Historic Ship




Hi there, i'll try to show you how to make a model of a historic ship. Before i start, you should know that i am not expert at this, on the contrary this was my first try at this and i was surprise that it actually turn out like this. The whole process is not complicated but will require a lot of patience.


Step 1: Getting the Required Materials

So to begin you will have to get the materials required.

1) plywood, or balsa Wood - for the skeleton. in my case i'm using balsa wood because i don't have disc-saw or band-saw and balsa wood is very soft and can be cut with a normal cutter.

2)thin wood stripes, or bamboo stripes or rattan - here the most important thing is that it is very flexible. I'm using thin stripes of rattan because it was lying in my garage, that's also how i got the idea of making this ship.

3) wood glue, try avoiding instant glue , power glue or hot glue. You could use those but will have to very careful not to make a mess, like i did in the beginning when i tried those. Just stick with wood glue.

4) you will also need a plan. i am posting a plan but it was to much for me, so it did change a lot of things. Just do as you please. I haven't stick to it at all, i just use it as a reference in the beginning. In the original plans there were like 13 ribs( i not sure it called ribs , but you will understand what i am talking about when you the plan and pictures). So for my model i use only 4 ribs and got away with it pretty good like you will see in the pictures. ( 2, 5 , 9 and 13) were the ones i used. I also did a lot of improvisation. I also made a few modification to the general form of the plan(the red lines).

Step 2: 4 Parts Ship

I divided the whole ship in 4 small different part that i could tackle with the skill i have. The main body, this is also the most important one and probably the most difficult also. Beside doing the fine works which i skipped due to lack of time. Second was the middle part, then the front and at last the back. I'm no sailor or ship expert so please excuse me if the names i gave those part do not correspond to real of boats or ships.

Step 3: Constructing the Main Body Part A

Trace the plans on the plywood or balsa wood and cut it. do same for the ribs. i don't know how many ribs you want to use try not to many because the more you use the preciser the whole construction will have to be. Make sure when you the space for the fitting that you cut it as exactly as possible other wise it will be loose and will cause unsymmetrical. Once you cut and place the ribs in the main part it should look like the picture and use extra fortification to ensure that the ribs stays 90 degrees to main part when you are working on it. In the beginning i hadn't fortify mine and had some problems, so make sure you do it the right way from the start.

Afterward i use a pen and drew the curve for the body, cut the rattan to match the curve and started gluing the rattan going from top to bottom. When you the stripes try not to be greedy and gluing too many at a time, take 4 to five stripes and wait for it to dry before gluing the rest. During this process there will be times when there will be gap, you can try to avoid it but if you can't don't worry you can fill it with epoxy, wood filing or using thinner stripes you cut to right size. And you pliers, clamps or some other things( Her i am also those you use to hols clothes on the dry lines) to hold the stripes in place while drying. Doing both sides simultaneously could be difficult but will speed up the whole construction. When you are finished use wood varnish for the finishing touch.

Step 4: Main Body Part B

When are finished with gluing all the stripes now is the time for making fine tuning and hiding all the dirty works. in my my case i had sometimes to glue extra stripes on top of others. this will depend on how precise your work was, i also added something like a horizon line using a small thing rattan rod, this made the ship look nicer. In the pictures above you can also see the filling i made, once all the part are together you wont see all this so don't worry.

Step 5: The Middle Part Mast

Making the mast :

Here you will have to get a few rods and cut cut them to the appropriate size, i cut mine approximately, so you can use the plan or just decide what is good for you. To make it look nice i took a piece of wood and cut it of size about 4 by 2 centimeter. then drill a hole through it and another but this time only half way through the wood. The holes should be of the same size as your rods. here i have two masts and decided to make them f different length , this decision was base on a picture i saw, but you could decide to have them of the same length. For the main mast i have build extra decoration by gluing 5 pieces of wood( 0.7 by 5 centimeter) together like in the picture above and place it where the two rods come together.The more details you add the better your ship is going to look.

Step 6: The Middle Part Part B

Turn the main body upside down on a piece of paper and trace the outside. Use this a template and cut the plywood so as to fit exactly on top of the main body. Then glue the rattan on top and on the side. To make it look nice drill some holes about 1,5 centimeter apart and stick some tooth picks in there. Cut a piece of plywood about a centimeter thick and about the length of the middle you've just cut. Use the picture above as reference Drill two hole for the masts.

Step 7: The Front Part

This will be almost like the middle part. Turn the main body upside down. Trace the front part on a piece of paper and cut the plywood to fitted size. Glue the stripes on top and on the sides. Drill a few holes and sick some tooth picks in there. cut a V shape to fit the front and glue it on top of the tooth picks.Drill a hole in the front and put a rod in the front or better something like the mast we build earlier. Use the picture above as reference.

Step 8: The Back Part

Here i had no idea how to make this, so i did improvise. I goggled historic ships so i knew what i wanted. But it still hat to fit my ship, so like before, make a template and cut the base, afterward i just glue the sides and top so as it would look like the pictures. There was a lot of trial and errors and when i was satisfy with the form, i glued the rattan stripes on top and on the sides. During this process i also ran out of raw materials, and had to use normal thin stripes of wood. The patterns on the back of the ship is the result. The u form on top of the tooth picks at the back was made of 3 parts glued together. I tried to make it in 1 piece but it was so fragile that it broke, so i made it with 3 different parts glued together.

Step 9: Finishing the Ship

So all we have to do now is glue all the part together and Voila..

And also make something like a sockel to hold the ship.

There are lots of detail missing, like the sails, canon, lines or even a mermaid in the front . these are details that can really take a lot of time which i didn't had. The ship still look nice without them but i am still going to add them in the future. If you are going to build this, be sure to take your time, i did mine in 4 days, most of time i was waiting for the glue to dry out.

Hope you liked it and if you did a vote would be nice.


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    16 Discussions


    1 year ago

    It came out real nice, especially for not really following the plans. It looks good!


    4 years ago

    Good job ★★★ :) I m interest in modeling ship.Nowadays i building a special ship (it's name is sürmene takası).I will share when it finish :)


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great work. Maybe a future project for myself.


    4 years ago

    The main body is called the hull, the front the bow, the back the stern, and the middle the masts


    4 years ago

    nicely done! and very creative adaptations too. fir the soft wood did you MEAN balsam or balsa? was it the same wood they use for model airplanes? that's balsa. its rather important due to the work involved.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    hi, thank you for pointing me to my mistake. you are right its balsa, when i bought it at the store the storekeeper was call it it balsam, that s why i wrote balsam, i thought

    he knew what he was talking about as this is his job. But you could use normal plywood as long as its has a min thickness of half centimeter.

    Plywood does bring a few advantages, like using small nail to hold the wood stripes in place while gluing instead of clamps like i did, this is actually how they do it in the factories and you wont have to wait for it to dry.

    When i was 10 i visited one of these factories that s how i got the idea years later, they also use normal wood stripes ,and would sand the extra when they are done so it would be smooth.

    if you do , use as few ribs as possible and very flexible and thin wood stripes makes things a lot easier. this was my first try and made few mistakes along the way. now I want to make an even bigger one but ran out of raw materials.


    4 years ago

    In step one you may want to change dick saw to disc saw :-) I don't have a dick saw either and am frankly quite glad that I do not!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very impressive! It would be a great technique for a viking boat since it gives that klinker-built look to it. I've wanted to try building a scratch-built ship and I'll ahve to store this away for that day.

    1 reply