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Oliver24

Santa Maria by Oliver24 - Amati - Scale 1:65 - First wooden ship

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After some thinking I have decided to pick the Santa Maria as my first project. I have some experience in plastic modelling but this is another level. I decided for Amati because I heard good things about this kit manufacturer. This particular kit is specified to be a level 3 difficulty, which means intermediate. Maybe I will struggle a little bit but this is a part of the journey I believe. If I have some issues I will ask for the help of more experienced kit builders so please check my build log. 

 

Here it is. The package was more heavy as I expected which is a nice thing. I really prefer the heavier kits. Maybe this is normal for wood but for me coming from plastic models, it is a little bit unusual.

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I started by studying the plans of the ship and the instruction manual. For now, I understand the process, but there will be some parts where I will need help, especially on the part of the mast and the rigging. 

 

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I started by carefully cutting out the pieces and numbering them in order to not mess them up later on.

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After cutting them all out I have inserted them into the keel just to check them out. Obviously I saw some problems with one or two of them as you can see from the picture above. The center bulkhead and the one immediately on his right is not perfectly straight. Another unexpected thing was that one or two of the bulkheads were inserted to the keel with some difficulties and I had a hard time getting the out from the keel. I used a small hammer to get them out...

 

IMG_0067web.jpg.90545d48b902cb7dcff8a867731c1cad.jpg

 

After this I started gluing the bulkheads and attaching them to the keel. I checked their position with a ruler just to be sure that they are straight.

IMG_0069web.jpg.5a233a9e803acc740e75feede0e86721.jpg

After much straightening, I inserted a clip between the two bulkheads and I will let the glue dry for the night.IMG_0071web.jpg.9deab026dbb23a21ce2ff2f89a7718e1.jpg

 

 

 

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Hello Oliver, I have built this kit and can say it is a really fantastic model (but I am a Columbus freak!). I found it had ample wood and pretty good instructions. The rigging I found to be pretty straight forward. Just take your time and ask questions when you come to any parts of the build you are unsure of. I can certainly answer many questions about this, or any of Columbus' ships and voyages, and I am certain I will not be alone here on that count. I will definitely follow your log with interest, and who knows, it may even inspire me to build this model again as I gave the last one to my mother.  Chris

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Thanks! It is reassuring that I hear there is sufficient wood in the kit. At some point I was asking myself what if I mess something up and need some wood... Unfortunately I don`t have a "local" Amati shop, so I must order everything online and this can influence my workflow. So.. great news. I will try to take as many photos as possible and try to explain in detail everything I will do. It will be important for me in order to get help if needed but also I may help others on their journeys as well...

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My only question would be: it is necessary to carve a piece of wood and glue it on the supporting parts from the pictures? I saw this on a couple of times. The instruction manual does not say anything about further carving....

 

As you can see, my keel and bulkheads are in position:

IMG_0077.jpg.21255e479143bdfa46ee46a4cf8fdae9.jpg

Now here comes the hard part. I saw in the manual that the planking must be slightly bend upward. I tried it but unfortunately the wood snapped as you can see from the pictures. Also, I am really not sure that this is the correct way to begin the planking. As you can see, even if I manage to bend the plank upward, the planking will have an uneven fiddling curvature which I really don`t think is ok. For bending the plank I used an electric plank bender, however this will not help me bend the plank upward. What did I miss? I read Frank Mastini`s book about ship modeling and his approach is that the planks is that it must be glued without bending them upward (or at least that is what I understood). 

 

IMG_0081.jpg.978ee8ba38a68370924058cf28317eaa.jpgIMG_0082.jpg.a99597e10e59e623268d84ef93a1e91e.jpgIMG_0083.jpg.1841daaeb171b23c985eae8659a69b19.jpg

IMG_0084.jpg.a9d5dd8917829d014f4575af5bba4f68.jpgIMG_0085.jpg.d5081a2a6546aff2d39fbf5b4d202797.jpg

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The very first thing I would do before putting Any planks on the hull or anything else,    is to put some strengthening strips of wood between each and every rib/frame to give them support, try to fit a couple in each gap fairly close to the edge (say about a centimeter from the edge), make sure you have the same even gap between rib/frames on both sides to keep it all square.

Then the Really Important part  -  you need to  sand the edges of each rib/frame with something flat as the ship needs a smooth area for the planks to follow,  (The edges of the ribs/frames left as they are will cause the planks to stick out and not follow a smooth line)

 

I would really concentrate on doing this first before attaempting to lay a single plank on the hull.

 

Hope this helps.

 

OC.

Edited by Old Collingwood
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Hey Oliver, I would definitely follow OC's advice. Then you never bend the planks upwards or downwards. You taper them accordingly and they will take on the bent appearance on their own. Bending, or trying to bend, the planks upwards will result in snapping and skewing of the plank so they don't lie flat on the false bulkheads. I would recommend not relying too much on the pictures provided in the instructions. Use them as a rough guide only. Good to see you have read Mastini's excellent book. I regard it as the bible of ship modelling, but I would also advise to read the many tutorials on planking that are available on this forum. Just remember that first planking on this, and any other double planked model, doesn't have to/need to be perfect. You will find with some filler and a lot of sanding it is not too hard to get a really good canvas to apply the second (final) planking layer on this model. Also the second layer of planking is far thinner and more pliable wood to use than the first layer on this model.

 

You are doing well mate.

 

Chris

 

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All the tips above are necessary for nice planking. I can add, the plank can bend only one direction, never try to bend in two directions, it works only very thin piece of wood, i see your instruction sheet. Try to look Mrcc Santa Maria ship build log. I noticed first planking is made of planks going all horizontal

Edited by zappto

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Oliver,

 

Looks like you are off to a good start, and checking your assembly as you go.

 

One thing that I would check is that the keel is straight.  In the first photo of your last post, looking down the length of the ship, it looks to me like the keel bends very slightly to port as it runs from stern forward to the bow.  It may be the photo, or my old eyes, but you might want to lay a straightedge along it to be sure it’s ok before you get into the planking.

 

 

 

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Thank you so much for the advice guys. I will try to do as advised. I just want to thank you all for helping me. I knew from the beginning that the instructions were actually not very detailed and do not give a step by step advice. Moreover, in my situation they clearly miss informed me and as you can see, I got in trouble. 

 

@Old Collingwood I will try to fill the spaces of the bulkheads and sand them from bow to stern direction for proper plank layout. (Did I understood well?).

@vossy ...you just confirmed my thoughts, the planks must not be bent upward or downward (As Mastini states). I red some planking tutorials on the site but It would really be helpful if I could find some planking videos. I tried youtube for various results. Seeing a video is much more helpful than reading something at least for me. 

@zappto thanks for the tip. I took a look at Mrcc build log and I noticed that it was a different Santa Maria kit producer. Is it relevant or the planking procedure is identical to all Santa Maria-s? I ask because my version is slightly different from his.

@Altduck you have eagle eyes! the keel is slightly bent on the stern area, for abut 1-2 mm. I will try to straighten it out. 

 

Finally, another though crosses my mind. If the planks will be placed horizontal, than there will be some gaps in the bow and stern area as you can see from the pictures above. Will they be ”filled” afterwards?

 

IMG_0087.jpg.9c040707b7498a52cb72acaa4056a488.jpgIMG_0089.jpg.e23b889136285968eeeb77302124b991.jpgIMG_0090.jpg.dc649e5d57675325a82f82ebba7c9cc5.jpgIMG_0091.jpg.623b563533da2ea9a67c4bccb602b275.jpg

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I made some advancements on my hull planking. As I read in many tutorials, I placed the first plank as horizontal as possible, not taking in consideration the pictures from the Amati instructions. 

 

IMG_0105.jpg.3dcf2733d55a9c7ac8fee757778b8148.jpg

However, I ran into trouble. I measured the usable space from the stern, center and bow and decided to gently reduce the extremes of the planks before attaching them to the keel as you can see from the photos. According to my calculations I would not have sufficient space at the stern to attach the planks to cover the center of the hull. 

 

IMG_0103.jpg.084a500cc58b530a25efbb97a2e4b648.jpg

IMG_0104.jpg

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Hey Oliver, looking at your planking so far it seems to me you need to taper your planks more. Also only taper them on one edge, not both edges. Another thing I notice is your nailing. Don't hammer/push them right in. They have to come out. They are only used to hold the planks against the false bulkheads as the glue dries. Once the glue is dry you will need to remove them. I typically use a small pair of hobby round nose pliers for this. Do not leave them in as you wont be able to fill and sand the first planking layer prior to final planking.

 

cheers

 

Chris

 

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Now I have another issue. It seems that I can no longer attach the planks without forcing them to the bulkheads. It seems that the planks do no longer fit above the attached plank perfectly horizontal and needs to be forced. I believe that I need to use some fillers, but I would like to know you opinion. IMG_0102.jpg.1527c7238d844844d0d785c16c5610ae.jpgIMG_0106.jpg.6099c4a990b372a24b72d0d8ef29ad49.jpg

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Looking at your pics it seems you have maybe gone wrong from the beginning. The planking should have begun from the top of the bulkheads amid ships then continue downward one plank at a time on either side to get a uniform planking over both sides of the vessel. Remember that you absolutely must taper each plank fore and aft and only along the bottom edge. As you progress you may find it is necessary to add steeler planks to fill any large gaps that may arise. This is not uncommon.

 

I don't know if you are gluing these planks or just nailing them on. If its the latter I would probably advise you to maybe rip them off and start again. Carefully read any planking tutorials you can get your hands on. Do not just simply nail the plank onto the bulkhead. It must be glued into place. The nails are simply driven in about halfway to hold it in place whilst the glue dries, then the nails are removed.

 

It is a good idea to soak the planks in water for a period of time before attaching them to the model. I usually leave thicker first planks soaking overnight in my plank soaker then roughly shape them to the contour of the hull using a hot soldering iron. At this point I apply a small amount of glue to each bulkhead where the plank will meet it and gently drive in small nails to hold it secure until the glue has set. Once sufficient bond has been established remove the nails and repeat the process until the hull is covered. Any small gaps can then be filled with an appropriate filler. Larger gaps will require steeler planks.

 

cheers

 

Chris

 

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Oliver, also look through heaps of build logs for planking progress pics, especially try to find vessels with the same hull shape as Santa Maria. The vessel doesn't have to be Santa Maria, but it will give you an idea of how to go about planking a hull of the type you have.

 

This model was the first wooden ship I ever built, and I found the planking process to be a lot easier once I had a thorough understanding of the general principles of planking. Don't take short cuts. Ship modelling is a slow process.

 

cheers

 

Chris

 

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Dear Chris,

 

Thank you so much for your reply. In Mastini`s book the author wrote to begin the planking one half plank from the deck level so I followed. I do not understand what you meant by bulkhead amid ships. Can you please be more specific? Did you meant to start from the bottom of the bulkheads, near the keel (with the garboard plank)? Also I did not understood very well what you mentioned about the tapering.

 

I glued the planks into position unfortunately, but I may try to cut them off with the scalpel.. Funny thing is that I have read several tutorials about planking and still have troubles. I have soaked some of the planks and used the electric plank bender. In general I did not encounter any specific problems attaching the planks (beside the initial upward bending). 

 

I am really confused wright now, I don`t know where I got it wrong...

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Hey Oliver, amid ships simply means the middle of the ship. If you look through numerous build logs here you will probably notice that more people than not tend to plank either side as they go. I certainly do, but you can do one side at a time if you wish. I also tend to start at the top and at the keel at the same time and just fill in the gap so to speak. This way also gives you a good guide as to how much you will need to taper each plank.

 

Tapering simply means that you remove a small amount of wood from the plank at either end (sometimes this is not required), so that the plank is wider in the middle than it is on the ends. Never taper more than 50% of the plank width though. This is where steelers come in if needed.

 

cheers

 

Chris

 

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Hi Oliver,

I would seriously suggest ripping off those planks and doing some further reading on planking concepts. It looks like the step of "fairing" the hull has been skipped. You need to fair the hull so the planks lay against all bulkheads. I'm no expert by any means, but it's important to take your time and do some research before you get too far into the model. You will have a very difficult time otherwise. Here's one link from the forum:

http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Framing_and_Planking/plankingprojectbeginners.pdf

Steve

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Hello, all tips are so right. I would try to use tutorial, it can show bulk head shaping, sanding to the hull shape, bending planks , before soak in water, tapering planks and laying on the shaped bulkheads. I remember in the beginning i was counting number of planks on each bulk head to be the same and it helped. Later bend, taper and sand edge of the plank to fit its place! Each plank edge must be cut to fit the keel shape in the ship front and every plank must have its place. I was placing 3 planks per day at the beginning. Try to read more about planking, on this page are nice tutorials!

I will show you few photos, while i builld HMS Lexington.

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Very important to shape bulkheads to the hull shape.

 

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One more, all planks will go on them and fit whole bulkhead surface.

 

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Every plank was tapered.

 

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Edited by zappto

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Guys thank you so much for your time and comments. I will try to be more specific about my workflow: I actually did the fairing process, but it seems that it was not sufficient according to you. I  did not notice any problems with the planks caused by insufficient fairing. However as this is my first ship, I may be wrong. 

 

I also made my measurements at the mid ship, bow and stern. It was clear that tapering was necessary at both edges of the planks in order to avoid crowding at both sides. I also must mention that this was told also in the amati instructions. However, I believe that in my case I should have tapered the first planks also. It seems to me that the odd curved shape of the plank which can be seen in my last photo is caused by overcrowded planks at the bow and stern which forced the center part of the last plank which I intended to insert to slightly but noticeably bend upward, creating that blow. This could be solved using fillers I believe but I am not sure how to attache the next plank to create the "eye" which must be filled. If I attach this plank without forcing it, it will create an uneven space above it at the bow and stern.

 

At this point I am thinking to rip the planks and start over...

 

 

 

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I have decided to rip off the planks gently from one side of the hull. I did some further fairing to the bulkheads as you can see from the photos below.

 

IMG_0124.JPG.a3e919494ea5b1ff78c47af9b0129163.JPG

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After that, I have decided to go for a different approach: I will try to place the garboard plank first and insert another plank somewhere in the middle of the hull and one at the deck level. I can see now that because of the round shape of the hull probably all planks must be tapered at both edges (if not, they will not fit at on the last bulkhead at the bow and stern). I am also absolutely sure that some filler planks must be added to cover the holes which will be created between the planks...I don`t see any other solution to cover the center hull.

 

IMG_0127.JPG.9bfcbbe84bb64375d55e3c6b1941edd2.JPG

 

As you can see from the following picture, I inserted another plank above the deck line just for you to see that my first plank was attached horizontally. I see no problem continuing upward with the planking, my main problem is planking towards the keel.

 

IMG_0126.JPG.b3d9f3db8821a407f62fd3b8ddf7aeac.JPG

Here are another two photos with a plank strip placed approximately at the middle of the hull. Attaching it will create a huge eye to be covered afterward, but I see no other solution as tapering alone will not be enough and another tapered plank cannot be inserted anymore because horizontally.

 

IMG_0129.JPG.b2504f8aa6ee354c734e50ab0dfd3031.JPGIMG_0130.JPG.4c7d3b3d1aa5387ec77a51a13ee1e456.JPG

I also found on the net some other Amati Santa Maria projects with detailed pictures of the planking process:

 

https://www.modelbouw.nu/santa-maria/voortgang-beplanken-eerste-plankenlaag/

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for the tip zappto. Unfortunately I don`t have access to balsa wood (or any kind of additional wood). Moreover, I don`t have the proper tools to cut it since I am new to the hobby. I will eventually buy some electric tools, but for now I must stick to what I have.

 

I would like to ask you another thing. This may sound stupid, but I better ask it first and not do something stupid. On what side must the bow end of the garboard plank be trimmed? This is very confusing since in no article is described the operation. I have attached a picture and I marked the direction of the trim as I imagine it, but I would really need a confirmation (or further guidance).

 

Thanks!

IMG_0132.JPG

Edited by Oliver24

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It is really hard to say from the picture, but I guess you market it right. I would suggest to mark every bulk head for the planks it will need, and the wide of the planks you will need, so you will know what wide garboard plank will need at that point. (I think this is written somewhere in the instructions on this page)I would try to leave ends of the plank on the bulk head, you could place a nail there

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