Tag Archives: Model Expo

Revamped Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane Launched

I just found out today that Model Shipways has redone their classic Harriet Lane kit, turning their 1/120 scale solid hull model into a bigger and more detailed 1/96 scale plank-on-bulkhead kit.

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David Antscherl’s Norwegian Sailing Pram Kit

I’ve been waiting for this one. If you’ve been following my blog, or even if you’ve just been keeping on top of ship modeling news, you probably know that Model Expo has started a new line of model boat kits in a series of progressive model building tutorials. These kits are designed by one of the best ship modelers of our time, David Antscherl,  who is also the author of several ship modeling books.

I’ve just spotted the second kit of the series in an email ad from Model Expo, the Norwegian Sailing Pram.

This kit is classed as an “Intermediate” kit, but I think that term is relative, since so many square rigged sailing ship model kits are called Intermediate as well. But, it is designed to be the second build, after the completion of the earlier released Lowell Grand Banks Dory kit. For those who have never built a ship model kit before, this series should be an ideal way to build up the skills necessary to master more complex builds.

Actually, if you act quickly, it looks like you can get the kit, currently marked at $49.99 with free shipping. And, if you add ANYTHING to your order, you’ll get 25% off the order. This deal is only good until August 31st. I’m sure there’ll be another deal around the corner, but I went ahead and sprung for it (I ordered a pack of $3.49 drill bits to get over the $50 threshold), so I can see first-hand how the kit looks.

Here’s a link to the kit on the Model Expo site. There’s no special coupon you need to use for the deal I mentioned above. It’ calculated automatically: https://modelexpo-online.com/NEW-RELEASE-Norwegian-Sailing-Pram-112-Scale_p_4239.html

And, if you don’t have it already, the Lowell Grand Banks Dory kit is only $22.99 at the moment, so you might just spring for them both to get your free shipping and 25% off: https://modelexpo-online.com/NEW-RELEASE-Norwegian-Sailing-Pram-112-Scale_p_4239.html

Remember, you don’t have to be a beginner to build one of these kits. For experience modelers, you’ll probably find it a nice quick distraction from your long-term projects. Ω

The 18th Century English Longboat Kit – A Kit Overview

Before I get into the construction of my longboat model, I’d like to talk a little about the kit itself. The kit was designed by master modeler Chuck Passaro, who has designed I believe four other kits for the ship model kit manufacturer Model Shipways.


Photo of Chuck Passaro’s prototype model.

The 18th Century English Longboat kit is a very tiny model of an open boat – the type of boat that would have been carried aboard large sailing ships of the period. The model is of a 26 foot long boat circa 1750-1760 and is based on contemporary models found in England’s National Maritime Museum.

Fully rigged and at a scale of 1/4″ = 1′, the model is just under 12″ long and 9″ high. The hull itself is only a tad over 6-1/2″ long. At this size, it is not a beginner’s model. I would say it’s best as a model built by an intermediate or advanced modeler who wants a small project to work on, maybe as a distraction from large sailing ship models. That doesn’t mean that a determined beginner can’t build it. It’s just that I think a larger model will probably give a beginner better results.

Construction of the kit is all basswood with laser cut frames and other major parts. Plenty of extra wood, wire and brass strip is provided in the kit, so there is a lot of room for errors with plenty of stuff to spare. The only thing that I found a rather bare minimum is that there are four very tiny belaying pins and all of them are needed, so don’t lose one. Of course, if you do, Model Expo is good about replacing them.

The instructions are great. Model Shipways has a tendency to change their printed formats over time, but when I got mine, the book was 19 pages and printed in color. I don’t know if the current version is in color, but the downloadable pdf version available from their website is only black and white.

There are a couple sheets of plans in the kit, one of them in color. The boat’s decorative friezes are simulated with the use of color printed paper that you cut to fit the model. The one issue I ran into is that the printed artwork was too big for the model. Perhaps this has been fixed since the initial kits went out, but mine and others I know were off by 10% or so. But, fortunately, the kit designer, Chuck Passaro, was ready to assist on the website Model Ship World where he is an administrator. He can be found there and has posted downloadable pdf versions of the artwork that you can resize and print on your own printer.

The most difficult part of construction is the planking. The planks are thin 1/32″ basswood that has to be bent as well as edge-bent to fit into place. That’s not easy with basswood this thin as it has a tendency to kink and buckle. The wood requires soaking, heating and lots of patience to fit. Then, working with the masting and rigging on a model this small takes a steady hand and more patience.

But, all in all, I found that this was a really nice kit. Initially, I thought it was only okay, but as I got farther along, I started to feel better about the model and really began to love this little kit. Ω