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New to ship modelling? But what do you build first?

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Was surprised not to see the Model Shipways Phantom on the list of beginners kits as it is so heavily promoted (or at least it used to be) as a good model to start with.  It's also still readily available.

In addition to losing Artesenia Latina, Midwest no longer makes model boat kits so some of those are getting harder to find.

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4 hours ago, DonInAZ said:

Was surprised not to see the Model Shipways Phantom on the list of beginners kits as it is so heavily promoted (or at least it used to be) as a good model to start with. 

    I would second that recommendation, especially with the availability of the practicum here at MSW by Chuck to follow.  They are a vast improvement over the kits instructions and there are several logs to review on it's construction on our site. 

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I am new to wooden sailing ship modeling, but have the advantage of having skilled hands from various other building hobbies.  Because of this, I got ambitious and am buklding a bashed version of Corel's La Couronne.  However, I do not think this is the ideal choice for most beginners.  La Couronne Build Log


I think one of the best models for new builders is Artisania Latinia's San Francisco II Spanish galleon.  The latest version of this model has two layers of planking on the bulkheads, not one as in the previous version, which makes it far easier to get a smooth hull without sharp bends in curvature at the bulkheads or flat areas between the bulkheads.  The rigging is detailed enough for all basic sail operation, so it's a great education for the new builder for all the lines found on most square riggers.  The level of complexity on the hull is not too daunting, but you can easily add more scratch built details, like see-through glass windows on the gallery for extra detail instead of the fake red painted glass, traditionally used on models to symbolize glass instead of create a facsimile of it.  You may want to scratch build the lower decks and buy extra cannons and carriages to display all the gun with the ports open.  Or, you may want to add trenails to the decks and iron nail head on the hull for extra detail.  The choice is up to you.  The kit already strikes a perfect balance between simple construction and baroque level of details.  Adding a bit more than what the kit asks for just makes it better.


I liked the San Francisco II so much that I bought one to build later as an easy project, just because I love galleons.  It's not too expensive, and a great buy for what you get.  You can buy it for $137.19 USD on Amazon.  The instructions are really good.  They are provided on CD, and you can print them if you like.  The plans for the model are scaled 1:1, so that makes measuring error free, no conversions, and they are clear and easy to follow.  I still recommend buying reference books on ship rigging so you can learn the function and details of all the lines.  Even with a model as simple as this one, research is still very important, and if you want to add custom details, absolutely essential.


Hey Y.T.!  I really like how well your SF2 version 1 hull came out.  That wood looks fantastic!



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