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Where to start? A suggestion for kit manufacturers.


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My introduction to wooden model ships came out of the blue when the Admiral bought me AL's "Scottish Maid" as a Christmas present.

What a mess I made of it!

Thirty years later I have learned much, but have much more to learn.

Watching the posts here - those looking for help- reminds me of my early struggles.

Planking and rigging problems appear regularly from the novice or first-timer and still trouble experienced builders.

So, is there a place for and introductory series of kits?

The first would concentrate on planking- a half-hull model, POB, mounted on a stout board (MDF) with some nice, complicated lines.

Such a kit could concentrate on the planking alone and offer detailed instructions and decent wood at not too great a cost.

The end result to be hung on the wall as your first step into the art.

For an introduction to rigging, a section of deck around a mainmast. An MDF block extending to the width of the deck, fore and aft to encompass the required standing and running rigging, and depth to include the attachment of the chain plates, veneer planking. Full-height mast and, again, the novice learns a lot and ends up with a displayable object.

With such skills acquired relatively cheaply, our newcomer can approach a complete, POB, vessel with much more confidence than many of us have on our third or fourth build.

Or, is the desire to start with a full-on, 1:96, HMS Victory, too hard to resist? Even when (as has been suggested elsewhere) the majority languish uncompleted. 

Just an idle thought-what do you think?



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Les here. My first  wooden ship kit was purchased by my wife for me. A Bluenose kit by an extinct kit producer called Dikar. There was no internet at that time and any info was what I could scrounge from a book store. Not a great beginning. But based on my modelling knowledge a good kit was produced. Now we have a place such as Model Ship World that has great people and a huge data base to help us with any questions we can think of. For a beginner there is a lure to jump into a super kit right off the bat, but disaster is but a breath away. The way to kill a potential builder is get in over your head out of the gate. All of what you say is good. However there are many plank on bulkhead kits that are not too difficult for first time builders. The internet is full of info and kits for any build level. Just get out there and look at the suppliers, you will be rewarded.

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