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HMS Bounty by Mustang67ford - Constructo - Scale 1:50


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This is my first build. I started it several years ago but lost interest while putting the 2nd layer of planking on the hull. I recently got the bug to get it back out and try to get the planking done. I think if I get the planking done and move onto something else, it will get my interest back. As you can see in the pictures, I got almost 1 side all planked with the 2nd layer but the bow does not look right and that is when I put it down. I am wondering if anybody can give me some pointers to get this back on track so I can continue. Is the planking done so far salvagable? I also can't quite remember how I was applying the 2nd layer of planking. I think I was just using elmers wood glue and I believe I was wiping it off with a wet towel before the glue dried to get the access off. I might have also used a little CA. Any pointers with the planking would also appreciated. I also needed to use wood filler on top of the first planking layer mainly around the bow as the bending didn't work as well as planned.

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First off I will give you a link to a bunch of valuable tutorials on planking here and the link to the thread where that link plus others can be found is here. I hope these will help you out in the future and while I know they can be confusing as it is a lot to take in, don't let it overwhelm you as we will help you through it and it does become easier with some practice.

 

Now onto your build and the current planking. Honestly, for a first attempt with what I am assuming is little or no help and guidance, it is not that bad however, of course it is not that good. :( Ok, now that the uncomfortable part has been said, I will ask a couple of questions to you and see where that leads.

 

First, is only the port (left) side on the second layer of planking? If so then make that the "bad" side of the display. Most models when displayed can only be fully viewed on one side. The bad side is often the experimental side and gets placed facing a wall. That is an option that will allow the planking to be finished up easily on that side and then a new, nicer job on the good side. 

 

Second, how do you feel about removing the planking you have done and starting over? Not all of it as obviously the first layer is fine and even on your second, the first 4-5 strakes (a row of planks from stem to stern is called a strake) look usable. However, if you are ok with removing them and buying some new planking material that would give the best finish in the end. Sometimes starting over is what is needed. See almost any build log for proof.  :D 

 

In short yes, your ship is perfectly salvageable. I would spend some time and read through those tutorial links as there is a lot of good information. Also read through some build logs on here, not only of the Bounty but others as well as planking is done about the same way on every ship. Many of them show lots of good pictures and explanations on how they did the planking. Of course you will have questions and please ask them. That is what we are here for. The Bounty is a nice ship and you do have a good start and foundation to work with.

 

I hope some of this helps and I will keep doing what I can to help you out.

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Another possibility is to use this model as a practice bed for planking.  You could try planking the second side after reading some of the information in the tuorials pointed out by EJ and then, if you wanted, use filler to smooth out your errors and paint the hull in the colours of the original.  That way you'd get some excellent practice in planking and still end up with a very presentable model if the planking didn't work out to plan.

 

John

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A strake should run from stem to stern in an uninterrupted row much like your deck planking. This is achieved by tapering the ends of the strakes at the bow and stern where the spacing for them becomes much more narrow. In addition to tapering, the planks often need to be bent on the edges and not just the flats. Some woods can be edge bent rather easily in the same manner that you would bend along the flat. Other times it is easier to use a wider piece of wood then a typical plank and cut a curve into the wood to create the bend needed. This method is called spiling. While a little harder to do and it creates a lot more waste, it does make for a very nice planking job.

 

With the way you have planked your hull, drop planks a stealers will be needed in order to fill in the gaps. This is an acceptable way to plank a model ship though not really accurate. These planks are used to converge two planks that are closing in on each other into one plank or fill in between two planks where they widen out. One thing to keep in mind is that there should be no triangle shaped planks. Gaps should be squared off to allow for a plank to attach to a frame.

 

I believe some of those tutorials cover a lot of this in better detail than what I am saying. Ultimately you want to get your planking to lay down across the hull in nice even rows with no drops or stealers needed. This requires a lot of measuring and layout drawn on the hull prior to planking in order to start and maintain the spacing needed.

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Planking pieces is correct. A strake is a row of individual pieces that go from stem to stern in an unbroken row. That is, the row or strake does not become i terrupted by another strake before reaching the opposite end of the ship. That is my fault for confusing you. Sometimes this is hard to explain in writing.

 

Some modelers do use a full length strip though to plank and will come back afterwards and scribe in the breaks for individual planks. Personnally, I prefer to cut my planks into their component pieces and then install similar to what you have done.

 

As for where to get replacement lumber there are a couple of good places that are on the home page in the lower right side. Crown Timberyard and Wood Project Source are two excellent companies that specialize in milled lumber specifically for model ships. I have bought material from Crown a couple of times now and they have great service. I have heard fantasic praise about Wood Project Source as well so you will be well served with either.

 

Before you do that though and even before you remove any of the work you have done, I would try to practice some of the techniques from the tutorials on the other side. Start by making sure that you have it sanded smooth and all the low spots are filled in. From the pictures it looks like you have done this.

 

Next, draw on the hull the vertical lines of the bulkheads. I am assuming this was a plank on bulkhead model? If not or if you are unsure of where they are at, simply divide the hull up into sections about 2-3 inches apart. This gives you reference lines.

 

Now go to the line that is at the widest part of the ship. This should be about the middle of the hull. Measure down along the reference line from the keel to the wale or in this case the deck will work. Take that number and divide it by the width of the lumber you are using to plank the hull. This will give you the number of strakes needed.

 

Now go to the next reference line and measure again. Now take that number and divide it by the number of planks that you found you needed from the last line. This number is the width of the planks at that reference line. Mark those widths down the reference line like tick marks to be used as guides for planking. Repeat this process on all reference lines on your hull. You will notice that as you move towards the bow and stern that the numbers should be getting smaller while the number of strakes stay the same. At the bow you can easily be half the width as mid ship. This is the crucial first steps in laying down correct planking.

 

Once all your measurements have been laid out on the hull it is time to plank. There is no right or wrong in starting at the keel and going up or the wale and going down. Builders choice. I go keel up so that is how I will explain. As you lay planks down across your tick marks you will see how much material you need to sand off to make it fit in the space. Be aware of one more issue while sanding.

 

When laying two square objects next to each other on a curve,such as the hull, the bottom or face that touches the hull will he the edges of the planks touching but the top face will have its edges pulling away from each other. To close this gap to make a nice tight fit simply taper the long edge on the bottom side Inward and the tops will close nice and tight.

 

When installing the planks, they should lay down on the hull in place and correct with minimal pressure. If you have to force the wood it needs some more bending or tapering to allow it to lay nice and easy. Most of this process is trial and retrial. If you take your time through this process, when done the planks should only need a minimal sanding and hopefully no filler.

 

I hope this is helping and not making things worse. I can show pictures of my first plank job and it is horrible. The pride I have for that ship is more that I finished as it is in no way "good". Hopefully we can make yours good and get you through it with pride also. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

White vinegar works good for dissolving wood glue. Let it soak into the wood and get in between the planking layers and it will come up. If you Google how to debond carpenter's glue, there are a bunch of helpful tips and instructions.

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I read thru the instructiin provided and also the first link of various planking tutorials. One thing i noticed in the tutorials was that the hull was divided up into 4 bands and they used a planking fan thing to figure out the plank widths. This sounded a little harder. In the instructions provided, it doesn't appeat to be bands correct? I am a little confused in how the 2 processes differ. Thanks

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Breaking the hull up into bands is a way of making the planking process a little less daunting as you can now deal with a smaller section at a time. The fan is a tool that can be used to help find plank thicknesses and keep the planks consistent across the hull. This is just another way of basically doing what I explained in an earlier post. I do not use a fan nor do I break my hull into bands but I do establish the wale line that I base all my measurements on between it and the keel. So in effect, I mark out one very large band. The nice thing with the fan is it helps to eliminate the human error when making your tick marks on the bulkheads for individual planks as it keeps them in a consistent spot where as my method does allow for slight variations as my hand could move the tape measure and throw off the marks. In either case it is important to double and triple check your measurements.

 

Planking is one of those skills where there are many ways to achieve the same result which is to have a nice, smooth and straight planking. The various methods people use are only right or wrong to them as their skills and understanding allow. I took my understanding of the process and goals which are to have the strakes run in complete rows from stem to stern with no interruptions, drops or stealers and created my own way that was simplified to me. While not perfect, I have been very satisfied with the outcome of my planking at least after the first ship. That one was crap. :P

 

A great tool to have for this is a flexible seamstress tape measure as they will lay flat along the curve of the hull. This will help to make sure your measurements are more accurate than a straight ruler will.

 

If you have not already, check out my La Couronne build log. The link is in my signature. This was a double planked hull like yours. The first couple of pages show the first planking which is not done correctly but still came out okay once sanded and filled and if I was going to paint it or copper it, I might have accepted it. Page three however starts the second layer of planking and shows how I laid out the lower hull, (upper hull I planked already as it was just straight runs with no crazy curves). You can see the tick marks showing the number of planks I would need running down the center guide lines. The other guidelines have the widths of the strakes as they cross that line. So my center with the widest strakes is 5mm then they drop as they pass the next lines to 4.7mm, 4.5mm, 4.1mm and finally end up at 3.6mm at the stern and a similar narrowing at the bow. You can see how I laid them down one plank at a time and also how I tapered the long edges on an undercut so that the planks butt up against each other nice and tight. There should be a minimum of sanding required after this planking. At the bow especially, I cut the planks long and slowly, very slowly, trim to fit the curve and angle of the stem. This is a hard piece to fit tight but it can be achieved with small cuts and sanding. 

 

I hope this helps clear things up. I know this is a frustrating stage of the build.

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That looks very good. Nice smooth and straight will provide you a good base for the second planking. Remember, pencil is easier to remove than glue. Double check your layout to make sure all the planks will fit and keep checking as you lay them down. As always, if you get stuck, take some pictures and we will try to help you out. Good luck!

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ok,running into problems.  My first obstacle, when lying card stock down the stern and bow to get my reference line, it didn't give me a straight line because of the curving so I guess you need to rotate the card stock as you go to get a good vertical line.  I also don't know what to use as a reference line at the bow, stern, or the bottom to start my measurement.  Directions said my top plank stays 6mm from deck in the middle and stern then tapers off to 1mm at the bow so can't use top plan as a reference.  I just kind of tried to start my measurements from the bottom on the side up to what felt like the top of the deck.  Once I did that, I took my longest line which was 145mm.   I divided this by 6mm planks and got 24.16 so I made the tick marks every 6mm (how would you measure 24.16).  Then I went to my first bulkhead at bow (not where the 2 sides meet as not sure what to use a reference line).  It came up to like a 5mm spacing which again I started from the bottom and measured up.  Next one back was a 5.71 spacing so I rounded to 5.5mm  Again, not sure how to mark these when its not a round number because the #2 pencil alone is not very fine.  After laying out some tic marks.  I took a strip and laid it on there and it looked very wavy. My strip near the top when setting it there naturally wants to be higher towards the deck in the center then taper off towards the bottom at the bow and stern.  When I try to follow the tick marks, I have to bend the wood up in the middle of then push it down on the ends.  It just does not seem right. Dong this it seems like I will need to spill the wood on the top in the center then the bottom on the sides.  I was thinking the tops of the planks would always have a factory edge and the wood was spilled from the bottom.  I'll post a couple pics soon of this.  I guess If I am trying to start my reference tick marks from the bottom and the bottom curves up, then my tick marks will curve up as well.  Just does not seem right.

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You are on the right track but I understand your confusion. Something that helps is to establish a solid line that you can measure to from the keel. The most common way to do this is to first establish your wales. On the photo I attached of a picture I found of your completed model, the red arrow is pointing to the wale that you should first install. You should be able to measure at the bow and stern to find the end points and down from the wale at the main deck to make sure it is following the correct path. Once this wale is in place you will have a good reference point to measure your plank spacing.

 

As for the bow, yes it is a tricky spot to measure. Because of the curve there is no complete top to bottom point to get the measurement. So here is where some educated guessing is used. At the forward most bulkhead line you know what the width is. The planks will not get any wider than that. Also, in real ship planking, the plank should never become smaller than half of its width. So if your full plank is 6mm wide than it shouldn't get any smaller than 3mm. Also, the planks should not curve upward to follow the stem but run straight and stop, flushing up tight to the side. So knowing that, when the board passes the last vertical reference line, if you maintain the established taper you should be good to go. However, things are not always so simple and this is where you have to experiment some. As the planks begin to climb the hull constant vigilance is a must. You will quickly start to see the bow and stern areas closing up compared to mid ship. This is normal as those spaces are smaller. Still, after every couple of runs always recheck your measurements. If you continue to stay on track they will all fit correctly. If something is getting off, you can adjust either by sanding a plank a little more or by not taking as much off the next depending upon which direction you are going off. It is easy to lose these adjustments over the hull if they are done here and there and not all in one run.

 

As for the partial numbers, this is where sanding comes into play. A sanding block is your new best friend for planking. If you can find a mechanical pencil that uses 0.5mm lead, that will make life a bit easier. Still, you have to do some rounding. If you need a width of 4.2mm, I would draw my line right between 4 and 5mm and trim off on the outside of the line. Then I would gradually sand down the plank using a sanding block till I could just barely make out the line. That is as close as you need to worry about. Again, this goes back to what I was saying earlier about making slight gradual changes in the planking. If one plank is 4.2 and the next is 4.3 and the next is 4.2 again, no one notices and your planking remains on track and sharp looking. However, if you round down all of those to 4mm with no variances, eventually you will need to have a plank that is 5-6mm and will stand out as wider. That is what you want to avoid.

 

So try to get those wales located and installed. See if that helps and we will go from there!

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Thanks. Should i put the bow, keel, and stern pieses on now as well? I was thinking all these pieces and the ones you mentioned would go on top of the 2nd plank layer, but sounds like the 2nd layer will go in the empty spaces per say. Also how long should i make a plank if piecing it?

Edited by Mustang67ford
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On the bow, keel and stern pieces I've done it both ways. The advantage to having them in place is that you no for certain where they will be and how they will look with the planking. The advantage to waiting is that it is easier to sand the edges of the planks back to make a nice tight connection. On most of my ships I have laid those on first but mostly because I will laminate them with the same kind of wood that I am planking with. This is done since those pieces are typically made out of plywood and have the layers exposed and/or they are not the same color as the planking. By laminating over them, I can also hide any small gaps from misalignment where my planking butts up to them.

 

As for length, remember that planks could only be as long as the available trees. So to make this simple, let us say that your planks are 20' long. At 1:50 scale for your model that would make them 122mm. If they are 16' long they would be 98mm. You might be able to search for the actual length of the Bounty's planks but if you use one of those sizes, I think you will be fine. Just remember to stagger them correctly in a 4 lap layout. To do that, divide you plank length by 4. So on a 122mm you will set the next plank up 30.5mm back from the edge of the lower. This will create a nice pattern that will be close enough to the correct planking.

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Here are some updated pics. Got the top plank on, the keel, bow, and stern inner rudder. Got the stern and bow sanded to blend in. At this point, i should be able to start the 2nd planking and have some measurements to go by. I'm thinking i'll do the 2nd planking before the wales, not sure yet. Also need to figure out if i'm going to plank the inner rudder piece or not.

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Running into a problem here. I messes with this for many hours and can't figure out the 2nd plank layer. I even tried to divide the hull up into 4 areas with the string. My main problem, is the ship curves upwards at the stern and bow, but low in the middle. When i lay a plank across the side, it stays straight and so if i am st the high spot in the middle, the bow and stern have big gaps to reach the top. I had read go let the planks lay naturally and just spill at the bow instead of trying to bend the planks. Not sure how to proceed.

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The hull does curve at the bow and stern. Spiling is a good way to deal with this as it allows you to cut the curve into the wood. It does require you to use wood that is wider than the plank so you can cut that curve without losing the width in the middle or having the ends fall off. Usually sheets of wood are used for this and the planks cut out of the sheet.

Another way is to edge bend the planks to take on the curve of the hull. You still taper the ends to the required width but by applying heat, you can bend the plank along its edge to fit the curve of the hull. There is a video on here which I can link to you later as I am not able to do so now that shows this. Or you can search for Chuck's Planking Techniques I think is what it is under. It shows how he edge bends his planks using only heat.

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