Shipspotters all over the world => Scale Models => Topic started by: lotty on April 29, 2015, 06:27:47 pm

Title: new model maker
Post by: lotty on April 29, 2015, 06:27:47 pm
hi everyone I have followed the forum for a little while and I now have time to start model making, does anyone have any advice on how to start. I am a complete newcomer and would like to make a model from either plywood or balsa. I would be very interested if someone could recommend a not too difficult project to start, I am especially interested in coaster type ships
any advice or pointers would be much appreciated
thank you paul

Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: cerne on May 07, 2015, 08:04:51 pm
Sorry paul , i work in clay and just started learning to do them in rubber moulds and resin...hope you have some joy in using balsa and wood.

Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: Captain Ted on May 07, 2015, 10:23:42 pm
I made until now about 15 models,(5stil in various finishing stages) ,sizes from 4 feet (Victory) down to 10 inch or so, small fishing vessel. They were all out of kits and quite good.
I started however with Old Ironside with a full wood hull and no planking. Once that worked I stepped up. Build also a german fishing vessel as a remote controlled,,worked out too.
Model Seaways in Hollywood Florida has a rather big collection to purchase.
The prices range from 50 to up to 500 $,,,,so one can start really on the "cheap"

I found ,once you have leftovers from previous models, and become more and more handy, one can really improve the kits and make splendid models out of it.
They have nice starter kits, where the necessary paints and tools come with it,,I saw them under $100 for beginners !!!

so,,it does not have to be right away expensive.

Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: Captain Ted on May 08, 2015, 12:58:31 pm
Yes,,thats at my house, all models which I made over time.
As for names, Well ,, I am not home now and would have to look all the names up

but it,s the Victory , Cutty Sark, Baltimore , Flying Fish, cross section of the
victory and the old ironside.   

Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: TimeLapseCanada on June 24, 2015, 04:40:46 pm
Sorry paul , i work in clay and just started learning to do them in rubber moulds and resin...hope you have some joy in using balsa and wood.
Check out my build,
I am building the USS Raven Minesweeper, Its my first build, And I am making videos of the build ,
I am learning as I go,And my videos will give you some ideas on how to build.

Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: stephen griggs on December 10, 2016, 02:54:42 pm
hi Paul do you have a club near you? if so you could join that club where you would get all the help you want. like our club on the isle of Wight.  all the best to you                        steve

Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: Michael Wirth on December 12, 2016, 11:43:05 pm

I'm building ship models since 1991, the RC Models count to 68 - not all finished, in various stages.
Finished and operational are about 20. The nunmber of unfinished models is so high because I often by wrecks, unfinished kits, ... and restore them.
The models are scratch-built and kits, made of wood (various techniques), abs and other plastics, brass, ... and rage from about 40 cm in length (british Coaster S.S. Gowerian in 1:100) to about 1.5 m (Liberty ship, operational Submarines).

I started way back with a used tug kit (little work was already done,but what was done was done good), that was cheap (as many accessories came with it that otherwise would have to be bought seperatly) and a good starting point. As I said, I still purchase these today.

If you would like to start building in wood (e.g. planked wooden hull, brass fittings) you need a minimum set of tools - more than you need for building kits with a prefabricated plastic hull.
If you want to build a RC Model with a wooden hull, the finished hull should be covered with something like EZ-Cote and fibre glass mats.

You are interested in coasters - great, so am I! There are a few great kits around - I am currently building a S.S. Talacre from a Calder Craft Kit (1:48), fibre glass hull, wooden superstructure and decks, white metal fittings.
A very similar but slightly bigger Coaster named Ben Ain (1:32) is available from Mountfleet Models.
My scratch-built S.S. Gowerian (similar but bigger two-hatch prototype) is based on a Model Plan which is also suitable to build this ship in a larger scale and with a wooden hull.

Perhaps you would like a Clyde Puffer? There are Kits available from tiny 1:72 (Deans Marine, I own this one) to 1:32 (Calder Craft I think) as well as plans.

So there are some decisions to make before you start: Should it float (and be RC)? Kit or Scratch-built? Scale and prototype?  ...

I would suggest to start with a kit, perhaps a used one. You can check if this is really yours (you will need a lot of patience - hours and hours in your workshop with only very little progress you can see at first) and you won't have to spend that much money but more important you won't have to learn so many techniques all at the same time.

More questions? Feel free to ask!

Best regards,


Title: Re: new model maker
Post by: steelman08 on December 28, 2016, 05:16:24 pm
I had an unusual way of building a model ship, I had the real ship beneath me.
Working in a dockyard I was working as a crane driver,when H.M.S.Eskimo a tribal
class destroyer, came out of dock, then under me, to be made into a Frigate.
I had access to a 220 volt soldering iron, no problem solder,as I cut up tin cans.
The model grew, as I had time between lifts. The model grew over the months,starting              at the bows ( as you do ) shaping `Eskimo` down to the stern.I had a bit of trouble
with the Mortar bomb thrower ( three barrels that swivel in sequence ) getting it          right after many attempts. The beauty was I could look down,from a height,to gauge
items. I losst it later when moving. On another crane, I made a model of the Short
Brothers aircraft, the Mayo and the Mercury, the same size as the appentices made for
the Short Brothers display cabinet. Later (Shorts )given to the local council,to keep.
The Eskimo model, grew to over 4 feet. I learnt to drive a crane in 1953 on the same
No 2 dock( slipway No 2 ) where H.M.S. Victory was laid down.