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Billings' 'St.Canute'


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As a novice to this hobby I've just bought on e-bay the above model kit.

I assumed that, although not new from a retailer,the kit was complete including the instructions.

Having just started the assembly,it's obvious that the hull planking is going to be much more cerebral than I'd realised

.I have discovered from other websites the basics of the job,but the Billings' paperwork I have contains none of that information.

Apart from the general layout plan the only other paperwork I have is as shown in the attachment.

Can anyone advise me whether I'm some literature short, or is that Billings' normal content?




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I am no expert but have experience of a couple of billings kits and basically you have to build from the plans. I don,t know the age of the kit but in my experience the written instructions are very minimal . Perhaps someone on the site who has built this kit previously could give you some help ??Search the tutorials on site for help with the basics . It,s a great way to learn .

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hello Les......just stumbled across your post.....I love a good treasure hunt!  :)    I looked on the Billing's Danmark site,  and they list it,  but it wasn't there.   however,  I looked on the Billing USA site,  and the instructions are there.   judging from the looks of those instructions,  you probably have the complete instructions that came with the kit.   I have a 1977 catalog,  but the Canute is not listed,  so the kit you have is most likely older than that.   Billing's will,  from time to time,  stop production of a kit,  to retool equipment to make the kit and concentrate on newer kits that are being offered.  an important clue to note here,  is that older Billing kits are not laser cut, and have printed detail on the panel parts...deck, structure parts...etc.   if your kit is like this,  then it's a sure bet,  you've got an oldie ;)

      I started in this medium with an old kit of the Nordkap....clueless of what lay ahead.  being an old kit and not laser cut,  put a daunting spin on things,  but I'm happy to say that I built it,  using 98% of the original wood.   it spent about 20 years in my friend's attic....the wood was almost petrified!  I've built a few other Billing kit since then,  and have gotten quite used to the vague plans that Billing includes in their kits.   yes......they are pretty scant in their direction of assembly.......I sometimes wonder how Billing can group their kits the way they do.   the construction of an advanced beginner's kit,  is really not much different than an expert kit,  in my view,  the only difference is the size and scale.  the St Canute kit looks to be a neat kit........1:50 scale @ 22 inches long.....that's a pretty nice size :).....cripes,  the Nordkap is 1:50 scale,  and it's about 32 inches long.  being a total 'greenie' when I built it......I had a lot of fun...I'm sure you will too!  ;)

      tutorials are nice,  but they don't show any cool techniques.......I would suggest looking in on some of the other folks builds,  perhaps you'll get a few ideas......there are some pretty smart folks here  :)  I notice that the St Canute went by other names.....do a search for them and try to find pictures of the actual ship.......good way to see how the ship was fitted and what colors are where.  if you've started a build log.......I'll find it......looks like a really neat build.  above all........have fun,  and enjoy the experience.  I hope you asked Santa for tools and supplies!

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Thanks for your detailed searching on my account.
It looks like I'm not going to find any more Billings' official instructions then.
A little bit of background before accepting your offer.
I'm a retired Master Mariner (with many pleasant 1950s/60s memories of Godzone!) who enjoys working with his hands.All the items in the profile pic are self made  -  apart from the Liverpool Judy of course!
A couple of years ago,having picked up chilblains working in the outside shed & garage, I chose a project that I could work on in the warmth indoors in the wintertime :viz. a ship model.
I'd no previous experience at all in this kind of venture and naievely assumed that it would be relatively simple.
Now,a few of the points that you can perhaps help me with.
I've started on the stbd side.glued on the 'bulkheads' & the first three top strakes forming the bulwarks to give the bulkheads some rigidity.I've also glued in some additional intercostal pieces of spare wood between the bulkheads on the keel section so that the hull planking to keel joint will have better glued area.
I understand about dividing the hull into four(?) horizontal sections with guiding strakes (or thread).Then reducing (in most cases) the width of the planks from midship section towards the bow so that they have a more or less uniform width when meeting the keel/stempost.The stern profile I've yet to suss out.
I've included a couple of attachments to illustrate.You can doubtless see that it is my first attempt.
I think I also understand the principle of the garboard strake,which is where I believe I should start next.Also, I am expecting to add a few 'stealers' in the stern section.
To start my queries,a few practical tips please.
I don't know what the timber is that is used for the planks but it isn't very pliable, especially considering the tight bends that are going to be needed in the stern area, & is prone to splitting.
Do you steam the planks or immerse them in hot water to obtain the required bends?Or do you use other methods?
Do you position the planks on the model whilst they're wet & leave them until they've dried out, or glue them while still wet?Aliphatic glue.
Do you pin the planks in place at one end whilst ascertaining the required profile at the opposite end?Pinning them close to their ends where they meet the keel/stempost seems to leave them very vulnerable to splitting.
Should each plank be placed in position and the glue properly set before starting on the next one?
That should do for starters -  I hope I can come back to you with more queries if you haven't already regretted offering your help,
Best regards
Les (on a reasonably mild, bright & sunny Xmas day in Liverpool)



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looks like you have thing well in hand  ;)   all of those methods you mentioned can be done,  and have been done by  other modelers here on the site.   just choose the one that suits you best and go for it  :)  I like to soak my planks in really hot water for a short time,  them wrap them in wet paper towel until I'm ready to use them.  after they set a bit longer,  I set them up on a make shift bending board.......just a pine board with pre drilled holes,  that I can insert plastic or wood dowels in {don't use metal}.  I can bend them to any degree I need them to be,  bow and stern.   I've even 'cut out the middle man'  and planked while they are still damp.   I find that the glue I use {white glue or carpenter's glue} seeps into the wood better and creates better adhesion.


faring the frame is important to get the proper shape and contour of the hull.   without this,  the planking will not sit flush to the rib,  and cause the planks to buckle and create visible lines,  that are sometimes hard to sand out.   these split hull kits are harder to do,  with the sense of getting both sides to be equal in shaping......not to mention,  removing the screws that secure the frame to the board.  I had one........I cemented both sides together,  installed the deck platforms in place,  and then fared the frame as a whole.


looks like your doing quite well to me........careful planning will yield a good outcome.   take your time......no need to rush. 

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Thanks for the reply,but I have that sheet.

What I was hoping to find was an illustration of how the hull planking meets the bow frame/keel/stern frame.

I don't suppose you took any photographs during the construction which would illustrate that point?


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Les, sorry, but I have no construction photos - I build the hull in the early 1990's.

I do remember running the first top 5 or 6 planks parallel to the bulwark, then one or two planks parallel to the keel line and then filling in the rest in - not strictly in a shipshape way, but more just to cover the hull.

The final skin was achieved with car body filler and sanding till perfect.


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