After many years of pondering the idea of making a radio controlled model ship, I finally decided in October of 2010 to pull the trigger. The historical ship I chose was the HMS Beagle, the survey ship that made three extensive ocean voyages, the most famous being the second voyage with Charles Darwin onboard. The Beagle was one of over a hundred "Cherokee class" brigs commissions by the Royal Navy.
The goal is to make a fun, working model of the Beagle, with radio controls for her rudder, sails and some cool extras, and sail her like a proper square rig sailing ship. No small task, so I will be relying on the help of many people to get her ready for action (hopefully by Spring or Summer of 2011). Many thanks to all of you who have already helped out, both on the web and in my hometown of Indianapolis.
I'll also post my build as I go at my website: http://www.andrewaasmith.com/HMSBeagle/Intro.php
Having no experience in model ship building, I started small by buying some balsawood blocks and a cheap X-acto woodcarving set.
After deciding on the scale of 1:36 I hand carved out the hulls of two whale boats using my trusty buck knife and X-acto tool. The Beagle carried seven boats onboard so lots of boat making in my future.