Quality of ship models

 

You want to buy a ship model and are not sure which one is a good or bad piece of workmanship?

  

The best way to find out is to look at high resolution photographs of the model. You can at our website. If click on the small pictures in the photo galleries, you get that photo in 6 or 12 megapixel resolution.

  

Such pictures you never get from a mass producer. They usually show pictures of 300 * 500 pixels; rarely they are 0.5 or 1 megapixel. And they never send you a photo of the model you actually buy, they only send a photo of the type of ship, from a previous series of models that has been made somewhat better than the usual stuff they sell.

  

I got feedback from several buyers who had bought a product of a mass producer and were very disappointed when they saw their shipment. Only then they realized the huge difference in quality of their ship and the models we offer. They had paid similar prices, however.

    

Take your time to compare the beautiful high resolution pictures of our models with the small pictures of the mass producers. It pays off!
 

Only buy a ship model when the seller has emailed several high resolution photos of it and you could have a close look at your ship model!
 
 

 

If you are interested in more details, you may read this:
   

To judge about the quality of ship models is not easy, even for somebody who has been interested in this for some time. How to gauge the model maker's attention to detail, if you don't know the original ship, don't have photos or paintings of it or if there are no reliable historical data at all? On many historical ships of which only few data are known one has to conclude by analogy from data of other ships of that period, or draw conclusions from investigations of more or less preserved wreckages. That is often a difficult task, even for historians. 


Fortunately it is much easier to roughly evaluate a dealer who offers ship models in a certain price range. One can make a simple and practical comparison: The VICTORY of Admiral Nelson is a famous ship that is often built by model shipwrights. Many vendors of mass fabricated ship models from China, Vietnam or Mauritius have it in their portfolio, as there is a high demand for it. The original Victory is kept as museum ship in Portsmouth historical harbour and is open to the public, so the models of Victory are good for a comparison of ship model quality.


On this page I show photos of the original Victory, and in comparison our models and (unfortunately only small) photos of the mass-fabricated models. Even an outstanding model shipwright working for a museum has to make some compromises when scaling down a model by 1 : 50 or 1 : 100. Small parts have to be simplified or left out completely. The differences in quality you recognize when searching for a rough or fine work of this downscaling, and whether the proportions of the ship have been kept. These differences set the price for the ship model, independent of whether the model is kept unpainted in natural wood colours (as many ship model enthusiasts prefer) or partly painted as the original ship. Click on the photos of the original Victory and our models to get a high resolution image. Move the mouse over the photos and click on the magnifying glass to enlarge to 12 megapixels. If you compare these pictures you can distinguish the quality of the ship models.

 

HMS Victory, Portsmouth, UK

 

This is the stern of the original VICTORY in Portsmouth historical harbour. The picture was taken in December 2007. Here is a photo of the VICTORY in Portmouth around 1900. Note the differences to today, in painting and small details like the gun ports, stern ornamentation and the name plate.

 

 

VICTORY model ship

And this is the stern of two of our models.

Ship model HMS VICTORY, Nelson's flagship

 

 

Here are four examples of some mass-producers, at a similar view: No. 1, No. 2, No .3, No. 4.


This is a view on starboard bow of the original ship:

HMS Victory, Portsmouth, UK

 

 

 

Model ship VICTORY

And this is how our models represent that part of the ship.

Ship model Victory, Nelson's flagship, 1 : 50 scale, detail views

 

 

Here are bow view examples of mass-producers: No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 . No. 2 gives some insight about how little attention to detail was given to the rigging.

 


A view on the hull of HMS Victory and one of her boats:

HMS Victory, Portsmouth, UK

 

 

Model ship VICTORY

And this is how that looks in two of our models.
Ship model HMS VICTORY, Nelson's flagship

 
Here some examples of mass-producers: No. 1, No. 2 .
 


The rigging is especially difficult to recognize on photos. This is the rigging in one of our Victory models (click on the photo and then on the magnifying lens for details!) ...

Ship model HMS VICTORY, Nelson's flagship

 

... and this is the rigging by some other supplier. What you usually can recognize, even on small pictures, is the sails. In mass-produced models the sails frequently just hang like shapeless rags from the yards.


There are only a few historical ships that are kept till today, so how do we know about other ones? Fortunately there are several modern 1 : 1 replicas of famous ships. Their photos can be used to judge about the quality of a ship model of the same period. Here are such photos, in historical sequence of the ships: The Viking ships of the Vikingeskibsmuseet Roskilde, Danemark,  the Dutch VOC ship Batavia of 1628, the English frigate HMS Rose of 1757, the Endeavor, the ship of James Cook on his expeditions in the 1770s, the Victory, Admiral Nelson's flagship 1805 at Trafalgar, and HMS Warrior of 1860.


Before you order a ship model – take your time to estimate the accuracy and attention to details by comparing with photos of other ships of that period. Ask for high resolution photos of the model you want to buy.

   

Such pictures you never get from a mass producer. They usually show pictures of 300 * 500 pixels; rarely they are 0.5 or 1 megapixel. And they never send you a photo of the model you actually buy, they only send a photo of the type of ship, from a previous series of models that has been made somewhat better than the usual stuff they sell.

  

Take your time to compare the beautiful high resolution pictures of our models with the small pictures of the mass producers. It pays off!
 

Only buy a ship model when the seller has emailed several high resolution photos of it and you could have a close look at your ship model!
 
Our models are made by experienced ship modellers. They do not earn their living by it, as the prices you can get for such models do not cover the hundreds or thousands of work hours for each ship. They do it because they enjoy their hobby and love the elegance of the ships they build.