For Beginners -- A Cautionary Tale

94 posts in this topic

As a beginner to boat building, I am finding several things here, the first is that finding a website like this may be the most important thing after making the leap into this hobby. I personally rate every model I build into two categories, difficulty based on the kit and difficulty based on the instructions.


I am currently working on 2 boats, the first made by Latina, I have experience with them I knew that my first boat would be easiest based on the quality of wood and the instructions are top notch, the titanic life boat is planked with bass wood, this threw me back, I became determined to accomplish this this way.


The second boat is made by Occre, the kit is easy enough, say level 2, the instructions are level 4, it's just pictures.


Now the biggest problem I've found in modeling is the terms, these terms make asking questions very difficult, in stagecoaches, water wheels, train cars the terms have been reused so many times over the years that it is very difficult to get advice or answers to the simplest things.


I know I am preaching to the quire here, no one could possibly be prepared for what it's like to watch glue and paint dry, there is no instant gratification in this.

mtaylor, probablynot and EJ_L like this

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I can relate to your story William. I have been into many different branches of woodworking from turning,furniture,marquetry, carving, etc. and I have enjoyed them all and I always finish my projects, but I cannot keep my enthusiasm up long enough to master any one area. This has been somewhat frustrating, but after 20 years of this I finally decided that I will never master any one part of the craft because at heart I am more interested in exploring new disciplines to keep my motivation up and also to learn about the history and culture related to those subjects. Of course I have managed to keep this within the general woodworking area, especially since I am tooled up for that and have many transferable skills. My point is that I think it helps to understand the dynamic of your motivation in order to keep your work satisfying.

src, John Allen, EJ_L and 3 others like this

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Quite a different story for me..

I started at the age of 6 or 8. Never had any money or kits around at that time.

Only plastic kits of aircraft were the rage with kids.

A local fisherman who made models from wood he found washed up on the beach was his local supplier.

This guy had a wicked eye for ships lines and shapes. He would carve the models from the drift wood that had been drying over several years with very little tools and drawings.

Nothing is a failure in his eyes as it is art in his style.


The first thing I made out of wood was a raft. Very basic with bamboo canes as the timber.

The next one was a rowing boat made from a plug that my tutor had made a few years earlier.

This one was made using candle wax to release the glue. Two straps of planks a day...

After that I started making my own designs. What was pleasing to my eyes was the shape and style.


I take breaks from my ship modeling... last time I did any was some 5 months ago. Now summer is over will finish my Korean ship.


Many people fail to compleate there model due to very poor instructions. And to poor quality of the kit contents.

There are some excellent posts and help on beginners choice of kit here on this forum.


What I am trying to say is.. Don't care what other people think of your ship or boat. We all have got to learn to use our hands and head together.

For begginers... post it and you Will get the help.

Don't compare your work with other people's. ... It's your ship/boat.

Ask before you proceed if you don't understand what the instruction are trying to say.


Enough of my ranting and trying to put the world to right.


Regards Antony.

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hey I resemble all those remarks abt in over my head etc and still doing it lol. to be honest I have been designing and building planes for over 35 yrs and have built all 3 sister ships of revell's the President United States and Constitution even a few radio control hydros.


But I feel I have the modeling experience to overcome the obsticles. as many have noticed I started cad drawing a few projects here then stopped them. it isn't that I cant do them but I started them before I took the time to actually read instead of looking at pictures the various build threads and to ask a ton of dumb questions. now I finally ordered the Admiralty swan class as my first POF and I think I am raring to go with it. a lot of the stuff  i was having problems with on reading plans like the bevels etc just a couple days ago popped the light bulb in my head and I actually understand them now. I attribute that to years of plane modeling and drafting that once i asked the questions and let it soak in while looking at build threads and then seeing what i was being explained helped.


So what I am saying here is that anyone with some experience can start a project but don't make my mistakes and not read builds. read them not just look at pictures then ask questions then go back to build logs and read them until you actually see what the answer was telling you. all before you  make your first piece of sawdust. and don't forget to check out all the tools tips and jigs you might want to make while waiting on the right plan for you.



jud, EJ_L, michael mott and 1 other like this

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