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cobraman

Wooden model ships

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Dumas makes some nice wooden boat kits that aren't too challenging. Look up their website.

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Thanks for the info Nick. I have two kits now and if I don't mess them up too bad I may be looking for another.

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Ray, great to read about your interest in wooden ships.  With your modeling skills you will succeed and probably won't look back.

Correct too, starting off with an entry level kit as this is a whole new ball game.  The directions may seem to be lacking at first, not to worry.  Artesania Latina used to have decent instructions, don't know how they are nowadays, or even if the company still exists.  The wood though isn't very nice, but that's true for most of the companies.

Personally, I've stayed away from 3 masted ships for decades, now age has set in and I definitely do not want one on the bench.

I still like the scale of around 1:50.  This comes out to about 24" to 30" overall for a 2 masted ship, sometimes more.  A great size for real hands on modeling, and big enough to add lots of detailing as you progress.

Very helpful is acquiring a collection of historical books showing how to do a ship correctly.  Planking correctly will be a great challenge but very rewarding when done well.

Model Shipways has great models,  I've heard the instructions are not easy.   Artesania Latina  have wood issues, plus I don't like the way the ships look, kind of funky in my opinion.  I can tell an AL model from across the room.   Occre is the same as AL, same folks, same issues.  CalderCraft is a good company.  Krick, a German fellow, has excellent kits.  For beginning, stay away from Constructo, Amati, Sergal and other Italian named companies.  Great contents but the directions are not suitable for entry levels.

Here is my 1st wooden ship, from Krick.  An excellent model in every way.  Good directions as well;

https://www.google.de/search?q=krick+models+karl+and+marie&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF6tnM-YzaAhWDvhQKHdHgBLsQsAQINQ&biw=1536&bih=732&dpr=1.25

Another nice one, big enough and a real looker when finished;  Krick's Revenue Cutter "Alert".

The things cost money, but nothing like a wooden ship on a shelf or a window sill. 

Wooden ships are my favorite models.

 

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When done right those ships look great. The one thing I a concerned about other that the building is the painting and staining. What gets painted ? What colors ? What gets stained ? Again, what colors ? The one kit that I have received does not mention any of that nor does it include any color photos. The other one my wife ordered for me is due this week so I don't know what kind of directions that will include. Have a project I'm working on now so it will still be a couple weeks before I can start the smaller kit I have. I was flying blind when these kits were ordered. Even with the research I did it was not easy to decide which to buy. Hopefully good or bad I can finish both.  Thanks for your info !

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What kits did you get? Google the kit name and check out different stores which sell them. There should be photos of completed models which should give you an idea as to what paints are required. The second kit might have PDF instructions available which indicate the paints and what gets painted.Also, check Google Images. You should come up with more photos than you imagined. If you don't want to do it, post the manufacturers and kits here and I'll do it. Just hurry up. I have many important things to avoid which don't require my immediate inattention.

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Ray, there is a definite plan to what was painted and what was otherwise treated.  All of the old ship models are offered as "historical ship" models, so mostly a general concept is followed.

Like, ships with cannons, warships, both British and American had the inside of the wales, or the skirts above the deck as seen from the deck, were painted red.  The heavy and massive wooden side boards, above the waterline yet running along the cannon ports were white.

Hulls below the waterline not copper plated until late 1700's, British and American.  Capital ships American side were copper plated, the lesser "Baltimore Clippers" of the Revolution Era were rarely plated as these were seldom war boats, but cheaper commercial units.  British ships were of exceptional quality as they placed more value on endurance and a stable gun platform as opposed to speed and maneuverability as the French appreciated.  American Frigates were outstanding.

Hulls were blackened.

Before copper plating,  the hulls were whitish yellow.  Even later on, after copper plating became increasingly popular, it was a matter of cost.  Hence, smaller ships, American, had white hulls under water.  The mix is available through a search.

White lower masts were also a cost factor, and mostly for capital ships.

These facts, and making a model look real is easy to do, because the model is wood.

 

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Thanks guys for the research info. I can do that. Here are the two kits I have ( one just arrived ) I wanted to start with one without masts and sails but it did not work out that way. The no name one was cheap and I bought it was something to built first to gain a little knowledge on how to begin since I don't really know much ( anything ) about building these things. Thanks again !

ships 002.JPG

ships 001.JPG

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Like much about boats and ships, paint and colors will be different than what you've experienced before, and dependent on the particular subject you're building.

There were functional reasons for many things. Sheet lead was the material of choice for "anti-fouling" below the waterline prior to the introduction of copper in the mid 1700s, when the copper bottom sheathing of fast commercial vessels like Cutty Sark was found to be very effective. Marine growth adhering to a ship's hull slows her down due to increased drag, and can make her less effective sailing upwind. The copper made critters (like barnacles) and goo less likely to stick to a hull, and repelled or vastly impeded the boring shipworms. Later anti-fouling paints applied below the waterline contained formulations of copper and other biocides...some of which have now been outlawed (lead-based TBT)...and they could have characteristic colors.

The first effective anti-fouling paints came into use around the mid 1800s, but real scientific investigation into why they worked and what worked best didn't begin until around 1900. So the period your model ship represents, and what she was used for, and even where she was plays a part in which color will be correct below the waterline.

Tradition is also a factor. For instance, the Chesapeake Bay oyster-dredging Skipjacks were very often painted all white above the waterline...including mast and boom. A gold ball was placed at the top of the mast if the boat carried no debt.

Lots of fun stuff to research and learn...which to me is one of the best parts of modeling.  :D

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Thank you all for your posts and help. This forum is amazing. Post a question and for sure someone will come along with an answer and help.

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