Still sanding and filling...

We have not forgotten the project but still are fiddling around with the perfect hull form as we want to use it for making some copies from it in the future.


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Fill and Sand - Part I

In a next step the bow was roughly built up with polystyrene isolation material from the local warehouse. Also a layer of epoxy was applied to the inner side of the hull to further stabilize the balsa wood.

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Then the bow was sanded towards its final form. After this filler was applied and sanded. Sanding and filling was repeated several times.

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To speed up drying of filler and also to applied colour layers heating was used. We also considered if we not should build a carrier based on this hull ;-)

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Slippery When Wet

The next step was mounting the ribs and keel on the slip. This turned out to be fairly easy with some good ideas from Adi. On the picture you see the lasered ribs and keel mounted on our slip:

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With the hull skeleton fully assembled on the slip we proceeded to planking the hull. For planking we used 1mm balsa wood which turned out to be nice regarding its flexibility but a rather bad idea as it is not as stable as other woods. We will likely use a different wood in the next hull we build. The strip width was around 50-75mm.

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Planking turned out a bit more demanding but progress was good and we rapidly arrived to the point where we realized that some sections are more complicated and we applied two different solutions to port and starboard. This of course, after an intense discussion using “hammering” arguments.

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Never the less, after having another afternoon laughing and having fun we finally had the hull fully planked and applied a first coating of epoxy in order to give it more stability.

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Star Wars

First things first. We initially acquired the 1/96 drawings for the Ton-class minesweeper HMS Nurton from JecobinPlans and let them scan at Copytrend in Basel.

In a second step the plans were rescaled by us using Photoshop and a reference line (20cm) added to verify the scale of the printouts. Plans were then printed also at Copytrend in Basel.


The rescaled and verified scans were then also used for CAD transfer. They were, after inverting them, placed as a background picture in AutoCAD. Then the rib-halfs and also the keel were redrawn and a spacer added as a distance to the slip. The ribs were also reduced by the width of the later planking (1mm).


We acquired our wood for the ribs and keel (birch air plywood) from We use 1mm for the bow section of the keel and 3mm for the rest of the keel. The ribs were cut from 4mm plywood. For the planking we got 1mm balsa which we cut in strips of 10-15mm.

The keel and ribs were lasered from our CAD plans by LaserWorld. On the picture below you can see the resulting ribs and keel already prepared for mounting on the slip.

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The Model's Background

Canis Marine Engineering is planning to build a 1:72 RC-model of the LHC HMS Ocean from scratch. But as we all lack the experience in hull building we decided that it would be beneficial to first do a hull of a smaller ship.

The choice fell on the hull of a Ton-class minesweeper which in 1:72 is a XY cm long hull and therefore easy to handle. We plan to start from drawings and transfer the hull lines to a CAD program and then laser the ribs from wood.

These should then be assembled on a building slip and be planked with balsa strips. The hull shall then be covered by an epoxy layer and subsequently filled and sanded.