Ship model collection is an activity undertaken with passion and zeal. Model ships are collected by people who love nautical architecture and enjoy an ongoing love affair with maritime history.
Model ships are representations of real ships. Some of these are tiny enough to be held in the palm while others are large enough to carry people. Model ship building is almost as old as the craft of ship building itself. In fact, it has been recorded that many ships were first built as models and the models were then built to the same of full-sized, real ships. Ship models may be made in a variety of materials including wood, metal, plastic and even paper.
People who love to collect model ships and have a valuable collection often find the need to undertake restoration of model ships. This happens even when sufficient care has been taken to protect the ship from the vagaries of the elements and the attack of dust. There are two main difficulties that people encounter when preserving ship models:
- Model ships are built in a variety of materials and some materials deteriorate faster
- Model ships are generally very fragile and therefore hard to protect.
Restoration of model ships aims to make the model almost as good as new. Restoration of ship models seeks to accomplish a number of objectives. On the one hand, it aims to undo any damage and offer further protection for the model. On the other hand, it also seeks to preserve the historic authenticity and value of the model. Therefore, when it comes to restoration of model ships, it is necessary to choose the service provider with utmost care.
Some of the most important qualities to look out for in a service provider include:
- Vast experience in restoration of model ships
- Experience working in places like museums is a plus
- Dedication and commitment to the job
- Good awareness and knowledge in maritime history
- Knowledge of nautical architecture
People who undertake restoration of ship models must have the ability to undertake research in books, documents and the like. This is done to determine the period in which the ship was built and understanding the intentions of the original builder. Without this crucial bit of background information, the restoration work will run into rough weather and the piece will lack authenticity after restoration.
Typically, the restoration of model ships is undertaken in the following manner:
- The model ship is examined and details are documented
- An assessment of the model is made to understand its historical value
- The process for restoration and conservation is planned in advance
Before restoration of model ships is undertaken, the ship is categorized based on the extent of damage. The model is checked for all sorts of damage including structural damage, chemical deterioration, biological deterioration, accumulation of dust or oil and effects of substandard restoration treatments in the past. The actual restoration process is preceded by research work.