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Found 49 results

  1. Hi all, I'm a big fan of pre-dreadnoughts , particularly ironclads. There's not a lot of kits available for these beasts, currently Cottage Industry Models offers some really nice 1:192 and 1:96 kits. The 1:96 kits are cutaway with full interior detail and I'll probably build one (CSS Tennessee) in the future. Other current manufacturers I am aware of are Flagship Models, Lone Star Models and Old Steam Navy (There are probably others, LMK). Most modelers are familiar with Verlinden Productions, a company that made some of the best PE and resin add on detail sets for armor and aircraft. Unfortunately, the company closed in 2016 so these fine products are only available from ebay, as NOS or from in-store inventory. What most aren't aware of is that Verlinden released a line of waterline 1:200 civil war ironclads called "North and South". This is an unboxing and quick look at their kit of the Confederate ironclad CSS Nashville. I purchased the kit from Dragon-Hobby on eBay for about $100 shipped. Here's a quick history and description from Wikipedia: "The ship was 271 feet (82.6 m)long overall, had a beam of 62 feet 6 inches (19.1 m) and a draft of 10 feet 9 inches (3.3 m). The side wheels were powered by two steam engines with a 9-inch (229 mm) bore and a 36-inch (914 mm) stroke. She was armed with three 7-inch (178 mm) Brooke Rifles and a 24-pounder howitzer. Nashville was laid down at Montgomery, Alabama because of the availability of riverboat engines there. Launched in mid-1863, Nashville was taken to Mobile for completion in 1864. Part of her armor came from the CSS Baltic. Still fitting out, she took no part in the Battle of Mobile Bay on 5 August 1864. She helped fend off attacks on Spanish Fort Alabama on 27 March 1865, supporting Confederate forces until driven away by Federal batteries, and shelled Federal troops near Fort Blakely on 2 April 1865. The ships retreated up the Tombigbee River 10 days later when Mobile surrendered. She was one of the vessels formally surrendered on 10 May 1865. Although never quite finished, she had been heavily armored with triple 2-inch plating forward and around her pilot house, only a single thickness aft and there had been some doubts expressed that her builders might have overestimated her structural strength. After a survey by a Union engineer, he determined that she was hogged when surrendered and was not strong enough to bear the weight of her full armor, and that she could not live in a seaway. Following her surrender, Nashville was laid up until 22 November 1867, when she was sold for scrap, her armor having previously been stripped for reuse in other vessels. Here's an artist's rendition from Google images: On to the kit... Packaged in a sturdy plain white box with a color label, the hull and parts bag were safely bubble wrapped and surrounded by foam peanuts. Here's the instructions: Here's some shots of the one piece resin waterline hull. No flash, bubbles or distortion. This is one of the nicest resin castings I've ever run across. The cast detail is crisp and the finish is smooth. The hull measures about 16" long, 4" wide (with paddles) and 4" tall (with smokestack). Here's the rest of the parts: Lots of sprues to saw off, but the overall detail is quite good. My kit was missing one cannon port cover, but there are extras included so no problem. One bottom edge of the paddle wheel cover is broken off, but the piece was in the parts bag and should re-attach with no problem. After a good cleaning, assembly should be pretty simple. A coat of proper primer and then she'll be ready for weathering. Ugly as she is, she should build up into an obscure but interesting model. Since these kits are out of production, they're getting harder to find but the good thing is that they can be found for a fraction of their original list price. In conclusion, this is a fine kit. Well cast, nice detail and relatively simple construction. This kit is in my build queue, and I'll start a build log when I begin construction.
  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. 1/72nd Scale Wütender Hund - Privateer Klaus Störtebeker's Cog Shipyard **Now available as of 03/2020** (A note about this review: I am not James! Which means that I do not currently possess a slick photography setup, nor do I have photogenic hands. 😋 Judge the photos accordingly!) Polish designers have been in the vanguard of card model kit development for decades. One Polish company, Shipyard, has established a deserved reputation for high-quality card model kits of sailing subjects, usually in 1/96th scale. A few years back, they started producing what they call, thanks to the vagaries of translating Polish into English, “laser-cardboard” kits in 1/72nd scale. These kits included laser-cut parts, a set of laser-cut formers, and all of the fittings and materials—including paints and brushes—needed to finish the model (everything except glue). With the release of Wütender Hund, Shipyard have now entered into the wooden kit market as well. After all, paper is just processed wood, right? When I first read about this impending release, I was keen to find out if Shipyard’s venture into wooden kits would produce something on par with their top-notch paper kits. After a quick glance through the kit’s contents, I think that it’s safe to say that Shipyard has come up with a winner. Ready? Then let’s take a look! Wütender Hund was the vessel captained by Klaus Störtebeker, the leader of a group of North German privateers that were active at the end of the 14th century. The ship is an example of a cog, a common type of merchant vessel during the Middle Ages. The name “Wütender Hund” roughly translates as “mad dog.” When completed, Wütender Hund is 355 mm long by 316 mm high and 200 mm wide. Upon its arrival at my door after its long trip from Puszczykowo, Poland, I was pleased to find that the good folks at Shipyard had packed the shipping box very well, with plenty of cardboard to stiffen it and packaging peanuts to help it survive stops in Poznan, Arnhem, Cologne, and Liege on its way to America. Neither the kit box packed inside nor its contents were damaged in any way. The kit box itself is 500 x 350 x 50 mm in size and features bold graphics, details about the kit, and photos of the prototype model. It comes protected inside a clear plastic shell. Opening the box reveals three smaller boxes along with plans, instructions, and sheets of laser-cut parts packed in clear plastic sleeves. There was no packing material inside the box, but then again there isn’t really anything inside that could be damaged by simply sliding around. We’ll start by unpacking the mysterious inner boxes! Inside the largest of the boxes are rigging materials. Wütender Hund has a very simple rig, having only a single mast and one yard, so there isn’t a whole lot of dowels in the kit—three, to be precise (the smallest-diameter dowel is intended to be used as a glue applicator). One dowel had a slight bend at one end, but the remainder were nice and straight. (I think there's a dog hair in the photo -- I have three dogs, and one of them is a shed-o-matic!) Five diameters of rigging cordage are provided, from 0.1 to 1.0 mm. All of the rigging is left natural; tarred rigging will need to be colored. Blocks and hearts are laser-cut. Each block or heart is built up from multiple layered parts. The inner parts are smaller than the outer parts, so that the finished part will have a groove for stropping. Moving to the next box, we find individually bagged materials and tools. Two diameters of copper wire are provided for making various metal parts. These and the turned brass belaying pins will need to be blackened. One bag contains tiny pieces of cut plastic tubing that will be used for making gudgeons. Two paint brushes, one square-tipped and the other round, are provided. They appear to be white sable or similar. In the last box we find a set of four acrylic paints: black, red, white, and beige. There are a whopping 14 sheets of laser-cut parts. The laser cutting is very good, and char on the reverse sides is minimal and easily removed. Many of the parts are veneers, so their reverse sides are not even visible on the finished model. The thickest ply sheet contains hull formers. Unlike some wooden kits, these do not have fairing lines engraved on them, but since the bulkheads are thin, they will not need much work in that department. Other parts are cut from different shades of plywood (walnut is my guess), which should produce some pleasing contrasts on the model. Plank seams are laser-engraved. The thinnest sheets contain veneers that will be applied to various parts of the model. These also have laser-engraved details, which I personally find rather remarkable when considering how thin these actually are, i.e. engraving lines nowhere cut completely through the material. The smallest sheet is brown card stock and contains parts that will need to be painted to simulate ironwork, such as rudder hardware. A complete suit of pre-cut and pre-printed sails (two -- whoa, nelly!) is included. The striking “mad dog” will need to be painted. As you can see, that’s a lot of parts! Happily, a complete parts list is provided, featuring labeled drawings of every parts sheet. Sixty-four pages of full-color instructions in two booklets walk the builder through the construction process. Book 1 covers hull construction, while Book 2 covers masting and rigging. The instructions are almost entirely photo-based and include very little text, but the build sequence is thoroughly outlined by the high-quality and plentiful photographs. This format will feel familiar to card modelers. Two single-sided and one double-sided plan sheets are included. These include hull plan and profile views, masting and sail plan, and rigging plan. Shipyard’s extensive experience with both laser-cutting and the production of card model kits has enabled them to do a superb job of bringing to market what is essentially a card model in design that is constructed in wood rather than paper. The quality materials, colorful instructions, and attention to detail suggest that Shipyard are sincere in their desire to bring together the best of both modeling media. Have they succeeded? I think they have, and I’ll probably find out for certain in the near future, as this kit practically begs to be started sooner rather than later. My sincere thanks go to Shipyard for providing this kit for review, and I hope that it becomes a big seller for them. For those interested in buying the kit, Ages of Sail, an MSW sponsor, is the US distributor of Shipyard products. For those wishing to stick to card models, Shipyard also offer a laser-cut cog kit in 1/72nd scale as can be seen here being built by Clare Hess and reviewed here. Cheers!
  4. 1:8 Ferrari Timossi Racer ‘Arno XI’ (Special Edition) Amati Model Catalogue # 1610 Available from Amati for €319.67, excluding tax The Arno XI is a hydroplane inspired by Achille Castoldi in the early 1950s and built by the Cantiere Timossi boatyard, located in Azzano (a frazione of Mezzegra) on the Lake Como. Castoldi wanted to establish a world water speed record so he persuaded then Ferrari racing drivers Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi to influence Enzo Ferrari to supply him with a 4.5-litre, V12 Ferrari engine; the same engine that gave Ferrari his first Grand Prix victory with the Ferrari 375 F1 at Silverstone Circuit in 1951. The engine was installed in a Timossi three-point racing hydroplane hull. Castoldi managed to further increase horsepower by attaching two superchargers. The result was a 502 bhp speedboat, which he used to hit a 150.19 mph top speed in October 1953 on Lake Iseo. This world speed record for an 800 kg boat still stands today. Arno XI was later sold and raced in numerous competitions, finally retiring in 1960. It has since been restored and as of December 2019, is expected to go for up for sale by RM Auctions for up to €1.5m. Information and photo taken from Wikipedia The kit The Arno XI is far from a new release, with the original kit first seen around the 1990s. That specific release is still available and has a traditional built-up hull that the modeller must plank with the supplied strip wood. I have seen one of these built up in a model shop in Manchester, UK, a good number of years ago, and it was outstanding! When Amati asked if I would like to take a look at the newer version of this kit, in Special Edition format, I really couldn’t refuse. What makes this kit different to the original is that the entire hull is pre-built in glass fibre. If that’s not enough, then it’s also pre-planked in mahogany and polished too! With the cockpit superstructure already being a fibreglass composite component, then this model is as close as you can get to the hard stuff being done for you. It’s also suitable for Radio Control (RC), and measures in at an impressive 79cm. Now, this box is large and reasonably heavy too. A glossy sleeve envelopes the box, with a large image of a completed and mounted model, resplendent in the famous Ferrari red. The box sides show images of the box contents, and most impressively, that pre-built hull. But, what does it actually look like? OK….here goes. Removing that sleeve is amazingly difficult as the fit is so tight. It took both myself and my wife to extract it without causing it damage. With that carefully removed, the tabbed box lid was opened to reveal the contents. Of course, I knew what I was going to see, but actually seeing it was something else! The pre-built hull is absolutely stunning. Amati has carefully packed this so that the other elements such as boxed components and manual, cause no damage to the beautiful finish of the main model. The cockpit/engine superstructure, is also sat in situ, giving a real impression of how this model will look once complete. With all of the packing components removed, the hull is now lifted from the box. There’s quite some weight in this, but probably not much different to how the traditional construction hull would weigh. In fact, this could be a tad lighter, dependent on the thickness of the glass fibre moulding. A quick check around the exterior showed that there were no real causes for concern regarding the finished quality of this and the safe shipping of it to get to me in the UK. Hull planking is extremely high quality, with nice, tight grained mahogany creating that famous finish. The whole surface is also very smooth. In fact, the only thing that you might do to finish that aspect is to give it a final coat of high-gloss varnish instead of the satin/low-gloss finish the model comes with. There will be some smaller details to add to the timber finish such as metal edging and brass nails. We’ll look at those soon. For the moment, I now remove the superstructure and look within the hull. The is secured by two nuts which fit to bolts that are secured into the bottom of the hull. One quick note here is that the hull interior or quite dusty from the manufacturing process, and I suggest the use of a mini keyboard hoover and a damp cloth to totally clean out the interior before you continue with any sort of paint or varnish work. That extremely nice mahogany planking extends to the undersides, despite the fact that some of this will of course be sheathed by large pieces of photo etch metal. The superstructure is also comprised of glass fibre sections which have been carefully assembled and have a very smooth external finish. The external details include nicely even engraving for panel lines. The bare cockpit will be fully fitted out in some superbly sumptuous fittings, as we’ll shortly see. Here, you can clearly see the fibreglass box which forms the bottom of the cockpit. The superstructure itself is also quite weighty. Some very minor clean-up will be required before work commences. Here, you can see the interior of the basic cockpit, with the holes/washers that fasten the superstructure to the lower hull. The box units that are built into the walls, will support the upholstered chair. You will need to make the seat removable, should you every wish to be able to remove the superstructure for the RC model version. For static, it isn’t necessary. Also of note here is that this release doesn’t detail how you would fit this model out for RC, but for an enthusiast, I can’t see it being too much of a problem as the interior of the superstructure and hull are quite easy to work within, being very accessible. An instrument panel is also fitted into the cockpit as a base for the detailed unit which will sit atop this. You’ll see that the vents just in front of the cockpit will also need to be cleaned up before you start to paint the superstructure. Now, if you know someone who works in an automotive garag and can persuade them to give a perfect Ferrari red finish to this unit, then that would be even better than using hobby paints, as a good two-part epoxy paint finish would really set this model off. Lying underneath the tail of the hydroplane hull is a touch cellophane sleeve that contains three sheets of material (MDF and mahogany veneer). This first sheet contains a couple of cores and frames for some cockpit detail work, but also has a number of parts for what will form a cradle for holding the completed model. These will need to be secured to a long wooden plinth, set 300mm apart, but this plinth is not included in this release, so you’ll have to check out your favourite hobby outlet. Laser cutting is very good, within fine cuts and minimal scorch. This next sheet contains parts that will be fitted within the hull, around the box area for the cockpit. The idea here is to provide mid-hull rigidity and stop the modeller from over-tightening the superstructure mounting nuts and compressing the fibreglass/timber hull too much. The last sheet of timber is this mahogany veneer. These parts are for the lower cockpit side walls, cockpit floor and also the rear of the pilot’s pedals. Laser cutting is excellent and provides to cause for scorch concern on these decorative parts. Tucked away in the main packaging jigsaw is this box of components. Whilst not actual leather, the seat, headrest and upper cockpit sidewalls are comprised of cores that are hand-stitched with faux-leather and actually look superb! After all, this is a Ferrari! There are standards to maintain… A good number of metal trim parts are supplied, with their chrome finish. The twisted part you see here is actually for the spine of the superstructure, also running down the back end of the tail. You are advised to check these against the unpainted unit and adjust if necessary. You really do need these to be fit-perfect when it comes to the painted model. A length of brass rod is also supplied. Another bag of parts contains a number of chrome plated metal elements. Here you see the steering wheel and parts for mounting the long propeller shaft on the underside of the hull. All parts are superbly made and have perfect plating. No extra work is needed with these. And here is the propeller shaft with integral prop. These will look stunning against the mahogany of the lower hull. In another bag we have a whole series of parts which will be dispersed around the model. Here, you can see blisters for the upper engine cowls, mounting stirrups for the long exhaust units, pump/syphon unit, and also a small number of cockpit parts. There are a lot of screws supplied with this kit, for various tasks, such as fitting the chrome trims etc. Not only do you get the screws, but there are numerous drill bits supplied to do the job too, ensuring you don’t drill anything with too large a diameter. This nifty little unit is the rudder and mounting unit. Constructed from various components, this ready-assembled unit does actually move with a nice, smooth motion. It looks like it’s been made in a Swiss watch factory! All chrome trims have been pre-shaped. All you need to do is to check them against the hull and superstructure, and tweak if necessary. They are also pre-drilled to accept the fastening screws. These are the exhaust units, and they are both long and heavy, made from brass and chrome-plated, these units screw to the superstructure engine cowls and also rest on the stirrups that are mounted to the top of the hull. The ends are also hollow for realism. More trim and décor here! Yes, there’s another box of parts with a relatively small part’s count. A photo-etch instrument panel is included, complete with the authentic, vintage finish that’s been pre-etch. Onto this will fit the metal bezels, and acetate/printed instruments will fit from behind. The mahogany hull will need to be drilled and fitted out with brass pins. These are scattered everywhere along the various planks on all sides of the timber unit. Whilst this is immensely tedious, the finish that it will provide will look amazingly authentic. If you want an RC model, I suggest you can the pins short, so they don’t protrude too far within the hull. When inserted, you really need to give the hull a delicate, overall sanding to ensure nothing stands proud of the surface. You can also see the cowl latch tensioning springs here and some fastenings for the model mounting brackets. This packet contains printed instruments, a roll of rigging cord for which its inclusion still eludes me (!!) and also a few more brass parts that I still need to identify. In another packet we have some dowel for constructing the foot pedal tube, and other material which would be used for syphon tubes etc. I think this part represents the rear of the fuel tank, possibly. It protrudes into the cockpit and is located behind the pilot’s seat. This is a vac-form part that needs trimming and painting in aluminium before installation. A sheet of decals is included for the superstructure exterior, with the race number, pilot name and also the iconic Ferrari logo and badges. Again, not too sure about some stuff here, but I’m sure the acetate is included for the instruments. This LARGE photo-etch sheet is finished in nickel-silver and contains parts for the sides/undersides of the hydroplane wings, as well as for the cockpit floor. Another, smaller PE sheet contains finishing plates, latches, foot pedal plates, instrument bezels etc. The instruction book for this kit is superb, being printed in colour photograph format, and with clear annotation. The only problem for uncultured types like me is that it’s in Italian. Things are pretty self-explanatory, but should you need a translation, then it isn’t too difficult with stuff like Google Translate etc. There are twenty pages in this manual, and I’ve photographed numerous here for you to get a feeling about the manual and the kit itself. Two large plan sheets are included, one with several views of the actual vessel, and one with images of parts sheets etc. Conclusion This is quite an extraordinary kit, not just in subject choice, but also in the quality of the prefabricated parts. This is very much designed for someone who wants to either sail under RC or display in their cabinet/office, without too much of the fuss of spending countless hours in building, planking, sealing and polishing. The whole package is quite sumptuous, including the numerous fittings, photo-etch and of course that hand-stitched upholstery on the pilot’s seat. I do also think that the price of this kit, for what is offered, is very good value indeed, and yet still presents the modeller with a reasonable amount of work to do to create that famous Italian hydroplane. Amati’s instruction manual, albeit in Italian, is still straightforward to follow with its clear photographs and annotation. If this subject has ever tickled your fancy, get some Christmas money spent on one and create a truly iconic vintage vessel. My sincere thanks to Amati for the kit reviewed here on Model Ship World. To purchase, click the link at the top of this article, or contact your local Amati importer/distributor.
  5. 1:10 Blériot XI Amati Model Catalogue # 1712/01 Available from Amati for €284.43 “England’s isolation has ended once for all!”, so was written in an English newspaper, on the day after Louis Blériot flew across the English Channel from France. The French aviation pioneer, in his modified type XI monoplane, took off from Les Baraques near Calais at 4.41am on July 25th 1909, and landed at 5.17am in Northfall Meadow, near Dover. The Bleriot XI made its debut at the Paris Salon de d’ Automobile et de l’ Aeronatique in December 1908, along with two other Bleriot planes; the type IX and the type X. In October 1908 the London Daily Mail had offered a prize of £1,000 to the first aviator to cross the Channel in either direction. Bleriot’s exploit was proceeded by the unsuccessful attempt of another aviation pioneer, namely Hubert Latham. Designed by Louis Blériot and Raymond Saulnier, the Bleriot XI was a light, sleek monoplane built using oak and poplar wood with cloth-covered wings and was powered by the very reliable but simple Anzani 3-cylinder 25 HP engine. The plane's sporting achievements, robustness, functionality and piloting ease contributed greatly to its commercial success, and it was actually the first aircraft in the history of flight to be used in war, when Italian Capitano Piazza piloted a Bleriot during the Libyan campaign between 1911 and 1912. Sourced from Amati and Wikipedia The kit This kit is certainly not a new release, but it is one for which you can’t really find an unboxing/summary/review. After talking with Amati, we thought we’d redress that issue and bring you an article on this kit, in the style of our regular ship reviews. As you would guess from a 1:10 aeroplane, the box for the Blériot isn’t too small, with it taking up a reasonable chunk of my worktop real estate. Whilst being fairly average in weight, it’s a little top heavy with the parts packing, so careful if you prop it up against a wall like I originally did! Amati always ship in beautiful boxes, and this sturdy and glossy crate is no exception, with a very nice photo of a finished Blériot model on the lid, along with a period photo and detail image. You’ll also get a good idea of the size of this project when completed, with the given sizes being: Wingspan: 84cm Fuselage length: 80cm A note of course that the timber parts within are all laser cut, as we’ve come to expect from this and many contemporary manufacturers. The box sides contain more imagery of the finished model at various angles. Lifting the lid, you can see why the box is top heavy. Most of the parts are sitting on a card plinth within the base of the box, designed to stop the various elements rolling around within. Right on top is a large and thick cellophane sleeve containing all of the laser-cut wooden sheets, plus the two sheets of plans. We’ll look at the latter in a short while. The fist 3mm thick ply sheet contains parts for the fuselage and tail frames, plus some jigs for creating those spoked wheels. Jig parts are also included for creating fuselage sections, ensuring that the various frames etc. are correctly aligned. As you can see from the sheet, none of the parts are numbered, as you wouldn’t want that with a model whose frames are very visible timber. These can be checked off against the supplied parts sheet. Laser cutting is also excellent with very minimal scorching. Being quite light, you will be advised to stain the frames when the time is appropriate. This second sheet, again in 3mm ply, contains mostly parts for creating the wings and horizontal tailplane. Here you can see the various ribs with their notches for wing spars etc. We have another ply sheet here, but this time in a much thinner 1mm material. The larger curved parts here are the enormous wingtips, with the thin material designed to be able to create the curved underside of the thin wing. The smaller parts are mostly infills, which will then sit on top of the moulded wingtip and pack its thickness up to a more realistic 2mm. This small slip was packed into the sleeve, and it depicts the cut-outs needed in both dowel and strip for the main fixed tailplane section. This is supplied at full size for easy reference. There are three trays of components in this release. This first tray is the most obvious as it contains the large propeller/airscrew. These are standard Amati trays and the packets and parts inside are held in situ by a clear plastic lid. The prop/airscrew is finished in a dark varnish. Not sure how accurate this is, and I may consider stripping this and making it look laminated, along with a lighter varnish. The prop hub is a series of PE parts which need to be fitted. We now have several frets of photo-etch, all individually packed in thick plastic sleeves. All PE is of different gauges, but the connection tabs are quite small, so it won’t take long to remove them from the frets. A small file can then we used to smooth off the connection points. You will note parts here for the engine and engine framework etc. These are the cylinders, comprised of parts which stack upon one another, creating a cooling-fin effect. That should look quite nice when done, and beats using plastic where you’d need to remove an awkward seam. This is the material for covering the wings, tail and part of the fuselage. After being cut to size, this is applied with PVA and CA before being painted all over in dilute PVA. This will give it a smoother and more drum-like surface and of course, pull it taught. For a model which at first glance, appears to be mostly stick and string, there’s a surprising amount of photo-etch. The second fittings tray. Let’s take a look… As the aircraft has numerous pivoting surfaces and pipework, we are supplied with a range of both brass and copper tubes of various lengths and gauges. You will of course need some nails too, and some eyelets for things such as rigging. As well as brass eyelets, a bag of copper eyelets are also supplied. The bag of copper rods you see here are actually the wheel spokes, and they have a flat end on them to secure them in the jig whilst you assemble the wheels. Yet more brass nails and also brass strip parts which appear to be undercarriage related. Our last components tray. In here, we have various brass eyelets, engine components such as cylinder heads, large turnbuckles, undercarriage suspension springs, brass rod, riggings cord, plumbing parts etc. Quite a few parts here are cast in zinc alloy as they are stronger and hold detail far better than white metal or Britannia metal fittings. This little pack of curios contains parts in both timber of plastic. The cones form the ends of the large fuel tank for which you’ll need to construct a planked drum. Parts here exist for the control stick base, cylinder bases and the engine crankcase etc. Some minor clean-up of the plastic parts will be needed. Injection moulded rims are supplied for the wheels, with two per wheel. These will be assembled on the jig, and along with the brass hubs, they will be spoked just like the real thing. Minor clean-up will be needed to remove the sprue attachment gates. Large rubber rings are supplied for the tyres, and these will sit neatly into the recess between the two rings that make up each wheel. Yet more brass and copper tubes/rod. Of course, we can’t have a wooden model without timber strip. This will be used for some frames, wing/tail spars, leading edges etc. Timber quality is Amati standard, as always. Some flexible pipe is also supplied for plumbing the engine, fuel tank etc. As always, Amati’s instructions are excellent and productions all of their own. This 62-page A4 (landscape format) manual is produced in full colour with photographs that describe the various stages, step by step. Whilst the text is in Italian, there is an English translated sheet for those who need it. As well as photographs, a series of illustrative drawings helps the modeller throughout, and everything is also annotated superbly. A parts list is supplied here, as it on the English translation. Two plan sheets are included with one of these depicting various views of the Blériot for constructional reference, and also a sheet with plan parts supplied. These can be married up against the unnumbered parts on the laser-cut sheets. Conclusion Despite the minimalistic look of the Blériot, this isn’t a weekend project, by any means. There is still going to be a concerted effort needed, as with any model whose main assembly is in timber. Overall, the skeleton of the model is actually straightforward and only minimal tools will be required. Some care will be needed in covering the wings and tailplane, and you may opt to use an antique style material which is used for covering flying model aircraft wings and applied with an iron. Overall, the timber parts are superbly cut with little scorching, and the numerous PE sheets/frets will keep you entertained for many hours, as will those wheels which are built up from individual spokes. If you are a super-detailer, then you could also rig the fuselage with wire and use reproduction turnbuckles, instead of the supplied rigging cord. There are many possibilities, should you wish to deviate from an already excellent kit. You will need a large area to display this model, or it could hang from the ceiling in your study, recreating those stylish days of yesteryear. This kit is also very reasonably priced, so if those memories of the Flambards TV series or the original books by Kathleen Peyton etc. are what fire your imagination, give this kit a shot! My sincere thanks to Amati for sending the kit you see under review here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  6. Hello, friends! MSW member Clare Hess did such a bang-up job of describing this Shipyard kit in the first post of his build log that I took the liberty of copying it to create this review. You can find Clare's build log here -- and knowing his work, this will be a good one to watch! ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Earlier this year, I managed to acquire a relatively new kit produced by the Polish card model kit maker Shipyard. The kit is one of two that were released at least a year ago, maybe longer. Both kits represent medieval Cogs from the 1300s. Unlike other Shipyard kits I've worked on (yes, I only finished one paper ship model kit, but started a couple of them) which were paper kits and required cutting out pre-printed parts, this is a laser-cut card stock kit. Everything is already cut out in this type of kit, and the model requires painting. The kit I am building the kit listed by Shipyard as the Hanse Kogge - Bremen 1380. It is a 1/72 scale laser-cut kit based on the Bremen Cog. The completed model measures a little over 13" long and about 12.5" high. I decided to go ahead and take on this kit, though I have other projects, as the laser-cut design should make construction much simpler than the paper kits I've worked on. Ages of Sail, which is how I got my kit, sells this kit for about $125. There is a second Cog kit available called the Wütender Hund. It's a slightly bigger kit, maybe a little more complex, that sells for about $10 more. If you're interested in buying one, I'd really like to see other build logs! Here's a link to the kits on Ages of Sail: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/catalogsearch/result/index/?cat=72&q=Kogge So, taking a look at the contents of the kit... The laser-cut parts are in a cellophane envelope, individual carboard boxes keep things from knocking around in the main box and contain parts, paints, etc. The instructions make up a full-color booklet filled with photos. There's very little text, and what there is in multiple languages. Parts that aren't part of the laser cut sheets are provided in a couple cardboard boxes that include rigging line, laser-cut blocks and deadeye sets, paints, brushes, dowels, metal accessories, etc. The sail is pre-cut and pre-marked, but will need to be painted. There are several sheets of laser-cut card stock in various thicknesses and finishes. Some of the sheets have a glossy finish. Here are just some of the sheets. There are a couple sheets of plans included, which mostly cover rigging details. This looks like a very good kit and I'm pretty happy to be able to work on it. Next time, I'll post the start of construction. Clare
  7. I just received the Joy Yard Missouri kit. A cursory inspection shows that the advertisement hype is no exaggeration. Even the packaging is first class. The PE is in a separate box wrapped like a piece of jewelry. The details are really outstanding. The instruction manual is full color and appears very complete. The directions for bending a PE part specify which direction and how many degrees of bend to use. I only hope I can do this kit justice, it will be a challenge in deed. I have to finish my Indianapolis first. Here are some pictures to show some of the kit highlights. Enjoy, Harley
  8. 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
  9. 1/72 Brockley Combe, 1938 Cargo Ship Navarino Models Catalogue # B721 Available from Navarino Models for €299,00 Brockley Combe was a British cargo shop which was built by Hill Charles & Sons in their Bristol shipyard, in 1938. She was a typical example of a dry load cargo ship of the age and was 56.2m long. Her power came from a diesel engine. Information on Brockley Combe is scarce at best, with me only being able to pull a single image from an online search. Her career came to a sad end on 15thDecember 1953, when she broke up and sank after running aground south of Jersey, on the islands known as Minquiers (known as "the Minkies" in local English). Thankfully, no one perished in the sinking, with all of her crew being rescued by the Jersey lifeboat. The kit Navarino Models generally produce models of ancient and traditional Greek vessels (being a Greek company), so this particular model stands out a little in their catalogue. Their instruction manual says that the lines of this vessel were found in a book that ironically deals with scratch-building ship models without kits. Navarino took the lines and developed this 2016-release kit of this little-known vessel, sharing her with us and allowing us to recreate a 1930s cargo ship. This is no small venture either, with the model being roughly 730mm in length when complete. Navarino’s kit is packed into a very sturdy, single-piece corrugated box with a colour image of a completed Brockley Combe model on the lid. The lid is tabbed so you just pull this out to unlock the contents within. After removing the two instruction booklets and two plan sheets, your construction materials are uncovered. What you’ll immediately notice is that there are no actual sheets of parts from which to remove the individual components. Instead, all the various bulkheads, false keel, bulwarks etc. are pre-removed and, in some cases, bagged for a little extra security. Unlike many kits these days, the parts in this have been routed on a CNC machine, so there are no black/char edges to clean up before use. There are some slightly fuzzy edges on some parts, and you will need to tickle them with sandpaper to sharpen them up, but that, and regular hull/frame sanding is about the only waste material you’ll create when building this model. No empty wooden frames to dispose of at all. The false keel in this model, like the bulkheads, is machined from a good quality 6mm ply. It also comes in two parts that you will need to glue together and reinforce with the supplied pieces. A quick text of the fit shows that I’ll need to remove a small amount of wood from one joint, so the keel bottom and deck height are even. All slots are evenly machined and also very, very accurate. Test fitting the bulkheads shows not only a very snug fit, but also that they fit at the correct 90° angle to the keel parts. Note also that the bulkheads also have other slots too, into which two 4mm x 4mm longitudinal stringers locate, further helping keep things true and rigid. As an aside note, all parts in this kit are numbered with what appears to be a laser. There are a wide range of 1mm ply components in this kit, and they are all bagged in a clear sleeve. These include the bulwarks with their pre-cut portholes and scuppers, cabin fascias, doors, various deck parts (5 main sections), bulwark cap strips. Also worthy of mentioning are the marked positions on some decal parts, for the deck structure locations. Deck parts are also accurately notched to receive the 6mm bulkheads. Another bag of ply parts contains some 6mm ply sections that glue into the stern and bow areas to create a solid block that you will then sand to profile before planking commences. More 6mm ply forming the false keel reinforcement plates, and forecastle and main loading hatch structures. This little bundle are the parts for the loading hatch profiles, with their curved roof sections. All nicely machined and held together with elastic whilst in the box. When it comes to planking this hull, 60 strips of superbly cut limewood are supplied, each measuring 500mm x 1.5mm x 8mm. You may feel the need to halve that width when you plank around the fairly tight curve that exists on some of the bulkheads. Timber quality really is very nice, with this material being creamy and homogenous in appearance, with nice, sharp edges. Another bundle of wood contains more Ramin and lime strip wood, as well as Ramin dowel. Again, all materials here are of high quality. This material is for the deck planking and to me, it looks like Sapele due to the grain pattern and resin spots. Some edges are a little fuzzy, so it would be an idea to gently sand each edge before fitting to the decks. A smaller bag of ply parts are included for the rudder, and numerous other structural and superstructure areas. No matter how smooth you get that hull, the final planking will be achieved using 0.15mm aluminium sheet, cut into 20 strips of 25mm depth. It would appear that these need to be divided further into their correct lengths and then a riveting tool used to add that important detail to them. This material should form well around the hull but check how this would be laid out in pattern with regards to the bow and stern. You’ll need to fit these with cyano or contact adhesive. A small cardboard box contains various fittings and rigging. In there, you’ll find two small plastic launches with a clinker hull, brass and copper wire, rope, copper and brass rod, brass tubing, brass nails, stanchions, portholes, anchors, rigging rope spool, and other various fittings. Two plastic sleeves hold the parts for the staircases (pre-machined), rigging blocks and copper eyelets. A set of ship name decals is supplied, as are flags, printed on stiff paper. The last bag of components are all cast from a creamy yellow resin, save for one metal cast part for the mast. Here are all of those important detail features that you will scatter around the decks and superstructures. These include funnels, life preservers, bitts, winches, cleats, hatchways, doors, boxes and the single, large funnel. Most parts will need some form of clean-up, as you would expect with resin, and I would also recommend that you wash them first to remove any traces of mould release agent that could prevent paint adhering properly. A set of simple but useful colour illustrations are included in one of the manuals, but the text is in Greek. Another copy of this is included in black and white, but with English text. It also has a table of parts to reference. I think the instructions supplied are adequate for the model as most of it is straightforward and can be referenced on the two plan sheets. Both plan sheets have the charm of being hand-drafted and annotated. This takes me back to my days of school woodwork, but the illustrations are easy enough to follow and should provide a competent builder with no problems. Conclusion This is the first Navarino kit that I’ve seen, and I do really like the way things go together, the quality of materials and those little quirky things like not having to remove parts from frames. Brockley Combe is truly a multimedia kit, with not just timber, but also metal, resin and a little plastic too. Materials quality is excellent. Whilst I couldn’t recommend this kit to a raw beginner, I do think that someone with a model or two under their belt could do this some real justice. Some experience with resin could be useful, but not necessary. In all, a lovely model of a classic cargo ship of yesteryear, and one with character too! My sincere thanks to Navarino Models for sending this kit for review on Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  10. 1:50 Brig Aris – Historical Ships range Navarino Models Catalogue # C502 Available from Navarino Models for €549,00 The 350-ton Aris was constructed as a merchant vessel in Venice in 1807. Upon the outbreak of the Greek Revolution in March 1821, her owner, Anastasios Tsamados (1774-1825) from Hydra, armed the ship with 16 12-pounder guns and joined the fleet of his home island. Aris participated in many of the early naval clashes with the Ottoman Navy but became famous after the action fought at Navarino on 8 May [O.S. 26 April] 1825, which became known as the "Sortie of Aris" (Έξοδος του Άρεως). At that time, a Greek garrison was quartered at the island at Sphacteria, which controlled the entrance of the excellent natural harbour of the Bay of Pylos (Navarino). Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, tasked by the Ottoman sultan to suppress the Greek revolt, needed to take the island in order to use the bay for his own purposes. Aris, along with 5 other brigs, were anchored at Sphacteria when, on the morning of April 26, the combined Ottoman-Egyptian fleet arrived and started its attack on the island, bombarding the Greek positions and disembarking numerous troops. Most captains of the ships were on land, along with part of their crews, who were manning the island's cannons. The other ships sailed before the Ottoman fleet could seal off the bay, and after fighting off the Ottomans, were able to escape. The crew of Aris however still awaited their captain, who had been killed. Instead, Nikolaos Votsis, the captain of the Athena, which had already sailed without him, and Dimitrios Sachtouris, the commander of the Navarino fortress, came aboard, fleeing the advancing Egyptian soldiers. Votsis took over as captain, with Sachtouris as his first mate, and set sail. Also present on the ship was the Secretary of State, Alexandros Mavrokordatos, who was sent to the hold for safety. Aris sailed through the midst of the Turco-Egyptian fleet, being attacked on all sides for several hours and facing in total 32 ships one after another, before reaching the open sea. Casualties among the crew were just two dead and six wounded. After the end of the War of Independence, the ship was bought by the Greek government for the new Royal Hellenic Navy and renamed Athena (Αθηνά). It reverted to its old name in 1879, and was in service, mainly as a training vessel for the Hellenic Naval Academy, until 7 April [O.S. 25 March] 1921, when it was ceremonially sunk off Salamis with full honours on the 100th anniversary of the Greek Revolution. The action, justified on the grounds of the expense involved in the ship's maintenance, caused much criticism at the time from those who favoured her retention as a naval monument. Today, only the ship's figurehead is preserved, at the National Historical Museum of Athens. The kit This is our second Navarino Models review, with me taking a look at their Brockley Combe back in 2018. This time, Navarino have done the subject they always wanted to tackle, and that is a ship that was a belligerent at the battle from which the company named itself. And they’ve not done this by half either, with this release being presented in a high-quality birch ply box with a sliding lid that has a little trough for your finger to gip when you open the lid. The lid is also colour-printed with the box art, and each box is engraved with a serial number. Mine is kit #2! Navarino also asked if I’d like my name engraved, and they did this for me too. Now, this is a HEAVY box, so some care is needed in opening this up to take a look inside. Sliding back that lid uncovers some layers of bubble packing that stop anything rolling around whilst in transit. Hang on a minute...what is this I see? Well, Babis, the owner of Navarino Models obviously spotted my Facebook avatar and knew I was a Bowie fan, so he popped a 7” single in there of Blue Jean! That has surely got to be the most original item I’ve ever received with a kit! The covering letter explains a little too. Ok, back onto the subject. Underneath the protective layers, we have six sheets of plans, some sheets which form the plan identification, and also a set of English language instructions. Remove this and we see two clear plastic trays of fittings, a bag of rigging material, two bags of plywood components, three sheets of 6mm ply parts, two bundles of strip timber, and two large ply deck sections. Before I jump into the contents, here’s a great little video made by Navarino, highlighting their new kit, with some finished images of this famous brig. Suggested Tools Navarino supply the following text to recommend tools for the project, but you may of course have your own alternatives: Pliers, hammer (a small one), saws, chisels, knives, files, drills, electric plank bender or a mini travel iron, rasps (flat & half round), needle threaders, tweezers, rulers, squares, compass, awl, clamps, sanding blocks (small wood blocks, ice cream sticks), sandpaper (aluminium oxide is best), hobby plane, vice, scissors, pins, drills. For painting Again more suggestions from Navarino Models: Colour selection: Initially it is advisable to choose to use model paints on this model. They are produced exclusively for modelling use. The choice of the company is yours. You will also choose whether to be acrylics or enamels. Another alternative is oil painting, but these require more time to dry. Varnishes: These can be applied by brush or spray. Matt or satin or satin are preferable for use, but not gloss as this is more likely to be used on a sailing yacht! Brushes: Use good quality brushes with round, pointed and flat bristles, depending on the surface you are painting. Clean them thoroughly and after a painting session, wash them with a mild detergent to condition them. Main deck sections Two large, thin ply parts, pre-cut to size with CNC, are supplied for the main deck sections. Minimal clean-up is required around the mast positions, to remove a little furriness from the machining process. These deck sections give a pretty good idea about the size of this brig in 1:50, and just how fat she was in the beam. At 1143mm in length, this is definitely a large model when complete. False keel, bulkheads, cheeks etc. Three sheets of high quality 6mm birch ply are included which contain Aris’ main hull construction elements. As with all cutting on this kit, the parts are machined using CNC, and some very minor clean-up of some edges will need to be done with tickling the edges with a sheet of abrasive paper. All machining is excellent, with small tabs (not full sheet depth) that you will cut through to release the parts. Due to the length of the hull, the false keel is provided in two sections. Two stiffening parts are included to encapsulate the joint area and provide extra strength. There is no engraving of part numbers on the sheets, so you will need to refer to the parts maps that is included with the kit’s paperwork. All ply sheets are nice and flat with no visible warpage. Strip wood Two substantial bundles of strip wood are supplied, in 500mm lengths. One bundle contains the lime planking material for the first layer of planking. You are advised to cut these so as to maximise the material usage during planking. All of this is hidden, or course, but you still need a good solid base to work from. A length of brass wire is tucked in there too for later use. A second bundle of the same length contains both strip, and dowel for the masts, yards and bowsprit etc in ramin, and beech for strip and basswood for dowel. You will also see the material for the second planking, and also for deck planking etc. Some of this timber is dark on the end cut, presumably through the machining process. As before, all timber is excellent quality with no fluffy edges or defects to be seen. More ply parts A pack of smaller, CNC-cut birch ply parts is included. Here you will find cannon carriage and wheels, channels, etc. Parts are nicely machined, but some clean-up will be required to remove any fluffy edges from the CNC cutting process. There are also another two packs of thin ply parts. One of these contains the poop and forecastle decks, stern décor trim and parts for the tops. The other pack holds parts exclusively for the three launches, namely the internals, rudders and oars. These are very thin ply and the internals in my kit had broken in almost the same place on the rear third of the part. These are repairable though. These parts will also need some clean-up before they can be used. I think if the ply grain had run the other way, they would perhaps have not broken. Components tray #1 Two blown plastic trays of parts are included in this kit. The first one contains a whole range of detail parts in various materials. Here you will find copper chain, deck grating comb set, boxwood ladder sets, 3D-printed Aris figurehead, hull mounting pedestals (no base included), boxwood capstan, rudder pintles, cast ship’s wheel, three launch boats etc. The latter are realistically thin and made from cream coloured resin. These will need a gentle wash in some soapy water to remove any mould release agents that may be lingering on their surfaces (although mine look very clean). There is a casting block on the lower keel, and this will need to be gently sawn away and cleaned up. This is standard practice for resin. As always, wear a mask when sanding resin parts. The 3D-printed figurehead, created by scanning the surviving one from the real ship, has a series of connection points what will need to be trimmed off and cleaned up. Again, this is normal for such parts. Components tray #2 Another plastic tray chock-full of detail goodies for your model. In here we have numerous packets of rigging blocks and various sized deadeyes with chain plates, launch davits, steel pins for first planking (remember to remove these before sanding!), brass belaying pins (casting point needs removing), turned brass cannon x 16, anchor set with wooden stocks and metal hoops, parral beads, metal cleats, copper eyelets, ships bell etc. Rigging block quality is very good and the drilled holes are nice and clean. Rigging A single pack of rigging cord is included, consisting of two natural threads, one bleached, and one black. These look high quality with no fuzziness present on my example. Flags Two flags are included, printed on paper. Printing quality is very good. You will need to possibly dampen these when assembled and form them into a natural sag that you would expect to see. Paperwork Several sheets of A4 paper are included, listing all of the kit parts by name and quantity included. More paper is supplied, forming the kit’s written instruction manual. No photos are given here, but they are unnecessary anyway as all illustration regarding assembly details, are supplied on the plan set. The English is clear and easy to understand. Plans SIX sheets of plans are included, printed at 1:1 so you can take measurements straight from them. Sheet 1 shows two profiles of the hull in profile form, depicting skeletal structure and illustrations showing the double-plank nature of the hull. Measurements are also supplied for gun port spacings etc. A very clear, easy to understand drawing. Sheet 2 shows the model in plan elevation with a montage of small illustrations depicting construction and details. Easy part number reference is supplied for various fittings. Sheet 3 & 4 concern the construction of the masts and bowsprit Sheet 5 illustrates yard construction and some elements of rigging, whilst the last sheet is purely for rigging. Conclusion This is an ambitious project for Navarino Models and is the first fighting ship of this period that they now have on their catalogue. For a Greek, and a ship enthusiast, it was a subject that Navarino’s owner, Babis, simply couldn’t ignore, and he’s done a wonderful job of recreating it in 1:50 for us. The whole package is a delight to see, from the quite extravagant but unique packaging, through to the use of the more expensive birch play for parts. Strip wood is also high quality and the fittings are well above average too. The only small niggle for me is perhaps the use of ply on the gun carts and channels, instead of solid wood, and the timber boats parts need some clean up. It’s by no means a deal breaker at all though as this is a well thought out release of a subject that I’ve never seen in kit form before. This is a bonny brig and quite a size when built too. If either historically significant vessels or Mediterranean ships are your thing, then give this kit a look over! Definitely a very different subject to tackle. My sincere thanks to Navarino Models for the kit you see reviewed here for Model Ship World. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  11. The Showcase Models of Australia Kit The HMAS Vendetta kit comes in a sturdy cardboard box with an artwork of the ship at sea in 1917 . You get 5 five sprues , and 3 sheets of photo-etch including etch anchor chain . I found all the details of the Model to be lovely , and were on a par with a Tamiya or Trumpeter kit - it was that well made and also surprisingly well-designed ( a real tribute to Australian Showcase Models ) and it above all fitted well together with no flash or any awkward injection-ports visible on the Model when made . HMS Walker Admiralty W-Class Destroyer ordered from William Denny of Dumbarton under the 10th Order of the 1916-17 Programme on 9th December 1916. The ship was laid down on 26th March 1917 and was launched as the first RN warship to bear the name on 29th November 1917. Build was completed on 12th February 1918 and included facilities for use as a minelayer. She served briefly in WW1. After the Armistice she was deployed in the Baltic was in action against Russian warships. In 1921 she was in 1st Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet and went into Reserve after 1930. HMS WALKER was not deployed operationally after the end of hostilities and was Paid-off. The ship reduced to Reserve status and was placed was placed on the Disposal Lost. Sold to BISCO for breaking up in 1946 she arrived in tow at the breaker’s at Troon on 15th March that year. Note - the Showcase Models of Australia kit only came out at the start of 2017 and is produced as a 1917 era ship - so it needs work to make it a 1939 era ship = ( it needs a wider and taller rangefinder , director control and an extended bridge - with a 2 pounder AA gun needing to be fitted instead of the Kit 3 inch AA gun , depth charge racks and depth charge throwers ) . I would also sadly stress that Showcase Models went out of business last year - due to the death of the owner / designer - but his memory is carried on with this lovely model kit - I think the only way now to source one of these models - is to buy one second-hand off Ebay ( I bought mine in 2017 direct from Showcase Models as soon as it became available for sale ) . The Prior Research I had the National Maritime Museum plans of HMS Walpole ( cost me £ 70 ) scanned specially for me - this was necessary as it had never ever been done before by the NMM so it cost me a lot more than normal - but I got state of the art scanning of the Plans for HMS Walpole in 1/46 scale - This was of the same class of Destroyer as HMS Walker , to allow me to get the fine details so I could get parts designed by Shapeways . I would estimate that research and buying special Model Kit aftermarket parts from abroad - took 3 months - and took longer than I first thought would be necessary - due to waiting for replies from Glasgow University and the National Maritime Museum , and then getting parts designed , printed and shipped to me but the hard effort finally paid off . I must explain I first tried Glasgow University ( as HMS Walker was built by William Denny of Dumbarton ) but discovered that what they had was just described by them as ' nuts and bolts ' drawings - and not detailed line drawings and ship plans suitable for my purposes . I needed a clear idea of the stern and the bridge as these were vital to understanding what to change from the Kit Model and detailed exactly what HMS Walker was actually like in 1939/1940 after she had a Refit Bridge fitted in the late 1920's . Note that the Director Fire Control Hood that the ships had fitted in 1917/1918 during completion and was used throughout their careers , but is not present on the Showcase Model !! I knew from my personal collection of Original interwar Postcards that proved HMS Walker had her extended ' Refit ' Bridge fitted much later than other V & W Class Ships ( often in the early 1920's ) and as always research is vital to discover for your own choice of ship , and the timeframe you wish to portray for the particular V & W Class Ship you wish to Model . This made completely obvious through the looking at the marked changes to the plans , in 1928 and 1929 with refits added in different coloured pen marks to the original 1917 plans for HMS Walpole - These were that - Firstly , the original 3 inch HA gun was replaced with a single 2pdr pom-pom AA gun Secondly , the Galley Exhaust Pipe was moved and trunked into the existing exhaust pipe at the front of the forward funnel . Thirdly , the Compass Binnacle was moved forward ( when the Destroyer had a Bridge Extension at the Front ) and the new 9 Foot Rangefinder was moved aft - with the Bridge based semaphore moved to the bridge wings instead . The HMS Walpole plans ( when they arrived as a huge JPEG scan ) solved the Bridge details puzzle - and luckily I found on the internet , a line drawing of original plans for the stern of a V & W Class Destroyer that had the mine rails fitted - this was HMS Vanquisher . I got a Shapeways Designer to make me Mine Rail fairings ( or sponsons ) for the Model ( in the first photo attached to the stern and made in white plastic ) which you can see , are very realistic , and I made special mine rails in photo-etch using 1/350 railings as the ship I will make was constructed as a minelayer with 60 mines on deck - I could not source etch 1/350 Royal Navy Mine Deck Rails . I also sourced the Polish made AJM Models single mounting 2 pounder pom-pom AA gun set and also added to it to replace the plastic gun barrel - a separate 2pr brass barrel from Master Models ( from another Quadruple Mounting pom-pom AA mounting set ) 2 pounder pom-pom gun barrel ( This Single 1/350 Gun brass 2-pdr pom-pom gun barrel has a hollow end ) . The Deck was given NorthStar 1/350 Royal Navy Cable Reels - and Alliance Destroyer Bollards ( made for IJN 1/350 Destroyer ships but at that scale not a big deal ) - The White Ensign Flag was printed off and originally I planned to use a fabric BECC Flag - but the print quality was not good enough . I also show the finished stern showing the completed mine deck rail section , and the aft mine rail sponsons . Note , also the aftermarket Metal Flag Pole ( by Orange Hobby - my only source of 1/350 Jack and Ensign Flag Poles ) - for the Bridge was added two 1/350 NorthStar Royal Navy Signal Searchlights - and 4 Brass IJN Voice Pipes - which all added to the realism . The 2 Funnels were given added photo-etch grilles ( designed for a different Resin British G/H Class Destroyer ) to the tops , and then it was given the new Refit Ships Bridge - where it had fitted aftermarket items to add super detail . I found the model to be well fitting and I would point out in this review that it is a lovely Model . 1/350 Scale HMS Walker Refit Bridge from Micromaster ( Shapeways ) . Highly detailed part for those wishing to model the HMS Walker using the Showcase models 1/350 HMS Vendetta model, created to sit atop the model bridge. Accurately created using plans and reference photographs (which were specially supplied by me , to him from the National Maritime Museum HMS Walpole Plans ) . Details include: Binnacle , Canvas texture around bridge railing , Inset Map reading tables , Bow lights and Bridge instrumentation . I finally also bought for the Model , a bespoke nameplate made for me on the Shapeways site to replace the Kit Supplied Nameplate - which was well worth the expense . several important points to note - ( 1 ) - The Model does NOT have etch railings provided for the 2 ' bandstands ' for the two 4 inch gun positions ( B and X guns ) - so you need to remember to fit that , as the kit instructions do not mention this - above all , I recommend you source and fit the ' Master Model of Poland ' HMS Repulse gun barrels set for four examples of 4 inch guns to replace the kit examples . ( 2 ) There are NO Funnel photo-etch grilles , provided with the model kit - so again you need to source some - I recommend the ( originally made for the resin G and H Class Destroyers ) by White Ensign - the G and H Class Destroyers etch set - https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/coll ... destroyers which have 4 different sized etch grilles - and they also offer extra railings and above all , the semaphores for the 2 bridge wings ( the kit provides a horrid plastic semaphore - located on the upper 1917 era bridge ) ( 3 ) you will need to source 1/350 Depth Charge Throwers as there are none in the kit provided - I realise that the V & W Class had two per side but I frankly struggled to locate where they would have been exactly fitted at the aft part of the ship - so just went for one as a compromise . I sourced Rainbow ( 1/350 Rb3545 ) IJN Depth Charges I had mine made with no Depth Charge loaded ( an empty thrower )- and used Brass aftermarket IJN Depth Charges that were fitted on top of these and also fitted inside the White Ensign photo-etch depth charge racks at the stern . This was well worth the effort and you get 40 Metal Brass Depth Charges so you have plenty spare for other projects ! The effort was well worth it , as you don't get any depth charges provided separate with the kit - and the 4 depth charges with the kit are correctly ( for 1917-18 ) moulded onto the deck - but they are needed to be removed - if you want an inter-war or WW2 Ship . ( 4 ) As stated earlier if you want 1/350 depth charge racks , rather than the kit paravanes at the stern - you need to source some - ( the WEM G & H set provides them ) and you will need to remove the 4 x 1917 era depth charges at the stern in the little deck racks - as kit plastic - as mentioned earlier . ( 5 ) the aft mast - is 1917 era - and has no upper pole provided - so you need to ideally source suitable brass rod and make it yourself ( 6 ) the Shapeways 3D HMS Walker Refit Bridge had the Bridge windows moulded on , but these need to be removed and replaced using the White Ensign etch set 1/350 Deck Railings adapted to size ( necessary as sadly the etch supplies H Class 1/350 Bridge Windows are to wide and also don't fit neatly onto the HMS Walker Bridge - this is important to note !! ( 7 ) I highly recommend this Book above all others for research and modelling purposes - Raven, Alan & Roberts, John (1979). 'V' and 'W' Class Destroyers. Man o'War. 2. London: Arms & Armour. This is a Soft-Back Booklet that has some wonderful line-drawing detail and original Shipyard photographs found nowhere else ! Hopefully my first ever Ship review on this site is not too bad , but I will happily take any constructive criticism .
  12. 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.
  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. Imai is no longer producing kits. But you can luck up and find now and again. Here is one such kit. Imai of Japan 1/80 scale. That works out to a hull over 51" long. The kit is made up of wood, plastic, brass and white metal. The instructions are in Japanese but the drawings are easy to follow and one can spend the time to translate. This is the largest wood kit Imai produced in this series of kits.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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

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