Category Archives: All News

HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Build, Part 4

The 1/96-scale HMS Mercury paper model continues.

 

 

 

 

I’m starting to think about the outer layer that’s going to go on the model. The kit includes printed parts for two configurations of the ship, one for the original 1779 paint scheme and another for the 1795 (Black and Yellow) paint scheme. I was always planning to build this in the 1779 configuration, but I’m thinking about the later configuration, just because it’s different (for this kit, anyway).

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Waiting in Anticipation for the Queen Anne Style Barge

Syren Ship Model Company, who brings us some of the finest blocks and rigging line available, plus a host of other products, is preparing to release their first complete kit, the Queen Anne Style Barge, c. 1708.

Chuck Passaro’s latest work. Soon to be available as a kit.

As you might recall, Chuck Passaro, is the designer of Model Shipway’s 18th Century English Longboat and 21ft. English Pinnace kits, among others. He also created a set of plans and sells them, along with fittings kits and bulkheads sets of the English cutter Cheerful, 1806.

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Found! Renesans Paints for Shipyard Kits

Several months ago, you may recall that I’d written a post about a brand of paints that the Polish card model manufacturer Shipyard includes in their boxed kits. The brand is a Polish brand of matte artist’s acrylics called Renesans. Ever since I discovered these paints more than a year ago, I’ve really liked how well they work on paper models.

Here’s a link to my previous post: http://wp.me/p32ONi-U5

I used these paints on my 1/96-scale HMS Alert model and amusing them on my 1/96-scale HMS Mercury model as well. I have enough paint remaining from these and some left over from a lighthouse kit I built, that my supply is okay. But, it has bothered me that other people couldn’t try them out, as Shipyard stopped selling these paints on their website. They still include small jars of them in their boxed kits, but you can’t get refills.

Renesans actually has at least four lines of paints. The paint in question is called Renesans Colours. I contacted Shipyard and while it was nice of them to respond, and though they said they contacted the paint manufacturer, they didn’t provide anything useful.

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Computer Translation of Japanese Text, Part 1 – Translation from the Internet

Here’s how to deal with working with Japanese text when doing research through the Internet. This information should apply to research in any foreign language.

Wasen Modeler

Recently, I wrote a blog post about Researching Wasen Remotely, but it was mostly a follow up about the general difficulty of sorting through research information that’s primarily in Japanese and gathered from wide ranging sources. But I’m thinking it might be helpful to go over some of the resources and tools I use in research. This could be pretty involved, so I may need to do this in a few parts.

The most obvious sources of information are going to be books, drawings, photos, web pages, etc. Drawings and photos aren’t language dependent, but books, websites and any text in the drawings and photos, are going to be written in Japanese. If you don’t read Japanese, that’s a big problem, but there are tools that can help.

While I was born in Japan, am half Japanese, and know a small amount of spoken Japanese, my own knowledge of the written…

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The Passing of a Ship Modeler: Milton DeGroot

Having been an active ship modeler for about 25 years and having been involved in clubs, online forums, and such, it is an unfortunate aspect of being part of the ship modeling community to see so many friends and fellow modelers depart. This is particularly true in ship modeling, since so many of us don’t become extremely active in the hobby until after retirement.

Recently, I learned that fellow ship modeler Milton DeGroot, someone that I had spoken with on the phone a couple years ago but never had a chance to meet, had passed away.  I had heard through my connection with Ages of Sail about his passing, so I volunteered to help collect together some of his collection of wood and fittings to take to a local ship model club meeting. Visiting his home, I had a chance to meet a couple members of his family and to take a few photos his two remaining models, family members having taken the rest of his work.

It seemed only right to share these photos of his works here.

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Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part 5

With another ship modelers’ get-together coming up again in just over 3 weeks, it’s time to take a look at our group project, the Amati Swedish Gunboat. Still, nobody has finished their model, but three of us are in striking distance of completion and I’ll be wrapping up my project in the next couple months.

I was partly inspired to finish up this model after seeing photos of the model built by ship modeler Junichi Yamashita of the Japanese ship model society The Rope. The model was beautifully done and was part of the society’s 42nd annual exhibition. Below are just a few photos of this nicely done model, courtesy of The Rope.

You can see more photos of this model on their website:

https://www.theropetokyo.org/展示会作品集/第42回展-2017年/第42回展-2-4/

Just scroll down the page to model entry 42-18 and click on the photo.

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Ancre Books – Fall 2017 Update

Ancre is a French publisher of ship modeling and marine related historical books that, for decades, has featured the works by Bernard Frölich, the late Jean Boudriot, the late Hubert Berti, and others. These are very detailed works that, aside from used copies, are available only direct from the publisher.

The last time I posted news about Ancre, they had just released their two volumes on the French frigate l’Hermione, back in 2015. That was about the same time that I managed to grab a copy of Bernard Frölich’s The Art of Shipmodeling from a used book dealer, so I no longer have to covet my friends copy.

Since then, I haven’t really paid too much attention to what they’ve been up to, but I received an email from them about a week ago announcing a new english language version of their book on French Naval Artillery 1650-1850. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t visited their site in a while, but looking at their site today, it seems like they’ve expanded their offerings.

Check out their website at https://ancre.fr or you can see a quick overview of their offering on their order form here. Or, if you’d like to see an overview of their english language offerings, you can download this 20-page pdf here. Ω

 

Photos from the 2017 Alma Sail

There are various reasons for finding and joining you local ship model club. One of the reasons is to participate in great events like this one by the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights, a club I belong to. The group had been talking for years about doing a group sail aboard the Alma. This year, it was finally a reality. It was a really fun afternoon of sun, wind and waves… well, it was San Francisco, so more wind and waves than sun. It was great being out under sail on this old historic ship.

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights

Finally got around to posting some photos from this year’s club sail aboard the historic scow schooner Alma. This event took place on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

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Railroad Kit Supplier for Ship Modelers

Anyone who knows model railroads knows that there’s some really significant, really neat products available to that market. Model railroads scales can be quite adaptable to ship modeling, though the timeframe is generally limited to 1860s through 1930s and later.

Most ship modelers tend to stick to 17th and 18th century subjects, but there is some overlap for those interested in steam-era ships and late 19th and early 20th century sailing ships. And if you’re one of those those ship modelers, there are some companies that you should take a good look at.

I learned about an interesting company through past Nautical Research Guild conferences. A gentleman by the name of Andy Small started a company called Train Troll, and he showed off some of his products that might be of interest to ship modelers. I have to say, he had some really neat stuff. Now, I’m one of those people who’s mostly focussed on 18th and early 19th century ships, but his products were so interesting that it got me to thinking about trying out some of them.

I won’t go into a lot of detail, but will just post some photos of some HO, O, and 1/64 scale offerings.

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Pirated Products on the Internet

I would like all ship modelers to beware and understand the significance and impact of many kits that are appearing from a number of Chinese companies on the Internet.

The amount of work necessary to research and design ship model kits is a major part of the expense of producing good quality kits. It is unfortunate then that unscrupulous individuals and companies are stealing work that has been legitimately produced at great cost and expense, using the work to produce their own knockoff products and either making their kits more attractive by adding their own details, or undercutting the pricing of legitimate manufacturers, or both.

The problem is rampant, and many ship modelers are aware of what’s going on, but ignore the issue for their own benefit and to the detriment of the dedicated, legitimate ship modeling industry, and it is having an impact on the very companies that have built this industry.

Amati/Victory Models kit of the English cutter Lady Nelson was designed by modeler Chris Watton. It is based on the lines of HMS Sherbourne. Recently, a Chinese company released an exact copy of this kit, same scale, adding a few of their own details. But they even went so far as to use photos of the Amati kit in their listings. They even copied the name Lady Nelson, a fictitious name used by Amati / Victory Models for this model.

Some of the piracy is a bit subtle, and in some cases involve the copying of kits that are no longer in production. Ever notice Chinese or even Russian sellers of the Harvey, a Baltimore clipper kit that was once produced by Artesania Latina?

Some of the piracy is so blatant, like the production of the Model Shipways kit of the US frigate Confederacy, to go so far as even providing photocopies of the original plans and instructions from the legitimate kit.

In other cases, these pirate companies produce some nice looking kits based on currently published books and plans, but these are produced without permission of the authors or publishers, with no licensing, effectively undermining the hard work produced by these individuals and the investments by these publishers. In the end, this only serves as a disincentive to those who might otherwise publish the next great book, plan or kit. Why bother if one of these unscrupulous companies is going to steal their work? And again, it only adds insult to injury that we or our fellow ship modelers should subsidize the downfall of this industry by knowingly purchasing these pirated products.

Some ship modeling sites, like The NRG’s Model Ship World, have taken the measure of banning ship model build logs of pirated products. It’s unfortunate that such efforts are necessary, and even more unfortunate that other ship modeling forums haven’t take a stand against this rampant piracy.

Hopefully, people will begin to understand the damage being done by these unscrupulous sellers and will stop supporting them before it’s too late.