Tag Archives: Vanguard Models

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

 

On the Horizon: Royal Yacht for the Dutchess of Kingston from Vanguard Models

Chris Watton’s own ship model kit production company, Vanguard Models, is rolling along with yet another kit coming out in just a matter of weeks! If you’re familiar with Amati’s Victory Model’s line of kits or Caldercraft’s Nelson’s Navy line, then you’re already familiar with Chris’s amazing work. He’s both talented AND prolific.

His latest release will be the sixth kit from Vanguard Models, and it looks like it’s going to be a real beauty – I hope you’ve saved a spot on your workbench to build this one.

The model is a 1/64-scale kit of an unnamed, 81-foot, three-masted yacht built for the Dutchess of Kingston, which was probably built in the 1770s. It closely resembles the royal yacht Caroline, which is a subject from Mantua/Panart that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. But, this model looks like it’s so nicely detailed that I would seriously consider building this instead. Price has not been announced yet, but Chris says this kit will be ready very soon.

Some manufacturers do take pride in their avoidance of plastic or resin parts, which this kit does use for cannon barrels and some of the stern carvings, etc. But, this does allow for a higher degree of detail and lower weight and cost. I don’t expect to hear many complaints from those who get this kit.

FYI, these are photos of the model under development. It will include masts and yards, including a lateen yard on the mizzen mast. I don’t believe there are sails included in the kit, but I am hoping some kind of sail plan will be included. Vanguard Models has sail sets for their Zulu and Fifie kits, but I don’t believe there is any sail detail included in the other kits.

Once released, expect to be able to order direct from the Vanguard Models website, or from their U.S. distributor Ages of Sail. I’ll spread the word as soon as I see it become available! Ω

 

New Vanguard Models Products at Ages of Sail

Online ship model shop Ages of Sail just posted an announcement that they are now stocking Chris Watton’s latest accomplishment, the brig-sloop HMS Flirt. The ship’s overall look should be familiar to fans of Vanguard Models, as it is the same ship class as their earlier release HMS Speedy. There are some differences apparently, and the Flirt’s hull, at least in this kit, is not copper sheathed. So, if you don’t like that whole copper plates look, you might take a look at Flirt, as she’s a pretty nice looking ship.

In a separate announcement, Ages of Sail also announced that they now have the pre-sewn sail sets for Vanguard’s Zulu and Fifie kits. These look pretty nice, though if you want to die them the nice red-brown color that is shown on the kits’ marketing art, it looks like you’ll have to die the bolt ropes too, since those are attached, but I doubt most who look at the finished model will really even notice.

Since the Vanguard Models fifie kit is the same scale as the one that Mr. Watton did for Amati’s Victory Models line, I suppose the sails ought to work on that kit as well. But, that’s just my own speculation.

Anyway, you can check out the posts below

HMS Flirt Announcement: https://blog.agesofsail.com/2020/08/26/new-hms-flirt-from-vanguard-models/

Sail Sets Announcement: https://blog.agesofsail.com/2020/08/26/sail-sets-for-vanguard-models-kits/

 

 

Ship Model Kits Come and Go at Ages of Sail – Plus, Vanguard Models News

With so many people staying at home these days, the stocks of ship model kits at Ages of Sail, particularly the newest kits, seem to come and go faster than ever.

OcCre’s newest release is the schooler Polaris, which bears a striking resemblence to Artesania Latina’s pilot boat Swift kit, was introduced and sold out in less than a month, though I’m told that a further shipment has come in, so they may be available again at the time of this writing.

 

About the same time they started selling the Polaris, Ages of Sail started carrying the new Vanguard Models kits, and there too, the HMS Speedy kit turned out to be more popular than expected and is now out of stock at Ages of Sail.

 

HMS Flirt – Vanguard Models

But Chris Watton, who’s the one-man development machine of Vanguard Models, has been working hard at getting a brand new kit ready for release: The brig-sloop HMS Flirt.

 

If you’ve been eying Vanguard’s HMS Speedy kit, this one will look very familiar to you, as the Flirt is of the Speedy class, so it’s essentially the same ship. However, the kit differs in that it does not have a coppered hull and has slightly different rigging, making this kit about a bit shorter than HMS Speedy.

In any case, this model of the 14-gun brig-sloop sure makes for a pretty-looking ship! This kit is expected to be releasee within a couple weeks. Hopefully, Ages of Sail will grab some of these up as well as a replenishment of their stock of HMS Speedy kits. Maybe they’ll get some of the pre-sewn sail sets for those nice-looking Zulu and Fifie kits at the same time.

Personally, I don’t understand why the Scottish Sailing Zulu kits haven’t run out yet – There’s a nice looking, unique ship model kit…

 

But, kits seem to be coming in all the time over at Ages of Sail, and I understand that many of the OcCre kits are back in stock now, including the popular Polaris kit and many others. Plus, as I posted previously, Constructo’s Gjøa kit, after many years out of production, appears to be back again, which is nice to see. Ω

 

 

 

 

Vanguard Models – HMS Alert Kit Available

Just saw the news this morning on Model Ship World that Chris Watton’s Vanguard Models site is now fully functional and his new HMS Alert kits are available for sale.

The 1/64-scale cutter model measures 637mm long and 517mm high – that’s about 25″ long and 20″ high – and sells for £180.00 plus shipping, or just under $230.

You can order the kit here: https://vanguardmodels.com/h-m-armed-cutter-alertstatic

Mr. Watton says that he’ll now be working on the next project, the brig HMS Speedy.

 

 

Vanguard Models – New Ship Model Company Venture by Chris Watton

Chris Watton is the designer behind Amati’s Victory Models line of ship model kits. These are some of the finest wooden ship model kits available. Now, Mr. Watton is now branching out on his own with a his new brand of ship model kits called Vanguard Models.

He’s announce on the Model Ship World forum that his first kit will be a 1/64-scale kit of the English cutter HMS Alert, which he expects to be released sometime around the end of May.

Image from Vaguard Models new website.

The details on the model appear to be up to Chris Watton’s fine standards, and I expect this is going to sell like hotcakes. Of course, it depends somewhat on the price point for these, plus shipping costs. That information is yet to be posted.

This looks to be only the first of what I hope will be many more products by Mr. Watton. Future products mentioned include the 14-gun English brig, HMS Speedy, and the 50-gun fourth-rate ship of the line, HMS Bristol. For now, the only source for the kits is the new Vanguard Models webiste, which appears to be in testing still.

You can keep track of developments by following posts on Model Ship World (click the earlier link), or possibly just keep checking the new website.