Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I am working on the older kit of the HMS Fly and am using a soft pencil to show the caulking between planks.  It is bit of a dirty process and am wondering what other ways are there to show caulking between planks.  Also more efficient methods and more accurate  caulking methods.  Thanks in advance.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,  There was a lengthy discussion on caulking about a week or two ago.  If you do a quick search at the top of the forum page  it should come up with a LOT of choices offered. 

Allan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How are you using the pencil?

 

If you run it along the edge after it is in place, there is less mess.  

 

Caulk1.jpg.9cd788b8daf0f71b7e321b91cfb6bb45.jpg

Just one edge of adjacent planks gets the effect done.

 

Also, how soft a pencil?  I think you will find a No. 2 works fine.

 

( Disclaimer:  While I have used pencil to good effect, the above image is of some laser cut planks, so the char provides the lines you see. )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

An artist's jet black sketching pencil often looks better than the grey lead of a writing pencil, which often looks like, well... a pencil line.

 

I disagree.  I find that when applied to one side of the plank, it gives a subtle but not overwhelming look. 

 

If you ever get a chance to look at a caulked deck from above, it doesn't look pure black (at least the ones I have seen).  I have the privilege of working with the San Diego Maritime Museum and get to see the SURPRISE and others for atop the BERKELEY.  This is still unrealistic because holding a model at half arms length would require going up several hundred feet.  However, as you go up/further away, colors become lighter.

 

Anyway, just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chuck Seiler said:

 

I disagree.  I find that when applied to one side of the plank, it gives a subtle but not overwhelming look. 

 

If you ever get a chance to look at a caulked deck from above, it doesn't look pure black (at least the ones I have seen).  I have the privilege of working with the San Diego Maritime Museum and get to see the SURPRISE and others for atop the BERKELEY.  This is still unrealistic because holding a model at half arms length would require going up several hundred feet.  However, as you go up/further away, colors become lighter.

 

Anyway, just my opinion.

That's a good point. Scale distance is a major factor in coloring. Subtle is good. It's a matter of the modeler's taste and judgment.

 

You can be sure I've seen my share of planked decks from every angle. Indeed, I've paid more than my share of deck seams. Some of the most common errors in today's models involve over-scale details like deck seams, timber joints, trunnels and plugs, and copper plating tacks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

Some of the most common errors in today's models involve over-scale details like deck seams, timber joints, trunnels and plugs, and copper plating tacks. 

 

Hallelujah bro!  I would add to that: yards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bob Cleek said:

That's a good point. Scale distance is a major factor in coloring. Subtle is good. It's a matter of the modeler's taste and judgment.

 

You can be sure I've seen my share of planked decks from every angle.

 

    I am somewhat envious.  My active experience with ships are ones with steel decks.  Now I am too lazy to volunteer on ones with caulked seams...except maybe as a docent.

 

    On the subject of perception, sometimes first hand knowledge can be skewed.  It was noted that prisoner of war models (and old swabby models) made by topmen and other crew that spent alot of time aloft seemed to be out of proportion:  the sail area was proportionately larger than the hull, because presumably that is how they saw the world.  Urban legend, perhaps, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Chuck Seiler said:

    On the subject of perception, sometimes first hand knowledge can be skewed.  It was noted that prisoner of war models (and old swabby models) made by topmen and other crew that spent alot of time aloft seemed to be out of proportion:  the sail area was proportionately larger than the hull, because presumably that is how they saw the world.  Urban legend, perhaps, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

I think that is very true to some extent. I've restored a couple of old apparently sailor-made models and have one "in the on deck circle" in my shop right now. I believe it's of the Archibald Russell, although I haven't gotten around to researching it enough to be sure. It's my impression that it isn't so much that the sail area is proportionately larger, but that the rig is perfectly accurate in terms of overall scale and the run of the lines, but details like blocks are over-scale, and the detail of the hull is wanting, particularly below the waterline. Sailors didn't often see the underwater parts of their ships, of course. While their work aloft gave them a good recall of the run of the rigging, but in the top hamper deprived them of an overall sense of proportion of various details, like blocks. I'd say, though, that however crudely executed the model might be, if the rigging is right, it's probably a sailor-made model. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

 

I recently planked a hull with nibs and caulking. I did some experiments on six different methods of "caulking" in the link below. I chose to use black construction paper. Post #25 shows the results. I was very happy with the results.

 

 

I served on two ships with teak decks (a minesweeper and a cruiser). On both ships the decks were holystoned and bleached so the wood was very light and the grout was very black. But I have also seen older ships (in museums) where the grout stood proud of the surface a bit and was weathered gray and the wood was also weathered gray.

 

On both ships I served on the grout was 3/8 inch wide. On the 1:48 scale model linked to above I chose a black craft paper that was 3/8" scale thick. However, the planks supplied with the kit were far too wide to be realistic (about 9.5 scale inches). After the deck was scraped to remove paper rising above the planks, sanded to even up plank height (the planks supplied with the kit were a consistent 5 mm wide but varied in thickness from 0.75 mm to 1.5 mm), polished with 0000 steel wool and finished with clear lacquer the grout lines were very narrow and the color was a dark gray.

 

If you really want to get "realistic" grout you can do what I did on an earlier model. We reworked the decks on the minesweeper and I saved some of the tar that was used for the grout. Then on my next model I used the tar for the grout between the planks! Here is a picture of the deck from that model I made about 50 years ago.

1335612231_Freyadeckplanking.jpg.bcec32f274982733f50937fb7820ec15.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Dr PR said:

If you really want to get "realistic" grout you can do what I did on an earlier model. We reworked the decks on the minesweeper and I saved some of the tar that was used for the grout. Then on my next model I used the tar for the grout between the planks! Here is a picture of the deck from that model I made about 50 years ago.

I must say that seam stopping ("grout" is plaster that is spread between tiles) does look extremely realistic, the out of scale grain figuring notwithstanding. How did you accomplish this effect? I can't imagine you cooked the "tar" (the actual term is "marine glue," actually, though it's not a glue at all, but a concoction of tar and rubber) and then paid the seams with the resulting liquid out of a tiny seam stopping ladle!

 

jeffery-s-no2-black-marine-glue.jpg

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/davey-and-co-jeffery-s-no-2-black-marine-glue-deck-caulking-compound

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob,

 

It was a mess! Note that I said I built the model (from a kit) about 50 years ago. It was the last deck that I calked with tar!

 

As I recall I laid the planks and then ran a knife blade between them to create the gap for the grout. Then I heated the tar and rubbed the thick liquid into the grooves. And that left a lot of tar on the tops of the planks. After scraping the excess tar away I tried sanding the deck, but that just smeared the tar over the planks, so I had to scrape again.

 

I didn't pack the grooves with cotton and oakum before applying the tar, so it isn't truly "authentic."

 

The kit planks were a coarse grained wood - out of scale, but typical for kits of that period. And the caulk grooves were also too wide for scale.

 

The "tar" was actually a mil-spec black marine glue. We just called it "tar" because it looked like tar. It has aged a bit now, with half a century of dust accumulated on the tar.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dr PR said:

Then I heated the tar and rubbed the thick liquid into the grooves. And that left a lot of tar on the tops of the planks. After scraping the excess tar away I tried sanding the deck, but that just smeared the tar over the planks, so I had to scrape again.

     That sounds exactly like the way it's done on full sized decks! :D  In real life, the tar is heated, just like "hot mop" roofing tar, and placed in a purpose-made ladle with a long spout on it, or a #10 tin can with the edge bent to a spout if you don't do enough of it to make buying a paying ladle worthwhile. The hot tar is poured into the seams with a bit of overflow around the edges. After it solidifies to a rubbery consistence, a sharp broad chisel or even a razor blade in a scraper, is run down each seam to trim the excess stopping off level with the plank edges. If the job was to be done "Bristol fashion," the deck would then be sanded or holystoned to clean up the decks where the stopping had gone over the edges. Otherwise, it would just be left to wear off. On smaller yacht decks, we'd tape the seam edges, if not the entire deck, which solved the problem of the stopping getting all over the deck. On big ships in the old days, they didn't bother with that. The really nice thing about marine glue is that if for whatever reason the stopping pulled loose from the edges of the planks, it was a simple matter to "spot heat" it so it flowed back and stuck to the plank edges. With the modern polysulfide goops, you have to clean out the whole seam and refill the stopping.                                  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob,

 

Thanks for the details. I have the blueprints for the American Cleveland class cruisers, and the drawings for the wood deck have instructions for caulking the seams. They are pretty much what you just described, and the marine glue was supposed to be added to create a bead above the deck surface that overflowed the plank edges. There were plenty of men in the deck divisions to scrape and holystone the decks to bring the glue down even with the plank tops.

 

They referred to "caulking" the groove with one thread of cotton and two of oakum pounded in, leaving a minimum 1/8" deep groove. Then they were "payed" with black marine glue that overran the seams by 3/16 inch. However, in another part of the drawing they also refer to the marine glue as "caulking compound."

 

We replaced the wood deck on the OK City while I was aboard, but I really didn't pay much attention. We were spending 2/3 of our time at sea pumping bullets into the jungles in Viet Nam or trying to shoot down MiGs, and after six or eight weeks of one in three watches the last thing I wanted to do in port was stand around and watch shipyard workers replacing the decking! I do remember all the threaded studs welded to the metal deck to bolt down the wooden planks. You could stub your toe on those things and do a face plant if you didn't pay attention!

Share this post


Link to post
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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×
×
  • Create New...