I recently became very interested in old sailing ships. I would love to get one of those cool wooden models, but I don't have the time or money for one. However, I do have a small collection of LEGOs, and that, I've decided, will do just fine. I have been pretty unhappy with what I've seen in terms of LEGO ships as far as hull shape goes, with most of them being slopes or layered plates.
That's when I came up with this idea. The "skeleton" will consist of rigid TECHNIC tubes, which I believe will enable me to give the ship the most accurate shape possible. Using modified 1x1 plates and long tiles, I can attach "planks" to the skeleton and make what I think to be a very accurate model of a ship's hull.
Bear with me, I threw this together very quickly so the tiles themselves are a little mismatched, but I think I proved my concept pretty well. I'm thinking I'll make maybe half the ship just to see how the curves of the hull will turn out, then place a rather large bricklink order of those modified plates, tubes and brown tiles. With any luck it will turn out looking like an awesome model of a barque. (A 3-masted ship with both square-rigged and fore-aft rigged sails)
Feel free to adapt or modify this to your own models, I would love to see some more realistic hulls in the realm of LEGO ship modeling! Happy building!
Overall view, looks like planks, eh?
Here you can see the nice curve that can be generated using this technique.
Top planking removed, showing how they overlap.
Back view. Looks complicated, but really the tiles are just clipped onto the tubes with the modified 1x1 and a 2x1 to extend them down.