Planking Artesania Latina's USS Constellation Wooden Model Ship Kit

by Tony
(Rio Rico, AZ, USA)

I am planking from the bottom of the bulkheads to the bottom of the false keel. I like to know how do I plank the bow area? Attached is a picture of the bottom part of the model. I have a blue arrow pointing to the black line, and am assuming the planking gets extended straight out to where the end of the black line is. Am I assuming correctly?

SMH Responds It has been several years since I was involved in plank on frame modeling, but I do remember it was a challenge, particularly in the bow area. Ships with bluff bows like the Constellation take extra care as models don’t go together quite as neatly as the full sized counterpart.

Once you have the frames assembled, you need to be sure the lines are fair and true. You do this by carefully sanding the facing elements of the frames using a Dremel and/or sandpaper.

You need to take your time with this “fairing” operation as it dictates the look of your finished model. Look along the lines of the hull again and again looking for a clean look and flow. It is a good idea to tack fit a temporary batten along the frame ends. Run your hand along this to assure smoothness and flow.

If you just do straight planking in the area you are talking about, you will find you need to trim the planks to fit to the point you are dealing with splinters or they begin to overlap in a “clinker” effect. It just gets too crowded.

Instead, build in some “drop planks” to cut down on the number of planks extending to the bow.

laying out bow planks

Do not force planks into position, instead let it lay naturally. Cut the ends of the drop planks as close to 45 degrees as you can. This will ease fitting in half-planks to go to the bow.

There is a lot more I don’t remember and I would refer you to two books: “Planking Techniques for Model Ship Builders” by Donald Dressel and Ship Modeling Simplified by Frank Mastini. Both are available on Amazon.

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Sep 15, 2015
Camila NEW
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Jun 24, 2014
Instructions/Pictorial US Constellation#20700 NEW
by: Bob Boisvert

I received Model #20700 of US Constellation as gift from family of deceased orig. builder. It lacks drawings/plans. I do have Instructions in Spanish, English, French and German as well as coordinated pictorial. Will copy after receiving copies of drawings/plans from/to first supplier.

Jun 21, 2014
US Constellation Model # 20700 NEW
by: Bob

I was given this kit in order to continue the building started by someone now deceased. I have the instructions BUT I don't have the drawings/plans. The hull is planked and decked. I cannot proceed without drawings/plans and would appreciate copies. e-mail:

Jan 13, 2014
u.s. constellation instructions NEW
by: jason

I've got the instructions to the U.S.Constellation which includes english i'd be happy to scan you a copy and e-mail it to you, but in return would you be able to scan me a copy of all the plans as mine got water damaged and stuck together and instructions don't make any sense without plans and the only way i've been offered some was a company telling me to buy another kit from them copy the instructions and sell it on who's got that sort of money these days!

Jun 06, 2013
Copy of assembly instructions for the Constellation NEW
by: Victor

Tony, I loved your blog, I was building this model a few years ago, but it has been sitted there with no further advance since I moved and lost my copy of the assembly booklet, I would like to see if I can get a copy from you, since I tried Artesania Latina without success.

Feb 28, 2013
I need to get to 1st base first... NEW
by: Ken Bannister

Helllp!! I just received a copy of the Constellation kit
from Micro-Mark, and lo and behold, the entire assembly instruction booklet is in Italian! Don't get me wrong, Italian's a beautiful language, but I don't speak it. Anyone know how to get hold of a copy of the instructions in English??

I have sent a plea for help to the Artesania folks but not holding my breath...


Dec 03, 2010
My Own
by: Anonymous

Well after I did the planking , I added a resin to the planks, made it a lot easier to sand and get a smooth surface

here is my web site to view what I have done so far on my constellation

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