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George R Blair Jr
80 articles

Building the Revell Black Pearl (Sort of)

August 15, 2019 · in Ships · · 6 · 7.4K

When I finished my last build, a 1/72 F-4J, I said that I wanted to do something more simple, like build a sailing ship. I thought I wasn't serious, but the more I thought about, the more I wanted to do a sailing ship. I don't have a lot of experience building sailing ships, just a couple of old sailing ships (the Constitution and the Bounty). It was at this time that I happened to see Revell's new model of the Black Pearl sailing ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. At first I thought it would be too toy-like, but on further examination, it looked like it was fairly detailed. The price was right, so I bought one and took it home. After doing a little research, the model appeared to be a fairly accurate representation of a 17th century sailing ship. I downloaded some pictures of possible paint schemes and off I went to renew my interest in a really cool period in history. Arrrr, matey!

My plan was to prepaint everything possible using rattle cans, then do all the detail painting I could before assembling the major parts of the ship. I had forgotten how much work it was to do the detail painting on these ships. Here is the sequence: paint the hull color, then paint the yellow stripes along the side, then repaint the hull color where the yellow stripes went astray, then repaint the stripes where the hull color repaint went astray, then repeat several more times, and you're done with one stripe. The ship went together quickly and was looking pretty good, but I wanted to add some missing features to my ship.

The most obvious diversion I took from the kit was to provide what I think is an appropriate paint scheme. From my voluminous research on Google (15 minutes), I think this ship best represents a sailing ship from the 17th century. So I found a couple of paint schemes I liked and used my limited creativity to paint a plausible scheme. The fact that this kit is designed as a snap-together helped me prepaint a lot of the ship before I started assembling anything.

Although the model comes with anchors, there is no provision for the anchor lines. The anchors had no ring that would hold the anchor line, so I found some small metal rings in the jewelry section at Hobby Lobby and added some appropriate line to the ring. Super glue attached the ring to the anchor. I drilled the hawse hole in the bow on both sides and added the anchor lines.

Possibly the most daunting addition was adding the standing (black) and running (tan) rigging. There was no rigging diagram for this model, so I added a hypothetical set of rigging to the ship. If any of you are ship aficionados you are probably appalled by the rigging on the ship, but if you aren't then I can assure you it is very realistic. :o) The black and tan rigging line was stolen (borrowed) from my wife's sewing stuff. :o)

The ship did have sails included, but they are designed to snap onto the yardarms, so I decided to leave them off. I have always thought that a static ship looked best without sails anyway. If I was to add sails, I would want to build a diorama.

The only problem I had was with one of the plastic ratlines. As I was cutting one of the ratlines off the sprue, one side of the ratline exploded and disappeared somewhere in my hobby room. I fixed the problem by splicing in some very small round plastic, and then painting it black.

Well, anyway, the ship from start to finish was done in 3 days. Not too bad. Yes, there are some cringe-worthy aspects to the ship, but it will fit fine in my model case. Arrrr!
Reader reactions:
14  Awesome

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6 responses

  1. Real nice, George! A colorful paint job. I've been thinking of doing Atlantis' boxing of the Black Falcon.

  2. Thanks, Robert. The Black Falcon is another model that can be built in a variety of paint schemes with as much detail as you want. It's fun to step away from what you normally build and tackle something like this. There's something about a sailing ship that lets your imagination fly. Looking forward to seeing your build article.

  3. Well, you may need to take this comment with a grain of salt, as I am a wingy-thing builder only, but hey - it looks great to me!

  4. I'm with Greg - it looks great to me! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks, Jeff & Greg. Being an old Air Force guy, I also build mainly planes. I flew airlift for much of my career and the airlift bases tend to be on one coast or the other. That's where I started building a few ships.

  6. Great build George, I can almost imagine it in the movie like this! Well done!

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