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Hello from Newbie in Georgia

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Hello everyone!  I would like to begin by thanking the administrators of this amazing site for accepting my request to join.  I am completely new to what I hope will be a long time hobby (starting at age 53 so I hate to say lifetime, lol).  I have built many RC cars, boats and planes as well as garden railroading, but have always been in awe of wooden ship models but I have always been too intimidated to actually tackle one until now... Life is passing by too quickly to have regrets.  I have been researching and doing lots of reading to try and better understand what I am about to get into.  I do plan to start with what I hope is an advanced beginner kit, Bluejacket's Friendship Sloop in either 1" or 1/2" scale).  I know there are more inexpensive kits out there but I guess what keeps drawing me back to Bluejacket is that they are based in the US and hopefully east to contact for support along the way.  I am currently in the process of converting my train building area into an organized and well equipped shipyard.  I am open to other suggestions as far as a first kit is concerned.  There does not seem to be a general consensus as to weather solid hull construction or plank on bulkhead construction is best to start with.  I like the idea of doing a plank on bulkhead and have been studying the Simple Hull Planking for Beginners and the Primer on Planking posted on this site.  I would also like to know what books you would recommend that I acquire for good resources as well.  My two biggest fears are that I take on more than I can handle and the fact that I have NO ship terminology knowledge, I feel intimidated when I read some of the tutorials and I do not know what they are referencing... Bearding line, Rabbet line, Fairing the hull, Garboard plank, etc.


Please let me know if I am heading in the right direction with the Friendship Sloop and my thinking that a larger scale model with simple rigging will be easier to manage than a small scale model, my dexterity and eyesight is not what it used to be.  I will end this long winded post by saying how utterly impressed I have been reading through the forum as to how nice and accommodating everyone is with new modelers on this site, I assure you that is the exception and not the norm for some of the other sites I have been associated with in the large scale railroading community.

Edited by GTMike
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Hi Mike, 

Welcome to MSW.   A lot of your questions will be answered once you have a model in your hands.   The best way to get answers and help is open a build log.


Fairing the hull means to sand/shape it such that there are not dips, bumps, etc. All curves are smooth and follow the lines drawing.

Garboard plank is the plank at the keel....

Rabbit line is a line that the garboard will fit into in the keel.


A good, inexpensive reference book (there are errors in it but it give a good overview) is zuMondfeld's "Historic Ship Models".  Fairly inexpensive depending where you look online.

Edited by mtaylor

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Welcome GTMIKE - It's good to see another 'Georgian' in here LOL  I'm located in the Atlanta Metro area and started modeling when I arrived here in 2011. I'm fairly new to be giving any advice, but I looked up your kit and it looks like it could be a nice start. Minimal rigging and you get experience in planking a bulkhead rather than a frame. I am finishing up on my 1st wooden kit which came with a solid hull but involved a little more rigging. As far as ship terminology, I would look up a name or term on google for an answer, but the advantage of sites like this one is, there is always someone to help point a way or answer one's questions. 


Which ever model you decide to build as your first kit, enjoy what you are doing and take your time. Good adventures lie ahead for you I'm sure. Cheers! :cheers:

Robert O

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Welcome to the forum. It is a great bunch of folks. You will end up making some good friends even if you never meet face to face. I know I have. 


A build log is the best way to learn. You'll get great advice and learn the terminology as you go. Once you have the kit in hand and you study the plans many of your questions will be answered. You might consider a first ship  being something there are several build logs for. The Model Shipways Armed Virginia Sloop is very popular with a bunch of great build logs that will guide you through your build along with asking questions in your own log. I'm sure the Friendship Sloop would be a good choice too. They are great looking vessels for sure.


Just have fun and ask for help when needed. 

The heart is happiest when the head and the hands work together.



Current Builds:

HMS Halifax 1/48 POF Lumberyard Kit

Model Shipways Glad Tidings

Acoustic Guitar Build FINISHED

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Thank you Al, I will look at the build logs for the Armed Virginia Sloop tonight.  The reason that I asked about possible first builds before I purchased is exactly for this reason, so that I could have as many resources as possible.


Thanks again,



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Welcome Mike , I well remember wondering what the heck a rabber line was and did i really need one anyway . My advice would be do research as u go along , get started the build , start a build log ,and as the questions arise just ask . best way to learn is by doing !!!


Have fun ,Boyd 

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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, Thermopylae Sergal 


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   Hetzer38(t) Starr 1/72    

Modern Russian vehicles 1/72


Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Welcome Mike! Do not be intimidated by this august body of modeler's feats. Let it be an inspiration and motivation to you. The forum is friendly and supportive all you have to do is ask. There are many reference books out there but your background in modeling will give you a good startng point.


The friendship sloop is a beautiful model and if you can get your hands on an out of print Time/Life book called The Classic Boat it will reward you with some fantastic pictures of a restored Jarvis Newman, Friendship called Dictator. I modeled a half hull of this vessel based on the coverage in the book.



Edited by Thistle17
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Hello! What you write shows you have many of the skills all ship modelers develop. Working with wood has many joys in itself and Georgia has woods! Check out ship model kit vendors. Many have literature available on almost every aspect of ship building and detailing. My first kit came from Model Expo from Florida because they will replace damaged in construction parts free! They rate their kits based on skill level. Do not neglect to use youtube and other sites for online videos of builders. Anyway, welcome.

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Hi MIke,


For people that buy our kits, we offer a toll-free help line, it's in the paperwork with the kit. Staffed by Charlie Cook, he gets rave reviews from all that talk to him.


Also, you can call our shop anytime and talk with one of several modelers who can also help you. I have built the Large Friendship myself and can offer help.



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Phoenix, AZ

Current builds;

Previous builds, in rough order of execution;
Shipjack, Peterbrough Canoe, Flying Fish, Half Moon, Britannia racing sloop, Whale boat, Bluenose, Picket boat, Viking longboat, Atlantic, Fair American, Mary Taylor, half hull Enterprise, Hacchoro, HMS Fly, Khufu Solar Boat.

On the shelf; Royal Barge, Jefferson Davis.

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