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Hanseatic ship c. 1500 by goetzi73 - 1:50 - first scratch build

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I've been using this site as a source for inspiration for more than a year now (certainly too late for the first steps of this build). So my wife thought it would be an good idea to share it.


I don't think it will be one of the numerous excellent builds in this forum, but hopefully i will get advice if I'am steering towards an iceberg.

Nevertheless, as my teachers in school said, it's always enough for a good laugh.


On to the start. This will be am birthday present for my sisters 40th birthday in two years. So I started 7 years ago.

As we come from the hometown of the hanse - Lübeck - it has to be an hanseatic ship. My father provided me with plans, he got from a navy collegue. 

After visiting several museums, I learned, that the general shape of the ships was similar. Other details, like amount  of armament, etc. on the other side could be very different.

According to the plans, it's not a cog, but the follow up a Kraweel.


Here's an nice drawing from the reconstruction of a 1:1 replica




More will follow the next days.




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Very interesting Goetzi! This is a period and type of ship I'm very interested in. It is a little later than Woodrat's carrack or Nave Tonda, which you can also see in the scratch built forum. Though Venetian ships had many differences from those of the north, there were also great similarities. The main difference from carracks I can see from a brief glance is that yours is flat sterned, while those of carracks were round. The flat stern was just coming in about this time, and went on to be the dominant form for two centuries. I'd recommend you have a look through Woodrat's excellent build log - he's done a huge amount of research into ships of this period and you may pick up some valuable information.


Some time ago I put up some links about vessels of this period at 



which I hope you you might find useful. Not only the shape of the ship itself, but very valuable images of artefacts etc.


Looking forward to following your build!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Steven,

thanks a lot for the information. That will be a good source for information, especially on details, as these are only sparse information in the plans.

Sorry for the delayed reply, but at work there occurred some unforeseeable incidents. That prevented me from doing anything else.
I also have an interesting link for you:


It’s in german, but maybe google translator creates some useful text out of it - or it will be that japanese manual style...

So the main problem is, that there are no ship wrecks of this type of ship. The known wrecks are of the earlier period. So the plans were a result of experimental archeology.





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Hi Götz,


My German isn't good enough to read this site without help, but Google translate is pretty good - you can usually work out what it's supposed to say!


Thanks for this information. I'd heard of the Hanse ports, but not of a kraweel.


Yes, the Lomellina is contemporary and the Mary Rose is only a few decades different, but neither of them are Hanse ships, and it's pretty certain that there were major differences in building techniques and design between Hanse and other shipbuilders.




I found these on the Net. They appear to be from about the right time frame The second is from Hamburg and the first has architecture reminiscent of Du"rer's pictures of German buildings (though they could equally be Dutch or Scandinavian). The ships in both have round sterns, unlike yours, but certainly by 1510 when the Mary Rose was laid down, flat sterns were in use. There vis also the flat-sterned ship on the front cover of Johann Geiler von Kayserberg’s  Navicula Penitentie of 1511 here,



and also you could do an image search on "ship of fools" for quite a few German examples of ships from the turn of the 16th century - some quite similar to your own, others with at least details that might be of use to you.


Image result for ship of fools



Image result for ship of foolsRelated image





Image result for ship of fools



The picture by Ambrosius Holbein on the cover page of Thomas More's Utopia printed in 1516 has an interesting ship, though I don't believe the bows of ships of the time sloped backwards the way it's shown in the picture.


Image result for thomas more utopia cover page


Good luck with the build. If I can be of any help, please let me know.


But we need photos of your build:D



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"Lisa von Lübeck" is an interesting subject to build a model. In my opinion is it a shame, that they haven't published (I could not find any hints for this) why they come to the current solution for the 1:1 model (called replica). I think that the model had a lot of details where you can come to an other solution (for example the construction of the stern) The stern has a lot of an caravel and not of an early carack. 


In my opinion it's a general problem that also book authors don't give precise information about their sources.  


I will follow your research and build with great interest

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I agree, Christian, and I think the forecastle could perhaps be re-thought. The one on the Lisa seems a bit too "boxy" for the period.


As far as the stern goes, I don't know if flat sterns were in use as early as 1500, but the Navicula Penitentie  (printed in Augsburg) shows them by 1511. Both this ship and the Mary Rose of 1510 are basically carracks but with a caravel's stern. And the name Kraweel appears to come from caravel.



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When I started this log, I thougth I could post some more frequently, but as always - the devil is waiting in every corner..


I started this build from the plans, as they seemed reliable. As there were also some nice drawings of the keel and bulkheads, provided by an unknown ship modeler, i used them.


Here's the result, back seven years ago. After the fog (sawdust) lifted, I got some nice parts to get started:


Dry fitted, and finally glued into place (anno 2010):


The upper parts at the stern are not glued, waiting for proper alignment.






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You are right. It's a shame to hide your knowledge. But I talked to some of the members of the captains society, and they got the information, that part of this work should be part of a PhD-thesis. I asked some former collegues that stayed at the university if they can get a copy, but it seems, nothing has been published yet. I think it never will. But these members also told me, that the scientists reconstructed parts of the ship, from remains of ships. You will indeed, as stated on the website I mentioned before, find remains of these ships, as parts of interior fitting. An good example are the planks used as tables in the Restaurant "Schiffergesellschaft" (Breite Str.2, Lübeck). I don't know if there are right in the end, but from the scientific point of view it's a good approach.


As you are not that far from the baltic sea, I would recommend a visit to Lübeck, if you haven't done yet. Espescially the museums and also the churches have a lot of pictures and votive ships. The baltic sea is nice also, and more reliable than the north sea (water stays 24 hours ^_^)


@Louie da fly

When reading all your historic links and advices, I fear i will not come even near to the standard you are expecting.


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I wouldn't want to impose standards or expectations on you. Ship modelling is fun, not some kind of competition. I added the links and pictures in the hope that you might find them useful, and because I love the ships of this period. I don't think enough people make models from this time (except of course the Santa Maria!) and I love to see someone embark on building one. And I've already learnt quite a bit from yours.


Your work so far looks very good - crisp and precise. I look forward to following your build.

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So next was adding balsa filler blocks at the bow, fairing the bulkheads and starting the first planking.

Unfortunately there was a malfunction of the HDD and I was not able to recover all of the data.

I think the pictures of the first planking are lost.

In the course of the planking process, I discovered there were some errors in the drawings (the ones from the modeler, not the plans), that made the planking

very frustrating. Up to that point, I had the feeling, scratch building is very much the same, as building a nice kit. -> o.k. lesson learned

So I did not work very often on the hull, and it took about 6 and a half years to finish the first planking.


I made the sides of the upper aft hull from 0,8 mm plywood. I choose this material for two reasons. The upper and lower hull sides begin to diverge in this area. This results in a vertical bend and an slight upright twist.


My son instisted to put the LEGO knight there.


Upper aft deck and lower forecastle deck in place:




More pics later.




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I recoverd some pictures. Some time ago I made an approach to build the crow's nest.


I started to make some forms from ply:






four side pieces glued in place. It took several approaches for a perfect geometric alignment:


planking finished:



Maybe this could be a method for construction these items.


Nevertheless the crow's nest is to large. It simple did not look right compared to the size of the model.

But some questions arose:

- Is there a closed planking of the side walls? I'am not sure if I look at all the paintings of periode ships.

- How to enter the crow's nest? If you climb up the ratlines, you must be a monkey with six arms or denier of gravity to enter the crow's nest.

Hopefully I find answers in one of Louie da fly's links. My plans are not any helpful in this aspect.


so long,















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Goetz, most of the vessels of this period have a rope ladder on the aft side of the "crows nest". The ladder entered beneath the crows nest. Remember that the halliards to hoist the mainyard also enter below the crows nest go over pulley(s) then exit down the front to attach to the yard. There were many designs for these structures. No set patterns. Ratlines did exist in some ships but at this period I doubt they were used to access the the crows nest even if they were fitted. I am in the process of building the same structure for my carrack 

I will post the details soon.


Dick (Woodrat)

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Dick, thanks for your answer. My plans show ratlines, but I'am not sure yet. On drawings of ships from the baltic sea, I've seen both. Also I found the ladder you mentioned.

I will follow your built. As it will take quite a few month until I come to masting and rigging, I can learn from your quite tremendous and professional build.



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Hi Götz,

Woodrat got here before me, but I was going to recommend you look at his build anyway. But I didn't know he was going to work on the top next!


I haven't seen your top against your ship to compare sizes, but tops were very big at this time.


I think ratlines would be appropriate for a Hanseatic ship - most northern vessels from this period seem to have had them.





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On to the next step.


I had do decide, wether to do the forecastel construction or start with the second planking.

forecastle - pro: I get the final shape

                 cons: It can break very easily when the hull is turned upside down for the second planking


I don't need to be a clairvoyant, to foresee what will happen, so second planking ist the match winner.


Starting with the lower part of the stern:



Hull lined up and start of the second planking


It will take some time. There's a lot of other things that will slow down (Family, work, fire brigade, etc.).







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  • 3 weeks later...

a short update - the project was close to the final end.

My wife was looking for some tools on my workbench and managed to kick of the ship from the table  :o

In the end, there were several holes in the planking.

So I ended up cutting away some areas of the first planking. I glued some supporting strips to the bulkheads and started planking, filling and sanding.


One of the smaller repairs:



There was a nasty crack in the stern end of the castle. I used Milliput in the end, to get it fixed. Remove of the planking at the stern was no option.

On the other hand, I had to use wood stain (walnut) on the planking. That means I have to change the wood for the second planking also.

So heres planking 2.0.



Next update won't be soon. It's time for holidays.



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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Time for an update. I've finished the planking on the lower port side. After sanding the surface smooth, i put som liquid wax on it. Looks quite good.



It's not that glossy in real life. Maybe it's time for a new camera.


Next will be planking the false keel.

And then ... nothing spectacular - still the starbord side is to be done. Stay tuned, it still will take some time until I can start working on the forecastle.






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  • 4 weeks later...

Work keeps me quite busy, don't have much time left for my hobbies.

So I don't know if anyone is still following this build log.

Nevertheless, I managed to plank the port side of the false keel.59ce816fe78b3_15-20170927_004falscherKielbepl(BB)klein.jpg.9fedf1325718702e60d3a04f04e992a1.jpg

That's it for today. I'll go and have glass (or two) of good beer. Cheers to all.




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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Hello there in outer space,


my job keeps me quite busy the last months. But now I wil have more time for my hobbies. This is just a note I'am not raising the white flag on this model.

As a good dad, I finished a fractionating column for my sons model railway first. It's 1/160 scale, made from scrap plastic and cardboard.





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