Category Archives: Vendors

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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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

 

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.

New Tool Additions – Mini Block Plane and Carving Chisels

I don’t really write about tools much. I know a lot more about ship models than tools. But, I  acquired a few new tools that I thought I’d share here.

Miniature Block Plane

A few weeks ago, I was looking through a Lee Valley Tools catalog. They’re a Canadian based manufacturer and retailer of woodworking and wood restoration hardware. I get their catalog periodically after a fellow ship modeler recommended one of their products.

One thing that I’ve been trying to do more in ship modeling is using a plane in shaping square stock for masts and spars. But, regular hand planes seem overly large and bulky. There are razor planes made for hobbyists, but they are pretty low quality and I haven’t found them to be very useful in ship modeling work. Then, I spotted some miniature planes in the Lee Valley Tools catalog and decided to order one.


This is a miniature block plane from their own Veritas® line of tools. How miniature is it? Continue reading

HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Build, Part 3

To begin with, I have to revise something I stated earlier about card modeling being challenging.

The biggest challenge about these Shipyard paper model kits is a mental one. When you get one of these kits, you instantly see a gazillion parts, and you have to cut out each and every one, plus you might decided to cut out windows instead of using printed windows, etc. That’s intimidating.

So, I’m finding that approaching construction of one of these kits is a lot like tying ratlines on a ship model. You can’t think about all those knots you have to tie – you just have to start and do one at a time until you get to the end. Building this model is about baby steps. You can’t count how many baby steps you have to take, you just have to take them one at a time and keep on going.

HMS Mercury Progress

First off, I glued the new pieces into place in the fo’csle and then added the doors back on. If you recall, I’d added the doors earlier and then decided I didn’t like printed windows. So, I removed them and the related partitions and cut out the window panes and used canopy glue to add the “glass”. In addition to the doors, I also finished the inner bulwarks pieces at the bow.

As you can see in the photo below, I still have to “edge” the gun port sills with red paint.


At this point, I began to wonder how well this model was going to go together and test fit the fo’csle and quarter decks. I had to dig through the diagrams and all to figure out if this was all going to work okay in the end. So far, it seems like it should be okay, though there’s more gap around the bow that I would like. Not sure yet how to fix this, if it even needs fixing. But, it was nice to see how well the decks seated into place. There are a couple beams I will have to fashion and put into place before these decks can go on. And, of course, I’ll need to finish some internal details, plus the cannons.

In the lower photos, you can also see the galley stove under construction. Below, you can see where it will eventually go.

Of course, there’s a lot of work to do to the stove before it goes into place.

Finally, I added the remaining parts for the interior of the great cabin, aft. There’s some furniture to go in here. That’s one of those things which is pretty neat about these Shipyard ship model kits. Of course, if you want to be able to see any of this stuff, you’ll have to modify the original kit, which includes printed windows. Those would normally need to be carefully cut open, but the detail kit I bought from GPM includes some laser-cut parts for the gallery windows.

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).

HMS Mercury in 1/96 Scale – The Build, Part 2

I’m not a paper/card modeler, but after building Shipyard’s paper model of HMS Alert, I enjoyed the project so much that I tinkered with a couple other subjects. I have two of them at the moment, and like with my ship modeling scratch build projects, I start on a few different ones until one of them stands out and calls to me to be taken to completion. That’s actually how HMS Alert came to be. I had no particular plans to complete the model initially – it was just a tinkering project.

Now, one of my current paper model tinkering projects is  Shipyard’s 1/96-scale HMS Mercury paper model kit. The ship is a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth-rate frigate. As I mentioned before, there is a 1/72-scale boxed version where all the parts are laser-cut instead of printed, but that kit is around $500. Mine is about $35 at the North American distributor for Shipyard products, Ages of Sail.

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