Monthly Archives: June 2020

New Wooden Kits from Shipyard – In Stock Now!

Two new kits from the Polish card model kit manufacturer Shipyard brings us a whole new category of ship model kit: The Wooden Card Model. Ages of Sail announced that they are now stocking these kits.

Ages of Sail

Shipyard is a Polish manufactures known for producing some extraordinary paper model kits and laser-cut card model kits. Just recently, they even had their HMS Wolf model grace the cover of the Nautical Research Journal.

Last year, they released two new laser-cut card model kits of medieval cogs. And this year, they have entered the realm of wooden ship modeling, by making two new laser-cut kits. This time, they aren’t made from card stock, but of wood. Ages of Sail is proud to be able to bring these kits to the US market, having recently received its first shipment of these amazing new kits.

The two kits are both medieval cogs – the Wütender Hund and the Kogge von Kampen.

These wooden kits are actually closely related to their card model cousins, in that their method of construction is nearly identical to the card models, but of course, using wood as…

View original post 145 more words

The Tonegawa Takasebune (高瀬船) – a Model in 1/72 Scale

Sometimes when you’ve been mulling over a project for a long time, once you start, the build goes really quickly. That’s the case with this Edo period Japanese river transport, the Tonegawa takasebune.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

After finishing the Himi tenmasen model, I was at somewhat of a crossroads. Though the Woody Joe kitamaebune kit is close to being completed and waiting for me to make a set of sails for it, I felt that I needed to start some kind of scratch project.

I considered some other boats from Toyama prefecture, now that I have access to drawings of many examples, but there’s always been one type of boat that has intrigued me for quite some time. The boat is a large cargo transport that operated on the larger rivers in and out of old Edo. There were various kinds of transports on the rivers around Edo, but these stood out to me.

These boats were called takasebune (tah-kah-say-boo-nay), and the term can be a little confusing, as the same term would refer to any boats on the Takase river. But, the term was more…

View original post 906 more words

Paper Models in the Nautical Research Journal

Paper model enthusiasts rejoice! The Summer 2020 issue of the Journal of the Nautical Research Society (Vol. 65, No. 2) just arrived in the mail this last week, containing a nice full-length article on paper models.

Th cover of the Summer 2020 issue of the Journal, featuring Shipyard’s HMS Wolf

It’s not the first time paper models have been seen in the the Journal, but this is the first I’ve seen that provides an overview of the available kinds of kits available. Ab Hoving wrote an excellent article on scratch building a Dutch fluit, which he made from paper. There may be other examples as well, but it was good to see this recent article, especially since it discussing the array of available kits.

As the article points out, paper modeling has many advantages over our traditional wooden model hobby. Paper models tend to be less expensive, don’t require as many tools as for wooden model building, make less mess than wooden ship modeling, and so can often be built in a much smaller space. It also tends to be more acceptable in close proximity to other people, as significant others may have fewer issues with you cutting paper in the living room with them that with sawing wood or sanding.

Many know that I’m an advocate of paper modeling, though I don’t suggest that it’s for everyone, or that paper models are better than wooden ones. I just think they’re neat and that people should take a serious look at building one. Also, I think there’s a stigma associated with them that because they’re paper, they are “real” ship models. Ab Hoving’s work, as well as other other talented modelers, disprove that idea.

A past issue of the Journal, Fall 2016, features Ab Hoving’s scratch built Dutch Fluit on the cover – an extraordinary model that he built from paper.

This issue of the Journal even features a full-color photo of a paper model built of the 10-gun snow-rigged brig HMS Wolf. It is a beautiful laser-cut kit from the Polish manufacturer Shipyard. One that I always thought would be interesting to build.

Paper models have been popular in Europe for a long time, and it would be nice to see more ship modelers involved in this medium. Ω

An Update to my Dana Fishing Boat build log

If you’ve been following my Billing Boats Dana Fishing Boat build, you’ve probably been waiting around for the past couple months for that 14th part. Well, I finally started writing it up and reviewing part 13 and realized that it was missing some information and needed some better organization.

As a result, I ended up re-writing part 13, and ended up covering all of the sail making work in that section.

So, if you’ve been waiting for the next blog entry, you’ll want to go back and read the “new and improved” part 13. Here’s a direct link:

Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 13: Blocks and Sails


Vanguard Models – Now at Ages of Sail!

Vanguard Models is a pretty exciting new line of kits designed and Developed by Chris Watton, who also did the design work for Caldercraft’s Nelson’s Navy series and Amati’s Victory Models series. Now, with his own company, he has more control over production, which means he can do more to provide the best in scale accuracy and detail.

The fact that Ages of Sail is now carrying the kits, which I didn’t think they’d be able to do as the new kit producer is a small operation, is a big marketing plus for Chris Watton’s new company.

Plus, as he releases new kits, it should provide him with a boost in guaranteed sales, which will hopefully help him recover his investment costs in research and materials more quickly.

Of course, it all depends on how popular these kits turn out to be. But, from what I’ve seen, these appear to among the highest quality kits on the market. Plus, most Ages of Sail customers will probably appreciate that the instructions are all written in english!

Ages of Sail

We at Ages of Sail are proud to announce that we are now the U.S. Distributor for the newest  line of wooden ship model kits from England,  Vanguard Models.

This company is a new venture by world-renowned kit designer and developer Chris Watton, who designed some of the industry’s most popular ship model kits. But now, with direct control of production, he is able to release kits with the best possible attention to accuracy in scale and detail.

HMS Alert

Begun in 2019, the recent release of his Scottish Fifie kit brings the number of available kits to four, with rapid development taking place on future kits. Currently, all kits are produced at the popular ship modeling scale of 1:64 (3/16″=1′).

Scottish Fifie

HMS Speedy

Scottish Zulu “Lady Isabella”

All kits feature laser-cut MDF hull framing, and double-planked hulls with the finish planking in pearwood. Decks come as detailed laser-engraved…

View original post 112 more words

New Kits All Around – OcCre Polaris, Model Shipway’s Dory, Plus Vanguard Models at Ages of Sail

While the Corona virus continues on, the world is on fire, and I sit in the midst of a new city curfew… But, on the up side, there’s a lot of good news on the ship modeling scene.

European manufacturers have re-opened and shipments of kit and fittings have begun again, so the big online shops are able to restock. The main problem for them is the limited number of flights now, which is limiting shipments and making it extremely expensive. So, don’t be surprised if some prices creep upwards a little.

But, just as important are some nice new kit releases and new product line availability.


OcCre Polaris

The first new news is a new wooden ship model kit from OcCre Model of Spain, the Polaris.

Now, may of you who have been building ship models for a while may recognize that this kit appears to be OcCre’s answer to Artesania Latina’s Virginia Pilot Boat Swift. And, with the stocks of AL kits slowly diminishing, this seems to be a good release, filling the important niche of the popular beginning kit.

Making the kit an even better fit for beginners are the illustrated, step-by-step instructions. Plus, OcCre has produced a 84-part series of short videos, showing every step of construction.

Now, I think the kit is already ideal for beginning ship modelers, but this mini video series pretty well seals the deal.  If only they’d added a nice soundtrack…

In any case, you can order yours at an introductory price of $99 at Ages of Sail here:


New Grand Banks Dory from Model Shipways

It’s always nice to see Model Shipways release some new products, and the Lowell Grand Bands Dory is a great subject. With the demise of Midwest wooden boat kits, there’s a big hole in the market for well documented, simple kits with good, english language instructions, and this appears to be just that.

This kit was designed by the very talented ship modeler David Antscherl, who authored the very popular and detail series of books on the Swan Class Sloops, as well as one on the Fireship Comet, the Greenwich Hospital Barge, and others.

This 1/24 scale kit measures 10″ long and comes in at the ideal beginner’s price point of around $35. It features laser-cut basswood parts, and is described as the first in a series of progressive model tutorials.

I’ve exchanged emails with Mr. Antscherl as soon as I spotted the kit bearing his credentials, and we can expect to see a couple more subjects in the very near future.

In the meantime, they were on sale, and I had a coupon(!), so I ordered one for myself. I think the folks at the ship model club will love to see this one. That is, once we can start meeting again…

Check it out here:


Vanguard Models at Ages of Sail

Good news for those who want to find a US seller of kits from the very talented Chris Watton, who gave us Caldercraft’s Nelson’s Navy and Amati’s Victory Models lines of kits. I was surprised to find out that he and the owner of Ages of Sail have been in talks, and the first shipment of Vanguard Models products are on their way to the Ages of Sail shop as you read this.

Vanguard Models, the new venture run by Chris Watton himself, has already released four kits now. One of the most recent is a type of Scottish fishing boat called a Zulu. I’d never seen one before, but it’s a beautiful looking boat. Either that, or it’s such a beautiful looking model kit that it makes me think it’s a beautiful boat.

All the kits from Vanguard Models are 1/64 scale, at least for now, and they look to be very nicely design using innovative engineering and quality parts. Also, the instruction look to be very nicely illustrated with accompanying text in english.

Expect to see the four kits listed soon at  Ages of Sail. Ω