Category Archives: Ship Modeling News

Ship modeling related news.

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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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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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.

 

 

Dusek Ship Kits Re-Releases Mamoli MV Series

As you may recall, Dusek, a relatively new ship model kit manufacturer from the Czech Republic, licensed the Mamoli line of products some time after a fire shut down the Italian manufacturer’s operations. Last year, Dusek began releasing the line of popular Mini-Mamoli kits. They are now caught up and have the whole line of kits available.

The latest news is that 11 kits of the original Mamoli line are now back in production and available. These are supposedly the same as the originals, just in new packaging. The kits are:

  • MV20 HMS Beagle
  • MV22 Blue Shadow
  • MV33 Gretel
  • MV35 Hunter
  • MV37 Halifax
  • MV39 HMS Bounty
  • MV46 Black Prince
  • MV48 Lexington
  • MV52 HMS Bounty
  • MV82 Blackbeard

Generally speaking, these are some of the smaller, less expensive of the Mamoli kits. I’m looking forwarding to seeing some of the larger kits come back like the Royal Louis, Friesland, and the Flying Cloud. However, those can still be found for sale from sellers like Ages of Sail, which has a stock of the original Mamoli kits.

In fact, except for the Gretel and HMS Bounty, they still have a stock of all the kits that have been re-released by Dusek. Still, it’s good to see these kits actually in production. Apparently, the parts are being produced by the same sources as when the Mamoli company was making the kits, so everything should mostly be the same.

I haven’t seen one of the new Mamoli MV series kits myself yet, so I can’t say. However, I’ve looked over the Mini-Mamoli kits and compared some of the originals with the Dusek releases and they are very much the same, except that the instructions appear to be photocopies of the of the original fold-out sheets. I don’t know if that’s the case with the larger model kit series, but I would doubt it, as you really want plans that you can lay out without having to piece them together.

I did notice one error on the box art, so don’t let that fool you or dissuade you from buying one of the kits. The box art mistakenly identifies the kit as having a “Pre-carved solid hull”. This was an accidental carryover from the Mini-Mamoli box art. These are, in fact, plank-on-bulkhead kits, just like the originals.

You can order these kits direct from Dusek Ship Kits. As I mentioned earlier, some online shops, like Cornwall Model Boats in the UK or Ages of Sail in the USA still have a stock of many Mamoli kits in their original form.

The Rope: Photo Gallery of the 42nd Exhibition 2017

The Japanese ship model society, The Rope, has a marvelous website that includes a Gallery of photos of each of their annual exhibitions for the last 8 years and beyond. If you’re a ship modeler, you’ll find some wonderfully inspiring work. But, beware, you might also see some models that will destroy your ego, make you crawl into a corner, and want to take up knitting.

Here’s a link to the 42nd Exhibition held earlier this year: https://www.theropetokyo.org/展示会作品集/第42回展-2017年/第42回展-1-4/#42-03

If you don’t read Japanese, you can find links to other exhibitions, download copies of their newsletter on their English language section here: https://theropetokyo-en.jimdo.com

 

Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Bune, Part 6

A project update for those interested in a large 12th century Japanese boat.

Wasen Modeler

As I mentioned in my last post on this model, I’d been wrestling with the configuration of the roofs. The 1/20-scale museum model that I often see reference on the web, differs from Professor Ishii’s 3-view illustration that I’ve mostly been basing construction on. Those drawings are more of a match to the early scroll paintings. Oddly enough, none of the models I’ve seen match them exactly. Is it possible that the builders had access to more updated information? Or did they just decide that the Ishii-san was wrong? But, then what about the scroll paintings? Are they simply written off as being wrong?

As you can see in the photo below, which was taken at a ship model club meeting, I initially made flat roofs panels. If I could justify them, they would certainly be the simplest to construct.

Flat roof panel initially constructed is seen in foreground.

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Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie

Today, I just received my copy of Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie from Themodelshipwright.com. This book is a paperback reproduction of the the third volume of the series of books from Françoise Edmond Pâris, originally published in the late 1800s. The book is in 8-1/2″ by 11″ format paperback, 126 pages long.

I just browsed through the book, which is described as being a republication of the book in its original form. So, there’s a lot of French text. In fact, this book is much more text heavy than the first book published by Themodelshipwright.com, and then, because it is written in script, it’s kind of hard to read, and forget OCR and computer translation.

For most ship modelers, this is probably too hard to use, though there is clearly some good technical details. But, it’s an interesting find that, for the price of only $6.99, would be nice to have in your library, regardless.

If you don’t have either this or the first book, Selected Plates from Souvenirs de Marine, I recommend getting the first book. It’s a little more money at $9.99, but you’re more likely to find something useful in that book. I know I certainly did with the Japanese watercraft.

But, Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie, is a nice follow-up. And, though I don’t know if I’ll ever really have a use for it, I’m glad to know what I am not missing from the series. You can’t beat the price, and I’m happy to have it on my shelf.

Learn more at themodelshipwright.com.