ZHL 1:30 scale HMY Royal Caroline kit

Peglegreg

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G'day all
Well what can I say about this kit that hasn't been said before. Well here it goes, I will try to do an unbiased description, as I think this kit is amazing.
The negative sides in this kit are very few, compare to others manufacturers of kits. I have only two.
The first one is only if you are planning to put the complete masks and full rigging. But you are only do the hull with cut down masks, the kit's supply bolts are adequate. I'm referring to the keel's stand support bracket.
The kit's supplied brackets are 5 mm brass.
I think this far too inappropriate if you only want to hold the fully rigged model using the keel's stands. The fully rigged model with stand about 1.3 meters high, and I'm changing these brackets with 2 x 12 galvanized bolts. 1
This might be an overkill, but I would rather be completely safe than sorry.
The second point is regarding the incedable carvings that are included in the kit for the port and starboard sides. I was advised by two fellow members, Neptune and Maarten, (both of them are far more advance in their own builds of the RC,) to expand the false keel by 15 mm. They advice me to do this, so the carvings will have more space, as in some areas, it is too tight for the carvings, (both had to alter the carvings slightly to compensate). The builder in the help video had a similar problem.
That's is all the negative that I can find regarding this kit.
Now the positive side. There are so numerous, it would be impossible to put them all here. Here are only a few.
All the supplies timbers etc. are first quality and these timber are equal or better than any other high end kits available.
I'm using over 30 years of experiences, comparing and using other brands. The plywood bulkheads are again the highest quality and this is the first kit that I have brought, that showed a laser score line to where each bulkhead have to be beveled. These score lines are very, very accurate.
20180507_223945.jpg
A close up of the scorched line to show the beveled edge. Every bulkhead has this, even the ones in midship where there's only a minute difference. I only discovered this when I scanned the bulkheads into my computer and it was only visible at 300 percent enlargement.

The deck furnitures are out of this world. Everything is included, this is one huge advantage over this kit compare to all the other kits that I have used, over the years. Not only they are supplied, the amount of details on these parts are far superior than anything else on the market, in my opinion.
20180507_223339.jpg
An example of the decking furnishings, they are still in the protective packaging ready for me when I'll use them.
The boxwood carvings are all in an exceptional quality. There is of course work to be done on these carvings if you want to go the extra distance. They are ok, if you put them as is and most people wouldn't notice the difference. But this is one of the parts that will make your model your own.
20180507_222553.jpg
Is is part of the Transom carving, they are as per the kit, unedited in any way.
There is always, in every kit that you build, there be areas that may want to change it to add on, but the basic kit is good enough to put together as per the instructions. But if you are like me and many more modelshiprights, the fun part in this hobby, is to put your own mark on your model.
This kit allows for what ever you want to do.
You may think that this model is like putting together a 'jig saw', but doing the only basic parts, I would advice this kit to be attempted by the experience model builders, and
it is definitely not for anyone who is new to this hobby.
I, personally is going to the 'extreme' as my wife puts it. I'm adding the interior view of the king's cabin as well the crew quarters. The planning stage in this process has taken me about 6 months of work on the computer even before starting on the build. There are many problems that I have to work out even before starting. Every bulkhead had to be altered to suit what I want. You may say it's like a scratch build job thst I'm doing.
Using this kit has saved me hundreds and hundreds of hours and I am definitely pleased to have this kit to work with.
I've bought the masks and rigging extra and the quality is also breathtaking. The masks and yards are pre-shaped and all the fittings are, if not the highest, but definitely far superior to any other high end kits available.
This alone is amazing feature that makes ZHL kits far advance than to any thing else that I have used.
Oh... there's one other positive amplitude to this kit. There's is a kit within the main kit, that I almost forgot to mentioned. It's the incredible ship's boat. There is enough in this mini kit to make you busy for week and weeks.
20180507_224712.jpg
The unopened parts for this mini kit.and after a lot of work for weeks you will get this...
560.jpg
This is the model made by Neptune of the mini kit of the ship's boat.
Hoped that you have enjoyed my (hopefully not to biased) report on this kit. One thing for certain, my next kit will be a ZHL's creation!
Happymodeling
Greg
 

Maarten

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Hi Greg,

Great review and all true. One addition for potential new builders. Remove the part that sticks out from the false keel at the stern. Otherwise the rudder will not fit. See also the log of John reffering to this.
I 100% agree with you, a great kit to build.
 

Peglegreg

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Thanks Maarten, I forgot about removing the 'nose'from the stern of the false keel before you put on the ply for the transom, but after you get the bend of the transom correct. I think that is the reason why it's there.
Press HERE for the full description in John's entry on this point.
Maybe it tell you in Chinese to do it.... anyway, thanks for reminding me.
I tried to be accurate and bias in my review.
Thanks for your support.
Havagooday mate
Greg.
 

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The Royal Caroline kit is truly amazing. Seriously considered it for myself but is just too big for my work environment. Am kind of envious.
 

Peglegreg

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The Royal Caroline kit is truly amazing. Seriously considered it for myself but is just too big for my work environment. Am kind of envious.
G'day Paul
I would recommend that you get this model, looking at your current Salamanda endeavours, I can say that you are ready for this one. You are doing an awesome job on her.
If you can handle your build now, I can't see why you can't do the RC.
Hope the weather in Melbourne isn't as cold and windy as it is here. Brrrerr it's cold.
Happymodeling mate
Greg
 

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G'day Paul
I would recommend that you get this model, looking at your current Salamanda endeavours, I can say that you are ready for this one. You are doing an awesome job on her.
If you can handle your build now, I can't see why you can't do the RC.
Hope the weather in Melbourne isn't as cold and windy as it is here. Brrrerr it's cold.
Happymodeling mate
Greg
Thanks Greg, in my current logistical situation La Salamandre is about the biggest model I can feasibly build. My wife will fix me up if I started a huge model like Royal Caroline. Too big for the kitchen.
 

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Thanks @zoly99sask. I am interested to hear from @Peglegreg if there were any issues with our Customs. Our quarantine laws are quite strict regarding timber imports.
Hi Cha, I have bought more than several wood kits from overseas with no issues from customs. Should not be a problem. I have not heard anyone having trouble importing wooden kits from Austalian customs.
 

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Peglegreg

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G'day Cha
Attached are the web site and email address for Max at ZHL. Max is a brilliant person to go through. I had no problems at all, and even thought it was near Christmas and the Chinese electronic festival, some how Max got my kit through the Chinese customs with no problem.
When I got my kit after 10 days from order it was opened and a sticker placed on it to say it was opened by the Australian customs.
I had no problems at all, and the after sales service from Max was amazing. He let me know when it left his office, again when it was cleared by the Chinese customs and finally when it left the port by ship.
I had a item number so I could look up where the kit was anytime.
When it arrived in Australia, I had an email from DHL to say when it will arrive at my door. The day before it arrived I had another email from DHL to tell me if it was an am or PM delivery.
After it arrived I had a email from Max asking me it it arrived ok.
What a service!
If you don't want the kit now and you can wait till November, you can save the cost of freight, as all Chinese companies have free freight worldwide for the electronic festival which is in only in November.
All I can say, I can honestly recommend you go through Max at ZHL as Max and his company ZHL has put in two years R & D in this kit, as well as The Black Pearl, and now again on a very secretive, but amazing new kit which should be due out next year. I know for a fact, because he offered my to co-design the new kit, but I have to say thanks, but no.
Hope to see your build log on the RC soon.
Oh I almost forgot. After you place an order from ZHL, you will get an email from max to explain how you can pay for it. He has PayPal, bank deposit etc.

Web address
http://www.woodmodelboatbuilder.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=47
Email
modelshipkit@gmail.com

Happymodeling
Greg
 

Peglegreg

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You are correct about this Bob, but when you go through ZHL you only get the highest quality of timber such as boxwood for all the carving. I believe boxwood gives you the highest quality in the carvings.
When I was deciding to go to boxwood or pearl, I rang Janos and he told me 'only use boxwood for carvings'. He should know with all his years of experience in this field.
Havagooday
Greg
 

lauckstreet

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You are correct about this Bob, but when you go through ZHL you only get the highest quality of timber such as boxwood for all the carving. I believe boxwood gives you the highest quality in the carvings.
When I was deciding to go to boxwood or pearl, I rang Janos and he told me 'only use boxwood for carvings'. He should know with all his years of experience in this field.
Havagooday
Greg
Greg, I appreciate what you're saying but I didn't want boxwood and even if I had wanted boxwood, it's over $600.00 cheaper on this website than it is at ZHL. They're the exact same kit, same contents, same boxes, same everything. I'd just rather save money so I can buy other kits, but that's just me. After 30+years of buying and building kits, I'm always looking for a better deal.

Bob
 

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Greg, I appreciate what you're saying but I didn't want boxwood and even if I had wanted boxwood, it's over $600.00 cheaper on this website than it is at ZHL. They're the exact same kit, same contents, same boxes, same everything. I'd just rather save money so I can buy other kits, but that's just me. After 30+years of buying and building kits, I'm always looking for a better deal.

Bob
Hi Bob. How do you navigate the mysteries of buying with Taobao and what’s the communication and after sales service like? Does not seem foreigner friendly. Their website is very clunky also on my iPad. Thanks.
 
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cha

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Thanks guys. I am building an AL Mayflower at the moment. Up to the standing rigging stage now. Should definitely finish her by November. Will cintact Max in the meanime
 

Peglegreg

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Greg, I appreciate what you're saying but I didn't want boxwood and even if I had wanted boxwood, it's over $600.00 cheaper on this website than it is at ZHL. They're the exact same kit, same contents, same boxes, same everything. I'd just rather save money so I can buy other kits, but that's just me. After 30+years of buying and building kits, I'm always looking for a better deal.

Bob
G'day Bob
I appreciate your view about buying a lower quality kit to save money. We do what we want to do in your own situation.
I for one feel, the amount of carvings on this model, it worth to get the highest carvings.
20180512_092458.jpg
The above is photo from the site of Taobao. And below is my boxwood version, WITHOUT any cleaning.
20180512_100707.jpg
And here is the all of the carvings on the transom. There is a market difference compare to the photos on the Taobao site.
20180512_092706.jpg
There might be another thing that I would be very wary about. It appears that they only have Visa or Mastercard as payment, but not PayPal.
I only buy through PayPal because you are guaranteed or your money back to get the kit.
Also I don't like to give my card details to anyone. A few years ago, my so asked me to buy a product from an Australian shop through Visa. I did and about 2 weeks after that I had a phone call from my card company to see if I bought something for $5000 from Africa and another transaction of $8000 from Germany.
I told them no, and they payments were stopped. The bank asked me if I have given my details to anyone and I mentioned the payment via a phone call. They think that is were my card details were stolen.
That is all I have to say on this matter.
Greg
 

Peglegreg

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Thanks guys. I am building an AL Mayflower at the moment. Up to the standing rigging stage now. Should definitely finish her by November. Will cintact Max in the meanime
I know that your service there will be excellent and a very high quality boxwood carvings.
It appears to me, that the other non boxwood carving on the deck furnitures, are also better with ZHL, looking at mine kit, compare to the photos on Taobao.
Happymodeling
Greg
 

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Thanks guys. I am building an AL Mayflower at the moment. Up to the standing rigging stage now. Should definitely finish her by November. Will cintact Max in the meanime
You can be sure Max will replace any parts that are missing without going through endless hoops. My Salamandre kit was missing some carvings and rib parts. Max sent replacements via express post within a week.
 
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