Monday, April 27, 2020

Dusty project challenge Part IV; The Golden Hind

very nice graphics, too bad about the text crowding the picture so much

       Having enjoyed building the Santa Maria in 1/350th as part of my Covid-19 lockdown inspired Dusty Project Challenge I decided to turn my gaze to a rather larger model; the Golden Hind.  This is a very much more involved kit.  It is cast in the same medium brown plastic as the Santa Maris and displays all of the flawless molding and fine detail that is a hallmark of Zvezda kits. Parts fit and finish was very nearly perfect.

the back of the box, it gives a clear idea of what you are getting

the contents, I do appreciate the bag to contain
 small parts that might have come off the sprue during handling

and the contents outside the bag

having tried vac-formed, paper and molded 
I can say without hesitation that I prefer molded sails

very nicely detailed hull parts

ratlines, thicker (and easier to use) than etched

simply superb decals 
(more on that later)

often it is easier to paint small parts while they are still on the sprue

rather than ask the modeller to paint the excessively ornate Elizabethan paint work
 Zvezda provides decals, they are dimensionally perfect and spot-on register with brilliant color

the tiny cannon snapped into place without trouble

as did the lifeboat and the deck partitions

again, all of this is snap-fitted into place

this reminded me of the cross-section pictures in the old
 National Geographic magazines, back when it was worth getting a subscription

it was a bit tricky getting the hulls sides into place past the muzzles of the cannons
 but I managed it with just a tiny amount of swearing and the clicked the hull sides together

the instructions are very good about telling you where the decals go

once the model is finished I doubt that this one will be visible 

on the other hand that one would be hard to miss 
perfectly on-register and only a fraction of an inch wide,
 these are truly spectacular decals

the decals come as separate pieces that fit perfectly on the side of the hull, 
the surrounding film is made to leave openings for the cannon ports
 and the snap-fit holes for the ratlines and stays

there is no way on God's Earth that I would try painting that
 geometric pattern on a 1/72 scale kit, and this model isn't even five inches long!

the decals really do make this model a sight to see

the masts and yards fit perfectly

as did the lower ratlines and bird's nests

its a shame the way that the blocks and ratlines hide the fancy decals!

the upper ratlines is where Zvezda went one step too far with making everything snap-fit,
on a model this tiny the tolerances cannot afford to be off at all, the upper ratlines simply would not align with the holes so I ended up clipping off the peg and gluing them in place
 (and yes, it broke my heart to have to use glue!)

that minor quibble aside they fit and look great

nothing left to do but clip on the sails

and apply the flags (also decals)

it sure looks good for a straight-out-of-the-box build

size comparison with the Santa Maria

       I really have to say that this model is absolutely top-notch. The fit and detailing was superb, the decals (which in my opinion make the model) are better than a lot of commercial "upgrade" products. In forty-five years of model building I have not seen better decals. If you are looking for a fun little project, or a great wargaming model, you would have to search for a long time to do better than this series of kits from Zvezda.


  1. That is one superb looking ship!

  2. Another fun ship. Are the two ships in scale?
    Unfortunately I don’t know much about sailing ships that aren’t 1800s napoleonic ships of the line; and even then I barely know anything. 😀

    1. Yes, al of the Zvezda kits in this project are the same scale, the next one coming down the line is MUCH larger. I'm thinking that I will wait until I'm done with all of them before I start rigging them.