Category Archives: Ship Modeling News

Ship modeling related news.

New MSW Scratch Build Project Available – HMS Winchelsea

Chuck Passaro, ship modeler and owner/operator of Syren Model Ship Company, recently announced on Model Ship World his plans to change the operational model of his company somewhat, and will no longer be developing new kits. He will be continuing to focus on producing blocks, rigging line, and his existing kits, but has decided to change course for future developments.

In keeping with the new changes, he has teamed up with Model Ship World to make a new online project available to NRG/MSW members. The project, which he has been developing over the course of several years, is the 32-gun British frigate Winchelsea, 1764.

Interested builders will need to be a member of the Model Ship World online forum, but there is no cost to join. As am MSW member (and MSW members are automatically registered as NRG associate members), you can then pay a $15 access fee, and you will receive details on accessing and downloading the drawings and monograph.

Payment is made through the NRG website here: https://www.thenrg.org/plans-and-projects.php#!/HMS-Winchelsea-Plan-Access-MSW/p/146083138/category=13294033

Or just go to https://www.thenrg.organd click on the Plans & Projects tab, and then the HMS Winchelsea Plan Access button. A message will be sent to you on MSW on how to access and download the drawings necessary for this build.

The project is designed as a plank-on-bulkhead model project for first-time scratch builders. The drawings are specifically for a 1/4″ scale (1:48), unrigged model, with a hull measuring about 38″ long.

While this is designed as a first-time scratch modeler’s project, some laser-cut parts will be available for purchase through Syren Ship Model Company’s Winchelsea page for those who so choose. The first chapter of the monograph is also available to download on that page.

More information about the group project can be found on MSW here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/21441-hms-winchelsea-1764-32-gun-frigate-group-project-info/

There are other group projects available to members as well, including the Medway Longboat (kit’s similar to Model Expo’s 18th Century English Longboat, but much nicer materials and detail), an Introduction to Relief Carving, as well as a 28-gun frigate, HMS Triton, build.

This looks to be a nice new ship modeling project, a great way to delve into scratch building, or to just take on a wonderful looking build-as-you-go project. Ω

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Woody Joe’s USS Susquehanna Now Available!

Here’s some good news for ship modelers, particularly those interested in the early sail-rigged steamers. Woody Joe has just released their new U.S.S. Susquehanna kit. This is one of the famous “Black Ships” that were party of Matthew Perry’s squadron to open trade with Japan in 1853.

The 1/120-scale laser-cut kit measures just about 34″ long when completed. The cost is about $400 plus shipping. That makes it one of the pricier kits, but it is also one of the few kits available anywhere of an American paddlewheel steamer.

When I get caught up on projects a bit, I’d really love to build this. The kit, like many Woody Joe kits, is designed to be easy to build. They list it as 190 hours construction time, which is in comparison to 200 hours for their big Cutty Sark kit and 100 hours for their Sir Winston Churchill kit.

I’ve found Woody Joe kits to be accurate, but leaving room for the builder to upgrade the kit by adding details beyond what’s provided in the kit. Of course, you will need to deal with instructions that are only available in Japanese. But, the instructions are extremely well illustrated, and pretty easy to follow, and there is actually very little text or need for it. But, if you have a smart phone, the use of the Google Translate app will help you make sure you don’t miss anything.

You’ll probably find the kit on Amazon or Ebay. But, as always, I recommend the Japanese online shop Zootoyz.jp for service and support. Here’s a direct link to the kit on their site: https://www.japan-wooden-model-kits-zootoyz.shop/contents/en-us/p24912_USS-SUSQUEHANNA-Wooden-Sailing-Ship-Model-Kits-by-Woody-JOE.html

At the moment, I’ve noticed that the product does not appear on the original Zootoyz.jp site, but does appear on the newer “wooden products only” site (accessible from the Zootoyz home page). But, just click on the direct link above and it will get you there.

Ω

Artesania Latina Going Away

It looks like the classic line of ship model kits from Artesania Latina are going away. I’ve been told this from industry sources I trust.

Many staff from Artesania had already left the company to start their own wooden ship modeling companies, including OcCre and Disar Model. I’m told this occurred as Artesania Latina shifted its production to China. Both product lines can be found in North America at Ages of Sail.

It appears that the company operations have already ceased and the website now has a generic “We’ll be back soon” message posted on it. Their products have become increasingly difficult to find, so those of you who really want to build specific Artesania Latina kits should get them while you can. Perhaps there is a possibility that one of the existing ship model companies, like OcCre or Disar, will resurrect some part of their lineup? No word on that yet, but I wouldn’t count on it.

One of the things that made Artesania Latina kits so popular was that they were just about the only line of wooden ship model kits available through the major hobby retailer distribution channels. So they were the often the first wooden ship model kits that hobbyists were exposed to. I know that is true for me.

The first wooden ship model kit I ever took notice of was Artesania Latina’s Swift kit in a hobby shop in downtown Santa Barbara, about a block from where I used to work. That and a completed model on display seriously caught my attention and hooked me for life.

Artesania Latina’s Swift

It’s sad to see them go. But, of course, there have always been tons of kits selling on Ebay, both new and pre-owned, and it will take a while before the “classic” kits like the Swift disappear for good. But, the newer popular subjects like the Surprise and Hermione are already getting hard to find. Ω

 

 

Vanguard Models – HMS Alert Kit Available

Just saw the news this morning on Model Ship World that Chris Watton’s Vanguard Models site is now fully functional and his new HMS Alert kits are available for sale.

The 1/64-scale cutter model measures 637mm long and 517mm high – that’s about 25″ long and 20″ high – and sells for £180.00 plus shipping, or just under $230.

You can order the kit here: https://vanguardmodels.com/h-m-armed-cutter-alertstatic

Mr. Watton says that he’ll now be working on the next project, the brig HMS Speedy.

 

 

Vanguard Models – New Ship Model Company Venture by Chris Watton

Chris Watton is the designer behind Amati’s Victory Models line of ship model kits. These are some of the finest wooden ship model kits available. Now, Mr. Watton is now branching out on his own with a his new brand of ship model kits called Vanguard Models.

He’s announce on the Model Ship World forum that his first kit will be a 1/64-scale kit of the English cutter HMS Alert, which he expects to be released sometime around the end of May.

Image from Vaguard Models new website.

The details on the model appear to be up to Chris Watton’s fine standards, and I expect this is going to sell like hotcakes. Of course, it depends somewhat on the price point for these, plus shipping costs. That information is yet to be posted.

This looks to be only the first of what I hope will be many more products by Mr. Watton. Future products mentioned include the 14-gun English brig, HMS Speedy, and the 50-gun fourth-rate ship of the line, HMS Bristol. For now, the only source for the kits is the new Vanguard Models webiste, which appears to be in testing still.

You can keep track of developments by following posts on Model Ship World (click the earlier link), or possibly just keep checking the new website.

Woody Joe’s New USS Susquehanna Kit in the Works

I just saw an exciting post on Woody Joe’s Facebook page today. Woody Joe is developing a new 1/120-scale wooden model kit of the USS Susquehanna, one of the famous kurofune or black ships of Commodore Perry’s squadron that sailed into Edo Bay in 1853 and 1854 to force a trade treaty with Japan.

These are photos posted on Facebook by Woody Joe of their prototype. There are many details that need to be worked out yet, so there is no word yet on pricing or availability. But, it is clearly a plank-on-bulkhead kit of the 3-masted barque-rigged paddlewheel steam frigate. At 1/120 scale, the model will measure about 34″ long.

Again, no price is set yet. But, based on their kits of similar size and detail, my guess is that it will run somewhere around 45,000¥ or about $400. We’ll see how close I come to the actual total. This kit appears to rely on more photo-etched brass than past kits, which can add a lot to a kit’s cost.

There’s a general lack of mid 19th-Century steamship model kits. This will join their own Kanrin Maru kit to help fill that gap. I, for one, am really looking forward to the release of this kit. But, I guess I should finish my own Kanrin Maru build before I get started on this one. So, it’s just as well that it’s not quite ready for release yet.

Zootoyz.jp will have the kit for sale as soon as it becomes available. I’ll make sure to post an update as soon as I find out more. Ω

OcCre’s HMS Beagle Kit Now in Stock (HMS Terror too)

New kit from OcCre models now available at Ages of Sail, HMS Beagle. This is a nice looking kit that OcCre lists as having a low difficulty level. Looking for your next ship modeling project? Check it out, along with their HMS Terror kit.

I have the HMS Terror kit, but I’m feeling an awfully strong pull for the HMS Beagle…

Ages of Sail

It’s been a bit of a wait with a lot of hold-ups along the way, but the new HMS Beagle kits have finally arrived!

Available Now!

HMS Beagle

We’ve been fulfilling the pre-orders, and if you’re one of these buyers, your kit is already on it’s way to you.

HMS Beagle

HMS Beagle

HMS Beagle

For the rest of you who are interesting in this kit, there are plenty in stock! We made sure to order enough that we shouldn’t be running out of them any time soon.

https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/hms-beagle-(occre-1:60).html

And speaking of running out, the OcCre HMS Terror kits, which we had run out of, are now back in stock too!

https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/hms-terror-occre-oc12004.html

HMS Terror

HMS Terror

HMS Terror

Both were early 19th century British warships, later modified for exploration. Which will YOU build?  Terror or Beagle?

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Occre Beagle (and Terror) Shipment Update

Waiting with anticipation for the new HMS Beagle kit. But, I’m glad I got the HMS Terror kit when I did. Can I keep myself from buying the HMS Beagle kit right away too? Doubtful.

Just have to wait a little longer for the arrival.

Ages of Sail

While I’m sorry to say that the new HMS Beagle kits have not yet arrived, they are definitely coming soon. We just found out there was some kind of overload on FedEx’s end with a shortage of warehousing space, which delayed transit. But, they should be back on route to us shortly.

On the positive side, if you haven’t had a chance to pre-order your OcCre HMS Beagle kit with the pre-order discount yet, there is still time. You can get your kit for only $188.10. This kit looks very good and we expect it to be very popular. But, don’t worry, we ordered plenty, so we don’t expect to run out any time soon.

And, if you’re interested in the very popular HMS Terror kit, sadly, we just sold the last of our stock today. Fear not, there are more coming in the OcCre shipment along with the new…

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OcCre’s HMS Terror Scale Issue

A few weeks ago, I broke down and purchased the HMS Terror kit from Ages of Sail. I couldn’t help myself as it is such and interesting subject and the kit looks very adaptable to making small upgrades, such as improved scale deck planking, upgrading the deck structures and fittings, etc.

I even reached out and made contact with ship modeler Matthew Betts who did all the research work that the kit was based off of. If you haven’t check out his blog, you really need to, particularly if you are interested in building a model of this ship. His blog is not about building this kit, however, it’s about scratch building a 1/48-scale model, but it details his work. You can visit his blog at:  http://buildingterror.blogspot.com

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Ship Modelers Meet-Up, Vallejo

After about a year long hiatus, local ship modelers in the greater SF Bay and Sacramento areas will once again be getting together at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. The date for the gathering is Saturday, May 11th, at 10am.

This group was meeting fairly regularly, about 4 times a year, but with other life issues getting in the way, not much in the way of ship modeling was being accomplished by the bulk of attendees. But, it’s been long enough now that there’s been some interest in getting together again. People have had some time away and, hopefully, have had a chance to either work on a project or they’re ready to get back to one and need some inspiration.

I really like the idea of ship modeling clubs myself, but not as a form of simple entertainment. I really want them to be times to share and learn and to find out what people are working on.

Even if one has no model progress to show, maybe a model is too difficult to transport or nothing has been done since the last time it was brought, one can share by taking part in discussion, or by simply bringing a small assembly, book or tool – maybe an unstarted kit, even.

The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum is a nice little museum located near downtown Vallejo at 41 Marin Avenue. You can find out more about the museum at http://vallejomuseum.net. Ω