By way of introduction my name is Mark, although I find most people like to call me Mark for short. I live on Hayling Island which is on the south coast of England, and as you will see I am brand new to wooden ship modelling.
I have in the past made various plastic models, and while I found them to be fun, always felt that a wooden model ship seemed a natural progression. Life, as the saying goes, tends to get in the way of everything important and so I never followed up on this. One Sunday I was wandering the streets of our nearest city and happened past a model shop. On a whim I went in and asked the owner if he had an wooden ships for sail. "Oh yes" he said and pulled out a box with Constructo's HMS Bark Endeavour (listed as intermediate on this site). "Hmmmm" said I only seeing the outside of the sealed box, "that looks enormously complicated, and only ever having done a plastic model before is probably way out of my league". "Oh no," was the reply. "If I have done plastic models this will be easy. It is almost the same thing, follow the instructions, stick the pieces together and do things step by step and it will be fine. Oh, it might take a while." Pleasantly reassured I concluded the purchase and set off home.
Can you imagine my surprise when I got home and opened the box to find a bunch of pieces of wood. Great, well the instruction manuals consisted of two books, one full of photo's and one full of instructions, and 6 of the biggest pieces of paper I have ever seen, full of drawings. This is going to be easy thought I. Lets start at the beginning and go through it step by step. Oh woe is me, the instructions are cryptic. Take a piece of wood and bend it to the correct shape. Perfect, now if only I knew how to bend a piece of wood, and what the correct shape is meant to be this will be a walk in the park. Next, take a block of wood and shape it. Huh? How? I soon realised that this is not at all what I thought I was getting. On top of that, being an organised sort of fellow, I like to lay out everything neatly so I know just where to grab it when the time comes. Lets put the paints nicely on this little shelf over here, what no paint. Ok, I will just buy some, where is the painting chart. Oops, not one of them either. Fine, so I will just guess. Lets at least put the glue somewhere the cat can't eat it, hmmm...no glue. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Being fairly quick witted I came to the conclusion that if I was going to do this I needed to figure out a few things first, so I sat down and went through the instruction manual, comparing what I read to what I could see in the kit. From here I made a list of tools that I would need and spent the next few months gathering those. Once I had everything I thought I needed, I started to assemble the internal structure (bulkhead I believe it is called), and after two days realised I needed help.
The internet is a wonderful thing, and a quick google search bought me to this site. Now normally a site like this is full of "trolls" who love to show their superiority by "flaming" the new guys and ridiculing their question. I found not a shred of this abhorrent behavior here and everyone seems to be really kind and helpful. I find that quite fantastic. On top of that a quick search helped me to find out what I needed to know, and unfortunately has shown me where I have already gone wrong. I am so looking forward to the weekend so that I can fix my mistakes.
Three things I learnt in this process:
1. Do your research before buying, not afterwards.
2. This model building is going to be a whole lot of fun. Even with the wonky start I am excited to build the ship. I know it is going to take me a long time, and that is ok. To me it seems the journey is a very big part of the whole process.
3. Being wood means that making a mistake is not the end of the world. You can fix it.
I hope you have a great day now and look forward to interacting with others on this site.