Choice of Royal Caroline Kits

ir3

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#1
Not sure this is the right place for this.

I am searching out the sources for the Royal Caroline kit. So far there are 3 main sources, Panart/Mantua, 1/30 scale from Asia and 1/50 scale from Asia. I find the kits from Asia have outstanding decoration carvings and while the instructions are usually in Chinese, the videos are very explicit in the construction techniques and very easy to follow. There is also the wealth of information on this site as well as others. The Panart/Mantua kit also appears reasonable although I have heard some dissatisfaction with the cast decorations. I would like to hear from others about the choice of kits. I am leaning towards the 1/30 or 1/50 kits only because of the quality of the ornaments.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks in advance,

Iran Ausley
 

janos

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#2
Iran
I am a bit one-sided here because I don't really know the details about the Chinese kits. I used the Mantua kit to build my Royal Caroline (only the bulkheads) in combination with the Bellabarba-book. As I wanted to pair the decorations, carved on the book's diagrams with the hull I found big differences mainly in vertical dimensions. The kit hull just does not match the drawings. Then I read that the RC hull is the same as the Mantua Peregrine Galley hull - they just did not want to worry to develop a new hull for RC so they used Peregrine's in the RC kit as well... so be aware of the discrepancies if you want to go this way. Otherwise the cast decorations are up to... so they are unuseable as are a few other parts of the kit (gun barrels among others). At the other hand - and this is the side I only read about - the Chinese kits CNC carved pearwood decorations seem to be exceptional (just remember to remove the sharp edges of the rear of the decos) and also the hull and other details are very well done. Even inside details (cabin etc) are available so a beautiful model can be built of it. Would I buy the Chinese kit? Probably yes if I could have found a dressed-down version without the CNC decos - only because I love to make my own carvings. But if someone is not interested in making some European Boxwood dust then the Chinese kits are highly recommended above the Italian one!
Janos
 

ir3

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#3
Thank you Janos, much appreciated. I will go with the Chinese kit, now to determine the scale. 1/50 is very manageable but the 1/30 presents very well, though a bit big.

Iran
 

Maarten

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#4
Hi Iran,

I am currently building the ZHL 1/30 Royal Caroline in the boxwood version with masts and rigging. This is a very impressive kit of the highest quality I have seen in model ship building to the finest details.
I don't know your skill level and budget, if you are starting with the hobby or already have some experience. If you can build according drawings and this is not your first model then the ZHL 1/30 build is straight forward and you don't mis the chineese guidelines. The videos on the dvd's can help you out when you get stucked, and offcourse you can always ask us on the forum.

I haven't seen the smaller RC from ZHL in real but I am very satisfied with the 1/30 scale model and surely recommend it. If you are a starter then you can start with the much cheaper 1/50 model which also looks high quality from the pictures.

Hope this helps.

Regs, Maarten
 

ir3

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#5
Thank you Maarten for your reply. I am following your build of the 1/30 scale. Very nice work. I do have the DVD, not sure why, and it is very easy to follow. The seller from China says a English set of instructions will be available. I think that the 1/30 is the one I will build. Your build thread will be very helpful and Yes, I do ask a lot of questions.

Iran
 

Donnie

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#6
I always go with the larger scale mainly due to the ability of more room, easier to see the parts. The larger scale allows for more details if you wish. The Larger scale gives you more realism to play around with. Now that i my personal take on it. Like I think it was mentioned is the price. Some modelers do not like the larger scale and that is fine too. The smaller scale can be completed quicker too. I personally would go with the China RC.

As a side note, last year, I bought the Panart San Felipe. I was amazed at how much lazer cut parts there were. Very impressive. However, I also found the downside to that as well and that is fitment. Not all the lazer cut parts can fit all that best, while some do. The point is that it is all a trade off anyway.

Not meaning to be so wordy here, but as an example, on my Felipe, the entire upper planking (where the gun ports are) was all two piece lazer cut part. All I had to do was to punch out the lzaer cut openings for the gun ports - how easy is that ?? Well, the downside is that you can tell that Panart tried to make the planking look real, and I heavily modified those two pieces to "make" it look more like real planking rather than a one piece false planking. Faster - yes, but realism of having each individual planking is missing. However, I am still happy with the way my San Felipe is turning out, but I have done a lot of extras to it. Also, all of the decking is false. Not bad if you do not feel like laying down individual deck planking....now that part did appeal to me. Again, pro and con of it all will drive you nutty a little. I wish I had bought the China version of San Felipe, but China kind of being new on the scene, I was a little weary of it. Now it seems they are excelling in the quality of parts and manufacturing of the kits. China kits are also welcome on SOS to be built here.
 

neptune

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#7
G'day Iran, I am also building the Royal Caroline at 1/30, but mine was the cheaper Pear Wood carvings, I used a Rose wood Wax Polish on my carvings and I am really pleased with them, as I am with the whole kit, I have never built any kit like this, but has as been said, you need to have a bit of experience.
Also with the 1/50 I think you get metal castings and have to buy an upgrade set of Pear wood carvings, if you want wood.
Hope this helps you a bit, best of luck, I do not think you will regret buying a 1/30 Royal Caroline,

best regards John.
 

ir3

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#8
Thanks for all the input. The boxwood version of the 1/30 scale has been ordered. I'm sure I will have a lot of questions as I move along.

Cheers,

Iran

Sorry John for not mentioning your build. With both threads it will make construction much easier.
 

Maarten

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#9
Hi Iran,

Congratulations, this will provide you lots of fun.
Would be great if you would also start a log of your build too. In the end every model will be slightly different which is nice to see during the build.

Regs, Maarten.
 

ir3

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#10
Fellow SOS members,

After giving it careful consideration and being my personal decision I chose to cancel the purchase of the ZHL Royal Caroline kit. There is a lot of ship model kit piracy that takes place in China and I can not lend my support to those companies that do. In another area of ship modeling the Chinese are duplicating steam engines and steam plants whose designs have taken years to develop by other manufacturers. I saw this happening and I made the decision not to buy Steam Plant products from China. I should have considered this very carefully when I started this thread but soon came to the realization that buying the kit from ZHL would be no different than buying a steam plant from one of the Chinese manufactures.
 

Donnie

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#11
Interesting that you changed your mind. I am sure that your decision will impact the industry greatly ! (sorry for the slight sarcasm) Not too sure what you are concerned about. This has been going on in other industries for years and years. Nothing new. As far as I am concerned, the burden falls on the designer of the product and how well they protect their product. It is unfortunate that this practice goes on, but that is life and I certainly would not worry about a kit. You must have other concerns you are not expressing here / maybe ?
 

Maarten

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#12
Hi Iran,

Ofcourse fully your own choice.
But the Royal Caroline model is not a copy from another manufactorer and is a full Chinese development.
Yes in the Chinese market copyright seems sometime to mean the right to copy but that seems to be something we have to deal with. Purchasing these new develloped kits, which no other manufactorer can offer, globally most probably helps the market to change from a rib off market to a more mature market with new very high quality standards and where excisting manufactorers are also forced to bring higher quality kits to the market. We are not buying these kit for being a cheap rip off but simply because we can't get this high standard anywhere else.
If we look to models like the RC from ZHL or the Enterprize and Bellona from COF then these are very high standards and every one closing its eyes for that is missing a great opportunity, because with these models the Chinese manufactorers are leading the way.

Regs Maarten
 

Donnie

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#13
I think for way too long the other kit manufactures have not taken its customer base too seriously and just threw stuff out there whatever and not truly invest in good materials, plans, instructions, carvings and the list goes on. Maybe this will shake up the market and make the other manufactures produce a kit worth something.

Answer this one ? How many HMS Victory kits are out there now? Just about every manufacture has their hands on "their version" of the HMS Victory, but no one addresses this.....and I can also list several other "versions" of other kits that other manufactures have re-produced.

Its has become a sad day when people can't do and build what they want to without being shamed or being controlled.
 

ADC

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#14
I have looked at the issue of intellectual property and copying closely over the years. In China copying others ideas or work has happened for thousands of years. It is not immoral as to them as the concept of intellectual property never existed. It is not a desire to cheat or obtain an unfair advantage. They are transparent in what they do unlike in the West were the same thing happens everywhere in an underhanded self serving and hypocritical way. Trying to get the Chinese to stop copying is like trying to get Americans to give up guns or Australians to stop drinking beer. It’s not going to happen.

Thomas Edison lauded as a genius and national hero could be accused by many of being the worlds biggest thief and patenter of other people’s inventions and ideas. He was also ruthless in getting his lawyers to pursue anyone who he felt infringed his patents as well as any competitors with similar ideas to his business. For this reason Hollywood was created as film makers moved to California to escape his agents and eventually surpassed Edison with new innovations.
The Wright Brothers obsession with controlling ideas and patents crippled the US aero industry and made their company irrelevant with their relentless pursuit of competitors. European manufacturers ignored them and advanced the industry in huge leaps. During WW1 the US had to buy many of their aircraft designs from the French and Italians as their aircraft industry was plagued by inertia and backwardness due to the Wright Brothers constant interfering with progress. Eventually the government had to step in to stop the nonsense which was damaging the country’s industry and advancement of technology.
Disney Corporation has made sure that many old classic films rot in archives never to be restored or seen again due to their continuing use of their industry and political clout to keep extending copyright expiration dates not just for their products but for everyone else’s. Just to keep making money on a fraction of their products and trashing the rest that do not make money.

The fashion industry is built on copying others ideas. My niece who studied fashion design at a prestigious design school got a job with a respected fashion house and her brief was trawling the net for other makers ideas, going into shops to try on and photograph clothes secretly and buy samples to copy with a few tweaks to make their products look different. One can be certain that 99% of ones wardrobe is made up entirely of copied work to a degree. I can go on and on with numerous other examples I am familiar with.

Personally I would not buy any of these Chinese kits if they were just straight out copies of other manufacturers. But at the moment they are are the only ones that are advancing the hobby with these great new kits. They are not cheap knockoffs and can easily be considered the best available. Now that I am back into the hobby I find it poignant to observe how static and moribund things are with established makers. Kits have changed very little from the 1970’s. Tired old designs and poor to average materials for the most. Progress should not be stopped by artificial barriers that inhibit innovation and quality to protect vested interests. Until the established kit makers lift their game I know where I will be spending my money.
 

Brian077

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#15
Irs,
I'm afraid you come across as being insincere and I wonder if you are just trying to stir up trouble ?

We don't need this sort of nonsense on our forum.
 

Donnie

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#16
ADC. Very well said. And it is even more pitiful that anyone that builds a China kit here on SOS runs the risk of getting booted from somewhere else. No, I am not making a false statement nor the intent to speak coarsely about anyone, place or thing, but all motivations (discouraging the spirit of the hobby) should be checked.
..and..
Thank you Brian.
...and...
furthermore, for anyone lurking and probing around. If you do not like what you are reading and disagree, and get huffy or puffy, then leave.
 

Aussie048

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#17
I totally agree Donnie.

Who invented th Car

Who invented the point that ran our cars year ago

Who invented the computer that run our cars these days

The list could go on.

One manufacturer should prove there case against another.
 

GaryM

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#18
I agree with ADC. Models from Mantua have deteriorated in quality and authenticity with each revision and have not helped the industry. Other companies have had the same design for decades and have not made much change. We have demanded better kits for years and have send in corrections to things that are very wrong and been ignored.
Finally a company is producing kits that exceed what has been available and give great instructions with pictures of each step. This type of instructions should have been standard 50 years ago. I support the idea of these great kits and the progress it should bring to ship modeling.
Competition is what moves the industry forward in any consumer market. Without competition, nothing gets better and does what this industry has done. It has made the same models for years and with rising cost, quality has decreased or companies have gone out of business since they can not get enough sales on a 40 year old model design.
 

Graham

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#19
Gary has hit the nail exactly on the head and having just finished a Panart/Mantua model of the Armed Pinnace (I have done a build log) I would not build another model of theirs even if I got it for free. We all look to each other via our build logs for an honest view of a kit and personally I am quite prepared to pay hard earned cash for a good kit. I have already decided that I will build a Chinese kit one day, I am just giving it another year for them to iron our any snags because they seem to be actively trying to get it right and the thing that comes across from all reviews I have read is that the quality is very high. If this drives companies like Mantua to the wall then they should have got their act together sooner - strangely reminiscent of many car and motorcycle industries, don't you think? Neither do I care about IPR and copyright infringements - that's why lawyers live in big houses and drive fast cars.
 
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#20
On the other forum, someone asked what would be the most epic kit to build. Of course one could argue that an epic kit could be one that is exceptionally difficult to finish or to build into a realistic ship, but is in my opinion clear that the answer would be, next to Marisstella or Dusek, Model Shipways or Amati with their latest offerings, most certainly some of the chineese models would fit the bill.
I am afraid that, if the chinese keep on coming with such splendid models, there will soon for the other manufacturers be no other way to survive than to... outsource their production. Look for instance at the wonderful efforts of an excellent creator, Chris Watton who has developed some excellent models, Cutty Sark, Prince, 1/48 Victory(!!!). These models seem to have been developed some time ago, but their makers, Amati seem to send an endless time to bring them on the market. I am quite sure that some outsourcing would have these models on the market in a fraction of the time needed in Europe (it's sad but...). The same is true for HMS Surprise, the never ending story by Caldercraft.

It should also be noted that most of these chinese companies offer shameless copie which in my opinion should be discarded. On the contrary, the Royal Caroline, even in its smaller ZHL version, looks to me better than the Panart original. An the stern, for instance, looks different, and better than the Panart version.
 
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