construction is the most difficult process and a
nightmare to inexperienced builders. Builders
have to bend individual planks according to the
curves of the hull and then nail them one by one onto
the frame. This is the way real ships are built
and ship models should be the same.
To save the tremendous cost
associated with plank-on-frame method, most commercial
builders now machine carve ship hulls from a solid piece of
dried wood (extremely heavy) or cheap balsa wood. The
superstructures are also cuts of wood pieces and given
dark decal for portholes and windows, etc... The
result is very heavy boats (that's why you rarely see
them in large sizes.) The models also feel like
toys and look like toys at close range.
A good way to measure the value of
a boat model is to question whether it can be carried by
high-end shops in a wealthy neighborhood or, in
time, a nautical antique dealer who values evidences of
superior materials as well as articulate woodworking
talent. Another way is to ask whether you
would incline to proudly
pass the model to your
children and grandchildren.
Why do we love
the traditional woodworking method? Click
on the photos below in sequence for a pictorial story.