inch-scale (1/12) USS Constitution, by Yama

Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
9
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The goal: a USS Constitution "reasonably accurate model" that can be actually sailed.

The quote marks are because the goal of making this model be an actual functional sailing vessel will require several compromises regarding strict accuracy. For example, the decks are absent in several sections, because the sailing crew needs to sit as low as possible, to keep a low center of gravity. Possibly the beam will need to be increased, with the same goal of stability. The rigging simplified, as the crew will be very limited. Ratlines with more space between the rungs. You get the idea. Structurally, a fiberglass hull will exist between two layers of thin planks, generally respecting an accurate frame. Suitable flotation devices attached to the hull as required by current safety good practices. Stronger materials might replace wood in certain places, both for safety, but also to make the ship lighter, easier to load for transport in a trailer.
Despite all those necessary modifications, the intention is that the only thing that could get an observer to doubt they are looking at the real thing, is those giants manning the rigging... :)

Right now, as of December 2020, I am at the "due diligence" stage. Meaning, really no idea if I will do this, so, let's not hold our breath...

My main concern regards the fact that, apparently, large scale models of sailing ships are quite rare, and those that can actually put to sea essentially none. I have so far noticed two, one of them a 2017 project, unheard of since, https://5500.forumactif.org/t2423-la-belle-1684-au-1-6eme
This matters, because, if nobody is doing this kind of thing, maybe there's a good reason that I haven't thought of?
Then, of course, I am aware this will be unduly complex, unnecessarily expensive, and a general inconvenience to operate. However, no news there for anybody who has built a somewhat large-scale model, except perhaps the issues related to operating the thing, expensive and complex are expected... Expensive especially regarding time, as I intend to use a chainsaw and friendship with local landscape and tree professionals to procure suitable lumber for the frame. As mentioned above, the planks themselves will be a "cheat", rather thin, well waterproofed, essentially sealed in resin, this latter likely my largest out-of-pocket.

But it will be spectacular. I might get away with not having to pay berthing fees for the duration, as "obviously," famous last words, anybody would love to have this be-au-ti-ful, historical 12-foot Tall Ship tied to their dock, right?

Being practical, the main difficulty I cannot really assess right now is the operation. Tall ships, by design, require a large crew, because there are so many moving parts. THAT would be a good reason not to attempt this kind of project. My own initial motivation was to have the ultimate playground for my nieces and nephews, four at the last count. They probably will not appreciate it as much as how I would have totally LOVED to spend all my time in a toy tall ship, that works! I noticed almost right away that this it is actually a very bad idea, to try to relive one's "improved" childhood vicariously. Then I realized that I myself could enjoy playing with this toy, take the wife along... The complexity of operation can be dealt with, through robotics, essentially the necessary lines are maneuvered by motors. This has been done a lot, not much to invent, there. It will be fun to put a few Beanie Babies (they are almost 1/12 scale) for photo ops. The pint-size relatives and their friends can come enjoy, also, but are not required or necessary to the success of the project. More healthy, right?

Then, it probably will take forever, perhaps 3 years? Maybe in a year I'd have a floating hull, that can be played in, with oars. Finishing that with all the carvings and stuffs, another year, then one more for the rigging. I hope I will be reporting regularly, but that's also a "too be seen."
Meanwhile, merry Christmas to all

Yama
My introduction: https://shipsofscale.com/sosforums/...hip-models-yama-form-austin.6599/#post-145389
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
9
Points
23

My main concern regards the fact that, apparently, large scale models of sailing ships are quite rare, and those that can actually put to sea essentially none. I have so far noticed two, one of them a 2017 project, unheard of since, https://5500.forumactif.org/t2423-la-belle-1684-au-1-6eme
This matters, because, if nobody is doing this kind of thing, maybe there's a good reason that I haven't thought of?
Notice examples in pictures that have been added to the https://shipsofscale.com/sosforums/...hip-models-yama-form-austin.6599/#post-145389 thread. Several good concepts in this regard, a tourist boat, and models for filming movies. I have a feeling that the Federalist portrayed there has the modifications that I intend.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
9
Points
23

Pages showing precedents for these large scale, sailable ships,
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
9
Points
23

This recent week's research has been all about paper boats, that being, doh, boats made out of paper, or with paper as a substantive ingredient to form the hull.
Reasoning:
  • I want to end up with a model/boat that actually can go in the water and somewhat easy to transport. Trying to be accurate as to materials (three layers of oak planking, or even just the internal two of pine, plus effective waterproofing) would end up tremendously heavy, and expensive, and laborious... I already mentioned I intended to do a fiberglass sandwich between two layers of planks, I might have found better.
  • I am a paper maker, in civilian life. Therefore, all-things-paper is within my purview.
  • I do have experience in thin-shell composite construction using paper and glue, on a frame. This is called "cartonería," among other names according to language and tradition ("papier-mâché" is a misnomer, adopted by many, but inaccurate). I've done cartoneria, I'm even writing a book about the subject, "The Fantastic Alebrijes of Austin."
  • Titebond III is waterproof!
    AND no fumes, nontoxic (during the winter I'll have little ventilation, so no fiberglass/polyester resin), rather inexpensive.
    When used to make laminates with kraft paper, we might end up with a winner
Of course, to be demonstrated, etc.
Meanwhile, a good starting point to explore paper boats is the pages by Ken Cupery, http://www.cupery.net/
Interestingly, the "secret" George and Elisha Waters method indicates that they used flexible, "wet" layers of their paper-glue material. Which is pretty much what I intend to do. Canonical cartoneria, adds each single piece of paper with glue unto the frame, which is great for very complex shapes, think figureheads, but leaves gaps and air pockets. Which are weak spots, and eventually might end up filling with water. My plan is to add layers of paper and glue on top of each other, on a worktable, using any or several of a roller pin, brayer, squeegee, press, vacuum, calender, to really tighten those layers together, removing air. Then, treat the result laminate as if it were plywood or such, setting it on a form.
Of course, :), to be seen...

The short-term plan is to make a few shells using this technology to get good at it, probably going after a canoyak utility shape, so I get something practical out of the exercise, before going to perhaps a 1/30 hull. If I find somewhere a cheapo cheapo wood veneer, it would be cool to use it for the top layer This will look a lot like some waterproof plywood.

Why so much trouble, Yama? why not marine plywood?
Besides the intense cost, I haven't been too happy with "okume." It soaks water. Maybe it is intended to soak resin? Yes, I would finish my boat/s with a coat of resin, but that's for looks. I want the whatever inside to be VERY workable, which paper is, and very waterproof, which Titebond 3 is. I have more than a passing feeling that the strength/weigh ratio for paper laminate is much higher than plywood. I am yet to figure out actual details, but for now I see as the main advantage the potential plasticity that these laminates have while still wet. That is, applied to a form, they would fit a complex curve. Hmm, now that I think of it, that's not the look of 19th century ships, the planks are individually flat when looked at outside, so no need to round-up their appearance. Oh well, we'll see.
And if we don't see, we'll get new glasses!
 

Uwek

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The goal: a USS Constitution "reasonably accurate model" that can be actually sailed.

The quote marks are because the goal of making this model be an actual functional sailing vessel will require several compromises regarding strict accuracy. For example, the decks are absent in several sections, because the sailing crew needs to sit as low as possible, to keep a low center of gravity. Possibly the beam will need to be increased, with the same goal of stability. The rigging simplified, as the crew will be very limited. Ratlines with more space between the rungs. You get the idea. Structurally, a fiberglass hull will exist between two layers of thin planks, generally respecting an accurate frame. Suitable flotation devices attached to the hull as required by current safety good practices. Stronger materials might replace wood in certain places, both for safety, but also to make the ship lighter, easier to load for transport in a trailer.
Despite all those necessary modifications, the intention is that the only thing that could get an observer to doubt they are looking at the real thing, is those giants manning the rigging... :)

Right now, as of December 2020, I am at the "due diligence" stage. Meaning, really no idea if I will do this, so, let's not hold our breath...

My main concern regards the fact that, apparently, large scale models of sailing ships are quite rare, and those that can actually put to sea essentially none. I have so far noticed two, one of them a 2017 project, unheard of since, https://5500.forumactif.org/t2423-la-belle-1684-au-1-6eme
This matters, because, if nobody is doing this kind of thing, maybe there's a good reason that I haven't thought of?
Then, of course, I am aware this will be unduly complex, unnecessarily expensive, and a general inconvenience to operate. However, no news there for anybody who has built a somewhat large-scale model, except perhaps the issues related to operating the thing, expensive and complex are expected... Expensive especially regarding time, as I intend to use a chainsaw and friendship with local landscape and tree professionals to procure suitable lumber for the frame. As mentioned above, the planks themselves will be a "cheat", rather thin, well waterproofed, essentially sealed in resin, this latter likely my largest out-of-pocket.

But it will be spectacular. I might get away with not having to pay berthing fees for the duration, as "obviously," famous last words, anybody would love to have this be-au-ti-ful, historical 12-foot Tall Ship tied to their dock, right?

Being practical, the main difficulty I cannot really assess right now is the operation. Tall ships, by design, require a large crew, because there are so many moving parts. THAT would be a good reason not to attempt this kind of project. My own initial motivation was to have the ultimate playground for my nieces and nephews, four at the last count. They probably will not appreciate it as much as how I would have totally LOVED to spend all my time in a toy tall ship, that works! I noticed almost right away that this it is actually a very bad idea, to try to relive one's "improved" childhood vicariously. Then I realized that I myself could enjoy playing with this toy, take the wife along... The complexity of operation can be dealt with, through robotics, essentially the necessary lines are maneuvered by motors. This has been done a lot, not much to invent, there. It will be fun to put a few Beanie Babies (they are almost 1/12 scale) for photo ops. The pint-size relatives and their friends can come enjoy, also, but are not required or necessary to the success of the project. More healthy, right?

Then, it probably will take forever, perhaps 3 years? Maybe in a year I'd have a floating hull, that can be played in, with oars. Finishing that with all the carvings and stuffs, another year, then one more for the rigging. I hope I will be reporting regularly, but that's also a "too be seen."
Meanwhile, merry Christmas to all

Yama
My introduction: https://shipsofscale.com/sosforums/...hip-models-yama-form-austin.6599/#post-145389
Hallo @yamaplos
we wish you all the BEST and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Birthday-Cake
What is about your project? Any updates?
 
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