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Deja Vu all over again....to copper or not to copper


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Let's get this discussed again. I, personally, don't like the looks of a copper hull on a model (although Blue Ensign's Pickle caught my eye). Also, I love the look of wood on the hull. I realize by not coppering you are losing some authenticity.

 

What say you mates?

 

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I really like the looks of a wood all over ship.  At the same time I am trying to be as authentic as possible while building  and to accomplish that some hulls have to be coppered to reflect the real ship.  So I guess the way to solve the dilemma is if you want a completely wooden ship, and be authentic too, build one from that era.

 

Having said that, there is (was) a model shown here before of the Constitution not coppered, an it was beautiful ;o)

 

As has been said many times here, "it's your ship, build it the way yo want to".

 

Tom

Edited by twintrow
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I had the good fortune to visit the New York Yacht Club a few months back.  The models there are spectacular and nary a one has a copper bottom using plate.  Those that are coppered are painted and looked great.   For warships copper bottoms do look more realistic, but for the dozens of racing yachts, mostly America's Cup winners and challengers, I like the look of the simulated bottom cover.  I tried this recently and am pleased with the look on a the yacht Thistle and now on the Fredonia fishing schooner Lettie G. Howard,( pics attached on the Lettie.)

 

Allan

 

 

post-42-0-47468900-1362313121.jpg

post-42-0-24598900-1362313138.jpg

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I think it depends on the goal you are striving for (and yes I think everyone should try it at least once). If you are striving for an accurate replica of the vessel as it appeared at a specific time, and at that time it was coppered, then for the sake of accuracy it should be coppered. If, however, you are showcasing your abilities as a master planker (or whatever), then the option presents itself of foregoing the copper. But the most important caveat is simple: it's your build, do it as you see fit.

 

Andy

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Hi Guys,

 

I agree with Andy's sentiments.

 

I used Zap-a-Gap to anchor my plates on my Aggy (see Avatar). What helped me greatly was that I noticed that if the bottle was lying on it's side, a small bead of glue would form at the tip of the nozzle. The development of this bead coincided very nicely with the rate that I could lift the plate in my tweezers, touch the reverse side of the plate on the nozzle and transfer it to the hull and press to secure. Once this operation was completed, sufficient adhesive had collected for immediate repetition of the cycle. Of course my system was slowed when I reached the gore lines and the boot topping and the plates needed to be "spiled" but the tedious work had been avoided. My kit came with 3000 plates and I had a reasonable number left over (perhaps some 200). Not a single plate came detached, then or since.

 

Richard

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This is one of those subjects with a very wide spectrum of varying opinions/preferences, but as the others have said, it all depends on what you prefer in your build.

 

 

If you still haven't made up your mind on what you prefer, then perhaps these three contemporary models (HMS Diana, HMS Minerva, and HMS Atalanta) can help you decide:

 

d4059_3.jpg

 

 

f9204-002.jpg

 

 

 

d4085_3.jpg

 

 

Oh, by the may, I think it's pretty obvious from these what type of hull I prefer, and if these are authentic enough for the National Maritime Museum and the Navy Board, then they are authentic enough for me   ;)

 

I do plan to do a copper plated ship, one of these days to gain the experience, but I will probably limit it the smallest ship I could find with less than 500 plates :D

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Of the three models I have built now - all CC only one has a coppered bottom, but in all honesty its doesnt worry me but I must say I really enjoyed the coppering stage of the build in my HMS Snake, if the model comes with it so be it, I'll put it on.

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I am just letting my Snake coppering tarnish slowly naturally, I have no intention of polishing the the copper. I cleaned it carefully when completed with a fine wire wool and a quick wipe with acetone just to ensure no fingerprints remained which would tarnish at a differing rate. Metal polish will leave residue typically a white powder in the joints that I have avoided.

Edited by normanh
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I have almost completed coppering my Phantom.  I like the look especially if viewed with the "5-foot" rule in mind, and will do so on any future models that call for it.  However, I do reserve the right to change my mind if the plans call for 1/4" X 1/8" plates.  Man those are small!

 

Jack

Edited by TexasJackTar
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If a kit comes with copper plates than I would and have coppered the hull. To me coppering the hull is no different from planking. I also feel that there is no substitute for the plated hull look. With that said the above models of the Diana, Minerva and Atalanta are  simply maganificent but they are builders models which I do not think were coppered. However if I were building a model of the Connie or Cutty Sark or any other model that I knew had a coppered hull I would copper it.

 

Mort

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  • 4 weeks later...

a poorly coppered hull looks worse than a poorly planked hull, must be the scale thing, and not being able to touch up with a bit of filler.But like all my modeling skills practise makes perfect (well a little bit better in my case), i like to see a coppered hull

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  • 1 month later...

I was going to start a thread about this subject but lo and behold... search saves the day.

 

I suppose I am pretty far from worrying about this but my lustful heart is looking toward the next build, the HMS Diana from Caldercraft. Designed with a coppered hull and that gave me pause. Do I need to copper to do the ship justice? Will it pale because it's not authentic or was it coppered by Caldercraft and not in its real life? Can I cover good wood with copper plates? The wood worker in me says how can you???

 

It is true... my boat, my decisions ... but still I wondered... could I spend that $$ and not follow along with the design... until I saw rdsaplala's post in this thread... the natural wood shines through and it was a good enough example for me.

Now I can start saving the money and try not to think about that wonderful day when a brownish truck stops by and ... :blush:

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Hey Randy,

I think if you're not coppering - you might want to consider replacing the kit provided wood with some better quality wood (such as Cherry, Boxwood or Pear).  The beauty of those models is a large part due to the hardwood used and the finish applied - in my opinion. 

 

Good luck with your build,

Chris

Edited by ChrisLBren
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I don't have a lot of experience here as I am working my second model. Both models are painted and coppered which can cover a lot of flaws but I find I am more attracted to models that try to be histroical accurate as to those that are a piece of fine furniture. I do appreciate any person in any craft that can make wood tell a story so I do enjoy a ship that has finely crafted and well  finished wood. My next ship La Couronne will be done mainly to display the wood, minimal paint to see if I can do a good job. In the end I think it is a just matter of personal preference.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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