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cutty sark

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  • Member since
    November 2005
cutty sark
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 9:16 PM
are the only Revell models of this ship from the 70's? How good were they, and is there a difference from the model that has the copper vs. black plastic hull?
  • Member since
    May 2005
Posted by Ron Smith on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 12:55 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by shipbuilder

are the only Revell models of this ship from the 70's? How good were they, and is there a difference from the model that has the copper vs. black plastic hull?


The molds themselves are from the early to mid1960's but Revell shot it a numer of times. Last shot I think was in the 1990's. The only difference is usually the copper on the bottom, one release had cloth sails and brass pedestals in the kit.
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:12 AM
Actually at least five Cutty Sark kits on different scales have appeared under the Revell label - including, at the moment, a reissue of the Imai 1/350 one from Revell Germany. I imagine, though, that the one we're talking about here is the big 1/96-scale one.

It originally appeared, I believe, in 1959. (I'm at the office, and don't have the bible on the subject, Dr. Graham's Remembering Revell Model Kits, in front of me.) At that time it was the most sophisticated thing the plastic kit industry had produced. In its original form it had a pre-painted lower hull and parts that connected the steering wheel to the rudder. It did not have sails. The instructions told the modeler to add wire jackstays to the yards, and make some of the rigging out of 36-link brass chain (which wasn't included in the kit).

In later issues the kit got modified in several ways, none of them really major. The operating steering gear apparently disappeared almost immediately. (I guess it didn't work well.) The advice on advanced rigging techniques vanished from the instructions. The most obvious change came when Revell added a set of vacuum-formed plastic "sails." For a while the kit was being issued in a "museum classics" format, with brass-plated mounting pedestals and a wood baseboard. And I guess somewhere along the line they quit putting the copper paint on the hull. Essentially, though, any 1/96 Revell Cutty Sark is, except for the sails, like any other.

Basically it's a good kit - for 1959. Its big weaknesses are due mainly to its age, and to the compromises the designers made in order to simplify the rigging. The plastic "deadeye and lanyard" assemblies are far too thick, for instance. The designers therefore made the relevant sections of the pinrails, to which the deadeyes have to be attached, far too wide in order to accommodate them. The result is that the pinrails have huge "steps" in them; the sections abreast the masts are wider than the rest. (In the real ship, the pinrails, which are beautiful, varnished teak, are the same width all the way around.) Oops - I goofed (sort of). See correction below. Some of the details aren't up to today's standards. The cargo winches in front of the fore and main masts, for instance, are pretty crude for the scale, and the paneling on the deckhouses is simplified quite a bit.

The kit is, however, pretty accurate in terms of the basic shapes, and some of its details have never been surpassed. The crew figures are works of art, and Revell's rendition of the figurehead (Nanny the Witch) is, to my eye at least, a better looking representative of the female gender than the real thing. This kit can be turned into a fine model - as the article in last month's FSM demonstrated.

To my notion (as I've said more than once in this Forum) the best Cutty Sark kit on the market is the one originally made by Imai in the late seventies. It's smaller than the Revell one (1/120 or 1/125 scale, depending on which ad you read), but better detailed; it represents the state of the art as of the time when it was released. It's been off the market for a long time, but it recently showed up under the Aoshima label on the Squadron mail order site. The bad news is the price: about $150, which is really outrageous. But anybody looking for the most accurate Cutty Sark kit needs to consider that one.

Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 5:19 PM
If anybody's interested - I looked up the various Cutty Sark issues in the bible on the subject, Dr. Thomas Graham's Remembering Revell Model Kits.

The 1/96 kit (#H-364) was originally issued in 1959, and stayed in its original box through 1963. It was subsequently reissued in 1966 (twice - once with sails and once without), 1974, and 1978. (I think it's reappeared several times since then; Dr. Graham's coverage stops in 1979.) All the post-1966 reissues came with sails. The "Museum Classics" version came out in 1978. In addition to the aforementioned brass-plated pedestals and wood baseboard, it featured a cloth flag sheet. Whoopee.

Revell Cutty Sark no. 2 was a "Quick Build" series kit that appeared in 1977. I think the book has the story about this one garbled a little. (Errors are rare in the book, but the subject matter is so incredibly broad that they're inevitable.) Dr. Graham lists the scale as 1/216; I'm pretty sure it was bigger than that - about 1/120. The model was close to two feet long. It, and the accompanying "Quick Build" Constitution, Mayflower, America, and Thermopylae, represented a desperate attempt by Revell to get younger kids and yuppie-types, who didn't really want to invest a lot of time or money, into the hobby.

No. 3, an 18-inch long Cutty Sark, also appeared in 1977 or thereabouts. (I think this one was on 1/216 scale.) It came in a box about like the smaller Revell sailing ships (the ones that people like me thought of as "the three dollar series" - the Bounty, Santa Maria, Flying Cloud, Victory, etc.). It wasn't a bad kit, though it also wasn't up to the standards of detail that the earlier ones in that series had met.

No. 4, released in 1972, was the "Cutty Sark Wall Plaque," part of another Revell marketing ploy that looks kind of silly now. It consisted of No. 3 with part of its hull missing, mounted on a plastic plaque with an "antique" map on it. The box contained a bottle of "gold antiquing wax." Ugh.

No. 5 is a reissue of the tiny, 1/350 Imai kit that originally appeared in the late seventies. I haven't seen the inside of the box, but if it's a typical Imai product it's pretty good. That's a mighty small scale for a model like that, though. (This kit is not to be confused with the 1/125 Imai version, which I mentioned earlier as my favorite Cutty Sark kit - the one Aoshima has just reissued for $150.00.)

No. 1 and No. 2 have appeared under false identities several times. For a long time Revell sold a huge kit labeled Thermopylae, most of whose parts were identical to those of the 1/96 Cutty Sark. (The real Cutty Sark and Thermopylae looked similar from a distance, but differed from each other in several pretty conspicuous ways.) The "Quick Build" series also included a Thermopylae based on Cutty Sark no. 2. And the longest, most twisted branch of the family tree was a 1/96 kit labeled Pedro Nunes. Pedro Nunes was the name the Portuguese gave the Thermopylae when they bought her for use as a schoolship. The kit was, of course, another modified version of Cutty Sark no. 1.

The current U.S. Revell/Monogram doesn't include any of these kits. (The online version, at any rate, only contains seven ships: two versions of the Constitution, PT-109, the Titanic, the Arizona, the ancient Iowa-class battleship, and the Gato-class submarine.) The current Revell Germany website shows two versions of the Cutty Sark: no. 3 (listed as 1/220 scale) and no. 5. It seems that, incredibly, the 1/96 kit is not currently on the market. I'm sure it can be found in lots of hobby shops, though.

That's the story as far as I understand it. I rather suspect shipbuilder is now more than a little sorry he started this thread. Sorry.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 7, 2005 8:40 PM
thanks guys for the info. I was thinking about tring a sailing ship for a change. I saw one of these at a show and loved how it looked.
  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by lenroberto on Saturday, September 10, 2005 8:09 PM
shipbuilder-

If I may suggest another kit...

I just finished the Academy Cutty Sark- in 1/160 scale. Good price at around $40.00 and let me recommend this kit as a first sailing ship model. Perfectly molded- no flash, fits together like a dream and at about 22 inches long- is a real nice size to get your feet wet in rigging....I think this makes a great first sail kit and it is a relatively new release:






Good luck...

Len
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, September 10, 2005 10:34 PM
I've been studying Lenroberto's excellent photos trying to figure out whether this Academy kit (which I'd never heard of) is in fact a reissue of something else. I can't tell. I think it may be the Imai 1/125 kit (model companies are notorious for failing to figure out the scales of ship kits), but I don't think so. (I remember some features of the Imai one - but it's been a mighty long time since I actually saw it.) Maybe Academy has actually brought out a new kit of its own. If so, the price is remarkably reasonable.

In talking about Cutty Sark kits there's another one we shouldn't forget: the old Airfix version. I don't remember the scale, but it was about a foot and a half long - pretty small, but one of Airfix's better ship efforts. As I remember, some aspects of it - the panel detail on the deckouses, for instance - were marginally better than the Revell one. And I believe (this is 30-year-old memory talking) it's the only one with all the carved detail on the bow and stern molded in relief (as opposed to decals). The bulwarks at the stern, as I recall, were molded in several pieces so all the carving could be reproduced without undercutting. Nice old kit. I believe it's still in the Airfix catalog.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, September 10, 2005 10:57 PM
Very nice, don't want to go off topic but what camera do you use?
With the kit being so well put together, it really highlights those ratlines!
Excellent build though.
  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by lenroberto on Sunday, September 11, 2005 6:45 AM
Hey vapo- I used a Nikon Coolpix 5600

John- I was confused as well but I do think this is a new kit (2002) It is simplified in many areas but for price and ease of build- it is a great kit. And the wife has actually agreed to have it displayed in the house rather than in my my model room (the garage)! Joy!

-Len
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:10 AM
lenroberto - I think you're right. Among other differences, I don't think the old Imai kit has the studdingsail booms molded in the outboard positions.

I want to correct something I wrote earlier in this thread. A few minutes ago I got out the George Campbell plans of the Cutty Sark (wonderful drawings, by the way - and available for a bargain price by mail through the ship's website). The pinrails inside the bulwarks actually do increase in width abreast the masts, in the sections where the shroud and backstay chainplates pass through them. But the change in width isn't anywhere near as great as the Revell kit indicates. According to the plans (which I trust), it's considerably less than a foot. On the basis of lenroberto's photos, it looks to me like that Academy kit got it about right.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 6:58 AM
I have a Revell Cutty Sark kit that you do not mention. It is a 1974 kit that has model number H-399!. It is black (hull), brown, and cream molded plastic; and it has plastic sails!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Lacombe, LA.
Posted by Big Jake on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 7:25 AM

Shipwreck,

Hows your model comming along?  this topic was started way back when, you should be getting close to the end. On topic, it's the same kit, just different colored plastic.  Sometimes, the model companies used different colored as the market supplies were not availble at one point or another.  You can tell it's the same kit buy the number and instruction sheet.  I've built and detailed a Cutty Sark last year before Katrina,  It's the only surviving Model Ship that made it through the storm, it was in my office.  You can see the pic at my webshots album. It's on page two about 1/2 way down the page. Hope they help.  One thing I put on my model that was not discussed in the Instruc. was the Jackstays and footropes.  Also a scaled "Cutty Sark" at the mainmast head This small shirt would tell sailors that it was "indeed" the Cutty Sark in port.  If you want to know more about this, email me.  It's knida neat history

http://community.webshots.com/user/jbgroby

 

 

MJH
  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Melbourne, Australia
Posted by MJH on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 8:18 AM
 jtilley wrote:


lenroberto - I think you're right. Among other differences, I don't think the old Imai kit has the studdingsail booms molded in the outboard positions.


You're quite right (as usual).  Just checked my my original IMAI kit.

!

  • Member since
    February 2006
Posted by Grymm on Thursday, May 25, 2006 9:00 AM

 Shipwreck wrote:
I have a Revell Cutty Sark kit that you do not mention. It is a 1974 kit that has model number H-399!. It is black (hull), brown, and cream molded plastic; and it has plastic sails!

Hey, what a coincidence!  I'm working on the same kit.  I ditched the plastic sails though.  I just started the rigging.  Only bad thing was the decals, which literally crumbled in my hands.

I am having an absolute blast with this kit.  It's going to part of my son's room, which is being decorated "age of sail". 

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Thursday, June 22, 2006 8:38 PM
Thanks for asking Big Jake. I've been slowed down by major surgery for cancer. But before I start I need to remove some paint on the hull which I brushed on about 30 years ago, the learn how to use an airbrush.

Looks like a great kit. I haven't figured out exactly how to build it yet. I want to go with sails of some sort. Anybody have some thoughts on sales - either working with the kits plastic ones or cloth?

Thanks.

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, June 23, 2006 12:10 AM

Shipwreck - I'm sure the rest of the Forum membership joins me in wishing you a quick recovery and many years of good health.  I think you'll find that ship modeling is an excellent way to spend time after such an awful experience.

We've had an interesting, ongoing discussion of the question of sails here in the Forum.  Here's the link: http://www.finescale.com/FSM/CS/forums/350912/ShowPost.aspx

You'll find quite a few different opinions and techniques in that thread.  Please take all of them in the context of the others, and make your own choice.  That's what makes it a great hobby.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Friday, June 23, 2006 8:59 AM
Thank you for the well wishes and the lead to the sail forum!

On the Bench:

Revell 1/48 SR-71 Blackbird

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

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