The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Phil Takes On Zvezda's 1:72nd "Black Pearl" From The P.O.T.C. Franchise.

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The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by pstanfield » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:44 am

Well, after hoping for years this kit would be created, Zvezda has heard my plea and come up with nothing short of a 1/72 scale offering of probably one of the most famous sailing vessels of Hollywood.

The Black Pearl is, of course, a Pirate ship. Originally named The Wicked Wench, burned and sunk, then raised by Davey Jones as part of a deal with Jack Sparrow, who then painted the entire ship black.

The kit is very faithful to the movies...and that seems to be a small issue. The ship was orignally "cursed" in the first movie and no sequel was intended. When Johnny Depp signed on for more flicks, the ship, which was originally built on a barge and was only a partial ship, was rebuilt on top of another ship. this time virtually the entire vessel was built with the exception of the topmasts, which were not needed for most of the camera angles. Zvezda has modelled elements of the first movie, but without the ship being "cursed". To add to the confusion, there is an official Disney logo on the instructions from the 4th movie. Huh? Licensing....it always confuses me.

Anyway, here's the kit in all it's glory:
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The ship will come in at around 2 feet in length, which is a very workable size. And at 1/72 there is a lot of detail that can be shown and this kit does just that. Molds are crisp and attention has been paid to details. The figurehead is gorgeous, as are the stern decorations.
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I'm most impressed by the ship's boat. It is extremely detailed. The mast, oars, sails, hook, even a barrel....it's all there
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Details don't stop there. The deck is nicely engraved, not too deep, and even has camber. The cannons are just plain beautiful.
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All in all this kit is very nice and a is well worth the expenditure...

But...

Okay, let's start with the a few of the obvious. First up, the shrouds. Yes, they come pre-molded (I heard the groans out there). But, from a business standpoint I can see that the reason is this kit is not trying to be something on the level of Heller's Victory or Soleil Royale. And when you look at them, they actually grow on you a little bit. the topmast shrouds even have the deadeyes molded on.
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Another indication that the "average" modeller is the target for this kit is the fact that the rigging for the cannon has been molded. Yep, all the tackle is molded. You just paint, glue and you're done. Of course the rigging has no sag in the ropes so it looks like the cannons just fired.
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So, before I get into modifications that I may or may not address, let me present the glaring pink elephant in the room. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, in HUGE 1/72 scale, ship's sails molded...yep....MOLDED to the yards!
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Now, mind you, they don't look all too bad. It's molded looking like the sail is lashed to yard, and the sails even have all their cringles. But I'm presented with few problems. First, all the sails look alike...they are perfectly filled with wind. It all looks too perfect. Second, the sails of The Black Pearl have crude repair patches all over them. I can't just paint "patches" on the sails. That would look stupid. And third, it would be a nightmare to try and cut the sails off the yards. I may as well toss all of it which, at this point, I just cannot afford to do since the cash flow isn't their to buy everything I need to replace them. So I'm going to come up with the best approach with the intention of using the kit provided sails.

Okay. As accurate as this kit is to the real ship, there are a few minor errors and one glaring error. The minor ones I can either deal with or address. But the huge error has to be addressed....somehow.

The first minor error are the windows on the stern. On the actual ship they are recessed, as shown here.
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The kit offering does not have the windows recessed. While it does give an overall "flat" look, I'm not too concerned, so I'll probably leave them.
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Next is more of an omission than an error. On the actual vessel, there is a rope handrail...why, I'm not sure, but it is there.
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I will be adding this to the model since it will be fairly easy to do. The other ommission is the Binnacle. It's clearly on the actual ship, but not offered on the kit. It's obvious I'll have to come up with something, which will require a bit of work.

There are other small errors...handrails in the wrong position, that kind of stuff, but nothing that can't be just accepted. If I get too nitpicky I'll never get it done.

Okay, now for the biggie. Here's the doorway to the Captain's Quarters from the kit.
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Not bad, right? Not spectacular, but not bad. But then take a look at the one from the actual ship.
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You can see my dilemma. This is a very decorative part of the ship. I can't just go with the plain "wall" from the kit. The actual ship has more ornate double doors, with statuary on either side (in the same style as the statuary that lines the stern), and 4 windows. All of this will have to be built from scratch and fitted to the hull. And since the hull is multiple pieces, this scratchbuild will have to act as a support for the entire hull, just like the kit piece. The stairs on either side are also wrong on the kit. All of this is going to take some work and is something I have never done before. This will be interesting to say the least.

If you bought this kit and never compared it to the movies, then it's a fantastic kit for the average modeller as well as the experienced modeller, especially given the fact that 1/72 plastic sailing ship kits are rare. Unfortunately for me, this model is a gift for my daughter, who is a huge fan of Johnny Depp and the PotC franchise. She'll be able to tell....

So that's it. If anyone has any suggestions for scratchbuilding the doorway/wall/windows, please let me know.

And awayyyyyyy we go!

Phil

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Pete Coleman
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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by Pete Coleman » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:56 am

Oh, this is going to be interesting. As a fan (not an officiando) of the POTC franchise, I will be watching this build with unabated pleasure!
Thanks for going to the trouble of starting this build log Phil, it just may turn out to be a bigger moment than we all realise....
Cheers,
Pete.
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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by CODY614 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:57 am

Keep yer eye on the prize!
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Some pic's I found...
Of the ZHL POB model...Showing the door to the cabin.
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And some of the stern...
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This next one...I'm not sure if it will work? The original is 1175 X 859 571kb so the resolution is not the best...PhotoBucket made it smaller? If you like I can send you the larger version.
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Jeff






http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c264/ ... rlDRAW.jpg
Last edited by CODY614 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by CODY614 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:04 am

The one thing I noticed, is the angle of the 'Bulkhead...with some Photoshoping...
Image

If it were me...I would make the bulkhead/door from either balsa or plastic sheet using the kit part for a starting point...get your new bulkhead to fit to your satisfaction, then using basswood or wood of your choice. And plank it and add details to how you want it to look. The main thing is how far you want go to correct things.


Jeff
"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."

- Captain John Paul Jones

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by Rob » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:48 pm

Hmm interesting.
I like Zvezda stuff the quality has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years.

As for your sail patches Phil, hard mask them, spray in patch and when you remove masking you have a nice hard slightly raised edge.

Definitely a kit aimed at the “casual” modeller not us hard core totally lost types, you will soon knock it into shape I'm sure.

Rob.

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by pstanfield » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:23 pm

After sleeping on it, I'm going to start on the bulkhead issue by drawing a template using the kit part as my guide. I'll draw up how I want it to look, and then either build it from evergreene sheet and strip, or I've even thought of tapping my papercraft skills and build it from cardstock. Either way would work. I'm drawing it up tonight after I finish some work on the superstructure of the Wasp. The hardest part of this will be the stairways on either side of the bulkhead. they're going to have to be built completely from scratch if I'm going to take them on at all. I may be able to use 1/72 dollhouse parts, or I may just get crazy and turn the parts myself. But I do love experimentation!

Thanks for all the pics too. I never knew there was a POB version of the ship. Very nice and helpful. And I also noticed the angle on the bulkhead. I'll be taking it into account as I create the new bulkhead. (I still can't believe I'm going to attempt this.

Anyone who is experienced with scratchbuilding on this level please check by here periodically if you could. I'll definitely be needing help.

The last thing I'll be needing is a 1/72 Jack Sparrow. All over the web I've only found 1 set of pirates at that scale, and they were very poor quality. If anyone knows of a place, or maybe has a figure in scale that I could modify, please let me know...

I'll post the template in a few days for critique and input from everyone. More to come!

Oh, by-the-way...I was able to lift my arm to just above 90 degrees and hold it there for about 20 seconds before it got too painful....any progress is good progress I guess....

cheers,
Phil

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by pstanfield » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:27 pm

Rob wrote:Hmm interesting.
I like Zvezda stuff the quality has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years.

As for your sail patches Phil, hard mask them, spray in patch and when you remove masking you have a nice hard slightly raised edge.

Definitely a kit aimed at the “casual” modeller not us hard core totally lost types, you will soon knock it into shape I'm sure.

Rob.
Good idea. a few coats would build it up enough too. Thanks for the tip. And I'm still debating swapping out the molded Shrouds. There will be a lot of sanding involved since parts of the shrouds are molded on the masts. We'll have to see...

Phil

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by CODY614 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:08 pm

Phil
another link... x7x ...to help you.
http://www.truetraveler.com/march_april_2007.htm

Some good shots of the bulkhead and stairs in question...Yup, I had a lot of free time today!
Any way...Too make it worse...was this pic' from the above site.
Image

I'm not sure how steep angle is? I rotated it in Photoshop and the drew the 'Red Lines' at 90 deg. the 'Yellow Line' shows the window frame/jam.

Jeff
"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by pstanfield » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:33 am

Nice link! Thanks! I needed a good shot of the wheel and stairway. It's amazing that out of the hundreds of photos I have found, there is not one clear shot of the whole bulkhead. If you find one let me know. I'm almost done with my very, very rough drawing of the bulkhead, but a clear pic would be nice for comparison.

I'm still not sure about the angle. I'm of the mind it changed after the first movie, but I'll try it both ways with a card mock-up to see how it looks.

Thanks for the pics and input! I intend to get some prelim work done on it in the next week or so, but I'm under the gun to get the USS Wasp finished. My shoulder surgery put me way behind schedule.

More to come...

Cheers,
Phil

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by chrism » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:22 am

Just playing catchup over here - and looking in on this. I have to agree with Rob, Zvezda kits are nice. I have just purchased a set of their German infantry and they are at 1:72 very nice, with minimal flash - whereas the brand new mould newlty released set of WW2 Northern Europe figures from Airfix are a total disaster.

I think that you can certainly make something outstanding from this kit with some time and effort, and you have a good startline.

PS: sorry I'm not up on this forum much at moment - but I'm busy working (on mostly armour) items for display at Telford, for one of the IPMS SIG's.

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by CODY614 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:46 pm

Phil
I tried to find a decent pic of the bulkhead...to no avail!...We need a modeler to go take pic's of this ship!
Any way I stumbled across this, don't laugh.... x7x If you can research them more..they may be just right...I've got to get to work...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pirates-Caribbe ... B000BDAYTI


Jeff
"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."

- Captain John Paul Jones

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by Bill Davidson » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:43 am

Phil,

Good to see movement is returning in the arm and your mind has ever been modelling in the virtual world x2x

Looking at the images above, it would also seem that the deck above the bulkhead actually extends beyond the bulkhead, ie the bulkhead is recessed underneath an overhang as well as everything else. Dunno, as Jeff said we need a modeller to do a reccy for you.
Cheers,
Bill

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by pstanfield » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:06 am

That overhang is proving to be problematic in that I have to adjust the new bulkhead in order to fit the deck above it. I'll then create new molding around the outer edge of the overhang.

As for my shoulder, I've been given a bit of bad news...well, possibly bad at least. I finished my sessions of physical therapy, but still have pain and I cannot lift my arm above my shoulder. Therapist thinks scar tissue may have frozen my shoulder. I see the ortho doc on the 10th of Nov, so we'll see...

Phil

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by CODY614 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:06 am

Alrighty...Photoshop again? XNUTSX

Image

If you look you will see a trim piece. And if you look at the pic I posted looking thru the gunport..."Note Slight Angle" there appears to be a "Trim Board" underneath the trim piece?
At least that would be my guess? So...I'm guessing this will help you hide any problems where the deck meets the bulkhead.
I know it is all conjecture...with out any good pic's.

Hope that arm gets better...Cuz from what I've seen of these things masted...they bring a new meaning to "Tall Ship's!"

From the ZHL kit...
Image


Jeff
"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way."

- Captain John Paul Jones

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Re: The Black Pearl...Kit Review & Modification ideas

Post by pstanfield » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:07 pm

Nice Photoshop job and good eye. I've got plenty of Evergreene strip, so trim moulding will be no problem. I had expected I would have to use it. It will also decorate the bulkhead a bit more. I'm anticipating fit problems. The issue is how the kit is designed. Don't get me wrong, it is designed well. But the bulkhead is integral to the structure since the hull is in no less than six pieces. So fit will have to be exact or I'll be using a lot of filler....

And I'm already having issues with not being able to reach very high with my right arm. I'm definitely not looking forward to topmast rigging....gonna be painful...

Phil

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