Jump to content

Recommended Posts


I have a kit still in the box that I am thinking about duplicating. I would like to use choice wood and just trace and copy the original exactly. Can anyone tell me the best choices of wood to use for each part? What would be your dream wood for the keel? What would be your top choice for the bulkheads etc..I just want to make an exact copy of the kit , but use the best wood possible is what I’m getting at. The kit I want to duplicate is the Drakkar Viking ship by Amati . Thank you so very much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the framework, if you wanted to use plywood, then aircraft grade ply such as Baltic birch is a good choice. It has a lot of plys and few very voids in the plys. It will be stable and should not warp or twist much. 


You can always use basswood or poplar if you are going to paint the model. No sense using a fruit or nut wood only to cover it with paint.


If you are going with a natural finish, then cherry can be quite attractive, especially if you use the heart wood which is darker than the outer sap wood. Boxwood is a good choice also. In fact, any fruit or nut wood will have good working characteristics for scale modeling. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

First decide what you want the finished model to look like.  Your artistic vision should determine your wood selections.  The original ship was probably treated with a preservative like pine tar.  If you are trying to reproduce this look choose a wood that will take a dark stain or choose a wood that gives an impression of the color.  Cherry or Swiss Pear come to mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you be painting the model?  Or leaving it the natural wood color?   If painting, use the kit wood.  Otherwise, you have some great advice for those above.

"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)         



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The tight grained fruitwoods like cherry, apple, and pear as well as the classic boxwood can be difficult to stain.  Ordinary oil based stains sold in hardware and home improvement stores are pigments suspended in oil, and often do not penetrate the wood well.  I have had much better luck with analine dye stains.  These are sold by specialty woodworking businesses and come in small bottles.  To use, a small amount is mixed with either water or alcohol.  A bottle goes a long way.  Don’t worry too much about the name instead look at a color chart.  I have some “Colonial Maple”. That can yield light to quite dark results depending on concentration.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use dye stains. It's what guitar makers use because there are no pigment blobs, it doesn't obscure their fancy 5A bookmatched flame maple tops.


So go to Luthiers Mercantile Internationale. I recommend alcohol-based as that means no raised grain of the water-based. Get the 6 color set plus maybe a few other browns, with those you can mix anything you like and that supply is enough to last many, many ship models.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/24/2019 at 7:08 AM, irishrover1970 said:

Very interesting Vossiewulf. I looked at your link and this stuff sounds like a great idea. Do you mix it with  lacquer ? Or how do you use this? 

What Roger said except I don't generally let it sit on, I wipe on, clean dry cloth wipe off. Repeat as necessary. Although it looks like it penetrates deeply, it generally does not, and therefore another nice thing about dyes is that if you screw up and don't like the color, grab a piece of sandpaper and it's gone very shortly and you can try again.


Get some mason jars. When you mix a color, you'll never use it all and there's no reason to throw it away, put it in a mason jar, label it, and use it again later. I always mix up enough to fill up a small mason jar, doing that you rapidly build up a library of stain colors and the cost is just a bit of denatured alcohol.


This is just a plain old piece of maple, see how dyes enhance the grain rather than obscure it:


Edited by vossiewulf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, irishrover1970 said:

Wow! That is amazing! I think I am sold on the dyes idea! What do you use after you dye it to seal it? Thanks so much .

It's compatible with all clear coats, you can use anything. I use lacquer, lots of other people use polyurethane.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pear takes stain very nicely I've found.



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  Eduard Sikorsky JRS-1 1/72  IJN Notoro 1/700  Akitsu Maru 1/700


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)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...