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Dear Folks: As a beginner, I am sure I will need advice. Over 50 years ago, in my twenties, I built a model ship (Golden Hind). After five decades, as a project to do with my grandson who is 6 I decided to build my second ship. At the advice of a salesperson I bought Occre's Albatross. When it arrived my wife said I should return it as it looked far too complicated. But my grandson started crying saying he had waited "so long" and wanted to start. So I relented and opened the kit. To say it looks like a daunting task would be an understatement . But I have decided to go ahead, recognizing it will take many months to complete. I also decided that until I am convinced that we will build more than one, I should minimize my front-end cost. To this end I have bought only the following tools: small hammer, sand block, glues and an exacta knife. Decided to forgo things like plank benders in favor of the soaking-in-water approaches and "pin pushers" in favor of hammers.


Many of the videos on the web seemed to focus on models like HMS Beagle; very few on the Albatross. There are two questions I have for the "pros". One, can I get by with the few tools I listed and two, are there any videos or other resources that helped you in your first few projects that are in your view invaluable...any suggestions along these lines would be most welcome. Thx.



Edited by Nazir
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Albatross is a schooner, which means that it’s a great starting model.


The hardest part, in my opinion, is just getting started.


For planking help, I would recommend Chuck Passaro’s guides.


The only tools that I would recommend buying as an absolute need, over what you have, would be a good pin vise and a razor saw.

I would recommend carefully reading the instruction booklet and reviewing the plans.  After that, start a build log and ask questions as you go.


Edited by GrandpaPhil
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Welcome to MSW, Nazir.   I would suggest you go here:  https://modelshipworld.com/topic/17023-quick-find-indexes-to-build-logs-for-kits/   Click on "Wooden Ships" and download the index of all kit builds.  You'll find Albatross has quite a few.  They can help you get started as you'll see what's involved and where any problem areas are.


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Hi Folks:


I am about half way through my first build..the Albatross by Occre; it has been a lot of fun, though challenging and not what any of you will call a work of art after it is finished. But I am already looking for my next challenge and thinking of buying the Avos by Master Korabel. My 2 questions are

1. Will it be far too challenging? At 78 years old, I feel I do not have too much time to spend on the "beginner" kits so I thought I'd just plunge in...what do you experts think? Which of the many versions of Avos should I get? I was thinking of the + edition from Ages of Sail (its the only one they carry and I got the Albatross from them--they are very helpful)-- but the posting on the website says that because of the "pear wood" the model is meant for experienced modelers--not sure why the wood has anything to do with it.

2. While the model is within my budget, I want to be sure I know what other tools to get and add them to the cost before making a decision; all I have so far are an Exacta knife, a small hammer, some clamps, some sandpaper and some files (were already in my garage for general use). Will I need a dremel? a pin vise? a razor saw? a jewelers file? a plank bender? anything else? any thoughts of sources? anyone calling it quits and willing to sell me their tool shed?!!


As always, you guys are amazing and have made me feel really good about my new hobby....



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Hi Nazir,


1) The pear version (the X letter in the reference) of the Avos does not differ much from the non-pear version except for the material. But IF there is also a

letter N (N - for nails) letter in the reference, that means that there are also nails engraved on the planking, making the planking process much more difficult.

If you are a newbie, I suppose it is worth leaning to the non-nailed version. Also, the N-version is also not very widely available.


2) For the instruments it is necessary to have different small drill bits and a drill (a hand one is ok).


3) The main thing about selecting the right ship to build is that you should like it. You can consider other ships from Master-Korabel, I belive Ages of Sail carries

them. For example MK0401 Phoenix has also a complete set of building videos with English subtitles (voice in Russian):




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