What is possible with paper

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by cmdrted, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    At work, while waiting for results of tests etc. I usually am fiddling with something, mostly my thumbs but at nights it's some sort of card model project. Then the question, is that paper and why? etc . comes up. @-3 years ago when reading Patrick O'Brian, I had to have a sailing ship. I bought several books on scratch building these things and one of the books came with the hull lines and rough plans. They were meant to be in wood, but as the tools required to do the job were cost prohibitive,(lathes, ripping saws etc), I turned to the media I know best-paper. I just substituted card for the wood stuff and well here are a few examples. The first series is the hull for a sloop much like the finished Lee to be shown later. It is plank on bulkhead. I laid the plans for wood out built the formers by laminating them to 3mm and assembled them as for the wood hull.
  2. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    The 2nd series. This is the completed hull for Columbus's Nina. From some accounts his favourite ship. Each plank is individually laid out on manilla card, and the important step, laminated with water color paper. This is used to simulate the grain on the wood planks and is very convincing. There is a proceedure with planking a hull called spileling. This involves measureing the widest bulkhead dividing it into a scale amount of planks and then using that number of planks to run onto most of the other bulkheads. You have to adjust each bulkheads plank thickness to account for hull curvature etc. Then you lay out the planks across the bulkheads much in the same way they did it for real. There are a few shortcuts. I did not make the length of the planks in scale for each. If you did then you'd have a plank's scale length @ 150' long. I made the card plank long enough to go the lenght of the ship for ease but etched in little breaks in the water color layer to simulate differant runs of planking...
  3. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Last pics of Nina's hull. During the spile-ing process, the plank is not just a complete straight edge. Sometimes you have to add a little curvature to get the palnk to butt up against the next one. This seems to be more art than science, but guesstimateing in card is close enough. the card planks give a little sideways to sneek into the adjacent plank without a lot of cut and trim. And if you duplicate the part in reverse you have the opposit hull piece fitted too. There is much more to it than this but it isn't that hard when you get on a roll. The advantage to paper is no expensive tools, if you flub a part you don't have to go back to the lumber yard and sawdust is kept to nill.
  4. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    The finished ship, A Revolutinary War cutter, Lee. Plans were in a book sailing ships of the US Navy. The fittings were guessed at using general references and rigging practices at the time. The Lee was a great lakes ship, roughly constructed to stem the British invasion at a site on the lakes. I don't remember much more than that, but she was a simple sloop rig that I wanted to start a sailing ship project with. The only non paper parts are the lines of course, some metal wires for rings, and the blocks and deadeyes. I tried to make these from card but at 1/64 scale they kept de-laminating when I tried to run lines thru them. She is authentically rigged meaning if she was full sized each line would do what it was supposed to do when tugged, etc.
  5. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    More pics of the Lee. One pic shows a common Novice mistake for rigging the guns. the breech rope. This serves as a recoil spring to absorb the shock of firing. It should be rigged slack, not taunt as shown here. If the cannon fired with it tight like this it would snap the mounting rings or part the lines. In reality, in a ship this size the guns would recoil back but not enough to completely load her on deck. A gun crewmember would load the powder and shot but swabbing the bore, and ramming the charge and shot home would have to be done while leaning over the side, all done under fire. One of the reasons for the term "wooden ships and Iron men".
  6. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    What can I say? But, I love it. So much like what I've seen - on TV - from what the boat-builders on the west coast of Sweden (and here's a geographical term for you - the county of Bohuslan; the a with two dots above it) do when replicating the almost forgotten art of building planked ships & boats.

    I love & cherish what you've accomplished, and regard it as an homage to forgotten life-skills of past generations. I salute your effort, on behalf of those who have gone before us!

    Best, Leif
  7. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    And more of the Lee. The crosstrees with alot of the running lines and standing rigging. This is the age of sails engine room. Harnessing the wind took various lines, slings, spars sails and supports. Also shown is another oops, the deadeyes stays are too slack. This assembly holds the mast steady laterally and as a byline serves as the support for the ratlines which the sailors use as a ladder up the the rigging.
  8. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Oh, boy, we're online simultaneously, and I'm able to cherish what you've accomplished almost instantly. Why, oh, why haven't you dared to share this before? Never mind, now that you have, rest assured that your work is of lasting (well, what is, really?) value.

    I love it, Ted

  9. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Thankyou Leif, This is kind of a tribute to those who have gone before us, the shipfitters, craftsman, and the brave men who had to sail in these things fighting not only the enemy of the time but the brutal force of mother nature. The last of the series, the crosstrees pic didn't upload in the last part, I'll try again. also shown is The Colonist's flag. This was a series showing almost anything can be done in card. The limit is only our imaginations and a few fiddly bits that paper can't do well. This is one of the things I show people that have no idea what we do with paper and inginuity.
  10. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Ted, I've never seen anything like it; the rigging, the sails; the guns (damn them, that they were ever needed); the love and imagination that were needed to visualize and materialize what these people needed to do in order to accomplish what they did.

    You can truly sleep well tonight, my friend (and I hope and pray you have every other reason in the world to do so).

    Best, L.
  11. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member


    Magnificent! I have idly speculated regarding the possibility while you have accomplished it! Thanks for showing us and sharing the beauty of what you have created. Also for discussing some of the technique. I have many questions, however, this is a note of tribute, not inquiry. You are a true artist.

  12. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Leif, thankyou again. Some of my past projects haven't been posted to the site for a few reasons. At 1st I thought they weren't good enough, I only just joined over the summer and having moved during the spring alot of the models are still in storage. The Lee suffered some minor damage to the spars and topmasts, this ship was done before I learned how to re-inforce some delicated parts with wire etc. In card I'm a "reformed purist". If it can be made presentable in paper that's what it will be made of. Anything else and I'll bite the bullet and use whattever media is needed. Also a lot of projects are mood projects. If like Roman from DN says there is no passion then the project isn't a hobby, it is work. Once again thankyou Leif, Sometime when I unpack the vacuform machine, I'll post a thread showing how to make canopies.
  13. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    John and guys, thanks again, I'll be more than happy to discuss techniques and questions. I hope I can answer them clear enough, and as the projects are @2 1/2 to 3 years old I'll try to remember what I did. I did keep some notes. This was a time before digital camera mastery, so pics will be a little lacking...
  14. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Oh boy, again, will I ever be grateful to you, Ted. The Spitfire is in the mail, I'm told, and that canopy sure needs vacuforming! There's been several hopeful postings on the site on the subject, but I'll be sure to get back to you. Meanwhile, this is your thread and I'll leave it at that. - L.
  15. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Hi, Ted! :D

    As my first love is sailing ships, this is a very enjoyable thread for me. I love how you've built these sailing ships, particularly the way you built them up from the frames and planked them similar to original practice. You did an outstanding job of the rigging, nice and tight planking, and wonderful work on the deck furniture.

    Getting the rigging right is always a challenge, but looks to me like you've got a superb handle on it. Maybe if you decide to build another sailing ship you might share an in-progress rigging tutoral with us so we can see just how you accomplished this excellent rigging job. I would also love to see how you build up the framing and planked the hull.

    If you could also suggest to us what references you used for the rigging that would be helpful. Your work on LEE and NINA shows there is no limit to the subject one chooses to model. I know it is difficult to find the correct rigging and fitting references to do the job right...and you did it brillantly!

    I was wondering what made you decide on 1/64th scale for LEE...was that the scale for the plans you used?

    I have mentioned on my building thread the constant problem of delamination of the card stock when working smaller pieces, but I have found if I usually brush a bit of PVA on the outside edges before trying to work the parts that seems to help hold things together. I've been experiencing a bit of problem with some of the bulls eyes laminated out of cardboard but if I soak them in CA and let them dry thoroughly they seem to hold together fairly well also.

    I sure hope you share more of your work in this area, and don't wait another 2-1/2 years before you do. :wink:

    How is NINA coming along? Hope we can see more of this superb work.

    Thanks for sharing this great thread with us!


  16. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    Holy cow, cmdrted, that is one hell of a ship! Could you post a picture that would give us some idea of her size? Thanks.
  17. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    Holy cow, cmdrted, that is one hell of a ship! Could you post a picture that would give us some idea of her size? Thanks.
  18. spirtos

    spirtos Member

    ...excellent!!!...I'd like to sail with it... :D
  19. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Hi Guys, here are some scale-ing pics, the ruler is 6"/150mm long. Also there is a US quarter and US dime. The scale is 1/64. I picked this for a few reasons; I used to build 1/76 scale Tanks. I first built this ship in that scale as a prototype because I was used to furniture and things in that size, but the rigging was a pure pain in the butt :!: I started a hull in 1/48 scale which I think is an industry standard for alot of wooden ships but my future plans was to build the Constitution and the Victory and at those sizes my wife would've had a cow. I picked 1/64 because I recieved a set of plans for another frigate in that scale and the sizing was pretty good, so I comprimised and here it is in 1/64. The Nina hull and that skeleton framing is for a virginia sloop all in 1/64. I have not abandoned my future projects, I temporarily lost the passion needed to do them.
  20. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    A few more pics of the top rigging etc.

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