When you look at the ultra fine detailed carvings on some of the ship models, the first thought that comes to mind is I could never carve like that. Such carvings can be quite intimidating and seemingly beyond the capabilities of most model ship builders. These instructions are intended to offer a simple and doable approach to carving the decorations on ship models. In time and with practice anyone who can build a ship model can produce the carved decorations. The carvings presented are by far not master pieces of work. I would rather you look at the carvings and think " I can do that" or better yet think " I can do better than that with a little practice."
Typically the wood of choice for the small carvings are boxwood, pear wood, dogwood or apple wood, there are other choices but the above are the top of the line. These woods have a very fine grain and a smooth texture. This makes it possible to cut with or against the grain.
The first problem with carving is to keep everything in proportion. Nothing ruins a carving more than to have pieces and parts out of proportion to each other. To solve this problem we will start with "blanks" The photo shows a set of laser cut blanks for the stern of the Oliver Cromwell. What we will do with these blanks is to carve depth and some details. Carving is simply, layers at different depths blended together.