Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ship Modeler Kevin Kenny Posts How-To Videos

The Bomb Vessel Granado is a beautiful ship and a fascinating subject. There are two kits of this ship, both in 1/64-scale, one by Amati Model and the other by Caldercraft. Both are high-end kits and beautifully done. The ship is well documented, and there is a book in the Anatomy of the Ship series on her.

The Model Ship Builder website ( even sells a set of highly detailed plank-on-frame plans for building a cross-section model. I have them myself and they are VERY well done.

I’d also like to point out that Caldercraft’s Granado kit has one of the most complete instruction books of any of the Caldercraft kits. Normally, this wouldn’t be saying much given the sparse written instructions they usually provide in their kits. People think that because English is the native language of the manufacturer that these kits have better English instructions than other manufacturers kits, but that’s definitely not true. But, the Granado is one of the true exceptions.

Still, written instructions can seem complicated and confusing and Mr. Kenny’s videos are a nice way to learn more about building this fine kit.

Ages of Sail

Kevin Kenny, a shipmodeler in Trinidad and Tobago (mistakenly reported as Florida initially), has been working on Caldercraft’s H.M. Bomb Vessel Granado, and has been posting videos to show how it’s done. The kit is a 1/64-scale wooden ship model of this beautiful ketch rigged ship. Kevin says his goal is to encourage more modelers to get involved in ship modeling or to start getting back into modeling. His videos are very informative and you can see them on Vimeo. Here is a link to all his videos:

  Here’s an image of the Caldercraft’s Granado kit that Kevin is building.


Caldercraft Granado on Ages of Sail

  There is also a very similar kit in the same scale by Amati Model. amagranado  Amati Granado on Ages of Sail

[Apologies for misspelling Mr. Kenny’s last name on the original post and for mis-reporting his location!]

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Billing Boats Paints now at Ages of Sail

With the loss of the Floquil Marine Colors (many years ago) and Railroad Colors, the availability of oil based paints has shrunk. But, here is a line of oil based paints specifically for the marine modeler. These cleanup easily with Acetone and I’ve read that they airbrush very nicely. I’ll be trying them out myself.

Ages of Sail

If you’re looking for paints for your next model project, we’ve added Billing Boats paints to our website.


These are oil based paints in 1/2 ounce (14.7ml) jars in authentic Billing Boat marine colors. Great for all hobby and craft projects. Shake well. Hand-brush with natural bristle brushes for best results. When brushing, thin sparingly with BB #40 Thinner/Cleaner or acetone. For airbrushing, thin up to 20% with BB #40 Thinner/Cleaner or acetone and shake well. Clean tool immediately after use. For painting on soft wood, use BB #39 Primer/Base Coat for more even gloss.


Available Colors:

BB#01 White
BB#02 Duck Egg Blue
BB#03 Emerald
BB#04 Orange
BB#05 Tan
BB#06 Hull Red
BB#07 Sea Blue
BB#08 Brunswick Green
BB#09 Bright Red
BB#10 Matte Lemon (Flat)
BB#11 Black
BB#12 Pale Grey
BB#13 Trainer Yellow
BB#14 Matte White (Flat)
BB#15 Silver
BB#16 Gold
BB#17 Clear Gloss Coat
BB#18 Mediterranean Blue
BB#19 Matte…

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New Shipyard Kit – HMS Wolf Laser Cardboard Series

I haven’t seen this kit in person yet, but I’ve been interested enough in this ship to have acquired Shipyard’s Modellar Plans for this ship, so I’m familiar with it. Shipyard already produces a 1:96-scale Paper Model series kit of HMS Wolf. The existing Paper Model kit (MK:018) includes laser cut frame parts, but as with all the models of this series doesn’t include sails or masting and rigging materials. The new Laser Cardboard Series kit (ZL:029), like all in the series, has it all.


Now, one of the things which is potentially a real winner is the decorations. But, I can’t really say much about those in the HMS Wolf kit as I haven’t seen the decorations myself. On some models, I believe Shipyard has included resin castings. Without actually seeing them, I can’t say for sure. Certainly Shipyards biggest weakness is that the photos they use to illustrate their kits are NOT necessarily models built from the kit. I’m pretty sure that many of the 1:96-scale kits are illustrated with photos of the 1:72-scale models. In particular if you look at the decorations on the illustrations, you’ll see that they ALL show full 3D figureheads and such, but those in the kits are very much 2-dimensional and really look it. The same with the stern gallery windows, which look great in photos, because they are clearly laser cut window frames with clear windows and the kit is the very basic printed widows.

But this kit looks very promising and I’m excited to see its release. I’m really a wood ship modeler, but these Shipyard kits are truly awesome. I’m really very taken by them. I’d set aside my own 1:96-scale HMS Alert project for a while, but now that I’ve put a little more work into it recently, I’m really loving it again.

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HMS Wolf was a 10-gun sloop launch in 1754. I don’t know all that much about the ship, but the kit shows her as a brig, or more accurately a snow-rigged brig, which means she carried a trysail mast just behind the mainmast. This model itself is about 21″ long, so still small model, but she was a small ship. For 18th century ship enthusiasts, this seems to fill a nice gap between the smaller models of HMS Alert, Le Coureur, Berbice with the very high end, large, and somewhat pricer HMS Mercury.

As with all kits of the Laser Cardboard Series, this one comes with all small parts pre-cut, a BIG time saver, particularly for those who have a hard time cutting those very small parts. It includes all the masting and rigging materials as well as sails. It also includes laser-cut blocks that you just have to assemble and paint. And, speaking of paint, it includes all that, plus brushes. One of the best features of these kits is that they include turned brass cannons and swivel guns. These are things that are very hard to find for the smaller kits.

The new HMS Wolf kit sells for about $160 at the current exchange rates and close to $200 shipped. It’s nice to have a strong dollar for those of us who are hooked on buying from foreign dealers. As far as value, when you compare it to the smaller Paper Model series kit, to come close to this kit, you need to add the sails kit, the masting kit, paints, blocks and deadeyes. I’ve priced these out, and it would cost you just under $120 for everything including shipping. But, what you won’t get are the brass cannons, swivel guns, brushes and decorations. Also, you end up with the smaller scale, less detailing and having to cut all the parts. So, the extra $80 seems like it’s probably a pretty good deal for all that and it makes the new kit seem like a pretty good value.

Last of the Kriegstein Collection Books – Get Yours Quick!

If you’ve never seen the Kriegstein Collection or part of it, you’re really missing a rare sight. I was fortunately to be able to visit the home of Dr. Arnold Kriegstein with the members of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights group a few years ago.


Photos courtesy of Seawatch Books


Photos courtesy of Seawatch Books

I had attended the Nautical Research Guild Conference in San Francisco (well, actually, it was in San Mateo) where Dr. Kriegstein gave a presentation. The NRG event included a tour of his home, which I had missed. So one of the other Hyde Street Pier members and I approached Dr. Kriegstein about organizing a separate visit at some time, which he was completely open to. So, we went about organizing a date for our group some months later and visited his home, which is just North of San Francisco.

I won’t go into a lot of detail, but it was an AMAZING experience. Arnold Kriegstein and his twin brother Henry together own the largest private collection of contemporary ship models in the world and it was a treat and an honor to be a guest of Dr. Kriegstein’s home, and I have to say he was a very warm and welcoming host.


But, the point of this post is to point at the Seawatch Books, LLC, has announced that there will not be further printings of their beautiful book on the Kriegstein Collection. When their supply of the “Second and Revised Expanded Edition” have run out, there won’t be more. If you want a copy at normal retail prices, hurry and buy your’s. If you don’t, this limited publication will instantly fall into the category of collectible books and the used book prices will certainly jump.

It’s not an inexpensive book, but it is a beautifully illustrated study of these classic historic models.