My name is Bob Hunt and I build model ship parts with pictures pdf for a hobby. I’ve been building these wonderful models for over 23 years now.
I want to share with you a very detailed set of instructions on how to build a fairly simple “Plank on Frame” model ship. The ship I’ve chosen for this Instructable is known as the Hannah. It was the first ship in George Washington’s Navy. The first photo shows what the finished model will look like.
Plank on Frame” means that the planking on the hull is laid across actual frames that are similar to the actual frames of a real ship of this time period. This particular model is not what we modelers call “historically correct” because the framework that makes up the hull is a stylized method of framing and not an actual duplication of the historical framework used. The woods used in this model are not your garden variety of woods. In other words, you can’t run down to your local home improvement store and buy them. They sell all kinds of wood including woods that are well suited for model ship building. The frames, keel, and some of the outer planking are made of a wood known in the hobby as boxwood. This is not the same boxwood shrub that might grow in your yard.
It’s a kind of tree that grows in various parts of the world and has virtually no visible grain and is very hard. Some of the outer planking is Virginia holly, a very clear, white wood, as is the deck planking. The pinkinsh wood is called Swiss Pear and is also used for the upper planking, mouldings and some of the deck furniture. The black wood across the hull is ebony.
Milling the wood to the dimensions needed to build this model does require a miniature table saw and a regular woodworking table saw or band saw. Additional information on milling the wood will be covered in the next step of these instructions. To build this model, a set of plans are needed. For this model, I needed to create the frame drawings in particular.
You can see that the rabbet joint also extends upward across the deadwood where it is attached to the sternpost. In the 20th and 21st photo, it is a “V” shaped groove that runs the length of the keel and helps to make a water tight seal where the planking meets the keel. But before we can get to this point, where you do all the work while someone else gets rich. Once the hull of the model has been framed in the building jig, 11 Xacto to score the planking repeatedly until you have cut through it on one side. Using the Frame Plan, there is actually some historical models know as Admiralty Models in various museums that are constructed in this manner.