A fine exhibit and publication about model ship building!

Found this blog post which is several months old now. But, we just checked with the San Diego Maritime Museum, and the exhibit, titled “Steering Small” is still open. We couldn’t find out how long it will continue to be there, so if you want to see this wonderful looking display on ship modeling, better go now!

If we find out more information, we’ll pass it along. The exhibit is in the Gould Eddy Hall aboard the ferryboat Berkeley.

Cool San Diego Sights!

An amazing ship model by artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr. One of many fantastic examples in a big, special exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. An amazing ship model by artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr. One of many fantastic examples in an extensive, special exhibition at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego currently has an exhibit that’s a lot of fun. It concerns collecting model ships and model ship building! Anyone interested in the hobby or nautical history in general should check it out!

I took a few photos to provide just a taste of what you’ll see. Bring your kids! They’ll love it!

Detailed model of a 74 gun two-decker British Ship of the Line, circa 1800. By artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr. Detailed model of a 74 gun two-decker British Ship of the Line, circa 1800. By artist Joe Frangiosa, Jr.

Half a dozen ship models in different scales of the San Salvador, historic galleon of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered San Diego Bay for Spain in 1542. Half a dozen ship models in different scales of the San Salvador, historic galleon of explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered San Diego Bay for Spain in 1542.

Tiny models of classic cruise ships, including the famous Titanic. Tiny models of classic cruise ships, including the famous Titanic.

A Native American ancient ship model. This pecked stone boat effigy was found in 2012 on San Clemente Island. It's at least 1000 years old. A Native American ancient ship model. This pecked stone…

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Photos from the Golden Hind Repair

Ship modeler Clare Hess does some repair work on this beautiful cut-away display model of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind at the visitor center at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, a short drive north of San Francisco.

The Ship Modeler

I was just sent some photos taken last Friday during the final stages of my repair work on Raymond Akers’ Golden Hind model. The model is on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

The repair work is done – yes, I finally finished a ship model related project – and the model is back in its display, with a new, more colorful backdrop.

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Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part 4

Ship modeler Clare Hess posts his progress on his group build of the Swedish Gunboat kit by Amati (Cannoniera Svedese). This is an inexpensive kit that offers some challenges as described his blog posts.

The Ship Modeler

Well, I did not end up finish this model for the IPMS show in San Jose in March. I decided to set it aside to let others in our build group catch-up, though I know that two of the members are at least as far along as I am. Anyway, I had work to do to for my display of Japanese boats, which ran from March 1st through the 31st.

Then, last weekend, we had a ship modelers’ get-together again at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. It’s been the usual 3 months since our last gathering and it was good to see the fellow ship modelers and their projects again.

Only one other member of the Swedish Gunboat Project group brought his model, but he’s new to ship modeling and pressing ahead. I originally thought I would just wait for the other two members, who have been too tied…

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New Deans Marine Shipment

If you’ve been looking for Deans Marine kits on our website, you probably noticed that we’ve been out of stock on a number of the more popular products. But, we recently received a new shipment from Deans Marine. So, if you’ve been waiting for your ship to come in, check out the new stock!

Christiaan Bruning – RC Ready kit from Deans Marine

For those of you not familiar with this line of kits from the UK, the company makes a line of very fine kits designed for RC operation. They featured fiberglass hulls and details in plastic, wood, cast alloy, resin, and photo etched brass.

There’s a wide range of subjects including harbor tugs, trawlers, warships and such. But, one of the more interesting offerings are their large, modern merchant ships.

Merchant Ship Muirneag

They offer several, mostly in 1/96 or 1/100 scales. The models are large and ready for RC operation, but they also make really interesting static displays. Their Fairwind kit, is 1/76-scale, very close to railroad modelers’ HO scale, which would make for a really interesting addition to a port side railroad layout.

1/76-scale M.V. Fairwind

The Deans Marine also produces a line of Compact kits, which is made up of smaller vessels, mostly at the same scale as the big ships. These kits are also design for RC operation, but their smaller sizes make them a bit handier to take to the water, with most models being under 20″ long.

Here’s just a small selection of the Deans Marine kits we carry. Get ready for Summer and check out the full line at Ages of Sail.

Shipment of Corel Kits Just In

Corel is one of the classic European ship model manufacturers that still produces some of the most stunning looking wooden ship model kits today. They’ve been producing classic wooden ship model kits since 1971, and their kits are among the most recognizable today.

Corel’s 74-gun ship of the line HMS Bellona.

We just received a new shipment of Corel kits, replenishing our stocks. 41 kits to choose from and everything we list in stock is ready to ship TODAY!

Corel’s 17th Century Swedish warship Wasa includes some 350 gilded metal decorations.

The Wasa Gun Deck Section is a small, but very detailed kit.

Corel is well known for their model of large 17th and 18th century warships, best suited for advanced ship modelers, but they also has a range of smaller subjects, suitable for the beginning builder, or the experienced builder looking for a smaller project.

Corel’s 1:25-scale Chesapeake Bay “Flattie”

Corel’s 1:25-scale “Sloup” French fishing boat

Check out the full range of Corel wooden ship model kits at Ages of Sail.

New Windjammer Kits Exclusive

Ages of Sail has received a shipment of three remaining  Windjammer series kits that were originally produced in 2009-2011 as a combined venture between Billing Boats USA (now part of Ages of Sail) and Billing Boats Denmark. The kits include: the Monterey Fishing Boat, the Hoga Harbor Tug and the Vikingship Nordlandsbåden. These are in stock and ready to ship.


Monterey Fishing Boat

Billing Boats Monterey Fishing Boat

The RC capable Monterey Fishing Boat is back. This 1:20-scale model measures just 19.3″ long and 5.7″ high. The prop and propeller shaft are designed for RC operation. The original Montereys were once a common sight in San Francsico where they were built as an adaptation of the Italian felucca.


Harbor Tug Hoga (YT-146)

Billing Boats Harbor Tug Hoga

The Hoga is another returning kit from Billing Boats.  She was a United States Navy Woban-class district harbor tug named after the Sioux Indian word for “fish.” After World War II, the tug was known as Port of Oakland and then City of Oakland when she was a fireboat in that city.

Launched in 1940, she was assigned to duty at Pearl Harbor. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she fought for 48 hours without a break, putting out fires, towing damaged warships and rescuing seamen.

The kit is a 1:50-scale model of this distinguished vessel measuring 24.4″ long and 12.2″ high.

Nordlandsbåden Vikingship

Billing Boats Nordlandsbåder

Nordlandsbåden is a type of Vikingship from Northern Norway, and dates from the 17th Century. As a fishing boat it saw its most popular days from the 18th Century until the appearance of engine-driven fishing boats.

These boats were extremely efficient and seaworthy. They represent a shipping culture and form which originates from the days of the Vikings. The boats are still built today, and they compete in races and regattas along the Northern coasts.

The Nordlandsbåden kit is 1:20-scale, measures 28″ long and 28″ high.

Check out these and other Billing Boats kits at Ages of Sail.







Ages of Sail at IPMS Show “Silicon Valley Classic #4”

The International Plastic Modelers Society’s Silicon Valley Scale Modelers club will be hosting a model show and contest on Saturday, March 4th in San Jose. Ages of Sail will be participating this year with a table in the vendor section. Come visit us!

See Details

The event is free to the viewing public, with a charge only for entering models in the show. It takes place at:

Napredak Hall, 770 Montague Expwy, San Jose Ca 95131

Models are mostly plastic, and mostly modern armor, aircraft, cars and sci-fi, but there are occasionally wooden and other models entered, sometimes sailing ships.

The South Bay Model Shipwrights club will have a table set up to talk to people and show them about wooden ship model building, and will be right next to the Ages of Sail table.

If you have some time on Saturday, come visit us and check out the fantastic models you’ll see on display!

AL’s Independence – Headrails and Rigging

Shipmodeler Clare Hess posts an update on his colonial schooner build, which is based on the Independence kit from Artesania Latina, but has been heavily modified using fine woods, such as castello boxwood, pear and beech, and aftermarket fittings, such as blocks, cannons, carriages, gratings, and rigging line.

The Ship Modeler

Yes, I’m finally getting around to wrapping up the Colonial Schooner Independence. I’ve worked on it here and there, but hadn’t made any blog posts about in quite some time.

The last task that I was concerned about was to construct some headrails from scratch. Mostly, this is one of those tasks which is painful, because the brain says it’s painful. In actuality, it wasn’t that bad, but did take some mental work to wrap my head around where to even begin.

I found some examples that were more complex and finally found some that were simpler. I made sure that the images of those simpler ones became embedded in my brain. So, here’s what I came up with…


I used castello boxwood for these, starting out by cutting them from thick sheet stock. Then, I cleaned them up and carved away the excess in such a way that it kind…

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Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part I

The Ship Modeler

While I haven’t really considered this among my list of current builds, I am continuing this project for our local build group project. There are still 5 of us, each working on his own model. We last got together back in late August, and I have hardly touched it, hoping that those who are a behind will have some time to get caught up.

Here are some photos showing the early progress on my model.

This kit’s hull is supposed to be single-planked using 1mm beech wood. This seemed awfully thin for a single planking layer, so we decided to use some balsa filler blocks to fill in between the frames. This worked out quite nicely. I think it was the first time any of us tried the technique.

One of the first things I did was to cut away the exposed portion of the strongback/keel. My original plan was…

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