I want to make a few models for some X- mass presents,I've seen some nice looking ones on this site.What materials are the sides and bottoms made from?I'll assume its a veneer of some kind?Also do you coat the material with varnish first then assemble?


Thanks,these would be for display so looking to have a nice shinny surface. 

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I built some models a few years back for presents as well. I built six at once and I swear I could have done one real boat in the same time frame. I can't remember where I got the supplies but I do know it was Mahogany (solid not a veneer) that was 4" x 16" if memory serves. I am sure a quick Google search for modeling supplies will uncover a host of options. The gunnels, oars and stuff were basswood. I sprayed mine with Helmsman spar varnish which comes in an aerosol can after they were built. Not sure how the CA glue would work on a pre varnished piece. I do remember the oar locks were tricky to find. I had to try several to find one that looked right.


Great thanks,I'll look for some solid mahogany and basswood.I suppose one could just spray with an automotive clear also from a rattle can?

Well the light came on!Just rip strips from scrap on the table saw,done.

I'm trying to copy a friends framed boat,pic below.I have all what I need for measurements and spacing but I didn't get the angle for the bow or the transom.This is a gift for him so cant ask him, so hoping someone here can.Playing with some scraps 28* or so looks close for the bow and I suppose a little more for the transom.




I just went through a mystery box in the shop... Holy crap I have enough model stuff to build two boats! I must have planned on building more (invoice is from 08). I got the wood from Northeastern scale lumber. The Mahogany is 1/32" thick. The 'lumber' is called stripwood. I found some empty packaging for the oarlocks from Model Shipway. They are 1/2" but I don't know if those were ones I liked or not.


28 Deg. seems like not near enough. My 16' boats have 90 deg. total (45 on each side) the 17 has 100 total. Transom somewhere near 37 depending on how quickly the boat gets wide in the rear.

side panels are made from 1/32, and bottom and transom from 1/16 in stock. I have not been able to find 4" panels (they would be 4 x 24), just 3". Midwest Products is a supplier, but I think the 3 x 24 mahogany typically used from side panels is out of stock - was a couple weeks ago.

I purchased Midwest Supply stock through Happy Hobby in Milwaukee, WI.

I cut all the frame material from Port Orford Cedar I had as scrap. The stem was basswood - easy to trim - purchased from a local Michael's.

See Roger's book for model construction instructions.

The stem on the Hindman double ender is 86* total - 43 on each side. If you build the stem from 3/16 inch basswood, that will be a 4" stem in 1:12 scale, 4" long.

You will want to get an architect rule.

I also got some 1/32 baltic birch plywood that I am going to use to model with, using redwood frames. Seems the mahogany in 1/32 is in short supply. The mahogany stock is rather splintery compared to the birch plywood.

CA glue is used to attach everything. I primarily use an xacto knife to cut everything.

Good stuff thanks,

I think I may have the question wrong,you guys mean (I think) the angle on either side of stem?I was referring to the angle to the floor when the boat is assembled,or the angle you cut the sides at before assembly.I'm using 26" for hight how far back does the angle start typically?



Hey Tungsten,

Are you talking about the triangle piece that you cut off the front of the side panel? If so that is not so much an angle (It is an angle) but a measurement from the front of the boat Typically anywhere between 16" and 21" Most older school boats with less flair have less of a cut back. Hope this helps

Forgot to ad, 26" is a pretty short height so you will probably need to er on the side of a shorter cut back.


Ok great thanks,i guess its different when building full scale,you just can't drop a 26" wide piece and cut it on your miter saw.

26 high --> 16 over, draw a line= about 32*


Stem hight on Hindman is 29"; Honky Dory is 29"; Buffalo Boat is 26". The angle cut back from the edge on the Hindman is about 20".

If you cut your own dimensional stock for modeling a zero clearance insert on the table saw is helpful. Google "milling scale lumber", I found a good reference.

Frames are 5/16 x 1/16.

Modeling is fun...especially if one already has more boats than storage. Quicker and cheaper to construct. They keep the grandkids amused.

Hmm, maybe I measured wrong.I thought his boat was 26" at the stem, seams low from the #'s you've given,I'll have to recheck that.

And thanks for the #'s Eric,I am using 12/1 scale.


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