Half-block working model of M. S. "Fullagar"
half-block working model, scale 1:24, of M.S. "Fullagar" (1920).
This is the plating model which was used for making a metal ship, the MS Fullagar. Traditionally, metal ships were designed from two-dimensional drawings and fabricated with close reference to a plating model, like the one shown here. In the days before computers, there was no easy way of draughting the compound curves of the hull's shell plating. To overcome this problem, shipbuilders used a wooden half-block model of the ship as a working production tool. The ship maker would use flexible splines to line out plating runs for maximum longitudinal hull strength. The plate dimensions were then lifted off, using slips of paper, thus allowing the plating supplier to cut flat plate to size before the shipbuilder had finished erecting the frames. This plating model, made to scale 1:24, was used in 1920, and the MS Fullagar was the first all-welded metal ship.