All of our boat models have been built to many different scales in both metric and imperial, as well as different actual sizes from 2' / 60cm to 9' / 2m in length. In choosing a scale for a yacht model, we like to suggest a scale which makes for a manageable size (something to consider when travelling to boat shows) of approximately 2' to 3' / 60cm to 1m. If space is an issue, a halfhull model is an option, which could be mounted on a wall. Most of our models have been whole hull and mounted to bases with polished aluminum struts, yet waterline models are another type of display. These are modeled from the waterline up and are mounted directly to the base. Some models are whole hull types with a suspended acrylic waterline with a simulated water surface, which has both benefits of showing the hull and showing how the ship sits in the water. Some models we have built show different lengths. This is achieved by having a stationary forward section with interchangeable aft sections located by magnets and locator pins.
There are other interesting options for models which could include working navigation lights, radars, anchor winches, propellers, etc. which would have a "fun factor". Whatever the decision, we will build models of any type to any size and scale required.
Most of our yacht models have been modeled to a similar level of detail, which we believe is a good compromise between the high and low ends of the spectrum. For instance, our typical level of detail includes black acrylic glazing set back from hull and cabinsides. We have used clear and tinted acrylic glazing to show off some interior spaces. For a quicker and lower budget option, we could offer flush painted or stick-on vinyl windows. Our models, along with being accurate, many are detailed with custom built deck equipment, tenders, helicopters, submarines, anchors, radars, antennas, settees, dining chairs, even door handles and bar sinks. As there are virtually no sources for these modern and often obscure items, we build almost everything. We may purchase items such as figures, propellers and handwheels but will most likely alter them to be suitable.
We use many different techniques to build our models. Since many of the yacht models we build are of brand new designs, we often use CAD files from architects and designers to laser cut components and detail parts. CNC cutting and 3-D printing are two other technologies that are options open to us. In some cases though, there is no drawing information. In this case, we will request or conduct a photographic report and take measurements then create an information package to build the model. We have used many multiple piece fiberglass molds for hulls, decks, cabins and flybridge components for models as well as for tenders. Silicone rubber molds are used quite often to cast many of our small custom detailing parts. We have cast tenders, jet skis, kayaks, motors, liferaft canisters, winches, bollards & cleats, hawse pipes, horns, propellers, sat domes and even figures. For some detailing, we have used photo etched brass parts. We have used vacuum forming and thermal formed plastics. Railings for most of our models have been soldered brass rod or tube.
For finishing the model yacht, we use custom decals, vinyl graphics and laser cut details for names and logos. Teak decking is mostly replicated with laser cut wood decking which shows all planking and margin boards. We rarely use wood on our models, as it tends to expand and contract with different moisture and temperature conditions, yet we have used maple masts and booms. Instead of wood we use a high-density polyurethane composite material used in the patternmaking industry as well as various plastics sheet materials, fiberglass, casting resins and metals. The finishing process starts with a high solids automotive primer which we then fair and sand out to a fair and smooth surface. We then top coat with quality automotive paints matched to the vessels' specifications. From time to time, we have used lacquer and hobby paints.
The models are mounted to a display base, which has a case groove where a clear acrylic case is set into. The display bases have been of various styles and materials to suit customer requirements. These could be black lacquered, finished woods of various species, solid surface material, a mirrored top or even glass beaded aluminum. Every project is different and may utilize different construction methods for which we will use any number of to build your model. We will work within your budget to build a model one should be proud to display.
Our models have been sent to many points within the US, local and overseas destinations including England, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, France, Russia, and the Caribbean. All models being shipped are carefully packed into shipping crates. These are usually sturdy re-useable wooden crates that are lined inside with soft foam to absorb sharp blows. We have used aluminum crates similar to sound equipment cases with latches and handles. All models being shipped also have a rigid foam cradle that holds the model from "rolling" or moving about within its' acrylic case.
We have found that comparing model prices can be like comparing apples to oranges. Some companies build hundreds models of a particular yacht thus lowering the price. Some are built at a lower quality and or lower level of detail.
There are no universal standards for detailing unless you itemize absolutely everything to be on the model. So for requesting pricing information and then comparing them, there may be a large variation in the models.
Most of our models have been built to a similar level of detail... this is highly detailed, but not over the top...a happy compromise (what we call a "marketing" model). Here are a few categories we have come up with to help in establishing what type of detail level would be suitable to your requirements:
- "Concept" model - minimal details but gets the design and concept across.
(e.g.; no railings or deck fittings)
- "Marketing" model - high detail with some simplifications.
(e.g.; our standard model with acrylic glazing, railings, painted resin fittings)
- "Collector" model - the highest level of detail, real museum style.
(e.g.; nickel plated or silver railings & fittings, individual deck planking)
However, since every model we build is completely custom built, we can offer customized levels of detail...what would you like to see?