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cobraman

Wooden model ships

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I was at a museum yesterday and they had several built ships that interested me . I know I could never get the results that I saw but wondered how difficult they really are . Wondering if I started with a simple kit if I could manage decent results . I guess I am asking those who have built them how much more work is involved over and above a plastic kit . Thanks 

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The current higher end kits have most parts laser cut and ready to assemble. The skill comes in with the sails and rigging......not super difficult but takes a lot of time. I have two kits in the stash I want to build. Might try one of the smaller kits to see.

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5 hours ago, cobraman said:

I was at a museum yesterday and they had several built ships that interested me . I know I could never get the results that I saw but wondered how difficult they really are . Wondering if I started with a simple kit if I could manage decent results . I guess I am asking those who have built them how much more work is involved over and above a plastic kit . Thanks 

I saw your Cobra-in-a-crate, and if you can build that good looking a crate, just shooting from the hip with no instructions, you should have NO problem with a wooden ship model.

There are two main levels of complexity with wooden ships.

The easiest have pre-carved one-piece hulls that you may have to plank or cover with something else, or just primer, sand, and paint.

The more challenging ones require you to lay a keel, then build up the hull with bulkheads or ribs like a real one, and plank that.

Some kits have everything laser-cut, as Dave says, and with some, you have to cut every piece to size. Some are a little of each.

Some kits require you to build up the keel and bulkheads / ribs with the parts pinned to waxed paper, over full-size drawings that are included.

The only real trick is to go slow, take your time, make sure you understand the process before each step, and enjoy it. It's a different experience from plastic modeling, and it can be very relaxing.The wood usually smells good, too.

Wood glue dries slow, so you'll want to jig parts and give them plenty of time to dry. It's a lot like building wood scale train cars and buildings, or the old Guillow's flying model planes. I did a lot of that in my late tweens-early teens.

If you want to build a larger built-up-hull type of model, many experienced ship modelers suggest you start with something like a rowboat or dory, to get familiar with all the operations.

I have a 1/32 scale plank-on-frame Skipjack and a pretty large Bluenose to start on after I retire in a few more months, when I can devote a separate area to wooden models.

Below is what the Skipjack kit looks like.

When THIS particular kit was first issued, you had to cut every part, and some of the keel parts required access to a bandsaw. Since then, some of the parts are now pre-laser-cut, but unfortunately, the laser-cut parts don't exactly match the plans. This has caused some consternation among first-time builders, and it's always a possible problem with just about ANY wood kit you get into.

The wooden shipbuilding community is pretty helpful, so research the kit you think you'd most like to start with before buying, if possible.Image result for Model Shipways Willie Bennett Skipjack

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Thanks for all the useful information guys . Can anyone point to any manufacture that would have kits best suited for a beginner ? I seem to remember I used to get a catalog from someone that had nothing but ship and boat kits but can’t recall who that was . I am really interested in trying my hand at this . 

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Ray have you tried looking at what Micro Mark has? They are simple compared the the large sailing ships but they are a start. 

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Take a look at beginner kits here

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Thanks guys ! Sure to find something at that place .

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Yes they can be a challenge abd require a lot of man hours to  complete but the results are well worth it!

1521415914674.jpg

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Yours looks good. Not sure I want to tackle one that complex for my first build.

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Yes I recommend the Artesania Latina Swift kit, plank on bulkhead construction with minimal rigging.Good starter kit to learn the skills required for more complex kits.

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If you want to try pladtic,this Revell Thermopylae is nice!

1521567812981-2085246750.jpg

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Very nice ships. I really don't want to do plastic I am itching to do a wooden one.

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Question for wooden ship builders. Is there a difference between a Batten bender and a plank bender ? My wife ordered me a kit that she liked and the site said a batten bender is required but so far I have not found one. Thanks

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I soak the ends of  the planks in water for a few hours and then bend the planks around a stain can with mini clamps and allow themto dry.Works well even for a bluff bow like this one which is a fairly extreme bend.

1521684474826.jpg

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I'd recommend Atersania Latina. I think the Blue Nose might be a good starter. It's absolutely a different experience than plastic, but it's a good one. Yes the rigging is time consuming, but worth it

Edited by samdiego

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Sharper lines means minimal bending of the planks on the Bluenose.

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Wife ordered me a Artesania Latina Whale Boat . I have no idea if this is a good kit or not . I also ordered a ship on Walmart’s web site of a kit that retains for about 50 bucks but was on sale for 15 with free shipping . Can not recall the company name right now . 

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I don't think AL does bad kits. I think I know which kit your wife got you. Good starter, covers the basics, minimal rigging.

Edited by samdiego

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This will be a different challenge for me . Built models for well over 50 years but never a wooden ship . 

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Yes it is a challenge and requires many man hours to complete,but well worth the effort.

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On 3/21/2018 at 4:25 PM, cobraman said:

Is there a difference between a Batten bender and a plank bender ?

Different terms for the same thing. Years ago, I built the Mamoli 1/93 U.S.S. Constitution. I soaked the hull planking in denatured alcohol which softened them faster than soaking in water. I tack-nailed the wet planks onto the  bulkheads, allowing them to dry in place. Once dry, the planks retained the curves and fit the contours of the hull perfectly. I removed the nails, trimmed where necessary and used carpenter's glue to reattach them. You need to attach the planking on both sides of the hull to prevent warpage when using this method.

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