Tag Archives: Card Model

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

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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.

Continue reading

An Intro to Card Models – V108 Torpedo Boat

For those of you looking for nice tutorial on card model building, check out Chris Coyle’s tutorial on The Nautical Research Guild’s Model Ship World. In this tutorial, Chris uses a small, downloadable model of a German WWII V108 Torpedo Boat produced by Digital Navy.

The company produces several card models, that you can download for around $35 to $40. However, they have given Model Ship World permission to host the downloadable files for their tutorial and you can get these for free. You will, of course, need a color printer and some good quality card stock paper to print on.

https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2701-intro-and-table-of-contents/

 

Completed waterline version of the V108 card model built by Chris Coyle and featured in his tutorial

Since I’ve been working on a couple paper models, I thought it would be a good idea to follow this tutorial and try my hand at building this relatively simple card model myself. The startup cost is hard to beat, and you really need only very basic tools for start modeling in paper.

This is probably a lot more common type of paper modeling than what I’ve been building from Shipyard kits, which is why I want to run though the tutorial.

If you want to give it a try too, I encourage you to register with Model Ship World (it’s free) and start a build log there.

I started mine, which you can visit at: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/16325-v-108-torpedo-boat-by-catopower-digital-navy-1200-scale-card-msw-tutorial-build/

 

Shipyard’s 1:96-scale HMS Alert 1777, Paper Model Kit – Part VII

I haven’t posted an update on this project for a several months, so figured it was time.

I now have someone who wants the completed model, so that pushed this project up in priority.  Initially, it was more of a test to see what building in paper was like. But, it was so much fun that I kept going with it. Now, it’s close enough to completion to really push to finish it.

I finished building the carriage guns, blackening them and adding breech ropes. For the ropes, I ended up using Morope brand model rope. The main reason for using Morope was simply to test out the product. This model rope certainly looks good, but it does want to unravel quite easily. I found it best to put a drop of CA glue at the point where I want to cut the line. After the CA dries, I cut the line and there’s no unravelling.

The other model rope I was considering was the stuff sold by Syren Ship Model Company. Initially, I avoided this rigging line because for most purposes, the lay of the rope is backwards. It’s all left-hand or S-laid rope. I’ve since changed my mind about the Syren model rope because it’s so nice to work with. It’s stiff, but flexible, doesn’t unravel, and looks great. However, since I already started using Morope, I figured I’d continue with it.

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Not so clear photo of the finished cannon on carriage with Morope breeching rope.

For the cannons, I ended up using turned brass barrels sold by Syren Ship Model Company as swivel guns. One of the sizes worked out perfectly for this models small carriage guns. Making the carriages was the hard part. But, there’s only a dozen to get through.

I then had to add eyebolts at the ends of the breech ropes and drill the bulwarks to mount them. The deck is open and so drilling and adding the eyebolts into place wasn’t too bad. But, the model is more delicate than a wooden one, so it required extra care.

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HMS Alert in my shipyard with Colonial Schooner in background. All cannons are in place and rigged with breech ropes.

As you can see, the taffrail is pretty well complete. That’s one feature that really made me sweat. Getting those stanchions all in place and then adding the rail and trying to make it run as flat as possible… I’d put off building the rail for a while until I could muster enough nerve to deal with it. Since then, it’s been mostly smooth sailing.

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I worked on the sails some time ago. They’re are cloth and purchased as a separate accessory set available from Shipyard. They are pre-printed, but only on one side. Getting the lines of the cloth to show through required lightly tracing them onto the blank side in pencil.

Bolt ropes were glued around the edges using simple white glue. I also added all the small ropes to the two reefing bands on the mainsail.

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I’d purchased the masting set from Shipyard too. This just consists of some dowels and a few laser cut cardboard pieces for the cross trees, mast cap, etc.

For blocks, I decided to use some swiss pear blocks I bought from Syren Ship Model Company. They stopped making them rather abruptly and did a big sell-off before I’d had a chance to stock up on more of the sizes I needed. But, this model doesn’t use too many, so I figured I’d go ahead and use them. Anyway, they’re really nice looking blocks. I made up a batch of paper blocks, but I figured I’d use the swiss pear ones while I had them.

Finally, I began the process of rigging by adding the lower deadeyes into place, and rigging the shrouds. As you can see the main boom is also in place. I had to finish up all the details on it first, then decided I’d better add it before too much other rigging gets in the way.

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I have to now add all the blocks I’ll need on the mast, gaff and yards and sails. Then, I’m going to have to tie the backstays around the mast head so I can finish up adding the main and preventer stays which will lead down to the top of the stem. Really starting to feel like I’m getting into the home stretch on this model.

One interesting thing I’ve discovered is that the deadeyes are really pretty securely attached on this paper model. That was one thing I had concerns about. But, I wire stropped them and then simply bent the bottom of the wire to insert into holes I drilled into the hull, forming the chainplate. A faux chainplate is then glued to the face of the wire.

An Inside Look at Shipyard’s HMS Wolf Laser Cardboard Kit

Recently, Ages of Sail, the importer I’ve been doing some work for this past year, has gotten in a new shipment of card or paper model kits from Shipyard of Poland. The most recent significant addition is the boxed Laser Cardboard Series kit HMS Wolf, 1752, and I managed to take a look at the product and get some photos so you can get a better look at what’s included in this kit.

First off, HMS Wolf was a snow-rigged brig of war, meaning she carried two square-rigged masts, with an auxiliary mast attached to the back of the mainmast that carries the boom and gaff of the spanker sail. The ship was armed with 10 guns.

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The Shipyard kit is produced in 1/72 scale and measures about 20.5″ long overall. As with all Laser Cardboard Series kits, the boxed kit has all card stock parts laser cut. Colorful hull decorations are nicely printed on high quality paper, but the bulk of the parts are on plain white card stock, so the model must be painted. For that, the manufacturer includes several jars of nice quality acrylic paint and a pair of brushes.

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Parts are neatly stored, while all the instructions, drawings and laser-cut sheets are kept safely underneath.

 

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Blocks are also the same laser-cut blocks that Shipyard sells separately. These are paper and have to be assembled and painted. The low-level relief carvings are laser etched card stock, and look pretty nice. And, of course, the heart of the kit are the several sheets of laser-cut parts. Having been working on a paper model kit where all the parts have to be cut by hand, the sight of these precisely cut and detailed parts just makes me drool.

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But, not all paper modeling is necessarily done in paper. For one thing, wooden dowels are included for making the masts and spars, and a set of cloth sails are included as well, though as with individually available sail set for the their Paper Model series kits, these sails are pre-printed and laser cut, so no cutting or sewing is required. Another big time saver of these boxed edition kits are the pre-made brass cannon and swivel gun barrels, which are not only pre-made, saving time and effort, but they’re beautifully turned from brass.

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One of the big features of the Laser Cardboard Series kits is that low-relief carvings are made from laser-etched card stock, the figurehead and some of the larger carvings are fully 3D rendered in cast resin. Other parts included in the kit are rigging line, wire for making eyebolts and chainplates and such, clear acrylic for the gallery windows, and colorfully printed cloth flags.

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But, maybe the biggest thing that differentiates the boxed kit from its smaller Paper Model Series cousin (HMS Wolf is available as a 1/96-scale pre-printed card model kit where you have to cut all the parts out yourself) is the full-color, 32-page, photo-filled instruction book. This is in addition to the 7 double-sided sheets of drawings.

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The new HMS Wolf kit joins the ranks of Shipyard’s boxed kits, which includes the cutter HMS Alert, Schooner Berbice, French lugger Le Coureur, the Santa Maria, the Dutch built Swedish pinnace Papegojan, and the frigate HMS Mercury. Though about less 40% smaller than the HMS Mercury, HMS Wolf is the second largest of the Shipyard kits. It’s less complicated rig and much lower price point than HMS Mercury should make it a popular kit. Having dabbled in card modeling myself, I can say that this kit is on my definite build list. Ω

Shipyard’s 1:96-scale HMS Alert 1777, Paper Model Kit – Part IV

As I mentioned previously, the Alert paper model has been somewhat of a distraction. But, after reaching a bit of burnout from a recent heavy workload, I needed the distraction. I’d actually worked on the model a bit more since my last posting and here’s an update of some of the work that was done.

The cap rail went on pretty easily, though cutting the rectangular openings for the timber heads  proved to be a challenge. As with most of the parts I worked on, I began by painting to get rid of the white edges. At some point, I’d get a little paint on the printed areas of the part and found it was just pretty much standard practice to paint over those areas too to even out the color.

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I also installed the catheads, which are built-up from several layers of paper and then covered with the printed paper. Again, these look a lot better after cleaning up, but I was pretty pleased with how they went into place and how sturdy they were.

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Those timber heads were a real pain to get half-way uniform looking and properly trimmed to shape. I also found it took some work to get them to fit the holes I’d cut into the cap rail and had to do a lot of extra fitting work. Still, when painted, it all looked pretty nice. Not perfect, but nice.

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Next, I decided to tackle something that seemed like it would be pretty easy, the shot racks. The paper model just gives printed racks with black circles to represent the shot. At this small scale, it’s probably fine to leave it that as it’s hard to tell when you have scale cannon balls in place.

For the cannon balls, I found some appropriately sized ball bearing and blackened them. I’d originally used a larger size that seemed to look nice, but they were way out of scale, so I got a new order in of a smaller size that worked perfectly. Mounting these in the shot racks was a lot like playing those old games that used to come in boxes of Cracker Jacks where you have the tiny balls rolling around in a sealed plastic box and you had to get them all to settle into the tiny indents to “win.”

Note the one little ball bearing that escaped in the upper part of the picture. Somewhere buried in my carpet are several ball bearings that will NEVER be seen again, ever.

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The first shot rack installed. It was a bit of a challenge to hold it in place while glueing. I found it easiest for me to use my thumb to hold the part against the bulwarks, then use a pair of hemostats in my free hand to nudge the part until it was perfectly straight, then drop the hemostats for a bottle of thin, fast setting CA. A tiny amount locked the piece in place and it is quite firmly set.

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Though it’s a blurry photo, you can see that all the shot racks were put into place and then the white edges were painted. It all turned out quite nice.

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When I would run into more daunting tasks, I’d occasionally assemble some of the parts needed for later assemblies. Here all the parts were assembled and cleaned up and touched up. There are plenty of parts like this that need to be done, so there’s no shortage of small tasks.

Things went together quite well, but the long, thin shanks of the anchors are a bit delicate. With the stocks attached, it’s going to be very easy to accidentally twist or buckle them, so I’m saving that assembly for later.

IMG_0413I also played around with making the mast and the cap and crosstrees for the topmast. I’d purchased the masting set for this model, which included dowels and laser-cut cardboard pieces for the details. But, I wasn’t particularly happy with the quality of the wood, so I used my own birch dowels, stained with, if I recall correctly now, Minwax Golden Oak stain.

I tried using the laser-cut cardboard parts, which were easy to assembly. But, I found that parts built-up from layers of paper were generally sturdier. For the mast cap, the laser-cut parts worked out fine, but I had more problems with the crosstrees. Also, I guess I didn’t get the squared section of the mast doubling small enough, so the crosstrees wouldn’t fit. I didn’t notice this until later in the build, so I had to adjust the work a little and seems okay.

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I don’t have any photos of the most recent work, but I added the channels and other small hull details. I also didn’t like the way my original transom planking looked under the counter. I’ve redone the area twice and the last time it seemed to come out well enough for my task. I’ll post more photos of that work next time, along with any new work I complete.

New Shipyard Kit – HMS Wolf Laser Cardboard Series

I haven’t seen this kit in person yet, but I’ve been interested enough in this ship to have acquired Shipyard’s Modellar Plans for this ship, so I’m familiar with it. Shipyard already produces a 1:96-scale Paper Model series kit of HMS Wolf. The existing Paper Model kit (MK:018) includes laser cut frame parts, but as with all the models of this series doesn’t include sails or masting and rigging materials. The new Laser Cardboard Series kit (ZL:029), like all in the series, has it all.

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Now, one of the things which is potentially a real winner is the decorations. But, I can’t really say much about those in the HMS Wolf kit as I haven’t seen the decorations myself. On some models, I believe Shipyard has included resin castings. Without actually seeing them, I can’t say for sure. Certainly Shipyards biggest weakness is that the photos they use to illustrate their kits are NOT necessarily models built from the kit. I’m pretty sure that many of the 1:96-scale kits are illustrated with photos of the 1:72-scale models. In particular if you look at the decorations on the illustrations, you’ll see that they ALL show full 3D figureheads and such, but those in the kits are very much 2-dimensional and really look it. The same with the stern gallery windows, which look great in photos, because they are clearly laser cut window frames with clear windows and the kit is the very basic printed widows.

But this kit looks very promising and I’m excited to see its release. I’m really a wood ship modeler, but these Shipyard kits are truly awesome. I’m really very taken by them. I’d set aside my own 1:96-scale HMS Alert project for a while, but now that I’ve put a little more work into it recently, I’m really loving it again.

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HMS Wolf was a 10-gun sloop launch in 1754. I don’t know all that much about the ship, but the kit shows her as a brig, or more accurately a snow-rigged brig, which means she carried a trysail mast just behind the mainmast. This model itself is about 21″ long, so still small model, but she was a small ship. For 18th century ship enthusiasts, this seems to fill a nice gap between the smaller models of HMS Alert, Le Coureur, Berbice with the very high end, large, and somewhat pricer HMS Mercury.

As with all kits of the Laser Cardboard Series, this one comes with all small parts pre-cut, a BIG time saver, particularly for those who have a hard time cutting those very small parts. It includes all the masting and rigging materials as well as sails. It also includes laser-cut blocks that you just have to assemble and paint. And, speaking of paint, it includes all that, plus brushes. One of the best features of these kits is that they include turned brass cannons and swivel guns. These are things that are very hard to find for the smaller kits.

The new HMS Wolf kit sells for about $160 at the current exchange rates and close to $200 shipped. It’s nice to have a strong dollar for those of us who are hooked on buying from foreign dealers. As far as value, when you compare it to the smaller Paper Model series kit, to come close to this kit, you need to add the sails kit, the masting kit, paints, blocks and deadeyes. I’ve priced these out, and it would cost you just under $120 for everything including shipping. But, what you won’t get are the brass cannons, swivel guns, brushes and decorations. Also, you end up with the smaller scale, less detailing and having to cut all the parts. So, the extra $80 seems like it’s probably a pretty good deal for all that and it makes the new kit seem like a pretty good value.

Shipyard’s 1:96-scale HMS Alert 1777, Paper Model Kit – Part III

So, now that I’ve given props to the larger boxed edition HMS Alert kit with all its laser cut parts, I’ll say that I’m having a great time with this small 1:96-scale kit. It’s frickin’ neat! I brought the model as it is now to last month’s meeting of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights, and I think I’ve got a couple people interested in buying the kit, or at least interested in trying a paper model.

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One of them became interested after we had a discussion on how this kit might actually be really useful for a ship modeler looking to scratch build a wooden model of the Alert, which seems to be a very popular subject. I’ve even considered doing this, though for now I have the paper kit.

I suppose I should use the term “card model” because I think that’s how most builders refer to these models. I think it does sound a little more sophisticated than calling them paper models. I just use the term “paper model” because that’s what the manufacturer calls them. Probably sounds better in Polish.

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Anyway, the idea with using the card model for wood ship modeling is that the planks are pre-spiled and nicely printed out. These might actually serve well as patterns for cutting wooden planks. It seems like all you would have to do is blow up the paper parts to 200% and you’d have templates for a nice 1/4″ scale (1:48) wooden model. So, we may experiment with that idea.

In the meantime,  the lapstrake planking worked out really nicely and goes on very easily. This gives the hull a third layer, with the hull shape getting smoother with each layer.

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I ended up painting the hull using paints I bought from Shipyard. These paints are interesting because they seem to use a fairly coarse pigment, at least that’s the way it seems to me, though maybe I’m misinterpreting the finish I’m getting. The reason I say this about the pigments is because of the texture of the finish. Not only is it very flat, but it remains that way even after repeated applications. Also, the texture of the dry, painted surface is rough to the touch.

The paints are fairly transparent, so you can still see the printed lines in the paper, even after a couple applications. This also means that  it takes more coats to cover up problems, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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I’ve been going to town on this over the past couple weeks. A bit of a distraction from my other projects, but it can’t be helped – this model is too much fun to build. What’s more, I’ve actually been approached by a fellow ship model club member about buying the completed model from me. It really is that neat!