by: Felix Bustelo [ ]
Sail boats are often seen in photographs of larger warships and commercial vessels whether the ship is anchored in a busy harbor or out in the shipping lanes. Black Dog Models has expanding their line of 1/700 ship modeling diorama accessories sets with collection of sail boats.
Set S70006 contains a total of 14 resin hulls ranging from larger cargo schooners, medium and small pleasure boats and tiny dinghies. Six resin masts are included to use on the larger boats and they can be cut down to the appropriate height depending on the vessel. The casting is good and the level of detail is adequate.
A set of photoetch sails in various sizes is included to rig the boats. The brass is relief etched which gives some texture to the sails. Some of the sails have masts and others are to be used with the resin masts. The photoetch has what looks like either rudders or perhaps boat oars, but this is not really clear. If they are indeed oars, they are way over scale. What is interesting is that the photoetch has numbers to identify the sails but they are no instructions provided with my sample to help sort them out. As a result you will have to rely on the box top photo to determine which sails to use with which boat. Basic instructions would also have helped determine if those other parts are rudders or oars.
For this review, I assembled 3 boats: the largest cargo schooner, a medium sized pleasure boat and one of the dinghies. These were quick builds and I did not add any rigging. The resin masts were too warped to use on the schooner, so I used brass wire/rod instead. I brush painted the hulls and spray painted the photoetch sails. I would recommend a primer coat before painting the hulls. The resin seemed to absorb the paint somewhat and a couple of coats, especially on the larger hulls, were needed for a satisfactory finish.
Assembled and painted, the three boats look good and you can take some liberty in what colors to choose to paint them. I was generally satisfied with the results as these were quick and dirty builds for this review. You can add as much detail as you like, such as rigging and even some photoetch figures, to make them look even better. Since these boats are really meant to be used in a waterline diorama as “background”, where the focus is on a larger more complex ship, the level of detail is just right. With 14 different boats, you can get a lot of mileage out of this set.