There are only a few paddlewheel steamboat model kits worth mentioning. When planning to build an authentic boat model based on historic facts, it’s highly recommended doing so from scratch, using one of the great model plans by Alan Bates or John Fryant, unfortunately both are hard to get in these days. The only source for Alan Bates’ plans we know at this time is Taubman Plans Service. Usually you should spend a few weeks, if not months for research. Here are the few good paddlewheel steamboat model kits available:
- sternwheeler DELTA QUEEN, prepared for real-steam operations (Saito), about 1,600 Dollar (without steam engine). This is a superb model kit but hard to find and expensive. Available in the US at Loyalhanna Dockyard or in Australia at Dave’s Hobby Centre.
- 1884 sternwheel packet CHAPERON, available for US$ 299.99 at ModelExpo. Steamboat model expert John Fryant has decribed some of the historical inaccuracies of this CHAPERON model kit in a forum entry, but it seems that if you take the effort to iron out these shortcomings, it’s a great model to build if you don’t want to build a steamboat model right from scratch. Be aware that there is another CHAPERON model kit around from a German model kit manufacturer you’ll find on eBay from time to time. This is a totally different model which is not based on a historical boat and somewhat weird in its setup, looking like a packet but having the bow of a towboat. We’ve tried to remodel this one and failed miserably – it’s just too different from the original CHAPERON.
- sternwheeler CREOLE QUEEN (Dumas), US$ 390.
- sternwheel towboat MYRTLE COREY (Dumas), US$ 250.
- Dumas used to sell a model kit of the sidewheeler MOUNT WASHINGTON but it seems they’re not having it in the catalogue anymore, so you might be lucky finding it at eBay or in specialized shops like at Quick Tech Hobby. We haven’t seen this model live, so we can’t tell anything about the quality. It used to sell for around US$ 500.
- British sidewheeler GLASGOW (manufacturer: Graupner; available at e.g. Harbor Models), ca. 375 Euro