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Plank on Bulkhead VS Solid Hull

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I can understand why we would want to build a plank on frame model. In some ways it might feel as if we were building a 1:1 scale ship. We can leave portions un-decked or un-planked to show the interior detail that we worked so hard on.


Plank on bulkhead though makes me wonder. Once the first layer of planking is on what we have is almost the same as a solid hull though lighter in weight. Yes you have to do some final shaping to the pre-carved hull but is that really any different than gluing up the bulkheads. Neither is realistic. You can plank a solid hull model if you wish; witness Chuck Passaro's Sultana practicum.


I read somewhere that Model Expo is transitioning its kits to POB and in the process upgrading the kits and in some cases changing the scale. What they wind up with is a brand new model


I have built POB and solid hull and have planked two solid hull models. I am just curious.


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Not all POB are double hulls as many are single. For example, the San Francisco II is designed as a single hull and and I built it that way. Can't speak to solid hulls and the planking involved or to POF but from what I think I've seen, even some POF are double hulls. I do not know of the advantage of double hulls as I've never done one but I imagine someone will chime in with an answer soon ;)

Edited by lamarvalley
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The main reason for me was that I wanted to have a natural wood finish on the hull with the planking showing. If I were painting or coppering the hull it would be a different story.


Also, for me each ship is a learning experience and POB is an excellent first step towards POF or scratch building.



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I would imagine that kit builders supply POB hulls because thay're easier to cut and pack and customers don't need so much in the way of heavy tools or workshops to build large hulls.  It would also be easier to incorporate lower gun decks or false guns into a POB structure.


For the scratch builder with access to standard woodworking tools and some workshop space, I think that a solid hull (or bread and butter) would be a more practical solution than POB.



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Many contemporary models and admiralty models were not POF either.   The method of construction doesnt really matter....its the end result that matters.....


Unless you really want to build a ship model as it was actually built, or leave the hull unplanked to reveal framing.....there is no real difference in the final outcome.    It just becomes a matter of your preference.   Which method are you most comfortable with?  For those folks that might look down on one method over another for some silly reason....that is a something they must deal with as it is usually just an attempt to make themselves feel better.  Here is a perfect example......does anyone want to guess how this hull was made??








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One of my planked,  solid hull models is a fishing schooner built 25 years ago from plans in an issue of "Wooden Boat" magazine. I carved the hull from (and here is where I screwed up monumentally) a piece of treated 4x4 lumber left over from a fence post. The model turned out well but in time (10 years?) the planking began to separate from the hull. I don't know if the problem was that the wood was treated or still too "green".post-1787-0-88015100-1369359176_thumb.jpgpost-1787-0-72895800-1369359182_thumb.jpg This sort of delamination is in several spots on the boat.

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Whow,  that calls for a major overhaul, but repairable? Are you sure it was not the worms that got to this? Does it smell near those openings? Arsenic, may be? 

Seriously though, some of those 'compounds' do have an effect on bonding with PVA, for example.

The top looks great, so I would spend some time on redoing the bottom. Consider using epoxy.

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I agree with Chuck's statement, it basically depends on which method you are most comfortable with and of course how well your final outcome turns out.

I have seen so many beautifully made hulls using the POB method and a couple of terrible looking POF hulls.


I my case, I have very limited tools and carving skills so I find that POB is the most practical approach to create an accurately shaped hull since I could easily use the cross sections in the draught's body plan as patterns to cut my bulkheads. It would be more difficult for me to carve a solid block of wood to conform to the plan's lines given my limited tools and carving skills.

Just my two cents.


By the way, that's a very nice model you have there  :)

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I very much prefer POB over solid hull.  I think.  :) 

I have built many airplanes in, essentially, POB fashion and one model boat that was solid hull. And my current POF build is more fun than the solid hull too. 

I don't like solid for a lot of reasons. If you mess up and over sand a POB model, you can rip off the offending bulkhead and replace it without too much trouble. Take too much off from a solid hull, you can fill it (I guess..) or start over.  

Also, with a solid hull you can't model interior details which I really enjoy. 

Carving a solid hull to proper profile, even if it is rough-shaped in the kit, is very tedious and difficult. More difficult, I'd say, than bulkheads which are probably 95% the way there right from the kit and much easier to sand to shape besides. 


Maybe someday I will build a half-hull model. But, in the near term, I can't think of a single reason a solid hull is superior to a POB build unless, again, the whole point is to demonstrate your skills in shaping a chunk of wood to an extraordinarily complex shape



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