Thursday, September 13, 2012

For The Love Of An Old Pyro Bomb Ketch

When it comes to plastic models, most builders would prefer that the kits be pristine, untouched. Sometimes, that is not an option, particularly when those kits are becoming somewhat scarce.
The first sailing ship model I ever built was a Pyro kit, their Göta Lejon, a Swedish warship of the eighteenth century, back in the fall of 1976. At this point, the Pyro dies had been passed along to LifeLike, and at our local hobby shop, Art's, the kits were being sold in a mixture of Pyro and LifeLike labeling. Pyro tooled most of these smaller sailing ships kits in the 1960's, with a heavy concentration in the middle of that decade. As for quality, it is assuredly mixed. Some of the better models, though, are sought after, such as the Göta Lejon, or in the case of that image, the British Bomb Ketch.
Trying to pin down a specific prototype for this model is difficult, but many suspect, as do I, that the people at Pyro lifted the plans from a wooden kit. The scale is therefore variously listed between 1/144 to 1/180. Aside from being simplified, it is actually not bad, and with a little work can turn into a lovely model. This is the second time I've had this kit, the first being a Revell-Germany release from the mid-1980's.
Nevertheless, it is lovely, and growing scarce. My newest one was had very cheaply via eBay, and was started long ago. The kit appears to have been put away after only a few pieces were assembled. This model comes from that period where the box says Pyro, but the instructions say LifeLike. Fortunately for me, the person who started it did so sparingly with the cement, so dismantling the major assemblies was easy, the only damage being to the quarterdeck port railing.
I have no idea when I will actually begin construction of the model, but simply having this kit in my collection is good enough.

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