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Frame shape transition-Problems with Model Shipways kit frames.


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What I would like to know is which kit maker has frames that you do not have to correct the shapes when trying to get a smooth curve or shape to the hull?


With the Model Shipways kits that I am building the Armed Virginia Sloop when you line up the frames level on the deck surface,the bearding line of the frames look like a mountain range-up and down along with the curvature of the frames looking like the frames are out of order.


Is this a condition with the older Model Shipways kits?


I then put some of the frames out of order,switching them around,which did not make the mismatches any better. So it's back to cutting down the high spots and adding to the low areas. After building planes for the last 54 years I guess that I have been spoiled with smooth frame shape transitions.


So much for Cad.


I have yet to start on my Caldercraft Mary Rose and my Euro Models Schooner Lyde.


As a Tool and Diemaker,its not a great task to deal with this problem,just takes some of the enjoyment out of the build and puts it into how do I use my skills to correct the frame transitions.


Thanks Keith

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Any Model Shipways kit should have the pieces properly cut so you can get them to line up with no problem. If the pieces are cut incorrectly, it is a manufacturing error which will happened from time to time in mass producing a kit.


If you happened to get a badly cut kit, you need to contact Model Expo by email and phone to see about getting replacement parts. They back their kits so that if you need replacements for any reason, they will send them at no cost. Since this is a Model Shipways kit, there should be no problem getting a new set of bulkheads. Send them an email request and then back that up with a phone call a day or so later. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.


Are you certain that you have the frames mounted in their proper order. It may sound silly, but it is good to check and make sure.



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Yes I am sure that they are in the right order. They are marked by the laser with the letter,and I also marked the keel with the coresponding letter.

That was my first thought about the wrong order.


I have a line up jig that I use that I check with a dial calipers along with dial indicators so that each frame is centered to the keel. I have them within .005 of exact center. And they are set for height to be even across from each other,with the center being even with the keel at the deck level.


The most important being the deck level and the frame being centered to the keel CL.


I then start out with the first and last frame being glued straight and true to the keel. And work from there.


After setting all of the frames,thats when I find out where I need to remove material from the high frames and add material to the low areas.Thats what I have done over the last couple of hours since I last posted. Ther were three high frames- F,I and K. The low frames at the bearding line are F,G and H on the starboard side. And I also have had to add material to the inside of frames F and I in the bulwark area. This shows that these frames are consistant with being too wide from the start. About .030-.040 on each side.


No problem,just wanted to get some feedback as to how others have found these and other kit frames,and what the standard for the industry is for ship kits.


I find that the laser cut parts being that their sides are not straight,take a lot of hand work to get them to line up,which I enjoy doing. Along with making the frames line up to the keel. After years of lining up large progressive die's it's a nice challange dealing with parts that are not perfectly square. And I realy love to work with wood that can be seen after you finish the model. With the vintage gliders and other planes that I have been building and the plastic models,it's great to see the wood and work that goes into it.




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If you still need assistance, post us a couple of pictures... one from the side and one from either the stern or the bow looking low to see the deckline.  Maybe one side from an angle also.


By all means, open a build log so we can follow along and see what's happening.  :)   You'll soon find out that a log is best tool to have in the toolbox.

"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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My personal experience is that every kit I've made required some adjustments to the bulkheads/frames. I always now check for symmetry and clean flow.

Current builds: Santa Maria (multi-kit bash), Constellation (AL)

Past builds: Beagle, Thermopylae (restoration), Blue Shadow, Wappen von Hamburg, Half Moon, America, Golden Hind

Ships in bottles (some): Marco Polo, viking ship, Prince

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