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pick first build again...


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Ahoy mates,

I’m new here so hello. If I may pick your mind a bit I want to try and build a kit once again.  I made a very foolish attempt about 15 years ago to build a kit that was so over my head it wasn’t even funny. It was a Constucto USS Constitution… one heck of a first build huh. So anyway I want to try again setting my sights just a bit smaller. I am thinking about one of these. What say you old salts?  Will these kits teach me what I need to know to advance in my building? Thanks in advance.


Grand Banks Dory

Swampscott Dory

Model Shipways Gunboat Philadelphia



maybe this one but at 40$ it seems too cheap to be good.


Model Shipways 18th Century Longboat 1/4'' Scale

Edited by Chinnflappa
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They are all good choices.  The banks dory may be a bit simple but it is a good place to start.  The swampscott dory is a little more of a challenge.  I would rank these from least complicated to most;

Banks dory

Swampscott dory


18th Century longboat


All good places to start.

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Hello. I'm just responding to your post because the very same thing happened to me in the year 1982-83 when trying a Corel 1/98 Victory as my first ever attempt at wooden model ship building. It took me about 20 years to recover from the frustration! :)


I am not familiar with the kits you mention so I can not advise your there. There will be hopefully some people more able to answer. :)

Best of lucks.

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I built the Grand Banks Dory 3 years ago. It was a good introduction to clinker built construction. Not without its problems although

they were minor compared  to what lay ahead. Gave the model to my granddaughter.


If you are into paddle wheelers you might start with this "Western River Towboat" from Train Troll (shown below). It's 100% laser cut with great instructions.

I thoroughly enjoyed building her. No planking or rigging required.


Welcome aboard and good luck with your choice.


John Elwood







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The longboat is not a beginner kit.  Keep that in mind.  Its rated as intermediate but I would consider no good for beginners.  Dont let the price fool you.  Less expensive doesnt equate to easy.  Just smaller.  I would say that planking the smaller vessels like the lonboat is in fact advanced rather than intermediate.



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