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Cutty Sark

Academy 1/150 Cutty Sark Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2008 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Cutty Sark Scale 1/150
Kit Number 14403 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Very easy build, nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $59.95

 

 

First Look

Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark
Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark was a clipper, a merchant vessel built in the mid-1800s for conducting international maritime trade. The Cutty Sark was pitted against a new threat, the steam ship Thermopylae, in a race to move tea from China back to Britain. While the Cutty Sark was faster, she still lost the race due to the loss of her rudder. Even so, she arrived only a week after Thermopylae using a makeshift rudder to complete the voyage. This was the beginning of the end for clippers as the steamship era was here to stay.

Even so, Cutty Sark continued service in the wool trade between Australia and Britain. Near the turn of the century, Cutty Sark was sold to a Portuguese firm and performed odd jobs before being reacquired and returned to Greenwich.

The Cutty Sark had been placed on exhibit in Greenwich as part of a maritime museum in 1954 and was nearly destroyed by fire in 2007 during restoration.

The Cutty Sark is a rather popular kit subject with numerous offerings from Revell, Aoshima, and Academy, all in different scales. This newest release from Academy puts the vessel in 1/150 scale, and like the engineering that went with the Titanic, Academy produced the kit to suit a wide range of skill levels.

The kit is molded in several colors:

  • There are three trees molded in black for the rigging and display stand, plus the two hull halves also in black
  • One tree molded in tan provides the main deck sections
  • Three trees are molded in dark brown for the masts, long boats, and deck details
  • One tree is provided in white styrene with railings and other details

Three sheets of vacuformed plastic provide the various sails should you want to pose your model underway. You'll have to roll your own sails if you want to display your model without its sails unfurled.

The kit is rounded out with an ample supply of thread for rigging the model and a set of decals to provide depth markings and her registration on the stern.

For the basic modeler, you could simply assemble the model without paint or rigging (or sails) and still have a very nice looking result. This was the same philosophy applied to their Titanic kits as well.

For the experienced modelers though, you'll want to take the extra time to paint and detail all of the nice features molded into the kit. The kit has done the dirty work with styrene rat lines, but you can do those in thread as well. The instructions do show how to rig this model, though in this scale they don't go to the extreme of showing you the various knots used. They assume that most modelers will use a drop of cyano to place the rigging and simulate knots. You do have options.

If you've been interested in trying a 'tall ship' but not getting dragged into extreme details with cannons, brass monkeys, and lots of complex rigging found in warships of the day, then this clipper is just what the doctor ordered.

Definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!

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