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Pride of Baltimore II by AndyMech - Model Shipways - 1:64

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This is the start of my build log for the Model Shipways kit Pride Of Baltimore II.


A little history before getting into the details.  I finished my last kit, the Mamoli USS Constitution cross section right at the beginning of the year.  After that ship, my first wood model, I wanted to do a complete, planked, hulled ship and the Pride of Baltimore fit the bill nicely.  A larger scale than my previous efforts (1:64 vs 1:96), plank-on-bulkhead, but not quite as large or complex as a full wood Constitution or Syren.  As I've mentioned before, I have a Syren waiting in the wings as my next build, so the Pride of Baltimore is a very nice transition model.


For anyone who's followed my previous ships, I do slow, but hopefully steady work.  I try to get a few hours in each weekend day and not let it sit for months at a time.  So, I'll typically update the log late on a Sunday.


The other thing I hope to accomplish with this log is getting answers to questions as I go along.  I've not done a plank-on-bulkhead model before, and while I've read a bunch of logs on the site here, doing one myself will undoubtedly be a different experience.  I'm already leery of planking, for example.  (Which is probably not unique)


Anyway, on to the build:


First, the latest Model Shipways kit does NOT have the keel in 2 pieces - it's a single formed piece and mine was perfectly flat and true (Yay!)


Here, I've cut the rabbett as best I could using a #11 blade and sandpaper:




Next, the keel is attached in a few pieces:




After that, the bulkheads were added.  Now, my bulkheads were all too thick to fit in the slots - the bulkheads were 3/16" thick, and the slots were about 5/32" wide.  So, I had to sand each bulkhead at the center so they would slid into the slots.  I used clamps and Legos to get a square fitting, as well as measuring the distance between bulkheads once the center bulkhead was glued.








This shows all the bulkheads glued in place.  I also added some side supports for the mast slots.




My next step is to fair (bevel) all the bulkheads.  I did not do this prior to gluing (perhaps I should have?), so I expect this to be time consuming.


Any advice on proper fairing techniques would be appreciated.



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I have this kit on the shelf, so I'm happy to see someone else starting on it and will be following along.


For fairing, I'd suggest adding bulkhead reinforcement so that there is less chance of breaking a bulkhead, but I'm sort of hamfisted, so you may be fine without that if you have a lighter touch.


You can see the sort of reinforcement I'm talking about in my AVS lod, there is an index in the first post. I'm on my phone or I'd just give you a link.


There are some great guides on fairing as part of some of the planting tutorials which you can find in a sticky post at the top of the planking subforum.


Good luck!

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Nice to see you back in the fray.  You've picked a handsome vessel for your first POB.  And congrats on getting a flat bulkhead former !!!


Brian's suggestion to reinforce the bulkheads is a good one --- providing that reinforcement doesn't interfere with anything down the road.  Check your plans and instructions to see what happens later in the build.  Some kits use wooden blocks between the bulkheads.  You might check the other Pride logs to see what's been done.  Before you reinforce anything, take the time to triple check that your bulkheads are all square to the former and also level when sighting down the deck.


Fairing takes patience but establishes and important foundation for your planking.  You can use one of the planks to check the 'run' of the planking along the bulkheads.  It should be smooth and the taper you'll be sanding in allows for that smooth run without the plank being twisted into position.  Check all up and down the hull as you go, working slowly.  It takes some 'feel' and a good eye, but you'll get it.


Looking GREAT so far!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone for the advice.  I missed an update last week, as other things have gotten in the way, and all I seem to have done on the ship is sand, sand, sand.


I faired the bulkheads as best I can, and I'll treat it still as a work in progress, but they seem to look pretty good, using the wood strip as a guide.  I didn't see the need to put in filler blocks everywhere as the bulkheads were pretty stable and I could sand them easily without breaking.


I also created two stern filler blocks, as per the instructions.  These I found to be quite difficult to form - a complex 3-D shape.  They are made from blocks of 1x1 1/2 basswood, included in the kit.  I traced the template from the plans on them, and started carving and sanding.  


From the photos below, you might tell I did the starboard one first, followed by the port one.  They both have their flaws, but I think I can make them work.  I might need to add wood filler later perhaps, but since I can't quite visualize the run of the planking on them, I going to keep them in place and modify them as needed as planking continues.








The next step, according to the instructions, is to add the stanchions to these filler blocks and then the waterways.  I don't think putting free-standing stanchions on right now is a great idea since I'll likely knock them off during planking, etc.  So, I plan to place the first plank, then the waterways, then the wales.  At that point, I should be ready to do the hull planking and after that I can work above deck on the stanchions, etc.  This is essentially the order in the Bob Hunt practicum, of which I just have the sample chapter 1.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The next part was to add the planksheer, or waterway, on top of this plank and on top of the bulkheads.


I used the binder clips as shown to get a uniform 1/32 overhang on the planksheer over the first strake.  I had to soak and bend the pieces to achieve this.






The stern overhangs a little bit - I dry fitted the knees to place the end of the planksheer:




This meant the bow piece was too short for the two sides to come together properly.  I added a center filler piece and attempted to shape it correctly.  Since I think the bowsprit will cover this up, I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out.





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I moved forward with getting the wales in.  3 thicker strakes, which taper at the stern to a 1/16th inch.  I've installed the first two, and have prepared the 3rd, but have a question.


Here's some photos of the wales near the stern - the 2nd to last bulkhead, (L) is  highly curved, and the 2nd wales didn't really follow the curve, but sat on top of the first one.  I'm not at all what to do about the 3rd strake:








In the last photo, I placed a piece of wood that same size the 3rd strake up against the bulkhead and you can see the substantial ledge or stair-step it makes with the one below it.


Should the wales be curving against the bulkheads?  If so, then perhaps I made a mistake on the 2nd one?  I suppose I could remove it, but it is edge-glued (not just to the bulkhead), so liable to be destroyed.


Or, do I just sand them all down to the same outside width?



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It usually helps if you can bevel the edges of the planks where they meet in an area like that to get them to sit flat on the bulkhead.  The plank needs not only to bend, but also to twist a bit.  It's also helpful if you soak the plank and then clamp it tightly in position and let it dry prior to final gluing.


Final sanding will, of course, help bring everything in line but you don't want to need to remove so much that you might sand right through a plank.

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Hi Augie, (and anyone else who might be reading)


Yes, that's been my technique when laying the wales planks - I cut them to size, soak in water for a while, then clamp them to the hull in position to let them dry in the shape needed.  After they dry, then I glue and clamp them in place.


Here's a picture I drew of the issue with the wales:




The bulkhead is sloping drastically away from the line of the other 2 that it leaves quite a step, which doesn't seem right.  Beveling it won't push it further out from the bulkhead, it would make the step-effect worse, I think.


To me, it seems like the bulkhead should have had a longer straight run before sloping to the keel to allow room for the 3 wale planks.  But, maybe I was too aggressive when fairing them, so it's probably my fault.


The question is, how to fix it?  Should I either 1) line up the 3rd wales plank with the other 2 and fill in the gap with some shim or 2) lay the 3rd plank against the bulkhead and live with this step effect?


Going with option 2 seems bad, so I'm inclined to do option 1, but I would want to ship the bulkhead before adding the 3rd plank, yes?


Any advice would be most welcome.



Edited by AndyMech
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I'll be darned.  I'm no expert by any means but every time I've done this the wales go on in 2 layers which really minimizes the problem.


Let me shoot you a PM.  Maybe we can get another set of eyes on here.

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Let me see if I can help....


See the attached file....(not to scale).


I've not built this vessel so there is somewhat of a guess here.... If I look at the other logs, the wales (they stand proud of the planking) seem to be single strips.  So I'm assuming this is the first three strakes of planking.


What I've done is overdrawn in red the way the wales (planks) should sit, I believe.  


1) Don't worry about the step on the outside...  that will disappear when you sand.


2) The inside of the plank should sit on the bulkhead with out any space (not always achievable, but we all try anyway).


3) The green arrows show where you need to bevel the planks  Not much there.


4) IF a gap opens up when sanding the exterior, save the sawdust, mix sawdust with a 50/50 solution of white glue (not PVA) and water into a slurry.  Fill the gap and when dry, continue sanding.  Repeat as needed.


There's two ways to do this, sand and bevel what's against the bulkhead or sand and bevel the plank such that it sits flush next to the first one (green arrow area).  I think it's easier to lay the plank on the bulkhead and bevel the edges to fit the previously laid plank.






There's 3 logs you probably should look at...






And also this (there's some good tutorials in there):



I'm attaching the cross-section from my current build.  If you'll notice the inner and outer are roughly parallel but not completely as sanding the exterior changes that shape.  The edges where they touch the next plank are not 90 degrees from the inside or outside of the plank. 




I hope this helps a bit.....


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Mark and Augie,


First, thanks much for spending so much time for me on this - a response like this is what I like best about this forum.


Here's what I hope is a better photo of my issue - it also matches the diagram I created:




The gap there between the bulkhead and the square plank (2nd plank of the wales) is 3/64" or about 1/2 of the plank width itself.




This shows the 3rd wales plank dry-fitted in at close to a 45 degree angle to make it's edge touch to the bulkead.  My thought, at this point, is to bevel that plank dramatically - maybe sand up to half the plank in this section to make it fit.  Mark's diagram pointed out that I should have done that for the 2nd plank when I saw the 3/64" gap, but since I didn't I feel I have to make up for 2 plank's worth on the 3rd one.  Here's my (rough) idea:




Then, sanding the outside, using sawdust+glue if necessary to fill it in will hopefully make it look ok.


Quick question for Mark - you mentioned specifically to NOT use PVA (wood glue) when mixing with sawdust.  I'm curious - what's the reason behind that?


I'm not sure I'll have enough time to do this today, and I'm going out of town for a week, so it may be a while before responding.  I'm not giving up though!



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The PVA usually does not dry clear.  If using the mix, you want the sawdust color to blend.  Now if you're painting the whole hull... nevermind and just use filler and sand until smooth.


It looks like you might be gluing plank to plank as your refence instead of plank to bulkhead.   Hmmmm......

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Hi Andy,


From your pictures, it looks like you may have rounded the trailing edge of the bulkheads as you faired them.  A faired bulkhead should allow a plank placed anywhere along it to make complete contact with the plank and 'flow' into the next bulkhead.  It looks like your bulkhead is 'rounded', and will allow only part of the plank to touch it on the way to the next bulkhead.


This isn't insurmountable, as you can probably make it work that way.  If you do end up deciding that the fairing is just wrong to make the wales and other planks work, you could carefully sand them 'flat', and then shim them back out using basswood strips, and then re-fair them again.  I don't think I'd go down that route unless you just can't make it work the way they are now - obviously that would be your judgement to make. 


I've looked around at other examples of this hull being built, and it does appear that the wales are supposed to both twist and narrow as they approach the stern.  Think of the wales as a single wide plank, and you have to twist them to make the entire plank width to lie flat against the bulkheads.  All three pieces of the wale should lay flat against the bulkhead and making that happen would require the bevel between them as described by Mark.


If you are using wood glue it shouldn't be too difficult to debond the wales using water, and allow you to re-lay them with all the parts lying flat against the bulkheads.

Best of luck whatever route you decide to go with, I'm sure you can make it work, and in the end no matter how you achieve it, much can be done with filler and sanding, especially when paint is going to go over it, which I think is the way the Pride gets finished.

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  • 1 month later...

Wow, it's been over a month since my last post.  The ship has progressed, and I first want to address the issue I was having laying my wale strips on the bulkheads.


Mark the nail on the head when we speculated that I was not following the bulkheads, but the previous planks instead.  That's exactly what I was doing, for some unknown reason.  I guess I assumed the wales stacked on each other like lumber and the bulkheads should have been tall enough to support them.  Most were, but not near the stern.  Hopefully, lesson learned and I won't repeat that mistake when doing the rest of the planking.


Here's the result of my laying the 3rd wale plank:  I beveled it pretty severely and after gluing, sanded it flush with the previous wale planks.  No filler has been added yet, but I might still need to in the future.








As you can see, I've started to mark and line the bulkheads for planking (ignore that - I'll cover that in my next posting).



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Next up was to mark the planking bands on the bulkheads.  The instructions and plans both called for 4 planking bands and the planks had them marked for each bulkhead.


First, I cut strips of stiff paper to the curved length between the wales and keel, labeling each one with the bulkhead letter and a Port or Starboard mark:




Then, curving the paper to the plans, I marked each plank, with a thicker mark for the bands separation.




Next, I placed the marked paper on the appropriate bulkhead and marked the bulkheads with the plank and band markings.  Lastly, I glued (with diluted white glue) black thread to the marking on the bands.










So, a couple of observations.  One, I certainly need to now adjust the thread for a clean run.  I will probably also use a strip of wood to help with this - in order to ensure a nice curve without sudden changes.  You can see some obvious abrupt shifts in the thread that need to fixed.  Without using the thread or some other batten, I don't think it would have been so obvious.


Another observation is that such obvious errors in the thread layout is surprising to me.  I double-checked the plans, and all the measurements are fine and correct, yet the thread lays poorly.  I guess I had hoped the plans would be better than that, or my previous shaping of the bulkheads and wale planks caused some errors.  I will post again with the fixed thread layouts.


Finally, I think  I should NOT have included the internal plank markings - since I have to move the threads a bit, I think I should erase them and re-draw them using the actual distance between the battens and just divide by 6 or 7 depending on which band it is.  That should give me a better, more even distribution of the plank widths on each bulkhead.


Any thoughts or comments or "stop! you're doing it wrong!" are appreciated at this point.  Thanks for reading.



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Glad you have resolved the earlier issue with the wale planks.


On 'lining' the hull, I definitely favor using a wood batten (generally one of the planks) to get the smooth flow and then laying out the pencil marks for the individual bands.  As you've already seen, your planks must lay flat against the faired bulkheads and some may require slight edge tapering to fit snug with the next plank.  You'll also mostlikely be using drop planks and stealers at the stem and stern respectively...these are described in the planking tutorials.  


There IS a bit of an art to hull planking so take your time.  It's a combination of using your eyes, feel and 'listening' to what the wood wants to do.  Set your standards high...as if wood filler doesn't exist.  And treat each plank as a project.  You'll do fine!

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  • 6 months later...

Well.  It's been quite a long time since I've updated my log.  Summer activities and feeling like needing a break in the shipyard, combined with my modelling room being used for other purposes were the main causes.


I re-started the planking in September, deciding to do the keel-most section first, then I plan on doing the section next to that, followed by the top-most section (near the deck), finishing with the middle one.


Here are the results of the keel section:










And Port:








I forced myself to make a mental re-adjustment.  Instead of stressing so much to make everything perfect the first time (and this is my very first planking job), I decided to try the techniques from the planking documents found on the forum and treat all mistakes as just learning experiences instead of something to beat myself up about.


I learned that I'm pretty bad at shaping individual planks and had a difficult time sticking to the tick marks.  A lot of the planks' width was terribly wrong.  I also learned that using the threads to mark off the different sections was super useful.  As I finished up the first section (seen in the photos), I used that thread to get a good line of planks.  If I didn't have that, errors would have compounded more and more as I move up toward the wales.


I've been using transparent tape to transfer some of the contours of the previous strake to the plank-in-progress, but it's not clear on the best way to transfer the tape pencil marks to the wood plank.


If anyone has advice for a non-powertool user on how to best "thin" the planks moving forward, I'm all ears.  Each plank in this next section will need to be tapered at the ends, or flare depending on the position.  My current technique is to mark the width at each bulkhead (using the tick marks) and then "connect the dots" to get the overall plank tapering.  I tried to use a french curve to connect those dots, but the curve is very small and subtle and the french curve doesn't fit it very well.



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Andy - on the tapering/shaping of the planks, here is the process which I used that worked very well for me on the AVS (applies only to my 2nd planking).


I used scale length planks which keeps the size (length) of the planks fairly reasonable to work with.  It appears that you are doing that already.


I would cut a plank to length (actually I just pre-cut a bunch of them all to the same length).


Lay the scale plank in the spot where I would be placing it.  Mark both ends of the plank by using either the tick marks on the bulkheads, or the mating edge of the plank it would butt up against.


Now, take the plank and using a steel straight edge, I would use a #11 X-acto blade (very sharp, replace them often as needed) and cut the taper along the line formed by the straight edge between the two marked points on the ends of the plank.  I would always err on the side of cutting the plank slightly wide at this point.


Next, using a fairly fine sand paper, form a bevel into the edge of the plank that will mate up with the existing planks.  This helps make a nice tight fit even with the curvature of the hull.


Finally, again using the fine sand paper, sand the outer straight edge a little bit at a time until the plank mates properly with the butt of the already place plank on one end, and the tick mark on the other end.  Adjust as needed until it fits right, and don't be afraid to toss out planks that are poor fits or over sanded, etc.  

Be patient and work on each plank as it's own little model to fit into that space as defined by the existing planks and your tick marks.

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