George F. Campbell

The neophyte shipmodeller`s jackstay

In the beginning

This booklet is a guide to techniques of modelling from a wood kit. It is not a description of the construction of any certain model or type of vessel- For details of particular types, there are a number of excellent books which are described on the back page of this booklet,

We start with the preparation of the simple hull, move on to the important members, furniture, painting, then, on to the rigging. Some statements herein which seem like pontification ifare only efforts to be brief and precise in an immense field of facts and shadings.

Shipbuilding methods and design of detail had many similarities over western Europe and America; a good idea knows no boundaries. Further, in America s early days a large proportion of American naval architects were British born and trained, all of them steeped in British practice. Longridge's "Anatomy of Nelson's Ships" is almost as valid a source of detail for CONSTITUTION modellers as for VICTORY and her type.



The most popular kit scale is 1/8" equals 1 foot. In other words 1 foot on the real ship is reduced in the model to he 1/8" length. By quick arithmetic 1/8" goes into 1 foot 96 times, thus 1/8" scale can also be defined as 1/96th size.

Ship lines

Fig. 1, are nothing mysterious. They picture the ship's physiognomy and much of its character. The diagrams 1A, 1B and IC are given on actual builders plans and usually given on serious modelling plans. The lines given on iA are transverse sections through the hull at equally .spaced positions, or sometimes with additional sections between these positions, near the extremities for greater accuracy. These lines are variously known as BODY PLAN, BODY SECTIONS, HALF SECTIONS or Just SECTIONS. One half of the diagram - the left side - represents the forward part of the ship and the right side represents the after part of the ship. Each section is notated on the diagram as "A" for simplicity, although actually they should all be identified Individually by a number or letter. You can trace the appearance of these sections in the other views as straight lines.

1B is variously known as the ELEVATION, PROFILE or SHEER PLAN and shows the spacing of the SECTIONS "A" and of the WATERLINES "B", each as a straight line, and also gives curved lines "C" known as BUTTOCKS. Waterlines are usually Identified as W.L.1, W.L.2 etc. and Buttocks by letters.

1C is variously known as the HALF BREADTH PLAN or WATERLINES. The Waterlines appear here as curved lines and the BUTTOCKS and SECTIONS as straight lines. It is labelled as PLAN on the diagram in its true sense, for in the shipbuilding profession as distinct from others, all drawings are known as PLANS, whether they he elevations, sections or anything else.

Diagram 1D is a perspective view embodying all the lines, but such a drawing is of no exact value in shipbuilding.

An easy way to understand how the curved lines appear straight in different views is to take some simple object like a sausage and slice it in straight cuts downwards, both crosswise and lengthwise, also horizontally lengthwise and then expose the cut surface and note its shape.

The vessel shown in Fig. 1 is for simplicity that of a ship's boat of the early 18th century.