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Model Boat Hull Design Notes a€“ Building tips for hard chine and round-bilged hulls using planking or carving methods.
Much of this page is a collection of free-floating thoughts, ideas and experience that I've collected over the years. Different types and shapes of model boat hulls are more or less suited for certain types of construction. A planked hull has a number of bulkheads or frames, and a keel or keelson that form a structure. Probably the most often confused model boat hull designs are Plank-on-frame and Plank-on-bulkhead - strictly speaking, they are not the same thing.
The "correct" way to plank a hull requires each board to be tapered towards the ends and sometimes stealers need to be used where necessary to close gaps. Here is a laminated hull block (AKA Bread-and-Butter) of USS Olympia ready to be carved and faired up to a smooth hull.
Traditionally woods, such as Mahogany, Balsa and Basswood, are the most frequently used materials, at least in North America. For Bread and Butter (aka Laminated hulls) there is a caveat: Laminating many thinner boards make the job of carving a lot easier, not only physically, but also visually, since there are more joints that help guide you find the true shape of the hull. Here is a list of the most common model boat hull designs that youa€™ll typically encounter.
Most hard chine boats are either small to medium sized motor boats, such as launches, torpedo boats, speedboats or small and modest sized sail boats.
A round bilge hull can not be planked with sheets, but has to be either carved or strip planked. The benefit with a multihull over a monohull is that they achieve the same stability as a monohull but with less wave forming resistance, so they go faster with the same driving power. Wood and card model of the west front of Notre Dame Cathedral, Reims, France, possibly by E.C. The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for a€?Creating Innovative Learning Programmesa€™, its new one week intensive course. The hull is typically a big part of your model boat building effort, especially for scratch-building.If judging from my own experience, most projects Ia€™ve abandoned were during the hull building phase, often because I didna€™t quite work out enough details at the hull design phase ahead of cutting and gluing. Hopefully they'll help you succeed with your model by laying out different options for boat hull design and construction. Plank-on-frame mimics the way a full-size ship was built, from the way the frames are constructed, to the width and joints of each strip as it is planked. If the previous sentence was all Greek to you, then stick with plank-on-bulkhead.I've heard a general rule not to place bulkheads more than two inches (50 mm) apart. Other popular woods include Alder, Poplar, Yellow Pine, Cherry and Walnut.Some woods are less suitable, generally because they are either too hard or not particularly stable. Typically the lower part (under and including the bilge) are made up of a solid piece or laminated boards and, the sides are covered with sheets or strips of plywood, styrene, card stock or wood to form a complete hull.This method saves material and weight over straight Bread and Butter and is typically faster to build than a regular planked hull. A long and narrow hull will be a lot easier to plank than one that is short and wide.Planking a round-bilge hull with sheet material, the way paper models often are constructed, is by all accounts a compromise.
The most common are:Catamarans - two connected hulls of the same sizeTrimarans - three connected hulls, where the middle typically is larger than the other two. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences. Once planks are laid or chips carved, it's often difficult to go back and make corrections.Some of my abandoned efforts also came s a result of snags I'd been unable to see before starting out. Some may say casting is another method to create a model, and I agree that is true to a point. In the end, some hull planking is often left off to show the arrangement and construction of the frames. Ia€™ve seen exceptions to this a€“ for instance: most Glynn Guest designs rarely have more than two or three bulkheads over a 30 to 40 inch length.


It's relatively common for semi-scale working models where there is more leeway in regards to accurate representation.A hybrid built approach is especially suited for large warships, cargo ships, tankers and the like, where the sides are flat or near flat. The time saved is two-fold: less bulkheads to cut out and line up and only a couple of strakes of planking.
Good examples are the Elco PT boats and many launches and motor torpedo boats by Vosper and others. You also see build logs in forums, often scratch-builds, done this way with styrene sheet.In this method the fitted panel span only between two bulkheads, the keelson and to a false deck at waterline (for instance). Also, the more bulkheads and closer together, the smoother the result.For late 19th and 20th century steel hulls, Ia€™d use solid blocks at the extremes whenever suitable.
I did not include that as a separate category, since the master (or plug), most likely, has to be created from one of the methods mentioned above.
American Beech is unsuitable, first because it is very hard, and secondly it is not stable and seems to have a mind of its own (warps).All said, there is no reason foam materials could not be used, such as polystyrene or "hard" polyurethane. This method typically leaves more room for running hardware, motors and RC gear than you'd see in a B&B hull. The side and bottom panels on these boats are actually scalloped (or concave) when looking at the original hull sections.
Ita€™s a convenient solution for paper or styrene, but it's difficult to finish into a true and smooth hull this way. It is very difficult to get plank strips to form that sharp entry of a full size vessel a€“ it always end up blunt. Generally associated with sailing vessels of the Pacific Islands.Multihulled vessels are built for speed and economy. Hopefully, these notes will help you avoid repeating my mistakes and increase your odds of successfully finishing your hull.I suppose this page can also be helpful in reviewing different types of kit constructions and the various hull materials used.
It had plywood bulkheads about 4-5 inches apart and planked with 3mm basswood strips.When all else fail, heat and moisture can make strips bend easier. These materials are commonly used when making surfboards for instance.One big benefit to a carved method is that there is very little stress and tension in the structure to contend with during the construction process, as opposed to those in any of the planked methods. Using blocks at the stern youa€™ll bypass the headache of tight bends and awkwardly tapered strips.
In a nutshell, this is meant to be a road-map for anyone curious about model boat hull design options.
Bulkheads are often made of plywood and spaced much further apart than the frames in the plank-on-frame method.
Since the strips are now forced to take a shape, youa€™ve got to watch and make sure it follows the true shape of the hull.Some material bend easier than others.
Therefore the need to rigidly hold the hull during construction is merely a matter of convenience rather than necessity.
If youa€™re looking for easy, look for a straight shear line (where the deck meets the upper part of the hull) or another flat plane that can be laid flat on your building surface.
Naturally, this is not an option if the planking is exposed, but works great for hulls that are painted.Whenever scale appearance comes second to simplicity, some round bilge hulls can be simplified by converting them to some form of hard chine design. Some small to medium sized passenger ferries have been designed with multihulls for speed and economy.
Large ships for instance, can often be built up with balsa or basswood sheet of appropriate dimensions and sanded to take on a more rounded shape. It evolved during the construction of great churches in the Paris region in a move towards greater height, light and volume. A hull that has a noticeable twist in it is often beyond saving.The kit manufacturer Billing have kits that are built one half at a time and later assembled. The thicker the planking, the more material will be available to form a rounded bilge and other joints. Later it was also used for secular buildings such as castles, palaces, bridges, city walls and gates.


The worst ones are softwoods such as Spruce, Cedar and Pine.I advice against using metal nails for fasteners. Key features include the pointed arch, the rib vault, buttresses (especially arched flying buttresses) and window tracery.
Metal nails are a nuisance when it comes to sanding the hull a€“ theya€™ll cut your fingertips.
If you read or hear that term, run the other way.The thinner the planking material, the better it takes a bend, and the less stress it puts on the structure as a whole. Enthusiasm for Gothic began to wane in the early 15th century, initially in the city states of central Italy where it had never been entirely popular. On the downside, thin material need more support, so more frames or bulkheads are needed and placed closer together. A better option is to make treenails and peg the strips in place.For appropriate sized model boats, staples can be used, but they tend to beat up the wood pretty bad and sometimes split the strips. Not a big deal if the hull is to be Bondo-ed, fiber-glassed and painted.The featured RC PT boat is a good example of a simplified hull being planked with sheet (balsa in this instance) for easy construction.
Early Gothic in England The new Gothic style emerging in France was rapidly taken up in England. It was used in two highly important buildings: Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, where royal coronations took place. English Gothic buildings often include plant decoration, adding to the tree-like effect of the interiors. At York Minster, the stone 'pendants' suspended from the canopies above the seats in the walls of the chapter house are carved with botanically accurate leaves that seem to burst into life. In the later Middle Ages, creativity in Gothic architecture shifted from cathedrals to parish churches.
Many small churches serving local communities were built according to the latest fashion or refurbished in the style.
Parish churches across Europe still display the great variety and inventiveness of medieval architects and stonemasons working within a shared family of Gothic styles. The first major building project in the new Gothic style, it would be followed by a series of great Gothic cathedrals, in Paris (Notre-Dame), Soissons, Chartres, Bourges, Reims and Amiens. Portions of its early Gothic architecture survive in the walkway around the eastern end (the 'ambulatory') and in the crypt beneath it.
T he Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, completed in 1248, is the only remaining portion of the palace complex built by King Louis IX (reigned 1226a€“70).
With its masonry engineered to support large expanses of glass, the Sainte-Chapelle became the most influential building of the period. Form and decoration were now taking over from height and volume as the main aims of Gothic architecture.
Smaller-scale buildings were better able to showcase this new attention to detail and delicacy.
In north Germany and the Baltic region, the main building material was brick, resulting in striking exteriors.
In central Europe, the ribs of Gothic ceilings evolved into beautiful star and net patterns. The spectacular cantilevered tower at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire reflects the local tradition for timber construction. The pointed arches on the ground floor of the Doge's Palace in Venice are a variation on the arcading typical of buildings in north and central Italy.




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