I feel I owe the community an apology for breaking the rules, if only a little bit. I started a thread asking for advise before making a proper introduction. Technically I broke the rules, even in only implicitly, and in my heart of hearts, that's not OK. So, here I am to set things right. My name is Dave and I'm from southern New Jersey (if you're from the area you know that specification is important 😉). I've always held a fascination with all things nautical and wooden models in particular. When I was a kid I always thought I'd "grow up" to be a wooden ship molder, but never really put the time into it. As I aged I grew away from such fascinations as young men are often likely to do. In my early twenties, thanks in part to films like Pirates of the Caribbean and (perhaps more importantly as it lead me to the inspiring literature and a much richer world) Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World, my interest in all things nautical was rekindled and I found myself wondering why I hadn't gotten in to ship modeling as I always thought I would. I looked into the hobby, here among other places, and found getting started rather cost prohibitive. The best advice I absorbed was to expect to spend as much as $1.000+ on your first model and still expect to want to throw it in the trash. Honestly good advice if a bit discouraging. Instead I thought to turn to other available mediums in the hopes of finding a more affordable outlet. First I tried plastic kits, but something just didn't jive with my expectations. Then I thought to try 3D modeling but my meager skills were not anywhere near up to task. Finally, inspiration struck and I thought to try Lego, since it was those original pirate ships with which I played out so many fantastical adventures that may very well have lead to this fascination. Now, before you judge me too harshly, understand two important points. Firstly; I do not see Lego as in anyway equal to wood. Second, what I do, is not "Lego Pirate Ships" but a decade (and more) long quest to push the system beyond it's limit to make most accurate and convincing models of historic ships in Lego. Neither my insistence upon historic/real-world accuracy, nor my willingness to "break" the system have made me popular in that community. I think of myself amongst Lego enthusiasts as something more like infamous than anything else. This place, Model Ship World, has been an invaluable resource for reference and information over the years though. I've never been much of a "book learner" so I found this site to be, not only awe-inspiring, but handy in coming to understand the shapes and design of wooden ships and the different elements that make them up. As it is, my introduction is as much to tell you all a little about my self (which it seems I've done in some detail) but to thank all the contributors here as you all have helped me in my quest to learn and make most realistic models and it is greatly appreciated. My heartfelt gratitude to the administrators who go through great pains to keep this place online and my sincere appreciation to the great builders who share so much of their hard work and hard-won knowledge, freely and openly to keep such as me going.
P.S. I've been a long-time lurker for fear of being judged on my chosen medium, but my first foray was not at all disappointing. As I've come to expect I found the community enthusiastic and helpful. Thanks again.