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Building Model Ships
Author: Gray Rollins

Building models can be a great hobby. There are all kinds of models to choose from including: cars, trucks, plane, trains, and ships. For those that have a connection to the sea, it seems only natural to choose to build model ships.

You might start by purchasing a model kit online and waiting for it to arrive. Youíre probably excited and canít wait to get started. The kit arrives, you open it, and are overwhelmed by the number of pieces. You open the plans, which appear to be written in a language you cannot understand, and you wonder if your choice was wise. Not to worry!! Youíll have that model together in no time.

Chances are youíve chosen model ships because you have a connection to the sea and boats, which means you are familiar with some of the nautical terms like deck, bulkhead, stern, port and starboard, caulk a plank, and even some of the decorative knots that are used. If you arenít familiar with these terms, you can quickly become familiar just by doing a little research online.

When you are ready to start building, there are many online sites that offer classes on how to build model boats and model ships. Some cater to a specific level of building or a specific type of boat. Youíll be able to find classes for the beginner along with classes for people who are more advanced.

These sites also offer forums where you can discuss building with others, get help, and solve problems. Some also have live chat available with staff that can assist you with specific questions or problems you have.

There are also some excellent model ship building books on the market. Again, there are books that cater to the beginner and those that cater to the more experienced builder.

The first ship you buy should be relatively easy. Leave the complicated models for when youíve got more experience. You donít want to get discouraged and give up on the hobby.

Models come in different scale sizes. The larger the scale the more the model will cost. It doesnít make a better model; it just makes a bigger model. Start with a small scale, low cost model. These kits wonít be as detailed as high priced kits, but what they will do is provide you with a great learning experience and a finished product that is nice overall.

Once youíve completed your first model, you can move up to a model thatís a little more detailed and costs a bit more. As your skills grow you can progress in the types of ship models you choose to buy. Most models indicate the skill level required for completion.

Youíll want a work area thatís adequate. The larger the table or work area the better, and itís always nice to hang your plans for easy referral. You also need good lighting with no shadows. Your work area should be broken into areas such as preassembly, working on, and waiting to dry. It will make the process much easier.

Always read your plans in advance of starting to work on an area. That way youíll know exactly where you are headed. It might take a couple of reads to makes sense of the directions, but be patient Ė youíll get it.

There are all kinds of model ships Ė tall ships, cruise ships, sailboats, speedboats, wooden boats, and antique boats are some examples. So whatever you fancy, youíll find plenty of model ships to choose from.

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Gray Rollins is a featured writer for NewModelShips.com. To read our guide to model shipbuilding and to learn about model ships, visit us.

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