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Gaps between planks - are they possible to fix

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I am a new shipbuilder and I just finished planking my first ship. Now I see that at some places my planks are not connected good. Can this kind of gaps be fixed with wood filler and than later sanded? Or that will look strange?

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It may be too late for your current model, but the edges of the planks need to be tapered so they fit properly.  Do a search of this forum and you will see it has been brought up in the past and there are sketches of what I described in words.   If it was me, I would remove the planks and start again, but that is just one opinion.  The caulking lines would only be the width of a piece of tissue or paper which is described in the planking tutorials, and the gaps you show are quite a bit more from what can be seen in your photo.



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From your photo, this appears to be a POB kit? 

Is it double planked and this the first layer?

The purpose of the first layer is to offer support for the actual planking.  On most all kits, the frame moulds are spaced too far apart to give adequate hull shape and plank support.  The first plank layer is intended to provide this.

Smooth off the planking. (Plane, file, sand, scrape) The gapes will be covered by the display planking. 

When you have a smooth base, look at it carefully.  If there are hollows/ dips between mould stations use something like Bondo to fill out the hollows so that base hull has the proper shape for the planking.


The real planking will need spilling,

Ribband location so that no belt of planking has an extreme difference between the plank width at midship  and at the stem or sternpost

and edge adjusting to give tight seams.

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Go here: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/forum/14-building-framing-planking-and-plating-a-ships-hull-and-deck/   At the top, there's three pinned topic on the planking and how-to...


Also here:  http://modelshipworldforum.com/ship-modeling-articles-and-downloads.php  There's a section on planking and framing with some articles on this.

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If the model will be painted enough to apply wood filler and sand it.





My models:

From kits

Vasa, HMS Victory, Le Solei Royale, Friesland

From scratch

HMS Warrior 1860, Esplanade, Grosse Yacht

Norman’s ship, HMS Speedy, La Royale

Peter von Danzig

Polacca XVII cent.

Current project:

SS Savannah 1818

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Thank you all for the feedback, this forum really helps me because your opinion matters to me, since this is the first ship ever that i am building. So I applied wood filler and now when it dries i hope that i can sand it so atleast its not so obvious.








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So the gaps can be fixed with some wood filler and after the sanding they should be less visible. Here is what the gaps look like after the sanding:






You can see where the gaps were because the wood filler is slightly different color, but after painting it it should blend

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had the same issue on my first planking attempt.  Since I was going to be painting the hull, I was able to salvage it by using wood filler, sanding, filling again, sanding some more.  Until I was able to get a smooth surface, then I primed and painted the hull.  It looked pretty decent.


I am learning more about drop planks, spiling and joggle planks on my current build.  The forums here and the folks assisted greatly in this.



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That's the way I did my first ship the AVS first layer and it looked much the same as yours. I then tried my best to plank correctly on the second layer which came out better but not perfect, meaning more wood filler. After painting it looked fine. On my current build It is single layer planked but will be painted. I really pushed myself to do it according to proper planking rules. It came out good but not perfect, again paint will save me. The point I am making is the great thing about this hobby to me is learning and improving your skills as you go. Each model has something to teach us and our first I think arguably will teach us the most. It is about the constant pursuit of perfection. I think you have done a great job for your first ship. Keep up the good work..

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My first attempt at wooden ship modeling back in the 80's, resulted in a so embarrassingly ugly hull planking job that the model was thrown in a closet and never finished. I am glad I persisted and although not perfect by any means, I have 4 finished ships with a more than acceptable hull planking job.

Perseverance is the key word here.

Best of lucks



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