Recently, it seems that every new member that arrives on the bucket has the same questions, and we give the same advice. Also, always the same members do the hard work to help them with their first ships. Because of that, I’d just think we’d refer them to one place where the answer to all these questions and the solution to their problems can be found. Because of that, I hereby present:A beginner’s guide to Shipbucket: By acelanceloet.Note that this section is not meant to replace the introduction and guidelines section, and that this section should be visited before going on with this guide. The points from 5 onward represent my view on making own designs, and could be interesting for the more experienced members as well.
1. The most important thing that can be said about shipbucket, is that you can best start with drawing real ships.
Often people ask why this is. This is because of a few things. First of all shipbucket is all about those. A lot of people do own designs and AU’s, but shipbucket is not an AU forum, shipbucket is about drawing real ships in an uniform scale, as you can read in the shipbucket introduction and guidelines
. Second, shipbucket is a community with a lot of knowledge on ships. We do not want to help you make your ship float, we want to help you to make your ship work! By looking at real ships alone, you can find how we represent ships and shapes, and by drawing one yourself you learn how to represent parts you see on pictures of the ship you draw.
The best ships to draw are merchants or frigate sized ships. Merchants are easy because you don’t have a lot of parts to study first, there are quite a few references and especially the modern ones have a lot of easy straight lines. Also, we are always looking for more merchant artists, as there are not that many in the archives yet.
Yes, I know you have come here for your own designs, but do it like this: draw vessels that are similar in time era and design philosophy to the ships you want to design. The first ships you draw are the ones you base all your knowledge on, so the closer those are to your later own designs the easier it will be to make those.
2. Listen to the bucketeers!
There is a huge amount of knowledge and experience gathered on the bucket. Most often, the more knowledgeable members (or the ones who have drawn tons of ships, and by that have gotten knowledge of the drawing process and stylistic choices as opposed to real ships) have gotten the premium or elite member status. These people can be wrong sometimes, and don’t be afraid to defend your views or decisions. But also keep in mind that people can and will prove you wrong quite often, and you sometimes have to restart on half your design to get things right. Keep in mind that people want to work with you to improve, and not against you. They want your next ship to be perfect, they do not want to start the entire cycle again
3. Lurk for some time
It is advised to hang around in the bucket before starting to post drawings, or even post at all. See how things are done here, and see who are knowledgeable. After you think you know enough, try to draw some ships. I again advice to take some real ships
4. Go for realism
Experience learns that quite a few of you will not start with a real design, or not even with and never build. I am going to tell you a secret now: even when in the real shipbuilding industry design ships they do not start from zero. There are rules and regulations you have to follow, and a lot of the cost is in the design process. If you can base your ship in any way on an existing hull, radar setup or powerplant, then do this! Look at what can be placed on that hull in weapons or radars, how many power and crew it needs, and what the cost will be. If there is nothing like it in the world, you should ask yourself if you are really setting up specifications that actually make sense.
The parameters you have to look at for similar ships is length, displacement, beam, speed, power, draft, year/era and the systems placed on board. Most of this information is easy to find on for example Wikipedia. The following points will go more into the art of own design ship creation in general, but it is advised to start with the above points and only after you have done that with the later points. When you have a similar ship to work from, you can start modifying. When you have done your research you know what will change when you change parameters.
5. Weight and displacement.
The displacement of a ship is the weight of a ship multiplied by 1,025. This is because a ship weights as much as the water it displaces, following Archimedes’s law. Because of this, you know that your total weight cannot be more than your displacement. You can estimate your displacement with the following rule:
(length on waterline * beam on waterline * depth)/block coefficient = displacement
The depth is without sonar domes, rudders etc, and not that of the keel (watch out with this, try to take this measurement from drawing and not from textual sources as those are not always clear on what size they depict)
The block coefficient is between 0,4 and 0,5 for frigates, destroyers and cruisers, 0,7-0,75 for container ships, fast LPD’s and suppliers, 0,85 for tankers, 0,9 for landing ships and 0,95-1,0 for pontoons and floating platforms.
It is very hard to estimate the weight of constructions and metal in the hull of ships, so I will not bore you with that. What I will say, is that it is quite a good estimate to take 25% of the weight for crew and constructions for warships, and 10-15% for cargo ships. As this is shipbucket, I will focus on warships here, and I will work with examples of an basic frigate (which is, IMO, the best beginners ship)
The rest of the weight is mainly 4 things:
- Fluids, like clean water, fuel, ballast, brown water and oil
- Propulsion systems, like gearboxes, gas turbines, reactors, diesels and generators
- Radars, directors and computers
Together, these things take up between 60 en 80% of your total weight. Make estimates of the weights of these systems. I myself make estimations of the positions of these weights as well, for the next point:
For this, you take in account the centre of buoyancy, the metacenter, the center of gravity and the keel. I could give you guys all some calculations on these……. But I think about 10 people on here could actually give good estimates of these parameters (and I don’t include myself in that yet!). So I am just going to keep it easy for you and say the following:
You need experience on this. With some training, everybody can say, by looking and studying real designs, if those ships will float keel up or the right way around. How they will behave in the waves though…… I think you need more information than a shipbucket drawing for that.
I personally have no idea how to estimate what propulsion you need. The only thing I can say is to look at ships with similar size and block coefficient. And even then there are differences. For example the Nansen, Zeven Provincien and Bazan class use about the same hull, but an completely different engine setup each. Similarly, you have the burke and the spruance classes, both with different missions, weapons and time era’s, but with the same powerplant. Be sure to look at all parameters before deciding what to use.
8. Important Links!
- Parts sheetsBelowdeck partsUSN parts sheetRN parts sheetRussian SystemsDutch parts sheetMerchant sheetsParts sheet sectionPlanebucketgeneric ship guide
- otherthe main site, with in it the archiveforum rulesshipbucket introduction and guidelines
- the best sourcesNavWeapsNavsourcealternate wars Big Book of WarfareWell, that is the most important for now, more will be added upon request or the moment I realize I forgot something important. Feel free to reply on this post with more ideas, question and all, and also feel free to refer newbe’s to this thread. If you have additions, I will review if they are good and post them in the first post as well, so only that has to be read (of course, additions from mods will always met the criteria to be ‘good’, so those can go ahead and modify the post itself as well if they want )