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How many actually finish their model ships?

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I wonder if the new site configuration with the "Like This" button is partly responsible for members abandoning ship? Without it on the old forum, if you wanted to give support you indicated your interest by a written comment, remember? A reply to a build log meant that people were reading it and you really had the the sensation that you were not alone in your workshop or at the kitchen table (where many of us start out building our models).

 

Often, when we saw a novice builder, we recognised the need to be careful with our criticism and measured it against the builders skill level. You could often tell when someone desperately needed help to prevent a looming disaster and the right word at the right time was usually all that was needed. But the written comment was a real communication and yes sometimes, it was just a simple "looking good" comment but each one gave, at least me, great encouragement. I really felt I was in a group who were genuinely interested in my progress.

 

To give an example, whilst scratch building a junk I used model 17th century European balustrades and it wasn't long before a couple of experienced builders, whilst commending me on the overall build, pointed out the incongruity. I wasn't offended because I actually knew I was cheating but it needed the feedback to encourage me to replace them and take my build to a higher level.

 

I would never have got that from a mere "like" button. I think it should go. Like buttons are for a new generation that use emoticon substitutes for real communication. And get off my lawn, too.  :D

 

Now you can "Like This" comment or you can continue the conversation or not.

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I see what you mean but have to mildly disagree. I value the like button as a way not to clutter up threads. I don't enjoy trying to catch up on a thread, or worse research some aspect of the build, and slogging through long strings of "good job!" posts to find actual content. Though I'm 35, I am in no way a member of the Facebook generation, culturally. 

 

MSW build logs serve two, not entirely compatible, functions. One is as a real-time journey through the build, in which comments, conversation, and such serve to heighten the experience for everyone involved as a community. The other is as a record OF the build, for future reference and research by others. In this role, extraneous comments are distracting and problematic. The live log only happens once, but research and re-reading can happen for years to come. So I don't have a problem with downshifting on comments somewhat. I don't think it's hard to understand that "likes this" is the same as "good job, skipper!", only the former is condensed into a small area that doesn't have to be perused by a later reader. It doesn't stop anyone from offering constructive criticism as needed, which WOULD be useful to the later researcher.

 

On my first log, I felt I had plenty of expert communication and support. There were at least two-three people simultaneously building the same thing at a way higher level, and at no point did I feel looked down upon. I have a hard time envisioning someone abandoning a build because they don't get enough comments. THAT sounds more like the needy youngun's you deride.

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Greetings to those that the shoe fits,

 

Time for a reality check: You guys seem to want to build museum quality stuff right out of the box, which is why you get discouraged when you see the work of others. You have to recognize the fact that the folks who can build museum quality stuff (of which I am not one) have spent YEARS perfecting their skills and have the aptitude, tools, facilities, etc. to do so. Those folks are so good that they hardly need instructions or build from scratch. You guys are whining about the instructions and materials being bad or feeling inadequate because others build better than you. That's bull@#$%. Others are better for a variety of reasons and you (and I) may never reach their level. You have to get your tickets punched which only comes with time and talent. I think you guys have been watching to much Oprah Winfrey and have taken on the victim mentality - victims of poor instructions, materials, peer pressure, etc. If you want instant success, I suggest a different hobby such as scrap booking or what ever the hell its called. Otherwise put in the time to get better, finish your stuff, and stop whining.

 

wq3296 

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I complete every model I start. When I do kits, I purchase one at the time. I do not horde kits and stash them in a closet. With scratch is different. I have bought many books from Dutch ships which include plans. The added interest is that the books always have detailed history about the original ships so if I don't built the model I still have a book of interest.

Matv

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Greetings to those that the shoe fits,

 

Time for a reality check: You guys seem to want to build museum quality stuff right out of the box, which is why you get discouraged when you see the work of others. You have to recognize the fact that the folks who can build museum quality stuff (of which I am not one) have spent YEARS perfecting their skills and have the aptitude, tools, facilities, etc. to do so. Those folks are so good that they hardly need instructions or build from scratch. You guys are whining about the instructions and materials being bad or feeling inadequate because others build better than you. That's bull@#$%. Others are better for a variety of reasons and you (and I) may never reach their level. You have to get your tickets punched which only comes with time and talent. I think you guys have been watching to much Oprah Winfrey and have taken on the victim mentality - victims of poor instructions, materials, peer pressure, etc. If you want instant success, I suggest a different hobby such as scrap booking or what ever the hell its called. Otherwise put in the time to get better, finish your stuff, and stop whining.

 

wq3296 

 

That's pretty harsh, wq3296.  I can only speak for myself, but not having any experience when I took up this hobby, I was extremely reliant on the instructions to guide me through the process.  No, I did not want to build "museum quality".  I did, however, want to be able to move through the process in such a manner that I didn't need to try and remove parts I had already done in order to add something that was left out of the instructions.  In the same manner, I would have found it useful if the dimensions of strip wood to be used for certain steps had been identified, whether on the plans or in the instructions.  Sometimes it is difficult (or nearly impossible) to determine the size to be used for a certain piece. 

 

I also do not view it as whining - a frustration was noted, which is shared by many new builders.  A hobby such as this grows through a combination of practice and support.  The newcomer is lost and abandons builds when the instructions are so sparse that frustration with trying to figure them out overcomes the desire to successfully build a model.  It isn't a "victim mentality" - it is frustration, pure and simple. 

 

We can certainly agree to disagree on this issue, but please don't insult me (and other new builders) with ridicule and insult.  I don't watch Oprah, and certainly do not consider myself a whiner!  You have the choice of reading posts such as this, or not.  Keep the ridicule out of it, though, if you choose to respond.

 

End of my rant for today -

Edited by trippwj

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I wonder if the new site configuration with the "Like This" button is partly responsible for members abandoning ship? Without it on the old forum, if you wanted to give support you indicated your interest by a written comment, remember? A reply to a build log meant that people were reading it and you really had the the sensation that you were not alone in your workshop or at the kitchen table (where many of us start out building our models).

 

Often, when we saw a novice builder, we recognised the need to be careful with our criticism and measured it against the builders skill level. You could often tell when someone desperately needed help to prevent a looming disaster and the right word at the right time was usually all that was needed. But the written comment was a real communication and yes sometimes, it was just a simple "looking good" comment but each one gave, at least me, great encouragement. I really felt I was in a group who were genuinely interested in my progress.

 

To give an example, whilst scratch building a junk I used model 17th century European balustrades and it wasn't long before a couple of experienced builders, whilst commending me on the overall build, pointed out the incongruity. I wasn't offended because I actually knew I was cheating but it needed the feedback to encourage me to replace them and take my build to a higher level.

 

I would never have got that from a mere "like" button. I think it should go. Like buttons are for a new generation that use emoticon substitutes for real communication. And get off my lawn, too.  :D

 

Now you can "Like This" comment or you can continue the conversation or not.

 

I think the "like" button has little to do with finishing a model or not.   I also find that it does cut down the number of "nice job" posts which many others have repeatedly yelled about went going through build logs.  My last observation is that those who are inclined to post will post anyway and it seems that those who 'know" will point out errors.

 

Often, even back on MSW 1.0, errors were not pointed out simply because many times, many of just don't know there's an error. 

 

There really isn't any solution to the "attaboy" posts vs. "like" button.  It really boils down to the if the right person that knows about an error sees the post/build log, they will usually comment.  If they don't see it, no comment on the error.

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Greetings Wayne,

 

Note that I prefaced my comments with...to those that the shoe fits. No need to turn this into a p@##$%g contest, but some folks just aren't cut out for this hobby. They may not have the aptitude and/or intellectual curiosity to see a project through and give up when they realize they've run out of horsepower to solve a problem. It's OK - do something else.

 

wq3296 

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trippwj, on 08 Jun 2015 - 11:21 AM, said:

We can certainly agree to disagree on this issue, but please don't insult me (and other new builders) with ridicule and insult.  I don't watch Oprah, and certainly do not consider myself a whiner!  You have the choice of reading posts such as this, or not.  Keep the ridicule out of it, though, if you choose to respond.

I agree with you again Wayne,  you don't have to participate in a topic, especially when you don't have any finesse. 9 out of 10 people on this site are good, helping, understanding people that encourage you or at least sympathize with you most of the time.  But sometimes you get the ones that just like to borderline insult people and just have no other way of communicating.  I have a brother in law like that.  He'll work on a car and rather than figure out how to get a stubborn bolt out, he'll pound the crap out of it, and eventually bust it off because that's his attitude.  I just steer clear of him now.

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That's pretty harsh, wq3296.  I can only speak for myself, but not having any experience when I took up this hobby, I was extremely reliant on the instructions to guide me through the process.  No, I did not want to build "museum quality".  I did, however, want to be able to move through the process in such a manner that I didn't need to try and remove parts I had already done in order to add something that was left out of the instructions.  In the same manner, I would have found it useful if the dimensions of strip wood to be used for certain steps had been identified, whether on the plans or in the instructions.  Sometimes it is difficult (or nearly impossible) to determine the size to be used for a certain piece. 

 

 

I have to agree with Wayne, wq3296, your comments are a bit harsh.

 

I too get frustrated with a kit at time because the instructions are unclear or they've left off the dimensions of the lumber they want you to use. I also get frustrated with companies that are too lazy to bundle their dimensioned lumber together and tag with some color code so I can cross-reference it to the parts list. It's really not fun to sit at the workbench with a digital micrometer/vernier caliper measuring every piece of lumber in a kit and labeling myself.  Their is one kit manufacture that I use a lot who does take the time to bundle the lumber, color code it and list the color code in their parts list. It really helps those of us who are new to model ship building.

 

I don't give up but I do get frustrated with some kit manufacturers. There are people on MSW who can and do build Museum quality models; I am not one of them and am not likely to become one but I do try to come as close to Museum quality as my abilities will permit.

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Too bad the  producers of wooden ship model kits do not have instructions like the plastic kits do.The plastic kits are mostly clear and specific about wht part goes where.in the proper assembly sequence.Wooden ship kits are an entirely different animal but the companies can and should have better instructions but choose not to do so.

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I am not sure I would enjoy this hobby as much if the ship kits were like plastic kits. I enjoy figuring out the sequence of a build, as opposed to just glue this part to his one. When I first started this hobby I was heavily relying on practicums, which are pretty much very detailed instructions. I found this a great way to start, especially Chuck's Phantom and Sultana practicums. However, the first kit I tackled without one of these was a bit scary and rough, but I used the knowledge from the previous builds to at least get the sequence of the build down. My biggest fear was that I would build myself into a corner or forget some detail that would be a pain to add later. I think each result of a build like this is just a bit different from other builds of the same kit, which I like too, especially adding details that the kit may not supply or rebuilding kit supplied parts that just don't cut it. I have finished each kit I started, not always to the satisfaction I would have liked. But, I look at each kit as a stepping stone to more advanced building. My advice is to just keep going, even if the result is not what you have hoped for. Just think that you learned something or a lot and use it on the next one. Oh, and don't get me started on my first build log. that was the scariest thing of all to share my limited skills with the world. But, it has been nothing but a positive experience here. So again, my advice is to just go for it.

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Two nights ago I attended a concert and heard a beautiful rendition of Beethoven's 5th.  It was marvelous.

 

Yesterday afternoon I went to a music store and purchased a brand new piano.  I also decided to grab a copy of Beethoven's 5th symphony.   I was lucky and the piano was delivered later in the evening.  I sat down on the bench and placed the sheet music on the holder.  Believe it or not, no matter how hard I tried I was not able produce sounds that were anything like the wonderful music I had heard in the concert hall.  Now, I have to believe that the reason I cannot play well is because the sheet music is not well written.  It is full of marks and notations I just cannot understand.  The tool is also complicated and difficult to use.

 

Now a friend has explained to me that it takes years to be able to read sheet music and translate the marks and notations into music.  He also explained that it takes years of practice with the music tool (piano) to change my noise into music.

 

Fancy that, I have to learn how to read the instructions and use the tools......and the musicans at the concert hall made it look so easy.

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I find this very interesting really. There's a clear distinction between people who have "been through the grinder" as it were, who may have faced all the struggles without being able to even ask anyone for help, and those who have arrived here expecting things to be a lot easier than they are. I'm not sure what all this means, really.

 

I do agree that wq's posts are needlessly harsh. But, I'm sure a lot of people aren't really saying what they're thinking regarding people who complain about instructions and parts and all. 

 

 

To the newer ship modelers who seem full of complaints about what parts go where and how wood is bundled and all... Welcome to the International World of Wooden Ship Modeling! Many of us here are used to far less that what these manufacturers provide now. Model Shipways kits were no better than any of the others. They had 6 pages or so. Same with Bluejacket. Artesania Latina kits had no photo book. Mamoli was considered one of the best manufacturers because of their many sheets which showed many of the steps in order (and they were going out of business well before the fire closed their doors). And, there was no such thing as an instruction manual or "practicum" or I guess the popular word today is "monograph". 

 

So, understand that many of the ship modelers here didn't get to where the are now without a lot of hard work. Ship modeling is hard. Being able to call yourself a ship modeler has a lot of meaning. It doesn't happen overnight, and many of us have tossed works into the trash and started over regardless of how many people say they built all 20 ship models they started. How many people on the sidelines do you guess have finished 3 or 4 and trashed at least 1? Probably more than a few.

 

 

Regarding kits, there are never going to be a universal availability of practicums to handhold the builder through every ship model kit made. It's just too costly. Ask Chuck how much time he put into writing the instructions for the Syren. But, he designed the kit and he knows it inside and out. If a manufacturer went to expense of writing detailed instructions for their kits, do you know what it would get them? Floods of complains, because they miswrote a step and a bunch of customers demanding that a dozen parts be replaced that they glued on at the wrong time.

 

None of these companies are swimming in money, folks. Frankly, I think we're lucky that they even exist. If you want kits to have good instructions and well sorted parts, then you have to learn to shop around and be willing to pay for what you get. Rather than complain about what you bought, buy something that lives up to your standards. 

 

Oh, and I should point out that there are companies that write up great illustrated, step-by-step instructions, and sort their parts very well, even the wood strips are well sorted so that sizes that sizes that are too similar aren't put together in the same bag, but don't expect the instructions to be written in English for you because we're not the only kids on the block.

 

 

Sorry if this seems like a rant. It just seems like there's a lot to be said about the realities of wooden ship modeling that aren't written anywhere. 

 

Clare

Edited by catopower

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Wow - certainly opened up a whole can of worms on this topic! 

 

Again, I can not speak for anyone but myself.  I came into this with my eyes open, knowing I was going to be going places i had never gone before.  I accepted that as part of the challenge.  I also had hoped that the instructions would provide better guidance - not necessarily part A in Tab B, but at least a good sequence of steps.  Some have, others haven't.

 

Reminds me of the story one of my colleagues (former Army Master Blaster in EOD) told of his testing on nuclear disarmament.  Basically, following the printed manual, the highly detailed instructions read to carefully cut wire x between points y and z.  Did it.  Turned the page, where it then said "however, before cutting the wire..."

 

Some manuals are that way.  Do this, add that, then a few steps later "before doing this, you should measure and mark that since it will not be accessible after you..."

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....Sorry if this seems like a rant. It just seems like there's a lot to be said about the realities of wooden ship modeling that aren't written anywhere. 

 

Clare

Well said, and quite accurate as well......and, I might add,... there were no insults to be found!!!!!!

 

JP

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Ok as a new modeler I have to say Wooden ship modeling is so much more difficult than plastic I am finding that very few techniques transcend between the two styles Plastic models are reshaped and are simple to say glue this to that then do this Where wooden models nearly everything is manufactured from scratch Could the instructions be a little more clear Yes but that is part of the fun and fascination I am loving the challenge I made a nube mistake with my first model and bought an expert skill level kit It has been very challenging but as I get get frustrated with it I find myself even more proud of what I complete I have bought two skill level one models in the interim and have completed one and working on my second to help me develope the skills I will need to use on my expert level one So I say if your finding the instructions hard to follow or the supplies lacking Then my advice is get lower skill level models Learn to use what's supplied or construct your own but don't complain about a kit Without the kit you wouldn't have a prayer

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I'm working on build #4.  To be honest, I should have tossed them all at some point as they will never approach the amazing builds shown here, everywhere.  As much as I admire those so skilled and accept my inherent limitations, this is supposed to be fun.  So I do it for that reason alone.  It helps to be (a) retired and (B) stubborn.  I think , as I often have over the years of the famous ESPN Award speech by college basketball coach Jim Valvano.  "Don't give up, don't ever give up".  So I'll finish every #$%@# one of them.

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FredC:

I'll bet if you could ask the fellows whose build logs you admire, they too probably might have thrown there first couple away....as it is said somewhere on this site more than once....the only difference between a beginner and an expert is experience.    Each piece of wood you modify or change from a block of wood into a recognizable deck piece, you gain experience.   One of the "expert" builders even says that he builds on the port side then the starboard side, he always shows the starboard side in pictures because it looks better.....experience from building the other side first. I know a lot of us cringe when we look back at our first builds and see a hundred things they now do better.

 

Keep at it.....you won't regret it

 

Tom

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Thanks, Tom and I never regret it.  But I should have said that what Coach Valvano was talking about was far more serious than pursuit of a hobby.  Still, as an organizing principle it is priceless.

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I try not to think of building as a "hobby", more of a "commitment", once you have said "I Do  or Will", it is through sickness and health, richer or poorer, until death do us part.....;o)    (In an effort of full disclosure, I have been married 3 times  ;)

 

Tom

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Ok as a new modeler I have to say Wooden ship modeling is so much more difficult than plastic I am finding that very few techniques transcend between the two styles Plastic models are reshaped and are simple to say glue this to that then do this...

Have you looked into plastic ships with photo etch parts?  If you haven't, you're in for a sock.  Photo etch brings a whole new level of detail and difficulty to plastic ships that doesn't even come close to wooden ships.  Parts as small as eyelashes or smaller sometimes.  It takes a whole different talent to work on a photo etched model than a wooden ship.  The results if properly built are stunning.

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OK, soooooo.......How about we get back on topic?   I received my first kit, a AL Independence, as a gift.  Did the bulkheads, decking seemed straightforward enough, kinda understood the idea of fairing the bulkheads, but then I was faced with planking.  And that's where it sat.  And sat.  I put it away for nearly 10 years.  So I guess that's why it was unfinished. 

 

But check out used kits and see how many are "missing" the bulkheads and decking.  More than likely other people also get stuck at that same spot. 

 

I did eventually pull out the Independence and finish it, scratching my head all the way through it.  But when I finished it I caught the bug.  I bought a small kit and finished that. Then I started the Mamoli Beagle, found this sight, and, to be honest, don't think I will ever finish it.  The kit is an abomination!!   I thought I would use it as a learning tool, you know, try treenailing the decking, making my own rope, etc.  But I think I will simply start with a new kit that is more worthy of my newfound knowledge. 

 

I don't think my experience with this hobby is unique.  So there you are, unfinished kits....explained.

 

-John

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So far I am 13 for 13 with only one getting close to the trash can (Corel's TONNANT) but did finished it after more than 4 years. I have promised myself not to start another kit until the current one is finished - no matter how long it takes. 

Ulrich

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I think all modelers of any discipline enjoy think about the next project when you will be able to apply newly learned skills and achieve new heights.  I think this "day dreaming" about the next project becomes part of the urge to shelve the current project.  I know I have to occasionally fight this urge.

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Many of my models (USS Constitution, HMS Sovereign of the Seas, HMS Triton etc..... ) go unfinished but I hope to change that as I refuse to quit on my current models Byzantium and Mediator. Currently I have not been working on my models but hopefully I will be able to find the will to sit down and get back to work soon. I guess I just have a lot on my mind as these past few months have been kinda crazy.

 

 

 

 

Lextin.

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I think all modelers of any discipline enjoy think about the next project when you will be able to apply newly learned skills and achieve new heights.  I think this "day dreaming" about the next project becomes part of the urge to shelve the current project.  I know I have to occasionally fight this urge.

I am absolutely certain my next one will be my best. So I should start it NOW!

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I can truly say i have only put one kit in the bin (the dustman picked it up and put it in his cab) i then went and bought the same kit (AL RED DRAGON)again and now i am almost

ready to rig.So far i have been building her for three years i am determined to complete perhaps another four months.

 

                           Regards Janet B 

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