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This is my first build log on MSW , and second scratch built boat, both lockdown projects. Why Orca? It’s arguably the most iconic movie boat of all time, with all the associated romance of being a star in a huge film. It’s also a huge challenge, and a good test of the many modelling skills I have to learn to enable me to move on to more complex builds. Talking of romance, January 1st 1976 was the first date I had with my wife of 38 years – we went to the cinema – guess what we watched? So that’s why it has a special memories for me! The research for Orca has not been easy, despite there being a number of previous models built, with some excellent reference material available, and a fanatical fan base posting pictures. Her secrets are well hidden. As far as I can see there are no available plans of the original boat, Warlock, a Novi lobster boat typical of the Maine and Nova Scotia coasts, and only three photographs of her. Orca herself was sadly allowed to rot away, with only fragments remaining in the collection of fans, and in the memory of Joe Alves, the master production designer who transformed Warlock into Orca. The plans I’ve seen online for Orca are for an RC model, and whilst they are representative of Orca, they are not of the type of keel or hull nor accurate in the detail of the pilot house or foredeck when measured against stills of Orca from the film. I can find no images of Warlock or Orca’s keel, or shape below the waterline. The film images of Orca listing or sinking are of Orca II, a GRP copy, which had no keel, but a metal frame and barrels used to change the ballast as part of the effects. There are some differences between Orca I and II which can confuse, not least that Orca II’s mast is off-centre. So there is some detective work and guesssork involved. I have studied the plans of other lobster boats available, and there are some You Tube clips and galleries online of lobster boat construction. Orca has distinctive stem, straight to the waterline, unlike many lobster boats which have a continuously curved stem. These images of Warlock show what I mean: The first decision therefore is whether the hull is built-down or skeg-built. The latter is found in traditional wooden lobster boats, creating a shallower flatter hull section. However this usually required the engine to be higher necessitating a box or step up platform in the pilot house. Warlock had (surprisingly) a 4-cylinder petrol (gas) engine, but no box – the pilot house floor was the same level as the aft deck, suggesting a built down hull… As lobster boats moved from sail to power the hull design changed from a true displacement to a longer wider semi-displacement shape. They had a flatter aft but retained the keel and skeg to protect the prop and rudder and allow them to come right up on a ledge at slow speed, for example: It’s unlikely that Warlock had the horsepower to get the hull beyond displacement speed, and certainly she did not have a flared bow, but a softer chine suggesting she did not cruise that fast, and the flatter after section will have kept her prop deeper in the water, helpful in a following sea. I have chosen therefore to make her as a semi displacement hull, with a skeg built after section. The engine is assumed to be small enough to be enclosed below the pilot house decking. I will attempt to use the same method of build as the real boat, that is to assemble the stem, keel, keelson, prop shaft and hook, then attach temporary frames and ribbands before fitting steam bent ribs, then carvel planking up from the keel before removing the frames and ribbands. The whole process being illustrated beautifully here: https://wlb3.smugmug.com/Maine/JBBC I will credit and draw on the large volume of research already available though other model builders logs, and also from the upcoming series of You Tube postings of Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde who is planning to rebuild Orca in his workshop on Rhode Island see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-myybwQLeM&ab_channel=TipsfromaShipwright Of course much of this work will be hidden in the finished model, but authenticity is clearly important. I may well stand corrected, but I think If I manage this , it will be the first model of Orca built in this way. I would be very pleased to hear from makers of previous models on this methology. After the hull is planked, and deck fitted, the challenge is to reproduce the film prop complete with all the artifacts and weathering. Don’t expect to see much at first, I still have lots to research before I start. I hope this build will help others contemplating this build, and I encourage criticism from the many experts on this forum whose work is so inspiring! I have a small Delta band saw, scroll saw and hand power drills. Other than that this will be done by hand tools. All materials will be from wood and other stuff I have in my store, most of which is recyled. Finally no sharks will be harmed in the making of this Orca.
neilm posted a topic in - Build logs for subjects built 1901 - Present DayMissed the slow explanations and details on this build. First scratch boat build, thanks to other info and build help on this. A lot of copying but still so challenging. Will post regularly as I build. Fingers crossed.
So here is my first build log on my first scratch built wooden boat model. This is a 35" replica of the Orca boat from the movie Jaws. I started with a set of the Paul Tritle blueprints, They're a good starting point for this project......I get a little anal over details, so things are changing already from the prints. These blueprints can be purchased here: http://www.patscustom-models.com/boatplans.htm I got ahead of myself on the build before I started the build log but I'll keep it updated as I go along now.
Hello my Friends, Since my new job assignments has left me with very little time for research and building, I have decided to do a "FUN BUILD" , since I like to build more then research. I have decided to venture into the realm of "REMOTE CONTROL" boating. Since I know nothing of R/C'n I am getting myself into a lot of trouble here. Scratch building the boat will be easy. It's the R/C stuff that will be a pain. My kids have been bugging me to build one so I have decided to build "THE ORCA" from one of my most favorite movies...."JAWS". Once completed i already have another R/C boat waiting in th wings to be built. As for the Orca there is plenty of information on the WWW to pull from plus all the info I have on hand to assist me with the construction of the boat. My objective is as usual to make even a fictitious boat as accurately and realistic as possible of a world famous boat. The only part that might not have any detail will be the inside of the cabin. the reason is because the motor shell reside in the cabin area. If it sits low enough then you can bet your boots I will detail out the cabin. In the R/C world I have found out that the Orca is one popular R/C boat to build. So mine has to be detailed out to the max and make it my own. Why the Orca, because it was the very first time my brother, cousin and I had to wait in line to watch this movie way back in 1975. Jaws was the first ever movie that bore the name of a "SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER". Another was I'm from Southern California and the beach go hand and hand in my area. But after watching that movie i really did not miss the beach too much that year. Ah what goes on inside a kids mind after watching that movie....HAHA! The plans mention the boat being built completely out of Balsa. Well I do not like or care for balsa so I will be going with Basswood. The deck may be built from Teak wood. I hope to add as I go along a lot of "FACTS" and "FUN FACTS" about the boat and the movie. HELP WANTED.... SINCE I KNOW NOTHING OF R/C RUNNING SYSTEMS I HOPE SOME OF YOU OUT THERE CAN ASSIST ME WITH THAT PORTION OF THE BUILD. MY OBJECTIVE IS TO DO A VERY DETAILED BUILD OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BOAT....PLUS A DETAILED CONSTRUCTION OF THE RUNNING GEAR SO OTHERS CAN USE BUILD LOG FOR THEIR R/C BUILDS THAT ARE BEGGINERS IN THE FIELD OF R/C'n AS I AM..... The next update will be when the hull is complete. So it may be a bit depending again on my workload at my job, as to how much time I have to play.....So talk to you all real soon I hope and "HAPPY MODELING.