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Help for old Bluenose kit build - moved by moderator


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Hi all.  I’m looking for some advice from the experts at Model Ship World regarding a Billings Bluenose kit #452 that I started about 40 years ago, but never got beyond the hull planking (you know how it is...marriage, work, kids...), and after reading some of your posts I realize how inaccurate the model is.  It is supposed to be a 1:75 scale, but the hull measures 27” and the beam is 5 1/4”, which makes it, as far as I can figure, closer to 1:65.

My questions are:

1. Is it worthwhile completing this or should I look for a more accurate kit?

2. If I continue, do I build it to 1:75 or 1:65?

3. If I do continue, can I replank the hull and deck without destroying the proportions?  I’d like to try this to make it more attractive and accurate, especially the deck, which is 1 piece at present.

4. If I do replank the deck, can I redo the railings and stanchions in order to widen the railings for the belaying pins, and do a better job of the stanchions than I did first time around? Would I just cut away the old, except for the framing, and build anew on it?

Here are some photos of my efforts so far.

Many thanks for any advice.







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hi my name is kevin,i dont know if i can help you but you may help me i have the model blue nosell but my planr are a copy of a copy of a copy i can not read them if you could make a copy of your plans this would really help me. i would be glad to pay for this. I thank you for you help kevin wood.  my e-mail is kwood1954@sbcglobal.net thank you again

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Paul,


I am not an expert, but I am in an alike situation.

I have joined this forum almost a year ago with the plan to restart my Bluenose project which I left untouched for 15 years.

I also have the Billing Boats kit in 1/75, but mine must be a bit younger since it has been bought in 1995 and bears another number (576). I have, like you, built the kit up to planking, but I did not fill and sand yet.


Anyway, like you I have found out that there is a striking mismatch between the real Bluenose and the kit. One could wonder where the designers got their inspiration...


After giving this some thought I have decided to continue this build and just enjoy it for what it is, get some experience from it (this is my first build) and then move on to another ship, maybe eventually another Bluenose in a bigger scale.

I just think it is a waste to throw it away while I could be having fun building it even when it is not accurate. I for me will change some things where it is feasible based on information I found about the Bluenose. Like the colors which the kit got totally wrong, the place and shape of some items which I have not yet built, etc., However I will not rebuild parts which I have already built, since somehow I do not like to totally undo what I did 16 or 17 years ago…


As to your questions:

1.    I would complete it, learn from it and build a more accurate version later

2.    Does it matter? I think it does not, unless you do not have the drawings anymore and need to scale from other drawings or when you want to put figurines on it?

3.    Why replank the hull? Since this is a ship where you paint the hull anyway, you can fix the hole in it and paint it. If you do a good job, you won’t see the difference. As for replanking the deck: can’t you plank the deck on top of the one-piece deck with very thin finer, using the drawings on the deck as guidance?

4.    I would not redo the railing. Is it so bad? Can’t you achieve a reasonable improvement by touching up? See point 1.: I would build this ship, but just for the fun of it, not to try to achieve the maximum in terms of detail and accuracy. I would start a new one for that.


Hope this helps you in any way…



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Paul my advice would be to stay at the original scale. Your kit is not very accurate but if you do not mind doing a bit of kit bashing and want to practice your skills go for it. Remember you are not in a contest. This for you to have fun and enjoyment.

David B

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Thanks Jan-Willem and David. I'm going to take your advice and just build for fun. I'll modify where I can, but not worry about accuracy, until my next one. Thanks again for taking the time to answer. Paul

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  • 2 years later...

Hello Paul - i just purchased the Bluenose by Scientific online as my 1st wooden ship build. I'm not concerned right now about accuracy as I am with getting some experience in building a wooden kit. I have been trying to find out what colors were used on this ship. I found one site that charges $60 for 'authentic' paint scheme.  I'm currently working on Revells 1/96 USS Constitution plastic model kit and I've been using Model Master paints but, if anyone has any tips on colors used, I'd appreciate their help on the Bluenose boat. Good luck on your build!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I have been trying to find out what colors were used on this ship. I found one site that charges $60 for 'authentic' paint scheme. 

Hi Robert, I might be able to help you on your way re. the colors.

I did some research for my own Bluenose because the color scheme that came with my kit is so dead wrong that I couldn't bear to look at it. Unfortunately I must conclude that the color scheme was not consistent over the years, so there are different variations which are not very well documented. A nice example of this is the mast hoops which originally are natural wood but on some pictures it is apparent that approximately the lower half have been painted white. I asked around and one of my sources told me that this is normal: sometimes someone would go paint some woodwork when he had nothing better to do...

I can PM you my findings if you like, just let me know.


O and please do start a build log. It can help you a lot wherever you might get stuck or even when you don't get stuck. Plus there is a lot of Bluenose builders here who are interested to see how you build your Bluenose.

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