construction is the most difficult process and a
nightmare to many model ship builders. Artisans
have to heat bend individual planks according to the
curves of the hull and nail and glue them one by one
onto the frame. Moreover, since wood expands and
contracts, planks must be small, thin and treated.
Real ships have been built
like that. Great ship models
in nautical museums across the world are all like that.
costs, many commercial model ships builders machine carve
ship hulls from solid pieces of wood. These
solid-hull ship models also carry solid superstructures
which are given dark decal (which surely will curl up in
several years) to portray portholes and
windows, etc... At the time of business inception, our founders
faced tough choices between traditional planking and the
solid hull and also resin hull method.
Cost and profit pressure kept mounting but thanks to the
generous financial supports from many patrons, we
finally made up our mind that we would maintain
the classic way until "the end of the world."
All our ship models have plank-on-frame hulls and hollow
A good way
to comprehend the value of a ship model is to question
whether it can be carried by an art gallery in an
upscale neighborhood. Those art galleries prize
models that have natural materials and tremendous amount
of personal attention.
following video shows very well the traditional planking
method. We use this method on all our ship models
(Ocean liner models, cruise ship models, cargo ship
models, naval ship models, yacht models...) Even
the hulls of our submarine models are also
plank-on-frame. The only exception is the
submersible RC submarines because of their operation
from model ship builder J. Brent shows making thin wood
planks is a time-consuming process (starting at 3:30.)
The video also displays necessary tools and the
extensive labor involved in the making of plank-on-frame
from the Modelers' Shipyard teaching how to plank a ship
model. After watching this video you'll see why solid wood and resin
hulls make more sense for many model makers:
are some representative photos:
The Skeleton Bench (by Bilgoray
Pozner) must have been inspired by a beautiful
The following video shows how a computerized machine
can make a solid hull:
And this one from MIT university shows how simple it
is to hand carve a hull. Fast forward to 25:00
for the core:
This video shows a traditional workshop and the
painstaking way to make parts from scratch.
Eventually many manufactures will use 3-D printers.
For more about traditional woodworking method,
please click on the photos below.