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Ship planking

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  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Ship planking
Posted by Mark Carroll on Thursday, April 12, 2018 11:46 AM

I'm curious about how individual ship planking has been installed by some of you out there. Ive read little tid bits about it on this forum but nothing really specific. I'd like to know what kind of planking was used and where did you get it? I would use nothing else but contact cement to put it down on the surface-eould you agree?Was it balsa? Did you stain it and individually put peg/nail indentations in it?Did you apply any blackening to simulate tar/caulking? How did it turn out and would you do it again? I want to try and do this on a Revell Spanish Galleon.Gmorrison where did you go? Can't find you anywhere about Heller Victory parts.Thanks,Mark

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 12, 2018 12:38 PM

Hi Mark,

 

Haven't been down to the PO in a bit, but I'll let you know.

Never use balsa, unless it needs to fly.

Good planking choices include basswood, which is available in all kinds of sizes.

I have a little table saw, so I can choose other species. I like to use holly.

I glue it down to plastic with CA, or to wood with white glue. Contact cement sounds like a reasonable way to go.

I've tried to blacken the edges of the planks to look like caulk, but couldn't get acceptable results. I'd guess it's a better idea at larger scales.

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Thursday, April 12, 2018 2:07 PM

Thanks Bill, Sorry I lost you somewhere and couldn't figure out where.There is absolutely no hurry what so ever on this-(havent even started on it yet) just didn't want to loose you in the"abyss".Thanks for the plank response, I/ we love your responses on your experience with these ships. I suppose HiSmodel or Syren or others would have plank material appropriate for this,just wanted to see if other modelers were successful with this approach as opposed to buying pre made deck material or pre made full printed ones. Mark

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 12, 2018 2:45 PM

Sure, you got it.

I'd be surprised if there's a deck made for that model, but I could be wrong.

I don't know a thing about Galleon decking, but it was probably fairly wide. For simplicity sake, since the model is 1/96, a 1/8" wide strip would be a foot. I think that would look pretty good.

I think planking decks is fun. It'll be a big plus on your Victory, even just the weather deck. This is a good place to practice.

You can buy basswood from Blue Jacket or probably Model Expo. The general principle is that the planks start and stop on cross beams, and the cross beams occur at the frames, so it all has to line up.  The frames are where the gun ports "aren't", they bracket them. So take the plastic deck and accurately draw a centerline down the middle. The make evenly spaced lines side to side where your deck beams would be. A guess would be on four foot centers, which is 1/2" to you. Draw those lines across the deck, starting from the bow to the stern.

I start planking in the middle. Ships typically had a wider plank down the center, a king plank. I think you can ignore that here. Lay planks along one side of the centerline. There'll be lots of interruptions from hatches and masts, but cut little pieces to fit.

A full plank would be 16 feet to 20 feet long, 2" to 2 1/2" for you. A rule of thumb is that the ends fall in a regular staggered pattern, and the pattern repeats itself every "X" number of planks, "X" also being the number of frames the plank spans. In other words, if your plank is 16 feet ( or 2") long over frames spaced every 4 feet ( 1/2"), thats four frames. So the pattern repeats every four planks. 

It'll make more sense to you once you get going.

I hope that helps.

 

Bill

 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, April 12, 2018 3:23 PM

Hello!

I have only planked one ship model so far, but I was very pleased and pleasantly surprised with my results. It was a two-layer planking. First layer was done with linden/basswood with strips that I have cut myself using a small, soviet made circular saw. The chunk of wood that I have cut the strips from was laying in my workshop for about ten years, and I have got it from a toy factory, so I guess it was already seasoned when I have got it. To do the first layer of planking I had to wet the strips and bend them over a candle. That worked great. To glue them down to the bulkheads I have used a combination of white glue for most of the surface and CA instead of nails, at the critical points. As it turns out, those glues are very compatible and the combination worked very well for me. The first layer of planking was then puttied and sanded to ensure smooth and symmetrical surface. After everything dried really well I have done the second layer with veneer strips, the kit (Artist in the Latrine!) said the material for that was "Manzonia" which I guess means birch tree or something similar. Those strips were cut to exact shapes the planks would have. That means as the hull curves toward the bow and toward the stern, the planks get narrower, but newer less than half of their maximum width. This means notching the planks accordingly. The veneer was also glued with a combination of white glue and CA. The places where the dowels would be were marked with a ball point pen. The edges ot he planks were left natural colour.

I hope it helps, have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Thursday, April 12, 2018 6:44 PM

Thanks Bill,great info that I did not know.Looking forward to planking my first ship!

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Thursday, April 12, 2018 6:48 PM

Thanks Pawel, great advice on planking, I have an Endeavor that I will use it on but it's down the road.I have three ships that I have vowed to finish first because they have been laying around too long.

  

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Thursday, April 12, 2018 8:20 PM

I would not use contact cement for two reasons.

One, the solvents might react with the plastic--and not necessarily in an immediate or obvious way.

Two, contact cement is utterly unforgiving and very, very, permanent.

 

Now, I'm weird (you can ask anyone Smile).


If I absolutely had to have a plastic deck (to align a multi-part hull or the like), I'd trace the kit deck onto some sheet styrene of a suitable thickness.  I'd transfer all the openings over to that sheet as well.  I'd dry-fit the planks as much as possible, and then lay them in a thin film of epoxy, and get them into their places.

Which sounds like a lot of work, but, adding planks to the kit deck is going change the reveal at hatch combings and the like, so, rather than fiddle with those bits, I'd just add them in wood.

But, my preference would be to start with a very thin bit bit of plywood as a base.  If appropriate to the ship and the scale of the model, I set up beams to put dcamber in the plywood.  Then, use the kit deck to sort out openings (while also refering to source material--if available).  Planking can then be laid is regular white or carpenter's glue, with all the forgiveness that allows.  Hatches and the like also can be done up in wood, too.

But, I'm weird.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, April 13, 2018 9:28 AM

To be clear, are we talking about deck only, here, or do you mean planking the hull too?

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, April 13, 2018 9:47 AM

He's looking to modify a plastic ship kit, so I'd assume it's the deck.

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Friday, April 13, 2018 10:47 AM

MicroMark also sells wood planking and "pre-planked" decking in 3 sizes I believe, including the 1/8" GM mentioned.  I purchased their planks and did my own, but the preformed ones look quite nice as well.  They use black glue between the boards which help them to stand out.

https://www.micromark.com/Ship-Decking?quantity=2&screwsizeinch=21

 

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Saturday, April 14, 2018 6:38 PM

No,Just the deck,sorry, I should have been more specific.Any idea where to get these very thin deck boards? I assume the only thing you can get is ship hull planking used only for second covering of the hull.

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Saturday, April 14, 2018 6:41 PM

Thats perfect,its just what I was looking for! Have you ever "blackened"the edges befor yo put them down?

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 2:56 PM

For really thin wood, check out wood supply places for "veneer trim."  This is usually under 1/64" (around 0.3mm)

Now, 1/64" is 1.5" at 1/96 scale.

Which is where the pre-made sheets can get you into trouble.  I want to remember the thinnest you can get, is 3/32" (2.38mm), which is 9" thick at 1/96.  Which is going to be near as thick as the deck combings.

I have seen blackened deck plack edges work down to about 1/72 scale, but that was only just (and clearly a better than master modeler).  I won't bother if the scale is smaller than 1:48/1:50.  Using black glue is really for moderate scales, like 1/32--although I have seen it used successfully at 1/48.

My 2¢; spend it as you will.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:27 PM

Individual strips come in 1/16". Which is 6" in 1/8" = 1'-0" scale.

On a warship like Constitution or victory, the deck planks are 3" thick.

Capn his model is the Revell Galleon, which has a pretty complicated little deck. I suggest just adding planks will be fine.

There's a whole other job, to follow your advice, cutting a new deck, setting it lower by the thickness of the wood, and enforcing some camber with beams. I'll put that up in a separate thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Monday, April 16, 2018 5:56 AM

Hi ;

 You have gotten very good replies here . My two cents ? I use Mahogany and or Oak . It is cut from the same wood as my friend's Guitars and other Instruments . He takes the scrap and makes planking material for me . He , so far has never gotten it thicker than .020 .

 He will run it through the planer when he's shutting down for the day and call me to come and get it ! I get it home and cut it into planks 1/8 , 1/4 and 1/16 wide . Whatever length the pieces are . I then put them under a wooden plank of the 4"x 6" variety and 6'long and let them dry completely before use . 

 I use Carpenters glue on wood frames and C.A. On wood on plastic . I don't do the latter till the planks are sealed and stained . C.A. will NOT let stain adhere . So you stain first !

 My first stain is a wash of 50% x 50% Black India ink ! This locks in the grain the eye sees .

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Friday, April 20, 2018 12:01 AM

Wow ,never thought of India ink! Looks like I got my work cut out for me! As soon as I get done with this Soleil Royal I'm going to start on the Spanish Galleon.I will post a play by play on the deck boards.Thanks to all for the great response! While I have the opportunity I would like to personally thank G Morrison for  sending me the parts to my Victory that were damaged in a flood.I had tried for months to get through to Heller with no response. So thanks again!

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Friday, April 20, 2018 10:36 AM

I have planked a plastic ship's hull since the manufacturer (Heller) included no planking detail to go with the wood grain, which was heavily molded. In short, the kit hull looked like it had been simply carved out of a giant tree with no planks.

Anyway, like my namesake says, basswood works best for me, but I took a lazyman's approach by simply matching the width of individual planks on other 1/144 scale ships.  Since I also build plank-on-bulkhead kits, shaping individual planks is not a problem.  I then sanded down the hull wood grain and used Gorilla Glue to affix the planks.  I really enjoyed this minor project!

Bill

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, April 20, 2018 11:44 AM

I love you like a father, well maybe a great-grandfather, Tanks.

But, I don't think oak is a good choice. It's brittle, it is hard to saw, and the grain varies a lot.

Since as I say I have a little table saw, I can try all kinds of stuff. Besides basswood, maple, holly and cherry are good. Pine is not good, and birch is too hard.

 

Bill

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Friday, April 20, 2018 5:10 PM
+1 on that. I avoid oak for those reasons, too. The grain is just too big for scale...

Webmaster, IPMS Patriot Chapter  www.ipmspatriot.org

Billerica, MA

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 21, 2018 9:45 AM

I believe basswood is God's gift to model builders and carvers. In addition to its good workability, the grain is very fine and tight, so it looks closer to scale. It is quite light colored so it can be stained or painted well to desired color.  Plus, it is available from a number of vendors in small sizes good for modeling.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:37 AM

You are right !

 That's why I only use oak on simpler models like my ski boats for the decks . Few curves and almost flat areas to cover . Plus , because of the larger grain I can use paint and weathering techniques to create the deck planking with artist pens .

 I will say I have to agree . My home-made version of the Proxxon Mini-Table saw doesn't like to saw that oak for sure .

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • From: Western No. Carolina
Posted by gene1 on Monday, April 23, 2018 9:29 AM

On my big Constitution I put thin black thread between each plank. It looks great. I don;t have a closeup of the deck, but it is a 1.98 Mamoli I built 35 years ago & it still looks great. Been in a case the whole time.

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, April 23, 2018 10:04 AM
Looks incredible Gene. I can only hope that my efforts yield similar results. +2 on the basswood! Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • From: Western No. Carolina
Posted by gene1 on Monday, April 23, 2018 11:21 AM

Bob, After looking at your pictures, yours will be a lot better than mine & lit up too. You do beautiful work. I really enjoyed wood models, but they take too much time now.

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, April 23, 2018 2:18 PM

Debating on my next model.  I really love the Soliel Royal, and would love to have it at the other end of my bar.  Although the Victory is also an impressive ship.  I am waiting to see how my "return to modeling" goes.  If I can produce a realistic model combining wood and plastic, then I will probably go with the Heller models rather than foraying into the "forest" (if you catch my woody pun).

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • From: Western No. Carolina
Posted by gene1 on Monday, April 23, 2018 5:11 PM

Bob, I built the big wood model of the Soliel with all the brass castings but got hung up at the finish of the hull. All because of a train layout I was building. I sold it to my neighbor & he had never built a model. I saw his lights on way nto the night for months & he finished it fully rigged & did abeautiful job. Made me feel eal good.

   He was a WW2 sailor on Corvettes & said it was frigid. Very short watchs. 

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: St.Peters,Mo.
Posted by Mark Carroll on Monday, April 23, 2018 6:22 PM

Beautiful job!

 

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