master model shipwright Harold M Hahn

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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Harold took a jig idea from Bob then modified it, then I took the jig idea from Harold and reinvented it

first thing I did was set the keel assembly as part of the jig by adding extensions and a jig notch.


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next I took inspiration to building frames in a jig and re did that. Kind of the same idea with a keel and a stop. I already had the inside of the jig as a result of laser cutting so why not use it? simple just line up the frame notch in the keel piece and line up the top with the notch.

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then I turned everything so you can slip the frames down into the jig and set in into the keel notch and the extensions into the jig notches. no need to make sure each and every frame is square because with the keel locked in place it lines up the notches with the jig.

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to answer the question of why not set the hull into a jig that's on the out side of the hull? That worked for building the hull but not for finishing the hull. you have to remove the hull from the jig in order to sand it and install the wales. Once removed from the jig the frames are no longer held in place.

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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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another jigging method is the jig on the outside and no extensions to the frames. Once again I am saying there is no right or wrong way to do this there are only DIFFERENT ways.

For me the problems were first a jigs purpose is to secure the frames in place so you can stabilize them by adding the wales and deck clamps. to add the wales you need to sand and finish the outside of the hull which you can not do that because the jig is in the way. If you remove the hull from the jig you defeat the jigs purpose. In my case I laser cut the frame parts so there is a char on the outer surface and the laser can not cut the bevels, those have to be hand sanded and again you can not do that because of the jig. You need to finish the frames with the bevels to fit the jig so you need to know the exact angle of the bevel at the location of the jig OR cut the jig notch at a right angle and finish off the beveling later.
it's obvious this method will work I just found it easier to extend the frames and place the jig above the hull, it puts the jig out of the way and you can work both the outside and inside of the hull.


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donfarr

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I can confirm what Dave is saying I did 2 models of his one THE CAUSTIC (WITCH WAS MY FIRST POF AND I WAS HOOKED) and then I did the HAIFAX AND IT WAS USING THE HAHN TYPE JIG, no comparison the CAUSTIC WAS THE EASIER ONE TO DO, I tried to do the ONEDIA witch did not have a jig results terrible had to put it aside frames all over the place leaning every witch way and it was a shame because the build in every other way was SUPERB, notice the evolution of what is happening with todays technology by the CHINESE most all of there POF have a jig like the one Dave is talking about, as an aside you can follow my CAUSTIC BUILD ON THE MSB SITE I THINK IT IS STILL THERE, AGAIN JUST MY OPION. Don
 

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Love that saw jig, love the frame jig Everything well thought out ahead of time IMO doing things this way is not a must, But boy does it make life much easier when you do. pretty amazing that something so simple can make such a huge impact especially in a world where things are so complicated. I love this post looking forward to more. I will be using This information in building the Constellation.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

R. Buckminster Fuller


“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty........ but
when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is
wrong.”

R. Buckminster Fuller


as a young lad my grandparents took me to the Cleveland zoo. The one thing that stuck out was monkey island. This was an island with a moat that ran all the way around it. What was fascinating was the social structure of the monkeys on the island. If a monkey got out of line, took more food, was sitting in another monkeys place or whatever the issues all the monkeys would jump up and down and yell, run at each other, tossing arms up in the air and causing such a ruckus you can hear them across the zoo. that was my impression of the ship modeling community at the time Harold was active. There was a group within the community that was causing such a ruckus about what Harold was doing or not doing.


I knew Harold Hahn for many years and one day out of the blue he sold all his tools, handed me all his ship drawings, cleaned out his shop and never looked back at model ship building. His eye sight was not failing nor were his hands starting to shake he had projects and drawings in various stages of development so his intent was not to quit, but he did. I asked him and he said he just lost interest in ship modeling. I think there was more to him quitting than just loosing interest. I suspect he did not get tired of model ship building i think he got tired of model ship builders. Some times when i went to visit i asked if i could look through his library and he would say sure i will be in the other room if you have questions. Among the papers i found letters people sent some with sketches to correct the errors he made on his plans concerning the framing. Some letters stated they were first time scratch builders and did not want to put the time and effort into a model with the wrong framing and requested information on the correct way to frame the model. There were people in the ship modeling community warning builders the Hahn plans were wrong, the framing was some stylized form made up by Hahn, don't waste your time with Hahn plans because they are not historically correct and the framing was not how a real ship would have been built. Personally i think this got to Harold after years of being bashed about using figures on models he is now being harassed over his plans and the framing he chose to use.


i knew what Harold felt because for 28 years i worked as a commercial artist also called graphic artists in the trade. At one point I would design product packaging and there were times i was called in to sit at the big table to go over a project with a client. When i asked if they had anything in mind the answer was usually "no that is why we are here your the artist so create something" After a week or so of working on the project it is shown to the client. As i sat there the client would say "what the #$#%^ did they teach you in art school, i don't like the colors you used, this should be on the back panel not on the side of the box, change this and do that. Countless times clients would rip apart your work and you had to start over, in time one gets use to the constant feed back good and bad. i just walk out of the room with the thought of so what i still cash that big fat paycheck and bigger yet because now i got to do it again on overtime. I saw in Harold the same thing he poured thousands of hours into research, drafting plans and building models, creating a system to teach builders how to build from scratch. He did get praise for his work but a heck of a lot of bashing about his use of framing, little people, up side down building method, wasting of wood with building frame blanks, moving a gun port 1/32 of an inch and on it went. I think it reached a point where Harold Hahn just thought the #$%^ with all of you I'm out of here. the official explanation for Harold walking away is he fell down the steps and broke his wrist. after that he decided to quit.

The grinding of the critics does wear you down in time.

Lets go deep into What Harold did and why he did it the way he did. Walking away from ship modeling might seem a little thin skin on Harold's part but any artist can expect the critics can get quite harsh especially when you are going against the established system of doing things.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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Dave,
I'm sure one of the letter writers to Mr Hahn would have been reverend Romero.
He points out Mr Hahns errors in his ship modelling practicums.

and that is a fine example of the Hahn bashing that was going on.

Harold saved every letter arranged in boxes by subject, plan order, and Q&A he also jotted down notes on the letters if an answer was needed. Harold answered every one. That was the general files then there were the single folder files. These were a selection of people like Romero.

there was a time in the ship modeling community where it seemed to me like the school yard game of king of the hill. Here is where you stand on the top of a pile of dirt and your play mates charge up the hill to try and push you off. The person who knocks you off becomes the king of the hill.

If you took a cross section of the ship modeling community you might see 75% are hobby level kit builders doing it for fun, then 25% scratch builders, out of that 25% you might find 10% take it serious enough to do research. If I took a survey to ask how many are professional builders? how many have their work in museums? how many books have you written? what are your degrees marine engineering, marine archology, fine art etc.

this is far from an academic community so who are the "experts" pointing out the smallest of mistakes?

the ship modeling community at one point was monkey island running on the thinking of primates.
 
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donfarr

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Again well put Dave, with international sites like SOS and some others it seems to be headed in the right direction, and yes the hobby is kept alive by the novice and intermediate modelers, the masters and there are a GREAT DEAL OF THEM ON THIS SITE, can help both the modelers and the hobby in TOTAL by showing how they do there models and answer QUESTIONS FROM US INTERMEDIATE MODELERS( as they do on this site) on a site that I will not mention by name, I used to ask questions but not only did I receive NO ANSWERS BUT WAS TOLD MY ADMINISTRATOR THAT I WAS CLOGGING UP THE THREAD AND NOT TO POST QUESTIONS, so I had to use PMs, with the slight few who offered to help, this is what was destrying the fun of the hobby and driveing out the FINANCIAL BACKBONE OF THE HOBBY( intermediate and novice builders) LASTLY A BIG HELP HAS BEEN THE CHINESE, RUSSIAN, AND OTHER PROGRESIVE COMPANYS, again just my opion. Don
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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Again well put Dave, with international sites like SOS and some others it seems to be headed in the right direction, and yes the hobby is kept alive by the novice and intermediate modelers, the masters and there are a GREAT DEAL OF THEM ON THIS SITE, can help both the modelers and the hobby in TOTAL by showing how they do there models and answer QUESTIONS FROM US INTERMEDIATE MODELERS( as they do on this site) on a site that I will not mention by name, I used to ask questions but not only did I receive NO ANSWERS BUT WAS TOLD MY ADMINISTRATOR THAT I WAS CLOGGING UP THE THREAD AND NOT TO POST QUESTIONS, so I had to use PMs, with the slight few who offered to help, this is what was destrying the fun of the hobby and driveing out the FINANCIAL BACKBONE OF THE HOBBY( intermediate and novice builders) LASTLY A BIG HELP HAS BEEN THE CHINESE, RUSSIAN, AND OTHER PROGRESIVE COMPANYS, again just my opion. Don


Static model ship building was never a stand alone hobby nothing like other hobbies like model railroad that held conventions and shows or RC planes and boats. to this day there are no organized public static ship model shows here in the states. Model ship kits were just another kit subject found in a hobby store. If you did find static ship models they were a sub category of RC models or model engineering.

We have all heard of the pantheon of gods but since the turn of the 17th century “pantheons” took on a secular meaning and referred to people of society such as heroic figures and celebrities and so on. In modern times pantheons took on the title of “masters of any given universe”, the cream of the crop, the elite.

As static model ship building began to gel into its own a pantheon began to form of self proclaimed experts the demi-gods of model ship building. A pantheon is not a school to teach, it is a show case of grand achievement to aspire to. As you discovered you do not question their wisdom, you do not question how they achieve results.

Then along come someone like Harold Hahn and not only says but demonstrates you are not as good as you proclaim, anyone with a little natural talent, training, and a sprinkle of research can do what you do. This type of person is not looked on as a teacher or as a renaissance man with knowledge, a formal education and quite proficient in the arts. He becomes a threat to the system, toppling the great ones in their pantheon.

The community of model ship builders begin to reinvent itself the very foundations of this pantheon begin to crumble, from rank beginner to the master builder equalize and everyone is included.
 
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donfarr

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Again Dave so well put, we all THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS WONDERFULL HOBBY, at this time as we see here on SOS an international site much more static model builders world wide, and we can not be igonered by the so called elite just look at the number of people viewing this site and the daily increase in members .
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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the little people

As model ship building became a "thing" of itself a standard was set. This was the admiralty collection of ship models. These became the gold standard the highest achievement of the art.
The problem was the fact there were NO little people on admiralty models so when Harold Hahn began to add figures to his models he was breaking the rules.



It was made clear to Harold figures on model ships were unacceptable. They would be tolerated in diorama settings and dioramas only, and even in this case kept to a minimum. It was suggested his models do not fall into the category of "ship models" but rather in a category of dioramas like model railroad layouts or doll houses. At first is was low key and a hint that the figures have to go, but as time passed the quite murmur and subtle hints became louder to a point Harold addressed the issue in published articles.
"to my mind the feature that really brings the model to life are the many carved figures. In the shipyard diorama there are approximately one hundred of them including two horses, two oxen and two dogs. personally i am completely sold on using figures on my models. On the other hand, there are some authorities who decry this practice. I am forced to agree with their criticism as it relates to the way in which poorly done figures detract from the aspect of a well done model. However, if a figure is done in good proportions with a natural life like quality so that it appears to belong, then i can find no fault with its use. Certainly, i would never have essayed my colonial shipyard diorama if i could not have furnished it with a most important ingredient, people."

model ship building of the highest order is about the ships and not about the little people. a ship model should look like this

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A model ship should not look like this. something like this belongs in a model railroad layout, or a diorama and not to be considered as a model ship.

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if you continue with this desegregation of the art of model ship building you will never get recognition as a model shipwright. So what did Harold do he carves a figure carving a ship model. In time the pressure to get rid of the figures reached a point Harold did limit the figures but never eliminate them. On every model he did there was always at least one figure.

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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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Harold's explanation of the little people fell on deaf ears and the fiercely criticized use of figures on ship models continued.

In another published article Harold had this to say

"some critics reject the use of human figures on models. I agree that if carvings are stick like and fail to provide the impression of real people they distract from the quality of the model. However, if they fit in well, I believe they are useful for suggesting the relative size of a ship and for adding a human touch. In any case, I won't permit anyone to legislate what i may or may not do on a model project."

What Harold was saying is just sticking little people on a model may indeed look bad, they need to look as if they belong there. I consulted with Harold over the use of figures in my Alvin Clark project and in the following examples by placing a figure in a natural pose or if they make you wonder what is he looking at or what are they talking about adds that realistic look. Harold's reply to my use of the figures was yup you got it right.

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epicdoom

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I absolutely love the little figures on the ships I think it adds realism especially with the figures looking into holes like the next to last picture and even the last one with two people conversing. I can imagine they are hashing out the work for the day. ships at sail were busy places people would be on those ships doing the daily tasks so adding them into a build IMO only makes that build more Alive and active. Even ships in port needed tending to something always needs to be done be it loading, maintenance or what have you, again People on ships I just don't see the problem there. I get it, it falls outside the norm and some folks just cant accept it but don't shame anyone for doing what they like on the build they are building its there ship there time if they want to cover it in pink paint with bright yellow Dots that's there choice. I think stuffing GI Joes on a ship the scale we build would look horrible, but again its not my decision and I fully accept the decision of others to do so without criticism. To each his own
 

donfarr

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YOU GOT IT RIGHT JOE, what is Zolys saying on his threads, I have said this many times in the past. Don
 

tjbx427

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hi dave,im tez from the uk.im waiting for my lumberyard kit of the Hannah to be delivered I was wondering if it would be possible to do the stanchions while the frames are still free cheers tez
 
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