Mariefred by Nordic Class Boats – Ship Modeler Bob Burnside Shares His Photos


We just heard from one of our customers, Bob Burnside, that he recently completed his build of the s/s Mariefred, a 1/32-scale model of a Swedish coastal steamer.

According to the manufacturer’s website “s/s Mariefred is the steamship that is owned by Gripsholms-Mariefreds Ångfartygs AB and has been serving the route Stockholm – Enhörna – Mariefred since 1903. It is probably the ship that has been serving the same route for the longest consecutive years and still doing it with it’s original steamengine. The ship is an important part of shipping history in the lake Mälaren and it is in service every summer.”

Bob went an extra step and added interior LED lighting. You can visit his build log on The NRG’s Model Ship World.




In the last photo, while it is a daylight shot, if you look closely, you can see the LEDs Bob installed in the model’s interior. Compare this with the middle photo and you’ll definitely see the light!

This beautifully built model is just over 3′ long. If you’re interested in building one yourself, you can find it on Ages of Sail, the U.S. Distributor for kits from Nordic Class Boats. Ω

A Good Beginning Ship Model Kit – Amati’s America’s Cup Kits

“What’s a good kit for a beginning ship modeler?”

That’s a question that gets asked a lot here. The answer can depend on a number of things, such as the builder’s experience with other model kits, plastic or wood. Some people come to ship modeling with a woodworking background, some are youngsters who want to try it out or have a parent/grandparent wanting to start them off. Others are recently retired and have always wanted to build a ship model.

Whatever your situation, here is one recommendation that will probably work for many. Amati Model makes a series of 1/80-scale America’s Cup boat kits. These are the J-boats, the classic racers from the early 20th century that were fast but also elegant.

Shamrock V, 1930 Challenger

Shamrock V, 1930 Challenger

Rainbow, 1934 Defender

Rainbow, 1934 Defender

Amati makes several different types of America’s Cup kits, but their 1/80-scale kits in particular are ideal for the beginning ship modeler. The models are about 18” long and around 27” tall when completed and will look very nice, displayed on any bookcase or mantle.

There are actually two different lines of America’s Cup kits in 1/80-scale. There are the pre-carved hull kits and then there are the planked-on-bulkhead kits with tools included.

The two different lines of kits are virtually the same except for the hulls and the inclusion of some simple tools in the plank-on-bulkhead kits.

In both cases, the kits require the builder to plank the decks using thin veneer strips included in the kit. This is a little more of a challenge that some kits because the planks follow the curve of the hull instead of laying in straight lines, parallel with the centerline of the boat.

The deck details should be the fun part of the build, making the skylights and hatches, adding the steering wheel, the brass safety railing along the edge of the deck, winches, etc. The parts are all provided as laser-cut wood, photo-etched brass, or other metal parts. There is just enough detail here to be challenging and fun, and this is when the boat starts to come to life.

These racers had pretty simple rigging compared to the old square-rigged ships, giving the builder an opportunity to get the taste of working with some rigging without getting overwhelmed. Sails are included in the kit and require no sewing, just a little need and thread work to lace them to the lace them into place.

The large mast and boom present a basic challenge that is actually quite different from most sailing ships. This is because of the more modern nature of these boats. But, that will make for a nice simple challenge.

Pre-carved hull of the Enterprise. This one is actually from the older resin hull kits that Amati used to produce, but the wood hulls look exactly the same.

Pre-carved hull of the Enterprise. This one is actually from the older resin hull kits that Amati used to produce, but the wood hulls look exactly the same.

Going back to the hull itself, the two lines of kits give you a very nice option here. The pre-carved hulls are almost ready to go, right out of the box, and are the quickest and easiest way to have a completed model.




The plank-on-bulkhead hulls offer a bit more challenge since you have to build up the hull frame and then plank over it, but the shape of these hulls are far easier to plank that the apple-bowed hulls of the 18th Century. So, unless you’re looking for quickest finish, this is a great way to go. The extra challenge will start you on the path, better preparing you for your next ship modeling challenge.

Hull construction of the Rainbow. Image is right from the detailed kit instructions.

Hull construction of the Rainbow. Image is right from the detailed kit instructions. You may notice the Italian text. Don’t worry, an English language booklet translates all the instructions clearly.

In either case, you’re going to need to finish the hull with a nice paint job, or possibly, in the case of the planked model, by giving it a clear coat to show off your fancy woodwork.

In the end, you’ll have something you’ll be proud to display in your home, in fairly short order. The relatively low price, ease of construction, and finished beauty should make this a great first kit for you or someone you know. Even an experienced ship modeler will enjoy one of these.

Buying a Kit
Ages of Sail has the full selection of these kits. Buy just the kit, or as part of a combo set that includes glues and a recommended book on ship modeling.

Pre-Carved Hull Kits:
1700/50 Endeavour, 1934 Challenger
1700/51 Rainbow, 1934 Defender
1700/52 Enterprise, 1930 Defender
1700/53 Shamrock V, 1930 Challenger
1700/54 Ranger, 1937 Defender

Plank-on-Bulkhead Kits with Tools:
1700/10 Endeavour, 1934 Challenger
1700/11 Rainbow, 1934 Defender

Watch our blog for a detailed look at Amati’s 1/80-scale plank-on-bulkhead Rainbow, 1934 Defender kit, coming soon! Ω

Oseberg Kits from Billing Boats are In Stock!

After trying to get these kits back in stock for months, we’ve finally gotten a nice shipment of 23 Oseberg kit in from Billing Boats. These have been really difficult to get, but we got ’em just this week. Get yours now, while they last!


You can order yours through either Ages of Sail or our Billing Boats USA site or by calling us directly at (510) 889-6000.

New Combo Sets Just Added

Though the holidays are past and we’re into a new year new, we’ve decided to keep our Holiday Combo Sets, and we’re keeping the pricing the same and we’ve even added two more!

We now have Combo Set #5 which features the Q-Ship “Hunter” by Amati. This neat schooner rigged ship is an example of the lengths that the Allies went to in order to stop the menacing German U-Boats. Q-Ships would look and operate like an unsuspecting merchant ship to lure the hungry U-Boats in close. They would then spring into action, unveiling hidden armament in an attempt to sink the U-Boat.


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This kit features a lot of etched brass parts and hidden armament under removable covers. A very unique model. You can buy the kit separately or as part of this combo set.

Order Combo Set #5

Order the Q-Ship “Hunter” Kit


The other set is Combo Set #6, featuring the cutter rigged ship Lady Nelson. This is a really nice kit from Amati that is part of their Victory Models line developed by master modeler Chris Watton. This is a 1/64-scale (3/16″ = 1′) model of a classic, 18th century, armed English cutter-rigged ship.

This 1/64-scale kit is a great for intermediate modelers and a nice challenging kit for beginners. The plank-on-bulkhead kit features high quality woods, laser cut wood parts and metal parts, including photoetched brass parts. Comprehensive plans and instructions and even a display base. The completed model measures about 21″ long and 20″ high. The kit is now available as part of a combo set that includes tools, glues and the classic ship modeling book Ship Modeling from Stem to Stern




 Already have all the basics to get started in ship modeling? The Lady Nelson is available separately too.


Order Combo Set #6

Order the Lady Nelson Kit

New Kit Just Arrived – OcCre’s English Galleon “Revenge”

We’ve been waiting for delivery of these new kits from OcCre of Spain. The Revenge comes in 1:85-Scale and measures just over 27″ long and about 22.4″ high. Plank-on-bulkhead kit includes English instructions, with step-by-step images of assembly, planking in sapelle, walnut and lime wood. Fittings come in cast metal, wood, and turned brass. Includes sewn sails set that just needs to be rigged.

Not getting what you want for Christmas? Get “Revenge” – Well, you know what we mean…


Revenge C revenge A Revenge B


Buy Your’s Now at Ages of Sail.