What is a “Museum Quality Model?

If you’ve been looking at websites for model builders, I’m sure you’ve seen the phrase, “Museum Quality Models”. But what does it really mean? In its simplest terms, “Museum Quality Model” means that a model has been built to a set of standards as set forth by a specific museum with regards to scale fidelity, materials, methods, research, historical accuracy, etc. In 1980, Mystic Seaport published the, “Ship Model Classification Guidelines 1”. These are the guidelines I follow in the construction of my models. In most cases, the models I build would be classified as Class A (Scratch Built Model) or Class B (Modified Scratch built Models). You should inquire as to whose standards a model builder is using.

How much do your models cost?

Cost is a difficult subject to discuss without having a specific boat or ship in mind. Having said that, I could safely say that $1,000.00 would be a minimum for a scratch built model. As a reference, the 1:48 scale Beetle Catboat in the Favorite Subjects Gallery  is $1,750.00 with the case and ivory nameboard.

Could I come and look at your work?

Absolutely! If you plan to be on Cape Cod, just give me a call and I’d be happy to arrange a time for you to drop by.

Do you build modern boats and ships or just historic models?

If it floats, I’ll build it.

If I ask you to build a model of my boat, how accurate will it be?

When dealing with an existing boat, the first thing I try do is get a set of plans directly from the boat’s designer, if that’s possible. In many cases, the designer will gladly sell me the plans as long as I agree that the only thing I intend to do with them is build your model. As to specific details of your boat (color schemes, options and any details custom to you), photos and direct measurement of the real thing is always desirable. You are also a valuable resource for details specific to your boat.

How far will you travel to measure and research a model?

Actual travel details can always be worked out. If, for instance, you are somewhere in the northeast, it would be fairly easy to work out a trip to your area, if that were absolutely necessary. But, today with internet and email, photos and information are available almost 24/7.

What’s your time frame?

Without a specific model, it would be hard to pin down. Three very big factors impacting the delivery time are complexity of your model,  how much research and detective work is involved, and what project is ahead of yours. It could be as short a time as a month or two, to as much as a year. A complex, full rigged whaling ship may take 1 to 2 years.

Can you provide references?

I would be happy to provide references upon request.

Do you take private commissions for modern boats?

Yes, I will build your favorite boat, providing I can get plans.