Ship Modeling from Scratch: Tips and Techniques for Building Without Kits

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McGraw Hill Professional, Oct 22, 1993 - Crafts & Hobbies - 192 pages

Building a model from a kit is an excellent way to develop your modeling skills. But once you've mastered the basics, where do you go? If you're looking for a challenge, you move on to scratchbuilding. And that can be imposing: With a kit, you worked with someone else's plans, materials, and building instructions. Scratchbuilding makes you master of your own fate. You do the research, choose the subject, the scale, the material. The choices are limited only by your enthusiasm.

Edwin B. Leaf scratchbuilt his first model--a Baltimore clipper--nearly fifty years ago, and he's been refining and building on his skills ever since. In Ship Modeling from Scratch he lays out the principles--from concept to construction to display--on which scratchbuilding is based. In clear, concise language complemented by detailed illustrations he tells how to interpret existing drawings or create your own, what materials to choose, what tools to buy, and what techniques to use to build everything from plank-on-frame, plank-on-bulkhead, or modern steel hulls to creating sharp and properly scaled details--paint to portholes.

Building a model from scratch is a singular pursuit that requires patience, confidence, and ingenuity. With Ship Modeling from Scratch open on your workbench, you have your own private tutor guiding you through the troublespots.

Ship Modeling from Scratch expands the horizon of any kit builder looking for a challenge, including

  • choosing the right subject
  • finding and interpreting historical material
  • building from plans
  • drawing scaled plans from photographs
  • buying tools and materials
  • building everything from half models to plank-on-frame or plank-on-bulkhead versions of traditional sailing craft to modern steel cargo ships
  • painting and displaying your model

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Selecting a Project
Getting the Most from Your Drawings

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (1993)

Edwin B. Leaf began building models at the age of six, and by fifteen he had successfully scratchbuilt his first ship, a Baltimore clipper. He continued his modeling while traveling the world as a U.S. Army officer. Now retired from army service, Leaf pursues his craft as a member of the Philadelphia Ship Model Society, where he served as president. Often approached for advice on modeling problems, he began compiling tips, techniques, and drawings to help novice scratchbuilders, a move that led to frequent lectures before modeling groups--and to this book.

A resident of southern New Jersey, Mr. Leaf serves as commodore of the Red Dragon Canoe Club when he's not at his workbench.

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