Model ship bases

Model ship bases DEFAULT

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How to display a Model Ship.
Do you want to add pizazz to your ship model it's quick and easy.

This was created with balsa sticks cut a the same length placed close
to each other to make it look keel blocks from a dry dock. They were glued
to the base then the base was stained & varnished then the ship was glued
to the blocks or just placed on the blocks simple, creative and inexpensive.

We sell balsa strips 1/4 x 1/4 x 36" for 2.50 plus a base board you are all set.



Plastic covered Display Cases with Black Bases.

251814L x 3.5W x 4H 12.95
251910.25L x 2.5W x 4H 9.00
253019.6L x 5.8W x 6H 34.95
253110.2L x 2.6W x 2.6H 7.00

Or just put a few sticks down on the base.

p1010001.jpg (237326 bytes)

This base below was made from a piece of wood from a Home Depot or a lumber yard less than 8.00.

The picture is from a professional builder.

World war II Gearing kit form DML kit!

USS Arizona by Trumpeter in 1:200 scale, mounted on oak with basswood strips.
As you can see David very easily cut all the strips the same size and then
nailed them to a piece of oak an varnished the whole base, simple but elegant.

Picture USS Hunt in Dry Dock note the Keel Blocks.

Below is another inexpensive display

I/700 Submarine model $7.00. Wooden base bought at Michael's Art Store $1.95
Looking at my built diorama = Priceless.





A ship model should be protected from dust and grime. A good and proven way to display a model ship is under glass or acrylic. Any display case should, as a general rule, be at least 2" (50mm) larger in width, height and length than the model dimensions. To display a model with a bowsprit, you may want to consider leaving more clearance at the stern for a more "balanced" look.

Image of pedestal display case

Real glass is more durable and less susceptible to heat and sunlight, however the lesser weight and the clean, clear beveled edges of an acrylic case have its own advantages. For optimum security, consider the use of tempered glass. It would be very sad if a ten dollar piece of glass would destroy your priceless model. Just be aware that tempered glass may have a slight greenish tint and can have optical flaws.

Image of model display

Oak display case with remote controlled top and bottom low-heat LED lighting.

Acrylic is optically very similar to glass. With good care, such as cleaning with a soft cloth, not paper towel, the acrylic will last for many years. More ship model cleaning and maintenance suggestions can be found on our maintenance page.

Image of a quality glass case

Cherry display case with a wood and glass top displaying an 18th century cutter.

For a quality wood and glass case for your ship model we suggest Houston Display Furniture. They will also be able to build you a standard or custom display stand to match or compliment your display case. Their display cases and stands come flat packaged and are easily assembled. You simply order and add glass locally.

Brass display case

If a fully assembled glass/acrylic and solid brass display case is what you prefer, Clear View Designs will have the quality display case you're looking for.

Custom acrylic case

HMS Victory model under a large acrylic cap with clear beveled edges.

Even though a case will keep your model dust and dirt free, lighting can really bring a display to life. Lighting from above and slightly in front can be used to make your model ship the center of attention, even in the most prestigious of settings and could be effectively applied when displaying your model in an alcove or large cabinet. Displaying a model over a fireplace as shown below, may be an option, but only if the space directly over the fireplace stays relatively cool.

Ship model displayed above fireplace

Internal display case lighting can also be applied with spectacular result. Do make absolutely sure however that the lighting you plan to use emits as little heat as possible. I recommend using low-voltage LED systems for any in-display-case lighting solution.

LED display case spot lighting

Any lighting system emitting little heat is preferable and even crucial to the lifespan of both model and display case. Other benefits of using LED lighting are that the color-temperature and intensity can often be changed or selected with the help of a remote control, and the additional bonus of normal LEDs being void of any color-fading ultraviolet emissions.

Steam sealer in an LED lit display case

Mahogany display case with remote controlled LED spot lights and tempered glass.

The image above shows a Bombay mahogany display case with remote controlled LED lighting allowing the lighting to be turned on or off, the color of the lighting to be changed and the lights to be dimmed. Using multiple light sources is almost always preferred over using a single point of light. Use from 2 - 8 lights or multi-light modules, depending on the size of the display.

Image of model ship stand

Custom model stand created for a large antique flat-bottom boat model.

Venting the case and drawing away heat from the interior is never a bad idea. A well designed display case will have some venting calculated in. A hermetically sealed enclosure may become an oven for your model to bake in when exposed to sunlight.

Restored model in an LED lit display case

Douglas Fir display case with glass top and custom LED 'Tombstone' lighting.

The lighting system shown above only uses about 6 Watts in total. Avoid using fluorescent lighting as it will usually make for a dull and flat display. Fluorescent lighting is great for above a work bench, not so much for use in a model display. LED strips or modules can be used to almost completely hide the lighting into a display case. The drawback here can be somewhat the same as with fluorescent lighting, too many points of light destroying the shadow and highlight effects and creating a dull display.

Image of LED lit display case

*The Art of Age of Sail receives no incentives for mentioning or promoting the display case and stand manufacturers mentioned on this page, we simply trust and like their products.


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Ship Display Base with waves (for waterline models)

1:700 HMS Huron

1:1200 USS Missouri

1:400 Pomeral

Ship Display Base with waves (for waterline models) 

Size:29cm length x 12cm width approx  

This is a flat surface display base for waterline models

Images show 1:700 scale HMS Huron, 1:1200 USS Missouri kits, and 1:400 Pomeral for example applications.

*1:400 Pomeral available from JSC Card Models Poland

Whether an experienced modeller looking to display your favourite model kit, or are looking to enter the world of diorama building, Coastal Kits Scenic Display Range is an ideal way of bringing your model kits to life

All our Display Bases are constructed from durable, hard wearing 3mm Foamex board, printed with the latest odourless latex ink onto laminated matt vinyl for near photographic quality, giving a permanent and waterproof finish which unlike paper products will not fade, lift or bubble.

Add a few accessories and quickly bring your scene to life. Easily create stunning scenes with your models

Wide range of scales, surfaces and textures available.

"Great Value for Money"


Buy with confidence. We operate a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase, simply return for a full refund.

Model Ship Building : Making a Moulding Scraper Tool

Realistic Sea Bases

Omami is a Japanese modeller and webmaster of the J-Model Works site. For publication in IPMS Stockholm magazine the original article from Omami's site has been expanded and refined (Ed.)

Replicating elements of nature in miniature is one of the more tricky aspects of modelling, requiring not only the "engineering" knowledge of a subject but also a bit of artistic sense.

For ship model builders such as myself, water base can really make or break a good model. In this article I would like to show you how to produce a realistic sea base for ship model, with rough water surface, surf and wake. I have perfected these techniques during my own project of modelling the IJN Task Force, Carrier Division 1. The Task Force consists of  the aircraft carriers Kaga and Akagi steaming side-by-side on a single base.

Before we begin, let's consider the qualities of our subject. 

Despite of what we all know about water, deep water basins seldom look transparent, especially when seen from a distance. Rather than that, water has colour and forms a glossy, highly reflective surface. These qualities of water are especially appropriate to replicate in scale, particularly when dealing with ship models in smaller scales such as 1/700.

Having performed this most basic analysis, let's move to a step-by-step description of how to produce a convincing sea base.

Step 1: Basics

First you will need to establish the composition and layout of your base. Most of the times this is simple: place the model on the sheet of paper of the same size as the intended base, and outline its hull along the waterline. If you have any other elements such as peers, shoreline etc, trace them on paper, too.


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

Now comes the fun part: making the sea surface. A piece of kitchen aluminium foil is wrinkled thoroughly, and then stretched on a flat surface. Then, a wooden frame the size of the base is placed on top of it. The frame and the foil together form a mould for the sea surface.


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

For moulding, I use fine-grade plaster of Paris. It is blended with water as per instructions and poured into the frame. As plaster is quite brittle, I usually reinforce the mould by adding a cotton gauze on top of the poured liquid. Adding an additional layer of plaster over it can help to blended the gauze invisibly into the moulding.

It takes about 30 minutes for the plaster to harden so that it can be removed from the frame.  However, it is necessary to wait additional 3 days before it is completely cured. Flipping the mould to its "right" side, you will see the effect that the wrinkled foil had on the surface. It will replicate the multitude of short irregular waves caused by wind blowing over sea surface.


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

Step 2: Bow wave et al.

Now it is time to replicate the prominent waves caused by the ship's movement in the water: the bow wave, wave pattern along the hull and the wake. These waves can be sculpted from epoxy putty.

The highest white-crested wave will surround the bow, usually with overhang on its top part. To maintain strength, I first model the "body" part of the wave, adding the top 1/3rd only after it has hardened. The shape of the wave is first  formed with fingers, then the surface is sculpted using a spatula, see photos below.


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

The bow wave should be spreading into the fan shape towards the rear. The sides of the hull will also induce smaller waves along its length. It is helpful to draw the wave pattern on the plaster base with a pencil so that you ensure maintaining the uniform (but not symmetrical) look of the waves on both sides of the hull.

These waves can be modelled similarly to the bow wave, using the spatula to create crests and patches of foam. Be careful to work on a small area at a time - once the epoxy putty hardens, it becomes almost impossible to work with.


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

The following photo shows the completed waterline of Kaga, with in-progress waterline of Akagi in the background.  

Step 3: The wake 

The wake of the fast-going ship is different from other waves on our base in that it its area will be almost completely covered with white foam. Switching to the ordinary thinner-based modelling putty, I apply a generous  coat of it to the area behind the stern, and then mould the wake by poking it with toothpicks. Chances are that the surface structure obtained but this method is too rough, but it is easy to "soften" the effect by brushing thinner over it.


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

To complete the waves, a coat of Gunze Mr. Surfacer 500 liquid putty is applied in selected areas to smooth out the edges between the epoxy putty and plaster. 


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

Step 4. Painting

First I coat the entire base with white primer. It allows me to discover any remaining joint marks, fingerprints and other blemishes. If found, these are treated with liquid putty. The completed base prior to painting looks like this:

Painting is a tricky problem. Replicating the softness of water in hard material is difficult, and it is all won or lost in the painting phase. Therefore I used to consider my options carefully and test all the steps before applying them "full-scale". For the first attempt, it may be a good idea to produce a scrap plaster base alongside your main project to practice your painting  techniques safely.

I use Loquitex acrylic soft type artists' colours. Loquitex acrylics are very suitable for the purpose because they retain a rich "moistened" look when dry. The colours I used for the Kaga/Akagi base were Titanium White, Phthalocyanine Blue and Emerald Green.

Another principal decision was the choice of a brush rather than airbrush. Brush painting is able to produce colour depth which is simply unobtainable by airbrush application - a fact well known to figure builders. 

For the base colour of the Carrier Division base I used a mixture of Phthalocyanine Blue and Emerald Green. The colours were applied by brush and mixed directly on the surface of the base to create uneven rather than uniform colour.

In-progress photos, click to enlarge

After covering the entire base, I returned to selected spots with more contrasting tones to add depth. First I went through trough (lowest) spots with the darker tone of blue. Then the  wave crests were brushed with progressively brighter shades, creating gentle gradation of colour from dark to light. 

Loquitex acrylics dry to a matt finish, which is inappropriate for the glossy sea surface. Therefore the entire base was spray-painted with gloss clear varnish at this point.

Step 5. Finishing

At this point your sea should already look quite convincing . But bear with me, it can be made so much better by adding the final step - painting of the wave crests. It does just as much to enliven the sea surface as "weathering" does to models in general. 

The idea is to suggest patches of white foam at the wave crests, and this is best done with dry-brushing. You should start with a mixture of your base colour and white, and progressively add more white in the consecutive dry-brushing passes. I have used four different shades for my base shown here. The result after the 4th shade of blue is shown on the photo below (to the left).


In-progress photos, click to enlarge

The last touch is the application  of pure Titanium White on the brim of each wave. You should take care to vary the quantity of white depending on the size of each wave - the largest ones with pronounced brims should get more foam than the smaller waves. The effect is shown on the right photograph.

The massive amounts of white foam in the wake area should be emphasized even more. My method is to coat the wake area with diluted white glue and then sprinkle on the white snow powder used for diorama models.

Another few coats of clear gloss varnish and the base is finished. The complete item is shown below, with pre-drilled holes for screws attaching the models. I hope that you will agree that the result is a quite realistic rendition of an open sea swept by keen wind!

Click on the image for enlargements.


More photos, click to enlarge


Ship bases model

And on such an ass, skinny jeans are more dangerous for a man than TNT. It is not known how this could have ended, but. The sunbathing behind the fence stopped.

How to do artificial water for dioramas II

My head of the department was left nervously trample behind my back. I sank into a soft chair, ceremoniously smoothing my short skirt, tightly squeezing my knees, trying to breathe to the side. The "Wreath of.

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Like this. The member slid and continued to crawl into me, filling the lower abdomen with aching dull pain, which was bearable, and about which it was not worth whining, standing. In front of a man with cancer, and substituting his white, seductive ass for fucking. The man fell into me and stopped. I was getting used to the size in my anal.

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