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modlerbob

What percentage of wood ship model kits actually get finished

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When I am sitting in my model room contemplating where to go next sometimes I wonder how many sailing ship model kits, wood or plastic, actually get carried to completion.  I consider myself a fairly competent kit assembler and yet there are several models sitting in odd places around my house that for one reason or another are stalled in various stages of completion. Much of this, in my case, is due to starting too many kits before completing any.  I get the feeling that many kits get purchased and when the owner gets around to starting construction he/she gets overwhelmed by what appears to be a complex and difficult process.  Even the best kits, in my opinion, show only a small percentage of how to fabricate the various components of a ship model.  Even buying expensive kits doesn't always result in obtaining the necessary directions needed for a novice or moderately experienced hobbyist to finish a well built model.  Due to my limited financial resources I have purchased several kits that were started and the owner, for some reason, gave up on the project.  In some cases the work already done was well executed but in most cases it was obvious why the owner gave up.  I have also noticed that there are a lot of build logs on this forum that have not been carried to completion with the last entry being three or four years ago and the model only less than 50% complete.  One thing that is helping me is the existence of build practicums for specific kits that essentially guides one through almost every stage of construction.  Some are available through the website of the kit manufacturers but most are for sale by the authors of the practicums.  I hope that more of this type of information becomes available and that other modellers who are stuck at some stage of completion of their model find them.

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I should have known that this topic had been visited in the past.  I fully expected that most of the regular contributors to this forum have a high completion rate on their projects.  But I still wonder about all the other people who either don't know about these forums on the internet or are intimidated by what they see being done here.  Thankfully for me many of these people usually try to dump their aborted projects on ebay.  Several of the ship models I am now working on got their start on someone else's workbench.

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Bob,

 

I think to start most folks begin way above their heads due to pretty pictures on the box and get frustrated right away and had no idea how complicated some could be, and instructions on those models are scant noting they are for experienced modelers.

 

I picked up a Mamoli Constitution on Craigslist  $ 60.00 he had done a wonderful job this was a complicated build for a first timer. He completed the first layer of planking and gun ports, it was perfect. I felt like I was taking advantage of him and asked why he quit. He said it was the instructions (Mamolis are bad for a first timer) I tried to convince him to take a break and continue he had done a better job on this than I did on starting my Mamoli Victory. I showed him this web site and ran thru several builds and what MSW offered to help the modeler. He was just burnt and I couldn't talk him into continuing so now I have it and when I look at it it reminds me how close he was and sadly he gave up and would have had a nice build and an enjoyable hobby.

 

I think if more of those folks found this site you would be buying less models. I had a difficult time building the Victory. "Well gee John you had 2 builds under your belt in addition to all the plastic builds you built years ago step right in the Victory will be a snap." What a bad ego trip if I had not found this site and had the help from these good folks it would be on a shelf unfinished or you may have been able to buy it on Ebay. I had to take a break I was beginning to hurry and made some mistakes am on the last page and close to the finish line.

 

I apologize for being long winded a bad habit of mine probably drive everyone crazy on this site. I just should have said They get frustrated and quit period. Sadly you will be buying more on Ebay.

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I just completed my Golden Hind that sat on the shelf for 6 years. I had gotten frustrated with constructing the hull. I was trying to keep  planking runs to scale and there were not enough bulkheads to do that so I put it away. I learned from this site that dependent on the scale sometimes it is easier to just use full length planks and settle for hull shape. GH came out great

 One of the things that still drives me nuts is the disconnect between the build and rigging. During the build they consistently leave out belay devices that are required during the rigging process. I purchased a rigging Practicum for the Rattlesnake that included mast and yard construction and it had the same issues. So I have now decided to refer to the rigging diagram when I complete a build section prior to stringing any line. 

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It's emerging, if you keep an eye on plastic kit model building on social media, that a LOT of plastic kit enthusiast have what they cal "a Stash", which is a vast hoard of unbuilt unopened kits. These guys are spending hundreds of dollars -or thousands?-on scores and scores of kits, and the kits are often to be seen in internet photos stacked floor to ceiling or occupying tremendous shelf space in closets basements and garages. It's very common for these guys to proudly share photos of their "Stash" on facebok pages, etc. it's clear that these guys will never be able to build these kits in their lifetimes as in some extreme cases it looks like their Stash could fill a hobby shops shelves.

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I needed 10 years to finish my Vasa. I probably also need 10 years to finish my Golden Hind.

And if I did not find this forum then the vasa probably was still not finished.

Because building instructions for kits of wooden ships are indeed sometimes very minimal. It is really not easy to finish these models without help, the first time.


Plastic modeling:
I always have kits in stock for a few years of military modeling.
Why.
Some of these kits are only available for a limited time.
You buy them now, or you never find them again.

But i have only a maximum stock of kits for 2 to 3 years modeling.

Not more.

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At one time I had probably 200 unbuilt plastic kits, mostly aircraft. Nowadays I rarely buy a plastic kit, usually only if it is a new kit of a plane I have always wanted.  I think there is some silly notion that I can't die until they are all built.  However I realise that most of my stash will still be in the boxes the day they put me in the ground.

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Hey Frankie

 

For a minute there I though you had snuck into MY closet and were outing me to the world!!! :o It's not that I am trying to compete with my local hobby shop but I fear that someday I will want to build "???????" and will find that it was discontinued years ago and is only available on eBay for ten times the cost it would have been if I had gotten it when I first saw it!

 

So I'm not hording, I'm investing! Unfortunately like most of us that have closets like yours, (Although I must say that yours is larger and more complete than mine) my investment will probably make my kids a lot of money on eBay when I am no longer around to protect my "Precious".

 

Your stash is also better located and organized for occasional petting of the kits now and then.

 

Lou  

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Well Bob I am 1 for 1 so far having just marked my first build log completed.

Edited by Osmosis
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After I got my first kit from Model Expo they had a contest to win a gift certificate. I think it might have been $75. I entered and won. By that time I'd already realized my Constructo Enterprise was going to take a few years, and I'd also picked up AL's Le Reynard for about $30. They were, however, having a big sale on their 1/72 Airfix airplane kits, with each kit costing $2 or $3. My garage ceiling is now full of plastic airplanes with more still waiting to be built. Add to that gift certificates that have added a couple more Model Expo ship kits to my closet, and I no longer am in the market for new models. I figure I'm good until 2030.

 

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I'm on my first build,* but I'm easily distracted and can too easily spend my hobby time buying kits, reading plans and build logs, and speculating on which kit to buy next--everything but building.   So I'll wait until I start the rigging before buy my next kit. *The shipyard's in mothballs. We're selling our house of 20+ years, but I hope to be back at it by November.     

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Hello Frankie

So you DID sneak into someones stash and outed them! I know that it's not mine mostly because it is much nicer and well organized, and possibly because it is possibly the only larger stash I have ever seen. So who does it belong to?

 

Also with a stash like that where does he/she get the time to play on the Pinball game?

 

Lou

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Just one coment on the photos JerseyCity Frankie. The second photo is from a local hobbyshop in Helsingborg, Sweden that saddly just has closed since the owner died and his wife decided to retire. It was a very interesting store that was placed in a basment but still had almost the complete inventory for Amati (all fittings etc) since they were the general agent in sweden for them. Also lot of Billing boat stuff there. 

I bougt all my replacment wood for Endevour and Sherbourne there.

 

 

 

Edited by Passer

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My percentage is 50%.  One model complete, and one in the works (although it does fall under the category of "no work on it for the past few years").  I haven't given up, I am just not in a position right now to put the time into it that it deserves.  I see it every day, in fact it is on the table behind me about 5' from here at the moment.  I keep it clean, i look at the detail so far, and I look forward to the day she  will be finished... just not right now.

 

Bob

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About 16 years ago I visited Newfoundland and my cousin, who is an experienced woodworker, showed me some model boats he had built.  When I returned home I got the urge to try to build one of my own.  I went to our local hobby shop and basically purchased the biggest ship that had the most brass pieces.  Of course, as John pointed out, there was a small warning stating it was for Experienced modellers only.  It took me 3 weeks to realize I was in over my head.  So the model sat in my garage until we moved in 2014. I ended up throwing it out so I didn't have to move it.

 

I now kick myself for tossing it.  I still wouldn't be skilled enough to tackle it but maybe someday I would be.  When I got back into this hobby I did some research and built a boat that was more for the beginner.  It was frustrating at times but the end result was rewarding. Now I'm building the Bluenose and have walked away from it for a bit.  I am working on an area that is repetitive and tedious and is boring me to tears.  I will eventually get back to it and pick up pace when I get to the next stage of the build.

 

My idea is to finish one model before purchasing the next.  I don't want a shelf full of yet to be built models. Plus the Admiral wouldn't be too pleased.

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I only had an Admiral for a scant 5 years, during which time I rarely purchased anything hobby related and almost never did any work on my models as my workbench was moved to the garage.  After she left I gradually returned to my hobbies and moved my workbench into a spare bedroom.

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I have a BlueJacket Constitution on the ways for 15 years now. Its not  that I don't have the skills or the time, its just that there is SO much to do. I've kinda reached that point with my Syren build. 

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I know what you mean.  I have a MS Constitution I started in '03.

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