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To help kit developers and kit builders alike-What would you like to see developed for the hobby.

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I thought I would start this topic because as a model builder I know what I would like to see developed into a kit.   I am sure all of you have a short list.


On the flip side!!!


As a developer of commercial kits and projects,  I have no idea what-so-ever what other kit builders would like to see developed.   I am quite certain that this is true for the other kit developers.  Its just a leap of faith based on so many factors.   Including many who are respected sponsors of this site.   Both old and large companies or the newer, smaller Mom and Pop type operations.  We just dont know.  Its a big chance to take without a direct line of communication.


Bringing a new project to market is a serious investment in $$ and time.....our worst fears....nobody wants to build it or buy it when its launched.  So please....I urge you all to participate.  It would be a huge ....huge help.  No more Victories or Constitutions...its the last thing the hobby needs right????   Maybe not???  Please tell us.


BUT I would kindly ask that all MFG's including myself...and our sponsors...not participate in this discussion other than to say that you are watching and listening or if asked a direct question that warrants a response.  I know you will be listening, just as I am eager to hear from our customers.  This will alleviate any fear that we may be trying to steer the choices or monopolize the voice of all of you kit builders out there.  


SO...please do feel free to share your own short lists.  Or even just one.  Consider this your direct line to the kit developers out there.....I know I am listening.  ;)   The others would be at a loss if they dont.  Otherwise, we will just keep developing the same old stuff and hopefully one of them is what you want.


BUT here is what we need to know...or at least me as a developer.


- Name of ship .....or type

- Country of origin - date

- Material choices and what style...POB or POF or Solid hull ETC

- Price range you would expect to pay...whether realistic or not

-How long do you prefer a build to last from a kit.  Will you want to spend 6 months for a small kit or 6 years for that 100 gun French frigate from 1820?

-Advanced or beginner......something in-between? 


You get the picture....It would be interesting to see if we have any HMS Thunderer (74 gun) at 1/4" scale in POF built from Boxwood for under $200....If we hear a lot of that, then its probably time for me to look for a new job...LOL.  I learned as a young boy that if I didnt tell my parents what to get me for Christmas....I would end up with a lot of socks and underwear....LOL



and I will thank you on behalf of all of our fellow kit developers and MFGs.  This will make it so much easier for our businesses to grow and the hobby itself to grow.



  • Ryland Craze, mtaylor, Dubz and 16 others like this

Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 


Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch




Kurt Van Dahm

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Great idea.  I will be following this with great interest.


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Kurt Van Dahm

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Butch O'Hare - IPMS




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Kurt, Dont be shy....my guess is you want a nice shiny new tugboat kit?  Again I am just guessing.   Please everyone.....just dont say its a great topic and you will be listening...or hit the like button....please lay it all out there.  The more that start to participate here, the more people will feel less shy about posting.   Dont be shy.  :D  Who will get the conversation started?

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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 


Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch




LA Don

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Great topic.  As I visit the many websites of kit manufacturers and distributors I see an abundance of model of ships with sails.  I would like to see more kits of ships built after the golden age of sails.  The early steam ship era represents a large population of ships that would be interesting as models.  The first monitors, tugs, trawlers, riverboats, etc., would all be very interesting kits to build.


I am not a ship historian, but I think that the early steam era would provide some great models.

  • Chuck, Ryland Craze, mtaylor and 8 others like this


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I think, as LA Don has said, that the transitional and early steam era is very interesting and would like to see some kits from that time.  Eighteenth century French and British warships are great, but there are plenty of those kits out there.
Name of ship .....or type
How about the Great Eastern, the steamship Arctic, the Civil War era double-enders like USS Sassacus?  How about some ships with paddlewheels or smokestacks and full sail rigs?  How about ships like the Dutch ram turret warship Schorpioen.  (There were a few US ships similar to Schorpioen...)
Country of origin - date:
I'm partial to American vessels, but that's not hard-and-fast.
Material choices and what style...POB or POF or Solid hull ETC:
Not a huge issue for me, but I like plank on bulkhead, wood construction.
Price range you would expect to pay...whether realistic or not:
I can swing $100 to $200 for a kit.
How long do you prefer a build to last from a kit.  Will you want to spend 6 months for a small kit or 6 years for that 100 gun French frigate from 1820?
I build slowly.  I see some complex kits -- like USS Syren, which I own -- as a Decade in a Box.  I'll get to it eventually, but it's going to be a while.  I prefer something that can be built in eighteen months to two years.
Advanced or beginner......something in-between?
Go ahead.  Make it advanced.  I'll figure it out.

  • Chuck, Ryland Craze, mtaylor and 9 others like this


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I'm a big fan of the 17th and early 18th century ships of the line. Fortunately, a lot of the ships I am interested in are already in kit form but, a couple things I would like to see to improve what is out there. The first would be a less of the decorative parts being molded in metal. They rarely look good and are often replaced anyway. I know that to have them already carved in wood would make the kits extremely expensive but could the kits instead come with high quality images of what the decorations look like and then a supply of blank carving blocks to carve them out of. This would obviously be on advanced kits and not beginners but I think that would be a nice change.


The other which may be harder to do is to try to uniform scale between the ships. I like to display my models side by side to compare but that can be hard to do when the scales are different. I do not know how hard it would be to try to make series of kits in the same scale so that all my 17th century French ships are all 1:100 scale for example. I know I wish my Constitution and Victory models were the same but at 1:96 and 1:200 respectively, they look odd next to each other. I guess this is more of a pet peeve of mine coming from model railroading where an entire layout is to scale and anything I build fits right in. With my ships, I don't have that luxury.


As to other suggestions, like I already said, I like the large man of war ships. Would love to see more of them though I would have to research for name/country suggestions. Price is always a concern but as I am currently saving up the last couple of hundred I need to buy the Sergal Le Soleil Royal which is a $1200 kit, it doesn't worry me. If the quality is good, I will pay for it. I'm a fan of the longer builds as I like to be able to settle in and take my time but it is nice to have a faster build sometimes. 


Finally I would like to see more cross section kits. I would love to have one to match both my current build of La Couronne and my next of Le Soleil Royal. I think being able to display a cross section of a ship next to it's whole would be a great addition to any display as well as enriching our community in our education about ships. Cross sections give an extreme level of detail and information about the interior of a ship that a lot of us lack due to primarily modeling the outsides.


Thanks, I hope this helps and I look forward to seeing what you all come up with next!

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"Anchors Aweigh"



Current Builds - La Couronne - Corel &  Le Soleil Royal - Sergal

Completed - Wood - Rattlesnake - Model Shipways, HMS Bounty - Constructo

                      Plastic - USS Constitution - Revel (twice), Cutty Sark.

Unfinished - Plastic - HMS Victory - Heller, Sea Witch.

Member : Nautical Research Guild




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There is (was?) another thread on this topic.
Overthere I posted that I would love to see a historically accurate kit at a resonable scale (1:96 or 1:192) of a Dutch two or threedecker, like the Gouden Leeuw.

I would like: advanced, building time: long, price around 400 euro, (but higher is open for discussion)
I would like a POF, but with the option to build the interior from th lower gundeck upwards.

I would prefer serious wood, not the usual kit-stuff
i would prefer historicall accurate
i would prefer non-guilded, resin (?) 'carving'
I would prefer fullguns, and not those silly half-guns. (At 1:192 resin casting is OK with me)
I am not a large fan of an 'assembly kit' in which all parts are lasercut, and only need to put together. (Although the resulting model greatly benefits from those lasercutassembly parts)

Scond type of kit iI would be seriously be tempted: navyboard style enlisch first or second rate.
(Again 1:192, seriouslwood, historycally accurate, and all other remarks i madeabove)


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Edited by amateur, 02 June 2016 - 08:28 PM.

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I think there is a niche for a solid hull, fairly simple kit, small sized one.  Aimed for total beginners or young builders

The old Artesenia Latina Liberty was a close match to what I am talking about.

The present ones are either just a bit too toylike  or with a POB hull a bit too hard for a young beginner and i would love to start my grandsons on a build - they frequently ask to get down my 30 year old first build of that one.

( PS the AL kit hull was some sort of "fake wood" but it was planked with nice mahogany strip - PREGLUED - peel off backing paper and apply - brilliant !!

The planks are still stuck fast after 30 years!  I wonder what the adhesive was )

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My company's vessels are named to honor vessels in Cook's fleet. Is a fantasy to build an accurate, 1/64ish scale Endeavour, Resolution, etc.


Price: below $500, including tax and US shipping

Build time: a week or two! :) Seriously, my build style has me at the bench pretty consistently for 4-8 weeks, then I take a 4-8 week break while my model brain recharges, or works through how to handle some challenge. Repeat. I've had models built in one "period" (love that Longboat Chuck!). Others, well, I started King of the Mississippi in 2003. As such, can't really answer.

I'd lean toward a beginner kit, to remain close to $500, knowing that some modelers would scratch build additional components where they desired.
  • mtaylor, CaptainSteve, Canute and 1 other like this


Currently building: A/L KING OF THE MISSISSIPPI & Mamoli Victory cross-section


Completed: Revell LSM (Plastic, in memory of Dad), A/L SANSON tug, MS Longboat (awesome model Chuck!), Dumas 1949 Chris-Craft 19' Racing runabout, A/L SWIFT, MS ELSIE, Constructo ELIDIR (now LOUISE), Midwest Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, Amati 1:80 Yacht ENDEAVOUR, Mamoli CONSTITUTION cross section, Revell VIIc U-boat (1:72 plastic), lotsa other plastic ships 


Next up: who knows - there are too many to choose from!

Brian the extraordinaire

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I think the most under-utilised area of model ship building is ships with the transition from sail to steam like Hms Warrior and similar.
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Ahoy Mates


Subject: Civil War Blockade Runner


Scale:  1/48


Build Type:  POB or POF doesn't mater  And a Short Kit. Fittings fine in kit,but planking is up to buyer-keeps price down,and buyer can go with either economical wood or other more expensive wood choices.


Price Range: $150-$300


Quality- Must have bulkheads and frames that line UP! That are fair and not being 1/8-1/4" off being fair,or shapes not the same frame to frame. Maker should have a outside builder build and show that they are right.And do it before the kit is being produced and on shelves for sale!


After buying kits from 6 manufacturers  over the last 4 years,not one has a kit without this problem. From 2 that have had just a couple problem frames to a majority where 75% of the kits frames-bulkheads were wrong shapes,and had to be corrected.


There are other types of kits using laser cut frames and bulkheads that have tapered and other shapes like the ships we build,but they do not have the same problem with their kit's.


I have been in production for all my adult life and quality control processes. There just needs to be a raising of standards of all in the kit making community. Some just need to be made aware and have very little to work on. Others will not care or even listen or try.


Just think of it this way,if you have a terrible first build and not the skills to deal with uneven shaped bulkheads to start with. Do you expect that person to want to build another kit-or even finish the first kit with problems?


It will only help all of us if the standards are raised up to a level that they should be with CAD and laser cut parts. We are not talking of old school steel rule cut kits of the past.


Build Time: I like short time builds and long. I lke to vary it. 6 month's to 2 years


I frankly think that raising the quality question and problems that we all are subject to is correct if you are talking about new kits and what we want. I want it to be taken in a positive  way not just a ranting way.



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I would like something in the sail-to-steam category

- Name of ship .....or type: USS Kearsage or USS Hartford

- Country of origin - USA

- Material choices and what style...POB or POF or Solid hull: POB

- Price range you would expect to pay...whether realistic or not $200-$300

-How long do you prefer a build to last from a kit.  Will you want to spend 6 months for a small kit or 6 years for that 100 gun French frigate from 1820?

-Advanced or beginner......Intermediate?


I also think a double-ended gunboat, such as Sassacus or a sleek, paddle-wheel blockade runner would be interesting builds. 

  • mtaylor, Brian the extraordinaire, dcicero and 3 others like this

Completed builds: Constructo Enterprise, AL Le Renard

Up next: Panart Lynx, MS Harriet Lane

In need of attention: 14-foot Pintail in the driveway


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I guess I would like to see something developed in the hobby like pre -cut and pre made sails. The best model with the most accurate detail is spoiled because of sails made with oversize stitching and folds.
I don't have any sails on any of my builds because I just can't get them to look right. The Flags are pre made. Why can't the sails instead of giving us a fooled up sheet to make our own? Just my two cents. I hope this s a valid post.
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Regards, Scott

Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli

Completed builds:
1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli
1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli
1:54 Adventure, Amati
1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL
1:64 Blue Shadow, Mamoli
1:64 Leida Dutch pleasure boat, Corel
1:60 HMS President Mantra, Sergal

Awaiting construction:
1:89 Hermione La Fayette AL
1:48 Perserverance, Modelers shipyard


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I would have to go with the transistion from sail to steam along with working craft such as trawlers and freighters.  Unfortunately I have seen most people loking at sails or WW2 vessels such as PT Boats, Destroyers etc.  To keep the costs down decent and accurate plans should be the main component.  The basic materials wil work just fine.

David B

Edited by dgbot, 02 June 2016 - 11:38 PM.

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Work in progress USS Maine in cardstock.http://modelshipworl...rd/#entry220003

Completed Blockade runner Teazer http://modelshipworl...ck/#entry175967

Completed  The Monitor Lehigh http://modelshipworl...el/#entry203680

Completed Kingston Class MCVD http://modelshipworl...gs-in-progress/


uss frolick

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The 18-gun, flush-decked American ship-corvettes of 1812 are sadly ignored : the Wasp 1806, Hornet 1807, Wasp 1813, Peacock 1813, and Frolick 1813. 


Everything is on one deck, the carvings are at a minimum, and they are extremely well documented.

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Large scale working boats from 19th and early 20th century - as a reference the Model Shipways Glad Tidings or Emma Berry. Large scale for adding detail and p.o.f. for interior work....


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current builds: MS Brig Syren; Bluenose fishing schooner (1921) (scratch)
previous builds: MS Phantom; MS Sultana (1767); Corel Brittany Sloop; MS Kate Cory; MS Armed Virginia Sloop; Corel Flattie; Mamoli Gretel; Amati Bluenose (1921); AL San Francisco; Corel Toulonnaise (1823); 
MS Glad Tidings (1937)HMS Blandford (1719) from Corel HMS GreyhoundFair Rosamund (1832) from OcCre Dos Amigos; Amati Hannah (ship in a bottle); Mamoli America (1851)
under the bench: Corel HMS Bellona (1780); Admiralty Echo cross-section; MS Emma C Barry; MS USS Constitution; MS Flying Fish; Corel Berlin

Tim I.

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The 18-gun, flush-decked American ship-corvettes of 1812 are sadly ignored : the Wasp 1806, Hornet 1807, Wasp 1813, Peacock 1813, and Frolick 1813. 


Everything is on one deck, the carvings are at a minimum, and they are extremely well documented.


Agreed! in 1:64 or 1:48 scale, PoB.

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In Process Builds: USF Essex 1:76.8 Scale / Kit Bash - Model Shipways : Prince de Neufchatel - 1:64 scale / Kit Bash - Model Shipways


On Hold Builds: USS Constitution 1:76.8 Scale / Kit Bash - Model Shipways


Completed Builds on MSW: Glad Tidings - Pinky Schooner - Snap Dragon - USN Picket Boat 1


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In general, I'd say that good riverboats are underrepresented. Most of the kits I see look out of proportion and toylike, even if finely crafted, and they all follow the same "gingerbread castle" prototype of a generic lower Mississippi palace boat. Model Shipway's Chaperon is a rare exception. There are a number of fascinating prototypes and possibilities among American riverboats alone, much less international ones.

  • Bertrand, Arabia, and Cairo all have museums dedicated to or featuring them and/or their remains
  • Far West has a fantastic story (the boat that carried Custer's men to and from Little Big Horn)

The golden age of steamboating extended into the photographic era, meaning there are good resources for any number of protoypes. And I'd like to think that plenty of American consumers, at least, would connect to a Mark-Twain era Midwestern steamboat as to a sailing ship.


I love sailing ships, but also feel that there are SO. MANY. age of sail models out there already. Branch out!


My specific answers to your questions:


Name:  Arabia, Bertrand, Cairo, or Far West, as those are readily researchable and can tie into museums and known American history.

Country/date: USA, 1850s-1860s.

Material/style: Any hull form could work. Solid hull is likely a good choice for steamboats with their flat-bottomed, low-slung hulls, though an open-framed steamboat looks pretty good too. I assume solid would keep the price down? Wood could be relatively simple, as most boats would be painted and weathered.

Price: I'd say $250-$400. Scale is an interesting question. My 1:87 Bertrand ended up about 2 feet long, I don't think you'd want it to be too much larger than that.
Time: I can't envision tackling a project much over two years right now. Scratchbuilding Bertrand took me about a year, including lots of R&D. A kit would speed that up, but I also put a lot of time into it. Still,I have to imagine that more people would buy (and commit to) a kit that could reasonably take them a year or so. Much beyond that and life is just too uncertain unless you're a REALLY dedicated builder. For me, at least, I'd rather enjoy a number of different projects over time than one all-consuming one.

Level: Beginner to moderate. A small steamboat could easily be a beginner kit, there's less planking and rigging than a sailing vessel, but enough interesting superstructure detail to keep it interesting. A moderate kit would include more detail, better castings maybe, or interior?


Above all, a really good steamboat kit with well-presented historical background and context seems to me like a very different offering to the model market, and one that could capture the imagination of many Americans who don't have much connection to the ocean anymore, but do to their rivers and their history. Don't know how they'd sell outside the US, but only so many Americans care about British or foreign ships either.


I'm being selfish here, but as a history buff and freelance writer, it sounds like great fun to help a kit designer develop a backstory and interpretive materials for an American steamboat model. Anyone interested?


  • mtaylor, grsjax, dcicero and 5 others like this

Current build: US Revenue Cutter "Ranger", Corel, 1:64


Previous builds:

Naval: 18th century longboat, Model Shipways, 1:48; Naval gun kits from Model Shipways; Bounty launch, Model Shipways, 1:16

Missouri River craft: Missouri River steamboat Bertrand, scratchbuilt in 1:87;  Lewis & Clark barge, scratchbuilt in 1:48;
Missouri River keelboat, scratchbuilt in 1:87; Missouri River steamboat Far West, scratchbuilt in 1:87



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Merchant vessels, mid 19th century through the early 20th century, smaller vessels in larger scales with plenty of detail. Having researched such vessels from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I can tell you that there are plans out there and large untapped archival sources to supplement plans and builder's models from all parts of the US coastline. The material is there and such vessels would be good in POB for beginner to intermediate skilled modelers.



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Please consider printing on both sides of wood. On some models they print suggested areas to taper or shape but do not flip the wood over print it on the other side and transferring these lines is sometimes not successful.

On paper plans provide drawings of what the planks should look like. These drawings could be copied and attached to planks for accurate shaping and installation.

Hope this makes sense, dealing with 5 year old granddaughter
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