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The Current Project
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Gallery-1  The Falls of Clyde (model-3)

The last of the three Falls of Clyde models will be built as a fully

detailed, fully rigged, sails furled water line model, my inspiration

being a photo of her at anchor off from San Francisco in about 1899.

Most probably taken at the time she was sold to the Matson Line. 

As my aim is to show her as originally built, I am using as a yard

stick a copy of what is thought to have been the Board Room

Painting of her by Lai Fong dated 1891 - one of three original

paintings of her that I have located, this being the most detailed. 

I also have a copy of the original  draft of the full side view of the

hull from Russell & Co. the builders dated 1878.  In checking the

positions of items common and visible on  both the painting and

the original draft - the masts, break of the Poop and Forecastle,

deck houses and hatches, I came to the conclusion that Lai Fong must have used an original general arrangement draft of the Falls of Clyde, to set out his painting, so accurate is it to the original.  There is also available a copy of the deck layout for the Falls of Garry, and as ships built for the same company to ply the same trade, were almost always laid out in the same way - and this also does match the layout on the Lai Fong painting of the Falls of Clyde, except for the break of the forecastle, that will be covered later.  There are no drafts  available to show her ‘Lines’ the exact shape of the hull, for this I have been guided by the lines drafts created by Harold Underhill for similar ships of the same period.  There are however two photos of the hull out of the water, in dry dock that show her fine lines entering the water, for she was noted for her speed, as well as carrying capacity. The final source of plans data is the full rigging plan produced by Harold Underhill in 1961 for the Falls of Clyde first restoration.  This unfortunately has never been published, but I have by chance obtained a copy for this model build.

So this is my starting point and aim for the model.

I have not drafted a full set of general arrangement detailed plans for the model as would be the normal procedure but have only put pen to paper - or rather finger to button, as I have used a CAD package called MicroStation, to produce the drawings that I actually need, in this case the maximum shape to scale of 1/96th of the hull from the top and from the side, with all of the frames marked in place.  These were then glued to 1/8” thick hardboard for use as patterns to mark out the timber, which had first been planed, squared and provided with dowels to locate the two halves of the hull together after which it was cut and trimmed to shape.

The timber is Obeche - also known as African Whitewood - and often used by pattern makers, because of it’s  fine straight grain and easy working.  This will form the basic core, to be covered by brass sheet, to represent the iron plating as we proceed. Two blocks of squared timber were used for the two halves of the Hull and were cut on a bandsaw in such a say that the off cuts could be used as packing to hold the hull parts in the vice for further initial working.

The hardboard side profile, used to mark out the frame positions will later be glued between the two halves to form the centre line of the hull, from which all things can then be marked out.  The frame position are also marked out at this stage for ease of exactly location the deck apertures  and fittings.  The two halves of the hull were later milled out with apertures for the hatches and locate the deck houses.  With the basic hull carved to shape blocks were then carved for the `Poop and Forecastle and doweled to the hull main blocks.


For those looking for more information on the construction of the Falls of Clyde, I am running a ‘Log’ on the building of it on the ‘Model Ship World’ web site.

Check out < > and search for ‘Falls of Clyde’

Most of the photos will  be the same as here, but there will I hope be more insight into the actual working of the materials and building of the model.

Four photos are added at the start of each month and relevant text on the building.  It should be running for a considerable time to come, and hopefully will not repeat what I have here too much.