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Good plank on bulkhead option

Eric W

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I am nearing completion of my second solid hull kit, and I was thinking about diving into a plank on bulkhead design. Any thoughts on a good transitional model to introduce this technique? Open to  different manufacturers. The Caldercraft designs look great, but seem pretty advanced. Appreciate a good "steer" on this topic.



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Hi Eric, I am only on my second build and chose the Syren, it is well designed and has great instructions and many build logs and people to help out, I am really enjoying this kit, I just noticed you are in Reno too, Howdy neighbor:piratebo5:

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Alibi- I also noticed with Model Shipways website, when you look at the kit accessories you see the typical mounting hardware, paints, etc. I also noticed they have the plans sold separately. I am assuming the plan sheets in the kit are sufficient and these separate ans are for scratch builds? 

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Eric, same plans, but some folks like to read plans ahead of time to see if they like the kit and for scratchbuilders to purchase and build a ship based on those plans.


Started: MS Bounty Longboat,

On Hold:  Heinkel USS Choctaw paper

Down the road: Shipyard HMC Alert 1/96 paper, Mamoli Constitution Cross, MS USN Picket Boat #1

Scratchbuild: Echo Cross Section


Member Nautical Research Guild

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  • 1 month later...

I'm building the Cruizer now (modified) and the one negative you might find is the instruction book. As I'm on my sixth build I don't really use it, but it is quite thin and really lacking for those that need it. By contrast, the Granado book (my previous build) is fantastic. Build wise not much to choose difficulty wise between them;  Granado is more ornate, but there is far less of the repetitive rigging of the carronades. 


You'll get lots of help here no matter what you choose. 

Joe Volz



Current build:

Model Shipways "Benjamin W. Latham"



Completed  builds on MSW:

Caldercraft HMS "Cruizer   Caldercraft HMBV "Granado"   Model Shipways "Prince De Neufchatel"





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Do not let the size and nature of the Syren kit cause you any misgivings. The plans are excellent, the instructions are first rate, and the most challenging part of the build, the framework of the hull, will be much easier because the components are likely to fit very well and be easier to fair and plank as a result. The Fair American is an older kit and I can tell you that the frame work has some issues. I have heard several modelers mention it. I doubt you are going to have those problems with the Syren. Also, Chuck is here to answer questions you may have as you progress through the kit's construction.





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What you need to know about Caldercraft is that the "thin" instruction booklet is typical for all of their early products, of which Cruizer is one. If you want something a little more substantive, you might consider Pickle, which is a later kit. But, keep casting around, and don't be too hasty about making a decision. There are some other kits being produced these days whose instructions are supposed to be pretty good. OTOH, we have some good planking tutorials here at MSW that can get you through that first planking job.

Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Macchi C.200 Saetta

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I built the Pickle last year. Instructions were an upgrade from Caldercraft's older selections. It was a very pleasurable build. It being a smaller craft, it does not have many carronades to rig, and has less complicated rigging than the Granado. Give it some thought.


Another consideration is Caldercraft's Mortar Vessel Convulsion. Of my 4 completed builds to date, this was my favorite. Sadly, it was at my son's condo and it was dropped and the rear mast, spars, and rigging were badly damaged. It's on my bucket list to order new plans (pitched mine when build was complete...I'll never do that again) and fix her.

Edited by bigcreekdad
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Wow gents, thanks for all the terrific feedback. Okay, sounds like if I go the Caldercraft route, cutting one's teeth on Pickle might be a good start to get used to that company. She is a great looking little schooner. And, Russ - I'll steer by Syren again. I have seen a lot of positive comments on the instructions. Thanks for your input! 

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I am finishing up my first build which is the HMS Bounty (Constructo 1/50).  I admit I jumped into the deep end with this build since I never bent a strip of wood in my life or attempted to plank complicated curves. I did a lot of research with most of the information gathered from this website (Model Ship World) to keep my head in the game.  The kit included instructions with pictures as well as 5-pages of ship layout plans.  I found using the instructions along with paying close attention to the plans and always looking ahead of construction events aided in completing the ship. Currently I am in the middle of rigging which I find to be more complicated than building most of the ship.  Constructo does not provide written instructions for most of the rigging but does have a couple of pages showing the rigging but not in the desire detail. So rigging is a challenge but fun.


If you are looking at taking your skills to the next level, then I recommend considering HMS Bounty by Constructo.  Artesania Latina also has a HMS Bounty kit that is 1/48 scale but I don’t know too much about the kit.  My next build is the HMS Surprise (1/48) by Artesania Latina if I can get through this #@$&^ rigging…




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Eric, I chose the Syren as my first POB ship and I'm lucky I did. The kit and instruction book is set up for a first time build. I think you will do well if you choose it.



Current Build - U.S. Syren


2nd Build - HMS Bounty Launch


When organizing your thoughts, never use the Dewey Decimal system.

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I just put my order in for the "Syren" kit from Model Shipways. I really appreciate all your input and I am glad I started this thread. This is exactly what makes MSW such a great forum. She is on backorder which is fine as I have just started rigging the Pirate Brig, so I have time. Those of you who cut your teeth on Syren and your positive comments as well as the very detailed instruction manual are what swayed me. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

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