Posts Tagged ‘ship models’

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.

Model Ships , , ,

How To Buy a Ship Model

January 7th, 2010

Model Ship - Titanic Model

Model Ship - Titanic Model


One of the most popular pastimes all over the world is building ship models. A ship model is a small-scale reproduction of a ship. People may enjoy building them because they enjoy nautical history, are interested in the engineering of ships, or simply because they think ships are cool. Ship models range in size from miniatures to large models that are actually manned by people.

People have been building ship models since ancient times. Some of these models have survived to the modern era, which gives historians a firsthand look at the ships and the culture surrounding them in the olden days. Ship models were often used in ancient times as burial votives, home décor, or as toys for children.

Times haven’t changed all that much, as ship models today are often used for the same purpose (although not so much as burial votives these days). A ship model displayed in a den is still an impressive sight, and modern children still love to play with toy boats. Model shipbuilding is a timeless hobby that will most likely stay around until there’s no water left in which to float the finished products.

Types of Ship Models

A ship model can range in difficulty from simple enough for a child to complete alone to complicated enough to take weeks for a shipbuilding professional to finish. Model kits are available for many different types of ships, from pirate vessels to modern warships, in materials from wood to plastic. They serve a variety of purposes from decoration to entertainment to research.

Some enjoy the challenge of building an exact replica of a famous ship in perfect detail. Others ratchet up the challenge factor by attempting to build the ship inside a bottle. Ships in bottles are fascinating to look at, but not much fun to play with.

Those who prefer a high-tech thrill could invest in a radio-controlled ship model. An RC ship model may come preassembled, but it’s still a challenge. The challenge lies in navigating it, not in building it, but it’s a challenge nonetheless.

And for those who think that bigger is better, one can even build a ship model that’s large enough to hold people in it. Generally speaking, these manned models are used for research, engineering, or training, but it’s not improbable that some enthusiasts build manned models for recreational purposes.

Where to Purchase a Ship Model

Ship model kits are available for purchase in a variety of avenues. A ship model from a local toyshop or hobby store could make a great last-minute birthday or holiday gift. Online retailers offer every possible model kit in existence. There are even specialty shops dedicated solely to this pastime.

Some may dismiss model shipbuilding as nothing more than silly toys or a leisure hobby, but it is more than that to those who love it. Ship models not only help to preserve history, they have a long history of their own that’s worth preserving. As long as there are model enthusiasts to carry on the tradition, it will live on.

Model Ships , , ,