Hand tools for scratchbuilding

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Cost of tools is often a major sticking point for anyone contemplating ship model building. This has always baffled me, as they cost very little, and are often available at car boot sales. These are mainly what I use for miniatures, and I have had most of them for many years (I won the small plane recently in a raffle at the local ship model society! :D ). The most expensive tool shown (when new) are the proportional dividers, but I got that pair from a car boot sale for £5! :D
Bob
 

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The above tools are all that is required to build a miniature model of a simple merchant ship, such as this small topsail schooner, the Mary Sinclair. I got the plans from the book Schooner Sunset, by Douglas Bennet. The materials cost hardly anything, the most expensice item being the 3mm acryclic sheet for the displa case. As the rigging is all fine copper wire, it is just glued on in short lengths, so there are no fiddly knots to deal with. Most model builder have more than sufficient skills to build this type of model, but most will just declare that they could never work at this scale, thus missing out on a low-cost, alternative to large and expensive kits.
Bob
 

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I like that Schooner Bob and the seascape is very realistic. You are giving me a few ideas about trying something like this,
Cheers Andy
 
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Thanks Andy,
The most important thing is to abandon the idea "I could never do that!" Which is a very commonly used statement when anyone sees them. There is really nothing to lose by trying, as materials cost virtually nothing, and only a few hand tools are required. The advantage of them is that the ladies of the household love them, as they don't take up space either during building or display. Neither do they collect dust if enclosed in small acrylic cases. In fact my wife paints all the sea for me! :D Collectors love them because they are either unique one-off, or close to it. Ship model builders tend to keep well clear of them, apparently because they convince themselves they are too difficult to build! :eek: I only build merchant ships because there are so many different types, sizes and colours ranging from 50 tons or so up to the quarter of a million tons tankers. I find Napoleonic warships too fancy with all those guns and decorations, and modern warships are far too drab and grey to kindle any interest in them. Here is a FREE download, introducing the beginner to miniatures. It conains the plans of a small Thames River tug, plus building details: http://payhip.com/b/krO6 Click the link and scroll down a bit to get the Free Download button undeneath the front page on the right.
Bob
 
A

Aussie048

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And
Thanks for you input. Telling a story low equipment. Maybe this can help a young member starting out in Model Ship Building.

A few months ago bought a Proxxon Metal lathe that was advertised on one of our Australian Hobby tool sites. That Lathe had not been used on any metal work at all. Just turned some timber. When I picked the lathe up he was down sizing and going to sell his farm property. He showed me many tools he had and wanted to sell off. I spent about an hour with him. I will send him an email and he might be able to get a young new member into Model Ship building with some cheap tools.

Cheers
Geoff
 
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Thanks Geoff,
The cost of equimpent really deosn't count for much. In fact you can get all you need for less than the price of a good kit. If you are successful at scratchbuilding, (and there is no reason you shouldn't be), the tools are there for the next model, and the next. If you don't like scratchbuildin, sell the tools and buy another kit! - You can't really lose! :D
Bob
 
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That's a very nice build, Bob, and the next time you do a seascape can I ask that you do a practicum so that I can maybe do something similar in the future. Cheers.
 
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Thanks Graham,
The sea is basically polystyrene foam (the type that electrical equipment is packed in), shaped by a low flame from small gas torch with the air intake turned off so it gives more like a candle flame than a high temperature jet. The shaped polystyrene sea is covered by a sheet of crepe paper glued on with wood glue to give it a good surface. That is sprayed with matt grey automobile body primer, and then painted with Humbrol enamels, the white being added whilst the blue is still wet, so it runs. More details with illustrations are given in the 30-page practicum : Scratchbuilding Merchant Sailing Ships, A Dying Art. This is one of the first practicums that I made, and although it has no plans in it, it gives a lot of basic modelling hints and tips, including making the seas with the polystyrene foam method, namely, this ship and sea - the steel barque Marjory Glen. The practicum is 30 pages in length. Click this link, and scroll down to read the synopsis. Then, if you wish to purchase a download, a Paypal button is provided for £2.49. http://payhip.com/b/RnMf
Bob
 

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