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I haven't plated very many ship models (1 so far), but I've looked thru several books on the subject, and now I have some questions.

 

Most of the older ship model books I've looked at (Ship Modeler's Shop Notes Vol 1, Longridge Anatomy of Nelson's Ships, etc) show planking in several bands. The lowest band starts parallel to the keel, and when the bow and stern plates get closer to the waterline than amidship plates, another belt is started, to straighten the curved copper line out, until it too, has bow and stern copper rising faster than the midship plates. I've read that there are usually 3-4 belts of copper, the last belt about 6-7 plates wide, and it's pretty much parallel to the waterline.

 

Lately, I've noticed that some models are being coppered without these belts. When looking at the copper from the side, they seem to create a set of "smiley faces"(I couldn't think how else to describe them), with most of the plates trimmed off at the waterline at a 15-20 deg angle. I've looked thru some of my newer reference books and see they reflect this different(to me) coppering pattern.

 

Is there new information that copper plating patterns changed as the copper plating process developed? I'm curious. Of course, the builder coppers the hull based on what he or she wants to do. But I would like to know if something new has been discovered.

 

I'll try to find some pictures to show the differences (as I see them). Otherwise, opinions and comments are welcome.

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

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In the late 18th century, British warships had the plates ending at an angle without the top belt of copper. They used a wooden batten to mark the waterline and the plates butted into the wooden batten at an angle. This has been noted on early coppered models like the Bellona. In the 19th century, it became the custom (and perhaps a rule) to add that top strip of copper plates. How a model should be coppered really depends on the time period and perhaps nationality of the ship in question.

 

Russ

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Russ and Druxey,

 

Thank you! That was the missing piece of information. So, when the plates were put parallel to the waterline in the 19th century, did the batten go away? Or was it a gradual transition?

 

What references would have some of this information?

 

Thanks again,

 

Harvey

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So far as I know they did not use the wooden batten when they added the plates along the waterline.

 

I know there is a chapter on coppering etc in Brian Lavery's The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War 1600-1815. I find this book to be very useful on many areas of period ship modeling.

 

Russ

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I added the additional wale/battern at the waterline on my Snake to make the copper terminate to a nicer finish, there has been debate on this for sometime in MSW 1 and I took the view its far easier to copper to the battern than leave a possible uneven edge at the waterline. I started the coppering at the keel offseting the plates by a 1/2 size like in laying bricks. The pattern of the plating is then fixed and the orientation of the plates will change naturally with the lines of the curving hull at the bows and stern. I like the end result and the ease that it gives coppering part of the build and will use this technique again right or wrong.

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Garward,

 

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. Thank you for the videos and photos!

 

I feel like I made a mess of the copper plating on my Constitution, and want to do a better job on the Agamemnon and Flying Cloud (should I decide to copper the FC). These will be a big help.

 

Thanks again,

 

Harvey

Edited by capnharv2
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