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For Beginners -- A Cautionary Tale


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#41
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

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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.

 

    I would not recommend this.  I believe I would have been ill served if I had been forced to go into the kiddies pool until I learned how to swim when I first signed aboard.  Being able to see the various levels of accomplishment helped highlight what I was getting into and let me know there were many like me.  Meanwhile it also gave me a goal to strive for.

 

    Looking at the build logs of some of the more accomplished modelers helped me learn the terminology and gave me an appreciation for the quality that could be achieved.  I was also able to take away little pieces of "how to do it".  I may not be able to build a whole model like a master, but I can plank like one (that's my story and I'm sticking to it), or I can paint like one, or make thingamabobs like one.

 

    Throwing out a question while bobbing around in the main pool ensures that everybody sees it.  If there was just a beginners section, the question might only be seen by other beginners and those veterans who might specifically be there to do some mentoring. 

 

    I see nothing wrong with the way it is now.  Just my 2 euro's worth.


Edited by Chuck Seiler, 25 June 2016 - 08:03 PM.

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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)


#42
mtaylor

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Chuck,

 

I agree with you on this point.  Back on MSW 1.0, there was a "division" but by materials.  Plastics had their own build logs and many of the builders felt like second class citizens.  Why go back to that?    We were all beginners at some point and if it were not being able to mix and mingle with the experienced builders, most of us would have walked away from this hobby calling it "elitist".  We're all just builders and the attitude around here since day one is "helping each other".  


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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


#43
GuntherMT

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I agree completely with Chuck.  My first build in the main kit area probably got a lot more attention, and I got a lot more advice, than it might have if I was in the 'newbie' area that maybe wouldn't have been as heavily traveled.  I've also learned a huge amount by reading build logs of much more experience modelers.  

 

I may not be able to scratch-build an amazing ship like Dan Vadas, but darned if I don't learn a great deal about techniques and tools while watching him do it!

 

The beautiful work that others do made me truly stretch my abilities and try things I would have never considered when I was building the AVS, and I'm extremely grateful to everyone that I learned from on here for that.


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#44
src

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I am with Chuck, Mark and Brian, I got into this hobby when I was unemployed and looking for something to keep me sane in what I thought would be a long search for employment. Had I been shuffled off to the newbie section I doubt I would have been exposed to the other more skilled builders here, some of whom have inadvertently nudged me into the world of bashing and scratching (sounds like a disease dont it?) Now I have pretty much thrown caution to the wind and am scratching my own masts, I dont think I would have ever attempted that with out looking over the shoulders of the more experienced and the guidance and input of those who stop in to say hey. Are my masts 100% correct? He!! no, but I am having fun.

Ok, back to building my Cross and Trestle Trees, for the 3rd @&@%#$&# TIME!! :P :P

 

Sam


Edited by src, 25 June 2016 - 09:56 PM.

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Current Build Constructo Enterprise

 

Ship Modeling

Noun

a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings and a masochistic need to obsessively rebuild items regardless of the naked eyes ability to see the difference.


#45
vaddoc

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I think it is great having those who build masterpieces and those who put together the simplest of boats in one pot. Shows that you are competing with your self fand not with others. I love seeing my first plywood boat next to a fully framed victory. Plus, the drive seeing that the masterpieces are still made from wood by mortals is enormous.


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#46
JohnE

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Ok. Not the best idea. :wacko: Was just saying. And I can see the down side to it.

 

J


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#47
src

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Nothing wrong with posting an idea in my book John. As long as people can discuss it like adults. Its when the name calling and such starts that it becomes a problem. I was actually for your idea until some others posted the potential down side.  :)

Sam


Edited by src, 26 June 2016 - 07:56 PM.

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Current Build Constructo Enterprise

 

Ship Modeling

Noun

a long-term mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings and a masochistic need to obsessively rebuild items regardless of the naked eyes ability to see the difference.


#48
probablynot

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But ...
There are beginners, and "beginners".
My dad was a good woodworker.  As a youngster I watched him build our first (1:1) sailing dinghy.  Shortly after that (age 13) I built my own (sailing) kayak.  I kept it in a shed in a boatyard where real yachts were built, and I used to spend ages in there, bothering the shipwrights with questions about what they were doing and why.
I inherited my dad's love for wood and for woodworking.  I built up a good selection of tools, but I directed myself towards DIY stuff around the home, and later into toymaking for craft shows.  And it was many, many years before the first idea of making a model ship occured to me.
That wasn't until just over 3 years ago.
I was 76.
So I was a 'beginner'.  But I knew a bit about wood, and what it could do.  I knew something of how a carvel-planked boat was built.  I had tools.  I could take an Artesania Latina kit and say yes, I can see the principle here - I just have to do it smaller.

Now imagine someone without that background who admires a model of (say) HMS Victory, and then sees a kit in a shop, or on an online website, for building that very same ship.
It's a kit, isn't it?  Like those Lego kits for building lorries (trucks) or cranes or whatever?  Ah, maybe it says 'glue not included'.  But is that enough of a warning that a LOT of knowhow and skill (or maybe just plain commonsense) is going to be needed if that kit's going to turn into a displayable model?
And tools.

I'm sure that dedication (plus perhaps money) can compensate for any initial lack of an appropriate grounding when it comes to building a wooden model ship from a kit.  But it must be hard.
I think anyone who actually completes a first build - regardless of complexity - deserves a LOT of praise.  I also think that anyone who embarks on a first build, and has the character to come and share his/her experiences with us all here, deserves every ounce of help, guidance and encouragement we can give him.


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Brian

Current project: - Constructo "Silhouet" 1893 (Dutch barge) http://modelshipworl...constructo-160/

Some previous builds - HMS Bounty Launch [Model Shipways kit] http://modelshipworl...s-116-smallish/

Corel's Half Moon (lightly 'bashed')  http://modelshipworl...scale-150-wood/

A 1:12 scratch-build of 'Anastasia', my old sailing kayak from back in the 1940s. http://modelshipworl...by-probablynot-a-18-re-build-of-my-1949-kayak/

Next project: - I'm thinking.   Might be Victory Models' HMS Fly.  A pretty ship - miles of rigging ...


#49
Haliburton

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Well said probablynot. I will be one of those who will be embarking on a first build and plan to document my progress here. I've read through all the comments and believe that being able to share the journey of a build (with all its challenges and rewards) with this supportive and engaged on-line community is the best way to encourage individuals starting out. Let's face it, we are all geographically dispersed and it can be hard to find people locally that share this interest - so this on-line community makes this hobby so much less isolating.
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#50
Gif_Hasie

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Chuck,

 

I agree with you on this point.  Back on MSW 1.0, there was a "division" but by materials.  Plastics had their own build logs and many of the builders felt like second class citizens. 

 

But, they are... :huh:

 

 

Just kidding! ;)  :P

 

 

Now imagine someone without that background who admires a model of (say) HMS Victory, and then sees a kit in a shop, or on an online website, for building that very same ship.
It's a kit, isn't it?  Like those Lego kits for building lorries (trucks) or cranes or whatever?  Ah, maybe it says 'glue not included'.  But is that enough of a warning that a LOT of knowhow and skill (or maybe just plain commonsense) is going to be needed if that kit's going to turn into a displayable model?
And tools.
 

That sound like me. Wanted to build one of those type of ships, so I started to search for books on how to build wooden kits.

 

I had background in metal, resin and plastic models, so I thought wooden kits shouldn't be that different. Boy, was I wrong, and glad that I bought a book or two on how to build wood boat kits. Reading through them I realized there was a lot more to it than plastic models, epically tools and a lot of DIY elbow grease at the end of the day (take into account, I have had zero woodworking skills).

 

So, I decided to pick up a small boat kit, and glad I did. Just wished that I knew of this site, could have saved me a lot of frustration and time by making a log and getting input from others (as well as the articles on the site etc.).

 

If I started with something like the HMS Victory kit, I probably would have paused it, and started with something easier smaller.


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#51
Duffer

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All very good comments and suggestions.

I can not remember what got me started as it was a loooong time ago.  I do think about why it still holds my interest.  So here are a few more thoughts:

1. this hobby of wooden ship building requires many skills - working with wood, metal, plastics, paints and glues.  So practicing the various skills and learning about the various skills and chemicals is challenging and rewarding.   It seems that there are so many skills sets to work on, such as carving cherubs.   

2. the process of building a model ship (wood or plastic) is a journey - one that has its own rewards.  

3. selecting a ship to model must have some meaning to you, whatever it is, such as your granddad or great uncle sailed on it, or you read a story about it that stirred your imagination.  If you have no passion for it, then you may never want to finish the build. 

4. and the ship of your choice must be fun to build.  (No one wants drudgery in their hobby.)

 

Keep building and above all, have fun~!                                Duff 


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#52
piperck

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In my mind the question is "What makes a person give up building a model" ?  Both beginners and advanced modellers procrastinate, stall, lay a model aside for awhile, and often just forget the whole thing. I think one big reason are unforeseen problems. Novices, obviously, run into problems more often than veterans and are more likely to lay it aside, and combine a novice with a more complex model and likely more complications arise. I have built 4 POF models and 2 solid hulls. On my current Toulonnaise, a 20 year old model which I have been working on for 6 mos, the carronade fittings on all 8 broke. In trying to figure how to fix the issue, I had no clue. I had to figure it out and laid the model aside. I finally picked it up and fixed the issue. Then, in a blunderheaded move, the round ports were found to be too low on the hull(always learning!). Now I have to move them which will take some time. But, I like challenges. Novices run into an issue like this and maybe forget the whole thing, but if I had not started with easier models and built up the problem solving experience, I might have done the same. Other issues that arise that lend to quitting(poor instructions, boredom, de-motivation, poor materials, etc) have been mentioned, but starting with easier models and building up was helpful in acquiring what little skills I have and it helped problem solving. Just my 2 cents.

 

Chris


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#53
Duffer

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You bring up some excellent points, Chris.

 

If the instructions are poor, come to NRG-MSW.

 

If you become bored or de-motivated with the model, sell it and get one that stirs your imagination and passion.

 

If the kit has poor materials, replace them with better.  If there are too many issues with materials, then scratch build it. You can use the bulkheads and keel and hopefully some of the fittings.  You can buy decent wood from Crown timber already milled to your specs and suppliers such as Bluejacket have lots of fittings.

 

And, you are quite right - us modelers are problem solvers.  We have to figure out how to hold parts, how to shape them using the tools we have, we decide the type of materials to use, the best glue and mechanical fasteners, the best finishes, etc etc. 

You are the artist and crafter, so you decide how you want your model to look.                                                             Duff


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#54
ccoyle

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It's worth pointing out that beginner over-reach is not unique to our hobby, nor is cautioning zealous newcomers. Just today I stumbled across a video with the same message aimed at beginning fishkeepers. No doubt a concerted search effort would turn up many more.


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Chris Coyle
Greenville, South Carolina

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


#55
Backer

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A little advice from a beginner to all new beginners.
 
I started 10 years ago with my model of the Wasa.
After 10 long years full of unexpected problems I approach finally the completion of my model.
Have i 10 years just built this model?  Certainly not, and certainly dont do this yourself. You will lose your interest in this hobby
In summer i build a wooden ship, in winter my military models.
When the ship starts to bore me, I switch to the military.
 
so :
 
Start with a model that is not too big, you got to have room for it when it is finished.
 
But find a ship model that makes you feel good or you'll lose your interest in building the model.
 
Not too expensive. if it fails, you just lost your money.
 
If you are unsure of starting a build log, start it only when you have build something (like me).
 
If you are unsure of the next step in building your model, search the Internet or ask advice on this forum.
 
If someone at home asks you when will the model be ready?? Just say this is a hobby, there is no hurry, it's just fun building it.
 
If you want to build a model ship :
This is a great forum where you can always ask for help when you're in trouble
 
 
But,
 
I go every year for a reunion (gathering) of plastic modeling.
Every year I see the same faces...
Every year we all are a year older....
There are apparently few young newcomers who practice our hobby.
If only one out of ten newcomers continues to carry out this hobby
Then we all should be happy, I think.
 

Greetings to all of you


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Patrick

 

Finished : Wasa Billing Boats

 

Current build : Golden Hind scratch

 

Other hobby : Military modeling 1/72

 

 

 

Luckily there is google translate  :)
Otherwise, no one understood my English texts
(Not even me ;) )
 

#56
Roger Pellett

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Many years ago, I had a friend who was interested in building a model ship. I suggested the Model Shipways Virginia Pilot Boat model which he purchased. As we worked together we often had lunch together and I would always ask how he was coming and offer help. His answer was always "I got it out but was afraid that I would mess it up." I suspect that upon his too early death, the kit was thrown out.

My advice to beginners would therefore be a little different:

Get busy and build the model before you lose interest! Your first model will not be a collector's item. You will make mistakes. Hopefully your second model will be better than your first. Today, as I build models, I still make mistakes, and as the model goes forward, I tend to remember them more than the successes, but after the model has been sitting for a while in its case in my study, I look at it and realize, wow! This is a good representation of XXXXX.

This is a difficult craft and not moving ahead until you achieve perfection, will prevent you from mastering it.

Roger Pellett
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#57
Tom Towle

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Thank you Roger Pellett for your post.I am a novice at wooden model ship building and I find myself in that same position.I can not give myself permission to make a mistake. I chose as my first build ModelShipways "Rattlesnake" thinking that my knowledge of carving duck decoys and furniture building would see me through.I did not realize that when they say "build a ship model" they mean BUILD! Now I'm hung-up on Knightheads & Timberheads and the plans & manual are vague on the length of each.The plans seem to indicate the Timberhead is shorter than the Knighthead,but photos I've seen show them both terminating at the bottom of the cap rail?Any suggestions?

Thank you, Tom Towle
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#58
Chuck Seiler

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Roger,

 

    Well said.  You are EXPECTED to make mistakes on your first one, that's why is should be something like the Virginia Pilot Boat (or whatever is on sale).  I have had several early models where I have essentially made twice.  Build a part, throw it away, build it again.  Build an assembly, tear it apart, build it again.  The value is in the learning.


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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)


#59
skipper1947

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Funny how those mistakes turn out to be invisible to your friends and family. I actually pointed out mistakes when I showed my model, until a friend politely said the model looked great and wondered why I was telling him it didn't.


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#60
Chuck Seiler

Chuck Seiler

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I think it is because they have a few moments to take in the entire model, whereas you have had hours to create, then agonize over that mistake (and the 3 mistakes you made trying to correct the one mistake).

 

I look at my PHILADELPHIA model and look at the many rope coils.  A casual observer would say "Wow!  A lot of rope coils" and move on.  I will look at it and remember how THAT coil took 3 tries to make.  THAT coil replaced the one I made and somehow lost.  THAT coil I accidentally glued to my finger.


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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)





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