Category Archives: Paper Models

News about card (paper) models.

Paper Ship Model Kits from Seahorse

Most of you who have been following my blog know that I’ve been experimenting with making paper ship models. Shipyard’s 1/96-scale HMS Alert was the first kit I attempted and completed. That was several years ago now. Earlier this year I completed Shipyard’s laser-cut model kit of a Hanseatic cog (Hansa Kogge). After completing the Alert, I started playing around with a larger subject, Shipyard’s 1/96-scale HMS Mercury kit. But, that was pretty involved with a full gun deck, lots of canons, plus a relatively long hull. Last year, I started working on a something a little more reasonable to tackle, again a Shipyard paper model kit, the fluit Schwarzer Rabe.

But, though they are quite detailed and well made, Shipyard is not the only source of paper ship model kits.  There are other makers of kits such as WAK, Oriel, and others. But one in particular has recently caught my attention, as the designer is has posted some of his scratch builds on the ship model forum His screen name and his company name is Seahorse, and while I’ve seen some of these kits and scratch work before, I hadn’t really stopped to take a look at them because I wasn’t paying that much attention to paper models. But, now that I’ve taken a deeper interest in them, I’ve started noticing his kits, and look very interesting.

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Hanse Kogge von Bremen – My Completed Card Model

I’m happy to announce the completion of my Shipyard laser-cut card model of the 14th century Bremen cog. The model kit is officially called Hanse Kogge von Bremen, 1380, and it is one of the newest kits from the Polish company.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been putting a lot more effort into the build, dealing with the sail and rigging. I haven’t done much rigging in a while, so it was a bit of an effort to get back into it. Fortunately, with only one mast and one yardarm, the amount of rigging required is pretty small. Still, when seeing light at the end of the tunnel, every detail seemed to take longer and longer to complete. But, knowing that completion was near was great motivation to keep at it.

Yesterday, I made and added rope coils at all the belaying pins and cleats, when I realized there were a couple blocks hanging near the bow, unrigged – another bump in the road to that light at the end of the tunnel! Luckily, it didn’t take much effort to fix the situation. No one detail ever does. It’s just that sometimes there are just a heck of a lot more details left to go than you think.

I can’t really complain, though, as this has been quite a nice build, and unlike with most wooden kits, all the parts are pre-cut with the exception of the mast and yardarm, for which wooden dowels are provided that must be cut and shaped.

In any case, here is the completed model in all it’s glory…


The Hanse Kogge von Bremen, 1380, is just one of three cog kits that Shipyard produces as laser-cut card models. They recently released a special edition wooden version of the kit too, bringing the total number of wooden cog kits to three as well.

In any case, this was a great kit to build, and I hope other will build this or one of their other cog kits. These are fairly unique subjects in the world of model ship building, and it would be nice to see them get more attention.

For those interesting in building this kit or one of the other Shipyard cog kits, I recommend visiting Ages of Sail’s online shop. Here a direct link to the Shipyard cog kits. Ω

A Wooden Wütender Hund Cog Model Build

As I work to finish up my Shipyard laser-cut card model of the Bremen Cog, I’ve been following a couple other builds of similar models. One that I just ran across today is on a German model building forum.

The build is well photo documented and the builder is doing a beautiful job. His model is not the same subject as mine – He’s building the wooden Shipyard kit called the Wütender Hund, or the “Angry Dog”. The hull is very similar to mine, which is officially called the Hanse Kogge von Bremen, 1380, but the stern castle and forecastle are based on historical images of other cogs.

Wütender Hund model by “Pietpieterszoon”

Anyway, you might want to check this out. It’s not complete – the builder was working on the model in November and December and is just about to get to the rigging stage. But, it’s very nicely done to this point, and well documented.

Meanwhile, look for a final report soon on my own Bremen Cog card model. Ω


Hanse Kogge Bremen – Continuing a Shipyard Laser-Cut Model Build

I published a post about building this Shipyard card model kit a couple weeks ago, and I’m working pretty steadily to get it done. I’m not done yet, but I’m getting close, and I thought I should post an update this weekend.

After my last post, I finished making the mast and yard and finished detailing the sail. I have to say that I really enjoyed working on the sail. It was kind of a lengthy process lacing the bonnet to the main sail, but it was also something I could just do without having to think about too much. Continue reading

Hanse Kogge von Bremen – A Shipyard Laser-Cut Model Build

Something I’ve been working on for about a year now, but haven’t been writing about here, is a card model from Shipyard. The model is of a medieval cog based on the Bremen cog that was excavated in 1962 in Bremen, Germany. 

The last time I mentioned this build was in my mid-summer update post last August. As I mentioned then, I have been maintaining a build log on this project, but this time, I chose to only post it on the Nautical Research Guild’s Model Ship World. I did this because I sometimes spend too much time writing and not enough time working on my many projects. So, I thought I might just keep the build log in one place for this one.

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Revisiting an Awe Inspiring Shipyard HMS Mercury Build

I think it was about three years ago when I wrote a post about a gentleman in Germany who was building the 1/96-scale card model of the frigate HMS Mercury produced by Shipyard of Poland – this is the same kit I started way back, but didn’t finish (it’s on my shelf still, waiting for me to do more work on it).

Turns out that around the same time, I posted something about someone who was building a 1/72-scale version of the same ship, building it from what Shipyard called their Laser Cardboard kit. I’d forgotten about this build for a long time, but today, I spotted it online again, and this model has really come a long ways. This model has turned into quite an awesome build in the rigging stages. This builder has been posting on Facebook, so I took a look at what he’s been doing.

As you can see, this is an incredible model and it’s a card model. The kit itself has something to do with all the detail you see in the build, but obviously this builder is extremely talented!

But, speaking of the Shipyard kit, I’ve seen it and it’s a pretty amazing feat of engineering. It’s on the pricey side. But, when you consider how much work is already done for the builder, it actually looks like it’s a very good deal, even at close to $500.

Some people will balk at the price tag, thinking card stock is inferior to wood. But, wooden ship model kits require a lot of effort to plank a hull, cut out gun ports so they’re perfectly even, deal with simplified headrails and stern and quarter galleries. These card models even detail the great cabin, which you can see through the finely detailed gallery windows.

But, in any case, you can’t argue with the beautiful results that this modeler is achieving. See the progress details yourself on his Facebook page at: Ω

Paper Models in the Nautical Research Journal

Paper model enthusiasts rejoice! The Summer 2020 issue of the Journal of the Nautical Research Society (Vol. 65, No. 2) just arrived in the mail this last week, containing a nice full-length article on paper models.

Th cover of the Summer 2020 issue of the Journal, featuring Shipyard’s HMS Wolf

It’s not the first time paper models have been seen in the the Journal, but this is the first I’ve seen that provides an overview of the available kinds of kits available. Ab Hoving wrote an excellent article on scratch building a Dutch fluit, which he made from paper. There may be other examples as well, but it was good to see this recent article, especially since it discussing the array of available kits.

As the article points out, paper modeling has many advantages over our traditional wooden model hobby. Paper models tend to be less expensive, don’t require as many tools as for wooden model building, make less mess than wooden ship modeling, and so can often be built in a much smaller space. It also tends to be more acceptable in close proximity to other people, as significant others may have fewer issues with you cutting paper in the living room with them that with sawing wood or sanding.

Many know that I’m an advocate of paper modeling, though I don’t suggest that it’s for everyone, or that paper models are better than wooden ones. I just think they’re neat and that people should take a serious look at building one. Also, I think there’s a stigma associated with them that because they’re paper, they are “real” ship models. Ab Hoving’s work, as well as other other talented modelers, disprove that idea.

A past issue of the Journal, Fall 2016, features Ab Hoving’s scratch built Dutch Fluit on the cover – an extraordinary model that he built from paper.

This issue of the Journal even features a full-color photo of a paper model built of the 10-gun snow-rigged brig HMS Wolf. It is a beautiful laser-cut kit from the Polish manufacturer Shipyard. One that I always thought would be interesting to build.

Paper models have been popular in Europe for a long time, and it would be nice to see more ship modelers involved in this medium. Ω

Shipyard Paper Block Sets Now Available at Ages of Sail

Here’s some good news for builders of Shipyard’s 1/96-scale paper model kits. Note, only whole blocks sets are available.

Ages of Sail

We’ve actually had these for a while, but just realized they weren’t on our web shop. So, here they are now!

These are the block sets for each of the 1/96-scale paper model ship kits produced by Model-Vessel for their Shipyard model kits and include both blocks and deadeyes.

These are the same style of blocks included in their 1/72-scale Laser Cardboard kits, but made for 1/96-scale. As such, they need to be assembled. Each block is made up of 3 or more layers that need to be glued together. Blocks come in groups on laser-cut sheets – one layer per sheet. This makes alignment easy. After the sheets are glued together, the completed blocks can be cut free. The blocks are then easily cleaned up and painted.

Each set includes more than enough blocks to complete your kit. Find there here:

Note that we only sell the blocks in…

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HMS Alert Follow Up and Youtube Video

At the 2016 NRG Conference in San Diego, CA. Photo by Ryland Craze.

And, since Ages of Sail needed some kind of Youtube presence, I took my review photos, construction photos, and completed model photos, and put them together into a slide show with text transitions and some classical music.

I actually put this together about a year ago and then forgot all about it. I was looking at posting some other video recently and rediscovered it. So, here it is in all its splendor, HMS Alert from the Shipyard paper model kit, with some additions…

And, just in case you want to try building this kit yourself, here’s a link to it on Ages of Sail:—shipyard-mk019–paper-model-kit.html

Note that it now appears as part of two other combination sets. In this one, which included Le Coureur:–the-opponents–shipyard-mkj005–paper-model.html

And this one, which includes Le Coureur as well as HMS Mercury:–north-europe-part-2–shipyard-mkj003–paper-model.html

Shipyard (Paper Models from Poland) Changes Product Lineup

I just found out recently that the polish paper model company Shipyard, is changing its product lineup a little, in order to make room for their new line of HO scale railroad accessories. Basically, the name of the company is now VESSEL, and they now have two separate product brands: Shipyard and Railway Miniatures.


Basically, all HO scale products are now sold only under the Railway Miniatures brand. This includes all HO scale lighthouses, dockyard accessories and some new buildings. I think it’s a great idea, but there are some oddities, particularly for American model railroad enthusiasts, in that the products are a mix of 17th through 19th century dockyard equipment and European buildings. Some new stuff is modern era, but still has a European flavor.

So, there’s probably not a lot in this product line that will appear here in the U.S., but I still think it’s good for VESSEL to expand its product lineup.

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