Are you here because you are interested in how to build the ship models? You have chosen a perfect hobby to recreate some of history’s best model ships. It is an interesting effort and passionate venture for people who are looking to do something extra in life. Ship modeling has been there for decades, and some of the large ships have been built on these scale ship models. With time and technology, it is now very easy to endure this interest and build your quality ship model in your time and space.
Now, you have already assumed the motif of this article, and we have some of the best tips and techniques for beginners. This will live on with you for the rest of your lives, and you won’t get bored quickly of this hobby. Now, let’s move on to the detailed discussion about ship models and how to build them.
What are ship models?
Ship models or model ships are the precise representation of an actual ship, or you can say large ships that have the capacity of holding people or capital. These miniatures can be built on 1/60000 scale, but the most common sizes in shipbuilding communities are as big as 1:74 or 1:48, but in some cases scaled up to 1:12 for very big enthusiasts and experts who have a place to store such a model.
There are different types of ship model constructions, such as a plastic ship model, wooden models, and live steam models. We will talk about scale model ships as they are a perfect fit for novices, and they are easily available in the market or can be bought online.
How to build a ship model, and how hard is it?
Honestly speaking, it requires time, but it isn’t hard to build a ship model. Some of the ship models are indeed very complicated to make, but as mentioned, we will only talk about small scale models. We will give details about ship model kits that are best sellers and popular among consumers.
Note! It is always better to start with something simple rather than jump on something which is a headache to build. So, no matter how much time your novice level model takes, always look on the bright side of improving with simple model ships. Once you put your hands in model building, you would feel compassion in making them every day.
Let’s move on to some simple tips to keep in mind if you want to keep on going with this hobby!
Tips for building the ship model
Lay down your ship model kit at a place that is above the ground and safest, so you don’t go through a phase of finding misplaced parts of your ship.
- Always read the instructions on the manual book thoroughly and follow them correctly.
- Make sure to take all safety measures, just like glue and scissors away from your kit, and wear gloves if possible.
Steps are as followed in detail on how to build your ship models; tips and techniques that will be very useful for you when building a ship model. Here’s your stop to the best part of the hobby:
- Open the model kit box and lay out ship parts. It is a nice practice to identify all parts that are necessary.
- Count all the parts either they are in the box or not.
- Notice if any piece is damaged so you can get the model kit changed before the time.
- Check instructions on the manual book, and find out if you need any tool or equipment to build your ship model.
- If you are done with confirming the 1st step, it is now time to build your frame. Place all the pieces in front of you and grab all the tools and equipment needed to make your model ship. Do not be confused, read the manual book, and join pieces one by one. Note these tips for a better understanding of your model ship:
- Your model kit will have bulkheads, keel, and planks to be joined together. Other parts are also there, but first, let’s talk about sticking them. In the ship model, the keel is the longest part and equals the length of the ship. So, you have to slide the bulkhead of the ship into the longest piece, which is the keel.
- If both the pieces are perfectly fitting in together, you are ready to glue the parts carefully.
- Another possibility is that if the keel part is longer or bulkheads are higher, you can use sandpaper to shape or level them off.
- You should always be sure about planks laying evenly over bulkhead pieces. If you think that your ship isn’t leveled as it should be, you need to make some changes with the ship. Check these techniques to make an accurate model ship:
- Firstly, put the plank piece over the bulkhead pieces. Now you can see if any mishap has happened or your parts are longer or higher. If you feel there is a gap between plank and bulkhead, then use sandpaper until the plank piece fits.
- Test each plank, and also check each side of the bulkheads
- In case if you have sand down any piece more than enough, add small pieces of wood in between the gap.
- After learning to join the planks, it is time to build the hull. Keep assembling the planks to make the hull of the ship model. Read the instructions and join the planks tightly together.
- If you’re done with the hull making, make sure your ship has a smooth hull. Sand off extra plank pieces and concentrate on making it look sharp and accurate.
- After the hull, add a deck to the model ship. This is just like completing the main body of the model.
- Glue all the parts together, including the deck, and check your ship before putting any outer pieces or painting. Sand down the deck if it is rough and unfit from the sides.
- Decorate your ship. You can paint your ship and let it dry for a whole day.
- If your model kit includes stickers or decals, place them in lukewarm water, so they are settled to stick on your ship.
- If you are willing to add more details to your model ship, then you can add figureheads, rigging, cannons, sails, and masts.
What things are important to build a ship model?
These are some of the important things that will help you build your ship models and can be used for other purposes as well.
- You would need a ruler and compass to measure the length of the pieces.
- Secondly, buy yourself sandpapers, so you don’t end up shaping your pieces with unnecessary equipment.
- You also need a hand-drill. If you’re under 13, take help and guidance from your parents.
- Needle files, wood rasps, clamps, and vices.
- Add small and large scissors in your toolbox as well.
- Tweezers and scissors should always be there by your side.
- A small hammer and small multitasking knives.
- If you have glue that is sticking pieces tightly, then make use of it but always buy that glue, which is instructed on the manual book.
- A magnifying glass could be of great use if you are adding details to your ship.
- Buy acrylic paints, varnish, lacquer for the finishing of your model.
How to store and keep your model ship safe?
After all the effort, you might be thinking of storing and keeping your model ship safe. You are right about your attempt to be safe somewhere. There are many ways to store your beautiful model ship in your space.
If you are worried that your scale model isn’t safe and fragile, you can custom build a mirror case for that. You can buy the mirror case online, or you can get it built by a carpenter; the choice is yours. Make sure that the mirror case is equal or a little larger than your model as it looks very odd if the model is tightly fitted in the case as if it is breaking the mirror case, or double the size of your model that makes your model look tiny in that case. Plastic models or wooden models, both are very much sensitive that they are easily breakable from only one soft touch.
If you could not manage a mirror case, then you can put them with other decoration pieces or miniatures on side tables or showcases. Always remember that it is better to keep them safe rather than waiting for them to break. Another thing you can do is place your ship models in a glass bottle case. You can buy these glass bottles and ask professionals to put your model into that bottle carefully.
What is the average cost to build a ship model and where to buy these ship models?
When buying a model ship kit, different scale sizes have variable prices. This could also be increased with the difficulty level of ship models. As we are talking about beginner’s model building, so fo the first time, it is better to go with the simple model. Once you are pro at making a model, you can increase your difficulty level and buy your self intermediate level or advanced level kit. You can afford a simple model kit of around $10-15$. It depends on the brands or stores from which you are buying a kit.
Sometimes, when we go for smaller size models, we do not think about the difficulty level as we are probably thinking that smaller sizes are easy to build. But we are wrong at that time. Smaller size models are more complex to build as their parts are small and complicated. And some details are needed to be fitted in the model. So, it is better to read the difficulty level on the model kit before buying it as we don’t want you to get fed up and give up on your first try.
Quality and brand matter a lot too. Many of the ship models are cheaper but are not of good quality. Always go for the best-rated brand for your model kit, and take suggestions from people who are into model building.
You can buy your ship models from any local store or hobby shop near you. Many of the toy stores have these model kits for children to sharpen their minds at the early stages of growth. If you have decided to spend your time in model building, by time, you will know about many forums and clubs that will be selling online model kits.
If you don’t have any store or hobby shop near, then you can look for any scale store in your city or town. Scale shops or stores have numerous scale model kits of any kind, be it ship, tank, aircraft, airplane models, or whatnot. You can find many incredible model kits that vary from simple to complex, from lower quality to higher quality, from lower price to higher price. You can have a budget-friendly model kit of your choice after roaming around in the store. If you are lazy and looking for an online option, then several sites are selling ship model kits on sale. You can try eBay or Amazon. Some of the best sellers brands are Revell, Tamayi, Artesania Latina, Caldercraft. They are best rated, and always bring the best quality in their models. You can visit Amazon’s best-rated ship models to buy your ship model kits.
Can you make money from ship model building?
Scale modeling is viral nowadays, and some people are making a high profit out of this hobby. Money people buy these models, and custom build them. After, they sell these models online or ask their nearest gift shops or toy stores to display their craft in their shops to make an impulsive impression on customers.
You can make your model unique if you can add creativity to your ship model. You can paint it attractive, put figureheads, design logos, and much more. You can get it sold online if you get yourself registered on model building forums. People will fancy your ship models. These forums announce online contests, and people around the globe display their models online; people vote, and the best model wins the competition.
If you have decided already to build your ship model, so go and buy yourself a model kit of your own choice. Or, search “scale models” in the search engine to go through webpages that are selling these models. You can also visit one of the related articles to look for a better understanding.