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hi all!

my name is Denis and I'm a 3D modeler from Croatia. I stumbled upon this forum while searching for some plans of a 17th/18th century sail ship, for that has been on my to-do list for quite some time now. it is little to say I was floored to see such craftsmanship on display in various build logs. some works border on magic and witchcraft, and I've seen a lot of those in CG community. seeing it be done for real I was stunned! what made the strongest impact are POF scratch builds. after I saw that, there was no way in hell to go back to initial idea of modeling a simple hull shell, sticking a wood texture onto it, putting some rods to act as masts and calling it done. no, now I have to do something alike. 

 

after searching for some good scanned plans I found HMS Pandora ones to be good enough for a first try (yeah, I hope there'll be more ships after this one. if I don't burn out in process, that is). and yes, I'm aware that there are a few more Pandora 3D builds, something I found out while searching for some pictures and references. my initial idea was to start with a 74 gun ship (really impressive piece of work). but thankfully I came to my senses soon enough and decided to start with something smaller for starters. "smaller" being used very loosely as Pandora also has tons of details, only less cannons to rig... :-D and those other Pandora 3D builds are going to be used as a good references until I get my bearings in shipbuilding, as this is a whole new world for me. 

 

I've already spent more than a month looking through various topics and posts every day collecting informations, getting to know terms and techniques. as if that wasn't enough I also had to learn how to draft plans, something I never thought I'll need while doing 3d modeling. and I haven't even started doing modeling at that point yet... :-)) I've never been so invested in a single model before, even before actual modeling. as a kid I had built several airplane scale models and enjoyed it very much. sadly, I don't have space, tools nor funds to start this shipbuilding endeavor for real. but I do have kids who would trip over it, I'm sure :-)). so the next best thing for me is doing modeling on a computer…

 

my tool of choice when modeling is concerned is Blender 3D, free open source software that is really powerful and more than capable contending with big guys like 3DS Max, Maya, Cinema 4D and such… I hope I didn't bother you much with this long intro, in the next few posts I'm going to show what I've done so far. considering this is a 3D model, and my first build, I guess there'll be a lot of errors due to inexperience and I'll be probably cutting some corners here and there due to nature of the medium, but I'll try to be as precise as possible. fingers crossed I follow this through the end… let's get started!

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I begun with the keel assembly by tracing plan and making individual pieces. that was straightforward enough. although I see now I'll have to make some adjustments to the wood that holds that vertical pieces that hold transom (yeah, there'll be a lot of such wording until I pick up all of the naming, LOL) and cut wood above the rabbet for the frames.

 

it is at this point I became aware I'll need to do some drafting to be able to create frames, as framing plans weren't aligned good enough and guesswork is something I would like to avoid, otherwise everything else won't fit inside the hull. I've read through drafting instructions manual found in article database and was again blown away by amount of work that goes into model ship building. (really, kudos to all of you for your patience and persistence!!) since I don't own CAD software I figured why not doing it right in Blender. at least I won't have to worry about aligning body, half breadth and profile plans on a 2d plane like in AutoCAD. in Blender it'll be done in 3D right away.

 

Keel_03.jpg

Keel_02.jpg

Keel_01.jpg

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after I finished drafting plans I just connected all of the new station lines to get the outer hull shell.Hull_Shell_01.thumb.jpg.a527597f312d0f44d9e1ada114e6feb1.jpg

 

I couldn't find any info on the exact thickness and tapering of the frames toward the top, but I did read through some data about dimensions of 24-gun ship. the data there also wasn't exact so in the end I settled with 11", 10" and 9" thickness at futtocks going from keel upwards. pretty unprecise, I know, but again, this is 3D build where I can more easily adjust dimensions than with real wood. I just hope the margin of error won't accumulate that much later on.

 

the shell is done, it looks OK placed on the keel. I guess I can start cutting the frames.

 

Hull_Shell_02.thumb.jpg.6477b606bd11fb33115c805d13666e8d.jpgHull_Shell_03.thumb.jpg.bd1e141db595b22cea5c26807baca96e.jpg

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ok, aft kant frames done! as you can see from images, half-breadth framing plan isn't really aligned with profile plan. I've cut straight lines looking from top, which doesn't look good when viewed on profile plan. that's how I figured I'll need to do the drafting back then. I just hope I did it right. quick cross-checking the deck plans with finished hull shell showed that I managed to get it pretty close. I hope it'll all be well once I get to building the decks…

 

Framing_01.thumb.jpg.5806db7fafb7adc83038e8371d131194.jpgFraming_02.thumb.jpg.0e75e6ed7db1ffa2716b30a9689f30e2.jpgFraming_03.thumb.jpg.96d5fd830223755ca9ba0ad6a5ed9645.jpgFraming_04.thumb.jpg.214e2658c799e8d23c11d4128c7bffeb.jpg

 

 

and, this is the point where I am at right now. next I'll do hawse piece and fore cant frames. I hope you'll find this build interesting as well as the other ones. I know this isn't the real deal, and I guess many of you have already noticed tons of errors. since this is my learning build feel free to point each and every one of them should you wish so. the more I learn now the better the next one will be. thanks and stay tuned for more...

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thx Mark. well, never say never. Blender is free, and there are a lot of good tutorials on-line. when you have nothing better to do give it a go, you might be surprised... :-)

 

hawse piece and forward kant frames done. I still have to drill holes (err... whatever they're called :-D), but I'll leave it for later because I'm not sure how well aligned they are on plans... I can do that later when I start detailing...

 

Framing_08.thumb.jpg.2c78a47b9d5dc6cdb7c2eddf2635436f.jpgFraming_05.thumb.jpg.241e66a15f8eac967bfda333a41cf32c.jpg

 

 

trying to take a shot from eye-height, more or less. I can only imagine how it would be to stand beside real frame this big...

 

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that last post got me thinking, what if we could see how this ship would look like in full size? I've quickly set up a scene in a video game creation software called Unreal Engine 4. in it I can move the camera around as if I'm walking right next to the frames. the camera height is about 1.65m (cca 5.4 feet) which is exactly my eye height, so you have some reference about the size. ;-))HighresScreenshot00000.thumb.jpg.183daad398ad887409384f99f99fbbfd.jpgHighresScreenshot00001.thumb.jpg.e81a227ec22dbd428aa2b2458f907a30.jpgHighresScreenshot00003.thumb.jpg.97ee81d4e7c5191dec3d6f80e9bddc8c.jpgHighresScreenshot00004.thumb.jpg.6d99a4764c51e44f214664f627686fa1.jpgHighresScreenshot00006.thumb.jpg.4d18585d84dac4895c5b5c29c2d8ebb4.jpgHighresScreenshot00007.thumb.jpg.54d03f997f1cbfbe158be054fde99168.jpgHighresScreenshot00008.thumb.jpg.7840c40df32bc14e2f9a41fdfa872d53.jpgHighresScreenshot00009.thumb.jpg.6e9d3f104d17b437c17182c2cb969680.jpgHighresScreenshot00010.thumb.jpg.4568cdd99be4d4393d1aa99ea8246541.jpg

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9 hours ago, dvm27 said:

That's really cool Dennis. It would be even cooler if you were to use a contemporary Admiralty dockyard building slip, complete with workers, as the background. 

hm, now that's an idea. I always associate sail ships with pirates, and Caribbeans and palms, hence the scene.

 

do you have any drawings or links where I could find more about such dockyard and how it looked?

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4 hours ago, dvm27 said:

There are several books which depict the shipyard but here's a photo of a completed ship in it's slipway with launching cradle

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66473.html

thank you. now that I know what to search I'll do some digging. I don't know if I'm going to invest a lot of time into a dockyard since the ship is main star here, but an appropriate setting would be nicer than a Caribbean beach... ;-D

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The holes in the front are called "hawse holes". Very nice work Denis, keep the pcs coming. As far as frame thicknesses you mentioned earlier there is free Google e-book you can download load which has a lot of the information you can use. 

 

Steel, David. 1812. The Elements and Practice of Naval Architecture; Or: A Treatise on Ship-Building, Theoretical and Practical, on the Best Principles Established in Great Britain. With Copious Tables of Dimensions, &c. Illustrated with a Series of Thirty-Nine Large Draughts, ... Steel and Company.https://books.google.com/books?id=TWsmw-QqvmAC

 

Also, you might check out Seawhatch books website. https://www.seawatchbooks.com/

 

 

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thank you Don, that book is huge. I'm sure I'll find something there. although I can't do much regarding frame thicknesses anymore without getting everything out of alignment. but, I laid out deck plans on the model and frame thicknesses seem OK (more or less). it's some differences in hull breadth at some places that worry me. I'm pretty sure I did the drafting OK, but now deck width varies a bit along the length. should I deform my frames to be aligned to deck plans or should I stick with my drafting and adjust decks according to faired hull shape? I can easily manipulate that deck plan to fit perfectly inside the modeled frames. and that should be the correct approach, right? considering I haven't done complete drafting, where the decks would be adjusted as well...

 

here are the pics with decks laid out...

 

oh, and thank you all for the likes and comments. ;-)Decks_01a.thumb.jpg.6ac5bb90369eebb2defca25cc7b2ec4e.jpgDecks_01.thumb.jpg.885e2572ac82f15f6162ea289e64f14b.jpgDecks_02.thumb.jpg.bf39b5adf11e0da3a97b6b74f9a53d22.jpgDecks_03.thumb.jpg.908ac7574e5f63aff79a9d3b3362f997.jpgDecks_04.thumb.jpg.7ad727727ef7ed1ecde2eba7fc7042ea.jpgDecks_05.thumb.jpg.0286a19d743e9156dd0a8bdd81447063.jpgDecks_06.thumb.jpg.2770f0929f33b04cd6f5e6f57684361c.jpgDecks_07.thumb.jpg.5752aa55d4e65abee45ddfd83f6c4f54.jpgDecks_08.thumb.jpg.5a7f9f367a407e92177082d6ab5ad8d5.jpg

 

cheers!

Denis

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Denis, the scanned plans are probably not to scale or have other issues such as stretching or shrinking. Your frame plan probably didn't match up exactly with the deck plans or there could be other issues. Are these the plans from the Anatomy of the Ship series? Either way, based on what I see I would proceed as you suggested. As long as you are confident that your hull is fair then manipulate the plans to fit your hull. There is going to be a certain amount of guess work involved so I wouldn't worry to much about it. Accuracy can be a double-edge-sword when using CAD or similar programs, just remember to think like you were really building the model and a little sanding here or there can equal inches real life. For example, if you're modeling in 1/4 scale, 1 inch is equal to about 0.021 inches, 6 inches equal to 0.125 inches and so on. You're doing a great job, keep up the good work!

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thank you Don. yes, the plans are from AoTS book. I tried to align them in photoshop the best I could but the stretching was horrible. even the space between 3 station lines wasn't equal, let alone for the whole length of ship. that's why I needed to do the drafting. I guess one could build individual pieces, like deck beams and such by finding their real dimensions and not worry much about distortion in plans. I'll dig some more through the book you suggested to find some measures, or I'll just lift them from drawings and adjust to my ship. in the end, this is a computer model where I can get away with inconsistencies more easily than on a real ship model. if I see this through the end, and still wnat to build another, I might save some cash and buy a book with proper plans for my next build, just to make things easier... I'm already eyeing HMS Bellona/74-gun ship and Timbering plans from Ancre. and Bonhomme Richard, and HMS Bounty, and Le Fleuron and.... oh man, what have I gotten myself into? :D:D:D

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ahem...me again with the question. I tried googling but no (precise) luck. about those spacers between the frames, where would they go on Pandora? is there a certain rule about their placement or can they be placed arbitrarily by a guy who is still learning about the ship building? :-) any help appreciated! 

 

cheers!

Denis

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I think they are called "chocks" but I could be wrong. Check out the scratch build forum or do a search for HMS Bellerophon which is a 74 gun ship. I remember reading something there about them. There is another e-book you could download that is a smaller version of the big Steel book.  It called the Shipwrights Vade Mecum by the same author.  There is a definition of terms in both e-books.  

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I thought chocks were those joint pieces between floor and futtocks. anyway, I didn't see any mention about their placement between the frames. I'm only guessing here, but would they go at the joints between futtocks, to stiffen things up some more?

 

I'm almost done with the frames, btw. it's still going slow, almost like I'm doing it with real wood, LOL.... hoping to speed things up soon. 

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Hi Denis

Welcome to the forum, I'd like to tag along with your build if I may.  I've been dallying with Solidworks with the same thing in mind and your work looks fabulous to date - Could you let us know how long you have been using blender before taking up this challenge just to give me idea of what's ahead of me - Like MarkP if got some 2D CAD behind me but just starting in 3D. Looking forward to your further posts - Cheers Pete

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hey Pete, thx for jumping by!

 

I've been using Blender since 2013, just about 4 years now. how much modeling you can do in your spare time would determine how soon you could start such project on your own. there's a lot of ground to cover: various modeling techniques (polygon modeling, edge extrusions, subdivision surface modeling, splines, NURBS, NURMS...), materials setup, lighting (still trying to figure that out properly, believe me)... but don't be intimidated by the amount of learning needed. start with something smaller and simple, and push further once you're comfortable with what you've learned. you'll progress naturally into more complex stuff. 

 

I've tried Solidworks myself, and I'm using Fusion 360 for a side job where I need certain precision. but Blender is my main go-to tool because CAD modeling is too constrained for my liking. I like to push polygons by hand and I'm much quicker in Blender than in CAD program. but yeah, you end up using the tool you find most comfortable to work with, so Blender, Solidworks, 3DS Max... whatever, as long as you have fun while modeling! ;-)

 

cheers!

Denis

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frames finished, yay! well, almost. stern frames run away before the photoshoot :-))))

 

 

Framing_18.thumb.jpg.eb146375dca7b3021248887a13a90223.jpgFraming_19.thumb.jpg.5b691dfda13fa930584979f38409767c.jpgFraming_20.thumb.jpg.6cf0bd11aecdf6fbaa5f41439481ac9e.jpg

 

 

and some more screenshots from UE4 showing how big it is in full scale.  I've read somewhere how sailors back then were pretty short, like 1.6m, so I adjusted camera height accordingly. it must've been really impressive to see in person such a beast being built, let alone something bigger, like HMS Victory.... hope you like it!

 

 

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cheers

Denis

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you know, that's one of the biggest compliments you can give to a 3d artist, to tell them it looks real. thank you Pat. and to all of you for your likes. I'm really enjoying this, I can only imagine how it is to build one for real and watch it grow on the work table... 

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internal planking underway. although, it looks a bit off. it's hard to read from plans, especially 'cause they're not aligned, so I'm guessing quite a bit here... 

 

 

Planking_01.thumb.jpg.099adc1cb11461b57795c79f1873fee3.jpgPlanking_02.thumb.jpg.022a855a0f1208a64433ea9f1363c9cd.jpg

 

one question: shouldn't there be a wood of some kind at the transom to separate left and right side planking? again, plans don't show anything, yet at other isometrical drawings there is something, planks shouldn't be touching like this in the middle. any advice?

 

Untitled-1.thumb.jpg.80f6b763ea2758d9e6c30b621da09694.jpgUntitled-2.thumb.jpg.dbda514cd190b87f1ef0e57f39f65cad.jpg

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What you have circled is called the deadwood knee. The wood that you're looking at on the plans is called deadwood. I discussed this in my post Scantling questions. It starts about half way down the page. The best thing to do is take a look at some contemporary builds, try searching the scratch build section of the forum, HMS Bellerophon comes to mind but there are others. 

 

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hm, I might have circled it wrong. I didn't mean the deadwood knee, that I have. the problem that bugs me is this: my transom frames (the vertical ones) sit flush with the deadwood knee fore edge, and there's nothing to receive the end butts of inner planks that connect at the middle at the deadwood (if that makes sense O.o). you can see on last images how my thick stuff connects to itself instead of some piece of wood or something in the middle, above the keelson. I made a mistake somewhere and don't know where, as I have followed plans that I have. that red circle on the deadwood drawing should show the empty space, like there should be continuation of the keelson toward the top of the deadwood knee... (again, I hope I'm making any sense here)...

 

EDIT:

um... is it called STERNSON maybe? 

 

EDIT 2:

ah yes, it's there on one of the hold arrangement plans, the sternson knee. no clear drawing of it, I'll have to guess the shape. other builds will help though...

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