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Hello from freezing Maine


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 Hi everyone, my name is Allison, I'm 60 and from Maine. As a young girl I had a lot of bad **** happening in my life and I found that building models, mostly cars was like therapy in that I could just focus on doing that one thing and forget about everything else for awhile. I also remember that as a teenager I received a gift of a wooden ship model that had sail material and al kinds of rigging etc.. Of course this wooden ship model was way out of my capabilities and I never did finish it. Fast forward to now and I've started building models again and while it's fun building detailed cars and motorcycles I still remember the wooden ship model I never finished. So now I'm embarking on building wooden ship models and I'm in the process of learning everything I can about the hobby and also trying to figure out which wooden ship kit I'll start with. I'll appreciate any and all help and I know I have a lot to learn. I look forward to enjoying the journey of becoming a good wooden model ship builder. 

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Welcome!  This site is a friendly place with great people with lots of knowledge and experience.  


I believe there are a few threads on here asking about good first kits.  Different manufacturers have different reputations when it comes to kit wood, kit fittings, instructions, historical accuracy, etc.  Spend a little time asking questions and looking at various build logs to see what mix works for you.


Depending on your comfort level, I'd start with something with decent instructions as a first kit to build.  The Model Expo/Model Shipways kits are usually pretty good when it comes to instructions, but the fittings are pretty rough.  I started with the Caldercraft Brig Badger, which had a 60-page manual, with great fittings and for the most part, really good wood in the kit.


Good luck! 



Current Wooden builds:  Amati/Victory Pegasus  MS Charles W. Morgan  Euromodel La Renommèe  


Plastic builds:    SB2U-1 Vindicator 1/48  Five Star Yaeyama 1/700  Pit Road Asashio and Akashi 1/700 diorama  Walrus 1/48 and Albatross 1/700  Special Hobby Buffalo 1/32


Completed builds :  Caldercraft Brig Badger   Amati Hannah - Ship in Bottle  Pit Road Hatsuzakura 1/700   Hasegawa Shimakaze 1:350

F4B-4 and P-6E 1/72  Accurate Miniatures F3F-1/F3F-2 1/48  Tamiya F4F-4 Wildcat built as FM-1 1/48  Special Hobby Buffalo 1/48

Citroen 2CV 1/24 - Airfix and Tamiya  Entex Morgan 3-wheeler 1/16


Terminated build:  HMS Lyme (based on Corel Unicorn)  


On the shelf:  Euromodel Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde; Caldercraft Victory; too many plastic ship, plane and car kits


Future potential scratch builds:  HMS Lyme (from NMM plans); Le Gros Ventre (from Ancre monographs), Dutch ship from Ab Hoving book, HMS Sussex from McCardle book, Philadelphia gunboat (Smithsonian plans)

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Welcome aboard,


You stumbled upon the right place. You will not find a more helpful, friendly and experienced bunch of modelers than this.


As for your first kit eventually it will come down to what catches your eye and fits your pocketbook. I am not one of the experienced ones but after a couple of attempts at more complex models I found it better to keep it simple the first time out. Some of the old Midwest kits are available on e-bay every now and then that is what I started with. They are simple with great instructions and give you a chance to get your feet wet, but most importantly finish your first project without getting in over your head right off the bat. (JMHO)


As for Maine I have a sister in law who lives in Presque Isle, beautiful country but way to cold for my old bones.


Best Regards and good luck,


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Welcome. Lots of great modeling advice in these forums ( with the possible exception of the following paragraphs). 


I built plastic models as a kid, and when I was approaching retirement returned to the hobby. My first wooden ship model was Yankee Hero by Blue Jacket. I started with it primarily because I wanted a ship model for our place in Eastport, and an Eastport Pinky seemed a good choice. I found it was a good starter kit: Solid hull ( no planking), simple rigging, good advice on modeling techniques, and very good directions for a beginner (some more advanced kits have instructions that assume the builder has a lot of experience and knowledge of nautical terminology; and old kit I got on eBay had a total of one typewritten page).  


Next I resurrected a 50-year old partial complete plastic Constitution from the attic, and completed the rigging. 


Since then, moving away from plastic (which in no way is to denigrate plastic modeling) I’ve done the New Bedford Whaleboat, Dory, Fannie Gorham,We’re Here, Dapper Tom, Wyoming (scratch built half hull), Fra Berlanga (scratch half-hull half model) and currently working on a scratch build of US Brig Lawrence ( based on Model Shipways Niagara drawings). 


Clearly, I prefer solid hull work (my Lawrence is the only planked model, and that is plank-on-solid hull). Early on it seemed that an inordinate amout of forum discussion revolved around planking on frame or bulkhead problems, so I determined to avoid those. I don’t think that doing so has short-changed me on the pleasures of the hobby, but who knows, I might head in that direction some time. Which is not to say solid hull work is without irs challenges, as well. Following Mr BlueJacket’s build log of the Red Jacket kit will give a fair idea of solid hull work. 


One last bit of advice ... complete one or two simple builds before crowding your closet with unbuilt kits, as many of us do. 


Have fun. 



"If they suspect me of intelligence, I am sure it will soon blow over, ha, ha, ha!"

-- Jack Aubrey



Yankee Hero, Fannie Gorham, We’re Here, Dapper Tom (x3), New Bedford Whaler, US Brig Lawrence (Niagara), Wyoming (half hull), Fra Berlanga (half hull), Gokstad Viking Ship, Kate Cory, Charles Morgan, Gjoa

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Welcome to MSW, Allison.


There's good advice above but I'll add to it a bit.   I suggest a kit with one mast to start and work from there.   MSW is a huge repository of informatoin.


The first article in this part of the database might help:  http://modelshipworldforum.com/ship-model-plans-and-research.php


Also, do by all means, open a build log.  It's the best way to get help and encouragement and make some friends which also helps you finish the model. 


Looking forward to your first build.

"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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From another part of PNW, Connell WA I greet you warmly.

We have record level of snow, received about two years amount of snow, and more is to come.

Ship modelling is a good therapy when stress sets in, well at least for me.

Stay warm, find yourself a good starting kit from Bluejacket Inc. or ModelExpo-online.
Get a build log started, we are here to help when issues sets in. 

Edited by Nirvana


Please, visit our Facebook page!




Per aka Dr. Per@Therapy for Shipaholics 

Finished: T37, BB Marie Jeanne - located on a shelf in Sweden, 18th Century Longboat, Winchelsea Capstan

Current: America by Constructo, Solö Ruff, USS Syren by MS, Bluenose by MS

Viking funeral: Harley almost a Harvey

Nautical Research Guild Member - 'Taint a hobby if you gotta hurry

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