Another Model Kits of a Ship at the Battle of Trafalgar

Earlier this month, I wrote a post listing available kits of ships involved in the Battle of Trafalgar. Well, it turns out I missed one. I completely slipped my mind because it’s rather hard to find. That is a kit of the Spanish 112-gun, 3-decker Principe de Asturias, from the Spanish kit maker Disar Model.

Disar Model’s wooden model ship kit of the 112-gun Principe de Asturias

The main problem with the kit is that I’m not aware of any online retailer that carries it. Ages of Sail carries the line of Disar Model kits in North America, but for some reason doesn’t carry this particular kit. But, it appears to be out there, so I’m adding it to my list.

Anyway, I’ve righted a wrong, and updated my post on the Model Kits of the Ships at the Battle of Trafalgar. Ω

Taking Another Look: Navio Rayo Gun Section Kit

I wrote up this look at Disar Model’s Navio Rayo kit for Ages of Sail. This kit has been available for about three years, but the manufacture still seems to be somewhat obscure in the world of wooden ship modeling.

Now, there are a lot of kits they make that I’m not very impressed with, but there are a few that look pretty interesting, and this is one of them.

I don’t see a lot of this particular kit selling, but it seems to me that it should. It’s a large scale model kit of an interesting subject with plenty of interesting details.

I considered building this model myself, but I have so many projects to complete. But, even with it’s details, it should be a relatively quick build. Diorama builders could probably do some really interesting work using this kit, and I’d really love to see some model builders, not even necessarily ship modelers, take on this build.

Ages of Sail

It was about 3-1/2 years ago that Ages of Sail first introduced this new line of Spanish wooden model kits to North America. Among the first batch of kits was an often overlooked wood model kit of a section of the 18th-century Spanish warship Rayo. The Rayo was an 80-gun ship-of-the-line built in 1746.  The ship was rebuilt in Cartagena in 1803, transforming her into a three-decked ship of 100 guns.

If you’re interested in getting the kit, you’ll find it on our website here:,-wooden-kit-by-disar,-20148.html

Soon after, the Rayo joined the coalition of French and Spanish ships sailing out of Cadiz on 18 October, 1805. Three days later the combine French and Spanish fleet encountered the British fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson off Cape Trafalgar on the southwest coast of Spain.

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Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – FINAL

The next sails to go on the model are the staysail and jib, the two triangular sails at the bow. To each, a length of line is attached at the top and bottom ends. At the top end, or head, is the halliard, while the line at the bottom corner, or tack, is the outhaul.

With these lines run through their respective blocks and temporarily secured using painter’s tape, the sail can then be secured to the stays, the fixed lines that support the mast from the bowsprit. I used a needle to help thread the line through the leading edge of the sail, then I tied a knot around the stay, securing the knot with a dab of Aleene’s Tacky Glue. When dried, the excess line can be trimmed away. Just be careful not to accidentally cut the stay itself.

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Model Kits of the Ships at the Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar, which took place on October 21, 1805, was a decisive battle that took place between the British fleet and a combined fleet of French and Spanish warships. The battle took place during the early part of the Napoleonic Wars, and confirmed the dominance of British seapower. All together, some 60 ships of the line were involved in the engagement.

Click here for the Wikipedia entry on the Battle of Trafalgar

Corel HMS Victory is one of many HMS Victory kits on the market.

Many ship modelers are interested in modeling the most famous ship to both lead and survive that battle, the aptly named HMS Victory. But, the Victory, wasn’t the only ship at Trafalgar. As mentioned, there were nearly 60 other line-of-battle ships involved. So, what were these other ships? Or, more specifically, what ships were involved with kits available?

Let  me begin by point out that, for some reason, there are no kits that I am aware of for any of the French warships involved in the battle. Maybe it’s because there aren’t any manufacturers of French wooden ship model kits, at least none I am aware of. So, the French subjects get the raw end of the deal. But, if anyone is aware of a kit of a French line-of-battle ship that was at Trafalgar, please leave me a comment.

Of the British ships, we, of course, have HMS Victory, of which there are about a dozen kits, plus cross-section and bow section kits. Other British ships really include only the 64-gun ship HMS Agamemnon made by Caldercraft, and the 74-gun Bellerophon, which is one of the optional builds of Amati/Victory Models HMS Vanguard kit.

Amati Victory Models’ HMS Vanguard kit. While the Vanguard was not at Trafalgar, this kit includes optional parts to build it as HMS Bellerophon, which was at Trafalgar.

But, then we come to the Spanish ships and that’s where we find that with the appearance of the Spanish kit manufacturer OcCre, and the return of Artesania Latina’s San Juan Nepomuceno, the Spanish fleet at Trafalgar is well covered. If you include cross-sections and similar kits, then you can also add in Disar Model (another Spanish kit manufacturer) to the list with their 1/32-scale “battle station” kit representing a section of the Spanish 100-gun ship Rayo. But, even more importantly, is their large kit of the Spanish 3-decker, Principe de Asturias.

Disar Model’s Navio Rayo Battle Station kit. The Rayo was a 100-gun Spanish ship at Trafalgar.

The Montañes is one of several big kits produced by OcCre of large Spanish warships.

Disar Model’s model kit of the 117-gun Principe de Asturias.

Below is a list of all the wooden kits I could think of that cover the line-of-battle ships at Trafalgar. I didn’t include plastic kits, but many subject are covered there as well. I also decided not to list all the available kits of HMS Victory, as we all know that there are way too many kit of this deservedly famous ship. Mentioning each of them would simply overwhelm the list below.


British Ships of the Line

HMS Victory – Many kits in many scales.

HMS Agamemnon – Caldercraft 1/64-scale kit.

HMS Bellerophon – Amati/Victory Models 1/72-scale HMS Vanguard build option

French Ships of the Line


Spanish Ships of the Line

Santisima Trinidad – OcCre 1/90-scale kit; OcCre 1/90-scale hull cross-section kit.

San Ildefonso – OcCre 1/70-scale kit.

Montañes – OcCre 1/70-scale kit

San Juan Nepomuceno – Artesania Latina 1/90-scale kit.

Principe de Asturias – Disar Model 1/72-scale kit.

Rayo – Disar Model 1/32-scale combat station kit.


You may note that this list doesn’t take into account any of the smaller ships that were at Trafalgar, I listed only line-of-battle ships, that is, ships of the 3rd rate or larger (64-guns or more). There were just over a dozen frigates and schooners present at the battle as well. Of these, I’m only aware of one kit available, and that is a very nice, 1/64-scale Caldercraft model of a the British schooner HMS Pickle. Plus, I might as well mention that there are also a couple ship’s boat kits from Disar Model that are claimed to be the larger boats of HMS Agamemnon and of the French ship Bucentaure.

As for other ships that were at Trafalgar, like the French ships, it looks like scratch modeling is the only way to build one of them, but that takes us outside the scope of this article. Hopefully, one of the kits mentioned above will satisfy the needs of ship modelers looking for an interesting Trafalgar subject.


New and Old Products Return to Artesania Latina

When Artesania Latina suddenly disappeared a year or two ago, it was something of a surprise. After all, their products were well distributed and probably the first exposure most of us had to wooden ship model kits. I remember my own experience seeing a wooden ship model on display at hobby shop (when those used to be common place) close to where I worked. The model was one of Artesania Latina’s simplest kits, the Swift.


AL’s Virginia Pilot Boat Swift.

That model wasn’t fancy. It wasn’t bristling with cannons, it wasn’t very big, it wasn’t super detailed. But, it was wooden, and it was well finished. And, while I’d never built anything from wood, save a couple model airplanes my dad coaxed me into building in my younger days, it really caught my eye.

Well, here it is, some 30 years later, and Artesania Latina has just re-started production of one of their significant, classic kits, the Spanish 74-gun ship San Juan Nepomuceno. This ship one of the Spanish warships that fought with the French against the British fleet at Trafalgar.

AL’s 1/90-scale San Juan Nepomuceno kit measures just under 38″ long.

I have fond connections with this ship model kit, as the late ship modeler Henry Alsky, of the Ventura County Maritime Museum Model Guild, was a friend of mine who had built the kit and was very proud of it.

At the moment, just about the only shop where this kit seems to be available is direct from Artesania Latina here:


The other piece of news about Artesania Latina is a bit more exciting, because it deals with the release of a brand new kit that is not trivial, the 17th century Swedish warship Wasa, or Vasa, as they list it. I don’t have much information on this kit, except that it’s 1/65 scale, and measures 42″ long, making it the largest Wasa kit that I’m aware of.

Judging from these photos from AL’s website, this looks like it may be the most detailed and the most accurate model of the ship available. But, that’s just from a brief review of the photos. A builder would have to get his or her hands on the kit and compare details with the original that’s preserved at it’s own museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

In any case, it looks really nice and it appears to be available today, direct from Artesania Latina here:



Building the Kanrin Maru – Japan’s First Screw Steamer – Part 3

Notice anything special about that photo of the fully planked hull in my last post? If you look closely, you may notice that the center section of some of the bulkheads are missing. If you’ve followed any of my wooden ship model building, you’d probably be aware that I can’t leave kits well enough alone. One of the things I’ve always liked to do is to add a hint of an interior. Nothing blatant, just a hint to create something of an image in the observer’s imagination.

Arrows showing where bulkhead sections were removed

I’ve discovered that I don’t like building full interiors and I don’t like lighting a model’s interior. That’s too blatant and too showy for me. I want the observer to look at the model and discover an open door and to catch a glimpse of more detail without actually being able to see beyond it.

You’ll notice in the photo below where I’ve started to make my modifications.I figured I might leave the aft companionway doors open, and have clear skylights, giving a glimpse of the lower deck. So, I cut away the centers of a couple bulkheads, painted the interior bulkheads white, planked a some small floor pieces, and inserted them into place.

Now, to be clear, I went back and forth quite a bit on how much detail to include on the model’s interior. In this case, I decided that all I really want to do is to have some planked deck space down below the hatchways and companionways. For the planking of the lower deck pieces, I used some 3/32″ wide strips of South American boxwood – the same as I will use on the main deck.

Section of interior deck in place. Note the cutout for the mizzen mast.

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Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 14: Mounting the Main and Mizzen Sails

The end of the year is drawing very near and it’s time to finish up the Dana build. All of the deck work is done at this point, and it’s time to mount the sails. I’m beginning by finishing the booms and gaffs. The booms are the spars that secures the foot of the sail. The gaff is the spar that secures the top or head of the sail.

The booms have to have a single block attached to each, so that the line that controls the angle of the sail to the wind, the sheet, can run through it and through a sheet block attached at the deck. Meanwhile, the gaffs need a length of line with both ends attached to it. One end is attached near the end of the gaff, and the other end is attached about 1/3 of the way down the length of the gaff. Both booms and gaffs will need a small eyebolt attached near the jaws.

Before going on, I figured some people may need a bit of help with the nomenclature. Not wanting to post any more copyrighted material than necessary, I drew up a quick and simple diagram.

Sails of the ketch-rigged Dana.

Diagram of lines of the Mizzen Sail. The Main Sail is similarly rigged.

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Ship Modeler Gary Maple Passed Away

I received a phone call the other day from the daughter of friend and ship modeler Gary Maple. Sadly, she called to tell me that Gary had passed away in September. I didn’t ask the specifics, but I know he had been having a lot of health issues.

Gary was an avid ship modeler living in Citrus Heights, CA, not far from Sacramento. He was one of the founding members of a group of ship modelers that met for a time at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, several times a year. Gary was always a very kind and supportive man. He enjoyed helping beginners learn to build ship models, and he always made sure to participate in all of our meetings, bringing books and tools to show and discuss. He seldom brought his models because they were just too big and fragile to make the long drive. But, many of us got to see his terrific models at his home. He loved to research his subjects and always made sure to incorporate that research into his ship modeling work.

Gary will be missed…

Kits Listed on Ebay

There are a lot of life changes going on for me right now, so I’ve decided to part with a portion of that ever-present stack of ship model kits. I’m still working out which kits I will never get to, and which ones I might want to take on some day. But, for now, I’ve managed to come up with a list of some of the simpler ones. So, if you’re interested in any of these, nab them off of Ebay, or send me a comment.

Model Shipways Phantom NY Pilot Boat 1868 Wooden Ship Solid Hull

Brigantine Newsboy, 1854 – Model Shipways Wood Ship Kit #2008 – Barely Started

Woody Joe 1/24 Sailing Japanese Fishing Boat Hacchoro 8-oar Wooden Model Kit

Chesapeake Bay Skipjack Midwest Products Wood Kit

Model Shipways Wood Ship Kit # 2016 – 1/64 scale Colonial Schooner Sultana 1767

Some of these are simple auctions to help them move, some are only for sale with “Buy Now” options, as they’re generally worth more to me, like the Hacchoro. It’s priced a little high, because Woody Joe kits are currently expensive to get from Japan.

I may be listing more kits in the future, but I got tired of creating listings for now. But, there are a couple old Yellow Box kits, another Midwest kit, a HUGE Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack kit from Laughing Whale (now sold by BlueJacket), a big classic Flying Cloud solid hull kit from BlueJacket, a brand new Keel Klamper, and some books.

Oh, and if you need a nice, 27″ retina display iMac with 32GB RAM and a 1TD SSD drive (not a Fusion drive), I’ve got one of those listed as well:

27-inch 5K Retina iMac Late 2014 – 4GHz Quad i7, 32GB, 1T SSD, M295X – MINTY!

What can I say? The holidays are coming and I need the cash…

Kolderstok’s Speel-Jaght Now on Sale

Kolderstok’s Speel-Jaght is a unique and interesting looking kit from one of the newest ship model kit manufacturers in the industry. Looks like a nice one to try out for those looking to build something different from everyone else.

Ages of Sail

It wasn’t more than two weeks ago that we announced that we’d received a new shipment from Kolderstok, replenishing our supply of the Dutch kits, including the popular Duyfken ship model kit. Well, it seems that there must have been some ship modelers out their waiting for this kit to be back in stock again, and they all sold in a very short time.

Well, that’s the bad news. The good news is that we’ve just listed the most recent release from Kolderstok, the Speel-Jaght!

Kolderstok's Speel-Yaght wooden model ship kit

The new Kolderstok kit is a 1/50-scale model kit of a type of boat that began to appear in the early 1600s, as people began sailing, not just for commerce or fighting, but for the joy of sailing, and pleasure yachts began to appear.

This is the smallest and least expensive of the Kolderstok kits, unless you include the Bijboot, ship’s boat kit. The kit includes…

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