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Fine Scale Warship Modeling was created with the intent of making very high quality models of US Naval vessels available, at an affordable price, to veterans and their families. As a Navy veteran myself, I assure you there a very few greater gifts for a veteran than a fine art model of the ship on which he or she served.
Traditionally, models of this quality and detail would take many months or years to build. The cost would only be affordable by a museum or government agency. Thus the term "museum quality" arose. Further, "museum quality" implied a very physically large model, since that was required in order to represent the high detail. A very specific set of rules was developed that describes how a model should be built and what materials may be used in order to assure that it meets "museum quality" standards. For example hulls, and for that matter much of the model, must be built from wood and only white wood glue is allowed for assembly. In many cases, hulls must be submitted for inspection by the museum before the model can even qualify. Well, for all too obvious reasons, models must be very large (and expensive) if any appreciable detail is to be included. Further, "museum quality" requires that the model be built to last 300 years. Which means that any material or construction technique that has not been around and in use for the last 300 years, is not approved! Don't be fooled by some other low detail and often poor quality and low accuracy model makers who claim "museum quality" just because the model is machined from wood somewhere in Asia. All of our models are hand built by craftsmen in the USA.
Modern model construction
Although many people who see our models proclaim that they are museum quality or are "better than things they have seen in museums", the fact remains that they are not officialy "museum quality". Today models such as these are built from styrene, resin, aluminum, brass and sometimes some wood, all held together primarily with CA (Cyanoacrilate) glue - aka Crazy Glue. I suspect there is no one who could truthfully swear that CA glue will still stick 300 years from now. But the use of fast setting glue, quick drying acrylic paints and very small parts made by photo-etching brass (another recent invention) allows the construction of models as you see here. The detail can be astonishing. The model at the top of this page is less than a foot long!
The result is that today, by using modern methods and materials, a skilled modeler can create superior detail models in reasonable times, at reasonable costs and in reasonable sizes. Sizes and costs that easily fit on a living room shelf and within the budget of a nice gift AND will be every bit as attractive and accurate as the 10 foot long model in the museum! The quality and workmanship is, of course, still in the hands of the model maker.
We take great pains to assure the accuracy of your model. Today, original plans are available for many ships. Historic photos remain perhaps the primary resource since plans are only just plans but photos are accurate. Most ships experience sometimes significant design changes in their lives. We will work with you to create a model that represents the ship on a specific date that you request.