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Plank on frame vs. plank on bulkhead

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  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Plank on frame vs. plank on bulkhead
Posted by subfixer on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 8:22 AM
Am I correct in assuming that a plank on frame is just that? The keel is assembled then the frames or "ribs" are then attached transversely? Then a plank on bulkhead is what? A keel with solid bulkheads attached transversely? It would seem that the preferred method amongst the more experienced modelers is for the plank on frame method, but why? As long as the bulkheads are not exposed, it would seem that the plank on bulkhead method would be stronger than the plank on frame method.

I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 9:04 AM
You answered your question on distinguishing between the two methods. The on frame method is preferred when you want scale, and to show off the interior of the ship such as the hold and multiple gun decks. The bulkhead method is common for the begginer and intermediate models because it gives the modeler practice on setting the ribs to the keel. When building a plank on model, it is essential that everything is sqare and true, and the bulkhead method is easier to achieve this since you can build the model on the board upside down and in a jig.

Far as strength, both methods develope a strong model when built correctly. The bulkhead model will be heavier.

Scott

                              

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Posted by subfixer on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 9:10 AM
Thanks Scott.

I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 9:34 AM
Scottrc got it right, of course. I would add one other point. There's no reason why a plank-on-bulkhead model can't be an accurate representation of the real ship - assuming all the planking is in place. C. Nepean Longridge's 1/48 scale model of H.M.S. Victory in the Science Museum, which has been a destination for modeling pilgrims for about forty years, is a plank-on-bulkhead model.

There's a hybrid form of ship modeling: the "Admiralty," or "Navy Board" style. It takes its name from the exquisite models that were built for the British Navy Board in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In this style the framing is represented in a somewhat stylized form; there are lots of frames, the hull is hollow, and the planks are omitted from the lower part of the hull (and frequently other parts of the model) so the framing is exposed. But the framing isn't done to scale. The typical Navy Board model does not, for instance, have cant frames at the bow and stern. Some modern modelers (Harold Hahn, for example) have done superb work in this style.

The plank-on-bulkhead system is popular at the moment among wood kit manufacturers. Several American companies, notably Model Shipways and Bluejacket, are producing nice, accurate plank-on-bulkhead kits. It's also the favored system among Continental European manufacturers, most of whose products, in my personal opinion (but it's shared by a great many other serious ship modelers) are extravagantly-priced garbage. (I've ranted about this topic elsewhere in this forum; I won't get started on it again here.) The best European firm at the moment seems to be a British company called CalderCraft, which makes reasonably accurate, but extremely expensive, plank-on-bulkhead kits. The Calder H.M.S. Victory, on 1/72 scale, costs about $1,000. I haven't seen it in person, but on the basis of photos and reviews it looks like a potential masterpiece.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 9:53 AM
I agree that plank on bulkhead can make a highly accurate model. My Endeavor model is a bulkhead construction that rates as well as a plank on frame since I can still show the detail in the hold. I have seen very detailed models done by the breadboard method as well.

Subfixer, this method is done by glueing sheets of wood in in layers, then cutting the hull to shape, sanding, and fitting out. When finished, this will give an illusion that the ship is planked. This type of building was very popular before kits were available and is still used by engineers and pattern makers when making prototype models and mold patterns.

Scott

Scott

                              

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 7:27 AM
Just a couple of points Scott. I believe that a POF model of the same ship would be heavier than a POB due to the additional number of frames required. Also, I think you are referring to "bread and butter" method construction, not "breadboard". There are two ways to use the method, along the waterlines (horizontal) or the buttock lines (vertical). Neither, to my knowledge, will give the illusion that the vessel is planked. To simulate planking when using this method one has to either plank over the solid hull, or use the method employed by Eric A.R. Ronnberg and scribe the plank lines on the solid hull.

Al Blevins
  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Posted by subfixer on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 7:45 AM
This would be a laminate, correct?

I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 8:00 AM
My bad, it is Bread and Butter. I just got done reading and article by a builder in Germany and he kept refering it as the "Breadboard" method. Plus I am working with printed circuit boards at work. So go figure.

Far as the weight issue, although I have more framing timbers with a POF than a POB, I will have much more mass with the POB and thus, more weight. However, one can weight more than the other depending on materials. I have a composite kit where the bulkheads are expoxy plywood and the planking is basewood. The ship at 33" is like a feather. If I had the same sized ship in POF, I would have to use solid frames, more of them, thus more mass / more weight.

Scott


                              

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 8:02 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by subfixer

This would be a laminate, correct?


Yes.

                              

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 8:52 AM
I'm curious as to how this interesting discussion has focused (sort of) on the question of weight. Surely the question of whether a POB or POF model weighs more depends on lots of things - the species of wood used, whether the POB model's bulkheads are hollowed out in the middle, etc. But all sorts of other factors influence the weight of a model. A model with a lot of metal fittings, for instance, will weigh more than a model with none, and a model with full rigging will weigh more than one with no masts.

But does it matter? I can't recall an instance in which the weight of a model made any practical difference. (This, of course, assumes we're talking about non-operating models. Operating ones usually need ballast to bring them to the scale waterline.) It seems to me that if the model is heavy enough to be stable it's heavy enough - and since it's probably mounted in a case, the question of the model's own weight doesn't have much impact on anything. Maybe I've missed something.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 10:30 AM
As scott said I you could refer to the levels of bread and butter construction as lamination. That said, I think of a lamination as a thin sheet of plastic or wood applied to another of a different material to change the finished surface.

Al Blevins

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