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For Beginners -- A Cautionary Tale


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#21
rshousha

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There is the same discussion with golf, sailing, skiing, and a variety of other hobbies. Some people just want to try something and then move on. More power to them. It's a big world out there!

 

Cheers, 

 

Rick 


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Rick Shousha

Modeller's Workshop, Montreal.

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#22
ccoyle

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 And I too am not as good as many of the modelers I see here but so what.

 

But you have a corgi, and that more than makes up for any modeling deficiencies.


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Chris Coyle
Greenville, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco


#23
EJ_L

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I am guilty of not finishing some of my kits. In fact there are a few of them listed in my signature as unfinished. One of them I do not feel bad about as it is a joint projects with a friend while I was still in the Navy and is now awaiting his retirement. The others either had issues with the kit, the instructions or I just lost interest in finishing them. The fact that they are plastic kits also has something to do with it as I have grown to love wooden ships more. I still may sit down and finish them one day. 


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"Anchors Aweigh"

-E.J.

 

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

 

 


#24
ccoyle

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At the risk of stirring the pot further, I think some members are missing the point I intended to make. The original post wasn't aimed at modelers who have lost interest in a particular build but are still active in the hobby. Many of us have such models in limbo somewhere. Heck, I have three of them myself. The intended audience is brand-new potential builders, many who are entering the hobby with palpable enthusiasm, as evidenced by the following quotes culled from several dead build logs:

 

I've wanted to build a wooden ship model since I was 6 years old and staring at my neighbor's model of the Golden Hind.  Last year I finally took the plunge and started this build.  The Constitution has always been the ship I wanted to build.  I may only have time to do one wooden ship model in my lifetime, so I figured I should just jump in and start this one, rather than building up to it. 

 

I reckon it is time to start my first build thread.  As usual, I jumped into this new aspect of my modeling experience with both feet, making several moderately serious bids on Ebay, figuring that once the snipers came out, I might be successful on at least a few of them.  Silly me...turns out I could do no wrong, and hit on every one of them.  To make matters worse, modelexpo-online had some offers I couldn't refuse.  Making a long story short, I wound up with an addition of a dozen new kits in the stash, ranging from an old Scientific Cutty Sark kit to a Mamoli HMS Victory, so have an embarrassment of kits to chose from for the first build. 

 

First, I'd like to say I'm impressed by the community and excited about becoming a contributor to it. This seems like a great collection of folks who are passionate about the hobby and quick to help one another. A little background on me: I'm brand new to this whole thing with minimal woodworking experience. Put together plastic models in my younger years and finally pulled the trigger after mulling over a model ship for the last year.

 

My first kit arrived a couple weeks ago as classes let out, so I've got plenty of time to spare on what will hopefully be the first in a nice fleet. I had a hard time deciding what hobby I wanted to pick up, but after seeing the community of model shipwrights, especially on this forum, this just felt right.

 

I have been thinking around a Tall Ship Model for some time now and i think i am now ripe for it

 

 

These folks chose the hobby after much consideration, were eager to get started, and hoped to continue beyond their first build. But they didn't. As I stated previously, these builders never got past the hull. Most of them barely got started, and most are now inactive. Is it possible they finished, but maybe didn't post progress for whatever reason? Sure - but you guys know as well as I do that that is unlikely.

 

The title of this thread says cautionary tale. That's really the purpose of the thread -- to get new modelers to stop, think about what ship they may be considering building, examine the abundant evidence of newbies attempting too much in a first-time project, and get them to seriously think about setting their sights a little lower. Perhaps even lower than a Sultana or AVS -- those are still pretty complex projects, even if they are marketed as beginner models. How many of those modelers might still be in the hobby if they had exercised some caution, backed away from the big three-masters, and started with a dinghy, longboat, or small sailboat? Am I saying that a newcomer can't try to tackle the ship of their dreams? Of course not. But they should know going in that if they do in fact finish it, they'll be a member of a very small club.


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Chris Coyle
Greenville, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco


#25
EJ_L

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I apologize Chris as I am probably one of those members who misunderstood what you were trying to do with the thread.

 

I think another big issue that causes the new builder to get in over there heads is how they are introduced to the hobby or ships in general. They see the Constitution, Victory, Cutty Sark etc. and want to build them because those are the ones in abundance and available to see in person. The inspiration is set to that level of wow! and it is hard from that point to want to build a much simpler ship. Many of the simpler starter kits are of less famous ships and as such they get fewer people who even know about them much less want to build. Then as I have seen others say, "canons are cool!" As a kid inspiration is going to come from that 100 gun man of war and not a small 0-4 gun vessel.

 

I think that to help encourage first time builders to choose a simpler ship to start from is that we need to find ways to promote those smaller, simpler vessels. Just in the 6 month I have been apart of this community my knowledge and exposure to other ships as expanded immensely. I'm not completely sure the best ways of doing this but perhaps one idea would be to somehow find ways of featuring beginner kits and make them appealing. Possibly by listing their history or significance to a particular country by talking them up much like we see on the more popular ships. Even perhaps create a section on here that is specifically for beginner ships so that new comers to the hobby can see other first time builder's work so that they feel more comfortable sharing their work and not feel like their skills are sub par when all they see are some of the great works that are on here.


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"Anchors Aweigh"

-E.J.

 

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

 

 


#26
Chuck Seiler

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Jud,

 

    I strongly disagree.  I take Chris' original post for what it is, a warning.  I provide the same warning anytime I speak to a perspective modeler, whether it be at a club meeting or at our Ship Modeling booth at the county fair.  Most people don't realize how difficult building a wooden ship is and how many sub-skills need to be developed before you can do a bang up job on a complicated model. 

 

    As seasoned modelers, we owe it to them to give them reasonable advice. 


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Chuck Seiler
San Diego Ship Modelers Guild
Nautical Research Guild

 
Current Build:
Continental Sloop PROVIDENCE
Continental Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (1/2" Scale Model Shipways Kit)
Colonial Schooner SULTANA (scratch from Model Expo Plans)


On Hold:
Colonial Pinnace VIRGINIA (1607)(scratch)
18th Century Longboat (Model Expo Kit)
 
Completed:
Missouri Riverboat FAR WEST (1876) Scratch
1776 Gunboat PHILADELPHIA (Scratch 1/4 scale-Model Shipways plans)


#27
Jack12477

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But you have a corgi, and that more than makes up for any modeling deficiencies.

 

Not sure I understand that response Chris.  Are you a Corgi lover also ? Or ???


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#28
azzoun

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Jud,

 

It seems to me that you're taking this thread a little personally/defensively.  I took it as sage advice for success to new modelers to avoid being frustrated as they learn.  Just like when I got into RC planes, i wanted start out with a balsa wood gas plane but the whole club was like, start with a foam electric.  Not because they wanted to kill my enthusiasm, quite the opposite.  They knew that plane was going to be easy to fly and fix if wrecked.  But if you want to take it as an insult, then you have the option to bail from the conversation and/or the site.  No need for drama.

 

Joshua


Edited by ccoyle, 24 June 2016 - 03:27 AM.

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Current builds                Prince de Neufchatel

                                      http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/11298-prince-de-neufchatel-by-azzoun-model-shipways-scale-1-64/

 

                                     

 

 

Completed Builds:            Civil War Picket Boat No.1

                                      http://modelshipworl...ale-1-25-small/

 

                                      Sharpie Schooner  (1/32) - MS (first wood build)

                                      http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/6034-sharpie-schooner-by-azzoun-132-midwest-small/page-14

                                   

                                      USS Constitution by Revel  - Plastic

 

                    


#29
mtaylor

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Jud,

 

I'm with Chuck...   back in drag racing days, i used to get a lot of "I'm going to build a car.. this will be cool".   They soon depleted their budget, and had no idea what to do next.   There's a learning process in anything.  Some things have a steeper learning curve than others.   Fair warning should be given.

 

Let's face it, wood is a totally different critter than plastic or metal models.  To open a kit and suddenly see nothing but a pile of wood and few castings with instructions that say "Now plank the hull".. "Got that done, add the masts and rigging, next".  is overwhelming. 


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Mark

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me


Current Build:

Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0

Past Builds:
Triton Cross-Section
USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War (Gallery) Build Log
Wasa (Gallery)


Member of the Nautical Research Guild


#30
Captain Al

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As is my wont to do, I agree with everyone.  This subject is too complicated and full of unknown factors (life's little interventions) to think that anyone has the right way of doing it.  Almost 3 years ago i was gifted the A.L. Bounty kit by a gentleman who had bought it for his son (thinking it would help get him off the juice) who had never even opened it.  I, on the other hand, had a life long desire to build models but had never gotten around to it.  So I began what is now closing in on a 3 year project and if I decide to finish it completely, it'll be another year minimum.  I discovered this site and started a log.  Over time the log became harder to maintain than the model did to build.  My photography is not great and I'm a dunce when it comes to computers in general.  So my log fell off the table (am I one whose been counted as "given up"?).  But I have persevered through some trying personal times including a recent six month chemo therapy course.  I've learned a heck of alot about model building (its cost being one of the lessons learned), ship's construction, history and maybe most importantly, alot about myself.  I recently remarked to a friend that I've always been a dilettante and never got passionate about anything to stick with it long enough to really master it.  This is still true at age 70, and pertains to ship modeling in particular at this point in time.  But it doesn't mean i don't enjoy various aspects of the hobby and find reward and relaxation in it.  The trick going forward for me will be to identify those aspects of it that I don't enjoy (reading plans is one of them for sure) and take on projects that minimize them.  Or, forget ship modeling, having been there and done it, and start making boxes.


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#31
Jack12477

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I should probably update my post a little - my very first wooden ship model, after years of plastic models,  was a Midwest row boat, made a couple of them, before tackling the Dumas Coast Guard 47 ft Utility boat model, but for this one my local hobby store owner - an accomplished modeler in his own right - gave me almost one-on-one guidance (since I bought the kit from him), from that I moved on to the Artesania Latina kits always choosing one that was in the 18 - 24 inch range finished.  All of this was way before there was even an Internet or an MSW.

 

That's the advice I give to anyone who asks me how to start building wood boat kits.  Of course, Midwest in no longer in the kit business but there are probably other manufacturers who built small boat kits for beginners similar to Midwest's selection of kits.


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Jack
 
"No one is as smart as all of us"
---------------------------------------------

Current build: MS Willie L Bennett
Completed build log(s): MS 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
Gallery: AL Swift , AL Armed Virginia Sloop, AL Santisima Trinidad Captain's Launch , 18th Century Longboat , AL Marie Jeanne
In dry-dock: AL 1798 US Constellation,  MS Picket Boat,  Dumas Donzi Z65 Tournament Fisherman (R/C)

Other: 1912 Hudson River Ice Yacht Manhasset - RESTORATION - Scale = Full Size, Relief Carving for Model Ships


#32
mtaylor

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Maristella has come out with an interesting approach in their 4-ship beginner set.  I think that's right term.  Each one builds upon the previous.  They don't appear to be long-term projects but teaching tools that make a nice model.   It will be interesting to see how they do with this.


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Mark

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me


Current Build:

Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0

Past Builds:
Triton Cross-Section
USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War (Gallery) Build Log
Wasa (Gallery)


Member of the Nautical Research Guild


#33
Stevinne

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I wonder how many uncompleted build logs are actually completed ships. I build very slowly, so never started a build log because I will start, work like crazy for a couple of weeks, put the model aside when another hobby project catches my fancy, and maybe not return to the build for a year.If I had a build log, I might be embarrassed to come back and suddenly start posting again. I also start my build with a clean work bench, but about halfway through I have toy soldiers, model airplanes and whatever stuff my wife gets tired of looking at in other rooms stacked sort of haphazardly on my work bench. I'm not taking and posting any pictures of that mess.

Just because someone has lost interest in a build log doesn't mean they've lost interest in the build.


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Completed builds: Constructo Enterprise, AL Le Renard

Up next: Panart Lynx, MS Harriet Lane

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


#34
ccoyle

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One last update:

 

Please remember, the target audience for the original post was FIRST-TIME Modelers. It was intended as a cautionary tale and no more. It was not a grievance about unfinished build logs. Unfinished logs are what they are -- unfinished logs. We don't need (or even desire) to cull them. We have plenty of room for them.

 

I have heavily edited my original post to 'soften' its perceived tone a bit, and I have deleted portions of a few other posts that referenced portions of the original post that have been removed. When this conversation has run its course, I will probably further prune this thread a bit simply to make it more relevant to new members.

 

None of my posts were intended to give offense, and I have taken none in return. If you feel the need to post in this thread, I only ask that you keep it civil, and try to keep it on-topic (and yes, I know I made the comment about corgis -- that post will be pruned, too).

 

Cheers, everyone.


Chris Coyle
Greenville, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco


#35
jud

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Chris, have removed my posts, your revisions has made them inappropriate and I like the changes. I also didn't intend offense but it is something I seem to do often, probably never change.

jud


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#36
daves

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The advice seems to be for the beginner to start simple and work your way up to a complex built. The plank-on-frame is the build many a beginner strives to reach. The advice is POF is in the advanced category and not for the beginner. i do not agree with this because over the past 35 years i sold many plank on frame timbering sets of the Hannah or Halifax or Druid to first time builders and they managed to accomplish the build, without even instructions i might add, all they needed to know was how to read a set of plans. The reason is they have modeling experience in model railroading, model airplanes, wood working, making scale doll house furniture or whatever.
Seems to me it is not so much the subject or how complex it is but rather the dedication and determination of the builder regardless of the project. Don built the Caustic a plank on frame model with all the hull and deck framing something considered as an advanced build and he did it and a darn good job of it. Rather than advise to a builder to pick simple projects would be pick a project and sit back, relax because it is going to be a long ride. Take your time post questions get advice along the way. There is the mind set of wooden ship model building is like plastic kit building of all the parts are ready and just fit them together, wooden ship modeling simple or complex is a different animal.
A reason model builders don't pick simple projects is because they don't want to build that model, you have to be drawn to the project have a passion for it. When simple projects are done it is kind of a let down because it looks simple and like a toy boat. Building something like the Halifax when all is said and done the final piece has that WOW factor and you can say "i built that" you think heck i built that so i will try something else.


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#37
daves

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rather than wonder why any build log stopped PM the builder and ask what's up, do you need help?, did you give up? what can we do to help you?

 

By PM a builder you can get a true and accurate data base and post in the build log section after a survey here are the top 20 reasons build logs stop or stall. don't worry there is no time limit on a log a few weeks or months or a year or two is ok with us. But dont second guess get the facts from the builders themselves.

 

my own build log on the General Hunter seems to have stopped, but it didn't i work on 3 or 4 projects at a time and the G.H. is now coming around again. it takes time for the actual building, photography, writing and posting. 


Edited by daves, 25 June 2016 - 08:37 PM.

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#38
JohnE

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Reminded of a story. A Friday nite beercan from Rush Creek to Chandler's Landing and back. It was dusk, and flat. We had rounded and were ghosting with the kite in 'maybe' 3-4 knots. Upwind comes a Harmony 24 who just dropped her genoa. A young boy was on the bow, covered with lines and draped with the sail. It was a silent kind of evening, and over the water floats this plaintive little voice saying "Daddy .. what the sh*t do I do now?"

 

Thus it is with first time anything. I appreciate and agree with Chris' cautionary tale. However, I think that we, as a community, might extend the paradigm a bit. One doesn't tell a landsman that he is on the fore topmast. It takes time and help (yes, and training) to get anywhere in an area as complex as this can be. Some of our threads are populated by people that are the equivalent of Olympic, America's Cup, or Volvo champions. Pity the young foredeck monkey.

 

Can we make a separate space for first-time, intermediate, modellers, where they can post and ask, and we can help and comment, without their being intimidated by competing with some of our member's exquisiteness? I know this is not politically correct, and has implications for being on 'the second tier', but someone who is truly interested in the 'hobby' and wants to learn and grow, may find it useful.

 

Just saying.

 

Ciao. John


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#39
skipper1947

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rather than wonder why any build log stopped PM the builder and ask what's up, do you need help?, did you give up? what can we do to help you?

 

 

I like this idea. If the person has simply lost interest, chances are, he won't be here reading the PM anyway, so no harm done. But if he is lurking and scratching his head in bewilderment, such a friendly nudge might be just the thing he needs to speak up. :)


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#40
skipper1947

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Reminded of a story. A Friday nite beercan from Rush Creek to Chandler's Landing and back. It was dusk, and flat. We had rounded and were ghosting with the kite in 'maybe' 3-4 knots. Upwind comes a Harmony 24 who just dropped her genoa. A young boy was on the bow, covered with lines and draped with the sail. It was a silent kind of evening, and over the water floats this plaintive little voice saying "Daddy .. what the sh*t do I do now?"

 

Great story, thanks for the chuckle. The boy is lucky he has a dad who is out there sharing with him.


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