Hanse Kogge, Bremen 1390 – Shipyard Laser Cut Model Kit

Over the holidays, Ages of Sail received a new shipment of kits from the Polish manufacturer of paper ship model and structures kits, Shipyard. Among these were two kits released in 2019. Both are cogs,  sea-going cargo ships that were widely used in medieval Europe from the 12th through the 14th centuries.

Modern cog reconstruction.

Cogs were of lapstraked construction, with a broad and flat-bottomed hull, and commonly built of oak. The carried a single mast mounting a square sail, and were up to about 80 feet in length, with the largest carrying up to 200 tons.

We’ll be looking specifically at Shipyard’s Hanse Kogge kit, which is apparently based on a late 14th century Bremen cog of the Hanseatic League. The league formed as a confedration of trade guilds to promote commerce and mutual protection. It was formed in the late 12th century and grew to dominate Baltic trade for hundreds of years, with the cog beiung the mainstay of trade transportation.

The kit’s box cover is labeled “Ships of the Stötebeker Era”, which suggests it’s part of a series. Another kit in this series is a cog labeled the Wütender Hund Kogge. It appears to be a slightly larger cog with a forecastle structure and a menacing looking wolf’s head on the sail.

I knew nothing of the Stötebeker Era mentioned on the box cover, so I had to look it up (actually, I didn’t know a whole lot about Cogs or the Hanseatic League either). Apparently, Klaus Stötebeker was supposedly the leader of a group of privateers called the Victual Brothers. During a war between Sweden and Denmark, they were hired to fight the Danish and supply the Swedish capital. After the war, they continued to capture merchant ships, but were eventually captured and tried for piracy.


The Hanse Kogge Kit

Shipyard’s Hanse Kogge kit is only available in a laser-cut, boxed kit, unlike many of their other subjects, which are available in a standard paper model at 1/96 scale as well as a larger scale laser-cut model in 1/72 scale.

The kit comes in a large flat box. Inside are three smaller, plain cardboard boxes contain ing paints, brushes, and miscellaneous parts. A large plastic envelopes contains all the laser-cut heavy card stock sheets.

One of the really standout features of this kit is the 52-page, full-color, illustrated instruction booklet.

The booklet is full of photos showing each step of the kit’s construction. Being intended for the international market, there is very little text. What there is, is in English, German, and Polish. But, the photos seem to make each phase of construction pretty clear.


Most of the text is towards the front of the manual, with glue recommendations, and a section on how they obtained a woodgrain-like finish using the acrylic paints included in the kit. They seemed to do a good job with it, but I think it will take some practice before being able to achieve a proper finish.

I haven’t built this kit yet, so I can’t say just how complete the instructions are, but they look really good. And, as you can see, this is a very detailed kit. By all appearances, this is a very well engineered product, and looks like it should be a lot of fun to build.

Other Components

In addition to the instruction booklet, which is really big enough and appears complete enough to call it an instruction manual, there are a three large format sheets of diagrams. Specifically, there is one double-sided sheet with scale drawing of the sail and its details on one side and a short paragraph of text on the history of the ship on the other. Another double-sided sheet and one single sided sheet provide clear rigging and belaying point diagrams. Lines are clearly numbered, so it’s very easy to follow which line gets tied off where.

Miscellaneous parts and items are packed into separate cardboard boxed inside the main kit box. These include a set of paint brushes, two sizes of wire, brass belaying pins,  and parrel beads…

Six bottles of acrylic paints (from my experience, these work really nicely with paper)…

Rigging line, wooden dowels (some things are easier to make from wood on a card model), and six packages of laser-cut blocks, hearts, and deadeyes – some assembly required.


Laser Cut Cardstock Sheets

Finally, what’s a laser-cut card model without sheets of laser-cut heavy card stock?  There are seven large sheets and one smaller sheet in all. Lots of parts there. The sheets are in two different thicknesses. Plus, one large sheet and the small sheet have a glossier finish and are of thinner card stock.

One of the things that’s very intriguing about these laser-cut card models is that the planking is pre-shaped, so there is no need to learn spiling techniques to shape them corrects. This is mostly unique to laser-cut card models, though there are some exceptions, particularly with wooden kits featuring lapstraked hulls, such as viking ships.

In any case, besides these laser-cut sheets, there is one small sheet of black laser-cut card stock for the rudder hinges.

Finally, to complete the model is a pair of colorful, pre-printed flags, as well as a pre-cut, partly printed sail in two parts.

Note that I referred to the sails as partly pre-printed. That’s because they have the outlines of the printed pattern on them, but it looks like you’re required to use the included paints to fill them in. In actually, I don’t think it’s correct to say that they’re laser printed. It looks to me that they are laser-cut with the markings burned into the fabric. Hence, the lack of color.

The Finished Appearance

So, what’s the model look like when it’s all done? I haven’t built it yet, so no pictures from me personally. But, here is a full range of photos from Shipyard.


Building the Model

I’m planning on tackling this kit soon.  Since there is so much photo documentation in the kit instructions, I’ll probably limit blog posts to showing progress and mentioning any hiccups in the build process.

If you want to build your own, the kit is now in stock at Ages of Sail here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/hanse-kogge-(-shipyard-1:72-scale).html

Or, you might try your hand at the other cog kit, the Wütender Hund Kogge.

This kit makes for a slightly larger model, so it costs a little more than the Hanse Kogge kit. But, it appears to be at least as nice looking a kit. This one is also available from Ages of Sail here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/wutender-hund—kogge-(shipyard-1:72-scale).html

Look for a build log to appear here soon. Ω

H.M. Yacht Chatham by Shaun Au

I don’t know how this slipped past us. But, while cleaning up old emails, we discovered these photos sent to us by customer Shaun Au. The model is an incredibly well done model of H.M. Yacht Chatham built from the Caldercraft kit.

Caldercraft Yacht Chatham by Shaun Au

Clearly, the model was built by a ship modeler of great talent. But, it shows how beautifully one can build a relatively inexpensive wooden ship model kit.

The Yacht Chatham kit is part of Caldercraft’s Nelson’s Navy series, and all but one of the series (HMS Victory) is at a scale of 1:64. That makes this model just under 21″ long and about 18.5″ high.

Caldercraft Yacht Chatham by Shaun Au

The kit does not include sail material, nor does it provide any patterns or rigging materials. This ship modeler had worked out that part himself. Clearly, he’s done a marvelous job too.

Caldercraft Yacht Chatham by Shaun Au

Recreating the sails should not be a difficult process, but if you want to add them yourself, you’ll have to consult additional references, as patterns are not provided with the kit.

For rigging the sails, you might consider the book Rigging Period Fore-And-Aft Craft, by Lennarth Petersson, which includes a section on the cutter rig, which this is. But, again, you’ll need to create your own sail patterns if you want sails.

To build your own HM Yacht Chatham model, find the kit here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/caldercraft-ship-kit/nelson-s-navy/caldercraft-chatham.html

The model photos now appear on our Customer Gallery page.

Spanish Galleon Kit – Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is a 1/72-scale wooden model kit of a 16th century Spanish galleon. It’s a new kit from Disar Model of Spain. It’s a plank-on-bulkhead kit that features laser-cut structural parts and high quality woods for planking.

The ship is a beautiful four-masted galleon, which is rigged with square sails on the first two masts and lateen sails on the last two.

This new kit from Disar Model of Spain is now in stock in limited supply. As with all Disar Model kits, this kit includes step-by-step photographic instructions, so you can see how to build it. A full set of fittings of metal and wood are included. Colorful flags and a set of pre-sewn sails are included.

The Santiago de Compostela model measures about 29.5″ long and 20.4″ tall when complete and will make for a beautiful display in your home or office.

Order yours here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/santiago-de-compostela-(disar,-1-72).html

Or check out the full line of Disar Model kits here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/disar-model.html


New Shipment of Card Model Kits from Shipyard

Over the holidays, we got in a new shipment of kits from the Polish manufacturer of paper ship model and structures kits, Shipyard.

The shipment replenishes most of our stocks of kits, including the big 1/72 scale laser-cut HMS Mercury and HMS Wolf kits.

The best news, though, is that we are now carrying two new ship model kits from Shipyard. These are two 1/72 scale laser-cut kits of Cogs of medieval Europe. These ships were clinker-built vessels with a single mast and a single square sail.

We will have these kits listed as soon as get caught up from the holidays. Stay tuned for more announcements about these two exciting new kits. Ω


Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 11: Standing Rigging

Rigging has started on this build of Billing Boats 1/60-scale beginner-level kit, the fishing boat Dana. This kit is popular due to it’s pricing (only $69!), simplified construction using a vaccu-formed plastic hull, and the interesting and attractive subject.

Ship Modeler

Waxing the Line

Before getting started, I should point out that rigging line gets fuzzy because of the short threads used. To minimize fuzziness, it helps to run the line through a piece of beeswax before using it. Now, this is where paying for this more expensive rigging line from Syren Ship Model Company comes in handy, it’s pre-waxed and fuzz free, so this was a task I didn’t need to deal with.

Bowsprit Guys

The lines that run from the end of the bowsprit back to the sides of the hull are the bowsprit guys. These are probably the easiest to install of all the standing rigging. I used the smaller sized rigging line for these. Attaching these required eyebolts near the tip of the bowsprit, as well as as below the rail, about an inch back from the bow. I simply knotted the line at the eyebolts and…

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Expedited Holiday Shipping on Kit Orders Now through Friday, 12/20

Get it by Christmas!

Here’s a special offer for the holidays – If place your domestic order for any kit with us by Friday, December 20, and pay for standard shipping, we’ll automatically upgrade your shipping for free, so that your order will arrive by Christmas.

To qualify for the free upgraded shipping, you just need to order any kit. Need some fittings, glue, tools? No problem, as long as there is a kit in your order, the whole order will go out with the upgraded shipping.

New Kit From OcCre Models – Whale Ship Essex – Now in Stock!

We just received a new shipment from OcCre Models of Spain, and it includes the brand new wooden ship model kit the Essex.

The Essex was an American whale ship launch from Nantucket in 1799. During a whaling voyage in the Pacific Ocean in 1820, the ship was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale. The story of the Esssex became the basis for Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick.

But, as much of a classic the story of Moby Dick was, the true story of the Essex was a more harrowing tale, as 20 of the ship’s crew managed to take to the ship’s boats. After 3 months at sea, only 8 people survived, resorting to cannibalism to stay alive. They even resorted to drawing lots to determine who was to die to save the others.

The true story of the Essex was the subject of the novel In The Heart of the Sea, which in 2015 was made into a major motion picture. The story was also the subject of the 2010 PBS documentary Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World.

For some inspiration, check out this trailer from the 2015 film In the Heart of the Sea:

And this introduction to the Essex and whaling from the 2010 PBS documentary Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World:

The Essex kit itself is a 1/60-scale wooden model ship kit that features a double plank-on-bulkhead construction. The kit we sell includes a full set of pre-sewn sails.

What could make this kit even better? How about a series of 59 videos showing you each step of construction! View them here:

Best part of this kit may be the special introductory pricing offer we have here at Ages of Sail. Buy the kit, regularly $209, for only $129!

CLICK HERE to buy yours now at Ages of Sail






12 Days of Sail – Holiday Sale


“12 Days of Sails” Sale

at Ages of Sail

Every day, we have different model kits on sale. Find what you want to buy on the list below and visit us on that day to get the discount on the listed items. You can click on the image below to enlarge it.

Sale items and prices are limited to quantity on hand.


New version of the big Andrea Gail Kit now in stock!

The Big 1/30-scale Andrea Gail kit from Billing Boats is back in stock at Ages of Sail, but it’s changed. This is a whole new version!

The Andrea Gail is the American fishing boat made famous by the film “The Perfect Storm”. This kit now features a wooden hull, using wooden planking and laser-cut framing, and measures about 28″ long. It is designed for either static display or RC operation and lists for $329.99. Check it out now at Ages of Sail: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/andrea-gail-(1:30,-billing-boats).html

Make sure to take advantage of our Black Friday sale this weekend to get this kit for 10% off!

Black Friday Sale



at Ages of Sail


10% off all products, including our recently reduced Amati line of kits. Save on all kits, tools, collectibles, plans, books, supplies… No coupon needed.

In addition, we’ve got special Black Friday discounted prices on all kits from Disar and CCV.


Sale is limited to stock on hand, so grab what you can while supplies last! Sale prices good from Friday, 11/28. through midnight, Sunday, 11/30.