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Revell`s Stag Hound

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  • Member since
    April 2006
Revell`s Stag Hound
Posted by armchair sailor on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 1:48 PM
         I know that the Revell Stag Hound is basically a made up ship to represent the Stag Hound but is it possible, using the hull and masts , to make another Donald McKay ship ? The hull is the Flying Cloud`s hull but weren`t those lines similar to another ship built around the same time ? I ask these questions because it seems a waste of a good kit if another ship could be made from the fake Stag Hound..............
  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 2:33 PM
   The Flying Cloud, Flying Fish, and Great Republic, had similar entry, and run. The Flying Cloud was 229', Flying Fish was 207', and the Great Republic, 302'. Of these three McKay clippers, the Flying Fish would probably be the closest match, based on hull form. The Staghound, built the year before was 209-215'.

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, November 14, 2006 2:58 PM

First of all, it ought to be acknowledged that the original Revell Flying Cloud, released in 1957, was an excellent kit - especially in the context of its age.  It had countersunk planking seams, a reasonable attempt at representing the metal hull sheathing, and accurate lines.  It's one of the many old sailing ship kits that I, for one, would like to see on the market again.

The "Stag Hound" kit was one of Revell's many sailing ship marketing scams.  It did indeed use the Flying Cloud's hull halves.  The Flying Cloud had a pretty distinctive and beautiful hull shape.  The Flying Fish certainly looked quite similar, at least from a distance; I'd have to compare the plans of those two to see just how much difference there was.  My guess is - quite a bit.  The Flying Cloud, in addition to the characteristically sharp bow and stern of the American extreme clipper, had an unusually short run amidships (i.e., in plan view the port and starboard sides amidships were nowhere near parallel, and were extremely convex).  Donald McKay was a brilliant man operating in an atmosphere of cutthroat competition; each of his designs seems to have been noticeably different from the previous one.  But it might be possible for a model based on that hull to pass as the Flying Fish.  It would be a big project; most of the deck furniture would have to be changed, and a raised forecastle deck would have to be added.  The most convenient place to start would be the plans published by Model Shipways in conjunction with its 1/96 kit.

Revell's insistence on recycling the parts of its sailing ship kits was, from the standpoint of the serious scale modeler, really irritating.  In this particular case, it seems the designers spent quite a bit of time figuring out ways to make the "Stag Hound" model look different from the Flying Cloud - apparently without paying any attention whatever to what the real Stag Hound looked like.  (Enough information is extant to establish her appearance with quite a bit of confidence.  There's a good set of plans for her in Howard I. Chapelle's The Search For Speed Under Sail.)  One of the biggest differences between the two kits:  the "Stag Hound" omits the raised forecastle deck.  That's utterly ridiculous.  Apart from the fact that the Stag Hound clearly did have a raised forecastle, the configuration shown by the Revell kit would invite disaster:  the first time the ship put her nose into a sea, the whole forward part of the maindeck would fill up with water.  They gave her a new figurehead; fine.  Then (if I remember right) they changed the plastic piece combining the main and quarterdecks, to put the break of the quarterdeck in a different place.  I'd have to check the plans to see if that actually made the model look more like the real ship or not; I doubt it.  And they put an additional little deckhouse in an utterly unlikely position forward of the foremast.

Those old Revell sailing ships are hard to find nowadays, and they aren't cheap.  (Olde phogies like me can remember when they cost $3.00 apiece.  Zounds.)  I sympathize completely with anybody who's reluctant to junk any of them.  But my best suggestion has to be - seek out a Flying Cloud, and build it as the Flying Cloud.  (For a while Revell was selling the kit in a box labeled "Yankee Clipper"; I think that one was identical to the original Flying Cloud kit.  I've also seen it, I think, in a Heller box.

It's particularly sad to note that, of all the wonderful American clipper ships that have been the subject of so much literature and artwork, only two, to my knowledge, have ever been made into respectable scale styrene kits:  the Flying Cloud (by Revell, Lindberg, and, in miniscule form, Pyro) and the Sea Witch (the old Marx/ITC kit, which has reappeared in modified form under the Aurora and Lindberg labels).  I've seen pictures of an ancient Marx Swordfish, which apparently was a strange hybrid kit with a styrene hull, wood spars, and a sheet metal deck.  (Who on earth came up with that idea - and why?)  Maybe somebody else can come up with another plastic American clipper model; I can't.  For that matter, so far as I know the only other clipper ship of any sort that's been the subject of a serious plastic kit is the Cutty Sark.  (I'm not counting the various "Thermopylae" kits Revell has issued over the years.  All of them are modified Cutty Sarks.  Those two ships looked similar from a distance; that's all.)  Can anybody think of any others?

Later edit:  Sumpter and I apparently were typing at the same time.  We seem to have come to just about the same conclusions:  Flying Fish - maybe (just maybe); Great Republic - no way.  She was by far the biggest of the American clippers (almost 50% longer than the Stag Hound), and truly distinctive in just about every visible way.

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

  • Member since
    April 2006
Posted by armchair sailor on Thursday, November 16, 2006 10:25 AM

      I do agree that Revell`s Flying Cloud was one of there better kits. I also know that several of McKay`s ships wouldn`t make, because of size, a model from the Revell Stag Hound. But McKay made more ships than were mentioned above , such as the Glory of the Seas, Lightning, Champion of the Seas, etc.  Are any of these ships compariable to the Flying Cloud and would the Stag Hound kit be a good base for a kitbash project ?

     On a different note, I do agree with Mr. Tilley in the fact that clipper ships are the dream of alot of us shipmodel builders and that the kit makers haven`t done any of those ships justice ( as far as quantity ...... The kits that have been made are fairly good kits ) I would like to see a Balclutha or Star of India...... ships that still exist and can be used to make an accurate model. Even though I do like the Cutty Sark and Constitution kits, it would be nice to build something else.  A 1/96 model of the Balclutha would be my desire...............ah well. 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Saturday, November 18, 2006 11:26 AM

I built the Flying Cloud a few years ago- it isn't a bad kit at all.   At the time, I also had a Stag Hound in the stash-- I compared the two hulls, and they matched exactly. 

There is a terrific book you should look at if you're looking to kitbash a clipper-  William Crother's The American built Clipper Ship.   This book is full of detail about virtually all the American Clippers-- it has deck arrangements, outboard profiles, color information, and general rigging diagrams for the ships.   

One of the interesting things I learned from  this book is that specific deck plans for a lot of clippers are unknown-- sometimes all the aurthor could find was general written descriptions.  The book does a great job of differentiating between the known, likely, possible,and unknown.

The book is out of print, and used copies are  somewhat expensive, but available in libraries-- my local consortium has a couple of copies.

As a kit-basher, you'll spend lots of time leafing through the various pages, looking for similatrities between the different ships-- I know I did!  

 -Bill

PS-  By the way, the book also clearly documents how ridiculous  the Revell Stag Hound kit is, compared to the real ship! 

 

 

Webmaster, Marine Modelers Club of New England

www.marinemodelers.org

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 19, 2006 3:03 PM

The subject of the accuracy of plastic sailing ship models puzzles me.  The models are what they are, and, for the plastic modeler, the only alternative to building the model straight out of the box is to kit-bash.  If a model isn't accurate, just throw the name plate away and tell those who see your models that the ship represents a type of ship of such-and-such a period.  No one who will ever see one of my models knows the difference between a galleon and frigate, anyway; and I certainly don't expect my models to ever see a museum (in fact, I don't expect them to survive for long after I am gone).

 

There are precious few plastic sailing ship models, even if one includes the old ones only available from e-bay and other such sources.  There are even fewer models of any size.  Like many people my age, poor eyesight and arthritis limits me to models of 1/96 scale or thereabouts.  I take what I can get and do what I can do to modify the kits to more accurately represent a ship from a particular historical period. 

 

I am uncomfortable with the (sometimes scathing) criticism of some kits, such as Heller's Le Soleil Royal or Revel Germany's Spanish Galleon.  I would rather see posts like the above that provide information on how others have modified or would modify the kits to better represent a ship of its period. If historical accuracy is what is demanded, the only alternative is to scratch build.

 

I fear that some people will be put off from modeling plastic sailing ships if they read all the criticism of the kits without also reading threads like this one that, at least, offers alternatives.  I enjoy building plastic sailing ships so much, and I would hate to think that someone would be disappointed in his or her kit because of something negative they read on this forum.

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Monday, November 20, 2006 12:53 PM

Jray47 makes a number of worthwhile and thought-provoking points.  We've addressed several of them in other threads of the Forum, but perhaps it wouldn't hurt to think about them again. 

There's no denying that the number of plastic ship kits is miniscule compared to what's available in the aircraft, armor, and even modern warship fields.  Revell issued its last new sailing ship kit (a nice version of the Gokstad Viking ship) thirty years ago; the current Revell-Monogram catalog contains two sailing ships (both representing the same ship, the Constitution; one fifty years old, the other more than forty).  Revell has in fact been out of the sailing ship kit longer than it was ever in it.  Airfix and Heller are both bankrupt (though there are heartening signs in another Forum thread that Hornby may be resurrecting some of their kits).  Pyro has been out of business for decades, though some of its kits are available currently in Lindberg boxes - frequently with silly names.  (An "America's Cup Defender" with stacks of fishing dories on her deck.  Right.)  Imai, arguably the best of them all, went out of business about twenty years ago; some of its kits are being issued by Aoshima, at hideous prices.  I have faint hopes for Zvezda, whose new medieval cog apparently is a pretty nice kit, but there's been no news from that camp for some time.  The handful of plastic sailing ship enthusiasts is surviving on reissues and e-bay.  If the plastic sailing ship kit isn't actually dead, it's on life-support.

This is a forum about scale modeling, and scale modeling, by definition, entails making reproductions of actual objects - in this case ships.  I've commented several times in other threads about the  discrepancy between the standards routinely expected (apparently) by plastic sailing ship enthusiasts and those taken for granted in other phases of modeling.  Take a look at virtually any thread in the aircraft, armor, or auto sections of this Forum.  Those people expect (by comparison) tremendously high standards from the manufacturers - and, nowadays, usually get them.  I can't think of the last time I heard the phrase, "well, it doesn't look much like the real thing, but nobody who looks at it will know the difference" from an aircraft or tank modeling enthusiast.

The standards of historical accuracy routinely achieved by manufacturers in other areas have been steadily rising during the fifty years I've been in the hobby - and show no signs of stopping.  A  few weeks ago I bought, largely out of curiosity, a Dragon 1/35 Sherman tank. It has over 600 parts - including photo-etched brass details, a turned aluminum gun barrel, and metal springs that make the suspension units work.  There are alternative parts for two versions of the commander's cupola.  The ad on the box proudly announces that the machine gun barrels are hollow, having been produced by an expensive technique called slide molding.  The kit is, in short, an astonishing example of the designer's and mold-maker's arts - and an extremely accurate replica of a Sherman tank.

Another example that I've referred to elsewhere:  the Trumpeter 1/32-scale F4F Wildcat.  The initial release of that kit had a fuselage that was distorted in shape by, as I understand it, about 1/4 inch.  Some enthusiasts got a look at the first samples and screamed bloody murder.  Squadron Mail Order refused to stock the kit.  Trumpeter changed the molds.

My point is that the standards of the products have risen steadily, largely because of the pressure put on the manufacturers by serious scale modelers.  I'm sure other factors have been involved, but the input of the knowledgable customer clearly has had a big impact on various phases of the plastic model business.  I suspect that, if not for the pressure exerted by modeling enthusiasts and the modeling press, the manufacturers would still be plastering their aircraft kits with watermelon-sized "rivets."

There was a time when plastic sailing ship kits did represent the state of the art.  Those old Revell ones of the mid- to late 1950s were, by the standards of the time, quite amazing - and some of them still hold up mighty well, even by twenty-first century standards.  The little old Revell Golden Hind (vintage 1965) that I'm working on at the moment, for instance, has wood-grain detail and countersunk deck plank seams that can stand comparison with anything on a Tamiya or Hasegawa kit.  It clearly was the work of genuine artisans who were interested in producing the highest-quality scale replica (or, in this particular case, reconstruction) they could - even if the typical consumer didn't notice how good it was.

It could, indeed, be argued that sailing ship kits, for a long time, set the highest standards in the industry.  Airfix's Wasa, to my eye at least, is on a higher level of detail and finesse than any of the airplane kits the company was producing at the time (about thirty years ago).  And Revell clearly lavished more attention on its U.S.S. Kearsarge than on any of its 1960s aircraft, tanks, or cars.

But somewhere or other the plastic sailing ship kit sort of sailed off the track.  The first sign that something was wrong came, if I remember correctly, in 1960, when Revell issued a "Thermopylae" that was, in fact, a slightly modified reissue of the excellent Cutty Sark (which had appeared a year earlier).  The following year, Revell pulled what may have been its most disreputable stunt:  the so-called "H.M.S. Beagle."  Recently reissued by Revell Germany, that kit can't be called a scale model without abusing the English language.  It's a modified version of the same company's old H.M.S. Bounty, which actually bore scarcely any resemblance to the real Beagle.  I contend that, in virtually any other field of merchandizing, such a stunt would be labeled consumer fraud and the perpetrators would be arrested.  Such behavior in the model airplane, armor, or car field would result in somebody getting shot.  (Imagine a 1/72-scale B-26 getting a couple of extra engines slapped on its wings and sold as a B-17.)  But Revell got away with it.  And in the next couple of decades both Revell and Heller pulled off marketing scams with their sailing ship kits that were almost as bad.  Now Lindberg puts eighteenth-century frigates and seventeenth-century French warships in boxes with "Pirate Ship!" labels.  And scale modelers are expected to grin and bear it.

I firmly believe that every modeler is completely entitled to establish his or her own personal standards of accuracy, detail, and everything else.  I don't contend for an instant that because I think the Heller Soleil Royal is a piece of overpriced, incompetently-designed junk (which I do), nobody ought to buy it or build it.  To each his or her own.  Ship modeling is, for most of us, a hobby; the most important thing about a hobby is that it provide satisfaction to the hobbyist.  If a hobbyist is satisfied with products like the Heller Soleil Royal and the Revell "Thermopylae" - great.  But I do think the voice of the serious scale ship modeler deserves to be heard, and I hope I may be forgiven for thinking that forums like this one are appropriate places to discuss such issues.     

Our counterparts among the aircraft and armor enthusiasts don't hesitate to air their criticisms of kits, and they've demonstrated that the manufacturers can be persuaded to listen.  Even the modern warship modelers have had a big impact on the products that are being offered to them.  (Tamiya has made major revisions to several of its 1/700 warship kits, because the old versions weren't up to current standards.  And take a look at some of the comments in this Forum about Lindberg's big Fletcher-class destroyer.)  I don't suggest that there's anything wrong with the modeler who doesn't pay much attention to historical accuracy, and takes the sort of approach Jray47 describes.  I do, however, take exception to manufacturers who describe as "scale models" products that, by any rational definition of the term, are no such thing.  That Revell "Stag Hound" kit just plain isn't a scale model of the Stag Hound, and, in my opinion, it's high time somebody said so.  I don't imply that everybody who's bought one should throw it out.  I just contend that the manufacturer ought to be aware that somebody sees through his tactics - and I think the consumer is entitled to make an informed choice.  If a forum like this had existed in 1978, I wouldn't have spent a big chunk of my meager grad student income on a Heller Soleil Royal - and I wouldn't have spent two years attempting (with, at best, marginal success) to turn it into a scale model.  

It's also worth noting, perhaps, that there is an alternative available to the serious scale ship modeler who wants something better than a Heller Soleil Royal or a Revell "Beagle."  The American and British wood ship model kit industries have been improving steadily for the past few decades.  (The same can't be said of the continental European manufacturers - the notorious HECEPOB companies - though one of them, Amati, is currently showing signs that it's figured out what a scale model is.)  Bluejacket, Model Shipways, A.J. Fisher, and Caldercraft (aka Jotika) sell kits that, in terms of accuracy, are universally acknowledged to be excellent.  (Unfortunately they're also expensive.  Jotika's 1/72 H.M.S. Victory, here in the U.S., costs about $1,000.) 

Some years back, Model Shipways issued a 1/96 wood McKay clipper Flying Fish.  There was a significant goof in the plans; the designer had misinterpreted a set of contemporary spar dimensions, and had made all the yards too short.  The ship modeling community, via several letters to the editor of the Nautical Research Journal and Model Shipwright, cried foul.  The designer - a fine modeler and a true gentleman of integrity - revised the drawings, and Model Shipways revised the kit.  Sounds remarkably like the case of Trumpeter's Wildcat.  But I've never heard of anything comparable happening to a plastic sailing ship kit.

A strange mystique seems to surround the wood ship model kit.  It shouldn't.  The truth is that the modeler who has the necessary skills to build a good plastic model probably has what it takes to build a wood one.  Start with something that isn't too time consuming; don't make a frigate or a clipper your first wood kit.  But don't be scared of the medium.  It has a great deal to offer - and though there are some hideously awful wood kits on the market, there also are some extremely nice ones.

Within the next few years the plastic sailing ship kit may disappear from the hobby shop shelves completely.  I hope not.  I've contended for many years that this sort of kit has tremendous potential - not only for casual modelers but for serious scale ship modelers and maritime history enthusiasts.  And there have been quite a few really excellent sailing ship kits.  (Maybe it would be a good idea for some of us to start another thread listing what we regard as the good ones, in an effort to offset the discouragement that Jray47 - probably correctly - detects.)  If this phase of the hobby does die out, though, I don't believe the miniscule number of serious scale plastic sailing ship enthusiasts will have been responsible for killing it. 

And I'd like to think that, through communication organs like this Forum, the manufacturers just may get the message that there are people out there who do know what a scale model of a sailing ship looks like - and are anxious to buy any kit that's reasonably capable of producing one.  One of the pleasures of this Forum, for me at least, has been the discovery that so many modelers really are interested in plastic sailing ship kits; before I discovered this Forum I thought I was almost the only adult who bought the things and took them seriously.  But I don't think that telling the manufacturers "well, anything that looks sort of like a sailing ship is good enough, because most people can't tell the difference" will do any good for anybody.

Sorry to have gone on so long.  As is obvious by now, this is a topic about which I have some strong opinions - and care a great deal.

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

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Monday, November 20, 2006 1:01 PM

  John, you would think that with an hour difference between our time zones, we would post at different times!

/forums/613657/ShowPost.aspx , is an example of kitbashing, listing the defects, is not.

   1/700 is possible for me because of Optivisor, 5X. 1/87 also needs the power of Optivisor.

   The criticisms of some plastic kits? Yes, it can be discouraging, but it can also be helpful. Knowing of a defect can prepare you for it. Surprises (no pun intended) can be great fun, and they can be devastating.

    Balance......for every piece of right journalism, there is left journalism to be found. For every praise, there is criticism to be found. Somewhere between, the general truth exists, and for each of us, that truth does not have to be dead center. ( for the overly sensitive, the juxtaposition of right, left, praise, criticism, was not intended, but most likely, is indicative of who I am) This forum suffers only from the same problem found everywhere, it must recruit from society. There are two forms of those who deal with rivets. There are those who count the rivets to insure they are achieving the greatest accuracy in their scale models, and then, there are those who count rivets, to point out another's inadequacies. It has more to do with ego, than modeling skill.  We learn, not from our successes, but from our mistakes. In light of this, criticism has a positive......we may not have seen the mistake in our research, now we know. The best approach? Do a search on the topic, and read all the posts. Pick out what is meaningful to you, and leave the rest behind. Learning from, or being hurt by, rests in your choice. Most importantly? enjoy your modelbuilding.

{Edit after reading John's post}  Though worded differently, I think we're after the same thing. I have to agree with jtilley on the subject of wood kits, and the skills required to build them. Also,on  the remarketing of a previous kit as something different.  Seems a bit unethical to me too. A scale model can only be as accurate as the research that goes into it. A builder who wishes the most accurate model of all has to have knowlege of the original's details, and has to add their own research to the kit manufacturer's, to accomplish their goal.

Pete

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 4:59 AM

Jtilley wrote: "This is a forum about scale modeling, and scale modeling, by definition, entails making reproductions of actual objects - in this case ships."

That was part of what I was trying to convey.  For me, the object doesn't have to be a particular ship, even if it is advertised as such.  It only has to have reasonable scale and represent a type of ship from a particular historical period.  I don't have to call the Beagle model the Beagle, the Bounty or doodly-squat.  I can enjoy building it and make up my own name for it, since it only has to represent a particular period ship. 

I understand such criticisms as the too-wide planking on the Le Soleil Royal or the too-severely raked stern of the Spanish Galleon.  However, my point is that these things can be corrected to a large degree, and I would like to see more discussion about how others have made those corrections.  Kit-bashing can be a lot of fun.  For example, there is an excellent article by a modler who did some kit-bashing and exposed the galleries of the Soleil Royal(http://www.romaniaksrestoration.com/soleil.html).

It may be that I have the skills to model in wood, but I don't want to.  I like plastic because it allows me to build quickly and get to the part of the ship that I like best, which is the rigging.  Again, I don't expect the models I build to be passed on to successive generations.  I build and rig them for my own pleasure.

I appreciate the discussion. 

PS:  My hat is off to you, Sumpter250.  1/700 scale is simply beyond my abilities. 

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 6:37 AM

I don't disagree with the basic point in Jray47's last post.  Building models that represent generic vessel types is, in my opinion, a fine idea - especially in cases where the extant information doesn't allow the reconstruction of a specific ship.  High on my wish list for future kits is a generic Greek galley that incorporates the research that's been done during the last thirty years or so, in conjunction with the full-size replica operated by the Hellenic Navy.  And I'd be more than happy to label a model "Elizabethan galleon," rather than pretend it's an accurate reproduction of the Revenge or the Ark Royal. 

As I've said in other threads, I don't feel entitled to criticize the tastes and preferences of modelers.  I do, however, regard manufacturers as fair game.  When a manufacturer tells the public that a box of parts recycled from another kit is a scale model of H.M.S. Beagle (or S.M.S. Seeadler, or the Thermopylae, or the Stag Hound, or the C.S.S. Alabama, or whatever), that manufacturer is perpetrating a deliberate act of fraud that should be identified as such to the modeling public.  If the modeler, knowing what's inside the box, wants to buy it anyway, that's entirely the modeler's business.  But the fact that an individual modeler can find an agreeable use for a deceptively-labeled product doesn't excuse the manufacturer.

Another example comes to mind - an example wherein the manufacturer yielded.  In 1975 Revell issued a Type VII U-boat kit.  (It got indifferent reviews in the model magazines; nobody would describe it as one of Revell's best kits.)  Many Americans get their acquaintance with German submarine warfare by visiting U-505, which is on public display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  A few years after the Type VII kit's original release, Revell re-released it in a box labeled "U-505."  The real U-505 is a Type IX U-boat; the difference is, in the eyes of anybody who knows much about submarines, ludicrously obvious.  (To be fair, Revell at that particular time in its history was being run by a group of people who didn't understand, and had scarcely any interest in, serious scale modeling; it's entirely possible that none of them knew the difference between a Type VII and a Type IX.)  At least one modeling magazine, Scale Ship Modeler, blew the whistle, and considerable outrage ensued.  The gift shop at the Museum of Science and Industry quit selling the kit, and Revell took it off the market.  Bravo.  (I'm a little curious as to why Dr. Graham's superb history of Revell, Remembering Revell Model Kits, doesn't mention this incident.  Maybe it happened after 1979, the year when Dr. Graham drops the story.  I suspect Revell is trying hard to forget about it.)

The Heller Soleil Royal raises completely different issues.  I see no reason to think the people who designed it were trying to deceive the public; they were making a genuine effort to produce a scale model of a particular ship.  Unfortunately, they didn't know how to do that.  We took this kit up at great length in another Forum thread, labeled "Soleil Royal:  The Ultimate Building Guide"; there's no need for me to rehash the arguments I made there.  The bottom line is that every modeler needs to decide where the threshhold defining acceptable - or, to use Jray47's term, reasonable - scale accuracy lies.  By my personal definition, that particular kit doesn't make the grade, and isn't worth trying to fix.  Others disagree.  By my personal definition, the Heller Victory, which certainly has more than its fair share of problems in terms of historical accuracy and detail, does make the grade, and would make an excellent basis for a long-term scale modeling project.  Others are perfectly entitled to disagree with that assertion too.

I may have given the impression that I'm in the habit of curmudgeonly condemning virtually all the plastic sailing kits on the market.  That's not really the case.  A couple of days ago I started a new Forum thread in which I listed a considerable number of plastic sailing ship kits (most of them, unfortunately, not currently available) that I personally like - i.e., kits that, in my personal opinion, meet a reasonable definition of the term "scale model."  There are more than fifty kits on the list; it includes most of the Revell, Airfix, and Imai ranges (albeit not many from Heller).  Other participants have already suggested additions to the list; I hope more such additions will come. 

And I hope that, one way or another, the plastic sailing ship kit will survive.  I'm thoroughly sick of so-called expert ship modelers who refuse to take plastic kits seriously.  (I quit participating in another web forum because it specifically disqualified discussions of plastic models; any post that dealt with a plastic kit got deleted.)  I contend that, in addition to the time factor Jray47 mentioned, the plastic kit has enormous potential to produce scale ship models.  But mediocre and/or deceptively-labeled kits don't advance the cause.

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

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 6:50 PM

However, my point is that these things can be corrected to a large degree, and I would like to see more discussion about how others have made those corrections.  Kit-bashing can be a lot of fun.

 jray47,

    I can't agree more. www.railimages.com/gallery/peterjuengst/aaw  is a kitbash of the Revell "Harbor Tug", and, www.railimages.com/gallery/peterjuengst/acb    , a kitbash of the Pyro/Lindberg "Fishing Schooner Elsie". There is no reason why a modeler can't apply known practices to a kitbash, to produce a reasonable model of what could have existed, or modify an existing kit to accurately represent an actual vessel. All that is really required is the research, and the skill to do the conversion. The rest is simply the pleasure of the build. For the kitbasher, there is no bad kit. I do have to agree with prof. tilley, however, that the marketing of a premanufactured ship model, as something else, is misleading at best, and pure fraud at worst. I also have to support him in the belief that if you are selling a "scale model", the required research, and accurate reproduction is not only expected , it is required.  I agree with the concept that a plastic model hull, and whatever parts, can get you to the rigging faster, with less effort. In my building of "surprise", from the jolly roger by lindberg, I have used the hull, the guns, and probably the lower masts....most everything else will go to the spare parts box. OK, that makes the parts I am using that much more expensive, but that was my choice from the beginning.   www.railimages.com/gallery/peterjuengst/abj  is the 1/700 Sumner class FRAM II.

    It should be pointed out that this forum, certainly holds its own, even when compared to the other popular forums here at Finescale.com . Plastic sailing ship modelers are definitely not a minority, and hopefully, manufacturers will begin to see that there is a market for quality scale model kits for the sailing ship enthusiast. "Topmen, lay aloft and make preparations for getting underway!"

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:54 PM

I guess I agree with sumpter250 - almost. If one tries hard enough, one can salvage something useful from virtually any plastic kit - even the wretched messes that inhabit so many old Heller boxes. (A nice little carved decoration here, a lovely set of oars there; a piece of black styrene that can be reshaped into something useful.)

I don't think I can go quite so far as to agree that "there's no bad kit," though I certainly agree that the line between acceptability and unacceptability ought to be drawn by the individual modeler.  It's possible for a kit's hull, spar proportions, etc. to be so far removed from reality that turning it into a scale model literally would be more difficult and time-consuming than starting from scratch.  (I suppose I could have based my model of the frigate Hancock on the old Revell Constitution instead of working from scratch, but the idea strikes me as pretty ridiculous.)  If I may be forgiven a railroad analogy - turning the typical, pre-late-seventies Heller sailing ship kit into a serious scale model would be about like turning a Lionel 0-27 steam locomotive into a serious scale model of a real steam locomotive.  Sure it could be done, but....

One thing that makes this particular discussion a little more earnest is that, as we've noted earlier in this thread, the variety of plastic sailing ship kits on the market isn't exactly overwhelming.  The model railroader isn't likely to be tempted into kitbashing one of those Lionel locomotives, because his hobby shop is more than ready to sell him a beautiful scale model that makes the Lionel version look like a toy (which is what the manufacturer really intended it to be).  The plastic sailing ship modeler doesn't have that luxury.

I'm afraid plastic sailing ship modelers are a minority.  We're a minority in just about every sense that matters to the manufacturers - a minority compared to most other phases of modeling (cars, aircraft, railroads, armor, etc.), a minority compared to the wood sailing ship modelers (take a look at the roster of the Nautical Research Guild, or the Drydock Models forum group), and, above all else, a minority among the customers who buy the manufacturers' products.  If the interior decorators and the kids like a kit, why should the manufacturer care about the experienced scale ship modeler?

It probably isn't reasonable to expect those companies to pay much attention to us.  But maybe, just maybe, forums like this one will help convince them that we deserve to have a few crumbs tossed our way now and then.  If the manufacturers would just take our opinions seriously, and issue some new, reasonably large-scale plastic sailing ships (for the first time in about 25 years) that represent the current state of the modeling art, maybe they even would entice some newcomers into the field.  C'mon, Revell (or Tamiya, or Hasegawa) - how about a 1/96 Flying Cloud?  Or an H.M.S. Prince? Or a frigate from the American Revolution?  Or if projects like that are too much to ask for, how about at least reissuing some of the good kits from bygone eras?  Rather than inflicting that infernal "Beagle" on another generation of gullible consumers, how about the Morgan, or the Flying Cloud, or the Batavia, or the yacht America, or the Golden Hind? Or that nice little Viking ship?

When Revell Germany released that 1/72-scale U-boat a couple of years ago, I practically dropped my teeth in surprise.  But it apparently has sold well - well enough that Revell-Monogram has just released a 1/72 American submarine to display beside it.  Maybe, just maybe, the same thing would happen if one of the big companies took the plunge and got back into the large-scale sailing ship game.

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

  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 23, 2006 4:10 PM

Sumpter250 wrote:  I do have to agree with prof. tilley, however, that the marketing of a premanufactured ship model, as something else, is misleading at best, and pure fraud at worst.

(First of all, I was born and reared in the deep south.  It is disconcerting to me to call people by their first names unless first introduced.  However, in this electronic age, I suppose that having engaged in a conversation in a forum such as this in some way constitutes an introduction.  I will take the liberty of addressing those whose names I know by their first name, and I would be pleased if you did the same.  My name is Jay.  These letter and number pseudonyms are inconvenient.)

So, Pete and John:  I am much less puzzled now about your objections to certain models, but I have to say that I do not agree with the notion that the manufacturers set out to mislead or defraud anyone.  I think their marketing stratagy was based on the assumption that a much younger and less exacting consumer would buy their products.  I am reluctant to ascribe ulterior motives to Revell, et al.  However, I think that their market has grown up wanting more variety, detail and accuracy, and I, too, wish that they would address that demand.  I think they are missing a lucrative opportunity.

It is obvious, John, that you and I have different philosophies concerning plastic ship building.  However, I understand your point of view as being one of someone trained in history.  I may not share all of your views, but I respect them.  

I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Jay 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 23, 2006 4:12 PM

By the way...how do I show quotes of other posts?  I have tried to figure it out, but, so far, have been unsuccessful.

Thanks.

Jay

  • Member since
    June 2005
  • From: Walworth, NY
Posted by Powder Monkey on Thursday, November 23, 2006 8:15 PM

Just find the post you want to quote. In the upper right corner, click the button that says quote. The entire message will appear in your reply. You can delete parts of it so only the part you want to quote remains. Then just click outside the brackets at the end of the quote to add your comments.Smile [:)]

Pete 

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 24, 2006 9:46 AM

Thank you.  I had tried the "quote" button, but didn't think to delete all but what I wanted to highlight. 

Jay

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Friday, November 24, 2006 1:07 PM

It's possible for a kit's hull, spar proportions, etc. to be so far removed from reality that turning it into a scale model literally would be more difficult and time-consuming than starting from scratch.

  Amen to that!!!  I have even consigned the whole mess to the spare parts box, and restarted from scratch to build what was intended to be a kitbash.  The secret of kitbashing, is knowing at what point scratchbuilding is the better way to go, both physically, and economicly. But then......I do have a nice spare parts box now.

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 24, 2006 5:44 PM
 sumpter250 wrote:

It's possible for a kit's hull, spar proportions, etc. to be so far removed from reality that turning it into a scale model literally would be more difficult and time-consuming than starting from scratch.

  Amen to that!!!  I have even consigned the whole mess to the spare parts box, and restarted from scratch to build what was intended to be a kitbash.  The secret of kitbashing, is knowing at what point scratchbuilding is the better way to go, both physically, and economicly. But then......I do have a nice spare parts box now.

Well, now...I am curious.  Pete, I now realize that you like to model ships that are beyond the Age of
Sail.  In your post, are you refering to a modern ship or a sailing ship?  I would also be intrested in John's opinion of a kit that is, let us say, beyond the pale.

Jay

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, November 24, 2006 10:40 PM

In responding to Jay's most recent question I have to start by defining it a little more precisely.  As Sumpter250 and I both noted earlier, it's possible to find something useable in virtually any kit.  I'll take Jay's query to refer to kits that so vaguely resemble the vessels they claim to represent that scratchbuilding the vessels in question would be easier and less time-consuming than building the kits.

That list, unfortunately, is pretty long.  It could start with the one that started this thread:  the Revell "Stag Hound."  Other Revell kits on the list would have to include the "Beagle" (modified Bounty), "Seeadler" (modified Eagle), "Alabama" (modified Kearsarge), and "Thermopylae" and "Pedro Nunes" (both modified Cutty Sarks).

I'd have to put most of the Heller line on the list.  The people who worked for Heller's design department prior to the late seventies apparently were immensely talented artisans who perceived a market for sailing ship kits, but just plain didn't understand how the real things worked.  They also, to a much larger extent than Revell, recycled hull and detail parts to make "different" kits - some of which looked downright laughable.  In the late seventies somebody apparently joined Heller who knew how to read ships' plans, and the company started (with such kits as La Reale and H.M.S. Victory) to make some genuine scale sailing ship models that set a new standard for the industry.

The biggest offender (in terms of physical size - and price), in my opinion, was the "Soleil Royal."  No need to talk here about that one; we've dissected it thoroughly in other threads.  It contains lots of distinguished contributions to the spares box, but , in my opinion, it isn't a scale model of the Soleil Royal or anything else.

Another Heller kit that particularly offended me was the "Drakkar Oseberg."  This one was promoted as a scale model of the Oseberg Ship, one of the two most important surviving vessels of the Viking era.  (The other, the Gokstad Ship, was the subject of Revell's very last sailing ship kit, in 1977.  Revell did a beautiful job with it.)  When I was in college I drove my decrepit 1968 Volkswagen Beetle from my home in Columbus, Ohio all the way to the Squadron Shop in Cleveland in a blinding rain storm to get one of those kits, because I was so enthusiastic about building a genuine scale model of a Viking ship.  When I got home and compared the contents of the box to a drawing of the real Oseberg Ship I was utterly disgusted.  The length-to-height ratio was distorted to the point of caricature; the designers apparently hadn't even glanced at a set of scale drawings.  Nor had they paid any attention to the carved ornamentation on the real ship - an area where Heller normally did pretty impressive work.  Ugh.

Some Heller kits belong in a separate category.  Early in the company's history it sold (apparently under license) several sailing ship kits that had originated with other companies - and changed the names of them to make them more attractive to French purchasers.  The ancient Aurora Cutty Sark, as I understand it, appeared in a Heller box with a French name.  It may have met a reasonable definition of a scale model of the Cutty Sark, but....

In his next-to-most-recent post Jay brought up an interesting point:  the question of the age level for which these kits were designed.  It's certainly true that, in the fifties and the sixties, plastic model companies regarded young people (more specifically boys) as their target audience.  For a while plastic modeling was the most popular boys' hobby in the U.S.; we got the announcements of new kits from ads in Boy's Life magazine, and scouting troups sponsored model contests.  Dr. Graham's excellent history of Revell contains lots of interesting reproductions of advertisements from that period featuring photos of kids showing off their models, sometimes with proud fathers looking over their shoulders.  

The sailing ship line, though, seems to have been, at least in part, an exception.  It originated (according to Dr. Graham) as the brainchild of a transplanted Englishman named Tom Hogg, who was a veteran wood sailing ship modeler himself.  The first Revell sailing ship kits probably were within the capacity of an enthusiastic kid, but they featured lots of detail that only an experienced ship modeler would appreciate.  (How many 10-year-olds would notice the countersunk planking seams, or the individual nail heads in the "copper sheathing," of the Flying Cloud?  Or the top-and-butt planking of the wales on H.M.S. Victory?)  The first of the big, 3-foot Revell kits, the Cutty Sark (1959), clearly was conceived as an adult project.  The price - $10.00 - was far beyond what a kid could spend, the kit contained hundreds of parts, and the original instructions advised the builder to augment the rigging thread in the kit with stiff wire (for the jackstays) and 12 feet of fine brass chain (for the sheets and halyards).   And, in Dr. Graham's words (p. 41), "to capitalize on this success, Revell made some slight changes in the model's details and issued it as a second kit, the Thermopylae."

Maybe such kits as the "Beagle" were indeed aimed at kids.  I guess I was one of the intended victims.  My mother bought the kit for me when it initially appeared, in 1961. (I was eleven; I'm relying on Dr. Graham's book for the date)  As soon as I opened the box I realized it was almost identical to the Bounty I'd built a few years earlier.  I started getting irritated with Revell at that point, and I guess I've been irritated with it ever since.  I'm afraid I can't be persuaded that representing a kit like that as a scale model is anything other than dishonest and deceptive - irrespective of how old the intended purchaser is. 

I think part of the problem with plastic sailing ship kits is that the manufacturers never figured out exactly who was supposed to buy them.  They seem never to have built up much of a following among younger modelers, and serious adult ship modelers have always tended to turn up their noses at plastic.  (I reserve a special vocabulary of invective for those who think those HECEPOB wood kits are superior in some way to the best plastic kits - but that's another topic.) 

In the past twenty years or so several fundamental changes have taken place in the plastic kit industry.  One - the total number of participants in the hobby has dropped precipitously.  Two - the prices of the kits have risen far faster than inflation.  (That $10.00 Cutty Sark was the most expensive kit on the market in 1959.  Nowadays it's not unusual to pay more than that for a 1/72 fighter aircraft.)   Three - the average quality of the merchandise has risen astronomically.  (Compare Revell's 1/32 Mitsubishi Zero, which sold for $2.00 in 1968, with the one Tamiya released a couple of years ago - with a retail price in the U.S. of more than $100.00.)  Four - plastic modeling has become almost exclusively an adult hobby.  (Study after study has established that kids, even if they can afford the kits, just aren't interested any more.)  Five - every plastic kit manufacturer, with (so far as I can tell) the sole exception of Zvezda, has quit making new sailing ships. 

I suspect there's a connection of some sort there.

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

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 25, 2006 1:10 PM

Jtilley wrote: "For a while plastic modeling was the most popular boys' hobby in the U.S.; we got the announcements of new kits from ads in Boy's Life magazine, and scouting troups sponsored model contests."

Thanks for the blast from the past.  I haven't thought about Boy's Life in years.  I was a scout and an avid reader of the magazine.  It reminds me of a very happy period in my life.  Thanks again.

John, you were a discerning modeler at an early age.  I wouldn't have noticed the difference in models when I was eleven.  Maybe that's why I am happy as a clam to build Heller's Le Soleil Royal.

I am nearly through with Revel Germany's Spanish Galleon.  When through, I will post some pics with comments on the modifications I made.  I bought another on e-bay for a song and hope to modify it even further.  John, I look forward to your observations.

Jay

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Sunday, November 26, 2006 2:54 PM

 jray47 wrote:
Well, now...I am curious.  Pete, I now realize that you like to model ships that are beyond the Age of
Sail.  In your post, are you refering to a modern ship or a sailing ship? 

   I had this dilusion that I could make something out of the revell "pirates of the caribean" "pirate ship", for an HO scale waterfront scene.....Hooo Haahh!!!!! I won't eat those mushrooms again!

Jtilley, 1961, I graduated from highschool, joind the navy, and had completed a scratchbuilt, solid hull model of Irving Johnson's, 96 foot long "Yankee", based on photos in "National Geographic". Which brings me to this; in the December 1957 National Geographic, there is a drawing of the "Bounty", which describes her as, " an Armed transport having four (Ican't decipher the number)pounders, and 10 swivels" " Length of the range of the deck", 84'-6" "Breadth extreme", 24'-10", "depth in hold", 11'-4", and "burthen in tons, 220 ?/?. The article also indicates that MGM "meticulously reconstructed "Bounty" from "Admiralty plans" for the 1935 "Mutiny on the Bounty" with Charles Laughton. I am curious as to how much of this compares well with any of the information you may have on the subject. There is also a good photo of the movie version of "Bounty", which looks like Revell may have referenced when designing their kit.

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Sunday, November 26, 2006 8:40 PM

Regarding H.M.S. Bounty - I did quite a bit of reading about this ship some years ago (more than I care to think about), when I was working on a model of her.  I summarized the reliable information about her (which is surprisingly scanty) on another website awhile back; here's a link:  http://forum.drydockmodels.com/viewtopic.php?t=1339&highlight=information+bounty

To summarize briefly - there are two extant contemporary drawings ("Admiralty draughts") of the Bounty.  The first apparently was drawn shortly after the Royal Navy purchased her; it shows her configuration more-or-less as it was when she was in the merchant service, with certain proposed "contrivances" added in red ink.  (The red color doesn't show up in most reproductions.)  During or after the process of modifying her to carry the notorious breadfruit plants, another set of drawings (outboard and inboard profiles, body plan, and deck plans) was prepared, this time, presumably, showing the ship more-or-less as she looked when she sailed on her final voyage to the Pacific.  There are quite a few conspicuous differences, the most obvious being that the second set of drawings shows a rather large box projecting above the taffrail.  (Some sources label it a "flag locker"; I'm pretty thoroughly convinced it's a water closet for the commanding officer, who got evicted from his cabin when it was converted to accommodate the breadfruit plants.) 

Back in (I think) 1936, the British scholarly journal The Mariner's Mirror ran an article about the Bounty (probably in recognition of the public interest inspired by the Nordoff and Hall novels and the movie).  The article included foldout reproductions of both sets of Admiralty draughts.  They were reproduced on slightly different scales.  The first one - the one that doesn't show all the naval modifications - was on the scale of 1/110, which is precisely that of the Revell kit.  (Revell messed up a few of the basic shapes, but most of the kit's parts fit nicely over the print in the magazine.)  It looks to me like the Revell designers worked directly from that print - though that's pure inference on my part.

The ship in the Charles Laughton/Clark Gable movie was converted from an old wood schooner.  Its origins were pretty effectively camouflaged, but the deck furniture and various other characteristics visible in the movie don't look much like the real ship.  (But if you look quickly you can see that one of the sailors is David Niven, in one of his first bit parts.)  For the 1962 version, with Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard, MGM had a shipyard in Nova Scotia build a replica from scratch.  It's still around; it has about the right proportions and general appearance, but it was deliberately made about 20 feet longer than the original ship to accommodate the Cinemescope camera equipment and Mr. Brando's ego.  Again, the designers paid precious little attention to the deck furniture on the Admiralty draughts.

For the Anthony Hopkins/Mel Gibson movie of 1984 the moviemakers built yet another full-size replica.  This time they seem to have tried reasonably hard to match the Admiralty draught - but they picked the wrong one, the one that was drawn before the ship was modified.  (In one scene Anthony Hopkins is sitting in his cabin with a huge print of the wrong Admiralty draught behind him.)

I included quite a bit more info about the Bounty in my posts on the Drydock Models site, which I mentioned earlier.

The old Revell kit isn't bad for its day (1956).  Some parts of it - the detail on the crew figures, for instance - have never been surpassed.  Revell did, however, get quite a few things wrong.  It's a shame that, for instance, the designers didn't give the hull the "copper sheathing" treatment they'd given their Constitution earlier that same year.  I guess what I did to it meets the definition of "kit bashing."  By the time I got through with it, the only surviving components from the kit were the hull halves, the figurehead, the quarter badges, part of the transom, the hull of the launch, and the crew figures.  Here's a link to some pictures:  http://www.hmsvictoryscalemodels.be/JohnTilleyBounty/index.html

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

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 27, 2006 10:15 AM

John,

That's an excellent build.  It's the kind of work I hope to achieve, If I live long enough!

Jay

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Monday, November 27, 2006 10:55 AM

 Yes, That is an excellent build, and one of the many reasons why I respect the professor's opinion.

  The drawing in National Geographic appears to be the second set, as the "box" is there, with about five feet headroom (no pun intended).

  I've been aboard the Bounty, when she was in Chicago for Tall Ships, I don't think it was the one built in Nova Scotia, I would have expected better quality from there, the ship I saw was in pretty awful condition, and the crew indicated that much of her was built with the wrong kinds of lumber. She also got off the center of the channel, and took out her royals on one of the draw bridges, going to her berth, on the Chicago River.

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    April 2006
Posted by armchair sailor on Monday, November 27, 2006 1:48 PM

          Since I`m the one who started this thread, I still suggest that it MAY be possible to make another ship out of the Stag Hound with alittle kitbashing. But as far as this thread has gone, I might as well weigh in what I think about what`s what.

           I agree with Prof Tilley in many ways. I think that if Tamiya, without any provocation , can re-design the molds for the Prinz Eugen to make a better kit , so can Revell. This is why Tamiya is considered one of the finest model makers around. They monitor there own quality and desire the highest standards.............. Good for them.  No one gives a Tamiya kit to Goodwill because their quality is beyond reproach. Yet Revell sits on past laurels of kits done 50 years ago. Yes, they were excellent kits. Alot of the kits put out by Revell are well done now ( ex. The 1/72 subs )  But at what point as a company , do you stop trying to put forth a H.M.S. Beagle that you know is really a Bounty and go back and redesign the kit and make an accurate model of the Beagle. I personally , as a kid, loved the idea of the Seeadler ( a German raider of WW1 !!!!! ) until ,like Mr. Tilley, I found out it was a reworked Eagle. Wouldn`t it be a great thrill to have Revell rework the molds and make an accurate model of the real Seeadler ?

          I think alot of us really wish Revell the best and would like to see her get some of her past glory back as she was THE main company that provided us, as kids, some of the best memories of growing up. If anyone at Revell is reading this....................please help these old ship modelers enjoy the joy of new subjects.

          What I also brought up earlier in this thread was my desire to see ship models of ships that exist today. Such as the Balclutha in San Fransisco. I think this would be tremedously well recieved , especially if it was accurate. Revell made a 1/96 model of the Kearsarge and Alabama, two ships from the Civil War. How about a 1/96 model of the Monitor and Merrimac ? Wouldn`t they be well recieved ? Wouldn`t a few ships of the Spanish-American war be a thrill? Again, clipper ships........  The Comet, Lightning, Sovereign of the Seas, an accurate Thermopylae, the list is endless. I know that creating these kits is an expensive undertaking by a company but I really believe we have enough me-109`s, spitfires, Constitutions, Cutty Sarks, and Bounty`s to last a lifetime. It`s time for new material.................... Well , I`m done for now. I`ll see you guys again in a few weeks ( my average for getting on line )

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Friday, June 3, 2016 10:05 AM

Since the original thread was posted in 2006, Revell of Germany has released three new and quite good sailing ships, the Dutch "Batavia", the Swedish "Wasa" and a 1/400 or 1/350 "Spanish Galleon".  Revell has also re-released the excellent Viking ship, and most of the older sailing ship kits (including those frauds "Beagle" and "Alabama.  Zvesda has also released several, including a nice "Golden Galleon".  Alanger had two, the Russian "Goto Predestinacia" and "Orel", both of which suffered in quality.  My point is that the plastic sailing ship industry is not quite dead.  It's gasping for air, but it does have some semblance of life.

I keep contacting the manufacturers about this issue.  Some have said that they will consider manufacturing sailing ships if they hear from other hobbyists.  That said, I encourage everyone on the forum to write to them.  I don't want to see this aspect of our hobby die!

Bill Morrison

  • Member since
    December 2012
Posted by rwiederrich on Friday, June 3, 2016 10:55 AM

Glad you bumped this thread Bill.  After rereading the original posts..I reflected on my own adventure in remodeling existing kits to my own will.  Doing ones homework is the key to a successful modification. I too wish manufacturers would create a good 1/96 scale replica of say the Great Republic.  Existing plans are available if the will was there.

Rob

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Friday, June 3, 2016 11:21 AM

Rob,

Thanks again!  I just started a thread on the Airfix Forum about this very issue.  It's called "The Death of the Sailing Ship Modeling Hobby".  I refuse to give up my efforts!

Bill

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