Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: Axnfell on May 17, 2020, 10:27:25 pm

Title: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Axnfell on May 17, 2020, 10:27:25 pm
Ages ago I was asked to produce a 3D model of the J-Class Yacht Valsheda, I was given a set of plans for the yacht and really would like to have a go at making a stationary model of the yacht, but the plans are a tad on the small size (the boat oin the plans, not the plans themself), if I took the plans and created frames from them at a 1:1 scale it would only make a model that is around 1m long, I really would like to double this and make a model that will measure around 2 meters in length basically to fit a known gap on a wall.

I have tried photocopying and even scanning them in and then changing them in photoshop and then printing them off again, both way have problems and I do not know of anyone with a large enough photocopier to print anything bigger than A3, the plans that I have are A1 in size and heavily detailed. I have tried taking photos and even tried scanning them in on my A4 scanner and trying to piece them together but with obvious results on lines not meeting up and basically ending up being a real pain. If I can get them into say Adobe Illustrator I could then easily set the scale I would want for all the frames and then re-print each frame as needed but its finding a way to get the paper plans into something like illustrator without spending a year re-editing them.

Has anyone got any hints as to the best way of doing such a task.

Kind Regards

Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: garethjones35 on May 18, 2020, 07:48:51 am
The main part of the drawing that you need to copy accurately is the body plan that shows the cross sections through the hull at fixed points along its length.  This drawing gives you the shape of the frames you need to build the hull.  I am not clear in your post when you mention frames, do you mean these hull frames or frames in the contest of an illustration.  Some years ago I built a model of a Humber Keel starting with the original builders drawings which I photographed in Hull Maritime Museum.  The process I used to end up with a workable copy at the scale I required is explained in the Spider J build thread on the Model Boats Magazine forum.  There is a link to it here (

There are a number of very knowledgeable model boat builders in the Isle of Man.  It might be worth your while contacting them via the Manx Model Boat Club website

Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Baldrick on May 18, 2020, 08:51:11 am
Look in your local area for "reprographic services" either on the web or local services guide . These are walk in shops with AO or larger digital scanners . They are used by advertising companies as well as architects and builders. they can scan any size plan and accurately reproduce and print it to whatever scale change you want while you wait . Big ones might cost a fiver a plot. Saves a lot of laborious hand changing of dimensions .
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Baldrick on May 18, 2020, 09:34:27 am

  Not near you but this is our local one . ( .              A quick search reprographic, isle of man shows about a dozen or so on the island
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: roycv on May 18, 2020, 12:34:27 pm
Valsheda is going to end up at least 3+ metres tall, some gap!
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Axnfell on May 18, 2020, 07:55:42 pm
Hi All,

Thanks for the kind replies///

garethjones35 (;u=9953)

The plans that I have are very detailed, they are dated 1933 and are a copy of the original plans that the boat was made from, they include all the above and below deck fittings, every nut bolt and washer basically, even down to what the steeps were made of, and the materials used for the cabins, etc, as well as the layout of the cabins, this looks different to the photos that I have seen of her since, although when I modelled her for the facility that I was working for at the time, we were only interested in her basic lines and the above deck fittings. I managed to spend a week sailing on her which was just for research and I remember taking loads of photos but sadly I cannot find these now, I have a feeling they were kept by the production company and I cannot remember if I did take copies, but have not managed to come across them so far so doubt that I have them which is a real pain especially as they would bve invaluable now.


Thanks for this, I did a quick search today, but the Island is very basic with regards to anything good, we have a few printers and some have A3 scanners but I have been told by one that I need to find someone that has a 'A0 Drum Scanner', and they should then be able to do a digital copy at a really high resolution and then I hopefully should be able to convert this to Illustrator quite easily.

Thanks also for the info on SDC Reprographics, will give them a call in the morning and see if they can help.


Yep thats what I kind of hope, I have a large lounge which is open with high beams, with the apex being around 28ft, the gap below this which is crying out for something large to be polaced into it is actually 15ft of free space, I have built a few large models useually from kits or plans that I have purchased from Cornwall Model Boats (The only place that I know of that sells model boats and ships to the island), this will be the first that I plan to do kind of myself from just the plans of an actual boat and not a mopdelk of a boat.
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Baldrick on May 18, 2020, 10:05:55 pm

  Have you tried   in Douglas ? they seem to be equipped !
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Axnfell on May 18, 2020, 10:17:54 pm
Thanks but there is no one local that can scan anything bigger than A3, they can print up to A2 but as what I have is double that size I would like to find someway of getting it scanned so that I do not have to peice it togethr in photoshop, especially as I think the file sizes will be quite lareg, I managed to scan in the plan in on A4 at 2400dpi and the file sizes of the A4 scans were well over 400Mb so half expecting around 1Gb before I can edit them.
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: derekwarner on May 18, 2020, 10:56:05 pm would appear that the file size ballooning  :o is a result from your original Photoshop or Adobe software?? is trying to convert the scan content to a digital photograph image & not just a series of lines

Depending on your scanner Brand/type, an A4 page of lines or shapes of lines [Waterlines-Deck Plans- Hull Profiles etc] even at 2400 dpi should scan into a .jpg file at a few hundred Kb

You could consider contacting a digital plan printing service on the mainland of UK.....ask they what requirements are needed for your print...however if your file sizes are maintained as large'ish :embarrassed: ....just post over a ZIP drive with Gb's of capacity

Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: roycv on May 18, 2020, 11:17:41 pm
Hi, my little 1 : 35 scale Endeavour J Class is pretty small by comparison at just a metre loa and about 1.6 metres high including sailing keel.  It does look very nice though.  At your choice of scale and size you can really make something of her. 
Will you go for 1 : 16 scale?

It is worth looking at the deck planking, I have a short film (from Nauticalia) about the building of Endeavour and it does look like the deck planks were tapered.  Often wondered if my eyes were deceiving me!  Both yachts were out of Camper & Nicholson, I  think the film is now on DVD.  My model has 76 deck planks at the widest point.

I also attempted the triangular main boom with the cross strips for adjusting the sail shape, I had to reduce the number to make it practical, but there are numerous brass rings attaching the sail to the boom, tedious but worth it.  I actually soldered them in place through the sail with wet rag on the sail material to stop charring.  I hope you go for the 1934 rig with 2 jib sails.

I was intrigued with the crews at that time  The 'officers' wore proper caps but the crew had floppy white sun hats, you knew your place in those days! 

Look forward to seeing your build.

Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: RST on May 18, 2020, 11:25:39 pm
Sorry but is there a driver to put into the computer? There are traditional methods which still work from year dot. A roll of lining paper, cheap as chips has served many a person with a ruler and straight edge plus a calculator. How many sections are we converting to frames here? If it's dozens and dozens then fair enough. I actually converted lots of things on small scanners and pieced together but it's probably more laborious than re-drawing! (And kudos -a big print at a reprographics probably never cost me less that 20'odd quid, personal or professional, I admire and aspire to the folk managing 5 quid copies or large format prints!!!).
Title: Re: After a bit of Advice ref Changing Scale
Post by: Baldrick on May 19, 2020, 09:13:45 am
James.   Not wishing you to sink without trace !   {:-{    I am going over to Sutton dyeline (SDC) shortly as I have a full set of plans for the Medway Queen which I wish them to blow up in scale for a future model. If you are prepared to commit your plans to the postal system PM me and I will give you my postal address and I will take them at the same time and post them back to you .