Planking Artesania Latina's USS Constellation Wooden Model Ship Kit
(Rio Rico, AZ, USA)
I am planking from the bottom of the bulkheads to the bottom of the false keel. I like to know how do I plank the bow area? Attached is a picture of the bottom part of the model. I have a blue arrow pointing to the black line, and am assuming the planking gets extended straight out to where the end of the black line is. Am I assuming correctly?
SMH Responds It has been several years since I was involved in plank on frame modeling, but I do remember it was a challenge, particularly in the bow area. Ships with bluff bows like the Constellation take extra care as models don’t go together quite as neatly as the full sized counterpart.
Once you have the frames assembled, you need to be sure the lines are fair and true. You do this by carefully sanding the facing elements of the frames using a Dremel and/or sandpaper.
You need to take your time with this “fairing” operation as it dictates the look of your finished model. Look along the lines of the hull again and again looking for a clean look and flow. It is a good idea to tack fit a temporary batten along the frame ends. Run your hand along this to assure smoothness and flow.
If you just do straight planking in the area you are talking about, you will find you need to trim the planks to fit to the point you are dealing with splinters or they begin to overlap in a “clinker” effect. It just gets too crowded.
Instead, build in some “drop planks” to cut down on the number of planks extending to the bow.
Do not force planks into position, instead let it lay naturally. Cut the ends of the drop planks as close to 45 degrees as you can. This will ease fitting in half-planks to go to the bow.
There is a lot more I don’t remember and I would refer you to two books: “Planking Techniques for Model Ship Builders” by Donald Dressel and Ship Modeling Simplified by Frank Mastini. Both are available on Amazon.