Posted in Model Building Tips

Mississippi Ship Model Assembly (I): Audiovisual Guide to Build the Miniature Replica of the Wooden Paddle Steamer

The building process of ship and aircraft models is one of the fundamental actions of modeling in general, and of the naval modeling specifically. That is why, for our scale models, Artesania Latina team of modelers and designers record, create and edit demonstration videos during their construction. The objective? Facilitate our client friends the Mississippi ship model assembly, as is the case that concerns us on this post. Thus, they can clearly see different particular work moments in which expert help never hurts. So today we propose some tricks so that your faithful miniature replica of the King of the Mississippi paddle steamer, at 1/80 scale, is perfectly finished through our video tutorials.

Mississippi Ship Model Assembly by Artesania Latina (20515).


On this first video of the assembly of the Mississippi model, we focus on the frames and doors of the North American steamboat. We teach how to varnish and how to glue these elements. Steps 43 to 47 of section 5 On the digital instructions. Take a look!

Using a flat brush and a vise grip, paint the door with satin oak stain. Next, with a round brush and sapele dye, the door frames. If any of the frame pieces are a bit large, sand them down with our sanding block. Next, apply cyanoacrylate to each of the frame pieces and glue them together using the pliers. Press a little with your hands to fix them better.

Now check that the door fits through the frame. Take the metal trim part from the door window with the pliers, and paint it with a burnt shadow paint. Stick it to the door and then the acetate part -the transparent window- on top. Apply cyan to all three sides of the door and adhere it to the model ship. With this we finish the explanation of the first video of the Mississippi ship model assembly of Artesania Latina. From the most beautiful and highest quality faithful miniature replica of the paddle steamer.

Mississippi Ship Model Assembly by Artesania Latina (20515).

Our modeler has used the following tools and finishing products for modeling:


The second video of help for the Mississippi ship model assembly at 1/80 scale refers to the lining of the deck, we mean, deck planking. Steps from section 7 of the instructions.

Take the wooden plank and a ruler. Place the ruler right in the middle of it, and with a pencil mark the center lengthwise. Next, in the center of the sheet, place a protractor and mark where the 45º are on each side of it. Next, use a pencil and a smaller ruler to draw the straight lines of those angles: a kind of elongated ‘M’ will be drawn. Continue with the process as shown on the video until you have drawn all the lines.

Stick with cyanoacrylate the small strips with that M shape along and across the sheet. Make a round hole for the mast with a utility knife in the area where the battens have covered it and sand with a small file to remove burrs. Turn the iron over, holes and internal tabs that have been covered, open them. Cut all the outer excess of the sheet and pass the sanding block along all the sides. Glue with cyanoacrylate all the edges of the cover.

Here, our modeler has used:


Let’s go with the third video of the audiovisual guide for the Mississippi ship model assembly. Construction of the paddle wheel, symbol of this type of steamboat. In the instructions, this video corresponds to sections 9 and 34.

Take the different parts, apply cyanoacrylate where you need to stick them and fit them into the tabs provided for it. Use the sanding block to prepare the surface and glue two small ribbons on the inner sides. With a cutter also remove leftovers. File all the pieces. Subsequently, paint with transparent satin varnish and a flat brush all the pieces already fitted and glued. The sides, meanwhile, with oak-colored satin stain varnish.

Thread the motor cable through the two wooden grommets. Then place the motor on these. Stick the fixing wedges so that it is totally immovable. Take three small washers and glue them together, the smallest should go in the middle, repeat the process. Help yourself with straight pliers. Insert the stick through the lateral circumference of the base. Before inserting it through the second one, insert the three small circles already attached. Next, each of the parts that will make up the wheel. And, finally, the other three small circumferences adhered, after introduce the stick through the other circumference of the base.


Fix the four wheels with the other many pieces created for that reason (without gluing them). Take the two elastic bands and tighten them. Glue with cyanoacrylate the strips that will make the blades of the wheels. Remove both the rubbers and the fixing pieces. Paint the pistons with acrylic paint (off black).

Mississippi Ship Model Assembly by Artesania Latina (20515).

What have we used on this phase?


Fourth video, penultimate of this post. How to build the spiral stairs of the marvelous King of the Mississippi wooden paddle steamer model. The steps of this assembly, sections 11 and 12.

Using tweezers and cyanoacrylate, glue the parts of the rungs as shown in the image. The rectangular rungs belong to the straight part of the ladder, the wedge-shaped rungs to the curved part. Once the rectangular ones and the first wedge have been glued, glue the wooden ‘bar’ on the inner side at the height of the wedge rung. Proceed carefully up the steps. If burrs remain, remove them with a cutter.

Paint them with acrylic water-based paint (buff). Take the two metal pieces of the railing and paint them too with acrylic paint (off white) and a flat brush. Put cyan on all the sides of the steps – first on the straight ones – and glue the railing. Shape the curved part with your own hands. Now apply cyan on the side steps and glue the curved part of the ladder. Repeat the process on the other side of the ladder. Glue the two wooden handrails onto the railing. Paint them with oak-colored varnish.

Mississippi Ship Model Assembly by Artesania Latina (20515). Mississippi Ship Model Assembly by Artesania Latina (20515).

What have we used?


Today’s last video clearly explains how to assemble the columns of the first deck.

With a ruler and a pencil mark the points where you want to put the columns. Take the column and apply cyan to the two ends. Glue it down and attach it to the model. Check that it is straight with a square. Repeat the process with all the columns checking that the distance between them is the same and that they are not crooked.

Here, we have used:

We encourage modelers who still do not have this indispensable 1/80 scale model of the paddle steamer King Of The Mississippi (20515) to assemble it… And now as a novelty you can also acquire the Gift Pack of the King of the Mississippi (20515L)! It brings, in addition to the model, figurines, paints and some very useful tools.

Gift Pack of King of the Mississippi Ship Model at 1:80 scale, Figurines, Paints and Tools (20515L).

Read the second part of the post…

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