Tag Archives: New Kits

There’s a New Titanic in Town

Last month, I learned that there was a new Titanic kit from OcCre. It’s now officially released and soon to appear in your favorite ship model shop. Now, I have to admit my first thought was, do we really need another wooden Titanic kit? We have Mantua, Amati, Billing Boats, Woody Joe… and now OcCre. But, after looking more closely at the published details of this kit, I’m thinking this kit actually looks pretty good, and it’s at a lower price point than others.

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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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HMS Sphinx, 1775 – New Kit from Vanguard Models

Chris Watton has done it again with what looks to be another hit of a kit, the 1/64-scale model of the British 20-gun frigate HMS Sphinx. The Sphinx was a sixth-rate warship built in 1775, the lead ship of a class of 10 ships, armed with 20 nine-pounder carriage guns. This newest kit is the  seventh ship model kit produced by Vanguard Models, and their largest one to date.

I don’t have any photos of the fully rigged model, as the photos of the completed prototype weren’t available when I got these pics. The new HMS Sphinx kit is a 1/64-scale kit that measures just over 31″ long when complete. The kit looks like kind of a monster in terms of detail and completeness.

Laser-cut pear wood ladders and gratings are standard, the deck is maple wood with the planking pre-etched for you, including treenail detail. Five sheets of photo-etched brass, 3D-printed cannon barrels, all planking above the wales comes as pre-cut and engraved sections. Even the wales are pre-cut and engraved with the anchor stock planking detail. The kit even has a semi-interior, and the great cabin even has a checkerboard floor.


In many ways, the detail in this kit reminds me of the Shipyard card model kits of HMS Mercury and HMS Enterprise. Those ships are larger frigates of 28 guns as compared with the 20 guns of the Sphinx. But, the internal details are similar, and are a nice feature. For the Sphinx kit, this detailing alone sets it apart from the vast majority of wooden ship model kits.

Availability has been pretty limited for this kit, as there were pre-orders being accepted by the Vanguard Models website, but the first batch of 50 sold out some time ago, and next batch has been held up by a delay in the photo-etched brass parts. However, I’m told that the kit should be available again shortly.

Update: Rigged model details are now available and the new batch of kits include the rigging instructions as well. I expect the additional instructions are getting sent out in some form to the early buyers.

The price of the new kit isn’t cheap. But, this may be the finest ship model kit I’ve ever seen. Current list on the Vanguard Models website is £689.95, or about $943.90. So, this is clearly a very high end kit. Expect Ages of Sail to have these in stock as well in early to mid October. Ω


New Kits All Around – OcCre Polaris, Model Shipway’s Dory, Plus Vanguard Models at Ages of Sail

While the Corona virus continues on, the world is on fire, and I sit in the midst of a new city curfew… But, on the up side, there’s a lot of good news on the ship modeling scene.

European manufacturers have re-opened and shipments of kit and fittings have begun again, so the big online shops are able to restock. The main problem for them is the limited number of flights now, which is limiting shipments and making it extremely expensive. So, don’t be surprised if some prices creep upwards a little.

But, just as important are some nice new kit releases and new product line availability.


OcCre Polaris

The first new news is a new wooden ship model kit from OcCre Model of Spain, the Polaris.

Now, may of you who have been building ship models for a while may recognize that this kit appears to be OcCre’s answer to Artesania Latina’s Virginia Pilot Boat Swift. And, with the stocks of AL kits slowly diminishing, this seems to be a good release, filling the important niche of the popular beginning kit.

Making the kit an even better fit for beginners are the illustrated, step-by-step instructions. Plus, OcCre has produced a 84-part series of short videos, showing every step of construction.

Now, I think the kit is already ideal for beginning ship modelers, but this mini video series pretty well seals the deal.  If only they’d added a nice soundtrack…

In any case, you can order yours at an introductory price of $99 at Ages of Sail here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/polaris-(occre-1:50).html


New Grand Banks Dory from Model Shipways

It’s always nice to see Model Shipways release some new products, and the Lowell Grand Bands Dory is a great subject. With the demise of Midwest wooden boat kits, there’s a big hole in the market for well documented, simple kits with good, english language instructions, and this appears to be just that.

This kit was designed by the very talented ship modeler David Antscherl, who authored the very popular and detail series of books on the Swan Class Sloops, as well as one on the Fireship Comet, the Greenwich Hospital Barge, and others.

This 1/24 scale kit measures 10″ long and comes in at the ideal beginner’s price point of around $35. It features laser-cut basswood parts, and is described as the first in a series of progressive model tutorials.

I’ve exchanged emails with Mr. Antscherl as soon as I spotted the kit bearing his credentials, and we can expect to see a couple more subjects in the very near future.

In the meantime, they were on sale, and I had a coupon(!), so I ordered one for myself. I think the folks at the ship model club will love to see this one. That is, once we can start meeting again…

Check it out here: https://modelexpo-online.com/Lowell-Grand-Banks-Dory-Scale-124_p_3957.html


Vanguard Models at Ages of Sail

Good news for those who want to find a US seller of kits from the very talented Chris Watton, who gave us Caldercraft’s Nelson’s Navy and Amati’s Victory Models lines of kits. I was surprised to find out that he and the owner of Ages of Sail have been in talks, and the first shipment of Vanguard Models products are on their way to the Ages of Sail shop as you read this.

Vanguard Models, the new venture run by Chris Watton himself, has already released four kits now. One of the most recent is a type of Scottish fishing boat called a Zulu. I’d never seen one before, but it’s a beautiful looking boat. Either that, or it’s such a beautiful looking model kit that it makes me think it’s a beautiful boat.

All the kits from Vanguard Models are 1/64 scale, at least for now, and they look to be very nicely design using innovative engineering and quality parts. Also, the instruction look to be very nicely illustrated with accompanying text in english.

Expect to see the four kits listed soon at  Ages of Sail. Ω