Jump to content

Repurposing model ship hull.


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Digging through my junk closet I came across a  model ship that I bought for my son some 41 years ago. He didn't quite finish planking it. Found others things he was more interested. I have been considering building a model an American Revenue Cutter with a pivot gun  on deck.  Any suggestions of where to start from? Is there any source for plans or detailed drawings? 

Thanks,

Bill Hudson

 

 

1164539204_ship-1.thumb.jpeg.8cab93998f6e6c370865e656cf4a097d.jpeg487832704_ship-2copy.jpeg.16c7a2e62b0a49321a18adace05f63ea.jpeg

Edited by Bill Hudson
Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your question, but I think you'd be better off by a long shot building one of the many ship model kits of a known United States Revenue Cutter. You'll find them all, I believe, listed here:  https://www.coastguardmodeling.com/index.php/models/cutters/revenue-cutters/

 

Plans should be readily available. Someone here on the MSW forum may have a set they no longer need. Otherwise, if you want to get historically accurate plans, I expect at least some of them should be available through the National Archives or the Coast Guard History Department. Howard I. Chapelle's History of American Sailing Ships has a chapter on revenue cutters with plans.

 

Check using the search feature on this forum to see if anyone has posted a build log for one of the revenue cutter models. There's at least one: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/14814-revenue-cutter-joe-lane-by-ahb26-andrew-bodge-marine-models-scale-18%E2%80%9D1%E2%80%99-inherited-kit-novice-modeler-finished/

 

Some of these are perhaps still in production, or may be available as "new old stock." Otherwise, they are offered for sale frequently enough on eBay, often for quite reasonable prices. Most will be older style model kits. Newer kits are easier to build, generally speaking, as most these days offer laser-cut parts, if nothing else. The kit you have of the Marie Celeste, the famous "ghost ship," is an older model. I'm not familiar with it, but it appears to be a quality kit for its time. You'd probably have more fun building it as the ship it is, than to "kit bash" it to appear to be something it never will be, the hulls of a fast revenue cutter and a merchant ship being quite different in design, I'd expect.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marie Celeste was built 50 or more years  after the American Revenue Cutter that you are considering.  The hull forms are completely different.  If you have the skill and knowledge to transform this  hull into an accurate representation of an early Nineteenth Century American Revenue Cutter you have the ability to carve a new hull from scratch.  Get yourself some decent quality wood, pine will do, some drawings, and make some sawdust.

 

Start a built log and you’ll get lots of help.

 

Roger

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

   

Thank you all for your feed back.

Bob, Gary and Roger: I agree with you all.  I am a long time model builder. I worked mainly in Horse drawn vehicles. Most all my work was done in 1/12th scale and 1/8th scale.  I also created others pieces in miniature at 1/12th scale for top line Doll house collectors world wide. I taught classes in miniature mostly in metal at the Guild School which was held at Maine maritime Academy, for 14 years. I did the preliminary design and development of the DE model for Bluejacket. I designed it as the ship  I served on during the Korean War; the USS Naifeh DE 352. BJ changed hands several times as I was developing the model and several times it was tabled. Then it was revived and Dr. All Ross took it over and did the major design and work on the final kit.

 

I have The History of American Sailing Ships and am looking at building the 51 ton USRC on page 193. 

So here is the problem: I am now 89 years old. I have developed tremors and neuropathy in my hands. some times I shake so bad I can't use a hand tool and have to stop work. I had to give up my fine modeling and driving. (violin music in the background). In spite of all that my mind still wants to build things in miniature. I have always wanted to build a sailing ship model. I would like to build this model near the same size as the Marie Celeste model kit. We are facing down sizing and will have limited space. I will put the Celeste model aside and start from scratch on the Cutter. I believe I can build the hull but not sure if hands steady enough to rig her. Maybe some day I will finish the Celeste. 

I am not really good at figuring out scales. As I said before I worked in 1/12th and 1/8th. I plan on enlarging the drawing 200% any one have an idea what that scale would be? 

 

I really respect and welcome y'alls feedback and suggestions. 

Thank you,

Bill 

 

naifeh1.jpg

Edited by Bill Hudson
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don’t already have one, buy one of the 12in triangular Architects scales.  Or send me a PM and I’ll send you a spare one that I have.

 

Using the linear scale that Chapelle used on his drawings compare a marked distance on the scale on the drawing with a distance that you measure.  Using this information you should be able to calculate a percentage that you need to expand the drawing.

 

Now go to your local copy store punch the percentage into the machine and make the necessary copies.

 

BTW, I have neuropathy in both my hands and feet.  I believe that model making helps me to maintain dexterity.   

 

Roger

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Bill Hudson said:

I am not really good at figuring out scales. As I said before I worked in 1/12th and 1/8th. I plan on enlarging the drawing 200% any one have an idea what that scale would be? 

Bill,

All of HIC's published plans are available from The Smithsonian at 1:48 usually.  Using the S.I. plans as a starting point is significantly better than messing with a scan from the book.  The cost is $10/sheet and $5/12 for shipping, plus the wait time.  Given the cost and hassle in replication - it may be economical to order 2-3 copies of it from S.I.

Blue Jacket has a solid hull kit of a USRC  - guessing that it is the 51 ton vessel =

Standard: ITEM # K1106A |Kit: $145 | LOA: 19" Scale: 1/4"=1'

The 31 ton would be a bit smaller and the 80 ton a bit larger. Not as much as imagined if thinking in linear - since tons is a cubed function.  The LOA includes the spars?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Bill, welcome to the club! Who knew you were so accomplished a modeler! I thought you were just another "newbie." 

 

The club I'm referring to is the neuropathic modelers' club. Like Roger, I also have peripheral neuropathy in both hands and feet. Fortunately, (knock on wood,) I've managed to soldier on with a variety of the usual compensating techniques. You've got a few years on me, so I can imagine the challenges you face. Neuropathy doesn't get any better as the years roll on, but I'm sure you have more models in those hands. 

 

The plans in Chapelle's books are greatly reduced and in some cases they are too small to read the fine print and lines. If they are enlarged on a copy machine, the detail doesn't come back. You just get a larger picture of what's on the page in the book. That may be sufficient in some instances and quite frustrating in most others where the necessary amount of enlargement is just too great. Full size copies of the originals of all of the plans in Chapelle's books are available mail order from the Smithsonian Institution.  https://americanhistory.si.edu/about/departments/work-and-industry/ship-plans  I believe most of these are drawn to 1/4" or 1/8" to the foot scale.  These can then be adjusted in size on a large format copy machine to any scale one desires.  For more available plans, see: https://councilofamericanmaritimemuseums.org/resources/ship-plans-directory/

 

While architect's and engineer's scales are handy, if you are going to work from plans that aren't to the scale you are building in, you might also consider using a set of proportional dividers which mechanically change scale measurements to whatever scale one desires. I'm sure you are familiar with them. If not, check out: 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

I am kitbashing a topsail schooner kit into a hypothetical revenue cutter of about 100 tons.

 

https://modelshipworld.com/topic/19611-albatros-by-dr-pr-mantua-scale-148-revenue-cutter-kitbash-about-1815/?do=findComment&comment=598658

 

Take what you see on my link with a grain of salt. It is constructed "like" what a revenue cutter of that size might have looked like, but it is not a model of a real ship. For me it is a learning exercise. But there is a lot of information about Baltimore clippers and revenue cutters.

 

There aren't a lot of plans available for American schooner revenue cutters, and they aren't highly detailed. Howard Chapelle's "The Baltimore Clipper" is the most detailed book I have seen, but there aren't detailed plans for any revenue cutter.

 

Chapelle's "The History of American Sailing Ships" has plans for two revenue cutters, Morris and Joe Lane. He also discusses the 31, 51 and 80 ton designs of William Doughty. Kits of these designs are available.

 

Chapelle's "The History of the American Sailing Navy" has plans for the revenue cutter James Madison, Roger B. Taney and Washington. If you do get this book look for the 1949 version by W. W. Norton and Co. It has two page fold out plans for many ships (no revenue cutters). The newer Salamander Book version has the drawings split on two adjacent pages with details lost in the fold.

 

When you get to the rigging stage you might find information at this link useful:

 

https://modelshipworld.com/topic/25679-topsail-schooner-sail-plans-and-rigging/?do=findComment&comment=750865

 

It explains a lot of the terminology and describes the various parts of the masting and rigging of topsail schooners.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2021 at 3:40 AM, Shotlocker said:

Bill,

You might consider finishing that model, it builds up into a nice looking ship; the instructions are terrible but there's a lot

of info on this site and on the net to go to for help.

 

Cheers,

Gary

 

 

Mary Celeste 10.jpg

 

Did you build this Gary? Nice looking model. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have decided to attempt to salvage the Marie Celeste model.  First order: figure how to build and install the bulkheads; called bulwarks in the instructions. The plans do not show how the stanchions are attached to the hull. I believe in true life they were extensions of the ribs. My thoughts: since the present deck is damaged I will plan on laying a new deck. Before laying the deck I will cut mortices through the old deck for each of the stanchions. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

Yes, I did build the model, actually started it back in the mid-seventies but it kept getting put aside due to

many many moves. Over the years all of the hull planking became warped and, like your kit, I had to completely

rebuild it...dang thing still isn't quite finished. I've modified it so much that I'm certain it only has a passing

resemblance to the real  ship. As for the "ribs", they're simply pieces of wood glued onto the bulwarks. One

thing I suggest you do before you begin the planking is to fair in some balsa wood fillers in the bow; makes it

much easier to attach the planks there. I have some photos of how I did it if you're interested.

 

Thank you very much for the compliment and I hope you enjoy your salvage job as much as I did mine!

 

Best Regards,

Gary

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Shotlocker said:

Bill,

 

Yes, I did build the model, actually started it back in the mid-seventies but it kept getting put aside due to

many many moves. Over the years all of the hull planking became warped and, like your kit, I had to completely

rebuild it...dang thing still isn't quite finished. I've modified it so much that I'm certain it only has a passing

resemblance to the real  ship. As for the "ribs", they're simply pieces of wood glued onto the bulwarks. One

thing I suggest you do before you begin the planking is to fair in some balsa wood fillers in the bow; makes it

much easier to attach the planks there. I have some photos of how I did it if you're interested.

 

Thank you very much for the compliment and I hope you enjoy your salvage job as much as I did mine!

 

Best Regards,

Gary

 

Of course Gary I would always b e interested photos. 

B

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.

×
×
  • Create New...