Anyone ever build the Leon

shipbuilder

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#3
I have always been interested in building model ships from the age of about 8 onwards, but kits never gave me any satisfaction, or sense of achievement. When I found Plank on Frame Models, by Harold A Underhill, in 1964, it was like a breath of fresh air. My first serious model was the Leon, and the satisfaction that I had built all of it, started me on a lifelong hobby of scratch building ship models. In the 21st century, scratch building has virtually died out. I have recommended those two books to lots of new modellers, but very few have ever taken it up, preferring large, expensive kits. Admittedly, a well-built kit far surpasses most scratch built models, but their value is diminished by the fact that they are confined to the same old subjects and duplicated in their thousands. Here is my latest effort, the barque Gulf Stream. Building costs, only a few pounds or dollars. The most expensive item was the acrylic panels for the display case at £3 per square foot.
Complete.JPG
 

Uwek

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#4
I just searched a little bit to find some finished models and found the model of the Brigantine Leon, built by Underhill himself, which was bequeathed by him to the NMM

When you look at this model I can fully understand your interest on this ship and model

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This is the description you can find on the web-page of the NMM:

Scale: 1:96. Harold Underhill wrote extensively on sailing vessels, and he had a productive business making and selling ship plans for modelmakers. His book ‘Plank-on Frame Models’, published by Brown, Son & Ferguson, in 1960, is a two-volume set detailing the building and rigging of the brigantine ‘Leon’ (1880) and it is still much sought after by aficionados. The volumes detail the approach to building a ship model plank on frame, much the same way full-sized ships were built. Using the ‘Leon’ as a test case, Underhill shows in the first volume how to make the frames from plans, plank the hull, deck and bulwarks and construct fittings. The second volume describes the process of masting and rigging a model. The books include detailed plans of the ‘Leon’, and other vessels by way of examples. The author takes an uncompromising approach to modelmaking, treating it simultaneously as an enjoyable hobby and a strict discipline. There are no kits here, just the reader, wood, thread and metal. Everything is built from scratch, nothing is ready made. Because of Underhill’s publication there are umpteen models of the ‘Leon’ around. This model, however, was made by Underhill himself and bequeathed by him to the Museum. He has depicted the vessel under construction; hatted and cloth-capped shipbuilders are planking the starboard hull, and there is a pile of ladders and planks alongside. The miniaturized scene is one of shipbuilding in progress, but Underhill has also rather wittily made a model about modelmaking.
Overall model and case: 497 x 622 x 256 mm
Built 1950

Unfortunately for most of the modelers brigantines, especially if they are pure merchantmen like this one are not so "sexy", due to the fact, that they do not have any cannons. Anthough sich a "modern" sailing ship has some advantages for a scratch built, due to the fact, that the hull and planking is easier to do. On the other hand there are several metal works to do, so soldering etc. are necessary........Very interesting vessel
 

shipbuilder

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#5
I find that no sailing warships have hulls as sleek and attractive as merchant ships. I think the main reason why modellers do not like them is not their looks, but their apparent complexity, and the deep-rooted belief that they could never build anything like that. Here is Germany's Preussen at 25 feet to 1 inch (1:300) and Loch Torridon at 32 feet to 1 inch (1:384). Loch Torridon (Large).JPG
Bob
Preussen under sail.jpg
 

zoly99sask

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#9
Other than the book from Harold Underhill, where we could get the plans and drawings for the Leon?
 
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#10
For my next build (after I complete my current build), I was contemplating the Leon while following the techniques in Plank on Frame models ; in addition to some more "modern" techniques and advice. I have (found good quality used book on Amazon) both volumes and read both.

Googling there are some plans besides in the book (the books the plans are smaller scale). I am not sure of some companies reputation, but here is one site that has lots of plans for sale: Model-Dockyard and not too expensive (one site the plans were a few hundred bucks!).
 

zoly99sask

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For my next build (after I complete my current build), I was contemplating the Leon while following the techniques in Plank on Frame models; in addition to some more "modern" techniques and advice. I have (found good quality used book on Amazon) both volumes and read both.

Googling there are some plans besides in the book (the books the plans are smaller scale). I am not sure of some companies reputation, but here is one site that has lots of plans for sale: Model-Dockyard and not too expensive (one site the plans were a few hundred bucks!).
These plans from Dockyard needs to be lofted for the frames in Cad, not really good enough for plank on frame if you want ready good plans for plank on frame than you could check Ancre books or the Harold Hahn plans ,or Seawatch books.

https://ancre.fr/en/13-monograph

http://www.navyboardmodels.com/store/plans

https://www.seawatchbooks.com/SWBTitles.htm
 

shipbuilder

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Here is a Model Dockyard link: https://www.model-dockyard.com/acatalog/Harold_Underhill_Sailing_Ship_Plans.html They advertise Leon plans for £59.06, which is rather expensive. Cheaper to get the books and enlarge the plans in them. You also have comprehensive instructions on how to build it. I have suggested this as a first time plank on frame build a number of times, but the usual comment is "too difficult!" It does make a beautiful model, and with only one square-rigged mast, it is not all that difficult to build. Highly recommended.
Bob
 

shipbuilder

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At the local ship model society, whenever the subject of CAD comes up, you can almost see most eyes (including mine:cool:) glazing over with non-comprehension. Never having been much of a scholar, I gather that CAD is horribly expensive, and takes a great deal of time and concentration to master. But I do know that Harold A Underhill constructed the model Leon shown above, from the plans, and without the use of CAD, that was not even around then. Numerous modellers over the past few decades have built the Leon from those same plans without any undue problems. I have always felt that the biggest obstacle to scratchbuilding is the attitude "I haven't the time, I haven't the tools, I haven't the patience, I don't know where to get plans, the plans are not good enough etc etc)." If anyone wants to build the Leon, I would suggest they just get stuck in. I built mine by just tracing the frame shapes off the plan, sticking them on plywood, and cutting them out with a small saw. I had a pin-vice hand drill, a sharp knife, small vice, steel ruler and pair of dividers, and that was all!
Bob
 

zoly99sask

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#14
At the local ship model society, whenever the subject of CAD comes up, you can almost see most eyes (including mine:cool:) glazing over with non-comprehension. Never having been much of a scholar, I gather that CAD is horribly expensive, and takes a great deal of time and concentration to master. But I do know that Harold A Underhill constructed the model Leon shown above, from the plans, and without the use of CAD, that was not even around then. Numerous modellers over the past few decades have built the Leon from those same plans without any undue problems. I have always felt that the biggest obstacle to scratchbuilding is the attitude "I haven't the time, I haven't the tools, I haven't the patience, I don't know where to get plans, the plans are not good enough etc etc)." If anyone wants to build the Leon, I would suggest they just get stuck in. I built mine by just tracing the frame shapes off the plan, sticking them on plywood, and cutting them out with a small saw. I had a pin-vice hand drill, a sharp knife, small vice, steel ruler and pair of dividers, and that was all!
Bob
What scale did you built her ,1;48?
 
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