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Found 38 results

  1. 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.
  2. 1:120 USS Susquehanna WoodyJOE Available from WoodyJOE for ¥ 43,000 (approx. $400/£335) USS Susquehanna, a sidewheel steam frigate, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Susquehanna River, which rises in Lake Otsego in central New York and flows across Pennsylvania and the northeast corner of Maryland emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. Her keel was laid down by the New York Navy Yard in 1847. She was launched on 5 April 1850 and was commissioned on 24 December 1850, Captain John H. Aulick in command. After completing her trials, which she began in January 1851, the side-wheel frigate sailed on 8 June for the Far East to become flagship of the East India Squadron under the command of Commodore John H. Aulick. Aulick's orders included instructions to visit Japan and negotiate a treaty opening diplomatic relations with that country. After presenting demands and an official letter from President Millard Fillmore to the Japanese government on 14 July, the American warships departed on 17 July. On 12 February 1854, Susquehanna returned with the squadron to Japan as part of Perry's show of force, resulting in the signing of the Convention of Kanagawa on 31 March 1854. During the American Civil War, the ship was assigned to the Atlantic Blockading Squadron and sailed for Hampton Roads. Late in August, Susquehanna participated in the joint Army-Navy expedition to Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, which captured Fort Clark and Fort Hatteras on 29 August. During September, she captured two British schooners: Argonaut on 13 September and Prince Alfred on 28 September. In the same month, she also took two Confederate schooners as well: San Juan on 28 September and Baltimore the following day. Following the end of the American Civil War, Susquehanna brought American delegates to Veracruz bay in Mexico during the destruction of the Second Mexican Empire in order to open up relations with the United States backed Mexican president Benito Juárez. When the Susquehanna found out that the acting imperial ruler Maximilian I of Mexico had decided not to abdicate, the ship turned around to head home 1866. The ship ended her active service as flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron. Decommissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 14 January 1868, Susquehanna was laid up until she was sold for scrapping on 27 September 1883 to E. Stannard of New York City. The kit This is the very latest release from Japanese company, WoodyJOE. For those of you with Facebook, WoodyJOE has shown some of the development of this kit over the last months, with their finished model designed to show a finished ship on one side and the construction on the other…presumably for model fair display purposes. The box itself is sort of average in size for a model with these dimensions, but it is certainly heavy! Packed into an attractive but generic nautical-themed box, a product label for Susquehanna is affixed to the lid in a way that it looks printed on. Upon opening the box, the first thing to check out is the colour-printed instruction manual. This 32-page, stapled booklet breaks the construction down into 36 stages, but most of those have many sub-stages, effectively creating well over 200-300 sequences. Rigging illustrations are supplied too, and they are beautifully clear to understand. Photo annotation also refers to the specific part number, whether it be strip wood, sheet parts or metal elements. A full parts list is supplied at the beginning of the manual, as well as suggested paints etc. All of this is in Japanese though, befitting a kit that’s probably aimed for their home market. A series of sheet plans is included for just about everything you will need, such as hull profiles, fitting positions, masting etc. WoodyJOE kindly popped the Tamiya gearbox unit into my sample. This isn’t a standard part in this kit, but it is of course designed to specifically fit this unit, should you wish to purchase it extra. As with Tamiya products, you are expected to build this itself, and it is supplied as a mini-kit, complete with electric motor and a small tube of grease for lubrication. Another item to be purchased separately is this battery box. A relatively inexpensive item costing only a £/$ or so. Now, onto the various fittings. These have been supplied stapled to two sheets of card and certainly keeps everything neat and in order. Each packet of parts is also neatly labelled (in Japanese). Here you will find that parts are generally cast in white metal, but with very good definition in the most part. There are a few lines on the cannon that look like an original 3D-printed master wasn’t fully cleaned up, but this is easy to deal with. Instead of white metal, WoodyJOE have opted to include the belaying pins as cast-brass items which must be removed from their casting block and cleaned up prior to installation. Other bagged items include wire, ferrules, varying chain sizes, pins, rigging pins, etc. A number of parts in this kit are labelled in the same fashion as those on the card sheet but are bagged instead. This is where you will find spools of rigging cord that are clearly numbered in reference to the rigging drawings. Ughhhhh!! I really don’t like these! Here are the plastic rigging blocks. For me, there’s only one place to store these. However, if they don’t bother you, then they are actually very nicely moulded, but you will need to paint them appropriately. Plastic also features on the ship’s launches, with the basic hulls being supplied. These are painted though, and will be fitted out with timber, so it’s not a deal-breaker. The mouldings are also superb. You will find numerous timber elements also individually bagged and labelled too, clearly referencing their use within the instruction manual. This applies to the various lengths and diameters of dowel and strip. A quick look at these shows the superior quality of all timber. Some of the finest I’ve seen in a kit. Another sheet of card has several packages stapled to it that contain various sheets of laser-cut timber parts. Notice parts here for the launches, mast tops, cannon bases, channels. A second and third packet of laser-cut parts contains the clearly identifiable paddle wheels and stern rails amongst other parts that are spread over numerous sheets. Now we come onto the sheet materials, with this first sheet containing the parts for the stern. Note the engraved bevel marks to help you shape these properly. A large sheet of high-quality ply contains the hull bulkheads. In my opinion, there should be more of these, especially on a single-planked model. Laser cutting is excellent. An equally large sheet holds other key hull components. Here, as well as more bulkheads, you can see the false keel and long ply parts that will further help align the bulkheads and provide further rigidity. It will come as no surprise to see that there are a few sheets of photo-etch (PE) parts in this release. These contain everything from gratings to deck structure elements, and also those large gun swivel mount circles that you see at both bow and stern areas of the ship. Conclusion Of course, this is such an unusual subject to tackle and in many ways has some unusual construction techniques that aren’t typically seen in today’s kits, such as the stern that is built up from slices. It would have been good to see the Tamiya gearbox kit added as standard, as it’s generally a very low-cost item to purchase by itself (around £11 at time of writing), but of course, not all modellers would want to use this anyway. Personally, I think this model is aimed at those with some experience, and I wouldn’t recommend a single-planked hull for anyone without the prerequisite skillset to tackle it. As the bulkheads are perhaps spaced a little too far apart for my liking, you’ll need to ensure that you don’t create any sag between them when planking, giving an uneven finish to the hull. Another thing I would have liked to have seen would be copper plates supplied for the lower hull instead of notes on painting it in that colour. Even a roll of self-adhesive copper tape would’ve been a nice touch. A real oddity is the inclusion of plastic rigging blocks. This is probably my biggest single gripe with this kit, and I guarantee those will be thrown away and replaced with something more suitable in timber, possibly from Master Korabel. Now, that’s the gripes out of the way, and in no way do I want you to think that this isn’t a lovely kit to look at. It genuinely is. At 862mm long, it’s certainly not a small model, despite the 1:120 scale, and it definitely has to be the best thought out model I’ve seen in ages with regards to material identification and presentation. Everything is designed to make the modeller’s life as easy as possible. The drawings are also excellent, as well as the photographic instruction manual. Of course, all text is in Japanese, which does sort of indicate that their primary market is Japan. There are ways of translating this, such as with smartphone apps that will translate the image when you hover your phone camera over. With regard to the instruction manual stages, I do think many of them are fairly self-explanatory anyway. But…the smartphone translator app is free! In all, a high-quality package with excellent timber and some very nice fittings. The whole lot will build up into an outstanding finished model that is most certainly very different from your regular sail ships. If you get the chance to get one, I doubt you’d be disappointed. My sincere thanks to WoodyJOE for sending this new release out for review here on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  3. 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
  4. 1:72 Tender ‘Avos’ (XS Edition) Master Korabel Catalogue # MK0303PSN Available from G.K. Modellbau for €225.00 "Avos" was an eight-gun tender which in was built in 1806 in Novo-Arkhangelsk, Russian America (now Sitka, Alaska). With a crew of 12 men, Avos was part of an expedition under the direction of Nikolai Rezanov. During the voyage along the Aleutian ridge to the port of St. Peter and Paul, the crew survived many storms, forcing them to stop at Fox islands for repair, and also save a mysterious “native” from the Attu island. To secure the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin, bring the local natives under Russian allegiance, and to force Japan to conclude trading relations with Russia, in 1807 the ships “Avos” and “Juno” conducted many military raids along the Kuril Islands coast. Here they raided the illegal Japanese settlements, which were originally those belonging to the previously banished Russian settlers. During the expedition, the tender “Avos”, using its 4-oared yawl, conducted many boardings of Japanese ships and several landing operations. Each time they forced large numbers of Japanese to flee, whilst burning and sinking their ships as scare tactics. During the 1808 shipping season, the tender “Avos”, under command of Lieutenant Sukin, was shipping goods to America. On 11th of October 1808, while sailing from Kadiak to Novo-Arkhangelsk, “Avos” was wrecked during a storm, near the coast of Chichagov island, near the Alexander archipelago. The kit We’ve been fortunate enough to watch the development of this kit unfold here on MSW, plus we also have a gallery for the completed model. The kit itself was released last year and has been available with instructions written in Russian, as befits the manufacturer. Now though, the kit has been issued with English instructions and is available for sale via various retailers. I have linked German website G.K. Modellbau at the top of this article as one such outlet to buy this kit. Offered in 1:72 scale, the completed length of the model is 420mm, with a beam of 175mm. The height is also a tidy 420mm, so the result will be a beautifully compact and highly detailed model that won’t take up too much of your bench space. First of all, there are numerous variants of this kit, with differing prices, aimed at giving the modeller exactly what he/she wants to work with. The options are as follows: Standard kit- MK0303P Pear - MK0303PX (no nails) Pear with nails - MK0303PXN Pear with nails and sails - MK0303PSN The kit we have been sent for review here is the XS release, which has the pear planking with laser-engraved nails, and a complete set of sails. Avos is supplied in a very attractive and yet relatively small box with nice, glossy artwork featuring images of the finished vessel, and details showing the pre-spiled planking that is included as standard. Other features are listed, such as the double-planked hull, laser-etched bevel marks on bulkheads etc. One thing that struck me about the box is the weight of it. It’s actually quite heavy and there’s certainly nothing left to rattle about inside it. Lifting the lid reveals a whole swathe of paperwork, in the form of plans, manual, inventory sheet, English instruction sheet to use in conjunction with the manual, and also the inclusion of the original inventory and instructions in Russian. These were put aside as I have no need for them. Kit contents are very neatly presented within. Parts are either supplied in bags, and/or wrapped in clear clingfilm or thin foam sheet. The only part not wrapped is the single length of dowel that sits at the edge of the box. It is also noted that Master Korabel’s earlier release of the 4-oared Yawl is included as this hangs from the behind the ship’s transom. This little 68mm long vessel is a kit in its own right, and we’ll look at it soon. The first pack of contents that I look at includes the hidden deck around which the model itself is constructed. This pack of parts is neatly wrapped in clingfilm, and there is an identifying number slip in the pack. As you can see from the image, Avos is quite small, but of a size which I imagine will make it quite tactile and also a nice side project if you want some respite from a larger vessel. Unwrapping everything, I’m of course drawn to the largest component which is what I call the hidden under-deck. This deck-shaped item is laser cut to shape and is of course deck-shaped, with it being a slice from a little lower than the actual deck part. Made from a form of MDF, you can’t help but notice all the square holes which are cut into it. This is the key to Master Korabel’s kit engineering and provides the key positions for all frames and bulkheads, both below and above this part. It’s almost like the Lego equivalent of kit building at this point, in the very loosest of terms. A series of parts are also included in this wrap, spread across five small pieces of timber. Lastly, a couple of lengths of brass wire are found here, in two different gauges. Now we come to the 4-oared Yawl which is also available as a separate item. This mini kit is presented in a clear zip-lock wallet with a set of colour-printed instructions which follow the Avos format, and other illustrations and inventories. Master Korabel have produced the main parts for this from a sheet of very thin, laser-cut pearwood. Despite how thin this is, the laser has made a surprisingly small amount of scorch when cutting. Looking at the parts, you’ll see that a complete set of pre-spiled planks are supplied, saving the modeller a whole load of time and enabling an accurate and authentic appearance to this little gem. You’ll find pretty much all the constructiona parts here except for the oars and keel parts which are on a separate pearwood sheet, along with a nice display stand for the model…should you not wish to hang it from the transom of Avos. Again, we are also supplied with some brass wire and shim for such things as hanging the rudder and making the mast clamp etc. The whole yawl is built upon a jig which comes on a separate sheet of ply. None of these jig elements will become a part of the finished model, so everything will be in pear. That will certainly complement the pear exterior of the Avos hull, if you purchase that option. Once assembled, the jog is then covered with clingfilm and the multipart inner keel is inserted, followed by the ribs and then the pre-shaped planks. This is then removed from the jig and fitted out. The results are very impressive, as can be seen here. To find the English language version of the Yawl instructions, these are located at the end of the text instructions for the main Avos vessel. Wrapped in both clingfilm and thin foam sheet, the remainder of the timber sheets are located at the very bottom of the box. Now we can see the actual deck which sits atop a series of frames that raise it from the hidden under-deck and form the actual ship frames onto which you will plank the hull. No deck planking to be done though as this part is entirely laser-etched, and it looks VERY good! Note also the etched treenails. If you’re concerned about too much uniformity, you can also mask this in several stages and apply a finishing varnish in two or three slightly varying colours. That would look quite impressive. Of course, the laser reproduction planks are shown to notch into the edge plank, as they would. Various cut-outs are included for deck fittings and main mast. A plywood sheet contains all of the frame elements that plug into the upper side of the hidden under-deck part. None of these parts have numbers, and they need to be checked against the drawings which show the sheets and their respective numbered parts. There is more scorching on the cut side, as is to be expected, but remember, all of the frames will be hidden anyway. Another zip-lock bag holds a small number of sheets comprising ply and pearwood. Note the ply sheet holds thee stern frames, and that these are engraved so you can accurately bevel them. Transom parts are also included here. Here we have a sheet of wood, one of 2mm and one of 1.2mm. On the 2mm sheet, you’ll be able to identify hatches, breasthooks, knees, bibs, trestletrees, rudder tiller etc. The 1.2mm sheet contains parts such as transom finishing plate, pump supports, various coamings. Etch and cutting quality is first rate. This model is of course double-planked. The first layer is manufactured in 1.4mm plywood and these are laser-cut as pre-shaped components. You’ll also note the etched dots which line up with the frames and are to be used for nailing positions. The garboard plank also has locating holes which align with the formers to ensure absolute placement, and then of course, all other planks after it should be perfectly positioned. Three more timber sheets are now supplied. These are in regular timber, 1.5mm ply and 1.2mm stained black ply. A quick glance across these will easily identify the cannon carriages, bulwark rails, mast hoops, channels, bowsprit parts, yardarm cleats, windlass knees, etc. One thing to mention here is that the black stained ply is actually quite a dense colour, and not as grainy as my photography makes it out. If you have any concerns, you can always mask and paint the parts black anyway, but it shouldn’t be necessary. Now we come to our first sheet of thin pearwood planking, but this time, for the inner bulwarks. These are provided as single port/starboard items, with the actual planking runs and nails laser etched into the surface. This thin 0.6mm timber also provides parts for taffrail inner planking, toilet/latrine doors, rudder lap plate, false keel etc. We now see more of that lovely coloured pearwood with these next two sheets which contain mirrored sets of planks for port and starboard hull sides. As with the inner bulwark, these are also engraved with nail holes, plus the plank lengths. They are also all pre-spiled and ready to fit directly to the hull. Of course, outer bulwarks are supplied as per the inner ones. Other parts on these sheets include latrine roof, transom lap, compass case, aft chest parts, windlass barrel etc. We still aren’t done with black plywood yet as this 0.6mm sheet testifies to. Here, you will find things such as wales, bulwark rails, taffrail finishing planks, plus numerous other elements. Our last sheet of timber is this sheet of 3mm ply. It’s also the largest sheet in the Avos kit. A lot of the element here are quite obvious, such as the bevel-engraved lower hull bulkheads and keel frame. There are a good number of other parts here that pertain to various other structures, such as the stern, and these are designed to lock into each other and then into the false under-deck as per the rest of the various structure frames. It’s also good to see that we are also supplied with a stand onto which to mount our finished model. Coming away from the sheet timber materials, we now come to the packets which contain various deck fittings and other detail parts. These tend to be sorted into bags of differing components. The blocks and deadeyes look to be of exceptional quality with nothing mis-made as I’ve seen in some previous model ship kits. In 1:72, the cannon are tiny, but they look really great! Two metal anchors are also supplied. A whitish powder exists on the anchors, but this is easily wiped away with a damp cloth. Here we have some brass plank pins for the hull first planking, and a small kit which contains parts for the two deck bilge pumps. Two photo-etch frets are included in this release, of 0.3mm and 0.5mm thickness, respectively. Various items such as chain plates, mast details, ships bell mounting, latrine door fittings, rudder metalwork, block hooks and transom details are to be found here. There’s quite a lot of PE to attach and all of it is superbly made. I deal with photo-etch a lot for my magazine work, and I know this to be high quality and with reasonably small tags holding things in place. A fine razor saw would be ideal for removing parts, followed by clean-up with a jeweller’s file. Two name plates are included for the display base; a brass one in Russian and an English one made from a small piece of laser-engraved pearwood. A last packet of parts includes items to build the deck gratings and cleats. There’s also a toothpick in a little sleeve. One end is green, and I presume this is for applying small quantities of PVA or superglue during assembly. A screen-printed flag is included. Of course, we need some cord to rig this model and nine spools of this are included in various colours. Cord quality is high with no fuzziness. This particular version of the Avos kit contains a full set of sails. There are five linen-coloured sails, all cut to size, sewn and fitted with bolt ropes. These really are excellent. Master Korabel also sells this set separately, in case you purchased one version that didn’t have them, and you decided you did want sails after all! A set of three large plan sheets are included with this release, although the annotation is in Russian. However, three smaller sheets have English labelling and will provide all you need to reference your build. This allows you to use the larger drawings still, but you have the translations on the smaller sheets. A complete rigging inventory is also included. The instructions for Avos are driven by photo-led manual with each step of hull construction clearly shown with all parts clearly referenced. Some CAD illustration accompanies these photos, fully clarifying any areas you may be unsure about. The photo instructions are designed to be used in conjunction with a set of printed instructions. Together, these should make Avos assembly as straightforward as is possible to get. A whole series of drawings are also included in this publication, showing the various rigging and seizing details that you’ll need. This is a very nice touch. Conclusion This is my first time with a Master Korabel kit, and I very much like their entire approach, from packaging, through to kit design, timber quality, instructions and plans etc. It’s very much a quality product and you can tell that the company have taken real pride in their product. Being able to buy different options to suit your wallet or approach, is also a nice idea. When finished, Avos isn’t a big model, but she is thoroughly detailed with quality parts. Some contemporary European manufacturers could learn a thing or two from this Russian manufacturer. Highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Master Korabel for the review sample seen in this article. Master Korabel has distributors in the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and is now looking for partners in England. PHOTOS OF FINISHED MODEL
  5. 1:35 Viking Longship – 11thCentury Dusek Ship Kits Catalogue # D005 Available from Dusek Ship Kits for €149.00 Longships were naval vessels made and used by the Vikings from Scandinavia and Iceland for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship's design evolved over many years, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up to the 9th century with the Nydam and Kvalsund ships. The longship appeared in its complete form between the 9th and 13th centuries. The character and appearance of these ships have been reflected in Scandinavian boat-building traditions until today. The average speed of Viking ships varied from ship to ship but lay in the range of 5–10 knots and the maximal speed of a longship under favourable conditions was around 15 knots. The longship is characterized as a graceful, long, narrow, light, wooden boat with a shallow draft hull designed for speed. The ship's shallow draft allowed navigation in waters only one meter deep and permitted beach landings, while its light weight enabled it to be carried over portages. Longships were also double ended, the symmetrical bow and stern allowing the ship to reverse direction quickly without having to turn around; this trait proved particularly useful in 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 sported a rectangular sail on a single mast which was used to replace or augment the effort of the rowers, particularly during long journeys. Longships can be classified into a number of different types, depending on size, construction details, and prestige. The most common way to classify longships is by the number of rowing positions on board. Types ranged from the Karvi, with 13 rowing benches, to the Busse, one of which has been found with an estimated 34 rowing positions. Longships were the epitome of Scandinavian naval power at the time and were highly valued possessions. They were often owned by coastal farmers and commissioned by the king in times of conflict, in order to build a powerful naval force. While longships were deployed by the Norse in warfare, they were mostly used for troop transports, not as warships. In the tenth century, these boats would sometimes be tied together in battle to form a steady platform for infantry warfare. Longships were called dragonships(drakushiffen) by the Franks because they had a dragon-shaped prow. The kit This model represents the similar long ship which was found near the village of Skuldelev at Denmark and which is known as Skuldelev 2. The original was constructed primarily of oak wood about the year 1060 in Dublin. The ship had a length of 30 meters and width of 3.8 meters. The ship could sail with 60-100 Viking warriors onboard and was driven by a large rectangular sheet. In the case of no wind, there were 60 oars. Always great to have a backup plan when your intention is to go raiding! Of course, oars were commonly used for inland waterways. The sight of a sea-borne ship heading inland must’ve been terrifying to those communities in Dark Ages England. In 1:35, this is a large model, and would be a perfect shelf-mate for the Dusek Knarrthat we reviewed about a month ago. As with that vessel, this also represents an 11thCentury incarnation of this iconic legend. Dusek give the dimensions as thus: Length: 850mm Width: 370mm Height: 475mm As with the Knarr, this kit is packaged into the same style, extremely robust box with a glossy lid depicting several images of the completed model, fully rigged and at sail. Inside the box, we are presented with numerous timber sheets which are wrapped in clear clingfilm, a bundle of dowel and strip wood, a bag of parts including rigging cord and sailcloth, and finally the instructions manual and plan. I really do have to say that I like the dowel and strip material that Dusek supply in their kits. Thee material here is finely grained, consistent, die-straight and sharply cut, with no fuzziness. Timber itself looks like walnut, Ramin, and maybe lime. Not too sure, but the colours are of course natural, unlike some of the stained timbers we see in legacy kits. Dowel is of course supplied for the mast and the multitude of oars that you’ll need to make. Numerous sheets of high-quality, thin ply are included, with all parts sharply laser-cut. Where planks are included, you will note a laser-engraved arrow on the timber that points towards the longship’s bow. Remember too that these vessels were also clinker-plank, and you will start at the garboard plank and work your way upwards. On this particular sheet, you also get the basic shield shapes too. In a short while I’ll explain how these are embellished. On these four sheets, we have more planks. Remember that this model is very long, and you will need to join the plank lengths together when running each strake. This might seem a pain in the backside, but it’s no different to any other model ship, in that respect. The model will also be finished in a dark brown colour to represent the tarred appearance of each ship. The Vikings were experts in tar production, although their methods aren’t entirely clear. It does appear that tar was made by burning resinous pine logs over a buried fire pit. Very much an industrial-sized process! That’s enough history. Also note the deck sections here, and more shields. Where we now diverge from the previous sheets is with this thicker ply sheet. Here you will find the thirteen bulkheads used along the length. The edges of these are channelled out so that the planks will sit snugly into them. You will need to bevel these slightly, but due to the sheer length of the vessel and how narrow it is, the bevelling should be quite minimal. Looking at the sheet, you will also see the two-part false keel, mast foot, steering oar and also a very welcome stand on which to sit your finished model. As with the bulkheads, this is also channelled out so that your clinker-build hull will sit neatly upon it. Now for something a little different. The last large laser-cut sheet is supplied in beautiful pearwood. This very thin sheet contains the single-like planks for the decks. I do believe that in some cases, these could be lifted, and stowage placed underneath. The strips you see are the transverse plank strips. For the last little ply sheet, we are given a series of shroud pins. Now onto the bagged components. In this large, clear sleeve can be found the rest of the parts for this model. Three different sorts of rigging cords in a very natural looking colour. These are wrapped around pieces of card to prevent them from getting tangled. The thick rope is the only one of these with any fuzzy ends, and still these are few and far between. It certainly looks like Viking rope should do! This next photo shows the three rigging blocks. These are in two different sizes and remember, these shouldn’t be the pristine items we see on later vessels. Instead, they would have been quite crude. To the right of the blocks is a bag containing the embellishments for the many shields. These consist of two-part hubs (base disc and central hub). To be honest, I’d have liked to have seen more to these shields, but the kit parts give a great basis from which to work. Sail cloth is supplied, and you will need to work with the drawings to make your own sails, including the stitching of a boltrope around the edge. Vikings sometimes also tarred their sails, but you should at least seriously age them and perhaps decorate with the same motif you would use on the shields, indicating the loyalty to a specific king or earl. A single plan sheet is included which shows the various views of the finished model, including rigging. This is more of a reference as the building itself can be more or less done via the manual. On the left of the plan is a parts map. Instructions are supplied on a 16-page A5 manual, simply printed and stapled. These are clearly printed and easy to follow with their simple line drawings and very good English text. The end of the manual has a parts list and reference names for the various elements. Conclusion There are a few options out there for a modeller who wants to build a Viking longship, and this is certainly a worthy contender, being a more traditional vessel without the dragon’s head or other embellishments we see in Hollywood movies. These ships were generally tarred too, giving them a dark brown, almost black appearance, so the extensive use of plywood in this kit isn’t really an issue, as you’ll need to finish the inside and outside of the hull to suit. This is a large model too and should actually look quite imposing with the shields on display. I really do love these ships of antiquity and what they achieved in terms of exploration and settlement. In all, this is a great quality kit which is easy to build. It also won’t damage the bank balance too much either. If you’ve any interest in this period of history, or want a change from your usual type of model, this kit would prove to be ideal. My sincere thanks to Dusek Ship Kits for the sample seen here in this review. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.
  6. 1:35 Knarr – 11thCentury Viking Ocean-Going Cargo Ship Dusek Ship Kits Catalogue # D007 Available from Dusek Models for €149,00 A knarr is a type of Norse merchant ship used by the Vikings and was constructed using the same clinker-built method as longships. ‘Knarr’ is the Old Norse term for a type of ship built for long sea voyages and used during the Viking expansion. The knarr was a cargo ship; the hull was wider, deeper and shorter than a longship, and could take more cargo and be operated by smaller crews. They were built with a length of about 16 m (54 ft), a beam of 5 m (15 ft), and a hull that was thought capable of carrying up to 24 tons. It was primarily used to transport trading goods like walrus ivory, wool, timber, wheat, furs and pelts, armour, slaves, honey, and weapons. It was also used to supply food, drink, weapons and armour to warriors and traders along their journeys across the Baltic, the Mediterranean and other seas. Knerrir (plural) routinely crossed the North Atlantic carrying livestock such as sheep and horses, and stores to Norse settlements in Iceland, Greenland and Vinland as well as trading goods to trading posts in the British Isles, Continental Europe and possibly the Middle East. They may have been used in colonising, although a similar small cargo vessel (the byrthing) is another possibility. Only one well-preserved knarr has been found, discovered in a shallow channel in Roskilde Fjord in Denmark in 1962. Known as Skuldelev 1, it was placed among two warships, a Baltic trader, and a ferryboat. Archaeologists believe that the ships were placed there to block the channel against enemy raiders. Today all five ships, known as the Skuldelev ships, are exhibited at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. The kit Dusek models manufacture three different types of Viking vessel of which this is just one. They are also available in 1:72 and 1:35 scales, with this review kit being in the latter scale. I’m unsure of the actual initial release date for this kit, but I can’t see any information going back further than a handful of years. For those who are space-conscious when it comes to starting new projects, then the Knarr shouldn’t be too hungry of your shelf real-estate, even in 1:35. Finished dimensions for this are given as: length: 440mm width: 300mm height: 400mm The model itself is quite a simple affair, by any standards, and is packaged into one of Dusek’s very sturdy and thick cardboard boxes with a nice glossy lid depicting three views of a completed model. I know the timber looks to have a strange finish, but it’s thought that Viking vessels were generally protected with a layer of tar, from around the 8thcentury. It could also be used to waterproof sails. The box model shows a suitably weathered Knarr that’s obviously been much used. Indeed, the model is also laden with cargo, which is also included in this kit. Inside the box, several sheets of laser-cut timber are wrapped in a layer of clingfilm, plus there is a bundle of dowel/strip, and a further bag of components. A single sheet plan, instruction manual, and a parts map complete the package. If you’ve read my review on Amati’s Viking longboat, then you’ll see that this ‘s construction is very similar to that in many respects. Construction begins by taking the false keel and slotting onto it the series of eighteen bulkheads. These bulkheads are flanked either side by the raised section of deck in their basic plywood form. The area between these deck sections is totally open, that is, simply the full depth of the hull. This was for storing cargo. Those ply sections are now sheathed in short lengths of planking. In this kit, these are supplied on the one thin sheet of pearwood veneer, and they really do look great. Another large frame section is then installed which encompasses both the cargo hold and raised deck sections. In all, that should provide a solid basis on which the next stage can be begin. That is the planking. Now, here’s where you see the similarity to the Amati kit, with the bulkheads that are channelled out for the planks, and those very planks are supplied pre-cut on three thin sheets of plywood. The shape of the hull with the curved and clinker-laid planks is quite obvious when you look at the shape of them on the sheets, and of course, you lay the lower, garboard plank first. You will need to refer to the parts map as no parts on this model are marked on the sheets themselves. With the planks, each sheet is also engraved with an arrow to identify the bow direction of the Knarr. One thing the model instructions doesn’t mention is any possible bevelling of the bulkheads prior to planking. You will need to check this as you begin the process by laying an initial plank and seeing how it fits. Before all planking is added, a series of keyed frames will be added to the cargo area, onto which the upper plank strakes will sit. In all, there are TEN sheets of timber here (9 x ply, 1 x pear), plus a nice little bundle of timber strip, all of high quality. Laser cutting, whilst leaving scorch marks, is very good, and of course, the hull will be finished in a colour to represent tar, so there’s no real need to start removing that char. Just get on and enjoy building the model. Masting and rigging a Knarr is quite simple. In fact, the model only has TWO wooden, double blocks! Thee mast only has five rigging points, and the single yard has just three, of which those two blocks are obviously used. Rigging cord is supplied and this has the natural appearance of the material, as it should, and with that brown hue that could be indicative of some previous tar application. Three sizes of cord are supplied on spool/card wraps. When it comes to sails, some almost pure white cloth is supplied, and the quality is excellent. You will need to use the drawings and instructions to make and sew your own finished items, and I also suggest you soak the finished items in some strong tea to age them and give them that appearance of worn tar. You could also dye them red, and then age by using the tea-dye trick. You’ll need to work on this aspect, as you would with any ship of this sort of antiquity. A cargo ship needs cargo, and there is plenty here in the form of crates and barrels. The crates much first be assembled as small plywood jigsaw puzzles and then swathed in some of that tea-aged fabric you used for the sails, creating a package. Some of the cord is then used to tie then up. Each barrel has to be constructed around a plywood core. Onto this sit the pearwood exterior parts, such as the engraved head parts and the staves. Dusek has finished item lashed with rope. I don’t know how accurate that would be (or strong enough in the real world!). You may wish to use some thin metal foil, painted. This model also contains a display stand within the sheet parts, again, shaped to accommodate the clinker planking. The instructions and manual are so simple to follow and should present the modeller with no problems. The English annotation is excellent. Conclusion This really is a lovely kit and will build up into a most unusual model. You really can let your imagination go as to how you finish this with regards to final appearance. Maybe time to watch the recent History Channel series, Vikingsand enjoy the stories of Ragnar Lothbrok. I’m pretty sure these vessels are in the series, so it’s a good excuse for some televisual research. Materials quality is excellent with no warping etc. and the sheet of pear for the deck planking and barrels is an unexpected bonus.If you want to see a Viking vessel that is more of a fighting and conquering classic, then we’ll be reviewing another Dusek kit in a couple of weeks or so. Stray tuned! Highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Dusek Models for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  7. 1:60 H.M.S. Beagle OcCre Catalogue # 12005 Available from Ages of Sail for $209.00USD HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, one of more than 100 ships of this class. The vessel, constructed at a cost of £7,803 (£613,000 in today's currency), was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom, and for that occasion is said to have been the first ship to sail completely under the old London Bridge. There was no immediate need for Beagle so she "lay in ordinary", moored afloat but without masts or rigging. She was then adapted as a survey barque and took part in three survey expeditions. The second voyage of HMS Beagle is notable for carrying the recently graduated naturalist Charles Darwin around the world. While the survey work was carried out, Darwin travelled and researched geology, natural history and ethnology onshore. He gained fame by publishing his diary journal, best known as The Voyage of the Beagle, and his findings played a pivotal role in the formation of his scientific theories on evolution and natural selection. The kit Hot on the heels of their H.M.S. Terror kit, reviewed HERE, OcCre have hit the ground running with H.M.S. Beagle, of Charles Darwin fame. Both Terror and Beagle are of course well-known for very different reasons, and their familiarity shows OcCre not straying too much from that comfort zone. As with Terror, Beagle is packaged into a standard-type OcCre box with a cut out to display the nice fittings box that is a feature of these kits. A large, printed product label is affixed to the lid, and the kit itself is packaged in shrink film to protect it. For your information, the finished model’s dimensions are given as: Length: 720 mm Width: 230 mm Height: 480 mm Lifting the robust lid reveals a protective lower box through which you can see the instructions, and this box then splits open to access the contents. One half of the box holds three substantial bundles of very nicely cut timber, held together gently with elastic bands. The most obvious bundle is the lime, which is used for the first layer of hull planking. This creamy-looking material is super sharp with no fuzzy or split edges and is consistent in size. Our next bundle holds all of the remaining strip wood of all persuasions and sizes. There is more lime here of course, but also the Tanganyika for the second layer of hull planking. Colour is consistent too. Lime is provided for the deck planking. The last bundle contains both strip and dowel. All of the remaining timber parts have been packaged onto a wrap of heat shrunk and sealed clear plastic. I do think this approach actually aids warpage as the boards have a curve induced in them due to the wrapping. Once the plastic is cut away and removed, we get to look at the false keel and assess it. This ply part does indeed have a warp along its length, so this will need to be steamed and left flat on a sheet of glass or similar. \ There is no warp in the next sheet. This one contains the fo'c'sle deck, main deck, poop deck, transom, windlass mount and various interlocking structural elements. All laser cutting on this kit is excellent, with only minimal scorching. This sheet is also, thankfully. Warp free, and it contains all of the hull bulkheads and bow profile parts. Three inserts are also included which fit perpendicularly to the false keel and provide mounting points for the masts. We have a mixed bag with this sheet, with parts from all over the ship, plus elements to help build the four wooden launches/supply boats. Note parts here for the mast tops, trestletrees, cannon carriages, forward cannon rotating ring, channels etc. As an aid to the modeller, the upper outside of the hull sides are produced as shaped ply parts, with the grain running short-ways to allow them to bend properly around the hull. These are cut with the cannon ports in situ, so there’s no awkward fumbling to try and locate the positions of these. The second planking will of course lay directly over these ply faces. This sheet seems to deal solely with parts needed for those timber launches, and contains jigs, false keels and bulkheads. Our last timber sheet is walnut-stained ply. Many parts on this are for the display base, but you’ll also find keep, stem and stern parts, as well as mast steps. My sample does have a slight warp in this sheet. A single fret of bare brass photo-etch (PE) is included with this release, containing such parts as chainwales etc. Manufacturing quality is excellent with good parts definition and small tabs to remove the various elements. If you like your models to be fitted out with sails, then you’ll be happy to know there are a full set included in this release. These already look a little antique in appearance and are quite neat. A little fuzziness can be seen on the edges in some places, but that is easily fixed with some trimming and dilute PVA. You will need to attach your own bolt ropes though. There’s plenty of rigging cord included, in both natural and brown, of various sizes. All is neatly spooled with the diameters clearly given. Cord quality is also very good with no fuzziness being apparent. All OcCre kits come with these snazzy fittings boxes which are well worth keeping even when the model is complete. They are a great way of keeping organised. Eleven compartments contain all kit fittings, plus four more spools of rigging cord that have been placed there to stop the metal fittings rolling around. The metal parts are made from a zinc alloy (Zamak) which gives the parts are real nice definition, as can be seen from the gear teeth on the windlass. There are some slight seams to remove, and a jeweller’s file will do that nicely. Note that the anchor stocks are also cast in metal instead of made from wood and these just slip over the anchor stem. There are also davits here for the launches, and a whole rake of brass wire in different diameters. A set of printed flags is also included. All belaying pins, deadeyes and rigging blocks are manufactured from a pale wood (box?) and are not at all shabby. A few of the blocks may need a drill passing through them to make a totally clean exit hole. The brass pins are fine, sharp and with no deformation. Quite happy with those. Here you see the parrel beads, closed heart blocks etc. Here we can see the various pintles, gudgeons, chain, rigging pins, all made from brass. As well as more blocks (this time single hole) and deadeyes, and more metal fittings, such as the cleats, figurehead, wheel, and strangely enough….the quarter galleries. An odd choice of material for a couple of things here, but they are manufactured with good definition. The last items here are also zinc alloy. Thee cannon do look excellent. Just a few minor seams to tackle. There are two sets of sheets that involve construction of Beagle. With the first, you see a series of drawings that concern the masting of the model, and there is also a comprehensive parts list. For the second set of sheets, a series of clear, colour photos take you through the build. These are pretty self-explanatory and shouldn’t provide any problem. Some drawings are interspersed with the photos. Thee last pages are taken over by rigging and masting illustrations, and also a deck plan for reference. Conclusion You get quite a lot of kit for your money with H.M.S. Beagle, and most certainly a lot of good quality material. My only real gripe is the packing of the ply parts and the ply they are specifically made from as there is warpage present. I know some modellers aren’t keen on MDF for these parts, but it sure doesn’t warp. Maybe they’ll consider this in future. Apart from that, there’s nothing really to criticise for a kit of this level. It’s also good to see that instead of packing white metal launches into this, all are made as separate projects in their own right. The use of zinc-based metal parts also lends itself to a far sharper end result, although the very minor seams will just take a little more work with a jeweller’s file. OcCre continue with their tradition of providing colour-photo driven instructions with accompanying text sheets, and these seem very simple to follow. All in all, this is a kit which could well provide an in-road for a modeller who wants to try their hand at wooden ships, or even as a nice subject for a more seasoned modeller. Another very nice release from OcCre. My sincere thanks to OcCre for the kit reviewed here on Model Ship World. To buy this kit from Ages of Sail, click the link at the top of the article.
  8. 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.
  9. 1:64 H.M. Cutter Alert 1777 Vanguard Models Catalogue # VM-01 Available from Vanguard Models for £180 The Alert, built in Dover by Henry Ladd and launched on 24th June 1777, was the largest class of cutter in the Royal Navy. Alert originally carried ten four-pounder carriage guns and six to twelve half-pounder swivel guns. She was one of fifteen cutters built for the Royal navy between 1777 and 1778. Smaller cutters were often purchased or built by private yards and then purchased by the Navy, but Alert was purpose built from the keel up. In February 1778, Alert docked at Plymouth for an overhaul, to which some alterations were made to her hull and the ten four pounder carriage guns were replaced with twelve six pounder guns, raising her broadside weight by 30%. The guns were changed because six-pounder shot was more commonly available and, of course, they were more effective. Because of the increase in ordnance, the crew of the Alert was increased from sixty to eighty men, and recommissioned under a new commander, Lieutenant William George Fairfax. In May 1778, Fairfax was promoted to Commander and Alert was re-classed as a sloop to comply with Admiralty requirements. (Although always remained cutter rigged) On 17th June 1778, the Alert, in company with the frigate Arethusa, spotted and intercepted the French frigate Belle Poule and the armed lugger Coureur, with the latter overhauled by the Alert and surrendered, returning to Spithead after the action with her prize. On 8th July of the same year, whilst on an independent deployment, searching for the enemy fleet, Alert was taken by surprise and captured by the French frigate Junon. Alert is reported as lost without trace on 15th December 1779. Alerts sister, Rattlesnake lasted a little longer, being wrecked on the island of Trinidad on 11th October 1781. The model kit of the Alert is depicted after her refit with twelve six-pounder guns and a full complement of twelve half-pounder swivel guns, giving an ordnance total of twenty-four guns. Although not stated in the records when researching, it is possible that the upper bulwarks were fully planked, rather than having the open drift. The decoration that adorns the upper sides and stern is optional, as it is unlikely that the original vessel, when in service, would have had such decoration. This is inspired by the two paintings of the vessel by Joseph Marshall, which formed part of the George III collection of ship model paintings. It is possible the decoration would have been painted on during launch day, or if a prominent (Royal) figure visited to review the fleet. The kit H.M. Cutter Alert 1777 is the very first kit from Chris Watton’s own brand label, ‘Vanguard Models’. Of course, you will have heard of Chris’s name from kits released under the Amati (Victory Models) and Caldercraft/JoTika companies, as well as some magazine part-work stuff etc. I’ve bbeen watching this project come together both on and off Model Ship World, and the sort of effort that goes into producing a model kit. Vanguard’s new kit comes in a reasonably large box which is adorned with photos of the completed model, and some profile illustration too. Guess what? I got kit #001!! I’ll not claim any preferential treatment though! Lifting the lid and the first layer of bubble-wrap reveals a personalised customer letter and also a MASSIVE A3-size instruction manual which is spiral bound. We’ll look at this again a little later. Fittings A neat little labelled box contains all of the fittings for Alert, carefully kept in one place, and very professional-looking too. Cutting the tape tab reveals a series of labelled bags. Everything in this kit is also labelled in the same way and easily cross referenced against both the parts inventory and during construction. It really does appear to have been made as intuitive and easy to follow as humanly possible. The fittings are generally a mix of either resin or white metal. In the first pack we have the large winch which is cast in resin. This was originally intended to be white metal, but the quality of the parts was poor, so a new part was 3D designed and cast in light grey resin. Only a little clean-up is required to push this into service on Alert. Also in resin is the smaller windlass for the topsail bitts. The anchors are cast in white metal, and these look great. Very little preparation will be needed before they can be used. More white metal fittings are supplied for the twelve 6-pounder cannon and the twelve half-pounder swivel guns. I would give these a clean-up with a file and some steel wool. Another pouch is supplied for the cannon shot. One of the next packs contain steel pins for assisting with the first layer of planking. These look very nicely made and are sharp, with nothing malformed. It could be an idea to pilot drill the plank before using these, so as not to split any of the MDF frames or the planks themselves. The next two packs contain deadeyes and deadeye sheaves. The quality of these is very good, and definitely some of the nicest I’ve seen recently. Three more packets contain two sizes of single block and one size of double block. Again, quality is evident here. In the last three packets in the fittings box, you’ll find triple blocks, parrel beads and also the mainstay ‘mouse’. Rigging A zip-lock wallet contains six spools of very high-quality rigging cord in natural and black colours, as well as a sleeve of thicker natural thread which I think is for the anchor cables. This latter is handmade by Syren in the US, so you can be assured of its standards. Also note how each spool is labelled and inventoried so you won’t accidentally use the wrong cord when rigging. Timber strip Onto the timber strip. This initial release of Alert contains boxwood for the deck planking and pearwood for the hull. This sort of timber isn’t normally found in kits, with the recent exception of Master Korabel’s Avos kit’s XS Edition. It certainly is very welcome to see, and the standard of timber is excellent. I do believe that Chris will be releasing a slightly cheaper version of Alert with Tanganyika instead of pearwood and boxwood. Chris hopes this will retail for around £155 and is actually the same as he used in the prototype model you can see on the box lid and the photos in this review. All timber strip is packed into thick, sealed plastic sleeves, and clearly labelled so you can cross reference with the inventory to make sure you are indeed using the correct wood for the specific task. Timber standards are high with a nice uniform colour per batch, no coarse grain or split ends and fuzziness. Sail cloth is supplied too, just in case you do indeed want to display in this manner. The material is provided as sheet, and you will need to use the drawings to draw out the shapes on the cloth and cut/sew. Sails aren’t really for me, but the option is there, should you want to display her in all her sheets to the wind glory! Sheet material Now we come to the sheet material. There are two thick, clear sleeves containing laser-cut material. This first sleeve holds all of the main constructional elements plus something rather unusual for a kit like this, and that’s a clear acrylic display base! The base is a simple but attractive slot-together affair whose parts just need to be gently removed from the sheet. They are also covered in a protective film that makes it look dull in my photo. Rest assured that the material underneath is crystal clear. To assemble this, you could either use an acrylic cement such as Tensol, or an epoxy that will also dry clear. One such product that comes to mind is from HpH Models in the Czech Republic. You can of course use Cyano glue, but make sure it’s the odourless variety so it won’t cloud the clear plastic. The constructional stuff here comes in two sheets of 3mm MDF and one sheet of 2mm timber, all nice and warp-free. On the MDF, you’ll find the false keel, bulkheads, inner and outer bow patterns, stern planking and securing patterns, and the ship’s stove flue. The timber sheet contains the lower deck pattern (constructional element), and stern frames (middle, inner, outer). Laser-cutting is nice and neat with almost no localised scorching. It wouldn’t really matter either way though as these parts will be either hidden or bevelled. Our second sleeve of parts are all laser-cut from timber, with no MDF. Here, we have a combination of 3mm, 1.5mm and 1mm sheet material, containing parts for absolutely everything else timber-related on Alert, from gun carriages, hatch coamings, keep parts, cap rails, transom rails, tiller arm, trestle trees etc. You name it, it’s here. There are a few parts on the 1mm sheet which are hanging by only a few tabs due to the relative fragility of the tabs on a thin sheet, but all parts are perfectly fine. This material isn’t too rigid either, so those parts that need to be curved, such as the transom, will do so without any problem whatsoever. Photo-etch The inclusion of photo-etch in models these days is almost de rigueur, and Alert is no exception. Three frets are included in 0.2mm, 0,4mm, and 0.6mm bare brass, and all as good as any such material that I’ve used in any of my magazine and book work over the last 10yrs. As well as the obvious and intricate outer hull scrollwork embellishments, you’ll find metalwork here for the bowsprit and masting, cleats, windlass parts, stanchions, rudder gudgeon and pintle brace, eyebolt rings, deck grating, anchor ring, rigging components, and even a neat nameplate for the clear acrylic stand. All parts should be nice and easy to remove with them being held with thin, narrow tabs. A jeweller’s file will be needed to clean up any nibs remaining from the tabs. Instruction book This is epic in size! Printed in colour on thick paper stock in A3 size, the manual us spiral-bound instead of just being stapled. This means it will be easy to turn pages over, and the size is good for the eyes for those of us of whose youth has long since slipped away. The manual is 56 pages and begins with a side and upper elevation drawing of Alert, followed by a history and building tips/suggested tools and materials list. A full inventory is then supplied, along with images of the various sheets and PE frets. As the timber elements aren’t numbered on the sheets, you are advised to number each yourself before removal from the sheet. Construction sequences are given in photographic form with crystal clear English explaining everything along the way. All illustrations are also clearly annotated where required. The photographs are interspersed with more drawings of the vessel in various profiles, clearly showing the task at hand. A good example of how comprehensive the instructions are is the inclusion of a deck plank showing the planking format and the shift between the planks. When it comes to masting, drawings are supplied for this with accompanying dimensions and diameters. As I always find masting the most frustrating task, the drawings are a big help and clearly mark out the plan of attack. Excellent rigging illustrations are also supplied, showing everything clearly, including seizing, ratlines etc. A guide to exactly which rigging block to use is also provided. No guessing like on many of the legacy kits that got so many of us started in this hobby. As also mentioned, sail plans are supplied so you can make and add these from the cloth that’s provided. Conclusion What a great start to Chris’s new venture, Vanguard Models. He does keep telling me that he’s learnt so much from this that he will change in future releases, but he does sell himself short, dramatically. If you know of Chris’s work from his previous designs with Amati and Caldercraft, then you will know his own personal style comes through in attention to detail and design approach. This is a gorgeous kit that will present many hours of fulfilling bench time. Materials quality is what what we have come to expect from high-end kits. All in all, a fantastic package! My sincere thanks to Chris Watton for getting this out so quickly for me to feature as a review here on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click this link at the top of the article.
  10. 1:72 Santiago de Compostela, Galleon of the XVI Century - Disarmodel - Ref. 20170W Company: Disarmodel Kit No: 20170W Retail Price: EUR 160.- Available here: https://www.disarmodel.com/nivel-4/29-santiago-de-compostela-galeon-del-s-xvi-8436552884188.html 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 A galleon is a sailing vessel used since the early s. XVI. The galleons were powerful and very slow ships of destruction, which could also be used for trade and / or war. Technical data Scale: 1:72 Length: 750mm Height: 520mm Width: 270mm Level: Intermediat to Advanced The kit 1 x Instruction Booklet (Spanish, English, French, German, Italian) 1 x Big printed image of the 1:1 Modell 3 x Sheets of lasercut plywood 6 x Sheets of various wood, e.g. iroko wood Various dowels for masts and yards Various strips of wood Various Rope Small parts (blocks, Pole, Chains, Fittings etc.) Flags Pre-sewn sails All parts of the kit are stored safely and tidily in the box. The wood package Let's look deeper at this kit and start with the perfectly lasered plywood And we go on with the other lasered parts. Included is also a mask for the paintings For the masts and yards we get very nice dowels. The quality of the wood is excellent. Sharp edges, no splinter. The small parts come sorted in useful plastic boxes. Have a look at this mass of great brass guns and the very well casted anchors and swivel guns! The next box includes lot's of the typical smaller wood parts. The rope. Very good looking even I think it might be a little bit oversized. The Flags are a bit of a weakness of this otherwise great kit as they are just printed paper. You even get pre-sewn sails Paperwork. Essential for a 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 is a great kit of a spanish galleon. 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. All parts are really very good up to high quality and you can feel the attention made to details in this kit. I can't say for sure if its a intermediate or advanced 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 unbelievable €160, and that represents really good value for money for this nice kit. Honestly we think it is too cheap again 🙂 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-4/29-santiago-de-compostela-galeon-del-s-xvi-8436552884188.html
  11. 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.
  12. 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. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Please note that I built this kit 15 years ago so there might have been uptdates to the kit that I´m unaware of. Review HMS Pandora Constructo 1:85 ref.80824 Background HMS Pandora is best known as the vessel sent to capture Fletcher Christian and the mutineers of Bligh´s Bounty. After arresting the majority at Tahiti and then spending four unsuccessful months combing the South Pacific, Captain Edward Edwards decided to give up the chase and steer for England. In attempting to discover a new, more direct passage through Cook´s Endeavour Strait, between the northeastern trip of Australia and New Guinea, HMS Pandora was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef on 29 August 1791. Thirty-one of the crew and four of the mutineers went down with the ship. Edwards, with the ninety-eight survivors, sailed four of the ship´s boats 1200 nautical miles to the Duch settlement of Coupang in Timor and eventually made their way to Batavia ( Present day Djakarta) There, those that did not die as a result of their privations, found passage back to England. The eventual court martial of the ten remaining mutineers resulted in three being hung at Portsmouth from the foremast yard of HMS Brunswick. The fate of Christian and the others who had sought refuge at remote Pitcairn Island was not discovered until 1808. By then, all but one were dead. ( Text from the manual) Construction of the kit Length: 32,5 Inches ( 78 cm) Height 24 Inches (58cm) With: 11 Inches (26,5 cm) The Constructo HMS Pandora is a plank on bulkhead construction with the option to make it a single or double planked hull. The colour and quality of the first planking strips are good enough to be left without the second planking. The second planking consists of veneer 0.6mm. thick which is relatively easy to work with but I find it a little too thin for hull-planking. Materials The wood in the kit is of mediocre quality and strips break easily while soaking and bending. This is compensated with the fact that there is a great deal of spare wood. The strips are made from Mulkaly (light Ochre), Sapelly (Dark Brown), Ayous (Ivory). The different colourations of wood strips results in less need for painting of the hull which displays the beauty of the wood. All fittings are either wood, brass or cast metal there are no plastic parts. Fittings The kit contains a lot of standard or generic fittings that are out of scale. What I mean is parts that you can find on other Constructo kits, so if you are looking for historical accuracy you will have to do a bit of research and scratch building. The cast metal parts are not the best I have seen and the transom is a disaster. It’s heavy, hard to fit and looks out of place when fitted to the ship. Manual List of parts and manual are in seven different languages which is commendable but the backside is that the different languages are mixed up. Every part is presented 7 times resulting in a manual that is a little hard to follow. The Manual is easy to understand when you finally find your own language but you need to have some previous experience in ship modelling to completely understand the instructions. The level of detail in the manual is at an intermediate level but this does not include the rigging. The rigging is explained by the plans and some very poor photographs this is not a task for a beginner. You really need to read up on rigging before trying to understand Constructos attempt for a rigging instruction. The pictures are in black and white and of poor quality. Constructo needs to improve the picture department a lot. There are also a few numeric errors meaning that the pictures and plans do not correspond to the numbers in the list of parts. Plans The plans are ok and mostly in scale admitting you to take accurate measurements. It helps if you have had some experience reading plans. For instance a plan showing the fittings on deck does not reveal both sides of the deck. You are to understand from experience that certain parts are to be fitted the same way on both sides Building experience I had some trouble with the poor wood quality but then again this improved my skills. I had no plan of making a historical accurate ship so the prefabricated standard parts did not bother me that much. Although I might sound negative I had a great time building the ship and the learning experience was over the top. The Constructo HMS Pandora was my second build and I can recommend it as a second or a third build. It’s of great help if one has already done the rig of a ship with at least two masts and has some experience of plank on bulkhead models. Reading my review might deterrent you from buying a Constructo Pandora-kit but keep in mind that these are my personal thoughts and I’m a little picky. Summary If you are looking for that second or third challenge but your wallet struggles against you, the Constructo HMS Pandora is a great kit for learning the skills of the hobby. It’s well worth the money you pay for it and is sure to give you many hours of fun and pleasure along with some aggravation but that’s part of the hobby. With a few scratch-built fittings and some book reading on the side, your model will look great. If you are a little more experienced and are looking for a high quality model kit with historical accuracy and perfected instructions the Constructo HMS Pandora is not for you. Ps: This is my first review ever so if you have any questions about the review or need some guidance building the kit, feel free to contact me through PM. Erik Nyren
  18. Just a quick unboxing of Daniel Duseks new kit of the 1:48 Dutch "Statenjacht Utrecht". As it was a preorder I got just a white box ... The content. The (very nice!) resin parts Accessories (Blocks are crap, sorry Daniel ... guns seems workable ...) Lasered sheets, a lot of pear but unfortunately the stem is not pear ... (Daniel I might order this sheet as pear!) Just some photoetched parts (curious if I find potential for more ... ) More wood Wonder if these windows will not break ... always a very delicate part for lasering ... Very nice laser work. The paperwork. Instructions My very first impression: For a very good price (I guess something around 200.- EUR, Daniel?) a very very good Dusek Style Kit. So, highly recommend! Gruss, Dirk
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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!

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