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Billings Model Kits.


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Does any body know when Billings started to sell their kits with the fittings combined? I have purchased a kit off ebay and it would be useful to know for getting an idea of dating the kit production.


For future purposes, does anyone know if they switched to laser cut frames at the same time? The old kits need the frames fret sawing out.


What's the general opinion of their kits, not many seem to feature on here, and I have brought a few in the past to just find myself selling them on.

Edited by Thunder
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i purchased the billings cutty sark in 1996 and that still had die pressed ply and seperate fittings, but i bought the st. roch a little later and that was laser cut with fittings included. The kits do take a bit of work and refinement but do lend themselves to improvement/ alteration easier than some other manufacturers.


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  • 2 weeks later...

My biggest beef with Billings kits are the instructions. Some of the details are inscrutable and take time to figure out. They require very good reference photos to get all the details out of them. My St. Roch is building up nicely, after some after market parts and scratch building. Being old enough to remember National Geographics shows about Jaques Cousteau's Callipso, I think I will take the plunge and see if it doesn't drive me crazy. Billings does make limited market kits such as the St. Roch and Callipso, which is great. Just gird your loins and be prepared for some brain work and scratch building. 

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Im building the Billings Victory at present and would agree with all above , instructions are useless ,plans are fair ,timber is cheap ,but after a lot of initial complaining i realised i got what i paid for and at less than half the price of the cc version i think it is probably value for money but you need to be prepared to strain the old grey matter and scratch a few parts along the way  .Im sorry i can,t help as regards dating but perhaps if you contact Billings with a box number they could help you. Have Fun!!

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I've built quite a few Billing's kits,  and I don't think they are a bad kit.   I will agree that the instructions are a bit vague,  but I've also heard that of other manufacturers.  what comprises the kit is OK for the person just starting out......but I think to get into this medium,  a person needs to know a bit more about ship construction,  in order to attempt it.  as a person get further into the study,  some will substitute the parts,  with better fittings and woods,  to suit what they intend to do with the kit.   this is a personal choice.   I said it once before,  when a person buys a kit.......it is their kit......the modeler is the one who will build the model,  in the interpretation as to what the subject is.


I cut my teeth on an old Nordkap kit........the fittings were sold separate,  and the parts were not laser cut.  according to the instructions, expert level or not.......it was quite a challenge!  I found even their advanced beginner kits to be just as interesting and challenging.  I bashed the Nordkap......just as I have done to just about every kit I've done.........I've loved every minute of it :)


research plays a huge part in the building of these kits.  this helps the fact that the instructions might not be as illustrated as they should be.  combine these two together,  and it will make the assembly a lot easier.  If I remember...Billing's changed the format of their kit a couple of times.......most of it was in the 70's.  what kit did you purchase.........there might be a date on the box.........I know that on some of the older kits,  there is a short explanation as to why the kit are sold as they are {were at the time}.   if there is some worry as for the condition of the wood.......I wouldn't.........my Nordkap was built with the supplied wood  ;)  happy modeling........I'm sure there are many folks here,  willing to help with any problems,  if you choose to build it  :)

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