Thread Tools
Jul 15, 2011, 09:59 PM
Registered User
Thread OP

Gummed paper hulls

Way back in the 1950s and 60s I used to read the British "Model Boats" mag. when it was a little bitty size. They wold frequently run construction articles about scale boats with hulls made of gummed paper. (the brown paper tape used to seal packages.) Does anyone have any copies of these "how to" articles? As I recall, the building process involved covering the framed-up hull with strips of the adhesive backed paper in several layers, then waterproofing the finished hull with shellac prior to painting. All of this was before fiberglass. I'm thinking that with the new resins now available (to replace the shellac) that might be a good way of producing a strong lightweight hull. Might be an easy way to replicate hull plating too. Ideas and opinions invited.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jul 15, 2011, 10:34 PM
Winnipeg, Canada
You should check with the people at
Jul 16, 2011, 08:57 AM
Registered User

Here is an article in spanish demonstrating the technique. You can use babel fish to translate in case the link I am providing doesn't work.

Charles H
Jul 17, 2011, 09:00 AM
Registered User
Jerome Morris's Avatar
John, I've experimented with epoxies and resins and have thought that using paper or a paper product coated with some of the chemicals out there today would be the way to make a light weight hull. And it would be a quick build.

Haven't had time to try it.But know it would work.
Jul 17, 2011, 05:10 PM
Registered User
The late UK modeler/designer Vic Smeed usually devoted a page or two in his books to this method of hull construction. Properly done, it yields a strong, reasonably lightweight hull that is also inexpensive.
Jul 17, 2011, 08:40 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Maybe not precisely what you're after, but I dallied with gummed brown paper tape (a wood product) some 12 years ago - build log in this very forum! and
My Site
Jun 05, 2015, 10:32 PM
Registered User
September 1940 Popular Science!

Jun 06, 2015, 05:46 AM
Registered User
Careful, coating/soaking paper with resins, you could be re-inventing SRBP.

Vic Smeed and G H Deason were two masters of gumstrip modelling and various Smeed designs were shown in Model Maker from 1950 to 1965 which was then replaced by Muddle Boats. Due to an altercation on mainland Europe in the late thirties/early forties, Balsa was in short supply for use on toys, so other materials had to be tried. One of Vic's designs much later was a model yacht called "Krispie", balsa frames and a few stringers "Skinned" with strips of thin card cut from Corn Flake packets.

Regards Ian.
Jun 06, 2015, 06:32 PM
Registered User
OK, I had to look up SRBP:

Synthetic Resin Bonded Paper

That Popular Science article is only just 75 years old. Next I'll be lathing up a steam engine and installing it in a hand-hammered tin hull.

Jun 07, 2015, 02:45 AM
Registered User
Trade name for SRBP is Paxolin, used in the dim and distant as the base for printed circuit boards when valves (Glass bottles with fires inside them) became a non preferred choice for "Miniaturised" electronic circuit construction. Was also used together with SRBF (fibre - Tufnol) as an insulator for "Electrical" equipment going back to the late 1800's.

Regards Ian.
Jun 07, 2015, 10:11 AM
Registered User
Delving back through the mists of time, papier-mâché was once considered state of the art. Suitably painted, of course.
Jun 07, 2015, 10:17 AM
Registered User
I came across this post because I had remembered the gummed paper planking mentioned earlier. The price of thin birch ply had me thinking of alternatives. I seriously think I am going to try this stuff:
I obtained a sample and dipped it in spraying lacquer, when it was dry threw it in a glass of water. seemed good to me. I worry about it staying adhered to the framework if it becomes damp though. It would absolutely be fine for display craft. It's 1/32" thick. Guess now I'll have to throw something together and see how it goes.
In the meantime, I'm ordering plywood form Aircraft Spruce and Specialty to skin my 36" Hallett Ski boat.


Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Gummed up PAW 0.60 DIESEL Texas Buzzard Engines 4 Nov 22, 2008 08:31 PM
Discussion Old gummed up ST 60 Bluehead combatrat Engines 8 Jul 05, 2006 10:35 PM
5HP Go Cart - Gummed up Carb, what do I do? mrebman Life, The Universe, and Politics 7 May 20, 2002 06:27 PM