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Model Making

One of my joys is to teach model making to children. On a personal level, it is one of those activities that I can sit down with a model and model box, spend hours and hours painting and constructing the kit yet somehow feel a calmness taking me away from the stresses of everyday life.

However, from an educational point perspective, skills learned with model making are highly transferable as life and career skills. Below is a list of those skills:

  • Following instruction manuals

  • Patience and perseverance

  • Detailed and careful painting

  • Appreciation of design and aesthetics

  • History and technology

  • Spacial awareness

  • Construction and assembly

When I sit with a child helping them to paint and assemble a model, I often ask them ‘What do you know about the model?’

In the case of the child making the Mary Rose, some of the things we discussed were the following:

  • The historical context of the ship

  • The fact that it was the top technology of the day

  • Why and how it sunk

  • Why it’s is historically important

  • The battle it was about to be involved in

  • Henry VIII

  • The beautiful colour scheme

  • Soldiers fighting on ships

  • The anti-boarding nets

  • Sail technology

  • Cannon technology i.e. how it fires a cannon ball

  • Sailing terms of the ship like stern and bow, bowsprit, main mast etc.

Another model a child made was ‘The RMS Titanic’. Naturally, this gave rise to a very interesting conversation such a tragic event and also the fascination of the ship itself. This will keep a child’s imagination running for a long time.

I also really like the fact that when they take it home and display it, they are reminded of their achievement and want to learn more and make more models as a result.

This was such satisfying project for both the pupil and I. The HMS Victory model, although skill level 1 (most basic), required a lot of careful painting. We both did sections to make sure that it wasn’t just me taking over. I demonstrated with my section then she followed suit.

She decided to choose her own colour for the stand. The rigging was an after thought which adds a bit of realism.

All in all this was a wonderful and very successful joint project. Something to be very proud of and an historic ship that will keep her curious to know more about.

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