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For Beginners -- A Cautionary Tale

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JanetB

          

                                            I guess i must plead guilty of not completing my build log of AMATIS Red Dragon,but after i had been prescibed a medication which put me in

                                            a wheelchair and also has taken nearly all my strength away i feel ready to build again,no the fire inside of me never went out as i whatched

                                            and followed MSW from my .So it will not be RED DRAGON but HMS SNAKE by Caldercraft as i feel i need a fresh start i will try to do a build

                                            log.

 

                                                                 Regards to all at MSW.

Edited by Janet B
Canute, jud, ccoyle and 8 others like this

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                                                         JanetB.I Guess i must plead guilty of not finishing my build log of AMATIS Red Dragon,after i took a medication prescribed to me it put me in a

                                                         a wheelchair and has taken most of my strength.Now i feel well enough to start again it will not be the RED DRAGON but HMS SNAKE by Caldercraft

                                                         i will post a build log with photos.

 

                                                                             Regards to all at MSW

mtaylor, Canute, Elijah and 1 other like this

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I think I'll always be a beginner. I've gone through most phases of model building and spent the last 4 years building the Syren which is completed. I think an important thing for a new builder to do, regardless of which ship they may chose to build, is to have a realistic outlook on their own skill level. It's easy to look at the beauties on this site and get discouraged because you can't match the skills of a craftsman who has been doing this for many, many years and has already made all the mistakes that the new builder will probably make.

This is supposed to be fun. When it gets to be a chore, take a break. I adopted " an inch rule" which is how close can I get to a model before it starts looking unacceptable. Take a look at the whole model from a couple of feet away, it will probably look better than from a couple of inches. Another item comes to mind. In the time it takes to build one model your skills will probably improve so the things you did when you started don't look as good as you thought they did. You'll do better on the next ship.

This website is wonderful for us beginners as long as we don't get intimidated.

Turn off the rant now, cheers

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I am a newbie and on my first build.  I couldn't even tell you what level the model kit I chose is rated.  I don't recall seeing anything like that when I bought the kit.  Maybe it was there and I passed over it but I was more interested in the emotional aspect of diving in than the practical, logical side of it.

 

I had no fears of the task being over my head or beyond my skills.  How could I?  I have never built a wooden model before.  But I gave careful consideration to the potential difficulty I could experience.  I relied on my woodworking experience but even more on my guitar building experience as a barometer to guide me on making the purchase.  At this time in my model making "career" I don't think I was even aware of this website.  So I went in cold.

 

The emotional draw was strong - I'm an avid sailor with thousands of miles of sailing under my belt but I have no boat right now. I was in between homes and waiting for the seller to come up with necessary documents and it was taking forever.  I hate sitting still and we were living in a condo and all my tools were locked up in storage.  I doubt anyone here could have stopped me from buying the kit I bought.

 

That being said, I have no regrets.  I wish I had more time to spend on the model but it has been a wonderful respite from fixing up the new house.  And it has been lots of fun, too.  I have so many plans for making the model mine and have only had one mental setback.  I know I will finish the model but I don't know if I will build another.  It's not that I don't enjoy it, I just don't know if another build will be able to fit into the picture.  But pictures can change.

 

If I were to add my thoughts about jumping into something you have never done, I would say to look at build threads carefully and picture yourself doing the work it takes to accomplish what you see.  If you are honest with yourself, this should help guide you to the right first model.

EJ_L, src, probablynot and 6 others like this

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This is a very relevant thread and should be regarded as very good advice to anyone starting out in model ship building, or any other new endeavor for that matter. I do totally agree with Chris about the wisdom of taking on projects commensurate with skill levels, but I am approaching my first build from a different perspective (It's always fun to have at least one dissident in a crowd!). I am planning to build the HMS Ontario as my first model when I should probably build something far simpler to get started.

 

Now I know this probably sounds stupid and perhaps arrogant to those of you who have earned your spurs by completing a series of projects, each with increasing degrees of complexity. My particular reason for choosing a relatively complicated project to begin with is mainly due to my age. I'm not sure how many years I have left and I would like to use them to at least complete on ship that I love.

 

During my 20 years of woodworking I experienced the very same beginner problems that Chris describes, although I did manage to finish all of my projects (except for a couple I destroyed out of frustration). When I first began in woodworking my whole focus was on getting my projects finished as quickly as possible. I was very eager to admire my latest product and to revel in my new found craftsmanship. With increased experience my ambition level rose, but then I found that it took more time to get the kind of results I hoped for. This made me reassess my motives for what I was doing  and I began to ask myself whether I was just interested in the finished products or the actual work. This was a game changer for me.

 

It took awhile before it became obvious to me that most projects are actually composed of a series of smaller projects assembled into one. Finally understanding this principle I became blessed with the gift of what many would call 'patience'. The word patience however is a complete misnomer when applied to doing conscientious work as it implies that you are tolerating the work instead of enjoying it. I found that by adhering to the idea of many small projects making a  whole that I got much more fulfillment out of the work process and the joy of completing each sub-project successfully, not to mention much better overall results. For those reasons I found the fun level greatly increased and I no longer worried about the time factor, especially since I was retired. I also learned that with this philosophy complex projects became much simpler to execute even though some research and new skills might be required for the different steps. 

 

Of course it remains to be seen if my approach will work for me on my first and perhaps only build. It seems to me from reading posts here in the forum that with ship modeling it might sometimes be more difficult to understand what a part should look like than actually making it!. Another big hurtle must be developing a good understanding of the terminology. I'm working on that now and I'm also printing drawings of ship nomenclature from the web and reading all the wonderful build logs and related comments here on the forum to get a good general idea of the build sequence and some insight into how the various parts are made. It will be interesting to see what happens when I begin on my first and perhaps only build about a month from now, but whatever happens it will surely be a lot more satisfying than sitting in an easy chair!  :)

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I'm going to pop this here..   It's the signature tagline of Remco and I find it very relevant...

 

"Treat each part as if it is a model on its own, you will finish more models in a day than others do in a lifetime."

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Ahoy Mates

 

I have been working on my Mary Rose now for about 3 years now,and will complete it in the next 3 weeks. I have a show to enter it in as a deadline. But there have been times when I was fed up with the build.

That's when I would find a small sub build for the Mary Rose  that was different from what I had been working on to break the negative feelings that had built up from the stress of building.

You do two things,work on something different and make up and complete a new addition to the big build. And just look at it as a new small kit.

 

I often  use rigging and yards as subjects for these little "kits" > There's lots of yards to make and plenty of blocks to seize .

 

Keith

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This is an interesting thread.  I think one of the success resources this site provides is the log.  I allows the experts to make their posts and show us beginners how many aspects of the build are accomplished.  It also allows us beginners to make our posts and seek advice on the model shipbuilding process.  As I research my future subjects on this site I find that some builders attract very little attention to their logs while others become rather lengthy with many builders "pulling up a chair to follow along".  How do these logs become so attractive.  I guess I am asking is what does a log require in order to attract attention and the resulting comments.  Put another way, what constitutes a good log.  

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    In my opinion, that which makes a log good also makes it hard to keep up.  I have often gotten bogged down on a model because I am taking so much time and effort to get pictures at the right point, get thoughts on paper and compile a good post.  I don't know if that ever came through in my logs, but I tried.

 

    Here is what I think makes a good post:

 

    Explain what you are doing as you go along.  Looking at pictures of how your model is progressing is nice, but looking at the process you are using to get to that point is even better.  How did you make that thingamabob?  What problems are you having?  Detailed info on how you make something can be enlightening.  There is a fine line between going into TOO much detail and no enough.  I have seen things that I have tried to make many times and I cannot get them to look that good.  How did you do it?  I guess that is what IMs are for.

 

    A lot of pictures.  Close ups, full model, different angles, high resolution.  The latter is important particularly when illustrating a lot of detail.  I find it frustrating to click on a photo to blow it up, only to find it is not very large or poor quality.  My rule of thumb when I was a newsletter editor was I should be able to expand the photo to 200% and still get good detail.  Different angles are good.  I have been trying to find some shots of where the wales come together at the bow, both sides.  I cannot find many.  Most shots are of one side or the other, but not both.  Same goes for other areas we don't normally see.

 

    In my opinion, a very good example of a good build log is Dan Vadas' "VULTURE" log.

 

PS.  His VULTURE cross section isn't bad either.

Edited by Chuck Seiler
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Hello first modeler,

 

I built my first basic wooden ship kit in 1983/84. It was a Billings Golden Hind. It came with a large book of instructions (one language only), quality drawings and excellent timber. At the time I guess the price was around  A$200 to A$300 dollars (say around $1000 today). Included in the instruction booklet were comprehensive "how to's" on plank bending, planking and rigging. I completed a creditable model by following the instructions.

 

Instructions contained in today's kits within the above price range are essentially non existent. Kits are reasonably priced (some would say cheap), so I guess manufacturers would tend to skip the niceties and assume in some instances that the builders are already a part of this niche hobby. The manufacturers are after all scrambling for market share and profits. 

 

Flashy boxes woo the unsuspecting and excitable newcomer with promises of glorious galleons and clippers from history. Exciting stuff. And why not!

 

Build what you have an emotional attachment to, I believe this is the most important requirement for completing a model. Instructions come from researching sites like this. The internet age has delivered all the instructions you need to the tips of your fingers. Never have we had it so good. All that is required is your attention.

 

Dive in, the waters warm.

 

Regards, Martin

Edited by MartinB

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Mike40, your post very closely runs along the same line as my thoughts about building that first model.  Like you, my earlier days of working on any kind of project were all about finishing as quickly as possible so I could see the results.  That may be why some new modelers jump in with great enthusiasm but quit all too soon, completely frustrated.

 

We all admire work that shows experience, skill and patience.  All require time.  If one does not allow for that time, one will most likely be disappointed with the end result.  Just by allowing oneself double, or triple the time one expects (or even more) to finish a task or the complete model, one could dramatically increase the chances of being both pleased and proud of the end result.

 

I completed the 1st planking on my first model maybe two weeks ago.  I would love to get the 2nd planking done but I will not begin that step until the hull is truly ready to accept the 2nd planking.  I have the hull sitting on my workbench and at the end of every day I sit down and view it from every angle, inspect the lines and closely examine every inch of it.  Then I work on making it as perfect as I can because once that 2nd planking goes down, you are married to it.  It is so thin there is little room for any serious fairing.

 

I don't know if this will be my last model.  I do know I will be looking at it for the rest of my life when it is complete.  And I know I don't want to have any thoughts like, "I wish I had spent a little more time on..."

 

Martin, based on the one and only model kit I have bought, I will say the instructions leave a lot to be desired.  My kit was about $450 and I thought that was a lot of money.  If it was $1,000, I may never have bought it.  But of all the things to cut back on, it would seem the instructions should be the last cut a manufacturer would make.  I'm just thankful there are first class forums like MSW, with its substantial brain trust, to help guide newbies like me through the process.  The manufacturers should count their blessings.

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A thought.

 

I notice that a couple of manufacturer's have posted the "basic" instructions on their websites. I for one have accessed Revel's Cutty Sark rigging diagrams.

Now, if each new wooden ship kit box sold by the major manufacturer's included an additional sheet of paper (a flier if you will) that stated "for complete instructions visit our website etc.. etc... We also recommend you visit these model ship building sites that will enhance your modelling experience and illustrate modelling techniques required to complete this model (or similar etc...  you get the picture). A whole new world of wonderment is opened. (This of course assumes that a potential modeler will not readily find us/MSW).

 

The manufacturers draw people to our hobby by their ready availability of kits. It is up to the rest of us to keep them here, or enhance their experience. Why not lobby the manufacturer's to do this (or is this already done?). Working together always achieves better results. What do you think? 

 

Best regards

Martin

Edited by MartinB
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Musings of a MSW Newbie – started July 2016

 

Apologies for the length, original bullet points ‘what I have learnt’ has turned into a 1,000 word mini missive of sorts.

 

As a Newbie to model ships - I am restoring my +/- 80 year old Granddad’s Santa Maria (the ship that is, Grandad pasted away last century) - a few thoughts on the process I went through once I had the ship in my hands.

 

‘This is a mess, how can I fix this, how can I make this or that’. Okay very different to a new ‘out of the box’ model ship experience but the sheer magnitude of the task didn’t really hit until a few weeks into the job.

 

I am of an age where I take my time so said to myself ‘two years to complete’. I started researching modelling sites settling on MSW as the ‘Premier’ site for info, knowledge, skills, attention to detail and general all round good fellows willing to share knowledge and advice.

 

More internet research into the ship, pictures, models, plans, anything I could find printing dozens of pics. Then research into where to purchase part and bits I would be unable/didn’t want to make.

 

At last I was ready to order ‘stuff’ and what a moment when it arrived, wood and tiny parts and glue – I was ready to go for it. I had already spent hours cleaning the ship of accumulated dirt and grime, removed all the rigging and masts and other bits falling apart and was now set for restoration.

 

Three months later and new forecastle bulwarks, new cap rails, ships boat (made from a kit), barrels and buckets ready to be installed and four futtock riders made and fitted.

I try for at least an hour a night, longer over weekends if possible, progress is slow but that’s okay 21 months to go.

 

Things I have learnt on the way are:

 

1/ Super glue or CA – do not use on painted wood, use aliphatic (the first time I saw that in print I had to google it), use CA glue on painted wood and it’s brittle and will break off, a mistake I made early ‘cos CA is so quick and easy and who needs clamps anyway.

 

2/ Get some clamps, small ones for small stuff bigger ones for bigger stuff – buy a set - and leave overnight to really bond, yes be patient.

 

3/ Unless you are gifted with a workshop and all the tools be prepared to compromise on your first build. I have ‘worked around’ steam bending wood in a saucepan with wire supports; it worked, (cap rails were steam bent around medicine bottle tops and a straight drinking glass, forecastle bulwarks around a dowel mould I made). I worked around ‘clamping’ cap rails to bulwark sides using cable ties around the hull, blocks of cut and shaped wood and wedges (a knife, a file and some cable tie cut-offs) to hold the two curved and one flat section in place overnight. Build your kit up slowly as and when you need to.

 

4/ Research, research and research some more, internet, google and of course MSW. I spent hours researching how a 15th century anchor could be raised onto cap rails (designed and made a removable fish davit), and then how falconets were moved around the ship (designed and make fixed mountings set into the cap rails and fixed to the deck). Now maybe to the purest my ideas are out of kilter with the original – then again no blueprint for Santa Maria – but my ideas work nautically, and hopefully historically, they look okay and add some drama/realism to the model ‘cos after all falconets had to be stored away somewhere dry – hmm, have to make a container for them.

 

5/ Have in your mind’s eye your expectations of the finished model, what do you want out of it. Will it be a representation or true to the real one, amassed with detail or the basics. I settled on a story ‘what if’ – what if the Santa Maria was not wrecked but towed ashore repaired, refitted and repainted. I am going to write the story or a novelette for my future Grandson using crew names, nautical terminology, building methods of the 15th century and Haitian geography; sounds fantastimargorical but I like telling stories and together with a folder of research material, build log and the old replaced parts he will have a history of 15th century voyages of discovery, not saved on a USB stick or DVD but old fashioned paper.

 

6/ Painting, oh how I like painting, the finishing touch. Get the right paint for your model (see points 3/ and 4/ above). I use acrylics often watered down or colour mixed to get a shade I want – read up about colour wheels and mixing paint.

 

7/ Paint brushes, pay a little more for better quality. I have two sets a £1.99 set of 12 that I have CA’d into shapes for filler, cleaning, another finger and the like, the other a set of four Humbrol modellers brushes for less than a tenner.

 

8/ Small parts, there are lots of these but even more advice through MSW on how to hold, make, paint and tie knots in/on them. If you don’t have the tools or space (I have a dinner tray or kitchen unit to work on) don’t fret, as we say in Africa ‘make a plan’, buy the tiny parts, do look-a-like knots, it’s okay to use wood filler or not quite to scale parts.

 

9/ It’s your model, maybe your first, when it’s all done, complete and finished chances are friends and family will laud you pouring praise on your excellent modelling skills – fingers crossed.

Lastly join MSW (but you already have reading this) However it needs to be said that without the fellowship, articles, help, advice, etc., etc. available within the various forums I would have been all at sea and by the board.

 

One last point

 

10/ Have a look at ALL the forums MSW has to offer not just pertinent ones for your model as they contain a wealth of knowledge.

 

And enjoy your build

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Great article and food to chew on! Level of skills, time and patience are needed for any accomplishment done well and modeling is one of those. My 3rd model was Lindberg's Cap'n Kidd Pirate ship and I don't know how many times I wanted to throw that thing against the wall! Nothing seemed to fit, constant breaks on parts, totally warped bowsprit - it taught me perseverance and patience, and even taught me how to resolve my problems. I am 'working' my way up the ladder with each new model that I build. It never hurts to do a little research and read some reviews about what kits are there before you jump into really deep waters! Just like anything else, having a good network of other modeler's posts and support makes it all worth while. Thanks again for this wonderful article.

Edited by Fright

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The timing for me to stumble across this thread is perfect.  I'm a newbie to MSW although not to modeling in general.  I've been on the plastic side of the hobby for the better part of a decade and just finished a two-plus year build of the Japanese battleship Yamato.  After a few months off it's time for me to select my next project.  I want it to be a wood ship and I have two options:  La Confiance (Constructo Modelismo) or Syren (Model Shipways).

 

The former is an orphan kit I rescued from my father's basement years ago.  It's a solid hull French fishing trawler by a company I haven't been able to find much information about and seems to be relatively straightforward (at least by comparison).  The latter was a Christmas gift from my wife last year and interests me much more.  I realized it would be on the difficult side as an initial build but received some encouragement here that, with the detailed instructions and the help of this site, it was realistic.

 

Am I about to make the same mistake as others before me?  Would I do well to cut my teeth on La Confiance?  Better to start with a simpler, solid hull kit of a subject that doesn't interest me or a more complex subject that really does interest me?  I plenty of modeling experience but I don't have a background working with wood.  

 

And just one thought - made previously, but that I would like to echo - is the need for the manufacturers to provide quality materials and solid instructions with so called "beginner" kits.  If the wood goes to pieces and the instructions read like a Rorshchach test then it's easy to see why the first build is often fatal.  It creates a high barrier to entry into the hobby and I'm surprised more manufacturers haven't addressed it.  

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I agree with you whole-heartedly. I'm a beginner by forum standards .....I want to build the " The USS Constellation "   but realized that there were skills that I didn't possess and needed to lean.  Thus I picked the 18th Century Longboat  Model Shipways.   Because the instructions are in english ......which helps immediately. And the kit would cover planking, rigging, etc.    

 

I found reading this forum and personal experience that I would consider not beginner model  for me because of length of model.  My hands being compare to a gorilla are small.   I broke the false keel and tried to re-engineering ....which started progressive failure and ended bad.  Model Expo are sending me replacements......this is another reason going with Model Shipways is a win-win in my book.

 

I guess to finish this post without being to verbose is that I should have maybe picked a little more larger vessel to give myself some room. 

Certainly there are many factors (time, ability, etc) that contribute to whether one will 'stick with' this hobby, and many of those can't be quantified until you get going.  But I do agree that the choice of kit can sometimes be a 'make or break' decision.

 

I really, really want to build the Syren.  But I think it is just a little beyond my reach at the moment, so I'm picking something else for my next build.

 

I'm still new to this - I picked up ship building about 9 months ago.  For my first build, I chose the Phantom - solid hull.  This meant no hull or deck planking, no square rigging, and no gunports or guns to build.  I chose it so that I could focus on basic skills - reading plans, cutting/sanding/shaping, and rigging.  I made a lot of mistakes.  For my second build, I'm building the Bluenose.  This adds basic POB stuff (keel, bulkheads, etc), hull and deck planking, more detail.  But I chose this particular ship because the hull is painted - my first attempt at hull planking is likely to turn out a little 'less than great', so I can learn hull planking but still use wood filler and paint to end up with a good build.

 

I was tempted to jump right into the Syren next (even had it in my shopping cart on the Model Expo site at one point), but I decided to do another build before I take that plunge, to get some experience with square rigging and gunports.

 

If you're getting into the hobby for the long haul, it doesn't hurt to spend some time working your way up.  You learn valuable skills that will pay off when you finally get to that 'big build'.  You also get a great sense of accomplishment from having successfully completed something (and that is much easier to reach with a 'beginner build').

 

All that being said, you have to be interested in the ship you are building.  It has to catch your eye.  If honestly nothing catches your eye except the Constitution, you might as well try.  Better to try something and have it fizzle out than to not try at all.  But if a first time builder is willing to start small, I do think it will pay off in the end.

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Hi Bill

 

I never finished my first ship. Reasons? far too ambitious, knew nothing about ship modelling (this was pre MSW! :) ), started it and gave up when some of my hull planking started popping off! :D

 

Next build was the Billings Bluenose. I knew nothing about it so didnt really pick it for interest. I thought I'd use it as a training ship before doing something I really wanted to do. 

 

Since it's been finished it's taken center(ish) stage in the lounge. I'm so pleased I finished it and really proud of how it looks even though I can still see lots of little niggly things that I would do differently (yes you've guessed it) second time round! :)

 

So my two pennies worth, cut your teeth on the easier one then you'll know you'll do an even better job on Syren.

 

No matter what you choose, start a build log, best way to get feedback.

 

Nick

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My $0.02 (US).... Syren isn't a bad choice.  There's lots of builds here.  The guy who designed the kit is an admin (Chuck) and there's a very good and very detailed practicum (instructions) for it.  Down side... reports have it that the castings for cannon stink.  Aftermarket is the way to go on them. 

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I'm beginning to think we ought not to be presenting 'cautionary tales' to beginners.

I was a beginner less than five years ago. I just bought a kit, and had a go. If there had been cautionary tales in my way, to make me stop and wonder if I was approaching it the right way, to make me think I ought to have bought a different kit, to cause me to stop and THINK, I probably wouldn't have had the heart to go ahead with the zeal and enthusiasm I enjoyed throughout that build.

Maybe caution isn't the most desirable attribute when starting out in model ship building?

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There's a lot to be said for that, Brian.   I went the same way.  Bought the model and realized I was in way over my head and bought a "beginner kit".. then I attacked the Billings Wasa.  

 

A cautionary tale might have made me think first.. or not.  But it might have helped me over the shock of "this Wasa kit is just a pile of wood... what the ???"

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I highly encourage people to start small and work up and fully support messages like this cautionary tale however I say that as a "do what I say not as I do" message. The only beginner ship I built was Constructo's 1:150 scale Bounty and it was my seventh build. It was more of a filler ship build that I had picked up while waiting on La Couronne to arrive. I've always been one to dive into the the deep end from the start and while I will never say that all those experiences turned out good, it is just the way I am. I have a few bad models as a result of doing things this way that while I am proud of myself for pushing through them, they could have turned out many times better had I started slow. Burnout, frustration and a lack of knowledge and skills limited what I was able to do and as a result I would unknowingly skip critical steps or just settle for what it is as I had no way of knowing any different. Those models are now on the rebuild wish list.

 

Still, I do not discourage a person from tackling that larger, more difficult build from the start if they have their mind set on it. Being passionate about a project is just as important as that drive can help carry you through those tough times when it is easy to quit. Also, with great communities like this one where helpful knowledge and a friendly conversation with people who know your struggle it is much easier to attempt those harder builds early on. We are no longer isolated to build by ourselves and having to figure things out on our own. More than likely that question you have has been asked and is answered on here and probably in multiple threads. I can testify to how well this community works. My current build is my first one on here and just what I have learned from MSW has made this build a hundred times better than the last and myself a much better modeler than what I was a year ago.

 

Know yourself when choosing your model. Know your strengths and weaknesses and be honest about them. Build where you feel comfortable, don't be afraid to ask for help and above all be sure to enjoy it. If you can manage that then you can build any ship you want.  :D 

Ryland Craze, Elijah, src and 5 others like this

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I suppose many do try to build models and then give up when they find it is beyond their skill level, but I don't believe that one rule fits all. Yes, some get discouraged easily while others rise to the challenge and learn what they need to know as they progress. It all depends on what someone new to modeling brings with them in terms of relevant experience/skills/expectations. I expect many newcomers with no skills see a model they love and want to building it, and anything less would not inspire them, while others might see they are in over their heads and put it aside and try a simpler model in order to develop skills. Their are always lots of people trying new things that they abandon when they find out it is not as easy as they thought it would be. 

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It took me 6 completed ships to reach the 1:75 80 Gun ship Friesland. Now I'm glad I gained experience. Trust me first time model shipwrights, it helps out a lot. I hope you have read through these comments and settled in for a build to gain knowledge and success to help you achieive your desired expectations without giving up on the hobby. Best of luck.

mtaylor, Elijah, Julie Mo and 3 others like this

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I feel sort of obliged to point out that I never said don't attempt a difficult model (I actually said that such models do occasionally get completed); I merely encouraged readers to seriously think about what they might be getting themselves into, i.e. make an informed decision. And don't take this as an insult (cuz no offense is meant), but the comments that run something like, "Well, I attempted a difficult model on my first go-around, and I succeeded" are well taken, but don't actually add anything significant to what I already plainly acknowledged. Those that make such comments are part of the 25% of beginning builders who finished their first models. Who we don't hear from are the 75% of beginners who didn't finish their models -- because they're no longer here to add their comments!  :)  And it's those 75% whom I was addressing in the original post, not the other 25%.

 

Carry on!

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I thought the same thing Mike.......I'd see these kits on a shelf,  and walk away thinking that I could never do something like that.   that mentality stayed with me until I got a Nordkap kit put in front of me.   the kit wasn't even laser cut.....it had been in an attic for around 30 years.  I knew the gent,  an older co worker.......and he gave it to me.......everything!   for fun,  I looked up the kit and the cost of it.......I was astounded!

     I had zero experience......I was working on a Revell Cutty 1:96 {what got me into this predicament in the first place}.  here is what I started with:

 

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I found the link for Billing USA......that's when I met Tom Richardson.   this gentleman felt bad and kinda tried to talk me out of it,  for fear that I would get discouraged and shy away from the hobby.  but I assured him that it wasn't going to happen.....I was build'in this bad boy!   it all boils down to....the desire.   I wasn't worried about mistakes......I made a lot of 'em!  I did a build log on blogger........if anyone wants the link...just ask  ;)   in the log,  I wrote about everything.....even the mistakes.  in the end,  I knew it would be worth it........any newbie reading it can {and could} relate any of my mistakes to any kit there is out there.  Tom helped me out a lot......I wrote the log for him.   when I found this site....well,  that's when all hell broke loose......I'm a certified wood nut now!   this site.......YOU PEOPLE.......are awesome....I learned so much,  and I continue to do so today.  I'm no expert.....but I know how to glue two sticks together  :D  :D  :D

 

today........I have build logs on Blogger and word press {wenzels wharf,  popeyesquadron,  and popeyesgarage}   I continue to write these logs......any model that crosses my table is fair game.   to me......I don't care what kit it is....it will seem impossible to a person just getting into the hobby.   build it.......don't hesitate.   no matter what happens.....no matter how it looks.....build it.  the experience you glean from it,  will enhance your second build ten fold!  we all have our learning curve.......the desire.....and a good 'can do' attitude.....you'll rise above it....you'll git 'er done!

 

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I even did some bash and scratch stuff to her

 

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Popeye,

 

 What a Beauty! Everyone needs to copy and paste your post above the one their working on. I was in the same predicament, on the HMS Victory, made tons of mistakes, breaking masts, redid all ratlines twice, caved in 3 inches of the side when a nail hit a frame, and more, I was going to finish it come hell or high water. Excellent advice.

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Chris, I don't think any of us are disagreeing with you. Your original post was thoughtful, and excellent advice. I think the discussion since then has been more about the exceptions that abound due to human nature and not a debate about how right or wrong you were. Maybe we are just enjoying ourselves exploring the subject.

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I havent posted on here for over a year but my build is still going, it is my first scratch build, a 1/72 HMS Victory. My problem lies in the lack of challenge, It all started with a monthly subscription of the AL HMS Victory 6 years ago, it was well advertised in Britain. Started the kit along with many others at the time on a slowly but surly monthly build, time went by and I started to feel a lack of challenge that I was expecting from the kit, so I bought McKay`s book and jumped into a scratch build.

I decided to make it at 1/72 simply because I could buy 3rd party cannons anchors and all the stuff I couldn`t make, as I merrily carried on with my build not hitting any problems. So I decided to have a go at making the cannons, turned them out of ebony and found yep I can do that.

So thinking a little deeper I split the cannons in two so I could build the entire cannons on every deck then remove the bit of the barrel that sticks out any replace it when the build is finished. Then my old mate the LACK OF CHALLENGE was again tapping on my shoulder so OK going to have a go at carving the stern decorations and again did that, next carved the figure head, built a the barge with anchor and oars and again no challenge, so as the challenges fall so does my enthusiasm.

 

So advice for a beginner… dont think one day, right gonna build a wooden model ship, no keep the idea in your head and let your enthusiasm grow, and when your really keen and ready thats the time to jump in, as for the rules there is none. Pick as big a scale as you can this makes the detail much easier but keep in mind the space you need to build it, another point is the time it will take to finish the build, the longer it takes the more your mind will go through different phases, so I think a 3 to 6 month build would be ideal, one last point and I use this one, is if you find you need a break, cover you build up with a towel, this stops you catching sight of your model on a regular basis, then when your ready to start again, you will find removing the cover will give the model a fresh look..

 

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I'm a total novice at this. Right now bashing a plastic Revell Constitution into a brandywine frigate using basswoodand scratch pieces. My advice to a newbie would be, plan to paint your first model. Being able to use putty and filler or wood patches that you can then fare off and paint saves much frustration. Once you develop some skills then you can show your work.

mtaylor likes this

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