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Introduction and question


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I'm from Hungary, and until now, I built mainly WW2 ships and planes from plastic kits.

Now I decided to build a tall ship, and I ended up with two kits, but I can't decide which to buy.

One is the 1/96 plastic model of the Cutty Sark from Revell (Nr. 5422), and the other one is from wood, the 1/124 Thermopylae model of Sergal.

Which of do you recommend to a beginner in sailing ships, and why?

If you know alternatives for a maximum of €80-100, in the category of XIX. century ships, I would appreciate it too.

Thanks in advance.

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    Personally, between these two, I would go with the Revell 1/96 scale Cutty Sark.  For two reasons.  The first and probably most important is its larger scale.  Even at this scale there will be a lot of very small pieces to contend with, especially for the rigging.  You will find yourself trying to reach into some very cramped areas with the rigging and the larger scale will allow you more room. 

    The second reason would be that you will have much more of the type of detailed instructions that you are probably already familiar with.  You will learn familiarity with many new terms not found in your previous kits, especially in the rigging.  Once you understand the nuances of a tall ship you will be much more prepared to brave a wood version of them. 

    With the plastic version of these ships, you are basically just making an assembly of pre-made parts.  But with the wooden kits you will have to make most of these parts from raw materials before assembly and most wooden kits with their scanty instructions, will have you on your own trying to make components that you are not even familiar with yet. 

    So, (my two cents worth) the plastic kit will make you better prepared to tackle a wooden kit, as at least you will have a working knowledge of the components that you will have to fabricate yourself and what all is entailed in making a tall ship. 

    One other consideration would be to at least go with a much less complex and larger scale wooden ship kit as shown in Peter Ys' post above. 



“You’ve just got to know your limitations”  Dirty Harry

Current Builds:  Modified MS 1/8” scale Phantom, and modified plastic/wood hybrid of Aurora 1:87 scale whaling bark Wanderer.

Past Builds: (Done & sold) 1/8” scale A.J. Fisher 2 mast schooner Challenge, 1/6” scale scratch built whaler Wanderer w/ plans & fittings from A.J. Fisher, and numerous plastic kits including 1/8” scale Revell U.S.S. Constitution (twice), Cutty Sark, and Mayflower.

                  (Done & in dry dock) Modified 1/8” scale Revell U.S.S. Constitution w/ wooden deck and masting [too close encounter w/conc. floor in move]

Hope to get to builds: MS 3/16” scale Pride of Baltimore II,  MS 1/2” scale pinky schooner Glad Tidings,  a scratch build 3/16” scale  Phantom, and a scratch build 3/16" scale Denis Sullivan.

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I would steer clear of both of those options, though if I had to choose one or the other, I'd go for the Revell kit, for the reasons already stated above. There are some great kits coming out of Eastern and Central Europe these days that should fit your needs and budget. Have a look at the links in the "List of kit manufacturers" topic.



Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix, Salmson 2, Speeljacht

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43 minutes ago, davidrasch said:

The rigging gives you opportunity to learn the ropes(!).

I already read the manual from Revell (luckily you could download every manual of their from their website), and the making of the complicated rigging looks quite straightforward thanks to the manual. I'll see how easy it will be in real life 🙂

Edited by Arctic37
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