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[WIP] Pirate Ship 1/72 Revell [a.k.a. Black Swan from Zvezda]

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  • Member since
    November, 2016
[WIP] Pirate Ship 1/72 Revell [a.k.a. Black Swan from Zvezda]
Posted by Wyktor on Saturday, February 25, 2017 1:02 PM

Hi everybody,

I've finally decided to start my first ship project. Well, technically it's my second but that first attempt was when I was kid and I don't think I've even finished the model:) Anyways...

This will be also my very first WIP thread :) so please bear with me. My progress will be very slow as I don't have too much time to work on the model but I'll try to post updates regularly.

I know I've picked up fairly hard subject as my first attempt, but this was the model that met my criteria:

  • I wanted to build new model (not one of those from golden age 1950-1970)
  • I wanted larger scale as I think it will be easier to work with smaller pieces
  • I wanted a ship that did not exist in real life. This way I don't have a burden of being true-to-the-original
  • The kit shouldn't cost a fortune :)

So far I've only glued the two hull halves together and dry fitted part of the decks.

I also tried to paint one of the deck pieces to test my plastic-to-wood skills. The first attempt didn't went very well. I painted the piece with Ochre and covered it with dark brown oil. The result was not bad but I wasn't happy with the color (too dark) and also the planking was totally invisible. It just looked like a large piece of wood.

So I stripped the colors off and scribed the planking to create some more depth. It's perhaps too deep now (for the scale). Again painted with the Ochre. Then masked some of the planks and dry brushed the same color only slightly darkened. Instead of dark brown, this time I've used Raw Sienna and I think it looks way better. The only thing that bothers me now is that it looks too new but I gues I can work on this later on. In the end I'd like it to look like being heavily used and worn.


Tags: pirate ship , Revell , wip
  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, February 26, 2017 10:00 AM

Hey Wykter, I am looking forward to watching this ship come together.

Good luck, and I will be following your progress.



  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Posted by David_K on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 8:36 AM

It's a good quality, fun kit, Wykter...I built is as my 3rd model ship (I think?)...I'll enjoy following your WIP.


     _~ )_)_~

Current Project:  Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Recently Finished:  Imai Catalan Ship, Heller Soleil Royal

Next Up:  ???


  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Friday, March 03, 2017 12:52 AM

Thanks guys.

I'm still re-scribing the planking on decks. So boring and time consuming:). To give myself a break from this I've moved to building the stand.

According to the instructions, the figurines should be colored but I don't think I'll do that.

The wood texture is probably little over the top. I don't like the darkened edges where the paint accumulated. On real wood the only reason for the edges to be dark is that they're dirty from handling which seems inappropriate for a ship stand...

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Friday, March 03, 2017 8:57 AM

If you had said nothing about the darkened edges, I would not have noticed. It looks pretty dang nice to me. BTW, I chuckled about the scribing. I can relate to the tediousness of certain aspects of the hobby.

Looking good sir.


  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Monday, March 06, 2017 4:45 AM

Couple friends asked about the plastic-to-wood process so I want to share it here. It's a combination of various methods that I found online.

Step 1: Scribe the planking.

Obviously, this step is optional. I like to see the individual planks with shadows in between them.

Step 2: Apply lighter brown shade.

I used a mix of Revell Aqua color 88 Ochre and 371 Light Gray (80% of Ochre to 20% of Light Gray). I applied it straight to the bare plastic without primer. No need to go for even coverage. In fact if you can see the variation in color that's a good thing.

Step 3: Apply darker shade of brown to individual planks

For even better color variation I mask individual planks and give them at least two different shades of brown. As you can see, the color variation in my case is subtle but you can make the contrast bit more visible if you want.

Step 4: Apply Oil paints

This step will turn the plastic to wood. I use Koh-I-Noor's Raw Sienna (I also use Burnt Sienna for the darker shade of brown) straight from the tube. Many recommend to use acrylics for this stage but I love the fact that oils give you plenty of time. Also some recommend to first put the oil on cardboard so that it can soak the oil and then the pigments dry faster, but for me the oil guarantees that I can play with the piece for a longer time and also it flows much nicer into all the corners. Two blobs of color like you see on the picture is enough for this large piece of plastic.

The secret tool to use here is the cheapest and hardest toothbrush that you can buy. The stiffnes and size of the brush is a reason why you can see the wood grain and variation even if the plastic itself doesn't have wooden texture.

After some time (20 minutes or so) the tootbrush will start to peel the color off a bit so even if you start with some darker shade of brown, eventually you'll get lighter tones. You can use this to make various spots a bit brighter to give it even more variation.

Let it dry for couple of days.

Now you have two options:

1) When it's dry, seal it with the semi flat gloss coat and apply filters/washes as you want

2) Apply oil wash into recesses without sealing. Beware that the underlying oil paint will mix with the wash so you need to be carefull but it can give you even better results.

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by cabrown1 on Monday, March 06, 2017 8:12 AM

Following this thread with keen interest. I have ordered Zvezda's "Black Pearl" kit from Moscow. My understanding is that the Zvezda's "Black Pearl" and "Black Swan" as well as R/G's "1/72 Pirate Ship" are all the same kit. The only difference being the "Black Pearl's" figurehead. I'm assuming Zvezda jumped the gun a little bit and got cross-ways with Disney over copyright issues? Disney has a reputaion for being rather anal when it comes to copyright stuff.

The build is looking really good. Your wooden decking effects are rather impressive.

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Monday, March 06, 2017 9:23 AM
I haven't had a chance to compare the sprues but, yeah that seems to be the only change apart from the "camouflage". Revell's ship is natural wood whereas Black Swan;) Also there is a wee difference in the stand as it does not contain ship name (it is visible in the instructions though) I have to say that the quality of sprues is great although it certainly needs some work.
  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 1:58 AM

I've been busy painting all the individual deck pieces in past weeks. While waiting for those oil paints to dry I also started to work on ship's boat and other small parts.

Here's the progress I've made:

The back of the boat did not have any planking on it, so I had to add some...

I did not bother to clean those ejector pin marks as they will be hidden under the boat's equipment

I was not too excited about the door's hinges either. The rightmost three planks would probably fall off in reality so I extended those hinges to cover whole width of the doors.

After dryfitting the decks together I've discovered that the lack of texture on the wall will be visible too much, so I've decided to add planks there as well...

Wider shot of dry fitting test:

  • Member since
    July, 2014
Posted by Bakster on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 8:07 AM

I think it looks fantastic. I love the wood look to it. Nice work sir.


  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 2:51 AM

Thanks for the kind words Bakster:)

Looking at what's ahead, there's a little structure at the bridge deck behind the wheel which I presume contained bell. There is no bell in the kit. At first I wanted to build one, but then a question came up: did pirates used the bell at all? I don't think they worked in shifts like on regular ship. But then, they could use the bell as an alarm device or something like that...

If anone has an opinion on this, I'd love to hear it:)

Many thanks.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, April 20, 2017 2:49 PM


 I would stick a bell on it . If anything it would call the crew to battlestations . After all Pirates couldn't be too careful , now could they ? 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by rwiederrich on Friday, April 21, 2017 8:11 AM

Unless the ship was built by pirates...with a pirates mentality....I'de feel safe assuming the vessel was procured(Stolen) by pirates and if probably had a bell to sound the hour and watch.

When pirates aquired vessels they typically cut the gunnals to make access for more cannon(If a merchant).  Pirates where still seamen and came from a seamans background(Typically from a national they knew the need for time discipline and watch standing.  I doubt they relinquished it to Davy Jones Locker to lighten the ship...Big Smile


  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Friday, April 21, 2017 5:35 PM

 There were no specific ships built especially for pirates. All vessels were hijacked, or stolen from any location that the unfortunate ship happen to be at the wrong time and place. An example was Blackbeard's famous, QUEEN ANN'S REVENGE, which was the former French slaver, LE CONCORD, destined for one of the French islands on the Caribbean after leaving West Africa. Most of her crew were sick and unable to offer much resistance to Blackbeard. Pirates often preferred one masted sloops, as these ships were fast, easy to maintain and with their shallow draft could excape persuit by larger ships over shallow waters. Early 17th century pirates based on Hispanola lived ashore. When they spotted a Spanish sail leaving Cuba, the pirates piled into large one masted skifts and surrounded the unfortunate treasure ship.

Happy modeling    Crackers   Surprise

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, April 21, 2017 11:55 PM

Nice painting Anthony, and really nice model, W.

Generally the pirates of the you-know-where operated small fast sloops etc. from shore as stated. They had no interest in getting into a gun battle with an armed ship as they would have invariably lost. They needed for it to be "over before it started".

So the idea of a large, armed ship with any sort of discipline is far fetched.

As far as this model is concerned, I haven't built it but  there have been a number of builds here that I've enjoyed, people like it. One detail to watch out for and avoid. Some of the versions have a pair of little beams that stick out over each gun port. In my opinion they are a holdover from the movie, added to give the port lid lifting ropes some leverage in order to do the whole " lids all pop open" scene,and don't make much sense no matter how fantastic one wants to be.

And there's the whole capstan around the mast thing.

i am enjoying following this.


  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, April 22, 2017 12:39 AM

The painting of pirates about to attack a Spanish treasure ship is by Howard Pyle (1853-1911). He was an American illustrator, painter and author, best know for children's books that he wrote and illistrated.

Happy modeling   Crackers    Smile

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Saturday, April 22, 2017 1:34 AM

Thanks for suggestions:) The bell it is then. The only thing to decide would be what kind of bell it would be. The chapel design suggests a hanging bell, but I don't know how it would be secured so that it doesnt ring accidentally. I could not find any good drawings of such bell construction so far:(

@GMorrison: yeah I plan to leave the rods above gun ports on the sprues and not put them on the model. For capstan, I havent decided yet how to get rid of it in an elegant way...

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, April 22, 2017 9:36 AM


How ship's bell was hung was usually a choice of the builder. On English warships, the ships bell was usually hung in a structure as depicted in this model. To left, behind the black object is a structure with a semi-circular roof. The bell was hung inside this structure. Hope this helps.

Happy modeling   Crackers    Huh?

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, April 22, 2017 12:39 PM

Hi " G "

 I am with you on the bell . Most pictures I've seen have the bell enclosed in a little structure ( Belfry ? ) . The bell was struck with an external striker and I think some had a clapper that was drawn to the side to prevent casual ringing . T.B.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, April 23, 2017 2:34 AM

We also have to consider what the bell was made of; if a metal with value, it was probably smelted; an iron bell might have been kept.

The purpose of the bell was to insure that the glass was turned.  Since the most reliably accurate glass available was a thrity minute glass, that was the period of "the  bells."  The glass had to be turned to accurately track the time, in English practice, in reference from Grenwich.  So, striking the bell was only inportant in voyages where calculating longitude.

So, pirates in single masted coastal craft probably paid no mind to the time as they probably had little need for over-the-horizon navigation.  Which would obviate the need for a bell for any purpose beyond being a way to sound an alarm.

So, that could be a case against putting a bell in the belfry.

But, it's no better a case than one to install a bell.

  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:39 PM

Many 18th century warships like my WIP model of the sloop-of-war, HMS PELICAN, had their windlass and ship's bell attached together. My bell for the PELICAN was made from an eyelet of an old boot that has seen better days. The eyelet was pried loose from the boot and using a pair of needle nose pliers, the lower flange of the eyelet was shaped into the form of a bell, then attached to the windlass structure that will be situated in front of the foremast. Soon my entire thread of the PELICAN model will appear on the forum again.

Happy modeling       Crackers       Wink

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Thursday, April 27, 2017 6:00 AM

Thanks for all the inputs.

@Crackers - your method of building the bell is inspirational. I want to make it from styrene but I'll probably use very similar technique.

As for the bell or no bell question: Let's just say (for the sake of the argument) that this particular ship was captured by pirates few days ago, so it's still more closer to its original design than pure pirate ship:)

My problem now is the construction of the bell. As you can see on the picture below, the construction is little bit different. It has four legs instead of just two. So I was thinking that maybe I'll just hang the bell to the roof and tie the rope to one of the legs. Or I'll join the two leg pairs together by rods and then connect these rods so I would have a structure very similar to Crackers' design...

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 27, 2017 9:11 AM

Here's some info. Note, this is Victory, sort of the acme of sailing warships. But you'll get the idea.


  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Wyktor on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 2:20 AM

At last - I've builded the bell and the inner construction. I've measured it to the scale but looking at it in place, it seems to me wee bigger than appropriate. What do you guys think?


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