Models are more than toys: they inspire, allowing us to physically admire amazing creations through the work of our own hands. They also make for great office and home eye candy. So it is with Papafoxtrot’s Wood Model Cargo Ships ($156-$175). These miniatures measure around 14″ x 4″ x 2″, depending on the model, and are patterned after three of the most amazing behemoth ships currently plying the high seas: the Emma Maersk (longest container ship in the world), the TI Asia (an oil-tanker that is one of the four largest ships under sail currently) and the Arctic Princess (a liquified natural gas carrier that can power 45,000 homes for a year with one shipment).
Each ship is made from a bevy of small wood and metal pieces that you assemble yourself — making you primary shipbuilder and captain of your own vessel. This isn’t an impossible game of gluey Jenga, though; the ships are artfully simplified, making them a nice project for a relaxed Sunday hobby session. All three ships can be ordered with metal parts in a pleasant blue or hull-tone gray. Feel free to have a midlife crisis and purchase one of these rather than the real deal — it may keep you out of the doghouse for a while.