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

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


HMS Beagle Pre-Orders Now Being Accepted with Discount

They’re on their way!

OcCre just informed us that the HMS Beagle kits have officially been released. We have a large shipment now on its way and they should be here within the next two weeks. To minimize your wait time for this exciting new kit release, we’re now accepting pre-orders.

Pre-Order Now, and we’ll send your order as soon as the kits arrive. What’s more, we’re discounting the kit by 10% off its retail price of $209, making it an even greater value than it already is, at $188.10.


HMS Beagle became famous for her survey voyages when a passenger on her second expedition, a young naturalist named Charles Darwin, wrote his famous work On the Origin of Species.

The ship was built as one of the Cherokee-class of 10-gun brig sloops, and was launched in the Thames River on May 11, 1820, at the Wollwich shipyards. In July of that same year, as part of the celebrations for the coronation of King George IV, it was the first man-of-war to sail under the new London Bridge.

In 1825, her armament was reduced and a mizzen mast was added, changing her to a barque rig, at which time she was fitted out for service as a survey ship.


OcCre’s is a 1/60-scale kit is based on the ship’s 1825 specifications, and features laser-cut parts for the framework, and double plank-on-bulkhead hull construction for ease of build.

High quality wood strips are provided for hull and deck planking, wooden dowels for masts and yards, and a full set of fittings in wood, brass, and cast metal, as well as a sheet of photo-etched brass detail parts. The kit also includes colorful flags, rigging cord, display cradle, and a full set of pre-sewn sails. A pictoral instruction book and plans sheets make for an easy to understand build.

What’s more, if you want a little extra guidance on building this kit, OcCre has prepared a series of 30 short Youtube videos, each between 30 seconds to 2-1/2 minutes long, illustrating the steps of the build.

To see the whole series of videos, go to: https://youtu.be/JIKFtMwKj0Q

We’re really excited about this kit and expect it to sell very well. We have a good supply of them coming in, but if you want to make sure and want to get it at the discounted price of $188.10, order now:


Coming Soon!

I’m sure you can figure out what ship this is.


We don’t have an exact date of delivery, nor do we have pricing. But, this kit from OcCre of Spain is a 1:60-scale wooden ship model kit that will measure a bit over 28″ long and just under 19″ tall. We’re hoping to have them in March sometime.

Figured it out yet? Think ships of exploration…


SLEEPING CAR of the 1929 ORIENT EXPRESS – Super Detailed Kit

Amati Model has outdone themselves with the release of this new kit. It is a 1/32-scale model kit of the Sleeping Car of the famed Orient Express, known for luxurious accomodations and international travel across Europe, connecting locations as far as Calais, Istanbul, and Athens.

The new Amati kit measures over 28″ in length and features multimedia construction, using high quality wood, parts of photo-etched brass and nickel-silver, highly detail metal casting, and more.

The model features a super detailed interior and a removable roof top, so you can access it all.

The kit, which will be in stock very soon, is a very high-end kit and lists for $1199, but we will have a special introductory sale price of $999.

While your waiting to purchase yours, check out this teaser video posted by Amati


As soon as our shipment of the new kit comes in, which should be in the next week or so, you’ll be able to order one here: https://www.agesofsail.com/ecommerce/orient-express-sleeping-car—amati—new!!!.html 


New Colin Archer Kit from Billing Boats Available Now

Several years ago, Billing Boats’ popular 1:15-scale kit of the salvage ship Colin Archer was discontinued. The kit was very big, at about 50″ long, and featured an ABS plastic hull and was suitable for RC operation.

New, BB728 Colin Archer wooden hulled, expert level ship model kit.

Billing Boats has just released a new version of the Colin Archer kit at the same 1:15 scale. But, now, the kit features a wooden plank-on-bulkhead construction hull. The size, construction, and detail have earned this kit an EXPERT level rating. So, make sure you’re ready to take on a kit of this difficulty level before starting your build.

Ages of Sail and our sister site Billing Boats USA now have this kit available. It is one of Billing Boats largest, and lists for $789.95. But, if you’ve been following this blog or our Facebook posts, you’ll know that we currently have a Black Friday Sale that will continue up through midnight tonight. So, you can get this kit now from Ages of Sail, and save $79 by phoning in your order. Your order will also qualify for free shipping as part of our Black Friday special.

Now’s the time to get your big Colin Archer kit!

Call 510-889-6000

If you are only able to reach our operators, just leave your name and number and tell them you want to place an order. We’ll call you back and will honor the special sale pricing.

Two More New Easy Build Kits from Amati

Amati just released two more kits of their 1st Step series of easy to build ship model kits, bringing the series to a total of 6 kits.

Up to this point, we’ve had the Pirate Ship, the Elizabethan Galleon, the HMS Bounty and the Santa Maria. Amati has just added the Niña and the Mayflower, two famous ships that brought Europeans to the “New World”.

Amati’s 1st Step Mayflower


Amati’s 1st Step Niña

The new products are both about 1:135 scale like most of the 1st Step kits, and include pre-shaped hulls with a unique, self-aligning design that sandwiches a laser-cut board that includes the keel, stem and stern post, between two halves of the hull, making for a perfectly shaped hull.

The kit includes laser-cut parts, a variety of dowels and strip woods, wood and metal fittings, sail cloth, rigging line, a wooden stand and pedestals to display your completed model, and a printed sheet of flags, and in some cases, colorful hull decorations. Includes an easy to follow, fold-out sheet of step-by-step directions written in English and Italian.

Here are some photos of what you’ll get in a typical 1st Step kit, showing the 1st Step Elizabethan Galleon kit.





These are ideal starter kits and require only basic tools, glue, and paints. They also make great projects for more experienced modelers who just want something fun and quick to build.

Check out these and the other newest kits from Amati Model at Ages of Sail: