Enter keywords or a search phrase below:


10 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March 2023
Posted by Pnasty on Thursday, March 9, 2023 6:07 PM

Hello.  I'm not a model builder yet, definilately want to start. my interest include military history, specifically WW2 naval history. I'm looking for advice how to start, what sort of tools, what kind of workspace, or any other advice would be appreciated. Looking forward to the knowledge I can obtain from this forum.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, March 10, 2023 8:48 AM

Welcome aboard,lots of great people happy to give good advice,just post your questions in the appropriate section,and there will be good advice.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, March 10, 2023 9:20 AM

Hello! Welcome aboard, so to say...

How about starting wits a kit of a naval fighter aircraft from WWII - that would give you a good start with something not-so-hard. While building it you could practice the most important skills like construction and painting and gather some tools and materials on the way. those would come in handy should you decide to build a ship - these tend to be harder to get right due to scale - the details tend to get really small on them...

Anyhow - good luck with your first build and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, March 10, 2023 12:04 PM


Hello.  I'm not a model builder yet, definilately want to start. my interest include military history, specifically WW2 naval history. I'm looking for advice how to start, what sort of tools, what kind of workspace, or any other advice would be appreciated. Looking forward to the knowledge I can obtain from this forum. 

Welcome to the hobby and welcome to the forum!

If you're interesting in WW2 naval history, besides aircraft, there are also ship kits that might interest you.   1/700 scale would be good for you to start out.  The Japanese model companies Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi, and Aoshima collaborated in what they dubbed the Waterline Series-kits of ships with flat bottoms, for table-top display, or display on an ocean base.  You can focus on basic techniques when building them and get some practice.  And they don't take up too much space.

As far as the kind of advice you asked for is concerned, I recommend strongly that you visit the Tools, Tips, & Techniques forum

and have a look through the posts there.  There's a lot of good content there.

Another tip-if you want to add pictures to your posts, you'll need to use a hosting site of some kind.  The forum doesn't have functionality to attach images or any other kind of files.  There are a lot of posts asking how to do this, and if you have a look in the Feedback, Help and Testing forum:

you'll find pretty much everything you need.

I look forward to seeing your builds!

Best regards,


The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, March 10, 2023 12:44 PM

Welcome Sign aboard! Hope you enjoy your time here.

As for could seriously get a pretty good start with little more than 'household' items (other than adhesives and paints, which tend to be a bit more hobby-specific). A few to consider:

*single-edge razor blades or nail clippers to cut parts neatly from sprues

*rubber bands, clothespins or paper-holding clampy things to hold parts together while gluing/drying

*a good pair of tweezers -- my favorites are cross-lock needle-pointed ones -- for handling small parts

*a small assortment of sandpaper grades -- or emery boards used for nail care, an excellent alternative -- for removing stubs from parts once removed from the parts trees, cleaning up molding seams from parts, and for sanding glued seams on assembled parts

*a hobby knife of some sort -- like a basic #11 X-acto knife -- is useful not only for precision cutting, but also excellent for scraping the mold seams from parts

*depending on your age and eyesight...good general lighting, and some kind of magnification such as an 'Optivisor' (or the cheaper Harbor Freight knockoff version I use) will make things much easier

*as a first 'non-household' item, you might consider a good-sized 'cutting mat' for your main work surface. It'll cut down on furniture scars and things like glue/paint spills that are always troublesome to clean up

I think most of us started with just that kind of stuff. As you get more experience, you'll better figure out what upgrades you'd like. (Also, if you start looking through catalogs, websites and/or modeling magazines, you'll see...and probably yearn for...enough cool tools to float the GDP of a small country. It goes with the territory. Big Smile)

As folks above have indicated, feel free to ask questions. We're all enthusiastic...and love to you'll find a lot of advice if you ask. And sometimes if you don't ask. Wink

Most importantly...have FUN.



George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Friday, March 10, 2023 6:40 PM

First off,... Hello and welcome into the forum. I believe you came to the right place as there are many kind and knowledgible people in the forum that can answer your questions. 


"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)


1/32 Revell Arado Ar 196-B Seaplane - DONE - (GB)

1/16 Sherman M4A3E8 - WIP

1/32 Hasegawa F-16C - Staged





  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, March 10, 2023 8:44 PM


On the Bench: Too Much

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, March 10, 2023 10:09 PM

Hi! Welcome to the Forums. Glad to have you aboard.

You've come to the right place. I started building models in 1946 at the age of 6. I've been building all types of models for 76 years. I thought I knew a lot about building models until I came to this forum. The members here are very knowledgeable and ready to help you with any problems/questions. They have taught me a lot.

Hope that you enjoy the forum and the hobby.

Stay Safe.

Jim Captain 

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, March 11, 2023 11:00 AM

Welcome aboard.  I here good things about the newish Revell 1/72 PT-109.  Most WWII stuff is 1/350 or 1/700.  I build mostly aircraft and there's a lot of really nice kits for WWII naval planes.



  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, March 11, 2023 11:09 AM


     Welcome aboard the most caring site of fun modelers. Do we care about models? You Bet, AND each other too. You have come to the right place.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by Surface_Line on Sunday, March 12, 2023 8:41 PM

As the Baron suggested above, many of us like 1/700 WWII ship models.  Many others like 1/350 ship kits.  If the numbers for the scales don't have much meaning for you, a US battleship in 1/700 scale is abpout 11" (28cm) long, and in 1/350, the same ship model would be double that or 22" long.  Some folks think that 1/700 is too small for their fat fingers or old eyes, but my clumsy fingers and old eyes really like the small ship models.  (a 1/700 destroyer is ~6 1/2" long).  As far as I'm concerned 1/350 is too big for my shelves, but you know what they say about opinions.

Another category is "full hull or waterline".  For your first model, don't let that bother you.  A waterline model looks like it is floating on the sea and a full hull model looks like it is standing out of the water.  Folks get real, real firm in their choice, gut you can start anyplace

What kit to start with?
There are boatloads (sorry for that) of choices even within WWII - type of ship and nationality.  I suggest that you do not ask "what's the best kit?" because the answer usually is a recent product from Flyhawk.  The are the most detailed and accurate, but they include many very small parts.  I think that would be jumping into the deep end to learn to swim.  As Baron suggested, Tamiya and Hasegawa are generally older products - fewer detail parts, but not blobs, either.  If you see a kit that includes PE, or PhotoEtched brass parts, I suggest you stay away from that until you are comfortable assembling and painting a simple kit.

Another category is "injection molded plastic" or "resin".  Injected plastic is the traditional type of model that has been around for 60+ years.  They are glued together with some type of plastic cement that melts the two parts together.   Veteran modelers will also share stories of their favorite exotic glue, or say that superglue works on anything, but I suggest regular plastic cement, found at at a hobby shop if you have one nearby, or a crafts store.
Resin kits are generally more exotic, much more expensive, and include more odd ship types.  I say that resin ships are something for the beginner to look at, while they develop some basic skills with plastic ship kits.  Resin kits are assembled with superglue.

Meet us in the SHIPS part of the forums here and fire off some more specific questions, as they occur to you.  And have a lot of fun.

Best regards,
Rick Heinbaugh


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.