Project Log


2. Project research and preparation

2:1 References

Where to start off? References on the real thing of course. First stop: The internet and Google. I gathered as many images that I could find, on both the real ship(s) and scale models built by others for inspiration as well as actual reference. By looking and comparing different images I started spotting differences, discrepancies, particular points of interest and things I need more information on before I can start building my own model. I found all kinds of resources, including some low resolution images of commercially available and professionally made plans for the Bluenose hull. Ingenious and creative as I am I will make by perfectly with just the low res images though. I also found a site dedicated to the 2010 rebuild of the ship, containing a huge number of images showing the construction, from laying the keel all the way to the launch. These images will provide me with most of the important details and reference to shapes otherwise hard to obtain. And I should add, they also added to my outmost amusement of seeing and learning more on how ships are actually built in real life. My biggest realisation on that point might be that on constructing the ships undercarriage (keel, sternpost, stem, deadwood etc) that one might think is simply one or two extra straight pieces of wood. But it is actually built from numerous intricately shaped and interlocking parts. Adding to the fun I also found a number of videos on YouTube showing the construction of the replica itself as well as ship building techniques in general.

I'd want to give special credit to the photographers that have taken the images that I have used most prominently as reference and that are occationally seen throughout these pages. Most notably Marc Doucette at which is where I found the images that greatly inspired me to do this project. All other images not taken by myself should be credited to their respective owners.

The Bluenose II

2:2 Basic tools

Most of the tools I need for the project I already own. My trusty Dremel tool, cutting mat, figure saw, plane, hobby knives, files, clamps, vice and glue. I will not use regular carpenters glue but one I bought at the hobby store that is commonly used for ship modelling. The Aliphatic Resin glue dry faster and harder and is easier to sand.

The Bluenose II

2:3 Custom tools

I was thinking about buying a new set of files and polishing tools as the ones I have is slightly worn out, but I realised I could just as well make my own as I already had several different types of sanding paper among my tools. Also this particular type of sanding paper will not wear down easily when used with wood, and I can easily make more tools of this kind in whatever size I might need up ahead. Good thing as well to use up stuff I already have before buying new.

The Bluenose II

2:4 Materials

I will use assorted pieces of wood commonly available in hobby stores for the entire model. Plywood for the internal hull framework and various hard and soft wood for planking and details. As most parts of the model will be painted in the end I will not be too picky about wood grain/texture and colour, except for a few parts such as the deck planks and masts. I will probably also buy a few 3rd party components for the rigging, blocks and deadeyes. I have not figured out how to build the steering wheel and a few other details seen in the reference images but will get to to that later on.

The Bluenose II

2:5 Basic hull construction

Knowing 3D modelling is a major advantage when dealing with pretty much any type of construction work in real life, potentially saving a lot of time and headache once things are actually put into practice. Using some of the reference material I gathered with additional numerical data I created a hull construction outline in Blender 3D. Here I could quickly experiment with individual part design and make sure that everything fit together. I can also make quite sure that the hull shape look the way I want before pulling the 3D pieces apart and render them as 2D images that I can print and use as cutting templates.

The Bluenose II

2:6 Plans and templates

I have laid out the Blender 3D renderings in Photoshop and adjusted the size of them to fit the scale of the model (about 1/90 to 1/80). I will cut some of these pieces out and use them as templates and others for general reference and measuring.

The Bluenose II

2:7 Conclusion

This concludes the preparations for the project. I will most probably need to make some more scematics as I get to laying out the deck and all the details that goes onto that later on, but I´ll just take one thing at a time. As some say in the game industry, "if you´re going to fail it´s better to fail fast", and this is at the absolute core of my creative approach. Until I´m confident I have a general hull shape to build the rest upon there no details will matter anyway, and planning to much ahead may very well be a complete waste of time (that equals money in most cases). By diving into practical reality faster I naturally spend more time where it matters, and rely on past experience to solve smaller issues that pop up along the way. Also, while actually working I often come up with ideas I would not have thought of otherwise. I think it is the discovery of these ideas and problems, and taking corrective action, that constitute most of the fun in all of this.

Continue to chapter 3. Ship framework