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.
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.