This FAQ is designed to answer some of the more common questions I get.

Question: I'm not sure what this page is all about! Can you explain it?

Answer: I am a modeller and a gamer. Since 1974 I have scratchbuilt probably in the area of 8000 ships of all eras, genres and scales. I currently collect kits and scratchbuild my own ships in several historical and science fiction genres, and this is my page to show my work. Occasionally I agree to scratchbuild ships for other gamers and collectors, and I show those pieces here too. If you don't see a ship that interests you, ask! I have probably built it.

Question: How come you do not have prices on your pages?

Answer: Because I do not keep anything "in stock". I work strictly as requested, and I prefer to price the job, rather than by ship. However, occasionally I will put specific models up for sale if the person who requested me to make it ends up not paying for it.

Question: How do I go about ordering or commissioning something?

Answer: Send me an email, indicating what ships interest you, and in what scale you want them to be built. I will then price them for you, and give you an estimate as to how long it will take me to build and paint them. If we decide to go ahead, I will notify you when I start on your ships, and send you a digital picture of the final product(s). Then you pay via Paypal or Money order, and I ship the vessels to you.

Question: How long does a commission usually take?

Answer: Depends on how busy I am at the moment. I hold a real job during the day, and I often have one or more commission underway at any given time, so it may be up to four weeks before your commission is ready. Longer if it is a really large order.

Question: Why are the ships so expensive?

Answer: Because each one is hand-carved from wood, rather than mass-produced from a mold. Each ship takes a minimum of an hour and sometimes several hours to build and paint.

Question: I sent you an email. You did not respond: How come?

Answer: Generally I make it a habit to answer every email addressed to this site, usually the same day. However, I have my spam filter set to block email that has as a subject uninformative things like "Hi", "Hello", "Hey", "Cool!", "Nice stuff", "Wow!", or no subject at all, since so much spam is addressed in that manner. So it is possible your email did not get through my filter, or was not distinguishable from the dozens of daily spams that do.

Question: Who are your customers?

Answer: My customers range from gamers to collectors to veterans fondly remembering a ship on which they served. Some buy a ship here and a ship there, and others are long-time, repeat customers. However, all of them are individuals who appreciate the nature of fine carved models and the effort that goes into each one. If you are looking for a quick, cheap way to build a fleet, you are not in the right place.

Question: Can I save money by taking the ships unpainted?

Answer:With historic ships, yes, a little.

Question: Do you do custom work... in other words, a ship of my design?

Answer: I can, provided it is a rational design. I do charge a little more, however for such works.

Question: You have a tutorial for making ironclads. Will you do a tutorial for making starships, or show me how you do it?

Answer: No.

Question:What is your average commission size?

Answer:4-8 ships, but I have had many larger and many smaller.

Question: I have seen ships that are similar to those you make being sold or auctioned on eBay. Do you sell on ebay?

Answer: No. In the past I have done so, but I discontinued that practice in 2002.

Occasionally, past customers reduce their own collections, and you may see a few ships I have built that way.

Also, be aware that I believe there are one or more individuals who have acquired starships I have built, either as a customer or through some one else, and sell them on eBay in an unethical manner. It is my believe that the price of these ships is driven up by an illegal practice called "shill bidding". Shill bidding in this case is where one individual holds multiple eBay identities and bids against him/her self, or where two or more individuals work together with multiple identities and bid against each other in order to inflate the price of the object. I believe this because:

  • The auctions are frequently run up to 4 or more times the rate that I charge when I take a commission. My rates are based on my own eBay experiences, when I was selling that way. There have been cases in the past where I have auctioned the very same ship at the very same time, have closed the auction at or near my normal rates, and watched the suspected auction close at four times mine.
  • There seem to be two "seller identities" and four or five buyer identities that bid multiple times on many of the "seller" auctions. However, the "buyers" rarely if ever actually win. In cases where they have won, they usually leave no feedback, nor receive any.
  • Occasionally the "sellers" bid on each other's auctions. I'm not sure, because auction histories last only three months, but it appears that some starships have moved back and forth between these two sellers, each time at a highly inflated rate of sale.
  • Some of the "buyer" identities bid five or six times in rapid succession on each of several simultanious auctions, even when no competition is evident. They often repeat this behavior several times during the course of an auction.
  • If you examine the bid histories, you can see that sometimes two or more of these buyer identities run up several of the "seller's" auctions simultaniously.
  • Most of the "buyer" identities bid on many auctions, but have closed or won only a few. Most of them are buyers only.
  • All of the suspected identities originate in the same US state.
  • The pictures of the starships are deliberately fuzzy. However, no matter how fuzzy, I can recognize them as my work, because I occasionally create details purposly wrong so that I can indeed recognize my work.

I deeply regret that this activity takes place. Not that I covet the prices that these individuals get, but rather I feel sorry for the victims in these cases. In fact, I had one individual discover my site the day after winning one of these auctions. Not a pretty scene.

Question: What scales do you work in?

Answer: For starships, I work in what I call MM scale, which means all ships are 2"-3" long, regardless of their actual size. I also work in 1/3900, which is roughly FASA/SFB scale, and 1/2500 scale.

For ships, I work in whatever scale is needed - 1/300, 1/600, 1/700, 1/1200, 1/2400, etc.

Question: I'm concerned that balsa is too fragile for gaming. How does it compare to lead?

Answer: Actually, the ships do fairly well for gaming. Its only those with long extended pylons that tend to give occasional problems, and then only with careless handling. One of the good things about balsa is if something breaks, it is almost always along a grain line. If that is the case, a little dab of super glue makes the break almost unnoticable.

Another plus regarding balsa is it is very very light. If you drop a balsa starship, it will likely come back undamaged.

A word of warning though... never ever mix balsa and lead miniatures in the same box. Even the slightest jostling will cause your lead ships to damage the balsa ones.

Question: How come you don't make molds of these ships?

Answer: I could, but I don't want to. Wood is my thing, and I have no desire to work in any other medium, save for ships. I will occasionally work in styrene when doing a master for an ironclad.

Question: What else can you make besides ships and starships?

Answer: Airplanes of all ages, cars, tanks, dinosaurs, and buildings. I've even made some wooden mechs.

Question: How long have you been doing this?

Answer: 30 years, give or take.

Question: Can you do masters for commercial companies?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What was your favorite commission?

Answer:I had a sneaky lady who once burrowed through her boyfriend's email to find out where he got the model he was crowing about. She then contacted me and commissioned me to secretly do another ship he'd been wanting. He had a wonderful birthday present from a wonderful lady.

Question: Do you game? And what do you play?

Answer: Yes, I have been gaming since 1973. I play ACW ironclads, European ironclads, napoleonic naval, Spanish Armada naval, WWI and Viet Nam air warfare, 20mm WWII, Napoleonic, 25mm Old West, AWI, Vikings, War of the Roses, and Colonial, Full Thrust, War Rocket, 5150 and Warmachine.