How To Fit Model Ship Rudder Hinges

Rudder Hinges can prove a challenge even for an experienced model ship builder. Here Australian Master Ship Modeller Leon Griffiths shows us how to fit brass rudder hinges to a model ship.

There are many different combinations of rudder hinges due to the many suppliers around the world. The more complex rudder hinges even come with connecting pins. 

Step 1

Whatever rudder hinges you are issued with in your model ship kit there is a standard process to install the parts correctly on the stern post. For the usual set of rudder hinges you have to install the brass pin by using a drop of thin CA to hold it in place while working on the rudder.

Step 2

Once the glue is set it is time to cut the pin to size and clean up the end of the pin with a file.

Step 3

The length of the pin will be the size for the pre-cut joint in the rudder, this joint is made to take the width of both knuckles. If your rudder has no pre-cut joints now is the time to cut them in. Some designs call for joint cuts to the rudder and the stern post and you may come across a job that no joints are required, so this installation technique shown here is essential.

Step 4

As you can see here the pin is cut to the size of the gap. Use a pair of plyers and crush the brass to the correct position in the rudder joint. Then one flap of the hinge at a time, secure the brass with a drop of CA.


Step 5

Take note to check the centre of the hinge placement.


Step 6

With the hinge glue now dry you can cut the brass nails to size. Using a pair of plyers push the nail into the hinges.


Step 7

Cut the hinges to the size you want.

Step 8

The rudder is ready for installation to the stern post. The rudder hole under the timbers counters has to be shaped to take the rudder head.  

Step 9

Once the rudder is in the rudder hole apply a clip to the bottom as shown. Glue and nail the hinges and allow them to dry.