Category Archives: Ship Modeling News

Ship modeling related news.

Trabaccolo Paper Model on Papermodeler.com

A ship modeler on the website Papermodeler.com recently finished this beautiful model of a Trabaccolo, a type of Adriatic Sea coasting ship. The model was built from a kit by WAK, a Polish company. I don’t know the details of the kit, but I found 1/100 scale WAK kit in the online shop at gpm.pl: https://sklep.gpm.pl/modele-kartonowe/zaglowce/1/100/trabaccolo-wak-9-10/2015

From papermodelers.com.

From papermodelers.com

This is a beautifully built model, done using the printed parts mostly untouched except to clean up the part edges. You can see a lot more on the build log of this model by the member named Seahorse:  Trabaccolo [WAK] – just for some practice – PaperModelers.com

Having completed a couple paper model kits myself from the Polish manufacturer Shipyard (now officially goes by the name Vessel Company), I’m a bit intrigued by kits from this and other manufacturers. I don’t know about other kits from WAK, but this one gives you printed individual planks for planking the hull and deck. I’m really curious to try one out. Given that this particular kit is only 39 PLN, or about $11 plus shipping, it’s an easy purchase. Ω

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South Bay Model Shipwrights November Meeting

I made it to the meeting of the South Bay Model Shipwrights, which is a very long-standing and respected ship model club that was started by Jean Eckert back in 1982 and has operated continuously ever since. Some current and past distinguished members include Jerry Blair, Dr. Clayton Feldman, of course Jean Eckert, Ed Von Der Porten, the late Charles Parsons, and many more.

The club currently meets at the Los Altos Public Library in Los Altos, California, at 6:00 pm, generally on the third Friday of every month. The club, though much smaller than in the past, is  currently headed by Jim Rhetta, who recently completed the rigging of a model of the 3-masted schooner Fannie Gorham for a couple who’s father had passed away after completing most of the hardware.

Jim brought the model, which was in a case built by member and past-president Walt Hlavecek, and presented it to the couple at the meeting this past Friday. Jim did a nice job, and they seemed very happy with it.

Meanwhile, here are some photos from the meeting:

George Sloup talks about the WWI German battlecruiser Goeben, which he has been building from a paper model kit. Here he’s showing some info from a book on German WWI ships.

Jacob Cohn’s 1/64-scale model of the Baltic schooner Scotland sits in the foreground.

An elevated bow view of Jacob Cohn’s Baltic schooner model showing some more of the rigging detail.

Another view of Jacob’s nicely done Baltic schooner.

The group’s newest member Lou Cierra brought in his 3rd wooden ship model, the paddlewheel steamer Gulnara, built from a kit by the German manufacturer Krick.

Another view of the Gulnara with my own wasen models visible in the background. Ken Lum’s detailing of shields for the Drakkar Viking ship are visible in the left foreground.


Lou describes some of the work and issues he faced on this 1/50-scale model, which he started only last month.

The South Bay meetings are usually preceded by a dinner at a local landmark, Chef Chu’s Chinese restaurant. The meetings generally last until 9pm or so. I always enjoy these meetings, particularly with our regular gatherings at Chef Chu’s. Only a few of us attend the pre-meeting dinner, but it’s always a nice way to start the evening.

The meetings, and dinner for that matter, are always open to guests and new members. If you’re interested in joining the group, best thing to do is to contact the president, Jim Rhetta, at jmrhetta@yahoo.com.

Next month, the club will be meeting for a holiday dinner instead of the regular meeting, but will be meeting again as usual in January.

In the meantime, if you want to see a bit of the happenings of the club, you can find information on their website at sbmodelships.com. Ω

Feature Kit: Artesania Latina’s French Privateer Cutter Le Renard, 1813

I’ve always like the look of the cutter rig. After building my model of the HMS Alert paper model by Shipyard, I became enamored with them. There are several kits of this type available, but this is a really nice looking, good sized model. I think Artesania Latina has come a long way in improving the scale appearance and details of their kits, while still keeping a nice, relatively low price point.

Ages of Sail

Looking for a beautiful ship model subject that’s big enough to display, easy enough to build, won’t takes years to complete, and at an affordable price? Take a look at the French privateer cutter, Le Rendard, 1813. 

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New Ancre Books Title – N.S. del Rosario Feluca 1759

I just got a notice from Ancre Books of France of a new Monograph on the Nostra Signora del Rosario, a typical sardine-fishing felucca of Sanremo, built in 1759.

The monograph, written by Franco Fissoro and translated by Francois Fougerat, is 200 pages of detailed information, with 130 of those pages are on the construction of the model. The book appears to be loaded with photos, includes 8 full-color pages, and includes 20 plates in 1/36 scale detailing the frames. The cost is 110 Euros plus shipping.

You can see more details about this new volume on Ancre’s site here: https://ancre.fr/en/monographies-en/87-ns-del-rosario-feluca-1759.html

 

NRG Conference this Week in St. Petersburg, Florida

For those who weren’t aware, if you happen to be in the area of St. Petersburg, Florida this week, you should consider checking out the NRG Conference, which is being held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront hotel.

The annual conference is an international gathering of ship modelers that will take place from Thursday, October 26th through Saturday, October 28th. Local tours of interest take place on Thursday, while Technical sessions and symposiums, plus the annual membership meeting and banquet, take place on Saturday.

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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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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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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.