Model Ships are a scaled down replications of a full-sized historical ship from ancient times to the present. Model ships played a vital part in the building of real ships. Model ship builders would pass the completed model to the workers for them to build their ships to proper scales. In a sense the old model builders built their models for the opposite reason as model ship builders of today; they built them to create an upscale model instead. These older hand carved models that provided the model ship to their workers, were actually provided the workers blueprints for the ship they were building.
Today, model ships and computer programs are used to help ship designers select the final form of the ship’s hull before they draw out the actual plans. These model ships are then tested in tanks to provide precise information on how the hull of the full sized ship will perform at sea and how it will perform at various speeds and various ocean behaviors. All of your major ship builders use this “model ship” method before they decide on the final design. To this day, ship designers continue to build models for their desired ship structure.
The History of model ship building goes way back to ancient Egypt around 3200 B.C., where they invented the earliest form of plank and frame as well as sails for their ships. The Greek Ships models followed approximately 500 years later with a two masts sail boat.
Scandinavians developed Viking ships; one of the best ships built in Europe between 700 AD to the late 1000’s and in 1300 A.D. introduced the stern rudder.
The Mediterranean shipbuilders developed full-rigged sailing ship models in 1450 A.D. From there to the early 1800’s ships used were constructed mostly using the plank on frame method, rudder control, and full-rigged sails. Galleons model ships launched to sea in the 1500’s and used to the 1800’s. The most famous ship models were the packet and clipper ships. Packet ships appeared in the Atlantic Ocean in the early 1800’s followed by the Clipper ships during the 1840s. Both of these models were used as import ships.
In the 1700’s engineers started to develop and experiment with steam powered boats. By the 1800’s the model paddle wheel steam boats were invented. By 1853, the propeller powered steam boat model was invented proving to be more efficient then the paddle wheel model. This dawned a new era of ship building; steel ships that replaced the traditional wooden model.
Some of the most fascinating ships that are still in operation today were when the passenger cruise ships came on the seen. This RMS Titanic cruise ship was built in March 1909. In May 1911, this new steel model ship was launched, which was a heavily publicized spectacle. Unfortunately, at 11:40 pm on the 14th April 1912, the greatest maritime disaster in history began. Other models include the Normandie, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain.