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Welcome and Enjoy Yourself!

Pirate ship

Revell 1/72 scale Pirate Ship skill level 5

Hello and welcome. I’am Black Mack the Pirate. The following is a short introduction to  the  wonderful world of model Ship Building…

  • Model Ship Building is a hobby with a long history. Although the materials that are used have changed over the years,the reason has not,it is the romance and adventure of the high seas.

Some of the materials used range from wood and whale bone to cardboard,plastic and metal. Whether  you wish to build a 19th century frigate,a 17th century Chinese junk or a hearty Pirate ship,there are a lot of plastic model kits available that will alow you to “Turn your dreams into Reality”

Model Ship Building is a Great Hobby!

Are you tired of sitting in front of the tv every night? Are you looking for a better way to spend your time? Then Model Ship Building may be for you. As a hobby this is a craft that not only can be fun but rewarding as well. So when you use your own hands and create something beautiful, you will get a felling like no other.

All you need is the desire to learn, the patience to be creative, and the ability follow detailed instructions. If you can use your patience and get past the learning curve , and keep your desire to see the outcome. You will be rewarded handsomely. Anyone can learn to do it!

Within the world of model ships, there are many styles to choose from. There are the favorite sailing ships and pirate ships, military ships, modern ocean liners,and even ancient Viking ships. There are basic models for the beginner,and those that are more involved and challenging. I think you can guess where you should start.

While there are many types of models to choose from, wooden kits are very popular, this type of model gives you a real feel of the ancient ships. Plastic models give you very detailed reproductions of what ever ship you are working on. There are even some models made from metal, which may be a tell tail sign of a military ship. Some model kits come already painted, while others give you the basics so you can embark on your own paint job. With a little research you can pretty much find everything you need to get started in your new hobby. Check in here at blackmackmodelshipbuilding.com for information and tips.

If you are going to get started with a kit, which many people do, you will find there are many skill levels, normally 1-5. Starting out with skill level 1, is good idea if you have children or grand children that want to partake in the fun, and gets you used to reading and understanding the instructions. Often the easiest kits come with plastic parts and are already painted. As you develop  your skills, you can advance to wooden or metal kits. These kits will contain detailed instructions, intricate plans and several pieces that need to be painted as well as glued. If you start simple and work your way up, the more advanced kits won’t seam so daunting.

wooden model ship

Basic Tools

There are some basic tools every model builder should have on their workbench. I’m including a video from Joel Z. Williams, it is very informative and I hope you find it helpful. Though the video is designed around model airplanes, the concept is the same.

Many of the tools he describes you will use every time you work on your model kit. Others you will need only for specific task. But all will come into play on every project. Try to always keep your workbench clean, you will find it makes for a more enjoyable experience. There are two parts to this tutorial, make sure to watch them both.

We will get more in-depth about other tools for different types of model’s on another date. For now just familiarize yourself with the basics. Many of the tools described can be found at Amazon

How to build a cardboard Pirate Ship

A small cardboard  pirate ship is a great way to get started in model ship building. We will be building a small Spanish  pirate ship. This ship is very easy to build, if you have the right materials and patience.

Things you’ll need.     





stick glue

PVA glue

paint and paintbrush

yarn or thread

white paper

cocktail sticks [3]

tissue paper

Step 1. Draw the shape of a ship [as if you were looking at it from the side] onto a piece of cardboard. It should be about 10 inches long. Then cut this shape out with scissors.

Step 2. Use your first side,you just cut out as a template and trace it on another piece of cardboard. Cut this shape out also,you should now have 2 pieces the same.

Step 3. Cut off about 1 inch of the pointed end of both pieces of cardboard .

Step 4. Cut a piece of cardboard for the bottom of your ship. It needs to be long enough to reach all the way around the curves at both ends and reach the top of the sides. Cut this piece about 2 inches wide.

Step 5. Glue the full bottom onto one side then the other,using stick glue. Allow this to dry completely.

Step 6. Next you’ll need three cocktail sticks to make the ship’s masts.

Step 7. Carefully snip off the top third of the sticks, so that they’re all about the same length.

Step 8. Push one of the sticks into the bottom of the ship in the center. Don’t punch all the way through, just enough so it will stand up on its own. Use stick glue around your first mast.

Step 9. Do the same thing again, with one stick just behind the raised part of the bottom in the front of your ship,and one in the back. Remember: Don’t punch all the way through. Glue around these, also.

Step 10. Next, take one of the pieces of cocktail stick you cut off earlier and stick it into the front of your ship at an angle, then one at the back.

Step 11. Next, mix up some PVA glue and use it to paste on small pieces of tissue paper on all the joints on both sides of your ship. Make sure to seal them well!

Step 12. When the glue and tissue paper have dried well, you can paint your ship! You can paint it all one color or add as much detail as you like.

Step 13. Next, let’s make some sails. Cut out three large triangle shapes from white paper. You’ll need five in all: three large and two small.

Step 14. Glue one large sail to each of the cocktail sticks in the middle of your ship.The two small sails you can glue to the short cocktail stick at the back of your ship.

Step 15. Finish off with a small flag on the cocktail stick at the front of your ship. If you put a small dab of glue on the top of each mast, you can use thread as rigging.

Step 16. When everything has dried, trim off any excess….You have built your first pirate ship!

And that is how to build a cardboard pirate ship.

Warning: If you use super glue and get it on your hands, dab with a paper towel, wash with warm soapy water. Handle scissors with care.