Modeling a fishing schooner, the Lettie G Howard

I have always liked sailing vessels. They seem to me to be a satisfying mix of technology and craftsmanship that results in something that is, or at least was when they were built, a fairly leading edge machine.

The time had come to tackle a proper modelling project, not a tiny rowing boat and not a monstrous aircraft carrier. A middle sized vessel that was not going to be trivial but still stood a chance of actually being finished one day.

The Lettie G Howard under sail

Suzanne's Revenge not under sail

I rummaged on Blendswap to see what others had managed. I found several boats/ships that I thought were in the right arena for my ideas and one, Suzanne's Revenge, was exactly the sort of thing I wanted. It is clearly a slightly stylised model but nevertheless has lots of clues about how you might go about modelling such a vessel.

The artists of this particular model are amongst the gods of the skill so I had plenty to aim at.

The next thing to decide was whether to model a real vessel or make one up. I found a very informative website at The Model Shipwright which has freely downloadable drawings of all sorts of vessels including the Lettie G Howard. The amount of information available in these drawings is just about enough to make yourself a new boat so that ought to be enough for me to make a model. The drawings include several sectional views that show the shapes of the hull from the front, side and top so all I would need to do is trace them and join the dots... By their own admission the scale of the drawings and the thickness of the lines makes incredibly accurate tracing next to impossible, and when the vessel was documented in 1989 they noticed (and documented) that the aft section had moved a couple of inches off centre anyway.

more lines than you can shake a stick at

Listed below are the articles describing how the project is getting on.

Waterlines, Stations and Buttocks