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Recently I introduced the 1:144 scale WASA kit that was published by Airfix during the 1980s. It was one of my favorites in their sailing ship series; and one which I wanted to bring to another level due to its detail. With research (and patience), I was able to convert this plastic kit into a mixed media project -replacing many of the features with wood.

A second challenge stemmed from the VASA project... That challenge was not just to convert, but present additional features to the already existent moldings of the ship. The kit that met the call was the Classic Series Airfix ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Sovereign of the Seas). All of the plastic was discarded and replaced with bass, pine and birch woods. Only the hull was kept and altered to match the supporting drawings and paintings of that period.

Overall, after exerting fourteen-hour days into a four-month schedule, I was able to produce this striking model. I find that nothing is too complicated - (as some would complain). No product can guarantee 'perfection'...and I am yet to find the perfect kit and/or model. Reality dictates that this will never be. However, what is great about modelling is the fact that we can find ourselves 'lost' in the process which causes us to step back and assess our level of skill. These images are a testimony of how far we can take a thing with the abilities and skill(s) we develop.

Thanks for viewing!

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Last edited:
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Recently I introduced the 1:144 scale WASA kit that was published by Airfix during the 1980s. It was one of the favorites in their sailing ship series; and one which wanted to bring to another level due to its detail. With patience and research, I was able to convert the plastic kit into a mixed media project -replacing many of the features in wood.

A second challenge stemmed from the VASA project. That challenge was to convert and present additional features to the already existent moldings of this beautiful ship. The model that met the call was the Classic Series Airfix ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Sovereign of the Seas). All of the plastic was discarded and replaced with bass, pine and birch woods. Only the hull was kept and altered to match the supporting drawings and paintings of the period.

Overall, after exerting fourteen-hour days into a four-month schedule, I was able to produce this striking model. I find that nothing is too complicated (as some complain). No product can guarantee 'perfection'...and I am yet to find the perfect kit and/or model. Reality dictates that this will never be. However, what is great about modelling is the fact that we all can find ourselves 'lost' in the process which causes us to step back and assess our level of skill. These images are a testimony of how far we can take a thing such as this with the abilities we develop.

Thanks for viewing!

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Indeed a beautiful and very impressive result! Agree with your words about our abilities and the belief on that.
Well done
 
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Thanks @shota70 ...I review so many complaints about kits, as to what they miss or lack in details, parts, etc. Often, it's just best to humble oneself and view the kit (or any kit) as an assignment rather than a task. To evaluate how to address a problem or two with what abilities have been developed to get you 'there'.

I appreciate the feedback. Thanks again.
 
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Thanks @Maarten . I've discovered many hidden gems out there. Some simple and others complexed. I truly believe a result comes with how much we invest relative to research, resources and time. I've just been fortunate to have good associates who challenged me on the premise of surrendering the right data. That type of trust is priceless.
 
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Broadsides,

As Maarten noted great SoS kit. And your work with her is outstanding!!.
I am curious about your rigging. Did your superb rigging details/results come as part of this Airfix kit instructions, or did you use alternate rigging plans? If so would you share from where? I'm hopping to one day build this ship, but from what I understand the Sergal plan sheets (fixed only) are very poor and not representative at all. Oh and your flags brilliant as well.

Regards,
 
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Hello Rex! I first became familiar with your work through LinkedIn, where I keep a profile under my name (Marc LaGuardia).

I agree with your assessment of the Airfix kits, which truly are excellent foundations for modifications and material detail upgrades. Your work on both the Vasa and the SOS is inspirational and truly exceptional. It is in that same spirit that I am currently modifying Heller’s Soleil Royal.

I will be very interested to see your conversion of the SOS to the Prince Royal. There is enough crossover in the architecture between the two ships that I think a very close representation is possible. Such a project would require almost a complete replacement of the ornamental program, which would be quite challenging in that scale.

I realize that you make a living doing this, and probably don’t have the interest and/or spare time for maintaining build logs, but I would love it if you could take a bunch of pictures of the Prince Royal project, as it progresses, and then post the whole thing as one photo montage, after the model is completed. It would be fascinating to many of us here to glean a little bit of your process and technique.

Thank you for posting such lovely work!

- M
 

Maarten

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Broadsides,

As Maarten noted great SoS kit. And your work with her is outstanding!!.
I am curious about your rigging. Did your superb rigging details/results come as part of this Airfix kit instructions, or did you use alternate rigging plans? If so would you share from where? I'm hopping to one day build this ship, but from what I understand the Sergal plan sheets (fixed only) are very poor and not representative at all. Oh and your flags brilliant as well.

Regards,
Hi oldflyer,

If you need more details of rigging sots go for the book of John Mc Kay, he is dealing with this in detail. See a book review here.
 

NMBROOK

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Fantastic work!I have followed along on Facebook.Just goes to show what potential the Airfix kit holds.I built this kit over 35 yers ago and acquired another new/secondhand one on Ebay a couple of years back.I am also on the lookout for an Airfix Prince to add to the stash.That also is more accurate than the wooden offerings of the subject matter.

Kind Regards

Nigel
 
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Broadsides,

As Maarten noted great SoS kit. And your work with her is outstanding!!.
I am curious about your rigging. Did your superb rigging details/results come as part of this Airfix kit instructions, or did you use alternate rigging plans? If so would you share from where? I'm hopping to one day build this ship, but from what I understand the Sergal plan sheets (fixed only) are very poor and not representative at all. Oh and your flags brilliant as well.

Regards,
Hello Rex! I first became familiar with your work through LinkedIn, where I keep a profile under my name (Marc LaGuardia).

I agree with your assessment of the Airfix kits, which truly are excellent foundations for modifications and material detail upgrades. Your work on both the Vasa and the SOS is inspirational and truly exceptional. It is in that same spirit that I am currently modifying Heller’s Soleil Royal.

I will be very interested to see your conversion of the SOS to the Prince Royal. There is enough crossover in the architecture between the two ships that I think a very close representation is possible. Such a project would require almost a complete replacement of the ornamental program, which would be quite challenging in that scale.

I realize that you make a living doing this, and probably don’t have the interest and/or spare time for maintaining build logs, but I would love it if you could take a bunch of pictures of the Prince Royal project, as it progresses, and then post the whole thing as one photo montage, after the model is completed. It would be fascinating to many of us here to glean a little bit of your process and technique.

Thank you for posting such lovely work!

- M
Marc:

It's not likely that I will place any build logs here due to the volume of assignments. However, I do write blogs in segmented parts that show the progress. The site is https://classicshipmodelminiatures.blogspot.com

Here you will see some of my applications of how I modify plastic kits.

Regards,

Rex
 

Uwek

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Recently I introduced the 1:144 scale WASA kit that was published by Airfix during the 1980s. It was one of my favorites in their sailing ship series; and one which I wanted to bring to another level due to its detail. With research (and patience), I was able to convert this plastic kit into a mixed media project -replacing many of the features with wood.

A second challenge stemmed from the VASA project... That challenge was not just to convert, but present additional features to the already existent moldings of the ship. The kit that met the call was the Classic Series Airfix ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Sovereign of the Seas). All of the plastic was discarded and replaced with bass, pine and birch woods. Only the hull was kept and altered to match the supporting drawings and paintings of that period.

Overall, after exerting fourteen-hour days into a four-month schedule, I was able to produce this striking model. I find that nothing is too complicated - (as some would complain). No product can guarantee 'perfection'...and I am yet to find the perfect kit and/or model. Reality dictates that this will never be. However, what is great about modelling is the fact that we can find ourselves 'lost' in the process which causes us to step back and assess our level of skill. These images are a testimony of how far we can take a thing with the abilities and skill(s) we develop.

Thanks for viewing!

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Hallo @Broadsides
we wish you all the BEST and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Birthday-Cake
Once more I took a look at your photos of this amazing model - wonderful built.
Are you working on an actual project?
 

Donnie

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Overall, after exerting fourteen-hour days into a four-month schedule.
That alone is impressive - I do not have the endurance to perform such a feat.
 
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Recently I introduced the 1:144 scale WASA kit that was published by Airfix during the 1980s. It was one of my favorites in their sailing ship series; and one which I wanted to bring to another level due to its detail. With research (and patience), I was able to convert this plastic kit into a mixed media project -replacing many of the features with wood.

A second challenge stemmed from the VASA project... That challenge was not just to convert, but present additional features to the already existent moldings of the ship. The kit that met the call was the Classic Series Airfix ROYAL SOVEREIGN (Sovereign of the Seas). All of the plastic was discarded and replaced with bass, pine and birch woods. Only the hull was kept and altered to match the supporting drawings and paintings of that period.

Overall, after exerting fourteen-hour days into a four-month schedule, I was able to produce this striking model. I find that nothing is too complicated - (as some would complain). No product can guarantee 'perfection'...and I am yet to find the perfect kit and/or model. Reality dictates that this will never be. However, what is great about modelling is the fact that we can find ourselves 'lost' in the process which causes us to step back and assess our level of skill. These images are a testimony of how far we can take a thing with the abilities and skill(s) we develop.

Thanks for viewing!

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OMG 12 shroud lines on the main, my fingers are cramping just looking at all those rat lines and knots. What a beautiful job you’ve done on this ship. I give you a virtual bow.
 
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Hi Broadsides,
May I congratulate you on a magnificent achievement building the SotS. It must have been a nightmare doing the rigging on it and the painting is first class , it's a credit to your skill in craftsmanship . A first class job .
Thanks! SOVEREIGN wasn't too much of a hassle since I'm familiar with 17th century rigging. The great part about this is to minimize those rigging blocks so that it challenges the mind relative to having the lines fall completely to the decks.

Tackles are the key part to this style of rigging at miniature level.
 
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Fantastic work!I have followed along on Facebook.Just goes to show what potential the Airfix kit holds.I built this kit over 35 yers ago and acquired another new/secondhand one on Ebay a couple of years back.I am also on the lookout for an Airfix Prince to add to the stash.That also is more accurate than the wooden offerings of the subject matter.

Kind Regards

Nigel
I'm sure you will enjoy returning back to The SOVEREIGN, Nigel...There's something about that particular kit that inspires a good build. And yes, the PRINCE is also a great one....I was fortunate to get it on ebay a few months ago which I look forward to endeavor during the winter months. I scratchbuilt a miniature of her some years ago which was immediately acquired by a collector in Texas. However, it has always been my intent to modify the Airfix version because of the potential it has to being a superior model.
 
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