Tag Archives: HMS Wolf

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.


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.


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



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.




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.


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.



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.




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

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.


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.