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Mantua 1/17 English carronade: deck planking & oakum

Jack Nastyface

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Gentles all,


First time post...hope this is the right site / forum thread.


I am going to build the Mantua 1/17 english carronade kit (see image, below) but have a question about decking.

Namely - the kit instructions say to cut out a deck planking design on the deck "board" using a chisel, then sand and paint.  For my part, I think the model would look much better if I actually laid down some planking.  Although I haven't done ANY wood modelling, this seems like a (mostly? hopefully?) simple task.  Like all novices, however, I do have some questions.

To wit:

1)  I assume it will be easiest to source, cut and work basswood strips (3/4 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick)?

2)  I was also going to glue the basswood to the deck board, but want to add nails where the planks would have been fastened to the deck beams.  Does anyone know if the deck planks on real age-of-sail ships were fixed with nails, or perhaps wood dowels?

3)  I am also thinking of leaving a very small gap between the deck planks to fill with imitation oakum.  Any recommendations? I am thinking of using either black thread or string, or perhaps black-stained wood filler.

4)  Finally - any recommendations on wood stain colors for the deck?


All answers graciously accepted with humble thanks.


Clear for action, 


Jack Nastyface



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Wooden dowels called treenails or trunnels for holding the planks in place.  Paint the edges black before laying them and it looks like caulking between the planks.  Decks were usually made from oak and were scrubbed everyday and they had a very light color so just finishing the basswood in satin or flat clear finish should look good.  If you want to try staining use a very light application of golden oak or other light colored stain followed by a clear finish.  Experiment on some scrape wood before you try it on the model.

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Thanks for the recommendations.  Upon reflection, I probably won't drill holes and cut dowelling for trunnels, but I may try to artistically create them by creating a small circular indent and then mark them with a dot of paint or marker.


I've already done a quick test on the oakum recommendation.  Looks great!


Best regards,


Jack Nastyafce

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