Is there a model of this ship?

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First of all, there are hundreds, if not thousands of ships that have never been made as a plastic kit. That's just the way it is.

But here are some tips in searching tosee if there is a model of the ship you are looking for:

1. Let's say someone wants a model of a WWII battleship, the USS Kentucky. Chances are that there is no model of that ship in the scale you want, maybe not in any scale. You haven't been able to find one.

2. There's a trick to sometimes finding a ship model.

You need to know what Class of ship you're looking for.

The USS Kentucky battleship was an Iowa class ship. That means you want to look for ship models in that class. Guess what? There are models of the USS Missouri - which is also an Iowa class ship. Granted, ships were slightly different from one to another, especially during war time, but overall, the model kit will be of the same basic ship you want. Sometimes the name of a ship will be changed during it's long history. So you may need to track that info down as well, to find it's previous class or previous name.

3. Always start by searching for the Class of the ship - then look at all the names of the class ship you're looking at. You will have better results, and a much better chance of finding a kit for the ship model you want Wikipedia is handy for a list of ships made of a certain Class.

4. A model company isn't going to make a model kit for each the 6 ships in the Iowa class. They will traditionally pick the most popular or well known named ship and do that one. Sometimes they may do more than one example in the class, but that doesn't always happen.

5. Model companies leave it up to the individual modeler to make the changes needed to represent a specific ship from year to year, or other modifications needed to make a certain ship. That's one of the reasons there are so many aftermarket resin parts and photoetch for ship models.

 

6. If there is no model of the ship you want, here are some companies that make scale models of ships. They may be able to make one for you-

 

In an extreme case, there are companies that can make a model of any ship you want. You will see a list of those companies here -

Model Building Companies - click here

 

Why isn't there a model kit of the model I'm looking for?

 

Models made of plastic require an injecton mold. Plastic is heated to a high temperature and then forced into the mold at high pressure. This makes the plastic "trees" that hold the parts, and gives you what you need to build a model.

Here is a mold for a plastic model courtesy of Round2 Models:

 

 

This mold makes JUST ONE of the many parts trees that make up a model, and this is JUST HALF of the mold. You need two for each tree (excluding kits that use slide molds I believe), and some models have many trees, depending on the complexity of the kit.

Don't let the picture fool you. This is one heavy piece of steel. You need a fork lift to get these around and put them in and out of the molding machines, or move them around a warehouse.

So what's involved in getting a mold made?

The molds to make a model kit can cost from $ 100,000 to $250,000. Just to make one model.

So model companies don't start popping out new kits every day because they feel like it. It's expensive!

There's also a boat load of engineering time, CAD work, and milling work done to even make the mold. It's not a simple task.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Click here for model kits under $ 20.99 and save today!

 

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