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Fill or not to fill? That is my question

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I have purchased the model ship ways U.S.S. Constitution and yes, I know the skill level is for advanced modelers but I wanted a challenge.  I have been studying the plans and I noticed that there is a build in which someone filled in between the bulkheads with balsa wood for the entire length of the model instead of just at the bow and stern.  What advantage is it to build it that way?  It seems it would be easier to plank the ship with the solid frame but cutting and trimming  the filler might be harder than it looks. .  are there any suggestions or comments?  

     I wanted to build a big model as I have really big hands to handle those tiny parts, but good grief, that thing is huge.  No wonder those kits are so expensive. .  anyway,  I'd like to know what tips I need to know before I get started.   Model shipways says even a beginner can build it if he takes his time.  . . . I built me a nice 10 foot work bench out in the garage. .  put a couple of lights and a magnifier on it, so I guess I'm ready to begin.  Are there any good books that might be worthy of filling in the gaps between ignorance and experience?  I already know that whoever named all those parts on these ships must have had one too many because none of the names of these parts make any sense.   Who ever heard of a bowspirit, bearding line, or a rabbit ?  I was in the Navy (many years ago) and I remember the poop deck but some of the names of those sails are beyond the English language.  Thank you for any and all the help you can give me.  

Edited by wdretired
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I would say that filler blocks are only necessary at the bow and stern so you have something to assist you in both affixing the planks and achieving the correct shape. There should be more than enough bulkheads for you to attach your planks with some type of planking screw between these blocks. Just make sure you fair in the bulkheads with a file or sanding block before beginning planking

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I think it also depends on what material is used for the bulkheads.  I didn't fill on my Badger or Pegasus.  The Badger had very stiff plywood, while the Pegasus had solid MDF.


On my Lyme build however, Corel used thin plywood with a lot of flex.  Rather than fill between each bulkhead, I added in braces in between:





To me, filling the entire area between each bulkhead seems like a bit of overkill.  But, it's probably the safest way to do things.

Edited by Landlubber Mike
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