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Which pirate model ship is best? 

Jack Sparrow’s Black Pearl. Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge. Charles Vane’s Ranger. Seeing any of these ships coming over the horizon during the golden age of piracy was enough to make any sensible captain to turn tail.

But while those days are long gone, you can still get a glimpse of their majestic presence on the high seas. Through highly detailed models such as CubicFun Queen Anne’s Revenge Pirate Ship, you can build them piece by piece to restore them to scaled-down former glory.  

What to know before you buy a pirate model ship

Model ships can be complex

Unlike model airplane kits or submarines, sailing ships have a lot of intricate parts. The masts, ropes and rigging can consist of more than a few pieces and will need some steady hands to put together. Patience will be needed, but the included instructions will make it a bit easier to assemble.

Dedicated workspace

When assembling your ship, ensure that you have a dedicated workspace to lay out all the pieces correctly. This is especially important if you build the kit over several days. To save yourself some frustration, also have the necessary tools handy, and cover your day’s work when you finish so it’s not disturbed.

The scale is an indication of the complete size

All model kits are assembled according to the scale of the real object. That’s because the scale references the size of the ship. A model 1/36th the size of a conventional airplane will be smaller than a model 1/48th the size of a full-scale ship, as the real ship is larger than the real airplane.

What to look for in a quality pirate model ship

Attention to detail

Putting a model ship together takes some time, but the reward is a highly detailed ship with correct parts and trimmings. Although pirate ships come in different styles, a good-quality model is packed with small details to be a realistic replica of its real-life counterpart. This includes the correct number of cannons, accurate size and shape of the ship, and flying the pirate flag.

Robust construction materials

Airplane model kits are usually put together from balsa wood pieces, but most pirate model ships are made of robust plastic, metal, or expanded polystyrene foam. This makes assembly more manageable and ensures the model doesn’t degrade over time or get damaged. As with other models, instructions are included, but pirate model ships are different in that the pieces snap or click together. But, again, being made from plastic prevents damage.

How it is displayed

Completing a model ship is exciting, but that’s only half the job. It needs to be displayed in an action-packed, intriguing manner to make the most of your time and effort. A good-quality pirate ship can be staged in scenes where additional components can fill out details such as water, someone walking the plank, or a nearby island with buried treasure.

Keep in mind, though, that not all pirate ship model kits can be staged. If that’s your goal, look for a model that can.

How much you can expect to spend on a pirate model ship

The average price of a model pirate ship depends on its intricacy, manufacturer and construction parts. An entry-level kit retails for $15-$20, while a complex ship sells for $30-$40.

Pirate model ship FAQ

Do you need glue to put a pirate model ship together? 

A. While some kits require glue, a shift in model-building techniques has reduced the need for adhesives. Most pirate-ship kits have interlocking parts, so no glue or soldering is needed.

How long does it take to assemble a pirate model ship?

A. That depends on the model’s complexity. In general, when you follow the instructions for a ship that clicks together, it should take around 6 or 7 hours to complete.

What’s the best pirate model ship to buy?

Top pirate model ship

CubicFun Queen Annes Revenge Pirate Ship

CubicFun Queen Anne’s Revenge Pirate Ship

What you need to know: This model 1/95the the size of Blackbeard’s infamous ship comprises 340 pieces and will take around four hours to complete. 

What you’ll love: To make building easier, each part is numbered, and detailed instructions show you exactly where it goes. The hull and trimmings are made of EPS foam, and the sails are made of fabric. But what makes this highly detailed and accurate kit exciting is that it comes with 15 warm LED lights to resemble the ship at night.

What you should consider: It is unclear from the instructions how you change or recharge the battery for the LED lights. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pirate model ship for the money

Fascinations Metal Black Pearl Ship Model Kit

Fascinations Metal Black Pearl Ship Model Kit

What you need to know: This model consists of plastic pieces for the hull and metal parts for the sails, giving you a different kind of pirate ship. It’s best suited for builders 14 years and older and doesn’t require glue or soldering.

What you’ll love: Taking on the form of the Black Pearl from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, the all-black parts are easily popped out of two metal sheets. It’s highly detailed and comes with a stand with the ship’s name on it.  

What you should consider: This kit is rated as having moderate difficulty for assembly, as you’ll need tweezers to bend and twist the connection tabs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Revell Pirates of The Caribbean The Black Pearl

Revell “Pirates of The Caribbean” The Black Pearl

What you need to know: This 112-part replica of the Black Pearl uses Revell’s Easy-Click interlocking part system, making it easy to assemble. In addition, there is no need for glue or soldering, as the kit includes self-adhesive stickers.

What you’ll love: Standing 8.9 inches high and 10.3 inches long, the model features highly-detailed plastic parts that easily snap out of the frames. It’s 1/150th the size of the real ship and includes accents such as rigging, an accurate figurehead and several cannons. 

What you should consider: It model can float on water, but you’ll need to seal the hull and put a weight inside it. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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