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Found 31 results

  1. Dusek Ship Kits MM02 Santa Maria NEW In 2016 Daniel Dusek bought all rights for producing of all Mamoli and MiniMamoli kits. Since then the kits are released in batches. History What were the ships of the great discovery of the New World like? Tradition always speaks of three caravels, a sort of swift ship with a light hull, several masts and an assortment of sails. Scholars advise that, in reality, Columbus’s fleet consisted of 2 caravels, Nina and Pinta, and of a “Nao”, Santa Maria, a boat with 3 masts, 2 square sails and a lateen one, provided with a foredeck, which makes it belong more to the class of carracks. The strong construction, together with nautical knowledge of the time and with the perception of the great sailor allowed such a great enterprise. The year 1492 is an historical date known all over the world. Technical data Scale 1:106 Length 310 mm Height 255 mm The kit 5 sheets of plans and instruction (english, french, dutch, german) Prefabricated wooden hull 4 sheets of lasercut wood (1 sheet in pear!) round timber for masts and yards Fine-meshed sail cloth All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box so as to minimise any movement of items within. Let's look deeper at this kit. The Prefabricated wooden hull makes it easy even for beginners to create the fuselage shape in a great small model. All small parts are well stowed away. Also the castings make a very good impression. Let's start with the cleanly lasered wooden boards. First of all, there is the deck of the Santa Maria with all planks pre- lasered in a beautiful pear. And this in a beginner kit. Wonderful! Other boards are laser-cut in beech. But there is nothing wrong with this either. Very very less laser char. All is clean and crisp. And see the dowels for masts and spars. And last but not least, for all those who would like to make sails, a very nice fine-meshed fabric is included. The multilingual manual should make it easy for beginners to build a wonderful little model with a lot of fun. Conclusion With high quality components (where to find pear wood in a "beginner's kit"...) a revised manual and a really attractive price Daniel Dusek leads the Mamoli Mini Kit series into a successful future. This little kit of a classic historic ship is really great. For the beginner, but certainly also for the advanced, who are simply looking for a small, loving intermediate project, this small model promises a lot of fun. Dusek Ship Kits currently lists this model for €70,50, and I think that represents really good value for money for this beginner kit. My sincere thanks go to Daniel Dusek for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, go to your favorite Dusek dealer or directly to http://www.dusekshipkits.com
  2. 1:30 Atrevida - Spanish Gun Boat - 1779 - Disarmodel - 20130W Company: Disarmodel Kit No: 20130W Retail Price: EUR 85.- Available here: https://www.disarmodel.com/nivel-3/16-atrevida-lancha-canonera.html About the company Disarmodel is a family business, new in the market, but with a team of professionals with more than 20 years of experience in the field of modeling and hobby. We are known for bringing to the market new models with faithful replicas, based on plans and documentation contrasted by professionals. We use new woods in the sector, such as iroko and, verifying that they come from controlled felling. We want to offer a unique service in the sector as far as the treatment with our clients, the post-sale service, the clidad and finished of our products and, to fulfill the deliveries and agreed times. Our products range from modeling for collectors, artistic modeling, junior educational modeling ... also, we can and seek to create new market expectations for other product lines. We have opted for novel instructions, prioritizing photos to text, thinking that by including photos of a certain size where you can see all the details to highlight, with a text simpler and easier to understand we can make the final consumer have fun assembling our models and do not despair with thick and intelligible texts. Description The great D. Antonio Barceló designed the gunboats during the great siege of Gibraltar in 1779, where they proved to be formidable rivals despite their small size. Fast, maneuvering and armed with a large cannon of 24 at the bow. Technical data Scale: 1:30, Length: 700 mm Height: 540 mm Width: 270 mm The kit 1 x Instruction Booklet 1 x Translation Booklet (Spanish, English, French, German, Italian) 1 x Big printed poster of the 1:1 Modell 4 x Sheets of lasercut wood (plywood, iroko wood, mansonia wood) Various dowels for masts and yards Various strips of wood Various Rope and all needed small parts (blocks, Pole, Chains, Fittings etc.) Flags All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box. For the small parts there is even a great plastic box. Let's look deeper at this kit and start with the perfectly lasered plywood And we go on with the other lasered parts. A nice collection of nice unusual wood. Sharp edges, no splinter. I really like that. For the masts and yards we get very nice dowels. The quality of the wood is excellent! The rope The Flags You even get pre-sewn sails Let's check the smaller parts of this nice kit. The massive guns are allready blackened More smaller parts. Paperwork. Essential for ever good kit are the instructions and plans. The instructions are in 5 different languages. Spanish, english, french, german and italian. Last but not least there is one big poster showing the modell in 1:1. Conclusion This kit is a gem. A wonderful example of how small, dedicated companies with a lot of love for detail can develop wonderful, affordable, new innovative model kits these days. The choice of the really first-class and unusual woods from controlled felling - I like this environmental protection thought - connected with the great illustrated instructions - they do fulfil their task well and leave few to no questions unanswered - round this kit off. I personally would have had gladly still another classical blueprint thereby but it's not really missing or needed. All parts are really high quality and you can feel the attention made to details in this kit. I can't say for sure if its a beginner or intermediate kit but either way it is worth to build it. Great job done by this small spanish company! Highly recommended! And if not available in the states ask your prefered shop to get it 🙂 Disarmodel currently lists this model for €85, and that represents really good value for money for this nice kit. Honestly we think it is too cheap 🙂 Impressions of the build model. Check out their full catalog: DISARMODEL_Catalogue_ 2018_19.pdf My sincere thanks go to Disarmodel for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, ask your favorite dealer or directly at https://www.disarmodel.com/nivel-3/16-atrevida-lancha-canonera.html Or here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/atrevida-lancha-canonera,-wooden-model-ship-kit-by-disar,-20130.html
  3. 1:90 La Gloire - 1778 - French 34 gun Frigate - Dusek Ship Kits - MV34 Company: Dusek Ship Kits Kit No: MV34 Retail Price: EUR 349.- Available here: Dusek Ship Kits Description Classic frigate, belonging to the French Navy at the end of the XVlll century, Equipped with 26 12-oound guns on the battery deck, besides 4 6-pound guns and 4 carronades on the main deck. La Gloire was planned by the shipbuilding engineer, Guignace, and was launched at St, Malo in 1778, The model is the reproduction, scale 1:90, of the ship during the first year of navigation, with the bottom painted white. One year later, in June 1779, like with many other ships, the submerged part of the hull was sheathed with copper plates to protect it from corrosion. Technical data Scale: 1:90, Length: 840 mm Height: 635mm The kit 6 x Sheets of plans (DIN A2, 420 x 594 mm, 16.5 x 23.4 inches) 12 x Sheets of instructions in English, French, German and Italian (DIN A3, 297 x 420 mm, 11.7 x 16.5 x 12 inches) 2 x Sheet of model size 1:1 plan 12 sheets of lasercut wood (plywood and walnut) Various dowels for masts and yards Various strips of wood 1 x Photoetched brass parts Various cast Brittania metal parts in high quality Various Rope and all needed small parts (blocks, Pole, Chains, Fittings etc.) Flags All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box. Let's look deeper at this kit and start with the perfectly lasered plywood And we go on with the other lasered parts. There is one two layered sheet of photoetch parts A nice collection of wood For the masts and yards we get very nice dowels. There are also some pear strips for the build. The quality of the wood is excellent! More wood (see the perfect quality!) Let's check the smaller parts of this nice kit. The Flags Paperwork. Essential for ever good kit are the instructions and plans. As usually for Dusek you get the instruction in different languages. In this kit they are english, french, german and italian. The instructions are well done and an intermediate Modeller should have no problem at all. Last but not least there are two big sheets showing the modell in 1:1. Conclusion In 2016 Daniel Dusek bought all rights for producing of all Mamoli and MiniMamoli kits. Since then the kits are released in batches. So this really nice kit is available again for the passionate builder. The plans and instructions have not yet been revised by Daniel Dusek, but they do fulfil their task well and leave few to no questions unanswered, the plans are drawn in detail and printed in a great way. The woods are of very good quality, as are the metal cast parts. All parts are made of high-quality materials and you can see the attention to detail in this Dusek kit as well. Dusek Ship Kits currently lists this model for €349, and I think that represents really good value for money for this nice kit. Impression of the build model My sincere thanks go to Daniel Dusek for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, go to your favorite Dusek dealer or directly to http://www.dusekshipkits.com
  4. 1:32 Fifie – The Scottish Motor Fishing Vessel Amati Catalogue # 1300/09 Available from Amati for €220.00 The Fifie is a design of sailing boat developed on the east coast of Scotland. It was a traditional fishing boat used by Scottish fishermen from the 1850s until well into the 20th century. These boats were mainly used to fish for herring using drift nets, and along with other designs of boat were known as herring drifters. While the boats varied in design, they can be categorised by their vertical stem and stern, their long straight keel and wide beam. These attributes made the Fifies very stable in the water and allowed them to carry a very large set of sails. The long keel, however, made them difficult to manoeuvre in small harbours. Sailing Fifies had two masts with the standard rig consisting of a main dipping lug sail and a mizzen standing lug sail. The masts were positioned far forward and aft on the boat to give the maximum clear working space amidships. A large Fifie could reach just over 20 metres in length. Because of their large sail area, they were very fast sailing boats. Fifies built after 1860 were all decked and from the 1870s onwards the bigger boats were built with carvel planking, i.e. the planks were laid edge to edge instead of the overlapping clinker style of previous boats. The introduction of steam powered capstans in the 1890s, to help raising the lugs sails, allowed the size of these vessels to increase from 30 foot to over 70 foot in length. From about 1905 onwards sailing Fifies were gradually fitted with engines and converted to motorised vessels. There are few surviving examples of this type of fishing boat still in existence. The Scottish Fisheries Museum based in Anstruther, Fife, has restored and still sails a classic example of this type of vessel named the Reaper. The Swan Trust in Lerwick, Shetland have restored and maintain another Fifie, The Swan, as a sail training vessel. She now takes over 1000 trainees each year and has taken trainees to participate in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races to ports in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland as well as around the UK. Extract from Wikipedia The kit Fifie is packed into a large, heavy box that certainly hints that there’s a good quantity of material included to build this historic fishing vessel in all its glorious 1:32 scale. I do admit to particularly liking this scale, having built plastic models for many years and indeed for magazine publication. It’s definitely something I can relate to when eyeing up the various dimensions and features. Amati’s presentation is flawless and certainly stands out, with its large, glossy lid that captures an attractive view of the Fifie. It has to be noted here that the hull is usually fully painted, with green being common above the waterline, but this model was finished to show off the beauty of the walnut timber supplied in the kit. And why not! For those that don’t know, this kit, under the Victory Models label, was designed by Chris Watton. Many of you should be familiar with that name and his design pedigree. At 1:32, this kit is no shrinking violet in terms of size. Fifie is 700mm long, 470mm wide and with a height of 230mm (sans masts). Lifting the lid does indeed show a box crammed with materials. Inside, we have several bundles of timber, plus a packet of timber dowel/strip/metal rod/tube, a thick packet containing numerous laser-cut sheets, another packet with plans and photo etch, and underneath the main timber, we have sail cloth and fittings packs. Thick foam is included to stop the main materials from banging around in the box. Strip wood Fifie has a double-planked hull, with the first layer being constructed from 1.5mm x 7mm lime strips. These, like many of the other bundles, are 600mm long, and very cleanly cut with no fuzzy edges Sixty-five of these are supplied. The same quality goes for the second planking layer, which is supplied as 90 strips of 1mm x 6mm walnut which is some of the best I’ve seen in a kit. There is little colour variation in these, and they look pleasantly uniform. I’ve always found Amati’s timber quality to be exceptional and this is no different. As well as elastic to hold the bundles some labels are also included to help identity the material. Other strip wood is included (beech and walnut) for such things as deck planking, caulking (yes, caulk plank!), lining the various deck hatches, sheathing the deckhouse structures, rubbing strakes etc. These bundles are both taped and bound with elastic, with the deck planking having an identifying label also. Cutting is clean and precise. Dowel and tube/rod Various lengths of dowel is included for masting, false keel strengthening pins etc. and thicker strip wood for the timberheads. All is supplied in a nice uniform walnut colour….no nasty walnut dyes/stains in this kit! These latter lengths are also packaged into a thick clear sleeve, unlike the others. Note also various lengths of brass and copper wire, as timberheads well as some copper tube. Some mounting parts are included for RC conversion, but you will need to purchase other items to complete the model for radio. MDF sheet items Again, Amati has made extensive use of 4mm MDF for the hull false keel and bulkheads, and all are laser-cut, as are all individual wooden items in this kit. Cutting looks very precise with very little in the way of scorching, apart from very localised discolouration. I know many don’t like MDF as a material for our models, but MDF sands easily and is also warp-free, lending itself to a nice, true hull. You won’t see any of this when you start to lay planks. There are FOUR sheets of this material, and you’ll notice that there aren’t any parts numbers engraved on here. You will need to refer to the first two sheets of plans which contain the parts references. A single sheet of 2mm MDF contains parts such as the four-piece deck, cleats, and the bulkheads and keel for Fifie’s single launch vessel. There is also a single 6mm sheet of MDF (sheet 2698-B) which contains the four parts needed for the cradle. I’ve seen numerous sites which now sell this model claim that no stand is included with this model. Well, this sort of proves that statement incorrect. This is the same cradle shown on the box lid images. Of course, you’ll need a suitable MDF primer for this, and some nice coats of gloss lacquer to get the best from this. Ply sheet parts SIX sheets of thin ply are included for just about every other timber construction elements of Fifie, including the deckhouse, deck superstructures, keel sheathing, and bulwark capping strip. Again, all parts are laser-cut and will require minimal effort to remove any edge char. Fittings Two boxes of fittings are included in the very bottom of the Fifie kit box. Some of the weight bearing down has caused a small crack in the two vac-form fittings boxes, as you can see, but all parts within are absolutely fine. The first box contains the cast metal propeller, deck buckets, ship’s wheel, rigging blocks, life preserver rings and a whole load of beautifully smooth wooden balls for making the many buoys which sit on Fifie’s deck. These are perfectly circular, yet the ones on the box image are slightly shaped. Instructions show these as the balls, and you could perhaps opt to use a little putty to add some shape to these. The second fitting box contains seven spools of rigging cord in both black and natural colours, nails, various cast fittings such as bollards, plus rudder pintles, anchors etc. Copper eyelets, chain and ferrules etc. make up the set. Sail cloth Should you wish to add sails, then enough material is supplied for you, in bleached white cloth. Photo-etch Very few kits come without photo-etch parts these days, and this is no exception, with TWO sheets of 0.7mm brass with a very high number of included parts. A quick scan around the sheets will easily identify parts for the mast bases, steam winch, engine skylight, capstan, deck hand pump, wheel assembly, herring shovel, tabernacle, mast rings, etc. Acetate and card I have to say I’m not entirely sure what the card/cartridge paper is for except for maybe general use, but the thin acetate is obviously for the cabin windows. Instructions and plans Without a doubt, Amati produce some of the very best instruction manuals to come with any model kit. For reference, check out my Orient Express Sleeping Car review and that of Revenge. Fifie is no different with a luxurious and fully-pictorial, 64-page publication. Whilst this isn’t perfect-bound as with the previous reviews, it is in full colour and produced to a standard that’s still far higher than many contemporary manufacturers, with each stage being shown under construction so you get a perfect idea about what is required at that point in construction. Text is also in English, or at least in the sample I have been sent. The rear of the manual contains a complete components list. Backing up this publication is a set of seven plan sheets. The first two of these are for identifying the various timber and PE parts. The others show general profile and detail imagery, as well as masting and rig drawings. Remember that the hull itself is built entirely from the photographic sequences so everything you see on these drawings is for external details. Conclusion I have to say that you get a lot of kit for your money with Fifie, and when I first asked Amati what they envisaged the RRP to be, I was quite surprised at this. Everything about Fifie is quality, from the packaging and presentation, to the beautiful, photographic manual, fittings, sheet and strip timber, all the way to the superbly drawn plans. I’m very surprised that the gestation period has taken so long for them to bring this excellent kit to market. It’s also a Chris Watton thoroughbred. If you’ve seen his previous designs, then you’ll be familiar with the format of Fifie, which was quite the different vessel for Chris to tackle, when everyone seemed to think he would only design fighting vessels, armed to the teeth with cannon. I must admit that Fifie did take me quite by surprise too. The very shape of this iconic and historic vessel is so homely and welcoming and for me, invokes images of those times when fishing communities were happy and thriving. Whether you’re a fan of Chris’s work or not, Fifie is most certainly a kit that you should consider dropping into your virtual shopping cart next time you visit your favourite online model ship/boat retailer, and of course, if RC is your thing, then this kit will also suit your genre! VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending out the sample kit you see reviewed here. To purchase directly click the link at the top of the article to take you to Amati’s online shop or check out your country’s local distributor. Plans are also available from Amati, for €21.00
  5. 1:72 Sailors Dusek Ship Kits Code: DA007 36 resin figures in 1/72 scale. Looks like a Zombie Apocalypse but are 36 resin figures in 1/72 scale. All figures are well cast. I had maybe 2-3 micro bubbles. A lot of them has separate arms so you can define their body as you like Overview: I will use these Sailors for my Dusek Maria Model. Conclusion Daniel Dusek sells these 36 figures in his shop for just 20 EUR. But you get a lot offered. My only wish would be to be able to get this set in 1:64 🙂 Apart from that these figures are to be recommended without reservation! My sincere thanks go to Daniel Dusek for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, go to your favorite Dusek dealer or directly to http://www.dusekshipkits.com
  6. 1:135 H.M.S. Bounty Amati ‘First Step’ series Catalogue # 600/04 Available from Amati HMS Bounty, also known as HM Armed Vessel Bounty, was a small merchant vessel that the Royal Navy purchased for a botanical mission. The ship was sent to the Pacific Ocean under the command of William Bligh to acquire breadfruit plants and transport them to British possessions in the West Indies. That mission was never completed due to a mutiny led by acting lieutenant Fletcher Christian. This incident is now popularly known as the mutiny on the Bounty. The mutineers later burned Bounty while she was moored at Pitcairn Island. An American adventurer rediscovered the remains of the Bounty in 1957 and various parts of it have been salvaged since then. Extract from Wikipedia The kit This is the second of the three Amati ‘First Step’kits that I have for review here on Model Ship World. As with the previous review of their Santa Maria, also in this range, this kit is aimed at the newcomer to this hobby, who want to see a fair and decent result without having to be hands-on with all of the various skills needed and tools required by a more complex kit. The kit is packed into an attractive and glossy box which isn’t too large and certainly won’t dominate your workbench. A photo of the completed model adorns the box-art, showing you that the results from such a simple kit are actually very pleasing and certainly not shabby at all! Note also the dimensions of the finished model are 26cm in length, 28cm in height, with an overall width of 6cm (although according to plans, that last measurement is actually 9.6cm at the widest yardarm). Opening the box, you’ll note that the modeller isn’t inundated with a mindboggling array of materials, but instead things are kept nice and simple, with a small bundle of timber, pre-shaped hull halves, small packet of sheet material, flags, fittings box, manual and single plan sheet. As noted, the hull in this model is solid, and provided as halves, as per the Santa Maria. In fact, the parts themselves appear to be a standard, and identical to the previous kit, and indeed to the review which will later follow this one. These parts are nicely carved and shaped, with just a sanding and sealing needed to finish them before painting. Internally, you’ll note the two holes which appear on each half. These are to fix the dowels to which locate the parts together, with the false keel being sandwiched in between them. That false keel is made from MDF and included on a laser-cut sheet with a number of other parts for the quarterlight windows and transom sections. Quality is excellent but remember to wear a mask if you need to sand any MDF at any time. A thin, laser-cut ply sheet is included, being the last of the sheets of parts in this kit. Here you will find parts for the bow timbers, transom windows, quarterlight windows and the mast tops. Being laser-cut some parts may need any char removing from the edges before use. As with all First Step kits, this includes a wooden plinth onto which your model will mount. Turned walnut pedestals are also included. A small bundle of both strip and dowel is included. Strip looks like Lime, and the dowel is Ramin. Quality is very good, as you expect from Amati, with clean cutting and an even appearance. Printed paper is included for the flags. These are designed to be folded around the rigging lines, providing a face on each side. You will need to manipulate these so that they hang naturally. A large piece of off-white sail cloth is also included too. You will need to use the templates on the main plan sheet and transfer the shapes to the fabric before you add any boltrope and stitching. As with all Amati kits, the familiar plastic fittings box is included. This compartmentalised box contains parts for the windlass etc., plastic moulded grating, rigging cord, turned walnut pedestals, set of two anchors, nails, cast ships launch windows, lanterns and figurehead, eyelets, rings and some rather attractive cast cannon which look amazing despite their tiny scale. A large, single sheet plan is included, printed on both sides. The first side shows the ship in plan and side elevations, as a complete masted and rigged vessel, with locations for the various deck fittings etc., plus a set of templates for the ten sails that need to be made if you wish to have your model adorned with them. On the reverse, there are masting illustrations, and rigging drawings. These look very straightforward to follow and shouldn’t present any problems to a novice. Bounty’s instruction manual is a 10-page affair, printed in black and white with the model broken down into 16 constructional sequences. All are accompanied with English text and annotation, with the drawings themselves being very easy to follow. Painting references are provided throughout. The last page of the manual includes a parts list that you can use to check off against the kit to ensure there’s nothing missing. Conclusion Another great little introductory model from Amati, designed to ensure a trouble-free move across into this great hobby, and without compromising on the finished result. Everything us here that you need, apart from paint and glue. This would also make a nice project for a seasoned modeller who perhaps just wants a little side project for a friend etc. Either way, it’s a very worthwhile kit that is certainly worthy of your consideration. My sincere thanks to Amati for the sample reviewed here. To purchase, click the link at the top of this article.
  7. 1:100 Santa Maria – First Step Amati Catalogue # 600/03 Available from Euromodels for £69.99 Santa María was built in Pontevedra, Galicia, in Spain's north-west region. She was probably a medium-sized nau (carrack), about 58 ft (17.7 m) long on deck, and according to Juan Escalante de Mendoza in 1575, Santa Maria was "very little larger than 100 toneladas" (about 100 tons, or tuns) burthen, or burden, and was used as the flagship for Columbus’ expedition. Santa María had a single deck and three small masts. She was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa. Courtesy of Wikipedia The kit Everyone has to start somewhere in this hobby, and few manage to build a fully rigged Man ‘O War or clipper without at least some experience of how to work timber etc. Of course, being any sort of modeller who can think on their feet is always an advantage, but there a whole demographic who would like something just to kick-start their passion, whether they are of our generation, or a whole new generation of younger modeller who may progress to the lofty heights you see here on Model Ship World. For that latter group, Amati have their First Step range, and today we take a look at the first of three of these kits that they’ve sent to us for review. Santa Maria is packaged into a small and attractive box with an artwork of a finished model on the lid, and some vessel history on the side. As you can see from the box, this particular model has a length of 28cm, a height of 24cm, and a width of 6cm. So, it’s still a reasonable size. Lifting the lid reveals a set of plans, instruction manual, sail cloth and printed paper sheet for flags, two pre-carved wooden hull halves, a bundle of strip wood, a packet with two MDF laser-cut sheets, a wooden display base, and a whole box of fittings. Unlike your traditional model ship/boat, where you either plank over a series of bulkheads or frames, the Santa Maria comes with two pre-carved hull halves. Looking at the other kits in this range, these halves appear to be of the same shape, but it’s what you add that really makes these models look very different from each other. Note the two holes. These are used to align the halves, and also peg through a centre plate which forms the keel. Instructions will show you how to paint and stain your model when complete. Here you see the main 4mm MDF sheet that contains the main keel/profile with the alignment holes and mast sockets, plus a deck section. Parts are all laser-cut and are clean and precise. Of course, you will need to ensure that any sanding that’s to be done with these parts means you will wear a face mask. Wood dust isn’t great for the respiratory system, but MDF can be particularly bad. Important that youngsters are aware of this. The second and last sheet is also MDF, but 10mm thick. There are ten parts here, for raising up the fore and aft decks, creating the correct shape of this ship and totally transforming the shape of the basic wooden hull halves. When your model is complete, you’ll want to display it properly, and this kit includes a neat wooden base. Nicely turned pedestals are also included that will glue to this and into which the keel will slot. A small bundle of timber is included for masts, spars, wales, bulwarks etc. Timber quality is excellent, as we have come to expect from Amati. These plastic fittings boxes are very common to Amati releases, and even these First Step kits get one, stuffed with goodies to adorn and detail your model. All parts are bagged and compartmentalised, and the clear lid holds tight, keeping everything in place whilst in the kit box. Unlike other kits, this one has a brown plastic-moulded grating which you will need to cut to the required size. Note the mast top/crow’s nest is manufactured from a piece of turned walnut and is silky smooth to the finish. Some white metal parts are included too, such as doors, windows, and the ship’s launch. Casting is very nice, and with a lick of primer/paint, should look very good once installed. Remember, this is a very small model when complete, and therefore these parts are also small. We also have a packet of nails for general construction. Of course, you will also need an anchor or two. A packet of two is included with this release, complete with wooden stocks and brass ring fittings. The anchors themselves are blackened and ready for use. A couple of small packets contain the decorative shields for the upper, rear exterior bulwarks. These are designed to be painted. Also, we have some small copper and brass fittings, such as rings and eyelets. There are a few small staircases on Santa Maria, and these are cut from these pre-formed lengths of timber. Note also some parts for the windlass and rigging blocks. There are only a couple of the latter, as the model is designed to be simple to build (and rig). Here are the aforementioned turned walnut pedestals onto which you will mount your completed model. These are high quality and require no extra finishing apart from some varnish, perhaps. Only two spools of rigging cord are included, one being in black for the standing rig, and the running rig being in natural colour, as a general rule. You will need to make your own sails, but this is fully explained, and is very simple. Plenty of material is provided for this. For the flags and pennants, a sheet of colour-printed paper is included. You can also go to town with fabric paint and add the familiar Maltese cross to the main sails. Again, this is shown so you can copy from the illustration. One large plan sheet will show you everything you need to know for your build, and everything is simple to follow. Several 1:1 scale images are shown for you to measure against, including the masting diagrams. Amati’s instructions tend to be well illustrated and easy to follow, from my personal experience, with many of the very new kits having the best I’ve ever seen in any of the modelling genres. This kit also has a nicely illustrated manual that takes the construction through in a series of easy to follow steps complete with English text. I can’t see anything here that would thwart even a young modeller, with the various drawings. A handy parts list is also supplied at the end of the manual, which is handy for you to check your supplied parts against. Conclusion These kits fulfil several roles on the market. For me, the first is to introduce a young modeller to our hobby and initiate them with a number of the skills required to advance a little and create more complex results. Another is to allow a modeller who may never have used timber before, to build a very nice replica of a ship and to help them also pursue a line of attack into a more challenging project. Lastly, these could well appeal to a seasoned modeller who fancies a little fun between larger projects and may want to build something they could gift when complete. So many possibilities. The kit itself is actually a high-quality product that is well thought out and executed. There are also some classic vessels in this range too, with something that should appeal to most ship builders, or soon-to-be ship builders. Price-wise, these kits are also relatively inexpensive and will provide a good number of happy hours at the modelling bench. Wherever you are in the hobby, or whether you’re starting out, give one of these a try! I have already given this model kit to a young man who will send me some photos of his progress. I will post them here as he builds this model. My sincere thanks to Amati for the sample reviewed here. To purchase, click the link at the top of this article.
  8. Company: Dusek Ship Kits Kit No: D021 Retail Price: EUR 369.- Available here: Dusek Ship Kits History The Belle Poule is school schooner of French navy. The Belle Poule together with her sister ship Etoile was launched at shipyard Féchamp at Normandy on 8 February 1932. The Belle Poule is 37,5m long and has displacement 225tons. The ship is able to sail up to 12.5 knots with using of sails and up to 9 knots if she is powered by diesel engine. Technical data Scale: 1:50, Length: 755 mm Width: 255mm Height: 655mm The kit 13 x sheets of small plans 1 x sheet of model size plan 1 x Instructions (online available in english, french and czech) 16 sheets of lasercut wood (plywood, veneer and pear) Various dowels for masts and yards Various High Quality Resin Parts 1 x Photoetched brass parts 1 x Fine-meshed sail cloth 1 x Copper Foil Various Rope and all needed small parts (blocks, Pole, Chains, Fittings etc.) 1 x French Flag All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box. Let's look deeper at this kit and start with the high quality resin parts. We also get enough Copper foil for the hull. For the masts and yards we get very nice dowels. There are also some pear strips for the build. The quality of the wood is excellent! You may ask why there are not more strips? All planks are pre-spiled lasered as we will see soon 🙂 Let's check out the wood sheets. And here are the lasered on thin veneer. The deck has it's planks allready lasered. And its is lasered perfectly. Let's check more of the veneer sheets with the pre-spiled planks. And more. The 4mm plywood sheets with keel and frames. The photoetched parts. Let's see the smaller parts of this nice kit. And for everybody who love sails here we go. Paperwork. Essential for ever good kit are the instructions and plans. As usually for Dusek you get the instruction in different languages. In this kit they are french but online you can download english and czech as well. The instructions are well done and an intermediate Modeller should have no problem at all. There are 13 smaller sheets showing all details of this nice schooner. Or to check the parts of the kit. Last but not least there is one big of sheet showing the modell in 1:1. Conclusion A really nice kit designed by Daniel Dusek. The lasered pre-spiled planks make it much easier to plank a more complex hull like that of the "La Belle Poule". All parts are made of high-quality materials and you can see the attention to detail in this Dusek kit as well. The instructions leave few to no questions unanswered, the plans are drawn in detail and printed in a great way. Dusek Ship Kits currently lists this model for €369, and I think that represents really good value for money for this nice kit. Some impressions of the build model. My sincere thanks go to Daniel Dusek for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, go to your favorite Dusek dealer or directly to http://www.dusekshipkits.com
  9. 1:20 Dorade – 1931 Amati Catalogue # 1605 Available from Ages of Sail for $429.00 Dorade is a yacht designed in 1929 by Olin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens and built 1929–1930 by the Minneford Yacht Yard in City Island, New York. She went on to place 2nd in the Bermuda Race later that year. The crew for its first race received the All-Amateur Crew Prize. However, it would be a win in the Transatlantic Race that would bring the boat its name. She completed a race that takes an estimated 3–4 weeks in just 17 days, earning her crew a parade upon the ship's return and a reception for Olin Stephens hosted by the mayor of New York. Olin Stephens, the designer, was skipper through 1932 when he handed the boat to his brother, Rod Stephens. Led by Rod, Dorade sailed to victory in the 1932 Bermuda Race. From Bermuda, Dorade sailed back to Norway, down to Cowes, England, and finally back to America after winning the Fastnet Race. The victory of the 1932 Fastnet Race was of substantial significance given the unusually severe weather, several ships feared missing as well as one recorded drowning among the events that unfolded. Dorade was completely restored in 1997 at the shipyard of Argentario, in Porto Santo Stefano, Italy. In 2013, Dorade took first place (after applying her handicap) in the Trans-Pacific race that she had won in 1936. Edit courtesy of Wikipedia For further information on Dorade, check out this excellent page at Dorade.org The kit The size of this box (and it’s huge!) certainly belies the weight of it. You’d expect something as heavy as the Vanguard that we looked at a couple of months ago, but that’s certainly not the case at all. The reason for this will be seen in a moment. The box itself is beautifully presented with a super-glossy lid depicting a finished Dorade model, and of course in a portrait format due to the shape of the vessel. The model itself, at 1:20 scale, has given measurements of 85.6cm long, and 103 cm tall. More images of the completed vessel adorn the sides of the box. Now, lifting that lid reveals an open top lower box, unlike the complete and enclosed boxes of other large Amati kits I’ve looked at. Immediately, your eyes are drawn to the reason why this box is relatively light, and that is the inclusion of a complete ABS hull, and hence the reason why this model is stated as being suitable for RC conversion, although the modeller will have to fathom that themselves, as no instructions are given for that particular path. Internally, the box has a number of card inserts to stop the various contents from jangling around loose. It’s only the components tray itself that seems to be a little freer to move, but thankfully, mine hadn’t spilled open or become dislodged. That ABS hull is very nicely moulded, is fairly thin, and super-light in weight. It has a glossy external finish and will just need some buffing and polishing to remove some very minor surface abrasions. The upper edge will need the fuzziness removed from, but again, this is something that’s very east to do, and not a reflection of the quality, which really is excellent. First, we take a look at the thick, clear sleeve and the paper contents within. Quite a few Amati releases have a glossy instruction manual, and this has one too, well…at least the cover is glossy, with Italian text giving a short history of the vessel. Inside, the instructions are given in line drawing format, with shading for clarity. All stages have a reference number which can be cross-checked with the written assembly instructions. For these, a glossy Italian manual is provided, with standard A4 sheets provided for both the French and English versions. Going back to the main illustrative instructions, there is some annotation given in all three set languages also. Parts are also clearly identified, whether they be wooden, or one of the many fittings that are supplied. Please note that the timber parts themselves aren’t actually numbered, and you will need to refer to the component identification plan sheet. Construction tips are also given, such as how to mark the waterline. As for the fittings etc., these can be identified against a comprehensive parts list that is provided in each language, which gives the part number, name, and specific number of included components. I suggest that each packet of components be put in a zip-lock wallet with the kit identifying code written on, to make it easy to locate the parts needed during construction. FOUR large plan sheets are included in this release, printed on relatively thin paper. The first three sheets provide large scale drawings of the Bessel, from profiles, to upper elevations and sectional material, plus those all-important fitting positions etc. Annotation on the main plans appears to be in Italian, but the illustrations are clear to see, so for a competent modeller, there shouldn’t be any problems encountered. If the worst comes to worst, just use an online translator tool. The last of the large plan sheets is the parts guide for the wooden sheets, with all parts being easily identified against the instruction booklet. I’m sure I once read that the Dorade kit provided no parts reference for things such as the internal hull framework etc. and that everything was in Italian. Well, if that was the case, then it certainly isn’t now. Remember that companies like Amati revise their kits from time to time, in instructions as well as parts, so maybe that referred to an old issue. A sandwich of timber is now provided as two long plywood sheets are taped together, with the thin ply deck hiding between them. These main sheets are the thickest timber components in the box and provide the modeller with the various internal hull frames and bulkheads, as well as the parts that make up stand (note that no main plinth is supplied, as shown on the box lid). All parts are cleanly laser-cut with very small tags to cut through to remove them from their sheets. The deck is a full-length piece of thin ply with mast holes in situ, and the rear panel for lower deck access, just needing removal. As this is a stylish sail yacht, you need some decent sail material, and a packet of this is included here. You’ll need to cut and stitch these yourself as per plan. Another thick, clear sleeve contains more timber components, plus a number of other items. One of the timber sheets is a smaller, thin ply sheet with parts associated with the various deck structures, to name but a few. Cutting is again nice and clean, and timber quality is excellent. Parts here are for the various stringers, cockpit sides and edges, funnel flange and deckhouse roof etc. Two thicker walnut sheets include parts for the rudder, gunwales, belaying pin rack, ventilator tops, skylights, doors, winch steps. Mizzen mast coaming and crosstrees, plus other coamings and side elements. As a number of these parts will be varnished and the wood generally seen, you will need to remove any charring from the laser cutting. One packet contains some good quality acetate for the various deck structure windows, and also a piece of what appears to be a glossy dark green card. I can’t identify that as of yet. Timber strip quality is high and also cleanly cut. This first bundle, held by a thread and paper wrap, is for the deck planking. Remember, no hull planking here! This creamy coloured material will need to have a nice deck caulk effect set between them. Another bundle of timber includes circular and semi-circular dowel lengths, and more strip timber in Ramin and walnut. Several lengths of brass section strip are included, as is a length of thick copper rod. Amati has included a reasonably sized sheet of brass photo etch. This really must be the shiniest, most polished PE that I’ve ever seen. Totally mirror-like in quality. Here you will find parts that include mast collars, shelves, trolleys, flanges, portholes, jib brackets, sheave boxes, rails, and turnbuckle and ventilator parts, again, to name but a few. Production quality is first rate, with narrow, thin tags holding the components securely until you need to remove them. A separate, smaller piece of PE contains the external and internal hawseholes. Lastly, we take a look at the plastic tray of components. This tray is a typical Amati storage box in vac-form plastic, with a clear lid. This is compartmentalised to accommodate the numerous packets of fittings within. Dorade’s fitting tray is certainly weighty, with NINETEEN packets of fittings, nails, decals and rigging cord. Fittings include cleats, portholes, winches, eyebolts, ventilators, boom parrels, turnbuckles, snaphooks, rings, pulleys, sheaves and side lights. Where those parts are cast, the finish is very good, with just a buffing needed before priming. Conclusion If you want a project that is a little different from the norm, then Dorade may be just what you are after. With the hull just requiring some remedial finishing before use, plus cutting out the scuppers, you should also find that it’s a relatively quick project that will take a few months instead of running into years. Dorade is a beautiful yacht, and Amati have very much caught her lines here. There is of course a little jigging around between the parts plan, materials and the instructions, and of course with any model this size, you’ll need a reasonable working space, plus some intermediate skills when it comes to tackling the various task required. For the price, she’s also a very attractive subject and will doubtless be a real centrepiece when on display. Quality is typically Amati, and I’m sure you’ll really like this one! My sincere thanks to Amati for the review sample seen here. To purchase, click the link at the top of this article.
  10. 1:24 Armed Longboat 18th Century, 1750-1760 Model Shipways Kit No. MS1460 Description For beginners and experts alike. A true plank-frame armed captain's longboat in 1:24 scale measuring approximately 24" from bowsprit to tip of boom. Every wood detail in the original longboat has been captured in 9 sheets of laser-cut basswood (no plywood) and over 60 basswood strips and dowels. Thirty-six cast Brittania metal (lead-free pewter) detail parts capture every iron fitting as well as the cannon and swivel guns. Brass split rings, rods, eyebolts, nails, parrels and belaying pins are machined and polished. Thirty-four yards and five diameters of jewelry, no-stretch and easy to knot nylon rigging replicates the original. Twenty-two walnut blocks and deadeyes compliment the rigging lines. All the decorations you see along the bulwarks and transom of the longboat are neither decals nor painted; they are photo-etched brass and are included. Technical data Scale 1:24 Length 26"/660,4 mm Height 17"/431,8 mm The kit 3 sheets of 34 x 44" plans in true to model size A 48 page instruction booklet with over 130 color photos. 9 sheets of lasercut basswood Over 60 basswood strips and dowels. One Photoetched brass sheet Thirty-six cast Brittania metal parts in high quality All needed rope All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box so as to minimise any movement of items within. Let's look deeper at this kit. As you can see all small parts are well stowed away. The castings make a very good impression. Let's check the cleanly lasered wooden boards. Backside as you can see perfectly lasered no much laser char. The basswood strips and dowels Photoetched parts Some brass stuff All the needed small parts are separatly packed The rope is unusually good for a kit like this. There are three fullsize Plans showing every detail The 48 page instruction booklet with over 130 color photos will make it easy to build a great model out of box for every one. Conclusion Good materials, detailed instructions and a really attractive price make this model a wonderful introduction to the world of historical ship model building. This little kit is really great. For the beginner, but certainly also for the advanced, who are simply looking for a small, loving intermediate project, this model promises a lot of fun and expansion possibilities (e.g. sails). ModelExpo currently lists this model on sale for $99.99 (retail is $169.99) and I think that represents really good value for money for this kit. Check the Instructions & Part List https://modelexpo-online.com/assets/images/documents/MS1460_18_Century_Long_Boat_Assembly_Instructions.pdf https://modelexpo-online.com/assets/images/documents/MS1460_Armed_Longboat_Parts_List.pdf My sincere thanks go to Model Shipways for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, go to your favorite dealer or directly to https://modelexpo-online.com/Model-Shipways-MS1460-18th-Century-Armed-Longboat--Laser-Cut-Wood-Metal-Photo-etched-Brass-Kit_p_3218.html
  11. 1:72 La Real Dusek Ship Kits Catalogue # D015 Available from Dusek Ship Kits for 409€ La Real was a Spanish galley and the flagship of Don John of Austria in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the largest battle between galleys in history. She was built in Barcelona at the Royal Shipyard and was the largest galley of its time. Real was usually the designation of the flagship in a particular Spanish fleet and was not necessarily the actual name of the ship. Almirante was the designation of the ship of the 2nd in command, others with a specific command function were patrona/padrona and lanterna. The galley was 60 metres (200 ft) long and 6.2 metres (20 ft) wide, had two masts, and weighed 237 tons empty. It was equipped with three heavy and six light artillery pieces, was propelled by a total of 290 rowers and, in addition, carried some 400 sailors and soldiers at Lepanto. 50 men were posted on the upper deck of the forecastle, 50 on the midships ramp, another 50 each along the sides at the bow, 50 each on the skiff and oven platforms, 50 on the firing steps along the sides near the stern, and 50 more on the stern platform behind the huge battle flag. To help move and manoeuvre the huge ship, it was pushed from the rear during the battle by two other galleys. As befitting a royal flagship, it was luxuriously ornamented and painted in the red and gold colours of Spain. Its poop was elaborately carved and painted with numerous sculptures, bas-reliefs, paintings and other embellishments, most of them evoking religious and humanistic inspirational themes. Photo by author, Barcelona, 2006 The Battle of Lepanto in 1571 saw Juan of Austria's fleet of the Holy League, an alliance of Christian powers of the Mediterranean, decisively defeat an Ottoman fleet under Grand Admiral ("Kaptan-ı Derya") Müezzinzade Ali Pasha. La Real and the Turkish galley Sultana, flagship of Ali Pacha, engaged in direct deck-to-deck combat very soon after the start of the battle. Sultana was boarded and after about one hour of bloody fighting, with reinforcements being supplied to both ships by supporting galleys of the two respective fleets, captured. Ali Pacha was wounded by musket fire, fell to the deck, and was beheaded by a Spanish soldier. His head was displayed on a pike, severely affecting the morale of his troops. Real captured the "Great Flag of the Caliphs" and became a symbol of the victory at Lepanto. The kit Dusek’s La Real is packaged into a long, very sturdy and attractive box with a nice glossy-finish lid which depicts a completed model of this famous galley, along with finished dimensions. The side panels also contain a further four smaller detail shots of the finished model. Lifting the lid reveals a clear plastic compartmented tray containing rigging cord, resin and fittings etc. Also seen at first look are the bundles of strip-wood and dowel, sailcloth pack, bundle of plans with a flag sheet, and lurking underneath are the timber sheets, wrapped in white plastic sheet. The hull of La Real is double-planked, and our first bundle of timber is for the first planking layer and deck planking, with there being 50 lengths of 2mm x 5mm limewood. Material quality is first rate, with nice, clean cutting, no split or frayed edges and all material being uniform. Also, all timber bundles are held together with elastic bands and these aren’t too tight as to deform the timber. A smaller bundle contains various diameters of Ramin dowel. The material is uniform, straight and again of a high quality. A few lengths of loose dowel are also found within the box, of varying lengths, and also machined from the same quality of Ramin as the previous bundle. Whilst on the subject of dowel, take a look at this little bundle! Here we have 61 lengths of 3mm Ramin dowel. These are for the 60 oars, so a spare piece is given. You will need to taper and shape each of these parts identically, so you could ideally make use of a lathe, if possible. This bundle of timber strip is produced from walnut and caters to the second planking layer for the hull. Colour is mostly uniform, but not all due to the nature of timber, so lay these accordingly. As with the first planking, these are beautifully cut with no fluffy or broken edges. With all other materials removed from the box, you’ll note the rest of the sheet material is wrapped in a sort of thick, white clingfilm material which needs to be peeled open to reveal the contents. Inside this wrap we have all of the laser-cut timber sheets including those manufactured from ply, walnut and pearwood. A real joy to see the latter included in an off-the-shelf kit. Here we see sections for the keel, laser-cut in walnut, along with some fine laser-etched details which are quite common to this release. This sheet is either Ramin or limewood and contains a lot of parts pertaining to the rower areas, as well as the hoops which form the covered section at the stern of the galley, plus the small launch. All parts are packed in very tightly on this sheet, to the point where there are practically touching each other. Save to say there will be little material waste here! Of course, you will need to remove char from all laser-cut parts, and there are some minimal, localised heat-affected areas which should be easy to sand from the surface before you begin to remove parts. It’s worth mentioning at this stage that no parts have numbers on or adjacent to them. There are two sheets of illustrations which map out the parts for you and number them accordingly, so you will need to keep referring to this during construction. A walnut sheet contains further parts that are laser-etched. When you have sealed these, you will need to either paint them gold or, if you have the ability, gold-leaf them yourself. As with the previous sheet, many parts are quite tightly packed on this sheet. There are FOUR sheets of laser-cut and occasionally engraved pearwood here. These are very thin sheets, almost to the point of being veneer, and they are crisply cut with nice, minimal tags for removing the components. The long straight lengths you see are veneers for the deck planking. One large sheet of 3mm ply contains all of the bulkheads and false keel for this vessel. Note that the false keel is in two sections that are linked with a dovetail joint. Also, the bulkheads have two holes in them to accommodate the dowels that will pass through them and help to make the narrow hull all that more rigid. What is quite unusual here is that the bulkheads slip onto the false keel from underneath, defying convention. Like other contemporary kits, this one contains a clear plastic tray and a lid, used to house the smaller kit components. Extensive use of resin has been made here to produce the various rails and features that contain carvings. These look exquisite and underneath gold paint, will look simply superb and very indicative of the gilded ornamentation of La Real. All resin parts, including the anchors, will need to be carefully sawn from their respective casting blocks and then cleaned up before use. It’s also a good idea to wash resin before use, to clean off any residual mould-release agent that could stop paint adhering. Casting is excellent with no visible flaw or defect that I can see. Also in resin are come parts for the stern lanterns and cooking pots etc. Cast in white metal are the cannon, etc. The finish is very good with just minimal seams that will need to be filed away. A small fret of photo-etch metal is included for their embellishments. As well as a length of fine brass wire, here we see a pack containing chain, parrel beads and various eyelets. Looking at the rigging blocks, these look perfectly acceptable in terms of quality, with them looking uniform and having nicely drilled holes and machined slots. Four spools of rigging cord in three colours and three diameters, are supplied. Along with this is a thicker length of rope and a length of blue cord. As is de rigueur these days, a fret of photo-etch parts is included, with parts for the observation top, name plates, dead eye fittings, rudder hinges, to name but a few. Etch quality is excellent, but the connection tags are quite wide, so be careful when it comes to removing the parts, as there will undoubtedly be some clean-up required. A pack of sail cloth is included for you to make your own sails, and illustrations are included as to how these will be made, including sewing in a bolt rope to the edges. Whilst the sails on this model are quite large, there is ample material here to make them. Flags are supplied as prints on a sheet of a material which looks like cloth but is slightly plastic in feel. These just need to be cut out and draped to suit. They are very thin so making them look natural should be an absolute cinch. Print quality is very good too and they most certainly look very attractive. FIVE sheets of plans are included with a LOT of illustrative info supplied. You really will need to study these as La Real isn’t a model for a beginner and deciphering the various sectionals will be vital to get the most from your purchase. Every single facet of construction is shown in super detail, with key areas being shown as separate areas of detail. All rigging and masting is shown in detail, with the galley being relatively simple in comparison to a Man ‘o War of the same or later period. Sheets appear to be A0 in size, so you’ll need some bench space! Two double-sided A3 sheets show the parts maps for everything, including the photo-etch sheet. An instruction booklet takes each main step and gives some simple text to guide you on your way. A complete parts list is also included here. Conclusion La Real and her place in time, for me, have always conjured up an image of a quasi-obsolete military marine technology that had its heyday during classical Roman and Greek times. The juxtaposition it creates when you consider that the Battle of Lepanto took place whilst other European countries were sailing Galleons, really tends to put things into perspective, yet La Real and her contemporaries were fighting against an empire which was creating an existential crisis in Europe, and they won the day. This elegant vessel has been immaculately recreated first in Barcelona in 1971, and now in kit-form by Dusek Ship Kits. This is a kit of superbly high quality and with a refined excellence in design execution, using some of the finest timbers I’ve seen in an off-the-shelf kit, such as sheet pearwood, walnut etc. The pearwood sheets are almost veneer-like in how thin they are, yet still have that laser-engraved etch detail. Superb. I also very much like the resin castings for the anchors and sculptures/rails. I know that resin isn’t generally seen by model shipwrights as a legitimate material, but it works very well and provides the modeller with details that they either wouldn’t be able to recreate at all or would need to use a more 2D photo-etch to simulate. Remember, we saw resin in Amati’s HMS Vanguard that we reviewed HERE. I’m quite used to this material from my plastic modelling time and know how good it can look when used. Dusek Ship Kits’ La Real is an absolute gem of a kit and when complete, its intricacies with all of those rowing positions and the multitude of other small details in décor and fitments, will doubtless result in a really beautiful finished model of this famous vessel. My sincere thanks to Dusek Ship Kits for the review kit seen in this article. This model is available right now from Dusek, so click the link at the top of the article and remember to tell them you read about it on MSW.
  12. Why this kit? Hey, friends! Welcome to my review of the 1/72 scale Cannon Jolle kit from Master Korabel. As near as I can tell, "jolle" is a Swedish word for a small boat, and this particular type of gunboat was designed for operation in the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea. I prefer to use the term "gunboat", since "jolle" strikes us English-speakers as kind of funny-sounding -- at least to me, anyway. I chose this kit because, believe it or not, I am in the midst of a very long modeling drought. I have not finished a model in four years, though I have started several. I decided I needed to get myself something relatively simple to work on, just so I can actually finish something. This kit looked like a good candidate, since all of its parts are pre-cut -- no cutting, spiling, etc. I ordered the kit off eBay from an outfit called V-Hobby in Moscow. Yeah, that Moscow, not the one in Idaho. Between my $5 coupon code from eBay and the $15 shipping charge, the kit and a set of pre-sewn sails set me back $83. The folks at V-Hobby kindly combined shipping for the two items, and I'm sure they'd do the same for any other interested buyers. 10 Long Days Later ... ... my kit finally arrived from the Rodina, securely wrapped in bubble wrap and tape. The box inside had not suffered any damage during the arduous trip from Moscow to Greenville. As you can see, the box art is very nicely done. The kit contents were packed loosely, but the more delicate parts were wrapped in cling wrap or sealed in bags, so everything arrived in good shape. Kit Contents Wood I knew when I ordered the kit that the model it produces is on the small side (finished length is 215 mm), but I didn't fully realize just how small until I started unpacking the parts. It's little -- but I digress. All of the kit's wooden parts are laser cut. Some of the wooden sheets have some charring on the back side, but the fronts are flawless. Hull formers and other structural components are cut from 2.5 mm plywood. Section lines for fairing the hull are laser-engraved onto the formers. The false decks are cut from 2.5 mm MDF board. Other parts are cut from various shades and thicknesses of what appears to be walnut (2.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.2 mm). Plank seams and treenails are laser-engraved into the decks in very fine detail. It took me a moment or two to notice that the kit doesn't have any strip wood or dowels -- all of the parts are pre-cut, and any that are supposed to be round in their final cross-section will need to be sanded into that shape. Other Materials The remaining parts consist of: * 3 spools of rigging line (0.4, 0.3, and 0.2 mm) * pre-blackened metal cannon with period-appropriate imperial crest * 2 small PE brass frets containing anchors, oarlocks, pintles, gudgeons, strops, and other small parts * a bag of wooden blocks * sail cloth * a length of brass wire * a laser-engraved nameplate (in Russian). The blocks are a cut above the usual kit-grade blocks, not Syren Ship Model quality, but definitely something that other manufacturers could stand to take a cue from (I'm looking at you, Corel). Plans and Instructions The kit includes step-by-step instructions in both Russian and English, a full-color illustrated construction guide, and a single two-sided , full-sized plan sheet that shows an outboard profile, deck plan, sail plan, spar dimensions, construction details, and options for either stayed or unstayed masts. A key to all the parts sheets and an itemized parts list are also included. This is truly a wealth of documentation, and it's hard to imagine what else the designers could possibly have included. A set of optional pre-sewn sails is available for $6. I'm normally not a fan of pre-sewn sails, since I feel that I can do them better from scratch, but I wanted a simple project, so I splurged for them. They're about what I expected in terms of quality, that is, not as good as mine, but better (especially in terms of the fine-woven cloth used) than I have seen in some other kits. Overall Impressions If you've had a chance to see some of the other Master-Korabel kits being built by our members, then you know that MK has created a little bit of a buzz with their designs. For folks who do not care so much for the tedium of spiling and planking or having to fabricate everything from scratch (some people just enjoy putting things together), then these kits are worth a look. MK seem to have taken pains to ensure that their design will improve the success rate for modelers with a modicum of skill. So far, I'm favorably impressed with the quality of the components, the documentation, and the innovative construction technique. I think the pricing is competitive as well. I'm looking forward to seeing how well this little gem goes together. Cheers!
  13. 1:65 HMS Terror OcCre Catalogue # 12004 Available from OcCre for 99,95€ HMS Terror was a Vesuvius-class bomb ship built over two years at the Davy shipyard in Topsham, Devon, for the Royal Navy. Her deck was 31 m (102 ft) long, and the ship measured 325 tons burthen. The vessel was armed with two heavy mortars and ten cannons and was launched in June 1813.Terror was a specialized warship and a newly developed bomb vessel constructed for the Royal Navy in 1813. She participated in several battles of the War of 1812, including the Battle of Baltimore with the bombardment of Fort McHenry. (It was at this battle where the "Star-Spangled Banner" was written by Francis Scott Key, which later became the American national anthem.) She was converted into a polar exploration ship two decades later, and participated in George Back's Arctic expedition of 1836–1837, the Ross expedition of 1839 to 1843, and Sir John Franklin's ill-fated attempt to force the Northwest Passage in 1845, during which she was lost with all hands along with HMS Erebus. For the conversion for polar exploration work in the mid-1830s, Terror was refitted. Her design as a bomb ship meant she had an unusually strong framework to resist the recoil of her heavy mortars; thus, she could withstand the pressure of polar sea ice, as well. On 12 September 2016, the Arctic Research Foundation announced that the wreck of Terror had been found in Nunavut's Terror Bay, off the southwest coast of King William Island. The wreck was discovered 92 km (57 mi) south of the location where the ship was reported abandoned, and some 50 km (31 mi) from the wreck of HMS Erebus, discovered in 2014. The wreck was found in excellent condition. A wide exhaust pipe that rose from the outer deck was pivotal in identifying the ship. It was located in the same location where the smokestack from Terror's locomotive engine had been installed. The wreck was nearly 100 km (62 mi) south of where historians thought its final resting place was, calling into question the previously accepted account of the fate of the sailors, that they died while trying to walk out of the Arctic to the nearest Hudson's Bay Company trading post. The kit OcCre’s new HMS Terror kit, simply labelled ‘Terror’ is packed into a relatively small box for the model’s finished size but is fairly weighty. The glossy box has a laser-printed product sheet taped to the lid, containing a full colour shot of the finished model, plus a couple of smaller detail shots of the deck area. The box is designed with a cutaway panel which shows off the clear plastic fittings tray and its contents. Lifting off the lid reveals that tray fully and a set of A3 sheets which contain a history of the vessel, parts list, written instructions and also some masting drawings. Underneath this is a split-partition box which needs to have its tape lock cut through before you can open up things to properly reveal the contents. This box is choc-stuffed with materials, and I know that it will be difficult to fit everything back in once it’s removed. However, let’s take a look OcCre’s kit spec, and then at the contents more closely. SCALE: 1:65 HEIGHT: 504 mm WIDTH: 195 mm LENGTH: 676 mm DIFFICULTY: Low DOUBLE PLANK: Yes My eyes are immediately drawn to the large bundle of timber for the first planking layer. Here we have 72 strips of Ramin, which are 5mm x 2mm x 400mm. All strip timber is 400mm long. This is certainly some thick first layer planking and thicker than I’ve been used to. Timber quality here is excellent with good, clean edges and no splintered wood or mis-cutting. Our second bundle of timber has material for the deck (again in Ramin, but 0.6mm thick), and some darker timber for the hull second planking. The latter timber is Sapele and is again 0.6mm x 5mm. The latter can tend to split/breakout at the edges, so take care with it. Thankfully, the quality of this is also extremely good as my sample doesn’t show any rough edges. With this model, options are shown for a bare timber/varnished hull, and also a more accurate, painted version. I would lean towards the latter as the second planking colour wouldn’t look right to me. The last bundle of timber has both strip wood and dowel of various diameters. Most strip wood is again in Ramin, but of various section sizes, plus one length of as yet unidentified darker timber. All dowel lengths are supplied as Ramin, and cleanly cut. All wood has good grain and isn’t at all flaky or with rough edges. All bundles are also held together with elastic bands instead of the tape we see in some kits. All other wooden parts are packaged into a sealed clear wrapping, along with a pre-sewn sail pack. Inside the pack, we see the false keel and main deck as items that are ready to use and don’t need removing from any sheets. Like the bulkheads and other main assembly components, these are laser-cut from plywood. A quick check down the length of the false keel shows that everything looks true, and without warp. Where parts need to be removed from their sheet, the small tags are thin enough to be able to just nip through with a craft knife. Also note that no parts have any engraving on them for identification. You should mark all parts manually, in accordance with the included parts plan. A slightly darker plywood of a higher grade is used for smaller components, such as the mast tops and the various support structures for them. Laser-cutting is clean and again, all parts should be easy to remove. Take care when doing so though as this sheet is absolutely packed out with parts. Here we see a walnut-stained piece of ply that contains the parts for the keel and rudder. Note the rudder is cut out to accept the propeller. Remember that Terror was steam as well as sail. Again, I’ll be painting my model, so the stained appearance of this ply won’t matter to me. Our final timber parts for the bulwarks and are made from thin ply. These are cut out to accept cannon etc. and are suitably thin enough to be able to shape to the curvature of the hull. No clean-up is required before installation. Some kits provide sail cloth whereas this provides actual sewn sails! I think you may need to sew a bolt rope to these, but that is it. You’ll also note that the sails are pre-aged, so no need to dunk them in vats of tea etc. A large zip-lock bag contains no less than SEVEN packets of nicely formed brass nails, all of which seems to be well-formed with good sharp tips and properly defined heads. Also inside this bag are 5 spools of natural colour rigging cord of various diameters and 6 more of dark brown, again in varying sizes. Material quality looks excellent and I can’t see a need to purchase extra material. The bow of Terror was plated in iron to help protect it against pack ice. This kit provides what appear to be either thin aluminium or zinc plates which can be formed around that area to represent the large plate sheathing that was utilised. As with many model kits these days, Terror is equipped with a sheet of photo-etch parts. This single, bare-brass fret is equipped with parts for the rear gallery windows and chainplates. Production is as good as any PE I’ve dealt with. You’ll need a razor saw or similar to remove the parts from the fret before use. Some cack-handed handling of my kit during shipping resulted in the clear box being broken in one corner, but thankfully, all the components within were ok, despite some being unintentionally redistributed within the main box! This box is very similar to how Artesania pack their components, and I quite like the format. Each compartment has numerous fixtures and fittings, from stock materials such as brass rod and stars/grating components, to cast items such as cannon, ship’s boats, anchors, drive propeller, ship’s wheels, wooden parts such as the deadeyes, brass pintles and chain, and flags etc. Essentially, this is where all the minor and major detail components are stored. Two sets of paper instructions are enclosed in this kit, printed on A3 paper and folded/stapled. The black and white sheets contain the vessel history, parts inventory, deck layout for parts placement, and some nice, clear masting drawings. The colour sheets show construction of Terror as a photographic experience, with simple and clear annotation. Illustrations also exist for masting and rigging, plus the parts map that you’ll need for marking the various laser-cut components. Conclusion For many years I’ve wanted to get my hands on an OcCre model kit to see just what they offer in terms of design, materials and quality. This new kit is quite apt as I’ve seen the fictional TV series mentioned online, plus I decided to visit Topsham on holiday next week, where Terror was built. I’m certainly not disappointed at all at this beautiful little offering from OcCre, and I can’t wait to dig into it in a few weeks, once I have some commitments. Materials quality is extremely nice, and the whole design is very pleasing and looks like it will be a joy to build. Watch out for my build log on MSW. My sincere thanks to OcCre for sending out this kit for review/build on MSW. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  14. 1:64 Catalina Mini Mamoli Kit Dusek Ship Kits MM61 Catalina NEW In 2016 Daniel Dusek bought all rights for producing of all Mamoli and MiniMamoli kits. Since then the kits are released in batches. History The first Lemster barges were built in 1876 in the "Gebr. De Boer" shipyard in Lemmer, Friesland. The original length of the wooden barges was initially 36 feet but gradually increased to 38, 40 and 42 feet. In 1902, the shipyard started building the Lemster barge with an iron hull and the length increased to 45, 47 and 50 feet. The Lemster barge was originally a fishing vessel for use on the Northern part of the then still open Zuiderzee, where, during wind against tide, often very foul seas developed. Therefore the ship was designed to be very seaworthy and she had very good sailing capabilities. These properties and her flowing lines make the Lemster barge one of the best and beautiful Dutch round sailing yachts. Originating in Friesland in the Northern part of the Nederland, the Lemster barge still carved herself a place in the fishing fleet of Zeeland in the South-western part of the Netherlands, were she was used for mussel fishing. The Lemster barge also won the heart of many yachtsmen, and in 1907, the "Gebr. De Boer" shipyard built the first iron-hulled sailing yacht, called Antje. The best known Lemster barge is undoubtedly "De Groene Draeck" (The Green Dragon), designed by A. de Boer and built by G. de Vries Lentsch Jr in Amsterdam, and on June 15, 1957 presented to the Dutch crown princess H.R.H. Princess Beatrix. Technical data Scale 1:64 Length 310 mm Height 265 mm The kit 5 sheets of plans and instruction (english, french, dutch, german) Prefabricated wooden hull 6 sheets of lasercut wood (2 sheets in pear!) round timber for masts and yards Photoetched brass parts Fine-meshed sail cloth All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box so as to minimise any movement of items within. Let's look deeper at this kit. The Prefabricated wooden hull makes it easy even for beginners to create the typical Dutch fuselage shape in a great small model. All small parts are well stowed away. Also the castings make a very good impression. Let's start with the cleanly lasered wooden boards. First of all, there is the deck of the Catalina with all planks pre-lasered in a beautiful pear. And this in a beginner kit. Wonderful! More parts lasered in pear. Other boards are laser-cut in beech. But there is nothing wrong with this either. Very very less laser char. All is clean and crisp. Some parts in plywood. Photoetched parts for portholes and rudder fittings round everything off. And last but not least, for all those who would like to make sails, a very nice fine-meshed fabric is included. The multilingual manual should make it easy for beginners to build a wonderful little model with a lot of fun. Conclusion With high quality components (where to find pear wood in a "beginner's kit"...) a revised manual and a really attractive price Daniel Dusek leads the Mamoli Mini Kit series into a successful future. This little kit is really great. For the beginner, but certainly also for the advanced, who are simply looking for a small, loving intermediate project, this small model promises a lot of fun. Dusek Ship Kits currently lists this model for €95, and I think that represents really good value for money for this beginner kit. My sincere thanks go to Daniel Dusek for sending this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To buy, go to your favorite Dusek dealer or directly to http://www.dusekshipkits.com
  15. 1:64 Revenge 1577 – Elizabethan Race Built Galleon Amati/Victory Models Catalogue # A1300/08 The Elizabethan Navy Royal warship Revenge was built at Deptford and launched in 1577. Revenge was a new type of warship, a ‘Race Built Galleon’. She was built following the direct ion of Sir John Hawkins and supervised, it is thought, by the master shipwright, Matthew Baker. Revenge was about 500 tonnes and carried a crew of around 250 men. Contrary to popular belief, the new race-built galleons were not dwarfed by the Spanish galleons but were of equal or sometimes larger size. It is very easy to see the lines of Revenge as a precursor to the Prince Royal of 1610, the Sovereign of the Seas of 1637, or even the Prince of 1670. The armament of ships of this period varied greatly; guns might be added, removed or changed for many different types of reasons. Revenge was particularly heavily-armed during her last cruise. On this, she carried 20 heavy demi-cannon, culverins and demi-culverins on her gun deck, where the sailors slept. On her upper decks were more demi-culverins, sakers, and a variety of light weapons, including swivel-mounted breech-loaders, called ‘fowlers’ or ‘falcons’. She was considered the best all-round warship in the fleet, and in 1588 she served as the flagship of Sir Francis Drake, and was involved heavily throughout the Armada campaign. In 1591, Revenge and her captain, Sir Richard Grenville, both earned their place in history when the Revenge was overtaken by a Spanish fleet off the Azores. Sir Richard Grenville fought the Spanish fleet for 16 hours, crippling and sinking many Spanish ships before being forced to surrender. The kit Revenge 1577 is an Amati/Victory Models joint venture, as was the HMS Vanguard 1787 that I reviewed recently. However, this particular kit was only released in 2015, having been designed by Chris Watton. Like Vanguard, Revenge is packaged into the same monster-sized box so will look pretty imposing when it arrives, plus it will really please your postman who will have to bring it to your door! If you are remotely interested in this particular kit, you will have doubtless headed to Amati’s website for information on this release. That is given as thus: 20 sheets of plans 96 pages full colour building manual with step by step instructions Laser cut plywood, hardwood and MDF Double planked hull Highly detailed photoetched brass parts Precious paper decorations Brass culverins and burnished metal casted cannons …now it’s time to look deeper at this kit. Amati’s artwork for the box is perhaps a little more restrained than that of Vanguard, but still looks equally as impressive, with images of the completed model on the sides of the box. It’s also a fairly weighty box too. When you lift off the lid, you’ll note that the lid is merely decorative, with a single-piece rigid corrugated card box underneath. The lid is secured via large tabs and lifts up to reveal contents. The box is designed to hold large weights within and is very robust. Inside, we have several packets of laser-cut MDF, ply and walnut, a heavy pack with 20 plan sheets, a full-colour perfect-bound instruction manual, bundles of strip wood and dowel, printed flag set, and three large boxes of fittings/components. Everything is packed so as to minimise any movement of items within, and indeed, my sample looked like it had just been packed at the factory. Opening the first components box, we see a pack of sail cloth, just in case you wish to fit them to your model. I know the convention is to leave sails off, but at lease the option is provided for you here. The material is very pale and would benefit from some ageing using whatever your preferred method. Two thick clear bags are now seen, and these include parts for the cannon, in two sizes. The main bags themselves contain some beautiful cast guns with decoration on them, and these have an antiqued finish. I would personally paint these in iron, and the embellishments should look excellent if you then buff them up. Unlike Vanguard, this kit provides wooden gun carriages, machined as a single piece. Again, I am more than happy with this inclusion, and they appear to be walnut. A long piece of thin, narrow copper sheet is included to make the straps from. Two further packs include the eyelets, plus wooden wheels and axles. Very happy with those. Underneath these bags lie a few clear sleeves of photo-etch parts. Here you’ll find parts for the chain plates and for deadeye securing, doors, grates (maybe they were cast iron on these ships?), and also the Royal crest that adorns the transom. This is built up from two layers of PE and will require some painting. Two name plates are also supplied for the base. You will need to paint the lower relief and then drawn the part over fine abrasive paper to remove anything on the upper relief. The second box contains rope, rigging cord, anchor set, culverins, pre-shaped rudder hinges, brass pedestals to mount the model to the base, brass pins, copper eyelets, etc. Our last box has more goodies for the rigging, such as various-sized deadeyes, blocks and belaying pins etc. You will also find here some brass wire, cast figurehead ornamentation, barrels, stair kit, and parrel beads. All components are securely bagged within their own compartments. Amati include some nice timbers in their releases, and here we have bundles of strip wood for the double planked hull (lime for first plank), deck etc. The deck planking actually has a paper identifying tag. Dowel is of walnut, and again, quality is excellent. A single sheet of laser-cut ply contains the channels and rear gallery doors etc, and a further three sheets of ply are taken over with more channels, facings for the cabin access bulkhead, and the unusual Tudor circular mast-tops. Two small sheets of wood (not ply) contain rudder and windlass parts, chain knees, and the lower keel. All parts are finely cut and will of course require any charring to be removed, although this is a fairly quick job. Two reasonably large sheets of ply contain the beak grate platform, transom, and more bulkhead walls with pre-cut windows and doors. These will of course be individually planked, and various timber fittings and rails added to them. Smaller parts can be found here too, such as cannon shot garlands and rigging cleats. A further two thick ply sheets hold parts for the various decks, with the exception for the lowest main deck. The largest ply sheets are fairly thin and for good reason, as they contain the upper bulwarks and sides with the gun port positions pre-cut. These will need to conform to the concave curvature of the hull at that point, hence the thinness of them. They are also joined by an interlocking pattern, so you achieve the correct placement of them. More laser-cut ply here, with garlands, rudder and forward bow keel section etc. Five MDF sheets contain all main constructional components, such as the false keel, bulkheads, lowest main deck, deck beams etc. Whilst the curved sides of the bulkheads look very fragile, several builds here on MSW show that there shouldn’t be any real concern as long as you exercise some care and attention. You will doubtless have noticed that instead of the carved embellishments we see on later and Spanish vessels etc, this Tudor warship has coloured panels along the outer bulwarks etc. Thankfully, you won’t need to paint these at all as they are provided as pre-printed items. Now, the paper they are printed on is heavier than writing paper and is of a type which means that the printing won’t fade. I’m presuming it’s all acid-free paper etc too. Printing is super-high quality and against a wooden texture background for a reason I can’t fathom. Still, these look amazing when added and really bring the vessel to life. All paper parts are numbered, and sections of the sheet listed as for right/left side. There are 20 sheets of plans for this model, but as well as parts maps which cover several pages, the remainder generally looks to contain information for masting and rigging the ship, plus adding the sails, if you wish. There are other illustrations of the model too, but the hull and fitting out is mostly done using the instruction manual. When it comes to instruction manuals, Amati really do go to town. Their latest releases, such as the Orient Express Sleeping Car, contain glossy, full-colour photographic instruction booklets with clear English text (Italian also shown). Each stage of the build is clearly shown, and nothing should be ambiguous with this particular presentation. Lastly, unlike most model kits, this one does include a base, as previously mentioned. This is machined from MDF and will need sealing and rubbing back before painting. The edges of this are profiled too. With the brass pedestals and name plates, this should look very nice when complete. Conclusion This model was released in 2015 and comes from the stable of those designed by Chris Watton. Unlike his Nelson’s-era kits, this little gem doesn’t seem to get the recognition is deserves, although as I say, we do have some logs of the build here on MSW. Tudor warships, for me, really are beautiful in their style and execution. I’m a big fan of the Mary Rose (for which I also have a kit), but this particular vessel is more ornate than the Mary Rose and has the galleon-style features that we expect from a ship of this period. Timber quality is excellent, as are the various fittings, and of course, the instructions means that you shouldn’t go wrong during your build. The pre-cut gun ports and jigsaw bulwarks will also ensure a trouble-free project. Cornwall Model Boats currently lists this model for £364.99, and I think that represents really good value for money for a ship of this size (Length: 885mm, Width: 380mm, Height: 655mm) My sincere thanks to Amati for sending out this kit for review here on Model Ship World. To purchase, head over to your favourite Amati-stockist of online retailer)
  16. 1:72 Ragusian Galley 18thCentury MarisStella Available from MarisStella for €147 plus shipping The Republic of Ragusa was a maritime republic centred on the city of Dubrovnik (Ragusa in Italian, German and Latin; Raguse in French) in Dalmatia (today in southernmost Croatia) that carried that name from 1358 until 1808. It reached its commercial peak in the 15th and the 16th centuries, before being conquered by Napoleon's French Empire and formally annexed by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy in 1808. It had a population of about 30,000 people, out of whom 5,000 lived within the city walls. Its Latin motto was "Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro", which means "Liberty is not well sold for all the gold". The Dubrovnik galley was an integral part of Dubrovnik's war fleet, which in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, had only a few small warships (at most ten), operated solely because of frequent harassment and looting by pirates and cargo ships at that time. The Galleys were stationed in Dubrovnik and Mali Ston. Other Croatian coastal centres had this type of ship, along the eastern Adriatic coast: Kotor, Omis, Senj, and others. The Dubrovnik galley was driven by both wind and rowers (Galiot), who were both sailors and soldiers, as was appropriate, but there were also condemned criminals that rowed the State ships. Their main feature was their speed, and they were used for military, police and customs purposes, courier services, and for the transport of diplomats and senior civil servants. They were also used for the transportation of goods at the expense of the State. The kit MarisStella’s kit range is currently undergoing an upgrade, and most certainly in terms of their boxing. This one comes to me in its original incarnation, with a deep midnight blue thin card lid with all printing and imagery in gold ink. This does look quite stark but very attractive. I’m told that the new appearance will have finished model imagery on the box. MarisStella have said they will send over examples of the upgraded kits for us to look at on MSW, so we’ll get to see those changes first-hand in the next months. This release comes in a fairly weighty box, and lifting the lid off, we are first presented with a product leaflet, sheet of printed flags and a thick 122-page manual which is spiral-bound. All of these items sit on a cardboard tray which when lifted out, reveals the kit materials below. A large cardboard cover first needs to be lifted out to access the kit itself. Inside, several bundles of timber and dowel sit on top of two laser-cut sheets of plywood for the main bulkhead and keel construction, two sheets of laser-cut walnut, several fittings packets, another very thin sheet of laser-cut ply, one fret of photo-etch brass parts, pre-sewn sails, and a packet of rigging cord. Apart from the main sheets of ply and the timber bundles, all other elements within this kit are packed into clear sleeves that are either stapled closed or heat-sealed. My sample arrived with everything in good order. This POB model is designed very traditionally and is constructed around a 3-part false keel and a set of 15 bulkheads. The ply used for this is 4mm thick, and like all other parts on the main two constructional ply sheets, everything is very cleanly laser-cut, with an absolute minimum of scorching. One thing I noticed on all of the ply sheets is the laser-engraving and marking of where other components will fit to. I quite like this approach as it helps to ensure correct and precise construction throughout. That engraving has also been put to good use on the display stand elements that can be seen on these two sheets. These are also supplied in English, Italian and Croatian text, and contain a little engraved scroll work. You may opt for something a little glitzier with your build, but then again you may be perfectly happy with the parts that MarisStella provide here. In between the various bulkheads, some 8mm² lengths of lime have been included that can be cut to length and wedged in to keep everything straight. I believe some of the other kits have lengths of dowel which slot continuously through the bulkheads. I would’ve liked to have seen similar here, but at least the timber is included. It is also suggested that this material be cut up and used to create the bow and stern filler blocks, although you might like to use balsa for this purpose. Two sheets of walnut are supplied, one of which (the narrower and thicker sheet) contains the keel components. Although you will need to cut the rabbet into these, the positions for this are engraved onto the parts and the manual clearly shows how this is done. The other walnut sheet is lighter in colour and thinner than the previous, containing parts for the gun carriages, rail cap strips, cabin bulkhead, and transom, channels etc. Again, and where appropriate, more engraving is present for constructional accuracy. All walnut sheet timber is of high quality with good grain that shouldn’t split etc. A very thin sheet of birch ply is included for the head rails, transom and cabin door detail etc. All strip stock in this kit is also of the same standard, with numerous bundles of timbers of different sizes and types, including European Walnut for the hull planking. There is some natural variation in the colour of the walnut planks, so I would look at possibly grouping them, so wood of the same tone is used the same for both sides. This model also has a single-planked hull, unlike the double-planked that we so commonly see these days. However, the deck is double-planked, and the planks sit directly atop of the bulkheads, with no thin ply deck to lay first. The second layer of deck planking is supplied as beech strips. Various lengths and diameters of dowel are included, and all supplied in walnut. These are tightly grained and have excellent natural colour. This is one model that really would benefit from having sails fitted, just to highlight the elegance of the shape. A feature of MarisStella kits is that the sail material is pre-sewn. By this, I mean that the shapes are lightly printed to a piece of pre-aged sheet and the inner stitched lines are present. All you need to do is to cut out the sails and sew the outer edges. Sail colour is akin to natural linen and looks good to use without any further ageing trickery. Two anchor packs are included. These contain a metal anchor that is painted black, a separate walnut stock, and some brass bandings that would look nice if they were also blackened. Another pack contains 3-eye rigging blocks, single blocks, eyelets, belaying pins, and parrel beads. There is some colour variation in the block colour and all look to be made from walnut. One length of 1mm brass wire is included in one fittings pack, as are two 4mm cannon for the bow. These are finished with an antique patina and may benefit from being blackened in some way. I would use Gunze Dark Iron paint which is then burnished to an iron finish. A reasonably thick sheet of photo-etch parts is also included, containing head rail decoration, transom decoration, rudder straps etc. Quality is again excellent, with reasonably thin tags to remove the parts from their positions. Tag positions are the only clean-up that will be required with these parts. A single packet is included that contains four spools of natural finish rigging cord in 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1mm diameters. One length of 1.25mm is included separately, as is a 1mm length of black rope. Every vessel of course needs a flag and both this and a pennant are supplied here, laser-printed in colour onto paper. You’ll need to furl these realistically and they could’ve done with been thinner, possibly from tissue paper, but will still look very attractive when flown. Instructions This 121-page spiral-bound A4 manual also has a clear plastic cover to protect it. Each of the constructional stages are illustrated by generally uncluttered CAD line drawings that are annotated in English, Italian and Croatian. Some drawing details are a little small, such as the eyelet positions, footplates etc. so maybe magnify those a little. A very comprehensive section on making the sails is also included. Illustrated construction takes place over 83 pages, and this is then followed by the building instruction text and list of parts. Plan A large single sheet plan is included that contains pretty much every dimension/measurement you'll need and the line drawing quality is excellent. To prevent any piracy, I have only included a portion of that plan here, with no bulkhead shapes. Conclusion A very nice kit of a very unusual subject. I’ve seen so many model ships of antiquity, but this is one that seems to bridge the gap by being of a generally ancient style, whilst being an 18thCentury vessel. MarisStella’s design is nice and easy to follow and is coupled with high quality materials and drawings. In all, an excellent package that will provide many hours of pleasure for a very reasonable price. As this is single-planked, I would recommend this to intermediate modellers. My sincere thanks to MarisStella for sending this kit out for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the page, or head over to your local MarisStella stockist.
  17. Navarino Models - 1/72 scale - Brockley Combe - 1938 British Cargo Ship The Brockley Combe was a small (171’ x 29’ x 13’) British cargo ship built in 1938 by the shipyard Charles Hill & Sons of Bristol City. It ran aground on May 12, 1953 in the Channel Islands and broke in two, with no loss of life. Charles Hill and Sons was originally Hillhouse and Company, established in 1772 with several name changes until Charles Hill took control in 1845 and named the company Charles Hill and Sons. Charles Hill and Sons went out of business in 1977 with approximately 560 ships built and over 2,000 repaired in their yards over their 205 years. The 1/72 scale model kit by Navarino Models of Athens, Greece builds into a model that is 29” long by 4 7/16” in beam. There are two sheets of full size plans and a six page instruction manual with twenty full color photographs to supplement the instructions. The kit is plank on bulkhead style with a two-part false keel and 11 frames of very good quality five-ply plywood, 0.242” (6mm) thick. The deck, bulwark, roofs and cabin sides are cut from 3/64” (1mm) three-ply plywood. There is also a bag of 21 plywood parts of various thicknesses of three-ply and five-ply. I did not observe a single void between the plies of any of the plywood parts. All of the wood appears to have been CNC routed rather than laser cut as the edges are char free and very smooth. The bulkheads fit to the false keel piece very snugly and being CNC cut there is no angle to the cut like with laser cutting. I dry fit all 11 bulkheads in place without any fit issues. Solid blocks of basswood are supplied for the bow and stern blocks that are carved to the shape of the hull to be planked over. There are also 20 pieces of 0.006” thick aluminum sheet pre-cut into 1” strips for the hull plating. Planking material is 1/16” (1.5mm) x 5/16” (8mm) basswood. The deck planking is 0.021” (0.6mm) x 0.081” (0.2mm) of an unidentified dark wood. Various other sizes of basswood strip are also supplied for the hatch covers. There are a number of very well cast resin parts with very little flash and no pinholes that I noticed. Brass stanchions, brass tube and rod, rigging line, eyebolts, brass wire, anchor chain, cast metal anchors, 3 blade nylon prop and eight each of 3mm and 5mm single and double blocks make up the misc. pieces. There are also British flag and ship’s name decals provided. The instructions are very brief and without the twenty photographs provided would not be adequate for a beginner. Prior plank on bulkhead construction experience will definitely be an advantage. Anybody with just a bit of experience should be able to build this model without a problem. I am looking forward to seeing just how the aluminum hull plating material will conform to the hull. Rivets are absolutely needed at this scale and the instruction photos show a good representation of rivets on the built up model. I plan to use a rivet press by North West Short Line but there are a lot of sources now for rivet heads for those without a rivet press. The photographs and plans show the placement of all of the supplied components of this vintage cargo ship, but supplemental research materials will be needed to make it an accurately detailed model. The supplied kit parts and instructions will provide a nice but not highly detailed model and like all kits can be upgraded with additional details to the builder’s level of detail with some additional research and some scratch building. I think that small cargo ships are underrepresented as a modeling subject and I think this kit is a good representation of a classic design. Review previously published in the Nautical Research Journal Issue 62.4 (Winter 2017)
  18. 1/2” Scale Queen Anne Style Royal Barge 1705 Syren Ship Model Company Catalogue # SKU QABK01 Available from Syren Ship Model Company for $225.00 A royal barge is a ceremonial barge that is used by a monarch for processions and transport on a body of water. Royal barges are currently used in monarchies such as the United Kingdom, Sweden and Thailand. Traditionally the use of royal barges was of high importance in southeast Asian monarchies such as Siam, Burma, Brunei, Riau and Cambodia. The River Thames in London was a regular thoroughfare for the Sovereign until the middle of the 19th century, on state occasions or between the Royal Palaces of Windsor, Westminster, Hampton Court, Greenwich and the Tower of London. In the UK, there is currently no State Barge in active service, but until 2017 the Royal Nore, owned and maintained by the Port of London Authority, was used whenever a member of the Royal Family travelled on the river Thames for an official engagement. Royal barges are typically elegant in style, and those built in the period of Queen Anne were still striking, despite their relative simplicity in relation to other vessels of the same stature. Resplendent in ornate carvings and decorative panels, these barges provided a comfortable and stylish method for the monarch to move between their residences and their courts. Edit courtesy of Wikipedia The kit This is my first experience of dealing with Syren Ship Model Company, and of course, the Royal Barge kit is designed and produced by them. My kit took around 9 days to reach UK shores from New Jersey, via USPS and Royal Mail. Of course, I got hit by the obligatory import duty, but it wasn’t too bad. After paying their ransom, I picked up the package a couple of days ago and now spent some time flicking through the contents. The kit itself is packaged into an extremely sturdy corrugated cardboard box with tabs that release so you can flip up the lid. With the lid open, the plans are the first thing seen, and these are gently curved over the components underneath, along with a contents checklist which has been manually marked to show the contents are indeed in there. A nice system that gives peace of mind to the buyer. I’ll look at the plans further down the review. With these lifted out, some very soft packing foam is included so stop the contents rattling about. Inside the box, there are two robust clear sleeves which contain all of the timber planks, three narrower sleeves with strip and dowel, a card box with resin, wood, wire and black fishing line, a length of thick black cartridge paper with laser-cut elements, a packet with friezes for the interior of the barge plus some decorations for the sweeps, and two flags. Onto the sheet timber. Syren has produced all of the main parts from a superbly milled cherry wood, and the finish is silky smooth. The quality of the wood is also amongst some of the best I’ve seen since I started in this hobby almost 20yrs ago. The colour, which I hope I’ve captured in most of my photos, is a very pale golden colour which looks quite muted. The grain, as you would expect, is very fine. Laser-cutting quality is also on a par with the best kits I’ve seen, with almost zero heat effect, and small tags that only just hold the parts in position. Edge scorching is also very minimal, and it’ll only take a few swipes with some sandpaper to remove them totally. You will of course need to do that thoroughly as this model is only partially planked, as it the style of barge models of the era Circa 1700. Cherry was also chosen because it best replicates the colour of the wood used on these models and allows the kit to be affordable too. Also among the thicker sheets of cherry wood is a two-part building jig which needs to be assembled. The zig-zag edging of this will make the job easier. Each frame slot is also numbered so there’s less chance of human error. When the model is later released from this jig, it will be modified to accept the keel for the remaining construction, using more supplied parts. This is probably the time to explain roughly how this model actually does assemble, and I’ll add a few images here to illustrate things. Each of the frames has an infill piece still attached, and this is what will slot into the building jig. When the outside planks are added, this can later be carefully cut away to reveal the interior of the barge which then needs to be fitted out. Before slotting those frames to the jig though, you will need to add the floor frames. The position for these is finely engraved onto the waste material within each frame. You can use a straight edge along this and then fit the floor frame up to this mark. This way there’s no reason to use pencil on the parts faces themselves. This technique is superbly illustrated here by Rusty, in his MSW build log: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/17889-queen-anne-barge-by-rustyj-syren-ship-model-124/ Looking at the timber, you can see that just about every shape is either cut with laser or engraved for reference. All planks for this are supplied spiled, need bevelling from the laser-etched line. These planks are supplied in suitably thin sheets of cherry, and for extra clarity, each sheet is labelled PORT or STARBOARD. The keel is built up from scarfed sections, as the real thing would be. Very impressive. The rabbet is created my inserting thinner keel parts on the inner edge of the keel, creating a recess into which the limited planking will sit. When it comes to the thwarts, these are also laser-engraved to create the stepped edges to them. Also included with the laser-cut parts are the mounting pedestals (you just need a nice piece of polished/varnished timber to use as plinth), and also the sweep (oar) racks so those can be decoratively mounted on the plinth, adjacent to the barge. Now, this model has some ornate and intricate carvings adorning it and these are provided as laser-cut items for which you can try your hand at carving. Does that sound scary? If so, don’t worry because also available for this kit is a set of resin-cast carvings which are more or less all ready to be attached and provided as an upgrade set which you can buy either at the same time as the kit, or later if you struggle with the boxwood blanks. The resin parts are supplied in a small white box to protect them. With this sample, they were supplied directly in that small box that sits within the main package, and the extremely delicate filigree parts were packed into two zip-lock wallets. Very little clean-up is required with these, and to give them a nice natural appearance, weathering powders are suggested. You can also airbrush them and apply an enamel-based wash which would bring out the details superbly. It’s all a matter of preference. These carvings include the scrollwork for the port and starboard side, the quarter-based figurines and the Royal monograph. They really are superb to look at. Other parts were included inside this box. These include some extra boxwood parts for things like the internal panelling that the friezes will sit within. Extras are included in case you screw up. There is a length of wire and also some black 20lb fishing line that you will use to simulate the black nail heads on the planking. A length of resin-impregnated black card is also to be found in this kit, and like the timber, all parts are laser-cut. Parts here are provided for the keel banding and rudder straps etc. Three sheets of colour-printed paper are included that hold the parts for the friezes and the ornate decorations for the sweeps. These will need to be carefully cut out with a fresh blade and then attached to the model using a very dilute PVA or children’s glue stick. Two period flags are also included, printed on thin tissue paper and with good colour definition. Note the union flag, minus the diagonal red cross, which is of course accurate for 1705. I’m presuming the quadrant flag is either of the period or even related to the monarch of the period. It should be quite easy to make these drape realistically due to the thinness of the paper. Certainly easier than some of the materials some companies use for their flags. Two large plan sheets are included, clearly depicting construction in clean line drawings, and of course, the images are at full scale for any measurements you need to take. Please note that no instruction manual is included with this release as it helps to cut down on price. It also helps reduce weight for shipping. There are three manuals for this, in full colour PDF format, and these can be downloaded from the Syren Ship Model Company’s website. These are extremely comprehensive and beautifully describe the whole build process, including hints and tips for your project. Conclusion I’m not usually the sort of guy who gets enthused by barges and narrow/longboats etc. but the sheer beauty and ingenuity of this kit appealed to me instantly and I followed the kit development here on MSW. The kit is just exquisite, with beautifully milled timber and laser-cut parts, printed materials etc. The construction process has been made as easy as possible at every stage of construction with such things as the laser-shaped thwarts and planks that have been spiled ready for you to shape. An amazing kit, intelligently designed, and with the very best in materials. Syren has this model on sale for $225.00 and I think that represents excellent value for money for what will give many hours of building pleasure and a real ornate stunner for the display shelf! My sincere thanks to Syren Ship Model Company for sending this kit out for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  19. 1:70 Hannah Ship Model Okumoto Catalogue # Available from Ship Model Okumoto for ¥ 33,000 (approx. $290) The schooner Hannah was the first armed American naval vessel of the American Revolution and is claimed to be the founding vessel of the United States Navy. She was a fishing schooner owned by John Glover of Marblehead, Massachusetts and was named for his daughter, Hannah Glover. The crew was drawn largely from the town of Marblehead, with much of the ships ammunition being stored in Glover's warehouse now located at Glover's Square in Marblehead before being relocated to Beverly, Massachusetts. The schooner was hired into the service of the American Continental Army by General George Washington. Washington commissioned Nicholson Broughton to command the Hannah on 2 September 1775 and ordered the vessel to, "...cruize against such vessels as may be found . . . bound inward and outward to and from Boston, in the service of the [British] army, and to take and seize all such vessels, laden with soldiers, arms, ammunition, or provisions . . . which you shall have good reason to suspect are in such service." Hannah set sail from the harbour of Beverly, Massachusetts on 5 September 1775, but fled to the protection of the harbour of Gloucester, Massachusetts two days later under the pursuit of HMS Livelyand a second British vessel. Leaving Gloucester Harbour, Hannah captured HMS Unity. Hannah's brief naval career ended on 10 October 1775, when she was run aground under the guns of a small American fort near Beverly by the British sloop Nautilus. After a 4-hour engagement between the British ship and Beverly and Salem militias on the shore, Hannah was saved from destruction and capture. According to legend, soon after Hannah's decommissioning, the schooner was towed to Lee's Wharf in Manchester, where its name was changed to Lynch. There, the vessel was restored to working condition by 7 carpenters over the course of 3 weeks. In March of 1777, Lynch was sent to France with congressional correspondence for Benjamin Franklin, who was there as U.S. Ambassador. Upon embarking on their journey back to the U.S., Lynch and its crew were captured by British ship HMS Foudroyant. Lynch was sold as a prize by the British and documentation indicates that the schooner was used as a merchant vessel thereafter. Edit courtesy of Wikipedia The kit Hannah is the fourth release from Ship Model Okumoto and has only been on sale for a week or two, so my thanks to those guys for getting this out to me from Japan so quickly. According to their website, this is the kit specification: Scale: 1/70 Total length: 335mm Height: 90mm Width: 100mm Wood: Agathis Build time: 100 hours Parts count: 310 laser-cut parts, dowel As with my previous reviews for La Couronne, Endeavour and Santa Maria, this kit is packaged into a transparent, lockable box. However, this one is smaller, and our postie actually managed to pop it through our letterbox! As well as being smaller in general size, it’s about half of the depth of the previous releases and has some separate green plastic locking clips to hold it together. Inside, we have eight sheets of laser-cut Agathis wood, a small bundle of dowel, plans, instructions and a parts list. A hallmark of Okumoto’s kits is the very low scorch that results from cutting via laser. You can see that very little heat has crept into the area adjacent to the cut, and there is no discolouration of the parts. A simple clean-up of the edges is all that’s needed, so remember to do this to each inner frame edge and component before assembly. All parts are also nigh-on cut through in their entirety, so lengths of tape have been attached to the rear of the sheets, holding each part securely in place. Removal of the parts shows that no sticky residues are left behind either. As with the other kits, there is no part nomenclature on the sheets, and you need to refer to the paper plan sheets to identify each component. There is a little laser etching on each sheet which indicates the sheet number, for reference, and also the sheet thickness. Timber quality is excellent, with the Agathis being very fine grained. This should be nice and easy to work with, and you shouldn’t get any splitting etc. The slightly golden colour is also very attractive. Note that whilst these kits are POF, there are some simplifications in their construction. For example, these models don’t have cant frames. However, each frame is constructed from a number of individual components that would be similar to the way the actual ship frames were constructed. A small bundle of short dowel lengths concludes the timber items in this kit. Underneath the colour image of the completed Hannah, lies a profile plan that’s roughly A3 in size. This contains a port elevation as well as a partial upper and lower plan. Annotation is in English. We next have three sheets that contain the parts maps for the eight sheets of timber supplied. These are exact duplicates of the timber planks with regard to layout. Now, unlike the previous Okumoto releases, this one has a far more comprehensive instruction manual, again making this an ideal introduction to POF. Twelve sheets of paper are printed double-sided and stapled, creating a 24-page manual. Whilst this is still in Japanese, the photos are very good at explaining the steps. You can also use a smartphone app, such as Google Translate, so scan the text and convert it in real time. Lastly, a series of sheets are included which show the frame and detail assemblies. For the frames, you simply put these together over the top of the printed paper, after applying a little wax, maybe, to prevent the timber from sticking to your plans. Conclusion Out of all the Okumoto kits now on sale, Hannah has to take the place of Santa Maria as the first one that a newcomer to POF should tackle. Whilst Santa Maria is a beautiful and relatively uncomplicated in comparison to La Couronne and Endeavour, I feel that Hannah is well-pitched in complexity and price, to possible be the first POF from Okumoto that you consider due to its straightforward design. It’s worth noting that despite being an easier build subject, it still has almost twice the number of parts, according to their website, than Santa Maria. It’s also a little gem with its length of just over one imperial foot (13 inch, 335mm). A superb project that will look perfect on the mantlepiece and one that also won’t break the bank. Estimated building time is around 100hrs too. Please let Ship Model Okumoto know that you saw this review on Model Ship World. My sincere thanks to Ship Model Okumoto for sending this sample out for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  20. 1/80 Santa Maria Ship Model Okumoto Catalogue # SM-SMO-K80 Available from Ship Model Okumoto for ¥ 39,960 La Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción (Spanish for: The Holy Mary of the Immaculate Conception), or La Santa María, originally La Gallega, was the largest of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage. Her master and owner was Juan de la Cosa. Santa María was built in Pontevedra, Galicia, in Spain's north-west region. Santa María was probably a medium-sized nau (carrack), about 58 ft (17.7 m) long on deck, and according to Juan Escalante de Mendoza in 1575, Santa Maria was "very little larger than 100 toneladas" (about 100 tons, or tuns) burthen, or burden, and was used as the flagship for the expedition. Santa María had a single deck and three small masts. The other ships of the Columbus expedition were the smaller caravel-type ships Santa Clara; one particular ship sailed for 46 years and was remembered as La Niña ("The Girl"), and La Pinta ("The Painted"). All these ships were second-hand (if not third- or more) and were not intended for exploration. Niña, Pinta, and the Santa María were modest-sized merchant vessels comparable in size to a modern cruising yacht. The exact measurements of length and width of the three ships have not survived, but good estimates of their burden capacity can be judged from contemporary anecdotes written down by one or more of Columbus's crew members, and contemporary Spanish and Portuguese shipwrecks from the late 15th and early 16th centuries which are comparable in size to that of Santa María. These include the ballast piles and keel lengths of the Molasses Reef Wreck and Highborn Cay Wreck in the Bahamas. Both were caravel vessels 19 m (62 ft) in length overall, 12.6 m (41 ft) keel length and 5 to 5.7 m (16 to 19 ft) in width and rated between 100 and 150 tons burden. Santa María, being Columbus' largest ship, was only about this size, and Niña and Pinta were smaller, at only 50 to 75 tons burden and perhaps 15 to 18 metres (49 to 59 ft) on deck. Extract courtesy of Wikipedia The kit This is the last of the first three ships that I have received for review here on MSW, until I receive the new release, Hannah, in the next week or so. Out of the initial three, this is the simplest of them all, and the least expensive, producing a nice rendition of a POF version of this legendary little ship. As with all Okumoto releases, this one again is packaged into a lockable, clear plastic box through which you can see the contents. Okumoto’s stats for this kit are as follows: overall length: 378 mm height: 139 mm Width: 103 mm Wood: Agathis Build time: approx 120 hours, laser-cut parts: 173 This kit has notably fewer planks within, with there being a dozen sheets of laser-cut Agathis wood, compared to double that of the Endeavour kit that we recently reviewed here on MSW (see end of article for links). Fewer sheets of timber of course yield fewer parts, with there being less than a third of the Endeavour, and a total of just 173. The model, whilst of the same scale as Endeavour, has a total length of 378mm, so in itself, is still a very reasonable size for display in a cabinet or on a mantlepiece etc. Looking at the various sheets, it is obvious that any scorching that inevitably results from laser-cutting, is at an absolute minimum as there is very little local heat transfer shown on the wood, and this is clearly seen in the photographs. Indeed, releasing a small number of parts from the Endeavour kit showed that the edges of the parts only seem to be a slightly darker brown, and this will be very easy to sand back to the nice bright timber colour underneath. Agathis wood can be cleanly cut with a knife when it comes to making any parts adjustments during construction, and the fine grain means that you shouldn’t experience anything untoward such as splitting or feathery edges when finishing the model. All parts are retained within their planks by the use of tape which holds things in position on the rear of the sheet. Removing the tape leaves no sticky residues either, and the parts will be ready for construction almost instantly. As no parts numbers etc. are etched to the sheets, for obvious reasons, you will need to reference the sheet against a paper parts plan. The sheet is easily recognised as each is etched with the sheet thickness and number. As per the real vessel, each frame is constructed from a number of timber parts, and these are built up over the frame plans which you should first smear with wax or cover with grease-proof paper so nothing unwanted sticks to your completed assemblies. You will note that not only are the regular frame parts etc. included, but also the strip wood, finely cut by laser. Be careful with these parts as they could well be fragile. To complete the timber contents, a small bundle of dowel is included for mast stubs etc. A colour-printed sheet showing the completed Santa Maria sits on top of the kit’s paper contents and provides the box-artillustration for this release, seen through the clear plastic container. Underneath this an A3-size plan lurks, with starboard and top-down views of the ship, clearly showing the main timber placements. Annotation is in English. Three pages are now included for the instruction/assembly sequence sheets. At the moment, these are supplied in Japanese only, but Okumoto tell me they will eventually provide these in English language text too, opening up their market possibilities. For the time though, you can use a phone app to translate in real time, such as Google Translate, that shows you the English equivalent when you hold the camera over the Japanese text. Four sheets of paper now include a parts plan for all of the sheet timber, providing easily referenced information when you come to locate specific elements for your build. The majority of the paperwork in this release provides plan layouts for the many frames in this ship. These are built directly over these sheets, and the frames are clearly numbered and identified. A handful of last sheets provides drawing data for specific elements of construction, with all annotation supplied in English. Conclusion I feel that this kit could be an ideal first introduction to a POF model, as it’s definitely less complex than La Couronne or Endeavour, and with a lesser parts count. General assembly looks easier too, but still maintains the overall busy look of a more complicated model. You’ll note that Santa Maria only has single frames and not the double of the previous releases, of course cutting down in the required number of timber parts. Production is excellent with cleanly-cut laser parts with hardly any charring, and a clear set of plans. The only drawback, at the moment, are the Japanese instructions, but that is easily overcome if you purchase now, and then there will be the English sheets which Okumoto will add in the future. In all, a very pleasing looking model and one at a size that will nicely fit in a small display cabinet. Give it a go!
  21. 1:80 Endeavour Ship Model Okumoto Catalogue # EV-SMO-K80 Available from Ship Model Okumoto for ¥ 60,480 HMS Endeavour, also known as HM Bark Endeavour, was a British Royal Navy research vessel that Lieutenant James Cook commanded to Australia and New Zealand on his first voyage of discovery from 1769 to 1771. She was launched in 1764 as the collier Earl of Pembroke, and the navy purchased her in 1768 for a scientific mission to the Pacific Ocean and to explore the seas for the surmised Terra Australis Incognita or "unknown southern land". The navy renamed and commissioned her as His Majesty's Bark the Endeavour. She departed Plymouth in August 1768, rounded Cape Horn, and reached Tahiti in time to observe the 1769 transit of Venus across the Sun. She then set sail into the largely uncharted ocean to the south, stopping at the Pacific islands of Huahine, Borabora, and Raiatea to allow Cook to claim them for Great Britain. In September 1769, she anchored off New Zealand, the first European vessel to reach the islands since Abel Tasman's Heemskerck 127 years earlier. In April 1770, Endeavour became the first ship to reach the east coast of Australia, when Cook went ashore at what is now known as Botany Bay. Endeavour then sailed north along the Australian coast. She narrowly avoided disaster after running aground on the Great Barrier Reef, and Cook had to throw her guns overboard to lighten her. He then beached her on the mainland for seven weeks to permit rudimentary repairs to her hull. On 10 October 1770, she limped into port in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (now named Jakarta) for more substantial repairs, her crew sworn to secrecy about the lands that they had visited. She resumed her westward journey on 26 December, rounded the Cape of Good Hope on 13 March 1771, and reached the English port of Dover on 12 July, having been at sea for nearly three years. Endeavour was largely forgotten after her epic voyage and spent the next three years sailing to and from the Falkland Islands. She was sold into private hands in 1775 and later renamed as Lord Sandwich; she was hired as a British troop transport during the American War of Independence and was scuttled in a blockade of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island in 1778. Her wreck has not been precisely located but is thought to be one of a cluster of five in Newport Harbor. Relics are displayed at maritime museums worldwide, including six of her cannon and an anchor. Extract courtesy of Wikipedia The kit This is the second Okumoto kit that I’ve looked at, with the first being La Couronne. Read the review for that kit HERE. As with all of these kits, this one is also presented in a clear plastic, lockable box through which you can see the contents on offer. A colour print of the completed model is sat on top of the instructions, providing a kit identifier for you. Okumoto’s Endeavour is the most complex of the three kits currently on the market, with there being 626 laser-cut parts, and hence more timber. Of course, this is reflected in the cost of the kit too, with this one retailing at ¥ 60,480 (approx. £400, inclusive of taxes, at time of writing). This substantially heavy package also contains 44 sheets of plans and drawings to guide your build. Okumoto estimate that this project will take an average of 240 hours, so that would work out at £1.60/hr for your building enjoyment. Opening the lid and removing the paperwork, reveals a small bundle of dowel, some 1mm strip, and TWENTY-FIVE sheets of laser-cut Agathis wood, in 2mm, 3mm and 5mm thicknesses. Each sheet is around 30cm in length. The Agathis is a very nice-looking timber with a fine grain, and also a soft, golden colour. Of course, as these parts are laser-cut, there is some very localised scorching of the edges that you will need to sand away. As with the La Couronne kit, unlike some other laser-cut kits I’ve experienced, the char is very minimal (check my photo), and you can see from the photos how little of the heat has transferred into the timber. Another feature of Okumoto kits is that you don’t really have to use a knife to free any of the parts from the planks. All parts are 99.9% laser cut and are more or less sat in their respective holes and held in from behind with strip/strips of tape. The tape also doesn’t leave any annoying residues when removed either. Being a POF model, all timbers will be seen from one angle or another, and thus the parts numbers must be referenced against the sets of parts plans that are also included. The sheets do have the thickness of them laser-engraved, plus the sheet number to reference against the parts plans. Timber sheets not only include the various frames, beams, knees etc. but also strip wood which is also held in position with tape. These will be nice and easy to just pick one from the tape put it to use. Take care in removing any scorch though as these could be a little fragile. Overall dimensions of this model are very reasonable, with a length of 429mm, beam of 125mm, and a height of 130mm. Of course, this isn’t a masted model, but simply has the stub masts in situ, as seen on shipyard-style models. A colour-printed sheet is included which shows you the completed POF Endeavour, and very attractive it looks. Under this sheet is an A2-size plan which has a starboard and upper profile, with English annotation. Next, a 5-page instruction manual is supplied, with photographs used to guide you through construction. Unfortunately, all the text is in Japanese, but you can use a phone-based app to translate this in real time. Okumoto also tell me that they will start to include English language instructions in the near future. Nine sheets of paper are included as a parts plan for easy identification of the 626 components that will go to create your Endeavour. These also have some English-language annotation in areas. Twenty-three sheets now show the frame construction, including deck beam positions etc. These need to have the parts sat upon them and positions of the various components marked out on the wood. It’s a time-consuming task, but that’s the nature of POF. The result should be very impressive. A further 11 sheets show Endeavour in more plan detail, with particular areas of construction singled out so you know exactly where each component will fit. Conclusion Another high quality release from Okumoto, and certainly the most involved of all the three releases that I have received. As with La Couronne, no gratings are included, so you might like to source them yourself. I think a little deck planking would also enhance the model further, applied in sections so as not to obscure the majority of the deck beams. As this is the most complex of the three releases from Okumoto, I would perhaps suggest one of their simpler models first, as an introduction to POF. That would be the Santa Maria (reviewed next week), or their soon-to-be-released kit, ‘Hannah’. If you are already proficient in our hobby though, then this kit shouldn’t really challenge you too much, and you’ll end up with an extremely attractive model for your shelf. Okumoto’s approach to construction should provide a very satisfying workbench experience and something a little different too. My sincere thanks to Ship Model Okumoto for kindly sending this sample out for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  22. 1/72 HMS Vanguard 1787 Victory Models/Amati Catalogue # 1300/04 HMS Vanguard was a 74-gun, third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 March 1787 at Deptford. She was the sixth vessel to bear the name. Vanguard was built as an Arrogant Class vessel. Arrogant-class ships of the line were a class of twelve 74-gun third rate ships designed by Sir Thomas Slade for the Royal Navy and were designed as a development of Slade's previous Bellona class, sharing the same basic dimensions. During this period, the original armament was the same across all the ships of the common class, of which the Arrogant-class ships were members. The first of the twelve ships of this class were HMS Arrogant and HMS Cornwall, both completed in April and September of 1761, respectively. The kit I apologise if we seem a little late to the show with this release, with the kit originally being release around 2007, give or take a year or three.. However, unlike the world of plastic modelling that I usually frequent, these sorts of kits are pretty timeless and stand the test of time far, far better. It’s also a pretty premium product and it really does make sense to be able to see a full review of it before you shell out not an insignificant amount of money on it. There are numerous builds of this online, with a good number here on Model Ship World, but there are no actual reviews that I can see anywhere, so I thought I’d try to redress that here. If you order this kit, you really need to make sure that you have bench space for it. Sounds obvious, but this is a very large box and weighs in the region of 14-15kg (30lbs+). Thankfully, the box is also of a pretty rigid construction to hold all the weight contained therein. Amati/Victory Models’ presentation is flawless with a port side profile of the completed ship on the lid, adjacent to a bow and stern image of the same model. Text says that the model can be finished as either Vanguard, Bellerophon, or Elephant. More colour images adorn the sides, plus some small captures of some of the plans. Lifting the lid off shows that this is merely a decorative lid and the actual corrugated box has a built-in lid that’s locked into place with three large tabs. At least if you sit another kit or two on this one whilst in stash, it shouldn’t crumple under the weight. Inside the box we have all of the strip and dowel timber that is bundled together and bound with small lengths of elastic string, three large boxes of components, one smaller box of components, several packs of various flat timbers with laser-cut parts, king-size instruction manual, and a whopping 20-plan pack with a heavy gauge photo-etch fret of embellishments for the stern quarters etc. The first and smallest of the boxes I come to contains some thick rope for the anchors, a bag of grating pieces, a sheet of what appears to be thick tin foil, and a large bag of cast metal gun carriages that have an antique finish to them. I find the inclusion of the latter quite a puzzle as kits of this standard would normally have these parts given in timer, which would be my preference. Detail on the carriages is actually quite nice, but they also have staggered sides, and I’m not 100% sure how accurate these would be. I think I’ll replace these when my build begins. Onto the next box. I know it’s not the done thing, as we say, to add sails to this sort of model, although many do and make a superb job. If you do wish to go down that avenue, then a large piece of sail cloth is included for you, as are two sheets of plans which pertain to adding these. We have two laser-cut pieces of timber in this box, notably with parts for the masts and bitts. I’m sure all will become clearer when it comes time to build this. Of course, there are no parts numbers on any wooden components, and you will need to refer to the five sheets of plans that identify what these elements are numbered as so you may locate them to the construction sequence. ELEVEN sheets of brass photo-etch parts are included too, with everything apart from the stern decoration and quarter details. Notice that the launch oars are provided as photo-etch too, but you may want to replace the oar bodies with something less flat in appearance, such as dowel. Two sheets have the ships name included, as well as other décor, and the ships stove that will be mostly hidden below deck. These sheets also include the stern and quarter windows, lanterns etc. Many hundreds of parts are included here, such as the cannon port hinges, hammock frames, channel brackets, chain plates, boom irons et al. If that’s not enough metal for you in this box, then add to that the two packets of copper hull plates that are presented as sheets. These can easily be gently scored and snapped off before fitting. These contain the nail fastening details too. I believe there are around 2500 plates which are needed, and you should, in theory, have some to spare too. Two patterns are included, for port and starboard sides. You’ll need to consult with the plans to determine which is which. A sheet of black paper is also included. At the moment, I’m unsure as to what this is, but I’m thinking it could be something to do with the interior of the rear officer’s quarters. A sheet of acetate is included for the stern windows too. Our second large box of fittings contains two trays of components. One tray contains some wooden components, deadeyes and rigging blocks, plus some small anchors and carronades. I believe the latter may be for use if you choose to build HMS Elephant as some weaponry was slightly different to Vanguard and Bellerophon. The next tray is given over exclusively to the many rigging cord spools you’ll need, in various sizes and in two colours. Some rope is also supplied. Onto the last box of components. The first tray of parts are all cast white metal, including the figureheads for all three versions of this model, plus some trim, main anchors and the stern decoration for Vanguard, cast in three pieces. Now, whilst Bellerophon is in white metal, Vanguard and Elephant are cast in grey resin and they look spectacular! I believe that initial kits had all of these in white metal but coaxing the parts to fit the curvature of the stern proved tricky, so resin was substituted. Strange that this wasn’t included for all three options though. My original intent was to build Bellerophon, but I think this will now be Elephant because firstly, I haven’t seen one yet done, and secondly, because I can use a resin stern décor and add some amazing colouration to it. Two stern fascias are supplied in this kit, with Vanguard being shallower than that of Elephant and Bellerophon, so as to accommodate the carvings. The last tray contains PE parts, more rigging cord, brass nails, brass wire, cannon and gun carriages, cannon shot, and a number of other metal castings. All metal castings here are antique in finish. Being a large kit means you need plenty of strip wood stock, especially as this is a double-planked model. First planking timber is lest numerous that second because of the upper bulwarks being supplied as plywood parts. Timber quality is excellent with no stringy or split wood. Bundles are kept together with elastic string. I used a little extra tape on some of the thinner stock, to stop them bulging out in the middle. Various diameters of down are included and of different hues. As these will generally be painted, I think the colour is inconsequential. Again, quality is superb, with no splitting or roughness. All of the various packages of flat sheet components are stored in thick plastic sleeves, and the first here contains three sheets. One of these is for the various keel parts, plus the rudder. Another of the same material is included with various rigging bitts and anchor stock parts etc. A ply sheet is also included with the strips to mount the false cannon on the lower deck and parts for the stern quarters. Moving onto the next packet, we are presented with a laser-cut sheet of MDF for the ship’s launches. Here we have the keels and bulkheads for these vessels, all cleanly cut and with minimal effort needed to remove. I’m a little surprised to see this material for this purpose, but the homogenous nature of it is perhaps better suited than plywood and should provide an excellent basis for these miniature builds. More sheets of thin ply provide the main deck components, stern fascias (two options), bow gratings, upper bulwarks with cannon openings, and formers for the quarter galleries. Moving onto heavy material, several sheets of MDF provide all of the ship’s bulkheads, false keel (broken down into two parts) etc. Another sheet of timber contains laser-cut channels, carved mouldings etc. Some of these would benefit from a little carving in themselves to profile them a little better. Flags? You definitely need them for a ship like this. A set of silk-screen printed flags is included and these appear to have a self-adhesive backing. Lastly, for parts, we have a relatively thick-gauge photo-etch sheet what holds all the parts for the stern and quarter decorations, including railings, arches and other ornamentation. Under a coat of primer and paint, these look very good in place, as seen on numerous building logs on Model Ship World. When it comes to paperwork, this kit won’t leave you wanting. Inside the box, as well as a large assembly manual, is that pack of 20 plans. Most of these are A1 in size with one plan being a whopping A0, so make sure you have some wall space to mount it to for reference. Out of these plans, 5 provide parts maps and identification for the materials supplied, 2 plans deal with the optional sails, at least three deal with rigging Vanguard, 3 concern masting, and the rest for the hull and details etc. Two building instruction books are supplied. The first one deals with the main areas of construction using line drawings and text. This is quite a large book and has 32 pages. Accompanying this is a smaller A4 book of 20 pages which is generally text-driven and deals with construction in more detail, plus finishing etc. Some very nice history of Vanguard, Bellerophon and Elephant is included. Conclusion It must be 10 to 12 years since this kit first hit the shelves, and here we are a decade or more on, and I finally get to take a glimpse at Chris Watton’s masterpiece. I remember him designing this at the time and saw a few online photos, and I have to say that the contents of this kit are pretty much what I expected, save for the inclusion of the cast gun carriages. I really like the inclusion of MDF for the main structure (bulkheads, horizontal former and false keel) as this has almost zero tendency to warp. Indeed, mine are die-straight and will form the basis of an accurate and trouble-free build. All timber stock is first rate (for this third-rate ship!), and fixtures and fittings are high quality. Having the upper bulwarks as pre-cut parts with their jigsaw fit and pre-cut cannon port is also a time saver and a big help in ensuring that all guns will mount in their correct place and the correct height/elevation. A comprehensive plan pack ensures that every constructional angle is covered, and with 20 plans, Amati haven’t cut any corners. This isn’t a beginner’s model, and I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase many times before, but in this case, you really must have a number of builds under your belt and be able to exercise a degree of project management and prerequisite modelling skills to cater to and overcome the challenges that a complex model like this will demand. In all, a super kit of a formidable class of ship and with all the bells and whistles to build any of three vessels. You can’t do better than that! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending this kit for reviewing on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, check out your local Amati model stockist or online Amati retailer.
  23. 1:123 La Couronne Ship Model Okumoto Catalogue # LC-SMO-K80 Available from Ship Model Okumotofor ¥ 51,840 Couronne (French for "crown") was an emblematic ship of the French Navy built by order of Richelieu. The Couronne was the first major warship to be designed and built by the French themselves in accordance with Richelieu's plans to renew the French Navy, after a series of warships had been built by the Dutch. The construction was supervised by Isaac de Launay Razilly (died in Arcadia 1635), and overseen by the famous carpenter Charles Morieu, from Dieppe. She was being constructed at La Roche-Bernard and was one of the most advanced units of her time. After launch in 1632 or 1633, she was moved to Brouage in September 1634 where she was completed around 1635 by Mathieu Casteau. She carried up to heavy guns, most on her two-deck broadside but also 8 firing forwards from the bow and 8 firing aft, an unusual feature until Dupuy de Lôme redesigned naval artillery. Couronne took part in the Battle of Guetaria on 22 August 1638, and another expedition to Spain in 1639 under Henri de Sourdis. The ship was disarmed in 1641 and scrapped between 1643-1645. Extract courtesy of Wikipedia The kit Ship Model Okumoto isn’t a name that you’re likely to have encountered much, if at all, during your exploration of this hobby. They are one of an extremely minor number of Japanese companies who are producing wooden ship kits. In fact, the only other company that I can think of is WoodyJoe, and they don’t sell these frame-style models that Okumoto are now selling. At the moment, Okumoto only produce three of these kits, with a fourth being released in the next weeks. Model Ship World has been sent all three current releases for review, so I thought we’d first take a look at this most famous of French ships. If you expect your model ship to be packaged into the typical cardboard box with glossy box art and other such niceties, then this might just surprise you. Okumoto has chosen a lockable, clear plastic case to package their kits into, and there is no box art. This simple approach has its identity defined by the set of instruction sheets that has a photo of the finished model sat on top of the timber parts. It’s as simple as that. Whilst unconventional, this approach is actually quite charming and certainly engaging. Opening the box reveals three stacks of laser-cut wood (Agathis), a small bundle of thin strip wood, short dowel sections and a packet with five bundles of toothpicks. The latter have quite ornate turning on their blunt end and have obviously been chosen for this purpose. I remember using the same thing when I built my Panart San Felipe. There are 26 sheets of accompanying plans and drawings, plus the colour laser-printed image of the finished vessel. I know that there are a number of modellers who aren’t fans of laser cut wood due to the scorched edges, but the heat from this laser seems to have been very localised and not caused as much as is seen on contemporary kits. Look at this photo to see what I mean. On the reverse of each sheet are a few lengths of sticky tape. This is designed to hold the parts in their respective places because with this kit, there is no reason to cut the parts from the sheets! Yes. They are completely cut out and ready to use! Removing the parts also shows that no sticky residues are left from the tape, so this isn’t a concern. As this model is going to be POF, it’s pretty important that there aren’t any unwanted nasties to overcome, such as numbering of the components. This is also correct as the part numbers for each sheet are supplied on the accompanying plans. Another feature of each laser-cut sheet is the thickness of the timber and sheet number, laser-engraved onto the end of each one, making identifying even easier. Most of the strip material is cut from the same timber and in the same fashion with the tape holding the strips in place. Dowel and separate strip wood is high quality too, but I’m unsure as the material used for the latter. Those bundles of toothpicks are very good too, with no low-quality material that splits and splinters. Underneath the colour print of the finished La Couronne, lurks a 6-page photo driven instruction manual. Now, here’s the rub…it’s all in Japanese! The various sizes etc. are understandable, so you will need to the aid of a mobile app, such as Google Translate, so scan and change the language into your own native brand. That app actually works pretty well on this sort of thing. Check out this screenshot comparison. Next up is an A2 sized plan, printed at actual scale to the model. All text and dimension on this is printed in English, and the drawings include an above elevation and a starboard side profile. A further six sheets show the parts plan for the laser-cut timber, simply for referencing purposes. Each frame is now shown on the next series of drawings, indicating joints and positions for the deck beams. There will be course need to be some tracing of positions from these to the timber parts. The remainder of the plans contain drawings which pertain to the fitting of rails, lodging knees and just about every other aspect of the model, in more precise detail that the previous plans. Whilst Japanese text is present, so is English text, so there shouldn’t be any confusion in what you are studying. All plans also show the specific part numbers for just about everything, whether you need to know them or not. Conclusion La Couronne is, according to Ken at Okumoto, one of the most popular model ship designs in Japan because the shape is very appealing to wooden ship builders. This kit, at time of writing, is their latest release, and Okumoto misjudged how popular it would be with customers and as a result, they quickly ran out of the first production batch. Whilst the model itself is superbly designed and produced with high quality, there are perhaps a couple of areas where artistic licence/vs simplicity might have crept in, but that really doesn’t detract from what is otherwise a highly attractive and authentic-looking POF build of this historical vessel. You could, if you wished, go even further with the model and add internal deck planking etc. For me, the model is perfect without any added embellishment and will provide the modeller with a challenge and a great introduction into the world of POF ships, and without any real compromise in the standard of the finished build. These aren’t cheap models by any stretch of the imagination, so I would ensure that you’ve a number of completions under your belt before diving into an Okumoto kit. I would say these are an excellent transition kit between POB and POF, if POF was what you really wanted to tackle, but didn’t have the tooling to do so. I think the only thing I would’ve liked to have seen included are the gratings. I don’t know how easy they would be to replicate in this scale, but may try to add them myself. There are two previous releases to this. These are Santa Maria and Endeavour, and I will be looking at these too over the next weeks. My sincere thanks to Ship Model Okumoto for kindly sending this sample out for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  24. 1/50 Viking Longship – Drakkar Amati Catalogue # 1406/01 Longships were a type of ship invented and used by the Norsemen (commonly known as the Vikings) for commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship's design evolved over many centuries, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up until the 6th century with clinker-built ships like Nydam and Kvalsund. The longship appeared in its complete form between the 9th and 13th centuries, and the character and appearance of these ships have been reflected in Scandinavian boat-building traditions until today. The particular skills and methods employed in making longships are still used worldwide, often with modern adaptations. They were all made out of wood, with cloth sails (woven wool) and had numerous details and carvings on the hull. Longships were characterized as a graceful, long, narrow and light, with a shallow-draft hull designed for speed. The ship's shallow draft allowed navigation in waters only one meter deep and permitted arbitrary beach landings, while its light weight enabled it to be carried over portages or used bottom-up for shelter in camps. Longships were also double-ended, the symmetrical bow and stern allowing the ship to reverse direction quickly without a turnaround; this trait proved particularly useful at northern latitudes, where icebergs and sea ice posed hazards to navigation. Longships were fitted with oars along almost the entire length of the boat itself. Later versions had a rectangular sail on a single mast, which was used to replace or augment the effort of the rowers, particularly during long journeys. Drakkar are only known from historical sources, such as the 13th-century Göngu-Hrólfs saga. Here, the ships are described as elegant and ornately decorated, and used by those who went raiding and plundering. These ships were likely skeids that differed only in the carvings of menacing beasts, such as dragons and snakes, carried on the prow of the ship. These carvings allegedly protected the ship and crew and warded off the terrible sea monsters of Norse mythology. It is however likely that the carvings, like those on the Oseberg ship, might have had a ritual purpose, or that the purported effect was to frighten enemies and townspeople. No true dragon ship, as defined by the sagas, has been found by archaeological excavation. Extract from Wikipedia The kit This isn’t a new kit, and in fact I know this was once released under the name Oseberg Viking Ship, again by Amati, some years ago. I know there to have been at least two boxings of this over the years. In fact, some vendors still have it listed as this, or may even carry that older kit in stock. I’m unsure as to when the kit changed its name to the current Drakkartitle. The kit itself comes in a high quality, glossy and attractive box, carrying a colour image of the profile of the vessel on the lid, and accompanying small detail photo. It can be seen on the lid that the 1/50 scale equates to 44cm length. Inside the box, Amati has given some strength to the packaging my adding a card shelf to make the interior shallower and preventing the contents from rattling around because there is surprisingly little timber by the way of sheets, than you might expect due to the way Amati has approached the design. A Plywood sheet contain the keel which incorporates the curved bow and stern, plus also the nine bulkheads that are notched to match their respective positions on the keel. As you see, the construction is quite traditional in this respect, and the shallow draught of the ship is the reason for a relatively low number of ply sheets. Now, whilst there is of course some strip stock in this kit, the ship’s planking isn’t associated with this. Instead of what would be a rather complicated method of planking, this particular model is provided with two sheets of thin, laser-cut planks which are perfectly shaped to follow the contours of the hull, and also sit within the stepped recesses of the bulkheads. These planks are produced from very thin plywood and just require the scorched edges of the parts gently sanded and then sitting into the recesses. Those bulkhead recesses will need to be slightly sanded for the planks to fully conform, and most definitely at both stem and stern. This is clearly shown in the accompanying instruction manual. It is also necessary, again shown on the instructions, to trace a curve to stem and stern, which sets the line against which to plank to. Also presented in plywood is the main deck, in two large main pieces, and three small sections. With the model planked and the tops of the bulkheads previously sanded to conform to the keel, these can be attached and then planked with the supplied strip stock. Deck planking is done in short pieces that only span between each former. I’m pretty sure that these sections could be removed on the real thing, and tools, weapons and food stored in the void below. Strip wood stock is included for the deck planking, and dowel for the mast and oars. Timber quality is excellent, with tape holding together the various bundles. A smaller piece of walnut sheet is also included, and this contains parts for the rudder paddle, oar storage frames, rigging blocks, belaying posts and bases etc. Laser cutting quality is nice and fine with only minimal timber to snip through to release each part. For protection, all timber sheets are placed in a thick, clear sleeve, as are the instructions manual and plans. Fittings Sitting on top of the timber sheet is a vac-form plastic box with a removable clear lid. The box has six compartments holding a few loose wooden pieces, rigging cord, as well as the metal fixtures and fittings for the Drakkar. The small number of loose wooden pieces are for the cleats. These just need a little final shaping before use. A large bag of metal shields is included, with their respective bosses and timber details cast in situ. I’m unsure as the metal for these, but they aren’t white metal, and possibly some alloy. They have also been given an aged finish, but I would carefully paint these to make them look more realistic. A single anchor is provided in metal, utilising a wooden stock, and a small length of brass chain is provided for this. A small number of cast white metal parts are included, and these are for the ship’s dragon head (with separate horns and tongue) and a deck bucket (slop outtoilet?), longbow, axe etc. The casting here is very nice and when painted, should really look the part. A bag of brass nails is included, and these are well-formed and sharp, unlike some I’ve used over the years. You are best drilling a small pilot hole before applying these, so you don’t split any timber when you drive them through the hull planks and into the bulkheads. As Viking Drakkar were of a very shallow draught, the mast needed something substantial to hold it in place. Under the deck would have been a keelson to locate the base of the mast, but above deck, this was achieved via a hefty wooden block. That had a wedge as part of its structure. As far as I can tell, these were called the mastfish and wedge, respectively. For some seriously interesting information on these vessels, check out this link: http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/norse_ships.htm As well as two sizes of rigging cord for standard and running rig, a piece of sailcloth is also included. You will need to make the sail yourself, including the diagonal strips that run at 90 degrees to each other. You need to sew along the edges after folding them in, replicating the looping stitch that should be seen. One thing you’ll need to do is to buy some fabric paint for the sail stripes. Aging the sail can be done with the age-old method of soaking in tea, should you wish. However, another method is to soak in a Potassium Permanganate (KMNO4) solution. Only a little is needed, and you can gauge the finish on a test piece as the colour develops when you remove from the solution. Also included is a chest that can be sat on the deck as extra detail. This is cast from a cream-coloured resin. Plans and instructions Amati include an 8-page basic instruction manual for this model, guiding you through the principle steps of the model and explaining the various key areas of construction. Illustrations are in line drawing format and are clear to understand, despite the Italian text. A separate sheet with English annotation is also supplied for those of us who haven’t grasped the rudimentary elements of that beautiful language. Of course, a plan is also included for the model which describes things in greater detail, including the rigging stages. This is also typically easy to understand and also contains the shapes for a good number of kit parts, so if you were to screw up, then with a little extra timber, you can right your wrongs. Conclusion As I originally stated, this isn’t a new kit, but it is one that has stood the test of time and for me, still ranks as the best-looking Drakkar you can buy in kit form, and certainly the most authentic in appearance. I know some people don’t like the plywood planking, but as you shouldn’t need to thin the planks much (if at all), then this doesn’t feature as an issue for me. Some timber edges will need to have the charring from the laser cutting removed, but again, this isn’t a problem as far as I’m concerned. Amati has designed this kit to be relatively straightforward and they have succeeded. As far as price goes, it can vary, but I’ve seen in in the UK/EU for around £90 to £100. I’ll start my own building log of this on Model Ship World very shortly. My sincere thanks to Amati for sending this kit out for review here on MSW.
  25. Review of Billing Boats' Colin Archer (BB606). Approx $100 USD kit. http://www.billingboats.com/da/20/2/boats/the-beginner/P-bb606-colin-archer.html The Colin Archer is a beautiful Norwegian rescue ship, and I had the privilege to help a friend renovate such a (full size) ship in Malaysia a few years ago. Main parts from laser cut plywood. Planking from balsa wood and mahogany(?). Masts from cheap softwood. Some parts from brass, but most parts like anchor, cleats, deadeyes, etc from plastic and softwood. No die cast metal parts. A few parts missing (forgivable), but a few parts like rudder handle shown in diagrams not included and not even listed (unforgivable). Marketed for beginners, but severely lacking in instructions to be easy for a beginner. I would say that kits like this is the reason beginners give up this hobby without even getting started. Its just feels overwhelming to look at all the parts and not be given adequate instructions on how to put the ship together. The actual process of building the ship is not hard at all, and a nice pleasure, once you know how to do it. If not, be prepared to spend hours on the Internet looking at old pictures of this ship. Kits like this have a potential to teach a lot of interesting things about ships, shipbuilding, sailing, and general history. A very easy lock-in of a new customer to come back for more ships, so I think it is very counter productive to have them lacking like this. For me (49 yrs, lots of practical experience of building various stuff, including model ships) its was fairly easy and fun to put it together. But as I said, for the average person it can quickly become a headache. Not recommended. Quality of parts slightly too low to be really enjoyable.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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