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Scratch Build a Whaling Bark?

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  • Member since
    January 2014
Scratch Build a Whaling Bark?
Posted by Kilroy Was Here on Thursday, January 1, 2015 8:07 PM

Where can I find tutorials etc. on researching (and scratch building) a wooden sailing ship? I have built many plastic models (aircraft and armor), but none are scratch built. While I need to gain experience building some kits of sailing ships as well as scratch building. I also want to begin research for an eventual scratch build. My grandfather was a crew member on the last voyage of the whaling bark Alice Knowles. She left New Bedford in June 1914 and was sunk (2 survivors) by a water spout in 1917 off the Cape Verde Islands. Since my grandfather was a German citizen he had been taken prisoner of war in 1915 by the British and interred in Trinidad for the duration of WW I. I'm 5 to 7 years from retirement and don't plan on starting this scratch build until I retire. I have no clear idea of where to start - especially on the research, any suggestions etc will be appreciated. Thanks

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, January 2, 2015 9:07 AM

There is a lot of good material around on scratch building ship models in wood.  Far less on doing it in plastic or other materials. If you are willing to work with wood, There are books and many articles available.  The magazine "Ships in Scale", which has been around for many years, often has articles on scratch ship projects. I have written several for them myself.  There is even a wood kit available for a whaling bark, but it is in plank on bulkhead.

I am a big proponent of the "bread and butter" hull construction method, where the hull is laminated with several planks of wood, each cut to planform.  This method greatly reduces the amount of carving needed.  One nice thing about modeling whaling ships- they tended to be quite full-bodied, tubs that do not have fancy curves and sleak streamlined lines.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota


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