Building Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe, 1627 – Part 4

Planking of the Schwarzer Rabe is coming along well. I’ve now gotten well into the planking below the waterline. Planking the lower hull seems much easier than the upper hull. With the upper hull, the treenails show, and they need to line up along the imagined frames. Also, the gun ports and other similar features have to line up properly, so a lot of attention goes into these planks.

In above photos was taken just as I was about the reach the waterline. So far, things seem to be looking okay. All planking strips are edged with brown paint to hide the edges. The individual lines of planks have been scored as well. This serves to make the planking look a little more realistic, but it also allows the planking strip to curve more easily, adapting to the shape of the hull.

I still have a little issue with the hull flattening out a little between the frames, but I did my best to minimize this by inserting a blade under the flat areas of the plank strips and pushing them back out a little. I then fill the resulting gap between the hull and the planking strip with a little extra glue for support.

At this stage, there’s really not much to say. Below the waterline, my biggest concern is keeping the hull more or less rounded. Also, I have no way to really gauge how well I’m covering the hull.  Am I going to have any gaps or any overlap at the end. Past experience has taught me that I’m certainly going to end up with one or the other.

Since I’m cutting the planking strips along the black lines with those lines mostly showing up on the edge of my planking strips, I’m guessing that I’m going to end up with a little overlap at the end. Whatever plank I end up trimming in the end may look a little odd, but it will probably look a lot better than having gaps.

But, I am thinking that once the lower hull is planked, I’ll be treating with thin CA to stiffen the planking, then sanding the hull down a little, to reduce any burrs or ridges formed from the cutting process. I expect I’ll paint the lower hull too, or at least give it a wash of paint. That should subdue those black plank lines. The printed paper is a bit pure white, so I may tone it down a little bit.

In any case, planking the hull is somewhat self motivating. I’ve gotten so much of the hull done now, I’m looking forward to finishing it up before I take any kind of break and work on something else – Remember, this is a model I started as a filler project to work on when I’m tired of working on other things. That said, it’s feeling a lot less like a filler project right now, and I’ve started prepping the parts for the stem/beakhead and the sternpost/skeg.

As a parting pic of today’s post, the above are two of the 6 pieces that will make up the beakhead. There is a kind of scrollwork that shows through here. On the top piece, I’ve carefully cut away all the black printed areas. You can see the black printed areas in the bottom piece, which I’ll “carve” next. After I finished cutting, I treated the scrollwork with some thin CA to harden it, and keep it from getting damaged later.

As soon as I can get the beakhead and the keel all done, I’ll be able to work the mounting. On my first paper model, HMS Alert, I used simple brass rods. This has a very clean and minimalist  look, which I like. But, I’ll see how things go when I come to that.

It’s a bit out of sequence, but I’m kind of itching to work on the deck area a little. Not sure what I’ll do, but you might see some details get added – at least ones that I don’t think will get in the way or get damaged while I’m working on the outer hull.

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