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PLANK-ON-FRAME CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Plank-on-frame construction is a difficult process and a nightmare to many model ship builders.  Artisans have to heat bend individual planks and nail them one by one onto the frame to form the beautiful, unique curves of the ship hull.  Real ships are built like that.  Model ships in prestigious nautical museums across the world are all like that.   It is one of the main reasons that The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, chose us.

To save costs, many model ship builders machine carve ship hulls from solid wood.  Most of the time, these solid-hull ship models also carry solid superstructures which have plenty of dark decal (which surely will curl up later on) to portray the windows, etc... The result is a very heavy miniature model.  So heavy that, when handled, it feels like a toy, with colorful decals on the surface.

The following video shows how time-consuming and skillful it is to plank.  Not only the hulls, all of our ship models also have hollow superstructures that are comprised of many small pieces of wood precisely cut, sanded, and glued together. 

         

Now watch this video and you'll see how much skilled labor a machine can save when making a solid hull:  

                    

How about hand carved? This video from MIT university shows the simplcity to hand carve a hull.  Fast forward to 25:00 for the core:

                           

According to Model Shipwrights: “Solid hull ship model kits are generally considered to be the easiest to construct."  Watch this video below from the Modelers' Shipyard and you'll have an idea of why solid hulls make more financial sense for many model makers. 

                      

This video from model ship builder J. Brent shows making the planks itself is a horror for the solid-hull ship builders (starting at 3:30.)  You can also see the necessary tools in the making of a plank-on-frame ship model:

       

And here are some representative photos:




                                                  
The Skeleton Bench (by Bilgoray Pozner) must have been inspired by a beautiful plank-on-frame hull.
 

This video shows a traditional workshop and the painstaking way to make parts from scratch.  This is the way we makes model ships.  After viewing this video, please have a look again at our models and you'll have a better understanding of how much harder it is to form a beautiful model ship from numerous pieces compared to solid hull, solid superstructure.   At ModelShipMaster, our goal is to create nautical art pieces that can be affectionately passed to later generations, not something that can be easily disposed after awhile, and we despite shortcuts.

         

For more about the ease of making solid hulls, please click on the photos below:

     
 
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