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Author Topic: Plans worth avoiding  (Read 4146 times)

dreadnought72

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Plans worth avoiding
« on: July 09, 2015, 12:18:11 AM »

Maybe, as a service to the forum, we could list plans worth avoiding?

I've got a set in front of me: HMS Inflexible originally from the Nexus plans service at 1/192nd scale. Two sheets, available as MM1246 from myhobbystore. The first sheet is an (initially impressive) elevation and plan view. David Metcalfe is listed as draughtsman. I'm expecting a lot. But wait! There's something fishy here!

The draft looks suspect. Out with the ruler. It's a scale 37.8 feet. The original vessel? From 25 to 28.6 feet.
There's no "step" to support the inner prop shafts that I'm sure was present. And the rudder's well wrong.
Meanwhile Q-turret can't train past the rear superstructure without knocking chunks of steel off.
I've scaled up what I can to 1/96th scale, using Burt's plans as a better guide to "distances" (from the 1/500th scale Invincible in British Battlecruisers of World War One, Excel, a magnifying glass, and some tweaking to hit frame locations) and the Nexus A-turret ends up too far forward, or - rather - the hull would be too long if this is correct.
The angles on both fore and aft superstructures do not come close to Burt's, which seem to allow the 30 degree cross-deck firing available in the original of the class. If I tweak these angles to fit, two of the Nexus funnels would fall off. Or, at least, overhang the superstructure badly.

Ok, what of sheet two? This is a lines diagram. Elevation and plan again. Should be perfect for making a hull, once sections have been drafted. Hey, the "step" is here. But...

While the draft is correct, the bow's wrong. The stern is wrong. The sheer is simply amazingly wrong. These plans do not show shaft or rudder positions (so I can't check the pp length, nor locate prop shafts accurately, nor fit rudders at the right width or angle). There's a plan of the signal deck on here, but no other information regarding the superstructure where it's hidden from view.

There seems to be little sense in looking at these at all. They are over 90% worthless. £12.50 - not including P&P - down the tube.

Andy
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nemesis

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 09:04:22 PM »

You only get what you pay for. Try the National Maritime Museum. You may get what you require, BUT, look at the price per sheet. It may pay you to sit down first, hope that helps, Kind Regards, Nemesis
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hammer

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2015, 09:33:26 PM »

Its not good to rely on only one source of information, if you intend building an accurate scale model. Gather as much information as you can. Then make your own decisions. Looks like you are going that way.   Good
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howyson

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2015, 11:47:30 PM »

Possibly not just 'plans to avoid' but also of those worth considering. Looking for my next build and the Hants & Dorset HSL looks interesting. However it would be nice to 'preview' the model boats plans MM1358, as £22.50 it is a lot to pay for in order to confirm that they are suitable based on the research I have already done.


Howard
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 10:07:29 AM »

I think it is worth bearing in mind that most ‘exact scale’ modelling plans were in fact produced many years ago and are, at best, only as good as the source material that was available at the time. Very few people are producing marine modelling plans these days and the plans that do appear are frequently semi scale (such as Glyn Guest) or simplified.

Even sources such as the marvellous drawings by Norman Ough have errors as he made them from observation rather than from access to the original official plans. (incidentally, there is an excellent article about Norman Ough in the September issue of Model Boats on sale early next month – plug!  ok2).

I don’t know where Dave Metcalf obtained his information for HMS Inflexible from but a look at the illustration on the MyHobbyStore website does suggest an excessive draft.

Some modelling plans produced before the 1970s (and sometimes later) will have added draft to provide stability and carrying capacity needed for a working model of the time and this is not always explicitly shown. This is also a ‘dodge’ used by some kit manufacturers, for example the Caldercraft pilot vessel Cumbrae is significantly wider than it ought to be although this is not apparent to the casual glance.

Supposedly unimpeachable sources such as the National Maritime Museum or the original builders cannot necessarily be relied upon either as often these will be design drawings and there could be many differences from the completed vessel. ‘As fitted’ drawings are obviously better but less common but again, for warships in particular, of only limited use as all ships are modified, some very extensively during their service lives and there can also be significant differences between supposedly sister ships.

For complete accuracy you need an authoritative set of plans plus extensive photographs taken aboard the ship, preferably by yourself to produce an accurate model at a specific point in time which becomes more difficult the older the ship is. As said by Hammer above, the more sources you have the better but they may contradict each other!

Museum type models (if you can find them these days) are also a useful source of information. Although they will probably represent the ship as designed and have brass plated fittings, the actual construction of those fittings is probably a very good representation of their full size counterpart and thus invaluable as a modelling aid. They are also very useful in seeing how things were rigged such as anchors and ships boats etc.

Even the reprints of Burt's books apparently contain errors that appeared in the original editions - nothing is perfect!

Colin

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Jonty

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 10:13:45 PM »

  The Nexus plan of the Fairmile C appears to have been drawn from memory after a fleeting glimpse of the boat.
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peterbunce

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2016, 04:19:43 PM »

Hi,

My Hobby store sell the old Nexus plan for HMS Kent of 1901 which is recommended by Deans Marine - I can vaguely remember it in Model Boats magazine a very long time ago.

I will shortly be receiving my copy of the reprinted book on Victorian cruisers - no connection with the publishers,

but if you order now it is on pre order price!

Back to the nexus plan -- Can any member tell me if the plan is worthwhile buying, if I decide to take the plunge in building one please?

Finally what sort of extra cost are the fittings and a radio control setup for such a model please? Me knowing nothing about radio control!

Thank you, in advance.

Yours Peter
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2016, 05:10:03 PM »

The HMS Kent plan was considered to be quite good when it came out, in the 1960s I think. It won't be museum standard though and I don't know what information David Coleman used to draw it up.

It all rather depends on what standard you intend to build to.

Colin
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John W E

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2016, 05:38:03 PM »

hi all I have just read what Colin said above and I really am repeating 90% of what he says - I feel passionate about this - shooting the draftsman down for trying his best.

Originally when NEXUS plans were first established they were graded as follows:

* to ****

* being very easy and a lot of information on the construction and **** being a basic line drawing with no information

the person looking at the star grading system for the plans and picks the * may have very little knowledge of building a model, and therefore the plans need to give as much information as soon as possible.  So, the plans tend to be very basic in their appearance and representation of models.

If we go to the **** we expect them to be as close as possible to scale and authenticity of the real vessel as possible.   

Sadly, though, unless the plans were drawn from the original shipbuilding plans, discrepancies may occur.   But, this is not really a fault of the person who drew the plans shouldn't be criticised, nor the person who drew them up.

The is because we have to remember, its not really until the last 30 years that the freedom of information was available to us on most plans, especially for the Royal Navy or any Military source.  Look at Norman Ough's plans they were drawn from photographs only; and are sometimes very good.  The only time where he falls down is sometimes on the hull lines and on one or more occasions its deck details as well.  Therefore, is it the plans at fault, or, is it the modeller.    I think its the modeller - because as we have stated before - every modeller should get as much information as possible from as many sources.  To give you a good indication have a look at the build of HMS Exeter that I did a while back - one of the set of plans is from My Hobbies Store, one set is from a well known Polish source, plus a book.   Another source for the plans I have are from The Maritime Museum and these are the builders plans so they say, but they weren't.    The majority of these plans are as she was supposedly going to be built & that is with 3 funnels and a bridge similar to its sister ship HMS York.  All of these sets of plans I could say are 'wrong' in some way or another - but on the other hand they were drawn to the best of the publishers ability.

The best information I got, was from photographs - and I had thousands of these, some from personal archives from people around the world using the internet.   I used the photographs promising the person who loaned me the information, to not publish anywhere else etc.

So my outlook on this topic - is - ask yourself how good are your modelling/research skills and don't blame the draftsman.   As far as
HMS Kent plans are concerned, I have them too- but there is a lot of information on the world wide web which helps with these plans and its for the person to go and find this information.

John

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John W E

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2016, 05:56:55 PM »

back again - this time for howyson regarding the BPB Hants and Dorset Launch number MM1358 - if these are the plans which you are looking at - they were drawn by John Pritchard - and the chances are they will be pretty accurate - the reason I know this, is, I have several of his plans for RAF Launches and 2 set of his plans I have duplicated getting the original plans from Vosper - as (fitted) plans or as (launched).  When you compare the 2 sets of plans against John Pritchard's - John's are that good - you could compare them as very accurate.

As a sidenote - I one time did try and get in touch with John Pritchard - is John still with us?    Apparently he wanted to enjoy retirement so I heard.

John
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dreadnought72

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2016, 10:20:13 PM »

Look at Norman Ough's plans they were drawn from photographs only; and are sometimes very good.  The only time where he falls down is sometimes on the hull lines and on one or more occasions its deck details as well.


I had the plans for Norman Ough's HMS Warspite many years ago (the 20s Jazz Age fit) and they appeared to be very good: these plans became part of David MacGregor estate and are now held by the S.S. Great Britain trust and, for whatever reasons, are currently unavailable for sale. I've heard that Ough sometimes had subtle access to the original builders' plans when drawing things up - a fact made more believable because royalty (in the shape of Earl Mountbatten) may well have 'twisted a few arms' to allow him so.


His deck fittings for RN vessels, published over the years, appear to be pretty comprehensive. ...Now there's a book I'd buy.


I'd certainly agree that photos and 'other resources' are essential with regards to depicting a ship in a particular moment in its life - the 'as built' plans rarely cut the mustard for this - but I think, on balance, and particularly at the scales we tend to work at, I'd have few issues with building to an Ough plan and saying 'this is HMS Whatever'.


Andy
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 11:54:35 PM »

The Ough plans are available to view at the Brunel Institute but many of the plans in their collection are in a fragile state.


On the other hand the Ough drawings in Model Maker were reproduced to a very high standard so if you can get hold of the relevant issues they can easily be enlarged to whatever size you want.


Colin
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John W E

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2016, 05:43:46 PM »

Hi ya Andy no way was I trying to condemn the accuracy of the late Mr Norman A Ough's plans and draftmanship.    I was trying to point out that even the best of the best (which I consider Mr Norman A Ough to be among) can get things wrong.    Look at Jacobin plans - by -
Mr Jerry Hitch - he has even been reprimanded by the authorities as to where he gets some of his information from.    I myself have spoken with him on the phone and we have had discussions about it.   Even Jerry admits he has/often gets some information wrong.   In his situation one of his main problems is trying to keep up with updates, because ships are often modernised a lot.  Even then though, we still get the punter who says - it should be right - and they never give it a thought.
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steamboatmodel

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Re: Plans worth avoiding
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2016, 03:11:43 PM »

Be very careful buying plans on E-Bay. There are some who are selling 11" x 17" photo copies of magazine pages as though they were plans.
Regards,
Gerald.
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