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1/72 Wütender Hund by Shipyard - Hanseatic Cog

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1/72nd Scale Wütender Hund - Privateer Klaus Störtebeker's Cog


**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.



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T'is not the hull form that comes to mind when I think of 'privateer', but what can you say.  :unsure:


It looks like an interesting build, but the hull planks don't look right.  Would they really be that wide?  The other issue is the 'fasteners' - they are fastened around the edges vs fastened to the frames.  I am not familiar with medieval ship construction.  Is that correct?

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Chris, thanks for the plug about my build. Very nice kit review!


It looks to me like the Wütender Hund kit is nearly identical to the card model version. Perhaps it will entice those people unsure about building from card stock to try a Shipyard kit. 


Chuck, regarding the planks, a couple minutes on the Internet should answer the questions about the planking:





The first are the remains of the Bremen Cog excavated in 1962, the second is a modern reconstruction. I know Shipyard's Hanse Kogge - Bremen 1380 that I'm currently building is based on this reconstruction. I'm not sure of the basis for the Wütender Hund kits, but the plank fitting is similar.


I don't know enough about cogs, but their clinking planking and framing seems very much like the Viking longships, in which the overlapping hull planking is nailed together and frames added afterwards – correct me if I'm wrong.


Chris, when are you starting??? I know, you answered this question before, but I have to bug you as this is a pretty neat looking kit.



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1 hour ago, catopower said:

Chris, when are you starting???

I would like to finish the Kanonen Jolle from MK first, but I still have the WH box out -- concurrent builds, maybe??

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Actually, I went to my "man cave" to do a little work after writing that last post, and I finally had to face up to the fact that I needed to do some major cleaning up and reorganizing of my modeling storage facilities. After many models and even more house moves, the accumulation of stuff in various drawers and boxes has gotten to the point that the clutter impeded efficient modeling. So, I'm going to take some time to sort stuff out. The first drawer was kind of a shock -- this is going to be a challenge!

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    That makes sense.  I once watched a video on building a Viking longboat reproduction and recall how each plank was bolted/rivetted to the neighboring planks along the edge.  Afterwards they were affixed to the frames.  The reproduction of the Hansa cog appears to have narrower hull planks than the Bremmen reproductions. 


    Many thank to both Chris and Clare.



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Chris; thank you for this in-process review. Kit looks very, very interesting. Look forward to seeing its progress...Moab

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