5) Fit and glue the transom 31 against the stern edges of the gundeck and of the main deck, holding it in place with some rubber bands. Sheathe the inside and outside surface (above the main deck with the strips 32 (fig. 7). Glue the blocks 33 beneath the gun-deck, against the transom and the keel; between the blocks and the frame 17 there must be a slit about 2 mm. Wide (fig.8). Preparation of the structure for the application of the first planking: adjust the fore frames and the relative supports 28 and 29 removing the fore edge of the frames, without touching the original profile corresponding to the back edge. Repeat the same operation with the stern frames (in this case the back edge must be removed), taking care that the lower part of the last frames must be strongly chamfered, considered that in this position the planking has a very narrow bending (fig. 9 and 10). Lay a strip on the frames, in different positions, so as to check that the lines of the planking are regular. The side surfaces of the block 33 must be adjust too, giving them a bending which is natural prosecution of the profile of the frame 17.
4) Glue on the deck the false frames 25 and 26, glue the beams 27 on the frames 1-2-3-4-5-11-16-17; These are made out of strip 2×4 and are slightly bent highwards in the middle. The assembly is made as follows: cut the strip in the desired length, wet it so as to bend it more easily, then glue the strip on the frame fixing it with pins. Glue a piece of rod 4×21, 5mm of height under the middle of the middle of the beam and leaning on the deck. And let the glue dry perfectly (fig. 5). Glue the elements 28 and 29 respectively on the keel sides and on the frame 1, they will act as supports for the planking. Take care not to let the glue trickle in the groove on. The keel where the ram will be set (fig. 6). Glue the deck 30 using the same method employed for the assembly of the lower deck. Before the final gluing, make sure that the deck has a regular bending lengthwise; if necessary, correct replacing one or more rods supporting the beams with others, slightly longer or shorter.
I was reviewing a few of my Books on Ship Modeling. I’ve now accumulated a few. One of my latest ones is called Ship Modeling from Stem to Stern. I’m really enjoying reading this book because a lot of what he talks about is very relatable to me because a lot of what he talks about are the same things that have ran through my head as I build these Models.
Anyway, here is an excerpt of him talking about Model Kits and Instructions –
The makers of ship model kits have perverted the term plank on frame. In reality, they should tell it like it is : plank on bulkhead. This version of the built-up ship model is not constructed with built-up frames. The “frames” are plywood bulkheads. In some kits, the outlines are simply printed on the plywood. In others, they are die cut, while in a third they are cut out and almost completed for you. All are notched for assembly. Of course, the more labor involved the higher the price.
The number of bulkheads included in the design of these kits is in my opinion and I believe the manufacturer’s, sufficient to ensure the shape of the hull. The kit designer often will use as few as possible to save on the cost of the material, especially in the less expensive kits.
The planks —thin wood strips— are to be placed over the bulkheads to form the hull. Again, depending on the designer and the cost of the kit, the planking might be a double layer of thin strips or a single layer of thicker strips. The double planked hulls use a less expensive wood for the first layer. This under-layer is to be covered with a thin “show” wood. The completed model results in a hull that is completely covered by planking. It is a built-up hull. All mistakes and errors of construction and patching can be concealed under the planking.
The sharks of commercial salesmanship have convinced many a potential model builder that it is a “breeze” to build a plank-on-bulkhead ship model. It isn’t. Many a model has been relegated to the closet shelf while the builder gathered courage. To this day many are never finished.
The majority of kits of the plank-on-bulkhead variety are imported. The basic instructions, translated into English, are sometimes laughable; and often misunderstood. This is perhaps the reason for the profuse illustrations. You might not speak or read the language, but you can follow pictures. Building a model by following the pictures is the rule, rather than the exception.
Milton Roth, Author of Ship Modeling from Stem to Stern
Okay, I totally agree with this author. On my last model, the Belem, it was almost totally pictures. Very few written instructions. That kit was by Artesania Latina, I believe they’re out of Valdáliga (Cantabria) Spain.
I found their instructions to be quite easy to follow.
On this Mamoli Kit however for the HMS Surprise, their English is terrible and they don’t really give you all that many illustrations either. Just one 3 dimensional Picture per step. I had to figure out a lot of things on my own. Perhaps that’s something that is intended with Model Ship Building. To learn about the Ships as you proceed. Anyway, I am driving on even though sometimes it seems intimidating. That’s all part of it. To see if you’re up to the task.
3) Glue the 3 gratings surrounded with live strip 23 and the stands 24 for the lifeboat. Glue under the stands 2 pieces of strip 2×4 mm.
It’s interesting how the instructions don’t tell you to refer to a certain number, which you would assume to be Figure 3. However, this Diagram doesn’t contain Figure 3 and has Figure 4 instead for the Gratings and Lifeboat Stands. It was confusing.
2) Set firmly the deck 19 on the structure and glue it, fix it with little nails driven only for half of their length (so as to take then) out afterwards) in correspondence of the keel and of the frames, near the joints. Reinforce the parts glued, where the deck fits into the frames, flying some pieces of the strip, if that is the case. Trace a line along the centre of the deck, then, starting from the marking and going on towards the sides, glue the planking 20 so as to sheathe completely the deck. Smooth the surface with sand-paper. The planking consists in pieces of strip 80 mm. Long, glued staggered: their side must be blackened with a pencil, to mark the separation between the boards (fig. 2).
Below are the Instructions as provided by Mamoli. I must say, I’m pretty disappointed. However, I’m plowing along. –
Before beginning the assembly of the structure, check that all the parts (keel, frames and decks) can be easily fitted into each other: all the grooves should therefore have a slight play. This shall avoid running the risk of forcing some elements, especially the frames, in a wrong position with consequent warping of the structure.
1) Fix on a flat wooden board, about 15 mm thick, 2 laths or plywood strips, having a distance of 4 mm. from each other. In this way the keel 10 can be fitted between the two strips in a vertical, straight position. Fit the Frames 1 … 17 into the grooves on the keel, without glueing them, make sure that the frames lean on the bottom of the grooves and that the upper surface of the frames is at the edge of the upper line of the keel.
Check the alignment of the whole structure: facing it, the upper lines of the frames must find themselves on different planes, but exactly parallel between each other. Possible small corrections can be made retouching the grooves. Dismount completely, then restart the assembly and glue the frames following the numerical order, check again the alignment and correct the possible defects stretching some rubber bands hooked between the ends of the frames and some nails driven into the side of the base. As a general rule, if the pre-assembly has been accurately done, this last operation is unnecessary. Between two subsequent operations it is advisable to leave an hour!s interval, so as to let the glue dry. Meanwhile check again the frames: looking down on the structure, they should for a right angle with the keel (fig. 1).
The main problem I had was that all the frames in the middle extended way past the Keel so their instructions wouldn’t have worked. That’s why I made the Keel Jig like I did.
Another thing about these instructions! Look how close they cut the paper to the Letters?!!!…
Weird syntax… and errors as well. I wrote everything above exactly as they wrote it.
Denominazione = Name
Ordinata = Tidy???
Misure = Measures
Codice = Code
Chiglia = Keel
Ponte Inferiore = Lower Deck
Tavolato = Floor Boards
Paiolato anteriore = Bottom Boards Front
Paiolato centrale = Bottom Boards Central