Scratchbuilding - Making a Start

shipbuilder

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Ship plans are often a major stumbling block when it comes to ship modelling. Obtaining them from museums is often a costly and long drawn-out affair. In my particular field, (About 1850to about 1965) I have no great problems, because most of my plans come from books, defunct shipyards and shipping companies, or old technical journals. I began my book and plan collection about 50 years ago, and it has now grown to sizable proportions. I always had it in mind to start writing on the subject, and because of that, I obtained written permission from various organisations many years ago to use their plans in any books or articles that I may write in the future. I have used a lot of these, but have always been aware that many of the plans were blackened and discoloured with age and did not reproduce very well. Consequently, I taught myself to prepare my own plans from often dilapidated copies supplied to my by various shipping companies or shipyards. I also have quite a large library of ancient books that are now in the public domain, their authors having died more than 70 years ago. Although I am no great draughtsman, I am improving all the time. The attached image is that of an iron barque that I am preparing at the moment. I am NOT a plans service, but I do include these in my small and inexpensive practicums that I now produce on a regular basis. These practicums are usually about 16 pages or so in length, and always contain at least one plan. They contain both model-building information, and historical notes, also using public domain images of old ships that have been made available from various archives. Most of the practicums (downloads) go under the name of The Shelterdeck. and each one takes me about seven hours to compile. Although they are mainly a labour-of-love, I do put a nominal charge of them of £1.49 (about $2 US), paid via Paypal, and delivered via the internet immediately payment is made. Publication is at approximate one month intervals, but this is not hard and fast. It really depends on when they are completed. They have now been running for over a year, and have a steady readership of about a dozen people. The main downside for most ship modellers is that they only concern merchant ships (all nations). There is no naval content, unless it involves merchant ships. The first issue of The Shelterdeck is free of charge - here is the link: http://payhip.com/b/krO6 - After it opens, scroll down to read the synopsis, and see the Free Download button. I am not a business, and do not take private commissions for models. The Shelterdeck is produced for the very few modellers who wish to get away from expensive kits, and who can shake off the attitude "I could never do that!"
Bob


Plan Drawing  2.JPG
 

Donnie

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Blandford Group Build
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Those drafting tools bring back some memories when i was in Drafting School. Some good and some not so good memories.
 

davef

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We used to cover the paper with a powder from a small bag. I do remember throwing that around a bit
Dave F
 

rwiederrich

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Ship plans are often a major stumbling block when it comes to ship modelling. Obtaining them from museums is often a costly and long drawn-out affair. In my particular field, (About 1850to about 1965) I have no great problems, because most of my plans come from books, defunct shipyards and shipping companies, or old technical journals. I began my book and plan collection about 50 years ago, and it has now grown to sizable proportions. I always had it in mind to start writing on the subject, and because of that, I obtained written permission from various organisations many years ago to use their plans in any books or articles that I may write in the future. I have used a lot of these, but have always been aware that many of the plans were blackened and discoloured with age and did not reproduce very well. Consequently, I taught myself to prepare my own plans from often dilapidated copies supplied to my by various shipping companies or shipyards. I also have quite a large library of ancient books that are now in the public domain, their authors having died more than 70 years ago. Although I am no great draughtsman, I am improving all the time. The attached image is that of an iron barque that I am preparing at the moment. I am NOT a plans service, but I do include these in my small and inexpensive practicums that I now produce on a regular basis. These practicums are usually about 16 pages or so in length, and always contain at least one plan. They contain both model-building information, and historical notes, also using public domain images of old ships that have been made available from various archives. Most of the practicums (downloads) go under the name of The Shelterdeck. and each one takes me about seven hours to compile. Although they are mainly a labour-of-love, I do put a nominal charge of them of £1.49 (about $2 US), paid via Paypal, and delivered via the internet immediately payment is made. Publication is at approximate one month intervals, but this is not hard and fast. It really depends on when they are completed. They have now been running for over a year, and have a steady readership of about a dozen people. The main downside for most ship modellers is that they only concern merchant ships (all nations). There is no naval content, unless it involves merchant ships. The first issue of The Shelterdeck is free of charge - here is the link: http://payhip.com/b/krO6 - After it opens, scroll down to read the synopsis, and see the Free Download button. I am not a business, and do not take private commissions for models. The Shelterdeck is produced for the very few modellers who wish to get away from expensive kits, and who can shake off the attitude "I could never do that!"
Bob

Robert...I might have asked this before..but do you have any McKay clipper plans available?

Rob
 

shipbuilder

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Only the usual ones in books, such as Crothers, David R. MacGregor: Search For Speed Under Sail!
Bob
 

rwiederrich

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I thought it would be cool to create a diorama in the scale you work in of the New York water front around the Brooklyn Bridge of many of the famous clippers of the 1850"s~60's .... an impressive sight for sure.

Rob
 

Terry Christian

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Jul 18, 2019
Messages
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Ship plans are often a major stumbling block when it comes to ship modelling. Obtaining them from museums is often a costly and long drawn-out affair. In my particular field, (About 1850to about 1965) I have no great problems, because most of my plans come from books, defunct shipyards and shipping companies, or old technical journals. I began my book and plan collection about 50 years ago, and it has now grown to sizable proportions. I always had it in mind to start writing on the subject, and because of that, I obtained written permission from various organisations many years ago to use their plans in any books or articles that I may write in the future. I have used a lot of these, but have always been aware that many of the plans were blackened and discoloured with age and did not reproduce very well. Consequently, I taught myself to prepare my own plans from often dilapidated copies supplied to my by various shipping companies or shipyards. I also have quite a large library of ancient books that are now in the public domain, their authors having died more than 70 years ago. Although I am no great draughtsman, I am improving all the time. The attached image is that of an iron barque that I am preparing at the moment. I am NOT a plans service, but I do include these in my small and inexpensive practicums that I now produce on a regular basis. These practicums are usually about 16 pages or so in length, and always contain at least one plan. They contain both model-building information, and historical notes, also using public domain images of old ships that have been made available from various archives. Most of the practicums (downloads) go under the name of The Shelterdeck. and each one takes me about seven hours to compile. Although they are mainly a labour-of-love, I do put a nominal charge of them of £1.49 (about $2 US), paid via Paypal, and delivered via the internet immediately payment is made. Publication is at approximate one month intervals, but this is not hard and fast. It really depends on when they are completed. They have now been running for over a year, and have a steady readership of about a dozen people. The main downside for most ship modellers is that they only concern merchant ships (all nations). There is no naval content, unless it involves merchant ships. The first issue of The Shelterdeck is free of charge - here is the link: http://payhip.com/b/krO6 - After it opens, scroll down to read the synopsis, and see the Free Download button. I am not a business, and do not take private commissions for models. The Shelterdeck is produced for the very few modellers who wish to get away from expensive kits, and who can shake off the attitude "I could never do that!"
Bob
Speaking as someone who started in the building services design industry about a hundred years ago before CAD and worked as a draughtsman before I graduated to having my own minion, your drawings are excellent. You can be very proud of the line work and line weights (relative thicknesses); such work is worthy of any professional.
 
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shipbuilder

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Thank you,
I think the secret is to do the drawings on a large sheet of white card. Then, after it is completed and shrunk down, it can be scanned back into the computer and coloured in, so all the irregularies are much smaller. I have often been told by ship model builders that my plans are "inadequate" for model shipbuilding, but I don't have any problem with them (but I would say that, wouldn't I :D)
Sail Complete # copy (Large).jpgGulf Stream 2  (Medium).JPG
 

Terry Christian

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Judging from your model, I would say your drawings are "adequate" :) My earliest drawings were made on butcher paper kindly supplied by the local grocer. Later they were ink on linen and lastly ink on mylar. Ink on any drawing surface will drive you to cheep liquor. It looks great in the end and is very permanent, but is it worth the effort? Mmmm, maybe.
 

Terry Christian

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Your drawings are beautiful. How are you doing your lettering, by hand, template, computer, or...? I agree, the Micron pens are excellent for convenience and produce very good results depending upon the absorbency of the paper. When we produced ink on mylar drawings the lettering was done with a Leroy lettering template and "bug". Kueffel and Esser (K+E) pens, templates, and bugs were the industry standard for years until the advent of CAD. Of course with CAD it allowed to to make more mistakes faster.:) The pens, called rapidiographs, had graduated diameters and an ink reservoir. The pens were graduated in diameter from a 6-0 to an number 4 with the diameter ranging from 0.18mm to 1mm. As I said, the most prevalent used ones were made by K+E; I think Kohinoor is the lone survivor still producing the pens and replacement points. The curse of rapidiographs is that, if not used frequently, the ink in the pens will hard and you get to disguard the point and by a new at the cost of about $20/per each. No wonder very few use them anymore.
 

shipbuilder

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Thanks. The lettering is put on in the final small plan using the computer. The fancy lettering is Monotype Corsiva. On the sail plan of Gulf Stream, above, the 250 on the scale bar came out in Monotype Corsiva, where it should have been Arial. I noticed it later, but correcting it was no problem. The pens I use are graduated from .005 up to .80 mm, and not all that expensive. CAD is far too expensive for me, and I wouldn't have the patience to learn to use it anyway. Plus the fact that I don't really like trying to draw with a computer, although I can do a lot with the drawing part of Microsoft Word, but it is only basic stuff such as simple shapes. Here is another of my pen and paper drawings of a ship that I sailed in some years ago -
Bandama ex Silveravon (Medium).jpg
 
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