For frustrated sea captains who wish they could spend hours at the helm of an oceangoing vessel traversing rough seas, a good alternative might be hours spent laboring over the intricate details of a scale model historical ship.
By Linda Orlando
Building and collecting scale model vehicles has been a popular hobby for hundreds of years. There are literally millions of model kits available to hobbyists who enjoy this labor of love, from automobiles to airplanes, to locomotives, to stagecoaches, and even zeppelins. But the most intricate and beautiful of all scale model vehicles are undoubtedly models of wooden ships. Historical sailing vessels are not just vehicles; they are a reminder of the past, when powerful captains commanded a rough group of salty seadogs and scalawags, when pirates roamed the seas looting and pillaging vessels of less power and might. A modeler committed to the task of building one of these scale model wooden ships can almost smell the salt air and hear the gulls screeching as he carefully pieces together the intricate fittings, affixes the sails to the wooden mast, and ties tiny knots into thin fibers to create nets and riggings. The completed vessels are truly works of art.
One of the most exhaustive websites containing links to all kinds of scale model building sites is ScaleModel.net, located in the Republic of China. The site has been on the Web since 1996, but its creator has been a fan of scale models since the 1960s. According to the site, he is currently interested in building static display models of all kinds of classic vehicles including antique submarines and locomotives; the Ford Model T automobile; The Alfa Romeo Spider Touring Gran Sport; WWI German fighter planes; and even science fiction classics such as the Star Destroyer seen in the Star Wars movies. But the gems shown on his site are the regal and lovely historical ships, such as the Santa Maria, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the H.M.S. Victory. ScaleModel contains not only modeling news headlines, but also links to dozens of useful sites that sell model kits or completed models, and it provides information of all kinds for modelers.
Tallships, Inc., specializes in museum-quality model ships and model boats from around the world. The kits sold on this website can take you back to the most exciting era in the history of sailing ships, the Tall Ship Era. At Tallships, Inc, you will find exciting kits for the beginner as well as the advanced builder. Models for sale are offered from the model industry's top manufacturers, including Billing Boats, Dumas, Midwest, Amati, Corel, Sergal, Panart, and many others. You will also find ship modeling tools, books, paints, fittings, wood, and supplies. There is even a Model Ship and Model Boat Gallery, if you are looking for a pre-built ship model. The ship models and model boat kits sold by Tallships, Inc., are made from the best materials available to ensure that your scale model ship or model boat is built to the highest standards.
If you love owning and displaying wooden scale model ships, but don't have the time to build your own, you can also buy them already built. BoutiqueJewels is an group of online shops selling a variety of items, and one of the web shops located at this site is ModelShipsBoutique.com. This site offers ready to display, exquisitely detailed model ships and boats made of high quality wood. The ships and sailboats are made to scale and feature detailed masts, sails, rigging, and decks. Ships are available in categories including Executive Line, Premiere Line, and Nautical Line. These are not model kits; the models are delivered to you completely built, with no assembly required.
Model Ship Master is another site that sells pre-built ship models, but their ships are built to order by commission. They claim to build any models at any scale, and any quality. The ship masters love to build ships, especially models that are considered beyond museum quality. All they need are detailed plans and photos of the real-life ship or boat, and they can finish a complicated model in just six months, delivering monthly progress reports along the way. They also offer a repair service for damaged models.
For everyone who loves both, seagoing vessels and scale models, there are many websites on the Internet that offer you the chance to build or own a highly detailed, exquisitely built model ship, so check them out! You never know what treasures you may discover.