Ship modelling is an ancient craft – as old as shipbuilding and sea travel themselves. From the dawn of time period ship models were built during the construction process of the real vessel to act as a demonstration figure. Nowadays historic ship models are commissioned for museums, private collections and

exhibitions. In order to create an authentic replica of a ship the model maker had to acquire a vast amount of knowledge of the construction and shipbuilding methodology. A great deal of commitment and time is required when building such a model.

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In the beginning of each historic ship build a thorough research of the vessel and the period when the keel was laid down has to be conducted. The materials for the model are carefully selected to match the actual ship and to appear in scale. To ensure the highest level of accuracy a detailed 3D CAD model is being made which serves as a base for the construction processes. Even though a lot of computer-aided machinery is being used in the manufacturing still the majority of the work is caried out by hand. Unlike other types of scale models where the surfaces are covered with paint, historic ships are primarily made of wood therefore the grain, joins, edges and carvings are visible and measure the craftsmanship of the master modelmaker. Due to the nature and complexity of the constructions and details jigs and custom tools have to be created for instance a ropewalk machine for accurate rigging in scale. Some of the technologies used during the construction of the actual vessel are also used in the production of the scale replica. To achieve a realistic look aging techniques are used on the relevant surfaces and materials. 

The beauty of the sailing ship can be unveiled in different ways.  To draw attention to its details the model can be built without sails or fully-rigged with open sails for a majestic display.  To incapsulate a specific moment in time the model can be complimented with a diorama scenery where it could be depicted in battle, during a storm, after a ship wreck, during construction in the shipyard – the sky is the limit.

Admiralty ship models are used to illustrate the internal hull and deck constructions. In these types of models either both sides are open or one of the sides can be fully planked and finished. 

Period ship models are a timeless piece of art which serves as a reminder of former glory. If you are interested in a new build or restoration – contact us.   

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