Tag Archives: Paper Models

Trabaccolo Paper Model on Papermodeler.com

A ship modeler on the website Papermodeler.com recently finished this beautiful model of a Trabaccolo, a type of Adriatic Sea coasting ship. The model was built from a kit by WAK, a Polish company. I don’t know the details of the kit, but I found 1/100 scale WAK kit in the online shop at gpm.pl: https://sklep.gpm.pl/modele-kartonowe/zaglowce/1/100/trabaccolo-wak-9-10/2015

From papermodelers.com.

From papermodelers.com

This is a beautifully built model, done using the printed parts mostly untouched except to clean up the part edges. You can see a lot more on the build log of this model by the member named Seahorse:  Trabaccolo [WAK] – just for some practice – PaperModelers.com

Having completed a couple paper model kits myself from the Polish manufacturer Shipyard (now officially goes by the name Vessel Company), I’m a bit intrigued by kits from this and other manufacturers. I don’t know about other kits from WAK, but this one gives you printed individual planks for planking the hull and deck. I’m really curious to try one out. Given that this particular kit is only 39 PLN, or about $11 plus shipping, it’s an easy purchase. Ω

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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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Visiting Papermodelers.com

First off, before anyone asks, I AM a wood ship model builder first and foremost. I know that question may come up, because I’ve been posting a lot about paper models.

Well, I just think they’re so darned neat! I can’t help but be intrigued by them. But, they haven’t replaced my love for wooden ship models. So, don’t think I’m changing this site. I just think the paper models should be more popular than they are.

Heck, how many wooden ship models can be built on a card table in your living room without all the dust, wood shavings, splinters, etc. And with the local heat wave we’ve been having here in California, it’s too hot to work in the garage, where I can make a lot of dust and noise, working on my wooden models.

Anyway, as the North American distributor for Shipyard products, Ages of Sail has TONS of Shipyard kits and many of the accessories, so I’m trying to find a way to help get the word out and generate some interest.

So, I found myself registering an account on Papermodelers.com and found some great stuff there. They have a lot of everything being built there, including ships. Most ships are steel navy, and those that are of the sailing variety are often scratch builds. But, there are some Shipyard sailing ship builds here and there.

Here you can see that I stole a copy of their picture of the week. I know nothing about the model, so if you want to know more about it, be sure to visit their site. I think you can read the threads even if you’re not a registered user.

I signed up many months ago, but finally posted some photos of my Crowdy Head Lighthouse and HMS Alert models there. Hope to see some more Shipyard related activity there.

Last night, I had a chat via Facebook with Tomek Kliszynski of Shipyard, discussing ways to help him get more visibility for his products in the North American market, since they’re already doing well in the European market. Don’t know if I can help him much, but I will certainly build some more of their kits!

Shipyard’s Online Store is Back

Good news for paper modelers. Shipyard, the Polish manufacturer of paper sailing ship and lighthouse model kits has re-established it’s online store.

Since the North American distributor, Ages of Sail, has expanded the number of Shipyard products it carries and lists on it’s online store, this may not be all that significant. But, it does provide another channel for acquiring the Shipyard kits. Of course, you’ll have to deal with prices in Zloty and shipping from Poland, and I tried using their site and couldn’t get past some shipping address errors, but I’m sure that will be fixed soon enough.

For those who specifically want to use Shipyard’s laser-cut paper blocks and deadeyes, this is a good way to get them, as they are the one class of items that is not carried by Ages of Sail. For my own models, I’ve used commercially available wooden blocks, but it’s just a matter of personal preference.

 

It’s always nice to have more sources for products. The other source I’ve found useful is the Polish company GPM, which sells some Shipyard products, as well as some unique laser-cut accessory items for Shipyard kits. You can find them at http://www.gpm.pl. Ω

Renesans Paint Colors for Shipyard Kits

Those of you familiar with Shipyard paper kits may have come across some color reference numbers and wondered what colors they correspond to. Shipyard references a brand of paint called Renesans, which is an artist’s acrylic line of matte finish colors that work really well with the paper kits. They are included with Shipyard’s boxed edition Laser Cardboard series of kits, but the problem is that you can’t buy the paints here in the U.S.

[Edit: Problem solved! See note at bottom of post]

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A 1/72-Scale HMS Mercury Card Model

I’m not the only one with an HMS Mercury paper model in progress. Here’s one based on the 1/72-scale boxed edition kits in Shipyard’s Laser Cardboard Kit series. This is a really nice kit, and I’d love to work on one of them. The HMS Mercury is Shipyard’s flagship product.

Take a look at the pictures of this builder’s project. Seeing these gave me some inspiration to make some progress on my own HMS Mercury.

Wooden ship model builders, I’m telling you that you should look at trying one of these kits. They are challenging, but really rewarding to build.

Ages of Sail

This past weekend, we had a vendor table at the IPMS show in San Jose, and had a chance to talk to many people, including a number of customers. One of them, Ron Palma, is building a 1/72-scale model of the British sixth-rate frigate HMS Mercury from Shipyards Laser Cardboard Kit series.

Yesterday, he sent along some progress photos and said that we could share them, which we are very excited to do!

Ron has the hull mostly completed and copper sheathed. Keep in mind that while the frieze work is included in the kit, the whole model does not come pre-printed. So, the excellent paint job is Ron’s handiwork. He commented that the cannon barrels have been taped to protect them from the clear-coat overspray he gave the hull.

Ron’s done an outstanding job, but commented on how well this Shipyard kit has been engineered. He’s getting pretty close to…

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HMS Alert – Project Completed

Here it is, about a month after I said I should have the model done in about a week. HMS Alert, my first paper model project is finally done. I added the last of the rope coils last night and and working on the case.

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This is from the Shipyard line of kits from the Polish company called Vessel. The kits are sold in the U.S. by Ages of Sail (http://www.agesofsail.com). The hull and nearly all the deck details are cut from pre-printed paper parts provided in the kit. Some things, like the mast and spars and blocks are wood, purchased separately.

The sails are cloth, and the cannons are brass, sold by Syren Ship Model Company as small swivel guns. The blocks are swiss pear blocks that were also sold by Syren (sadly discontinued). Some other aftermarket parts were used, such as the gratings and the gun carriages, which I adapted from a detail kit sold by the Polish company GPM for a different model.

Building this model was a real challenge in patience for me – there are a LOT of little parts to cut, and the instructions take a bit of study, like it’s in code. But overall, I had a blast building it. The kits are VERY inexpensive and if you photocopy the parts before you begin, you can usually recover from basic screw-ups – I certainly had a LOT of opportunity for that!

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I highly recommend trying a paper model kit. But not just any kit, I recommend one of the kits from Shipyard. The models are constructed in a fashion that’s closer to wood ship modeling than is true for most other paper kits. These kits are very high quality, but you just need to be aware that you will either have to make just about everything from paper provided in the kit, or you have to provide some of your own materials, like cloth for the sails, dowels for the masts, etc.

If you have a bit more money than time, you should consider getting one of the boxed kits that is part of the Shipyard product line that used to be called Laser Cardboard Kits. These kits contain everything you need in one tidy package. Of course, it’s more money. Also, few part are pre-printed for you. The big advantage is that ALL the parts are laser cut for you – a big time saver. Also, all the boxed ship kits are in a larger 1:72 scale, whereas all the paper ship kits are all 1:96 scale.

This particular model is going to a good home with a fellow ship modeler who has been admiring it since I first brought it to a ship model meeting. He encouraged me to finish it up, and I will be transferring possession of it next week. In the meantime, I’m busy working on a case for the model.

But, this isn’t the last you’ll see of HMS Alert. The new owner and I have made tentative arrangements for me to take it to the Nautical Research Guild conference in October. The model made its first debut at the conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2014, so it’s only fitting that it make an official appearance as a completed model in a case this Fall.

I know I’m going to miss working on this paper model. So, I started working on another one that will take it’s place as a low-priority background project. The model is Shipyard’s 1:96 scale HMS Mercury, a 28-gun Enterprize-class sixth rate frigate. At this point, I’m not planning on rigging her. Rather, I’m thinking of making a type of admiralty display model rigged with launch flags. Of course, things change over time, so you never know. Stay tuned! Ω

 

HMS Alert – Project Update

I haven’t posted as often as I have in the past. Much of this has to do with the large number of issues and projects I’m dealing with at the moment. But also, I’m still working during the day, and for some reason this season has been oddly busy. Better that than oddly quiet I suppose, which it has also been at times. Also, I play Japanese folk music which has been demanding extra time this year. But, I’m sure you don’t want to read excuses, you want to know what’s new.

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If you’ve been following my blog here, you are probably familiar with the paper model HMS Alert. The model inches ever so closer to completion! The biggest hold up on this model has been in dealing with the fashion trim at the stern and how it fits in with the boom crutches. While there are a couple images in the kit that show the boom crutches, it was not very clear what they attach to. These pieces are just simpl U-shapes with nothing to really to support them, except the taffrail. But it was difficult to find what was supposed to fit under the corner of the taffrail to support the crutches, let alone the weight of the boom cradled in them.

This required some creative ship modeling. What I ended up with seems to work, but there’s no telling if it is what was intended by the kit designers. But, this isn’t particularly surprising for any ship modeler. Those of us who have built even one ship model are accustomed to this kind of problem solving.

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HMS Alert stern completed

In addition to the boom crutches, there is a fashion piece that runs down the side of the hull right at the stern. Clearly, there is some error in my model’s construction, because the parts provided in the kit didn’t fit properly. Again, I had to adapt and make new pieces that looked correct that would fit properly in place. It took me a while to do it, though it wasn’t particularly difficult to make. Mostly, it was a matter sitting down and making it.

Beyond these issues, I managed to finally mount the tiller, which is very thin and delicately attached to the rudder post. I also completed the bulk of the rigging, adding lifts, sheets and braces to the spreader yard. I still have to tie off a few things, but the trickiest parts are done.

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Next are the braces for the topsail yard and the addition of flag and pennant. Also, I have yet to rig the jib sheets. But, that’s not too much left to do, so I’m hoping to be done by next weekend.

Part of the project is also to build a case for it, but as for the model itself, the end is near!

I’ll post next when all is done.

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

Several months ago, I acquired Shipyard’s HMS Mercury 1/96-scale paper model kit. I had to check it out as part of my research into the hobby and also because I just couldn’t help myself.

In addition, I bought a matching laser cut detail set from GPM. The basic kit includes the laser cut frames, but the detail set includes some very nice features like the gratings, parts for the ship’s boats, cleats, blocks and deadeyes, cannon and carronade carriages, and especially nice are the laser cut parts for the stern and quarter galleries. I just couldn’t imaging using the printed windows or trying to cut out the frames.

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I got an idea and looked over the 1/96-scale HMS Mercury detail set and discovered that several items in that set are compatibly with the Alert. Maybe that’s saying that the kits aren’t to precise scale. Nevertheless, the detail kit for the Mercury cost me about $35 shipped from Poland, and I’m quite willing to sacrifice it for the good of the cause.

Turns out that the quarter deck cannon carriages are a perfect match for the Alerts carriages (and the right quantity), the gratings look like I’ll be able to cut them to size, some of the cleats are perfect match and there are some others that I think I can trim quite easily. Also, while I’ve already acquired laser cut blocks and deadeyes of the right size, the Mercury detail set has a ton of these and enough of the smaller ones are the right size to use for the Alert.

Anyway, the point here being that if you want to make your life easier with this kit (and probably others too), get one of the detail sets from GPM. It’s definitely going to give my project a boost.

First thing I did was to replace the printed hatch gratings with the laser cut ones. They actually turned out to be a pretty close fit, needing only minor trimming. Once painted I put them in place and you can see them in place here with the printed ones next to them.

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Now, getting back to the kit parts, I was on a roll and decided to make a simple sliding type hatch cover for the wardroom companionway. At 1/96 it doesn’t have to be that sophisticated. Needed planking, so I printed out 0.25pt lines 1/16″ apart. I’m using Adobe Illustrator for a number of other tasks, so it was easy enough to fire it up and make the pattern. I’ll probably add some kind of handle, either bent wire or a simple block type handle from paper. The completed piece was painted and set into place.

I also found an old screen in the garage. It turns out that the mesh is the exact size I need for the mullion pattern for the companion way over the captain’s cabin. I pulled out a bottle of canopy glue, which I bought for another project, but didn’t like the way it worked. For this one and the small glass panes, it worked great – Just squeezed a little out to fill in all the holes in the piece of screen material. Once dried it looked perfect, so I cut down to the exact size I needed and dropped it into place.

I also built and cleaned up the deck pumps and decided to give them natural wood looking handles instead of leaving them their printed color, which was red.

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Being on a roll, I decided to try to make some progress with a rather daunting sub-assembly, the windlass. I say daunting because the windlass barrel alone consisted of 31 REALLY small parts that all had to be cut out and glued together properly. I did manage. However, it required a concerted effort to break the mental barrier of taking on the complicated assembly. Once started, it actually went pretty quickly.

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DSC03993There’s still more to do here, but the basic barrel is done. As for what’s next, I try to keep that open. There are still many small assemblies that need to be completed, and there’s not particular order they need to be done in. Also, there is the matter of the cannon barrels. I went ahead and rolled the barrels using the kit patterns. I wanted to see how well they might work. But, I’m considering turning them in brass, or at least turning masters in brass if I decide to cast them.

Paper Model Troubles

I’ve been working with paper models for more than 6 months and I still think they’re a really fun and interesting medium to work in, though I have yet to finish one. The kits from Shipyard of Poland, particularly the kits which provide parts already laser cut, are very high quality kits that are quite different than most paper model kits.

Since I started, I picked up a couple lighthouse kits, which provide all parts laser cut. I’ve also picked up a couple things from GPM, another Polish paper model manufacturer and online supplier, including a laser-cut detail set designed specifically for the one of the Shipyard kits. I’ve also picked up a GPM paper model and I’ve noted the big difference between the kits from these two companies.

 

All in all, I’ve been enjoying playing around with these, and have found one issue that can stop you in your tracks. I can’t say anything about GPM yet because I haven’t tried building one of their kits, I just have one on-hand. But, so far, the kits from Shipyard’s Paper Model series look first rate.  The problem I ran into recently was with one of their Laser Cut Model series, specifically, the 1/87-scale North Reef Lighthouse kit.okladka

The kit is a fairly detailed lighthouse kit, but during construction I discovered that mine had a couple flaws. One was very minor in that there were supposed to be a number of holes cut to allow insertion of tabs on other pieces. Oddly enough, all the holes were cut except one. It’s as if someone using a CAD program accidentally deleted the object making the slot. But that wasn’t the only flaw. There were supposed to be 16 triangular supports, and there they were all nicely arranged together on the laser-cut sheet all 15… 15? Where was the 16th? There was a nice triangular spot for it in the grid of parts, but that one was missing too.

Well, those were minor issues. As a ship modeler, I’m used to fabricating parts. And that missing hole was easily dealt with – In this case it was simplest to cut off the unused tab. But then I discovered that there were some parts I was missing. I initially figured I had just misplaced the sheet that the parts were on, so later on, I just took out another kit. This was easy enough to do since I was doing this for an online company that carries their products. But, that kit was missing the same sheet.

Okay, a bad batch is understandable, so I contact Shipyard using the contact form on their website some time in early December. I hadn’t heard back from them about the issues in early January, so I sent them two emails using a company email account. That got no reply. Then, suddenly 2 weeks later, I got an email saying that they would get back to me with a reply in a week. Then nothing. I emailed them again a couple weeks later and they said they would reply in 2-3 days. Then again nothing.

So, it has been 2 months and even to representative of a US seller of their kits, their response is pretty bad. This does not bode well, especially after I pointed out that we weren’t ordering anything until I could make recommendations on what to order, and that depended upon their responses to my emails. So, what to do?

Well, overall their kits are good and I’ve only run into this one, albeit nasty, issue. I’ve since personally ordered a replacement kit, the same 1:87-scale North Reef Lighthouse, and it has everything it’s supposed to have. So, I figure there are definitely bad batches out there. I’ve also worked on a 1:72-scale version with the parts all present, plus a 1:72-scale Alcatraz Island Lighthouse (a simpler kit of a SF Bay Area landmark) that’s all good. So, maybe this is just a fluke. Just be prepared to get poor support from Shipyard if you have a problem.

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On the positive side, I’ve ordered direct from them on at least four occasions with no problems whatsoever. The orders take no more than maybe 2 weeks to get and they provide a tracking number that will work with USPS once it gets to the States, so it’s easy to follow your package.

Now regarding GPM, I’ve placed two separate orders. The first one took a few weeks, but did eventually arrive and all was well with that one. The second order I placed I am still waiting for and its been over 5 weeks now. There is no tracking number provided by GPM, so I simply have to wait and see. Like I said, the first one arrived with no issues, so I’m still hopeful.

For those of you who don’t want to worry about shipping, Ages of Sail DOES have a number of the Lighthouses from the Laser Cut Model series, plus many of the ships in the Paper Model series. They’ve been running very low on the popular smaller ships, so give them a call if you’re interested in one of those. Also, a lot of this stuff hasn’t made it to their online shop, so again, check with them if you’re looking for something. Ω