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San Salvador free paper model


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after some googling i found this one offered on the website of the maritime museum of San Diego


they have 2 versions : advanced and medium difficulty


i think this would be a great idea to try it out without it costing much


all you need is some photo paper and some card stock



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Adrieke and Anja,

Well spotted. I have downloaded a copy. I will get the grand children involved in this. The beauty is, if anything is messed up just print another sheet. :)


If I understand the design correctly it can be done as a waterline or full hull model. 


Ian M.

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I downloaded the advanced version (obviously :)) but pages 10 and 10R (sails) do not load. I get an error message. I re-downloaded a second time and same problem. I then loaded the beginners version hoping that the sails would be the same, but surprisingly, they are different. Anyone else with the same problem?

Update. When double-clicking on them, there was another program trying to open my pdf.s Adobe does it right. 

Edited by Ulises Victoria
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If you look closely at sheets one and two all the hull components have separate upper and lower parts. My assumption is that in leaving the lower parts off you get the waterline version of the model. 


Again thanks for finding and highlighting this excellent item for us. :)


Ian M.

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I downloaded both versions of this model when details were posted in the sadly-defunct MSW-1.  OK, I confess I haven't yet got round to actually printing them (or one of them) out, but I've got a decent printer and suitable card, so I'm all ready!

Mare Nostrum is keeping me busy for now, but I do like the idea of building a card model.  Brings to mind the Micromodels I remember pals at Colchester Royal Grammar School building.  That was way back in the late forties!


Has anyone dared to start a build log for one of these cardboard models?

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  • 1 month later...

I was red hot going to start the King of the Mississippi kit that I’ve had over about 20 years, but unusually for me I decided not to jump in feet first but to have a good read of everything on the site first to see if I could pick up tips from the forums, tutorials, and etcetera.

What a mine of information (I have not built anything like this before).


I saw the “Built a ship from card? Then discuss it here!” I thought what a sacrilege, paper on a sight like this with such beautiful wooden ships.

Anyhow I had told myself I would read everything so on to the “San Salvador free paper model”.

As Ian M. says “The beauty is, if anything is messed up just print another sheet.”

Excellent, suddenly I felt the pressure released (my Mississippi is un-opened).

So I have downloaded everything from that site, all the instructions and plans for both ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’, helpfully card thicknesses are in metric, good for us in the UK.

I hope that the hints and tips given will give me a good start and some practical help to getting a start to eventually starting my Mississippi.

I see Adrieke has started this build in ‘Kit Build Logs in Progress’ (thanks for the link) so I am looking forward to more tips.

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Go for it!   


Why not start a build log yourself and raise the flag for Yorkshire? :) I think MSW would benefit from a more card build logs.


Have you seen the Royal Caroline by Doris? If not look at http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/854-royal-caroline-by-doris-card-1749-140/page-1 and prepare to have your mind blown. She demonstrates that card is no second class modeling medium.


Another of my favourites is Revenge by Firdajan at http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2059-revenge-by-firdajan-shipyard-card-1577-196/page-1.


Looking forward to your input. :)

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I thought I would work on something while my wood kits are being shipped and I saw this build. I like working with paper and this would be a good one to start. I think I'll start a build log and see how this turns out.

I'll post something in the next few days to show. I need to find some stiff boards first.

I printed both and I think I'll start the easier one first.



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  • 1 year later...

Here's a link to a free paper model of the galleon "San Salvador" currently under construction at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. They have an advanced difficulty kit and an intermediate difficulty kit. When you go to the page, scroll down and you'll find the download links about 3/4 of the way down the page. Here's the link:



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