Thursday 17 October 2013


The construction plans laid out in my small workshop.

While I can never be certain that my plans are precisely correct, I believe, given the available historical sources, that they represent a reasonably accurate representation of HMS Terror as she was fitted for her final 1845 voyage. Certainly, much research remains to be completed on specific details (e.g. colour scheme, masting and rigging, hardware, name and cipher(?), etc.), but now that I’m satisfied with the accuracy of the ship’s general profile and dimensions, I can move to creating construction plans for a plank on bulkhead model.

I created the plans directly from the inboard profile and body plan, using a method similar to that outlined by Rich Brayshaw. The stern configuration from the sternpost to the rudder will be recreated just as it was designed in the Terror’s 1845 stern modification plan, and the keel, false keel, stempost, stemson, and knee will be constructed in a similar manner. The false keel structure will be made from 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) plywood, which matches the exact scale width of the sternpost and keel. The slots in the false keel descend to the load waterline, and will accommodate 21 bulkheads, corresponding to each station on the plan. While this might seem overkill for a 1:48 scale model of a small ship, it will give a very solid base for the planking, and I believe it will generally result in a more accurate model. You may notice that the height of the false keel doesn’t line up exactly with the inboard profile plans; this is because I modified it to account for the deck camber (derived from the 1839 Terror and Erebus cross section plan).

Note: This plan has intentional errors to discourage commercial copying. 

The bulkheads (which represent all the stations) may seem quite unusual to those who work with plank on bulkhead models. This is because each includes a precisely faired outline of the solid chock channels that surrounded the ship. The 1839 Terror and Erebus cross section plans show that the channels actually sat on the first layer of planking, and I considered recreating this, but quickly dismissed it. My reasoning is that, after a first layer of planking, it would be very difficult to line up the channels to create a perfectly symmetrical model. As a result, I’ll apply the first layer of planking around the chock channels (they will actually help me align it), then plank the channels, then apply the second layer of planking (recall that both the Terror and Erebus had double deck and hull planking). The bulkheads will be cut from 5mm plywood.

Note: This plan has intentional errors to discourage commerical copying. 

 There is something very tangible to me about rolling out a freshly printed sheet; the plywood is now being pressed to remove any bends and twists; cutting starts this weekend!


  1. Hi
    I read your post and i appreciate your efforts.The information that you share in the above article is very nice ans useful.All the things that you share with people, are very nice.Thanks for this article

  2. Thank you so much for posting this important information. This is great. Construction projects