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OLD FASHIONED boat and vessel windows

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
OLD FASHIONED boat and vessel windows
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, August 12, 2022 2:21 PM

Old Fashioned, How?

         Did you know till Air conditioning became common on Large ships and boats all the way down to 30-foot Fishing Craft there was a practically unbreakable way of ventilation. Almost Bulletproof to Storms? I will be doing this type on the Lakes Freighter and the Tugs for a client. I wanted to share two methods with which you can create  these windows in any scale from 1/35 to 1/87 and most of the 1/48 as well.

         It actually isn't difficult. First you have the outer wall of said construct such as wheel house or the larger side cabin windows on say a Lobster type boat or even some of the early Swifts. For the Tugs and older Freighters the sashes open Vertically, The others are simple sliders. How? Simpley Lay out the sheet or piece with your window cutouts on it. I recommend .020 for the outer wall( Bulkhead) and sunsequentally .020 for the framing and inner Bulkhead. Make the edge as small as you can but not too small. You don't want the window falling out whenyou move it!

          When you are doing horizontal sliders, you take the lower piece which will be a strip the length of the bulkhead Minus 1/16 on each end, This allows for tight corners. Then do a matching strip on the top. Create verticals where needed. Now cut your clear the fit snugly(Not Tight ) in between the stripe. That's your windows. now Lay them in place with A full panel with your opening cut out.Now carefully use wee drops of glue at the uprights, Bottom and Top rail and ends. There you have it. If you were careful you now have sliding windows.

          For Tugs and older Freighters you do the same, EXCEPT the openings slide vertically so there,s more verticals and  and the top rail can be a one length piece,but the bottom rail is deleted. The vertical rails now come into play as the guides. These now all go from the top rail to the bottom of the Bulkhead. There is also a small strip you glue on the outside edge of the clear piece that fits just in between the verticals. This is the old framing method. This top rail on the clear is what could be considered your Stop.

         There will be windows in the older vessels that had and some still do, what appears to be a clear circle in the middle of the window, in some panes. These panes are fixed in place. Why? Well, that Circle has a small water resistant motor and a seal. The motor has a wire running up to it.That is what many folks confuse with a wiper. The Circle of glass operates on the principle of Surface Tension. When the window gets wet the circle then rotates.The film of water trapped between then results a clear area to see through in stormy seas. Don't ask me the name of them as I have forgotten.

       I probably should have put this in Scratch Building, But, this applies mainly to seagoing vessels, I felt it belonged here instead! For the too small model (1/350) just use your regular method and don't worry about the circles.They wouldn't be noticed in 1/700, Either! On the older ships the cross section of the verticals creats a "T" when viewed on end. The same for the fixed verticals on the horizontal sliders.

      I once took a MONOGRAM  "Viet-Nam R.A.G." boat and converted it to a NewFoundland Inter-Island Mail and Supply boat. I used the above method for the cabin side windows and the aft cabin door. I used 1/35 shell racks for mail sorting bins and Extended the forward roof edge. Originally a coaming. This created a civilian profile. I entered it in at least three Non connected shows and contests and won my class all three times. Just applying simple principal of boatbuilding to an already perfect hull .You can too!  

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Friday, August 12, 2022 3:09 PM

For larger scale I make the basic deckhouses from a solid wood block, covered with an overly- grooved siding sheet (or plank it myself).  I cut the window rectangles out before I put on the overlay.  I paint the basic block flat black in that area.  I build a basic frame from thin basswood.  Then I cut a rectangle of thin basswood (1/32 or thinner) to cover half the area.

I'm doing that on my Lucia Simpson- see thread on that.


  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, August 12, 2022 5:12 PM


          I would use almost exactly your method on my solids. It Works, looks Good and sets it Apart! Now mine, Well, at least this one is a clients. I will be using my method on the Wheelhouse and Our method everywhere else. He wants it built to accomodate some kind of offloading system they used for years. The Sheer number of Hatch Clamps resulted in six hatches of seventeen open. If they were all closed there would've 1,745 hatch Clamps.Then I can show six more as unlatched but ready to open. Less clamps overall.


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