del2

Kits with good instructions

A friend came to visit, admired my two completed models, and expressed the desire to try to make a kit model himself. I gave him what encouragement and information I could, and amongst the things I said was that one of the problems I had to deal with as I learned was that the two kits I have bought have both had really inadequate instructions. I would not have been able to do it without the help and advice on this forum. He asked a very sensible question: what kit manufacturers have the best instructions.

I have completed a Constructo Mayflower, a scratch yacht half-model and I am working on a Talhoer Adriana, a Spanish kit of a fishing boat. They both have poor instructions, with more pictures than words, and they both use phrases like 'now plank the hull', with no other guidance.

I would welcome the input of those of you who have tried different kit manufacturers.

My friend once built a 33 foot yacht in his back garden, from plans, so he is quite capable, but building a model is a different set of problems. Thanks, David.

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I'm hearing good things about Maristella and Dusek.   Also any kit with a practicum that Chuck did, like Syren, Cheerful, even the longboats.

 

Hopefully you get other answers as the only kits I've had hands on with were AL and Billings... both very bad for beginners.

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Model Expo also has praticums by Chuck for both the Phantom and Sultana kits. They are available as downloads online in the Documents tab of the kit page.

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I have no experience with the products from BlueJacket Inc.

But as their models are made "in place" I guess their instructions should be well written as well.

Besides they have all sorts of entry level models.

Check out their videos, which might help as well.

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I agree with Mark about Chuck Passaro's kit designs.   The big difference that I have seen from the posts here at MSW, is that Chuck builds these models and can help along the way. He understands the "how to" and knows  materials that work and don't work.  Also, his designs yield very nicely detailed and accurate finished models.  

Allan

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My experience with Caldercraft  is that the instructions and drawings are good.

I also think it depends on your native language.

If it's English then a kit from UK, US or other English speaking country are likely to be better.

It a kit comes from a non English country the instructions have generally been translated and that is a difficult process with technical phrasing etc.

 

I know there are exceptions to this and I'm sure members will point then out, but I believe it's a good rule of thumb.

 

Nick

 

P.S. definitely endorse the 'Chuck' observations.

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The now discontinued Midwest kits had very good instructions. Model Shipways kits tend to have very good instructions. Bluejacket kits are a mixed bag. If the kit is one that Bluejacket got when it acquired Laughing Whale, the instructions can be pretty bad. (Look for KLW in the kit part number to indicate it's a Laughing Whale kit). Bluejacket's own kits tend to have good instructions. Unfortunately, none of those may be readily available where you live.

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Modellers Shipyard (Aus) have excellent construction videos. Their plans usually suffer because they appear to be Xeroxed a million times and are hard to read at times. Chuck's kit plans are awesome. Bob Hunt's kits also have excellent instructions and photos. Jotika has excellent plans especially for their Nelson series. Victory models also have excellent plans.

Best

Jaxboat

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I´m very satisfied with Dusek. i have built two of their models, Pinta and Hanse Kogge. Both hade very good instructions. I´m an experienced plastic modeler but have never built a wooden ship model before and I had no trouble finishing the kits.

 

Good clear instructions and lots of drawings.

 

The Pinta was my first and there is a building log of it here. The Hanse Kogge is about 96% done and also have a log here. 

 

My vote would be Dusek.

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Just registered to this site so apologies if this response/question is in the wrong place.  I am a novice ship builder as I have made some matchstick models but I am an above average woodworker.  So after the matchstick models I have just bought a

Constructo Kit of the HMS Bounty.  Has anyone had any experience with this kit who can give me any tips.  Also from my experience kits never come with enough glue or wood.  What type of glue do I need for this type of kit?  I'm used to using standard PVA but suspect that won't be good enough.

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Nigel

 

I have no personal experience with kits but regarding the glue, aliphatic glue is PVA that has been modified to be stronger and is commonly called yellow glue or carpenter's glue.  If there was a poll here, I am pretty sure it would be the most commonly used glue for binding wood to wood.   Epoxy is excellent for times when you have a tiny surface area for the glue.  Cyanoacrylate might work for some things, but I have never found where carpenters, PVA or epoxy are not better choices, are less dangerous and have no sheer problems like CA.

 

Allan

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I am getting ready to order my FIRST wooden ship kit and I am very excited to get started. Obviously, I don't want to start with something like the Constitution or Cutty Sark, but they are on my list of future endeavors. I am looking for suggestions regarding the first kit and manufacturer.

Thanks,

froghunt 567

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CHEAP -  get a small one just to practice on.

 

 I am building Pickle now - mainly because I have the shakes - but that sort of size and complexity is just right.

 

Depending upon your innate aptitude you could make a fair attempt of her in a few months spare time but oh you would learn such a lot.

 

There are several others but if you aim for that size and price range from a good manufacturer you wont go far wrong.

 

Remember that a vessel 60% longer has over 2.5 times the deck area and fittings and is 4 time the volume and then more detail and complexity - start small.

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I just finished on of Model Expo's Naval Cannon kits. Nice large size, and uses several of the technquies you need for a regular ship kit. I added hooks to the gun tackle ends, and used rope stropped, rather than metal stropped, blocks. The later were what was shown on all the drawings I could find.

 

Model Expo promptly replaced some of the deck strips I messed up.

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I am getting ready to order my FIRST wooden ship kit and I am very excited to get started. Obviously, I don't want to start with something like the Constitution or Cutty Sark, but they are on my list of future endeavors. I am looking for suggestions regarding the first kit and manufacturer.

Thanks,

froghunt 567

Hi froghunt,

I have just ordered my first ship, the Batelina kit by MarisStella. Ive done much reading and asked around. There is a nice build thread on this forum by DonRobinson. Here is the link

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/14153-batelina-by-donrobinson-finished-marisstella-110/#entry438912

This was not my first choice but after talking to Zoran the kit manufacturer I was pretty much sold.

Not sure where you are located but I ordered from Modellers Workshop in Montreal Canada. Rick is very helpful and knowledgeble in the field.

I am meeting him tomorrow to pick up the kit. Excited to say the least.....

I don't remember the last time I was this excited to get a box of sticks.....

Anyway, Good Luck and keep us posted on your decision.

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I'll give another vote for Caldercraft, and that Chuck Passaro's kits have excellent instructions.

 

When I wrote this I hadn't opened my Syren kit for many years. I'm now going to continue working on it while I work on my Caldercraft HMS Snake kit. Chuck's instruction manual is unbelievably excellent. It has about 130 pages with hundreds of full color pictures. My Caldercraft kit has about eight pages with text. Both of the kits have large ships drawings. I've only had models from about 4 different kit manufacturers, but none of them are even remotely close to the comprehensive kit instructions included with Chuck's Syren kit. 

 

Don't get me wrong here, I love the Caldercraft kits, but Chuck's manuals are in a whole different league. 

 

2z6tc3q.jpg

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I'm hearing good things about Maristella and Dusek.  

Apologies to Del2 for a minor hijack here but I wanted to respond to Mark's comment.

 

Mark, you have unwittingly made my day!

 

About 25 years ago I built my first wood kit - Billings Etoile. Life then got in the way and it was only a few years back that I could get back into it. I wanted to have another go at the Etoile as I felt I could do a better job than originally but sadly Billings had discontinued the kit.

I confess that I was unaware of either Marisstella or Dusek so I popped over to look at their websites and what do I find on the front page of Dusek's site but a ship called La Belle Poule - sister ship to Etoile  :D 

That's my next build sorted - thanks, even if it was unintentional.

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Hi

 

How about creating a list of bad instruction kits to avoid unless you have masochistic tendencies.  Does the MSW Ship kit DB include this info. I know that it may PO some manufacturers but if they are not prepared to FIX things then perhaps they should be singled out so that potential builders are aware. I keep seeing what is a good first ship or kits with good instructions? forum entries, but there is NOT a Pinned BAD or POOR list ( not talking about the clone companies, but the real ones that can't be bothered fixing things of have a "you bought the dam thing, you should know how to build it attitude ) or avoid this unless you have lots & lots of experience.

 

I agree that no kit is easy, it would be boring if that were the case, but a couple of AL kits hat I have done recently stop the instructions midway and say just look at the pictures 28-80 & plans( a single image drawing) to complete the kit !!!! ( not funny) There should be NO need to obtain a 3rd party practicum just to finish a kit. Fair enough if you want to enhance or refine the kit, but not for basic use.

 

Perhaps we could come up with the definitions of what constitutes good instructions for a beginner, intermediate & Advanced ( The Advanced Calder craft Victory has awesome kit build info & plans so there is no excuse for a poorly documented kit no matter the complexity) , and then rate the info per kit!

 

The info may already be here, but there is no easy way to find it.

 

Modeling should  be fun( unless you consider brain implosion fun) not a never finish nightmare

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Hi

 

How about creating a list of bad instruction kits to avoid unless you have masochistic tendencies.  Does the MSW Ship kit DB include this info. I know that it may PO some manufacturers but if they are not prepared to FIX things then perhaps they should be singled out so that potential builders are aware. I keep seeing what is a good first ship or kits with good instructions? forum entries, but there is NOT a Pinned BAD or POOR list

 

Perhaps we could come up with the definitions of what constitutes good instructions for a beginner, intermediate & Advanced ( The Advanced Calder craft Victory has awesome kit build info & plans so there is no excuse for a poorly documented kit no matter the complexity) , and then rate the info per kit!

 

You don't need a bad list you just need to score all kit plans and have that in the kit DB. It seems pretty obvious, I haven't looked at the DB but I would be surprised if they didn't already have that info since it's a very important parameter defining what kit is like.

 

If it hasn't been done then yes it should be done and the correct approach is what you are saying, define requirements for excellent instructions for each skill level and then subtract from the maximum possible value for each requirement not fully met or not met at all. And a 1-5 rating range is enough granularity for something like this.

 

Then we'll need to socialize your plan and identify any asks from external groups, line up initial planning and grooming sessions with the stakeholders, and get the PMO office to designate a TPM to execute against that plan once we have consensus on the action items, milestones, and timeline. Let's have a kickoff call with US, India, and Singapore ASAP.

 

Yes I do work in Silicon Valley, why do you ask?

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Hi Folks .

 I have'nt posted for a while as work and family interfere with the Ship Yard.  With reference to instruction I have purchased the Talhoer Altsu Mendi Tug in the past week..  Curiously the kit is marketed by Disarmodel.

 

I digress.... It comes with a 20 page booklet listing all the parts in Spanish, French ,Italian, English and German.. Also included are a 98 page book of colour step by step instructions and as an addition 4 x A4 sheets of plans how to constuct the steam winch....Very helpful.

 

And that should get me through what seems to be a very good kit.

 

Previous builds...

 

Billigs Le Curieuse...Billings Krabbencutter....Constructo  Enterprise... Artesania Latia  Maria Ii  and Le GranLejon  ...Occre Tramvias Barcelona and Soller....Not ships but 90%  wood and a few Tamiya 1/350 ships

 

 Work in Progress...

 

Caldercraft  HMS  Snake 85% completed...... Artesania Latina   a vintage Charles W Morgan @ 50% complete and fighting all the way.

 

In my Stash

 

Dusek   Golden Hind.....Constructo  Gjoa......Artesaina latina  Jolie Brise and Bon Retour.... Corel Scotland......Talhoer/Disarmodel  Altsu Mendi and last but not least an very old Model Shipways   solid hull Gjoa

 

I should live so long

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