Frequently Asked Questions -- Ship Models
These are the topics covered in the FAQ. Each question links to it's answer, which may include graphics.

NOTES: Answers of special interest to new ship modelers are highlighted.
Answers with graphics are marked with ; these are normally "thumbnails" (minature copies of the images).
Clicking on a thumbnail will generally open a new window (using most browsers), so you can look at the text and picture side-by-side. Note: This site uses Java Script, and may not display as intended if Java Script is disabled in your browser. 

marks material which have changed within the last 3 months.


Other recommended sites:

"There is no 'correct' way to build a ship model!"


Tribute to site author:


I don't have the patience to build a ship model (?)
Can I see some ship models pictures on-line?
Where do I get started in making rc model boats?
What is a good beginner's model kit to start with?
Whats the difference between "bread-and-butter", plank-on-bulkhead, and plank-on-frame construction?
What's the difference between Beginner, intermediate, or advanced Kits?
What experience have other modelers had with the European kits?
What is a "Practicum"; what are available?
Are there any groups for Modeling Specific Ships or Kits?
How do I work with resin kits?
I hear reports of problems with some of the "resin" kits?
Can you tell me about paper models?
What hand tools do I need to get started?
Do I need a Rotory tool (E.g., Dremel)?
What power tools do I need?
What sandpaper do I need?
What scale should I use?
What's a good scale? scale sizes for WWII ships
How does one change the scale of plans?
When should I use "English" or "Metric" measurements?
Useful ShareWare
What woods are recommended?
I have a chance to harvest my own wood how do I do it?
Cutting wood planks?
What is the right glue to use?
Is CA glue reliable?
I'd like to try Scratchbuilding XXXX, even though it's available as a kit?
I Need Help with (plastic) Submarine Model Building
Back to TOC


How do I scratch-build a modern hull?
I don't fully understands Harold Hahn's principle of building up side down?
What are all of the lines on my drawing of a ship?
What are diagonals used for?
Can anyone explain how to read a table of offsets?
What carving tools will I need for solid wood hulls?
How do I bend wood for a ship model?
How do I cut the bevel(s) on a bulkhead/frame of a model?
Are ship's frames perpendicular to the keel or to the waterline?
What is "accurizing"?
How do I Clean up Ship Decks?
How do I carve a solid (or bread and butter) hull?
How do I make wooden planking appear realistic?
How do I use paper templates to check the hull shape?
What are "Trunnels", and how do I use them?
Question about beveling plank edges?
How do I plank a hull?
What are Proportional Dividers; what use are they?
How do you drill the mast holes in a solid-hull ship model?
How does one "joggle" at the margin plank?
How do I mark the Waterline?
Back to TOC


I'm looking for a source of sheet copper for plating a model?
How is the copper applied?
How do I make small, inexpensive cast plastic fittings? Pewter?
Where can I locate some chrome fittings for a ChrisCraft boat?
Have anybody got a recipe for chemical blackener? (To blacken brass and other metals)
Does anyone have any experience and/or tips on how to use slide cover glass to make windows?
How does one work with "real" scale rivets?
How do I make eyebolts?
How do I make a "diorama"?
How big should cannon be (compared to what's available)?
How do I rig carronades?
What are the proper colors for British Ensigns? Were the Ensign of British ships really as big as they appear in kits?
What is the best way to do carvings for ship models?
What is "lead sickness"?
What is Brass Rot?
Does anyone knows the typical sizes and termination for oars in ship´s boats?
What can I put on the Deck?
Back to TOC


Should models be painted or left natural wood?
What colors are appropriate for 16th-17th century ships?
I painted the (Cutty Sark) hull and found that the Testors paint is difficult to use and not see brushmarks. Any advice?
What are the correct {brand} colors for {specific ship}?
Painting advice for 1870-1900 warships?
Am modeling a Fletcher and need up to date colors etc.?
What colors to use on the Revell(?) PT-109?
What are the correct USN (and other WW II) Camouflage Measures?
How do you paint and mask camouflage detail?
How do I get "scale color" to work?
How do I translate Tamiya color numbers to Model Master #? Floquil?
How do I use "decal sheet" to apply markings to a model?
How do I get decals to "disappear"?
Where can I get 1/72 scale coast guard decals?
How do I apply gold leaf to ship model parts?
How about gold leaf & paint?
What are the correct colors/stencils used on exposed pipes on Naval ships?
Back to TOC


What are the proper sizes of masts and spars?
How do I taper dowels for masts and spars?
What can be used for fine rigging line?
How do I make scale rope?
How does one assemble rigging?
What is the best material to rig small-scale Resin models?
How do I install ratlines?
Do ratlines extend beyond the futtock shrouds to the lubbers hole? Is the futtock shroud tied directly to the main shroud?
How do I rig footropes on yards?
I Don't Understand What "Mouse" means?
How can I make/use a Seizing/Serving Device?
How do I form the coils of rope onto belaying pins?
Why do I have more lines than points to belay them?
How can rigging line be made to hang naturally?
How do I eliminate the fuzz on model rigging?
Why and how do you use bees wax on rigging?
How do I build small blocks for model sailing ships?
My model calls for clue blocks and sheet blocks, but they're not included - how do I make them?
How does one strop blocks?
What do I use for sails?
What is the best material for sails?
Back to TOC


What is meant by "Museum Quality" ship models?
How do I clean a model?
Where can I find plans for the Frigate (HMS) Rose?
I have an old kit of the XXXX - how much is it worth?
How do I get a ship model appraised (for insurance purposes)?
I'am looking for info or suggestings on model subs?
Why do [your choice] cost so much?
How big should a case be?
How do I Ship Model Ships?
"How do you get it into the bottle"?
How does "Copyright" apply to my work? To old pictures and drawings?
Why can't I use my digital camera to take photographs for my article?
I have kit parts left over - any suggestions?
Can Ship Photos be converted to Drawings?
Back to TOC


                                                          Back to TOC


                                                          Where can I find information... ?
                                                                                                                            Back to TOC


                                                                                                                            What's available on the Internet?
                                                                                                                            • LIST SERVERS
                                                                                                                            • USENET NEWS GROUPS
                                                                                                                            • FAQs
                                                                                                                            • FTP access
                                                                                                                            • GOPHER access
                                                                                                                            What's available on the WWW?
                                                                                                                            • SPECIAL!!!
                                                                                                                            • General
                                                                                                                            • FAQs On-line
                                                                                                                            • Lists of Links to Other Sites
                                                                                                                            • Model Boating & Clubs
                                                                                                                            • Ship Model Dealers and Suppliers
                                                                                                                            • Books and Book Shops
                                                                                                                            • Miscellaneous
                                                                                                                            • Sailing Ships
                                                                                                                            • "Steam" Ships
                                                                                                                            • Maritime Museums and Research Projects (including Nautical Archaeology)
                                                                                                                            • Research Ships
                                                                                                                            • Government / Military
                                                                                                                            Back to TOC