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James H

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About James H

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  • Birthday 02/26/1970

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    Horwich, Lancashire, UK
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    Foreign cuisine, Japan, travel in general, modelling in timber and plastics, photography.

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  1. I don't think the exactitudes matter too much to an enthusiastic youngster, as they do to more seasoned modellers with knowledge of ship design. This modeller is just really enthused to be building a wooden ship
  2. I gave this kit to a young man who wanted to try building model ships, and he has now started! Great to see the next generation at work
  3. 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.
  4. If you have Adobe Lightroom, it converts RAW images to JPG on export.
  5. Fantastic! Looks great so far. Any tips?
  6. I think you're right....it was the media. And wasn't the phrase 'virtually unsinkable'?
  7. Lovely work so far. Always wanted to see one of these built.
  8. 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.
  9. James H

    Music to build ship models to ...

    I quite like classical for the workshop, such as George Butterworth, Elgar etc, but I'm not averse to Bowie, Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones.
  10. 1:24 Istanbul Diorama OcCre Catalogue # 53010D Available from OcCre for €60,95 If you’ve recently taken a look at our Istanbul tram review, you might like this particular review article. Yes, of course you can display your tram on a shelf, or in a cabinet, but what about outside Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar? That’s exactly what this new product from OcCre allows us to do, and with relative ease of construction. This is what OcCre have as their website product description: “The diorama is a representation of the entrance to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, one of the largest in the world. Located inside the old “walled city", on the European side of Istanbul, between Nuruosmaniye, Mercan and Beyazıt, with more than 58 covered streets and 4,000 shops or stalls, every day the bazaar attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors. The bazaar offers a wide range of products, in particular jewellers, precious metal workers, spice shops and carpet shops. The stalls tend to be grouped together by type, following the tradition of the ancient guilds. The bazaar includes two Bedestens, or domed stone-built structures, which are used for the storage of merchandise. The first of these was built in 1464, by order of Mehmet II, although it then had to be mostly rebuilt in 1864, following the earthquake. This fabulous diorama combines perfectly with the tram of Istanbul, joining the nostalgic line of Taksim-Tunnel with the Grand Bazaar, in an effort to group two large emblems of the city of Istanbul.” The kit The Istanbul diorama is packaged into quite a plain, shallow corrugated cardboard box, with a colour product label attached. There is also a reasonable amount of weight here too, so you know there’s plenty of building material afoot. Upon opening the box, it ca be seen that the multitude of sheet material is wrapped in a heat-sealed sleeve that needs to be cut away. As the sheets in here are various sizes, and the internal box has no compartmentalisation, this is a good way of ensuring that damage risk is minimised. There are also a number of printed sheets which are rolled up, some strip timber and brass wire. A catalogue and sheet pointing to the instructions, are also included. More on the latter in a moment. The numerous sheets are made from MDF and are very neatly laser-cut. You will note how some of the parts have dovetail connections too. In essence, the entire diorama is built up from a series of wall panels that have the Islamic arch shapes that attach to them to create a 3D relief, and this is sat upon a base which is built from sections, to incorporate the ruts along which the tram lines would run. Oddly enough, there is no actual brass section strip to recreate the tram line itself, but instead, timber strip, painted silver, it what’s prescribed. Using some metal strip could be a nice enhancement, but you would need to purchase that yourself, measured against the OcCre tram wheels for best fit. The idea behind this diorama is that anyone can typically build it, simply out of the box contents. To decorate the walls and floors etc. a series of colour-printed textures are provided, on A4 sheets. These include stone, marble and parquet styles, and these need to be cut out to suit the various structures, and then glued into position with a glue stick, for example. Using wet glues may cause the sheets to ripple and not adhere as flat as they should, although the instructions do actually show brushed PVA as being the glue of choice. Sheets of paper are also supplied to simulate the Bazaar interior, with crowds of people and stalls etc. When it comes to depicting the exterior details, more printed sheets are supplied, with such things as Turkish rugs, flags etc, and these can be draped over the display stands that sit outside the various stalls on the exterior of the Bazaar. These stalls also have printed awnings to shelter them from the Turkish sun. To recreate the road itself, then a series of strip card is supplied. This needs to be cut into brick-sized sections, and then plastered over the road in a staggered manner. You can of course then paint and infill between them and add some airbrushed staining to weather things realistically. Brass wire is supplied for all manner of things, such as the random-looking electrical cables that run along the outside walls. OcCre supply no instructions for this kit. Instead, they provide an online build guide which is very comprehensive, showing everything right down to measuring out specific dimensions for everything. This multi-part guide is excellent, with the facility to be able to download each part as a PDF. To check out the guide, head to this link: http://www.occremania.com/diorama-de-istanbul-parte-8-2/ Conclusion Dioramas aren’t usually my thing, but this looks very tempting, just to see if I can make a reasonable attempt at it and add some airbrush work to make it look a little more lived in. There’s certainly a nice quantity of building material here, and all nicely produced. Recreating the street surface will also be quite absorbing, as well as those kerb stones that are cut from the thick strip timber. My sincere thanks to OcCre for providing the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  11. Pre-spiled planks too! Looks a great project. 👍
  12. James can you please

    help me to delete my new gallery alboum I want to redo it.

    1. MESSIS

      MESSIS

      ok everything fine

  13. There are a series of videos showing construction. These are excellent and also to be found linked from the OcCre Mania website, too, here: http://www.occremania.com/tranvias/istanbul/ Here are a few to whet your appetite.
  14. 1:24 Istanbul tram OcCre Catalogue # 53010 Available from OcCre for €96,45 Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, once had a large tramway network on both the Asian and the European sides. It first started as a horse tram in 1860 and was gradually converted to an electric tram system starting in 1912. Many additional routes were added to the tram system, in progressive stages over time. The network reached its most widespread extent in 1956 with 108 million passengers being carried by 270 tram-cars, on 56 lines. However reflecting developments in many cities around the world during the 1960s, the tram service began to be closed down in 1956 and was completely stopped in 1966. The Authority thought to re-introduce heritage trams in Istanbul using the same type of rolling stock which was running in European part until 1962, and in the Asian part until 1966. The original Istanbul tram network was almost completely destroyed, including depots, termini, electric power stations, etc., except for some of the rolling stock which had been preserved in transport museums. Using old photographs, people's memories, and other sources, some rolling stock was built for the European side resembling pre-1962 European-side tram stock, including the size, shape, interior, colour scheme etc. The prototypes had originally been built in 1915. Around 1990, the Istiklal Caddesi became a pedestrian zone, and the tram was restored and revived in 1990, in the form of the Taksim-Tünel Nostalgia Tramway. After a 24-year absence, trams returned to Istanbul. The length of the line is 1.64 kilometres (1.02 mi) and there are 5 stops. The Istanbul nostalgic tramways are two heritage tramlines in the city of Istanbul, Turkey. The city has two completely separate heritage tram systems, one on the European side (the Taksim-Tünel Nostalgia Tramway, aka. T2 line), the other on the Asian side (T3 line, aka. the Kadıköy-Moda Nostalgia Tramway). The kit OcCre’s new Istanbul tram kit replicates one of those heritage trams mentioned in the passage above, and is packed into a slender, standard OcCre box, as per our Terror article that we published recently. A colour-printed wraparound label is affixed to this with tape, and a cut-out in the lid is designed to display the plastic tray of components within. Lifting the lid and removing the inserted component tray, we come to the main box and here you slice a few tape tags to open up the contents. All the timber parts are bundled with two sheets of photo-etch parts and are securely held together with a shrink wrap covering. This compact method of packaging ensures zero damage and all parts are pristine. Now we cut away the cellophane… This sheet of parts, all cleanly laser-cut, concerns the construction of the tram seating. Each seat is comprised of four parts, varying slightly, dependant on where in the tram it is installed. Note that no parts are engraved with numbers. Instead, you will need to refer to the printed parts plan that is a part of the assembly manual. Timber quality here is high, and all parts are only held in situ with small, easily cut tags. We now have an MDF sheet included. This one contains a number of parts for which removal of wood grain would have been a PITA, so this is a nice move. The largest part is the tram floor, with various slots and connecting tabs, roof side supports, roof end frames and roof support frames etc. Our next two plywood sheets are identical, containing frames, cabin ends and internal frameworks, more seat parts, door parts, bulkheads, etc. Each sheet contains over 30 parts, again, all cleanly cut in high-grade ply. Laser scorching is very low, and very localised, and char clean-up should be nice and easy. The next two sheets are also identical to each other, but instead of being produced from ply, these are also supplied as MDF. This is actually quite a savvy move as I mentioned, as a good number of these will go into building exterior areas of the tram, and of course, there will be no wood grain to remove. Here you can see the slab sides for the tram, more roof frames, boarding platform and chassis frames etc. A nice thick bundle of various size timber strip stock is included and bundled together with elastic bands. This material will form areas such as internal framing and the planked roof etc. Quality is very good, with only a little wispy material needing to be removed from some of the strip. That’s the last of the timber areas in this kit, as we now look at the two photo-etch sheets included here. The first one is made from brass, and includes the instantly obvious shutter gates, tram destination sign brackets, external window frame corner trims, etc. Etch quality is superb, with the removal tags being thin and narrow. The second PE sheet appears to be manufactured from some sort of nickel-alloy, and parts here include the boarding step housings, electric roof sheathing, cabin parts, ventilators, external footplates, and also hand rail mounting points. A number of lengths of thick brass wire are included for fashioning all manner of items, such as the trolley pole that catches the overhead electrical lines. Some of these items will need straight edges, so you’ll need to be careful when it comes to ensuring you straighten the wire suitably. I do think that some of these wire items will really lend themselves to being soldered, so if you are capable of that, it’s time to ready the hot iron! I admit that I didn’t really know how the exterior livery was going to be approached on this model, such as paint, decal etc., but OcCre have in fact included a nice, glossy sheet of self-adhesive panel stickers that should adhere nicely to the smooth MDF surfaces. These have the livery and text already in situ. You will need extreme care in applying these to ensure they line up perfectly, as I don’t know just how sticky they are. Printing quality is excellent, and this really will create the appearance of the tram you see in the photo at the start of this article. For the windows, a sheet of acetate is included, and for the internal ceiling, another printed sheet is included. This needs to be glued to the internal roof framework before fitting the various ceiling lights and ventilators etc. I do suggest you don’t use any glue which is too wet and would damage the thin paper sheet. Look at using a quality glue-stick instead. Now we can take a look at that neat plastic tray of components that we can see through the box lid. This is split into twelve compartments, with each holding either a singular type of item, or multiples of different elements. Many of the parts in here are made from cast white metal, such as leaf-spring suspension, interior lights, dampers, cabin components, wheels, couplings, lights, grab-rails etc. There are a small number of turned brass parts and screws in here too, as well as brass eyelets, washers, and a spool of rigging cord to simulate the electricity cable for the trolley pole. There is a small ply sheet too, with just four small parts for an external roof ventilation opening. As with the previous OcCre kit we looked at, the instructions for this release are all driven by clear colour photos of each stage, showing actual construction of the prototype model. This series of colour, foldedr A3 sheets goes through the building process in a clear and organised way. It’s also worth noting that the parts themselves are added to the mix in a sequential way, meaning it’s easy to trace where in construction a particular element is required. All stock timber sizes are also shown in dimensional form too, to ensure you use the correct material in the appropriate area. A set of written instructions is also included, referring to the specific photos. Conclusion This is certainly an unusual and well-executed little project from OcCre. There’s quite a lot of construction to be had here in both frame and PE, with a more than generous number of extra fittings thrown into the mix. A thoroughly detailed and nicely designed model of a famous heritage tram, and one that I image will be addictive to build. Just as well there’s a whole fleet of world heritage trams to choose from! Maybe we’ll look at a couple more soon. My sincere thanks to OcCre for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  15. James H

    1:20 Dorade, 1931 - Amati

    Always happy to link Ages of Sail into all future articles, if you have it on inventory. EDIT: Added your link to article.

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