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New member, still deciding ........


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Hi all, and thanks for letting me explore your craft.


My interest in ships and sailing began with a vacation to Cape Cod, many years ago. Knowing that I would be near the old whaling center of the country I decided to re-read Moby Dick and visited both the New Bedford and Nantucket Island whaling museums.


Returning home I took sailing lessons and eventually purchased my own small sloop. I had the pleasure of sailing the Great Lakes, making a few solo crossings, as well as spending time in the Gulf of Mexico and the Leeward Islands.


Being a bit older now, and having sold my beloved 30 foot S2, I’m interested in perhaps building boats rather than sailing them, although I do on occasion sail a small Pearson Ensign with a friend in Milwaukee.


Not wanting to dive into something that could be expensive without knowing more I happened on this web site, which seemed to be home to serious model shipwrights. And after browsing around I found what I thought to be solid advice for someone like me. I invested $9.25 in Ship Modeling Simplified and Techniques for Model Construction from Kits by Frank Mastini. It’s my hope that this book will not only give me insight into the world of model construction, but also give me some idea of necessary tools and work area. 


Once I receive this book and have time to digest it, I’ll be back looking for further advice or to say this just isn't for me.


Dave K

Current build: NRG Half Hull

Previous build: MS Bluenose 

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If you decide you'd like to try ship model-making, you will find plenty of willing, friendly hands to offer tips and advice in support of your efforts.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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Hi Dave, 


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

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

 NRG Hallf Hull Planking Kit                                                                            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 to MSW, Dave!  This is a tremendous place to be and there are many friendly modelers who go above and beyond to share their knowledge and craft, and often, their spare parts!  I hope the hobby will take root in your brain and that you'll become an active member of the community.


All the best,



We are all works in progress, all of the time.

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Hi Dave, you have found the number 1 ship modelling resource site on the planet! As they say in the classics; don't be fooled by imitations! Anyway, that book you have purchased is THE ship modelling bible! Full of easy to read and understand concepts and illustrations to boot. I cant recommend it highly enough for both beginners and experienced builders alike.


Have a good look around here at the multitude of different build logs. You will find all manner of craft in various levels of degree of difficulty. Ask questions. No such thing as a dumb one. Ultimately though, build something you are interested in and have a great time!






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Gidday Dave,

All the best with your new hobby. I have a copy of Frank Mastinis book. Its straightforward. It's easy to be confused by the myriad kits out there. Speaking from personal experience I would definitely start with a beginners kit. Deciding which kit and in what medium is exciting. 

Good luck,


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Greetings Patrick

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    


Si vis pacem, para bellum

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Welcome, Dave!


The Mastini book is a good read and an excellent introduction to the hobby. Do be aware, though, that a few bits of it are dated, mainly his list of suggested beginner models, some of which have long been out of production (there's still plenty of good ones around). The planking technique he describes is a simplified one, written with the beginner in mind. If you'd prefer to try something a littler closer to actual practice, then there are tutorials here at your disposal.


Enjoy your book!


Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix, Salmson 2

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Welcome Dave,


I wouldnt let cost put you off too much. For my first kit i was about £60 if i remember right, and for the tools i built that with, probably another £20-£30 at most. I didnt want to spend too much as i wasnt sure either if i would enjoy it, or even finish it regardless of enjoyment. So its not a massive outlay if you start off small.


Of course, if i was to tally up the price of all the additional tools and kit etc ive bought along the way, it would probably put us both off ! :)


Your certainly in the right place for inspiration and information anyway, so good luck whatever you decide.


HMS Bounty 1:48 by Artesania Latina



Gjoa by Constructo

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hello Dave,


    it's good to meet folks who are interested in what we do.   folks in the past,  have asked me why I model ships { I've modeled everything else in the medium}.......I simply tell them..."it's  hobby." >shrug<  ;)     books are great.......but you need to have the desire and the creativity to dive into this endeavor.  I started building wooden ships with no books at all.....I got most of my knowledge here.  I'm still learning,  but what I do know now,  is that it's fun,  and presents a challenge that keeps me locked in....wishing I had started a lot sooner.   whatever aspect of the hobby you prefer......whether it be the early sailing ships,  clippers,  steam,  or pleasure,  delving into their history,  and construction can be quite fascinating.  of course,  you might not be able to fit everything into the model........but arriving as close a replica as achievable,  is very rewarding.  a lot of the techniques that go into this medium,  doesn't come from books.........it comes from you.  mom wasn't a good cook because she could read a cookbook.......she just was ;) 

   I'm not down on books......don't get me wrong,  but I find them to be a great source of conjecture and arguments.   I own a few books now......rigging, masting,  and planking are some of the subjects I collect.  I prefer to build in my own style...it's what the hobby is all about.  your asking......is this for you........I think your the only one who can answer that.   there are kits out there that don't cost a lot......buy one and try it out for yourself.  browse the site and choose a style that fits you {some like paint.......some don't}........and start a log {we all like that}.   start your own journey...there are many that will follow along and help you when asked.


I yam wot I yam!

finished builds:
Billings Nordkap 476 / Billings Cux 87 / Billings Mary Ann / Billings AmericA - reissue
Billings Regina - bashed into the Susan A / Andrea Gail 1:20 - semi scratch w/ Billing instructions
M&M Fun Ship - semi scratch build / Gundalow - scratch build / Jeanne D'Arc - Heller
Phylly C & Denny-Zen - the Lobsie twins - bashed & semi scratch dual build

Billing T78 Norden


in dry dock:
Billing's Gothenborg 1:100 / Billing's Boulogne Etaples 1:20
Billing's Half Moon 1:40 - some scratch required
Revell U.S.S. United States 1:96 - plastic/ wood modified / Academy Titanic 1:400
Trawler Syborn - semi scratch / Holiday Harbor dual build - semi scratch

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