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Model Ship Restoration

Are fine ship models considered a legitimate íart formí? Ship models have been considered a legitimate decorative art form for the past four hundred years throughout northern Europe and more recently in 19th and 20th centuries in North America.

Of course ship models have been prized objects of art since 2000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. As appreciation for marine model artists - known by name and specializing in original, conscientious research as well as highest quality construction methods and aesthetic appeal - has grown, their modelsí value as works of art has grown accordingly. This value is recognized and celebrated not only by leading museums specializing in maritime art but also by major international museums such as the British Museum, the Louvre , the Museum of Fine Arts and the Smithsonian Institution, all of which exhibit ship models in their collections.

Where you display the model in your house is important. The model should not be displayed in direct sunlight or near a heat source. If you need to augment the lighting, use low voltage (low temperature) LEDís.

The accumulation of dust, oil and dirt can be avoided by encasing your ship model. A solid case will also keep the cat from playing with your model. Cases can be made with a wood frame and Plexiglas or glass inserts, a Plexiglas case or a glass case similar to an upside down aquarium. There are advantages and disadvantages of both so your selection of the right case depends on your preferences. A good way to protect and display a model ship is under glass; we also sometimes use acrylic covers with beveled edges. Glass is more durable and less susceptible to heat, scratches and sunlight.

Unfortunately, cases are not cheap so if you are able to make your own, youíll save money. Another thing to keep in mind is that the wood from display cases can lead to acid migration which can slowly corrode fabrics and paper. Itís best to places a small sheet of Mylar underneath your display and to allow for air flow in order to alleviate the buildup of acid fumes.

Even a ship model under a case is susceptible to dust, smoke and other airborne contaminates so youíll need to remove dust from the model every now and again. Either use compressed air in a can usually used for electronics cleaning, or once again go to your wifeís medicine cabinet and borrow her hair dryer, set it on cool and blow away. If the dust sticks to the lines and wood, youíll have to get in there with a small brush and cloth. After removing the dust, use a small sponge and apply a coat of diluted Murphy Oil to preserve the wood.

Diluted isopropyl alcohol can be used to remove nicotine and oily spots. Itís important to clean the ship model in a thorough and methodical fashion. Visually divide the model into 6 parts, port and starboard side bow, port and starboard side mid ship and port and starboard side stern. Start at the top and work your way down through the spars, lines and sails to the deck. Donít forget to clean and protect the base of the model.

Ship models need continuous monitoring and attention, thus proper conservation is imperative to ensure that the models are kept in the best possible condition.

Santa Maria - After Restoration
Price: CAD$0.00

Santa Maria - Before Restoration
Price: CAD$0.00

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