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Building Model Ships - The Detailed Guide

I've been building model ships for over 30 years now and have built over 75 kits and perhaps a dozen scratchbuilt plank on frame models, many of which have never been seen by anyone other than myself.

I've been in business for over 14 years. In that time period, I've written 19 practicums and numerous mini-practicums. I've shot dozens of hours of video. Many of them have never been seen or used in any of my products. I've written thousands of pages on how to build specific model ship kits. I've taken thousands of photos. I have probably documented more on how to build model ships than any other individual in the world (not to be bragging but just a fact).

One of my desires over the years has been to put together a definitive guide on how to build a model ship, be it a plank on bulkhead kit or a scratchbuilt plank on frame model. Well, I'm pleased to announce that I'm now at work on such a project.

Drawing from the dozen plus practicums and thousands of pages of writing and thousands of photos and dozens of hours of video, I am in the process of writing a 12 volume printed guide on how to build a model ship.

Each volume will be printed in full color, coil bound with a glossy color cover. I have had an account for years with a print on demand service that can print these books in this format. Providing a coil bound set of books means that the customer will be able to take these volumes into his or her workshop and open the book up to a given page and lay the book down on thier workbench so that it lies flat on the surface for easy reference and reading.

Each volume will be 8-1/2" x 11" in size. Some volumes, if not all, will include a CD with videos and photos in that volume.

I'm hoping for a price of $50.00 per volume based on what a volume will cost me to be printed. I also plan on a discounted complete set of all 12 volumes. Final pricing will be determined based on the number of pages in each volume because the more pages in one of these printed books, the more it costs me to have it printed. I may offer an option for either black and white or color to allow for a less expensive version.

Completion date/availability date is to be announced. I've already begun work on the first volume, but I can't say how long it will take to write all 12 volumes. The first series will be based on Plank on Bulkhead kits. Here is a breakdown of what each volume will cover:

  • Volume I - Building the Framework

  • Volume II - Planking the Hull

  • Volume III - Planking the Decks

  • Volume IV - Making Deck Furniture

  • Volume V - Head Rails and Bow Details

  • Volume VI - Stern Transom and Stern Details

  • Volume VII - Armament

  • Volume VIII - Channels and Chainplates

  • Volume IX - Making Masts

  • Volume X - Making Yardarms

  • Volume XI - Standing Rigging

  • Volume XII - Running Rigging

The second series will be based on scratch built plank on frame models. It will cover the same subject matter up to and including Volume VIII. That series may not be available until late 2018 as the majority of my business has always come from kit practicums.

The intent of this project is to put together the most detailed set of books on building model ship kits that has ever been written. I've been building model ships for over 30 years now. I've built over 75 kits in that time period. I have photos of my early models that were taken using a conventional film camera, all of which will have to be scanned into digital format.

These are photos that no one has ever seen before. They cover not only my early plank on bulkhead kits such as my very first model ship, HMS Victory, as well as the Half Moon, Fair American, Golden Hind, HMAV Bounty, and others.

These photos also my early plank on frame scratch built models such as the Rattlesnake, HMS Alfred, Oliver Cromwell, Confederacy, HMY Fubbs, and kits I designed and built such as the Fair American, Halifax, HMS Kingfisher and HMY Fubbs.

This will be an enormous undertaking given the mass amount of written data and documented build photos that I have accumulated, but once it's finished, it will also be the most detailed guide on how to build model ships that has ever been written. This 12 volume guide should enable any model ship builder to build any model ship kit and will probably make my practicums obsolete (but I'll continue to offer them).

I'll post some updates on my progress for this project on a periodic basis. I hope I've sparked your interest and that you will share this with your friends.

Thanks for your support over the past 14 years.

Bob Hunt

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