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Buyer's Guide

Handcrafted Model Ships, LLC. is the largest manufacturer of high quality model ships in the world. We hope this buyers guide will help you learn what to look for when buying a model ship: quality, price, selection and customer service). In summary, to the untrained eye a model ship might look great from afar, but upon closer inspection you will realize it is an inccurate, low-quality replica.

U.S. Dealers
Our Model Ships
Other Sellers Models

Quality/Experience

Manufactured by us. 
46 years of design and assembly. Building models ships is our passion and it shows in our models!

Importer, not the manufacturer .  Zero production or quality control.
Price

Since we are the manufacturer we have no middle-man and can offer the lowest priced/highest quality models available.

They are the middle-man and the price has to be increased thousands of percent before being offered for sale.
Selection

We offer over 100 models from tall ships, cruise ships, yachts, speedboats, modern warships and will custom build any model.

Only offer what their distributor has available who will frequently be out of stock.

Service
Richard Norris
Richard Norris
Founder and Builder

Knowledgeable and friendly customer service available Monday to Friday.
(800) 313-9128
No phone number or nobody answers.  Impossible to get an immediate answer to your question or issue.

What to look for when buying a model ship

To make your decision easier when shopping for a model ship, we provide this Buyer's Guide to help inform you what to look for before you purchase: quality, price, selection and customer service.

Quality
Quality can be one of the most confusing parts to determining which model ship is perfect for you, and even more so when trying to decipher the information provided from those who are selling the model.

Ask these questions:

  • How many pictures does the seller provide of the model to assess the quality?
  • How many angles of the model are shown?
  • What is the quality of the picture?
  • Are certain angles of the ship noticeably missing?
  • When examining the pictures, is the model historically accurate?
  • How much research is done before building the model?
  • How is the model constructed?
  • What components are used to build the model?
  • How detailed is the model? (take particular note of the deck details)
  • Does the seller have quality control or inspect all models prior to shipment?
  • How is the model packaged, does the seller show pictures?

All of these questions can be exhausting, but we make determining quality simple and easy. At Handcrafted Model Ships, LLC., we are confident we have the highest quality model ships for the price in the world. We provide the following items to assess a model ship's quality:

    Pictures: To show our quality we show many high quality images that show all angles of the model. If you would like more pictures of any given model, contact us and we will provide them.


    HMS Victory

    San Felipe

    USS Constitution

    Accuracy: Our models are authentic replicas. We take advantage of every available resource to ensure that our models are as accurate as possible. We use copies of the plans, pictures, period paintings and visit the actual ship when possible (HMS Victory in Portsmouth England, USS Constitution in Boston, etc).

    Components: Our models are constructed of various rare exotic woods, including walnut, cherry, oak and teak to name a few. For the hull, we feature authentically aged copper plating (just like on the real ship - this was done to prevent the wooden hull from deteriorating). The decks carry machine turned brass cannons and the thick canvas sails hold their shape and remain wrinkle-free. In addition, our vessels rest on a polished marble base with ornately carved metal supports.

    Amazing Deck Detail

    HMS Suprise

    USS Constitution 38"

    Harvey Baltimore Clipper


    Renderings of the capstan and ladders
    Construction: To build our models, we use a combination of old-world skills and 21st century technology for starters. The thousands of pieces and components that make up each model are created using 3-D modeling, and assembled by master craftsmen from scratch. The sails and riggings are meticulously tied by hand, and each ship is masterfully painted to match its historical counterpart.

    Details: Our models have all the little details you would expect in quality model ships (planked decks, tied-down cannons, cannon balls and cannon ball racks, oars in the lifeboats, barrels, buckets, hundreds of dead-eyes and blocks, etc). With all of these details, the models come to life with realism and authenticity.


    Learn how we make our models

    Inspection: As the manufacturer, we have strict quality standards and ensure that all models are in perfect condition during construction. We also have a seven-point inspection prior to every model being shipped.

    Packaging: All of our models are professionally packaged in a wooden crate and are guaranteed to arrive in perfect condition. We stand behind our products with a 100% money back guarantee.


    Learn about how we package our models

Price
This is obviously one of the most important aspects in buying a model ship. In theory, quality should be related to price, but that is not always the case. So before you purchase a model ship, ask yourself, "Am I getting the highest quality (see section below) model ship for the price?" The best way to determine this is asking the question: Am I buying from an overseas importer, distributor or the manufacturer?

As the manufacturer, we are confident that we offer the highest quality models for the price for the following reasons:

  1. Building models ships is our passion, this is all we do and this is all we will ever do. As a result, all of our efforts and resources focus on building the highest quality model ship at the lowest possible price.
  2. We have a research and development process that has been perfected during our decades of experience building model ships. This process allows us to research and design new models faster and at a lower price
  3. We have a streamlined construction technique. We build multiple models at one time and have expert builders at each stage of production (hull, rigging, painting, etc). This allows our models to meet our strict quality standards but be constructed in a reasonable time frame.
  4. We make a majority of our own pieces and make them in large quantities. Some of these pieces can be used for multiple models allowing further cost savings (brass cannons, sails, gun-ports, etc).
  5. We advertise very little. A majority of our business is from past buyers or referrals. As this is a major cost in any business, we can pass this substantial savings on to you.

Selection
Now that you have an eye for quality, look for which historic model will best fit your needs.

Ask the following questions:

  • When looking to purchase a model from a company, how many total different models do they offer?
  • How many versions of a specific model do they offer?
  • Do they offer various quality levels and price ranges?
  • Can they custom build or change any item on the ship?
  • Do they offer display accessories custom built to fit your model?

At Handcrafted Model Ships, Inc. we offer over over 100 different models, representing 10 countries from various historical periods.

4 different HMS Victory models

Over 100 different models to choose from

4 different USS Constitution models

Our wide assortment of models will suit every taste and it will fit your budget perfectly as well. For example, we offer 4 different sized and priced HMS Victory models and USS Constitution models.

If you do not find the model you are looking for, we can custom build any model.

Soleil Royal

Amerigo Vespucci

Sovereign of the Seas

We also offer various display options as a model ship that looks this good deserves an equally handsome home. Protect, preserve and showcase your model ship in our sturdy, custom designed rosewood display case, or display it on a stylish rosewood table or a wall-mounted shelf.

Various Display Options

Display Table

Display Case

Display Shelf
Customer Service
Finally, you have made your decision on price, quality, and selection, but you still need the assurance that you will receive your model in excellent condition, in a timely manner, and that it will be perfect for your home.

Ask the following questions:

  • Who are you purchasing this model from?
  • Are they the manufacturer, or are they an importer from overseas?
  • Do they have the model in stock?
  • How long before your model is shipped?
  • When it is shipped, will you receive the tracking number?
  • Are the sellers experts who can answer all-of-your model ship questions?
  • If there is a problem will they be able to assist you?
  • Can you return your model for a 100% refund?
  • Do they have an 800 phone number for you to call?

At Handcrafted Model Ships, LLC., we are the manufacturer. All of our models are in stock, unless otherwise noted, and we ship out models every single day. When your model is shipped, you are emailed the tracking number. If there are any issues with your purchase you can call us at (800) 313-9128, seven days a week, and we will immediately assist you. In addition, if for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your model, you can return it for a full refund.

100% Money Back Guarantee
100% Money Back Guarantee
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Secure Web Site
Ordering

Tracking # emailed when
order is shipped

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