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HM Chatham by Nicholas Carey - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64 - first time builder

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Thanks captain!

So., on an earlier thread I mentioned that I had stupidly sanded the keel, stern post and bow piece to the same thickness as the false keel(@3.6mm), thus taking out the " natural rabbet line". After so many helpfull and kind replies to my challenge, I've decided to proceed as is!

Time will tell if this was a good move.

I had problems pinning the decks- I didn't want to hammer too heavily onto the structure even after driling pilot holes- so- as the pictures show, I made a piece of thick ply to act as a flat section and clamped the rear deck under this after gluing( on one side as the deck curves) then, when the alphatic resin had dried, repeated on the opposite side. The deck is absolutely flat along its length after this- allowing good deck planking.

If anyone has any hints on how to pin ply decks to ply bulkheads, I would be extremely gratefull to hear from you- my method is very caveman like and worked, but I feel my skill set isn't growing!

Edited by Nicholas Carey
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Nicholas, you look to have done just fine as it is, no need to make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Another option is to use clips on each of the bulkead extensions to force the camber of the deck, similarly low tech.  You've got off to a nice solid start.  Not familiar with this specific kit , but the CC instructions are not the most comprehensive, do they tell you to camber the bulkheads before starting planking?  Thats probably the next major step for you.  Looking great!

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Thanks Jason, the encouragement is much needed! Yes you are absolutely correct, I need to chamfer the bulkheads next... However... My flying buddies say to use blue or insulation foam in between the bulkheads to give some strength to the hull planking- I've used it before to make nacelles for a scale Whitney bomber before( my grandfather flew them in the war- he crashed his into Lundy cliffs, poor chap). Easy to sand and strong - anyone any thoughts?

In the meantime whilst waiting for the front deck to dry after being clamped( again- brilliant hint Jason) I made the rear deck skylight- took me a while and then sanded with 2000 grade wet and dry. Not sure about the glazing- cc supply brass frames and sheet Perspex , but I will need to deepen the laser cut frames to fit the brass and Perspex sandwich- going back to aircraft I will use canopy glue in this- dries clear and sticks to everything!!!


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Thanks Geoff!

Next task is to chamfer the bulkheads as described before- I'm not sure as to what to do- however there are some good downloads to print and read from this site. It's a bit daunting- but it's only wood I guess!- can always add more if I goto far- not the most skilled approach but hey ho- will be an experience!

Thanks again team for all the support. This shipbuilding isn't as easy as I thought, but, with this encouragement and some time it will be no problem :-)

I guess my main challenge is the procrastination as it's something new- if it were a tiger moth wing set they would be built and sanded by now... Ships take far more skill and my hat( if I wore one) comes off to you all- exceptional people!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey team

Procrastination rules!

So, I've been having a go at planking. Soaking the limewood for about an hour, then laying on bulkheads and gluing.

It looks awfull. I have not got a smooth flow for the first planking- does it matter, or will filler sort this? I'm not sure if I should strip it all off and start again- was expecting the planks to " flow upwards at the bow" but they don't " feel" right- I have some lumps that I can feel with my fingers- so- all ok I thought- just sand and fill- or do I start again after seeking advice!! Anyone have any hints please?


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To be more eloquent:

The rear of the hull feels and looks ok- around the bow Area- the planks aren't rounded- they seem to want to go flat between the bulkheads giving some sharp changes in direction despite having chamfered the bulkheads. I pulled the last plank I laid off as it really was bad- they are starting to want to give an upwards arc midway through the hull. I had read I should never cut the plNk down to more than halfway, but at the bow end, as you can see, they want to naturally come to the same point- hence the " pointy ones!!"

Having said that. Trial laying second planking is easier, and they feel nice and rounded over the primary- as they have a solid surface to follow( even if som filler and sanding is needed in this surface before second planking) hence my ask- should I just carry on?

To get a good next plank on the right hand side feels as if I need to leave a gap between the last one of @ 3mm, then start again working down- then fill this gap. Really not sure!

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1)  Are you using any filler blocks at the bow?  Those help a lot.

2)  Have you had a chance to read any of the planking tutorials here?  These address some of the issues you are having.


Keep in mind that for the first layer of planking it is far more important to get a properly shaped and faired hull than to get the planking technique perfect.  The second layer will be the one that everyone sees, so technique will be more of an issue at that point.



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Nice update Nicholas, planking is tricky stage.  Its hard to see from the photos so please forgive me if my comments are off base, but couple of things I'd suggest double checking:

  • I wonder if some more fairing may be in order to help prevent the 'flat spots' between frames, sometimes this appears to be quite drastic.  Great idea to use a shaper block at the bow, that should help a lot.
  • The second frame looks like it might need to be built up a bit, or the first frame faired some more.  That may be contributing to the need for the pointed planks, you probably want to try to avoid these where possible.  If you haven't seen it already, I'd suggest checking out the great tutorial here http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/439-planking-tutorials/
  • I suspect that the surface of the 2nd planking should terminate at the joint of the walnut stem (i.e. you shouldn't see any of the walnut ply) - looks like you have a slightly larger gap there

Definitely worth taking time to get the hull shape right at this stage, so don't feel like you need to rush.


Woops - looks like my comment posted at same time as Chris's...

Edited by Beef Wellington
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Jason, Chris

Thanks chaps- sound advice both!

After reading and then having another sift through the planking tutorials, I have decided to strip it completely off and start again.

You both are absolutely correct I think in the fact that the bulkheads need some " filler blocks" between them . Will strip the first layer off and try again!

I'll post some pics when I'm ready to start again- thanks guys!

By the way- my lovely wife has ordered me a set of three tungsten carbide files(from permagrit) and I'm hoping these will help a bit!

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After a visit to Rob( what a brilliant chap!!) at the model dockyard in chatham, despite his kind words and encouragement I came home and stripped the 1st planking off. The formers need a quick sand and ready to start again!

Some advice please!!!

Shall I fair in the formers with balsa all along the hull and sand to shape before starting again?Of course Jason, you are again right- the front former infill wasn't close enough to the walnut bow- I'll make another piece for each side that ends@2mm from this.I feel that fairing all the formers would give me a nice surface to glue too, and I can see the high or low spots and sort them before starting?

What's your thoughts?

Also- shall I cut a rabbet line now for the top planking only ( inside the walnut) or for both sets of planking- or not bother?

You will remember the keel ply is 3.5mm thick- if I do a rabbet line- how deep( again- looking at the tutorials here the rabbet line comes from the formers to the walnut keel. Any ideas welcome!

Right- off into the garage to smooth off the old planking marks!

Cheers team!




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