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Just like in school!


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 After many years and many model kits of all kinds, plastic, wood, resin and yes, even paper, I have committed to build the one kit that every experienced ship modeler will tell you "Not as your first kit" to build. Just like my days in school, long ago, I heeded no ones advice. Today via Fed Ex delivery I received a 12 pound box containing one Mamoli 1/90 HMS Victory. Great excitement was in the air. I opened the box and began to spread out the sheets of plans and review the build.....uh oh.

 I closed the box and just like my days in school, long ago, a feeling of dread came over me. What have I done! Why did I not listen! I consider myself an advanced intermediate builder, if there is such a thing. Yes, I've built the Hasegawa 1/8 Dr.1, so why not the HMS Victory?

 So my question is, what would be the best kit to start my ship building adventure while the Mamoli kit sits waiting. Thank you in advance for any help!

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Just my 2 cents worth.

1. Buy a ship you really like the look of.

2. Buy a beginners Mamoli kit so you get used the Mamoli way of doing things (not sure about this one...)

3. Make sure it has a lot of the tasks that are repeated in the Victory, so include basic planking (no solid hull), it has a few gun assemblies, only one mast with full rigging, etc.

4. Create a log so you can get a lot of help and it keeps you motivated (at least it does for me).

5. Keep plugging away...and plugging away....and...

Mind you, reading your post again you seem to have been modelling for many years including wood, so you might not be that far off giving the Victory a go.


Current Build:     USF Confederacy 1778 - Model Shipways - 1:64


Completed:         US Brig Syren - Model Shipways - 1:64

                        San Francisco Cross Section - Artesania Latina - 1:50

Future build:        HM Granado - Caldercraft - 1:64

                        LeRenard - Artesania Latina - 1:50

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Ahhhh the Mamoli Victory. Could be a handful, Mamoli is my prefered kit manufacturer and they do some clear plans but maby a smaller ship with a bluff bow. Like the Beagle , Endevour or the Bounty even. They are 3 masted Smaller ships that should be ideal with a fair bit of rigging to go with them. Best of luck.

Regards, Scott


Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli


Completed builds:

1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli  -  1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli  -  1:54 Adventure, Amati  -  1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL

1:64 Blue Shadow, Mamoli  -  1:64 Leida Dutch pleasure boat, Corel  -  1:60 HMS President Mantra, Sergal


Awaiting construction:

1:89 Hermione La Fayette AL  -  1:48 Perserverance, Modelers shipyard

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Welcome to MSW! You are not the first person to end up in this situation and as you will soon see from what I bet will be a long list of both welcomes and suggestions there really is no one "beginner" kit. There actually are a few threads on here that go into great length about many of the kits though. I will agree with the statement that it is possible to start Victory on your first run. You are definitely in the right place for all the help and advice you could ever want. Also, it sounds like you are not inexperienced. The pile of loose parts and materials is daunting to be sure but take it in small pieces and you will be okay.


However, if you want to take the much more advisable path, look for something simple in scope and design. A one masted ship, minimal cannons and rigging, small hull, and limited decorations. Just something to get your feet wet with practice of learning the techniques needed in planking and rigging.


Whichever path you choose, start a build log on here and keep it updated with progress pics. Ask questions, even if they feel dumb. This is a great group of modelers who are more than happy to teach and share knowledge and tips. Also be sure to look at other build logs of the same model (and others) as they are great ways of seeing some of the issues you may have yourself and with some luck, avoid some of those problems. I wish you the best of luck on your new build and I look forward in sharing in that journey and seeing your work!

"A Smooth Sea NEVER made a Skilled Sailor"
- John George Hermanson 



Current Builds - Royal Louis - Mamoli

                    Royal Caroline - Panart

Completed - Wood - Le Soleil Royal - Sergal - Build Log & Gallery

                                           La Couronne - Corel - Build Log & Gallery

                                           Rattlesnake - Model Shipways, HMS Bounty - Constructo

                           Plastic - USS Constitution - Revel (twice), Cutty Sark.

Unfinished - Plastic - HMS Victory - Heller, Sea Witch.

Member : Nautical Research Guild



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My first wooden ship was the Vasa of Billings.
It took me 10 years to build. And actually, I almost gave up twice.


You can build a ship like this for the first time.
But not doing this is better. best try a smaller model first.


as E.J. wrote

Whichever path you choose, start a build log.

Regards, Patrick


Finished :  Soleil Royal Heller 1/100   Wasa Billing Boats   Bounty Revell 1/110 plastic (semi scratch)   Pelican / Golden Hind  1/45 scratch

Current build :  Mary Rose 1/50 scratch

Gallery Revell Bounty  Pelican/Golden hind 1/45 scratch

To do Prins Willem Corel, Le Tonnant Corel, Yacht d'Oro Corel


Shore leave,  non ship models build logs :  

ADGZ M35 funkwagen 1/72    Einhets Pkw. Kfz.2 and 4 1/72   Autoblinda AB40 1/72   122mm A-19 & 152mm ML-20 & 12.8cm Pak.44 {K8 1/2} 1/72   10.5cm Howitzer 16 on Mark. VI(e)  Centurion Mk.1 conversion   M29 Weasel 1/72     SAM6 1/72    T26 Finland  T26 TN 1/72  Autoprotetto S37 1/72     Opel Blitz buses 1/72  Boxer and MAN trucks 1/72

Shore leave,  time consuming projects :

a new bathroom


Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Gday mate snowy here or darren is my real name i would look up modelers central as they have kits called beginners kits and you also get a set of tools. With this you also get 5 dvds on planking,decking masts rigging and sails. I would also look at a book called. Ship modelling simplified by frank mastini it helped me heaps as I'm still building my first ship cheers good luck

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 Good advice from all! Thank you for the welcome and the suggestion to start a log on my build. I like that idea for many reasons. I have purchased a Mamoli Blue Shadow brig kit and think I may start with that. The issue I'm having is that I read the materials were not plentiful in the kit and you must be careful to use them wisely. I know I'll make mistakes so my question is, where to get planking should I need to?  Or supplies of wood? Again thank you all for the help! I'll be exploring a bit more on the site.

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Welcome to MSW

You can get planks from http://www.woodprojectsource.com/ they are one of the sponsors here at MSW. 

All the best 


Derek C


A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder --Thomas Carlyle



Current Build


18th Century Whaling Vessel "Lagoda"



Finished Builds

Triton Cross Section by Derek C 1/48 

18th century longboat by Slideways - FINISHED - Model Shipways

18th century longboat by sideways from MS plans

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I have it in my memory that years ago, a journal article said that there are probably way more SOS kits (and Victory as well I'm guessing)

sitting unfinished and likely unstarted on closet shelves than are ever finished.


Your feeling of being overwhelmed is a totally valid response.

A first rate man-o-war was a major undertaking for a country.

A model of one is a virtuoso undertaking.  To make matters worse,

the small scale (1:90 ) gets close to miniature scale, which because

of the physical limits of modeling materials - wood mostly - skilled tricks

are needed for various components.

There is just a lot more of everything - a serious amount of repetitive work.

Looking at pictures, it is difficult to realize,  but a 74 is a really major undertaking

and a 1st rate is essentially twice as large.


A brig is a good first choice. But still a substantial undertaking.

You do seem to have a knack for finding "not now being manufactured" kits.

Perhaps Ebay is a solution to the kit in the closet. Or maybe it is like the exercise springs present 

that my ex-inlaws used to pass as a joke each Xmas - the same kits over and over.


Wo bist du? You do not list a location. 

Economical sourcing of wood is location dependent.   choosing species that are optimal for scaling down is




NRG member 45 years



HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner -  framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner -  timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835  ship - timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


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 Thank you for the info on lumber sourcing. Will hopefully not need to use it just yet. I will be starting the Blue Shadow after the Holidays along with my build log. For now the plans are laid out and I'm reviewing them over a desk lamp and a glass of Scotch. I find that Scotch removes any hesitation I may have about the project, though I won't be drinking while building. I believe that's a punishable offense!



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Am in the process of finishing, very first thing read the instructions front to back until yout tired of looking at them.


The most frustrating thing was finishing one of the plans then 2 pages later you find out you should have completed an assembly on a prior page. The explanation of rigging on the last 2 pages of plans could be better, also when conducting the rigging you'll find out that numerous rings should have been already added.


Just read ahead study placement of hardware and you will see those areas it should have been added in an earlier plan.

I was not as ready for it . Made a lot of mistakes,was able to cover and hide most of them. Lost a lot of time redoing.


Very pleased with the way its turning out considering, but should have waited before tackling. I have this ego that pops up from time to time that ignores advice like your getting now  and boy do I pay for it sometimes:default_wallbash:.

Go slow, read ahead, review other builds, Gdales Vic iis a good one, no question is too stupid I asked a lot of them.


Good Luck

John Allen


Current builds HMS Victory-Mamoli

On deck

USS Tecumseh, CSS Hunley scratch build, Double hull Polynesian canoe (Holakea) scratch build



Waka Taua Maori War Canoe, Armed Launch-Panart, Diligence English Revenue Cutter-Marine  Model Co. 


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In my early teen a was very frustrated in trying to play the saxophone that eventually i decided that that was not for me.

One day my late father close friend told me that is should try to play the clarinet first and then once i have mastered the clarinet then I should learn how to play the saxophone. He was spot on !! After that playing the saxophone was very easy.

Good luck.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been chipping away at that very same model for many years and am finally gaining steam on it.  I didn't try others so much as just fiddle with other miniature endeavors like role playing figurines, etc.  The main advice I'd reiterate is to always be reading ahead.  I have yet to find the instructions on planking the decks for the main deck, but I'm sure they are there and will make perfect sense.  You just have to get used to reading instructions that have from German directly translated been.

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