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Wood supplied in the caldercraft kits


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First of all, my native language is not english so maybe it's not written well ;)


I have a question about the Caldercraft kits. I'm currently building the hm brig supply of CC,

and it suprised me that the wood for the hull was of a really bad quality.

Everything else in the kit is okay, but the wood was real bad.


Did more people experienced this in the other kits of CC? Or is this only the case in the "cheaper" ones?

A dealer here in the Netherlands said to me that the smaller vessels are not of the same quality of the bigger ones.


I expected the highest quality off CC, but Corel for example has much better wood in the boxes.





Edited by mugje
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Hi Ronald,


I bought my Caldercraft Endeavour maybe 4 or 5 years ago and the walnut wood was terrible, also about 40% of the decking planks was even worse.


I have read of Caldercraft kits 7 years older than mine commenting on how poor the wood was.  Even now still hear stories on here.  I used what was supplied as didn't want to go to the extra cost of replacing, just meant more effort making do with what was supplied.


Its a pity they have constantly suffered from poor wood as the rest of the kit is superb.  They obviously don't think they have an issue, maybe if more people complained.




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Hello, Ronald.


Your English is fine - no worries there.  When you say 'wood for the hull', are you speaking of the basswood strips, or the walnut strips?  In my experience, limited as it is, the basswood in most kits is usually fairly decent, but I have had more than one kit, including one from Caldercraft, in which the walnut usually included many strips that were rough, warped, and/or not cut to uniform width.  I think this is unfortunately pretty common regardless of who the kit manufacturer is.  I can add that I have also built one kit from Corel in which much of the wood was of very poor quality. 



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thanks for the answers


Yes I meant the walnut. I also used the supplied wood, because I did not want to spend more money.

They are not the cheapest ones. If it were Artesania, it was understandable.


The kits that I saw of Corel were really good quality. Only very poor instructions and the pre-cut bulkheads are very bad.

Therefore I chose for CC, because a lot of people say it's high quality. Also a lot of parts are of a finer quality


Well, I'm gonna think about my next build. Maybe there are other brands, which have everything in order.

I read good things about Model shipways.

Edited by mugje
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As a general observation I have found that most of the walnut used in kits, especially the thin strips for planking are of poor quality.  I would suspect most of it is not true walnut anyway.  If you can salvage enough to finish the project you can get a pretty good finish with some work.  Problem I had the most trouble with was the brittlness of the wood and the tendency to split and fray when being trimmed.  Good hardwood veneer can be bought off of ebay fairly cheaply and might be a better choice than going with the kit wood.  Another option is to leave off the second layer of planking and finish the first layer with wood filler and paint.

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I am currently building the same kit and have the same problem. The only good thing is that there are more than enough walnut strips provided so I was able to pick out the best ones. I also have the Caldercraft Endeavour and Bounty 'on the shelf. ' the walnut in them is no better

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Yes that was certainly a positive thing, more than enough strips. Well I just finished the second layer of planking, so I'm going to sand now.

I'm painting the ship because I really like the colours of this ship. So with that I can mask a lot.


thanks for the reply's everybody :)

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I now see that the price of timber is twice as cheap in the UK in comparison here in Holland. Then it's not a real big problem to buy new wood for a kit.

So perhaps I can buy better wood for my next purchase. Only the downside is...I can't see the quality of it before buying.


Has anyone bought some new walnut strips at Cornwall Modelships? Is that stuff better then the supplied wood in the kit?

Or is it not possible to find nice clean strips with dimensions like 0,5x40?

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"....Well, I'm gonna think about my next build. Maybe there are other brands, which have everything in order.

I read good things about Model shipways."


I'm thinking that, no matter which brand is considered, there will always be an issue or two with any kit......just the nature of business I suppose. Funny thing though,... the issues will change from builder to builder........



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Yeah I soaked them to and then it's doable. I am now sanding the hull, and it looks pretty good so far.

I didn't count the amount of strips in the first place, and now knowing that there is plenty in the kit, I would pick the best planks to use.

Well, learned something ;)


Tnx for the tip about the stagecoach. I saw that in the store and it looked really nice. Something for the future :)

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  • 6 months later...

Generally-speaking, the walnut strip wood in CC kits are of inconsistent quality; most of this particular wood has only one good purpose: aglow in one's fireplace, keeping you and your shop warm in the winter. :o 


Of all the kit providers (not that many in reality), my experience is that the Victory models line (from Amati) and the Dusek (Czech) brands have very decent strip wood (walnut as well as other assorted woods). Laser or even CNC cut woods for both these brands ranges from acceptable to excellent. My "specialty" is building heavily modified kits wherein I typically replace the majority of the kit's supplied wood. It's worth it to me for the keel and bulkhead pieces which are nominally pretty decent, the plans which range from O.K. to superb and all the "bits" that are critical - like PE brass as well as some of the critical castings (figureheads, decorative pieces, ship's bells, turned cannon etc.).


I have focused here only on the "euro" brands, not the American ones (there are only two major ones, which is another topic unto itself).


Hope this info will be helpful...months have :huh: passed since your first post!



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  • 7 months later...

I bought the HMS Snake last year. It was my first ever kit, so I did not know what to expect. Nice to see that I was not the only one disappointed. I think as the kits get old, the wood dries out. Looses essential oils.  Then gets bounced around in a box for years, then cracks and chips. 


After I finish the HMS Snake........when ever that will be......it will be my last kit.  I'll stay with my scratch builds. 

Edited by David Rice
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