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Hello from North Texas


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Hello Everyone. Thanks for allowing me to join. My father introduced me to plastic modeling as a child. But I never had the patience for it. I wanted to be instantly good at it. He was a very talented modeler. While his passion was aircraft, I love ships. Be they tall ship, steel navy or Sci Fi. I’ve acquired a number of them over the years. But they’ve languished in my closet. I recently restored a damaged and neglected 24” plastic USS Constitution he built in the 70’s. At the same time I began work on a Revell USS Arizona. As well has two Polar Lights 1:1000 original series Star Trek Kits.

In 1990, I bought the Constructo 1799 USS Enterprise schooner. It’s a POB kit. The bulk heads were no problem. As were the blocks between the stern bullheads. Planking stopped me cold. After messing up a few boards, I put it away. I want to finish it. But realize I need to cut my teeth on simpler kits. I didn’t want to sink too much into it. I thought Corel’s solid hull Kits may be the place to start. So I ordered the HMS Bounty kit from Model Express. Well accidentally 2. But I’m seeing about exchanging it for the America kit. So where should I begin?

Fort Worth, TX

Edited by Glenns_TX
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Hi, Glenn.


Start by taking your time! Read a few books -- you can probably find or get them at your local library. Some good ones to start with include Ship Modeling Simplified by Frank Mastini and How to Build First-Rate Ship Models from Kits by Ben Lankford. Browse through some build logs; use the keywords "finished" and "first build" to find completed models by first-time builders. Some of them are solid hull kits, like yours. Here's a link to a recently finished example.


The planking chore that stopped you cold is called spiling. It's doable, and we have tutorials here to guide you, but eventually everyone has to just give it a go. Few of us get good at it on the very first try, but we managed. You can, too!



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Welcome to the forum Glenn "y'all gonna love it here" as they used to say to me when I lived in Denton.


Truly this is one of the best things that has happened to modeling of ships. It has something for everyone, skilled to just getting started. In addition to the tutorials on the site please visit our web site ww.modelshipwrightguildwny.org. Look under Resources/Shop Notes/Planking as it is our attempt to integrate much of what one can find here in this forum but also delves into the planking graph a bit further which is an aide to the process.


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Thanks for the warm welcome and advice. I checked my library for the books Chris Coyl mentioned. They don’t have them. So I downloaded a sample of Mr. Mastii’s book from Amazon. 


I reviewed the Union build log. And looked for other solid hull build logs that are finished. I’m continuing my research for now.

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