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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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    www.modelshipworld.com

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    Male
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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. 1:50 Polaris OcCre Catalogue # 12007 Available from OcCre for €69.95 First of all, there is no actual ship called ‘Polaris’ in the format you see here. This model is designed with a specific purpose, and that is to guide a totally new modeller through a series of easy-to-follow stages and give them the very best chance of completing what may very well be their first proper ship model kit. Why ‘Polaris’? That’s simple. They chose the name because the Polaris star is known as the ‘Guiding Star’, helping seafarers safely navigate their way home. OcCre have most certainly gone out of their way to create an ideal kit which is absolutely aimed at newbie market, yet at the same time, producing something which looks very attractive and realistic. The kit itself comes in two flavours. You can have the standard edition (which is what we have here), or the ‘Starter Pack which also includes tools, glue, cutting mat and paints. OcCre has also released a whole suite of build videos for Polaris, and you can find them here: Model dimensions are: Length: 580mm Height: 446mm Width: 124mm The kit Polaris is packaged into one of the smaller OcCre standard boxes that has the product label pasted to the lid, alongside the small window which gives the modeller a view of the fittings tray. I know when I started out, I used to love looking through the fittings boxes in kits, so I know what a huge draw that can be to a newcomer. Lift off that glossy lid and you’ll see a nicely compactly designed inner box with tabs and small pieces of tape that hold everything together. Cut through the tape tabs, lift out the fittings box, and pull out the side flaps. The top can then open and reveal the contents. On one side we have the various strip wood bundles, and on the other, the two sets of instruction sheets and an envelope containing the sails set. Underneath all that, various sheets of laser-cut parts are included. Sheet and laser cut materials This kit contains three sheets of laser cut sheets and several loose laser-cut parts. One of these sheets, in plywood, holds the parts for the false keel and bulkheads. On this sheet you will also find parts for a building cradle/display stand, as well as various infill check parts that fit between the bow and stern bulkheads. Ply quality is actually very good, and my sample was nice and straight too, so no warping to deal with. As with the other sheets, all laser cutting is nice and clean, and the tabs to remove the parts are small and will be easy to tackle with a sharp knife. No laser cut parts are numbered on the sheets. For identification, you will cross-reference them against the parts plan in the instructions. More laser cut sheet material is supplied for all other structural components, and a single piece ply deck is ready to be planked. This is tabbed to ensure the plywood bulwarks fit in exactly the correct position. Those bulwarks also have their grain running short-ways, so they will easily wrap around the edge of the hull without needing to be soaked. Strip wood Four bundles of strip timber are supplied for everything from the lime first planking, to the second layer timber, deck planks and Ramin dowels. All strip wood is high quality and neatly sawn with clean ends, and all are 400mm long, so will easily cover the length of the model in separate pieces, should you wish. Fittings A clear fittings container holds all the hardware and non-timber parts your Polaris will need. This includes printed ‘Polaris’ star flags, rigging cord, PE parts (gudgeon, pintle etc.), brass wire, deadeyes and rigging blocks, anchors, barrels, eyelets, rope and brass pins. My only criticism here are the deadeyes and rigging blocks which are supplied in plastic. I would’ve preferred to see these in wood, but if the exercise is to learn the ropes (pun intended), then they are passable. Sails A four-sail set is included which is pre-sewn. These are nicely made and the finish is quasi-antique, so you won’t need to stain them. Sails are presented in a brown paper envelope to protect them until use. Instructions Two folded bundles of A3 instructions are provided. These cover the entire construction in every minute detail, all in colour photograph form. Text instructions are provided to accompany these with clear annotation and parts recognition. These really are done as well as anyone could hope to see and will be extremely easy to follow. Illustrations are also included for parts maps, mast detail etc. You can, of course, couple these instructions with the series of video instructions on OcCre’s website, showing the model built in various stages. Conclusion There are many, many kits which are suitable for the beginner, but this one is unashamedly marketed as being the ideal kit to introduce and teach the basic skills needed to continue onto what will undoubtedly be more complicated models. The instructions are so laid out that there is virtually zero ambiguity in each stage, with the photographs, and even a colour sheet to match the correct timbers too. They really did think of everything. The kit is also excellent value, especially when you look at the inclusion of a set of four ready-made sails too. Maybe you are a beginner yourself, or an expert who wants to teach a son/daughter etc. how to start out in the hobby. You could really do a lot worse than pick one of these off the shelf and set yourself or someone out on a wonderful journey into an amazing hobby. My sincere thanks to OcCre for the review kit shown in this article. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  2. It's frustrating. They have all the stuff being kitted, but they are also very busy with fulfilling orders post-lockdown too. But hey, we've waited for 7yrs, so I suppose another week or so doesn't matter.
  3. Welcome to MSW, Tom. You'll soon have plenty more to see about that Victory kit here. Are you planning a build before Victory?
  4. I spent the last weeks bending Chris's ear about stuff. You've him to thank for Flirt 😆
  5. Hello  James  since you have built both ships what are the differences between the Speedy and the Flirt if any thanks

  6. This is the prototype of 1:64 HMS Flirt, built for Vanguard Models, using the Speedy kit, but with changes to rigging, a white bottom etc.
  7. It's beautiful work, and your deck planking is enviable.
  8. Pretty much. I've been doing book and magazine work for about 10yrs in a lot of international titles, but that was in plastic modelling. I just needed to adapt it to wooden ships, which takes up far more space 😆
  9. Well, this is it folks, it's all done. It's taken me just under 11 weeks from start to finish, and that's around 10 days longer than I planned, simply because I've had to re-learn rigging again. The last time I did a fully-rigged warship was about 13yrs ago, so I was just a little rusty. I rigged this model in about 12 or 13 days, in total. I actually re-learned swear words that I'd also long forgotten. I have cut corners, there's no doubt, but that's more through necessity as I know Chris needed to get this kit sorted. Ordering the boxes is by far one of the longest jobs when it comes to wait times. But I can tell you that the model will now be available in early August (tentatively), and in standard and Master Shipwright editions. Please ignore the strange rear shroud line in this first photo. They don't cross. It was just me moving blocks etc. And here is the finished model, in various angles. Remember that the launch is only in one shot for effect as that will only be included in the Master Shipwright edition, and not shown on the box art. And here's the manual's cover... For me now, it's a very short break before I plough into the Amati Victory which I've just been told is being kitted for me at this moment. Hope you liked the Flirt build! I know it's abridged, but you can see the full manual in the kit
  10. If you like those type of ship, then go for it. OcCre's kits are well presented with good instructions and some of their range have videos too.
  11. Will the sails be pre-stitched as shown?
  12. Definitely! I'll follow that build, without a doubt.
  13. I think you'd be ok with one strake. Don't beat yourself up over it. Pretty sure there were so many variations in stuff with the strakes. You'll love that pear when under varnish. Under polyurethane it looks great!

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