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Looking for a good first "plank on bulkhead" kit.


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Hello all,

I'm looking for recommendations for a first plank on bulkhead kit. Is there one out there that is particularly well suited to learn the "art" of planking on? I'm trying to methodically work my way up from relatively simple kits to building more advanced kits by building in a specific order where each successive build is slighty more challenging than the previous without taking any HUGE jumps. Here is what I have in mind (subject to change obviously):


1. I'm starting with a couple of very simple Midwest (R.I.P. btw) kits and am currently finishing up the "Chesapeak Bay Crabbing Skiff"


2. Model Shipways Phantom. I started this kit once before but it kind of got off the rails as it was in the pre-internet days and I didn't really have anyone to answer my questions.


3. THE SUBJECT OF THIS INQUIRY - An entry-level plank on bulkhead model that will give me some basic planking experience to carry forward. Preferably something with a good practicum or at least some detailed build logs.


4. Model Shipways Bluenose


5. AL HMS Surprise, MS U.S.S. Constitution & Mamoli Cutty Sark. The order gets a little "iffy" here as I'm not really sure where these more advanced kits fall in order of difficulty.


I realize this is about a 15-20 year building plan (for me at least) and will probably change.


I do own the Model Shipways Fair American but don't know if that would be a good candidate or not.


Thank you in advance for you input!



Edited by DonInAZ

Current Build: TBD

Completed Builds:  Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiff by Midwest Products

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A/L's Swift is the model that planking really "clicked" for me. The lines are straight forward with a little challenge on the stern. It's also a fairly quick rig so the sense of accomplishment timeline is short. And it's a nice scale so you can scratch build a lot of details if you choose.


Plenty of build logs here for guidance.


Good luck!



Currently building: Model Expo AMERICA, A/L KING OF THE MISSISSIPPI


Completed: Mamoli Victory cross-section, Revell LSM (Plastic, in memory of Dad), A/L SANSON tug, MS Longboat (awesome model Chuck!), Dumas 1949 Chris-Craft 19' Racing runabout, A/L SWIFT, MS ELSIE, Constructo ELIDIR (now LOUISE), Midwest Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, Amati 1:80 Yacht ENDEAVOUR, Mamoli CONSTITUTION cross section, Revell VIIc U-boat (1:72 plastic), lotsa other plastic ships 


Next up: who knows - there are too many to choose from!

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Armed Virginia Sloop is another great first timer PoB. There is a great Practicum and plenty of info about this kit. Best of luck.

Regards, Scott


Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli


Completed builds:

1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli  -  1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli  -  1:54 Adventure, Amati  -  1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL

1:64 Blue Shadow, Mamoli  -  1:64 Leida Dutch pleasure boat, Corel  -  1:60 HMS President Mantra, Sergal


Awaiting construction:

1:89 Hermione La Fayette AL  -  1:48 Perserverance, Modelers shipyard

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My first plank on bulkhead kit was Bluejacket's America, the smaller one at 1/8" scale. On their web page it is shown as planked on only one side. I planked both sides fully, then painted it. I did not try to follow any strict rules of planking. I just used the kit to get a sense of how the process of planking worked.



Current build: Schooner Mary Day (scratch)


Previous builds:  Model Shipways Pride of Baltimore 2, Amati HMS Endeavour, Midwest Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, Bluejacket America, Midwest Sharpie Schooner



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  • 1 month later...

I second the recommendation of AL/s Swift. it was the first POB ship I ever build and it got me hooked. it's a fairly quick and inexpensive build and you can add great detail to it, paint it or leave it in wood. Either way it looks great. I would definitely hold off on that Fair American (I am finishing off one of those now and would not recommend it to a first time or newish builder) either way have fun and keep us posted. 



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