Vanguard Models – HMS Alert Kit Available

Good news for Chris Watton fans (designer of the kits from Amati’s Victory Models line). The first kit of his new product line, Vanguard Models, is now available, a 1/64-scale armed English cutter HMS Alert.

The Ship Modeler

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

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

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

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

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Preventing Glue Spills

A tip for those who knock over open CA glue bottles the way I do…

The Ship Modeler

Last week, I got fed up with knocking over little bottles of CA glue and finally tried to do something about it.

I’ve been using these small 1/2 oz. bottles of BSI brand cyanoacrylate glue (i.e. super glue), and I’ve found that they are very easy to knock over. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that I find the vapor inside the bottles seem to be very sensitive to heat, and expand easily when warmed. If left open, the resulting pressure increase manages to push the glue out and into a puddle on the workbench.

One thing I started to do was to keep the glues in the base of a small compartmentalized parts box. This works, but you have to keep the parts box nearby at all times when using the glue.

Recently, I left a bottle out on the bench and didn’t realize that I’d knocked it over…

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Woody Joe’s New USS Susquehanna Kit in the Works

Coming soon from the Japanese wooden kit manufacturer Woody Joe!

The Ship Modeler

I just saw an exciting post on Woody Joe’s Facebook page today. Woody Joe is developing a new 1/120-scale wooden model kit of the USS Susquehanna, one of the famous kurofune or black ships of Commodore Perry’s squadron that sailed into Edo Bay in 1853 and 1854 to force a trade treaty with Japan.

These are photos posted on Facebook by Woody Joe of their prototype. There are many details that need to be worked out yet, so there is no word yet on pricing or availability. But, it is clearly a plank-on-bulkhead kit of the 3-masted barque-rigged paddlewheel steam frigate. At 1/120 scale, the model will measure about 34″ long.

Again, no price is set yet. But, based on their kits of similar size and detail, my guess is that it will run somewhere around 45,000¥ or about $400. We’ll see how close I come to the actual total…

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Sailing Bark Uniòn in San Francisco, April 26-28

Here’s a chance to go aboard a 4-masted sailing bark visiting from Peru. The sail training ship Union will be visiting this weekend and will be open to visitors at Pier 17.

And, of course, while you’re at it, you might wan’t to head down to Hyde Street Pier to visit our own historic vessels there!

The Ship Modeler

The Peruvian 4-masted bark Uniòn will be sailing into San Francisco harbor early Friday morning to dock at Pier 17 where it will be open to visitors all weekend. The steel-hulled ship measures 378-feet overall and is reportedly the largest sailing ship in Latin America. It’s a relatively new vessel, having been commissioned just over 3 years ago.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the ship will be open for visitors on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can read the Chronicle’s article on the ship here. There are some great photos from the ship’s San Diego visit in a blog here. For facts about the ship, check out the Wikipedia entry. Ω

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My Newest Book Acquisition – The Greenwich Hospital Barge of 1832

Here’s a nice looking book on a small subject, including information on building ship’s boats.

The Ship Modeler

I’m something of a collector of ship modeling books – Well, of kits and tools and supplies too, for that matter. But, the books provide the most inspiration and learning, so they’re particularly important. Plus, they’re a nice distraction from time to time. And, you never know, maybe I’ll actually build the subject matter of the book at some point.

Today, my copy of David Antscherl’s book, The Greenwich Hospital barge of 1832, and methods of building open boats, arrived in the mail.

Many of us are familiar with David Antscherl’s other works on the excellent Swan-class sloop series and his book on the Fireship Comet and others, all published by Seawatch Books. He’s so prolific that I can’t keep up with his publications. But, this book was, frankly, the least expensive, and of a very different kind of subject, so I thought I’d go ahead and get it.

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North West Short Line to Close

Of course, there will still be the leading hobby tool company selling their own versions of the tool designs they ripped-off from NWSL and others. So, you may not be able to buy a Chopper, but you will still be able to buy a Chop-It…

The Ship Modeler

Those of you who have been building models long enough should recognize this company. While they’re primarily in the railroad model aftermarket business, they make a few products that many ship modelers have used including the well-known ‘Chopper’ products. The owner recently announced that for personal reasons, the company will cease operations on August 30, 2019.

There is always the chance that someone out there will buy the company. But with the kind of products including gear pullers, arbor press, detail sander, brass bending press, and specialty tools for railroad models, it would take someone with skill and knowhow to keep the product line going.

Of course, we’ll see second hand products on Ebay and at our local ship modeling clubs for quite some time. But, it is always sad to see a hobby industry fixture like NWSL go.

For now, the company is still in operation, so if you are…

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New Bedford Whaleboat by Tom Shea

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member Tom Shea brought in his completed New Bedford Whaleboat model at our meeting last month. Tom completed the model last year, but realized he hadn’t brought it in to a meeting in its completed form.

There were some 60,000 of these boats built by for the American whaling industry. They were sturdy boats, but put to very hard use and had life spans of not much more than three years. Today, maybe two dozen survive in maritime museums.

Tom’s is a 1/16 scale model based on a kit from Model Shipways. The kit is an excellent one, featuring plans and instruction book developed by Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr. Tom constructed a special stand that the boat sits upon and displays the all the boats oars, which are each sized differently depending on the rower’s position in the boat.

One of the most difficult parts of this kit, according to Tom, was all the small details of all the hardware carried by these boats, including harpoons, lances, compass, rope tubs, and more. In the last photo shown below, there’s even a knife in its sheath sitting on the stern platform.

Tom chose to give his model a dark, weathered finish, which really gives a feel of an old well used whaleboat – a beautifully done model. We’re all hoping it will end up on display in our ship model display cabinet outside our workshop on the Eureka. Ω