Ship Kit Instructions


Thank you for purchasing one of our 3d Printed Ship Kits. These instructions to follow may not be specific to the ship you have purchased, but are intended to give general guidelines to follow for constructing your kit. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to contact us at:

Step 1: Unpacking, Inspection, and Cleanup

The first thing you're going to need to do is unpack your kit and inspect the pieces for any shipping damage. If any damage is found, please contact us immediately at so we can best assist you.

Take the time to make sure all of the components on your kit's packing list are present, and once again contact us if you notice any discrepancies or issues.

If all parts of your kit are good to go, the real first step would be to carefully clean off any leftover printing brim or support material. A utility knife works well here, but take care to not injure yourself while performing this step. Mr. Knife is not your friend! After you have trimmed off any excess flashing material, you are ready to move on to the next step below.

Step 2: Laying out the pieces and prep:

Take your kits hull sections and lay them out on your workbench. Get an idea of how the kit is supposed to go together so you understand what to do next.

Optional/Recommended: Take a small brush and gently brush light amounts of acetone onto each hull section's exterior surfaces. Acetone melts ABS, so by gently brushing very small amounts of acetone onto the hull, you can smooth and better seal any imperfections in the print. NOTE: This step, while optional, is recommended for the best quality product.

Step 3: More prep work

Ensure that the holes for the hull section bolts and alignment rods are cleared out of any flashing or leftover brim material. A hobby knife inserted into the hole and spun once or twice does a fine job here. Make sure that the bolts and alignment rods fit easily into place so as to not create a problem later when trying to join the sections while they're covered in adhesive.

Now, pre-set all of the M4 nuts and bolts into their respective holes for the first hull section joint. (Example being Section 1 -> Section 2 joint).

Step 4: First Section Assembly

Apply a thick bead of your choice of flexible, waterproof adhesive to the joining faces of the two hull sections. Make sure you completely cover the joining faces with a generous 1/16 inch thick amount of adhesive.

Now, taking care to align the bolts with their corresponding captured nuts, place the two joining faces of the sections together. Tighten the M4 bolts into the captured M4 nuts until they are snug and the two pieces are fit as tightly together as possible.  Any excess adhesive can be scraped along the outside edge of the joint with an old ID or credit card to better seal the joint area. This excess adhesive will also fill in any small gaps or warps along the joint between the two hull pieces.

NOTE: Do NOT overtighten. While the plastic can take a decent amount of stress, you do NOT want to rip the nuts free from their captured hex shaped holes and/or damage the bosses for the bolts.

SECOND NOTE: Try to keep any propeller shaft openings clear of adhesive during assembly. You may need to chase propeller shaft holes to remove any overflow. Amazon sells 18" long drill bits in 9/32 and 3/8 which are SJS's two most common stuffing tube sizes.

Step 5: Reinforcing Rod Instructions

If your kit has holes in the hull section bottoms/sides that look like the picture on the left, your kit is designed for in-hull reinforcing rods. Take 4" long sections of 1/8 stainless rod and apply some of your hull adhesive to one 2" half of the rod. Insert the adhesive-covered half of the rod into one of the hull sections, I prefer the side that has the captured nuts. Now apply some adhesive to the remaining protruding rod and slide the other hull section onto the rods, assembling it per the "First Section Assembly" step above.

Step 6: Continuing Assembly

Repeat the above steps 4-5 until your entire hull is joined together. Let your adhesive completely set up during this time.  When you are done, your hull should look something like the picture to the right.

Step 7: Installing Tubes n' Shafts

Confirm that your prop shaft stuffing tube holes in the hull are clear, and not contaminated with overflowed adhesive from Steps 4-6. Take your prop shaft assemblies and test fit them into the hull. They should fit snuggly, sometimes requiring spinning them into the hull with a power drill. If necessary, Amazon sells 18" long drill bits in 9/32 and 3/8 which are SJS's two most common stuffing tube sizes, which you can use to clean out the stuffing tube holes.

Apply a thin bead of adhesive to the stuffing tube and set it into the hull, rotating it as you proceed to ensure complete adhesive coverage. The tube should proceed into the hull all the way into the gearbox, where it should end flush with the plastic shaft end support, as shown in the picture to the left. Make sure you clean any excess adhesive off of any exposed inner shaft sections.

Repeat this process for the other shaft if your kit is a dual-powered-shaft ship. The same general process applies to the rudder tubes and shafts, you want to set them into the hull until the rudder is properly aligned vertically with the propeller.

Step 8: Magnets, how do they work?

If your kit came with magnets for deck retention, we are going to install them in this step. Using waterproof adhesive, apply a small amount in each magnet hole along the deck rim. Place the magnet into the hole and firmly seat it down until it is flush or almost entirely flush. (As flush as possible). A small plastic and rubber clamp works well for this job, as a sort of press to seat the magnets. Continue for all of the hull magnets.

For the deck magnets, take care to ensure the proper orientation of the magnets to ensure desired function.  Once again, place the magnets into the holes with waterproof adhesive and make sure they are seated fully.

Barbettes and turrets have magnet holes just like the deck rim and deck, ensure that the polarity is correct and go ahead and glue them into their homes now too.

Step 9: Decks and Waterproofing

Some SJS kits come with pilot holes for turret barbettes or come with barbette holes that the barbettes recess down into. Make sure you drill your barbette holes to the correct size (use the barbette in your superstructure kit to check) before proceeding past this point. 

At this point, you will want to waterproof your decks. There are many methods using many different products. Epoxy, varnish, urethane, etc. You can exercise your own creativity for this step. 

OPTIONAL STEP: If using epoxy, you can apply some thin fiberglass cloth on either side of the deck above/below the magnets to help firmly attach them to the deck and prevent any pull-outs.

Step 10: Stringers

If your hull has stringers, make sure the notches in each rib/along the stringer location are free from any leftover flashing/brim/etc. Test fit the 1/8 stainless rod into the stringer channel, it will hopefully be a tight snap-in fit. Align the rod with the beginning of the channel and apply waterproof adhesive to the notches in each rib/along the stringer channel. Fit the stringer rod into the notches/channel and if necessary clamp it in place as you work down the length of the stringer. Leave any clamps in place until the adhesive has fully cured.

NOTE: Your stringer may be longer than any individual length of rod included. If two rods are required, have them meet at a rib so the ends can be glued to something that will hold together. Don't have the rods meet in a penetrable window, there is a chance the ends of the rods will try to poke out "through" the side of the boat.

Step 11: Superstructure and DONE!

You've made it this far! Congrats! The hull assembly is finished! Now for the detail parts.

Your superstructure may or may not have alignment dowel holes and/or tripod mast holes. If alignment holes are present, fit an appropriate sized dowel (3/16 or 1/4 for almost all SJS kits) into the bottom most level of superstructure. Apply adhesive along any faces that touch the next higher level of superstructure, and slide the next level down onto the previous level until it sits flush. Clamp together and let dry. Continue this until your entire superstructure is assembled. Compare vs reference pictures of your kit or the real ship to ensure proper assembly of your superstructure. If you have questions, contact us via email or discord for clarification.

Apply some adhesive to your barbettes and set them into the corresponding holes in the deck. Since they use magnets to retain the turrets, make sure the barbette is aimed in the correct direction for your ship's cannons to actually protrude from the turret face.

Now that the entire superstructure sections are assembled, you can feel free to paint them. NOTE: Do NOT paint the superstructure pieces until AFTER assembly. You want your adhesive to stick to the plastic...not the paint.

Make sure that the bottom face of the superstructure is kept paint free, for best adhesion to the deck.

Align your superstructure on the deck(s) and glue it in place with a waterproof adhesive of your choice. Clamp, and let dry.