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How to Build Ship Model

Sheetal Mandora Jul 18, 2020

With time, patience, and proper steps, you can easily make a model ship at home. Read this post to find easy-to-follow steps that will help you turn this activity into a hobby.
Building ship models may remind you of some fond memories from your childhood. It's a fun art and crafts project for kids, as well as adults. So pick up your paint, glue, scissors, the kit, and let's get started.
Here are two types that you can try to build. The first is how to go about making a paper ship, followed by the procedure for building a wooden ship. Try them both and have some fun.

Paper Ship

The items you'll need are: scissors, glue, tape, ruler, pen, 2 straws, 2 paper half-gallon milk cartons, Play-Doh, construction paper (black, white, and yellow), and permanent marker. Once you have all the items ready, we can begin.
• Open both milk cartons, and wash them properly. Set it to dry. Take one carton, and close the opening with tape. Place it on its side so that the taped side is vertical to the working table.
• Take white construction paper, and cover the top half of that carton. Make it seem like a gift wrapped box. Tape it in 2 places, and cover the bottom half with some black construction paper in the same way.
• Draw an 8 x 4½ inch rectangle on the black construction paper with the help of your ruler and a pen. The paper is black so you won't be able to see it properly. Make a heavy incision as you mark. Cut your rectangle with the scissors.
• Keep the white side up, and the opening placed vertically. Take the rectangle cutting and wrap it on the bottom of the carton. Use the tape to secure it.
Now you have 2 inches of black paper on top of each other, and on both sides of the carton. 1 inch of the extra paper will be visible above the white paper that's on top. This will make it seem like a pirate ship.
• The Play-Doh will be used to make round golf balls. Cut them in half so that you are left with two dome like shapes. Take these domes and stick them next to each other on the center of the ship. The domes will aid in securing the masts. Set this carton aside.
• Take 2 inches off the second carton with scissors. Place it upside down on the first ship, and cover the two domes. Take this piece to the first ship, and you will have a cabin ready.
Make 2 holes on the top of your cabin so that you can place the 2 straws in it. Draw some windows and doors with the permanent marker. You can also color 4 yellow portholes on the white paper on each side.
• Take the yellow construction paper, and cut two 5 x 4 inch rectangles and two 3 x 2 inch rectangles. With the scissors, make 2 holes in one of the rectangles so that you can slide the straws through it. From the center of the rectangle, make one ¼ inch hole from top and bottom. Do the same for the rest of the rectangles. These are your ship's sails.
• One straw will go through the bottom hole of the 5 x 4 inch rectangles. The rectangle will go down the straw from the top of the hole, but only few inches. Twist the rectangle so that it takes the shape of an inflating sail. The other 2 x 3 inch rectangle will go exactly over it.
As you finish this step, you will see that one of your mast has a sail. Now fix the other side of the straw through one of the holes on the cabin, and secure it inside one of the domes. Repeat this entire step for the rest of the sails.

Wooden Ship

To start making the wooden ship, there are few things we'll need if you're not using a kit bought from the toy store. You'll need dowels, paint stripper, acrylic paint/wood stain, glue, a model ship, pirate ship picture, and utility knife.
  • First of all, buy an old model from a yard sale or flea market. You'll save a ton of money that way. Choose whichever type of model you want to recreate. There are various models to build like a wooden pirate ship, a titanic replica, navy ship, etc
• Take out any broken sails, railings, and other parts that may be coming off. Since you bought the model from a yard sale or flea market, chances are there might be some holes you need to fix or a hull to modify. You can strip off the old paint, and use some balsam wood to mend the holes. The glue will work perfectly for this job.
• With the utility knife, you will need to carve out minimum 8 square gun ports on both sides of the ship. Also, another large gun port will be needed for the stern of the ship (if it's a galley). Take the dowels and cut out 3 inches off it, and take metal black color to paint it. The ends will stick out of the ports, and will look like guns and canons.
• For the hull, cover it with some water-resistant paint. If you want the model to have an old, antique look, use water-resistant stain instead of paint. You can also use gold paint on the galleys which gives it a 1600s appearance.
• Now for the broken masts, you can add new ones with the dowels that can imitate the existing one. Use a sandpaper on the top of the new mast till it's similar to the old one.
• To repair the lines and halyards (the rope used to raise and lower the sail or a flag), take a fine jute and glue it in place. If your model is a working model that has hoisted sails, then avoid using glue for the jute on any moving parts.
• It's time to paint your pirate/titanic replica/navy ship. Choose colors that will suit your model, and name the ship with white paint. You can be as creative as you want as you're selecting colors and emblems for your ship.
To give the ship a fiery look, take some cotton balls, and paint them red and yellow. Glue these as flames on the guns and canons. This will make your ship seem as if it's in middle of a war. Be careful once you're done with your model as it is fragile and needs to be kept in a secure spot.