Shipyard (Paper Models from Poland) Changes Product Lineup

I just found out recently that the polish paper model company Shipyard, is changing its product lineup a little, in order to make room for their new line of HO scale railroad accessories. Basically, the name of the company is now VESSEL, and they now have two separate product brands: Shipyard and Railway Miniatures.

 

Basically, all HO scale products are now sold only under the Railway Miniatures brand. This includes all HO scale lighthouses, dockyard accessories and some new buildings. I think it’s a great idea, but there are some oddities, particularly for American model railroad enthusiasts, in that the products are a mix of 17th through 19th century dockyard equipment and European buildings. Some new stuff is modern era, but still has a European flavor.

So, there’s probably not a lot in this product line that will appear here in the U.S., but I still think it’s good for VESSEL to expand its product lineup.

As for the Shipyard brand kits, there is some consolidation and simplification of scales. Paper Model series of kits (MK series), will continue to be 1/96-scale for all ship model kits. The paper model lighthouses will now be part of the Railway Miniatures brand and continue to be produced in HO scale (1/87).

The boxed Laser Cardboard Kits (ZL series), will all be 1/72-scale. This is no different than they are now, except that the line will include all the 1/72-scale dockyard accessories. 1/72-scale lighthouses will continue to be available in this series.

The Laser Cut Models series of kits (ML series), will only consist of 1/96-scale dockyard accessories. Quay port kits will be sold as separate components, instead of complete diorama kits. This gives the builder a lot of freedom to design a diorama as he or she desires. Those wishing to build a diorama in 1/72-scale will have to turn to the updated Laser Cardboard Kits, ZL series.

The one issue I found that dealers like Ages of Sail are going to have to contend with is that in its ultimate wisdom, the owners of VESSEL decided to reassign the product number in their ML series, Laser Cut Models. This means that if you order, say, kit ML008 today, you’re ordering the Stockholm Quay Port diorama in 1/96 scale. After next month, kit ML008 will be a 1/96-scale Work Shed.

This may not seem like much, but it messes up the inventory systems of existing dealers, and my concern is that it’s going to lead to errors in ordering, accidental purchases of the wrong products, and costly returns. So, if you’re looking for something in the ML series from one of the VESSEL brands, just be aware of these changes.

In the meantime, VESSEL’s website, http://www.model-vessel.com, is looking a bit incomplete as the company goes through the new product transition. I went to look at the Laser Cut Models series and found none listed. But, rest assured, they’ll be back.

Meanwhile, look forward to Ages of Sail carrying laser-cut paper block sets for the MK series of paper ship model kits. I don’t know how long it will be before they’re in stock, but the addition is in the works.

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