scratch-building from a photo

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by lizzienewell, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I'm just staring to design a model from a photo. Are any of you interesting in my methods of design? Would you like me to post the steps to my design work?

  2. tausugAir

    tausugAir Member

    From one designer-would-be, a BIG yes!!!! Best regards....And Many THANKS!!

  3. thewoodengraver

    thewoodengraver Active Member

    Ditto on the big YES,but next time, don't keep us in suspense, post the pic, so I can drool!!! lol
  4. The-Jazzman

    The-Jazzman Member

    Yes.. Inquiring minds want to know!
  5. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    I'm always willing to learn something new, too.
  6. mlthomas36

    mlthomas36 New Member

    scratch-building from photo

    I would be very interested in learning how you do it. I have been trying to deal with the distortions from perspective and foreshortening. I would like to be able to draw plans from the photos (being an old draftsman).
    Hope to hear more,
    Thanks Mike Thomas (mlthomas36)
  7. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Hey Lizzie add me to the list of interested modelers!
  8. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I took a photo of the Alpha Helix while I was in Seward Harbor. I didn't get any closer photos because I hate being looked at suspiciously and asked to leave.

    Then I got on line and found the hull length and beam of the vessel. I also found out where and when it was built but the info I need is length and beam.

    I imported the jpg into Corel draw and then drew a rectangle with the length and width of the ship. You can see this rectangle under the red waterline hull shape. I don't know if the hull length numbers refer to waterline, deck, or overall length including the gantry off the back but I figure I just need something to start with. I also saw the length listed as both 133 feet and 135 feet. Since I need the hull length to figure out the beam, the slight discrepancy in the beam won't make that much difference.

    I drew the shape of the waterline piece(red) within the rectangle guessing at the shape. I copy and resize this piece to get the decks(blue).

    I started to try to build to a specific scale but abandoned the idea because it's easier to size the initial design to fit the entire hull on the page. I would have liked to make it the same scale as some of my other models 1:65 but then the hull would have needed three pages to fit.

    I drew the profile of the hull. I believe this may be called the shear. My friend who knows boats informs me that this boat has a lively shear. That means the top of the gunnals is on several levels. It's characteristic of Pacific-coast boats. East-coast ships tend to have a clean shear.

    From the profile of the hull I located the decks and waterline and drew the keel piece. This is above the photo of the ship. The bulkheads slot to the central keel.

    I drew a grid with the number of bulkheads over the deck piece. Then I copied and stetched it over the entire page. I use these lines to locate and shape the bulkheads. I try for the minimum number that will give the shape. This saves time in the initial builds. After I have the shape right and the skin fitting, I can increase the number of bulkheads.

    Shapeing the bulkheads takes a bit of time. I start by copying and pasting a retangle from the waterline grid. I rotate it 90 degrees and align it over the photo and shear profine. Then I stetch it down to the correct height for the bulkhead. I rotate it back and put it over the decks to get the shape right by moving the nodes where the bulkhead meets the waterline or decks.

    I move the bulkhead off of the decks but leave it aligned. Later I can change the beam with with only a few moves by stetching all the bulkheads as a group.

    On the second page I have a rough draft of the hull skin and of the cabin decks. For the hull skin I copied the shear porfile and added length where the skin needs to curve over the hull. I'll fine tune this with innitial builds. I also added darts where I think the skin needs them. I locate the seams and darts where there appear to be seams on the original. I've noticed from posts of Papurika design that it doesn't use darts but instead does only flat folds. I think my experience in sewing shows in how I approach this.

    I copy and flip the shape for the other half of the hull then weld the shapes together. I don't like a full seamline coming up the prow it makes the prow too sharp. This one needs a dart though because it's sharp near the waterline.

    Unfortunately, I can't fit the entire skin on one page so it has to be in two parts. I like to break hull from stern to locate the seam at the sides instead of breaking it side to side which would put the seams at the bow and stern.
    I haven't done the stern part yet.

    You might notice that the second page seems to have a duplicate of the prow deck. This is because I will make it in two layers. One layer will bend to laminate to the rear deck the other will continue straight as the cabin deck. I build the decks in several plies so that I can build the hull and the deck goodies seperately and then glue them together. The deck goodies (cranes, booms, gantries, davits, people) can then be attached through the deck top.


    Attached Files:

  9. barry

    barry Active Member

    designing boats

    Hi Lizzie

    metsequoia draws the ships plates pepakura puts in the darts but you have to fiddle with them before unfolding. Interesting article

  10. Willja67

    Willja67 Member

    Very interesting and useful technique.
  11. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I found a photo of the Alpha Helix from the prow and so am changing the shape of the bulkheads and the decks to match the photo.
    I'm also going to have to make the gunwale as a seperate piece since it has such a change of angle.

    I found plans on line for the replacement for this ship. She's been in operation since the early sixties and so UAF has plans for a new one. Who knows when the money will come through. They've been working on the new ship since 1980.

    The new artic research vessel lookes bigger and more complicated. I might have to try making a models from the plans, if I can sort though them. Oh too many things to try and not enough time.


    Attached Files:

  12. Colonel_Klink

    Colonel_Klink New Member

    Hi lizzienewell
    Excellent technique you have there. When I built this model for Trainz eons ago: I only had a side view to work with as well. It was from some boatbuilding site I had found while looking for something else, and decided to model it.
    Without any bulkhead templates to go by, like you I had to improvise when building the 3D model.
    I then converted the boat to Operation Flashpoint where it needed a lot more detail: . Sorry its just a distant shot. :smile: I'm thinking that it may be a good contender for the paper flotilla here as well.
    I can see there being some problems with large ships having to be cut, especially in the larger scales. This yacht is only 60 meteres long so the smaller scales wont be a problem. Looking forward to seeing some of your progrees pics :wink:
  13. Renaud

    Renaud Member

  14. slazik

    slazik New Member

    good job

    you did a good job
    hope u share this model with us
    take care
  15. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    If I get it done I will but I've set it aside.

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