Jump to content

Fantasy Dutchman "Tulpijn" by Farbror Fartyg - inspired by large 17th century ships

Recommended Posts

*** EDIT ***

Shouts of joy as I reveal that I've found the pics from this build.

Reconstruction is now possible.

*** /EDIT ***


Hello and welcome to my first build log.


It will be a somewhat unusual one.



I started this project during the rainy summer of last year, to have something to do while the rain was turning the lawn into something resembling a WW1 trench system.


It's a toy ship with a 17th century-ish feel to it. 

I'm calling it a toy ship due to the fact that it's meant to actually set sail - it will patrol a nearby pond.

I like my ships being able to float. Somehow it just feels a bit perverse to build a ship that can't actually survive contact with water ...  :D


What lucky kid will get to sail her, I hear you ask? Why, me, of course.



The main thing that will make this log a bit unusual is the fact that I'm buliding her at our summer place, and I'm only there for a few weeks during the summer. Therefore, anyone following this will have a long wait ahead for the next update. Aplogies for that.


Well, here goes.



Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites

She started her life as a solid Birch log that I split in half and whittled down to the basic hull shape. Then I sanded it with progressively finer sandpaper.

I then cut a piece of wood, birch again, into stern castle shape and attached it.

Then I tested her bouyancy, with disatrous results.


Mistake number one - the wood was too dense. She floated allright, but freeboard was virtually non existent.

At this point I thought about giving the whole toy ship idea up, and just make her into a display piece.

I didn't, however.

Instead I took hammer and chisel in hand, said hello to my two new friends Mr. Boring and Mr. Time-Consuming, and started to hollow out the hull.



Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites

Planking: the planks are all made from sticks (various wood - pine, fir, birch ...) that were split and whittled/sanded into thin, curving strips. The hull is just a flat plane on a rounded bottom, so the sheer of the ship will have to be represented by separate curving planks.


I won't plank the whole hull. 


Since the model will come into contact with water, I decided to use brass nails. The nails are the only thing I've bought for the project so far. The challenge of this project is to use tools and materials availabe at the summer house, to the greatest extent possible.

(Yes, the nails completely out of scale, I know. The heads would be the size of footballs to a miniature sailor on my ship ...)


Since weight reduction is important, I clipped the nails in half, and used pre-drilled holes to attach the planks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, S.Coleman.

We'll see ... about the floating bit!  We might end up with the whole Vasa thing all over again.


Having hollowed out the hull from the back, I was left with a big, gaping hole in the stern. I cut a groove following the curve of the stern and made a flat "lid" to fit the hole.

I have always imagined the stern as being the "face" of a ship - with the gunports as eyes, and the rudder as the nose. Since my little shipster will go bathing, having gonports that are actual holes in the hull would complicate things. But she needed eyes, I felt. I therefore decided to do the gunports as little square depressions, not going all the way through the hull, into which I could glue a fake lid.


I made a gunport template to ensure that all of 'em will be the same size.


Another challenge for the stern is the fact that it has to be watertight. I used a paste made from saw dust and water resistant wood glue to glue the lower stern "lid" into place. I'm hoping that the paste, varnish and paint will keep the water out. Fingers crossed.






Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Daniel!


Keel and cutwater:

On the bottom of the hull, from stem to stern, I cut a groove into which the parts making up the keel could be slotted.

The keel consists of two pieces and a "false keel" to give the whole thing a bit more structural integrity. I used nails, as well as glue, to fasten the false keel as the metal will add a bit of extra weight where it's actually needed - in the bottom of the ship - as a bit of extra "ballast".

Might not make a whole lot of difference, but the theory behind it is sound, I guess.


The cutwater was attached the same way the keel was - groove and glue. 



Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cargo hatch:

If you have a hollow hull, you simply can't deny anyone admiring the model the thrill of peering down into it. On a more practical note, I also needed a way to add ballast.

Enter removable cargo hatch (pun sort of intended). 


I made a frame out of four strips of wood. Into the underside of the frame I cut slots, and into those slots went tiny, tiny sticks from the garden. I then cut six very thin strips of wood and cut slots matching the spacing of the tiny, tiny sticks into them. Some trimming and glueing later I had me a nice grid hatch.



Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites


The really fun bit! 

This stuff was pretty straight forward - just shape a shapely piece of wood and then carve away.


If the lion sculptures adorning the beakheads of the 17th century war ships symbolized might, I'm not really sure what my fat cat symbolizes ... hmm ... comfiness, perhaps.







Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites


I wanted a movable rudder - my ship's GI Joe Kung-Fu grip, if you will.


Had to do a spot of blacksmithing for this one. 

To make the hinges, I took two hammers, put one on my lap to act as the "anvil", I placed som iron wire on it, and then pounded the wire flat with the other hammer. Some fiddly bending and twisting later I had hinges for my rudder.

The pins are just that - sewing pins cut off just below the head.


Before I introduce the whole contraption to Mr. Glue, I'm going to tighten the hinges and make things look a bit neater. But that's something for next summer.






Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 10 months later...

Welcome back to another episode of "Sub-Standard Tools, Strange Woods and Enthusiasm"!

A year has gone and I'm back at the old summer place again.

Yes, once again it's toy ship time.

Added a bunch of stuff - capstan, forecastle deck and grid hatch, and doors.

I don't reckon anyone's following this build log to be dazzled by the brilliant craftmanship, so I'll leave it up to you to imagine how it all was made.




Link to post
Share on other sites


Good to be back.


Yep, the Vasa is an obvious choice. It's the real thing after all!

For the quarter galleries my main source of inspiration comes from the Batavia replica, however.

They're quite similar, but the ones on the Vasa are grander.


I haven't done any research in the usual sense for this project.

I just wanted to build a ship, so I started.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you've read this build log from the beginning, you know that I want this baby to actually float. 


Last year I spent much of the summer hollowing out the hull and much of the sterncastle, but even so weight is something that has kept worrying me.


Yesterday I decided that the stern was still too heavy, so I made a hole in the quarter deck and removed some more wood.. 




This necessitated the making of a new hatch, to cover the mess:


post-5830-0-10203500-1404134943_thumb.jpg post-5830-0-74342200-1404134992_thumb.jpg 




Today curiosity got the best of me, and I conducted a little buoyancy test.

That I, naturally, forgot to take pics of.


I taped a half a plastic bag tightly around her hull (no varnish yet) and put her into a bucket of water.

And waddayaknow! She actually sits beautifully in the water.

When the rigging comes on, I think the water line will be just about where I want it to be.

Still a bit aft heavy, but I think some ballast in the bow will fix that.


All that hacking away with hammer and chisel seems to have paid off. Nice.

Edited by Farbror Fartyg
Link to post
Share on other sites

No, but I can still add things like that quite easily - the main hatch is large enough to allow work inside the hull.


The bottom of the "hold" is full of pits and grooves left over from the drilling and chiselling.

I plan to use those to place small lead weights, or somesuch, in. When I find a placement that feels OK' I'll finalise. 


That's the plan.

Suggestions are always welcome.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

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...