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I'm currently building the Mantua Albatros.  It has plywood bulwarks (UGH!)

The ply is hard to bend, prone to splitting after soaking, hard to cut, and hard to

get the cannon ports to the right heights.


Have a couple of Latina kits waiting to be built and they have the same design.


Thankfully, several manufacturers employ built-up bulwarks where the construction is the same

from keel to top-rail.


Other than avoiding kits that are not designed the way one likes, is it common to replace

the ply with bass sheet or even completely do away with the sheet wood and go completely

to strip-wood construction?



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Not at all.  Over the years I have replace the ply bulwarks many times. As for a solid sheet or a built up it will depend on your patience and the model you are working on.

David B

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I have only built one model so far that had ply bulwarks and I didn't have any of the issues that you described so I must have just got lucky I suppose. I have seen a number of the veterans on this site recommend replacing the ply pieces with bass.


Here is a link to a build where he did just that:




Take a look at post #232


Good luck!

In Progress Build:

Robert E. Lee by Scientific a.k.a "The Bob"

Completed Build:
Swift 1805 by AL


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When I was building kits I replaced most of the wood because I thought it was junk.

Paying for kits plus new wood got too expensive.  That's why I scratch build now.



Every build is a learning experience.


Current build:  SS_ Mariefred


Completed builds:  US Coast Guard Pequot   Friendship-sloop,  Schooner Lettie-G.-Howard,   Spray,   Grand-Banks-dory

                                                a gaff rigged yawl,  HOGA (YT-146),  Int'l Dragon Class II,   Two Edwardian Launches 


In the Gallery:   Catboat,   International-Dragon-Class,   Spray

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