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Hi Everyone,
 
I've been lurking around the Plank on Frame builds on here for ages now, dreaming of the day when I have the space, time and money to build a true Plank on Frame model, when I had a bit of a brain wave:
 
Firstly, my woodworking skills wouldn't be up to scratch to build a true Contemporary Style PoF ship, and the lack of space in my one bedroom flat (shared with the Lady Admiral and our Cocker Spaniel Puppy) would not permit the build of such an advanced model. Now you're probably reading this and saying "well, just buy a Lumberyard kit with all the parts laser cut, and find a bigger house, or make more room".
 
This was my first thought process, but then brainwave number two happened (whilst in the shower), and I thought about making a wooden plug, like has been used for a number of builds here on MSW. Having trawled through numerous build logs, I realised these are mostly for models with very thin frames, such as  Longboats, and Gunboats. So why can't it be done for a ship that is smaller in size, but bigger than a Gunboat?
 
I then started digging around online, and found very few companies offer models built in this fashion. In theory, this would be a similar way of building a modern wooden boat, build a plug based on bulkheads turned upside-down, with battens screwed to the bulkhead to make the moulded shape (a lot of the early Quarter Tonner racing boats were built this way).
 
So for example, I decided to build a 14 Gun Cutter, like below, I could measure from the plans how thick the frames were (say 5mm @ 1:48 Scale), and using AutoCAD produce a copy of the sheer lines from the plan and offset those by the thickness of the proposed frame. Does anyone think this would work?

post-10675-0-80363900-1444292386_thumb.jpg

So below, I have attached a screen dump from a quick 3D model of the proposed plug (although I have not rounded the plug off yet).

post-10675-0-84197800-1444292417_thumb.jpg
 
If I were to use this method, I would have to temporarily fix the Keelson in the slot cut in to the mould and build from there. I assume with the correct level of steaming and soaking, I could bend the wood (assume 5mm x 6mm Basswood strip) around the plug and pin/screw/nail/clamp the half frame in place. Then bend the Futtock on the mould, and glue/pin in place next to the half frames. Again, does anyone think this would work?
 
After all the full frames and cant frames (at the bow) are in place, the keel in glued in to position to fix the frames together. The stern cant frames are glued in place to the deadwood, and temporary stringers are added to the outside of the frames (where planks will be laid). The model will then be lifted off the mould with all frames, keelson, and keel ready for continuation of the build (building the decks and fittings). Once again, does anyone think this will work?
 
Lastly, I am only at the concept phase of this potential build idea. I'm only thinking about this as an easy way to build (relatively cheaply) a PoF model without thousands of hours, and pounds on materials and tools, and without using up too much of the living room or dining room space.
 

Thanks for taking the time to read through my ramblings, and all comments, positive and negative towards the idea are welcome.

 

Cheers,

Jonny

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I don't know if you have seen Frolich's Art of Ship Modelling, but in that he shows how he built La Jacinthe using exactly the plug kind of construction you're talking about. I'll send you by PM a pdf of the relevant pages if you like.

 

There have also been a few builds on this forum of similar ships, but they were on MSW 1.0 and may no longer be available. There are also a few books on modelling that discuss this technique -- but I can't think at the moment where I saw the discussions.

 

An interesting take on the method is in the build 'Istanbul Kayigi by Ilhan Gokcay - (Coastal trade vessel of Istanbul) 18th c. Scale:1/50' which you can see at http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/506-istanbul-kayigi-by-ilhan-gokcay-coastal-trade-vessel-of-istanbul-18th-c-scale150/?hl=%2Bgokcay+%2Bistanbul. In that it looks as though he's going to build a straightforward plank on bulkhead model with complete filling between the bulkheads, but scroll through the pictures and you'll have a shock -- it's in fact to act as a plug.

 

Tony

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This should work. There is a german company that sells kits that are based on this principle.

Although their kits are not without problems, the method as such does work.

google for 'GK Modellbau" and 'Duke William" (don't buy: the model does not conform the historical drawings, but you'll see the method)

 

Jan

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Tony,
 
That's great. I look forward to reading through the La Jacinthe pages later on. I haven't read Frolich's Art of Ship Model, but I'm sure I can find a copy online for future reference. I also looked in to the bulkhead method, it would probably involve less sanding and filling, and probably cost less.... Thanks for that top tip!

 

Jan,

 

I've looked at GK Modelbau and their "Duke William", and I was less than impressed with it (hence why I've considered making my own mould/plug and working from that). Their model, although looking very nice, is not correct in regards to the drawings, and the use of a plaster cast mould does not fill me with the greatest of confidence. If you look at the Lauck Street Practicum for "Duke William", one of the first things they mention is the broken plaster mould.

 

Thanks for your responses,

Jonny 

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Plaster can be glued. I've used it on some Hydrocal cast buildings. Hydrocal is a super hard plaster, but it can break if not handled properly. Old model railroaders used it as a bottom layer when doing layout landscaping. They'd put molding plaster on top, since that plaster was easier to work with, due to it's softness.

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It will work - in theory. In order to have an accurate hull form, it means assembling the frames on the plug. This means that the inner surfaces of the frames would need to be accurately pre-bevelled and faired in order to fit the plug properly. A daunting task! If you are a highly skilled builder, it is possible; but for most mortals one of the more conventional methods of framing a model are more likely to be successful.

Edited by druxey

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You can also use thin strips and laminate the frames instead of bending a thicker piece. as for offsetting a line to match the thickness of the planking and frame, I do it all the time.

 

Bob

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Hello Chaps,

 

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to impart their knowledge in this area of Model Ship building. I've taken all comments in to consideration, and have splashed out on the "La Jacinthe" Monograph (English version) from Amazon. I was hoping to make this a complete scratch build, starting from drafting plans from a source (such as the National Maritime Museum Collections), but running through a quick cost analysis, I found that buying 2 sets of plans from the NMM and then drafting them in a CAD package was too time consuming and costly. 

 

As Tony pointed out, "La Jacinthe" is built on a mould like the method I described, and the Monograph is almost a full practicum of how the writer built up the model. The Monograph describes the build method as "an easy introduction to Plank on Frame model ship construction", which is ideally suited to my level of building (which is mainly kit based/kit bashing).

 

When the Monograph arrives some time this week, I can carefully assess the method of the build and develop a build plan for the model.

 

Cheers for now,

 

Jonny

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In addition to the builds on this site, there are a couple of La Jacinthe builds on the French modelling site Marine et Modélisme d'Arsenal which you may want to look at (though the details of the builds are lacking):

 

http://5500.forumactif.org/t1916-la-jacinthe-en-charpente?highlight=jacinthe

 

http://5500.forumactif.org/t1490-la-jacinthe-de-snarlev-au-1-48eme?highlight=jacinthe

 

Tony

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Frohlich also shows it in his book 'the art of modelling'.

He makes one side remark (which you already know, of course): the method will not do for models with a tumblehome (i.e. don't have their widest point at the top of the frames, but on deck-, or waterlinelevel.)

 

Jan

Edited by amateur

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