Best Wooden Model Ship Kits

Top 14 Best Wooden Model Ship Kits For The Money 2020

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship”,

This is a quote by Louisa May Alcott, the famous American author.

And she is right. If you know how to sail your ship, you won’t fear storms.

We have a deep and significant relationship with ships. They were one of the earliest modes of transportation and trade in human history.

Ships allowed us access to the sea, the vastness of which has enchanted us for generation after generations.

So, our obsessions with ships are nothing new. An ancient connection has always existed between us and these beautiful creations.

Maybe that is why many of us love building or buying the best wooden model ship kits.

If you are fascinated by the history behind a ship or a memory related to it, wanting to recreate it, is a very natural instinct.

Maybe you were intrigued by how William Bligh sailed 3,500 nautical miles, for 47 days, on a wooden boat.

Or maybe you have a sweet memory of watching your father, work countless hours recreating the USS Constitution, a legendary ship in the history of U.S.A.

Whatever that spark may be, which got you into this craft, has significance.

And we respect that.

So, we created this guide, as an effort to bring you the finest wooden model ship kits money can buy. Enjoy the read!

Wooden Ship Model Kits Buying Guide For Beginners

1. Preference

The model ship building hobby appeals to us for a number of different reasons. Maybe we find the history behind the ship intriguing. Or perhaps the challenge of putting together a difficult kit satisfies us.

Childhood memories, surprisingly, is another motivating factor. Many of us have memories of going fishing on a certain boat, or of travelling on a particular ship with friends. Maybe your father or mother got you into this hobby as a child.

So, think about your purpose for buying the model or model kit. Why do you want it? And then choose one that aligns with your desire.

2. Do Your Homework

Now, don’t get discouraged. We are not literally asking you to spend time in school work. What we mean is, do an adequate amount of research before making the purchase.

Learn about the brand, the reputation of the manufacturer. You can read reviews from previous customers on various sites.

Also, attain an in-depth knowledge about the different parts of a ship and its running mechanism. This will help you to assess your desired model properly.

3. Budget

This is an obvious factor that many of us miss unknowingly. Think about the amount you are comfortable to spend on your desired product.

A good way to stay under budget is to compare prices. In today’s age, you can crosscheck prices of the same product on a number of different platforms.

You can compare online prices and also physically check out shops, to get the best out of your deal. Also, pay attention to the warranty factor. Then you can swap faulty parts, or get your money back for lesser-than-promised product.

4. Where Are Your Tools?

An essential part of building a model ship is having the right tools.

For example, an electric plank bender. This tool helps you to bend wooden planking strips with ease and precise curvature.

Most wooden model ships use a plank-on-frame construction, meaning you need to put each plank individually to create the hull. An electric plank bender will come in handy to do this process easily.

You’ll also require a sizeable work table to do the building. Make sure you have a glue gun, soldering iron, mechanical saw and clamping tools for a foolproof building experience.

Sometimes, you might need a respiratory mask, to protect yourself from harmful fumes produced by gluing and soldering. Get a quality, safety glass to protect your eyes, and rubber gloves for your hands.

5. Instruction Manual and Drawing Sheets

A detailed, step-by-step, instruction manual is paramount for a successful build. Drawing sheets provide you with accuracy. It also gives you an idea of scale ratio, in terms of the real ship you are modeling.

Make sure your product includes these elements. Manuals with color pictures are even better for a smooth building experience.

6. Method of Delivery

If you intend to buy the model from a physical location, then packaging is not a big concern.

However, an online purchase requires careful packaging. Model ships and model kits are both quite delicate. They hold small, detailed parts that can be damaged at the lightest touch.

So, make sure your seller is using a safe packaging method to avoid damage.

7. Casing

Casing of a model ship, which is also known as a display cabinet is important. It can enhance the look and grace of your model, significantly.

Check whether the ship comes with a display cabinet and a wooden base. If they are not included, you can usually buy them from the seller separately.

8. Materials

A model ship and a model kit both uses parts that are made from a range of materials. Some parts are made of wood, some use metal.

Different types of fabrics are used for clothing the sails. Manufactures also use wires and putty to build some elements of the model.

Check before the purchase, whether all materials used are of premium quality or not.

9. Authenticity

If you are into this hobby for your love of nautical, naval and national history, make sure the model stays true to the original source.

You can check the product description for this purpose.

Look for factors such as: rigging line diameter, special details (for example, a “quadruple propeller design” in the “SS United States, limited model ship”) etc. It will help you to check the loyalty of a model to its source.

Top 14 Best Wooden Model Ship Kits in 2020

1. Hampton Nautical, USS Constitution Tall Model Ship

What is the best way to express something? Show, don’t tell.

If you want to express your love for the US naval history or impress your fellow, model-ship enthusiasts, this is the perfect product for you.

Let me tell you something even more interesting. This “old wooden ship” is still sailing the seas to this day.

There is no hassle of putting this model together, piece by piece, for days and weekends. The model comes preassembled. The sails are mounted and the rigging tightly bound.

The wood is high quality; we’ll tell you that.

A combination of cherry, birch, maple and rosewood is used by expert craftsmen, delivering you a fine looking piece to show off. Oh, and you can take off the metal nameplate off as well.

Now let’s talk about loyalty. No, no, don’t worry! this isn’t going to turn into a relationship blog. What we mean is how loyal the model is to the features of the actual ship. Well, spoiler alert, this model ship is quite loyal.

For example, the bow of the model ship replicates the same billethead as the actual one. USS Constitution has “curling leaf motifs” on its tailboards and guess what? The manufacturer didn’t miss that detail either.

The precision of the stern in the model ship is spot on. With a white eagle at the back center, white molding to line the edge and 3 windows grounded by white cast pillars, the model is sure to impress any history nerd.

The gun ports are genuine; which means they are actually cut into the hull of the model. However, if you want to nitpick, there is one small detail missing.

A restoration (around 1974) added a red anti-fouling line to the actual ship’s waterline. The model doesn’t have that.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes preassembled and ready for display.
  • Crafted with premium quality wood.
  • Metal base plate can be removed without damage.
  • A model lifeboat, metal anchors and cloth sails are included.
  • Canvas sails are wrinkle-proof.

2. Hampton Nautical, Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge Pirate Ship

“Let's jump on board, and cut them to pieces.”

Do you know who said that?

We’ll tell you, it was Blackbeard.

He is probably the most well known pirate in the world and the vessel he used, to raise hell on earth, was named “Queen Anne’s Revenge”. This ship is the crown jewel of nautical history.

This model ship is also preassembled. That means you simply open the package and the product is ready to display.

Equipped with a hand crafted wooden hull, masts and 11 black cloth sails (hand sewn, mind you!) this model is well worth the price.

If you are throwing a house party, this item can be of great use.

How?

Well, let’s imagine that you want to impress your guests. Just point at the infamous flag of Blackbeard, flowing proudly atop the ship, and tell the history behind it. They will be both entertained and thrilled.

The build quality is solid as well. Hampton Nautical uses cherry, birch, maple and rosewood to give the product a premium look.

The wooden base holds a metal nameplate, stating “Queen Anne’s Revenge”. The model has two anchors attached with metal chains.

This model is capable of changing the look of a room into a tasteful style. You can decorate it at your study and feel the thrill of a long gone pirate life. Or show it off in the living room to create a grand look for the décor. We suggest putting it in a glass case to complete the look.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes completely assembled.
  • A milestone symbol of nautical history.
  • The hull and masts are handcrafted with great detail.
  • Equipped with 11 black sails and 2 anchors.
  • A perfect showpiece for a tasteful décor.

3. Hampton Nautical, Bluenose Wooden Model Sailboat

If you could run fast and work really hard, what would you be?

No, we are not talking about Usain Bolt.

You would be a Canadian Bluenose Sailboat.

Apologies for the bad joke but factually we are correct. This particular model of sailboat was famous for both of its incredible speed and magnificent endurance.

The model uses rare, high quality woods to ensure durability. It is painted by hand to reflect accurately the original yacht. Flying topsail sheets with extra length shows you its attention to detail.

It is delivered as almost preassembled. You only need to attach the sails and the racing yacht is ready for display. The hooks have a solid attachment. While testing, it stood up to our quality test.

The calculation of line length is quite accurate and the tying of the sails carries a mark of true craftsmanship. The finishing of the hull and decks are top-notch as well. The gluing job is high standard.

We noticed some issues with the sails and rigging. The lines, sometimes, come without the wooden pulleys. The sails seem to be rather thin. At the foremast, the top sail could have been larger as it leaves a little gap between the sail and the mast. However, for the price it is a decent model ship.

Historically speaking, it has value as well.

Another thing, unless you have advanced skill you might run into problems trying to customize the ship. But if you are looking for a readymade piece to enhance your naval themed study room, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Highlighted Features:

  • Hand-painted to match the original sailboat.
  • Line length is accurate.
  • The hooks have a firm attachment.
  • Flying topsail sheets have extra length.
  • The glue job is extraordinary.

4. Hampton Nautical, Wooden USS Constitution 24" Wooden Tall Model Ship

The USS Constitution has another badass name, “Old Ironsides”. This is the 24” version of our previously mentioned, Tall Model ship.

So, if you are looking for a wooden model ship kit for beginners that will help you become a pro, look no further.

The two versions share most of the prominent features. This too, is preassembled, and doesn’t require the time and effort of a modeling kit. The model comes with a wooden stand and a metal name plate. So after opening the package, you simply need to find the right place to put it on.

If you are in love with the lineage of USA, this model is a must for your collection. Replicating the original, the model has a wooden hull and three masts. Two American flags are also included. Previously mentioned features of the 15” version, to ensure authenticity of the model, is present in this one too. 

For example, there are “curling leaf motifs” on tailboards, a stern, a white eagle at the center, white molding to line the edge, 3 windows grounded by white cast pillars etc. If we are talking historical wooden ships, this one certainly takes the price home.

It’s an authentic scale model ship. The details are spot on. The fit of the foremast, mainmast and mizzenmast is solid. Though the rudder could have a better finish, the sails are sewn and bent perfectly.  The rigging, overall, is also tight and precise.

Highlighted Features:

  • It is delivered as preassembled and ready for display.
  • An upgrade to the previous 15’’ version of the USS Constitution.
  • Delivers a precise fit of masts and rigging.
  • Intricately detailed to replicate the real ship.
  • Sails are placed and bent perfectly.

5. Model Shipways, Longboat Wood Model Kit, MS1457

Okay, brace yourselves!

Now, we are entering into the complicated area of the model-ship hobby. This product is not a preassembled model as the previous ones. It is a model kit.

What does that mean?

Well, it means you better buckle down to spend some serious hours to assemble this thing. This is not a beginner kit.

If you are only starting out, don’t go for this one. On the other hand, if you are well experienced in this field, this will be a treat for you.

The product comes with 2 plan sheets and a 20-page demonstrated instruction handbook. The manufacturers also provide a PDF link as a soft copy. It can take up to 30 hours to assemble this model. So, patience is the key here.

The rig, planks, beams and metal parts are all recreated, in detail, to match the original sailboat. For false keel, locker, ribs, thwarts and floorboards, laser-cut basswood is used as base material.

It is a genuine plank-on-frame designed model. So, you need to heat-bend individual planks, and nail them one at a time, to the frame. This process is used in building real ships and in prestigious, nautical museum models.

You will find belaying pins, brass strips, nails, eyebolts and wooden blocks in the package. Black, tan rigging lines and anchors made of cast metal are added as a bonus.

You want more?

You got it. It also comes with stern decorations and side friezes that are pre-printed. If building sailboats at the 18th century is one of your fantasies, we say, go get this baby now!

Highlighted Features:

  • Individual parts are made of laser-cut basswood.
  • A genuine plank-on-frame ship model.
  • Provides stern decorations and already printed side friezes.
  • Comes with 2 plan sheets and a 20-page instruction guide.
  • All parts of the source sailboat are recreated and included.

6.  Artesania Latina, Virginia American Schooner, 22135

The Virginia American was originally a coast guard boat. As a lightly armed and swift boat, it was quite effective at its job. Interesting fact, it also had a small canon at its center on a swivel mount.

Now that we got the history lesson out of the way, let’s ask the real question:

What does the kit offer?

This wooden model ship kit for beginners is designed in a 1:41 scale ratio, according to the Virginia American Schooner. But before we go into details, let us tell you a bit about the history behind the boat.

It comes with all the fittings, rigging, and both deck & hull planking strakes. The kit allows you to create the hull by attaching planking strakes to the false keel and frames.

You also must build each mast, then paint or stain them. Apple-wood, Ramin, Plywood and Mahogany are used for wooden parts. Eyebolts, rings, and hinges are made of brass.

Additionally, you will require wood putty and varnish. For gluing job, get carpenter, contact and CA glue.

Sandpaper, hobby knives, magnifying glass, super glue, small clamps/ clothes pins, and small paint brushes are also useful for the building process.

Some pro tips for the build process, get an old, pill bottle to keep tiny parts. A work table always helps. You can use a 24’’ glass case to complete the look.

Oh, there is another thing we forgot to mention.

The most important toll you’ll need is patience, lots of it. So, take your time.

Highlighted Features:

  • Beginner model kit.Uses a 1:41 scale ratio.
  • Each mast needs to be built and painted/stained.
  • Comes with an extensive range of parts to build a perfect model.
  • Apple-wood, Ramin, Plywood and Mahogany are used for wooden parts.

7. Hampton Nautical, Wooden Viking Drakkar, Limited Model Boat, 14”

Let us get back to the realm of pirates.

Previously, we talked about Blackbeard. But now we will talk about pirate clan even more famous than him.

Vikings!

No other word probably relates as much, to thrill and adventure than the word “Viking”. And Hampton has chosen, arguably, the most famous Viking ship in existence to recreate as a model: The Drakkar Oseberg.

The real ship was discovered in a burial mound. Inside the ship, two dead bodies were found, both female.

Yes, we know, that’s spooky.

But you got to admit, it’s also quite intriguing.

The actual ship is still preserved in the Viking Ship Museum, in Norway.

This product is among the best wooden ship model kits available. It comes preassembled. You only need to attach the sails and it will be ready for display.

The oars are removable. A strong wooden base holds the ship with a metal name plate attached to it. The plate displays the name: Drakkar Oseberg.

Hand sewn sail clothes and premium wooden material is used, making this model a piece to admire. The flag of Scania and Skaneland, provinces at the south of Sweden, flows proudly atop the ship.

It comes with embroidered raven. The hull is solid, decorated with model Viking shields on the side. We didn’t find anything particularly spectacular about the rigging, though it is firm enough. The rigging uses metal hooks to stay in place. There is only the main mast, as per traditional Viking ships.

Highlighted Features:

  • It comes with embroidered raven.
  • Sturdy hull with model Viking shields.
  • Removable oars for flexibility.
  • Equipped with hand-sewn sail clothes.
  • Not a model kit, comes preassembled.

8. Artesania Latina, Scottish Maid Schooner Aberdeen 1839 Wooden Modeling Kit

Artesania offers this modeling kit as a transition.

The kit is not that easy for beginners. At the same time, not a challenge for advanced model ship builders either.

The Scottish Maid, Aberdeen 1839, was a 19th century schooner, an important part of naval trade history. At the time, it was competing with steamships in the trade route between London and Aberdeen, hence the name.

Hall & Company designed the ship in 1839.

In 19th century, taxes and fees were calculated based on the dimension and number of trips a ship would make. So, the builders invented a design that would maximize profit by manipulating these regulations.

By creating a slim hull, a sharp bow and larger sails, the ship was able to travel faster than its competitors, even with a heavy amount of load. This was a phenomenal invention and the model was replicated many times.

The kit uses a false keel and frame system, for the building process. This is to replicate the construction process of the actual ship, delivering you a realistic building experience.

You’ll face a medium level of difficulty in building this model. The masting and rigging of the model is the tricky part.

But don’t be afraid!

The model comes with thorough assembling guidelines with colored illustrations. You’ll also get a full drawings set in real ship model scale.

The kit includes wood, precisely-cut board, cast iron and brass. Raw cotton fabric is provided by the manufacturers to make the sails. However, the package doesn’t include stand.

Highlighted Features:

  • The instructions come in English and 6 other languages, with color images.
  • A transitional modeling kit.
  • Uses a false keel and frame system.
  • Includes a complete set of drawings in real model scale.
  • The replica scale ratio is 1/50.

9. Model Shipways, Flying Fish Model Kit

Do you like challenges?

If the answer is yes, then this is the kit for you.

The building process is complex and demands patience. You’ll need to put together most parts of the ship completely by yourself, using the provided basic elements.

But, if you can do it right, the end result is truly magnificent. Also, to help you with the building, it comes with 6 plan sheets and a 56-page detailed instruction manual. It uses a plank-on-bulkhead structure system.

The product includes a precise basswood keel, along with a bulkhead set of 21 pieces. You need to plank the hull using separate basswood strips. We suggest getting an Electric Plank Bender, to bend wooden planking strips with ease and precise curvature.

You can also protect the keel below the water line, using adhesive sheath made of copper coil. The manufacturers added a figurehead, five ship's boats, anchors, binnacle, capstans, windows, mast caps, davits, ladders, stanchions and chocks, to make the model as authentic as possible.

Two types of rigging are provided, each with a diameter of 3. Replicating the original, it comes with both white running and black standing rigging.

You also get 225 different sized blocks and 200 timber deadeyes. The backing links, eyebolts and ship bell are made of brass. Model Shipways use metal fittings from Britannia to ensure the scale is accurate.

Anything else we are leaving out?

Oh yes, the Masts, yards and spars are made of premium grade beech wood. And the Stem, sternest, rudder, stern pieces and plank sheer are produced with laser-cut technology.

Highlighted Features:

  • An advanced modeling kit.
  • Uses a plank-on-bulkhead structure.
  • Elements of the kit are produced with laser-cut technology.
  • Comes with 2 types of rigging.
  • Ensures keel protection with self-adhesive copper coil covering.

10. Artesanía Latina, HMS Bounty Jolly Boat Wooden Model Ship Kit

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”, Winston Churchill said that.

The HMS Bounty Jolly Boat did the same. To be more precise, William Bligh did. The Bounty, an English trade ship, was en route to Haiti from England. Its job was to carry bread trees.

However, midway the ship fell into a heaving storm. Bligh had to change path of the ship, and as a result, the journey was delayed.

The crew members were stuck in Haiti for several months, and slowly began to adopt the local culture. Soon the English way of life became a thing of the past.

When Bligh tried to bring back discipline among the crew, the inevitable happened,

A mutiny.

Bligh, out of all options, chose 18 of his loyal sailors and left the island on the Jolly Boat. He sailed more than 3,500 nautical miles for 47 days and finally reached a Dutch colony. He lost only one sailor in this pursuit.

So, now you know, how a simple Jolly boat became a legend of naval history.

Model ship builders obsess over this particular model for its immense historical value, and Artesanía didn’t do injustice to them. They created one of the best wooden model ship kits in the market, living up to the consumer’s expectations.

A “false keel and frame construction” is used, staying true to the original source. It employs laser-cut technology to ensure precision for all its parts.

The scale model ratio is 1:25. A complete, step-by-step instruction manual in seven languages and color images are also provided. If you already own an HMS Bounty model ship, this product will complete the look.

We found some poor fabrication, and inaccuracy in the measurements and rigging. However, the frame, bottom boards, yard, and planks are made of premium quality woods. They use brass and cast iron for metal parts.

Highlighted Features:

  • Uses a “false keel and frame construction”.
  • Comes with a 7 language instruction manual, and color images.
  • Functions as an accompany piece to the HMS Bounty model ship.
  • A memorabilia of English Nautical History.
  • Uses premium wood, brass and cast iron as materials.

11.  Hampton Nautical, Wooden Viking Drakkar Model Boat, 24”

If your thirst for pirate history is still unfulfilled, then we have a solution. Hampton produces a larger version of the infamous Drakkar Oseberg to extend your collection of Viking memorabilia.

This is a 24-inch version of our previously mentioned model of the same original ship.

It is shipped preassembled, so you can display it right out of the box. If you have a Viking themed study or living room, this item will certainly complete the look. Skipping the hassle of a model kit, you can show off your love for the thrilling lineage of the Vikings with this model.

The hull and masts are constructed using premium quality cherry, maple, birch, and rosewood. The clothes are sewn by hand for providing you the details you deserve. The wooden base, made of fine black wood, will look great on any display. The base is detachable.

The raven of this model doesn’t have the Viking insignia. The Scania flag still rocks at the top of the main mast though. A metal nameplate attached to the wooden base reads: Drakkar Oseberg. The oars are removable and come in a separate package.

The bowsprit, unlike the previous model is shaped like a dragon. The rigging is solid, attached with metal hooks. Oar seats are also added to make the model as authentic as possible.

And guess what? It can float on water for about 5-10 minutes. So, if you ever wanted to recreate a miniature Viking funeral, here’s your chance.

Highlighted Features:

  • Hull and masts are made with premium quality wood.
  • Can float on water.
  • Comes with detachable display stand.
  • The oars are removable, and oar seats are included as well.
  • The sail fabric is sewn by hand.

12. Model Shipways, USS Constitution kit MS2040

In the earlier part of the review, we have talked about the USS Constitution.

However, this product is not a preassembled model. This is a model kit. If you are not satisfied just buying the model, now you can build it yourself. But be prepared, because this is a hard one. It will take you around 700-900 hours to complete the model.

The product comes with a 48 page, step-by-step instruction manual and 16, photo-etched, brass sheets. You may need to improvise some steps of the building process.

The ship went through a restoration period from 1993-97. The kit is designed according to the naval drawings, photographs and documentation used in the restoration.

It uses a “plank-on-bulkhead” construction system, just as the real ship. You will get basswood planking strips to build the hull. The manufacturers provide self-adhesive copper tape for plating the hull. The fittings use Britannia metal, brass and hardwood.

The kit’s attention to detail is phenomenal. 50 cannons, carronade, gun barrels, 400 yards of rigging line (6 diameters), all are included to make the model as authentic as possible. Unfortunately, it does not include the display base and pedestals.

A pro tip, if possible visit a museum near you that has a completed model of the ship. You can take pictures of the tricky parts to help you with the building. Google’s 360 view of the ship, and the build-logs of "Nautical Research Guild's Model Ship World" site can help you as well.

Highlighted Features:

  • This is an advanced kit.
  • Comes with a 48-page instruction manual, and 16 plan sheets.
  • Self-adhesive copper tape is included for coating the hull.
  • Uses a “plank-on-bulkhead” construction system.
  • Comes with 50 cannons, carronade, gun barrels and 400 yards of rigging.

13. Model Expo, Model Shipways, 1921 Bluenose Canadian Fishing Schooner boat Wood Kit, MS2130

We all feel lost sometimes, don’t we?

But, hopefully, we find ourselves again.

“What does that have to do with a model kit?” you might ask.

Well, the actual Bluenose Schooner was lost on a reef near Haiti, in 1946. But in 1963, an exact replica of the ship was made, to keep its memory alive. So, while building this, feel inspired. Even if you are lost, you can find yourself again.

The model scale ratio is 1:64. The original schooner was a salt-banker. Which means it used salt to preserve the fishes that were caught.

Model shipways used the book by Ben Lankford, which offers newly drawn plans and revised instructions, to rank this product among the best model ship kits in the market right now.

It uses a “plank-on-bulkhead construction”. This method was used to create most ships of that era. You will have laser-cut and flexible basswoods to plank the hull. Brass rings, eyebolts, wooden block, deadeyes, Britannia metal bilge pump, fife rail and anchors, all come with the kit.

It also includes 3 diameter rigging lines and cotton for clothing the sails. The display case and brass pedestals are not included. You should get an electric plank bender to bend planking strips.

We suggest to also have a glue gun, soldering iron, and a mechanical saw. A sizeable work table and clamping tool are essential in building this model, you can’t simply do it by hand.

This is not a beginner tool-kit. So be prepared to invest an adequate amount of time and skill after it. If you do right, the end result will be a museum grade replica. So, we think it’s worth the effort.

Highlighted Features:

  • Laser-cut and flexible basswoods to plank the hull.
  • Uses a “plank-on-bulkhead construction”.
  • Comes with 3 diameters, rigging lines.
  • Provides high quality cotton for clothing the sails.
  • Offers contents for details, such as: bilge pump and fife rail.

14. Nautical Décor, SS United States Limited Wooden Cruise Liner Replica

“We all need Vitamin Sea for our health”.

No, that wasn’t a typo.

Yes, vitamin C is important for your health, but so is spending some relaxed time at the sea.

In our opinion, the best way to do that is vacationing on a cruise ship.

If you have spent time on a cruise, you already know its charm. So, the obsession with building model cruise ship, is quite justified among the nautical aficionados.

The SS United States Limited is the largest ocean liner which was made exclusively in the USA. It also received and retained the prestigious, Blue Riband award for crossing the Atlantic Ocean with a record, average highest speed.

Now, we agree, that this not technically a cruise ship we are familiar with these days. But this Passenger Liner can certainly be considered a pioneer to modern cruise liners. Nautical décor modeled, this historical jewel of US naval history comes with exquisite detail. 

The product comes preassembled. Paint colors match the original, down to the shades.  The windows and portholes are measured and placed precisely, replicating the source design.

The detailing of hull and superstructure, open and walkway decks (observable through the windows) add to the model’s authenticity. Quadruple propeller design and accurate anchors also prove its attention to detail.

The model has stay-lines and rigging on every mast and smokestacks. Vent shafts, deck cleats, miniature benches, lattice grates are subtle touches, giving the model a museum grade quality.

The staircases, ladders and handrails are made with delicate metal wire. Cherry, birch, maple and rosewood are used, leaving no lack in the quality of wood. Nautical Décor claims only a limited amount of models will ever be produced, so grab yours when you still can.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes preassembled and ready for display.
  • Detailed paint job to match the original.
  • A limited model edition.
  • Staircases, ladders and handrails use metal wire construction.
  • Sports a Quadruple propeller design.

How to Take Care of The Best Wooden Model Ship Kits

1. Prevention is Better than Cure

Taking care of your model ship starts at the building stage.

Metal parts of a kit can rust, if they are not thoroughly washed beforehand. Use lukewarm water and low-base soap to clean the metal parts (e.g. Britannia metal, aluminum etc). You can also coat them with nail-polish remover.

For wooden parts that require painting or staining, you need to prepare for a sanding job. First sand the woods, and then clean the dusts with a tack cloth. Sanding allows the paint to soak into the woods, and resists fading of colors.

You can also use stain, Tung oil or varnish to protect the wooden parts. For staining, use a soft cloth and rub gently.

Finish the process by using a polyurethane topcoat. You can buy them online from sellers like: Nautical or Aerospace Coatings.

2. Dust Is The Enemy

A model ship has tons of small, detailed parts. So, if you simply leave it open, it might turn into a desert in no time.

What’s the solution? Use a display case.

Otherwise, you risk harming the best wooden model ship kits in your collection.

You can buy them or make them yourself.

In terms of material, you can choose between glass, Plexiglass or Bevelled Edge Acrylic. Plexiglass is the most durable and secure option out of all three.

A case will also protect your model from oil, dirt and stain. And If you have kids and pets in the house, trust us, you will definitely need a display case!

However, sometimes glass cases can create acid fumes. This will harm the delicate fabrics of your model such as sail-cloths.

Place a BoPET sheet between the glass and base of your case to create airflow. It will minimize production of acid fumes.

3. Be Aware Of Light And Heat

Sunlight can seriously harm the fabrics of sail-clothing and other materials. Keep your model under low-voltage LED lighting. Make sure the room it’s placed in is not too warm or humid.

​​​​​​​​​4. Pro Tips

If you are still worried about taking proper care of your cherished, model ship, we have some extra tips.

Even after using a case, bits of dust will still gather on your model.

Once every 15 days, open the case, and use a hair drier on cool mode and medium speed. This will clean off remaining dusts. Use bees wax to protect rigging lines from being worn out.

You can put some hairspray on the fabrics. This will protect the fabrics from fraying, and help them retain form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Do I Need Any Earlier Modeling Experience Before Starting?

Answer: No. There are many beginner kits out there that require no previous experience. However, doing a bit of research beforehand is always helpful.

If you are beginner, be careful when choosing your kit. Going for a high budget kit that requires advanced level skill will frustrate you.

It is likely that you will make some errors with your first few kits. So, get one that is cheap and designed for inexperienced users.

Q2. What Tools Should I Get?

Answer: You will need some basic tools to get started. For example, a work table, mechanical saw, glue gun, paint brush, clamp stand, magnifying glass etc.

For more advanced model building you may require additional tools like soldering iron and electric plank bender.

Q3. Should I Buy A Kit Or Build A Model From Scratch?

Answer: If you are a beginner, we recommend buying a kit.

A kit comes with detailed, step by step, instruction manuals, plan sheets, and accurately measured parts. This will make your entry to this hobby easier.

As you gather more experience, and feel confident enough, you can build one from scratch.

But keep in mind, doing that would be a challenging task. It will demand a lot of patience, skill, knowledge and accuracy on your part.

Q4. Do All Models Float?

Answer: Unfortunately, no.

Some models are only for display. However, there are models that can float on water.

If that is a feature you want in your model/modeling kit, read the product description carefully. The description usually has information about whether the model has floating ability.

If it’s not clarified in the description, you can directly contact the seller.

Q5. Does Every Model Or Kit Come With Sails?

Answer: It depends. Usually if the sails are not shown in the pictures of the product, it is likely that sail-cloths are not included. However, most model and kits do come with sails.

Once again, you can always contact the seller, regarding any confusion about the product.

Q6. Are Display Cases And Stands Always Included With The Model/Kit?

Answer: Display stands are usually included with the product.

Display cases can be expensive, and therefore isn’t always included. So, check the product description carefully to clarify these issues.

Q7. What Is A “Plank-On-Bulkhead Construction”?

Answer: It is a method of construction, where each plank is placed individually upon the bulkhead/frame of the model, to create a base structure.

Many models use this system, as it was a popular construction technique among many historical wooden ships.

Q8. What Is A Model Scale Ratio?

Answer: Here, the concept of “model scale ratio” represents the relationship between the length of the actual ship and how that length is represented (in terms of number) on the model ship.

For example, if a model ship’s scale ratio is 1:50, that means, 1 feet of the model ship represents 50 feets of the actual ship.

Model ships and kits are constructed at a particular scale ratio to the full size ship. There are usually two types: standard Imperial measurement scales and standard metric measurement scales.

Final Words

Excited Yet?

We hope, it was a thrilling read to knowing wooden model ships.

Take a breath and relax. Like all good things, we are almost at the end.

At the end of the day, getting the best wooden model ship kits actually comes down to your preference and knowledge about model ships and kits. There are no set rules here. Depending on your need and skill level, you can determine a successful purchase.

And, don’t forget to take care of the masterpiece you buy/create using our pro tips!

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