There are many resources available to the ship modeler. Rather than just randomly list them all, we put together some of the favorites used by of our members. Note that we don’t post any solicited links.
Our Favorite Local Hobby Shops
Fundemonium at 579 Rohnert Park Express Way, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Phone: 707-540-0701. A huge store designed to supply all kinds of hobbies and provide activity space for all ages. Fundemonium serves as the meeting place for the Redwood Empire Model Shipwrights. Has hobby tools, supplies, and some boat and ship kits.
Marin Hobby & Gift used to be Dauth Hobbies and was in a different location. The shop is now located at 224 Greenfield Ave, Unit 2, San Anselmo. 415-454-3087. This is a classic hobby shop with kits, paints, supplies, tools and a variety of fun gifts for kids. There’s a selection of RC items and they are happy to order ship model kits for you.
Ages of Sail 676 Bockman Rd, Unit B & C, San Lorenzo. 510-889-6000. Actually, the store front for a mail order shop and importer of ship model kits and fittings. Carries almost all product lines except for Model Shipways and A.J. Fisher. Has both static and R/C kits and a full range of ship model fittings, books, tools and supplies.
Recommended Online Suppliers
Precision Scale Model Engineering is a favorite online resource of HSPMS members. This shop carries a huge selection of parts, tools and accessories. Everything from plastic I-beams, wooden dowels and strips, and stainless steel tubing to nylon gears, washers, and steel springs and screws, to electronic components, pneumatic fittings and more. Also carries Foredom, Proxxon, Zona, and many other tools. And, he carries ship model fittings and books too. There’s too much to list online, even for him. You have to buy a catalog to see a list of what all he carries, and it’s a BIG book, but you can apply the cost to your first order.
Micromark has been supplying small tools and miscellaneous supplies to hobbyists for a long time. They even carry some basic ship model kits. They often carry hard to find specialty tools and have their own line of power tools called Microlux. Some of their more interesting offerings include a photo-etching set for making your own brass or copper parts, a metal plating kit, resin and metal casting supplies, and even a laser cutter and 3D printers.
Ages of Sail is listed above as a local hobby shop, but their main business is supplying kits, tools, and fittings to ship modelers through their online shop. They are the U.S. importer for many product lines from Europe and carry a very large of kits including some RC kits and Live Steam products.
Recommended Lumber Suppliers
A lot of model lumber suppliers have come and gone lately. Syren Ship Model Company still sells some sheets of Alaskan Yellow Cedar, but mostly because that’s what they use to make their own products from. Others, like the short-lived Crown Timberyard, and HobbyMill are gone, so there are few sources for milled strips and sheets.
Gilmer Wood supplies only rough-cut boards and turning blanks and have a minimum order of $100. But they apparently have a large reserve of woods used by ship modelers, like Castello Boxwood, Swiss Pear, Holly and Ebony. Many other species too. They also have someone there who is familiar with the quality of wood needed by ship modelers who can find the piece that you need.
The Lumberyard for Model Shipwrights is a favorite of many due the many species carried, which are available as milled sheets and strips or in rough cut boards for those who do their own milling. The Lumberyard also carries scale cannons and carriages and timbering sets for building Hahn models. Plus they carry a few kits of their own.
S.H. Goode & Sons Workshop is a small supplier of precision milled woods. Located in Atascadero, CA, the owners, Stephen and Mary Ann Goode, cater to miniaturists and ship modelers and can often be found at the big doll house / miniatures events. Woods are generally provided in smaller sizes, such as 24″ for strips and 12″ for sheets, though custom sizes might be possible. They also supply miniature moldings and some useful tools.
Northeastern Scale Lumber Company has been around for quite some time. While they are limited to Basswood, Mahogany, and Cherry, the sell strip woods and sheets in a wide varies of sizes. They also sell specialty moldings that might prove useful for some. Also, they do claim to offer custom orders for special sizes.
National Balsa is a source for a lot more than just balsa. This is a good source for larger size milled strips and sheets of Balsa, Basswood, Cherry, Mahogany, Maple, Walnut, and Sitka Spruce. Also, they have hardwood dowels as well as Birch and Poplar plywood. They also carry a bunch of large-scale model airplane related items, including kits.
Please check back for updates on recommended books, shops, sites, clubs and organizations, model kits, tools, and more…
I have three “Peel Craftsmen” model ships (the “Nantucket Lightship”; the “Sovereign of the Seas” (clipper ship); and the “Joe Lane” (a two-masted Barque, models from the late 1940’s. These are highly-detailed models whose rigging is in bad shape. They thus need extensive restoration. I’m giving them away to a skilled model-builder. Pls contact me if you’re interested at firstname.lastname@example.org Photos of course available.