull is the most important criterion of quality. Often modeler sees in winter the hull which was planking in summer appear sufficiently large slit between the planks. Gap may disappear next summer or may be even greater. Because of this modeller has to go to extreme measures - to remove the trim, strengthen body and sheathe again. To prevent such a phenomenon should modeller at the design stage hull design to provide long-term stability. 2 Analysis of today's most popular methods of buildings shipmodel's hulls. 1. Wood monolith (of a single piece of wood). Hull Planking�Sharp Bow. The hull is the single largest part of a model ship. Building the hull correctly will determine the final shape and appearance of the model. In your kit you will find a number of plywood sheets with the laser cut parts. Use the kit�s plans and instructions to identify and number each part on the plywood sheets with a pencil.� It cannot be emphasised too strongly that the fairing process is the single most important step in building a model ship of which you�ll be proud. Take your time with this process. We will now consider the shaping of the deadwood area. If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you. The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to �Advance Ship Modeling Through Research�. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships. The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite.

Most beginners to model Ship Building have some concerns regarding planking, however, provided that some serious thought is given to the subject so that the principles are clearly understood, then it should not prove overly difficult. Unfortunately, most kit manufacturers tend to skim over the subject in their instructions, assuming that the modeller is already experienced or has read a book on the subject. For those who fall into neither category we have produced this leaflet, however, please bear in mind the following points:.

This leaflet describes only one approach to planking � different modellers develop their own techniques and there are other ways of Wooden Model Ship Building Books Online doing it but we consider that the methods described here are a good starting point for the first time modeller.

This is a general guide only and is to be used in conjunction with the instructions supplied with your individual kit. In particular, it must be emphasised that any measurements or part or part numbers used are purely for the purpose of illustrative example and must not be confused with part numbers or measurements for a particular kit.

In most kits, the placement of the first plank can be quite critical to the final outcome. This is especially so when the first plank delineates the positions of the below deck gunports. Hull planking technique 1 is for Bluff Bowed vessels and Hull planking technique 2 is for Sharp Bowed vessels. For further details call our office or visit our website.

Please remember the planks are always fitted in pairs, one each side � fix and forget for 24 hours. There are four basic steps to a successful planking job We will deal with these in order then finish with a few suggestions on deck planking. Using a file, fine rasp or coarse sandpaper on a wooden block, or a combination of all of these, bevel the edges of the frames so that the planks will come in contact with a full thickness of each frame � not just a sharp leading or trailing edge. A piece of broomstick with sandpaper glued to it will make it easier to shape those frames with a hollow curve.

Use a plank and lay it over the frames in various positions to check the bevel i. If you do have a hollow spot on one or more frame s it can be built up using slivers of timber. Check again. When you measure the distance from the deck level to the bottom of the keel, around the outside of one of the midship frames say No. By doing this all planks will arrive at the Keel together. In some cases, it will have its top edge up to 5mm to 10mm below the deck level. Where this is done it is to facilitate the construction of Bulwarks at a later stage but in any case, it will be parallel to the line of the deck.

Quite a few of the models shown in our catalogue fall into this category. Many of the models which feature below deck open gunports require that the first plank follows the line of the gunports and it will run immediately above or below a row of gunports.

When you have identified the position of the first plank, glue it into position using a PVA glue and without any tapering. Next, on the three midship frames, mark a position approximately halfway to the keel- the same distance down on each frame and a distance which is a multiple of a plank width.

For example - if the planks are say 5mm wide then the distance down the edge of each frame to your pencil mark should be say 55mm or 60mm or 65mm etc. The second pair of planks should now be temporarily attached, using planking screws, at the positions you have marked on the midship frames - but without glue.

Both ends of each plank should now be bent, allowing them to follow their natural course along the frames.

Again using planking screws, temporarily attach them to the rest of the frames making fine adjustments if necessary to ensure that each is a mirror image of the other. Checking the corresponding measurements port and starboard on the first and last frames should show up any errors.

There are now four planks in place, two on each side, and these will probably be the only ones which do not require any tapering or shaping. Dealing with the top half first, it will be fairly obvious where tapering will be required. Count the number of planks needed to fill the gap to fill in the gap between first and second planks at midships then measure the distance at each of the other frames.

These distances divided by the number of planks gives you the width of each plank at each frame. Once these widths are pencilled onto the plank the cutting of the taper can be carried out. Make several light strokes to set the course followed by a heavier one to make the cut. Alternatively, use a Mini Plane to plane the plank to the marked line. Use a Cutting Mat or plywood board to protect the surface you are using to cut the planks.

It is usual to carry out tapering on the lower edge of each plank and it may sometimes, although not usually , be necessary to carry out some bevelling on the upper edge of some planks.

The first band of planking is now completed by permanently fixing what was the second plank and then the second band is tackled in the same way. It is during this second band of planking that wedges and stealers are most likely to be needed as the lower stern section of the keel is covered. Planks should be allowed to largely follow their natural coarse with the gaps being filled in later but bearing in mind that the aim is for the final couple of planks to run nicely parallel to the bottom of the keel.

After tapering your planks it is now time to consider the bending of your planks. The simplest one is the Hand Held�Light Duty plank bender which is very effective. By lightly crimping the plank a very effective curve is produced.

By making the crimps closer together a more rounded curve is produced. The Heavy Duty version acts the same way but can be used to bend light metal. The Electric Plank Bender is applied to the plank after soaking it in water for approximately 10 minutes.

Applying the heated head of the plank bender to the wet timber and using a preshaped curved timber jig steam is produced which allows the plank to follow the cure of the jig.

Very effective. Each of these tools are presented in the Tools section of our catalogue. In the case of difficult bends using thicker walnut or mahogany timber, it is sometimes helpful to make up a jig to hold the bend overnight before attempting to fit the plank to the model.

Holding planks in place while the glue dries can be quite tricky. While they can be brass nailed, this is usually fairly unsatisfactory. Often the nails supplied in kits are not brass but brass coated, there are nowhere near enough supplied to nail all the planks and to be quite frank, nailed planks often look terrible.

You can make do with 12 but 24 are better and most modellers who start with 12 order another packet. Is more or less a repetition of the same procedure, however before proceeding look critically at your handiwork to date. As a panel beater would, run your fingers over the hull and identify high and low spots. This is your opportunity to correct any shortcomings in the work so far.

As you have a complete surface on which to lay the 2nd planking and not just the frames, you will almost certainly find that the second planking is easier than the first. Ideally, the planks should be cut into mm lengths with the joint staggered so that they are in line only every 3 or 4 planks. An alternative to laying short lengths of planking is to lay full lengths and score the joints with a knife later.

The plywood can be painted black before the deck planks are applied and a slight gap left between them. Leave a slight gap which is later filled with heavy black sewing thread which is first pulled through rigging wax.

This is done by marking with a sharp point indentations which are then touched with Indian ink. Once again, it is best to experiment first using a piece of scrap plywood and some scrap decking material before using it on the model. From the information provided you will be aware that when the tapering of planks take place no plank should be reduced to less than half its width.

Sometimes this is not sufficiently drastic and you will still be approaching the bottom of the hull at the bow end before reaching the keel midships. The diagrams below show how the problem can be solved by reducing three plank widths to two.

Conversely, perhaps at the stern when planks need to be spread out, you can turn one plank into two. The diagrams show the ideal pattern for cutting the ends of the planks, but, at a pinch, simply reducing two planks to half width at the first or second frame then continuing with a single plank, which is itself then reduced to half width right at the bow, and with merely a square butt joint between the first pair and the forward addition will do the job.

Some study of the diagrams will give you the idea. The diagrams below are not of your ship or any particular model. To stay up to date join our mailing list. The monthly newsletter includes:. View Menu Search.

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Model Ship Building Hull Planking Processing