A Guide to Boat Model Building Kits

Model building is an exciting and productive leisure activity that helps stimulate the brain and keep it engrossed for long. It requires extensive focus and problem-solving skills, thus enabling the builders to engage in the activity actively. Many model building kits are available online and in stores – of which boat model building kits are widely popular.

If you are a novice in model building and looking to buy a model boat kit to start on this incredible journey, then you have landed at the right place. Boat model building is quite common worldwide as many people love it. There are various levels of difficulty with which these kits come, so if you are starting to get into this hobby, it is best to start with the beginner level.

This detailed guide regarding boat model building kits will make choosing and buying process easier for you, as it entails all the information you need about boat model building kits.

How to Pick a Boat Model Kit

Pick a Boat Model Kit

It is a broad question with many possibilities, so you must ask yourself the following questions before delving into a search for boat model building kits:

  • Determine the type of boat you like 
  • Gauge the level of boat model building that you can easily accomplish 
  • Know the size of the boat you might be interested in building 
  • Your budget
  • The material you prefer (wood, plastic, paper, or metal)

Some Important Pointers for Beginners

When you go to the store or visit a site with a collection of boat model building kits, an enthusiast’s involuntary reaction is to want everything the store offers. However, beginners must stick to the following characteristics of the model building kits to avoid extensive difficulty levels in the beginning:

  • It is advisable to buy the kit with one or two deck levels at the most
  • Rigging should be in a simple form
  • Go for the kit that has a clipper-like hull with no buff or apple-shaped bows
  • A boat with only a few decorations is suitable for beginners
  • Cannons should be of limited number so that the beginners are not intimidated 
  • It is also best to get boat model building kits that are closest to a personal interest, such as one denoting a favorite historic moment 

Are all Boats Made into Kits?

all Boats Made into Kits

It is one of the most asked questions about boat model building kits. Yes, every boat and ship in its actual full-blown form is made into a kit. However, not all the kits are created equal – some boat model building kits have the most accurate scaling as the real-life ones, while others are more historically accurate.

Also, these kits vary significantly from one developer to another. Some boat models lack the small details that otherwise complete the kit, while others might be too fragile to stand on their own. It is pretty disappointing if your set is incomplete or lacks finer details. There are also boat model kits that can be transformed into radio-controlled or RC boats by just adding electronic pieces on the boat’s interior. If you want to know more about RC boats, check out The Guide to Picking Your First RC Boat.

Following are the different ships and boats made into model building kits. 

  • Pirate ships 
  • Submarines 
  • Age of sail ships 
  • Post-WWII Warships 
  • Civilian ships 
  • Carriers 
  • WWI ships 
  • Civilian work boats 
  • WW2 warships 
  • PT boat kits 
  • Pleasure Craft 
  • Coast Guard 

Different Levels of Boat Model Building Kits 

Boat model building Kits come in difficulty levels from one to six – with one being the easiest and six being the most difficult. Each of these kits has a detailed manual instruction booklet illustrated with drawings to help the builders. 

Skill level 1 
  • Best for beginners 
  • No experience required 
  • Snap together models 
  • Seldom require the use of simple hand tools 
  • Best for ages ten and above
Skill level 2
  • A little expertise comes in handy for this level 
  • A little bit of gluing or the use of simple hand tools might be required 
  • Recommended for children 12 years and above 
Skill level 3
  • Experience is a must
  • These kits may require a little fabricating of the wood, plastic, or metal
  • Reading detailed instructions and comprehending the illustrations is a must 
  • Best for ages 14 and older under adult supervision 
Skill level 4
  • Experience with a level 3 boat modeling kit is a must 
  • It requires hand tools to shape the parts and mold them 
  • Best for ages 14 and above under adult supervision
Skill level 5
  • Experience in model building kits with skill level 4 is a must
  • Involves extensive use of hand tools
Skill level 6
  • It is the most challenging level of boat model building kit 
  • Requires extensive experience and patience 
  • It might take months to build 

Which Materials to Prefer When Buying Boat Model Building Kits?

Boat Model Building Kits

The wooden boat model building kits are made of solid wood, and most have two pieces attached to a vertical wooden seam placed on top of each other. Buying a wooden boat model ship lessens the carving required to make an accurate hull form.

On the other hand, plastic boat model building kits have become famous after World War II. It is usually made by injecting styrene or resin. Nevertheless, plastic boat model building kits are not pricey and primarily suitable for beginners (level 1 or 2). So, if you are a beginner and want to polish your model-building skills, a plastic kit is the one you should go for. 

Paper boat model building kits are also primarily common in Europe. These kits are preprinted and come in a great variety of scales. Paper boat model building kits are more manageable than the other materials. However, these are most apt for beginners who aim to practice on gaining experience before moving on to the more complex wooden or plastic kits. 

Note: For ease of buying, paper boat modeling kits are the ones to go for. Instead of boxes, these paper kits come in the form of a booklet that customers can buy online and print at home. 

Model Building as a Hobby

One of the best times people have in a day is the time they spend doing something for their selves. Model building kits give you a sense of accomplishment with an even greater sense of engaging your mind in the most exciting ways possible. If you want to try other kinds of model kits, you may want to check out Gundam kits, which are robots that can have varying levels of difficulty in terms of how you can build them. To know more, please check the Tips for Getting Started with Gundam Models.

Whether you want to spend your time doing something productive or indulge yourself in some creative work, model building is one of the best activities to go for.