I have seen and examined an old Mantua/Sergal kit of the Sovereign of the the Seas about 40 years ago. It appeared very high quality but not sure about accuracy and I have heard reports that later versions may not be as good. ZHL have a version of the SOS in 1/60 scale in this link that I know nothing about but has superb wooden carvings. Not sure of the maker but seems no one else has it for sale. http://www.woodmodelboatbuilder.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=4
Unbelievable: that price of 400 bucks looks more like the price of the upgrade kit alone.
By the way, there is no doubt that the ZHL offerings are again the best rendering of both the Soleil Royal and the Royal Sovereign. I would not comment on the Sergal Soleil Royal which is a much more recent kit than the Sovereign, but the latter one from the models I have seen, has very poor metal fittings, as if the mould had lost its quality over the years. On the other hand, the ZHL products are in my opinion marred by their side galleries, that curiously do not blend into the ship's lines. Soleil Royal IN MY OPINION, has side galleries that droop back a little, while Sovereign of the Seas have them very stiff, so much so that on the model on their site, the forward side of their lower gallery does not reach the hull. Anyway, these kits still have an enormous potential and are, as such, brilliant alternatives to the Italian kit.
Oh, just a last point: in my humble opinion, the best Soleil Royal kit is still the plastic Heller kit: has a manageable size, leaves room for improvement, will stretch your painting skills, and yes is has the most elegant stern galleries (lower galleries with rounded off corners: beautiful, statues that mend into the galleries (those by ZHL look a little heavy, I think)
Does anyone know other beatiful schips? Also with some clear instructions? Dont know who the best kits produces. If i see the price the man who bought the wilhelm for then is 850 euro bit to much for what you get. Want to buy high quality kit of a beatiful ship. So i have a goal for saving money for it when the trinidad is finnished. Wilhelm is good for learning curve. Thats why i bought the kit second hand. But 850 euro is to much for this kit and what you get for it. Good drawings but a lot of things are not worth the price.
I didn't build it as I found the Caroline just after it.
I paid something like €650,- euro or so. Was a special christmas price for the complete kit via the uk deagostini site. Caroline is nearly 3x as much incl tax and shipping.
Looks good but cant you build it and leave the paint away. Looks bit like christmas tree. You cant order it as complete kit only in parts for 24 months. Is it good quality? Some say its oké and others dont like it.
ZHL's Sovereign kit is very good in quality. But unfortunately it is historically just as wrong as the construction kit of mantua / Sergal. The first thing that strikes ZHL is the Stuart coat of arms on the Stern. The Sovereign did not have that, at any time until her death in 1696. Also, the deadeye were not round but triangular and the mizzen mast channel did not exist according to the existing drawings. I'll never understand why, when you make something new, it does not make it to the state of science.
Better is the DeAgostini. He is just not in the specified scale of 1:84. I measured the keel and got to 1:72. The kit also contains some mistakes, but not as rough as ZHL or Mantua / Sergal. Incidentally, the Mantua / Sergal Bukasten is based on the reconstruction of the ship by shipbuilder Seppings from 1830. This reconstruction has since been removed from the museum in London because it was very poor.
These are just a few facts of mine, you can build what you want. Please do not misunderstand, I just want to point out the errors, the kits are very expensive.