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channell

MSW plastic invasion?

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Forgive me for asking as I've been a bit out of step with the forum scene for a couple years but I have noticed this site is spreading out a lot from being dominated by wooden "tall ship" builds to a bigger variety of plastic and card kits... what's driving the change? 

 

Just curious...  Doing a plastic Bismarck myself currently but I also recently bought myself a Caldercraft Agamemnon kit and will probably do it next. :)  

Edited by channell

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Personally, I like the variety of ship model subjects available in plastic. Also, modern warships are much better suited to injection molded plastic. But I do have a few WW2 warships that are multi media including wooden hulls.

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Plastic has even been featured in the NRG's Nautical Research Journal and on our cover over the last few years.  Check the new Journal on the web site with a 1/350 plastic model on the cover and featured inside https://www.thenrg.org/the-journal.php .

 

Plastic kits today are high quality and the many add-ons that are available can make them truly magnificent models that require far more than glue part A into slot B.  I think plastic models are being more widely accepted as a legitimate modeling method as the finished product is the important thing and what the model looks like when complete being the most relevant rather than the materials used. 

 

We had an award winning plastic modeler (1st place at the IPMS Nationals) win best Miniature at the WI Maritime Museum's annual contest give a presentation to the modelers on how his model was built.  Many said, at the end of the presentation, that they had no idea of how much work went into a state of the art plastic model.

 

As far as I am concerned it is the finished product that is to be judged not the materials used.

 

Kurt

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Problem with exclusive sites, they grow more exclusive every day, appears that the lesson that an exclusive site usually starts with a bang and dies as a lake with the dam breached has been in mind. This site has avoided that so far but it is always in danger of becoming an elate group. Today there is enough variety to discourage that from happening. Exceptional leadership and wisdom has been shown in this site's development, we are lucky bunch to have such a site. Embracing all model building techniques, materials and all levels of modelers will assure it's longevity.

Jud :pirate41:

Edited by jud

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MSW has always tried to encourage participation by modelers working in any medium. Personally, I consider it a great asset to have our plastic/card/RC modelers share their work here, since there are in fact other forums dedicated to those media, and they are (let's face it) more heavily trafficked by modelers in each respective medium. I love the diversity here at MSW!

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Don't get me wrong, I love the diversity too, and am hoping for more!  

 

Funny how I'm not afraid of 2000+ piece 1/200 battleship kits and dozens of frets of tiny photo-etch +brass/resin pieces but a box full of laser-cut wood sheets, bundles of planks/dowels and thread gives me the shakes... guess the fear of trying new things goes both ways.   :)

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Dive right in Channell!  I’m a novice with wooden kits, but think a lot of the skills we pick up working in resin, plastic, and PE transfer over. I’m specifically thinking problem solving, kit mods and scratch building, attention to detail, and perhaps most importantly, patience and perseverance. 

 

I’ve followed your builds here and on the other site and am confident you have nothing to fear.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

Edited by el cid

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I felt the same way Channel....I was a bit hesitant trying a wooden kit.   I had to have one tossed in my lap,  to give it a try.  now,  after several wooden kits......I can't even remember what my concerns were ;)   now I'm hesitant trying card  :D  :D   

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Gidday everyone.

I've found this site to be inclusive of everyone from novices, like me, to master ship builders. The medium people use is surely personal preference. Many factors dictate the medium. Price, level of skill, level of confidence. I personally can appreciate the skill whether it be Plastic, Wood, Bone, Card or Sandcastles.

I wouldn't like to see any medium excluded. I agree with Mr Coyles comments 100%.

I guess what I'm trying to convey is all mediums have there up sides, and I'm sure many pitfalls.

I will get of the soapbox now.

Regards,

Mark.

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I'm personally happy to see the diversity here including the 3D, card, paper, plastic, resin models.  There's a lot of cross-over techniques among the various media that maybe one builder in say, wood, could find useful from the others.

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On 9/27/2018 at 6:30 PM, channell said:

Forgive me for asking as I've been a bit out of step with the forum scene for a couple years but I have noticed this site is spreading out a lot from being dominated by wooden "tall ship" builds to a bigger variety of plastic and card kits... what's driving the change? 

 

I’m not sure why there is a change on MSW - if there really is a change that is, but in general it is quite expected that modellers gravitate towards plastic. Plastic has a considerably lower threshold than wood, less tools are needed (although I’m sure some think that is a negative attraction point :D), it is much faster to build and less practice is needed before you reach good results. Unless you go really bonkers with aftermarket it is also considerably cheaper (per kit, but maybe not per time, come to think of it).

 

And yes, I enjoy both.

 

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32 minutes ago, Matle said:

I’m not sure why there is a change on MSW - if there really is a change that is, but in general it is quite expected that modellers gravitate towards plastic. Plastic has a considerably lower threshold than wood, less tools are needed (although I’m sure some think that is a negative attraction point :D), it is much faster to build and less practice is needed before you reach good results. Unless you go really bonkers with aftermarket it is also considerably cheaper (per kit, but maybe not per time, come to think of it).

 

And yes, I enjoy both.

 

There is

less tools are needed ... I wish, I had to buy tools for the plastic I'm building, whilst for the wood, I could have built the kits I had with what I had (doesn't mean I didn't buy additional tooling .... as any tooling addict you must)

it is much faster to build and less practice is needed before you reach good results ... I do not agree, there are some fast wooden kit builders, it depends on how it's build as it does with plastic

Unless you go really bonkers with aftermarket it is also considerably cheaper ... again, it depends on the make and the box ...

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The changes one sees in the coverage expanding from strictly wooden boats/ships is because modelers are expanding their worlds to include other materials and MSW is here to serve all modelers.

 

Some years ago the International Plastic Modeler's Society (IPMS) came to the realization that they were shutting out a lot of modelers and kits when their focus and rules said "Plastic Only".  Since doing away with the plastic only rules they have entries of wooden ships, metal parts - including photo-etch, paper kits, etc.  The local IPMS club has had a paper model of a German battleship in 1/200 scale take best of show and wooden scratch built boats also take best of show.

 

The NRG's Journal has featured covers with a paper model (by Ab Hoving) and plastic kit based models.  this would have never happened in the NRG I joined 20+ years ago.  Nothing but wood!  Period!  Times have changed and we are recognizing that it is the finished product that matters, not the materials used to get there.  Within reason of course. 

 

I saw a model made only of wood - and while it was artistic it wasn't a scale model - as the rigging was done with thin wood dowels (the thinnest wood dowels are way too thick to represent rigging!) and the flag was carved from wood.  A US flag is red, white and blue - not various shades of brownish wood.  Art?  Maybe but certainly not a scale model.

 

Many purists say wood only but why try to get the wood sealed and smooth to represent a metal deck or cabin when Styrene or Brass is already smooth and with a coat of paint looks exactly like a metal surface?  Don't want to use the plastic or metal and want to do the work to make the wood smooth enough to represent the metal piece - have at it - just don't disparage the modeler who opts for another material.  Room for everybody here.

 

The acceptance of other materials than just woods opens the hobby to modelers of any type of boat/ship models.  The build logs of plastic or paper models should certainly have the material noted in the description so they are easy to find.  When there are enough builds using paper or plastic I think the build log areas will be expanded to accommodate the build logs that are not primarily wood.

 

Kurt

 

 

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Maybe the trend has gone towards multimedia builds across the board? My current build (1/200 Bismarck) for example is using styrene, wood (deck), brass, resin, paper, 3d printings and white metal (the anchors) and that isn't particularly unusual for "steel navy" builders these days. Trying to integrate so many different material types makes for an interesting challenge and I definitely agree with Kurt... what matters is the finish product, not necessarily the way the modeler got there. 

 

Of course there is the argument of a model's longevity after it's done and a model ship built out of several dissimilar materials isn't gonna age as well as a solid wood ship over the long run, that's just physics.  Still, I just have to shrug my shoulders and remember that I'm building for myself and the fun for me is in the building process itself... my kits need only last long enough to satisfy me and styrene is still pretty long-lived stuff. I have models I built when I was a kid that looks the same now as they did 20-30 years ago (well, maybe a bit dustier!) so I'm not too worried about longevity anyway. 

 

Another thing to remember....the days of kids buying a cheap box at the toy/hobby store and slapping together a styrene "bathtub toy" quality kit over the weekend with a tube of red glue and a couple different overpriced little rattlecans is pretty much gone and the bar has been set crazy-high for what constitutes a "good build" anymore.  No matter the medium, model shipbuilding is definitely an adult game, with complexity, price and challenge to match. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by channell

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I'm in agreement that the way we build and the materials are definitely not the traditional materials.  Every material has it's detractors and embracers.  For example, cannon for the Age of Sail ships were traditionally (or so it seems) brass but now there's resins, some use wood and some even use paper.  3D printing opens more options and when metal 3D printing costs drop, that will be a factor also.    

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Model ship building I think is an art form just as any other recreation of real or imagined objects. Some use paintings and painters prefer different mediums to create their vision. The same could be said for sculptures, almost anything that can be carved chiseled molded or melted has been used by one person or another over the ages. Name the art and it will contain many forms and materials that have been preferred by the practitioners of that art form.

 

I personally feel that the size and age of a vessel affects the chosen material. While wood is a very nice medium for period ships it is not quite so ideal for the larger and more modern steel ships of the 20 and 21st century. Trying to build a 1/700 or even 1/350th scale modern ship in would would not be nearly as ideal as using plastic, resin, and metal. 

 

I have built a number of composite models from years ago for RC  use. They each spent several years of use as active models before being retired and placed on a shelf. In every case they are in just as good a condition as they were when shelved. Like others I will not vouch for 100 + years of durability and don't really care as about the only people who would possibly have any interest in what I build and are alive today. Any others down the line will only know me as possibly a photograph in a family album and not much care about stuff I built as a hobby. Possibly it would be different if I was famous or built to museum standards but neither is likely at this stage in my life. 

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I've read this topic with much interest. I did plastic many years ago. The kits and, particularly, the upgrades available now 

are much more sophisticated than ever. Who would believe what photo etch offers for those with a steady hand. 3D, limited only by your

imagination. We see the advances available for wood models were not available just few years ago (right Chuck?).

On a personal note, I'm into year three on my Confederacy. A good part of my work area has been leased out to the world of plastic and 

I am doing a practice build on 1/700 1984 version of the USS Iowa as a precursor to a 1/350 USS Alaska that I am gathering some extras for. 

The most difficult part of wood and plastic in the same shipyard seems to be keeping the dust level under control.

 

New challenges await those that dare:cheers:

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1 hour ago, mtaylor said:

I'm in agreement that the way we build and the materials are definitely not the traditional materials.  Every material has it's detractors and embracers.  For example, cannon for the Age of Sail ships were traditionally (or so it seems) brass but now there's resins, some use wood and some even use paper.  3D printing opens more options and when metal 3D printing costs drop, that will be a factor also.    

 

Ah, but you should realise that the builders from the Age of Sail vs the present day builders have a vast difference in financial resources, and therefore, in tools and materials. Besides these latter, we have access to information on ships/boats, which were hitherto unavailable to the modeller. This changed modelling onto a whole new ball game

 

I started my first ever build log at MSW, if I wouldn't have been able to start a plastic build log at MSW, I would have gone to another site for that build. The reason to start a plastic build - at least for me - is the choice left in wooden kits. I wasn't looking forward to add another Victory to the build log stash, and have been attrackted to the WWII ships, which are rather hard to find in wood ... furthermore, I do not have the space to have many wooden ships on display, and my wood skills are far from McNarry's level to build at such a small scale ...

 

 

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Thanx for reminding us woodies that another great medium exists. I've seen some incredible work in plastic. With all the items Evergreen and Plastruct (sp?), etc. offer anything can be added to a kit model or scratch creation...Moab

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Well, this site is called “Model Ship World”.  I don’t see anything in those 3 words that imply what material the model ships have to be made of. ‘Nuff said.

 

Ron Gove

 

P.S. it doesn't say "scale model" either.

Edited by ragove
add a point

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I think the key point is not the material as such, but the difference between a) working from scratch with stock materials, b) building a kit made up of largely flat wooden pieces, and c) building a kit made up of largely pre-shaped plastic (styrene or polyurethane resin) pieces. I gather this forum has attracted in the past mainly category (a) and (b) type modellers. The reason is probably that different skills and tools are apparently required, or at least many people think so.

 

Personally, I never understood really why people would attempt and take pride in making a model from only one material, e.g. wood or paper. While this may display sometimes extraordinary skill at certain crafts, the result will never be a scale model, as Kurt rightly pointed out. Each part of a particular size or scale has its suitable material or range of materials. There are things that you cannot make convincingly from wood, for instance.

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