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Duchess of Kingston - Beauty of the Seas - Wooden Sailing Ship 1/64


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17 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

I'm really impressed with people who can single plank a hull that is plank on bulkhead.  The good news is that you can plank a second layer, so not as many worries how the first planking is turning out.  As long as you take your time filling and sanding to ensure a very smooth hull, the second planking is easier in that you don't have to worry about whether the bulkheads were framed enough or too little.  It also gives you a practice run in determining where the potential lines of planking runs go, where you might need to thin planks, where you might need to use stealers, etc.

Your stern area is coming out well.  In your last picture, there is a sharp bend in the fifth plank which probably means that last bulkhead could have been faired a bit more.  Shouldn't be too much trouble as you can just sand it out.  

Planking at the bow is really tricky - not only is there an upward sweep to the planking runs, but often times you have too many planks crowding into a smaller space, which means you have to narrow them.  When you narrow them, you get all kinds of potential for problems.  Really the most critical thing is to not bend a plank laterally against its width.  When you do, you end up with the clinking effect.  Really try to resist the urge to set the plank against the plank above/below it - just let it lay naturally against the bulkheads, and then using stealers, etc.

You also have what appears to be a couple of low spots between the first and second bulkheads, and possibly between the second and third bulkheads.  But, a little filler and you should be fine.  This is where I'm a big convert to the approach of using filler blocks in this area of the hull, as you can help ensure a smooth curve to the bow and not have the tendency of a straight plank/low section between bulkheads.

What has worked for me is dividing the hull into three planking bands, with the middle of the hull equal to X number of full width planks.  Doing that leaves a much easier space to work within.  Then you take tick strips to measure the planking distance at each bulkhead.  That gives a good idea of where planks may need to start narrowing, and where you might need a stealer plank or two if the planking distance is greater than the area at the belly -- that's usually at the stern, but interestingly from your pictures, it looks like this might not be the case for the DoK.

Every hull is different, but I think measuring the planking distance along bulkheads really helps avoid the natural tendency to want to press the plank against the one you just did, and letting the plank lie naturally is the best.  This is a picture from my Euromodel La Renommee build - this hull is really curvy, but you can see how at the bow, in some cases I had to narrow planks, and some places I had to use stealers - even within a few rows of each other.  It's been a while, but I think I started planking from the top down, then when I had to start modifying planks, I switched to planking from the keel up.  I also used filler blocks which really helped things immensely (second picture below).  I probably won't need much, if any, filler on this hull.  Much different story from my first three hulls!

I can't thank you enough for your extremely valuable input into this build. It's more than I ever hoped for, while starting this WIP. It's a new experience, like guided modelling :D. The best about it, the solutions you present are exactly in the timeframe, when I build the section, perfect for me.

I also cannot understand, how people can get a decent job out of single planking. There are so many things to do at the same time. 

I try to use the first planking as a training for the second decorative planking. When I look for the differences between the better side of planking on my DoK, one obvious difference is the width of the planking in the bow area. All the planks are narrowed by cutting off a wedge of material from between the third and fourth spar forward.
The good side is a bit more regular in width, a thing, I will keep in mind for second planking.
For a better understanding of the geometry of the hull, I measured the distance from the keel to deck level on each spar with a piece of thread. The results show, that for an evenly planking, I need to narrow the planks on the bow to half their full width and approximately to two thirds in the stern area. 

With planking further down to the keel, I found the geometry from the V-shaped bow to the barrel shaped midship harder to maintain and therefore soaked the prepared planks in hot water and pin them on for drying, before I glue them to the spars..

The hull of your Rennomee  seems to be nearly watertight planked, very beautiful work you made there. I try to get away with as few stealers and filling planks as possible for this build, lets see, how this works out.

Cheers Rob

 

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17 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

I should have mentioned that some people edge bend wet planks that they dry to shape with a hair dryer.  Not sure exactly how all that works, but it might be worth looking into for the second planking.  You can also look for planks in your kit that have a slight curve to them laterally, and use that to your advantage when planking.

If you really want to torture yourself, you can always try spiling your planks.  It works really well to avoid gaps, clinks, etc., but is (1) incredibly time consuming, and (2) you need to use wider planking materials to be able to cut the planks to start with.  I was just looking through my Pegasus log and found these extreme examples of what spiling can entail - worth it in the end as you end up with nicer looking plank runs.  Most of the planks weren't this bad though.

Here is one at the bow (in third picture, I believe it's the foremost plank under the wale):

I might try that hairdryer method with the more warped planks, which are now to prepare. 'Unfortunately' the planks are completely perfect with Chris kits, no bends no nothing to take advantage off ;)

As impressive, as I find your planking on the shown hulls, this is not for me, as I fight the material enough the conventional way. But it's good to see, how it could be done. I like to be prepared in case of...

In my case, the first planking will be only the invisible base layer and I plan to paint the hull under the waterline with white color. I will pre select the second planks for consistent color and texture, using the not so perfect ones under water.

Cheers Rob 

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12 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Awesome work and I'm blown away. You and Mike make quite a Team and following both the build and discussion it's an education for sure.

Peter, I can't express, how grateful I am for the help and knowledge shared by Mike. I learn a lot with every post and I couldn't have hoped for more support.

Cheers Rob

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Painting the lower hull white will make the second planking a lot less stressful.  From the pictures, the white stuff comes up very close to the wales so you only have to worry about a few planks being visible.  The great thing is that these planks should be relatively straight runs with little need to taper the planks or add stealers.

For the planking under the white stuff, there are two ways to approach it.  You could plank it and try to make it as perfect as possible to get the experience for when you might want to tackle a hull without white stuff or copper plating.  Or, you could focus on the visible planks, and then not care as much about how the planking looks under the white stuff.  

As an example, here is my Pegasus hull after finishing the second planking.  The lighter color planks are pear wood, which I ended up staining.  The darker planks, which are under the copper line, are the kit walnut planks.  I'm planning on copper plating the lower hull, and didn't want to spend the money on using pear that would just be covered up so I drew the line for the copper line, and then used pear above it.  At the belly of the hull, there aren't many strakes, but you can see how at the bow and especially the stern there are a lot more.  

I show this in case you might think working with shorter planks at the stern will be easier, rather than try and bend a full plank around the hull and potentially get gaps or other issues.  Alternatively, you could use full planks and focus on a tight fit at the stern, and then care less about perfection further forward in the hull whether the planking can be filled, stealers added, etc.  In either case you just fill in the rest of the hull the way you wish without worry about how the lines look.  It was really quick for me to plank the remainder here, where I just laid planks flat and used stealers where necessary.   

image.jpeg.43544b48cbd2b619f9879f598357c405.jpeg

 

One other tip I forgot to pass along is that in planking, sometimes it's worth putting in a slight bevel to the planks so they fit tighter together.  This is especially true where the hull curves or you can get a visible gap between the planks.  I forgot if you were already doing this, but just thought I'd pass this along.

Oh, and sorting the kit wood by color is a great idea.  Sometimes there is way too much variation, especially with woods like walnut.  In large part that is why I've moved to mostly replacing kit wood with other woods that are more uniform in color like pear, boxwood, ebony, redheart, yellowheart, etc.

I'm enjoying watching your build, you're doing a great job!  You're making me want to get back to my wood ship builds.  I just have to clear out the too many plastic projects I have going on.

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I have been dying to build one of these for decades, and you sir, are not helping the situation! I damn thee!! 

So dang cool, it tempts me to sell my plastic to afford one. 

The real problem, is that I have too many hobbies.....

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44 minutes ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Painting the lower hull white will make the second planking a lot less stressful.  From the pictures, the white stuff comes up very close to the wales so you only have to worry about a few planks being visible.  The great thing is that these planks should be relatively straight runs with little need to taper the planks or add stealers.

For the planking under the white stuff, there are two ways to approach it.  You could plank it and try to make it as perfect as possible to get the experience for when you might want to tackle a hull without white stuff or copper plating.  Or, you could focus on the visible planks, and then not care as much about how the planking looks under the white stuff.  

As an example, here is my Pegasus hull after finishing the second planking.  The lighter color planks are pear wood, which I ended up staining.  The darker planks, which are under the copper line, are the kit walnut planks.  I'm planning on copper plating the lower hull, and didn't want to spend the money on using pear that would just be covered up so I drew the line for the copper line, and then used pear above it.  At the belly of the hull, there aren't many strakes, but you can see how at the bow and especially the stern there are a lot more.  

I show this in case you might think working with shorter planks at the stern will be easier, rather than try and bend a full plank around the hull and potentially get gaps or other issues.  Alternatively, you could use full planks and focus on a tight fit at the stern, and then care less about perfection further forward in the hull whether the planking can be filled, stealers added, etc.  In either case you just fill in the rest of the hull the way you wish without worry about how the lines look.  It was really quick for me to plank the remainder here, where I just laid planks flat and used stealers where necessary.   

 

You are absolutely right Mike, painting the lower hull makes the task much easier. The upper planks are relatively easy to lay down and the pear wood seems to be a fine and forgiving material. This will be assisted by having a fully sanded and filled hull as a base and not only spars to apply the planks on.
Somewhere I have seen somebody using plastic headed thumbtacks for second planking, using the pin to push the plank up and the head to get a good bond on the first planking.
I will try to lay the planks nicely in the underwater area too, as to learn something for future projects. 
I could not force myself into thinking about partial cut planks now, it feels somehow, that fitting the pars of the plank smoothly would not be too easy, but you seem to have mastered that perfectly.

I beveled some planks,, but only one sided this time. For the second planking, I'd like to bevel both sides of the plank to achieve an even smoother result.

Some hours ago, I claimed, I will use inserts (stealers) only if it couldn't be prevented. With my good side of the hull, I experimented with a two part filler made from scrap plank and I think at least in this area it makes life much easier for the following planks to lay. The inserts are only pinned now as is the last plank, which was soaked in water and now needs to dry.

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On the bad side, I pinned the next two planks, which were also soaked in warm water for an hour. I think I will add an insert here too. 

IMG_9811.thumb.JPG.3d1ce9c70a4048a3fb1e8694d13a8a5d.JPG

Cheers Rob

 

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4 minutes ago, biggtim said:

I have been dying to build one of these for decades, and you sir, are not helping the situation! I damn thee!! 

So dang cool, it tempts me to sell my plastic to afford one. 

The real problem, is that I have too many hobbies.....

I feel with you Tim, having lots of different hobbies is a prob for me too. In the moment I feel perfectly comfortable with building the DoK, which is so positively different from plastic modelling. I will stay with polystyrene for sure, but I always loved working with different materials, be it wood or metal and a wooden ship to me is something special.

Not utterly sorry about stirring up your emotions, about building a wooden ship :D. Do yourself a favor and get a good kit, which helps immensely and start a WIP, if only to receive as many golden tips, as I got here ;).

Cheers Rob 

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11 minutes ago, DocRob said:


Somewhere I have seen somebody using plastic headed thumbtacks for second planking, using the pin to push the plank up and the head to get a good bond on the first planking.

I use these pins - I forget where I found them, but they have a longer and thinner needle and a narrower shoulder.  For me at least, the thinner needle made less of a mess of the first planking underlayer and were easier to insert than the typical thumbtack.  The narrower shoulder made it easier to use in more situations.

 

image.thumb.png.303baa00b831df7fc7d0eeed65e72c3c.png

 

EDIT - just looked at my Pegasus log and I said i bought them from Hobbylinc.  Might be these pins:

https://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/mid/mid587.htm

 

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On 3/18/2022 at 8:09 AM, DocRob said:

Not utterly sorry about stirring up your emotions, about building a wooden ship :D. Do yourself a favor and get a good kit, which helps immensely and start a WIP, if only to receive as many golden tips, as I got here ;).

Cheers Rob 

I'm not exactly sorry about it either! It's stirred up some excitement for modeling I haven't had for a while. However, I expect that a few other kits and sundries may have to sail out in order for one of these kits to sail in. 

 

In the meantime, I will have to content myself with rebuilding my engine, working on the old car, customizing M1 Garand rifle stocks, refinishing a host of other stocks, starting that other new art project (secret), getting ready for turkey hunting season in a few weeks and all of the other things that come with spring. Did I mention I have too many hobbies?

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4 hours ago, Peterpools said:

What a build and education. Completely agree Mike's suggestion and inputs are a toolkit of techniques.

Indeed Peter, it's like a guide book to me with the right chapter always opening at the right time. There is so much to learn about wooden ship modeling and it's best to learn from the aces.

Cheers Rob

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3 minutes ago, biggtim said:

In the meantime, I will have to content myself with rebuilding my engine, working on the old car, customizing M1 Garand rifle stocks, refinishing a host of other stocks, starting that other new art project (secret), getting ready for turkey hunting season in a few weeks and all of the other things that come with spring. Did I mention I have too many hobbies?

I hear you about the distractions, quite a few tempting projects. I will not start to count down mine, because I will abandon the DoK build only by studying the list :D.
I keep it poco a poco, step by step, like the Spanish here say. I still work on the first planking, but I can see the end now. Some pics will follow later.

Cheers Rob

 

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Almost there with the first planking, at least on one side. For the last rows, I inserted some stealers to adapt to the geometry. With only some planks to apply, I prepared the plank nearest to the keel, as I want that to be a full plank. I then added a second one upwards and have to close the remaining opening with tailored pieces of plank.
It somehow looks a bit crude under my inquisitional lighting, but is smoother to the real eye, luckily, but I have to do a lot better with second planking.

Cheers Rob

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One milestone done, with finishing the first planking. Planking all the way down from the deck line to the keel, I stopped some planks from the keel and applied the keel plank as straight as possible to the keel position. In the firs pic you can see, that I used some plank pieces as spacer, to get as close to only inserting one last plank, to close the hull entirely. 

IMG_9832.thumb.JPG.2a55ef2302474f83484e0bb4f6932240.JPG

After inserting some very fine strips of plank residue, to fill the last remaining gaps, I prepared the keel planks to accept the keel, which is only loosely assembled on the following pics. After an overnight curing period, next up will be sanding the hull smooth and add some filler where needed, along with trimming the planks in the stern area.

In case you wonder about the strange looking gray tape on the bowsprit, this is only to protect the part during the planking phase.

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Cheers Rob

 

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Rob,

Could use your opinion - I'm interested in building the USS Constitution, and there are many to choose from. I see for sale on the ebay a few of the 1:96 scale kit from Mantua, and some 1:96 kits from Bluejacket. Are either of them good kits? I see plenty of the 1:76 Model Shipways kits out there as well, but they are a tad too big for my space, and if their ship kits are as rough as their aircraft kits, then I'm not sure I want that one anyway. Thanks,

 

Tim

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39 minutes ago, biggtim said:

Could use your opinion - I'm interested in building the USS Constitution, and there are many to choose from. I see for sale on the ebay a few of the 1:96 scale kit from Mantua, and some 1:96 kits from Bluejacket. Are either of them good kits? I see plenty of the 1:76 Model Shipways kits out there as well, but they are a tad too big for my space, and if their ship kits are as rough as their aircraft kits, then I'm not sure I want that one anyway. Thanks,

My comfort zone with wooden ship models is very narrow, as I lack the experiences necessary. This is only my fourth wooden ship, with two, a trawler and a racing boat built in my twens and the one before Dok is a Kutter, with the first planking finished.
As much as I like the USS  Constitution as an icon of an ending era of wind powered Man O' War's, I would never consider building one in wood (I built a plastic one as a teenager). There are different reasons, first I like larger scales for detailing and realistic outfitting and rigging of wooden models. The 1/64 scale of the DoK was the biggest obstacle for me, while deciding about buying the kit. Only the obvious quality of the kit made me change my mind.
The second important aspect in choosing a wooden kit is the lack of too much redundancy. I can not bring myself into rigging a myriad of cannons or get the gun ports aligned properly. 
You see, the USS Constitution is far off my list, with maybe Vanguard's HMS Sphinx as a follow up project, which is the absolute border in connection to the above mentioned points.

What I surveyed so far is, the kit should build up from quality materials, cheap wood and crudely prepared parts are a nightmare. A good documentation along drawings are also very important.

Personal preferences, as the scale in your case are also important, there are differently complex models available and the price range is also important.

Only to be of little help, I recommend our resourceful partner forum 'Model Ship World'. I only attempted one search and found that:

USS Constitution Best historical wooden kit available? - Wood ship model kits - Model Ship World™

Cheers Rob

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3 hours ago, biggtim said:

Rob,

Could use your opinion - I'm interested in building the USS Constitution, and there are many to choose from. I see for sale on the ebay a few of the 1:96 scale kit from Mantua, and some 1:96 kits from Bluejacket. Are either of them good kits? I see plenty of the 1:76 Model Shipways kits out there as well, but they are a tad too big for my space, and if their ship kits are as rough as their aircraft kits, then I'm not sure I want that one anyway. Thanks,

 

Tim

The MS Constitution looks like it builds up into a nice model.  In terms of their kits being "rough as their aircraft kits," remember that wooden ship kits are mostly wood strips and dowels.  The bulkheads, keels, and the deck items generally are laser cut.  It's less that the ship kits are rough and more that you are mostly working with raw materials to build the hull, masts, etc.  For what it's worth, I'm building the MS Charles Morgan whaler as my first MS kit and it's a nice kit - great plans, the laser cutting looks great, no warping, etc.  The framing is basswood if I remember correctly, and I tend to prefer MDF for rigidity, but it worked out nicely for my hull.

At 1:76, I believe it's a pretty big model.  I think the Bluejacket one builds into a nice model too, but take a look at the fittings of both kits, not just the size.  

The one caution I would give you is that the Constitution is not the easiest kits to start with if this is going to be your first model.  I don't believe that it has all the helpful items more modern kits have such as pre-formed bulwark planking strips, very detailed instruction manuals, etc. that you see in more modern kits like the DoK.  In my Morgan build, you have to build up the framing above the deck level and was a bit tricky even with two other hulls under my belt.  You're also mostly working off the plans as the instruction manual isn't anywhere near as informative compared to the DoK manual.  That being said, if you take your time, read other logs, etc., I'm sure you'd be fine.  There's also a practicum out there from Lauck Street Shipywards which people say is really good.  The one I got for the Pegasus was terrible, but the Conny one gets good reviews from what I've seen.

If you are going to buy the MS kit, make sure you sign up for emails from Model Expo.  Their kits go on deep discounts all the time.  Definitely do not pay the full price for the kit!

One thing to also note is that there is a lot of controversy about the stern of Constitution - number of windows, etc.  Depending on the particular period you want to model, the kits may be different.  Taking a quick look, the MS stern (which seems to be based on what the ship looked like in 1998) looks different from the BJ stern (which is supposed to be for the period 1812-1815).  Even then, I think people fight over whether there were five or six stern windows if I remember correctly.

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Nice job Rob!  Starting to look like a ship.  A little sanding and filling and you'll have a great foundation for the second planking.  

By the way, a small palm sander can make really quick work of sanding the hull down.  I used to do it by hand with sanding blocks, etc., but it's so much quicker and easier with a palm sander.  You'll still likely have to do some manual sanding in some of the curved areas like near the stem, but otherwise, you can knock most of the hull out using the palm sander.

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Thanks, Rob and Mike for your thoughts - very helpful! I

I am leaning toward the Bluejacket kit, mostly because of the size (40 inches) and it's the era I want (1812). It goes on ebay from time to time for around 350, which seems decent, and is a lot less than retail. Even at that price, I will have to sell a few other things and save for a bit to come up with that.

While I have not built one of these before, I do have a lot of experience building small things with wood, so I'm pretty comfortable that I can git 'er done without too much swearing.....

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18 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Nice job Rob!  Starting to look like a ship.  A little sanding and filling and you'll have a great foundation for the second planking.  

By the way, a small palm sander can make really quick work of sanding the hull down.  I used to do it by hand with sanding blocks, etc., but it's so much quicker and easier with a palm sander.  You'll still likely have to do some manual sanding in some of the curved areas like near the stem, but otherwise, you can knock most of the hull out using the palm sander.

Thanks Mike, I have only a large Festool orbital sander, but will add a smaller accumulator driven sander to my tools shortly. For now it's manual sanding, which has the advantage of better control and les vibrations. In some areas, my disc sander could be used for getting roughly to the finalshape.

Cheers Rob

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6 hours ago, GazzaS said:

Very nice planking, Rob!  Starting to look very ship-like. 

Thank you Gaz, I had the same sensation and another benefit of finalizing the first planking is, I can use the stand now :D.

Cheers Rob

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Yesterday, I used the curing time of the PVA to prepare some parts for the following steps. This included preforming some parts like the stern blending and the outer bulwarks.

These parts were soaked in warm water for a while and in case of the stern blending wrapped around a round wooden shaft with zip ties (a tip from another build log) and left to dry over night.

IMG_9837.thumb.JPG.a625c96502b9ee320be3f9d70b106e3a.JPG

The outer planking of the bulwarks was clamped to the hull after soaking and left to dry overnight as well.

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The result was looking like this and the method had worked successfully. The pic shows also the sternpost, which will be added with the keel and later accepts the rudder.

IMG_9840.thumb.JPG.eb22c6e3c1820d3ecece7637ca25b949.JPG

Finally I started trimming the stern area planking with my Dspiae nipper and a fine Tamiya saw. I tried to follow the line of the sternpost with the saw, to have a square and symmetrical shape. This is only the first step of closing in with the stern blending.

IMG_9841.thumb.JPG.0687b0befc41062adc774639bbb5b382.JPG 

The firs sanding session is over and the hull looks way better. There will be less filler needed, than first thought. Like the stern area, I'm far from finished with sanding, but the planking starts to look smooth.

IMG_9842.thumb.JPG.c6954aa3dbf233489554f8cc440fd569.JPG

Cheers Rob

 

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5 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Simply astonishing work ... just a treat to follow and enjoy.

Thank you Peter, building a wooden ship is quite different from plastic kits. Basically all is made from flat material and the result is 3D. You are also closer to the original thing, using some techniques and materials, like the real thing (In a simplified form with DoK). 

Cheers Rob

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