Saturday, October 1, 2011

Which is the Ultimate "Black Pearl" Scale Model kit?

While anxiously waiting for my Zvezda's 1/72 scale Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean to arrive, I decided to see if I could get more images of her off the net (and its looking like I'm going to need to screen capture images of her upper and lower decks). Its a little confusing as in some images, I can't tell if those images are that of the Black Pearl, or another sailing vessel.

But I did find something very interesting. And what I found instead nearly blew my mind away.

Yup, I found me another kit of the Black Pearl, abet this one has laser cut wooden parts and metal pieces, and the details on her ... WOOT! Mind staggering! And so's the price. I do believe she is about the most accurate kit of the Black Pearl that's out there.

And here's the surprise, its made by a China based company called Z.H.L from Wuhan Poseidon Technology Co., Ltd (WPT).

I don't know anything about this company as this is the first time I have heard of them, nor have I ever seen the kit nor her parts. But if they are anything like what I see on their site, Z.H.L's Black Pearl (she's listed as 1/43 scale - that's huge) then that would make her the ultimate wooden kit for the Black Pearl, and of course I am talking about those that you need to assemble and paint. According to the product list, she's a double plank on frame construction kit.

From their product range, I could see several versions of the Black Pearl kit with each successive new kit coming in with more upgrades. The interesting part about this company is that the old kits are also made available for sale. Here's an image of the very first Black Pearl offered to the mass market:

Now note that in the above images, there are no lifeboats, the entrance to Capt Jack Sparrow's cabin is different and lacking details, and the cupboard and barrel is missing in front of the Ship's huge Steering Wheel. Other differences lies with the details on the bow of the ship. The below images are from the 2010 version which has incorporated more upgrades, including three lifeboats and more refined parts.

OK, here's the curious thing. Where can you buy her? Apparently if you were to google "Model Black Pearl", and followed through some of the links given, you'll find a lot of these offered in something like eBay called "aliexpress", and some sites have even listed her as much as USD$500 plus plus. When I went direct to the main site, the ship is only listed only at USD$258 and that is for the most recent version which is still available (They call it "Black Pearl 2"). Looking at the history of the kit, she just keeps getting better and better.

More images of the parts after the jump