Jump to content

Flat and Concave Spots on Planks


Recommended Posts

I'm building Model Shipways Niagara; my first plank on hull model. I intend to paint the hull as recommended, but I want to make sure that every plank is discernable. Now that I'm filling and sanding the hull, I'm finding that some areas are slightly concave. The largest being no more than 1.5 inches long and .50 inch wide. (My mistake while planking). I'm thinking about filling those areas with patching compound and scribing lines to simulate planks. Has anyone done that? Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Generally, plane on bulkhead hulls are double planked for the reasons you give.  With the bulkheads so far apart it is easy to get flat areas, especially if some planks stop at a bulkhead.  The idea of double planking is to sand and fill the first layer so that it will provide a solid and fair foundation for the second layer.   It also gives you an opportunity to hone you planking skills and discover potential planking difficulties for that hull, such as a need for stealers or a difficult garboard, before attempting the second layer.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If somebody is building an "Admiralty Board" style bright finished hull (i.e. unpainted,) the plank seams are often highlighted by coloring the edges before installation. This is somewhat a matter of style and a taste. Otherwise, in a painted hull depicting the vessel as it would appear in real life, at all but very large scales on super-detailed and "distressed" models, which we rarely see, plank seams are not appropriately visible. In full-size construction, the seams are "stopped" (filled with putty) to protect the caulking material and sanded fair. the hull is thereafter painted. A well-built full-size vessel whose planking is properly fastened should not "show her seams." More significantly, the seams of the hull of a real-life ship at "scale viewing distance" wouldn't be visible at that distance even if they were visible close up.

 

I realize there is a certain reluctance to render the obvious careful work of a good planking job invisible by painting it properly, but out-of-scale plank seams are just wrong. There seems a strong tendency, indeed, even a convention, these days to incorporate out-of-scale detail in an apparent effort to emulate full-size practices. This seems to be encouraged by certain kit manufacturers for the sake of making their kits "more complete" or accurate.   Commonly seen are bottoms sheathed with wildly over-scale-size "real copper plates" which modelers spend huge amounts of time "dimpling" with "rivets" (which were never used) that, at best, are at scale the size of railroad spikes, or larger, misplaced and often over-scale-sized plank fastenings and fastening plugs, frequently of contrasting color, which would never be the case in real-life practice, and incorrectly colored rigging (e.g. lightly colored deadeye lanyards.) Such affectations will ruin an otherwise excellent model.

 

If you hull isn't fair, there is nothing for it but to putty the depressions and sand it fair. That is going to foreclose a bright finished hull. You can scratch in the plank seams through the putty, but I'd urge you to consider whether you are intending to build an accurate scale model of a vessel and depict her with plank seams open by two or more scale inches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this scale (3/16) the seams between the planks would naturally be almost invisible.  It is the rare builder who is entirely happy with their first true planking attempt.  Although uneducated observers (aka friends and family) will probably barely notice the problem, it will stare at you like a black eye forever.  I would recommend getting a perfect finish on that hull with the use of filler and sanding sealer and then paint the hull, either with an airbrush or conventionally.  You will end up happier in the long run and observers will be impressed by the painted hull, probably even more so than if you simply left it natural.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Toni and Bob for your suggestions. I may be interpreting your suggestions to the extreme. Are you saying to not be concerned with having each plank discernible and to just fill, sand and paint so it looks like a solid hull? I attached a picture of the real Niagara to show the look that I'm striving for. 95 % of the hull of my model looks like the picture. I'll try using a veneer or just redo those spots.

David

Niagara hull.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That copper is what? newly applied?  The new penny color probably will not survive immersion for long.

Something less stark would probably be more accurate.   With a model, you would almost need to be close enough to touch your nose, to match the photo. Note that even this close, the "nails" do not show and the seams are subtle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dposner said:

Thank you Toni and Bob for your suggestions. I may be interpreting your suggestions to the extreme. Are you saying to not be concerned with having each plank discernible and to just fill, sand and paint so it looks like a solid hull? I attached a picture of the real Niagara to show the look that I'm striving for. 95 % of the hull of my model looks like the picture. I'll try using a veneer or just redo those spots.

David

Niagara hull.JPG

What I was saying is to forget about the plank seams entirely. You are working at 3/16" scale. Your boat is a lot smaller than the one in the picture. Consider this: What's the scale distance from which someone will view your model? Imagine your model viewed from a couple of feet. How much of the viewer's "frame" is it going to fill? If the photographer taking the photo of the boat in that picture were moved back so the entire boat, stem to stern, keel to maintop and then some was in the frame, do you think those plank seams would be visible? Obviously not.

 

Consider also: The hull in the picture appears to be painted to look like copper (there are copper-looking anti-fouling paints,) but isn't covered in copper. Those seams aren't faired very well. Odds are they didn't look like that when they were first stopped.That isn't unusual for seams below the waterline which don't show when the boat's in the water, but topside plank seams are properly faired with a harder stopping (putty) and sanded fair before painting.

 

I think it's fair to say that the general consensus in answer to your question is to seal the hull well, apply filler and surfacing putty and sand perfectly fair, then paint it. Perfectly fair means no lumps, bumps, or divots and smooth as a baby's bottom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bob is correct in his comments.  Yes, there are many of us who insist on individual copper plates treenails everywhere, etc.  Are we goofy?  To a certain extent we are.  Remember that you are building a 3/16 scale ship.  These things would be barely evident.  What would look really jazzy, in my opinion,  would be to make the copper paint look like the real thing by subtly weathering it rather than having it all the same color.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hull in the photo is painted with modern copper antifouling paint.  There is no reason to sheath underwater ships on the Great Lakes, and Commodore Perry would not have had access to copper sheathing or the need to use it. Perry’s ships underwater hull sections would have been most likely tarred or perhaps coated with tallow although pine tar might have been more plentiful in a frontier area. Perry is supposed to have told builder Noah Brown that the construction of the Lake Erie brigs needed only to be good enough to survive one battle.

 

Keep in mind that looking at your model from a distance of one foot is the same as looking at the real from a distance of 64ft.  What detail would you see at 64ft?

 

Roger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/20/2018 at 11:49 PM, dposner said:

I'm building Model Shipways Niagara; my first plank on hull model. I intend to paint the hull as recommended, but I want to make sure that every plank is discernable. Now that I'm filling and sanding the hull, I'm finding that some areas are slightly concave. The largest being no more than 1.5 inches long and .50 inch wide. (My mistake while planking). I'm thinking about filling those areas with patching compound and scribing lines to simulate planks. Has anyone done that? Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

Its your first planked model so well done in getting this far.  I think your solution to see planks in a painted hull is a great idea but use a decent two pack polyester filler.  Its easy to sand and sticks to wood perfectly.  Skills are learnt over time and many builders use filler blocks between the frames to help remove these dips before they do any planking.  If I had your problem I would do as you have suggested as it will look great if done with care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Team Niagara! I’m building the Model Shipways Niagara kit too. I’m building mine as the SV Niagara sail training ship of the present day, not the 1812 version the kit is aiming for , so I’m using this exact color on my hull of the modern antifouling paint in the above photo. My hull planks go in and out of visibility in various places on the hull but they are mostly faired smooth.  Regardless of the color you go for, the planks could be visible or not, In my opinion. Niagaras hull is very shallow draft and curves inward right away from the waterline which makes it difficult to view. The second photo shows the marine growth, likely one years worth. 

4EE03C61-BB75-47F3-A10C-D832F7533C54.jpeg

15F252B0-342E-4493-BCFE-DECD90C1925A.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...