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The Timeless Art of Model Ship Building

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Model ship building is a captivating and intricate craft that has been practiced for centuries. This timeless art combines historical research, precision craftsmanship, and an appreciation for maritime heritage. At Old Modern Handicrafts (OMH), the tradition of creating exquisite model ships continues to thrive, offering enthusiasts and collectors a chance to own pieces of nautical history.

The Historical Significance of Model Ships

Model ships have a long and rich history. They were initially used by ancient civilizations for various purposes, including ceremonial offerings, architectural planning, and educational tools. Over time, these miniature replicas evolved into sophisticated works of art, reflecting the ingenuity and craftsmanship of their creators.

In the age of exploration and naval warfare, model ships played a crucial role in ship design and construction. Naval architects and shipbuilders used scale models to visualize and refine their designs before embarking on full-scale production. These models were meticulously crafted to ensure accuracy, often becoming invaluable reference tools.

The Craftsmanship Behind Model Ships

Creating a model ship is a labor-intensive process that demands a high level of skill and dedication. At OMH, every model is built from scratch using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. The craftsmanship involved in this process is a testament to the artisans’ expertise and passion for their craft.

Materials and Techniques

Model ships at OMH are constructed using premium quality woods such as western red cedar, mahogany, rosewood, and teak. These woods are chosen for their durability, aesthetic appeal, and historical accuracy. The construction process typically involves two main techniques: “plank-on-frame” and “plank-on-bulkhead.”

  • Plank-on-Frame: This technique involves constructing a frame that mirrors the skeleton of a real ship. Individual planks are then carefully attached to this frame, replicating the hull’s structure. This method allows for intricate detailing and a high degree of accuracy.

  • Plank-on-Bulkhead: Similar to plank-on-frame, this technique uses bulkheads (cross-sectional templates) instead of a full frame. Planks are attached to these bulkheads, creating the ship’s hull. This method is often used for models that require a more simplified structure.

Attention to Detail

The attention to detail in OMH’s model ships is unparalleled. Each model undergoes extensive research to ensure historical accuracy. Artisans study original plans, photographs, and historical documents to replicate the ships as authentically as possible. This dedication to precision extends to every aspect of the model, from the placement of tiny fittings to the application of paint and varnish.

Metal fittings and ornaments, such as chrome, brass, and cast metal, add richness and verisimilitude to the models. These components are often custom-made to match the specifications of the original ships. The result is a miniature masterpiece that captures the essence of its full-sized counterpart.

The Diverse Collection of OMH Model Ships

OMH boasts an extensive collection of model ships, each representing a different era and type of vessel. This diverse range caters to various interests and preferences, making it easy for collectors to find the perfect model for their collection.

Tall Ships

Tall ships are among the most iconic and majestic vessels in maritime history. OMH’s tall ship models, such as the Admiral Line and Captain Line, are meticulously crafted to capture the grandeur and elegance of these historic ships. These models often feature intricate rigging, detailed deck fittings, and historically accurate paint schemes.


Warships have played a pivotal role in shaping the course of history. OMH’s collection includes models of famous battleships, cruisers, and destroyers from different periods. Each model is a tribute to the naval engineering and strategic prowess of its time, offering a glimpse into the technological advancements and naval warfare tactics of the past.

Sailing Yachts and Recreational Vessels

For those who appreciate the elegance and sport of sailing, OMH offers a range of model yachts and recreational vessels. These models celebrate the beauty and craftsmanship of sailing boats, from sleek racing yachts to luxurious pleasure cruisers. The attention to detail in these models ensures that every sail, mast, and deck fitting is faithfully reproduced.

Nautical Decor and Accessories

In addition to model ships, OMH also offers a wide variety of nautical decor and accessories. These items include ship paintings, nautical furniture, globes, telescopes, and other maritime-themed decorations. These pieces are perfect for enhancing the ambiance of homes and offices with a touch of nautical charm.

The Art of Custom Model Building

One of the unique services offered by OMH is custom model building. This bespoke service allows customers to commission models of specific ships, whether they are historic vessels, personal boats, or even conceptual designs. The process of creating a custom model involves close collaboration between the customer and the artisans to ensure that the final product meets all specifications and expectations.

The Custom Model Building Process

  1. Initial Consultation: The process begins with an initial consultation to understand the customer’s requirements. This includes discussing the type of ship, scale, level of detail, and any specific features or modifications desired.

  2. Research and Planning: Once the details are finalized, the artisans conduct extensive research to gather all necessary information about the ship. This may involve studying original plans, photographs, and historical records.

  3. Construction: Using the chosen technique (plank-on-frame or plank-on-bulkhead), the model is meticulously constructed. This stage involves crafting the hull, adding deck fittings, rigging, and any other details required.

  4. Finishing Touches: The final stage involves painting, varnishing, and applying any custom finishes. Metal fittings and ornaments are also added at this stage to enhance the model’s realism.

  5. Quality Control: Before delivery, each model undergoes a rigorous quality control process to ensure it meets OMH’s high standards. This includes checking for accuracy, craftsmanship, and overall presentation.

Case Study: Grey Goose Custom Model

One notable example of OMH’s custom model building is the Grey Goose model. Commissioned by the Grey Goose company, this model showcases the level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into each custom project. The model was built based on original plans and photographs provided by the client, ensuring a high degree of accuracy and authenticity.

The Legacy and Future of Model Ship Building at OMH

At Old Modern Handicrafts, the legacy of model ship building is more than just a business; it’s a passion and a commitment to preserving maritime history. The artisans at OMH take great pride in their work, knowing that each model they create is a tribute to the craftsmanship and ingenuity of shipbuilders throughout history.

Wholesale and International Delivery

OMH’s dedication to quality and service extends beyond individual customers to wholesale partners and international clients. The company offers extensive marketing materials, personalized service, and a streamlined delivery system to ensure that their products reach customers worldwide in perfect condition.

The OMH Promise

OMH’s promise is to deliver not just a product, but an experience. Each model ship is a celebration of maritime history and superior craftsmanship. Whether you are a collector, a retailer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of handcrafted art, OMH invites you to explore their collection and discover the timeless elegance of model ships. Explore our exquisite models ship collection at Old Modern Handicrafts, where each meticulously crafted piece captures the elegance and history of maritime vessels. Perfect for collectors and enthusiasts, our model ships are built with unparalleled attention to detail and authenticity.


Model ship building is an art form that combines historical research, meticulous craftsmanship, and a deep appreciation for maritime heritage. At Old Modern Handicrafts, this tradition is carried forward with dedication and passion. Their extensive collection of model ships, attention to detail, and commitment to quality make them a premier destination for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Whether you are looking for a historic tall ship, a detailed warship, or a custom-built model, OMH offers a piece of maritime history that you can cherish for years to come.

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