Built a model or part from your own materials lately?
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Scratch Building a Warship
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Illinois, United States
Member Since: April 25, 2008
entire network: 338 Posts
KitMaker Network: 33 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 - 12:41 PM UTC
Does anyone have a good "how to" scratch build a model ship. I have plans drawn up for a completely custom modern frigate with a waterline hull in 1/700 (to match my OOB fleet). I have only scratch built small add on parts before and I am not sure where to start with building the hull.
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Limburg, Netherlands
Member Since: November 18, 2003
entire network: 894 Posts
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Posted: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 - 11:35 PM UTC
that is no easy task........

The basic trick is to reduce your ship to simple mathematical shapes like boxes (bridge) and e.ge cylinders (stacks). You can make those by glueing plastic card into boxes, but it can be difficult to get everything "true" as they call it. The other often used method is to stack styrene sheet on top of each other and to cut out blocks with a fine saw. Details can be added by making parts from various shapes of plastic rods etc..

Next get yourself a set of generic US navy (is it a US ship?) doors and railing from a PE manufacturer such as GMM, WEM or Tom's.

The hull wil be the trickiest. It is hard to explain since I don't know how to translate naval terms in english. If you have the hull drawing, you have I guess too the drawings of the cross sections from bow to stern. Copy those on styrene and attach those to the "keel" the long beam on the bottom and in the middle of the ship, don't know how to spell that word.

you have two options now: attach planking made of styrene strips or fill the gaps with something that you can sand down to match the cross sections. details like those bumps where the anchor goes through the hull can be made from Miliput.

If you are experienced enough you could poor your own hull from resin, but you'll need to make a master first anyway

I have a book called "basics of ship modelling" by Mike Ashey which might be helpful for you.
Member Since: August 02, 2007
entire network: 2,458 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, August 06, 2009 - 01:40 PM UTC
Hello David,
I would suggest you post your question over at Model Shipwright.
I know that at least 3 of the guys over there scratch build ships. I have run across some DVDs on scratch building ships, I think they are at Flagship Models.
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Illinois, United States
Member Since: April 25, 2008
entire network: 338 Posts
KitMaker Network: 33 Posts
Posted: Friday, August 07, 2009 - 12:07 PM UTC
Thanks Mat, it is a US ship. I found a few detail parts that I want, like the RAM launchers, I'll just add the doors to my list and I'll be set. I think the main challenge will be the bow because I want to give it a small incline. It should be pretty simple once I get the hull done. I am making it sleek and stealthy so the superstructure will be pretty straight forward.

I'll ask around at MSW as well. I'll take all the advice that I can get.
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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: January 03, 2007
entire network: 1,505 Posts
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Posted: Saturday, August 08, 2009 - 12:28 AM UTC
Im contemplating a scratch ship also,(I say CONTEMPLATING only because Iv heard rumblings a manufacturer may put my ship out in the next 2 yrs...) and I think doing a waterline hull is probably easiest ,as you have less angles to consider. I am/was going to cut a hull core from wood,and sheathe it in plastic sheetstock. Evergreen makes 24" sheets of grooved sheetstock that would be perfect for wooden decking (Im not up on modern stuff ...so excuse me if Im giving wrong advice)...But lining the sides with sheetstock should be a relatively easy job..just carve out your basic curves on your wooden core with a knife and dremel combo..HTH