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Dapper Tom, model shipways solid hull


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Try a quick search on this sub-forum using the words 'solid' and 'hull'  (without the quotes).  I got 15 hits and many have discussions about this.  Also check out the kit build log area and try the same search.  There's several builds going on using solid hulls.


Not sure what kind of advice you seek and since I've not built a solid hull I'm less then no help on them. 

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Hello, dunolde.  Check out the Phantom logs (there are several) - they are a similar Model Shipways solid hull. Skerryamp, gulfmedic and flounderfilet (among several others) have some pretty good logs around the hull carving and shaping.  Craigb has a very nice tutorial style for his build.  There are also several other solid hull models being built.  As Mark suggested, a specific question would be helpful!


Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.

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I have no experience with solid hulls but I'll say this...... you have picked a very nice vessel.


Have a great maiden voyage.  Start a build log and you'll find you can get all of your questions answered.



Current Build: US Frigate Confederacy - MS 1:64


Previous Builds :


US Brig Syren (MS) - 2013 (see Completed Ship Gallery)

Greek Tug Ulises (OcCre) - 2009 (see Completed Ship Gallery)

Victory Cross Section (Corel) - 1988

Essex (MS) 1/8"- 1976

Cutty Sark (Revell 1:96) - 1956

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I built the Dapper Tom kit a few years ago. Here is a pic of the final result:




It was the third solid hull ME model I built - the Phantom and Sultana were the first two. Since these were the first three models I ever built, I didn't have a good appreciation of solid hull vs. Planked hulls, although I did add planks to both the Sultana and Dapper Tom above the water line.I was very pleased with the kits and since building a few plank on bulkhead kits, I think the amount of work is less for the solid hulls, but getting the correct hull shapes was harder for me with the solid hulls. Once I had the approximate shape in both types, then I think getting the final smooth hull was more work with the POB hulls, mostly because of my bad planking techniques.


BTW, I loved the look of the Dapper Tom as soon as I saw a picture of it and it was what got me into this hobby.


I think you will have a great time with it and you will be proud of the result.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone and thanks for the replies and encouragement.  I've really only just begun and am frankly surprised (concerned,  worried) at the amount of wood that needs to be removed from the hull to get it fit the hull profile and the station markers.  I glued the station markers onto manilla folder card board so they would be sturdier than just using the heavy paper they were printed on.  The hull profile I glued onto 1/4 inch foam board and all my cutting was slow and meticulous but,  again,  it seems like an awful lot of material needs to be removed,  which makes me wonder if I'm doing things right even at this most beginning stage.  Is it usual?




(I can provide pics if necessary)

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Hi Dunolde:


I've built a few solid hull kits - Phantom, Sultana & Kate Cory. I wanted to build the Dapper Tom, but it looks like ME have discontinued the kit!!


Anyway, I think it is quite normal to have to remove quite a bit of wood from the hull I recall from the Sultana that the profile in particular was quite a bit longer than the templates - I had to remove about 3/16 of the length of the hull off the stern, while also being careful to maintain the shape - a tricky business. As for the the stations, the amount of wood to be removed varied from station to station (and from model to model) - and I imagine it would vary from kit to kit. From my understanding, the fabrication of the hull that you get in the kit is not standardised, so there will be minor differences in the hulls in each production run. 


Anyway, if you have a dremmel, you can use the sanding drum - I know I did! Just be careful to mark the area you need to sand down. Anyway, the Dapper Tom does look like a beautiful vessel and it'll turn out to be a nice looking model for you I'm sure


current builds: MS Brig Syren (languishing); Bluenose fishing schooner (1921) (scratch)Corel HMS Bellona (1780)
previous builds: MS Phantom (now destroyed); MS Sultana (1767); Corel Brittany Sloop (decommissioned, 2022); MS Kate Cory; MS Armed Virginia Sloop (in need of a refit); Corel Flattie; Mamoli Gretel; Amati Bluenose (1921) (in need of a refit); AL San Francisco (savaged by cats); Corel Toulonnaise (1823); 
MS Glad Tidings (1937) (in need of a refit)HMS Blandford (1719) from Corel HMS GreyhoundFair Rosamund (1832) from OcCre Dos Amigos (missing in action); Amati Hannah (ship in a bottle); Mamoli America (1851)
under the bench: Admiralty Echo cross-section; MS Emma C Barry; MS USS Constitution; MS Flying Fish; Corel Berlin; a wood supplier Colonial Schooner Hannah; Victory Models H.M.S. Fly; CAF Models HMS Granado

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Yes, Dunolde, There was a lot of material to remove. I did get a bit carried away however, and had to add some back with wood filler, mostly in the area under the last two gunports. I am still not sure how I did that, except that I didn't use heavier stock for the templates. I do remember being uncertain where the templates aligned at the deck level. I believe I had them too high. Good luck with this step, I am sure you will do fine. Just take it slowly and keep checking the fit.

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  • 3 years later...

I built Dapper Tom as my fourth solid hull model (Eastport Pinky, Fannie Gorham, We're Here). All previous kits were Blue Jacket. The last kit hull blank was so bad (the bow-stern centerline at the deck was skewed out of line with the keel centerline so badly that you could never match the lines on the plans) that I swore off solid hull kits. But then I purchased on eBay a vintage (1950's or early 60's) partly finished kit of Dapper Tom. The hull was pine, and the shape matched the templates very closely; hats off to that unknown modeler. The instructions in the old kit were on one sheet of paper so I bought the Modelexpo plans and downloaded the instructions. 

I have enjoyed this model so much I've bought the newest modelexpo Dapper Tom kit. 

Here's the thing:  except for the extreme sections at bow and stern, the rough hull blank in this new kit is close enough that light sanding will make it acceptable. Now, nobody is going to see my model in a museum, so the lines just need to be pleasing enough for the case in my study. 

Here are pics of the near completed kit. I chose to put sails on her.  Also, since she really never existed, I chose to rename her Quoddy Bay in homage to the privateers that sailed out of Eastport around 1813. 





"If they suspect me of intelligence, I am sure it will soon blow over, ha, ha, ha!"

-- Jack Aubrey



Yankee Hero, Fannie Gorham, We’re Here, Dapper Tom (x3), New Bedford Whaler, US Brig Lawrence (Niagara), Wyoming (half hull), Fra Berlanga (half hull), Gokstad Viking Ship, Kate Cory, Charles Morgan, Gjoa

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