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Construction Process
Admiralty Ship Model > Construction Process

An Insight: Wooden Sailing Ship Model Building Process & Build Quality

It is of prime importance that the customer understands the level of quality, the raw materials used, craftsmanship and amount of dedicated work that is invested in each one of our model ships. Our model makers (master craftsmen) are highly talented and dedicated individuals specifically selected & employed by us for their individual skills and craftmanship. This section aims at highlighting all the important steps in the building of our wooden plank on frame ship models. You will have undoubtedly come accross many ship builders who produce very low quality routinely built ship models. Therefore as the customer you need to be very careful when choosing a wooden model sailboat or as there are many out there built with little quality. In stark contrast, we focus on quality. We beleive in using the best materials, a thorough build process & giving the ship models the highest level of care during this process.

Research on Wooden Ship Models All our historic model ships are built from original ships blueprints. Detailed research information collected from various sources such as accurate maritime publications and ships currently in dock around the world is also used for accuracy.

Finest Wood & Raw Materials for Wooden Model Ships

Finest Wood & Raw Materials for Wooden Model Ships

Only the finest wood is selected for use on our wooden ship models. Mature Grade-A Teak (Tectona Grandis) is used on all our ship models. All our ships are built from scratch. We start off with wooden logs which are then cut down into very fine planks and treated for use on our model ships. If requested by the customer, we can also use other types of woods like tropical sapele. The wood used comes from controlled sustainable forests.

Mature Teak Used on All Sail Ship Models

Mature Teak Used on All Sail Ship Models

Mature Grade-A Teak (Tectona Grandis) is used on all our ship models due to its excellent resistance to environmental exposure & ageing. Teak is easily worked and is rich in natural oils which makes the wood suitable for use in exposed locations.The mature teak becomes even more durable when we treat the ship model with oils and varnish.

Wood Cutting & Shaping for Wooden Model Ship Building

Wood Cutting & Shaping for Wooden Model Ship Building

The mature teak wood is cut to the millimetre into fine planks for model ships hull planking and fine blocks for carving. This enables us to use very fine planking depending on client requirements and model detail to be reproduced. All our ships decorations and deck details are handcarved wood. The model ships hulls are wooden hulls built to last.

Shaping of Ship Model Wooden Frames, Bulkheads and Keel

Shaping of Ship Model Wooden Frames, Bulkheads and Keel

Frames are cut and shaped according to the ship's blueprints. The wooden frames or bulkheads are mounted on the ships keel. The wooden frames & keel arrangement is the skeleton of the ship model. This wooden skeleton defines the basic profile of the ship model on which planks will be pinned thereafter. Frame spacing can be made shorter if required for Custom Sailing Ship Model Orders

Wooden Plank on Frame Hull Construction

Wooden Plank on Frame Hull Construction

All our ship models possess a wooden plank on frame (plank on bulkhead) hull construction. The interior of the ships hull is made up of wooden frames onto which the finely cut planking are pinned. We use small frame spacing to achieve the highest level of accuracy in terms of shaping of the model ship's hull. This type of plank on frame structure also gives added strength and durability. All the model ships frames are cut using a special tool and each frame is dimensioned as specified on the ships blueprints. Wood planking sizes are decided based on customer requirements and level of detail required on each wooden model ship.

First Layer of Wooden Hull Planking

First Layer of Wooden Hull Planking

This is a crucial step in the production of ship models. A first layer of planks is mounted onto the frames. For Large Sailing Model Ships and very accurate ship models, the first layer of thin wooden planks are pinned onto each frame. For smaller ships, one single layer consisting of an array of planks is fixed onto the frames. The planks making up the ships decks are also implemented at this stage.

Very Detailed Deck Wood Planking

Very Detailed Deck Wood Planking

There are two ways of planking wooden decks. The first is normally used on Large Accurate Ship Models whereby thin short planks are individually cut and copper pinned onto undelying frames to give the deck its exact bulge/curvature. This design can also be incorporated for custom built ship models. The second is relevant to smaller ships where thin planks are cut and glued side by side very tightly.

Surface Preparation Before Double Wooden Planking

Surface Preparation Before Double Wooden Planking

The outer surface of the single planked ship models are then prepared prior to double planking. The outer surface of each ship model is sanded down using coarse to small grain sanding paper. This facilitates the positioning of a second (double) wooden plank layer and the accurate shaping of the ships hull when it is double planked.

Second Layer of Planking-Double Planked Wooden Ship Model

Second Layer of Planking-Double Planked Wooden Ship Model

A second and final layer of planking is applied onto the ship model. This is currently applied on wooden ship models only but it can also be implemented on Custom Made Ship Models. The thin & narrow planks are very accurately cut and bent according to the local surface curvature where it will be fitted. The secondary planks are neatly mounted or pinned side by side to give a perfect outer surface to the ship models. This step normally requires a lot of concentration from the builder.

Checking the Wood Planking Lines & Symmetry

Checking the Wood Planking Lines & Symmetry

We carefully check that the double planking is well adapted to the surface. We also make sure that absolute symmetry is achieved during double planking on both sides of the ships hull. The planks on both sides of the bow possess the same inclination and are required to meet the bow structure at the same mirrored point. Again the level of quality is thoroughly maintained during this process.

Wooden Planking & Hull Details for Sailing Ship Models

Wooden Planking & Hull Details for Sailing Ship Models

For small model ships, single pinned planking is commonly used while for larger model ships double planking method is used. The type of planking method is dependent on the size and accuracy to be reached. All the decks on our model ships are also built using fine planking. The planks used on that particular component of the model ship is much finer than the planking used on the ship's hull.

Carving of Wooden Sterns, Figureheads & Decorations

Carving of Wooden Sterns, Figureheads & Decorations

The stern galleries, figureheads and all decorations are hand-carved into the best wood by our best craftsmen. It requires special skill and attention to carefully replicate the details of sterns and figureheads on a small scale for ship models. All the decorations used on our models are painstakingly hand-made and hand-carved to the best level of quality.

Metal Ships Guns are Individually Turned & Shaped

Metal Ships Guns are Individually Turned & Shaped

All the ships guns/cannons are individually turned & shaped using a lathe. All the guns are made of brass and come in various sizes depending on the scale of the ship models. If necessary, the guns are painted black for better representation. The supports for the guns are all hand-made from wood. Plastic & Metallic pre-fabricated moulded items are NOT USED on our ship models. This is in sharp contrast with many other model builders who chose to take the cheaper route and use plastic parts and pre-fabricated items.

Decorations & Deck Details are Varnished

Decorations & Deck Details are Varnished

All ornaments, decorations, deck details, ladders and gun chariots/supports are made out of wood and varnished prior to mounting on each wooden ship model. Each and every deck item is painstakingly painted as required and varnished. There are no shortcuts here, everything is thoroughly hand-built.

The Addition of Deck Details on Wooden Ship Models

The Addition of Deck Details on Wooden Ship Models

A lot of care goes into the addition of deck details. This is a basic aspect where many ship builders fail to deliver. So you need to pay attention to the amount of details and the scale of these details when choosing your ship model.

Poop Deck, Quarter Deck & Forecastle Details

Poop Deck, Quarter Deck & Forecastle Details

We always endeavour to replicate the details of the ships deck very accurately and to the right scale. It is easier to add more deck details to larger ship models. However we give the opportunity to the customer to make additions to such details on our Custom Built Sailing Ship Models. It is ensured that all wooden items are positioned onto the respective decks of the ship models. At this stage the wooden deck items are finely sanded down and some have a coat of black paint where necessary. The decks are then ready to receive a coat of varnish for presentation.

Wood Sanding and Preparations Before Varnishing

Wood Sanding and Preparations Before Varnishing

The ship model is then polished using several grades (coarse to thin grained) of sanding paper. This is done in preparation prior to the application of varnish and gives the ship models surface the required polish before varnishing.

Model Ship Varnishing (First Stage)

Model Ship Varnishing (First Stage)

A first coat of varnish and paint is applied to the planked hull and deck. The model ships are then left to dry in a dust free environment. The drying process normally takes a couple of days before wooden handcarved pieces can be added onto the stern, bow and deck. The stern, bow and side decorations/details are carefully added. At this stage the model ship is in the Navy Board or Admiralty model format.

Varnishing and Drying of Wooden Ship Models

Varnishing and Drying of Wooden Ship Models

Varnish is carefully applied on each ship model to give the best possible finish and bring out the value & quality of the teak wood used. The mature teak used on the ship model then gains extra protection hence further durability. We normally produce both varnished and painted versions of each ship depending on the customer's taste. All these Model Sailboats & Historic Model Ships are on our website.

Wooden Model Ship Varnishing (Second Stage) & Rigging

Wooden Model Ship Varnishing (Second Stage) & Rigging

After a second layer of varnish, the ship model is then ready for preparations for masting and rigging. Channels, shrouds, stays are delicately attached to their respective locations on the ship.

Addition of Rigging Channels, Shrouds, Dead-Eyes, Ratlines on Ship Models

Addition of Rigging Channels, Shrouds, Dead-Eyes, Ratlines on Ship Models

The channels shouds and stays are carefully attached to their respective base locations prior to raising the masts and rigging on the ship model. Rigging base blocks are also allocated their respective threading. At this stage a final check of the deck details and decorations is performed.

Ready to Raise the Masts

Ready to Raise the Masts

At this point during the build, the ship's hull is complete with all its decorations and other details perfectly positioned. The next step is to fix the masts in position onto the model ship. They run through the deck(s) of the model. Following this, the rigging is then set up.

Checking of Wooden Masts on Wood Ship Models

Checking of Wooden Masts on Wood Ship Models

Each solid wooden mast is carefully checked for their straightness, length, surface quality and level of detail. The masthead tops/crowsfeet, crosstrees & tessletrees are constructed according to plans and painted black as it is custom to do so.The ships masts are then varnished before being mounted on the ship models.

Solid Wooden Masts for Ship Models

Solid Wooden Masts for Ship Models

The masts are assembled and prepared for mounting. Masts are normally assembled painted and varnished before mounting onto the model ships. All our masts are made out of wood to prevent any distortion when the model ages with time. The masts can for some ships be very intricate specially if they possess crow's nests that are very elaborate and require a fair bit of time to construct. Typical examples of these types of masts are those used on the Sovereign of the Seas Ship Models, the Soleil Royal or even the Wasa.

Sailing Ships Masts Varnished & Ready

Sailing Ships Masts Varnished & Ready

Each ship model is allocated its set of readily prepared masts. The mizzen, main and fore masts are then inserted and secured into their respective locations. Masts are normaly made to run through several decks.

Rigging and Sails for Sail Ship Models

Rigging and Sails for Sail Ship Models

Several thicknesses of rigging are used on our models for better representation of reality. Different colours of rigging can be used on the ship models. For Custom Built Model Ships ship models, customers can place special requests on the type of rigging they require. The sails are also mounted during the rigging process. Sails can be mounted in the open or closed positions. All sails are handsown linen and weathered accordingly.

Positioning Rigging, Sails and Finish on the Model Ship

Positioning Rigging, Sails and Finish on the Model Ship

The rigging is set up together with the sails (up or down). The rigging is tight and coated with a special wax for durability and look. Final touches are then applied prior to thorough quality inspection of the ship model.

Wooden Model Ship Inspection and Storage

Wooden Model Ship Inspection and Storage

The ship models are carefully scrutinised before being put for sale. The ship model are then ready to make it's way to you.

Admiralty Ship Models - The Sailing Ship you see on our site is what you get.

Admiralty Ship Models - The Sailing Ship you see on our site is what you get.

The model ship you see when you are making a purchase is exactly what you receive. Unlike other model ship sellers who vainly claim museum quality and have little consistency, you can be absolutely sure that the model ship we send you is exactly what you see on our website. Dont let others fail you, shop with us or Contact Us

100% Handcrafted (Scratch Built) Highest Quality Wooden Models

At no point during the building of our model ships are plastic or ready made parts from kits used. All our models are guaranteed to be handmade. So each model is a unique piece of work. Our Model ships are Guaranteed to be built using the following materials:

*Hull, Stern, Decks, Masts 100% Mature Teak Plank on Frame
*Decorations are Hand-Carved Mature Teak Wood Pieces
*Rigging: Classic Ship Model Cordage Material
*Cannons & Rails on Deck: Metal

*PLASTIC PARTS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON OUR SHIPS

If you require any further details on each model such as further pictures and info, please use the Contact Us option and we will respond via phone or email.

The Finest Wooden Sailing Ship Models - Museum Quality Sailing Model Ships

The following is taken from the Nautical Research Guild Website, and describes clearly the criterias for evaluating models:

"Scratch Built"

No manufactured items except cordage, chain, and such fastenings as pins and nails. Such materials as dimensioned lumber, sheet metal, tubing, wire, and milled shapes are allowed as raw material. Photo-etched, laser-cut, cast, or similar parts mechanically or chemically duplicated by others from the entrant's original master or pattern, shall be considered as Scratchbuilt Ship Models.

"Semi-Scratchbuilt"

Models based on scratch built hulls. Fittings designed and produced by others.

"Kit Built"

Models based on commercial kits or hulls. With or without the addition of other commercial fittings or scratchbuilt parts."

An accurate, to scale scratch built model is what collectors aim for. But it also depends heavily on the degree of adherence to scale and accuracy, and the builder's skills. All our ships are based on the ships drafts, or plans/blueprints making them unique pieces. We constantly monitor the quality, level of detail and finish of each item. Only the ships fitting these criterias are put up for sale. Apart from referring to ships plans, we constantly refer to a range of books, drafts and museum material. We also undertake research on the original ships currently in dry dock as well as full scale replicas.

Nelson, The Battle of Trafalgar & The Napoleonic Wars

The HMS Victory Ship Models Page

Page dedicated to the HMS Victory, the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson. Find out about all our models of the HMS Victory and some history about Trafalgar 1805.

Continue Navigating Admiralty Ship Models Website

Navigate the Admiralty Ship Models website by clicking on model ships & boats links on the left or by going to the site map by clicking: Admiralty Ship Models Site Map

ADMIRALTY SHIP MODELS - FACEBOOK

Admiralty Ship Models is on Facebook and showing previously unseen pictures of the HMS VICTORY, CUTTY SARK & others. These are actual pictures we used to build our models and maintain maximum accuracy while constructing our models of the famous warships.

Admiralty Ship Models on Facebook
Admiralty Ship Model > Construction Process

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