Paper Models in the Nautical Research Journal

Paper model enthusiasts rejoice! The Summer 2020 issue of the Journal of the Nautical Research Society (Vol. 65, No. 2) just arrived in the mail this last week, containing a nice full-length article on paper models.

Th cover of the Summer 2020 issue of the Journal, featuring Shipyard’s HMS Wolf

It’s not the first time paper models have been seen in the the Journal, but this is the first I’ve seen that provides an overview of the available kinds of kits available. Ab Hoving wrote an excellent article on scratch building a Dutch fluit, which he made from paper. There may be other examples as well, but it was good to see this recent article, especially since it discussing the array of available kits.

As the article points out, paper modeling has many advantages over our traditional wooden model hobby. Paper models tend to be less expensive, don’t require as many tools as for wooden model building, make less mess than wooden ship modeling, and so can often be built in a much smaller space. It also tends to be more acceptable in close proximity to other people, as significant others may have fewer issues with you cutting paper in the living room with them that with sawing wood or sanding.

Many know that I’m an advocate of paper modeling, though I don’t suggest that it’s for everyone, or that paper models are better than wooden ones. I just think they’re neat and that people should take a serious look at building one. Also, I think there’s a stigma associated with them that because they’re paper, they are “real” ship models. Ab Hoving’s work, as well as other other talented modelers, disprove that idea.

A past issue of the Journal, Fall 2016, features Ab Hoving’s scratch built Dutch Fluit on the cover – an extraordinary model that he built from paper.

This issue of the Journal even features a full-color photo of a paper model built of the 10-gun snow-rigged brig HMS Wolf. It is a beautiful laser-cut kit from the Polish manufacturer Shipyard. One that I always thought would be interesting to build.

Paper models have been popular in Europe for a long time, and it would be nice to see more ship modelers involved in this medium. Ω

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