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pick first build again...

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Ahoy mates,

I’m new here so hello. If I may pick your mind a bit I want to try and build a kit once again.  I made a very foolish attempt about 15 years ago to build a kit that was so over my head it wasn’t even funny. It was a Constucto USS Constitution… one heck of a first build huh. So anyway I want to try again setting my sights just a bit smaller. I am thinking about one of these. What say you old salts?  Will these kits teach me what I need to know to advance in my building? Thanks in advance.


Grand Banks Dory

Swampscott Dory

Model Shipways Gunboat Philadelphia



maybe this one but at 40$ it seems too cheap to be good.


Model Shipways 18th Century Longboat 1/4'' Scale

Edited by Chinnflappa, 18 December 2016 - 04:24 PM.

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  • LocationBig Island, Hawaii

They are all good choices.  The banks dory may be a bit simple but it is a good place to start.  The swampscott dory is a little more of a challenge.  I would rank these from least complicated to most;

Banks dory

Swampscott dory


18th Century longboat


All good places to start.

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My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.

Ulises Victoria

Ulises Victoria
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Hello. I'm just responding to your post because the very same thing happened to me in the year 1982-83 when trying a Corel 1/98 Victory as my first ever attempt at wooden model ship building. It took me about 20 years to recover from the frustration! :)


I am not familiar with the kits you mention so I can not advise your there. There will be hopefully some people more able to answer. :)

Best of lucks.

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If you want something you've never had, 

you have to do something you've never done.



Current Project Build Log: French Vessel Royal Louis 1780. 1/90 Scale by Mamoli. 120 Cannons

Last finished projectRoyal Ship Vasa 1628 


Future projects already in my stash:  Panart: San Felipe 1/75  (most likely my next project);

                                                         Artesanía Latina: HMS Surprise 1/48;

                                                         OcCre: Santísima Trinidad 1/90.


My Wish List: Soleil Royale. Sovereign of the Seas. Amati 1/64 Victory (if it ever comes out :) )


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Thanks for the reply's. I think im going with the Swampscott.  Is this forum usually this inactive or is the holidays slowing things down?


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  • LocationStratford, CT

I built the Grand Banks Dory 3 years ago. It was a good introduction to clinker built construction. Not without its problems although

they were minor compared  to what lay ahead. Gave the model to my granddaughter.


If you are into paddle wheelers you might start with this "Western River Towboat" from Train Troll (shown below). It's 100% laser cut with great instructions.

I thoroughly enjoyed building her. No planking or rigging required.


Welcome aboard and good luck with your choice.


John Elwood






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The longboat is not a beginner kit.  Keep that in mind.  Its rated as intermediate but I would consider no good for beginners.  Dont let the price fool you.  Less expensive doesnt equate to easy.  Just smaller.  I would say that planking the smaller vessels like the lonboat is in fact advanced rather than intermediate.



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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






    Hard water sailor

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  • LocationSaugerties, Mid-Hudson Valley/Catskill Region, NY

If you can find a Midwest brand kit in any of the hobby stores near you (they're no longer in production), they are an excellent beginner kit. Levels go from 1 to 4 with 1 being a Beginner kit.

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"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

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