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The Best Model Ships for Children

April 5th, 2010

Ships in a Bottle

While the hobby of model ship collecting can seem a bit stuffy at times, not everything in it is so mundane. There are many model ships out there that emphasize imagination and fun above everything else. Therefore, model ships are not restricted to adults but can also be pastimes of children as well. There is also a plethora of model ships out there that appeal to children because they are mysterious, spooky, and/or simply fun to play with. Children have vivid imaginations that tend to run wild, and when paired with a model ship there are all sorts of adventures for them to get into to. From ships in a bottle, to pirate ships, to remote controlled speed boats, kids can have plenty of fun with model ships.

The Cutty Sark Ship in a Bottle

Kids love ships in bottles. The Cutty Sark Ship in a Bottle makes a great toy for your kid to share at their school’s show and tell. Other children will be fascinated and wonder how the ship managed to get inside the bottle. However, with a kids overactive mind chances are the ship in a bottle will eventually find itself afloat up a creek or stream! The Cutty Sark is only $19.99, and is 11″ in length, 4″ in width, and 5″ in height.

The Caribbean Pirate

The Caribbean Pirate is another great model ship for children. Pirate ships are fascinating to our imaginations and children will love to have and play with their very own pirate ship! The Caribbean Pirate ship is made out of resin and is painted black, white, and burgundy. This model is only $9.99, and is 7″ long, 2″ wide, and 6″ high.

The RC Chris Craft Dual Cockpit

The model ships children will love most are without a doubt the remote controlled speed boats. These boats, while expensive, offer the most fun out of all of the model ships for children. The RC Chris Craft Dual Cockpit is a fast speed craft that gets up to 25 mph! With such a high speed, children will have countless hours of fun with this speedboat. This model is also realistically created, with gauges that resemble the real thing and are not simply painted on. Furthermore, it is made from heartwood honduras mahogany, which is one of the finest mahoganies available and is usually used on actual boats. At $699, this model ship may be a little steep in the price range, but it is guaranteed that your children will have fun with it.

Usually, the best model ships for children are found to be the models that cater to the imagination and to an overall fun experience. There are many model ships out there that are suitable for children. You simply just have to figure out what your child favors and then go from there. Model ship collecting is a fun hobby and it is never too early to start!

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Top Ship Models for Serious Collectors

April 2nd, 2010

Top Model Ships for Serious Collectors

Nowadays, anyone can become a model ship collector. What used to be an expensive hobby has become put into the hands of anyone who wants to join. You can find model ships for as low as $9.99. However, for serious model ship collectors those models just will not cut the mustard. Real model ship collectors know, however, that it is not about price, but rather about the quality, time invested, and limited scope of the model. A great model ship is diligently worked on by master artisans and created from the finest materials around. Many of the best model ships are often limited editions because they are so intricate in design that the designer can only create so many. This article will take a look at some of the top ship models for serious collectors.

The USS Constitution Limited Edition

The USS Constitution is a great ship model for serious collectors. Upon purchase you are given a Certificate of Authenticity signed by master artisan Richard Norris. Only fifty models of the USS Constitution will ever be made. This ship model is intricately designed and hand painted to accurately match the actual ship. It is built with rare woods such as cherry, walnut, oak, birch, and maple. Each model takes hundreds of hours to build by master craftsmen. This is due to realistic touches such as twenty-three hand stitched sails, an actual copper plated hull, and fully built lifeboats. The USS Constitution comes in at 38″ in length, 10″ in width, and 28″ in height. For all the details and work that goes into the USS Constitution you would be surprised to learn that it is only $599!

The RC Ferrari Hydroplane

The RC Ferrari Hydroplane is an excellent model ship for the serious collector looking for a great remote controlled model. This model is designed in the image of its real life counterpart and is meticulously painted to match. Furthermore, the Hydroplane even comes with plush leather seats reminiscent of the actual ship. The dashboard is even equipped with real looking gauges that are not merely painted on. Each strip of wood on the hull is laid down one at a time to ensure a quality product that is pleasing to both eye and touch. Also, when using its remote control function the Hydroplane can go up to 25 mph! Therefore this model is great for serious collectors looking to get a little fun out of their model ship collection. The RC Ferrari Hydroplane comes in at 32″ in length, 8″ in width, and 11″ inches in height. At $699 this model is a bit pricey, but for the serious model ship collector money should not be an object.

The San Felipe Special

The San Felipe is a one of a kind model that every serious model ship collector should be interested in. But act fast, because there is only one model available! The details that went into the creation of the San Felipe model are staggering. This model ship is made from the highest quality woods; its canvas sails have been starched to keep them in place; and the deck is littered with cannon ball racks, wooden grates, rudder chains, and an authentic lifeboat. This model took hundreds of hours to complete from scratch (no kits) by master craftsmen. The San Felipe is a grandiose 60″ in length, 24″ in width, and 54″ in height. For something so rare and so beautiful, the San Felipe’s price tag of $7999 is completely worth it!

Model Ships, New Ship Models, Pirate Ship Models, RC Boats, Sailboat Models, Tall Ships, Top Selling Ship Models , , , ,

Best Online Stores for Model Ship Collectors

March 31st, 2010

Great Online Model Ship Stores

When looking to buy great model ships online it is important to find online stores for model ship collectors that offer a wide array of both model ships and nautical decor. The quality of the model ships on these sites should directly correlate with the price. The best online stores for model ship collectors should have master artisans that work tirelessly on your model from start to finish. These sites should also have great shipping methods and care packaging to ensure a safe arrival to your doorstep. For instance, you do not want to purchase a model ship for over a hundred dollars that was created sloppily and falls apart before it even reaches your door, and not even have a money back guarantee. For the model ship collector looking to buy individual models look no further than handcraftedmodelships.com. If you are a retailer looking for wholesale model ships then tallmodelships.com is your best bet. Both stores are reliable and offer great quality, low prices, and safety assurance.

Hand Crafted Model Ships

At Hand Crafted Model Ships you will find a large assortment of tradition model ships, such as: Civil War ships, Coast Guard ships, cruise ships, decor yachts, fishing boats, pirate ships, remote controlled boats, sailboats, ships in bottle, speed boats, tall ships, and WWII ships. These ships are created from the highest quality materials such as cherry, teak, yellow siris, birch, and rosewood. The higher the cost of the model the more effort that was put into creating it. Some models require over two hundred hours of work by master artisans to complete. Hand Crafted Model Ships also has some limited edition and rare model ships available. Furthermore, you can purchase nautical decor items such as compasses and ship wheels to accommodate your model ship purchase. These decor items will add flair and style to your nautical themed room at cheap prices. Every item bought from Hand Crafted Model Ships is guaranteed quality, and is shipped to your house in safe packaging that ensures the safety of your product. If for some reason you are not happy with your model ship or decor item you are entitled to receive a full refund. If you are looking to purchase models then Hand Crafted Model Ships should be your first stop.

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Model Ship Collecting Around the World

March 29th, 2010

Model Ship Collecting Around The World

Model ship collecting is one of the worlds oldest hobbies. In the ancient world, model ships reflected the peoples love and sometimes fear of these outstanding technological advancements. Back then, ships were the most advanced and complex technological achievements in the world. Interest in ships were high due to the impact they had on trade, adventure, and war, among other things. Model ships were used for many different purposes. Some of which coincide with what they are used for today, while other purposes have dropped off completely mostly due to cultural changes. Today, model ship collecting is still a world wide hobby. It seems that our fascination with sea faring vessels remains intact, and the enthusiasm has not died down one bit.

Model Ship Collecting in the Ancient World

Ancient model ships from Greece, Egypt, and Phoenicia were discovered lining the Mediterranean. Using these models as guides, we can determine the cultural influences and economic conditions of the time period. Model ship collecting in the ancient world was done for a variety of reasons. For instance, many model ships served as burial votives for the dead. While this may not be seen very much or at all in modern culture, ancient ship models were also used as toys, household decorations, and as art. Furthermore, the model ships used as household decor could also serve as more than display purposes. Some models were made into lamps or used as drinking appliances.

In Europe, up until the the 18th century almost all model ships that were made were done so strictly for the purpose of showcasing how the actual ship would look when finished. It was not until the Napoleonic wars that model ship collecting became a hobby, and even an art form, in Europe. This was due to imprisoned French and English seamen who created ship models out of random scraps laying around their cell floors. When people began buying these models, the prisoners where supplied with better materials such as ivory to craft much more luxurious models. And by the 1880s Britain was home to three model ship sailing clubs.

Model Ship Collecting in the Modern World

Today model ship collecting around the world is still very popular. They make excellent toys for children, great decorations for households, and fun gifts for those people in your life that you are unsure of what to get come the holidays. Unlike model ships of the yesteryear, in the modern era model ships can be manufactured much more easily. This is because of the industrial revolution that made it so that practically anyone can build a model ship from pre-existing kits. Before that, model ships were built strictly by master artisans who slaved for hours on end in order to create works of art. In spite of this there are still master craftsmen today who take model ship building and collecting very seriously. Furthermore, new to the modern era of model ship collecting are RC boats. RC boats are remote controlled boats that can be fully functional on water. These boats are great fun for young and old alike.

Model ship collecting around the world is as strong as it has ever been. While there have been some changes in the application and practical purposes of ship models, the joy of creating and collecting them still remains the same.

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Rare and Collectors Edition Model Ships

March 26th, 2010

Limited Edition Model Ships

There are many kinds of model ships available. Some are sold in kits for you to build yourself, while others are sold completely finished for your display case pleasure. Those interested in the latter are often at odds trying to find rare and collectors edition model ships. Finding these rare ships can be a daunting task. This is because rare and limited edition ship models sell out quickly. In order to get your hands on these elusive models it is necessary to know how and where to go about searching for scarce model ship commodities.

For instance, when visiting a model ship retailer be sure to ask what limited models they have in stock, how many are available, and how much they cost. Common misconceptions about rare and collectors edition ship models lead many to believe that they are always high in the price range. However that is not the case, as many limited model ships can be purchased at low prices. Collectors edition model ships are usually of famous ships, movie ships, or ships by respected craftsmen. Many limited edition model ships are collectors edition ship models, therefore this article will examine a few rare and collectors edition model ships to aid you in your search.

The Volunteer Limited Edition Ship

The Volunteer is a fully assembled limited edition model ship. Priced under one hundred dollars, this rare ship model is perfect for the buyer that is looking for something unique but not willing to pay a large price for said model. The Volunteer is hand painted to match the colors of the actual ship, and is built using rare, high quality woods. The history that surrounds The Volunteer is also responsible for making it a rare and collectors item, as the actual Volunteer “was the victorious American defender of the seventh America’s Cup race in 1887 against Scottish challenger Thistle.”

The San Felipe Rare Model Ship

The San Felipe is a rare ship model that will cater to the crowd looking to spend a little more money in their purchases. This rare ship model comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity from HMS Founder and Master Builder Richard Norris. The San Felipe is made from over two thousand parts, built from high quality woods, and is companion to only fifty other models of its kind.

The San Felipe Special Edition Model Ship

The San Felipe Special is an amazingly detailed rare and collectors edition ship model that is only for those who have a lot of money to spend – eight thousand dollars to be exact. There is only one San Felipe Special tall model ship available. This ship model is also created using the finest and rarest woods. The details of the San Felipe are so intricate that it took hundreds of grueling hours by many master craftsmen to complete this ship model. The actual San Felipe was built in 1690 and was the leader of the Spanish Armada. The actual ship was never salvaged, as it went down at the arms of an English vessel centuries ago. The recreation of this notorious ship into model form was done so by using paintings of the San Felipe from Vincenzo Lusci.

These are just a few example of rare and collectors edition model ships. There are many to be found online or at your local model ship store, but hurry, because someone may snag the last models available!

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Why Model Ships Make Perfect Gifts

March 10th, 2010

Model Ships Make Great Gifts!

Model Ships Make Great Gifts!



 

When we see a model ship that someone has put together, we no doubt wonder, "How on earth did he do that?" What’s even more exciting is when you tear open all that colorful wrapping paper on Christmas Day to find a miniaturized nautical treasure waiting for you underneath. But what makes model ships so appealing to give as gifts?

Ships in History

The historical significance of each ship and the incredible accuracy that goes into each model is certainly a huge factor. Giving a small piece of history to a loved one so that he or she may also enjoy its superb craftsmanship will spur further curiosity over why that particular vessel was so important.

Once the history of one ship is discovered it will lead him or her to read about other ships from the same or concurrent time periods. This may also spur an interest to later get other models in order to continue this educational experience.

Admiration of Skill

When seeing an assembled model ship, interest is enlightened when the admirer realizes that he or she would not have the patience to build it. So giving a model ship as a gift offers the admirer a chance to truly enjoy the effort that’s gone into its creation. Perhaps while marveling at each intricate detail he or she will be inspired to grasp that patience.

Others may not want to try assembling ships on their own, but they will be more inclined to see what else the builder has to offer. After peeling away the wrapping paper and the bow and staring at the treasure inside, they will likely ask "Where did you get this?" You can proudly tell them where you found that pirate ship and how impressed you also were with its craftsmanship.

Model Ships Bring Fond Memories

A common practice when giving a model ship as a gift is offering a bit of remembrance from a trip or other fond life experience. Especially with luxury cruises very popular right now, many of us have taken at least one journey on a big ship. Usually we come home with a model ship so that every time we see it, we think of our trip and how enjoyable it was.

Model ships are also popular gifts for those in the armed forces who once served or still serve on a particular vessel. These models are accepted and displayed as a grand form of pride from his or her efforts as a member or the military. Whatever station he or she may have served, looking over at that miniature ship time and time again will certainly make them smile.

So whether you give a model ship for a loved one to collect or enjoy, or if you want to just see the ships when you visit him or her later on, they will always make a fantastic gift. If anything, it’s relaxing to just sit and enjoy seeing the ships, and perhaps dream a little with it.

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Model Ship Buying Guide

March 2nd, 2010
How To Buy Model Ships

How To Buy Model Ships

 

Purchasing a model ship is a significant decision. If you’re not already a model builder or collector, it can be very difficult to determine the exact value of the model you’re looking for. With the infusion of the internet, there is also the added challenge of not being able to examine the model in person, or to compare models of different builders for details. A model might look good from afar, but when closely examined it could be a disaster.

When looking for a ship model, first ask yourself these questions:

  • How many pictures does the seller provide?
  • What is the quality of each picture?
  • Is the model historically accurate?
  • What components were used in building the model?
  • Does the seller have quality control and/or inspect all models prior to shipment?
  • How will the model be packaged for delivery?

A Picture is Not Always Worth 1000 Words

Since you cannot see the model in person, the next best thing you have is photos on the web. Depending on how large and/or complex the ship model is, you have to hope the seller will offer you as many angles as possible to reaffirm your decision.

At minimum you should have pictures of the bow, stern, port and starboard sides of the boat. If the ship has sails, a close up of the fabric and stitching are also helpful. If the stand has a plaque, that should also have a separate picture. If it has any specific historical details such as raised colors or deck contents, those should also been shown.

Each photo should also be an exceptional resolution and size for better inspection. Blurred or hastily Photoshopped photos also give the impression that the seller is just as careless with his or her product.

Accuracy is Key

This is where the digital age becomes the most useful. With the World Wide Web at your fingertips, it’s very easy for you do your homework and make sure that the seller has done his or her fair share as well. Do a side by side analysis of drawings, paintings, and historical photographs for the ship you’re looking for with the various photos shown by the seller. Are the painted colors correct? Does the ship have the right amount of cannons on each side? Does it have 3 turrets or 4?

How the model is made is also a huge factor in quality and pricing. If the model is made of high quality rosewood, it will certainly be a more prestigious sale than one made of cold cast resin or plastic.

Inspections & Shipping

The ultimate way to tell if the seller is offering you good product is if he or she inspects the product before shipping. Often you’ll find a link to a guarantee with multiple points of inspection offered before the ship is sent.

Also a good thing to look for is any info on how the boat is packaged for delivery. If the seller shows photos of how the boat is stored and protected, the better. Using a specific shipping company with excellent standards is also a plus.

If the model and the seller offering it meet all of these criteria, then you’ve got a better edge on determining if the model will be perfect for you or as a gift for someone else.

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Top 10 Most Famous Ships in History

February 6th, 2010

Famous Ships - Titanic Model

The Most Famous Ship - The Titanic


 

There are many ships with a claim to fame due to how they were build while others are due to some significant historical event(s) that they were involved in. Whatever the reason, this select number of vessels has left a permanent imprint in our minds.

The Titanic

One of the most recognized navel disasters of the early 20th century; the RMS Titanic was quoted by The Shipbuilder Magazine as "practically unsinkable". Nearly 100 years later, the story of this great ship’s demise is still shrouded in controversy. Regardless, the Titanic has left an enduring legacy for many historians, treasure seekers, and enthusiasts alike.

The Enterprise

There have been many vessels with this recognizable name; some factual and some fictional. Regardless of history or myth, The Enterprise in its various personas has grown into a cultural phenomenon. Some of the most notable crafts include the USS Enterprise nuclear aircraft carrier and the Space Shuttle Enterprise currently on display at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space museum.

The Victory

The most famous ship of the Royal Navy, the HMS Victory is mostly remembered when Admiral Horatio Nelson commanded her between 1803 and 1805. She’s the oldest commissioned warship in the world and currently rests in Portsmouth.

The Cutty Sark

The world’s only surviving extreme clipper ship; the Cutty Sark is mostly remembered not as a sailing vessel but as one of many significant sites to see in the south-east London. Even after an accidental fire in 2007, the ship was restored through charity efforts and is one again on display for all to see.

The Mayflower

Originally designed as a trade cargo ship, the Mayflower is most known for its transportation of English Separatists across the Atlantic between 1620 and 1621. After reaching Cape Cod, the surviving Pilgrims stayed behind while the ship then returned to London.

The Britannic

A sister ship to the Titanic, the HMHS Britannic would start as a luxury ocean liner but then be commissioned as a hospital ship for the First World War. In 1916, she would be struck with a mine off the coast of Greece and quickly sink into the Mediterranean.

The Constitution

The USS Constitution is most recognized as one of the few navel vessels with a perfect battle record. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides", the ship was later dry-docked and converted into a museum in Boston, Massachusetts as a symbol of longevity and American might.

The Arizona

The USS Arizona is one of the US navel ships which was subsequently attacked and sank during the Japanese attack in Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Its remains are still in Pearl Harbor as a memorial to that historical day and to those who lose their lives.

The Niña, Pinta & Santa Maria

The Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria will always be remembered as the trio of ships that carried Christopher Columbus and crews across the Atlantic. Despite the loss of the Santa Maria in Haiti, the other two ships was used on many of Columbus’ later voyages as well.

The Bounty

Romanticized by Hollywood, the mutiny upon the HMS Bounty in 1789 is most well known for its aftermath of its crew through various stages of trials, tribulations, and betrayal. Lt. Bligh was eventually acquitted and descendants of the mutineers still live on Pitcairn Island to this day.

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Model Ships for Sale

January 23rd, 2010

Model Ships for Sale - HMS Victory Model

Model Ships for Sale - HMS Victory Model


 

Model ship collecting is about as classic a hobby as you can get. Prior to the industrial revolution, model ships were bought and sold mostly among the wealthy population. This was because of the uniquely skilled craftsmanship put into the each model’s design. However, in this day and age model ships sell to anyone and everyone. Some collectors prefer building models from scratch, while others simply want to find whole model ships for sale. If you are just starting out in your hobby and looking to find some model ships to start off your collection, there are loads of great sites that offer model ships for affordable prices.

Model Ships for Sale Online

One such site for the model ship enthusiast is handcraftedmodelships.com. Here you can find a large variety of model ships for sale. Ship sizes conveniently range from 14″ and under to 50″ and over. While ship pricing ranges from the affordable $50 and under to the more diehard $500 and over.

For the collector looking for certain themes, different styles of model ships are also sold at handcraftedmodelships.com. For instance, civil war ships, pirate ships, and WWII ships are among the site’s model ships for sale. Also, ship decorations such as telescopes, ship wheels, and compasses are available for the model ship collector looking to enhance current models they own.

Mode ship categories include: tall ships, speed boats, cruise ships, yachts and special edition models. Display cases for your most prized model ships are also available. Each display case is made from pine, and is fashionably styled to store your model ship in luxury. Most newcomers to model ship buying probably won’t be interested in spending an extra $150 on just a case; but the accomplished and prideful model ship owners will scoff at the thought of dust gathering on their ships.

Another great way to find model ships for sale is eBay.com. Newcomers to model ship collecting may find the prices on eBay very affordable, while the quality of the ship may not be that great. However, distinguished model ship collectors looking to spend a bit of money will find many great and/or rare model ships for sale. However, eBay can either be your friend or your enemy. If you don’t know what you are doing, you may spend too much on a model ship not worth a whole lot. But when looking for rarities, eBay will help you find those model ships that other sites don’t sell.

So, whether you are new to model ship collecting or are a seasoned vet, there are many online ways to find the perfect model ships.

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Wooden vs Plastic Sailboat Models

January 13th, 2010

Model Ship - Enterprise Model

Model Ship - Enterprise Model


 

The subculture of model ship making dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians who often placed small replicas of ships inside tombs in the belief that it could be used for the soul to travel across the Nile. The Greeks and Phoenicians were also known to create representations of ships for pottery and paintings. A modern boost in ship modeling arrived in the 1930’s when the designs of ship builder, E. Armitage McCann were published in Popular Science Magazine.

So it’s no surprise that at the dawn of the 21st century, model ship making is still a challenging and rewarding hobby. Some choose to do it due to a fascination with the sea itself. Others enjoy the creation process as the model slowly takes shape. Still others are amazed by the amount of detail that goes into many ship model designs.

Toy Boats or Much More?

To those who are new to the model ship culture, they may see these small boats as children’s toys. While some are made for the purpose of play, many other ships are meant to be placed on display. In fact, upon witnessing the precision that goes into many of these designs, you would not expect to see them floating sideways in a child’s bathtub.

Some models are seen in captain’s cabins to show pride in the craft he or she commands. Ship building companies keep miniatures of all their current designs on display in board rooms and offices. These scaled down versions are also often used to understand how ships in centuries past were built.

Plastic vs Wood Models

Since many nostalgic boat designs were made out of wood, a lot of early model ships were made the same vein. In many cases wood was one of the only materials available and easy for hands to manage. Many collectors and diehard enthusiasts even now stress the need for accuracy, so they will only work with wood, string, and in some cases even small metal parts for cannons and anchors.

After World War II, the innovation of plastic models started to become more popular due to supply and demand. Many of these models were made from master designs of wood, plaster, clay or other materials. These designs are then used to create plaster or epoxy molds for mass production.

Some of these assembly line-styled model ships come preassembled so they can be displayed directly out of the box. Others arrive in various pieces in order for you to enjoy the achievement of making the model. In either case, the accomplishment of these kits has made model ship collecting more accessible to the general public.

Are Model Ships For You?

The hobby of model ships does require patience to go along with a passion for the seafaring crafts they represent. What’s most important is that the experience can be fulfilling and even provide you with a wonderful story about the boat and even some information about the period in history it came from.

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