Jump to content

Welcome to Model Ship World
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

A visit to Model Expo in Hollywood, Florida


  • Please log in to reply
88 replies to this topic

#1
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

Folks,
 
taking advantage of a family trip to Miami for the Spring Break, I decided to tour the Model Expo facility where Model Shipways (and others) kits are manufactured. I called ahead of time and was cordially invited to take a quick tour of the facility. In fact, I ended up seeing pretty much everything and meeting very nice people.
 
Model Expo is located in a commercial/industrial area of Hollywood Florida. They occupy Suite 106, which is a very long and deep warehouse, surprisingly big for the space occupied by the front wall. The facility welcomes you with a small room equipped with window cases containing the most exquisite models ever made: All their kits (most at least) are present and displayed in their full glory and beauty. We will come back to these at the end of our presentation.

 

modelexpo1.jpg
 
Model Expo employs about 15 people at their Hollywood facility and I got the privilege of meeting John, our gracious host; Frank, the parts Manager; Joseph, the casting specialist and three nice ladies who are at the center of the action, as their main responsibility is to put together all the parts required to make your kit a success. And there are thousands of parts as you will on the pictures. I also saw the gentleman who presents the latest Model Expo kits on YouTube. There were a couple more people working on Graphic Design stations that I did not meet. Judging by the frequency of the phone calls from people ordering kits, parts and tools, this facility was buzzing with activity although it was the Easter Monday.

 

Behind the offices is the main warehouse that hosts the production facilities (laser cutting, casting), the parts storage, the kits storage sections and the place where the kits are put together. Basswood which is used most exclusively for the kits is procured from North carolina and shipped on pallets to the Hollywood facility:

 

modelexpo13.jpg

 

From there, the wood is resized, cut and smoothed with a couple of special machines:

 

modelexpo3.jpg

 

modelexpo32.jpg
 

After that stage, the wood planks are laser cut by three different tables. Since it was a slow week, we did not get a chance to see the laser cutting tables in action. Nevertheless, the smell of wood is everywhere and is very pleasant. They have a very large cuting table and two smaller ones:

 

modelexpo2.jpg

 

modelexpo10.jpg

 

Laser cut planks are everywhere, and this is a testimony of the large production of Model Shipways kits. The laser cutting tables normally operates 11 hours per day and produce all the parts that modellers enjoy so much putting together:

 

modelexpo4.jpg

 

modelexpo31.jpg

 

That silly editor prevents me to post more pictures within the same post, even though all my pictures are hosted on another server - I appologize for that inconvenience, but this presentation will have to be made in multiple parts....

 

Yves


Edited by yvesvidal, 02 April 2013 - 06:34 PM.

  • mtaylor, avsjerome2003, Floyd Kershner and 5 others like this

#2
MD11pilot

MD11pilot
  • Members
  • 112 posts
  • LocationColorado Springs, CO USA
Who would think to look in the industrial area of Hollywood Florida to find a museum of fine nautical art!
  • ModelExpoOnline likes this
Eric O.<p>Current Build: US Brig Syren, kit

#3
fish

fish
  • Members
  • 250 posts
  • LocationPittsburgh, PA, USA

Where is Model Shipways manufacturing located?


“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” - Augustine

Current Build:

Artesania Latina San Francisco II 1:90 Scale

On the Shelf:

Model Shipways Armed Virginia Sloop 1:48 Scale

#4
BareHook

BareHook
  • Members
  • 529 posts
  • LocationPort St. Lucie, Florida
MODEL EXPO is company name for Model Shipways Kits
3850 N 29th Terrace,
Suite 106
Hollywood, FL 33020
Mon - Fri,
9am – 6pm ET
 
I am ashamed to say I haven't visited there yet, I work in Pompano Beach, which is only a short drive to get there, about 20 minutes.
Will do soon though
 
Ken

Current Build: Authentic Hannah Kit Bash

Pending Continuation: Sea of Galilee Boat

 

Completed Build:  MS AVS

On Shelf: AL Independence, Blue Jacket Alfred


#5
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

After taking care of the wood aspect of the kits, there are still a hundreds of parts to be manufactured and included with each kit. Casting is a very important part of the kits and helps immensely modellers by providing them with small parts that would be very tedious and sometimes impossible to build. The casting room is managed by a smiling Joseph and I was impressed to see him handle so many tiny parts with a rare elegance. Equally impressive are the large disks of metal that are being melt and injected under liquid form into the molds:

 

modelexpo5.jpg

 

modelexpo6.jpg

 

Now that we have all these parts, they need to be stored on multiple bins and carefully organized and repertoried. The following pictures are giving you a sense of the large warehouse of Model Expo, with their thousands of parts waiting to be shipped or included into a kit:

 

modelexpo7.jpg

 

modelexpo12.jpg

 

 

 

modelexpo15.jpg

 

modelexpo30.jpg

 

On the right is John, our very nice host who dedicated more than half of an hour, showing us the entire facility (and I only said that I had the Emma and Syren kits at home....).

 

Now, here is a teaser for you folks, lovers of Model Shipways models:

 

modelexpo17.jpg

 

This is the section where all the plan, sheets and instructions are stored. Model Expo does not have a facility to copy and replicate printed material, so it is all contracted outside. Among these stacks of plans and sheets, there was a very interesting one which is their next upcoming kit:

 

modelexpo18.jpg

 

Of course, I inquired about the Essex and again, they apologized for rushing the news out, far too early. Although they explained to me the reasons of the delay, I will simply say that the model is ready, will be received soon at the Hollywood location and that the user documentation is being worked on. It has to be as good or better than Chuck Passaro's practicum, which is very hard to beat. So, if Essex is late, let's just blame it on Chuck for now....  Of course, it is not the real reason.

 

Yves


Edited by yvesvidal, 02 April 2013 - 06:17 PM.

  • Chuck, mtaylor, Tim C and 2 others like this

#6
Sephirem

Sephirem
  • Members
  • 61 posts
  • LocationMississippi
Most interesting to see. Thanks for sharing for those of use who can't visit anytime soon.

Tim

Current builds: San Fran II AL, Santa Maria AL

Finished Builds: Sharpie Shooner Midwest


#7
Tim C

Tim C
  • Members
  • 681 posts
  • LocationHudson, Florida USA

Nice, Thanks for the photo show.

Hope that you will post a few of their model display area.

 

Later 42rocker


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this

Current Build -- Finishing a 1:1 House that I've been building for a while

Current Build -- Triton Cross Section


#8
helmsman

helmsman

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 1,774 posts
  • LocationSyracuse, Utah

Very interesting! Thanks for posting.


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this

Jeff Toma

Current Build: Model Shipways USS Constitution


#9
Pete38

Pete38
  • Members
  • 723 posts
  • LocationEastview, Kentucky

Thanks for posting hope looking forward to the post of the models on display


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this

Triton Cross Section 1:32

 

SEE YA LATER

 

im-outta-here-bye-bye-smiley-emoticon.gi

 


#10
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

Okay, thousands of parts have been laser cut, cast, procured and stored in hundreds of bins. The plans, instructions, booklets and practicums have been printed by outside suppliers. Now we just have to put all these parts together, in these beautiful blue boxes which are now the Trademark of Model Shipways.

 

Three very patient and thorough ladies are "building" your kits. Using reference materials, lists and their knowledge, they are selecting all the pieces of woods, strips, planks and the zillion parts that will go into each kit. Once they are done, they will leave a little sticker in your box with their name to proudly display the enormous and sometime tedious work that they performed for your satisfaction and a successful kit building experience. Honestly, I am in awe by their dedication, thoroughness and extreme patience and believe that they deserve our respect and consideration:

 

modelexpo9.jpg

 

These kits, once put together, will be stored in another section of the large warehouse.

 

modelexpo11.jpg

 

Here, we have hundreds of kits waiting for retailers and individuals to purchase them. Some are in low supply, whereas others seem to be less popular. I have taken a few pictures of these beautiful boxes in the waiting and will display them below, as an appetizer to the Models display area. You will recognize some of the names. Keep in mind that Model Expo sells planes, guns, tramways, ships, paints and tools as well as all kinds of supplies.

 

modelexpo19.jpg

 

modelexpo20.jpg

 

Is your mouth still dry? Yes? Then allow me to post some more:

 

modelexpo23.jpg

 

Am I getting your attention? Not yet ?

 

modelexpo22.jpg

 

That was the last kit, and it was not even complete. Apparently, there has been a frenzy of Syren around Christmas time (I know I bought one) and Model Expo is out of it for the moment.

 

modelexpo21.jpg

 

Ah.... that Sultana, a lovely model with a lovely name.

 

modelexpo24.jpg

 

That Chuck Passaro is everywhere......


Edited by yvesvidal, 03 April 2013 - 03:01 AM.

  • Chuck, mtaylor, justsayrow and 3 others like this

#11
Chuck

Chuck

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 7,308 posts
  • LocationRutherford Nj

That Chuck Passaro is everywhere......

 

My wife says that all the time....I seem to always just get in her way.   :)  :)  :)  :)


  • justsayrow, ModelExpoOnline, Marcus Botanicus and 1 other like this

Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#12
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

By now, your mouth should be drooling. Let's get ready for the display area.....

 

modelexpo25.jpg

 

Yes, tools and guns are also part of the various kits that Model Expo proposes.

 

modelexpo28.jpg

 

And below a few more beautiful kits:

 

modelexpo26.jpg

 

modelexpo27.jpg

 

and last but not least......

 

modelexpo29.jpg

 

Honestly, if I could, I would have purchased one of each. Seeing so many kits so nicely stacked is almost irresistible.

 

I asked John if Model Expo had a group of people in house, designing kits. His answer was what most of you already know: All kits are contracted with professional modellers. First, they run surveys to find out what American modellers are looking for (Model Shipways specializes and focuses almost exclusively on American ships) and then they use artist modelers and experts to design their kits. Chuck Passaro is a brilliant example and has documented his way of working in the first incarnation of MSW. Computers are at the center of every design: they are used for tracing the plans, generating the laser cutting files and writing practicums and user's guide. A model is then built by the contracted expert and when ready, it is sent to Model Expo for display and pictures. The kit is then put together, priced accordingly and promoted through various channels. USS Essex is in the final phase of the design (documentation being finished) and Philadelphia is ready to hit the production line.

 

To conclude the tour of the facility properly speaking, here are a few pictures of the Display Area. I know a lot of you are eagerly awaiting this moment:

 

modelexpo33.jpg

 

modelexpo34.jpg

 

modelexpo36.jpg

 

Next, we get naughty and open the Display windows to take a closer look at each model.... Stay tuned!

 

Yves


Edited by yvesvidal, 02 April 2013 - 06:41 PM.

  • Chuck, trippwj, mtaylor and 5 others like this

#13
russ

russ

    Special Contributor

  • SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR
  • 2,690 posts
  • LocationBiloxi, Mississippi

That is really very interesting. Visiting the land of Oz and getting to peek behind the curtain to see how the Wizard works. :)

 

Thanks for posting these pics and the descriptions. I have a greatly enhanced appreciation for their work.

 

Russ


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this

#14
Augie

Augie

    Ship's Cat

  • Gone, but not forgotten
  • 5,488 posts
  • LocationColorado, USA

Thanks, Yves, for this impressive documentary on MS.


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this
Augie

Current Build: US Frigate Confederacy - MS 1:64

Previous Builds :

US Brig Syren (MS) - 2013 (see Completed Ship Gallery)
Greek Tug Ulises (OcCre) - 2009 (see Completed Ship Gallery)
Victory Cross Section (Corel) - 1988
Essex (MS) 1/8"- 1976
Cutty Sark (Revell 1:96) - 1956

#15
mtaylor

mtaylor

    Bilge Rat

  • SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR
  • 14,214 posts
  • LocationMedford, OR

Thanks Yves for a very impressive log. 


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this

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


#16
Carpenter

Carpenter
  • Members
  • 4 posts
  • LocationUlm, Germany

A truly worthwhile visit.
Thanks for the detailed presentation and meaningful images.

 

 

Ernst


  • ModelExpoOnline likes this

#17
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

As promised, here are the Model Display pictures. We will start first with the airplanes and the cannons. They may not be the prime interest for this group, but they are nevertheless extremely well made with great details. The caronnade is particularly interesting:

 

airplane1.jpg

 

airplane2k.jpg

 

airplane3.jpg

 

cannons1.jpg

 

cannons2.jpg

 

cannons4.jpg

 

cannons3.jpg


  • Ulises Victoria, ModelExpoOnline, John Koos and 2 others like this

#18
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

Moving on to the ships:

 

Elsie American Fishing Schooner

 

elsie.jpg

 

Yacht America:

 

america1l.jpg

 

america2y.jpg

 

Bluenose Canadian Schooner:

 

bluenosei.jpg


Edited by yvesvidal, 03 April 2013 - 12:13 PM.

  • ModelExpoOnline and Laurence_B like this

#19
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

Benjamin Latham and tender:

 

benjamin1.jpg

 

benjamin2.jpg

 

benjamin3.jpg

 

benjamin4.jpg

 

benjamin5.jpg

 

Chaperon Steam Boat:

 

chap1q.jpg

 

chap2.jpg

 

chap3j.jpg


  • ModelExpoOnline and Laurence_B like this

#20
yvesvidal

yvesvidal
  • Members
  • 416 posts
  • LocationRaleigh, NC - USA

The USS Confederacy (1/64) by Chuck passaro:

 

The "Plat de Resistance" of the whole display, in my humble opinion, the biggest model produced by Model Shipways and a true masterpiece. I have to confess that I could not stop myself from touching with the tip of my fingers, the polished and smooth basswood amorously built by Chuck Passaro. Pictures are not making justice to the beauty and majesty of this model. I had to caress the whales and the perfect and smooth deck like a lover would hold and flatter the hips of a beloved woman. It was almost a sensual experience.... Chuck outdid himself on this one. It is truly a masterpiece and a future kit on my list.

 

conf1s.jpg

 

..hmm... we know the shipping was rough for Confederacy...unfortunately.

 

conf2o.jpg

 

It is simply perfect. I have to admit that I am a sucker for the way the wood is stained. I simply love these clear colors.

 

conf3t.jpg

 

conf4.jpg

 

The other big brother of Model Shipways, the USS Constitution:

 

const1.jpg

 

const2.jpg

 

const3.jpg

 

The Despatch tug boat:

 

despatch.jpg


Edited by yvesvidal, 03 April 2013 - 03:10 AM.

  • ModelExpoOnline and Laurence_B like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Welcome GUEST to the Model Ship World Community.
Please LOGIN or REGISTER to use all of our feautures.