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View Full Version : Is a model a good idea? Blonde? Redhead?



daddles
04-09-2003, 01:22 AM
As soon as we scrape together the money, we plan on building an Oughtred Fulmar. In the meantime, that is, while waiting for some generous benefactor to shower us with plywood and epoxy, I've been considering building a model of the Fulmar - basically take the plans and build a small version from them. I've never built a boat but have build countless model aeroplanes.

In various places, I've heard it said that building a model first is a good idea but I was wondering if any of you would like to share your thoughts on the question. Is it a good idea for a novice builder? Will it help in the final product or will it just give me something to do? How should I go about it - as close as possible to the plans mirroring materials, techniques etc or doesn't that really matter in the real world? What scale? I was thinking of 1" to 1'.

Cheers
Richard

Wild Dingo
04-09-2003, 02:16 AM
Gidday from the West Coast Richard!! :D
Well Ive been led to believe that for a major build its recommended to get a feel for everything your doing... some even suggest that you go to the trouble of making everything including moulds and such to really know what your up against it also gives a good 3D vision of how it all goes together.

I dont know if a canoe model is worth the effort unless its a Piccolo such as Bruce has built and was in one edition of the woodenboat magazine in that case Id suggest a model would look brilliant...

However having said that mate a model would definantly be a way of keeping focused and also if done precisely to scale with planks and ribs etc it would tell you a lot about the actual building. Ive heard of building models of the boat hull then building said hull full size and then doing a model of the house and placements of furnishings etc and it seems to be the go.

Another way is the half model method which is the way most designers go draw the plans draw up the full size lines from the offsets and prove the plans and lines with the half model and built true gives another way of "proving" the lines and offsets. also again gives you a nice something to hang on the wall :cool:

I reckon a model sure would look good on the mantlepeice or a half model on the wall with the final full sized one on the water eh?

Go for it!!! :cool:

edited to add theres a whole mess of people here from over your way! Chris {doorstop} is in SA along with Phil Young and a couple of others and then theres the Victorian contingent so your in good company... Welcome to the forum mate!

[ 04-09-2003, 03:18 AM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]

Ken Hutchins
04-09-2003, 07:21 AM
Definitely a good idea, make it exactly like to full size, every part. The time spent on the model will pay you back several times over when building full size. Do a first class job on the model.

J. Dillon
04-09-2003, 07:47 AM
Absolutely, you can make all your mistakes on a "small scale" . That way they will be cheaply and easily repaired. Besides you can have fun in the bath tub with it afer taking her off the mantle.

JD

"Carrianne" from dream
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid10/p5a732c1529ae6ff4e5af732c27f925a4/fe018fe3.jpg

to reality

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid10/p9f8889e9ed3fef496f9d6ebd54111f39/fe029891.jpg

NormMessinger
04-09-2003, 08:03 AM
Of course a model is a good idea. You had to ask?

I rough out models from poster board because I can't visualize well enough from the plans. Nothing like the beauties JD turns out but fast and cheep. You on the other hand will gain invaluable experience building an exact scale model. I'd go with 1:8 (1-1/2" to the foot) for a boat the size of Fulmar but what ever...

Can you share pictures?

Bob Aberton
04-09-2003, 03:02 PM
What wood would be best for this sort of model, by the way - the same woods planned (oak and cedar and white pine and such) for the full size boat, or what?

Paul Scheuer
04-09-2003, 03:52 PM
I vote in favor of a model. A lot can be learned inexpensively. I built a model of the skiff to determine whether I could make the chines from straight pieces. It was also useful when matched with a scale doorway, to prove that I could get the boat out of the basement shop.

The only way to scale the grain for a model is to use wood with virtually no grain. Certainly not oak.

Ken Hutchins
04-09-2003, 06:42 PM
The finer the grain in the wood the better, the fruit woods like apple, pear and the citrus fruits are great, woods like beech. the birches, maples, mahogany, teak, are good, stay away from woods such as SYP with hard and soft layers in the growth rings. Oaks and ashes can be used but require an lot of work to get a good finish. Some excellent model woods can be found in bushes and shrubs right in your yard. Most of these are real slow growing. I've got some blueberry that is so fine the growth rings can't be counted with a 10x glass.

mmd
04-09-2003, 07:25 PM
Models are the best learning tool, bar none. Ken's suggestions of wood species is right on the money, too. Basswood and balsa are good candidates as well. Although a showpiece model is a wonderful thing, unless you are after this target don't worry about the pretties - it is a learning tool, right?

[ 04-09-2003, 09:08 PM: Message edited by: mmd ]

Tar Devil
04-10-2003, 07:41 AM
Mine is still in the dream stage. Used balsa on the dory; basswood, epoxy and fiberglass on the Diablo...

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid41/p428cba63f017830b5fa98bf7ec2c0652/fcf8f4ec.jpg
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid53/pa1d16e37671e98999c0f1f66a01ed470/fc9157df.jpg

Kinda embarrassing to show these on the same page as JD's.

Later,

Phil

Ed Neal
04-10-2003, 12:25 PM
Definitely build the model. I agree with all that has been said regarding woods.

To me, the biggest advantage of a model is that it builds up your patience. All those voices in your mind such as "what's it going to look like", how does this part connect to that", "is this part really as curved as that", "can't we move ahead to the next step to see how this comes out" etc. are all answered more cheaply and quickly with the model. You can take your time more with the actual boat and work with less wasted time plotting out next steps or rushing ahead to see something get done.

daddles
04-10-2003, 07:30 PM
Thanks for that boys. It's nice to have one's misconceptions confirmed. As for timbers, there's plenty of thin ply in the model shops in all sorts of sizes so I should be able to get some to the right scale thickness. Hardwood bits? I'll have a look around. Will it be a showcase model? Hah! I've spent thirty years building model aeroplanes (control line stunters) and still can't manage a showcase model. My stuff is strictly utilitarian.

Cheers
Richard

Todd Dunn
04-10-2003, 11:14 PM
Building a model is a great idea. I highly reccommned it. If you just want a display model, then a half-model built plank on frame provides an excellant introduction to the methods. I like to build models to be around 20" long. That means that different scales are used based on the size of the real boat.

The pictures below are half-models of a Hallberg Mistral 33 built at the 1/2" = 1 foot scale (16.5" long) and a Bristol Channel Cutter 28 built at the 3/4"=1 foot scale (21" long). PLease note that the BCC model isn't finished yet.

Todd

Hallberg Mistral 33 1/2"=1 foot

http://userpages.acadia.net/todddunn/halfhull/hotspur-10.jpg

Bristol Channel Cutter 28 3/4"=1 foot (in progress)

http://userpages.acadia.net/todddunn/pictures/bernie-7.jpg

char
04-10-2003, 11:27 PM
Where do you get the plans for models? Do you just look at the published designs and then extrapolate from there? Can you buy the designs?

Tar Devil
04-11-2003, 09:09 AM
Char, I scaled my down from the full size plans.

Later,

Phil

[ 04-11-2003, 10:09 AM: Message edited by: Tar Devil ]

John A. Campbell
04-11-2003, 06:21 PM
I heartily agree with all of the other replies to this thread that building a model prior to the full size boat is smart.....ESPECIALLY if you plan to deviate from the way the boat was intended to be built. For example, I'm building Piccolo in glued lap plywood using Tom Hill's method instead of traditional lumber as Bob Baker originally specified. I also think it's a good idea to "stage" the construction....that is, loft the model first, then loft the big one. Make molds for the model next...then molds for the big one. Then erect the molds, stems, and keel for the model followed by the same items for the big one. Line off the model, then line off the big one.....on and on until you essentially bring them both up together. For me, it keeps the entire project "fresh" (for want of a better word) and will give you a feeling of confidence like you've never experienced before. It minimizes the chance for error in the full size boat, alerts you to the need for certain tools and other construction aids (cleats on molds, bracing, guides, etc.) and really gives you the ability to PREDICT problems that may lie ahead, e.g. any problem you encounter with the model will almost certainly be encountered with the full size boat.

Also, if you build a model of the boat, build it at 1/4 scale (3" = 1'0")........I know it's a big model but the typical architect's scale is available in that dimension and building a 36" model of a 12-foot boat is a helluva lot easier than building a 12" model of a 12-foot boat and the difference in cost of materials between a 36" model and a 12" model is not significant. Also, you will find it MUCH easier to use the same construction techniques as a full size boat when building to a large scale........

There.....I've said it......shoot me down, Fellow Forumites!!

Hwyl
04-11-2003, 06:36 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by John A. Campbell:
[QB]

Also, if you build a model of the boat, build it at 1/4 scale (3" = 1'0")........I know it's a big model but the typical architect's scale is available in that dimension and building a 36" model of a 12-foot boat is a helluva lot easier than building a 12" model of a 12-foot boat and the difference in cost of materials between a 36" model and a 12" model is not significant. Also, you will find it MUCH easier to use the same construction techniques as a full size boat when building to a large scale........End of quote

That's what I was going to say.

[ 04-11-2003, 07:38 PM: Message edited by: Hwyl ]

Ken Hutchins
04-11-2003, 07:46 PM
Hint, put the table of offsets in excell or other spreadsheet. If you have the full version of excell you can make a graph and print out the mold stations in whatever scale you want.

Paul Scheuer
04-12-2003, 09:07 AM
Never intended as display models, these were made of card stock as study models.

The Newfoundland Trap Skiff once featured in WB, and the Yankee Tender that was eventually rendered full sized in real wood.
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid59/p3d59cbbca60c5818da36d5544d8f3c9e/fc5a4e0a.jpg

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid59/p7f4758dbfde22b023c251a2d74c93a1f/fc5a4e06.jpg

Bruce Taylor
04-12-2003, 02:35 PM
Even a quick, sloppy model can help. I needed to test a little boat of my own design, so I threw this one together. I've used it to check trim, try out different riggings, test thwart & seating arrangements, and entertain my three-year-old in the bath.

It's repaid my trouble dozens of times over.

I built at 1 1/2"=1' -- a very comfortable scale for a small boat. I sliced planking stock on the bandsaw from a piece of scrap cedar.

When the full-sized boat is finished I'll put a little wooden guy in the model and set it adrift in the Gatineau river. Maybe he'll make it to the Atlantic!

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid36/p7ce01ff1563bed614958f25d794564db/fd256771.jpg

[ 04-12-2003, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: Bruce Taylor ]

imported_Steven Bauer
04-12-2003, 05:50 PM
Bruce, that is NICE! Wow!
All you other modelers, too. :D
Steven

J. Dillon
04-12-2003, 06:51 PM
Bruce,

Nice model and all the others too.

Did you ever read a kids classic called " Paddle to the sea " ? A story about a hand carved model canoe launched from some where in the Great lakes and all the adventures the canoe and it's lone indian canoeist had on the way to the ocean.

Good read and with lotsa illustrations.

JD

Ken Hutchins
04-12-2003, 09:08 PM
Thought I might post a couple of photos of TALLY HO II model. The model is 1/12 scale R/C it started out just as a test model but I got carried away with small detail.
The mahogany trim is from some wood remaining from the original boat (1883) and the deck strips are teak from the deck of "Big Mamie" the battleship Massachusetts. My dad is a volunteer at the museum and he got the teak when they were replacing the deck.
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid59/p982988a635d1de66dbf0740a538b6f4e/fc5a13e6.jpg

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid59/p4fa96934e55d6b6f1aa04e29ff31c193/fc5a13d6.jpg
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid59/p6ad84261b39a533df99258d214c57673/fc598e85.jpg

Bruce Taylor
04-12-2003, 10:07 PM
Did you ever read a kids classic called " Paddle to the sea "Oh, sure...one of my favorites. There's a charming NFB movie based on the book, too.

My little helmsman is going to have to get past the turbines at the Chelsea hydro-dam...if he's lucky, a beaver will get him first.

Wild Dingo
04-12-2003, 10:21 PM
Ken thats a bloody ripper mate!! :cool: ...****e down to tiny clamps! :D man shes a bobby dazzler ;) ... geez when you fellas say make a model you dont muck about do you?? :eek:

Well from a fella that only done some paper and cardboard models so far and is gonna decline from taking photos for this fine example of show and tell youve all done yerselves proud!! :cool: and I was saying not to bother with canoes! :rolleyes: ...sheeesh better get to model makin eh fellas gettin ahead of meself I am! tongue.gif

Eddiebou
09-18-2010, 09:01 AM
Building a model of your "dreamboat" is a great thing to do. In fact, my experience with it reveals, in some ways, it is just as challenging and almost as time consuming as building the real thing. You'll get really hooked on making it just so. As these other people have mentioned, wood selection in regard to grain size very important. The scale you choose, of course, depends on the size you want the model to be, (for display), etc. I built a model from an existing boat (1'-1") one time and soon realized that the problem with measuring actual feet and inches on the real boat, setting aside my carpenters rule, picking up a scale rule to draw or measure was just too irritating, especially those 3 sided scale rules with 2 scales going in opposite directions. You cant use a regular rule for both because a foot has 12 inches and a carpenters rule is divided into 16th's. Sounds obvious, doesn't it. Anyway I ended up making my own little wooden scale rule that I could use for both purposes, and it really made life easier. Using 3/4 scale solves this problem, but I wanted a 20" model. As I have seen quite a few model boats that just don't look right, I made every piece of this boat to scale, every plank, every frame, everything. I learned alot about why things were the way they were. Even at this small scale, I found out why scarf joints were where they were, why funny little details about the hull were like they were. Things that just seemed clunky or convenient on the real boat were fully realized while building the model. It was very challenging to paint the model. Also I found that good ole slow setting carpenters glue was much better than quickset superglue types. Rubber bands and clothespins and masking tape will be your best friends during this project, and, yes, make your station forms to scale and position and you will soon realize that a lofting board of flat, nice plywood with a centerline is necessary. Good luck, hope you enjoy your finished model as much as I do mine.

Jay Greer
09-18-2010, 11:19 AM
Scaling the model so that it ends up between two and three feet in length would allow you to build it as a pond yacht and add RC just to add to the fun.
Indeed, a half model allows one to become very aquainted with the lines as well. The important thing is to have fun!
Jay

donald branscom
09-18-2010, 12:38 PM
Building a half model is a waste of time as far as learning about the construction of the real boat.

Like an art student does not have to know how a car is constructed to make a drawing of the outside skin of the car.
You need to build a model to learn its CONSTRUCTION.

Don't use balsa wood. It is cheap and made for model airplanes where weight is an important consideration.
Use the basswood. that is soft enough.

Make the model 2-3 feet long. The bigger the model the cheaper it gets because you can use wood trim from the lumber stores instead of expensive Hobby shop products.

If you build the model you will gain a great deal of insight into how and what to do when building the real boat.
Also you find out which parts come first ,2,nd, and so forth.

Jay Greer
09-18-2010, 01:44 PM
Building a half model is a waste of time as far as learning about the construction of the real boat.

Like an art student does not have to know how a car is constructed to make a drawing of the outside skin of the car.
You need to build a model to learn its CONSTRUCTION.

Don't use balsa wood. It is cheap and made for model airplanes where weight is an important consideration.
Use the basswood. that is soft enough.

Make the model 2-3 feet long. The bigger the model the cheaper it gets because you can use wood trim from the lumber stores instead of expensive Hobby shop products.

If you build the model you will gain a great deal of insight into how and what to do when building the real boat.
Also you find out which parts come first ,2,nd, and so forth.
I always carve a half model of a boat I intend to build prior to lofting. It gives me an inner unspoken sense of the form that I will be laying on to the loft floor.
Jay