I’ll build a model of any boat but I prefer work boats or tugs because I love their lines and presentation.
The models I build are highly customized. I use offsets or blueprints but if they are not available, I take my own photos and measurements. There’s more to boats than LOA, Beam, and Draft; I have taken as many as 50 different measurements on one vessel to accurately create the right dimensions on the model. I can draw my own offsets and lines if need be.
Scales are decided by the actual size of the vessel; I use my judgment as to what will look best but will work with the customer.
Once I start building the model, I use wood (usually birch) no matter what the actual vessel is made of. I use 1/2″ ply for frames and keel and clear pine for hulls. The planking is done manually using 1/8″ strips that I hand make.
Hulls are then faired smooth, I add in the water line and drill for the prop shaft(s) and rudder(s). Painting is next and then I start decks, houses and other superstructures. Decks are made from birch, mahogany, or teak, again each strip is hand made.
Superstructures are highly customized and I’ve gotten rather creative with materials to represent items. Frequently, I hand make the items such as a lifering or a winch. It’s all very home-made which is the best part of my models!