How to Make a Plastic Ship Model

In most cases, hobbyists build plastic ship models by buying ship model kits and then assembling the pieces provided in the kit. More skilled hobbyists might choose to customize models to fit personal desires. This can be done through altering the pieces provided in the kit, using pieces from different kits on the same model and by building pieces entirely from scratch. In all cases, the process for building the ship model is simple -- the hobbyist must separate and clean the pieces before assembling and painting them for presentation.

Things You'll Need

  • Ship model kit
  • Modeling tool kit -- clippers, file and craft knife
  • Modeling glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Varnish


    • 1

      Buy the kit and other materials needed to build the ship model. Such materials can include tools, paint, and even other model kits depending on the hobbyist's supplies and the model to be built.

    • 2

      Remove and clean each piece of the model to be built. For example, if the pieces of the model are attached to plastic frames for storage in their boxes, the hobbyist needs to remove each piece by hand, preferably using a pair of clippers. Once that is done, the hobbyist needs to remove the plastic waste attached to the pieces using files and craft knives.

    • 3

      Put together the model using the pieces provided in the kit and other materials as needed. For most models, this is as simple as gluing together the pieces once they've been cleaned. More skilled hobbyists converting a model may need to create or pieces, as needed, before assembling them.

    • 4

      Paint the model once it's assembled. One method is to spray paint the entire model to give it an undercoat before using paintbrushes to paint the model in its actual colors. Hobbyists also use varnish to protect the paint once the model has been painted.

Tips & Warnings

  • No matter how simple a model may look to put together, read and follow all directions.
  • Certain tools used in building models can be dangerous when used improperly. For example, don't use spray paint in an enclosed space or tools such as files and craft knives without exercising the proper caution.
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