In 1905, Horace Boucher founded his ship model company, which began a new industry in the United States, according to Blue Jacket Shipcrafters, Inc. Several factors---including patience, manual dexterity and the ability to commit to long-term projects---determine the best model ship kits for beginners. Selecting a good model ship kit for a beginner requires research into the thoroughness of the instructions, quality of each component and the scale of each blueprint.
Armed Virginia Sloop 1:48 Scale, 1768
Based on a drawing found in European archives, the armed Virginia Sloop is an American privateer ship. Privateers were hired by government agencies to engage in warfare by sea. According to Model Expo, the Virginia Sloop model "has all the accuracy and detail seasoned modelers crave, yet it's easy enough for a novice to build." The Armed Virginia Sloop kit features authentic plank-on-bulkhead construction, Britannia brass, metal and hardwood fittings, six Britannia metal cannons, eight swivel guns, seven sheets of detailed plans and an instruction manual. The model is 31 inches long and 22 inches high, and measures eight and a quarter inches across the lower yard. As of April 2010, the retail price for the kit was £175.4.
The Ranger 1:50 Scale, 1823
During the early 19th century, ships like the Ranger were used for Coast Guard and surveillance duties, according to Naturecoast.com. This replica is built from limewood, walnut and mahogany. The kit includes an illustrated instruction manual and full-size building plans. Scaled details include mast caps, handrails, oarlocks, anchors and belaying pins. Once the ship is complete, the model measures 18 inches long and 15 inches high. In addition to the model, a paint set is available that includes five bottles of paint. As of April 2010, the ship kit cost £84.40 and the paint set cost £12.90.
The Sultana 1:64 Scale, 1767
The Sultana, built by Benjamin Hollowell in 1767, was a 51-foot Colonial schooner once responsible for enforcing tea taxes, according to American Profile. Purchased by the Royal Navy in 1768, the Sultana model kit by Model Shipways provides a 1:64 scale model. The deck is plank-scored and includes eight metal swivel guns and original rigging for historical accuracy. In addition to the model, you can purchase a display board and paint set, which includes nine bottles of paint. As of April 2010, the model ship kit cost £77.90 and the paint set cost £23.30.
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