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Hello from southern England


bruce d
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Hello, my name is Bruce and I am, at last, beginning a wooden model of a ship. This forum and website have already played a part in the process by showing what others have done, giving answers and ‘de-mystifying’ some of the steps.

It would probably be smarter if I started with a kit but I have decided to scratchbuild. This is not quite as brave as it may sound (or perhaps the experienced readers will not think ‘brave’, rather more like ‘naive’?) but either way I have been fortunate in finding a set of plans for a similar boat which I am adapting to my dimensions. I will post a build thread later and give details as well as the reasoning behind the decision to scratchbuild. For now, I am working on the plans.

About me: I have recently retired and am sorting space in the garage for the build. I am a stickler for details and a newbie, a combination that is guaranteed to produce mistakes, hopefully rectifiable. One thing that has impressed me about this forum is the willingness to pass on honest observations, so if you see me headed for trouble, please go ahead and say so.

I am looking forward to my new hobby.

Bruce

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Welcome, being a stickler for detail is pretty much endemic in this crowd, so don't feel unusual :)

 

I will give you what I have learned working through my build: the really successful builders build the entire ship, down to every detail and process, in their heads before they start. If you start working thinking that you can figure something out when you get there, you will get bitten. For example, the Lady Nelson is a nice kit but the stern is really inaccurate for cutters of the period. If I had taken the time to research the contemporary models first, I could have corrected it, instead I worked ahead and by the time I realized that, it was too late for the major surgery required.

 

Starting scratchbuilding is ambitious and honestly risky, but if you have previous skills it may be ok. If you are starting totally from scratch with no experience building models of any kind, I'd suggest you try a kit. The new Master Korabel kits have every plank laser cut and seem to go together very easily compared to other kits and they produce a fine-looking output- if I'd known about them I might have started there. Regardless, good luck and have fun, that's the purpose.

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It's an interesting thought that not so long ago (perhaps up till half way through the last century) a lot of the books for beginners were about scratch building. There are still quite a few books from that era in print as well as being downloadable, so you might want to research those. In fact there are files available in the download section of this forum that will give good advice on starting to scratch build. Plans are plentiful and not very expensive for good ones. The only thing I'd recommend if you're going to do scratch building is to get a CAD programme. Some are free. The one I use is TurboCAD which you can pick up from about £20 for earlier versions. But it's far from necessary. It just allows you to re-scale plans easily and develop templates for your own parts. Even basic photo-editing programmes have much the same function, and if you work with Linux then there's excellent free software on that platform.

 

My own experience was that I started with a kit (of the Sherbourne) but very quickly went to making my own parts. In fact almost the only part I built from the kit was the basic hull. Looking back on it all, it wouldn't have been that hard to build it all from just the plans. As a result, after completing the Sherbourne, I went to building the Triton cross section (the plans for which are available for free on this forum) and because there are so many other build logs for this there is plentiful experience and advice to help you build it. I'm now not at all wary of scratch building (although of course my skills are not at all great) and in fact I very much enjoy being able to create and re-create parts as well as figure out how to interpret plans. A particular disadvantage of many  kits is that the wood they supply is variable in quality. When you build from scratch your wood supply is up to you.

 

Finally, if you're worried about building intricate and small parts, there's quite a lot of such parts available as photo-etch or manufactured from model suppliers.

 

I wish you well in your endeavour!

 

Tony

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Gidday Bruce and another warm welcome from the Land Downunder.

I must agree with Tony, see post above, regarding scratch building.  

Not too long ago it wasn't a "thing" it was how models were made.

We all must start somewhere and I admire your decision to bypass kits.

You will definitely find support and encouragement here.

Don't be afraid to ask questions.

I am looking forward to your build log.

All the best with your build.

Mark.

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18 hours ago, Thunder said:

 The only problem you may encounter is getting good quality materials in the uk, unless you have the equipment to produce your own strip material.

Many thanks for the welcome. The subject of ‘change’ is always interesting and I agree absolutely with the observations that once-upon-a-time scratchbuilding was the norm. I am delighted to see the high standards of modern kits and chose to start with a a blank sheet mostly because, based on other events in the past, I enjoy the research and preparation as much as the building.

I imagine one major difference in the working space will be the amount of dust and debris I will create compared to building a similar size kit.

Thunder, you are right but I am lucky enough to be within range of this place: http://www.exotichardwoods.co.uk/

and Cornwall Model Boats has a mail order service I have been told is very good. Also, I have a stash of fruit woods I can harvest.

Regards,

Bruce

 

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Welcome to MSW Bruce,

 

Don’t be intimidated by scratch building.  First of all your initial investment is low.  You are not investing in an expensive kit.  If things do not turn out to your liking you can scrap and do over.  No need to get new parts from the kit manufacturer.

 

Scratch building also allows you to select the building method that best fits your skills, building interests, and the hull form of the vessel that you have selected.  The “industry standard” appears to be the plank on bulkhead double planked method but there are several other approaches from the carved hull to the plank on frame method.  I personally like carving hulls from laminated lifts as I believe that it is easier to accurately reproduce hull shapes than laying planks over widely spaced bulkheads.

 

I personally do not use CAD nor do I find it to be necessary.  A skill that you will need to develop if you have not already done so is the ability to read a “lines drawing,” the Naval Architect’s system for depicting hull shape. This is not hard to do.

 

Pick out a subject that interests you that is within the limits of your skill and equipment and don’t be afraid to do over something that you are not happy with.  Take your time!  Unlike household DIY activities like fixing the plumbing no one else  should care about how long you take.

 

Roger

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4 hours ago, paulsutcliffe said:

Welcome Bruce

 

http://www.exotichardwoodsukltd.com/ and http://www.originalmarquetry.co.uk/ are also two great suppliers of box, pear and ebony in the UK, have purchased all my wood from these two with no problems

 

Regards

Paul 

Thanks Paul, I do not have facilities to cut my own planks from stock but may be able to use originalmarquetry. What timbers have you used and what is the quality like.

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You may like to obtain Harold Underhill's two volumes called "Plank on Frame Models and Scale Masting & Rigging" first published in 1958. These are available used as a set on Amazon UK at the moment for £20 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plank-Models-Masting-Rigging-Volumes/dp/B00161MO38), or for £45 new from Brown, Son & Ferguson (https://www.skipper.co.uk/catalogue/books/page). These books show how to interpret plans and build using a minimum of equipment and space. They are regarded as a classic introduction to model ship building.

 

He encourages the use of pinning as well as gluing, but some suggest nowadays that this may no longer be necessary for all the joints in a boat as modern glues are very strong. You can make your own mind up about that.

 

Tony

Edited by tkay11
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4 hours ago, Thunder said:

Thanks Paul, I do not have facilities to cut my own planks from stock but may be able to use originalmarquetry. What timbers have you used and what is the quality like.

Hi thunder

Check out the lines and stringing section, I have bought  a lot of the strips in different thicknesses mostly boxwood and all have been top quality

Regards

Paul 

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