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Kenna

New Young Model Builder from Minnesota LOOKING FOR ADVICE

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Hi! I am a 15 year-old girl from MN who has wanted to build a ship with my dad for a couple of years now! I am new to model ship building, but have done a lot of other time-consuming hobbies such as 4000 piece puzzles, elaborate creations out of zen magnets, etc. so I think I have at least the patience for this hobby. My goal is to build a Spanish Galleon from scratch to a large scale (5-6 feet long) that is functional- for example - I will want the rudder to operate, actually float, etc. I am looking for plans I can follow . My Dad and I started working on this and we tried creating our own design making ribs for the ship by trial and error, adjusting the shape of the ribs to try to get the shape of the ship right. (Dad and Mom built a cedar strip canoe many years ago and he was using the same principles) Rather than doing a lot of trial and error to get the shape right, we want to spend our time actually building the ship.  It would be great if we could find a design that is electronic so we could plug in the scale we want and print templates accordingly. We have lots of tools in my Dad's shop and he will help me with some of the basics.. for example, I have used tools such as the lathe, band saw, chop saw, etc.   

 

I read the cautionary advice to new members from Chris and although my dad wants to jump right into the Spanish Galleon project, I am suggesting we take Chris' advice.  What would anyone suggest I start with to prepare myself to undertake the ultimate project? 

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Hello, Kenna. I think it's wonderful that you are wanting to undertake such a task with your dad (none of my three children, all grown now, ever got bit by the modeling bug). A first modeling project may depend on what you hope to accomplish with the project, i.e. do you just want to learn what it's like working with wood, or do you want to build a scaled-down galleon? For first projects, I often recommend kits by Midwest Products (out of production now, but still common on eBay), but if you are looking for techniques that might be useful on a larger project, have a look at the kits produced by Chesapeake Light Craft (see ad banner on home page); their kits are built in the same manner as their full-size boats, e.g. stitch-and-glue, which is something that might work on a large model. If you want to try your hand at a small galleon, then there are many such kits that might fit the bill, such as the Golden Hind offered by Dusek Ship Kits (they also have an ad banner on the home page). If you can find a kit that has good plans and perhaps even 1:1 parts drawings, you can get those scaled up to the size you need at copy shops that have the equipment for reproducing architectural drawings.  Other folks on the forum here are more qualified to handle your questions about making a sailing model -- certain modifications are of course necessary to make the model sail and handle properly.

 

Best of luck on your project!

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Welcome to MSW, Kenna.   That sounds like a wonderful project to me.   Chris gave some great advice which I can't really add to.  I would add, start a log even on your first projects as it's a great way to get help and meet other builders.  There are several logs in the Scratch area for sailing ships that are RC controlled so you might have a look there.  Use the key word "Radio" in the site search function.

 

I wish you and you dad, good luck and good fortune on this.  

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Kenna,

 

    Welcome to you and your Dad.  :sign:

 

    Cautionary Advice to New Members is there for a reason.  Many people get into ship modeling because they want to build something grand and glorious.  Soon they find they are over their head, get discouraged and quit.  By starting with a simple model first, you get a feel for how things work, what to do and what not to do.  You also slowly acquire the tools you need (if you don't already have them.  It sounds like you have tool #1...patience.  :default_wallbash: 

 

    A good second model would be, as Chris suggested, a galleon.  That way you can see how a galleon is actually constructed and much of the guesswork is eliminated.  There is nothing wrong with starting a new model while still working on the old.  That way once you get one part of the process down, you can use that knowledge on the new model.  Make your mistakes on the prototype.

 

    Good luck!  I look forward to seeing your build log.

 

   

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Hi Kenna,

 

I suggest you pick up a copy of Antonio Mendez C.'s now-very-affordable book, William Frederick's (1874) Scale Journey: A Scratchbuilder's Evolutionary Development available on eBay and Amazon. I wrote a review of it. (Link below.) The late Mr. Mendez was an internationally recognized ship modeler of long standing who specialized in sailing models. His book is full of information on how to build model ships that actually sail. I'm not aware of any other books on that subject. There is, of course, much in his book that applies to static models, as well, but if you are interested in models that actually sail, this is the book that has all that. I'd strongly recommend that you get a copy and read up on the subject before starting to "chop wood." It will likely save you lots of time and frustration and ensure your build is top notch. 

 

As I'm sure others will also say to you, start small and work up to something like a Manila galleon. The most common mistake most ship modelers make is biting off more than they can chew on their first attempt. There's a learning curve to it, like anything else. (Don't believe the kit manufacturers' sales hype that "anyone can do it!") Start with a relatively simple fore and aft rigged sailing vessel and get the basics under your belt. Learn to play simple pieces before tackling Bach! 

 

s-l1600.jpg

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3 hours ago, Kenna said:

We have lots of tools in my Dad's shop and he will help me with some of the basics

 

Clamps...you can never have too many clamps.  And magnification.

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Hi Kenna,

As a rookie when it comes to building static model ships I can’t be of much help there,

But as a 20 year veteran of the RC world, I could lend some advice in that department.

I sail 1 metre (or 3 yards) model yachts and there is a couple of key things to know.

Firstly, you need to know if there are any radio frequency requirements where you are going to sail.

Once upon a time people had to use various different “crystals” to make sure you were not on the same frequency as someone else. These days we all use 2.4gz which removes this problem. You will then need to think about how many channels you will need and how complex your running gear will be.

I’m hoping that your dad and you have some idea about R/C stuff already and know all this stuff. If not, sing out and I can help set you up with a good starting point that won’t break the bank.

While there are many cheap suppliers of radio gear these days, there is no substitute for good sail servos.

The sail servo is what is going to pull the ropes connected to the sails. There will be a lot of pressure on them so you will need good ones.

In my own personal humble opinion, there is no good cheap Chinese knock off sail servo. While there are several Chinese manufacturers who (legally) make okay radio gear, there have never perfected the sail servo. Decent ones are not cheap, but you can’t sail a boat without one. Budget some decent cash here to avoid disappointment. And by decent cash I mean a couple of hundred USD’s.

Also, it might be a good idea to find out if there is a local model boat club and go and chat with them. Try looking up ‘International 1 Metre’ too and see if anyone sails model yachts near by and go and say hi.

Good luck, and please, start a build log here so we can follow along!

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Wow! These are so fun to read! I wish I could respond to each post separately but I don't think that is how this works. But thank you to Chris, Mark, Chuck, Bob and Jonny for all the great advice! Getting this feedback makes it seem possible to get started and make sure I am taking the right steps.  I will be sure to post what I decide to build first and also post our progress! Thank you!

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Kenna, 

The easiest way if you want to quote someone is to look at the bottom of their post... there's a "+" and quote button.  The "+" lets you quote many posts while the "quote" only will quote one.   They'll appear in the "post" box that you use at the bottom of the page.

 

If you haven't found it yet, there's a sub-forum here:   https://modelshipworld.com/forum/32-rc-kits-scratch-building/  for questions, etc.  If you do a build log, put it in the appropriate log area... Kits or Scratch.

 

The only other thing I can add, it's a process building a model but have fun doing it.   For almost all of us, it's a hobby, not a job.

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Thanks again everyone for all the advice- here is our plan so far...

We are going to take Chris' advice and get the Golden Hind as the smaller kit model to start with. If anyone is aware of the best deals on the Golden Hind, we are all ears. We liked Chuck's advice of starting with the smaller model, (for us, that would be the Hind) and building our larger scratch model in tandem. For the large scratch ship, we are looking at the San Felipe plans from Cornwall- see the link below. Their website talks about how the plans work for building a scratch model as " the majority of plans include the frame profiles in addition to the hull plans, general arrangement details, mast and rigging plans." 

https://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/San-Felipe-Construction-Plans-Set-976.html#SID=137

These plans sell for about $60 and the corresponding full kit sells for about $600 and is about 38" long. We want to make it from scratch and double that length. I am wondering if anyone has had experiencer  with cornwall and their Panart plans- we haven't contacted the company yet. Are these plans typically just on paper or do they give you an electronic version so you can double the scale? We have an architect friend who could print large plans for us - or, we could draw the plans by hand using graph paper to enlarge the plans.

Does this sound like a good approach?
Thanks!
Kenna

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I can't speak to the quality of Panart's plans, but Cornwall Model Boats has an excellent reputation within our community. Model Shipways has the Dusek kit on sale now.

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Kenna,

Broken record here, but just be aware that by doubling the length, the final model will be 8 times larger.

2x length x 2x width x 2x depth, 2x2x2=8.

When you enlarge, do a clear metric ruler first and check for any machine inaccuracy.  Home type scanner copiers have a paper currency anti counterfeit factor.

Architect copiers would not/ could not abide this sort of error factor.  

About enlarging the plans,  no single part of a model requires the full size of the plans.  They are all small sections of it.   The smaller sections are easier to use, too.   The keel and the lower masts are the largest parts.  A keel is made up of shorter segments.  You do not need a whole intact plan of a mast to make one.  The interesting part is the upper section.

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On 5/14/2020 at 2:44 PM, Kenna said:

For the large scratch ship, we are looking at the San Felipe plans from Cornwall- see the link below. Their website talks about how the plans work for building a scratch model as " the majority of plans include the frame profiles in addition to the hull plans, general arrangement details, mast and rigging plans." ...
 

These plans sell for about $60 and the corresponding full kit sells for about $600 and is about 38" long. We want to make it from scratch and double that length. I am wondering if anyone has had experienced  with Cornwall and their Panart plans- we haven't contacted the company yet. Are these plans typically just on paper or do they give you an electronic version so you can double the scale? We have an architect friend who could print large plans for us - or, we could draw the plans by hand using graph paper to enlarge the plans.

Does this sound like a good approach?

In a word, "No." 

 

I'm sure the last thing anyone would ever want to do on this forum is dampen the enthusiasm of a beginning modeler. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that in an effort to avoid doing so, beginners are misled. This is particularly so when their hearts are set on building a gold leaf encrusted gingerbread confection from the Seventeenth Century that an experienced modeler would consider a significant challenge. The responses to their ambitions usually include circumspect advice such as, "You may want to start with a less complicated kit." (Let alone a less complicated scratch-build!) Thereafter, they taper off, leaving the beginning modeler to run hard aground upon the rocky shores of Reality and their enthusiasm for modeling drowned for all eternity. It's not my intention to rain on your parade, but I do believe you deserve some honest and direct answers to your question.

 

1.     San Felipe is a very complex model to build from a kit. Building such a model from scratch is exponentially more complex. What you are contemplating involves years of dedicated craftsmanship of the highest caliber. You may well be capable of that, but it will take you quite some time to acquire those skills and much practice, not to mention money, which may or may not be a consideration for you. The kit costs in the neighborhood of $600 and that's just for the wooden parts. The metal castings set costs an additional $350 or so. If you plan to scratch-build the model, you will have to mill much of your own wood. You will have to turn those hundreds of balusters for the railings on a lathe, each identical to the other. You will have to hand-carve all the intricate carvings that are all over this model. You will have to make the patterns and molds to cast all of the metal castings and you will have to fabricate all the other metal parts from bits of wire and sheet metal silver soldered together and then "blackened" with chemicals. You will have to make your own rigging line in several different scale sizes. If you want the model to actually be capable of sailing in water, you will have to sew your own scale sails, design your own radio control system, and engineer the model to be properly balanced (probably with an auxiliary ballast keel) and decide how to make it watertight and impervious to water damage. (A working model must be much more robustly built than a static model.)

 

2.     The Panart plans are drawn to 1:75 scale, which is itself a somewhat unusual scale here in the States. You propose to double the size of the model, which would mean building to the scale of 1:34.5 scale, which is even more unusual. I'd hazard the guess that there are no fittings or blocks sold anywhere in that exact scale. Your enlarged double-size plans will not contain the details which were impossible to include at the smaller scale. (Sort of like a painting by a near-sighted artist!) You will have to research, identify, and add those details yourself. At the scale you contemplate, you will indeed be doing a total scratch-build because you won't be able to buy ready-made parts in your scale. This means, for instance, that you will have to fabricate some 100 or so cannon. If you want them made of metal, you will have to do that on a metal lathe, or make patterns and molds and cast them yourself. Keep in mind as well that, generally, even the best plans require a considerable amount of knowledge about shipbuilding and rigging to interpret, as so many of the posts in this forum indicate. You will have the forum as a resource, but you must expect that you will encounter errors and omissions in any set of plans that you will have to recognize, correct, and supplement. As for enlarging plans using grid paper, don't even go there. Accurate scale enlargements can be done with specialized engineering drawing copy machines. Otherwise, you will have to redraw the plans yourself, or at least parts of them, using either the skills and instruments of manual drafting or one of the more sophisticated CAD drawing programs... after you've learned to use them. (A skill I've not yet mastered. I'm an old fashioned drawing board jockey.)

 

3.     The model you contemplate will require a huge amount of space to display. Certainly more than the average home can afford. If your model is twice the size of the Panart plans, it will be about 76" long. For a model that size, allow three or four inches all around for "space in the case." (It will require a case for display if it is to survive for any length of time without damage. More than one great model has come to grief from the family cat or the cleaning lady's feather duster!) That comes to a case that's seven feet long. I'm unsure of the other dimensions, but lets estimate those at five feet high and three feet wide. Now take some sticks and a hot glue stick gun and throw together a framed box that's 7'x5'x3' and see how much room it will take up, wherever you plan to put it. Make sure, too, that you are able to even get it inside of a normal room! If you plan to put it in the water, you will have to come up with some sort of trailer to tow and launch it, as well. See where I'm going with this? I could have said, "Gee, that sounds neat!" and gone on to the next post, but would that have been at all helpful to you, really?

 

4.    You will need to invest considerable money into specialized tools. There are those who will point out that many of the great models in museums were made with little more than sailors' pen knives and to a certain extent that is true. In reality, though, if one intends to scratch-build with any degree of accuracy and efficiency, they must acquire a collection of sometimes expensive tools. You will need a micro-table saw, a good quality scroll saw and some sort of mini-lathe. You'll need jewelers' metal working tools. A rope making machine. A rotary tool ("Dermel") and perhaps a drill press. You'll almost certainly have a lot of use for a stationary disk sander and will probably end up wanting a thickness sander, as well. Of course, you'll have to add some tools you've made for yourself along the way because they can't be bought anywhere, and a lot of hand tools. Most of us started with a few tools and buy more as we go along when the need arises. It can add up to a fair bit of change. Even a modest fully-equipped workshop for the sort of serious scratch-building you contemplate will set you back three or four thousand dollars. On the other hand, scratch-building costs relatively little in materials and three or four scratch-built models quickly make up the cost of tools in savings over kits costing hundreds of dollars and quality tools always have a decent resale value if you ever decide you don't need them anymore.

 

So, this is why you hear experienced modelers suggesting you "consider a smaller, simpler model for your first build." My guess would be that maybe one out of ten ship model kits ever get finished because the builders are overwhelmed by them. The pictures on the boxes look great, but they don't tell you how much hard effort lies ahead when you buy the box!

 

Now, most of the modelers on this forum are crusty old curmudgeons of the male persuasion. Modeling takes a lot of time and many defer it until retirement allows them to time to really concentrate on it. Women ship modelers are rather rare, but, perhaps not surprisingly, some of the best of the best were and are women, a phenomenon that may inure to your benefit. There are two women modelers active in this forum whose work you really should study thoroughly and who you should endeavor to connect with and perhaps even convince to mentor you. 

 

One is "newbuilder 101," an understatement to be sure! Sherry is an accomplished miniaturist modeling in many subjects, not only ships. About seven years ago, she began her build log for her first scratch-built ship, that being the same San Felipe that has caught your eye. She also is using the Panart plans you've mentioned and she scaled those plans down to 1:96 (1/4"=1') so she could display the finished model in her home. In her case, tackling a complex model like this for her first scratch-built ship model was well within her skill set, since she had been scratch-building models of all sorts of other subjects for many years. Her work is "finestkind." Sherry is still working on her San Felipe now seven years later, although, as do many modelers, she's taken a break from it now and again for a change of pace, such as building a violin for her daughter! Check out her build log at 

Read Sherry's log carefully to get a sense of what is involved in exactly the same build you are thinking about, albeit at a bit smaller scale. You will learn much. I'm sure if you send her a PM through the forum, she will be happy to answer any questions you have and get you started in the right direction. That probably won't be building a six foot long sailing model right off the bat, but if you listen and learn, I'll bet whatever you do build will be much better for it.

 

The other woman modeler you really ought to "go to school on" is Doris, a school teacher from the Czech Republic. Like Sherry, for the last seven or eight years, Doris has been chronicling her work on her model of the Royal Catherine in 1:40 scale, another "gingerbread fantasy" from the Eighteenth Century. Doris' work is beyond description. She is probably one of the foremost card stock scratch-modelers of ornate period ships in the world today. Doris builds "card stock" models of cardboard and paper, a medium more popular in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe and the Americas and only now becoming more popular here. Notably, this medium requires a lot less in terms of tools and a workshop, but different skills. She creates the carvings for her intricately decorated models from plastic clay (what we call Femo) and achieves amazing realism with this material. Her build log is most entertaining and she gives great explanations of her techniques. (I suppose that's because she's a teacher by profession!) You can find her build log at: 

 

Royal Catherine is a similar model to San Felipe in terms of its ornate decoration and general design, although not a "galleon" and built fifty years after San Felipe. Also unlike San Felipe, whose very existence is a matter of some historical controversy, Great Catherine came at a time for which we have much better historical records and we have a much more extensive documentation of her actual appearance and details. Whether or not you find any interest in working in "card" and Femo, you'll certainly learn a lot from Doris' posts and get a good understanding of what it takes to build a highly decorated model from scratch. Doris' is fluent in English and she always seems open to responding to inquiries about her work, although she is so popular and followed by so many throughout the world that she sometimes has to turn off her computer to get any modeling work done! I'm sure you will find her a delightful inspiration as have so many others.

 

One thing that's not mentioned much, particularly by kit manufacturers trying to sell their wares, is that building a model takes as much time doing the research as it does doing the building. A kit provides you with the research already done, such as it may be. Some kits are well-researched and accurate. Some are not. Whether it be a kit or a scratch-built model, all good modelers "build the model in their heads," sometimes several times over, often keeping journals and sketch books, before they ever "lay the keel." This is a very satisfying activity in itself, but it also makes the construction of the model much more efficient and trouble free. You can very easily "paint yourself into a corner" building a model if you don't have it all well planned out ahead of time. Working on your Golden Hind will give you good experience in how and why things are done the way they are. Don't be too eager to start building before you've "done your homework." Read every build log on the forum by people who have built the Golden Hind. Learn from their mistakes and problems solved. You'll be glad you did.

 

So, that's all I have to say in response to your question, "Does this sound like a good approach?" Good luck with your build! And remember, when the going gets tough, "Don't give up the ship!"

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Hi Bob! Ron here, Kenna's Dad- we read through your post together- - first let me say that I have never read such a well-written post (leaving the content aside for the moment and focusing on the sheer poetry of your reply "leaving the beginning modeler to run hard aground upon the rocky shores of Reality and their enthusiasm for modeling drowned for all eternity. "  Kudos - I may have to peruse your other posts for the reading pleasure alone. 

 

So- to your actual advice. WOW- this has been a great lesson in generosity for my daughter to have a total stranger take this kind of time to help steer someone new to a hobby in the right direction. So thank you thank you thank you! Kenna has been reluctant to respond because she feels incapable of drafting an adequate response to such a detailed post packed with so much information. Also, she feels a bit bad because she thinks she should have been more clear about her ambitions from the start as it might have saved you from spending so much time explaining in detail how hard this project would be.  Her goal is to create a large ship that, yes, floats and maybe could be fitted with a little electric prop motor and a rudder that steers that we could toss in the lake and drive around during the parties we have on our dock on calm days. She wants the shape to be authentic, but her goal is by no means to create something that is an authentic reproduction of the San Felipe.  She loves messing around on the lathe and has the patience to crank out a ton of cannons made of wood and perhaps painted black, but much of the detail outside of the basic structure will be her own creation. 

 

Perhaps she will catch the bug to want to really get into creating an authentic model, in which case more of your content will apply... and she would be well-cautioned not to bite off more than she can chew. In the meantime, she has checked out Sherry and Doris' work...amazing and inspiring! 

 

Thanks again!   Ron and Kenna

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Hi Ron,

 

Well, I was wondering where you were going to put a six foot model and the thought crossed my mind that maybe she'd want to ride in it and then thought, "Naw. She's talking about kit models." Let me take off my ship modelling hat and put on my boat builder's hat.

 

Was it something like this that she has in mind?2004374340_pirateship.jpg.cf324216efff96819d4fa93fcf013988.jpg

 It has square sails, too, which aren't rigged in this photo. This is sort of a model, but it's actually one of the class known as "character boats." These are boats designed to appear larger than they are, yet still be navigable, and they come in all shapes and sizes, but are always made to appear as smaller than their prototypes.

 

You're in the wrong forum. (As much fun as this one is.) WoodenBoat Magazine's "WoodenBoat Forum" is where you'll probably get your questions better answered. MSW is great for models, but not so much for boats that carry people. The main issue has to do with things like stability and safety. The boat has to be seaworthy before worrying about it's period character. This thread chronicles a dad and his sons building their "pirate ship" for use on the lake near their home:  http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?163082-Pirate-ship-finally-out-of-the-garage-and-ready-for-rigging&highlight=pirate+ship  This one's a tad larger than what you are contemplating, but perhaps a good place to start.

 

These guys built theirs from scratch and wanted it to actually sail, although it does have auxilliary power and doesn't really sail all that well. It sure is an eye-catcher though. (Sails often don't readily translate into smaller scales because there's no way to scale down the wind and the waves.) 

 

You should also check out the many posts on the WoodenBoat Forum by a fellow here on the west coast named "Thorne." "Pirate re-enacting" is one of his hobbies.  He has a small sailing and rowing boat similar in appearance to what might have been carried on a pirate ship, but smaller. He's got a brass cannon mounted on the bow, just as the pirates and navy did back in the days. These vessels were set up for conducting shore raids. He belongs to a group who have similar boats. They load them up with their camping gear and go on what they call "raids" together, with everybody dressed up like pirates and yelling, "Arrrrrgh!" a lot. I'm sure David (his first name) could suggest several small boats that would serve your purposes if it be pirating your about!

 

As for a character boat pirate ship as is pictured above, it need not be necessary to build the hull from scratch. It would be a lot better to acquire a hull nobody wants, like an old fishing skiff, and then build the "pirate look" on top of that. At least that way, you'll know she will float and not turn turtle if you don't make her top heavy. Whatever you do, make sure she has a real live cannon! It's got to have a real cannon that makes lots of noise and lots of smoke or it just ain't a pirate ship.

 

Hope this helps! (And make sure you build your Golden Hind model. You never have to outgrow building model ships, while dressing up like a pirate isn't as certain in that regard.)

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Ron & Kenna,

 

I think it would be helpful to clarify (to yourselves and those here) what level of detail you're trying to achieve, as you've partially done above. Until I saw Bob's response, I was planning an answer asking how accurate you were trying to be. For example, you could make a basic representative galleon with highly simplified details that would look cool, but without getting bogged down in "reproduction". A lot of folks here tend to think that model building inherently means super-detailed and highly accurate, but it doesn't have to be that way, and you shouldn't be discouraged by the false idea that model building is museum quality or nothing.

 

For what I think you're trying to achieve, I think you're on the right track. You're clearly describing a large (but not people-carrying) vessel that's fun to play with in a lake but isn't meant to be a detailed replicate. Given that, I'd think upsizing plans is a reasonable idea as long as you're up for adapting them to your intended design. That being said, the smaller model may actually be harder to build because it is intended for builders making super-detailed accurate models and those take a LOT of skill that takes time to develop. If you don't care about a level of accuracy involving the actual ribs (and I suggest that you shouldn't), Bob's right that you may want to think of this as a skiff tricked out as a galleon, even if you do build it from scratch rather than grafting on to an existing boat.

 

If you want to use a model to practice, you might be best off with a simple model (something like the beginner skiffs or ship's boats sold by BlueJacket or Model Shipways) that would teach you the rudiments of hull shaping, planking, etc. The Dusek model may prove more of a distraction than a guide because it may take you years to complete when that isn't really your goal.

 

Just my two cents. I've never done something like you're attempting, but have taken the journal from beginner to moderately skilled builder, and am thrilled that you're (a) interested at all and (b) asking questions and learning rather than just diving in headlong. I hope we can give you all the encouragement and help possible in this very cool project.

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Hi Bob, Eric, and Chris-

Bob- you are certainly pointing us in some very interesting places- while that pirate ship build that carries people and "sails" is super cool, that might be swinging a bit more to the opposite side of the pendulum of what we are aiming for- we'll want to float it, but riding in it is not our goal- (we are thinking something around the 6 foot long range) 

Eric - yes, I think you have it dialed-in as far as the scope of our project- we want some level of accuracy, which is why we were looking at buying plans so we would have templates to build ribs to get the shape right. (Like I have done in the past to build cedar-strip canoes) 

Chris- you had suggested the Dusek Golden Hind... are you thinking the Golden Hind is a years-long project for a beginner as Eric suggests? We already ordered the Golden Hind with the thought that starting with that would give us a feel for the elements involved in a ship, from which we could pick and choose just how accurate/level of detail, we would want to pursue in our scratch model. 

 

Thanks!
Kenna and Ron

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How long a model takes partly depends on how much time you have to devote to it. If the two of you are in lockdown with little else to do, or plan on focusing on this as a primary activity for a long summer vacation, it won't take you hearly as long as I suggested. But others, even retired folks, can take years to build a single model depending on their time and abilities.

 

I'm just pointing out that lots of newcomers to wooden kit building underestimate how complex the process is; it's not the same as basic plastic model building where you just follow steps gluing preformed pieces together. If your goal for the ordered kit is just to learn from it, have at it and have fun. Certainly the fact that you've built canoes gives you a big head start in terms of understanding something about how wood bends and the complex geometry of curved hulls. Now that you have the model (or will soon), I'd say give it a try and see how it goes; from there you can decide how to balance that project and your real goal. If you feel like it's too much, set it aside and try a small dory instead; you can always come back to the more complex model when you feel more confident and experienced.

 

My responses (and those of others like Bob) are informed by the heartbreak of seeing too many new modellers jump in over their head, get frustrated, and quit the hobbby again rather than taking the time to develop their skills and work up to their dream project. It's probably overwhelming to gets lots of different advice; we all have different perspectives but we all care a lot about helping newcomers to this beloved hobby of ours, especially younger folks.

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I have an old Model Boats #2 catalog - English  and from 1970 or earlier.   It features plans for pond boats and other adaptations of sailing  ships for actual use in water.  The point and take home lesson from it is that the physics and physical properties of water do not scale.   In order to sail and not turn turtle,  the hulls have to be adapted to a different shape.  It looks like the hulls are much deeper below the waterline and may also have more beam, than the prototype.   It does not look like the adaptations are much like a scaled down version of the original below the waterline.   I suspect that there is serious engineering design, rules, and principles involved in this sort of adaptation.

 

I well may be wrong about this,  but there may be more to this than simply scaling the hull of a scale model.

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Apart from all that has been said above: 

You may want to take an other course for another reason: the plans from the (at least European) kits are hardly ever based on real drawings (especially the older shiptypes). And as they were made for static display-models, no one ever bothered about proper lines, stability, proper dimensions of the rig compared to the hull. As long as it looks right, it is right :)

 

So, perhaps you should start with drawings that are based on contemporary drawings of real ships, or on a drawing that has been mede especially for the 'sailing business': I know that for reasons of stability, it vcan be worthwhile to change the underwaterpart of your model, or add a keel of rather oversized dimension, just to prevent 'vasa-like' situatiuons at her maiden trip.

 

That brings me to a question (no experience in this line of business, but just wondering): Ik know a guy in a german forum turning out rather small models (scale around 1:40), which he can sail by RC. Mostly models of schooner-rigged type (as he states those are easier to sail, and therefore more fun). My point is: he needs quite an amount of lead into these models to get them stable sailing. (I rember something like 2 kilo's on a 1.5 ft long model), When you aim for 6 foot, all dimensions go by a factor 4. What does that do to the amount of lead you need on your keel (or how long does your external keel need to be, and how is sailability in not so deep water with such a lenghty keel?).

 

Jan 

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Jaager makes and excellent point.  I really do suggest you search in the scratch area for "RADIO".  Many have added a long kedge under the keel with a lead bulb at the bottom to help with the stability.  Nothing worse than watching something you've put your heart, time, and money into roll over and sink.

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Hi everyone, Kenna here- thanks again for all the help and support so far! I now know a bit of history and understand what it means for a ship to turn turtle means or to "vasa" per the shipwreck. (by the way, here in MN we honor kings who commission failed ships by naming universities after them: https://gustavus.edu/_ ) 

 

My Golden Hind arrived yesterday and it appears we have all the tools recommended for this model. We have a set of exacto knives in a cool old wooden box that my grandpa had (he would be 101) - does the group recommend a specific type of knife/blade set for modeling or would a standard exacto knife set work? Also, for glue- do I use a variety of different glues for different purposes or would something like this work for this model?  Also, I very sensitive to VOCs so if anyone knows a low or no VOC glue I could use, I sure would appreciate it, 

 

Glue Master's Cyanoacrylate .

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Grade-Cyanoacrylate-Glue-Masters/dp/B00WHEM0UA/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?crid=2X5Z39H049LE2&dchild=1&keywords=modeling+glue+for+wood&qid=1590152990&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&sprefix=modeling+glue+%2Caps%2C180&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyNlI2UzczUk1LMUpEJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjA1MDIyMjRVOUFEWkUwQkw1TiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMTM5MDQ1M1cwQjVBWFQzS0gwSyZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

 

807848599_GoldenHind.jpg.7ffe0c2112a97c6120e55da98cd22b3c.jpg

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Wow! Your dad's workshop would be the envy of many modelers here.

 

Sorry to get back to you so late on your query about the GH. Bob Cleek made some very salient comments about the challenges inherent in building a large scale model, but when I read your original post I did not think that that was what you had in mind. Some people have built vary large sailing models of everything from sailing men-of-war to modern battleships whose emphasis is much more on sailing than on being faithful to the original in every respect. These models are more like impressions of the real thing, and that is what I believe you have in mind. GH should be within your capabilities given your motivation and determination, especially if your dad is helping you, but you will find that it is not necessarily a simple project and may take more time to complete than you anticipate -- be patient and enjoy the process, and you may eventually find that you and your dad enjoy building little models as well as large ones. The main reason why I suggested that you try your hand at something like GH is first of all to get your feet wet at working in wood, second that you discover that there is a multitude of skills that must be acquired to build something like a scale wooden model, and third that you observe how a galleon built from a kit is not a real galleon in terms of its construction but rather a compilation of compromises in materials and construction methods based on the needs and desires of a 21st-century modeler rather than those of a 17th-century sailor. As I believe I said in my original post, some of those kit methods may work when scaled up to a larger sailing model, but your larger model will of course have to take in to account additional considerations based on the fact that it will be much larger and need to actually sail. As I said, we have members here who are knowledgeable on such things, but I'm not one of them. 

 

To see a large-scale sailing model being built by one of our members, check out this build log for a 1/36 scale brig.

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Kenna,

 

Good questions.

 

I would say that any standard set of exacto blades should work fine; I use different shapes for different purposes but you don't need anything fancy. Sharpness is the most important factor, as a dull blade can crush or deform the very thin and fragile wood you'll be working with.

 

As for glue, I use standard carpenter's wood glue for all my models, which is pretty benign. I hate fumes and work within my living room. This is all you should need for everything except maybe rigging (I use small droplets of CA to set knots). Although there is some debate about glues, it seems generally true that wood glue sets and holds wood especially well and should not degrade over time (some have suggested that CA does not age well). Wood glue is also easier to keep where it is put, while CA has a bad habit of soaking into wood and discoloring it or otherwise altering its appearance and performance. Moreoever, wood glue is easy to clean up from and to dissolve if you need to undo a mistake.

 

As you're trying to avoid fumes, I'd also note that paints vary widely in this regard. I've found that Model Shipway's line of paints are very benign in terms of fumes and I use these exclusively. As with wood glue, I can work with these in my small living room and not bother myself or my wife (both of us are very sensitive to chemicals).

 

I'd suggest reading through a few of the tutorials presented elsewhere on MSW regarding basic skills in hull preparation and planking before you get started. This isn't always intuitive even to people otherwise skilled in woodcraft (it wasn't to me when I got started) and understanding the concepts may really help you. Kit instructions often assume a certain level of knowledge on the builder's part that can be frustrating if you proceed blind.

 

I know we're all trying to "tell you what to do", so please remember to have fun figuring it out for yourself, too! We're all very excited for you and just want to ease your journey. I hope you'll consider starting a build log here on MSW to track your progress with the Golden Hind kit, where you can continue to ask questions and share your progress. It's a really rewarding way to build a model. I couldn't have gotten started in this hobby without the advice and support I got from folks here on MSW.

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