PRT Rear Supports installed/ How to

I have recently completed installing the 2×6 supports, and I want to share how I do this. Installing the supports is by far the most difficult part about North Shore Models’ kits, but with practice it is pretty simple.

Step 1: Line up the first and last support. This is the most important part of this whole how-to, because it makes sure the supports stay straight as an arrow. First, I measure the distance (I recommend 1 inch) from either side of the base to make sure it is centered. When you are content, drive one 3-inch screw from the bottom, while putting pressure on the support. Once this screw is in, you can move the unscrewed end until it is at a perfect 90 degree angle to the base. Once this is accomplished, place a screw using the same method in the other side.

Once the first support is in, it is a fairly simple task to install the last one. To do this, You must first know the length of the vessel to be modeled, which is included in the spec sheet of all North Shore Models’ kits. I figured the length of the back half by taking the length of the base of the first half (8′), multipling it by 12 to get 96 inches. I then took one inch off for the space between the bow of the model and the edge of the base to get to 95″. Multiply this number by 87 and divide by 12 to get the length in scale feet of the first half, (with models less than 8 feet in length this is the last step). In my case the number was 688 feet, but will vary slightly. Take the footage for the first part and subtract it by the overall length of the prototype (688-1013.5). This gives me 325 feet. Divide that number by 87 to transfer it to 1:1 scale, which gives me 3.75 feet, or 3’9″. This means that the last support’s outside face should be 3’9″ away from the outside face of the first one. Maybe it is not so simple after all :). If anyone gets lost at any point during this step, leave a comment and I will get back to you.

First and last sections installed with scrap pieces to keep plywood from warping

Once you have the first and last supports on, you are nearing the home stretch. First you will stretch a length of tape tightly between the two supports.

This will give you a straight line to work off of. Just butt the support up to the tape check it by looking down the line and screw it down.

Repeat this until you have all the screws set on one side. Now rotate the model to get to the other side. Measure the distance between the anchored ends of supports 1 and 2.

Then slide the tape measure down the support to line them up.

Once the loose end is wiggled into the correct position, it can be screwed down like the other side.

So there you have it. Its a little more complicated than other models you might have built, but it is the strongest model I have ever come across. I hope to start gluing on basswood by next week, but I have to get other things with the PRT lined up first. Remember, for any modeling help, or you are considering purchasing a North Shore Models kit, just leave a comment or email me at, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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