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My next build will be the MSW Niagara. This is my first PoB kit. All previous builds have been solid hull, including my most recent, a 1:96 scratch-build half-hull of the six masted schooner Wyoming. While reading several of the build logs for Niagara and Syren, I've become concerned with all the effort required with keeping bulkheads square and properly aligned (construction of special jigs, etc.) proper beveling of the edges, removing laser charring, and then learning that, in addition to having to carve the bow and counter, many builders find they need to add solid fillers between the bulkheads to keep things rigid. So, I am considering just building a solid hull to begin with, then planking it. 


In searching the forums and the Sultana practicum, it is clear that planking solid hulls is not unusual (and frequently done in Europe). Seems straightforward:  Just follow the same planking methodology as PoB or PoF, knowing there are a lot more points at which one could apply glue and insert temporary pins. As a bonus, the "waste" around the laser-cut bulkheads in the kit will provide nice templates for shaping the hull. Aside from the need to develop my own lift lines from the kit sections, and forever dealing with a heavier hull, I can't think of any major obstacles. 


My question is:  Does anyone know of any special considerations for planking a solid hull?

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Thanks so much for your response and directing me to your build log. Great project -- beautiful workmanship. I look forward to following your progress. 


While you have filled between bulkheads (frames), I intend to eliminate bulkheads altogether by making a solid hull. I noticed that you have used wood filler in some locations, which I anticipate I will need to do as well. I am curious as to whether you applied adhesive to any of your filler to attach the planking, and if you have any concerns about the compatibility of the filler and adhesive?

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I have scratch built solid hull models with lifts cut from either waterlines or buttocks.  Both can produce good results.  Several years ago I built a hull by setting up thin stations cut from body plan sections with the spaces between filled with soft wood blocks.  This is an easier way to build an accurate hull because the thin body plan sections are in fact templates embedded in the hull.  The problem with this method is that after painting the hull I found several thin cracks running along the joints between the thin section pieces and the filler blocks.  If you are planning to plank the hull anyway you won't have this problem.


Since you already have the kit I would set up the bulkheads and fill between with blocks.  Since the bulkheads are supposedly accurate, shaping the hull should be easy.  If you go to the scratch build forum, Ed Tosti has a series of posts about building a 1:96 scale POB model of Young America.  This is the method that he used.



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I would also keep the bulkheads.


For the same reason as Roger said :

This is an easier way to build an accurate hull because the thin body plan sections (or the bulkheads) are in fact templates embedded in the hull.  


Used products.
Ordinary universal filler for wall and gyproc plaster. Available everywhere (This is a Belgian brand)

Ordinary white wood glue.


I have used this filler for 25 years as a base on wooden boards for my military model.
Never had any problems with it


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My Topsail Schooner "Eagle" 1847 1:64 scale build was scratch built using plank on solid (POS) construction while my Brigantine "Newsboy" 1854 1:64 scale build was POS construction using a machine carved hull.  As these hulls were coppered, I recessed the upper hull 3/64" to accommodate hull planking.  On both hulls I used 1/32" bulwark planking and 3/64" hull planking.  I prefer a wood fiber filler by Carpenters vs softer spackling fillers.  Pictures below illustrate "Eagle" and "Newsboy" construction respectively:







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Personally, I would follow the advice of the others and use fillers between the bullheads of the kit ...


Solid hulls can have long-term problems, depending on what wood was used and how they were constructed. If you use a single log of some wood with prominent grain it may warp, depending how it was cut from the tree. A layered, bread-and-butter construction avoids this, but then you might as well use the bulkheads of the kit. In bread-and-butter construction with time the layers may also come apart and should be screwed together in addition to the glue.


For stationary models, when you don't want to show the interior, I would always go for fillers between bulkheads. This makes a very solid and rigid construction and allows good fairing of the hull, if the fillers are softer than the bulkheads (but not too soft).

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I use laminated basswood for my scratch built POS hulls.  Pilot Schooner "Katy" and Brigantine "Newsboy" were machine carved kit hulls using laminated basswood (or similar).  I have had no problem with cracking or delamination despite moving from New Hampshire (hot/cold and humid) to San Diego (hot and dry).  I use dark Tilebond glue in gluing up the laminated hull blocks.



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Thanks to all for your tips. 

I have decided to go ahead and build-up a solid hull, having lifted water lines from the kit drawings. 

Should this approach fail, I still have all the kit components, to which I can add fillers from the failed solid hull (if that comes to pass), and then proceed per kit directions. 

Thanks again. 

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