Help with ship model planking
by Davaid Mc Connell
I am retired now and decided to take up ship modelling. What a fool I was. Up to now I have bought three beginners boat kits which ended up in the bin. The reason being I just cannot get the hang of planking a ship. I have tried nailing the plank to the stem, gluing the plank to the stem, steaming the planks to the correct shape but of no avail. I just cannot get the planks to sit tight at the stem. How on earth can you modellers out there finish up,producing such fine work. Are there any tools that can hold the wood firm against the stem until the glue dries.
SMH Responds-not the easiest thing to explain in a paragraph or two but there are a couple of critical steps I can pass along here and give you a couple helpful links elsewhere on my website.
First, no matter how bad it looks, the number of gaps, even sloppy gluing, finish each model you start. You will learn a lot from your own efforts, and you will have a report of your improvement. If you still feel it is hopeless, start your own junk drawer of specific stripwood sizes and colors along with Zip packs of deck furniture and rigging material.
Second, the critical step most of us don't pay enough attention to in the beginning is making sure bulkheads are square to the keel and the line of the bulkhead edges is true. (See photo #1). This truing operation is best done with sandpaper wrapped around a block that spans at least 3 bulkheads. Sanding them three-at-time will level out bumps and inconsistencies.
I have written extensively on this subject as it haunted me for a long time (I have a pretty large junk box). Start here
and pick-up the ship modeling from scratch eBook.
It is a fun hobby, don't throw in the towel.