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

Packaging wise .. OK, it sort of reminds me of a Pizza Box, with all the parts neatly segregated into sections but separated by flimsy cardboard dividers. I'm not sure how well they would hold together during delivery, but it sure looks a little risky in view of the cost of the kit. The parts themselves are made of wood and metal pieces with a few PE frets thrown in, and they do look fragile, but impressive no doubt especially with the level of details. The sails are actual I don't think she comes with paint and glue.

Impressive huh. A challenging kit I'm sure especially with all those required rigging later , but would I buy her? Probably not, since I have no experience working with wood. But if you do, or you wish to try, and looking to start on your very first wooden ship kit, I'd recommend Z.H.L.'s Black Pearl as a starter kit. Not only are they comprehensively detailed, this is the first wooden kit I see that comes with photoetch sets.

Of course I cannot say anything about the quality, mainly because like I said, I have no experience working with wooden ships. But those images they have up there, they'd make great reference materials for my coming Zvezda's kit. But you can get more information pertaining to the buildup of this kit over at Model Ship World Forum.


  1. Hi. Perfect post but, then, where did you buy the item? on his ebay account? Can you tell me url?

  2. My son and I have been working on this since June 2011, not constantly, and currently trying to figure out how to plank the deck. There are no instructions regarding deck planking only a picture, which you have. It has been very painful to date, however, the material is perfect.

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