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Frustrating commercial items

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I suppose everyone has met them at some point: these commercial model parts or accessories which for me are a pain to look at.  I would really like other modelers to tell me what they think about them.

Ship wheel: it seems pretty impossible to find a wheel of the right thickness: I just saw in the build logs an absolutely beautiful model built with extreme care and attention to detail, but with a thick, clumsy white wooden(?) wheel.  Then you have the metal wheels in the Caldercraft kits: beauiful kits of course, with a wheel in the right size, but much too thin.


Barrels:  their metal bands are molded in relief but could better be replaced with black paper strips (at least three each side of the barrel.  And yes, this is fairly easy to correct


"Bubble" pins: Caldercraft seem to have delivered thinner items as from their Victory kit, but it seems to me that all commercial items are way too thick not only to look good, but also allow lines to pass between them easily.  OK, it is possible to sand them a little, but it would be damn difficult to make a full row of them exactly the same size, I think.


Gun carriages: I will not comment on the metal items that are almost impossible to rig, but rather on the wooden items one finds in most kits, the sides of which are parallel, which is a gross and quite visible mistake.  It seems to me that this would be quite easy to correct, but I have never seen a build log description of, it, and never have done it  myself.  I suppose one could cut the bottom of the carriage lengthwise, and reglue it after inserting a (very) thin triangular strip.


Anchors:  while most manufacturers have excellent anchor parts in their kits, some still deliver items which are either out of scale (ex.: Sergal's Dutch Whaler) or very clumsy (ex.: Euromodel's Renommée, an otherwise superb model.


Red lights and blue windows:  these definitely should look transparent (ship lights) and gloss black (windows)


Has anyone comments?





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Hi Jean,

actually, no surprise here and very little to say: Kit producers are just doing businness. They simply make and sell, while people are willing to pay for what they offer, why to improve quality?

You are writing about gun carriages - in kits they have parallel sides, because this error does not stop people to buy them and are easier to produce and the guns are easier to be build for modeler too. Anchors? Same type and size for several models, way out of scale but again, who cares? When you look through this forum, there are lots of builds for ships that never existed or do resemble the original only from a distance. Kits with ficticious names, history, out of scale etc. etc. If people are willing to spent money on them, hours building them and are happy with them, why shall be they bothered with some innacurate details, if they do not mind that the whole thing is simply out? How many perdiod ships kits shows curved deck planks or mention plank joggling? Period ship kits are not easy and some things are simply engineered to simplify the builds.

If people were demanding accurate models and not buing what is available, the situation would be different. See the world of plastic scale modeling. There you have reviews, very critical views, sometimes actually too critical counting every single milimeter or rivet on the plane or tank, comparing them with blueprints. Of course, for period ships we have rarely such accurate resources to compare with, true. Still, the technical aspects are known, researched. Why are we so tolerant to simplifications and innacuracy, if we pay for wooden ship models much more than our fellows for plastic kits? That's the question. Maybe for the majority just the wooden big thing with sails is enough, no need to investigate and spent even more time on it.

Also, I believe, there would be possible for producers to make every kit a unique, to have dedicated all those details just for one particular model, and make them more accurate. But then the price would go automatically higher. And who would buy such a "perfect" kits? Were few people. As said, majority simply does not care and is happy with the current status. That is not a criticism, just a fact.

Actually, kits offer what they could offer to keep the ratio between price and content. So you have some "general" deck furniture, fittings etc.

Still it is possible to find a kits were these things are set to higher than avarage level. If you wish more, scratch build is the way.


"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


Completed: Smuggler




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First i agree with juhu


For me about sailing ships

Plastic model sailingships or wood model sailingships are a world of difference.

The (current) plastic kits are relatively "cheap" and well-detailed.
And yes, (again) many of these kits come from China or other low cost countries.

To me, some makers of wooden model ships still seem to be somewhere in the 70s or 80s (NOT all of theme).

But these models are still being built by companies that have to make a profit.

Building a wooden model of a ship. Is for many builders a dream that takes too long and never reaches the end.


A combination of wood and plastic or resine would be ideal.


Comment on your question :

Nobody says you can not do a combination of the 2 yourself.
Plastic model builders sometimes mix models from different manufacturers. And then use only the best pieces.

But those choices are to be made.


To start, building a wooden model ship is expensive in purchase.
But considering the amount of hours spent on building a wooden model. It is relatively cheap hobby.







Regards, Patrick


Finished :  Soleil Royal Heller 1/100   Wasa Billing Boats   Bounty Revell 1/110 plastic (semi scratch)   Pelican / Golden Hind  1/45 scratch

Current build :  Mary Rose 1/50 scratch

Gallery Revell Bounty  Pelican/Golden hind 1/45 scratch

To do Prins Willem Corel, Le Tonnant Corel, Yacht d'Oro Corel, Thermopylae Sergal 


Shore leave,  non ship models build logs :  

ADGZ M35 funkwagen 1/72    Einhets Pkw. Kfz.2 and 4 1/72   Autoblinda AB40 1/72   122mm A-19 & 152mm ML-20 & 12.8cm Pak.44 {K8 1/2} 1/72   10.5cm Howitzer 16 on Mark. VI(e)  Centurion Mk.1 conversion   M29 Weasel 1/72     SAM6 1/72    T26 Finland  T26 TN 1/72  Autoprotetto S37 1/72     Opel Blitz buses 1/72  Boxer and MAN trucks 1/72   Hetzer38(t) Starr 1/72    


Si vis pacem, para bellum

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