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1800 non-gun ship POF kit


ToddM
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I am looking for POF kits of merchant vessels built in the 1800's. I would like the finished model to be 40 to 70 inches long. I have looked at many sites but am having difficulty finding any. Is there such a thing?

 

 

Todd

 

 

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The only kits that might fit your bill would be plank on bulkhead style clipper ship kits. There are plenty of those around that would be in the 3-4 ft size. As for plank on frame kits, I seriously doubt there is anything like what you want. You would be better off using a set of contemporary plans and scratch building.

 

Russ

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I came across the Astrolabe model kit on the Mantua Model UK Ltd site that seemed to fit a few of my needs (length, POF, era, etc.) and the price was good at about $350USD. However the description was not clear if the frames came precut. If they didn't then the price was not so great. I sent them an email and the following was the exchange;

 

Me: "Just to confirm, is this a plank on frame kit and if so are the frames included and precut?"

Mantua Model UK: "This kit is single planked and you have to cut them to length while fitting them."

Me:"Yes, I understand that I need to cut and fit the planks onto the frame. I am asking if the frames that the planks are attached to are precut or would I have to build them. Thank-you for your help."

Mantua Model UK:"All mantua kits are laser-cut so all formers are cut."

 

"formers" is that a proper term? Am I using the wrong term? After their response stating I have to cut the planks, I think either I am using the wrong term or the person responding does not know what they are talking about. I admit I have only built 2 models but I never came across the term formers.

 

ToddM

Edited by ToddM
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The term formers includes both the longitudinal profile piece, sometimes referred to as a false keel, an the transverse bulkheads. The kit you are describing is not a POF kit, but rather a plank-on-bulkhead kit. POF mimics actual ship construction; POB uses a smaller number of pieces to get the hull shape and is the method most often used in kits. If POB is indeed what you are looking for, then that opens up more possibilities for you.

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Thanks Chris. I do know the difference between POB and POF I just referred to the ribs of the frame as "frames" which definitely is a correct term. I just never heard of the term "formers" before. I am looking for a POF kit and the Mantua Model UK gives this description;

 

"Astrolabe 733 Scale 1:50 Length 1100mm. This is a fine reproduction of a typical French sloop. A plank on frame construction the kit contains: Building plans with general details, English instructions, lost wax brass castings walnut or lime wood planking, wooden masts and spars, brass and walnut fittings, laser etched details,rigging cord, sail canvas and silk flag. All sheet plywood sections are laser cut for accuracy."

 

Probably not going to go with this kit but this raises a question in my mind. If POB kits have the bulkheads laser cut from plywood does POF kits that supply precut frames or ribs also cut them out of plywood or out of solid wood or can it be either and something I have to look for before buying?

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A plank on frame kit would have the pieces of each frame laser cut out of hardwood not plywood. You would have to then assemble each frame, building it up from its constituent laser cut pieces. 

 

Once again, there are no other POF kits out there except for the Lumberyard kit previously mentioned that w0uld fit your criteria. Everything else will be POB.

 

Russ

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Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for some manufacturers to describe a kit as POF when it is actually POB, as is the case with the Mantua Astrolabe kit. Like Russ, I don't know of any POF kits for merchantmen other than Alvin Clark. Kit designers will tell you there just isn't enough demand for such a kit, although it would certainly be a welcome choice for kit builders.

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Thanks Russ. I appreciate the information and I realize now that I am spinning my wheels, but in researching I am also learning.

 

I really want to do a POF, but to be able to build the type of vessel at the size I want to have on display means scratch built from plans only and I think I may be asking for trouble with my limited experience. I think I will still do a POF but from a kit that provides everything and I will then gain the experience to do a scratch build from plans (I hope).

 

Thanks again

 

ToddM

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Thanks Dave, Don, Brian. this is just the info I was hoping to get. Glad I joined up today. I just pulled out a book I have had for some time, "Ship Modeling from Scratch" by Edwin Leaf to get me thinking about trying from scratch.

 

ToddM

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It sounds to me like you are new to ship modeling and if this is the case, I would opt for a simpler model like a smaller plank on bulkhead kit. Plank on frame kits are rare if they actually include the frames being cut out for you. That is something that you will have to do yourself and is as close to scratch building as you can get. Now plank on bulkhead kits have the keel and bulkheads cut out for you. 

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