Friday, April 24, 2020

All At Sea Dealing With The Lockdown, Long Lost Project Challenge Part III (Updated)

       Still imprisoned due to the Wuhan virus I continue to bulldoze my way through the mountain of projects lying about my basement. Now it is the turn of the 1/350th scale 17th century ships that I bought over a year ago and never even opened. Well, that has been remedied and the Zvezda kits are up to my expectations. I have to admit that when I first saw the "snap-fit" label I was prepared to be deeply disappointed but I came to respect the skill and ingenuity of the designers when I was building their 1/100 scale armor kits. The ship models display the same high level of detail, flash-free casting and perfect fit that have become a hallmark of this brand. They also have the advantage of having been designed with wargamers in mind and are made to be used as waterline models. I started with the smallest model, the Santa Maria (yes I know that is a 15th century ship, but it the only thing close to a frigate available in plastic in this scale).

another thing that I like about Zvezda, they still do proper box-art

and on the back you can see what it really looks like

the packaging is quite substantial and the model is bagged
 to stop losing small parts that might come off of the sprue

the sprues out of the bag

this is a tiny boat but the detail is delicate and crisp

I do like cast sails, 
the paper ones on the Black Seas models gave me fits

ratlines, a little on the thick side 
but at least I'm not making my own or fiddling with photo-etched bits

the decals are beautiful and whisper-thin

the deck with the bowsprit, lifeboat and guns

the detail and casting is very good
the guns are smaller than a sesame seed

 foredeck, poopdeck and masts added

so far no glue, everything snapped into place and fit was perfect

the hull sides added 

still no glue

and no gaps where the hull halves come together 

the weird cross-brace inside the hull holds everything tightly in place

looking good so far!

with the ratlines in place the masts are much sturdier,
 I was concerned when I saw the in-scale masts that they might not survive handling,
 once the ratlines snapped into place I was much happier

it was a bit fiddly during assembly
but my bratwurst-sized fingers didn't help the matter

entirely glue-free

the yards were a struggle for my fingers but I managed it

the main point of concern was the sails, they snapped into place
 and greatly strengthened the very thin yards

and there she is ready to go

now I just have to take her apart so that I can start painting and rigging

I plan on adding a row of gun-ports on each side

it really is a tiny model

the next morning I managed to get the sails off without breaking anything

which made painting a good deal easier
(wiser heads are asking "why didn't he paint it as he was putting it together?)

the decals are superb, right on register and extraordinarily thin

a quick shot of Vallejo matte spray and the sails went back on the model

although I never glued any part of the model 
I probably will go back a hit a few joints with plastic cement, just to be certain


  1. Looks like you will have the time to build the ships. As the glorious Governor has decreed you will be on lock down until the 13th Comrade Anton.

  2. Replies
    1. And superbly made; the kit snapped together without need of glue at all. I wish all kits were so well designed and cast.

  3. Neat. My experience with Zvezda boat/ship kits is that they are pretty well designed. The instructions are a that probably has something to do with either my experience with ship kits or the translations..or a bit of both.

    1. The instructions leave a great deal to be desired, but things went together well. I'm working on the Golden Hind kit right now, it is a little gem and the decals are superb, as good as anything I have ever seen.

  4. It’s like 5he size of a mosquito! Those are tiny!

  5. That did go together pretty well. Nice job. Seems like a nice little kit for preteens and teenagers.
    All Wargamers are still teenagers at heart. 😀